Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Early Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs

Arthritis in dogs will affect many joints.  It attacks and erodes the joints over a period of time.  Early symptoms are often missed and might include...

* Limping
* Loss of appetite
* Hesitant to move in ways they previously had (ie. going upstairs)
* Lameness that comes and goes
* Unusual/abnormal posture
* Stiffness noticed after rising from sleep or after exercise.
* Increased rest/sleep
* Changes in how the joint physically appears
* Unusual irritability
* Dog indicates pain when joints are moved or touched
* Thinning legs
* Uninterested in play/exercise
* Biting and licking of painful joints
* General lethargy

Our old guy

Vacation! Limited Posting ahead!

We're headed off on our "oh so fun" beachy vacation.  Leaving my Grandma at home in charge of the house and the cats!  I will pop on to share photos and updates here and there, but posting/commenting will be limited until we get back.  Thanks for stopping by :)

All set!

I'm ready too!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grooming For Good Dog Health

Every dog needs to be kept clean and well groomed, regardless of breed, for their good health and comfort.  Whether you tackle the job yourself or hire a professional, there are certain aspects that should not be overlooked. 

*Haircut- Longer haired dogs often require clippings to maintain a healthy coat, free of matts and dead hair.
*Brushings should be done weekly and can easily be done at home.  Brushings improve circuation and keeps your dog's coat healthy and flake free.
*Brushing teeth is important to remove harmful bacteria from the mouth that can potentially spread to other parts of the body.
*Bathing from time to time.  My suggestion is about every 4 weeks in warmer months and perhaps every 8 weeks in colder months.
*Nail trimmings are important to prevent pain and injury from occurring on the paws from lengthy nails. 
*Ear cleanings about once a month will help prevent harmful infections which can lead to hearing loss.

A typical amount of clippings for a month from Murray

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hot Dog Days

Murray is sad at the end of a hot summer day when he isn't able to get a walk or play very much.  Most days in the summer it's just too hot for him.  He also doesn't like to swim...or I should say he can't swim.  What types of exercise does everyone else do with their pups in the heat?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mutt Day Is Coming!

Next Thursday, July 31, is Mutt Day!  Murray qualifies...half poodle and half golden retriever!...but hey, lets celebrate all our pups, mutts or not!


Things to look for when considering a breeder:

* They should want and encourage you to visit and meet your puppy's parents.
* Puppies and dogs should be living at/in the house with the breeding family.
* The breeder should decide with you which puppy would be best for you. 
* The breeder's house or kennel should be clean, dogs should be clean, active, properly fed and friendly.
* Puppies should show comfort being handled.
* The breeder should be an open book and willing to answer any and all questions regarding their dogs and the breed.
* The breeder should willingly share health tests done (OFA and CERF).
* There should not be over breeding.  Females should not be bred more than once a year.
* You should be interviewing each other.  References should be available from both the breeder and the buyer.
* It's also fairly common, and a good sign, if your breeder asks you to sign an agreement that you will return the dog to them if you should discover you can't keep it.  This shows they want to re-home their own dogs instead of having them end up in shelters.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thanks Dad!

Murray and Piper would like to thank their dad for a few things he does for them...

Thank you...

*For feeding us breakfast everyday
*For scooping our poo from the yard...or as he calls it, "flushing their toilet"
*For letting out first thing every morning
*For brushings
*For clippings
*For cleaning up after our clippings
*For walks
*For helping lift us in the car if need be
*For massages...especially butt massages
*For sharing your bed
*For loving us...maybe not as much as Mom, but close!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Dog Pink Eye

Pink eye in dogs is quite common.  Things like allergies, injury, eye irritants and infections can all cause dog pink eye, and just like in humans, it can be contagious.  It has also been found that lyme disease can cause pink eye symptoms.  Typically if only one eye is affected, it's likely a foreign object, while pink eye generally affects both eyes.  Sometimes antibiotic ointment applied to the eye is necessary or possible even a flushing of the eye to remove any foreign object.  Signs your dog might have pink eye would be an increased discharge from the eye(s) (possibly yellow or greenish in color), redness and swelling making it sometimes difficult to open the eyes, possible sensitivity to light and possibly even a slight change in your dog's behavior such as sleeping in a darkened room more often.  Unlike in humans, your dog's eyes may or may not be itchy.  Certainly if they are itchy, you will notice your dog attempting to rub his eyes on furniture, carpet etc.  Most pink eye in dogs should clear up with home treatment in a week or two.  If you're sure there is no foreign object in the eye which would require a veterniarin, home treatment would include gently wiping the eye area with a warm washcloth to clear away itchy discharge a few times a day (using a seperate cloth for each eye as not to spread infection) and instilling artificial tear drops.  If your vet feels it's a more significant infection, antiobiotic drops or ointment might be prescribed.  Serious infections left untreated can lead to loss of vision.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy National Pet Fire Safety Day!

It's smart to have a "fire plan" in place with everyone in your household.  This will reduce the risk of a pet being harmed or dying during a house fire.   In the case that a pet is left inside during a fire, once everyone is out, only firemen should go back inside for them.  They are equipped and know best how to try to find and save your pet.  Also, more and more town fire departments are now equpping themselves with pet oxygen masks to help struggling animals when retreived from inside.  Yay!

A few tips to prevent "dog ignited" fires...

*ALWAYS make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home

* Keep burning candles out of your dog's reach

* Stove knob covers are a good idea if you have a dog who tends to jump on counters

* Keep electrical cords out of a chewing dog's reach


Happy National Pet Fire Safety Day!  Have a plan!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Murray's Messages

Every dog has their own little unique personality and traits that make them so very special.  Murray's little quirks and how he communicates with me is no different.  He amazes me in just how much he can tell me sometimes.

