Friday, December 30, 2011

Free Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Sample

We've had free samples of Rachael Ray Nutrish premium dog food posted on All About Labradors before that have expired. For those of you that missed out on her free dog food sample, over at her website they are still offering free sample.

Information from Rachael Ray: "Working with a team of pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super premium food and treats for dogs. Made with simple, natural ingredients. Nutrish contains no by-products, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives."


Rachael Ray Nutrish™ has:

• Real meat — like chicken or beef — as the first ingredient
• No meat by-products, fillers, artificial flavors or preservatives
• Simple, natural ingredients for overall health and wellness
• 100% complete and balanced nutrition"

Fill out the form on the Rachael Ray website to request your Free Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Sample.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where to Find the Best Dog Food Reviews on the Internet

Finding the most suitable dog or puppy food for your own particular pet can be a difficult task. There is a huge variety of foods available from supermarkets, pet stores and vets. All of them of course claim that theirs is the best! Adding to the confusion are advertisements showing healthy dogs loving to eat their food, with the a claiming that this is the result you will get of you feed your dog that food.

When choosing a dog food many people use price as an indicator of quality. In fact, this is not necessarily a good measure of quality at all; many companies (particularly the large ones) have huge marketing costs and these have to be built into the price you pay. After all, the advertisements on television or in magazines - and even the signs at the vet clinic - all have to be paid for from the sales of the food (this is one reason smaller pet food companies can often offer better value, even if they are not so well known).

You could also try to look at the ingredients, but this is not as straightforward as it seems. Many ingredients on labels are confusing and difficult to understand. There is a high degree of leeway in the marketing of these and other pet foods. For instance, did you know that if a food says "with" a certain ingredient (for instance "with real chicken") then by law it only needs to contain a minimum of 3% of that ingredient? The rest of the food may well be filled up with low quality cereals and by products which do little for the health of the dog.

Another alternative which many people use is to ask a salesperson at their local pet shop or vet clinic. However, they may not know much either; after all, they usually want to sell you the products they have without having done a lot of independent research into dog or puppy nutrition.

Fortunately, with the internet, there is a solution: dog food reviews. There are now a number of websites which review dog and puppy foods. A word of caution, however: it is very important to only take the word of independent reviews that look at the food based on the ingredients. That is why the websites of a particular food manufacturer are not usually a good guide, unless you can find the ingredients and understand them yourself to make up your own mind.

Here are two websites with independent dog food reviews that are excellent:

www.dogfoodadvisor.com

This website not only reviews products by brand, but they also have a lot of other useful information that pet owners would find very helpful. There is also the opportunity to post questions and comments.

Dogfoodanalysis.com

This is another website of reviews. Like DogFoodAdvisor above, it uses a star rating system to grade the foods by quality.

www.dogfoodproject.com

Although not a site with actual reviews of brands, this is a very informative website that goes into a lot of detail about what really is in dog foods and the effects on animals. If you are wanting to learn more about ingredients and overall dog nutrition this is highly recommended.

Fortunately, the internet now provides a way to navigate through the confusing world of dog food and find the right one for your dog or puppy. Dog food review websites such as those above provide excellent - and independent - advice.

For more about selecting the best food for your dog or puppy visit http://www.petfooddirect.co.nz.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is Your Dog Too Bored to Behave?

In our modern world it seems as though the media is full to capacity with dog owners wanting to find the answers to cure their pet's behaviour. Everybody appears to live within the confined boundaries of their family's busy and hectic life. Breakfast is rushed, the commute, the school run, shopping trips, social activities and yet more and more households still wish to own a trusted companion.

When people think of living their perfect lifestyle, there is always the picture in their minds of the family group, made complete by the adorable dog sitting by their side.

Problems occur today when the puppy matures into an adult dog. So often once a dog has been house trained, people assume the animal will be capable of staying alone for a few hours every day. Here is where the difference between modern life in today's world stands in comparison with the households of yesteryear. Just a few years ago the average house had someone at home for most of the time and the family dog was rarely left unattended.

However there is nothing wrong with today's family household owning a dog, but judging by the amount of searches made daily on the internet for obedience training, then obviously some changes have to take place in order to satisfy your pet's needs.

The problems with what the owners are classifying as disobedient stems from pure boredom on the dog's behalf. Try to imagine being stuck indoors, restless wanting to exercise and run but cannot. Suddenly anything that is close at hand, pillows, rugs, shoes provide a challenge, something that they could chew and play with. If left indoors for too long then accidental puddles will occur, not for one to blame the dog for. But there are many ways that you can help your dog to settle into a new routine, which would still include time spent alone at home.

It is vitally important that you exercise your dog before you leave him alone and this has the added benefit that you can gain an extra fitness routine. Take a look around your local pet store, there are many toys available today that are designed for dogs to enjoy when you leave the house. Several items resemble balls and objects that contain treats within; the dog is then occupied trying to work out how to release the snack.

After working on these types of projects it is quite natural for the dog to nap afterwards. If you have reason to believe that your dog cannot wait to relieve itself before you return, then training him to use paper or puppy pads left by the door should alleviate this problem.

In our busy occupied lives it is so easy to actually forget the dog is there when you are at home. How often have you spent time working at the computer or watching television, completely unaware that your dog is curled up in some corner of the house feeling left out of the family group. Try to include your dog in as many household activities as possible. Call him and stroke his head as you relax after work.

Ensure that you allow plenty of time for an evening walk, dogs do like routine and knowing that following a meal he can then look forward to a game in the park. Pets enjoy regularity, try to keep each day to the same schedule for him and you will notice how much calmer your dog will be.

For more information, check out http://k9schooltime.blogspot.com/

Pet Article courtesy of http://pet-articles.blogspot.com.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Simple Steps To Handle Seizures In Dogs

Having to watch seizures in dogs can be a very frightening and traumatic experience. If you own a dog, then it is important to know the simple steps to take should your dog have a seizure. Knowing how to respond can be very important during this difficult time for your pet.

The most important thing yet the most difficult thing that an owner needs to do is remain calm. Although one cannot say for sure, many would like to think that a dog can perceive when you are nervous. If they can feel you are worried or if you panic, it can agitate the dog.

The next thing is to place something soft under his head. It can be a towel or even a blanket. This should be done to prevent your pet from further hurting himself or his head during the convulsions. Make sure that you have removed everything around him. Do not have toys or any type of hard surface around him or her while they are experiencing the seizure. If they are near a wall, move them further away from it.

Do not reach into your dog's mouth to hold its tongue. During this time your pet is not aware of what he or she is doing and can clench their jaws on your hand. This can be pretty painful and can cause severe damage to your hand. Do not worry about him choking on his tongue, he will not swallow it.

