Dog wearable INUPATHY reportedly lets you understand your dog’s emotions

The new dog wearable INUPATHY, which is currently raising funding on Indiegogo, reportedly can analyze a dog’s heart rate at that moment to help you understand how your dog is feeling. The color lit collar changes as heart rate changes so you can know what makes your dog stressed, excited, happy, or concentrating on something. Launched simultaneously with the SXSW conference in Austin, INUPATHY has an early bird price of $169, which may seem like a lot but the value proposition of better understanding and bonding with your dog will make it worth the price for many. I mean, we would spend that on a baby monitor, and dog’s are the equivalent to a baby for many pet lovers.

We read about it all in a press release (http://www.prunderground.com/inupathy-a-japanese-iot-wearable-to-help-you-understand-your-dogs-feelings/0070390/)

Here is a video on the device.

 

DNA test for dogs – what can you learn?

zuzu close

A Shetland Sheepdog Boxer mix

What breed is she?

If you are like us, maybe you have a mixed breed dog and you have always been curious what breeds compose their ‘mixed breed’. Or maybe you have a purebred dog but are curious just how pure your purebred actually is.

We reached out to Wisdom Panel, one of the most reputable of the Dog DNA testing companies, to finally get some insight into the breed composition of our dog Zuzu. The shelter told us their best guess was that Zuzu was a Labrador Retriever, Border Collie Shepherd mix, and we told that to people for years even if we didn’t really know with any certainty. Well now we do. The DNA tests not only satiate your curiosity about your dog’s breed, but can help you better understand your dog’s behavior and also potentially warn you of any genetic predispositions that could be avoided. The Wisdom Panel test does 7 million calculations to analyze 321 genetic markers and has mapped 200 breeds from the 3 ancestral dog trees.

Getting started

We used the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit ($69 at Amazon), which is a cheek swab test (as opposed to a blood test). It takes about 30 seconds to collect the dna sample by rubbing a little bristle brush that they provide between the cheeks and the gums on each side. You then let it dry for 5 minutes, register your kit online, and then put it in the prepaid mailer to return the kit. For us, we had the results in 2 weeks.

dna report coverThe results

Once ready, the results come in a PDF report that you can download online. We were completely surprised by the results. To start we found out that Zuzu is a very, very, mixed breed (beyond 3 generations for a lot of the markers), but both her paternal and maternal side did have markers that indicated two predominant breeds. On one side, Zuzu is predominantly a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie), going back to her grandparents and great grandparents. On the other side? A Boxer! We had no idea. Considering we had no idea about her breeds until we got the test results, it is no surprise that no reader guessed either one of those breeds.

The Sheltie side made some sense, given Zuzu’s high energy and instinct to herd moving things, but Shelties are often smaller dogs and Zuzu is 50 pounds. The boxer side may explain some of her size, and after speaking with a veterinarian scientist at Wisdom Panel (Dr. Angela), she mentioned that the base of Zuzu’s ears is similar to a boxer’s upright ears. Dr. Angela also pointed out some other interesting things. Zuzu’s all blonde coat is a recessive trait, meaning it was carried through generations on both sides. Her black nose is a dominant trait. Body size is related to many factors. Dr. Angela also warned us that on Zuzu’s Sheltie side, she may have a mutant MDR1 gene which could put her at risk to certain medications (here is a list: www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-VCPL/drugs.aspx), especially at high doses. The list included Imodium, some chemotherapy agents, some anesthetics, and other somewhat commonly used medicines.

Tips

  • The report you get has some basic information, but be sure to call up and have someone go over the report with you. They may have additional information (especially about health markers) that is not included in the report.
  • For those checking purebreds, you can get a statement of authentication with your results showing the breeds back 3 generations.
  • The main difference between this test and the test at the veterinarian’s office (besides cost and taking blood versus a simple cheek swab) is that you are guaranteed to get a good dna sample through the blood test at the vet. But as long as you follow the instructions for this cheek swab test, it’s really easy to get a good sample (we had no issue). At the vet you can also get more information and have a discussion about health indicators from the test.

