Thursday, December 7, 2017














9 Foods that can be dangerous for your dog:

 (picture from Pinterest)

Turkey breast - high fat foods can lead to pancreatitis.

Sage - contains oils dangerous for your dog and can cause indigestion.

Nuts - Can a have a reaction within 12 hours=vomiting, inability to stand and tremors. Symptoms can either go away or lead to deadly shock.

Cooked bones - These can splinter inside your dog's digestive tract and cause major problems.

Nutmeg Using nutmeg in sweet potatoes and pumpkin can cause seizures if your dog consumes it alone or in these sides. It can lead to death in extreme cases.

Alcohol - Small amounts especially beer can cause life threatening toxicity. Hops in beer can cause elevated body temperature, racing heart, vomiting and sometimes death.

Chocolate, Dough and Batter - Small amounts of chocolate can harm them and dough can rise inside their bellies, which causes pain for your dog.Spare batter contains uncooked eggs, which are always a risk for Salmonella.
KEEPING PETS SAFE It is probably a good idea to keep them separated and stress free in a spare room or behind a gate. Cats, of course, can jump over a gate so do the best you can.  Do remember to pay some attention to them. They can have feelings of being overwhelmed or abandoned. 
3  Plants coming into your home that will have to be eliminated.
Mistletoe - especially berries
Holly - especially berries
Poinsettia - leaves, stem, leaves

There are many things that lie around and can be dangerous for your pet. Please be vigilant in keeping these things away from them.

Christmas trees - keep your pet supervised around them.  

7 decorations to be mindful of:

Imitation snow - hazardous if ingested.
Preservatives on your tree - they can leach into the water in the bowl and your pet will drink that.
Edible ornaments - Too much sugar can cause a rush, glue used could be toxic, materials can be poisonous or hazardous.
Lit candles - Enough said.
Christmas lights - Keep the strands away from the bottom where a cat or dog can easily chew on the electric cords. Make sure the end of the extension cord is tucked away so your pet cannot get to it.
Angel Hair - Finely spun fiberglass used in vintage decorations but has since been taken off the market.  Don't use old decorations made from angel hair. Newer versions made from PVC can also cause health concerns.
Tinsel - The most dangerous holiday decoration for your pets. Just ingesting a few strands of tinsel by your pet is highly likely to make your pet ill and even create deadly effects of an intestinal obstruction.
 In memory of Molly's kitties.

Profile:  Dr. Max is an 10-year-old Shih Tzu living in Riverdale, NY.

Qualifications:  Ph.Do., PUNY (Pooch University of NY), MA in Psychology, Mutger's University, NJ; BS, Poundston College, NJ.
Follow me:
Twitter  @DrMaxDowler
Twitter @ItaDowler
Instagram:  itadow

©  Dr Max/Ita Dowler all rights reserved 7/8/2012



Friday, July 28, 2017


Dr. Max

I hope you are all enjoying your summer.  I am sure many of you have already traveled with your pet this summer, but I still wanted to give you some travel tips.

1.  Traveling by car with your pet:
It is better to have your cat in a safe carry case, and your dog harnessed and utilizing their pet-friendly seatbelt.  The harness attaches to a belt that should fit into the seat belt catch.  Truthfully, I don't use this because I am claustrophobic.
I can tolerate the harness and leash but draw the line at being locked into place. Since Mama got a new car, I like to ride shotgun. Each state requires their specific documentation for traveling with animals that may not be enforced, but make sure that you travel with up to date medical documentation.  A reminder that it may be against the law to drive with your pet in your lap.  Please do not let your dog hang out of the window because there are problems that can arise, e.g. dog gets something in his eye, etc.

2.  You can find pet-friendly hotels by googling "pet-friendly hotels."
Examples of the search are:‎
I am not endorsing these but giving you some examples.

3.  When making a reservation, notify the hotel you are bringing your pet.
Also call ahead to remind the hotel that you are traveling with your pet.  Hotels can make a mistake in booking and you don't want to get stuck.  Hotels keep certain rooms for pets so keeping them informed is essential.  You will pay a pet fee, but you will usually get a kit that contains a bowl, treats, etc.  

4.  Separate travel insurance  This is a plan that covers me if I get separated from the car in an accident so I should have an emergency phone number attached to my collar.  If Mama becomes injured, the insurance covers travel expenses for me to be delivered to a contact person.   Mama called, and the insurance is still in effect, but she will have to make up her own notification with information on it. Good luck with that.  

5.  Grooming your dog.  The summer can be hard on all dogs and especially with climate change, there are more storms and consistently high temperatures.
When getting a short cut on your dog,  please make sure not to have the cut too close to the skin.  Dogs do get sunburned.  If this happens then you can use baby suntan lotion because the doggy lotion is too expensive.  

6.  Brachycephalic dogs are shorter-nosed, flat-faced dogs like me.  They have more of a difficult time breathing.  These dogs can be more susceptible to heat stroke, heart attacks, and dehydration.  A reminder that flying with this breed of dog can be problematic.  Please make sure to keep your dogs hydrated and this includes all breeds.  

