Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Murray Tip: Great Photos!

Murray is camera shy.  I swear that when he so much as sees the camera, his head drops down and he downright refuses to even look at me, so I've had to develop some tricks.  Murray knows quite a few words...both good and bad most dogs do.  When I want his attention for a cute photo opp, I say something exciting to "wanna treat?"  That generally gets his attention with the cutest of expressions.  Just be ready with your finger on the camera button right as you say the magic words...the looks don't last long...and of course be sure to say words you're willing to deliver on.  If I offer a treat, a treat it will be!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Common Dog Health Problems

All dogs, at some point, have some medical troubles.  It's important to be on the lookout for any illnesses your dog might be displaying.  Here are few more common ones:

*Vomiting and/or Diarrhea- Generally it's not a major concern if it's due to something your dog might have gotten into and eaten.  Withholding food for 24 hours (but giving water), allowing your pup's system to rest, and is usually all that is needed for recovery.  If vomiting is caused by something more, or you aren't sure of the cause, contact your vet.

*Allergies- Allergies in your dog can come from a number of things...medicines, food, dust, fleas, grass, molds and pollen are some of the possibilities.  Generally allergic reactions in dogs will show up through their skin so watch for redness, rashes and itching.

*Heartworm- This is when a dog is exposed to larvae through a mosquito bite and these parasites take hold in their heart and arteries.  Heartworm disease can be deadly, as treatment is not always successful, but it is preventable through medication.  Symptoms include lethargy, coughing, depression and sometimes the dog collapses.

*Dental Problems- This is very common and can become serious.  The infections can spread and have been linked to kidney disease and heart disease.  Brushing your dog's teeth help keep these problems away.

*Overweight- Being too overweight as a dog isn't all that different than it is for humans.  Dogs face increased risk of diabetes, pain and liver disease.  You should be able to see your dog's waist and from the side you should see a gradual slope upward from his chest to his hips.  If you dog is overweight, it's important to speak with your vet and appropriate diet and exercise for your particular pup.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Freshened Up!

It's National Dog Day so why not give the blog a new look?!  It was time!  Hope everyone is enjoying their special day!  

Murray and his favorite obsession...licking!  :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dog Depression

Dogs seem like they're always full of boundless joy, but the truth is that their mental well being can be of concern at times, just as their humans can sometimes be as well.  Depression being most recently in the spotlight, it feels like a good time to also address dog depression.

Dogs can feel depression for a variety of reasons, but one of the more common causes is the loss of a close dog friend or the loss of their human.  Other reasons might be changes to their routine, their humans going away from them on vacation, or illness.

Surprisingly, dog depression symptoms are very similar to human depression symptoms.  Some common symptoms to look for are: moping around, lethargy, withdrawal from other dogs and humans, eating too much or too little, little to no interest in things that once excited him (walks or play), and sleeping more or less than normal.

There is no quick fix with dog depression.  If you are not aware of the cause of the depression, it's important to see your vet to look for an illness or chemical reasons.  If you know the reason, there are some things that can be done to help your pup through.  Lots of positive reinforcement is important during this time.  Providing time for encouraged play, especially with other dogs if the loss of another pup caused the depression, is a great idea.  If your vet feels it's chemically driven depression, meds are available, but natural solutions are encouraged first. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Daily Staples

We have become BIG fans of NutriSource PureVita (grain free) food in our house. So, twice a day (and a few nuggets before bed too) the boys get their helping of the yummy goodness...but...we have a few other important food items throughout our days too!

*I feed a scoop of plain, fat free yogurt a couple times a week to pump in a bit of healthy bacteria.
*PureVita treats for all kinds of, when we leave the house, before bed etc.
*Merrick canned food which I mix about 1/4 of a can into each boy's evening meal.
*Coconut oil which I also dollop into their evening meal each night for many beneficial support, digestion support, immune system support, weight management support and bone support.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Your Dog Can Save Your Life

*Dogs support you unconditionally in times of need.
*Dogs bring joy with their funny antics.
*Dogs give love even if you feel no one else does.
*Dogs can alert you to danger.  You need only to pay close attention.
*Dogs, being fiercely loyal, will protect their family against any threat.
*Dogs keep us warm.
*Dogs can detect illness.
*Dogs make us better people.

