Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ebby turns 6 years old

Ebby is our coolest, calmest, most collected lab mix. She's socialable but kind of private. She'll only eat her lunch by herself, in a separate room, 'cause the competive commotion of other interested parties is beneath her.
When we put Ebby's birthday hat on, she lost interest in her treat and gave us the look you see. "You want me to wear WHAT?" After the photo we took her hat off and she proceded to taste her Frosty Paws. She's a delicate eater, so there was some left for her chocolate lab mix friend, Fern. Fern was most appreciative.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don't Get Ticked Off - Get the Ticks Off

An article by Eve Adamson, reprinted from The American Kennel Club's Family Dog magazine.

Summer means tick season when those bloated little arthropod vampires get warm and hungry and start feeding on cattle, wildlife, humans... and DOGS. But ticks aren't just disgusting, they're also dangerous. When ticks bite wild animals such a deer or squirrels, they take in the bacteria these animals may harbor and can pass them along to their next host. Some bacteria can cause diseases in dogs (and in people) - dangerous, debilitating, and sometimes even fatal diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The problem is, it isn't easy to prevent those tiny, persistent and eerily aware critters from finding your dog. Ticks can sense trace gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the air, alerting them to the presence or approach of a warm-blooded mammal. Many ticks congregate in places where mammals tend to pass, such as in the bushes and trees along the edges of hiking trails, or even in tall grass or leaf piles in your own backyard. Ticks know where your dog is going. Creepy, right?
But don't be afraid. A two-pronged approach to tick management can keep your dog (and you) safe and, if not always completely tick-free, at least protected from the dangerous diseases ticks spread. Just follow this plan: prevention and prompt removal.
Precautions begin with keeping your dog well-groomed. Regular brushing, combing and bathing keep your dog's skin and coat strong and healthy. Ticks tend to prey on weak, dirty, sick animals with broken skin. A healthy, well-groomed dog is more attractive to us but less attractive to ticks, who prefer a dirty dog with a poor immune system for a host. To keep your dog's skin (and overall health) in even better shape, make sure s/he eats a balanced and high-quality diet, especially one containing esential fatty acids (EFA's) either in his/her food or as a supplement. EFA's help strengthen and improve skin and coat quality... .
I definitely recommend using a tick control product on your dog. If you take your dog into woodsy areas often, a monthly spot-on product is a great choice... . Ask your veterinarian about the best and safest tick prevention products (...) because your vet will consider your dog's health, age, size, and also the risk of ticks where you live.
Finally, keep your yard tick free (...). Keep woodpiles and brush piles far from the house and out of the fenced area where your dog plays. Keep your grass mowed short and trim the longer grass that grows along fences and around garden borders. If ticks don't have good, sheltered spots to hang out and await your dog's approach, they'll go somewhere more tick-friendly.
(...) Prompt removal is essential because the longer a tick is attached to your dog, the greater the chances that it will transmit a disease. Most tick bites don't result in disease, but the chance that they could makes it important to remove the little blood suckers without delay.
Every time you go into tall grass, shrubs, or wooded areas with your dog, do a tick check as soon as you get home. Work through your dog's coat with a fine-toothed steel fleas comb or, if your dog has a short coat, just use your hands to look and feel all over for suspicious bumps and creepy-crawlies. (...) look carefully in the areas ticks like to frequent, such as behind or inside ears, around the rear end under the tail, or on the chest and belly where there is less hair and the skin is easy to puncture.
If your see a tick, use rubber gloves or a paper towel to protect your skin and remove it immediately. Drop in into a small cup of alcohol to kill it, then flush it down the toilet. If you think the tick has been attached for a day or more and you want to know if it might be carrying a disease, wrap it in a moist paper towel, put it in a small jar, and call your vet to see if s/he thinks you should have the tick tested.
(...) grasp the tick as close as possible to where its head is attached to your dog. Pull straight up, not to the side. The tick may come all the way out, or it may leave its mouth parts behind. Don't worry if it does. Pull out whatever you can, then swab the area with disinfectant and dab on some antiobiotic cream. Your dog's body will eventually push out the foreign parts, but keep an eye on the area. If it starts to look infected - red, swollen, filled with pus - give your veterinarian a call.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Three Birthdays This Week

We've had a busy week partying! Lucy the chihuahua mix, Cody the labrador retriever and Houdini the beagle all had birthdays. As you can see, all three tucked into their Frosty Paws treats as though they hadn't eaten in weeks. Lucy only weighs a couple of pounds, but she made the contents of her dixie cup disappear in minutes. Her tongue must have been frozen. Houdini ate the treat then started in on the cup itself. Had to pick pieces out of his teeth! Fortunately we got to him before he swallowed any.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Olivia's 3rd Birthday

Olivia loves the whole birthday schtick: the hat, the singing, the attention, the treat. Even the having to warn fellow party hounds about poaching her treat! Her brother Simon had his birthday on April 13th (see post for that date). Olivia managed to respect his Frosty Paws cup that day, so today he did the same for her. He's right there, off-stage left but he's just staring hopefully.
Olivia and Simon always come to The Doggie Den together, and sometimes they play with each other, but often they play with other dogs. We refer to Simon as "the old soul" since he has an ageless wisdom about him. Olivia is Miss Center Stage - always eager to be her humans' primary focus. She does share though. We think Simon taught her that.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Dog Tips for 4th of July

Fourth of July Festivities: Should You Bring Your Pet?
As the country dons its red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day, nothing says patriotism like a good old-fashioned barbecue with a side of fireworks. But beware dog parents, what's fun for people can be frightening and painful for our furry friends!
The ASPCA recommends keeping your pooch indoors as much as possible during backyard parties and Fourth of July festivities, even if s/he is a pro picnicker. From toxic food and beverages to raucous guests and fireworks, the holiday weekend is a minefield of potential pet problems.
"Even the most timid dog can leap a six-foot fence if he's spooked by loud noises," says Dr. Pamela Reid, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center. If your dog shows signs of distress from fireworks or boisterous revelers, Dr. Reid suggests giving him a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. "The persistent licking should calm his nerves," she says.
The ASPCA offers some more expert advice to keep your pet singing, "Oh Say Can You See," all the way to the fifth and beyond:
- Keep your pet on the wagon. Since alcohol is potentially poisonous to pets, place all wine, beer and spirits well out of paws' way.
- Avoid scraps from the grill. Stick with your pet's normal diet--any change, even for a day, can result in stomach upset. Certain foods like onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes and raisins are especially toxic to pets.

- Skip the sunscreen. Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind. Ingestion can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.
- Stay fire-smart. Keep your pet away from fireworks, matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
- Be cool near the pool. Don't leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake--not all dogs are expert swimmers! Also, pools aren't large water bowls--they contain chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach problems.
As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Reprinted from the ASPCA website: www.aspca.org

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Study in Contrasts

Little Mackie Mix and Big Bailey Rottweiler are The Doggie Den's best examples of "opposites attract". They LOVE to play together and have two basic strategies to compensate for the difference in their sizes. Either Bailey lies down and the floor and Mackie jumps all over him; or Mackie jumps up on the couch to be more at Bailey's level. In the latter case, Bailey pushes Mack around with his head, while Mack bears his teeth with great bravado!

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