The next thing you can do for your loved pet is sit next to him to give reassurance. Knowing that you are there can be really helpful during this time. Talk in a soothing voice while petting your pet to help them during the seizure. Even after the convulsions have stopped, encourage your pet to remain laying down for a while.

Try to keep track of when the seizure started as well as how long it lasted. This information is important to your vet when you take your dog in. If your dog has had seizures before then you should know that you do not need to take your pet in every time he has one. Your dog should be taken to the vet if he is having continuous seizures within 5 minutes.

After the seizure has stopped, give him some sugar. Low blood sugars can be one of the causes of the seizure. One or two teaspoons should suffice. Do not give him too much of it as this can also be bad. Vanilla ice cream is preferred, but if you have another flavor instead in your refrigerator (except chocolate), that should do. After feeding your pet ice cream, try and give them dog food to help maintain the sugar given.

Seizures in dogs can be scary but knowing what to do during this time can really help both of you. Remember to let your veterinarian know everything that happens, and if it is not the first time, you do not need to take your pet every time a seizure occurs. If it is more than one occurring, or if the seizure appears to be very severe, take your pet to a veterinarian emergency room.

Author Information:

Sandra DeMers is the author of "Cory's Story," the story of a yellow Labrador retriever suffering from seizures in dogs that will absolutely AMAZE you. Cory is alive, happy and healthy at the age of 13 and hasn't had a seizure in over 5 years. Visit www.corysstory.com to learn Sandra's secret to good canine health--you'll be surprised when you learn the truth.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reduce Your Dog's Paw Licking and Chewing by 50% with This Simple Solution

In this short video, Dr. Karen Becker explains why you should give your dog regular foot baths and demonstrates several different ways to get the job done.



Today I'm going to demonstrate a foot soak.

Many of you know I often stress the importance of removing pesticides, herbicides, ragweed, grasses, pollens, molds, dust mites and other pollutants from your dog's feet on a regular basis.

This is because dogs are naked. They don't wear clothes, or shoes and socks. They don't shower every day. In other words, their bodies collect a lot of allergens and chemicals in the environment, and it builds up quickly.

Your dog's feet can gather a pretty heavy toxin load in addition to allergens, and this can become extremely irritating to his paws.

Common sense seems to dictate we need to remove all that stuff, yet in veterinary medicine, it's rare to hear anyone recommend it to pet owners. I certainly didn't learn about foot soaks in vet school. But I learned after becoming a vet that 50 percent of foot licking and chewing can be alleviated by mechanically removing allergens and other irritants collected on a dog's paws.

'Mechanically removing' simply means rinsing them off.

It's the 'How' and How Often That's Important

Believe it or not, a washcloth isn't nearly as efficient at cleaning your dog's feet as dunking them is. So when I say foot 'soaks' or 'rinses,' I mean exactly that.

You don't need to do the soak in a big tub like the one I'm about to use. For instance, if your dog is a big guy, you can use a bucket and soak one foot at a time.

If you have a little dog, you can use your kitchen or bathroom sink.

So it doesn't matter where you do it or whether you rinse all four paws at once or one paw at a time. What's important is to soak those paws at the end of any day when your pet has been in contact with allergens, lawn chemicals, or anything in the environment with the potential to irritate her feet.

Keep in mind the only places dogs sweat from are their noses and the pads of their feet. So those damp little pads can collect a really heavy load of irritants.

A soak at the end of the day will reduce the chemical burden on your dog, as well as the potential for irritation.

Doing the Soak

I've put a couple inches of water in my tub here. You need enough water to cover the pads of your dog's feet.

Rosco's a little man, so he only needs a couple inches of water for his soak.

My favorite solution for foot soaks is povidone iodine. (Sidney the umbrella cockatoo, who is here in the room with Rosco and me, apparently has a few comments he'd like to make about povidone iodine as well!) Povidone iodine is an organic iodine solution. It's safe, non-toxic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-yeast.

Obviously at an animal hospital we have the stuff in gallon jugs, but you can buy it at any pharmacy in smaller quantities. You want to dilute the povidone iodine with water to the color of iced tea, using just your eyes – no scientific formula is involved! If it comes up too light, just add a bit more of the iodine. If it's a bit dark, add more water.

I'm just swishing this around now in the tub while Rosco stands in it. I recommend you let your dog stand in the solution for from two to five minutes.

You don't have to do anything to the feet or toes -- the solution will do the work for you. So you can just stand and sing to your dog while he soaks, or talk to him and tell him how handsome and well behaved he is.

If your dog is nervous about being in water, you can offer treats. Treats always help pass the time for Rosco. So having some snacks handy is a good idea.

If your dog is truly fearful of water, rather than plunk her in the tub or sink, you can do a little mini-soak like I've also got here. I've put a little povidone iodine in a small blue tub, added water, and created a little mini foot soak. You can just plop each little foot in the mini-soak one at a time, making sure each entire pad surface is covered with the mixture, and it shouldn't be nearly as scary for your dog as being put in the bathtub.

Remember, the key is to get the feet submerged in the solution, which will wash away any type of yeast that might be growing, as well as mild bacterial infections, allergens, and other contaminants.

Pat Dry and Go!

After you've soaked each foot for two to five minutes, there's no need to rinse the solution off your dog's feet. This is another great feature of povidone iodine.

Just lift your dog out of the bath or remove that last foot and pat the paws dry. Done!

If you're short on space or time, you can re-use a container of foot soak for two or three days. Some people leave a pail of the mixture on their deck and make a fresh batch every few days.

Others keep a garden hose handy and fill up a bucket, a small plastic tub or even a coffee can and mix in the iodine solution, dumping after each use.

I wouldn't go more than two or three days using the same foot soak solution.

And keep in mind you don't have to use a lot of water or povidone iodine – just enough to fully cover your dog's foot pads with a solution the color of iced tea. This saves both water and iodine, and if your dog has a water phobia, it will also reduce her anxiety to use only the amount of water necessary to get the job done.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dog Nutrition - Wheat Free Dog Food Reduces Food Allergies

Over 10% of all dog allergies are food allergies. Many dogs suffer from a wheat allergy and using a wheat free dog food can be the solution to these allergy problems.

Symptoms of A Wheat Allergy

1. Itchy skin and Dull coat
2. Vomiting and Diarrhea
3. Sneezing and Seizures
4. Inflammation inside ears
5. Breathing symptoms which are similar to Asthma
6. Excessive gas formation

How Do Wheat Allergies Develop?