Overall it was fascinating to finally know what breeds make up Zuzu – we can finally say with confidence that she is a very mixed breed dog, but predominantly Sheltie on one side, and some definite boxer on the other. We can also be aware of the health risks that she may face from certain medicines and avoid them as best possible.

 

 

[Notes: We used the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit for this study.]

New York puppy born without use of legs, learns to walk! See video!

Every once in a while we have to share video of awesome dog stories. In this case a Boston Terrier puppy was brought in to the Mia Foundation (Rochester, NY) for physical therapy after being born without the use of his arms and legs. Watch this video to see how they got him up and moving in 2 weeks! Love the swim scenes…

What do you think? (By the Way, Mia Foundation specializes in rehabilitating dogs with birth defects, and you can see their adoptable dogs here.)

Can you guess what breeds this dog is? Chance to win a $50 gift card to Petco (No purchase necessary)

zuzu blondeGuess which 2 breeds predominantly make up Zuzu (the dog in the photos here) and have a chance to win a $50 gift card to Petco!

If you are like us, maybe you adopted a rescue dog and you have always been curious what breeds compose their ‘mixed breed’. Or maybe you have a purebred dog but are curious just how pure your purebred actually is.

Well we reached out to Wisdom Panel, one of the most reputable of the Dog DNA testing companies to finally get some insight into the breed composition of our dog Zuzu. The shelter told us their best guess was that Zuzu was a Labrador Retriever, Border Collie Shepherd mix, and we told that to people for years even if we didn’t really know with any certainty. Since it’s its hard to tell her size from photos, we will telly you she is ~50 pounds.

zuzu closeWe used the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit ($69 at Amazon) and we just got back the results.

We will reveal the results next week, but first, a contest.

Guess the 2 dominant breeds (one from from her mother’s and father’s side). The winner will get a $50 gift card for Petco! If more than one person gets it correct, we will randomly draw one winner from those that got it correct. Submit your guess of the 2 dominant breeds by email (info@DogSpin.com with full name), in the comments below, or on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DogspinUSA). One entry per person! See all rules and regulations below.

If nobody gets both breeds correct, then we will randomly draw a winner from all of those that got 1 of the 2 dominant breeds correct. If nobody gets either of the 2 dominant breeds correct, we will save the gift card for another drawing at a a later date.

Contest Rules:

  • No purchase is necessary.
  • Odds of winning are based on number of entries with the correct answer.
  • Contest starts 7/23/2013 and all entries must be received by midnight EDT on 7/31/2013.
  • 1 entry allowed per person.
  • To enter this contest, submit your guess of the 2 dominant breeds by email (info@DogSpin.com with full name), in the comments below, or on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DogspinUSA).
  • The prize is one $50 gift card to Petco.
  • To be eligible you must be a U.S. resident, 18 and older.
  • All employees, freelancers, and partners of DogSpin are ineligible. Employees of Wisdom Panel and Mars Incorporated are also ineligible. All family members of these employees, freelancers, and partners are also ineligible.
  • If more than one person gets it correct, we will randomly draw one winner from those that got it correct.
  • If nobody gets both breeds correct, then we will randomly draw a winner from all of those that got 1 of the 2 dominant breeds correct.
  • If nobody guesses either of the 2 dominant breeds, the prize will not be awarded and will will be used in a future giveaway.
  • If the winner does not claim their prize by 8/30/2013, another winner will be selected from those that made correct guesses
  • Void where prohibited by law

Dog acupuncture? Reiki? Canine psychics? Yep – here is a look at healing therapy for NYC dogs

by Rainbow Kirby, Contributing Writer [Editor’s Note: We have not yet tried any of these services, but will report back if we do.]

