November 2011

How to Properly Use a Choke Chain

We have a hard-headed Rottweiler who pulls like the dickens when we take her on walks.  I’m not very big and I don’t relish the idea of playing tug of war with my dog every time I want to go somewhere.  With that in mind, I went to the local feed store the other day to pick up a choke chain to help train her to respect the leash.  Much to my dismay, a checker we have seen for quite some time got pretty upset that I was buying a choke chain and tried to educate me on options that wouldn’t involve “choking” the dog.  That got me thinking that maybe many people truly believe that’s what a choke chain is for.

The Bulldog: Cruel To Keep It?

Is it possible to create a breed so malformed that simply continuing to breed it is an act of animal cruelty?

 

A recent article in the New York Times picked on bulldogs as a breed, but the same can be said for many highly specialized, "over-bred" breeds in America. The original bulldog, the breed standard up until about the 1950s, was a dog similar in shape and stature to a pit bull. It was short and stout, but still mainly dog-shaped. However, in the last 50 years the bulldog has been transformed drastically. It has a broader chest, stouter legs, a flatter face - and even more health problems than before.
 
A lot of groups - including dog breeders, animal welfare experts, and the Humane Society - are beginning to publicly discuss the problem of extreme animal breeding. Their contention is that breeds like the modern bulldog are, by their very existence, examples of cruelty. Dogs who are doomed to a life of chronic pain, constant partial asphyxiation, and an early death.

The Joys of Pet Doors

"All in all, I am very happy we bought that pet door."

We have two active dogs and five acres, and we’re sort of lazy.  I mean, who wants to keep letting the dogs in and out all day and night?  So a few years ago, we bought a pet door – the kind that just slips right into the patio door and can be removed at any time.  I can hardly remember what it was like to live without a pet door, and I don’t want to ever go back.

Lymphoma in Dog’s

"Some of the breeds that are most likely to develop Lymphoma are Golden Retrievers, Rottweiler’s, and Scottish terriers."

All dogs are susceptible to catching Lymphoma it does not matter the breed or age. It is important that you know the symptoms of Lymphoma in order to get appropriate help for your pet. When your dog shows symptoms of lymphoma should get the pet into the Veterinarian soon as possible. You can have your dog treated in order to prevent the cancer from spreading. Lymphoma is a cancer that is malignant and affects the lymphoid system.

Winterizing Man’s Best Friend

Dogs are warm-blooded creatures and as such they get cold just like we do

My dogs are spoiled, okay? So, I admit it and am not the least bit ashamed of that. They go where I go, and if they are not allowed – then I do not go to those places. They are welcome on my furniture, I share my bed with them and if there is enough room left over, my amazingly tolerant husband can even climb in and curl up with us.

Herding Breeds

Border Collie, Heeler/Australian Cattle Dog, and Sheltie

Growing up on a farm, we almost always had a herding breed dog.  Now that I am away from the big farm and living on my little 5-acre place, I have more town-y type dogs – a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd.  Rather than herd, their sole interest in my livestock is how well it looks on a plate made for two.  After a string of chicken murders earlier this year, I find myself missing those loyal, intelligent herding dogs.  My favorite dog ever was a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, and no dog will ever replace her in my heart.

Grooming You Can Do at Home

Taking a dog to a professional groomer can be very expensive, which is precisely why I tend to avoid dogs who have special grooming needs.  Spending $40 to have a 10-pound dog washed and clipped seems absolutely outrageous to me.  No matter what breed of dog you have, however, some grooming is essential to the hygiene and sanity of your house.

Little White Dog Syndrome

Who knew little white dogs had their own disorders!

Regardless of their breed, well for the most part, little white dogs are prone to disorders that the average brown medium, or average black large dogs are not.

I am a breeder and handler of Maltese. If ever there was a typical little white dog, the Maltese would be it. With all the silky white hair, large black eyes lovingly gazing at you through well-placed eyeliner rimmed eyes and the nearly overabundance of personality, lurks a silent enemy of the little white dog - seizures.

Yes, Dogs Do Ear Mites Too!

"dogs don't get them as often as cats but they do get them"

Since ear mites are more common in cats, some dog owners mistakenly think that dogs don't get ear mites. While it is true that dogs don't get them as often as cats, they do get them, especially if they are living in the same household as cats or they are exposed to cats while outdoors. This is because ear mites are highly contagious. In fact, humans can even get ear mites although it is often erroneously written that they cannot.

 

To check for ear mites in your dog, look deep inside the ear and see if you see any waxy build up or dirty ear. If you do, your dog may have ear mites. The mites are actually too small for the human eye to see but you can see the evidence they leave behind as their population grows inside your dog's ear. Since ear mites eat earwax and skin oil and then defecate, there will be a build up of dark dirty looking material.

Pet Food Poisoning Humans?

Cases of salmonella in humans have been linked to pet food being given to pets in the home

I am glad I made the choice to make my own dog food after recent findings by the FDA

I make my dogs food from scratch. It was more of a necessity then a want when I started doing it. Homemade food was the only thing that my then puppies could eat that would not cause them to errrm….toss their dog cookies on a regular basis. Frankly, I got a bit tired of chasing them around with a bottle of carpet cleaner and a rag.

After a few bouts of this and realizing that the plain hamburger and rice that I would cook and feed to them to help them recover after one of these stomach-emptying events was staying down just fine, I modified the hamburger and rice to be more nutritionally complete and that has been their diet for the last three years.

Now it appears that I might have made a good decision, not only for the health of my dogs but also for the health of my family.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Food and Drug Administration has begun a nationwide effort to test pet food for salmonella contamination amid evidence it is sickening pet owners.”

Samples have been obtained from various brands of pet foods and treats from various more retailers that are leading investigators to believe that some of this pet food maybe contaminated with Salmonella. Even scarier, this salmonella is somehow making its way into the family’s food sources and the families themselves are getting sick.

Does Your Dog Have a Dull Coat? Try Eggs

Dogs whose coats are dull, listless and rough despite getting adequate food and de-worming may just need a little extra vitamin E in their diets to perk their fur right up.  We had a puppy that was getting free choice grain-free puppy food, was current on de-worming and by all rights should have looked healthy.  Despite our efforts, her coat was awful – no one wanted to pet her.  I began giving her one egg from our free-range chickens each day, and within about one week, her coat began responding by getting softer, sleeker and shiny.  A few months later, you are not able to tell she ever looked unhealthy.  Her coat is glossy, soft and has no foul odor like it used to.

Will Eggs Make My Dog Fat?
Carbohydrates make our dogs fat.  Most of us feed commercial dry foods, which can be made up of up to 50 percent carbohydrates, contributing to weight problems and potentially diabetes.  Eggs are much closer to a natural diet for dogs, so if your dog is overweight, try increasing his exercise and reducing his dry food while still supplementing with eggs.