Many dog owners find it hard to believe that their dog is suffering from a wheat allergy as they have been feeding the same diet for years now and the problem has surfaced only recently. The reason such a thing is possible is that food allergies sometimes develop overtime and a dog may not have allergy previously but have developed it now and a wheat free dog food is the solution to prevent occurrence. A diet with wheat in it could also result in digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and removing wheat from the dog's diet is the ideal thing to do in such a situation.

Is My Dog Suffering From A Wheat Allergy?

To find an answer to this question you will have to put your dog on an exclusion diet. In this method the dog is fed homemade diet with ingredients that the dog will not be allergic to and consult your vet before starting this diet.

If in a few days it is noticed that the symptoms are improving then move back to the diet dog was on to know if symptoms resurface. In case the allergy starts again that you will be confirmed that there is something in dog's diet which is causing the allergy. Next you will have to shift back to the exclusion diet and reintroduce ingredients from dog's original diet one by one at an interval of few days to see the effect of their inclusion. If you find the symptoms resurfacing then you would have identified the allergen.

Other Reasons to Stop Wheat From The Diet

A wheat based diet is carbohydrate rich which needs to be broken down by dog's digestive system by enzymes and dogs do not have enough enzymes to break these down properly. As these wheat diets remain undigested, they result in gastrointestinal problems as well as intestinal inflammations. Thus a diet which is rich in vitamins and proteins and has less percentage of carbohydrates or starch is more beneficial for dogs.

Advantages of Wheat Free Dog Food

The advantages of wheat free dog food are that these do not have wheat ingredients as fillers as a means to bulk up the dog food. Instead these wheat free dog foods have greater percentage of proteins in them helping to meet nutritional needs of a dog which much lesser quantity of the food compared to a diet which has wheat used as filler.

A Final Note

To prevent allergies and also to make the diet more digestive for your dog, it is advisable to shift to a wheat free dog food. There are numerous options available in the market nowadays which are good replacement for wheat diet and maintain the desired nutritional level in your dog's diet.

Wheat free dog food help offered by PetVitaminRep.com- the best natural dog vitamin supplement designed to boost your pet's immune system and overall health. Visit http://www.petvitaminrep.com/ today to learn more about our natural multivitamin for dogs and the best natural dog food that is wheat free.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Food Recall

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Food recall due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit!

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Food Recall

Per the Iams Press Release:

CINCINNATI, Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has voluntarily retrieved a single production lot of dry dog food due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit. This product has already been retrieved from store shelves. No illnesses have been reported in association with this production lot to date, and no other Iams pet food products are involved.

Product affected by this announcement:

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food with Use By or Expiration Dates of February 5 or February 6, 2013

7.0 lb bag, Code Date 12784177I6 UPC Code 1901402305
8.0 lb bag, Code Dates 12794177D2, 12794177D3, UPC Code 1901410208
17.5 lb bag, Code Dates 12794177K1, 12794177K2; UPC Code 1901401848

The affected product lot was distributed to a limited number of retailers located in the eastern United States (AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, SC, VA). These retailers have already removed this product from store shelves. No other dry dog food, dry cat food, dog or cat canned food, biscuits/treats or supplements are affected by this announcement.

While no health effects related to this product have been reported, P&G retrieved this product as a precautionary measure. Consumers who purchased the product listed should stop using the product and discard it and contact Iams at the number below for a replacement voucher. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities. Pets which have consumed this product and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

For further information or a product replacement or refund contact P&G toll-free at 866-908-1569 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST) or http://www.iams.com/.

FDA Recall Notice: P&G Voluntarily Recalls One Production Lot of Dry Dog Food

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

16 Dog Care Tips that Could Save your Puppy's Life

The essential guidelines for puppy-proof your home and identifying illness

As a new puppy parent, it's important to learn about common puppy behavior, safety concerns and common symptoms of illness so that appropriate action can be taken if your puppy gets sick or hurt. When you bring a new puppy home, you are suddenly responsible for an innocent life—one that’s completely dependent on you. However, when puppy poops on the floor or whines all night long, you might be thinking, “What the heck have I gotten myself into?”

Between managing the puppy’s training and worrying if you’ve puppy-proofed your house adequately, new dog ownership can be overwhelming. Proper dog care and training are critical during your puppy’s first few months in their new home. If you suspect your puppy might be sick, take him or her to the vet immediately. For common digestive ailments and bumps and scratches, your vet will probably prescribe an over-the-counter human treatment, like Pepto Bismal or an anti-biotic ointment, to treat upset stomach and abrasions. However, for more serious conditions, like kennel cough, your vet will likely prescribe more expensive animal drugs. A great way you can save money of on medication is to buy affordable Canadian drugs from a reputable online pharmacy.

It’s a good rule of thumb, to check with a veterinarian first if you suspect your pet is hurt or ill, however to make things easier on you and safe for puppy at home, we’ve put together a list of essential puppy care tips that will help you puppy-proof your home and identify if your puppy is sick:

1. Get a crate for your puppy—and use it

A crate not only makes housetraining easier, it a fantastic tool for managing the safety of your young pup. A crate is a private area for your puppy where they feel secure and stay safe when you’re not at home from dangerous household items, such as electrical wires, household cleaners and poisons, or choking on foreign objects. An added bonus is that the crate will help the housebreaking process and discourage any bad messing behaviors.

2. Put puppy’s crate next to your bed for the first few nights

This will help establish the crate as a safe haven for your pup. If you make him or her sleep the first few nights in the dark basement or laundry room the pup will develop fright towards being crated.

3. Get a baby gate (in this case a puppy gate)

Use the gate the same way as you would for a child to keep the puppy out of places that pose a danger, for example, block out living rooms with exposed electrical cords or stairwells when you’re not supervising.

4. Supervise your new pup

Just like a new crawling baby, you have to watch your puppy with an eagle eye until he or she adjusts to their new surroundings or else their curiosity may find them choking or falling down a flight of stairs.

5. Set up a puppy routine

Puppy’s day, as well as yours, will go a lot more smoothly if you develop a regular routine. That way puppy will know what to expect from the day and not seek out foreign things to chew and get into out of boredom.

6. Enroll puppy in dog training

Basic obedience if of benefit to puppy and you. Obedience classes teach a pup to socialize with other puppies and people—and curb nasty habits like biting or aggressiveness.

7. Develop a puppy playlist for the entire family

Puppy should follow the same routine and rules, regardless of which family member is on dog duty. Sit down as a family to discuss training cues, housetraining and walking rules and agree that everyone stick to them.

8. Get your pup used to being touched

If you regularly touch his or her feet, nails, tail, ears, mouth, teeth, and belly with love—puppy will be more responsive during vet checkups.

