Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dr. Jon on Trimming Your Dog's Nails Without Trauma

A dog's nails are very important parts of their bodies. Dogs are what we call “digitigrade,” meaning that they walk on their toes. Canine nails are made of the same material as ours and also continuously grow like ours do. When left for too long, overgrown nails can cause pain and difficulty walking. That's why having short nails is so important; can you imagine walking on long, pointy nails? Yikes!

But most dogs don't sit placidly while you clip away the excess. Nail trimming is one of the most popular services in pet grooming salons because it's just so darn unpleasant for many dogs. You know the drill… you get ready to trim your dog's nails and somehow he senses that you are about to mess with his paws before you even get started. Now the real fun begins! Your corner him, grab his paw and try to cut his nails. But he's not having it. He begins to fight hard and pull his leg back, and the wrestling match begins.  Eventually you will win (if you're lucky), but he won't make it easy.  And with all that wiggling, fussing and moving, you worry about hurting him or accidentally cutting into the fleshy center of the nail. This can be very painful for your dog and cause the nail to bleed

You stop and think; what can you do? His nails are too long so you persist, praying you won't hurt him.  He "play bites" you, putting his teeth into your hand. Maybe he even begins to bark and growl. The more you try, the wilder he gets. Oh, the drama!

Frustrated, you are tempted to give up. You tell yourself that his nails can grow until they become "weapons of mass destruction" for all you care. But then reason wins out. You know that there is no getting around it - those nails MUST be trimmed.

Now you have a few options.  You can simply pay a groomer or your vet to trim your dog's nails every month, or you can keep struggling. What can you do to make this process less stressful for you both? (Because believe me, your dog doesn't enjoy this either.)

I have some good news. Approaching the problem with a different tool can make things much easier. In fact, the traditional nail clippers that people tend to use on their dogs could be a reason why so many pets hide when it's nail trimming time: the blades can pinch and twist the nail, adding more pain to an already uncomfortable process. A nail grinder may be just what you need to take the sting out of clipping. It does not cut the nail. Instead, it files the nail away a little at a time, eliminating the need for painful bladed clippers and making the experience a much more pleasant one. 

There are many different types of nail grinders on the market. My staff and I have tried them all to find out which one is best. When all was said and done, I really liked the Gentle Paws nail grinder, so I asked one of our veterinarians, Dr. Karin Szust, to take it home and try it on her 5 dogs. Dr. Szust came into the office this morning and told us that she agreed—she really loved this nail grinder. There are lots of great things to say about it (it's easy to handle, powerful, and the results are wonderful) but the most important in my opinion is that the dogs like it. Transitioning to a grinder from clippers can seem difficult at first because many dogs are wary of the noise. But Gentle Paws is quieter than most grinders, and can easily be worked into your dog's routine. Just gradually introduce it to your dog by first letting them investigate it, then leaving the grinder running while you gently pet and reassure them. Karin's dogs warmed up to it very quickly; once the dogs realized that this gadget wasn't going to hurt them, they relaxed and cooperated.

Karin loved Gentle Paws and so did her dogs. Now the dogs have smooth, healthy nails and everybody was happy!

We give Gentle Paws two thumbs up and you will, too!  With Gentle Paws there will be no more struggling and no more painful trimming accidents. It really makes the job quick and easy. And you get smooth, rounded nails in just a few minutes!

Give it a try. This product is in high demand so I suggest that you act now. If it saves you a trip to the groomer or the vet it will pay for itself many times over. To order, go to: www.petproductadvisor.com/gentlepaws

Until next time,
Dr. Jonhttp://www.petplace.com/

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Abused Greyhound Turns Foster Mom to The Multitudes

In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Grewcock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need.

Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.

Jasmine, however, had other ideas. No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal. Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.
Geoff relates one of the early incidents. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the center, and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."
"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them, and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings. She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs, and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose."
Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and fifteen rabbits - and one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, eleven weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster-mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection, and makes sure nothing is matted. "They are inseparable," says Geoff. "Bramble walks between her legs, and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It's a real treat to see them."

