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From the Magazine

Top Ten Trendiest Pet Names

Ten Basic Dog Training Commands Every Dog Should Know

February Is Pet Dental Month

Have you booked
your dog’s ‘prophy’ yet?

It’s important that you do, and what a great time to show your pet how much you love them on Valentines!

In the meanwhile for maintenance, consider deer or elk antlers. Canines in the wild keep teeth healthy by gnawing on natural bones and abrasive tissue and fiber. A domestic dog does not have this same advantage, but teeth can be kept healthy through brushing, gnawing and specially-designed dental chews and antlers from companies such as Red Dog.

What are your

Valentine’s Day

plans for your

canine pal?


Share with us on our

Facebook page.

February is Pet Dental Health Month!



* * * * * * * * *

Pets, like humans, develop plaque and bacteria that accumulates on the teeth and around their gums. These bacteria can harden on the teeth and can cause deterioration of gum tissue and bone. This break down is called periodontal disease and can contribute to serious health conditions. Tooth loss in pets can compromise their overall health and well-being. Pets need good oral hygiene as much as humans and it is recommended that dogs have a dental (prophy) exam and cleaning every year. 

For home doggy dental care, if your dog doesn’t like plastic pet toothbrushes and if “finger brushes” make her gag, you might have more luck using a simple, thin cotton glove. Like Us on Facebook , and then send an e-mail with your mailing address and HauteDog will send to you FREE! a pair of cotton gloves to try out on your pet at home.

To try this method, place toothpaste especially formulated for your dog (available for only a few bucks at most pet supply stores including a Dogadillo, Bentley’s, Lofty Dog, Woof Gang Bakery or even some vet offices), on your gloved index finger and gently massage your pet’s teeth and gums. Most dogs find this sensation pleasurable and relaxing. The glove is analogous to your finger, which your dog presumably trusts, and not hard, inflexible, or rubbery. Wash your hand in the glove and hang the glove to dry for next time.

Book your pet’s dental appointment now, and use our 20% savings offer from all three Austin VCA Hospitals in the 2012 HauteDog magazine calendar!

1. Eighty percent of humans brush their teeth at least twice a day, but very few pet owners brush their pet’s teeth at all.

2. Signs of periodontal gum disease include the yellow and brown buildup of tarter around the gum line, inflammation and bad breath.

3. One of the most common dental problems is broken or chipped teeth, some of which is caused by aggressively chewing on hard objects. Senior dogs are more prone to this problem.

4. More than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3, and that’s a big deal in dog and cat years.

What Is It About Small Dogs?

About half of all dog owners share a special connection with a small dog. Part of the fun of the small dog relationship for many owners is the trifecta of the dress-up, show off and snuggle routine. I know some little dogs who are thrilled with the attention and others… read on.

Divine Canines


Founded in 2004, Divine Canines provides animal assisted therapy to people of all ages. Volunteer teams visit children and adults facing various challenges, including mental illness, developmental differences, physical limitations and dimentia. Therapeutic interaction with specially trained canines results in emotional and physical benefits such as improved mood, confidedence, communication, relaxation and trust. Visits to partner facilities are conducted by multiple volunteer teams and last at least one hour. 

The organization’s success is based on two simple premises: First, that there is a deep… read on

The B’Austin Terrier Chronicles

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b'austin photo

A New Coat for the Wintertime

I know what you’re going to say. I’m a Boston terrier; I should be used to the cold weather. The truth is I was born and raised in Miami, and only came to Austin this year. I’ve heard Austinites say that they don’t get a real winter, but for a pup like me, who’s used to sun and sand mid-December, any drop in temperature means I’m begging for a sweater.

This year, I really begged for a new one. I sat, lay down, stayed and even used the cute puppy eyes. It’s not that I don’t have sweaters, but the ones I have are so last year. One is dark green with blue argyles that make people think I’m a boy. The other has orange and purple stripes and it’s so huge on me that Mom calls me Bea Arthur every time she pulls it over my head.

But my humans understand me. They took me out shopping for just the right sweater: something warm, fashionable, and feminine enough to let people know I’m a girl (but not so pink that I look like that Beverly Hills Chihuahua).

