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Safe Dog Chews

kong toy chew

kong toy chewIf your dog is the type that likes to chew (most dogs do) you might be wondering what chew toys, rawhides, ect, would be a safe option for your pet. After talking to a vet and doing a little research on the subject, here is what I have found.

Most vets recommend that you stay away from rawhides, pig ears, pig hooves, deer antlers, sterilized marrow bones, and bully sticks. These can lead to an intestinal blockage in some (some, not all) dogs.

When deciding what type of chew toy you need to know if your dog gulps things down, this means, even if the chew toy is strong, your pet could potentially swallow pieces too large to pass through his system. Dog stomach acid is much stronger than ours and can digest a lot, but not everything.

If you choose to go with a rawhide, the most recommended type is C.E.T. Hextra Dog Chews. They contain chlorhexidine, which is an oral antiseptic and can help control dental disease. They are also must less likely to cause intestinal issues.

Kong Toys seem to be the most recommended chew toy. It comes in many different colors, sizes, shapes, and strength. You can get ones the hold treats, food, or even ones that you fill with water and freeze. These will keep your dog happy for hours. Just be sure you get a strength that is not too hard or soft for your pet.

There are other brands that may not satisfy the need to chew but are great for cleaning his teeth. If your pet doesn’t really chew but likes to play, that might be a better option as Kongs can get expensive.

Another option is C.E.T. VeggieDent chew treats. They are like a cross between Greenies and Listerine. They are usually consumed quickly so you are not something you want to give your pet often. They are great to freshen breath and clean your pet’s teeth.

There was a lot of warning for sterilized marrow bones. They are the most common cause of slab fractures in your dog’s teeth.

The best thing you can do is know your pet, ask your vet for ideas, and watch them to make sure you made the right choice for them. Happy chewing!

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Pets in clothes…cute or not?

Dog in Tux

Dog in suit

Some people are often looked at as; let’s face it, a nit crazy for dressing up their pets. To some people it’s hard to understand. The thing is, it all depends on the type of person you are and “what” you dress your dog in. First off I do not care who you are, any small dog in cloths is usually cute. Even if the clothing is on the silly side, still cute…usually. For bigger dogs it’s a bit harder to stay on that fine line of cute and quirky to just plain weird.

 

The key to any size animal is minimal. It’s fine to put on a hat and a sweater but when you have an animal in pants, a shirt, a hat, and little boots….well honestly you’ve gone into a bit crazy territory. If you are doing it for say weather, it’s understandable; otherwise you just look desperate for a child. I understand our pets are our kids and we love them, but just like your kid you do not want people thinking that kid is not safe with you. In conclusion have fun with your pets, love them, and ignore the crazy people stares. Again, the most important piece of “clothing” your pet will ever wear is his or her pet id tags. Pet tags are the most important item to purchase for your pets. They insure that your pets will safely make it home if they ever wonder too far.

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The expense of having pets

Doggy with cash in mouth

One of the hardest things about having a pet is the expense. Going to the vet can use up a huge chunk of your bank account. Taking your pet to the vet and keeping them well is a necessity. Having two animals myself that require extra care I can give you a couple tips on how to keep taking good care of your pets without dropping mass amounts of money a couple times a year.

Call around to your local vets and ask them about pricing. For example: How much are x-rays or tests. What one vet charges $130 for another will charge $60.

Every time you go in be sure to ask for a quote or estimate on everything they are going to do. I was once asked if they could keep my cat for a couple hours to get a urine sample and when I went to pick her up I ended up paying an $18 boarding fee and $40 for IV sedation on top of the amount I was already paying for testing, and the office visit. The vet never told me it would cost to keep her and never called to ask if they could sedate her.

Never feel like you have to do every test or exam the vet wants. I had a vet that wanted us to take our animals in once a year no matter what for a “wellness exam”. While this sounds nice and all its $40 each time, plus if I failed to go and took an animal in for something else, all of a sudden I would be getting a charge for a “wellness exam” that I never gave permission for. Be firm that your only paying for what you gave permission for.

Do not be afraid to question your vet or call another office for a second opinion. I do not know how many times I would’ve saved hundreds of dollars if I just would’ve gotten ALL the information I needed.

