Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is almost here.  Are you thinking of all the family you will have over and the food you will eat?  Yes, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for family to get together and share a meal, but what about your dog?  Dogs don’t understand holidays, and it can be very stressing.  Also, your pet’s health is at risk during this fun holiday.

For some dogs, especially senior dogs, having many people over can be very upsetting and confusing.  If your dog shows signs of becoming stressed, leave him alone in a nice quiet room or in his cage so he can rest.  Give him a toy to keep him company.

bad bone

Never feed your dog any bones! They are very dangerous!

Caution!  You will be greatly tempted to feed your dog one of those juicy turkey bones this Thanksgiving.  But resist!  Feeding your dog one of those bones could endanger his life. Bones from turkeys or any other kind of meat easily break into small pieces.  These can quickly become lodged in your dog’s throat, causing him to choke.  This could lead to an emergency trip to the vet or even death.  Never put your dog at such a risk!  Feed him a safe dog biscuit instead.

It is very easy to forget your dog during a fun holiday like Thanksgiving.  We easily become underfoot and get stepped on.  Ouch!  Make sure your dog gets all of the attention he needs and, if he is underfoot, he might be better off in his cage.

puppy on sofaSome dogs get very excited when company arrives. They wait eagerly by the window or run outside to greet the guests.  Dogs love people so much that we want to give them kisses.  However, dogs are a lot shorter than humans, so we have to jump.  And with our jumps, we scratch people, tear clothes, and scare small children. We don’t mean to be bad, we are just so happy to see you!  Teach your dog the command “off” to help him keep all four paws on the ground.  When your dog jumps up on anyone, even you, tell him, “Off!” and help him put all paws on the floor.  Don’t ever push or hit your dog.  You could easily hurt him, even if he is a big dog.  Always help him gently.  When your dog is on the ground, tell him how good he is.  Another way to fix your problem is to tell your dog to sit or to put his leash on when company arrives.  If your dog has a solid sit, there should be no jumping problems.  And, on a leash, your dog will know that you want him to stick by you and not jump.  Here’s a tip: always use the command “off” when you want your dog off the couch, off a person, etc.  Use the command “down” when you want your dog to lay down.

Try to take your dog for a long walk before the company arrives.  This way he will be tired when the guests arrive and willing to lay down and sleep.  Also, if you have anyone over who doesn’t like dogs and is uncomfortable around them, respect his or her feelings by putting your dog in his crate.

begging puppy

Feeding your dog table scraps encourages bad behavior and damages his health

I know all of the Thanksgiving food is delicious, but don’t feed your dog any table scraps.  Dogs cannot handle the food humans eat, and our tummies hurt and we can even throw up.  Also, your dog could develop life-threatening pancreatitis.  Pancreatitis inflames the pancreas and causes terrible pain and nausea for your dog.  Your guests will probably be tempted to feed your dog some scraps – just look at those pleading eyes!  But tell your guests that your dog cannot have any scraps, and set out a bowl of your dog’s normal dog biscuits, so everyone can give those to your dog.

Have a fun and safe Thanksgiving with your dog!

 

Cold Weather Care

Cuddle up and get ready for winter!

Cuddle up and get ready for winter!

It’s time to say goodbye to colorful fall and say hello to cold winter.  You’re probably planning on wearing a heavy coat, lighting the fireplace, and drinking lots of hot chocolate.  But what about your dog?  Special attention and care must be given to him so he can have a wonderful and warm winter too.

My, It’s Cold Outside!

It’s very cold outside, and, if you own an outdoor dog, this can be a big problem.  A doghouse is warm, but not enough to keep your dog from freezing.  Consider buying an outdoor heater to put in the doghouse or bring your dog inside.

dog behind fence

NEVER leave your dog chained or tied up outside.  First of all, it’s dangerous to tie up your dog, no matter what the weather.  He could easily get tangled and strangle to death.  Also, if your dog gets tangled or wrapped around a tree, he will not be able to reach his water and will die of thirst.  You must also remember that dogs that are chained or tethered are more likely to bite.  It’s not good for your dog to be tied outside alone.  It is a detriment to his health, safety, and happiness.  Also, if you leave your dog tied up outside in the snow, he could get frostbite or die of overexposure.  Please do not risk your dog’s life.