First we went to Whiskers N Tails in Cedar Park, which I loved because the owner kept giving me treats. She had these delicious pieces of dried turkey that I sat and even begged for! And the store had tons of these giant, juicy bones right on the bottom shelf so I could sniff them till I could almost taste them.

Even though they didn’t have a sweater in my size (something about my rib cage being too big) there were still lots of goodies I wanted to get my paws on. They had these long, furry animal toys that I could just see myself thrashing at home. They had all kinds of balls—plastic ones that smelled like vanilla and chicken, tough ones for power chewers like me, and one with lots of holes in it so I could really sink my teeth in. I sniffed the most at this one, so Mom and Dad got it for me!

Next we took a long drive down to the Hill Country Galleria, and I peered over the window and watched the sun set over Lake Travis. By the time we got to Dogadillo it was dark and it’d gotten cold. I thought, we better find my sweater soon, or I’ll freeze on the way home.

Luckily they had so many sweaters that the hard part was choosing one. Dad let me walk around the store while Mom chased after me to try them on. I tried on a really puffy purple and grey one, but it was a little too warm, even for me. I tried on a t-shirt with a hoodie but it wasn’t quite warm enough. Finally Mom spotted this brown sweater with pink flowers, and it was perfect. It wraps around my neck and belly, so no more squeezing through the neck opening or pulling my legs through for me!

Even though we’d picked my sweater, I was still curious about all the other goodies. Dad found a tiny pouch for my collar that keeps my tags from jingling in my ear every time I walk, and Mom was so close to getting me a new pink leash with polka dots—but she said that would have to wait for the next shopping trip.

I may not be a girly pink sweater kind of pup, but I’ve decided I love shopping in Austin. When can we go again?

. . . Maggie

The Microchip:

microchip bug

“Changing Lives”

High-Tech Beauty: Texas Hearing and Service Dogs

THSD image croppedIn 1988, Sheri Soltes, President and Founder of Texas Hearing and Service Dogs (THSD), was a trial lawyer working in Houston. One day, Sheri happened upon a magazine article about a non-profit organization that had been taking dogs out of shelters and training them as assistance dogs, referring to guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs.

The article spoke of the challenges and isolation faced by people with disabilities and how these specially trained dogs allowed them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.  It was then that Sheri made a decision that would change her life and the lives of countless others forever.

Click here to read the entire article (pdf)

TATTLE TAIL by James C. Miller DVM

iStock_000001177940MediumHank first came to our hospital as an eight-week old ball of fur. From the very first, he had the Hospital staff and waiting clients enthralled.

As time went on Hank developed into seventy five pounds of standard poodle; with a highly developed personality. He relished any type of attention even if it meant the indignity of having his temperature taken, or the discomfort of his annual injections. He seemed to sense that he was one of the hospital favorites.

On one visit I made the usual inquiries about any problems or questions. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith agreed that they had to keep an eye on their laundry basket, or they would find dirty laundry strewn about the house and yard.  We discussed various options and strategies, and I cautioned them that dogs were capable of eating some rather strange things. In the past I had removed everything from rocks to false teeth.

Click here to read the entire article (pdf)

LET LYING DOGS SLEEP by Perry P. Perkins

PhlashPuppyGrowing up in an apartment, I never had the opportunity to have my own dog. The guys I hunted and fished with all had great dogs, dogs that would point, and heel, and lay quietly beside the campfire looking adoringly at their masters.

I often bemoaned the absence of owning my own dog, usually whining to my mother on the subject no more than three or four times a day. I went as far as to suggest to my parents that it bordered on child-abuse to not allow a boy who loved to hunt and fish to own a dog, an action that could possibly even lead to a life of desperation and crime.

My mother, who seemed to feel that a life of desperation and crime was already a foregone conclusion, would nod understandingly, and with great sympathy tell me, “Shut up already, how many times have I told you we can’t afford a dog!”

Thus it was, with a sad heart, that I watched my friends train their own hounds to point pheasants, flush grouse, and basically do everything but pluck and cook their game for them. Without a dog, my own game bag was seldom filled. I blame this solely on my parents’ cold detachment to their child’s need, and not, of course, on my own stalking and shooting abilities.

Click here to read the entire article (pdf)

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