Dog Owners Show Aggression Over Latest Health Scare

Dog owners employ more aggressive tactics to protect their pets.

Dallas, TX, December 21, 2007 --( Candice Merchant’s day consists of getting her three kids ready for elementary school in the morning, managing a small insurance office for nine hours, attending to her homebound neighbor in the late afternoon and keeping her own home in order in the evening. She says all this keeps her pretty busy, especially since she is a single mom. “I get up around 5:30 in the morning to get the kids up and fed, feed and walk the dog and get myself dressed. The next thing I know, I’m walking in the door at around 6:15 p.m. and wondering where the day went.”

Candice relies on this routine to keep her sane, so when she watched a news report on December 18, 2007, about yet another health scare targeting dogs, it threw her into confusion and worry.

“Where is all this stuff coming from? Why is it happening? I mean, every time I turn on the news, there’s these terrible stories of dogs getting sick and dying. I worry about Magic all the time.”

‘Magic’ is the two-year old Rottweiler she adopted from her neighbor 10 months ago. “Tom was my neighbor and we were good friends for the last three and a half years. When he got Magic, my kids would often stop and pet him as a puppy whenever he and Tom were out walking. When Tom got deployed to Iraq, he gave the dog to us. I feel it’s important to keep Magic as healthy and happy as possible, because he’s a great dog, but also because of Tom and the sacrifice he is making being over there”, Candice says.

When the latest health scare was announced, Candice decided that she was going to do everything possible to keep Magic safe and free from disease. She says that she will now no longer let him drink tap water, but will give him filtered water bought in jugs from the grocery store. She says she will make it a habit of washing his toys at least once a week in hot water and will give Magic a bath every two weeks, with medicated shampoo from a pet store. She says she will also begin taking him to their vet on a more consistent basis, something she hadn’t done before.

“Being a single mom, with one income and three kids, I don’t really have a lot of money or time to spend on things like going to the vet. But I’m going to have to make a sacrifice and take Magic more regularly anyway. It’s better for me to spend a little here and there to take him to the vet, than to have him get sick and end up shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars to get him well again.”

Candice is just one of a growing number of dog owners who are taking matters into their own hands and becoming more aggressive in taking their pet’s health to the next level. Although they aren’t going to the extremes of hiring pet psychologists and nutritionists, they are flocking online to learn more about healthier (safer) dog foods and treats, toys designed to promote physical and mental pet health and social networking sites that give them tips on how to have a healthier dog. One online blog, Scratchings and Sniffings (, posts a wealth of information that many dog owners read and follow almost religiously. Although it covers issues that are important to cat owners as well, dog owners still find it a very worthwhile resource when it comes to maintaining pet health.

An informal poll of 15 dog owners in Plano, Texas, found that 11 out of 15 of these dog owners worried the most about their pet catching a disease at dog parks. They felt that although they take care and precaution with their pets, they don’t know how well other people are taking care of their dogs and that causes them concern. With unfamiliar dogs playing with the same toys and playing with each other, the possibility of catching or spreading disease is there. Many dog owners have begun the practice of bringing doggie wipes and first aid kits with them whenever they are out with their dog. One of the dog owners in the poll said that he only allows his dog to play with the doggie toy he brings and if another dog happens to come into contact with it, he makes sure he washes the toy thoroughly when he gets home. He’s also purchased a Bull Dog Bag (, a tote he uses to carry the doggie wipes, toys and medicine he needs for his seven-year old black Lab, Cody. “It just makes everything easier. With all these warnings about dog food and dogs getting sick from who-knows what, I just leave everything I need in my ‘BDB’ and grab it on the way out”, he said.

When it comes to the health of their dogs, pet owners are no longer waiting for solutions to problems: they are creating their own.

Bull Dog Bag Company
Xuwan Tsu