No Ice, Please

With the cold weather, it’s easy for your dog’s water to turn into a block of ice.  Your dog cannot drink ice, and without water he will die of thirst.  However, you can fix the “icy” problem by buying a special heated dog dish that will keep your dog’s water from freezing outside.  Remember, your dog cannot drink ice.

dog in snow path

No Hair Cuts!

With the cold weather here, don’t have your dog’s hair cut.  It is meant to keep him nice and warm, like a big coat.  If you have a Poodle, have your groomer give him a short trim to keep him comfortable and free of mats.  I grow out my hair for the winter, and I look like a little teddy bear.  My humans have to spend a lot of time brushing my long, curly hair to keep it from matting.

Let it Snow!

Swirling snowflakes, mounds of snow, and icicles hanging from the trees.  Snow is wonderfully fun, even for your four-legged friend! However, you must take precautions with your dog.  Here are a few snow tips:

  • Buy some little booties for your dog’s feet. Some dogs’ paws bleed from the cold snow.dogs in snow
  • After your dog runs in the snow, thoroughly dry him with a towel.  This will keep him warm.
  •  Never let your dog out of your sight when he is out of a fenced yard.  (If your dog does not come when called 100% of the time, he should never be in an open area without a leash.)  If he wanders off, even for a little way, he could easily become lost.  The snow ruins finding a scent for dogs, so they cannot smell their way home.
  • If your dog gets cold, buy him a little sweater to keep him warm.
  • Never leave your dog outside for a long time.  He could get frostbite.
  • If you have a small dog, never let him outside off leash when there are powerful winds.  He could get blown away!

If you have a large amount of snow, shovel away a small area of your yard for your dog to go potty in.  The bigger your dog, the larger the space will have to be.  If it’s extremely cold and snowy outside, you could use a pee pad for your dog to go potty on.

Fireplaces

A dog curled up beside a roaring fire – it’s picture perfect, isn’t it?  However, it is very dangerous.  Among many other dangers, your dog could become curious of the pretty, colorful flames and try to touch it or a spark could fly from the fire and set his beautiful coat on fire.  Continue to enjoy your fire, but put a little fence around it to keep your pets out.

Have a safe and fun winter with your dog!

dog in blanket

Happy Halloween!

 

dogs dressed upHalloween is a fun time for kids.  They get to dress up, eat lots of candy, and have loads of fun. But it can be a very scary time for dogs.  The costumes, ringing doorbells, and noise of trick-or-treaters around the neighborhood can be very frightening.  Your dog doesn’t know it’s Halloween, and he doesn’t understand why everyone is wearing scary masks and ringing the doorbell.

Halloween is a very dangerous time for dogs.  We become scared and try to escape the scary costumes and loud noises.  Dogs will try to dig under the fence or shoot out of the door when it’s opened.  Precautions must be taken in order for your dog to have a happy and safe Halloween.

puppy dalmationIt is definitely not a good idea to take your dog trick-or-treating with you.  He can easily become scared of the decorations at the different houses and, since it’s dark, it will be very easy to loose him.  Leave your dog in a secure room or his cage if you want to go trick-or-treating.

If you are planning on handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, have your dog stay in another room with the door closed. This way, he won’t be able to escape out of the door when you open it.  Also, it’s a very good idea to keep your dog inside after dark on Halloween.  People like to play pranks on Halloween, and you don’t want someone to play one on your dog.  He could also try to get away from all of the loud noises by jumping or digging under the fence.

sissy dressed up

Sissy dressed up

It’s fun for people to dress up, and sometimes even for your furry friend.  But you must always be very careful and consider your dog’s feelings if you decide to dress him up.  Always make sure that the outfit is comfortable, and never have anything tight that could choke or hurt him.  Also, make sure that your dog’s costume doesn’t have any pieces that could easily be chewed off and swallowed.  Never force your dog to wear a costume.  To the left is me when I was young, dressed up like a little girl.  My humans thought it was very amusing to see me in a dress!

