The weeds, the dandelions─yuck. Should I spray an herbicide? But what about my dogs? How can I do this safely? So I usually put it off until the weeds get the better of me and I just have to spray them and try to keep my dogs off of the lawn for a day, or at least try. Most herbicides state, ‘safe’ for pets after it has dried. But are they? Here is what my research uncovered: Continue reading
I yanked hard at Chipper’s leash as he grabbed a mouthful of something. “Drop it,” I commanded as he tried to swallow the big solid piece. Grabbing his collar, I put my gloved hand into his mouth and pulled it out–something sausage-like, dark brown and smelly. You guessed it a poopsicle—a frozen dog turd. Continue reading
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
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
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
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.
What should you do with your four-legged friend when you go on vacation? For most pet owner’s it’s a trip to the boarder, but is that the best option for your dog, or just the best (and cheapest) option for you?
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.
- 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.
- 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!
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
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