To all of you I extend my heartfelt best wishes for a joyous and peaceful holiday season and much good health and happiness throughout the new year. In addition to all the commitments on your holiday to do list, I hope you will carve out some “doggie down time” dedicated to cuddling and playing with your four-legged bestest buddies. Guaranteed this is the holiday gift our dogs most wish to receive!
While you and your dog are at play, ask a friend or family member to pull out their smart phone and videotape the shenanigans. Then electronically share the finished product with Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, author of the best seller, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. Dr. Horowitz and coworkers at the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab are studying how dogs and humans play together.
The way dogs play with other dogs has been studied extensively. We’re all familiar with the bowing, bumping, chasing and vocalizing that goes on. But what about when dogs play with people? Not nearly as much is known. This is why researchers at the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab are requesting video of you and your dog at play. It matters not whether your play is sedentary or aerobic, quiet or noisy, graceful or klutzy. Project: Play With Your Dog is open to anyone with a dog!
To participate, upload a 30-60 second video of you and your dog at play. You will be asked to complete a short survey. Don’t forget to send in a photo of you and your playful canine to the project’s Wall of Contributors.
Now, go play with your dog and have yourself one heck of a wonderful holiday!
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.