Candy does taste good, but it’s not for your dog.  Your four-legged friend could become very sick from it.  Dogs aren’t used to all of that sugar.  Be sure to watch out for chocolate.  It’s toxic for dogs, and too much can kill.  Pick up wrappers that you see lying on the ground so your dog won’t eat those too.

Have a fun and safe Halloween with your dog!

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

rescue dogOctober is adopt a shelter dog month!  Lost or unwanted dogs are turned into the animal shelter and are in need of good, forever homes.  Some dogs are in the shelter because their former owners were careless.  They didn’t think about the responsibilities involved in dog ownership and didn’t consider the fact that dogs need exercise and sometimes have accidents in the house.  So when they got tired or upset with their dog, they dumped him in the shelter.  Other dogs, however, are there because their human has died or has an illness.  And then there are dogs who have been found wandering the streets.  Many puppies are also turned into shelters because their humans didn’t want to take the time to find homes for them all.  If you are thinking about getting a dog, look at your local animal shelter.  Your new best friend might be waiting for you!

Keeping dogs at animal shelters costs a lot of money.  The shelters have to provide beds, food, and medicine for the many animals.  Consider donating money or supplies to your local shelter to help out these homeless dogs.  Or you could volunteer at the shelter and help wash, feed, walk, and even train the dogs some basic commands.

mutt 2

A wonderful website to find adoptable dogs is Petfinder.com.  At Petfinder, you can search dog breeds by your location, and you can even further filter the search by choosing if you have multiple pets or children.  This way, dogs who are not good with other pets or children will not come up in your search.  Petfinder offers an easy way to find dogs near you who are in need of loving homes.

If you are planning on getting a dog, make sure you do research on the breed you want.  Many animals end up shelters because their humans failed to learn about the different breeds and their behaviors.  A Border Collie, for instance, needs a lot of exercise and may nip at children’s heels in an attempt to herd them.  If you do not know about the Border Collie, you might end up with a dog that needs more exercise than you can provide and irritates your kids.  Make sure you’re absolutely sure that this is the dog you want to live with for the next 10-20 years.

old dog

Older dogs make great pets

Also keep in mind that older dogs make wonderful pets.  Dogs that are past the adorable puppy stage (especially seniors) are often overlooked.  People want cute little puppies!  However, dogs that are past puppyhood have outgrown the irksome puppy habits.  Most older dogs are house trained and have outgrown chewing on your things.  These dogs are very special and just want to be loved.  And don’t rule out a dog because he’s a senior!  Senior dogs have so much love to give and just want to live out their golden years in relaxation with you.  Dogs past the puppy stage aren’t adopted as soon as puppies, and by adopting one, you will be giving an older dog another chance.

Leashes and Harnesses

Leashes

From left: retractable leash and Nylon leash

There are many types of leashes.  Here are a few: slip-leash, a braided leather leash, Nylon webbing leash, and the retractable leash.  A slip-leash has a loop handle on one end and an adjustable loop on the other for the dog’s head.  This type of leash is usually used for dog competitions, like dog agility, so the leash will come easily on and off the dog to allow him, for example, to run through a tunnel.  The short braided leash is usually four feet long.  It has a loop handle and a clip to attach to the dog’s collar.  The style allows a firm grip for the human, and you often see this leash used in obedience training.  My very favorite is the Nylon webbing leash.  The Nylon leash is usually four to six feet long.  It has a loop handle and a clip to attach to the dog’s collar.  Most of the time it is used for casual walking.  The retractable leash has a plastic handle with a extendable rope that comes from inside the handle.  The leash can extend 15 to 25 feet long.  The retractable leash has a lock system where, if a certain button on the handle is pressed, the rope locks and the dog can no longer pull any more rope from the handle.  The retractable leash allows your dog to go far away from you to sniff about without having the restrictions of a 6-foot leash.

