Monday, August 31, 2009

Healthy Dogs For Life

Is there really a way to keep a dog healthy for life? I'm not sure, but it does seem if we follow some easy steps we have a good chance of never having to use that pet insurance for anything serious.

Be sure to always give your dog plenty of clean drinking water. This is so important. It is easy for something like this to be overlooked if your days are hectic.

Foods for your dog should be filled with the right stuff. Check with your veterinarian if you think what I'm saying is wrong. Dogs should not be given food that contains meat by-products. What is a by-product anyway? Pieces and parts of slaughtered animals that can't otherwise be identified are ground into the dog food that is sold to millions of unsuspecting animal lovers. Other dog foods list corn as the first ingredient. Think twice about what you are buying. I think it would be great if pet foods were rated by number, with a large number posted on the front of the bag.

Be sure your pets are up to date on all shots. It can get to be expensive to do all that is suggested, but these shots are something the animals need to survive the world they are dealing with. Remember how much closer to the ground they are, and what they are walking through!

Keep you dog's teeth clean. Look on this blog for more information about this. Be sure your pet is groomed, and being kept pest free. You never know when a tick or flea could actually cause your pet to become ill.

Don't forget a good heartworm preventive. Are we done yet? Probably not, but that is all I'm going to include for now.

If you would like your pet featured on this blog, please let us know in the comment section.

Information and pictures posted here
are property of Pat Anthony

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Talking to the veterinarian.

When you have serious questions about your dog's health, you may find yourself searching the Internet. While there are many helpful sites that can answer some of the more common questions, serious issues should be brought to the attention of the veterinarian you usually use.

We wanted to know about pet care products we sometimes find in stores that are geared toward pets only. Which ones are recommended for keeping the dog's teeth clean? Which chewies should we avoid? Just because the store carries a product does not mean it is the first choice for your dog.

The veterinarian we use said no opinions without actually seeing the product. This just makes sense. We could not say for sure what was in several products we purchased.

When it comes to pet insurance, be sure to ask the veterinarian's staff which insurance is taken by that office. You can have the best insurance coverage in the world, but if the vet doesn't take it, what then?

Some publications state that a dog should have it's nails trimmed every month. We were told at the vet's office that every other month is okay for our dogs. The staff is actually familiar with our dogs, so they should know.

You might want to check with the veterinarian on a yearly basis to see if there is new information on any medication you use for your pets. What about new flea and tick prevention products?

Pets can't make the call, and they can't ask questions, so humans must!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Avoiding dangerous dogs.

How do we avoid dangerous dogs? And what makes a dog dangerous? Can we use a certain dog food to make a dog have a milder personality? Can we hire a dog trainer to teach our dog not to be a danger to others?

What about dangerous dogs in the neighborhood? Are there certain types of dogs that your homeowner's insurance will tell you that you can't have? Are there certain dogs that pet insurance won't cover because they tend to be fighting, and ofter require care?

Do you think dogs can be bread to be dangerous? Many think so, and avoid certain breeds. I will not have a breed thought to be dangerous in my home, or near anyone I care about. Others don't see it as an issue, and have dogs feared by many around their toddlers.

Because we are all entitled to our opinions, we have the dogs that suit us. This may not mean you can avoid a dangerous dog. Your neighbors may have dogs you don't like. Don't be afraid to let people know you are not comfortable around their pet. We are still allowed to voice our opinion against such dogs also.

Yes, this photo belongs to me!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reigning Cats and Dogs.

Do you have a dog or cat that thinks it owns the block? Many of us do. What would happen if your king of the castle (or queen) had someone new enter their space?

I have noticed that cats will usually make their presence known, than hide until the offender leaves. What if the offender never leaves? That's another story, isn't it?

Maybe you read our blog post about introducing a second pet to your home. Or, you may have personal experience with this. What did you do to get your pets to share their space without attacking the new dog or cat that is in their home territory?

Humans entering the domain are a separate issue. Humans can give the ruling noble treats if they want to. Humans can also rub a tummy, or give a good brushing if the timing is right. Does this mean the pet will allow a human to be in the home without so much fuss?

What I have noticed is most pets seem to think everything is about them. This new human must have arrived just to entertain the pet! That's it-the master got this human for them! What a great toy.

Maybe not, Fido.

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Photos and information is
property of Pat Anthony

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dogs: Nail trimming ideas.

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Dogs and cats need to have their nails trimmed on a regular basis, especially if they spend most of their time indoors. If you can't trim your pet's nails, you must have someone do it for you.

Groomers and veterinarians offer this service. If you groom your dog at home, you may feel this is one area you can't tackle. I am not saying it is easy, especially if you have a dog that wiggles while you work. Do you have pet insurance that covers trips to the vet's office several times a year? There is a chance that trimming of a pet's nails may be covered.

Some products we have seen look like something I want to avoid. I have had people tell me the battery operated clippers containing a rotating emery paper are noisy, but their pets do tolerate the trimmer. I did not want it because of the noise, and the battery issue.

