Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Training a new puppy brings up old lessons

The video player for this lesson is no longer available. Please return to All About Labradors.

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Summer Dangers

With the hot summer weather comes many questions sent in regarding dangers and safety for our lovable Labrador Retrievers...

What are signs of heat stroke in my Labrador Retriever?
Is it to hot for my Labrador Retriever to be outside?
How to I perform first aid on my Labrador?

These are just a few of the questions we receive as the summer heat becomes a dangerous time for our Labradors.

Besides my help, the Red Cross has announced a new campaign called The Dog Days of Summer, helping to teach about heat safety, pet first aid and CPR.




Many Red Cross chapters across the country offer classes and courses with hands-on training in pet first aid and pet safety awareness.

Red Cross Launches Dog Days of Summer Campaign to Promote Pet Safety

I have recently taken a pet first aid course and highly recommend it for new Labrador Retriever owners as well as seasoned owners as they provide a great refresher.

Red Cross is Hounding the Public on Pet Safety during the Dog Days of Summer

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Crate Training for my Labrador Retriever

Subject: Crate Training for my Labrador Retriever

From: Stephon

Labrador Retriever Name: Backside

Reader's E-mail - Stephon Writes:

Hello, I really enjoy your Labrador blog, it is loaded with very informative information that should help me with my new Labrador puppy.

I have a four month old chocolate Labrador Retriever named Backside that I would love to crate train. I was wondering if you could provide me with some help with this. I will send photos as soon as I upload them from my camera.

Thank you and God Bless,
Stephon

All About Labradors Answer:

Hello Stephon and congratulations on your new Labrador Retriever puppy. Love the name, I haven't heard that one.

I believe you have made an excellent choice in deciding to crate train your Labrador Retriever. It provides you Labrador Retriever with it's own private sanctuary while helping him learn the house rules. It also will keep your property safe while you are out and keep your Labrador safe. I really believe crate training is well worth the time and effort.

I have supplied you with wonderful resource for you to start your crate training as well as other resources for puppy and dog training. If you have any problems understanding anything, please let me know. I am here to answer any other questions you may have along the way.

Read this document on Scribd: Dog Crate Training




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Train your dog the same fast, effective, fun way a professional dog trainer uses to train pet stars in film, television, and commercials.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life's Abundance Dog Food Sample

I have featured Life's Abundance sample before on All About Labradors. This is a new link to request a free sample if you would like to let your Labrador Retriever(s)give it a test.

Information from dogshealthfood.com - "NO Steroids NO Hormones NO By-Products NO Artificial Colorings NO Corn, Wheat, or Soy NO Chemical Preservatives Powerful Antioxidants like Grapeseed Extract Pure Digestible Protein Sources Chelated Minerals for 40% better absorption Five Live Probiotics (friendly bacteria) Omega 3 Fatty Acids for a healthy skin and coat FRESH your food is never more than 6 weeks old Made in an APHIS certified USDA Plant.

We are sending out this free dog food sample because my wife and I have such a passion for dogs and cats we are trying to build an independent business.We are so sure that this sample will have a positive effect on your dog that we are willing to pay the shipping for those that add something in the comments section about why they want to try this holistic all natural dog food."

** Be sure you add a comment in the comments section on why you want to try their holistic all natural dog food.**

It looks like this Life's Abundance dog food offer is available to the USA and Canada.

I would also like to remind everyone that All About Labradors does not offer this sample, dogshealthfood.com is. Also, as always supplies will probably quite quickly.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Earthblend Super Premium Dog Food - Free Sample

Information from Earthblend website: " Over the last 3 to 4 decades, pet owners have grown accustomed to feeding a diet loaded with fillers and unnatural additives. Today, we find a world full of overweight, weak-boned, cancerous, and old-before-their-time pets that need specialized diets, on- going vet visits, and many times, expensive prescription medications.

It is documented fact that, in most cases, these problems could have been avoided through proper nutrition.

Earthblend is a perfectly balanced diet that can be fed throughout all life stages, from puppy through adulthood, without ever changing the formula. It is the only food your dog will ever need! Simply follow the feeding guidelines and adjust amounts according to your dog's activity level."

This one is for the USA only and only one sample per new customer.

Personally, I have never used Earthblend dog food, If anyone has and would like to share their opinions, please let us know.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Labrador Retriever's hair not growing back - part II

Subject: My Labrador Retriever's hair is not growing back after I shaved her - part II.

From: Gary

Labrador Retriever Name: Molly

Reader's E-mail - Gary's Response:

Just be advise that I have repeated the questions that I (All About Labradors) asked Gary followed by his answers in red:

WHY DO YOU SHAVE HER? Basically, because she sheds a lot and I thought she would be cooler in the summer (we live in Phoenix , AZ ).

