Woof Report’s Friday Newsletter: April 2, 2021

Here’s the most fascinating and useful dog news of the week.

Your Weekend Reading

Flower Facts

It’s springtime and gardens and parks are abloom. Who can resist the first glorious buds bursting with new life? Certainly, not your dog. Whether he or she is a sniffer, a digger, or a voracious chewer, your dog’s idea of communing with nature isn’t always safe. Some of the season’s most common plants are actually toxic to dogs, but how do you know which ones? 

Head over to the ASPCA’s database of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to dogs, or view an alphabetical listing of all flowers and plants toxic to dogs (and separately, to cats). Also access the Poisonous Plant Index from Cornell University, which lists all plants toxic to dogs by category (i.e., houseplants, flower garden plants, plants found in fields).

While these sites are incredibly useful when you know the name of a given plant, what can you do when you don’t know the name? Get the PictureThis app! Snap a photo of any plant and instantly get its name – it’s that easy. The iOS and Android app identifies 1,000,000+ plants with 98% accuracy.

Proper Puppy Play

Ahh, puppies! They’re adorable but there’s so much to know to start them off on the right paw, even (and especially) when it comes to play. In a recent article at The Whole Dog Journal, “How to Supervise Good Puppy Play,” Certified Professional Dog Trainer Kathy Callahan explains why puppy playdates are essential for raising a happy, confident dog and how to get them right.

According to Callahan, positive playdates that introduce your puppy to different puppy friends and people in various settings teach your pup to associate new experiences with good things. They also improve your puppy’s communication skills and bite inhibition, and expend all of that puppy energy so your dog is ready to listen and learn from you.

Read the excellent article for detailed tips to make your puppy’s playdates a success. Learn how to properly supervise your puppy, what to look for in positive puppy play, and also when and exactly how to intervene. This is a must-read for new puppy people! (The Whole Dog Journal)

Good Greetings

Dog trainers and behaviorists have been sharing tips to prevent or reduce our dogs’ separation anxiety once we return to some form of normal life – a life that may require us to leave our dogs home alone more often (*sniff*).

One commonly shared tip for reducing separation anxiety is to keep your departures and returns especially calm and low-key, but is this an absolute must? This is the question world-renowned dog behavior expert Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. explores in her latest blog post.

McConnell reveals research findings on the topic are inconclusive. She advises “there’s no harm in being calm when coming and going, but people should know there is no data at present to support being especially so. I would suggest that this study is at least fuel for arguing against, as I always have, the more draconian versions of the advice, like “ignore your dog completely for a half hour before you leave.”

Read all of the details, summaries of the research findings, and reader suggestions for settling anxious dogs when leaving or returning home. (The Other End of the Leash)


What Else We’re Reading

Friday Fun. If you’ve ever dreamed about living on a farm with a couple of dogs and a slew of farm animals, photographer Tasha Hall’s adorable “farmily” portraits may inspire you to set your plans into motion. Her darling portraits capture entire families smiling for the camera — dogs, horses, chickens, and pigs included.

BarkBox. We’re BarkBox fans, so we love this roundup of their fun brand collaborations and special edition dog toys. See their Costco food court collection, Dunkin’ Donuts-themed toys, and their Bed Bath & Beyond exclusives, which includes a 20% off coupon dog toy. Ironically, you can buy the toy using a Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon!

Dogged DeterminationRead about a stray pup in North Carolina who entered the Dollar General store five times attempting to get a particular stuffed purple unicorn he so desired. When animal control was called in to assist, his wish came true – a kind officer bought him the unicorn. And when his story went viral, the determined pup got something even better, a forever home. See pics from his adorable photoshoot with his beloved toyPhoto credit: Mary Shannon Johnstone

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Dog Moms

See our favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas for dog moms everywhere from last year and look for our new list soon. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11th!



Woof Report-exclusive stickers and Spirit Jerseys®, all with free shipping within the Continental U.S.

Order by May 1st for delivery by Mother’s Day, 2021.