7.  Flying with your pet:
Brachycephalic dogs are not allowed on many airlines because there have been deaths due to problems breathing.  
Check with the airlines before you fly with Rover, Kitty or Thumper.  You may find having your dog, cat or rabbit traveling in cargo is just not worth it.  Animals can get lost or mistreated creating casualties. 
Cats can usually fit into a carrier under the seat in front of you.  The cat may get a bit buggy so you may want to sedate it before take-off.

I have determined that only small dogs can fit into that space under the seat in front of you.  Another airline rule is that the dog should be able to stand in the case and turn around.  Prior to attaining knowledge of breathing problems with my breed, Mama measured my case, and it did not fit.   Also, you will have to pay a fee for your pet.

8.  Boating with your pet
It is a good idea to put a life jacket on your dog when boating.  Your pooch may choose an inconvenient time to jump or fall of your boat.  Do remember to keep the dog in the shade and if needed put the baby suntan lotion on and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

I have not traveled too much lately but did enjoy my road trips to Florida,  North Carolina, and Massachusetts.   I look forward to more road trips and will pass on any new tips that come up.  Please get back to me about anything I may have missed here.

Dr. Max is a 10-year-old Shih Tzu.  He lives in Riverdale, NY. He was born in Bayone, NJ and adopted at age 2 1/2.

Education:  Ph.Do. in Dogcology,  PUNY, (Pooch University of NY).  MA in Psychology,  Mutger's University, Bayone, NJ.  BS in Animal Behavior from Poundston College, NJ. 

Mission Statement:  To educate and bring to light issues that effect all animals but in particular, dogs.   

Don't forget to check out Mama's website: or  She is also on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

I wanted to use this platform to inform humans about dog behaviors and the myths associated with them.    #shihtzu #victoriastillwell #ceasorsway #guidingeyesfortheblind #aspca #furbaby #iHeartShihTzus #lifewithShihTzus #boy

A) Tail wagging.  

When I am pissed off, or as Mama says, hyperaroused, my tail will be wagging.  Humans will continue to let their dopey dogs near me and I will be ready to attack while my tail is wagging. Yes, humans, I will attack while my tail is wagging.  It happened one time with a vet. She was shocked, but later Mama said the vet was somewhat stupid.

Dogs communicate in many ways which include their tails. Since we come in all kinds of breeds, you will have to make a judgment based on that particular breed regarding the dog's intentions. Speed, height, and placement will give you the intended message. Since I have a gorgeous tail that looks fantastic when it is up I tend to keep it there when I strut my stuff.  Mark my words that when I am going to attack that tail is vibrating.


The following are doggy behavioral intentions related to their tail wag:


"Hello there."  I have a slight wag with a slow breadth.

"I am not challenging or threatening you, or I am pleased."  If I have a full wag and, especially if the hips sway with it, then this is friendly.

"You bitch."  If I display tiny, high-speed movements of my tail that look like the tail is vibrating; this is aggressive. If I had my tail unusually high while vibrating, then I mean business. If my tail is lower, it could mean "I'm gonna run."

"You are going to give me chicken sausages."  The tail wags more to the right side of my butt because I am really pleased.

"Don't you look at me like that." The tail wags more to the left of my butt because I am feeling aggressive.

"I am scared" or "ok you are the boss.". My tail is tucked between the legs. 

 "Mama I don't feel good." My tail is downward near towards the legs can mean I don't feel good or I am depressed. Yes, we get depressed.

"Look out humans and dogs I am strutting my stuff." My tail is carried up and slightly curved over my back displaying confidence.

"Ok,  I"m chill."  When my tail is carried lower in the horizontal position but not near the legs it means I am relaxed.

"Give me that.". My mama is eating, and I sit next to her.  I then use my paw to push her arm closer to my mouth while wagging my tail in a medium wave. Since I am sitting, I am never sure what the height of my tail is.

B) Staring.

Dogs staring at you is another way we are communicating with you. When I stare at Mama it can mean I love you, feed me, I am confused, or what's up? I will stare when I want attention. Sometimes we are trying to figure out what you want from us. When I am confused in training,  I will stare while waiting for the next command.  If I stare combined with a stiff body, then that stare likely means I am going to attack.  Sometimes, we just can't figure out what the hell you are doing.

 C) Yawning.

Mama came home from a conference stating that "when dogs yawn they are always aggressive" so she stared at me for months. She finally said, "nope sometimes you are just tired."

D) Chewing.

For years Mama has criticized my eating habits. When I would swallow whole, she would say "this is not holy communion you have to chew."  Now she understands that a dog's digestive system is different than a human one and we can digest whole items without chewing them. Of course,  the item has to be able to be swallowed without the dog choking.

A dog's esophagus can increase and expand five times its size to swallow food as well as letting large pieces pass through without any trouble. We don't need to chew food plus our strong stomach acid can handle it.

Sometimes I throw up when I have eaten too fast, and Mama never criticizes me. She just cleans it up and says it is okay.

I think that is enough for now. Please check back in for more myths about doggie behavior.