The urban pooch has their fair share of stressors – from jackhammers on Second Avenue to blaring ambulances in the East Village to honking taxicabs in Midtown. And it’s not always a peaceful day in the dog park. Fortunately, there are some remedies in the city to enhance your dog’s chi and restore harmony once again.

Reiki Healing

Whether your pup is recovering from an injury or has been in a bit of a funk, New York Dog Nanny (http://newyorkdognanny.com/welcome/grooming) offers hands-on healing through Reiki, aromatherapy and hot oil treatments. What dog couldn’t use a tender touch? Visit their Lexington location or request a house call.

  • Price Range: Reiki, $40. Hot Oil Treatment, $20. Mani/Pedi, $20.
  • Location: 126 Lexington Ave, 2nd Floor
  • Phone:  917.261.7333

Photo via http://water4dogs.com

Water Therapy

You’re not the only New Yorker wishing you had access to a rooftop pool. When your furry friend tires of the public fountains in the park, let them unwind with a swim at Water 4 Dogs (http://water4dogs.com/services/swimming/) They can splash with other dogs during Open Swim or book a private session for just the two of you. There’s nothing like the healing power of water.

  • Rates:  Initial Evaluation: $60; Single sessions from $35-$45: Packages from $315-$405
  • Location: 77 Worth Street, NYC
  • Call: 212.285.4900

Acupuncture

Western medicine and alternative treatments are beginning to mesh with traditional veterinary practices. Acupuncture, once used primarily used to help mobility in older dogs, has shown results in alleviating ailments from allergies to heart disease to promoting increased vitality and lifespan. According to NYC-based Acupuncture for Your Dog, (www.acupunctureforyourdog.com/intro.html) most dogs do not seem to even mind the needles.  Dr.Tracey Akner will administer to your pooch and she makes house calls, too.

  • Price Range: Available upon request
  • Location: 201C E. 33rd Street (bet 2nd & 3rd Ave.)
  • Phone: 212.991.8903

Psychic

If you can’t read your dog’s mind, a pet psychic can help. Shira can communicate with both living and deceased pets and pinpoint why your dog is misbehaving. Located in Nyack, Shira (www.shirasplace.com/pet_communication.htm) will come to the NYC Metro area for groups and/or parties. She prefers dog photos though, as she has developed some pet allergies.

  • Rates: $100 for 30 mins.; $150 for 45 mins.; $200 for 1 hr.
  • Call Shira: 845.623.0880

Dr. Catherine Ferguson (www.cfergusonconsult.com/services.html) is a pet psychic who can help you discover what your dog really thinks about your relationship. How do they feel about the new baby? Are they upset that you’re working so much? If you’re visiting a New York City Affinia hotel with your canine, you can request Dr. Ferguson during your stay. Or receive a consultation via phone or in person at her office in New Jersey.

  • Rates: $60 for a 20-min. phone consultation; $70 for a 30-min consultation in person or via phone or email; $100 for 60 mins.
  • Contact Catherine: 201.433.7955; Email: petpsychic7@yahoo.com

 

Know of any other unique services for dogs in NYC? Please share in the comments.

Best tick prevention options for dogs

It’s tick season, and especially as we take our dogs out of New York City into more suburban and rural areas, ticks abound. We even hear about ticks in Central Park and the outer boroughs during the summer. Always speak to your veterinarian about the best option for your dog, but here is a rundown of tick options, from  conventional medicines, to natural repellents, to the cutting edge.

