Category Archives: Helpful Hints for Dogs

Dog Paw Wax

You look out the window of your back door through the crust of ice forming around the edges. It’s snowing, blowing hard, and well below freezing outside, but you need to walk your dog. Some people just open the door and tell them to ‘go potty’. Not me. If they have to suffer, so do I. I also want to make sure they cleaned themselves out.

So how can you make your best friend enjoy the winter more? Layering—the same as for us. My rule of thumb is as follows: Continue reading

Ear Infections – Yuk!

On a Sunday morning in early August, I sat on the kitchen floor with a brush, comb, toothbrush, poultry flavored toothpaste, eye drops, ear cleaner and cotton balls in a pile next to me, while I called Buffy to come to me; a typical grooming session for both cocker spaniels. Sundays and Wednesdays were ear-cleaning days, while tooth brushing, combing, and eye drops were included every morning. Chipper’s ears were normal, a little bit of brownish wax, but Buffy had one clean ear and one ear with thick brown gook on the cotton ball that I had rubbed inside her ear. Yuk – probably an ear infection. Continue reading

Fleas – Ugh! Why You Should Use a Flea Preventative

Fleas

Fleas

I rolled Buffy onto her back and saw a tiny flea run across her belly. I ran for the flea comb, telling her to ‘stay’. Of course she didn’t, and I had to flip her on her back while I searched through her shaved fur to find the little bugger. Continue reading

Be Careful Feeding your Dogs Bones

Not all bones are safe for your pet and certainly not the Real Ham Bone made by Dynamic Pet Products. My dog Cassie had loved them, chewing on them for hours. But once larger pieces started breaking off – I took it away. More than once I’ve had her poop hard bone fragments, so I tried to restrict her to only getting the meat and marrow and prevent her from eating too much bone.

Cassie enjoying a Real Ham Bone.

Cassie enjoying a Real Ham Bone.

Continue reading

Keep Your Dog Cool

Hot weather always bothered Cassie, causing her to pant loudly, and search for sources of water to lie in. And of course, she wanted to go with us everywhere. So what did I do?

  • Buy a kiddy swimming pool and change the water daily. Cassie loved to lie in her pool, using it as her walk in water dish.

    Cassie in her kiddy pool.

    Cassie in her kiddy pool.

  • Take your dog swimming – but be careful of water appearing bright green, which could indicate blue-green algae. Drinking blue-green algae water can get your dog very sick or even be fatal.
  • We often planned creek walks on warm days so Cassie could cool down in the creek periodically during a long hike.
  • Buy a cool bed – a water bed for your dog http://www.pets2bed.com/site/1405195/product/PET02-cool-dog-bed . I have several and use them for warm car rides, or for lying around in the kitchen. Store the bed in a cool place, such as in the basement. The bed has little cooling effect once it warms.
  • Keep your dog in the shade. I once had a black dog that rested in each shady spot as I tried to take her for a walk. Black dogs get a lot hotter than light coated dogs. Chipper has large black sections, which feel significantly warmer than his white areas.
  • Offer lots of water. When I walked Cassie over 3 miles each way to work, I offered her water on warm days. At home keep their water dish full of cool water.
  • Consider shaving your pet. For some (like Cassie) shaving her fur made a huge difference in her tolerance of the heat during long walks. It also removes mats and makes it easier to find fleas and ticks.
  • Keep a fan blowing on the kitchen floor. I do this on days when it’s not quite hot enough to run the air conditioner. The dogs can choose to lie in front of the fan to cool down if they choose.

    Mitch stands by while Cassie rolls in a Colorado mountain snow pack in June.

    Mitch stands by while Cassie rolls in a Colorado mountain snow pack in June.

  • If you’re hiking in the mountains and find a snow pack—by all means let your dog have a good roll to cool down!

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Doggie Diapers

Cassie in her denim diaper.

Cassie in her denim diaper.

At first, Cassie seemed embarrassed when I strapped her diapers on at work, but she was a good dog and tolerated clothes, so she didn’t try to pull them off. Actually I think she preferred them to the alternative, having wet, stinky fur on her back legs as she leaked while she slept. Continue reading

Fireworks, Thunder, Loud Noises – Oh My!

Chipper and Harmonease

Chipper and Harmonease

It’s starting again – firecracker season – is your dog ready? Are you? The fourth of July is just around the corner.

Two years ago, Chipper’s anxiety caused him to hide under my mom’s bed, cringing and shaking for the month-long celebration of the holiday that occurred in his old neighborhood. Continue reading

Dogs and Ice Cream

Every time we exited my front gate, Cassie headed south, towards McDonald’s, the pier, and other goodies tossed out – treasures to a perpetually hungry dog.   She always looked disappointed when I turned north for our usual walk, but when I turned south, she raised her wagging tail and quickened her gait, often barking and turning towards me as if to say “Really? We’re going this way?” Continue reading