I hope some of you will find this information useful. I’m not going to lie I am a strong believer in “you get what you pay for”. However I am also a believer that you can only say that if you KNOW what you are paying for. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or demand answers. Your pets are important and you cannot take care of them for life if you run out of money to do so. Your cheapest expense is likely to be your purchase of pet id tags for your pets. Pet tags are an essential tool in helping your pets return home if they are ever lost. It is extremely important to make sure that the information on the pet tags is updated if you move or your phone number changes.

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Even More Pet Facts

Cute Puppy

The Canary Islands were not named for a bird called a canary. They were named after a breed of large dogs. The Latin name was Canariae insulae – “Island of Dogs.”

The first seeing-eye dog was presented to a blind person on April 25, 1938

The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained “cats and dogs” and led to the current expression

The term “dog days” has nothing to do with dogs. It dates back to Roman times, when it was believed that Sirius, the Dog Star, added its heat to that of the sun from July3 to August 11, creating exceptionally high temperatures. The Romans called the period dies caniculares, or “days of the dog

Overnight Pet Tags is the industry leader in top quality pet id tags

There are 701 types of pure breed dogs

Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man.

Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second

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More Pet Facts

Dog with glasses

Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear, and also can hear noises at a much higher frequency than we can. Their hearing is so good that they probably rely more on sound than on sight to navigate their world

Dogs have far fewer taste buds than people — probably fewer than 2,000. It is the smell that initially attracts them to a particular food

Dogs may not have as many taste buds as we do (they have about 1,700 on their tongues, while we humans have about 9,000), but that doesn’t mean they’re not discriminating eaters. They have over 200 million scent receptors in their noses (we have only 5 million) so it’s important that their food smells good as well as tastes good

Dogs in monuments: The dog is placed at the feet of women in monuments to symbolize affection and fidelity, as a lion is placed at the feet of men to signify courage and magnanimity. Many of the Crusaders are represented with their feet on a dog, to show that they followed the standard of the Lord as faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps of his master

Every year, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food

French poodles did not originate in France. Poodles were originally used as hunting dogs in Europe. The dogs’ thick coats were a hindrance in water and thick brush, so hunters sheared the hindquarters, with cuffs left around the ankles and hips to protect against rheumatism. Each hunter marked his dogs’ heads with a ribbon of his own color, allowing groups of hunters to tell their dogs apart

It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks

Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children

‘Seizure Alert’ dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure

Seventy percent of people sign their pet’s name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association

Some 39 percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. Only 21 percent say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.

90% of pets lost that are wearing pet id tags are returned to their owners.

Check back next week for more pet facts!

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Pets and Vacations

dog with suitcase

dog with suitcase

When it comes time to take a vacation, the decision must be made, to take the furry members of your family or leave them? Here are some tips for both choices to keep your vacations fun, and your pets happy.

Leaving your pets at home

If you decide to vacation without your pet, here are some things to think about. If you want to go the route of a kennel, be sure to check into how the kennel is run so you know how your pet will be treated. Do they have beds for your pet, or do they sleep on concrete floors? Do they have yard time? Are they given attention from the people working there? Do they charge extra for administering medication? What is the feeding schedule? Asking these questions and more will ensure a pleasant stay for your pet, and less anxiety for you.

Another option would be to check into “pet sitters”. This is a surprisingly inexpensive and very convenient option. You have to be ok with someone in your home with you not there. This option is usually easier for pets and great for pets with anxiety issues. In my area the cost for three, thirty minute visits a day, including giving meds and grabbing the mail, comes to the same as a stay at my local kennel. Pet sitters will usually take your pets for walks, feed them, and give them plenty of one on one time. Most will offer shorter visits if you’re on a tighter budget. A big plus is your pet feels at home because he is at home.

Taking your pet along

By Air or Sea: Be sure to do the research to find out if your accommodations in fact, allow for pets. If you are leaving the country, find out if your pet needs a “pet passport”. (It is in fact a real thing). Also check to see what immunizations your pet will need. Be sure to check in to rules and regulations for flying with your pet as well.

Traveling by Car: Be sure to plan out stops along the way, where it is safe for your pet to stretch his legs and relieve himself. This will help get rid of pent up energy your pet may have from being trapped in a small space. If it is going to be a particularly long trip, make sure you have prior arrangements for sleeping and eating for your pet as well.

Always be sure check with campgrounds you may stay at, or city you are staying in to find out the leash rules or if there are certain areas designated for walking your pet. Make sure your pet has a collar on at all times, and of course, Pet ID Tag with information to reach you. A simple name and phone number is best. Doing the preparation and research before hand, can go a long way toward ensuring a safe, happy journey for you and your furry family member.

