Newsletter Summer 2019

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Summer 2019

What's New?

ABI is pleased to announce that we will be offering a new course, ABI 254 Canine Aggression, in our upcoming Fall semester beginning September 19, 2019. This course will be an elective in our Advanced Canine Training program.


Vacationing with Your Dog

Longer days filled with sunlight. The tinkling sounds emitting from a nearby ice cream truck. Afternoon visits to the pool. These are all wonderful signs that summer has arrived.

One of the most iconic markers of summer is the family vacation. With the kids out of school, the family is free to roam without worrying about missed lessons or make-up homework. It's time to book your adventure, back your bags and grab a much-needed break from the family routine.

When planning a family trip, you want to prepare to make sure that all the members of your family will (hopefully) have a good time, and that should include your dog. According to the 2017–2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, about 37 percent of pet owners travel with their pets every year, up from 19 percent a decade ago. And more and more travel companies are catering to that growing demand.

So this summer, don't leave your furriest member of the family at home. Take them with you so they can join in the fun. Here are 6 tips for planning and enjoying a vacation for everyone.

Find a great place to stay. Whether you're looking for a hotel with a pool or something more rustic in the woods, be sure to find a place that's comfortable and welcoming for everyone. While not specifically a dog app, TripAdvisor has over 350 million reviews on its site, and it can provide you with tons of pet-friendly information. It's a great place to start when planning a trip. Bring Fido is another great app to use for planning your trip or while you are on the go. It can help you locate hotels, attractions and restaurants nearby that welcome pets. The app also includes reviews and photos submitted by other dog owners.

Be prepared. Pet First Aid by American Red Cross can help you be prepared if your dog has a medical emergency when you're away from home. The app can help you locate the nearest emergency animal hospital. It also provides step-by-step instructions for common pet emergencies as well as instructional videos for pet health, like CPR. No one ever plans to have an emergency when travelling, but if you have one, you want to be ready.

Take a Break. If your kids are old enough, they might go off and spend some time away from you while you're on vacation, or you might leave them with a sitter so that you can have an adult night out. You could also want to take a break from your dog so that you can visit attractions that might not be pet-friendly. This is where the Rover app comes into play. This app make is easy to find someone to keep an eye on your dog. With a database of more than 65,000 pet sitters and dog walkers listed, they are the largest network available. On the app, you can connect with nearby sitters, pay them through the app, and get photo updates while you’re away. The platform offers insurance, 24/7 support, background checks, and a reservation guarantee.

Locate Food on the GoIf you're driving in the middle of nowhere and you run out of your dog's usual food or favorite snack, you might have trouble finding a pet supply store to replenish your stock. The iKibble app is armed with a database of hundreds of food types. It's designed to quickly and easily know whether a particular human food will be okay for your dog to consume as well. You can either run whatever food you have on hand through the search tool, or you can browse by category or health rating until you find something that will work.

Keep Tabs on Each OtherYour kids probably have cell phones, but your dog does not. If your dog happens to gets spooked and takes off in an unfamiliar place, he or she may be difficult to locate. Something like this can happen anywhere, but the excitement and stress of different surroundings while on vacation can instantly take this incident to a whole new level of panic. It can be extremely helpful if your dog wears a tracker that has a GPS built in. You will need to invest in the actual tracker and a subscription service, along with using an app like Whistle 3. The tracker reports its location in real time, and you can see exactly where your pet has been at any point in the last 24 hours.

Capture the Memories. Nothing helps you savor the memories of a great vacation like wonderful photos. But have you ever tried getting that perfect photo of your dog, but they were just too busy chasing birds or watching strangers pass by? With PetCam, your dog will finally pay attention to the camera. The app has dozens of different sounds to attract your pet’s attention. You can even add filters so your dog can be a social media star. Now if only it was that easy to get all your kids to smile at the camera at the same time.

So start planning your summer adventure for your entire family and get out there. With a little research, you can make some great memories that will last a lifetime.