What are areas where the hair hasn't grown back? On the side of her neck, flanks, and legs…..her other parts seems to be growing back a little better, but these areas are almost like the day I shaved her. I have shaved her for 4 years now, at least 2, sometimes 3 times a year and had never had this issue arise.

Are these hairless areas itchy to Molly? No

Are these hairless area raw and/or inflamed? No

Are the hairless areas dry and/or crusty? No

What do you feed Molly? Please list everything you feed her (dog food, treats, table scrapes, etc). Also please be specific with the name brands and flavors and if you changed anything recently. We feed her adult Iams dog food. Every now and then we give them rawhide bones to chew on and occasionally table scraps like pizza bones or vegetables.

What do you bath Molly with? Water and dog shampoo from PetCo

Any medical problems with Molly in the past? When Molly was 18 months old, she had parvo and made it through after 3 days at the vets….then when she was about 2 years old, she had subcutaneous Valley Fever and antibiotics got rid of that…..However, she has been healthy and alert ever since and shows no sign of any kind of sickness.

Is Molly a nervous or emotional Labrador ? No…she is a lover. All she wants is pettings and attention. But she is rather calm. A great dog. We also have two chocolate labs…Buddy, who is 5 (and I have shaved him as much as Molly and never an issue with his coat) and a 6 week old named Beaux.

Any other problems: runny eyes, nose, itchy paws, etc? No

All About Labradors Answer:

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Hello Gary,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

My apologies with the delays, as I receive many e-mail questions and with a full house of my own, it takes me some time to answer all the questions.

There are many different reasons for hair loss with our Labrador Retrievers. Some reasons of hair loss include: fleas, allergies, mange, skin infections, Hypothyroidism, Cushings Disease, flank alopecia, poor nutrition, and pattern baldness. These are just a few of the many reasons associated with hair loss.

Based on your answers to the questions I asked, I am able to eliminate some of the conditions that might be causing Molly her problems.

What I do recommend before I go any further is setting up an appointment with Molly's veterinarian to have her thoroughly checked out. I will list what I believe may be some of her problems and some of the things you can try.

Seasonal Flank Alopecia - Labrador Retrievers with this condition have hair loss on the flanks and trunk, that occurs during part of the year and is followed by hair regrowth during another part of the season. Some Labs will lose their hair in the fall and it will regrow in the spring, while others do the reverse. It causes bilateral symmetrical hair loss and hyperpigmentation of the flanks (a question I didn't ask was if there was a discoloring of the skin in the hair loss areas). Melatonin has been used in treatment with Seasonal Flank Alopecia.

Here is some further information for you to read (take a look at the photos on this site to see if it looks like Molly's condition):

http://www.hilltopanimalhospital.com/seasonalalopecia.htm

Pattern Baldness - is a gradual, symmetric thinning and loss of the hair that progresses slowly with the affected areas becoming completely bald. These areas of hair loss are not itchy. These areas, over time may become darkened and/or scaly. There is no recommended treatment, however I have read that Melatonin has also been used to help with this condition.

Hypothyroidism - is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone. It usually appears between the ages of 2 and 6. There are many different symptoms to hypothyroidism with abnormal shedding and alopecia (hair loss) being commonly seen. The hair loss is usually symmetrical.

Other symptoms of Hypothyroidism can include obesity, hair loss, dry skin, disorientation, lethargy, darkening of the skin, skin infections, seborrhea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, vomiting, and even heart problems.

Treatment consists of administering a thyroid hormone supplementation (replacement of the missing hormone with a synthetic hormone).

Here is some further information that will provide you with plenty of information on Hypothyroidism:

http://canadiangoldens.com/page.cgi?page=thyroid

Cushing's Disease - is caused by the production of an excess of corticosteroids, with symptoms of the disease usually coming on very gradually. There is a post on the All About Labradors blog that has much information on Cushing's Disease:

Yellow Labrador Retriever with Cushing's Disease

Post clipping alopecia -occurs after areas on your Labrador Retriever are clipped or shaved, and is commonly seen on the trunk or limbs. Hair may not grow back immediately after it has been clipped, and hyperpigmenatation may also be present. The areas of this hair loss can be noted several months after the shaving was done.

Quoted from Carlo Vitale, DVM, Dipl. ACVD from the NewsMagazine of Veterinary Medicine:

"One theory as to the cause is localized vasoconstriction occurs suddenly at the site, resulting in sudden arrest in the hair follicle cycle." He further states " Aggressive rubbing or scraping of the affected areas can result in regrowth of hair. Affected dogs usually regrow hair in six to 12 months."

