There are lots of magazines and newsletters available to inform dog owners about the latest in behavioral and medical canine research as well as evaluations of various dog foods and products. A recent issue of “Your Dog,” published by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, had an interesting article about ways to make your dog happier. Who doesn’t want a happier dog?

One suggestion related to a dog’s sense of smell. Going out for a walk to exercise your dog is always important, but letting them stop and sniff during the walk is equally important for their happiness and well-being. Dogs have a very powerful sense of smell that is their primary source of information about their world. There are so many intriguing scents along your walk, and letting your dog investigate those smells can be intellectually stimulating as well as fun for your dog.

Another suggestion focused on colors. Did you know that dogs don’t see all the colors that we see and are, in fact, almost color-blind? And the colors that they do see are much less vivid? A red ball on green grass doesn’t stand out much and looks pretty boring to a dog. But, if you want your dog to be more excited visually and happier, choose toys in blue or yellow. These are colors on the spectrum that dogs are able to perceive similarly to what we see.

Of course, it might be hard for your dog to be happy if they are not healthy. If your dog needs to see a veterinarian for important care that should not or cannot wait, including vaccines, shots and heartworm and tick medications, but you cannot currently afford to pay for the visit and medications, we will help with the cost through our medical assistance for veterinary care program. Our veterinarian partners are Deer Run Veterinary Services, South Cape Veterinary Clinic and Falmouth Animal Hospital. We can work with other veterinarians who are willing to bill Friends of Falmouth Dogs or accept our credit card payment over the phone for their services.

The second program we are offering is Food for Your Dog. If paying for your dog’s food has become a real challenge, we will provide a voucher for up to $60 worth of dry or canned dog food. These vouchers will be redeemable at Uptown Dog on Route 28A in West Falmouth or at Falmouth Pet Center on Route 28 near Stop & Shop.

To participate in either or both programs, please call our office at 508-548-7742, Monday through Friday, and leave a message specifying what you need. Please be sure to state your name and phone number slowly and clearly. Volunteers will be checking messages around noon and 4 PM each weekday and will return calls to collect needed information and process your request.

Keep an eye on our website, our Facebook page and future columns to learn about any new dogs that are entrusted to our care.

When we reopen, you can visit Friends of Falmouth Dogs Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon and Wednesday through Friday and Sunday from 4 to 6 PM.

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