Pet First Aid:



Whistle 3

PetCam- Pet Camera

Red, White and Blue Animals Celebrate Naturally

Every year on July 4th, we celebrate the birth of America's freedom from the monarchy of Great Britain. Appropriately dubbed Independence Day (but most often referred to as The Fourth of July), it's the day the Continental Congress, back in 1776, signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring that the American colonies were free and independent states.

It's usually a day filled with picnics, barbecues, parades, fireworks, and of course, grand displays of red, white and blue- in flag form, clothing and decorations.

There is no federal law, resolution or executive order providing an official reason for the flag's colors or their meaning, but there are many theories. Some historians suspect that the colors were simply adopted from our mother country's flag, the Union Jack of England flag. These colors also exist in the Great Seal of the United States. When Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress, presented the design of the seal to Congress in 1782, he stated that the colors were the same as those in the flag, with white signifying purity and innocence, red signifying hardiness and valor, and blue signifying vigilance, perseverance and justice. Over the years, the meaning of those colors has been applied to the flag as well.

Humans, however, are not the only ones that don red, white and blue in honor of the holiday. There are quite a few members of the animal community that show their patriotic colors year-round and are always ready to celebrate.

Although traditionally associated with the Thanksgiving holiday, the White Holland Turkey is decked out in patriotic colors from head to toe. White Holland Turkeys have snow white feathers and a head and neck that are red and bluish. White Holland Turkeys originated in Mexico. They were introduced in Europe in the 1500s, and in the U.S. in the 1800s. Because of their wide breasts and short legs, they were originally an important commercial bird in this country in the early part of the twentieth century. In the early 1950s, researchers began crossing the White Holland and Broad-breasted Bronze turkey. By the 1960s, the Broad Breasted White (or Large White) had surpassed the Bronze for commercial production. This variety dominates the turkey industry today. True White Hollands are considered rare and are listed as "threatened" by the Livestock Conservancy of the U.S.

Much like the Holland Turkey, The Polka-Dot Wasp Moth is always ready for celebrating the 4th. Its wings and body are a blue-black color, and the tip of the abdomen looks like it was dipped in red. Although it's not adorned with stars, it does have bright white dots that mark its wings. Polka-Dot Wasp Moths are most common in tropical climates as well as humid areas of the southeastern United States. They are not really a wasp since they do not bite or sting, but their predators are unaware of this as the moth's shape mimics that of other stinging wasps.

In addition to its appearance, the Polk-Dot Wasp Moth's second defense lies in the food consumed by the moth in its youth. Larvae of the polka-dot moth are known as oleander caterpillars. Their diet consists of leaves of members of the oleander family, which are poisonous plants. If you're having a barbeque, you might want to ask The Polk-Dot Wasp Moth to leave the (poisonous) kids at home. Just tell them it's an adults-only celebration.

If you really want to add some flair to a Fourth of July celebration, invite a Mandrill. Mandrills are the largest of all monkeys. They are shy and reclusive primates that live only in the rain forests of Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo, so you may have a little trouble convincing one to stop by. But for being shy creatures, they sure are brightly colored! They're considered the brightest of all mammals as they have blue, red and white skin on their faces, along with white whiskers and a pretty colorful rear end. These distinctive colors become even brighter when they are excited. The coloring is often more prominent in the dominant adult males. Mandrills live in large groups called hordes. Hordes can number in the hundreds, but it's been recorded that they can reach from 600 to 800 in size. So just be warned that if you invite one over, you may have several hundred show up. Be prepared with enough food.

If you're throwing a pool party on the 4th, you'll want to invite the Blue Crab. While both males and females have blue and white tints in their shells, the females have red highlights on the tips of their pincers. But both males and females are still fairly patriotic. They have a long history with Americans living along the Atlantic coast southward to the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico. And the Blue Crab is the official State Crustacean of Maryland.

When it comes to their diet, blue crabs aren’t particularly picky. They eat clams, mussels, snails, dead fish, plants and more. If they can’t find other food sources, blue crabs will even eat smaller, less mature blue crabs. They are the least likely to complain about your barbeque spread as they can always find something to eat. However, the Blue Crab needs to celebrate with caution. Their scientific name translates to “savory beautiful swimmer," so they are in danger of being eaten at a barbeque themselves! It's a good thing they have those sharp pincers to protect themselves from you and your guests.