For your dog’s safety and that of others’, a leash is a must when you walk your dog out in public.  Even if your dog is very friendly he should wear a leash.  If he comes upon another dog, for instance, that is leashed, the restricted one might feel threatened.  This could easily provoke an attack.  If you want your dog to have a good run, bring him to a dog park.  These parks are large, fenced-in areas for dogs to run in off-leash.  If your dog is not friendly, however, do not take him there.  Other dogs will be enjoying the open space too.

chained dogLeashes are for walking your dog, not tying him up.  Even if it’s nice outside or he’s in a shady spot near water, your dog can easily get tangled and strangle to death.  Also, if he gets tangled, your dog will not be able to reach water and will die of thirst.  You must also remember that dogs who are chained or tied are more likely to bite someone because they feel trapped.  It’s not good for your dog to be chained outside alone.  It is a detriment to his health, safety, and happiness.  Please do not risk your dog’s life.  Have a fence built or buy a kennel to let your dog play in while outside.  But please don’t leave your dog tied up outside.  It’s just too dangerous.

A dog with a harness

A dog with a harness on

Another thing I wear is a harness.  A harness reduces the pull on a dog’s neck while walking on a leash.  They also reduce the risk of your dog slipping out of his collar while on a walk.  Once, when I was taking an outdoor bath on a warm day, I slipped out of my collar.  The leash that prevented me from escaping my bath was left behind as I scampered away, still covered in soap.  Thankfully, I have mastered my stay command, and when my human yelled, “Sissy, sit! Stay!” I obeyed.  Then, unfortunately, I continued my bath, and my humans tightened my collar.  Wearing a harness keeps me comfortable and more safe.

Even if a dog has a harness on, that doesn’t mean he can pull on the leash continuously.  If your dog pulls on the leash and you want to stop it, click here.

Exercising your dog is very important.  Walking your dog every day will keep him healthy and happy.  Ask your veterinarian how long and fast walks should be so you don’t strain any of your dog’s muscles.  Puppies shouldn’t be taken on very long walks because of their developing bones, and older dogs will probably want shorter walks.

PetGiftBox Offers Fun Way to Treat Your Dog

dog running

My PetGiftBox is here!

Do you want a special way to treat your pup?  Check out PetGiftBox!  A box packed with 4-6 treats, toys, and other fun is shipped right to your door.  You can choose to do this on a monthly basis or only once.  However, I’m sure that once you get one box your dog will be begging you for another!

Do you like surprises?  Well, PetGiftBox (PGB) brings some right to you and your dog, all packaged neatly in a box.  A single box is $27.99 if you want to try it out.  You can save money, however, by signing up for 3, 6, or 12 months.  Each box is only $17.99 for the 12 month option.  And to top it off, shipping is free!

dog and toyAll products sent in the PGB are tested carefully by fellow canines and have the “Paw Print of Approval.”  They are also tested for the best taste in their treats.  Being a food motivated dog, taste is the most important thing to me!  And if your dog loves toys, he can get a new one every month.  You can create a stronger bond with your dog by playing with toys together, and you can burn off some of your dog’s energy.  You can also play games with his toys like fetch, hide and seek, and tug of war.

If you go to the PGB website’s blog, you will meet Mickey Mantle, the furry PetGiftBox’s CEO.  This dog is going to be posting future posts about interesting facts, tips, and stories.  Check out his page by clicking here!

Go to PetGiftBox.com to see their box plans and read the PGB story!  These boxes are a special way to treat your pet, and you’ll begin to notice that your dog gets super excited whenever you bring a package into the house.  Is that my PetGiftBox?!

dogs looking at viewer

Poodle Page Updated!

