Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Understanding Labrador Retrievers - Why a Lab May Not Be For You

Labrador Retrievers are considered people-oriented animals. So, they have to be in tune with their owners in order to follow certain guidelines. In order to understand this, you have to look deeper at what Labs were bred to do, and that is to hunt and retrieve.

You have to think of it this way; these dogs must be in perfect harmony with their hunter/owner in order to follow specific directions to track and find birds that have fallen to the ground. This need for the dog to have hand-held direction links to all aspects of a Labrador's life--even in your home.

This is great for those who want constant canine companionship. Nevertheless, it is bad for dog owners who have a Labrador Retriever but expect their pet to entertain itself with little contact from the owner.

There are many hunting dogs that were bred to be independent hunters with little contact and instruction from people. Examples of these types of dogs are Terriers and Hounds, which are known to lead the way (by smell and sight) with the human hunter determined to keep up with their companion's pace.

This is not how the Labrador is built. Labs are designed to retrieve, and in doing so they must have a connected attention link directly to the hunter. If a retriever ignores the hunter's commands then they may hit the water and swim far past where the bird has fallen, and possibly keep swimming out and away.

Retrievers that are well trained do not make these types of errors because they have the natural ability to attend to and follow thorough directions from the hunter. This skill is very critical to being a trustworthy retriever and is one of the reasons that these dogs make great service animals and obedience trainees.

Reason Why Some Labs Do Not Do Well With Many Families

You can probably understand by now just how connected and dependent a Labrador Retriever becomes to its owners. Retrievers always looks to people for leadership and must have human contact.

It's important to know that every dog breed is sociable to some extent. Some are even more sociable than others, but Labs need a whole log more attention than most dogs. They do not do very well when left alone for prolonged periods of time. A busy family who is away all day and come home to find out that their Lab has destroyed their new window trying to escape does not understand why this is happening.

These people are understandably livid and then chastise their Labs. An educated Lab owner will not act this way because they know better. They know what causes a Lab to try to escape like this and just wants to search out and find its owners. The dog is only considering their "pack" missing and make an attempt to find them outside.

One big lesson to take away from this article, especially if you have not yet decided on what type of dog to own and are thinking about getting a Labrador Retriever, is to make sure that you have plenty of time to devote to your Lab, day and night. If not, then consider a more independent dog breed. Otherwise, your lovable Lab may soon become increasingly unhappy and will end up a very destructive house pet, or worse, a runaway.

Article by Kelly Marshall from Oh My Dog Supplies - where you can find designer dog bowls to match any decor.


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kroger Recalls 10 Pet Food Varieties

The Kroger Co. is recalling ten pet food varieties sold across the USA States because they may contain aflatoxin, which poses a health risk to pets.

Research on Aflatoxin from BioIdea.net: "Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species, esp. in Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. They are largely associated with products in the tropics and subtropics. Aflatoxins are toxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known. Cereals crops are frequently contaminated. Aflatoxin B1, the most toxic, is a potent carcinogen and has been associated with liver cancer."

Aflatoxin can potentially lead to liver disease in dogs; however, not all dogs exposed to aflatoxin will develop liver disease. As with any toxic exposure, development of aflatoxicosis is a dose-related occurrence. Some dogs that develop liver disease will recover; those exposed to large doses for extended periods may not... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aflatoxin

Kroger stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia are included in this recall. The recall also includes Dillons and Gerbes stores in Kansas and Missouri; Baker’s stores in Nebraska; Food 4 Less stores in Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana (Chicago area); and Jay C, Hilander, Owen’s, Pay Less and Scott’s stores in Illinois and Indiana.

The following select packages are being recalled: Pet Pride Cat Food, Pet Pride Cat Food, Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food, Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food, Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food, Kroger Value Cat Food and Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food.

You can find the specific brand names, package sizes, sell-by dates and UPC codes of the affected products by visiting www.kroger.com/recalls or http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm237459.htm. You can also contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900..

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lifestyle For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

My seven year old Black Labrador has hip dysplasia he has been on anti-inflammatory medications since he was six months old.

His medication include an anti-inflammatory drug and a Glucosamine supplement. I am not a vet and therefore I will not give any advice on medication.

I am happy to suggest on the other most important aspect of treatment.

Your Dogs lifestyle.

Any dog with hip dysplasia should be kept fit and trim as any excess weight will obviously aggravate the condition, good muscle tone will help to support the dog's weight. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise which builds up the muscle without stress.

