Category Archives: Paw Worthy News

My Picks & Misses

So I was at a party recently, and of course we started talking about our fur babies.  I mentioned products I liked and disliked, and people were jotting them down (well…typing into smartphones). Yes, I love to research products, check blogs, peruse reviews, and may even go a tad overboard, but then others don’t have to. So why not share my “love them” & “never agains” with Suki’s followers too? I’ll continue adding to the list as I have good or “what on earth was I thinking” experiences.

  • LOVE THEM
  • Sporn No Pull Harness – Suki is a little Houdini in every other harness I’ve tried.
  • TagWorks Blingz Collection Personalized ID tags at Petsmart – cute & durable
  • Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail – use it for full poop bags. Garage no longer smells.
  • Unrefined Coconut Oil – great for skin & coat
  • Petzlife TickZ natural flea & tick preventative – powder that goes on food & no harmful chemicals
  • Dremel 200 Series 2 Speed – economical model great for filing nails even for dogs like Suki who becomes a WWE wrestler during nail trims
  • Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball – still one of Suki’s favorites & durable
  • Simple Solution or Earth Rated poop bags
  • Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruff Wear – adjustable handle can be hand held leash or waist worn leash
  • Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover – better than anything else I tried –
  • Kong Zoom Groom brush – great dry or wet
  • Bamboo Pet Collapsible Silicone Travel Bowl
  • Kyjen Outward Hound Quick Access Treat Bag – mesh pocket on outside and interior pocket for phone/keys. Can access treats quicker than other bags but stays closed so no spilling.
  • Nina Ottosson Dog Twister toy – can adjust difficulty, Suki loves it
  • Our Pets Atomic Treat Ball – durable & keeps Suki entertained

NEVER AGAIN 

  • PediPaws Nail Trimmer – spend the money on a real dremel
  • Any standard step in harness at a pet store – I haven’t tried Gentle Leader
  • Jolly Pets Monster Mouth toy – hard to get treats out & Suki gets bored quickly with it
  • Bags-To-Go poop bags at Walmart – No, No, No!! Way too thin. Felt like I was touching poop.
  • FURminator brush – useless & painful on short haired dogs no matter what store employee tries to tell you
  • Citronella bark collars – Suki emptied the whole canister and kept barking. Didn’t phase her a bit.
  • Nina Ottosson Dog Magic puzzle toy – the bones have holes in top & Suki kept getting stuck on her nails
  • Nina Ottosson Dog Maze toy – Suki likes it, but not very durable. I’m always picking up torn off pieces of plastic from it.

Benefits of Raw Goat’s Milk for Dogs

http://answerspetfood.com/images/goat-milk.jpg

When someone mentions milk, you probably think of a mooing cow and whole vs 2% vs skim. Chances are raw goat’s milk doesn’t even come to mind, but it should. Goat’s milk has been gaining popularity in the world and for good reason. It’s not only a good source of probiotics and prebiotics, but it also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Raw goat’s milk maintains its nutrients and enzymes whereas typical milk pasteurization destroys them in cow’s milk.

Unlike cow’s milk, goat’s milk contains low amounts to none of the alpha-s1-casein protein which may be more likely to cause allergic reactions. Goat’s milk not only carries a lower risk of allergic reaction, but it’s more digestible. It contains smaller fat globules and higher concentrations of fatty acids than cow’s milk. Raw goat’s milk maintains its lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Breaking down the lactose makes the milk easily digestible especially for dogs and cats. Heat during the pasteurization process performed on cow’s milk destroys the lactase enzyme so lactose isn’t broken down. The lactose in store bought cow’s milk is difficult for dogs and cats to digest, whereas the body can digest goat’s milk within 20 minutes.

Goat’s milk has been proven to treat many chronic conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Gastric issues
  • Poor digestion
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Heart Disease
  • Ulcers
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Malnutrition
  • Asthma
  • Brain and nerve disorders

One of the most amazing benefits of goat’s milk is its cancer fighting properties. It contains pro-Vitamin A and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which have been linked to lowering the risk of cancer by up to 60%. CLA has also been shown to shrink existing tumors!

