7 Essential Tips For Including Your Dog In Your Wedding

Cute beagle dog in a wedding party

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Wedding season has started, and if your dog is a part of your family, you may want to include him or her in your wedding party. But when you get drunk relatives, small kids, booze, and dogs in a confined space, there’s plenty that can go wrong. The Taunton Daily Gazette offers seven tips on how to keep your wedding from becoming the dog’s breakfast:

Pick a pet-friendly venue. Including your dog as a ringbearer for an outdoor ceremony and enlisting a friend or family member to return your pup home before the reception is a good compromise.

Enlist an escort. Ask someone your dog knows and trusts to handle your dog – the bride and groom certainly won’t have time during the ceremony and reception.

Be prepared. Include all the accoutrements you’d bring on a day trip with your dog – leash, bedding, crate, plenty of treats, rawhides, a favorite toy or Kong, and most importantly, poop bags.

Include your dog in the rehearsal. Make sure he or she is accustomed to any special clothing.

Anticipate the worst. Even the most even-tempered dog can freak out in large crowds. Have an adult in control of the leash at all times, and use a “stunt” ring if your dog will be carrying it.

Be considerate of your guests. If your dear Aunt Irene is wildly allergic or you know your pup will plow down your toddler nieces, leave him or her at home for the wedding. You can always include your pup in your engagement photos.

Roll with the punches. Weddings are often filled with flubs, faints, and unexpected hiccups. Adding a dog to the mix increases the chances of something going wrong exponentially. Look at it as a funny story to tell your kids and grandkids – how many of their parents had their wedding cake demolished by a runaway Mastiff?


The Truth About Tripods – When Is It Best To Amputate?

Three legged "tripod" dog at the dog park

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Whether due to cancer or injury, many pet parents have agonized over the possibility of having to amputate a pet’s limb. But do we anthropomorphize or empathize too much with our dogs and cats in this situation?

“People get hung up on the idea of losing a limb, and dogs really don’t care,” she says. “They just want to run and be happy.”

These pet parents and veterinary professionals want to provide the best quality of life for our companion animals. Could you make the choice to amputate, if it means your dog or cat would avoid pain?

Oddest Animal Mothers

Everyone knows that a mother’s love is the strongest, sweetest thing we humans have – but animals have mothers too! In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the least expected – and cutest! – pairings of mothers and cross-species adopted babies.

Lucky the cat has nursed and cared for a baby rabbit named Merlin along with her kittens as if it were her own. (AP Photo/Columbus Dispatch,Tom Dodge)

Zookeepers in China enlisted this dog to supplement the tigers' mother's milk (credit)

Female dachshund named Bessi lays in a basket with a 5-day-old baby tiger on May 20, at the wild animal park in Stroehen, Germany. Credit: Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

Tourists watch a tigress with piglets at the Sri Racha tiger zoo. (credit: AFP PHOTO/ SAEED KHAN)

Always Wanted a Shar Pei? Here’s Your Chance to Adopt One!

Some of the shar peis rescued from a Goldendale, WA breeder

Photo courtesy Oregon Humane Society

The first group of shar-pei dogs rescued from a breeder in Goldendale, Wash. will be offered for adoption on Thursday, May 10, at the Oregon Humane Society.

About 30 of the 40 dogs rescued last week are now ready for new homes, with the remaining dogs requiring additional care at the OHS Animal Medical Learning Center. The dogs were rescued from a breeder in Goldendale, Wash., who was overwhelmed with the cost and time required to care for them.

The Oregon Humane Society is located at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd. in Portland, Oregon. Find out more about the process for meeting and applying to adopt one of these lucky guys at the OHS web site.

Breed Bans – Protection or Perception Problem?


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In the aftermath of Maryland’s ruling that pit bulls and pit bull mixes are “inherently dangerous”, owners and their landlords are now liable for damages resulting from an attack.

But what constitutes a “pit bull” or “pit bull mix”? Would you be able to recognize one?


Take the quiz and find out. Courtesy pitbullsontheweb.com.

I’ll admit that when I’m at the off leash park and see one or more dogs who look like pit bulls enter, I’m warier than I am when, say, a lab ambles up. But yesterday, at the local off leash with my lab mix and a friend’s French Bulldog, we came upon three pit bulls who were all so friendly – to both humans and my dogs – that I’ll be less suspicious next time.

Have we just been trained to see pit bulls as dangerous, just as we were German Shepherds and Saint Bernards in previous decades? I remember how scary Cujo was, and my avoidance of the breed stuck with me for years!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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In honor of Mexican culture in the US and the Battle of Pueblo – not Mexican Independence Day, which in on September 16th – let’s celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican dog breeds!


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Named for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, the Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed, and commonly believed to be descended from the companion animals of the Toltec civilization. The breed was accepted by the AKC in 1904, and it’s small size makes it a favorite – it’s one of the twenty most popular breeds.

There’s a great deal of variation in coloring, and all combinations are accepted except for merle, which is linked to a harmful genetic disorder. There are only two accepted coat varieties, the short-haired or smooth-coat and the long-coat:

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While they are popular with apartment dwellers, they’re not recommended for families with small children and can be fiercely loyal to one person.

Mexican Hairless Dog, or Xoloitzcuintli

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The Xoloitzcuintli – “Xolo” for short – is a rare, hairless breed that originated in Mexico more than 3,000 years ago. Xolos were highly valued and considered sacred by some native cultures, including the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Maya. Xolos were one of the first breeds registered by the AKC, making an appearance in 1887.

Their hairlessness may have started as a mutation, but it could function as an advantage in tropical climates. Since hairlessness is the dominant trait of Xolos, the recessive expression of coated Xolos will appear in almost every litter:

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Coloring is variable, including spotted dogs, and AKC recognized sizes include Toy (at least 10 through 14 inches tall at the shoulder), Miniature (over 14 through 18 inches tall) and Standard size (over 18 through 23 inches tall).

The national breed of Mexico, Xolos make popular companion animals, although that popularity has yet to spread to the US. Rambunctious puppies grow up to be even-tempered adults, although Xolos are considered a to have a “primitive” temperament like Basenjis and Pharaoh Hounds – highly intelligent and prone to escape artistry. Xolos need a great deal of socialization and training, and are ill-suited to colder climates – their hairlessness requires different grooming and care than most other breeds.

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!