To do the dog's nails, we have a clipper that has a guard to assure you that you do not cut a pet's nails too short. For a cat, I prefer a professional. I have not met a cat that will be still for nails to be trimmed.

There are also clippers that look similar to what is used in a professional nail salon. These are pricey, but I have seen them used in the vet's office for one or our dogs. They worked for the vet, so should work for us.

It doesn't matter which clippers you use. Like pet food, you have to make a choice, and do take care of your pet's needs.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet?

Spaying or neutering your pet may seem like something that is a personal choice. When it comes to this type of pet care, you have the right to decide if your pet should reproduce! Or, do you?

Spaying or neutering may be more of a responsibility than an option or personal choice. Why? Who decided dogs should be 'fixed'-and why are they forcing their opinion on us?

Let us give a thought to how many unwanted pets are born each year. Some feel they will allow their dog to reproduce just once. How could that be so bad? These pets would be just replacing themselves, right? NO! Typically a litter is larger than the two dogs that created it. Some dogs have litters as large as 12 or more. Thinking from a financial point-even if you have pet insurance, this has got to be unreasonably expensive.

Marguerite Mebane of the Cleveland County Humane Society (North Carolina) stated some people use their local shelter for population control. Once the litter arrives, if the dogs or cats are not place, they are taken to the shelter. Not all dogs or cats can be placed. Some may be put to death because there are just too many, some are sick, or some are not kid friendly.

Spaying or neutering a pet becomes a health issue in many instances. Dogs and cats were not meant to reproduce year after year. This would take a toll on any living creature. If a cat or dog is to be a valuable pet, spay or neuter early. Speak to your veterinarian or pet's groomer about places where you can find vouchers or discounts to have your pet neutered or spayed.

Take the approach of limiting reproduction where you can. No, you can't help everyone learn, and you can't save every unwanted pet. You can control what is happening in your own household, so start there. Then, speak with family members and friends who have pets, and encourage them to do the same.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dogs and neighbors.

Dogs are not appreciated by everyone. Many humans are not into pets of any kind. Then there are humans who love cats, or horses- anything but dogs.

People who are not into pets will not be amused by your story of what happened the last time your had your dog groomed. Nor will they care about the great deal you got on pet insurance.

When your dog becomes a nuisance to neighbors who don't like dogs, how will you handles it? We must remember our dogs should not wander into territory not ours. Of course we would not allow our pet to use the neighbor's lawn as their favorite bathroom spot. But, what else do dogs do that annoy others?

Dogs sometimes bark ten times more than they need to. It is great for a dog to bark to let us know someone is approaching. That's about the only time we probably welcome the noise. If a neighbor steps into their backyard to use their grill, your dog might think it's their time to cause a stir. To be fair, begin early to train your dog not to bark at such times. Keep your dog in the house if it interferes with the peace every chance it gets.

Dog lovers may think it is cute when their pet lets everyone within a mile know it hears a noise from the next yard. Even some neighbors who have dogs, and love their own dogs, may not appreciate the racket your dog creates when they open their back door to walk their dog.

We've may have seen cartoons about dogs borrowing a newspaper that was tossed to the neighbor's driveway. If you dog is that talented, I'm guessing the neighbor would not find it amusing.

Courtesy can be contagious, and dog lover's can benefit from being thoughtful of all neighbors. Even when it comes to dogs, we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brushing your dogs teeth.

Dogs can't be trained to brush their teeth. This means as your dog's owner, you have the responsibility of this hygiene issue. Are you taking care of your dog's teeth on a regular basis?

Dog owners often feel if the pet is eating dry dog food, there is no concern about the dog's oral hygiene. This is not true. Yes, dry dog food will help keep the dog's mouth cleaner than soft, canned foods. However, the dog still needs help.

Pet insurance sometimes pays for dental care. If you have pet insurance, check to see if there is coverage for the dog's veterinarian to clean the dog's teeth once or twice each years.

You can clean the dog's teeth with several pet products you will find in stores that cater to pets. In addition to tooth brushes that look similar to ones used by humans, there are some unique items. Brushes that fit on your fingers so that you can brush the dog's teeth while holding the pet on your lap work well.

Daily pet grooming you do now, such as washing the dog's face, and brushing it's hair probably takes just a few minutes. Two or three minutes a day to clean the dogs teeth won't be overwhelming.

Brushing a dog's teeth can be difficult for some. The dog may be uncooperative, or you may have physical limitations. Fortunately, there are products you can use that almost leave you out of the picture. Check online for more information about helpful products you can add to your dog's drinking water to assure you the dog won't have tarter. Better yet, you could visit a local pet supply store and see these products. Several people I know use a product like this and are very happy with it.

Your dog's teeth, and oral hygiene are important. The use of these products is not intended to replace brushing the dog's teeth altogether. Rather, it should compliment care given by a professional groomer, or the veterinarian. And, if any pet has bad breath on a regular basis, a trip to the vet is needed. Bad breath in a pet could be a sign of a serious condition.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dogs as senior citizens.

Dogs as senior citizens? How can that be! Because dogs age faster than humans, your dog may become a senior citizen before you do!

