Monday, April 28, 2014

Reiki For Dogs

Looks like a dog who has had some Reiki to me!
New trends in dogs pop up faster than most can even keep up with.  I'm not sure this should be put in the "new" category, as it's been around a long while, but I am willing to bet that there aren't a large amount of dog parents out there who have tried Reiki on their pups.  Reiki is a natural healing method used to clear energy in your dog that could be contributing to bad behaviors, emotional or physical conditions.  It's often used on overly fearful dogs, formerly abused dogs, arthritic dogs, dog recovering from surgery and overly medicated dogs.  Reiki is belived to greatly reduce stress and restore balance in your dog through a trained person's (Reiki Master) light touch in key locations on the dog's body. People claim to see results in one to four sessions.  If nothing else it certainly looks interesting and relaxing!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Purebred Dogs- Genetics And Health

This past Tuesday, HBO aired a piece on "Real Sports" called "Unnatural Selection" which sent the purebred dog community into an uproar.  The segment shined a light on the often overlooked poor health and breeding being done, and the purebred people had a response (see below).

Notice when it comes to the part about why the AKC does not require health screenings from breeders or in dog shows (5:09), the man in the video says if breeders simply "follow the breed standard" you automatically have a healthy dog.

My take:

*The American Kennel Club has a program called "Breeder of Merit" which is SUPPOSED to reassure you that a particular breeder is ethical and doing all they can to produce dogs that are healthy through screenings for their particular breeds being produced..  Unfortunately, participation in this program is completely by choice and in no way mandated by the AKC.  Also, once a breeder is named in the program, they appear to possibly neglect to ensure these screenings are in fact taking place.  Their application says "be prepared to supply proof upon request".  Seems there should be stricter regulations in place to become AKC registered. 

*Breed standards have in fact changed over the years.  The people in this video claim breed standards have been in place for hundreds of years, but they only talk about the bulldog.  What about the German Shepard, for example?  German Shepards, who once had straight backs now regularly have roach , or curved, backs.  These changes have caused problems with balance, back legs, and hip dysplasia.  Standards have changed in many other breeds as well.  The Pekingese is another that has been "adjusted".  They once had larger skulls, longer legs, and longer noses.  There were some crosses between Shih Tzus and Pekingnese to "correct" these features and what has resulted are many shorter nosed dogs with severe breathing issues.  Unfortunately many breeders deny or downplay the health issues that have cropped up from this selective breeding.   The good news is that there are many good intentioned people are out there working on health committees within breed clubs trying to better the health of their dogs.  They're encouraging genetic testing, no inbreeding and eliminating extreme breed characteristics, but that's all they are...words of encouragement, not yet enforced.

*Required health tests that screen and judge the vigor of breeds in dog shows should be put in place.  Currently dogs are judged on appearance, movement, temperament, height, weight, coat, color, eyes, ears, feet and tail.  Health and fitness standards are not part of the criteria for judges.  So, we might have some really good looking dogs with serious underlying health concerns.  Then those award winning dogs go on to fill the demand of passing down their beautiful, possibly unhealthy genetics.  This was the case with the Golden Retriever and now the sheer amount of cancer within that breed.

*It's important to actually SEE your puppy and it's parents before purchasing from a breeder.  Pet stores are never the place to find your new pup.  Make sure your breeder is doing the proper health screenings for their breeds.  There are MANY ethical, good breeders out there doing exactly the right thing for the health and betterment of their breeds.  If a breeder is not your game, then of course a great option is RESCUE!

*Obviously I own a Goldendoodle, or as many would say, a mutt!  I do understand many look down upon that kind of hybrid breeding.  Yes, while this dog came about from mating two different breeds, what many people don't realize is that many purebreed standards came about with "mix ins" from other breeds.  My breeder did do health testing and I felt she was conscious about the health of her pups.

*I am not in any way judging how people get their dogs.  I'm just in favor of better health and longer lives for our beloved pups.   

My "purebred dog" and my "mutt"


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Recipe

In our house we LOVE peanut butter!  Whipping up some homemade peanut butter treats from time to time is a must.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20/25 minutes
Oven temp: 350 degrees

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup water

Mix ingredients together to form a soft dough.  Roll out dough to about a 1/2 inch thickness and form treat shapes with a cookie cutter or by hand. Bake in 350 degree oven between 20 and 25 minutes.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes and then store in an airtight container.  They should stay good for about a week.