Since I will be running for president in 2020,  I am beginning to think of whom I should have in my cabinet?  If you have any ideas please leave them in the comments below.

This is how you manage your human on a walk.  Resist until you get a treat.

Profile:  Dr. Max is a 9-year-old Shih Tzu.  He lives in Riverdale, NY. 

Education:  Ph.Do. in Dogcology,  PUNY, (Pooch University of NY).  MA in Psychology,  Mutger's University, Bayone, NJ.  BS in Animal Behavior from Poundston College, NJ.  

Mission Statement:  To educate and bring to light issues that affect all animals but in particular, dogs.   

Don't forget to check out Mama's website: or  She is also on twitter, pinterest and instagram.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Profile:  Dr. Max is a 9-year-old Shih Tzu living in Riverdale, NY.

Qualifications:  Ph.Do., PUNY (Pooch University of NY), MA in Psychology, Mutger's University, NJ; BS, Poundston College, NJ.

Mission statement:  To educate and bring to light issues that affect all animals but in                                                           particular dogs.  

Hi everyone.  Dr. Max here.  I wanted to talk to you about my future plans and bring you up to date on legisalation affecting animals.  I have changed my tone here in that this blog is very serious but the topic cannot be light.  

With the political climate that we find ourselves in, I am concerned about the rights of animals in the United States of America.  Therefore, I am considering running for president in 2020 but will wait to see how things go regarding the rights of animals.  

It is important that the law recognizes legal rights of animals.  After all, animals are put down if they attack humans so isn’t fair that humans be held responsible for cruelty to animals?
I think it is time, that we look to Canada and their legislation to protect animals.  

Quebec welcomed pets into the circle of “sentient” beings by granting them many of the same rights as children in the eyes of the law. The legislation, hailed as the “Animals are Not Things Manifesto“ lifts the legal status of particular animals from small property, i.e. inanimate objects like toaster ovens and iPhones that can be manipulated any which way, to sensitive, emotional beings that require nurturing and respect.

Quebec’s new regulations addressed the psychological care of dogs, cats, horses and certain wild animals, requiring that each animal is given constant stimulation, socialization, and environmental enrichments. Any actions or activities that expose an animal to extreme anxiety or suffering are subject to legal consequences.

Animals have biological needs, said Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis, whose legislation includes fines of up to $250,000 for those who are cruel to animals as well as jail time for repeat offenders.   6/5/2015

Before passing this law, Quebec had a bad reputation regarding animal abuse, but they stepped up.

Canada is showing itself to be a progressive country both ethically and empatheticly.  I told Mama we should consider moving there.  

In 2014, France changed the definition of pets from “movable goods” to “living beings capable of feelings”.  In France, dogs are allowed into restaurants.  I have been to outdoor restaurants in America, and I have been very well behaved.  

Now is the time for America to rewrite its own legislation regarding animal welfare. Collectively you can lift dogs into the realm of beloved family members where they ultimately belong.  The mandatory sentence for the felony charge of animal abuse is 2 years in the USA.

If humans have bonded with dogs and they have become so intertwined in our lives then how can we be considered property?  We guard human property as well as our people.  We will give our lives to protect our humans. We are not property - we are family.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that animal abuse will be prosecuted as a crime against society and under the new categorization they will begin tracking and collecting information about incidents of animal cruelty and the perpetrators.

According to the FBI, the official definition of animal cruelty will be:

Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment. Included are instances of duty to provide care, e.g., shelter, food, water, care if sick or injured, transporting or confining an animal in a manner likely to cause injury or death.  Also, causing an animal to fight with another; inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal. This definition does not include proper maintenance of animals for show or sport; use of animals for food, lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.

This new FBI categorization is intended to improve the way crimes against animals are tracked nationwide and could help bolster state animal cruelty laws across the United States. All 50 states now have felony animal cruelty provisions. On March 14, 2014, South Dakota became the final state to enact a felony provision for animal cruelty. The new FBI categorization is significant because it affirms that at the highest level of our government animal cruelty is recognized as a violent crime. As a civilized society, our opposition to all forms of animal cruelty must be unwavering.

There’s a national consensus that animal abuse should indeed be treated as a serious crime. Now animal cruelty will be a Group A felony. The new classification will make it easier to get harsher sentences and to identify young offenders. Because cases of animal cruelty, including animal neglect, will now be included in the FBI Uniform Crime Report law enforcement agencies have more incentive to pay attention to any incidents, and statistics on these types of crime will be more accurate and detailed. It will take some time to update FBI and law enforcement databases nationwide, so no data will be collected until January 2016, and then it’s projected to be several more months before there are numbers to analyze. (This was written in 2015).

Vicki Clinebell  

**At this time I have no information regarding the FBI database for humans abusing animals.

Let’s not forget that sociopaths start their training by hurting/killing animals.  Early intervention and recognition of these perpetrators can help to identify potential criminals.  
This sounds very "Minority Reports"  but I believe it is still helpful.

Don't forget to check out Mama's website because she has blogs on there that you may find interesting.  She doesn't write about treats or chicken sausages so I don't find them too compelling.