Snow Day

Today, we got some snow!  Unfortunately, most of it melted, but it was a pretty sight to behold.I went out to see what the humans were so excited about.  Snow is beautiful, but it also means it’s freezing outside.  When you’re fifteen, you don’t like the cold!  I came back inside after the investigation.Rosie, however, doesn’t mind the cold.  She loved the snow!Here is an interesting picture of Rosie scratching her nose with her hind leg.

A Little Update

Hello, everybody! I hope you are all had a blessed Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany. Here is an update on what Rosie, Kitty, and I have been up to lately:

For Christmas, my humans gave me some little beef treats.  They’re soft and perfect for my old teeth.  Of course, I shared with Rosie and even Kitty.  

Rosie got a new toy.  Since she is on a diet, the humans thought it wise not to get her a food present.  She thoroughly enjoyed her toy, though it hasn’t been able to stand up to her persistent gnawing.  She has started to unbraid part of the rope, and now it looks like an octopus.  

The humans insisted that I was stinky.  I thought I smelled great, like garbage that has been rotting for a week.  Yum!

Rosie also got a bath recently (ha, ha!).

Here is Rosie and me being friends.  There was only one bed out, so we shared.  Isn’t that adorable?

Just the other day, Rosie thought it would be a good idea to tear up the bed.  Thankfully, we have another dog bed.


Rosie also thought that it would be a good idea to crunch on a magnet.  She loves tasting indigestible items.

Here is Rosie so comfortable.

Rosie loves to sleep in odd positions…

and bother people while they’re reading.

She is also still fat.  Rosie is so embarrassed about her weight.

Hey!  All of these pictures of Rosie are making me jealous.  Here’s one of cutie pie me:

 

8 Ways to Exercise Your Dog

Since Rosie needs to lose weight, the humans have been trying to exercise her more often. Today, Rosie got 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. This was broken into 10 minute segments (morning and evening) due to her being out of shape. 20 minutes is pathetic for a breed built to endure retrieving until sunset! Rosie should be able to exercise hard for an hour. For now, however, this short amount will have to do. To put it bluntly, Rosie is fat and needs to take it slowly. Since my humans have been trying to be more diligent about exercising this portly Golden, I thought I would pen an article on exercise ideas you can do with your dog. So let’s get active!

Taking a Walk

Of course, there is the traditional “walking your dog.” However, since this is usual slow paced, you need to do a long walk to give your dog the exercise he needs. You can also supplement with a more fast paced activity.

Jogging/Running

A fast jog (or run!) is a great way for both you and your pooch to get in shape. To keep things interesting, switch up where you jog. One day, your neighborhood; another, the park. This will give both you and your dog new scenery.

Hiking

Hiking trails are great ways to get vigorous exercise. They are not always simply a flat path and can include bridges and stairs. Plus, dirt is harder to walk on than pavement, which will give your dog a better workout.

Fetch

This is Rosie’s favorite! If you teach your dog a good retrieve, you won’t have to walk a step. You simply toss the ball, and your dog brings it back and places it in your hand. You can even play fetch with your dog while sitting on a lawn chair! Learn how to teach your dog fetch here.

If your dog isn’t the “retrieving” type, she can still get plenty of exercise by simply chasing a ball or Frisbee. You will have to do more work by going to your dog to throw the toy again, but it’s still a great way for your dog (and you!) to get fit.

Swimming

Taking to the water is a great way for your dog to exercise many of her muscles. You can use a pool, lake, or ocean for this. If your dog in unsure about getting his feet wet, throw a toy or treat in the water to encourage her. You can also dive in yourself and have a blast with your pet.

Biking

Biking with your dog is a great way to get your pet moving! However, small dogs are unsuited for such exercise as it can be very demanding, and their short legs can’t keep up. This will require a bit of training as you don’t want a dog who pulls on the leash. If that happens, you will end up falling on the sidewalk as your dog runs ahead or scampers off the path to chase a squirrel. Learn how to fix leash pulling here.

Dog Park

A dog park is a large, fenced-in area where dogs can run and play without a leash. Your pup can play with the other dogs there, running, jumping, and barking. It’s a great way for your dog to get a workout!