As the owner of a dog walking service my next point may seem a little strange. Dogs do not need to be "Walked" No wild canine goes for a walk for the sake of it. From your dogs point of view the purpose of a walk is to check out his territory for animal activity and to socialise, meeting members of his wider pack. It is therefore possible to give your dog an enjoyable walk without marching him for miles. Many people walk dogs on a lead pulling them away from natural smells and other dogs this is a pointless walk. The straining against the lead is also bad for your dog's joints.

Walks should be regular but not too long. Try to avoid over excitement, running, ball throwing etc. This will reduce the impact stress on his joints. Don't forget the purpose of the walk is to give your dog the natural stimulus he craves and does not get at home.

If you use a dog walking service, make sure that they are aware of your dog's condition and know his requirements and limitations.

Get to know your dogs body language, watch his gait and the way he is moving generally. If your dog has over exerted himself you will notice, just let him rest maybe skip his next walk or just take him out for a quick sniff and toilet.

The best piece of advice given to me by our Vet is to treat the dog and not the condition.

Dogs with HD find it very difficult to cope with hard floors. I have carpet runners in the kitchen and a large mat in his feeding area this is a must.

Hip Dysplasia is a serious condition but it is not the end of the world your dog can have a great life with just a little extra care and attention.

The above is my opinion as a dog owner please discuss any changes in the way you treat your dog with your Vet.

About the Author

Joe Dyer runs a dog care service in Buckhurst Hill Essex... Chums Dog Walking.


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Monday, December 20, 2010

Hide and Seek with your Labrador Retriever

Here's a fun game you can play with your Labrador Retriever. Hide and Seek is a great game to play with your Labrador, there's a lot of ways to play it and it's easy to teach. It's also a wonderful stress reliever for your Labrador Retriever on a rainy day or after a training session.

All you need to play Hide and Seek with your Labrador is their favorite toy and plenty of yummy treats.

In the following video, you'll learn the easy steps to get your Labrador Retriever to master the game of Hide and Seek:



If you have problems seeing the video, you can watch it here: Hide and Seek School

REMEMBER - Start slow and easy so your Labrador Retriever has a high rate of success and always make sure you reward your Lab with praise and treats when they bring the toy back.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Free Wellness Dog Food Samples

Wellness™ is offering Free dog food samples to let you and your Labrador Retriever discovering the path to True Wellness™ (did I mention they are offering cat food sample also).

Their diverse team of animal lovers, nutritionists and vets has only one mission: to help you provide your pet a healthy, happy, long life through the power of natural nutrition.

I hope you all try and take advantage of this offering as this is one of the better dog foods that I recommend here on the All About Labradors blog.

The are offering the following recipes are available for sampling:

Free Wellness Dog Food Samples:

Wellness® Super5Mix® Complete Health Chicken Recipe

Wellness® Super5Mix® Complete Health Lamb, Barley and Salmon Meal Recipe

Wellness® Super5Mix® Just for Puppy

Cat Samples:

Wellness® Complete Health De-boned Chicken, Chicken Meal and Rice Recipe

Wellness® Complete Health Salmon, Salmon Meal and De-boned Turkey Recipe

Wellness® Healthy Weight

Wellness® Kitten Health

According to their Rules and Regulations: "* Within six weeks, samplers will receive their requested sample(s) along with the following coupons:

$3.00 off any Wellness® Dry Recipe
$1.00 off any Wellness® Canned Recipe
$1.00 off any Wellness® Snack

Dog samples also come with a $2.00 on-package coupon

Offer is valid in US only and while supplies last.

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American Kennel Club Offers Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy This Holiday Season

While it’s easy for us to enjoy household parties with friends and relatives, holidays are a special time of the year filled with many surprises. Oftentimes we forget about our little four-legged family members during the excitement and festivities. The American Kennel Club® (AKC) offers the following tips to keep your furry friends safe among the hustle and bustle this holiday season.

* Daily routines tend to change during the holidays. Maintain a feeding and walking schedule as close to your dog’s normal routine as possible.

* Avoid feeding your dog table-scraps and sweets. Chocolate contains harmful, and sometimes fatal, chemicals to canines. Poultry bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockages.

* Avoid decorations with popcorn or cranberry strands or tinsel and glass ornaments. Keep small decorations out of your dog’s reach.

* When decorating with holiday lights, remember that exposed indoor or outdoor wiring could electrocute a curious canine that chews on it. Tape wires to the wall or sides of the house.

* Real Christmas trees pose numerous threats to dogs, so consider an artificial tree. If you do buy a natural tree then make sure your dog doesn’t swallow the pine needles. Dogs also find the tree water tempting, so be sure to use pet-friendly preservatives in the water.

* Plants such as poinsettias, holly and mistletoe can be poisonous to pets and should be kept out of reach.

* Dispose of all wrapping paper, bows and ribbons as soon as presents are opened.