Suki has early kidney disease and has started getting benign lumps common in older dogs. I’ve recently  added raw goat’s milk to her diet, so she can reap the amazing health benefits and try to prevent cancers common in older pups. It’s her bedtime snack, and she loves the taste! I currently use goat’s milk from Answers Raw Pet Food Company, since that’s the brand my pet store carries. I highly recommend checking out their website. It’s chocked full of good information on raw goat’s milk and why you should add it to your fur baby’s diet.

http://answerspetfood.com/additional.html 

http://www.genpet.org/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/940x587/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/n/ans_additional_logo__95763_2.jpg

Holiday Safety Tips for Fur Babies

It’s that time of year again…Christmas!  Extra treats, new toys, Christmas carols, glorious fluffy snow, and pet parents torturing their pets with silly antlers!

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Get these stupid things off my head…now!

Unfortunately, Christmas can also bring some serious, evenly deadly holiday specific hazards for our fur babies.  I’m sure you’d rather be enjoying some eggnog and Aunt Martha’s fruit cake than visiting the emergency vet.   Ok, maybe not the fruit cake. Protect your fur baby and your holiday cheer with these pet safety tips.

  • BE AWARE OF CHOCOLATE!   This heavenly smelling concoction is irresistible to most of us including our pets.  Even a small amount can be toxic to pets though.  Chocolate contains theobromine which attacks a pet’s central nervous system and can lead to death.  Make sure to keep all chocolate safely out of reach of curious 4 legged family members.  This goes for gift wrapped chocolate as well. Mine is kept on the top of a closet with doors secured.  If your dog does get hold of some, call your vet immediately with the type of chocolate and amount consumed!  All chocolate is dangerous, but the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is.  Your dog may need their stomach pumped and to be monitored closely by their vet.
  • Have cats?  Then don’t have tinsel!  Cats are notorious for eating tinsel.  Unfortunately, tinsel can cause serious intestinal blockage which usually requires surgery.  It’s just not worth the risk.
  • No sweets or baked goods.  They can be too rich for pets and upset their stomachs. Many sweets also have artificial sweetener in them which can lead to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Be wary of holiday plants.  Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly, and poinsettias can cause health issues for pets.
  • Try to keep cords out of reach or at least unplug them when not around to supervise pets.  Electrical cords look like fun chew toys to our 4 legged family members and can deliver a dangerous shock if chewed through.
  • I don’t know of too many dogs who want to climb a Christmas tree, but cats are a whole other story.  Trees must look like beautiful climbing posts to them.  Secure your tree to the ceiling with fishing line, so your cat can’t knock it over and risk injury in the process of falling. Even if your dog doesn’t climb the tree, a strong tail wag can topple it over.
  • Also keep sharp or breakable ornaments towards the top of the tree and out of reach of wagging tails and curious noses.  You don’t want broken pieces being swallowed or stepped on by little paws.
  • If you have a real Christmas tree, supervise your pets around it and keep the needles picked up.  Block off the tree or pet when no one’s home. If ingested, the sharp needles can puncture your pet’s intestines.
  • Pets have sensitive stomachs and new, richer foods can wreck havoc on them.  Unless you enjoy dealing with your pet having diarrhea or vomiting, limit the table scraps.  You don’t have to completely exclude your pet from partaking in your holiday dinner…just be smart.  Suki gets a few pieces of plain turkey or ham on top of her food.  She does not get gravy, biscuits, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc.  She’s still part of our dinner without any ill side effects.
  • Keep burning candles supervised or out of reach of curious pets.  It doesn’t take much to knock them over or  too curious nose to get burned.
  • Don’t allow your pets to drink the water in the tree stand.  Bacteria and tree needles can accumulate in standing water.
  • No alcohol!  Inevitably, there’s that one relative who has a few too many and thinks it will be funny to watch a drunk pet.  Alcohol is toxic to pets!  It can slow down their heart rate and breathing and ultimately lead to cardiac arrest.  Make sure your guests know alcohol is off limits to your pets.
  • Watch the door!  I can’t stress this enough.  Many pets are lost during the holidays because they bolted out an open door. During the holidays, friends and family come and go frequently, and they may not be used to watching the door for fur ball escapees.  Make sure your pet is secure  before the door opens.

