July 23, 2010
Most people know what microchipping this day and age. It is not brand new technology and veterinarians recommend them frequently. Most dog shelters require microchipping. But I recently learned HomeAgain microchipping service has a serviceyou can opt in so you are notified of missing pets in your area. It seemed a brilliant idea when I discovered it. I am emailed a description of the pet, where it was last seen, and sometimes a picture. I am happy I learned of this service. It may feel like an inconvenience to look for someone’s pet but when I think about someone’s joy over a recovered pet; it is not the least bit inconvenient. I would want someone to do the same for me. PPZVFFGGAJCG
July 19, 2010
It is mid July and at the height of summer vacation season. The beach is a lovely place to go, especially with the recent heat wave in the east. There are some safety tips to keep in mind if you would like to bring your dog along with you.
- Drinking water-hydration is as important to dogs as it is to humans. Bring plenty of fresh water and disallow your pet from drinking salt water.
- Sunscreen- Yes! Dogs can burned by the sun. It is easy to overlook sunscreen for a dog because they have all that fur, but some dogs are more prone, such as dogs with light skin and short fur. Go to your local pet store and pick up some sunscreen.
- Identification-Make sure your dogs have proper tags with updated information in case they run off in all of the excitement.
- Immunization-Tour dog’s immunizations should be up to date as a protection to and from other dogs he or she may come into contact with at the beach.
- Life jacket- Dogs who are new to the water may not know what to expect. A life jacket is not always necessary but can be a lifesaver.
- Umbrella-A large beach umbrella will provide shade for you and your pet. It reduces the chance for sunburn and heat exhaustion.
- Emergency numbers-Keep your veterinarian’s emergency number handy just in case there is a problem. If you are traveling out of town, find a nearby veterinarian offering emergency services.
The beach is an excellent summer destination or you and your pet. Most hazards can be avoided with a little preparation and observation. Avoid the heat and UV rays and enjoy the waves!
June 29, 2010
It can be confusing which human foods are safe for dogs. It is worth it to research what is safe and make your dog something special. One of my favourite foods to serve my dogs are eggs. Eggs are completely safe but need to be well cooked because they carry salmonella. Salmonella isn’t as much of a threat to dogs as it is to humans but why risk it? Dogs don’t need the seasoning that we do. A plain scrambled egg will suffice or you can cook it any way you prefer. Dogs will be able to smell the fat and protein in the egg and that is all the seasoning they need.
June 28, 2010
Beaches make a wonderful day trip destination for you and your pet, but it does take some planning. Beaches have a lot of rules pertaining to dogs. Some beaches are fully accessible, off leash, all year and others are seasonal. You can search beaches to find their rules and you want to closely follow them. For example, Wrightsville Beach, NC only allows leashed dogs before April 1 and after September 30. Carolina Beach, NC allows leashed dogs November 1 to February 28. They also require you to have a container for dog waste, which you must produce if asked by authorities.It is important to be respectful of the beach by picking up dog waste and any litter related to you and your dog. Beaches should remain as pristine as possible.
If you take your dog to an off leash beach, be sure your dog follows your commands fully. There are many distractions, especially if the beach is a brand new environment. Many dogs like to chase after birds, crabs, and possibly other dogs. If you have any doubts in your dog’s obedience, keep him leashed.
For extended trips be sure to bring cool, clean, fresh drinking water and food if necessary. Collapsible travel bowls are a wonderful accessory. A towel may also come in handy if your dog enjoys getting in the water. Your dog may not enjoy the beach at all. It is trial and error. Either way you can have a good time seeing how he adjusts to the experience. Don’t forget your camera!
June 27, 2010
You may agree, it goes without saying, dogs should be kept on a leash at all times. Not everyone feels this way. It can be misleading. Some dogs never leave the yard, always stay by your side, and follow every command. You must keep in mind that a dog is still an animal with a mind of its own. They can be distracted by smells, sounds, and sights. So, why risk them getting away from you? A dog may be frightened by a noise, dash into the street, and get hit by a car. You have more control over a leashed dog.
It is easy to take for granted a person’s fear of dogs. We love them so much, doesn’t everybody? Simply, no. Some people run away from the cutest fluffiest puppies. For those people, it is comforting to see a dog on a leash. I don’t want to inflict terror on anyone. Set and example and show that even though your dog is well behaved, it is ok to have him or her on a leash.
For a full selection of collars and leashes check www.paws-jaws.com
Most counties have legislation requiring pet owners to pick up dog feces while on other property. This should be common courtesy and is apart of being a responsible pet owner. Carrying around bags can be annoying, but after a while it becomes habitual. No homeowner wants to go into their yard and find a special surprise left by another dog. It is more of a nuisance in public areas where people gather. People should not have to watch their step wile having a picnic. Often, if you time your walks right, your dog wont have to potty while on a walk. Even if certain areas are designated as dog potties, common courtesy dictates you still pick it up. More and more places are installing trashcans specifically for this. They are springing up at dog parks and walking trails everywhere. Be respectful and responsible.
