August 2012

Could your dog’s irritation be a hot spot?

Discovering the facts about hot spots

If you are a dog owner, you probably have heard the term hot spots. Did you know that the scientific term for this condition is acral lick dermatitis? It is a type of moist and weepy sore that a dog may get. What causes these sores?

These sores can be caused from a dog not being groomed properly. Dry and matted hair is the number one reason for this problem. However, anytime a dog may get a sore or an itch this condition can also begin. This can include such conditions as bacterial and fungal infections, allergies. However, fleas and mites can also irritate the skin and cause sores to appear.

English Mastiffs

A true gentle giant

Finding the perfect dog can be more of a challenge then what you ever imagined. You have to deal with the breed, temperament and even the size of the dogs before you can select the best one. This is when you may want to know some information about the English Mastiff, a truly gentle breed even though they are a giant dog.

The first thing you need to realize is that the English Mastiff is a large dog. Since they are so large, they can be very imposing. However, if you have ever been around this dog, like I have, you know they are gentle as can be and the harshest thing my dogs do is drool on me and anything that is around them.  So you will see even though they are large, if you own them or they are raised properly, they are gentle with you and anyone you tell them to be gentle with.

Meditating with your Shetland Sheepdog

Your Sheltie will learn to enjoy relaxing with you.

Work. School. Family. Many of us juggle multiple roles, and as we frantically try to keep up with them all, we may be left feeling exhausted and drained. It can be hard to imagine fitting any more activities into our over-scheduled lives. There is a simple activity, however, that can help reduce stress, and leave us feeling calm and able to tackle whatever life throws at us. 

Could your dog have lick granuloma?

Recognizing lick granuloma

We all love our dogs. We worry about them when they are sick or when sudden sores appear on their bodies. Sores can appear on our dog’s bodies when they suffer from lick granuloma, which is an urge to lick his body. This urge mainly centers on his lower body, around his legs and the base of his tail. This urge will become a continued action that will cause the skin to become red and inflamed. Over time, lesions may form. These lesions can even lead to other health issues.

A dog may suffer from lick granuloma for a number of reasons. These can include boredom, stress and compulsiveness. However, health issues such as fungal and bacterial infections can also be a cause, as well as fleas and mites.

Toys for an aggressive chewer

When I first got my little rat terrier/Chihuahua mix, I ran out to the pet store to pick up the necessary supplies. In addition to the basics (a collar, leash and food), I also bought several dog toys. My favorite was a cute stuffed skunk that squeaked. I couldn't wait to give it to her.

As soon as I returned home, I let my pooch play with the skunk. I left the room for less than five minutes, and when I went to check on her I found bits of the skunk scattered across the entire room. How could she possibly "kill" it in that amount of time?

It turns out that my tiny, 12 pound doggie is an aggressive chewer. After a lot of trial and error, I complied list of the toys that I think are best for dogs with jaws of steel.

Investigate dogs' barks

Barking dogs annoying? Find out why they bark.

Living in a home can be a great thing, but when you have a dog who is constantly barking, it can be even harder to deal with. This is when you need to know why you should investigate each time your dog decides to start barking at something. Once you know why you should do this, it will be easy to see just how important it is to check on your furry friend's needs.

The first reason you should consider checking to see what your dog is barking at is to see if someone is where they are not supposed to be. For example, your dog may be barking because you have someone lurking in your yard. Now this is not always the case and it could just be the shadow of a tree branch, but still it is worth looking to see what your pet is barking at.

Sheltie behavior, emotions and training cues

Shelties can be incredibly tuned in to their owners, and this is so apparent to anyone who does dog sports with her dog. They may pick up on emotions that we don't even realize we are feeling. In this way, the Shelties can act as our emotional barometers during training or competing.

It can be tricky at times to decipher what the dog's behavior is telling us about our own emotional state. Here are a few things to consider: if your Sheltie is yawning, she is sending a calming signal. In her eyes you may be acting agitated, and she hopes you will relax.


If your Sheltie starts to sniff more then usual, she may be feeling very pressured and stressed, and she may be reacting to your stress. If this happens when you are training, consider taking a break and playing. Sniffing is also a cue that she may need to potty, so consider a quick walk.