And to round out your guest list, be sure to invite the Red-crested Cardinal. These songbirds are sure to add life (and music) to your celebration. They feature a red head and crest, white belly, and bluish-gray wings. They are native to northern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and have also been successfully introduced to Hawaii and Puerto Rico. And despite its name, the Red-crested Cardinal is not related to the Cardinal family commonly found in the United States and Canada. They mainly eat seeds and bugs, so you won't have to worry about them ruining the look of your buffet with little holes in every dish.

So this Independence Day, don't let these patriotic animals show you up. Celebrate with all the red, white and blue you can muster.... even if it's not your natural coloring.

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Get Your Yard Set for Summer Bird Watching

If you're a fan of bird watching, summer is the perfect time to transform your yard into a bird paradise. You're likely to see a far greater variety of birds in the summer versus the winter, and with some planning, you can have a wonderful time viewing a variety of birds all summer long.

The plantings in your yard can have a big influence on the types of birds you attract. Native plants are great for attracting birds as they can be great sources of food as well as shelter. What you plant may depend on the types of birds you want to attract.

For example, the dark blue fruit of the Elderberry plant provides food for the Brown Thrasher and Red-eyed Vireo, as well as dozens of other birds. The Virginia Creeper (or Woodvine) can be a key food source for fruit-eating birds, such as mockingbirds, nuthatches, woodpeckers and blue jays. Milkweed is best known for hosting monarch butterfly caterpillars, but it also attracts loads of insects that are great for birds, too. Goldfinches and other birds often use the downy part of the seed to line their nests.

The color of plantings can also play a role in attracting birds in the summer, as different species of birds are attracted to different colors (knowing that those colors often represent great sources of food). Pink and orange most often attract hummingbirds. Orange is great for attracting orioles as well as hummingbirds. Yellow is good for goldfinches and warblers, and blue works well for bluebirds and jays. If you'd like to find plants that are native to your area, The Audubon Society has a free database at

Water features or birdbaths are another great way to attract birds to your yard in the summer. Not only can these provide sources of drinking water, but just like us, birds get hot in the summer and enjoy a dip in the

Although many birdbaths come on pedestals, it's best to keep birdbaths low to the ground as that is where birds usually look for water sources in nature. The basin should be fairly shallow and filled with two inches of water or less (most birds are not fans of the deep end!). Rocks or gravel can be added to make a basin more shallow and to help give birds better footing while bathing. The location of your birdbath plays an important role in attracting birds, too. You'll want to place the birdbath near some type of protective covering (tree, shrub) so birds have an easy place to land prior to taking a dip or after they leave the water. Placing the birdbath in the shade and out of direct sunlight will help keep it cooler and slow down evaporation. And of course, place it where you can see it from your window, deck or porch.

There's no point in taking a bath in dirty water, so be sure to scrub your birdbath with a stiff-bristled brush to get rid of algae and bird poop. If you're interested in creating your own unique birdbath, you can get some fun DIY ideas here:

The right kind of summer food in your yard is another step you can take to attract a variety of birds. Consider the types of birds you'd like to watch, and then tailor your offerings to those species.

Fruit in the form of apple chunks, banana slices, and orange slices will attract orioles, northern cardinals, gray catbirds, summer tanagers, and other colorful birds. Other sweets like nectar are great for attracting hummingbirds, but orioles, woodpeckers, and nuthatches enjoy it as well. Apple and grape jelly can be used to attract woodpeckers and American robins.

On the more savory end, seeds are always suitable for summer. Black oil sunflower seeds, hearts, or chips will attract a wide variety of birds. Nyjer will attract finches, while mixed seeds will draw in different songbirds. Mealworms will be particularly appreciated by the many species on insect-earing birds, especially when they are supplying hungry little ones back in the nest. Mealworms are great for attracting bluebirds, wrens, grosbeaks, and warblers.

Summer is great time to be outside and enjoy all the benefits of the warmer weather. So get out there and invite your feathered friends to join in the fun by making sure your yard is the best place on the block to feed and frolic all summer long.

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