Suki & I wish everyone and their fur babies a very Merry Christmas!

The Dog Days of Summer

Poor Suki!  She just wants to go on long walks and play outside all day.  Unfortunately, summer has finally hit the Midwest with a heat advisory and high humidity all week.   It’s miserable even in the shade.  Since I would prefer not to rush Suki to the vet for heat stroke, I’ve imposed limits on her outside time.   She is NOT amused!

This “lovely” weather has put me back into summer pet safety mode again.  Dogs can’t sweat or cool down efficiently like humans, so we have to be extra careful with them in the summer.   We need to look out for them!

The folks at www.theuncommondog.com have created a cute infographic for reminders on keeping our canines cool this summer:

https://i2.wp.com/www.theuncommondog.com/Images/infographics/dog-days-summer.jpg

Also, please keep these tips in mind:

1. NEVER, EVER leave a dog in a car.  Even outside temps in the 70s can be fatal.  If I see a dog in a hot car, I will break the window and call police.   The dog’s life is way more important than your car window.  The graphic below from Out of the Woods Rescue facebook page shows how quickly the interior of a vehicle can heat up.  How about you sit in the car and see how you like it!

2. Pavement heats up quickly, especially blacktop.  Even just a few minutes can severely burn a dog’s paws to the point of blisters on their pads.  My cousin’s dog can attest to this after running down their driveway.  Make sure you protect your dog’s paws with boots or one of the many paw sticks/paw balms on the market.  Currently, I’m using pawstick from Fou Fou Pet.  I like that it’s a stick and easy to apply….plus Suki despises boots.  I just rub it across Suki’s paws and we’re ready to go with no mess.  I picked it up at a local dog store for $4.99.

3.  Water, water, water!  Again, dogs can’t sweat or cool down as quickly as humans.  Make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water available especially on walks.   There are some cool doggie water bottles on the market, though Suki refuses to learn how to drink from them.  For our outside time, I bring a standard water bottle and collapsible water bowl.  I use the Dexas BPA free one.  I love that it has a caribiner clip, so I can attach it to the leash or a belt.  It folds/collapses very flat for storage and is dishwasher safe.

Dexas Pink Collapsible Travel Cup

4.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!  White and light colored dogs are especially susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer, but other dogs can be at risk too.  Suki has a bare spot on the bridge of her nose which needs protection.  There are several dog sunscreens on the market, but I use a baby sunscreen stick for her nose area.  It’s gentle and easy to apply.  No, she doesn’t like it…but I’m pretty sure she’d like skin cancer less!

5.  Please, please, please do not leave your dog outside in this heat.  If you’re uncomfortable or hot, your dog hit that point awhile ago.   If you’re inside comfortably cool in the AC, your dog should be too.

Pet Blogs United Featured Blogger This Week! Woohoo!

Suki and I are sooo excited to be the featured blogger this week at Pet Blogs United.  Well, ok I’m excited…Suki’s napping.  But she’s excited in her own way!

Stop on over and check out their website and my posts:  http://petblogsunited.blogspot.com/. If you’re not familiar with their site, it’s a pawsome central location for pet bloggers from all over to communicate and showcase their blogs.  I love that I can go to one place to catch up on many different blogs and learn of new ones!

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Pet Blogs United Here We Come! Featured Blogger June 8, 2013!

So have some exciting news!  Suki & I will be the featured blogger on Pet Blogs United  on June 8th!  Their website is http://petblogsunited.blogspot.com/

Don’t miss it!

Be Your Dog’s Protector Against Scary Vets

When we receive a serious diagnosis for ourselves or a family member, we usually obtain a 2nd opinion or visit a specialist.  We want to obtain as much information as we can before pursuing a treatment. Why are we hesitant to do the same for our fur babies, especially since they can’t speak for themselves?  I learned this valuable lesson a couple of months after adopting Suki.