9. Groom puppy early on and regularly

This will, again, establish a good pre-vet routine. Also, the act of grooming let’s you examine the pup for broken nails, teeth, sores or lumps that could be more serious if not caught early on.

10. Let your pup experience it all

From people in hats to car rides and from walking on a busy street to other animals, if you socialize your pet they won’t be traumatized or frightened by things and bite or run, which could endanger their wellbeing.

11. Get puppy a teething tool

A non-consumable Kong toy filled with peanut butter or a frozen wet wash cloth all ease pups growing teeth and strengthen their teeth and gums.

12. Pick up anything puppy might chew

If you leave lose objects around your house, puppy could choke or injure their mouth or teeth chewing on sharp objects.

13. Get your pup micro-chipped

If a scared or excited puppy runs away, a micro-chip could be your best hope of finding them. Vets provide dog micro-chipping for around $25 to $40.

14. Check out what puppy poops

I know it’s gross, but a quick poop check could save your puppy’s life if you notice diarrhea or blood in stool. Abnormal bowel movements are a sign of ill health and mean you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

15. Give puppy his or her own toys

If you provide your pup with designated toys, he or she will less likely to chew on your couch, furniture and household items that could put them in danger.

16. Remind yourself regularly that your pup is still a baby

And human babies don’t do much. Be patient and rather than using sever discipline to force your pup to sit or stay. Aim to socialize your puppy with other people and dogs—and develop a bond!

Bio: Bernice Spradlin is an avid hiker and runner. She works at a gym in Brooklyn, New York, where she gets great inspiration for her freelance health-related articles and blogs. In her off time, you can often find Bernice jogging the East River path along the waterfront and enjoying the cool breeze. Bernice is currently looking for freelance writing work, and can be contacted at BerniceG.Spradlin@gmail.com

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Free Riddick’s Dog Treats Sample

Riddick’s Dog Treats:

"All of our natural jerky is made with your dog's health in mind. Our treats are additive free, preservative free, grain free and filler free. We use only pasture fed, free range animals and ensure the safest conditions. Our dog treats are designed with your pet in mind so that you can love and reward your dog freely without worrying about your pet's allergies."

Request your Free Riddick’s Dog Treats Sample.

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Alfie

Alfie, aged 18 months, wet and wild off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales.

chocolate Labrador Retriever - Alfie

Photo from Lisa (UK)

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Hiking with Dogs

Guest Post: Hiking with dogs by Jess Spate

Most dogs like nothing better than a nice long walk, and hiking is a pretty popular hobby amongst people too. With a little care there is no reason why your pooch can't join you on a hike and you can both have a great day out. However, it's not quite as simple as clipping on a leash and heading out there door.

If you want to hike with your dog in a State Park or another area with conservation value, do some homework first. Some parks welcome responsible dog owners but others don't, and the last thing you want is to arrive at the trailhead only to find a 'No dogs' sign blocking your way. Those places that don't allow dogs often do so for very good reasons so it's well worth paying attention to signage. Nobody wants their pooch to cause any harm.

No matter where you walk your dog, it's important that they be well socialised and friendly to people and other animals they might meet along the way. They need to come when called if you're going to allow them off the leash, no matter what temptations they might face. Breeds like Labrador retrievers are almost always good with children and other hikers but it takes training to resist running after wildlife, for example.

Chasing deer or other large animals isn't the only problem you might encounter. In many places it's quite common to see snakes sunning themselves on hiking trails in the summer months. In the overwhelming majority of cases they slither away as soon as they catch sight of people, but a curious dog might not want to let this interesting new thing go so easily. Keep your dog close by even when not on the leash and make sure they'll come when you call, every time.

It's great to start training your dog into good hiking etiquette from a young age, but do remember that puppies are just like kids. They might start out with boundless energy but they get tired easily. Start with short hikes and work your way up as your dog gets older, stronger, and more experienced. Special care should be taken when allowing puppies who aren't yet fully vaccinated out on the trail- it's usually best to wait until they're fully protected.

Jess Spate is a hiker, a rock climber, and a dog lover since childhood. When not out on the trail somewhere she works for Appalachian Outdoors (a company that stocks a wide range of dog gear and edits a British outdoor clothing website.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to 'Cure' Your Dog of Thunderstorm Phobia

If your favorite canine friend has phobias, it means he experiences an irrational and disproportionate response to certain normal stimuli, for example, thunderstorms.

There appear to be genetic factors at work in the development of phobias. Studies show identical twins raised apart have been known to develop phobias to exactly the same stimuli.

In dogs, the herding breeds are more prone to thunderstorm phobias than other breeds.

Nurture, or environment, also contributes to phobia creation.

Negative experiences are the triggers. Your dog may have direct personal experience with a stimulus, or exposure to others (pets or people) who are fearful of the stimulus. Either or both of these circumstances can create or reinforce a phobia in your pet.

How Dogs Respond to Phobias

If your dog has a thunderstorm phobia he may try to run away or look for a place that feels safe from the storm. Then again he might stay right next to you and follow you from room to room, or he may go off somewhere to hide.

Other physical signs of a phobic reaction are panting, whining, barking and pacing.

His body may also show signs of stress, including:

* Dilated pupils
* Drooling
* Sweating (from the paws only)
* Rapid heartbeat
* Panting

One study of dogs with thunderstorm phobia measured an over 200 percent increase in plasma cortisol levels from exposure to an audio recording of a storm.

And even though it's impossible to scientifically evaluate the emotions of your phobic dog during a thunderstorm, you can safely assume he's feeling fear or even terror.

Thunderstorm Phobias Are a Special Problem

Thunderstorm phobias are different in many ways from other types of phobias.

Unlike most other phobias, there are number of potential thunderstorm-related phobia triggers. It's not just the boom of thunder that generates a fear response in phobic dogs. Lightening, wind, rain, dark skies, changes in barometric pressure and even odors can elicit a phobic response.

Strangely, many dogs with storm phobia aren't fearful of other loud noises. And dogs who are sensitive to other loud noises aren't necessarily storm phobic. Also, storm phobic dogs often know a storm is on the way long before humans do.

The standard therapy for canine behaviors that are fear-driven includes desensitization. But thunderstorm phobia is an exception, because it's difficult to mimic all the different triggers that set off a fear response – in particular changes in barometric pressure, static electricity, and whatever scents dogs seem to notice with an impending change in the weather.

In addition, desensitization is first and foremost about either eliminating or controlling the dog's exposure to the feared stimulus. Obviously, depending on where the dog lives, it's impossible to do this with any success when you're dealing with a thunderstorm phobia.

Another problem is that desensitization has to be done in each room of the house, because the new coping skill your dog learns in the living room will be forgotten in the kitchen.