At The End Of My Day

Missing The Beach Today

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stray Dog! Now What?

We've all encountered a stray pup at one time or another.  Hopefully all went well and the dog didn't pose a danger, but that's not always the case.  There some important things to remember and do when you come across a stray for everyone to be safe.

Stay Safe
Strays are often seen running on busy roads or in other dangerous places.  It's important not to put others and yourself at risk to reach the stray by running into a busy traffic area or suddenly stopping your car in the middle of the street.  Stay at a distance and calculate when it's safe to approach the pup where you won't cause an accident or possibly be injured yourself.

Call Animal Control
If you do not feel safe approaching a stray or it's a particularly dangerous situation, call your local animal control officer.

Stand Still
If you come across a stray, it's always a bad idea to run the other way.  When you're trying to asses whether a stray is friendly or not, it's important to stay still.  Nervous or scared dogs are more likely to react to a person running around and making a lot of noise.  Standing quietly still allows a dog to more calmly check you out.  Don't approach an obviously angry dog (growling, ears back).

Check for ID
If you are able to approach and capture the dog, next you'll want to look for any kind of ID tags.  If none are present, start by asking close by neighbors, as most strays found to live nearby.  If you have no success, next would be to either take the dog to your local shelter, or hold the pup and post notices about the found dogIf you decide to shelter the dog yourself while looking for the proper owners, it's a good idea to notify your local animal control officer so he/she can contact you should the proper owners come forth.

A stray I found recently

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dog Dehydration Symptoms

Obviously not allowing your dog to get dehydrated is the best policy, but it's important to know the symptoms just the same.

* Loss of skin elasticity- if you pull up skin on your dog's back, it SHOULD spring right back.  If it stays raised...that's a sign of loss of elasticity and dehydration.
* Dr or sunken in looking eyes
* Vomiting
* Mouth and gums are dry and tacky.  Hydrated dogs have a lot of moisture in their mouths.  If you press your finger on your dog's gums and it doesn't go from white right back to pink, that's a bad sign.
* Dry nose
* Diarrhea
* Excessive panting
* Lack of appetite

It's important to contact your vet and rehydrate your dog slowly.  You don't want to give endless amounts of water to be gulped down.  This can absolutely make your dog sick.  Giving small amounts of water, in short intervals, or allowing your pup to lick a few ice cubes until their hydration returns is best.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

*See your vet for a check up and to gather any necessary records.  We always travel with recent vaccine records.

*Do proper research into dog friendly accommodations.  Whether it's a hotel, rental or campground...not all of them are pet friendly.   Some really go above and beyond to accommodate your and your dog, while others merely tolerate them.  Read reviews.

* My personal opinion is that unless your dog is small enough to be allowed inside the cabin of an airplane, leave your pup safely behind under good care while flying to your destination.  Cargo is not pleasant for any dog. 

*Make sure your dog is micro chipped AND ID tagged on his collar.

*Pack your dog necessities.  HERE is my list.

*While traveling, stop for drink and pee breaks every few hours.

*Become aware of local veterinarians where you will be traveling to.

*Research which outdoor dining eateries are dog friendly.  Not many are, so don't assume.

*Many beaches are NOT dog friendly during peak months.  Again, do your proper research and learn where and when you are allowed to bring your dog for a swim.

*Vacationing can mean lots of activity for your dog that he may not be used to.  Allow time for your dog to relax each day and be calm for his meals.

*Consider a "cool collar" if you plan to have your dog outside during your vacation in warmer months.  Our cool collars make a big difference when out sightseeing with our boys.

Vacationing at the beach!

She Deserves Better