*He tells me he wants to get on the bed by standing next to our bed and resting his head on the edge.
*He tells me he wants to go outside by ringing a bell on the doorknob.  In the summer the door is open so he can't reach the bell.  Instead he plants himself in the kitchen doorway and stares at us until me make eye contact.
*When I'm leaving the house and he really wants to go with me, he stands and stares at his leashes on the hooks in our entryway.
*At night, if I'm staying up too late for him, he comes up and licks and snoots my arm until we go to bed.
*If I'm eating something he would like a taste of, he snoots the bag, box, plate etc. (that one isn't always so great, but still pretty funny)
*When he wants one of his own treats he sits by the treats and stares back and forth from the treats to me.

Just love him!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Switching To Seresto

We recently took Murray off of Advantix and  switched him to the Seresto collar.  We always had great success with Advantix.  It kept fleas and ticks away 100% in our house.  I have decided, however, that Murray is most likely allergic to Advantix.  He regularly has breakouts and skin rashes all along his back where the Advantix is applied.  So, we made the switch last month and I'm happy to report, so far so good!  I have not noticed any side effects at this point, and he appears to be flea and tick free, even after a week of camping and playing in the woods!  As long as things continue in this positive manner, I plan to switch Piper over to Seresto as well. Right now he's finishing up our tubes of Advantix.

Two paws up for Seresto!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Quick Guidelines For Dog Bee Stings

Your dog's bodily reaction to a bee sting isn't all that different from the human bodily reactions.  Stings can range from a minor discomfort to a severe and life threatening allergic reaction.  It's important to know what to look for.  Common and less severe reactions include swelling and soreness at the sting site, often located on the face or the paws.  It's important to remove the stinger and then monitor for excessive or spreading swelling.  Most dogs can safely take Benedryl, but it's important to discuss the appropriate dosage for your dog with your vet.  Cold compresses can also help eleviate swelling and discomfort.  If there is excessive swelling, or your dog becomes sick or has trouble breathing, you must get him to the vet immediately. Also, if your dog is stung multiple times, it's time to see your vet.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Local Dog Friendly Places (Upstate NY)

Herkimer Diamond Mines - Dogs must be leashed and under control.  They are allowed in the mine area and the picnic area.

Water Safari Enchanted Forest - Dogs must be leashed and under control.  They are allowed throughout the park with the exception of water slide areas and inside buildings.

St. Regis Canoe Oufitters - Dogs must be leashed and under control.  Dogs are allowed on rentals with owners for no additional fee.  They also are allowed on the shuttle.

Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway - Dogs are not allowed in buildings but are welcome on the rest of the mountain.

Frank's Pizzeria - Located in Lake George, NY...dogs are allowed at the outside eating area.

Saratoga Arts Center - Dogs must be leashed and under control.

Saratoga Horse and Carriage - Dogs must be leashed and under control.  Dogs are allowed on the carriages with owners for no additional fee.  Dogs must be horse friendly.

Saratoga Apple - Located in Schuylerville, NY.   Dogs must be leashed and under control.  Dogs are allowed with the exception of in the buildings.

Pampered Pooch and Pals - Dog store, grooming and day care.  Dogs welcome!

Congress Park - Dogs must be leashed.  They are welcome to explore this beautiful city park with their owners.

Lunch in the park!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Keeping Your Dog Safe Around Water

Not all dogs can or will swim.  Sometimes it's due to their body structure (bulldog) and sometimes they just don't understand how to naturally.  My Murray, being half poodle and half golden retriever, is expected to take to swimming naturally, be he doesn't.  He's not afraid of water, but he doesn't know how to swim as dogs generally do.  Therefore we practice with him, and practice water safety.

We have dog life jackets for both of our dogs and regularly use them around open water.  It allows us to practice swimming safely with Murray and it gives our senior Piper some added buoyancy so when he starts to get tired out swimming, he's still safe. 

Dogs that swim in pools, or might fall or jump into a pool, will often panic in attempting to get out and must be well trained where the exit steps are.  If they do not know how to get out, they are likely to try to get to the pool edge, but quickly find that's not going to work.  This can quickly lead to exhaustion and a very serious situation.  Solar pool covers can also pose a danger if a dog were to run our on top of it and get stuck.  It's also important to keep your dog from drinking chlorinated and treated pool water.

Dogs don't know how far away they are swimming when in a body of water like a lake, and also are not aware of any current helping to carry them away.  If they are off trying to retrieve something or swim toward something, they can often get farther away from their safe starting place (shore, dock or boat) than expected.  There are a few concerns here...exhaustion comes into play and safely getting your pup back to you, as well as making sure your dog does not get into the path of a boat or jet-ski, get hung up on a rock or limb underwater or run into any fishing line.  All of these would pose quite a danger to a swimming dog.  Keep a close eye on them.  A good sign to indicate a dog tiring while swimming is their tail dragging low behind them in the water instead of straight out helping to direct them like a rudder.  Also again, don't allow your pup to drink lake, pond or ocean water.

It's important to have your pet well trained if he's going to be around open water of any kind, and it's equally important for you to be prepared for any accidents that could occur with your dog first aid kit and knowledge of dog CPR.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Murray's Top 10 Favorite Things

1. Red Barn stuffed bones
2. Walks
3. Rides in the car
4. Ice cream
5. Mom
6. Treats from the treat jar
7. Stuffed toys
8. Chicken
9. Wandering around the yard with Mom while she waters plants
10. Bed


Murray and Mom

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