These challenges make desensitization attempts much less successful and effective when it comes to storm phobias.

Storm Phobia Often Escalates Over Time

According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and founder of Tufts' Animal Behavior Clinic, many owners of storm phobic dogs don't seek help for their pets until the animals are between five and nine years old.

These owners typically explain their dog has been somewhat anxious during storms from a young age, but there has been a sudden increase in anxiety traceable to a particularly severe recent storm.

Dr. Dodman thinks the precipitating event for an increased level of phobic behavior could be caused by a static electric shock the dog endures during that particular storm.

His theory is based on his observation that many storm phobic dogs – about half in his experience – try instinctively to access areas where there are electrical grounds that protect from built-up static charges. These locations can include sinks, bathtubs, shower enclosures, behind toilets, or up against metal radiators or pipes.

Also, several dog owners have reported to Dr. Dodman that they have received static electricity shocks from their dogs if they touch them during a storm. It's an established fact static electricity fields build up during storms and some animals become statically charged.

Help for Dogs with Thunderstorm Phobia

Do everything reasonably possible to limit your dog's exposure to storms. Find a safe place your dog can go to avoid all aspects of the storm. Per Dr. Dodman:

"A basement, if available, is a great place to start. The safe place should preferably have small or no windows so the storm cannot be witnessed by the dog. Even small windows should be blocked off using cardboard inserts or fitted with thick, lined curtains. Basements have the advantage of being semi-subterranean, insulated against sound by thick concrete walls and surrounding soil."

If you can't make use of a basement in this way, you can consider outfitting a room in your home with sound-proofing wallboard and appropriate window coverings.

According to Dr. Dodman, this 'safe room' should have a solid-sided crate, and leave the door open. It should also contain food, water, treats and toys. At the approach of a storm, turn on the lights in the room so any flashes of lightening that make it through the window coverings won't be too obvious.

Play calming music (MusicMyPet.com, PetMusic.com) in the safe room at a volume just loud enough to drown out remote thunder claps.

Spend some play time with your dog in the room when it's not storming, and then see if she'll go to her safe place on her own when she senses the approach of a thunderstorm. Your dog should have 24/7 access to her safe room, even when you're not at home.

Other suggestions:

* Purchase a storm jacket for your phobic pet. There is the Storm Defender, the Anxiety Wrap, and the Thundershirt to choose from (and there may be others as well). Some of these wraps have anti-static linings; all are designed to be snug-fitting to give dogs a feeling of being swaddled that is comforting to them. All three have proved very helpful for a certain percentage of dogs with storm phobia.

You might also consider a Calming Cap.

* Ttouch is a specific massage technique that may also help anxious pets.

* Consult your holistic vet about homeopathic, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Bach Flower Remedies that could be helpful in alleviating your dog’s stress. Some products I use, always in conjunction with behavior modification:

- Herbsmith Calm Shen

- Homeopathic aconitum or Hyland’s Calms Forte

- Bach Rescue Remedy, Rock Rose, Mimulus or other similar remedies depending on the animal

- Spirit Essence Storm Soother

- OptiBalance Fear & Phobias Formula

- Green Hope Essences Anxiety Formula

* Ask for help. If nothing you attempt seems to help your phobic pet, I recommend consulting an animal behaviorist in your area through the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. You can also visit the Animal Behavior Society website, where you'll find a directory of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAABs).




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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dog Food & Treats Coupons

Dog Food & Treats Coupons

$3/1 Nature's Recipe coupon - "Nature’s Recipe® dog food uses only high-quality ingredients with added vitamins and minerals, and never any fillers or artificial preservatives."

$30 in Science Diet Coupons - Sign up for the Healthy Mobility Challenge to get your coupons.

$2/1 Pro Pac Superpremium Dog Food - "Experts agree that quality pet nutrition enhances the quality and length of your pet's life. You can be confident that you are giving your pet the best when you feed PRO PAC ®."

Canine Cavier Coupons - Three listed: Save $2 on a 14 lb bag, Save $14 on a 30 lb bag or BOGO 1.1 lb bag.

Free bag of By Nature Dog Food - Rebate form. "Corn, wheat and soy can be tough on your pet's digestive tract. That's why you'll never find it in a bag of By Nature® pet food. Crafted with only the best ingredients, our all-natural and nutritionally complete pet foods ensure long and active lives."

BOGO Alpo Coupon - Facebook coupon.

Free Honest Kitchen Dog Food Sample - "The Honest Kitchen provides natural human-grade pet food products for dogs and cats. Our gourmet recipes are 100% natural and gently dehydrated, not extruded.

Hill Science Diet Ideal Balance Dog Food - rebate for up to $12.99 of purchase.

BOGO Purina® Pro Plan® Wet Dog Food - "Buy one (1) can of Purina® Pro Plan® brand wet DOG FOOD and get one (1) can of Purina®Pro Plan® brand wet DOG FOOD FREE (up to $1.79) any size, any variety.

$3/1 Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Dog - "Save $3.00 on one (1) bag of Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Dog food. Any Size, Any Variety."

$3/1 Purina® Pro Plan® Selects® Dry Dog Food - "Save $3.00 on one (1) bag of Purina® Pro Plan® Selects® brand dry DOG FOOD. Any Size, Any Variety."

Milkbone Coupons - Sign up for valuable Milk-Bone® dog snack coupons.

$1/1 Crunch & Clean Dog Biscuits - "These unique biscuits are a breakthrough in dental health — clinically proven to reduce new tartar formation. In fact, just 2 yummy Crunch 'n Clean biscuits twice a day won’t just make his tail wag faster, they’ll fight tartar before it’s a problem."

$1/1 Nylabone coupon

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Stem Cell Treatment for your Labrador Retriever

Is your Labrador Retriever entering their golden twilight years? Is movement painful and slow, slowed by hip dysplasia, arthritis or other degenerative joint diseases. Stem cell therapy may be of help.

Stem cell therapy is not a new procedure but more veterinarians are now offering stem cell therapy for dogs, as it is believed that the stem cells can increase the dogs ability to decrease inflammation while helping the injured tissues to regenerate. The pricey yet powerful procedure is helping ease arthritic pain for more and more dogs.

"Veterinarians and researchers describe stem cell regenerative therapy as a major scientific development in the treatment of arthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament and cartilage injuries and other degenerative joint diseases in dogs, cats, horses and other animals. The technology uses an adult animals own stem cells to heal itself."