 

Sissy dogHi, everyone!  I have some great news!  Because some of the Dog Breed Pages are rather short, I will be working on updating them as well as adding a few new ones.  I have decided to start my update with the Poodle Page, as I am a Poodle myself.  You can visit the updated page by hovering over the Dog Breeds Page tab above or by clicking here.  Hope you enjoy!

Woof, Sissy

 

Happy Birthday, Sissy!

cropped-Papa-Lance-and-Sissy-020.jpg

August is what I call my “birthday month”.  My humans don’t remember the day I was born (or the day they brought me home), but they think that it was sometime in August.  I am now twelve years old, and I still have a “hyper side”.  When people come over I get very excited, and when a car drives by I go into a barking frenzy!

Sissy lil puppy

Sissy as a little puppy

My humans got me from a breeder when I was 8 weeks old.  I jumped all over and was very hyper.  My family knew I was the perfect pup for them.  At my new home I chased peoples’ heels and made messes in the house.  But I soon outgrew those puppy habits, and now I am a well behaved dog…most of the time!  I feel so lucky to have such a caring, loving family when so many dogs are without.

 

Happy birthday, Sissy!  We love you!

Sissy dog

Hot Weather and Your Dog

dog in grass

It’s a hot time of the year, a great time for swimming and playing at the park.  But what about your dog?  It’s hot outside, and special care needs to be given to him to keep him cool and comfortable.

dogs drinking

Your dog needs fresh water at all times

Dogs can’t live very long without water.  We need nice, cold water to drink.  If your dog stays outside or is outside a lot, provide clean, cold water at all times.  Change the water every day, and make sure your dog doesn’t spill it.  If he spills, your dog won’t have any water to drink and can get dehydrated or, even worse, die from lack of water.  Consider buying your dog a heavy duty water bowl.

It’s very hot outside, and dogs need a shaded area.  A doghouse is nice, but it gets hot inside that little space.  Try a beach umbrella or a small canopy.  Your dog can get sunstroke if he doesn’t have a shaded area available at all times.

It does get warm under our fur, but don’t have your dog shaved down to the skin.  Always consult your veterinarian before cutting your dog’s hair to keep him cool.  A dog’s fur isn’t given to only keep him warm.  It helps him to avoid getting sun burnt.  Also, for some dogs, if their hair is shaved, it will never grow back the same again.

dog swimmingSwimming pools are great for humans to cool off in and can sometimes be great for dogs too.  But never ever let your dog swim alone.  The edges of the pool are slippery, and your dog might fall in and not be able to get out.  Keep a little gate around your pool to keep your dog out when you’re not around.  Make sure your dog doesn’t drink the pool water either.  Keep in mind that not all dogs are born swimmers.  Some dogs just sink!  Consult your veterinarian before you let your dog swim with you.  Also, you might want to buy a dog life jacket.  If your pool is by a high surface, make sure your dog can’t jump in.  Once, when my humans’ pool was by the porch and I was very young, I jumped in.  Thankfully, one of my humans saw me and helped me out.  That was very scary!

The sun beats down on the sidewalk, and makes it very hot.  A dog’s paws are tough, but not as tough as a human’s shoes.  Before you take your dog for walks, feel the sidewalk with your hand.  Is it too hot?  If so, walk your dog when it’s cooler outside, such as in the early mornings and late evenings.  You don’t want your dog to have sore or burning paws!

chained dog

Leaving your dog chained or tied is very dangerous

Please never leave your dog outside tethered or chained.  Even if it’s nice outside or he’s in a shady spot near water, your dog can easily get tangled and strangle to death.  Also, if he gets tangled, your dog will not be able to reach water and will die of thirst.  You must also remember that dogs who are chained or tied are more likely to bite someone because they feel trapped.  It’s not good for your dog to be chained outside alone.  It is a detriment to his health, safety, and happiness.  Please do not risk your dog’s life.  Have a fence built or buy a kennel to let your dog play in while outside.  But please don’t leave your dog tied up outside.  It’s just too dangerous.