When I adopted her in 2010, I noticed her belly hung pretty low (affectionately called the “buddha belly” now).  Since she was my first dog, I wasn’t sure if it was from her being overweight, pregnant when she was found, or something serious.  I took her to a walk-in type vet recommend by a friend for her initial checkup. I asked about her belly and was advised it was nothing to worry about.  I took her back a week later due to a stomach bug and saw a different vet (the bad thing about a walk-in clinic).  I again asked about her belly, and again was told not to worry about it.  We were back at the vet a couple of weeks later for a cut paw…again saw a different vet.  She said not to worry about Suki’s belly too.  When I returned to have the hard wrap removed from her paw, the vet (yes another new one) was alarmed at her belly and took an x-ray.  The vet came back and said she saw a mass in Suki’s abdomen that was pushing her belly down.  She believed the mass was a tumor and wanted me to have an abdominal ultrasound at a clinic she recommended.  She also said Suki likely had Cushing’s Disease, and it was a very grim prognosis…as in death likely.  I left the vet crying and believing my sweet baby was going to die. I was also extremely upset that the previous 3 vets at the clinic told me not to worry about Suki’s belly.  She could have received treatment much sooner!  I Googled Cushion’s Disease which only made me cry more!

Luckily, I decided to obtain a 2nd opinion.  Another friend recommended her vet clinic which includes a hospital facility where they could perform the ultrasound.  Her pets are her babies, so I felt confident with her recommendation.  I made an appointment and took the previous x-ray with me.  Not only did the new vet (my savior) not see a mass or tumor, but she also showed the x-ray to every vet working that day for additional opinions.  No one could see this mass/tumor the previous vet saw.  The new vet also said there was a blood test for Cushing’s Disease.  What?  The first vet never mentioned a blood test.  How could she diagnose such a serious disease and tell me my baby would die without performing a test?  I had a few choice words for the first vet!  The new vet performed the blood test which came back negative!  That’s right…no Cushing’s Disease!  After a thorough exam, the new vet determined the pot belly was partially due to the excessive weight and partially due to weakened stomach muscles from the pregnancy.  The blood test also revealed elevated kidney levels, so the new vet put Suki on a medication to stabilize her kidneys.

Not only did Suki live…she doesn’t have Cushing’s Disease, doesn’t have a tumor, and her kidneys are now stable!  After a diet and exercise program, Suki has lost 11 pounds, and her belly doesn’t hang nearly as low.  She still has a little “buddha belly” which adds to her cuteness.  Her current vet is a godsend!  Not only do I have an amazing vet now (the same one each time), but I also learned to trust my gut!  I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars and a lot of stress!  It’s my job to protect Suki…even if that means going against someone who supposedly knows more than me.

My Sweet Healthy Baby

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=615&tbm=isch&tbnid=mDnWE3a1Pv8HYM:&imgrefurl=http://www.buzzhunt.co.uk/2012/02/26/dog-at-the-vet/&docid=Sg6lGzBeoR5_VM&imgurl=http://www.buzzhunt.co.uk/wp-content/2012/02/DogHugAtVets.jpg&w=430&h=588&ei=pNS3UJzKJ8nc2gWJl4GICw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=4&vpy=245&dur=469&hovh=263&hovw=192&tx=75&ty=88&sig=116309434848795862003&page=1&tbnh=139&tbnw=103&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:8,s:0,i:107

A Doggie For Christmas?

xmas dog

I’m all for giving a dog a loving home.  I think sharing your life with a dog is the one of the best decisions you can ever make!  Your life is richer for having a dog in it.  Unfortunately, some people make the decision to bring home a dog on a whim, completely unprepared…especially this time of year!   Giving a dog or puppy as a surprise Christmas gift may seem like a good idea especially if a child wants a cute doggie.  But please remember that dogs are living animals and require a lot of responsibility.  Please consider these points before deciding to give a dog as a Christmas gift:

Would You Want The Dog If It Wasn’t Christmas Time?

