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Newsletter: July 2019

Dog in 4th of July Glasses

The Water Bowl is paws down the best monthly newsletter for pet professionals. We provide editorial on current events in the dog walking and pet sitting world, review gear and gather interesting information from around the web.


TLDR;

  • 21% of dogs are afraid of fireworks.
  • “Puppy dog eyes” evolved through selective breeding.
  • Pepsi the dog gets rescued, Pepsi the company sends treats.
  • Reading to dogs is better for kids than reading to adults.
  • Non-competes are on the rise.

Hotdogs

Happy 4th Of July!

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Scout wishes you a very happy and safe 4th of July.


Howls

Fireworks Season is Here

Independence day is the unofficial kick-off to summer. For humans, the 4th is a fun-filled day that includes trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, and of course, fireworks shows. Unfortunately for 21% of dogs, fireworks are incredibly frightening.

While banning fireworks is going to be an uphill battle, there are some things we can do to make our pets and clients more comfortable during the explosions show.

  • The best way to make your dog more comfortable is to start training early. Age 3 weeks to 3-months-old is the ideal time to start acclimating your dog to unexpected loud noises. During thunderstorms or fireworks events, try giving your pet lots of attention and treats. Make it seem like everything is business as usual by playing games and giving lots of love and affection.
  • Unfortunately, immersion training isn’t always 💯. It doesn’t work especially well with older dogs who already have a phobia of unexpected loud noises. If you have a dog or you are pet sitting during a fireworks show, stay calm and provide a soothing environment for them. Try some calming music or a backdrop of nature sounds. If there is a room in your house that makes your dog particularly comfortable, hang out there until the bulk of the fireworks subside. My dog is most comfortable in the bathtub listening to the Grateful Dead ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
  • For dogs who are highly sensitive or very anxious about loud noises, it may be beneficial to provide some chemical relief for them. For extreme cases, a vet may be able to provide a prescription such as Prozac. For milder cases of anxiety, over the counter remedies like “Rescue Remedy” or CBD oil can help them feel calmer and more comfortable. Just remember to always check with your vet before trying a new product for your own pet, and never give a client meds without their parent’s permission.

We hope these tips help you and your pups have a happy and fun-filled 4th of July celebration! If you have any tips to share or cute pup pics from the holiday, send them to hello@scoutforpets.com


Evolution

Puppy Dog Eyes Explained

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A new study, in the scientific journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America” (or PNAS for short), found evidence that dogs evolved to develop facial muscles in order to facilitate communication with their human handlers.

33,000 years after wolves were domesticated and became dogs, researchers have compared the distant cousins see how they adapted to life as (hu)mans best friend. A detailed facial comparison of grey wolves and domesticated dogs found a major difference. Dogs–but not wolves–have muscles that allow them to raise their eyebrows. Previous studies show that eye contact between humans and dogs is “crucial” for dog-human social interactions. For example, dogs tend to ignore human pointing gestures unless they are making eye contact. Chemically, eye contact between dogs and humans causes an “oxytocin feedback loop analogous to the one that exists between human mothers and infants.” This feedback loop is not present between wolves and humans.

As with most studies, there is still more research to be done. In order to gain a better understanding of the cause and effect relationship between dog evolution and human selection, scientists need to study a greater variety of breeds. In the end, however, we still have little understanding of what these behaviors mean in the mind of a dog.


Blurbs

Curated Content from the Interwebs

  • The Pepsi Challenge. Pepsi the dog needed to be rescued, after falling over an embankment during a family hike. Pepsi the soda company responded with a care package for the rescuers and the pup.
  • Reading is Fun-damental. A new study by the University of California at Davis shows that kids who read to dogs improve their reading comprehension skills by 12% compared to kids who read with an adult.
  • The Indicator Podcast. Non-competes are on the rise for blue collar workers, but are they enforceable? Check out this indicator episode where they take a “look at the rise of the blue-collar noncompete: why we’re seeing more of them, and what effect they have on individuals and the economy at large.”

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