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Dogs and Sunburn

dog at beach

dog swimming
Like us, dogs can suffer from sunburn. Long term exposure can result in skin damage and skin cancers just like in people.

Dogs that are susceptible to sunburn
• Any dog that spends lots of time in the sun during the hottest parts of the day;
• Dogs that have white or light colored hair;
• Dogs that have very short hair, or no hair at all;
• Dogs that have lost fur through allergies, hot spots or medical treatments.

What are the signs of sunburn?
• Red or inflamed skin; and/or
• Hair loss; and/or
• Skin sores;

What areas of the body are more prone to sunburn you ask?

Those parts with smaller finer or thinner amounts of hair specifically:
• The nose;
• Tips of the ears;
• Around the mouth and snout;
• Eyelids
• Your dog’s belly, groin and inside the legs; where there is usually very little or no hair at all. These areas are at even greater risk when your dog is on a reflective surface, such as walking on a black top or close to water.

How do I prevent dog sunburn?
• Keep your dog inside, in a cool room, or if he’s a outside pet, in an adequately covered shelter during the hottest parts of the day;
• Use an animal safe sunscreen on those parts of his body more susceptible to sunburn
• If you regularly groom your dog in the summer, think about leaving the coat a little bit longer so the hair may offer some protection. Be sure to talk to your groomer about your dogs coat, sometimes the hair is a certain length specifically to protect your dog from the sun and you do not want to do more harm than good.

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More Pet Myths

puppy

puppy

One dog year equals seven people yearMYTH: It was once believed that for every human year a dog aged, you simply multiplied by seven to calculate your dog’s age. Contrary to popular belief, there is no exact formula; aging for dogs is individual to the specific dog and breed. However, as a rough approximation, a one-year-old dog is estimated to be between 10-16 years, a two-year-old dog adds another three to eight years, and each year afterwards equals approximately four or five human years.

Dogs wag their tail when they are happy:
MYTH: A wagging tail is normally associated with a happy dog, and has even been compared to a human smile. However, a wagging tail can indicate a number of emotions ranging from friendliness and excitement to agitation and aggression.

An important communication tool, a dog’s tail needs to be read along with the dog’s body language to determine exactly what the dog is ‘saying’. Is the dog growling while wagging his tail? Are his teeth showing? Or is he is relaxed and perky? Evaluating a dog’s overall body language can help you decipher the emotion behind the wag.

Dogs and cats eat grass because they have an upset stomach:
MYTH: Dogs and cats eat grass for a number of reasons; it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not feeling well. While some people believe dogs and cats eat grass as a digestive aid, they tend to eat grass (and other plants) because they like the taste.

If you find your kitty likes chewing on houseplants, you might consider providing her alternative things to nibble on, such as a small pot of grass or other young plants (avoid toxic plants that can threaten your cat’s health).

Cats rubbing a person is a sign of friendliness:

BOTH: While getting a friendly rub by a cat may be a sign of affection, it also serves another important feline function: scent-marking. Cats have scent glands in many parts of their bodies, and use them to ‘mark their territory’ by leaving their scent on objects they come in contact with.

Scent-marking is an important cat habit. By leaving their scent on everything they touch, they become familiar with the smells around them, thus helping them to establish or claim a particular person or object as ‘their own’.

Cats purr because they are happy:
BOTH: Purring, for the most part, has been known to signal that a cat is happy. Although purring by domestic cats is usually a sign of contentment, purring, in general, is a way for cats to communicate. Used as a self-calming technique, cats have been known to purr when they’re injured, nursing or even dying.

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Pet Myths 1

dog looking at camera

dog looking at cameraPet Myths – Page 1

Chocolate is not harmful to dogs:
MYTH: Chocolate is terrible for dogs. The theobromine in chocolate that stimulates the cardiac and nervous systems is too much for dogs, especially smaller pups. A chocolate bar is poisonous to dogs and can even be lethal

Dogs sweat by salivating:
MYTH: Dogs actually sweat through the pads of their feet!

Dogs see in only black and white:
MYTH: Dogs see in color, but not the same way that we do. Veterinary ophthalmologists have found that dogs are similar to people with red/green color blindness, meaning they can see bluish and greenish shades but not reddish ones. To a dog, a bright orange ball on a grassy lawn appears as a light greenish ball in greenish grass. This is similar to our vision at twilight.