"Vet-Stem Regenerative Veterinary Medicine reports the Current Canine Uses for Stem Cells:

The following conditions have been treated by companion animal veterinarians with reported favorable outcomes:

* Canine osteoarthritis - hip, elbow, knee, shoulder
* Canine immune mediated polyarthritis
* Tendon and Ligament injuries
* Integrated with surgical repair of joints or ligaments"

"One year ago, 12-year-old pit bull mix Sherman and Gunner, a 9-year-old Labrador, were hobbling around and in visible pain. Now, their owners say, they are active and energetic... Dogs show off benefits of stem cell therapy



Veteran's Day Honor: Search & Rescue Dogs of 9-11 Receive Breakthrough Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy from MediVet-America ... One of the last surviving search & rescue dogs deployed in the 9/11 attacks, now 15 years old, will receive a breakthrough stem cell regenerative treatment from MediVet-America to help ease crippling arthritis and live out her days in greater comfort. At least two other 9/11 dogs also will receive the same stem cell therapy.

Dog With Severe Hip Dysplasia Receives Help With Stem Cells...

3-year-old black lab is one of a handful of dogs in California to receive this new treatment for hip dysplasia. Cost is a fraction of full hip replacement surgery but is still in early stages, though dogs have shown success in being pain free.



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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Win one year's worth of Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dog Food

Register for the Healthy Mobility Challenge and receive an entry in the Healthy Mobility Challenge Sweepstakes.

Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Challenge Sweepstakes

The Hill's Science Diet website challenges you to switch your dog's food to Healthy Mobility Dog Food to promote an active and healthy life. Hill’s states that in just 30 days you can see a difference in your dog‘s mobility!

* Revolutionary, tested nutrition specifically formulated to help dogs facing quality-of-life changes due to mobility problems.

* High levels of omega-3 fatty acids for enhanced active mobility and improved joint flexibility in just 30 days.

* EPA, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for essential bone and joint cartilage support.

* High-quality lean proteins for lean muscle and ideal body weight.

* Clinically proven antioxidant blend for healthy immune function.


When you register for the challenge, you will also receive $30 in Hill's Healthy Mobility Coupon offers as well as being automatically entered into the Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Challenge Sweepstakes, where 30 winners will receive Free pet food for a year!

Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Challenge Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 31, 2011 and is open to all legal U.S. residents who are at least eighteen (18) years of age.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dealing With Hot Spots on Your Labrador Retriever

A hot spot (acute moist dermatitis) is a painful skin condition that commonly affects dogs. It typically first appears as a small round lesion on the skin, then quickly grows larger and more irritated looking as your Labrador Retriever licks or chews on it. Frequent scratching, chewing or licking on one place can result in a hot spot (acute moist dermatitis).

Hotspots can be caused by an allergy, flea infestation, arthritis, ear infections, anal gland problems, poor grooming and mange.

Dog Hot Spots a Common Dog Skin Problem...



It is important to treat hot spots promptly to prevent spreading. Treatment must be directed at stopping the growth of the hot spot and eliminating the cause.

How to Deal With a Hot Spot on Your Dog ...



"Natural and holistic remedies are beneficial for both humans and animals. They are a gentle and safe alternative for breeds of all ages, and also support overall health and wellbeing. Homeopathic ingredients including Arum triph, Viola tri, Comocladia, Chamomilla and Cina provide symptomatic relief for itchiness, scratching, redness and burning and restores the skin and coat back to health... Natural Help For Hot Spots in Pets

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Honest Kitchen Pet Food Sample at Honest Kitchen Resellers

Request your voucher for a Free Sample of Honest Kitchen Pet Food.

"The Honest Kitchen provides natural human-grade pet food products for dogs and cats. Our gourmet recipes are 100% natural and gently dehydrated, not extruded."

Their recipes are made from human-grade, whole-food ingredients, gently dehydrated and balanced to meet a pet's nutritional needs - simply add water.

To get your Free Honest Kitchen Pet Food Sample voucher, "Like" their Facebook page, fill in the form and they will e-mail you the voucher. Bring the voucher to your local Honest Kitchen Reseller to claim your Free Pet Food Sample.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

PINKY

Here's... Pinky!!

PINKY

Photos from: Rajasekharan (India)

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Nestlé Purina TV Ad is Going to the Dogs

Picture this …

You and your favorite canine buddy are hanging out together at home.

The TV is on in the background. Suddenly your dog looks toward the screen and his ears perk up.

Then he quickly stands, wagging his tail, and inches closer to the set.

With his eyes fixed on the screen, he cocks his head in that irresistible way he has. You swear he's smiling.

You look at what he's looking at, and it's a commercial for a popular dog food. You have no idea why your adorable pooch is so spellbound by the commercial.

But what is the likelihood you'll remember his reaction the next time you see that particular brand of dog food in the store?

There's a pretty good chance, don't you think?

Dog Food Marketed Directly to Dogs

The diabolically clever pet food marketers are at it again!

Believe it or not, Nestlé Purina has introduced a pet food commercial in Austria that uses high-frequency tones and other sounds known to catch the attention of dogs.

These sounds include a squeak like the noise a dog toy makes, a tone similar to a dog whistle, a soft, high-pitched ping, and whispering.

If you pay attention you'll hear the squeak, the ping and the whispering, but probably not the high-frequency tone. Your dog, of course, will hear all four, and may or may not have an observable reaction.

The sounds aimed at the dogs are designed not to detract from the message being delivered to their human owners.

"We wanted to create a TV commercial that our four-legged friends can enjoy and listen to, but also allow the owner and dog to experience it together," said Anna Rabanus of Nestlé Purina PetCare Germany.

And according to Xavier Perez of Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe:

"The television commercial aims to reach both the pet and the owner, supporting the special one-to-one relationship between them."

"We want to position our brand as one which understands the unique relationship between owners and their dogs."


Pardon my cynicism, but despite the cleverly crafted spin about owners and dogs sharing a special moment together watching a TV commercial, I think what the company actually set out to create was an ad that would cause their dog food to fly off store shelves.

Toward that end, CSMonitor.com makes this observation:

It's unclear whether appealing directly to nonhumans will pay off for Nestlé. On the one hand, according to traditional free-market economic theories, manufacturers direct their solicitations to rational agents who trade their currency for goods and services. Dogs, while they may very well be rational, lack purchasing power and can make consumer choices only by proxy, presumably by pestering their owners.

On the other hand, the same is true for children, and manufacturers have little difficulty marketing their products to them.


Marketing Campaigns Don't Always Reflect the Quality of the Product

Taking off my skeptic's hat for a minute, let me say I think it's perfectly fine to appreciate clever, appealing product marketing campaigns.

I just caution you not to assume that because the ad is a knock-out, the product is high quality.

