Tag Archives: paw

Julian Castro’s PAW Plan

The campaigning for the US presidential election is just getting started.  Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro has upped the ante with his release of a plan for animals – both domestic and wild.

Julian Castro

I don’t know a lot about Mr Castro, except that he served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama.

It’s really great to see a policy statement that includes things like:

  • Opposing efforts to prohibit pets in social housing
  • Implementing pet-friendly and breed-neutral policies in affordable housing
  • Supporting animal companionship in federal policy because “pets are considered family and federal policy on housing should reflect that”
  • Prohibiting the testing of cosmetic products on animals

Plus policies addressing dog breeding, strengthening the Endangered Species Act, establishing a National Wildlife Recovery Fund ….and more.

Read the full Protecting Animals and Wildlife (PAW) Plan here

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Anatomy 101: the paw

If you are a dog owner, you should know about the basic anatomy of the paw so you can describe to your vet or animal care practitioner about the location of pain or injuries.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A = the nails

B = digital pads

C = main metacarpal pad

D = dew claw

E = carpal pad

Behaviour in dogs depends on the paw preference

I’ve previously written about how to test if your dog is right-pawed or left pawed.  Researchers at the University of Adelaide led by Dr Luke Schneider tested a group of 73 dogs using 50 manipulations of an object to determine their paw preference.  They then interviewed the dog owners about their dog’s behavior to see if there was a pattern.

“We found that dogs with a preference for left paws were reported by their owners to show high levels of aggression towards strangers. The left pawed dogs scored almost twice as high as ambilateral (ones with no preference) and also higher than dogs with right paws.

“There is research in the human world as well that positive and negative emotions can be located in the left and right hemispheres and it seems to go the same way in humans and other animal species, that the negative emotions are located in the right hemisphere. There are many, many overlaps between human and animal brains.”

Blake the Beagle shows his preference for the right paw

Blake the Beagle shows his preference for the right paw

When testing dogs for paw preference, the research team found a roughly even split between those dogs that had a right paw preference vs those with a left paw preference.

None of the dogs in the study were noted as particularly aggressive, and so the research team wants to do more work with dogs who are noted for aggression-type responses.  A larger testing group would also help to validate results.  The research team’s study has been published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.