Just when I thought I had heard of everything as a Bark Busters Home Dog Trainer, I just read an article in The Baltimore Insider about cosmetic surgery for dogs. Before you totally discredit the idea as I did, some of the dog surgeries have a medical benefit.
Sure there are cosmetic procedures for dogs that just involve a little nip here, a little tuck there. Believe it or not there are thousands of dogs who have face lifts and nose jobs.
We call it cosmetic surgery just because it's altering an animal's facial features," says Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of veterinary services at Petplan, a pet insurance provider. "It changes the look of an animal, but you are doing it to prevent further disease and to better the health of the animal.
It makes sense if your dog has entropion, causing his lashes to constantly brush the surface of his eyes. It's painful and, if untreated, could lead to permanent eye damage. An eye lift may be a solution. Or a dog whose breathing problems are so bad, rhinoplasty would help clear his nasal passages. But pet owners who use liposuction for overweight dogs or steroid injections for droopy ears? Botox for bull dogs? Or synthetic dog testicles for pets who've been neutered called neuticals?
Fortunately, the American Kennel Club forbids cosmetically enhancing a show dog except in cases of breed standards - like tail docking. The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association campaigns against tail docking, ear cropping, debarking, declawing and any operation an animal doesn't medically need.
Please remember that anytime you put a dog under general anesthesia, take him for surgery or have foreign objects (such as neuticals) put in his body, there are risks. Unless the plastic surgery procedure will dramatically improve the quality of his life (versus just hide his imperfections) don't take a chance at an adverse reaction.
I've got a better idea for dog owners who have plastic surgery on their dogs for procedures that are not medically necessitated ... donate the money you would spend to an animal shelter or rescue organization!
Is Your Dog A Genius?
Like all proud parents, we want to think our dog is the smartest dog ever. After all, the neighbor's dog doesn't bring his owner the morning paper like my dog does. He can't even catch a Frisbee ... I definitely have bragging rights.
There's a new mobile app recently launched called Dognition, which is essentially an I.Q. test for dogs. It was developed by Brian Hare, an anthropology professor at the Canine Cognition Center at prestigious Duke University. It consists of a series of assessment questions and a series of science-based games involving cups, treats, paper and sticky notes.
It then reveals your dog's canine IQ when it comes to empathy, communication, cunning, memory and reasoning. By entering your data, it creates a foundation by which more focused tests will be developed. You'll receive a 15-page report on your dog's cognitive style.
The purpose? To create a stronger connection with your dog - a connection that can help you be the best owner you can be for your furry friend! According to the website: "Dognition is not about ranking dog IQ scores. It's about discovering which skills your own dog relies on to navigate the world - the ones your dog excels at as well as the challenges. Knowing your dog's "cognitive style" can help shed light on where your best friend is coming from - and the new places your relationship can go."
The downside? The price is $60. A steep price to pay to find out behaviors you may already know about your dog.
At BarkBusters Home Dog Training, we may not be able to tell you if your dog is a budding Einstein, but we can tell you if your dog has behavior issues that may present a problem. Answer 20 simple questions and your dog will get scored A - F. And if your dog gets an "F", you'll definitely want to contact your nearest BarkBusters behavioral therapist for some help!
And the price tag for the BarkBusters Behavioral quiz? It's free.