Just toss some of those in my lunchbox please!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Great Book- A Letter To My Dog

This one will bring the tears!  It's a book full of very touching letters written from humans to their beloved dogs.  This is a great gift for any dog lover in your life.  It's beautifully put together with stunning photos of the dogs being written to.  I just love it!  It's one of the best dog books I have read. It will touch your dog loving heart!  In this book you will find other passionate dog parents who are just as much in love with their fur kids as you are, and absolutely see them as family.  It has inspired me to write letters to both of my pups.  It gets my highest of recommendations! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tips To Fight Dog Boredom

I love Victoria Stilwell's positive philosophy when it comes to training and working with dogs.  Here she is sharing ideas on how to keep your dog from being bored, and therefore anxious, destructive, loud, reactive and sometimes uncontrollable. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Avoid Dog Poisons

Food- Many foods that seem perfectly harmless, can be very dangerous to your dog.  Keep your dog away from the following foods:
*Garlic (safe in small amounts)
*Broccoli (safe in small amounts)
*Xylitol (found in sugarless gum, some candies and some cookies)
*Alcoholic drinks
*Chocolate (see HERE for what to do if your dog eats chocolate)
*Macadamia nuts
*Cherry, peach, apricot and apple pits
*Fat trimmed from steaks (trouble for a dog's pancreas)
*Cooked bones (not poisonous but they can splinter when cooked)

Antifreeze- Car antifreeze is lethal for dogs.  Don't expect that your dog will turn it's nose up to if it ever gets close.  Vehicle antifreeze smells and tastes sweet to dogs and they are very likely to lick it up.  Even a small taste can be fatal.  It is crucial to bring your dog to the vet immediately if you believe he has ingested antifreeze.  

Cleaning Products- keep the following out of reach from your pup
*Dish soap
*Laundry detergent
*Dryer sheets
*Stain sticks

Human Medication- Keep your own medications out of possible reach from your dog.  It is also never safe to give your dog any human medication without direct instruction from your vet.

House Plants- House plants should be kept at levels your dog cannot reach.  Dangling leaves are very tempting to wandering pups.

Pesticides, Lighter Fluid, Gasoline and Charcoal-  These are best either kept locked up or outside in sealed container in a garage where there is no chance of your dog finding them.  The same goes for items such as batteries, cocoa mulch (even better, don't use this kind of mulch!), and mothballs.

Garbage- It's important that your trash receptacles have lids and are not easy for your dog to lift.  Sneaky pups are pretty clever at sniffing out something of interest and finding their way in.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Safe!

My name is Murray and I steal trash.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A GREAT Book- Pukka's Promise

Author Ted Kerasote has written such a heartwarming story in his new book, Pukka's Promise.  He has done an astonishing amount of research around dog health and presents it in this book alongside his fun stories living life with his dog, Pukka.  I have found myself laughing, tearing up and overall just totally wrapped up in each chapter.  Some chapters left me shocked, and others left me feeling very sad and even a bit ashamed of not knowing better.  I consider myself a responsible and caring dog parent, how could I not know more about all that Kerasote presents?

Kerasote's first dog, Merle, sparked his interest in the topics he writes about.  Merle passed away at age 14, and Kerasote felt dogs were capable of longer lifespans than 14, even though we've started to think of 14 as a "good old age".  Two years later came Pukka.  Kerasote's careful research presented in this book starts in his two year search for Pukka, and takes you through all of the health related topics imaginable.  He is on a mission for Pukka to have the healthiest, longest life possible... as so many dog parents are, but have not done the scope of research Kerasote has.  It has been very eye opening for me.   He focuses on 6 factors when it comes to dog health and longevity- inbreeding, over-vaccination, pollutants, food, American shelters and spaying and neutering.  He goes through each of these topics in depth as he considers how he will raise Pukka.  Kerasote spent five hardworking years looking into each of these, and they are likely controversial to some, but it's hard to argue his research.  It seems he slowly reveals just why our precious pups die so young.  Dogs dying between ages 8 and 12 is just unacceptable and unnecessary.  We need to be striving for ages 15 to 20!  He proves himself to be, first and foremost, an honest to goodness dog advocate.  It seems Merle set him on this path and Pukka is furthering his mission.  This truly is a must read for all dog owners, anyone thinking about getting a dog or anyone who lives their lives in any kind of contact with dogs.  He is a true inspiration for dog owners and dog lover everywhere.

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Posts

5. Vaccines Vaccines Vaccines- OMG!!! This post was the beginning of my educating myself on over-vaccination. 

4. Caring For Your Dog's Liver I learned a lot after Piper gave us a scare with a very sick liver last fall.

3. Lovely Luna and CANDi I became so wrapped up in the story of this little dog who came to live not too far from me.  What a story she has!

2. Educate Yourself On Dog Biting Such an important topic more people need to learn about.


1. Ollie Doodle Almost impossible to pick number one, but my friend Ollie just kept coming to mind along with the updates that followed.  We miss you Ollie!

There ya have it, Folks!

She Deserves Better