Know The Rules Before You Buy A Dog License

FOCUS ON PETS

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I bought a Gila County license for my newest dog just over a month ago. Now, I find out that this license will expire the beginning of August, when her rabies shot is due. In other words, I paid a full year fee for a two-month license. I just checked with the Town of Payson and they use the same system. So, to save yourself the irritation, get your pet's rabies shot and then immediately get the license. The rabies shot, after the initial one, is generally good for three years but you will need to renew the license each year. For county licenses, go to the Gila County Health Department across from the post office in Payson, 107 West Frontier St. Town of Payson Licenses are available at the city complex at 303 North Beeline Highway.

A note about ingredients in pet and people food: An article in The Arizona Republic, from the Associated Press, published on June 15, 2007, talks about the bogus ingredients which often slip past busy inspectors.

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The Flagstaff Kennel Club Drill Team performs a maneuver which requires the dogs to pay attention and not be distracted by other dogs. It is a great experience and fun for both dogs and people.

"Suppliers who substitute cheaper ingredients for the real thing seldom get busted because the government and private labs review few of the products flooding in (to this country.) Recent bouts of bad ingredients in pet food and toothpaste showed how suppliers can fool the limited safety checks. Fad-driven supplements are particularly vulnerable." The article continues that ingredient substitution is not a priority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unless people or animals are being harmed. One of the widely abused and adulterated products lacking the advertised ingredients is chondroitin, which millions of people trustingly take and it also appears on the label of many pet foods. These ingredients are expensive and most of them are supplied by China, a country with a history of poor food safety. This and other products claim to help with joint pain, vision and heart health, but federal law prohibits most claims that supplements treat or cure illness because there is no real proof that they do. Americans spent $1.4 billion on four popular supplements including chondroitin, most of which are not what they claim to be and do not do what they claim to do. We must all be more aware of what we feed our families and our pets.

I have been seeing lots of dogs in the back of trucks. Some are tied, most are not, and some are secured in kennels. We all know that it is unsafe for dogs to be transported in the back of trucks.

In several states, it is illegal. A tethered dog thrown or jumping from a truck will be strangled. A metal truck bed is extremely hot. If your dog rides back there, be sure to provide protection from the hot surface. Campers often have their dogs in kennels in the back of pickups. However, they need shade and water. Fabric shade screening is available at hardware stores. It allows for air to pass through, but provides some protection from the hot sun. Also remember that blacktop and asphalt get terribly hot. Be aware of burning paws.

On to a more positive subject, training classes are in progress and all sorts of good things are happening. The classes at the Pine Arena are taught by Margie Mansell and Lori Chandler. Call (928) 478-6489 for more information. Dale Klausner and I are teaching classes at the Pine Strawberry School ramada. Both classes have a goal of each dog passing the Canine Good Citizenship test. This test aims at having a dog that knows how to behave at home, in a crowd and with other dogs.

In the Payson Roundup on June 19, there was a write-up and photo about a group of miniature horses pulling little carts performing as a drill team. That will be fun to watch. We are forming a drill team with people/dog teams. Our goal is to perform at the Northern Gila County Fair. If you want to be part of this, call me at (928) 476-2239. It is fun.

Every so often, I hear about a dog that is adopted and put into an unsuitable situation because of the age, activity or lifestyle of the owner. Every dog needs a fenced yard. No dog should be permanently tied. All dogs need attention, exercise and training, as well as two good meals a day and fresh water. An older person should adopt an older dog. Puppies are for the young and young at heart. They are fun, but they require lots of work in the beginning. The Payson Humane Society strives to find homes for all the animals put into its care. They do not have the staff or the time to check out every potential home. Make careful decisions when you adopt a new pet. Don't pick a cute puppy. Instead, be honest about your lifestyle and expectations. It is not fair to a high-energy young dog to be confined without exercise.

It is hot. We must make sure that our pets have shade, preferably in the house near a fan, and plenty of fresh water. Morning and evening walks are great. Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke, too.

-- Christy Powers can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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