Ask yourself if you would still be bringing home a dog if you weren’t doing it as a Christmas gift.  If you’ve been wanting a dog for awhile, done your research on breeds, are prepared for the responsibility after the holiday novelty wears off…then fine.  If you just think a dog would make a really cute Christmas gift for little Timmy…STOP!  A dog is not a toy that a child can play with a few times then discard once they lose interest. Dogs are living beings who need love, attention, training, and proper care for their entire life.   Many “Christmas gift” dogs end up in shelters because the novelty wore off, or the time to care for them became too much.  Shelter dogs are living on borrowed time and many wind up being euthanized.  A dog doesn’t deserve that because your family grew tired of him by February.  Owning a dog is at least a 10 – 15 year commitment. Give an iPad instead. Think before you gift!

If You Are Ready for a Dog, Wait Until After Christmas

If you’ve seriously weighed the pros and cons of owning a dog and have decided you are truly ready for the responsibility, please bring the dog home either well before Christmas or wait until after Christmas.  The holidays can be a crazy and busy time.  Bringing a dog into a new environment with lots of chaos and new people is not the best idea and can lead to one stressed little doggie.  Help your dog make a smooth and comfortable transition by bringing him into a calm environment.  Let him adjust to his surroundings without the added crazy holiday happenings.  Imagine if you were taken from a familiar environment, dropped in a completely new home with a bunch of new people coming and going.  Would you be comfortable or completely stressed out?  Stressed dogs tend to get into more trouble.

Does Everyone in Your Family & the Dog Get Along

Before choosing to bring a dog into a home, every member of the family (including any other pets) should interact with the dog first.  Not all personalities mesh, and not every dog is right for your family.  Giving a dog as a surprise Christmas gift could easily backfire.  The dog and other family members may not care for each other.  You don’t want to wind up with a child who hates the kind of dog you brought home, or a dog who doesn’t like your child or other dog in the home.  The family dynamics should be tested out prior to bringing a dog into your home.

Please Adopt, Don’t Shop

If you’re ready to bring a dog home (before or after the holidays…follow above advice), please adopt!  There are so many dogs in shelters and rescue groups across the country that need and would love a good home!  I adopted Suki from a rescue group, and she is the sweetest, most loving dog!  Adopted dogs seem to know they’ve been given another chance and are super grateful.   Adopting doesn’t just save 1 life but 2.  You save the dog you’ve adopted, and you’ve opened a spot for another dog to be adopted.  Plus adopting doesn’t contribute to puppy mills.  As long as people are willing to pay for a puppy in a pet store or from a backyard breeder, puppy mills will continue to exist.  Do some internet research on puppy mills…you will be appalled!

Do You Want a Dog or Just A Cute Puppy

I agree puppies are adorable cuddly balls of fur.  Who can resist a puppy? When they have an accident, it’s small and that cute face makes cleaning up feel not so bad.   But just remember…puppies grow up into adult dogs!  They lose that cute puppy face and small puppy size. Adult dogs can still have accidents, and when they do it’s a bigger puddle!  Do not adopt a puppy if you’re not prepared for an adult dog down the road. Puppies grow up!

Please be responsible and make sure you are ready for the long-term commitment of being a dog mommy or daddy before you bring home the new family addition.

Have a Doggie Safe Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It’s the season for sharing, stuffing ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, listening to Aunt Ida talk about the “good ole days”, Uncle Eddie driving us crazy, reaching for the cocktails to stave off the crazy relative blues. collapsing in a food coma on the couch.  But it’s also a time to protect our fur babies. It’s great we want to share our feast with them, but pets have different digestive systems than humans.  Vets see an increased number of office visits for digestive issues after the holiday.  Follow these tips to avoid making an unexpected vet trip, and make sure your guests are aware of them as well:

Moderation, Moderation, Moderation

Last year I made sure to only give Suki “doggie safe” food, but I didn’t pay attention to “how much”….mostly ’cause of the “I’m dying of starvation” puppy dog eyes.  She had a plate of turkey instead of just a few pieces. Let’s just say that the abundance of turkey caused “explosions” of the nasty kind for a day or so.  Too much of fatty foods can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, or the serious condition of pancreatitis. Trust me…you do NOT want to repeat my experience! Safely share your turkey by putting just a few pieces in with your pup’s regular food.

