In Love-A-Dog month ask
what you can do for Fido
Hawaiian Humane Society
In a national survey, 97 percent of respondents listed companionship as the No. 1 benefit of haing a dog. Forty-two percent said dogs teach their kids responsibility, and another 40 percent believe dogs are beneficial to their health. Seventy nine percent of all pet owners give gifts to their pets on holidays. Three percent of Americans shower with their dogs.
This month, the Hawaiian Humane Society celebrates the human-canine bond during Love- A-Dog month, with 10 ways to foster mutual well-being.
1. Get your dog a microchip ID. A collar and tag are good, but can be lost if your pet gets lost. A microchip ID is permanent. The tiny chip is injected under the animal's skin between the shoulder blades in a process similar to a vaccination. Each microchip bears an ID number that can be read by scanner at the Humane Society or by veterinarians. This month, microchip IDs are $5 from 16 Oahu veterinary clinics and the humane society.
Purchase an Adopt-a-Dog T-shirt from Crazy Shirts Ala Moana Center, Haleiwa or Pearlridge this month and receive a coupon for a free microchip ID from the humane society.
2. Adopt a dog. This month, the humane society will give adopted dogs extra gifts like a month's worth of heartworm preventative, a bag of dog or puppy food, a bag of toys and biscuits, and a certificate for dog bath and brush from Dogpatch Academy. All dogs will be sterilized and given vaccinations and a microchip ID.
3. Train your dog. The more dogs are socialized and trained to behave, the more likely they are to become desirable companions. Work through problems such as chewing, barking and house-training. Trish King, Behavior and Training Director at Marin Humane Society in Novato, Calif., recommends praising behaviors you want to see repeated, ignoring undesirable behavior. "Use praise such as 'Good dog!' and treats to steer your dog toward behavior you like. Once a dog understands his boundaries, he will know what's expected of him."
4. Sterilize your dog. Your spayed or neutered dog won't contribute to pet overpopulation and will live a healthier life. The City & County of Honolulu, humane society and Oahu veterinarians support Neuter Now, a program that provides low-cost spaying and neutering for owned dogs (and cats). Neuter Now certificates cost $18 for a male cat or dog, $29 for a female cat or dog. The certificate serves as payment for the sterilization from a participating veterinarian. Certificates are available at Satellite City Halls on Oahu or at the humane society. Call 946-2187, Ext. 227.
Show your love for all dogs, including those lost and homeless, by attending the Hawaiian Humane Society's "Fantasies in Chocolate" event taking place 1 to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel.
Chocolate Lovers tickets are $30 ($35 at the door) and allows chocoholics to sample the best of desserts and candies from chocolatiers and chefs for two hours of unlimited decadence.
A more elaborate Fantasy Brunch starting at 10:30 a.m. will include exclusive "first tastes" of all the chocolate. Brunch tickets are $65, available only in advance.
Call the society at 946-2187, Ext. 213 for tickets. Funds raised supports the care of more than 10,000 dogs a year.
Pick up an ID and free bag of biscuits and toys from Ralston Purina at the Hawaiian Humane Society between 8:30 a.m. and noon tomorrow, Oct. 13, 20 and 27. No appointment necessary.
5. Take your dog on a hike. Paws on the Path is a hiking club that brings hikers and their dogs together on a new trail monthly. The next hike is at Maunawili Gulch Trail starting at 8:45 a.m. Oct. 27. Learn more at www.hawaiianhumane. org or call 946-2187, Ext. 217.
6. Enjoy quiet. A well-trained dog will not bark at common occurrences, but will alert you of threats. If your dog barks when you're not at home, try moving him away from distractions that might trigger barking, or bring him inside and leave a radio on. Talk shows often work best. The humane society offers brochures to help you teach your dog to be "quiet" to avoid disturbing neighbors.
7. Allow your dog inside the house. Kerry Muhovich, from the Denver Dumb Friends League said, "Dogs of all sizes are happier, healthier and safer when they can be indoors with their people a majority of the time. Dogs have a need to be social just like we do."
8. Take your dog to a park. Interactive play is valuable. There are two off-leash dog parks on Oahu: McInerny Dog Park behind the humane society, open noon to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, and Bark Park at Diamond Head Road and 18th Avenue, open sunrise to sunset. The humane society offers a list of 36 parks that allow dogs on leashes. Leave your name and address at 946-2187, Ext. 223, and a list will be mailed to you, or check the society's Web site.
9. Teach your dog to come when you call. This command might be a life-saver if your dog is ever in danger. Work with your dog for a few minutes each day and practice the command, offering praise and small treats.
10. Provide veterinary care and good nutrition. Unless they are working hard, most healthy dogs can maintain their normal weight with small amounts of food. Check recommended portion sizes on packages, remembering that these are often generous. Dogs will stuff themselves with as much food as you provide, so choose a balanced dog food and minimize table scraps. Make annual appointments with your veterinarian to get answers to your questions about canine health, training and care.
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