Should Microchipping Your Dog Be Mandatory?

A long haired dachshund at the vet

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It’s National Microchipping Month in the UK, and pet welfare organizations are lobbying to make microchipping your pets mandatory:

Microchipping is safe, low-cost and the most effective way of reuniting a dog with its owners. By making it compulsory, Scottish Government would send a strong message to dog owners about their responsibilities, without putting an additional burden onto those who are already responsible.

And according to the article, 90% of pet parents agree that microchipping should be compulsory.

What do you think? We already have to license and vaccinate our pets – is mandatory microchipping a logical addition or an undue burden?

Pet Owner Alert: Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car!

Link to Fox 12 video about dogs in cars and heat stroke

Now that summer is fully upon us, we pet owners need to remember that the days of being able to leave our dog in the car while we run errands are over – at least for a few months.

While I know leaving Jake in the car while I run into the dry cleaners or Stumptown for a moment isn’t the best habit to get into, it’s especially dangerous during the summer. Dogs can’t release heat by sweating the way we can, and older dogs are especially susceptible to heat stroke. This video shows exactly how quickly a car in even moderate heat can become fatal for your pup.

Three Ways To Keep Your Dog Safe On July 4th

Patriotic dog carrying an American flag

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Independence Day is coming up, and with it, one of the most traumatic holiday celebrations for dogs – fireworks.

Many dogs react poorly to fireworks, but there are steps you can take to prevent harm or loss of your pet.

Make sure all pets are securely tagged and accurately microchipped. If the worst happens and your anxious dog or cat bolts, you’ll be glad you checked that their collars fit snugly and safely, and any contact information is up to date. You can also ask your vet to scan your dog ahead of time to ensure his microchip is still functioning, and has your current address and phone number associated with it.

Provide a safe place for pets to retreat. Needless to say, your dog should stay home from the fireworks display, preferably with a human companion. Your dog’s crate, a closet with a favorite bed or blanket, or other “den” will help your dog feel safe while bombs are bursting in air. It’s a good idea to keep curtains and blinds drawn, and windows and doors closed to minimize visual and audio stimulation.

Keep your dog occupied. A favorite toy, treat, or a frozen Kong stuffed with peanut butter can distract your pup from the cacophony outside.

How do you plan to keep your pets calm during the fireworks? We recently moved to a new neighborhood known for it’s illegal street displays of fireworks, and I’m hoping Jake keeps his cool in the basement!

3 Awesome Pet Adoption Commercials

No longer relegated to slow-motion shots of caged puppies over a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack, pet adoption PSAs are getting artsy, clever, hip, and yes, even viral.

Here’s one from the ASPCA with ABC News’s Dan Harris, starring his shelter cat:

Regardless of what you think of dubstep, appropriating the Hovercat meme was pretty clever.

This spot from the San Francisco SPCA features enough fake fur suits to make a furry convention happy, a clever tune, and an anti-puppy mill message:

The Shelter Pet Project did a whole series of spots with human voiceovers and adorable adoptable animals – this one’s probably my favorite:

Do you think the high production value commercials help get more animals into loving homes? Or would you prefer your donations to pet rescue organizations go to caring for animals directly?

A Beautiful Memorial For A Loved Family Member

Katie Campbell, a Portland photographer, was called to capture chocolate lab Annie’s last days on film. The results are so precious, Annie’s good nature made me tear up a bit. Seriously, go look now. I’ll wait here. With tissues.

Annie, by Katie Campbell Photography

(image courtesy Katie Campbell photography)

I’ve never thought of hiring a photographer just to take pictures of Jake, but if I knew his end was near, I would certainly consider it now. What a charming and loving way to capture a dear family member.

Have you ever had a real photo session for your dog?

Is Your Dog Portland’s Next Top Dog Model?

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The Oregon Humane Society wants to know if your dog will be Portland’s Next Top Dog Model!

You can enter your photogenic pooch online by June 14th, and the public can attend the final judging on June 28th at the dog-friendly Hotel Monaco in downtown Portland.

Hurry, the deadline to enter is only two days away!

Hat tip to Monique Balas at the Oregonian 🙂

Would You Take In Eight Disabled Dogs?

Still of video - dog in wheelchair

video still from KATU news

What started out as an amazing story – a pup run over by a motorcycle and left for dead in  Costa Rica, then brought to the US for veterinary care – just got more tearful.

Papillo’s new family already includes SEVEN disabled dogs, including a blind Lab and a Great Dane with intestinal issues.

While the new owners seem capable and rational about what constitutes humane veterinary care, would you consider taking in this many animals with disabilities?

3 Lessons You Should Learn From Your Dog

Dog graduate

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Not a day goes by that I don’t envy and admire my dog a little. Not just because he gets to sleep all day and doesn’t have to work – he also embodies many of the characteristics and behaviors I aspire to, and struggle with.

Here’s some of what Jake reminds me to to:

Live in the moment

Jake isn’t obsessed with the past, or neurotically planning the future. He doesn’t have insomnia (at least as far as I can tell). Like the Buddhists, he lives in the moment, enjoying the now instead of regretting the past or obsessing about the future.

My lesson: Put down the smartphone, and look at the clouds, the grass, the piece of ball fluff hanging from Jake’s mouth.

Jake with ball fuzz stuck in his teeth


There’s almost never a time when Jake doesn’t want to play. Meanwhile, there’s almost never I time that I’m not whipsawing between feeling guilty for not playing with him more and irritation that he’s putting his toys in my lap again. Can’t you see I’m screwing around on Facebook, dog? I always feel better when I do play, yet I am convinced that adults shouldn’t.

My lesson: When someone asks me to play, play. They may not ask again.

Be open

Jake likes pretty much everyone. The mailman who delivers to our office is one of his favorites, and it seems like every time we visit an off-leash park he makes a new friend. Recently, one of those friends was a spectacularly blue-eyed mutt with an owner wearing big dark sunglasses and a hoodie. I was apprehensive at first, but as our dogs played together, we chatted and I found out she and I had a lot in common!

My lesson: Looks can be deceiving, and people can have a lot more to offer than what you see on the surface. It’s worth taking the time to find out.

What lessons have you learned from you dog? What inspires you about your pets?

Pet Pride Party & Parade!

Dog carrying rainbow flag

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If you’ll be in Portland June 14th and looking for something to do with your dog, join The Hip Hound for a Pets of Pride party! Between the costume contest, champagne, parade, and professional pet photography by Mayhem Doggie, you and your furry friend are sure to have a good time.

The Details

Where: The Hip Hound, 610 NW 23rd Ave, Portland OR

When: Thursday, June 14th from 5pm – 7pm

How much: Free! An 8 x 10 print of your dog is $15.