No Cooked Bones

Cooked bones are very dangerous, especially turkey bones since they’re hollow!  They can easily splinter into sharp pieces, become lodged in your dog’s intestines (causing a blockage) or actually cause a perforation of the intestinal tract.  Your dog can have a lodged bone, but not show signs of the blockage for 1 – 2 days.

Now you may think “ok, I just won’t give my dog any bones”.  Let’s remember who we’re dealing with…determined, hungry, master of the puppy dog eyes furballs!  Make sure you don’t leave any plates with bones or the carcass laying around within a furry garbage disposal’s reach.  Place any garbage with bones in the garage or outside, so not within your dog’s reach.  Don’t forget to remind your guests that cooked bones are not for doggies.

Sage Advice

Sage and other savory herbs can really add flavor to that yummy turkey and other dishes.  A lot of these herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.  Keep them out of your fur babies’ reach to be safe.

No Raw Bread or Rolls Dough

Now Suki doesn’t have to worry about this, cause mommy buys pre-baked breads.  LOL.  I do buy bisquits, so I make sure and keep them out of reach until cooked.  Dough needs heat to rise, and your pet’s belly is warm!  Their body heat will warm the dough and cause it to rise…inside your precious furbaby!   The expansion of the dough causes serious complications and may likely require surgery.  Make sure only fully baked bread and rolls are shared with your dogs.

Avoid Salmonella Poisoning

Dogs love to stick their noses in everything, including cake or cookie batter if your back is turned. Unfortunately, the raw eggs in these pre-cooked dishes can cause salmonella poisoning.  Uncooked turkey can also cause it.  Make sure the pups are only eating safe, fully cooked items.

No Doggie Hangovers

Now, I’m all for enjoying cocktails, especially in an enclosed space with the family at a holiday.  But dogs and cocktails are a bad combination.  We all have that one relative who has a little too much to drink and thinks it’s funny to share with the dog.  Or maybe you walk away from your drink for a minute…time for furry garbage disposal to swipe in.  Not only can alcohol make a dog sick, it can actually cause a coma or death.  Keep the alcohol away from furbabies!

Avoid the Burn

Thanksgiving means a lot of food and a lot of cooking going on.  Cooking means heat which can mean a nasty burn for a curious pup.   Suki knows the “back up” command well, so I don’t have an issue keeping her away from the stove/oven.  However, this year I’m watching a friend’s dogs who let’s just say are “devil dogs” (I do love them though).  They are under your feet at all times in the kitchen.  If you have this experience, try giving your dogs a treat filled Kong in another room to occupy them.  Another great option is to block the kitchen entrance with a baby/pet gate.

Suki &  I wish you and your furbabies a happy & safe Thanksgiving!

Rain, Rain Go Away!

If there’s a light rain, Suki will quickly potty then make a beeline for the door.  If there’s a heavier rain, forget about it! She plops her furry little butt down at the door and refuses to budge an inch. Girl will hold her pee for hours rather than go out in the rain!  I’ve tried putting an umbrella over her, going out with her, bribing her with treats, etc… She doesn’t mind baths or jumping in puddles, so what gives with the rain?  Is it getting her paws wet, the feel of the rain hitting her, the cold of it?  Now she detests thunderstorms (which I understand), but why a simple rain?

I started researching if there was an actual reason for Suki’s hatred of the rain as a dog, or if she was just a prima donna. Turns out, she has a valid reason.  Dogs hear at a wider range of frequencies than us. The low end of the range is similar, but dogs can hear noises up to 45 kHz while humans only hear up to 23 kHz.  The sound of the rain hitting the ground and other items is actually amplified to a dog’s sensitive hearing and can hurt their ears.

Guess I can’t accuse Suki of just being a spoiled diva anymore.  I feel kinda bad for making her go out in the rain now. Maybe a leash umbrella would help?

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