foxtail

Foxtails can be very hazardous for dogs

Check your dog regularly for any burs or foxtails lodged in his coat.  These can get stuck on your dog’s paws as well and sometimes even in his ears and nostrils.  If your dog has a bur or foxtail stuck in his ear or nose, don’t try to get it out.  You can easily push it further down.  Take your dog to the veterinarian for help with removing burs and foxtails from dangerous places.  Just remember that when the foxtail plant is green, it won’t harm your dog.  However, when it is dried and is tan in color, it can latch onto your dog, causing him much pain.

dog itching

Fleas and ticks can make your dog very uncomfortable

Fleas and ticks spell trouble for dogs.  These pests cause us to itch and scratch and can carry diseases.  This time of year is the perfect time for your dog to become flea and tick infested.  Ask your veterinarian and other dog owners what flea and tick preventive medicine works best for their dogs.  Also, mark your calendar or make a reminder on your phone to give your dog his preventive medicine however often the instructions call for.  Vacuum carpeted areas and wash pet beds often to help keep these nasty pests away.

Some dogs get overheated easily, especially dogs with a short snout like the Pug.  Research your breed, and see if he is extra susceptible to heatstroke.  Any dog, however, should not be left in the hot sun for too long.  If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Have a safe and fun summer with your dog!

 

 

Happy 4th of July!

two dogsThe 4th of July is a great holiday, full of dazzling fireworks and waving flags.  But this holiday can also be very frightening to dogs.

fireworksFireworks create big “booms”.  Your dog can hear much better than you, so the “booms” are very loud to him.  This is frightening to dogs and can make us cry.  Help your dog by putting him in a room where it will be hard to hear the fireworks.  Give him a very yummy bone to get his mind off of the loud noise.  Also, give him very special treats and praise him for ignoring the fireworks while he eats it.  Again, fireworks are upsetting to dogs, but if you distract your dog and tell him it’s alright, he’ll soon forget about his fears.

Flags are great to have in your yard on the 4th of July, but make sure they don’t frighten your dog.  If your dog has never seen a flag flapping in the yard, he may become alarmed and bark at it.  If your dog shows fear or aggression towards the flag, take the flag into your house and show it to your dog.  Give him a treat, telling him he’s a good dog while he observes the flag. This way he will see that the flag is nothing to worry about.

dog with tilted headIf you have a party on this holiday, make sure not to forget your dog.  Parties can be confusing to dogs, and we tend to get underfoot.  Put your dog in his cage or in a room where it is quiet, and give him some toys and a bone to keep him company.  Also, make sure to follow these party safety rules:

  • Put all purses and bags on top of the counter, away from your dog.
  • Don’t feed your dog any candy.
  • Make sure your dog is not underfoot, so he doesn’t get stepped on.  Ouch!
  • If your dog gets very excited when company arrives, put on his leash so he won’t jump on anyone.
  • Before company arrives, take your dog for a long walk or play a game of fetch.  This way, your dog will be tired during the party and won’t be jumping on anyone.  He will be very happy to lay on his bed and chew on his bone.

Following these safety rules, your dog can enjoy the party happily and safely.

dog looking out window

Fireworks scare dogs

Because of the loud noise on this holiday, dogs want to get away from all of the stress.  Some dogs jump or climb over fences.  Others dig holes under it and slip away from fear.  To ensure that your dog stays safe on the 4th, don’t let him outside when the fireworks start without supervision – even if you have a securely fenced yard.  You can never tell what your dog will do under stress.

If you’re going to a friend’s house or an event to watch fireworks, please don’t bring your dog.  He will probably become frightened and bark, whine, and possibly run away.  If your dog becomes scared, he may accidentally knock someone over or, even worse, bite.  So for your dog’s safety as well as others’ around him, leave your pet at home.

Fourth of July can be scary to many dogs, but if you distract your dog from the fireworks and take a little time to give him some extra attention his stress can be greatly reduced.

Sissy

Have a safe and fun 4th of July with your dog!