Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Baark! On: Are you Paw-lingual? Part I.

How to be Paw-lingual: Understanding your dog’s body language.

Just what is your dog is trying to tell you? A dog uses body language as his primary form of communication. This week’s column will take a brief look at the body language of dogs. Consider a dog’s eyes, ears, teeth, tail and head position they all play a big part in the overall nonverbal communication of your dog.

Let’s start from the top.

Ears: A relaxed dog has ears sitting in their natural position. Ears flattened to the side of the dog’s head usually indicate a frightened or submissive dog. When your dog is feeling interested in things his ears will perk up and point toward the sound or object that interests him.  If your dog is feeling aggressive his ears will be very pointed up and focused forward. When your dog’s ears are slightly pulled back, this indicates he is feeling sociable.

Eyes: Staring with narrowed eyes usually indicates aggression in a dog. A dog that is feeling anxious will have slightly narrowed eyes, while a dog that is ready for a chase will have wide open  and alert eyes.

An excited and alert dog ready to play
Mouth and teeth: A relaxed dog will let his tongue slightly hang out of his mouth. An aggressive dog will bear his teeth and wrinkle his nose.  Excitement in a dog is often seen with a wide open mouth and perhaps even some panting.

Body Positioning: Dogs will try to appear smaller if they are in a submissive mode by crouching low to the ground or lowering their head. If the dog is in a relaxed state his body will appear as normal size. If feeling aggressive your dog will try to appear larger, by tensing his muscles and leaning slightly forward ready to lunge.

Tail: When your dog is happy and ready to play their tail is in an upright position, wagging with energy. If your dog is feeling submissive he tucks his tail between his legs. An aggressive dog has a tail that is held rigidly behind him ready to spring if needed.

Learning to interpret dog’s body language will enhance the bond between yourself and your dog and in the end make your home a happier and healthier place for all involved.

Please spay and neuter your animals.
By ensuring your animal cannot produce more litters you are saving lives and decreasing the suffering of unwanted animals.  Please consider donating or helping with Baark!’s efforts to improve animal welfare in the Bahamas.
For more information contact us at or (427-SPAY) or visit our website

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Baark! On : Healthy Puppies.

Everybody loves puppies, don’t they? Cute, wriggly bundles of fun! But they do need a lot more care than an adult dog and a few visits to the vet in the early stages to ensure they stay healthy through to adulthood. You may have recently adopted a puppy from the Humane Society or maybe your neighbor gave you one from a recently born litter. Perhaps you found a litter with a stray momma dog or your dog recently gave birth, However you have obtained a puppy, here is some tips to keep them healthy.
Picture used with permission
  • Ensure the momma dog is well fed and watered when she is nursing the pups, so she is healthy enough to take good care of them
  • Create a clean, dry area for her to nurse if possible.
  •  Puppies need their first worming at 2 weeks. This is very important and could save their lives
  •  Puppies need to have vaccinations at 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks. There are serious diseases which could kill your puppy within days. Better to vaccinate than to have an expensive vets bill when they get sick.
  •  Mange is a very common condition in puppies. It is caused by mites in the skin. There are different types of mange, so it is important to consult a vet before you treat the condition as you may be wasting your time. If left untreated, mange can develop into a secondary skin infection through scratching, which is very painful. Healthy puppies are less likely to suffer from mange, so it’s important to make sure they always have access to food and clean water.
  •   If you find orphaned puppies you can bottle feed them puppy formula or goats milk (which is the closest to their mother’s milk) Puppies can start to eat puppy kibble softened with water or milk from 4 - 5 weeks onwards.
  •  Contact the Humane Society if you need help with orphaned puppies. They will be able to advise you.
  •  Involve your children in taking care of them. The experience will teach them responsibility and the bonds formed between a child and a pet can help their empathy skills later in life.
  •  Older puppies have lots of energy and just want to play, play, play. If you do not provide toys for them, their play will become destructive and they will turn to household objects and your prized possessions, especially if they have your scent on them! Although it might sound crazy, if you have an outdoor dog, two are usually better than one as they will play together and keep each other company, thus staying out of trouble.

If you would like to get your dog neutered (male) or spayed (female) please contact 427-SPAY (7729) or send us a message via email or find us on Facebook.

We also provide the same service for cats. A lot of the above information applies to kittens too. We will be posting future articles for cat lovers! If you have any questions regarding your animal’s health you should always contact your veterinarian.

A huge thank you to Shelley Hardman for contributing this amazing article to our column and blog!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Baark On Guard Dog wanted.

Dear Baark!
I want my new pit-bull puppy to protect me. I was told to pinch it a lot, feed it pepper, tease it with food, kick it and yell at it. Will this make my dog protect me once it knows to be angry?
Signed- family guard dog wanted

Dear Family guard dog wanted

We are so glad you asked, asking the right questions gets you started as a responsible pet owner. Sadly you have been given the wrong information. Kicking at a dog is abusive and is not tolerated. Pinching and teasing a dog will not make it more protective of you; it will make it more afraid of you.  A good guard dog will protect because he is loyal to his caring owners, not bark and bite at anyone who happens to come near.

A guard dog should be able to alert you to things around you that are potential threats, but a good guard dog will also be able to stop its reaction by your command. You want a confident, highly socialized dog that can interact in a friendly way with many people but when they sense danger or a threat can turn on the guard dog attitude. Learning the basics skills of obedience will be your first step in helping create a smart, confident guard dog. We recommend trying out some of the dog training courses offered around Bahamas and getting their opinion if your dog would be suited to being a guard dog.

Thanks for asking!

Please spay and neuter your animals.
By ensuring your animal cannot produce more litters you are saving lives and decreasing the suffering of unwanted animals.  Please consider donating or helping with Baark!’s efforts to improve animal welfare in the Bahamas. For more information contact us at or (558-3039)