A cold can be transferred between pet to owner:
MYTH: Most viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other organisms are specific to the species they inhabit. In other words they cannot transfer from animal to human or human to animal and still survive. Here is a list of things your pet can not catch from you:
• Common Cold
• Influenza
• Stomach Flu
• Mononucleosis
• Poorly thrown tennis balls…

However there is something called Zoonosis, which is a disease or health condition that can be transferred from animals to humans. So there are a few things you can catch from your pet but it happens VERY rarely. So you can feel free about snuggling up with your cuddle buddy when you are too sick to be around other people!

Hypo-allergenic pets:
MYTH: Many people take this to mean non-allergenic when it really means LESS allergenic. Allergies are caused by a reaction to the proteins in an animal’s saliva or dander that comes off our pets and not from the fur itself. Some animals drop less dander than others. If you are a pet lover but also an allergy sufferer here are some tips to help you “breathe” a little easier:
• You can get an allergy shot from your doctor, or buy over the counter meds (something with loratadine works wonders).
• Install an air filtration system
• Groom animal frequently
• Wash animal bedding and toileting areas often
• Vacuum, dust, and sweeping daily

My dog is urinating in the house because he is angry with me:
MYTH: If your dog is urinating in the house, it can only be for one of a few possible reasons:
• The dog might be dealing with a medical condition such as a urinary tract infection or seizures.
• The dog might be anxious and in distress about being left alone.
• The owner left him alone longer than the dog can hold his bladder.
• He is not fully house-trained.

Using human food during training will encourage a dog to beg at the dining table:
MYTH: If you give your dog human food while training, it will not necessarily equate to him begging at the table. If you do not want your pet to ask for food while you are eating, teach him a “go to your place” command to show him that he needs to go somewhere else while you’re enjoying a meal and to earn his yummy reward

Tug of war creates aggression in animals:
MYTH: Tug of war can be a great game to play with your dog as long as you do it properly! Dogs should learn that it’s never okay to put their teeth on your skin when grasping for the toy with their mouths. Dogs should learn to “drop” the toy on command when you’re ready to end the game. Using a tug as reinforcement instead of food is common among working dog trainers because dogs enjoy it. When your dog shows a natural inclination for this type of play and reward, making it cooperative and under your control is the name of the game for your talented athlete!

Purebreds are not as healthy as mixed-breeds:
MYTH: This is not necessarily true; while mixed-breed dogs are not susceptible to many of the genetic diseases common in purebred lines, there is no guarantee of genetic health or temperament in either type of dog. Both purebreds and mixed-breeds alike are vulnerable to rabies, distemper, parasite infestation among other non-genetic ailments.

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Pet Tags: Differentiating Pets From Strays

pet tags

pet tags

Pet tags are probably the only thing that differentiates your dog from a stray one. These tags contain the pet’s name, your address and phone number. If you lose your pet, this information plays the pivotal role in finding your dog. This makes these tags the most important accessory that your dog can have.

When our pets are in their initial age, there is little chance that they will run away. Gradually as they grow up, we start letting them out thinking that we have trained them enough and there is no chance of them running away. Most animals are unpredictable and restless, and might be thinking that it is fun to run away or they might even run after another animal. If your dog runs away, it will be very difficult to find him/her, even if you put up fliers to find them. To avoid this, you should put a tag on your pet to give yourself a better chance of finding it.

To make the tag of your pet unique, you can always find a tag of a unique shape and color. Nowadays, it has become very easy to find the right pet tag for your animal on the internet. If you go to a website, you can find tags of different materials, shapes and sizes. You can select the tag which suits you the most and order it online. These companies make sure that the tags are delivered in quick time. If you unfortunately lose your pet, the unique dog tag helps people to recognize the animal from a distance. This increases the chances of recovering your dear pet.

When you are choosing a tag on the internet, you should consider many aspects. The first thing you should consider is that the tag should be unique. After all, your pet is also unique. You should also consider the durability of the tag. Only a durable tag will stay on your pet’s neck in the worst possible condition. Aluminum tags are preferred in this regard as they are long-lasting and their engraving never rubs off.

There are around 10 million pets lost every year. Around ninety percent of the animals recovered after being lost, were found because of their tags. Without the tag, there is a very low probability that you will ever find your dog. I have lost my dog once, only because I did not bother to buy a tag. Take it from someone who has been through this; get a tag for your pet. Otherwise, the only thing you will be left with will be regret.