Case in point, here are the first four ingredients in the 'original' formula of the dog food featured in the Nestlé ad:

* Ground yellow corn
* Chicken by-product meal
* Corn gluten meal
* Whole wheat flour

It's too bad a pet food manufacturer who is incorporating dog-friendly sounds in its commercials isn't incorporating dog-friendly, species-appropriate nutrition in its pet food products.






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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Reasons to Spay Your Female Dog

All About Labradors Guest Post by Crissi Cooley of Oh My Dog Supplies.

If you have a female dog, you may want to consider having her spayed, especially if you don't plan on breeding her in the future. The last thing you want is your dog to get pregnant when you are in no way prepared to deal with puppies. It is fairly easy to have your dog spayed and it can be done comfortably with anesthesia today. While this is not the right choice for every dog, here are some of the reasons that you may want to consider this for your female dog.

Reason #1 - No False Pregnancies

One of the big reasons that you should considering spaying your dog is that no false pregnancies will occur when you do this. Sometimes females that are not spayed may end up having a false pregnancy after their heat period. Their belly may increase in size and sometimes they may even have milk production as well. While it doesn't sound bad, this can cause a variety of hormonal changes in the body of your dog. They can stress out your dog and make her more likely to get infections or other illnesses.

Reason #2 - No Pregnancies

Another reason to spay your female dog is so that pregnancies don't occur. Giving birth can often be dangerous for some dogs, especially if a smaller dog is accidentally impregnated by a larger dog. There is the fact that you may not have a way to raise puppies and you may not be equipped for a dog to give birth either. There is no worry about pregnancy if your dog has been spayed.

Reason #3 - Protection against Certain Health Problems

Spaying can give your dog protection against some health problems as well. Dogs that are spayed don't have to worry about uterine infections. Endometritis and pyometra are two infections that can affect female dogs that are not spayed and both can be deadly. There is no risk of these problems in a female that has been spayed.

Reason #4 - No Heat Periods

There are no heat periods to worry about either when you have your female dog spayed. When a dog goes in heat, usually they have a blood discharge, which can end up being quite messy. If your dog is an inside dog it can lead to stains on your furniture and your rugs. This also may lead her to seek out other males, which is definitely not something you want if she has puppies. You'll avoid the mess and other problems of heat periods if your dog is spayed.

Reason #5 - No Confinement for Your Dog

There is no need to confine your dog during her heat period if she is spayed. When a female goes into heat, leaving her alone can mean puppies. Males that smell a female in heat can come from all over and can even jump fences. You'll have to keep her indoors or keep your eye on her all the time. You may even have to start walking her. This can definitely be a difficult problem, but one that can be avoided with spaying.

Content written by Crissi Cooley of ohmydogsupplies.com, where you can find a extraordinary variety of ceramic dog dishes online.


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Dog Allergies Treatment - Help For Itchy Dogs

Dog Allergies Treatment - Help For Itchy Dogs by Jennifer Grets

The most common reaction to allergens in dogs are skin problems. The primary symptoms are licking, biting, and scratching. Skin problems can be difficult to diagnose because there are so many different causes. Finding the correct diagnosis leads to the best dog allergies treatment for your pet.

Allergies can be controlled by avoiding the allergens, treating the symptoms, or desensitizing the dog. Diagnosis is based on symptoms, physical exam and lab tests. Treatment can include antihistamines and corticosteroids. Management may include topical sprays, and medicated shampoos.

Food sensitivities cause itching skin, anal itching, ear inflammations, and occasionally vomiting, diarrhea, or asthma-like coughing. Allergies develop over time so don't rule out food because the dogs diet is unchanged. Many commercial foods are available to help. Finding the correct ingredients is trial and error, but once a food is found that doesn't trigger your dogs sensitivities, the new diet is as good as a cure.

Flea allergies are a hypersensitivity to the saliva in the flea bite. One bite causes itching lasting 5 to 7 days. Symptoms are biting, scratching, and hair loss from excessive licking. Topical flea medications work after an adult flea has bitten, so this isn't enough for an allergic dog. Treatment is fleas control. Use chemicals sparingly. Too many can be as harmful as the fleas. Oatmeal baths provide temporary relief of itching. Wash dog bedding with every bath. Limit walks, staying away from trails frequented by wildlife. Your vet may prescribe an antihistamine shot for long-term relief or corticosteroids for immediate relief.

Inhalant, or atopy allergies are the most common. These include allergic reactions to dust mites, molds, and pollens. First step is a combination strategy of reducing exposure to the allergen, and providing relief for itching. A dehumidifier will reduce molds. Cover dirt around house plants with activated charcoal. Control dust and pollens with an air cleaner. Air conditioning reduces dust and pollen exposure.

Treatments of symptoms includes weekly baths with oatmeal or medicated shampoos for temporary relief of itching. Topical sprays and creams are used for localized itching. Antihistamines are relatively safe. You may have to try different ones to find one that doesn't overly sedate your pet. Not all over the counter antihistamines are safe for dogs. Consult a vet to determine which choices are safe and effective, and at what dosage. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation which reduces itching. It's primarily used short term to relieve severe itching and inflammation. Long term use is discouraged because this medication suppresses the immune system. Omega-3 is helpful to some dogs. It's a natural anti-inflammatory that reduces the amount and effects of histamines and other chemicals released in response to allergies. It's very safe and used in conjunction with antihistamines can reduce the need for corticosteroids.

Immunotherapy stimulates the immune system to decrease the body's reaction. Shots contain small amounts or extracts of the allergen based on results of skin testing. The dog's owner gives shots to the pet at home. They are very effective but slow to work, taking 6-12 months to see improvement.

Continued biting and scratching can lead to open sores which can become infected, requiring antibiotics. Seeking dog allergies treatment early can reduce the need for corticosteroids and antibiotics, medications that come with more side effects.

Jennifer is a pet health professional specializing in dog allergies treatment.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs

Richard and Vicki Horowitz of Bark Busters Home Dog Training discuss ways to make sure you and your canine companion have a happy and safe Halloween.



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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Free Sample of Hartz Crunch ‘n Clean Dog Treats Today at 1:00 PM EST)

"Visit the Hartz Facebook page today, 10/19/11 at 1:00 PM EST to get a Free Sample of their Crunch ‘n Clean Dog Treats. They will be giving away 500 Free samples.

Hartz Crunch ‘n Clean Dog Treats

"Hartz Crunch 'n Clean Biscuits® are the only dog biscuits with Dentashield® proven to reduce tartar formation. Savory Flavors™ dog biscuits are three meatly flavor biscuit varieties dogs crave most. Each flavor, Braised Beef, Rotisserie Chicken, and Smokehouse Bacon is oven-baked and basted to seal in extra flavor dogs love."