Dog Agility

Agility is a sport in which dogs leap over jumps, dash in tunnels, and weave through poles. It’s a sport that requires running as you want to complete the course as fast as possible. You can create a makeshift agility course in your backyard. For instance, you can balance a broom on two chairs for a jump, use a blanket on the ground as a pause table, and stretch another long blanket across two chairs for a tunnel. You can also purchase agility equipment online. Agility is so much fun you might decide you want to compete with the pros. Check your local dog trainers to see if they have a class to help your dog acquire some agility titles!

Christmas Safety Tips for Dogs

Christmas is a time of joy, for our Savior came on this special day.  And it’s almost here!  Are you excited?  You are probably very busy shopping and gift wrapping.  But what about your dog?  Holidays can be very stressful for animals, and special care must be given to your pet so he can have a safe and happy Christmas.

Safety First

You may not realize it, but your dog’s health and safety are at risk during Christmas.

First of all, don’t feed your dog any Christmas cookies, candy, or leftover food.  It will encourage begging, and anything other than your dog’s normal diet will result in stomach pains and maybe even vomiting.  Also, your dog could develop life-threatening pancreatitis.  Pancreatitis inflames the pancreas and causes terrible pain and nausea for your pet.  So please resist, and, if you have company over, kindly explain to them that your dog cannot have any human food.  Be sure to set out a jar of your dog’s biscuits so your guests can feed him those!

Caution!  Never feed your dog any meat bones!  If you’re having a turkey or some meat this Christmas, you will probably be tempted to give your dog one of those juicy bones.  But resist!  That juicy bone could result in an emergency trip to the vet or even death.  Bones from turkeys and any other meat easily break into small pieces.  These can become quickly lodged in your dog’s throat, causing him to choke.  Please never put your dog at such a risk!  Feed him a safe dog biscuit instead.

I’m sure you’ve decorated your house for this holiday.  Christmas trees, lights, wreaths, and many other pretty decorations make your house look very festive.  However, your dog’s health will be at risk with all of these pretty decorations.  Always put them somewhere high so your dog can’t reach them.  Also, if your dog loves to sniff and poke his nose everywhere, put a little gate around your Christmas tree.  This way, he won’t damage or upset it, causing it to fall on him.  Always make sure that all wires are out of your dog’s reach.  Dogs love to chew!

Keep the presents around the tree but away from your dog.  Dogs are curious, and we love to play the game “find what’s inside the box.”  You can either put a small gate around the tree and presents or put all presents up on a table beside the tree.  Please be extra cautious of foil wrappers with food presents.  When swallowed, foil acts like a knife, tearing sharply on the inside.

Make sure you never bring toxic plants into the house.  Mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly are poison for dogs.  Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog tangles with any of these.

Last of all, just in case, know your veterinarian’s emergency phone number.  Write it down and keep it on the fridge for easy access if an emergency should occur.

How to Avoid Stress

Any major holiday can be very stressing for your pet.  To help avoid stress, try to keep on your dog’s normal schedule so he won’t become confused or upset.  Try to give him his food, walks, and playtime at the same time as always.

Dogs can become moody on Christmas, so make sure to give your dog personal space.  If your guests include small children, ask them not to crowd your dog and, if this happens, put your dog in his cage or a room with some toys.  If small children irritate him, your dog might lash out and bite them, as he feels trapped and panicky.  Even the sweetest of dogs can be pushed too far!

Traveling?

Many people go long distances to see their families on this very special holiday, and if you can’t bring your dog, you need to do some thinking.

Your dog will need to stay somewhere while you’re gone.  It can either be with a friend or at a doggy day care.  If you choose to leave your dog at a day care, make sure your dog will get plenty of exercise and there is a clean, safe environment.  If your dog has any health issues or doesn’t like other dogs, alert the staff so they can take the best care of your dog.

Even if you’re only going to be away from your dog for a few hours, it can be very stressing for your dog, especially if he’s a puppy or a senior dog.  If your dog can’t handle being alone even for a few hours, leave him with a friend or a doggy daycare.  Never leave your dog alone for too long!

Have a fun and safe Christmas with your dog!