  • Tick insect procession over white backgroundFrontline Plus: This is what our veterinarian in Manhattan has us using for our dog. It says it provides “Flea, flea egg, lice, and tick control” for up a month and is administered by a dropper between the shoulder blades of your dog. When out in Amagansett last year there were some rumblings by dog owners that Frontline wasn’t preventing all ticks any more, but we never heard a vet say that to us. It comes in different doses by dog weight. You can try this Frontline coupon to get 2 free doses (with purchase of 6).
  • Vectra: We also asked East Hampton Vet Group, since they have a lot more ticks to deal with out on Long Island compared to NYC, and they suggested Vectra. Again you administer this out of a tube right on to your dog’s skin. We have never tried this one. Here is a Vectra coupon for a first free dose.
  • Vetri-Repel Flea & Tick Repellent: Here is another option – a natural repellent that we picked up at our veterinarian in Manhattan. We have not tried it yet but our always searching for natural alternatives. This one contains a mix of oils (lemongrass, cinnamon, sesame, castor) among other ingredients. It comes in wipes as well as a Spray. There are a few with similar ingredients on the market such as FLEA + TICK Repellent Spray.
  • shoo!TAG Flea and Tick Barrier Tag: This tag goes around your dog’s collar and claims to keep ticks away using electromagnetic frequencies rather than chemicals or oils. Truth be told we tried this as an alternative to other tick prevention products when we were trying to minimize chemicals during an owner’s pregnancy. The vets we have asked aren’t so sure, but we did not have any embedded ticks on our dog when using it, so who knows.
  • Bio Spot Spot On: There are other options similar to Frontline such as Bio Spot Spot On, but we have never used it.
  • Ticked Off Pets Tick Remover: If you do have a tick embed, we have found this remover helpful for most ticks (the poppyseed sized deer ticks are very hard to remove completely though).

Have another favorite tick repellent? Email us or comment here. And remember, there is a Lyme disease vaccination for dogs (but not for humans! Read this NPR article to learn why), yet you still want to protect your pet before they bring ticks into your house that could end up on you.


Additional Resources: Ticks & Lyme Disease – A Guide for Preventing Lyme Disease by New York State NIH.

14 foods that are not safe for dogs

While sometimes we assume dogs can eat whatever we eat, it’s just not the case. Some foods that you probably have had this week are harmful or even deadly for canines. Here is a list that we researched from the ASPCA, and some of them may surprise you… (always check with your Veterinarian if you have any questions about a new food for your dog, or if your dog is showing signs of poisoning or pain)

  1. avocadoAvocado – This one surprised us, but avocados contain Persin, which can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs, and apparently even death!
  2. Chocolate – A lot of us have heard this, and a lot of us have seen our dog sneak a bit of a chocolate cookie or cake without issue, but it’s the methylxanthines in chocolate (particularly dark chocolate), that can cause cardiac problems, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, tremors and again even death.
  3. Caffeine/Coffee – Similar to chocolate, it’s the methylxanthines, and the dangers appear to be the same as chocolate.
  4. Grapes (and their dried counterpart, raisins) – The toxin is not known, but grapes and raisins can cause vomiting and acute kidney failure (and thus death)
  5. Onions and Garlic – Again this surprised us, but both apparently can cause gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage.
  6. Macadamia Nuts – The specific toxin is unknown, but macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, weakness, tremors and more.
  7. Alcohol – C’mon, just don’t give your dog alcohol (or any other non-veterinarian-prescribed drugs)
  8. Milk – This surprised us considering puppies nurse, but apparently dogs can not break down lactose well and ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
  9. Yeast dough – Uncooked yeast dough can expand in the dogs stomach and intestine causing problems.
  10. Brittle bones – The danger here is that bones (especially smaller or cooked ones) can splinter, causing choking or damage to the dogs throat or gastrointestinal tract.
  11. Raw meat and eggs – The worry here seems to be the same as for humans… bacteria including Salmonella and E Coli. Your dog is not a wild wolf and it may actually be safer for a wolf to eat some wild raw prey than the processed meat that we get raw.
  12. Salt – In large amounts salt can reportedly cause all sorts of problems for dogs including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and yes, death.
  13. Xylitol – Found in gum and candy, Xylitol can supposedly cause vomiting, lethargy, coordination problems, and even death through liver failure (from the release of insulin).
  14. Seeds from peaches, plums, avocados, etc  – The main risk here is choking and gastrointestinal blockage, because your dog may not know that he/she is not supposed to eat the seeds.

For more info check the ASPCA.