Some things that may help with Molly's condition:

Proper nutrition - a good high quality dog food, which itself is a whole nother topic. Not that I'm saying what you're feeding Molly is bad, but if you need some recommendations on other foods let me know.

I would also cut out the table scrapes, definitely no good for her.

Supplementation with omega fatty acids can help to improve the health of the skin and coat.

As far as shaving Molly goes, this is a BIG DEFINITE NO, NO! Many people feel that they are helping their Labrador Retrievers by shaving them. They believe that shaving them will help to keep them from shedding or keep them cooler in the warm weather.

What they don't realize is that the Labrador will still shed, and that the undercoat that they are shaving actually helps to keep your Labrador Retriever cool. The only time your Lab will need to be shaved is if your veterinarian needs to for "Hot Spots", in which case all the fur covering and immediately surrounding the lesion must be shaved, or for some other surgical procedures.

Here is a good article for you to take a look at: Why you shouldn't shave your long haired double coated dog.

http://www0.epinions.com/pets-review-612F-3D22E415-3A22C1AD-prod6

Instead of shaving, what you want to do is groom thoroughly.

As you probably already know, Labrador Retrievers shed year round and then twice a year (spring and fall), they "Blow Coat", with the hair coming out in CLUMPS.

With my Labradors, I like to brush/groom them about twice a week to help keep them clean. You will probably have to brush Molly more when she is blowing her coat. Successful tools are a slicker brush or shedding blade. I also like to use a bristle brush, as it helps distribute the oils in your Labrador's coat, and it’s not stressful on their skin. Many fellow Labrador owners love a product called the Zoom Groom (it's a rubber brush with flexible rubber "fingers" that help to collect loose), made by Kong.

There is also a tool called the Furminator which I’ve been using, that I like, but I wouldn't use it all the time.

I hope some of this is of help to you and Molly. Like I previously stated, I do recommend an appointment with your veterinarian to have Molly examined and possibly tested. Remember, their are many different cause of hair loss with our Labrador Retrievers, some more serious than others.

If you don't understand anything, or have any other questions, please let me know. Also, please keep me updated on Molly's condition, and with anything the veterinarian tells you, if you do take Molly to see one.

Take care of yourself and Molly,
Fay

To read part I of this e-mail visit: Labrador Retriever's hair not growing back - part I

Helpful Posts:

Shaving my Labrador Retriever?

Does a Labrador Retriever need a Haircut?

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Labrador Retriever's hair not growing back - part I

Subject: My Labrador Retriever's hair is not growing back after I shaved her - part I.

From: Gary

Labrador Retriever Name: Molly

Reader's E-mail - Gary Writes:

I have a 4 year old yellow lab named Molly. She is very healthy and for the last 4 years I have shaved her at least 3 times a year (she is a terrible shedder!).

However, this last time I shaved her, her hair is not growing back in several areas on her body. This has been about 3 months now. She does not seem to be sick or anything, just looks kind of funny with no hair growing on her flanks. Will it ever grow back? Is there anything I can feed her or give her that will help?

Thanks for your help!
Gary

All About Labradors Response:

Hello Gary,

Thank you for your question and for visiting the All About Labradors blog.

As with many questions I receive, in order for me to try to be of some help to you, I need you to answer a couple of questions for me.

WHY DO YOU SHAVE HER?

What are areas where the hair hasn't grown back?

Are these hairless areas itchy to Molly?

Are these hairless area raw and/or inflamed?

Are the hairless areas dry and/or crusty?

What do you feed Molly? Please list everything you feed her (dog food, treats, table scrapes, etc). Also please be specific with the name brands and flavors and if you changed anything recently.

What do you bath Molly with?

Any medical problems with Molly in the past?

Is Molly a nervous or emotional Labrador?

Any other problems: runny eyes, nose, itchy paws, etc?

Anything else you can tell me that you think would be helpful.

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to the Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. You DO NOT have to send a photo to receive an answer to your question.

Please get back to me with the answers to these questions at your earliest convenience. Talk to you soon,

Fay

To read part II of this e-mail visit: Labrador Retriever's hair not growing back - part II

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

GREENIES® Pill Pockets® - Free Sample

Information from GREENIES® Website - "We could easily keep talking about how GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® treats have a built-in pocket that’s perfect for hiding a pill or liquid medication, and how they are the innovative way to give your pet his daily dose of medicine. But we'd rather let you - or rather your pet - try it firsthand."

This can be of great help if your Labrador Retriever refuses to take any medication. Both of my Labrador girls play with their monthly heartworm medication so this may help.