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse. Pictured from the left are: "Toby," a stray Lakeland dog; "Bramble," orphaned roe deer; "Buster," a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; "Sky," an injured barn owl; and "Jasmine," with a mother's heart doing best what a caring mother would do...and such is the order of God's Creation....

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

What To Do About Bad Behavior (Repost from Dr. Jon)

Is your dog driving you crazy with his bad behavior? Almost all dogs I know have at least one habit that drives their owner crazy - typically things like chewing up shoes, shredding books, and getting into the garbage. It's a frustrating situation that a lot of owners just don't know how to handle. Sometimes they even resort to ineffective or even damaging methods of punishment as a way to stop the behavior. Don't pull your hair out or punish the dog! Instead, you can figure out what's causing the destructive behavior and eliminate it.

This is easier than it sounds. Behaviors that are considered “bad” are most frequently caused by a small number of issues. Today I'd like to tell you about them, as well as some simple ways to deal with them.

Health issues

If your dog is urinating or defecating inside the house, don't scold him - he may be showing symptoms of a health problem. Excessive scratching and rubbing against furniture can be indicators that your dog has allergies. Persistent gnawing might be an indication of tooth pain or disease. Keep an eye on what your dog is doing, since he might be telling you that something is wrong!

The first thing you should do if your dog starts acting out - especially if he's never done it before - is take your dog in to see the vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose or rule out health problems.


Of course, your vet might find that there is nothing wrong physically with your dog. In that case, it's possible that your dog is simply bored! Does your dog have something to do when you're not at home? Do you give him plenty of play time and exercise? When a dog is bored, he might find ways of making his own fun. This can lead to destruction of your things, or even your dog getting into places that can be dangerous to him.

To prevent boredom, give your dog plenty of interactive toys to keep him busy when you aren't there to play with him. Try to take out your dog for runs or take him to a dog park once in a while to keep him active. Training sessions can also help reduce boredom, since they give your dog something to occupy his mind.

Stress and anxiety

Finally, your dog might be acting out because it's the way he expresses stress. Changes in your dog's environment or routine can make him anxious. If your dog starts urinating on ( “marking”) your furniture and home, he might be trying to mark your home as his territory. Think of marking as a billboard that says “This is mine.” A sudden increase in barking and whining can also indicate that your dog is feeling stressed.

To help your dog deal with stress, don't just treat the symptoms; you should aim to reduce or remove the stressor. Of course, this isn't always possible - like when you move to a new house or get a new pet.

In these cases, you can use Comfort Zone with D.A.P. Comfort Zone works by releasing dog pheromones (all-natural stress reducing compounds) into the air. Your dog smells these pheromones and they comfort him, making him feel secure in his environment - without needing to mark his territory or act out in other ways. Comfort Zone has been shown to reduce fear and stress-related destructive behavior by up to 65% according to studies. Your dog feels safe and secure, and you don't have to deal with his destructive behavior anymore - it's a solution that benefits everyone.

You see, if your dog starts displaying negative or “bad” behavior, don't punish him for it! Many times it's a symptom of one of the above causes. Consult with your vet, make sure your dog is getting enough activity and mental stimulation, and use Comfort Zone - and your dog will be back to his normal self in no time!

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Doggie Den Welcomes Nicole Bonin

The Doggie Den is excited to welcome Nicole Bonin to our grooming team.  She joins Shawna Rubin who has built a loyal, enthusiastic grooming clientele at The Doggie Den.  Nicole graduated from the MA School of Pet Grooming in Medford, MA in 2005.  Then she moved to North Carolina where she worked in two different shops as an all-breed groomer.  Now she has returned to MA. to work at The Doggie Den.  Customers say her clipping and scissoring is the best.  Welcome Nicole.

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