How will having a senior dog change your life? Will it matter to you that your dog is getting old right before your eyes?

Senior dogs have different needs than younger dogs. For instance, older dogs may need a different diet. Be sure to consult your dog's veterinarian before you make specific changes.

Before your dog becomes elderly, consider pet insurance needs. This may be something you should consider if you think you can't handle the expense of illness a dog may have, and medication an older dog may need.

Grooming your dog can become an issue also. For help creating a place in your home to groom your dog, read the post dated 04-06-09 titled Creating A Dog Grooming Station. The link is at the end of the post.

Medications to help your senior dog survive old age should be discussed with a vet, not purchased online without knowledge of side effects.

Be sure you are keeping up on dental care for your dog. A senior dog may need more than the dental care you do at home. Consider visiting the vet or a professional groomer every three months or so to help avoid problems with the dog's oral health.

As a dog ages, it may need help climbing into it's favorite chair. A small inexpensive stool can solve this problem.

What about odors the dog may have that you must deal with between grooming sessions? Products that are specific to this issue can be purchased in stores that exist to supply you with anything your pet needs.

Keeping your senior dog comfortable and happy may be a little complicated, but if your dog could, wouldn't it take care of your needs?

Creating A Dog Grooming Station

Photo and dog property of T. Anthony

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dog toys that make sense.

Dog toys may keep your best friend busy for hours. Usually dog toys are not only fun for your pet, they can encourage some exercise your dog may not otherwise get.

Which dog toys are worth your hard earned cash? And, which dog toys are safe for your pet? These are questions we need to ask when making any purchase for our furry friend.

When looking for dog toys, check what the product is made of: Is it plastic? Are there pieces that the pet will easily chew and remove? Are there parts that will deteriorate easily? Toys meant for smaller dogs should not be given to your large dog. Some large dogs will be able to destroy, and therefore begin to swallow, some of the toys meant for small dogs. And, although we all want to think our dogs are brilliant, some really don't haven't a clue when it comes to what is food, and what isn't!

Dog toys sold in stores that cater to pet needs sometimes have employees that may suggest one item over another. Don't let this prompt you to buy something. Think about how your pet usually acts with items already in it's space. Do you picture Fido ignoring what you are thinking of purchasing, or will your dog get some use out of the squeak toy, ball, etc. And, if the toy you are looking at makes noise, does this mean there are bells, or small pieces on the inside that the dog can get to, and swallow? This thought is such a nightmare! Be sure your pet insurance is paid, just in case.

A Frisbee makes a great dog toy if you enjoy games of toss with your dog. If you or your dog feel such a game is too much like work, or a total snooze, skip it. The same goes with balls that are made for dogs. If a dog doesn't love playing ball, move along.

When all is said and done, is the dog toy really for you, or for your dog? Do you have a family room strewn with toys the dog does not pay attention to now?

You may think you can find a great chew toy, and therefore skip giving dog treats that will add to your pet's middle. What about the hard rubber inexpensive toys that are featured at discount stores? We have found some develop an odor after a day or two or the dog chewing, and have to groom the dog sooner than usual. This does not mean paying more for dog toy will make it better, but be aware of what you are getting for your money.

Dog toys that are tried and true may be the ones we remember our childhood pet having: A large piece of rope tied in knots; Large 'bones' that are not made of animal product, and seem to last for months; My personal favorite-cotton cat toys. The dogs sometimes just enjoy having something that is easy to destroy!

Dog and photo property of T. Anthony.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dog treats your dog may like.

Dogs seem to be fussy about some treats. You probably already know dogs are not attracted to the neat and tidy treats we would prefer they enjoy.

Some of our favorite clean dog treats over the years has been various edible Nylabones. These offer something for the dog to chew, and keeps their teeth clean and healthy. You will find these marketed under different names. Note there are some that are plastic, and these should be avoided. You don't eat plastic, why would your dog? We also have used typical dog biscuits you can purchase in most stores. However, the dog biscuits are not long lasting. In two seconds the dog is looking for another treat!

Dogs we have in the home now really like the sweet potato and chicken treats you can purchase in Dollar General and Family Dollar. These treats last just a bit longer than dog biscuits, but seem to satisfy the dogs longer.

Dog treats we have not found to be a good idea include some rawhide bones. First, we have no idea what exactly is in some of these products. Dog treats made outside of the United States are something we always avoid. Most knotted bones look cute, but the dogs often swallow pieces that are too large, and then have to vomit. What fun is this for the dog, or for you?

Smaller dogs may have more sensitive stomachs, and therefore treats should be limited. Some pet owners use bits of carrots or other vegetables that are safe for dogs. Before doing this, inform yourself about what dogs can and can't have. Some foods that are fine for people are not so fine for Fido.

Dog treats we avoid are the ones that are messy, and require a grooming session after eating. Also, just because a dog treat is sold does not mean it is a wise choice. Why would I buy pig snouts or pigs ears for a pet I am supposed to care about? This is a personal choice, but think before you buy. Your dog's health is at risk if you use something they should not be swallowing. And, be sure you pet insurance is paid up it you are giving a dog treats it should not have.

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