April 13, 2010
Every dog needs a place to nap during the day and a place to sleep at night. A dog crate is a great place for that. Your dog can have his own sanctuary. Here are a few pointers for finding the proper sanctuary.
1. Size- the crate should be large enough for the dog to stand up, completely turn around, and stretch out. It should not be too large during the puppy stages when potty training. If it is too large, the dog will be able to find a section he can comfortably use the bathroom. Some crates have adjustable panels inside to make the crate smaller and then larger as the puppy grows into a full sized dog.
2. Wire vs Plastic- Wire crates allow more ventilation for hairy dogs who may get hot easy. The drawback is that it is easier for the dog to see out of and be distracted. Plastic crates can retain more heat and make it more cozy for dogs with a tendency to get cold.
3. Accessories- all crates need a good crate pad or blanket. Some pads come with removable covers that can be washed in case of accidents but any blanket should suffice. You can also buy a fashionable cover to help him sleep at night. It can reduce whining and barking. For wire crates you can also buy water dispensers where the dog can have a drink if needed but this may be best only during nap times so the dog wont have to go out in the middle of the night.
You may decide to buy several crates as your dog grows as well as crates you use strictly for travel. There are many options available at your local pet store.
February 15, 2010
Dew claws are the claws that are higher up on a dog’s feet than the other claws. They are similar to a a human’s thumb. Most dogs have the dew claw only on the front paws but some breeds, such as the Saint Bernard, have dew claws on their rear paws. They serve little function and must be clipped like a dog’s other claws. It is important to keep them short because they can get caught on objects. Some choose to have their pet’s dew claws removed.
The best time to have dew claws removed is a week or so after a puppy is born. At this stage, the dew claw is not firmly attached. As the dog ages, the dew claw becomes more of a toe than just a claw and it is harder to remove. Some chose to have the dew claw removed at the same time as spay/neuter surgery. This time is optimal because the dog will only be exposed to the anesthesia once and they can “get it over with.” There is always a certain risk in anesthesia. There will also be only one office charge for combining the two procedures.
Dew claw removal is not a necessary procedure. Some dogs are more prone to catching an pulling the claw than others. You can make the choice to have the procedure at any time during the dog’s life but you want to do it sooner rather than later. If you keep your dog’s dew claw, always keep it short and maintain the length. It can be harder to push back the quick on the dew claw than it is on the other claws.
October 18, 2009
Veterinarian bills can be quite expensive, especially for emergency situations. Some vets offer lines of credit or payment plans but those vets are dwindling in this economy. One alternative to credit is insurance.
The ASPCA offers pet insurance with four levels of courage. They have a low, annual deductible of one hundred dollars. You only have to pay one hundred dollars once per year. Depending on the level, you will get more coverage. Some of their levels includes coverage for routine care such as dental cleanings and immunizations.
You do not have to switch vets to use their insurance. You can go to any license veterinarian including out of state vets. It is easy to get a quote online or over the phone and their website is filled with information about their insurance and their levels of courage.
Visit their website: http://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/?utm_id=2100
October 15, 2009
Bloat is a twisting of the stomach caused by a build up of gas inside the stomach cavity and is common in dogs with deep chests such as Great Danes and Weimaraners. It is an extremely serious condition and a dog suspected of having bloat should go immediately to a veterinarian. A dog with bloat can die within minutes, but generally will only live around two hours if he does not receive immediate treatment.
The signs of bloat are visible discomfort when it appears to be nothing wrong and a difficulty laying or sitting down. A descended belly may also be noticeable and the dog will hypersalivate. Another obvious symptom is a dog that appears nauseous. The dog may vomit frequently with little coming up.
Preventative measures for dogs susceptible to bloat are to feel small bite kibble, use raised food bowls (some say this causes bloat), and to disallow exercise for several hours after eating. Dogs should not have their water restricted before or after meals and should eat two or more meals per day. A fast first aid treatment for bloat is to give Pepsid but this should not replace immediately taking the dog to the veterinarian.
A veterinarian will be able to determine bloat with a physical exam as well as an X-Ray. Some treatments use only intravenous fluids but surgery is often suggested. Bloat has a high recurrence rate in non-surgical treatments, almost 80%. During surgery, the dogs stomach may be permanently attached to the wall of the stomach cavity to prevent it from twisting in the future. Surgery will also reveal any damage caused by bloat such as necrosis of the stomach tissue.
Breeds most susceptible to bloat are Great Danes, Weimaraners. St. Bernards, Gordon Setters, and Irish Setters.