Dr. Marty Becker's Big Bus Tour hits the road

Dr. Marty Becker's Big Bus Tour hits the road

Catch up with our correspondent as she tags along with Dr. Becker on the first leg of his nationwide tour.
Apr 25, 2011

Dr. Marty Becker’s Big Bus Tour kicked off a little early yesterday in Houston, Texas. Although the 30-city, 45-day "Healthy Pets Visit Vets" tour didn't officially begin until today, yesterday he headed over to KTRH NewsRadio in Houston for a live segment on the weekly Sunday evening show "Your Pet's Health" hosted by Brian Beale, DVM, DACVS, a surgeon at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston.

Dr. Becker (pictured above) gave listeners a peek at the hundreds of tips featured in his book Your Dog: The Owner's Manual—including the fact that we can prevent common poisonings in dogs by being more aware and preventing accessibility (i.e. keeping human prescriptions, the most common poisoning in dogs, off kitchen or bathroom counters; restricting access to our purses, which often feature sugar-free gum that contains xylitol, the second most common poisoning).

Dr. Becker even helped Dr. Beale (pictured below) with his most pressing pet problem—dog hair all over the house. Dr. Becker's advice for these "hairy hand grenades" is to bathe and brush them weekly with an appropriate tool, or even prevent heavy shedding problems in the first place by getting a small, long-haired dog. Why? Smaller dogs have less hair to shed; long-haired dogs shed less often, and you can trim their hair to further alleviate the shedding situation.

The tip to bathe dogs once a week surprised me. I had always been told that this frequent of bathing would cut down on the natural, necessary oils on a dog's skin. But Dr. Becker countered exactly this old advice, saying that dermatologists he's talked to now recommend weekly bathing to eliminate environmental allergens on your dog, which have been attributed to causing, among other things, 80% of ear problems in dogs as well as anal gland problems. One of my dogs has frequent bouts of both, so he may start getting weekly scrubbing sessions when I get home. He'll love me for it.

Speaking of bathing, did you know that to stop a dog from shaking right after a bath in an inopportune place, you just have to hold the dog's nose and, voila, instant shake cessation. Then just move the dog to a more appropriate area and allow it to shake away. Dr. Becker says this simple secret has astonished and delighted even seasoned veterinarians and veterinary staff he has met.

On tap today: a VIP breakfast and presentation, a community event at Petco, a TV appearance on KTKR in Houston, and then a long drive to New Orleans where we may get a chance to eat at one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants by special invite of Dr. Becker's good friend, none other than Emeril himself.

Details on these events and more from the road to come. Click here to read all about the 30-city, 45-day tour.