Be advised, this is for U.S. residents only and one sample per household. For Canadian readers, GREENIES® is offering samples also but I see no mention of the GREENIES® PILL POCKETS®. Just visit above link and click "Canadian visitors, please click here".

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Holistic Dog Foods

Here is a video on why you should feed your dog Holistic dog foods.



At the bottom of the video you will see an image that looks like a computer monitor, if you click on that you can watch the video in full screen.

This video shows many of the Holistic dog foods that we recommend here at All About Labradors.

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Eukanuba Naturally Wild Dog Food Sample

Grab a Free 7 oz. sample of Eukanuba Naturally Wild dog food.

There are three different choices for your Labrador Retriever to try:

Naturally Wild New Zealand Venison & Potato contains 100% real venison and the potatoes supply your dog with an excellent source of carbohydrates.

Naturally Wild North Atlantic Salmon & Rice contain 100% natural salmon and a highly digestable grain.

Naturally Wild Country-Grown Turkey & Multigrain contains 100% real turkey and a blend of carbohydrates.

"This offer is limited to U.S. residents. Limit one sample per household."

Eukanuba Naturally Wild Dog Food Sample

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

K9 KlearUp - Free Sample

Information from K9 KlearUp - "If your furry friend suffers from Hot Spots, Flea Bites, Mosquito Bites, Spider Bites, Eczema, Skin Rashes, Blisters, Chronic Scratching, A Dull Coat, Dry, Itchy, Flaky Skin, Scabbing, Split Pads, Acne or Burns, this is an important message for you...

Announcing, A Revolutionary New Natural, Organic Dog Balm Guaranteed To Help Clear Up The 17 Most Common Canine Skin And Coat Problems.

Introducing K9 KlearUp™, An Organic Miracle Of Nature. It's a naturally antibacterial, antiviral, antifuncidal, and antiseptic balm."

To learn more about this product and to request your sample visit the K9 KlearUp website.

I have never heard of or used this product (I guess cause it's new). Interesting though, I would like to see if it works. If anyone has any information about this product please let us know.

I do know that they are not offering many of these samples, so you had better act fast. I wouldn't be surprised if this offer was expired by tomorrow or even latter tonight.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dog DNA Testing

Back in May 2008 I posted the article DNA Samples Can Determine A Dog's Breed for those of you with mixed breed Labrador Retrievers, who may have wanted to know what breed or breeds your Labradors were mixed with.

A blood test done by your veterinarian could help determine the mixed breeds.

Now you can order simple tests from a company called Canine Heritage that can help determine what type of breeds were involved in making up your Labrador Retriever in just 4 weeks.

Here's a video that explains more in regards to these new test:

Dog-DNA.com Mixed Breed Testing - Canine Heritage XL



If you visit the Canine Heritage website make sure you watch the video on their site that explains the way the test works and the other benefits (besides knowing the mixed breeds) the testing provides.

On my original post in May, I wondered if these test would be able to tell if your Labrador Retriever was purebred. It looks like the answer to my question was no, but there is another company that may be able to help.

Quote from Canine Heritage FAQ's: "Can the Canine Heritage Breed Test be used to determine if my dog is purebred?

The Canine Heritage Breed Test is not designed for use as a purebred or paternity verification test and is not an established legal tool. A kennel or breed club certifies a dog’s breed based on pedigree documentation. If necessary, kennel and breed clubs use legally recognized DNA paternity testing to verify relationship. These tests use a different type of DNA analysis than the Canine Heritage Breed Test. For a fee, MMI Genomics, Inc. offers canine DNA paternity testing that will provide legally defensible verification of both sire and dam of a particular offspring." To learn more about paternity testing, visit MMI Genomics Inc."

I hope this helps some of you with questions regarding the lineage of you Labrador Retrievers. If anyone does use either of these test, or has the test done by their veterinarian, please let us know how the tests worked out and the results.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Labrador Retriever Safety and the Fourth of July

Hello to everyone. I want to wish all a happy and safe Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is a wonderful time for fireworks and celebration but can be an extremely dangerous and upsetting time for our lovable Labrador Retrievers.

The loud noises can cause panic, shaking, cowering, drooling or worse, causing your Labrador Retriever to seek safety and comfort.

So what can you do to help out your Labrador Retriever? Well, I have posted two wonderful articles that will give you some ideas to make sure you and your Labrador(s) can have a safe Fourth of July.

Keep your dog safe this Fourth of July - By Dr. Marty Becker Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service(KRT)

Leave your pets out of the Fourth of July festivities - By Shelter staff of the East Bay SPCA

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