* Resist the urge to give your favorite dog lover a cute, cuddly puppy during the gift-giving season. Puppies are a lifetime responsibility requiring exercise, training, veterinary care and – most importantly – love and attention. Instead, consider gift wrapping dog toys or supplies such as a leash or food bowl to symbolize the gift of a dog to come.

Additional tips on how to keep your dog safe during the holidays can be found on the AKC Website at www.akc.org.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Free Purina ONE brand Dog Food Sample

Sam's Club is offering Free samples of Purina ONE brand Dog Food.

"Purina ONE® brand Dog Food offers a full line of innovative formulas to meet your dog's changing and unique nutritional needs. So whether your dog is a puppy, a senior dog, or somewhere in between, the Total Nutrition and targeted nutrition formulas from Purina ONE® brand Dog Food provide nutrition to help promote a lifetime of visible health."

To get your Free Purina ONE brand Dog Food sample, visit the Sam's Club website and fill in the form (Limit one sample per household. You must be 18 or older. USA. No Sam's Club membership number needed).

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Free Purina One BeyOnd Dog

A Free Purina One BeyOnd Dog - first 25,000 (they also have cat food samples. 12,500 for dogs and 12,500 for cats). You have to have a Facebook account to request your Free Purina One BeyOnd Dog sample.

"With all this talk about Purina ONE beyOnd launching next month, how would you like to be one of the first to try it? For FREE! For this day only, we are giving you a sneak preview before we tell the public. So click on the Try beyOnd tab above and sign up today to get your free package."

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Free Holiday Pawtrait

Create your own free Holiday Pawtrait, compliments of PetSmart.

A Holiday Pawtrait is a free holiday e-card you create starring your family and Labrador Retriever(s)(or any other pet you might have).

Holiday Pawtrait

To create your Holiday Pawtrait, all you have to do is select your holiday backdrop, add family members and your Labrador Retriever(s), customize your characters, enter your card's message and snap your pawtrait.

When your finished you can e-mail it, post it to Facebook and even print it and mail it as a keepsake card!

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Free Pet Adornaments

PetSmart is offering everyone the opportunity to create cute Pet Adornaments for free.

What is an adornament? It's the most adorable ornament ever, starring your own Labrador Retriever (or other dog or cat). It's printable, foldable and show-off-able.

The pet adornaments are very easy to create, just upload a photo of your lovable Labrador Retriever, select coat length and texture and then add your Labrador Retriever's name.

You then have a choice to download and print to assemble your pet adornament, post to your Facebook page, e-mail and copy the URL.

After you finish assembling your pet adornament, your can hang it from your Christmas tree!

Here's is our lovable Meeko:

Pet Adornament

Feel free to post the URL of your Labrador Retriever adornament in the comments section!

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Free Canine Greenies Dental Chew at PetSmart

Here's a coupon to get a Free Canine Greenies Dental Chew at Petsmart.

You have to be a PetPerks Member to get the free Greenies coupon. PetPerks membership is free and you can sign up at the above link or in PetSmart stores.

There is a maximum of two prints per Canine Greenies Dental Chew coupon.

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The American kennel Club Offers Tips to Help “Winterize” Your Dog

Cold weather brings its own safety and health concerns for both people and dogs. As a responsible dog owner, it is important to pay attention to your dog’s well-being during the winter. The American Kennel Club® offers the following advice to help prepare your pet for the long, cold winter.

* Provide Plenty of Fresh Water - Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, and snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water.

* Provide Plenty of Food - Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so additional calories are necessary. Dogs that are kept indoors with the family and get less exercise during winter months may actually gain weight so keep an eye on his diet.

* Keep Your Dog’s Paws Dry - Rinse your dog’s feet and dry them completely after a walk. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking.

* Groom Your Dog Regularly - Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Towel or blow-dry your dog if he gets wet from rain or snow.

* Keep Your Dog Warm, Dry, and Away From Drafts - Adequate shelter is a necessity. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold. Place blankets and pads on floors in these areas.

Watch Out for the following winter hazards:

* Cold - Don’t leave your dog outside for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings, and dogs are susceptible to frostbite on their ears, tails, and feet.

* Ice and Snow - Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog outside. Your pup could slip or jump in a frozen lake, river, or pond and get seriously injured. Snow can muffle scents, and your dog can easily get lost.

* Carbon Monoxide - Don’t leave your dog alone in a car. It gets too cold, and carbon monoxide from an engine left running is dangerous.

* Antifreeze - Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, antifreeze is highly poisonous and can be lethal.

Additional tips on how to keep your dog safe this winter can be found on the AKC Website at www.akc.org. © The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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