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Win a year's supply of Dog Food and Treats from Wellness Natural Pet Food

Here's you chance to win a year's supply of dog food and treats from Wellness natural pet food.

Wellness Dog Food

"Created by nutritionists, vets and animal lovers, Wellness is a complete line of healthy, natural food and treats for dogs. All Wellness recipes include lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn or soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Wellness pet food is part of a nutritionally balanced diet that helps support your pet's total well-being."

The Wellness Natural Pet Food Giveaway runs through 12/13/11 at 11:59 AM (ET) and you can enter once per day.

Wellness Dog Treats

Three lucky winners will each receive a year's supply of dog (or cat) food and treats from Wellness Natural Pet Food. The year’s worth of dog food will be fulfilled in the form of coupons good for $500 of pet food and treats!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Safety For Your Dog

Halloween Safety For Your Dog by Rick Touhey

Our dogs have become such a large part of our families that we often want to include them in all of our activities. When including our dogs in our daily lives we need to make sure that they are safe during every event. Halloween is no exception! At this time of year veterinarians see a large number of pets for illnesses and injuries that can be easily prevented by taking a few simple precautions.

Labrador Retrievers - Halloween

First of all, there are a number of hidden dangers for our dogs around Halloween with chocolate and candy being the most dangerous threats to them. Both milk chocolate and dark chocolate are extremely toxic to dogs because chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical found naturally in the cacao bean. Typically, the darker the chocolate, the more concentrated the theobromine. When ingested by dogs, it can cause central nervous system distress and can even be fatal. While most of us know about the dangers of chocolate to dogs, not as many are aware of the dangers of candy. Most candies contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol and even when consumed in small amounts it can cause an unexpected drop in blood sugar, seizures, and a lack of coordination.

What about the wrappers? Let's face it, our dogs do not really care that the chocolate or candy is wrapped. As far as they know it is just part of the treat, however, wrappers of all kinds can cause intestinal blockages. While this sounds dark and gloomy, these dangers can be easily avoided by keeping your candy dish well out of your dog's reach.

In addition to Halloween treats, decorations can be another hazard for our pets. They come in many shapes and sizes and for whatever the reason, dogs like to chew on things they should not. Thus, both indoor decorations and outdoor decorations, such as window clings and those made of Styrofoam, can be potentially dangerous to dogs. Halloween lights can be unsafe for our dogs as well. Chewing on them while they are plugged in can be particularly hazardous for dogs, especially puppies, as they like to chew on the wires and smaller lights. Although your dog may find such decorations a real treat to chew on, choking and intestinal blockages are immediate concerns. It is important that you try to keep these things in mind as you decorate for the holiday and make sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times while decorations are on display.

Besides decorating our houses, many of us like to dress up our dogs for Halloween. As you know, this can be fun and cute to us, but it can be very stressful to our dogs especially if they are not used to it. If you really want to dress up your dog check with your trainer to find out how you can make it stress free. You will also want to make sure that your choice of costume is safe. Often times, dog clothing and costumes have little objects that dangle from them. While it is likely that your dog may find that these small dangling items can become toys, they also represent a possible choking hazard.

We must also be considerate of our own costumes around Halloween time as dogs are not used to the way we humans change our "fur" all the time. Just the sight of a familiar person wearing a jacket may cause stress to some dogs. Imagine how they might feel when they see all the little ghosts and goblins running around. This can be extremely stressful to our dogs. If you find that your dog is uncomfortable or growling as trick or treaters approach find a "safe haven" for them and provide them with something safe to chew on.

In conclusion, we can keep our dogs safe and prevent unnecessary trips to the vet by following a few simple guidelines. There are a number of things below to consider as Halloween approaches:

1. Make sure candy is out of your dog's reach at all times.


2. Inform all adults and children in the house that they should not give candy to your dog.

3. Watch your dog around decorations.

4. Consult your dog trainer on ways to desensitize your dog to wearing costumes.

5. Check for small objects on costumes that your dog may chew on.

6. Establish a place that your dog finds safe and give him or her a safe chew toy that will keep him or her busy until all the little ghosts and goblins have gone home.

If we all work together and practice a few safety rules our dogs and other pets can enjoy Halloween just as much as we do.

For more information on Halloween costumes and other dog products visit http://www.petcollarshop.com/.

Rick Touhey is a graduate of Animal Behavior College. My certification, education and experience provide me the skills required to effectively and humanely train your dog while keeping alive that special bond that makes your dog so special to you. Feel free to contact me via http://www.pawsitivek9.net/ for more advice on fitting dog collars.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5152140 Halloween Labrador Print. [Online image] Available http://www.zazzle.com/halloween_labrador_poster-228175440177912353, October 16, 2011.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Safety for Dogs

Halloween Safety for Dogs By Lauren Howanski

Halloween is not only a fun holiday for children, but dogs and their owners as well! Dressing up, trick or treating and eating tasty treats can be the best perks of Halloween for humans and dogs alike. There are also many potential hazards and sources of stress for your dog during this holiday that can be easily avoided by following these few simple tips.

Labrador Retrievers - Haloween

Dressing your dog up is one of the best parts of Halloween. From pirates to pigs, fairies to elephants, something about a dog dressed up in a costume is just too cute not to do. However, making sure your dog is comfortable and calm in clothing is key before deciding on a costume. Start by taking a simple article of clothing such as a pumpkin bandanna, or a light weight t-shirt like our Ghost Dog Tee. If your dog seems to like dressing up and is not bothered by the clothing, then a costume could be the next step! Make sure to choose an outfit that fits your dog properly. If it's too tight, it can cause discomfort and cut off circulation. If it's too loose it can get stuck on objects or cause your dog walking issues from tripping over the excess fabric. The best way to ensure a proper fit is to take your dog's measurements then compare with a size chart. After you have accurate measurements, you can pick out one of our adorable costumes to dress your fur baby in!

Another safety hazard for dogs is all the candy laying around. Many people leave candy out in a bowl for trick or treaters, and a lot gets dropped from children running house to house. Make sure to keep extra close attention to what your dog is eating and keep them away from all candy and wrappers that could cause harm. In order to prevent your dog from going after any food in sight, stock up on dog friendly treats like our Trick or Treat Rawhides. These natural dog chews are safe and tasty for your dog to chomp, while providing an extra special Halloween treat! One major point of stress on Halloween for your dog is the constant ringing of the doorbell. Most dogs tend to get overexcited when the doorbell rings, so imagining it ringing all day! If your dog tends to get worked up over the doorbell it may be best to keep them at a distance by using a dog or baby gate to confine them to an area in the house they feel comfortable in away from the door.

For more information, please refer to our Doggie Vogue Blog.

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