Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Choosing a Dog Day Care

By Ryan Joseph
If you are going to enroll your dog or puppy in a day care service, it is recommended that you case out day cares with scrutiny the same way that you might scrutinize out a school for one o your kids. You should take a tour of each individual facility and ask a lot of pertinent questions each step along the way. You will of course only wish to place your dog into the hands of a facility that you trust. Here are a few tips:

1. Apart from searching online, ask other dog owners for referrals of places they have used and check with your local pet store, veternarians and also your grooming parlor for references. You can also call the American Boarding Kennel Association for a list of their members.

2. Dog day cares should be clean with a minimum odors. It is difficult to avoid at least some hint of a doggie smell, but avoid any putrid-smelling place.

3. Dogs should be well supervised. Note the dog-to-staff ratio to be certain that there are enough care givers to provide for proper supervision.

4. Make certain that each individual facility that you visit allows you to see exactly where your animal will be sleeping and eating. Stay clear of places that refuse to let you visit parts of the facility.

5. Get a feel for the staff. Are they knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating?

6. Does the place require proof of vaccinations and spay/neutering? If not, don't send your pet there.

7. All facilities must clean with agents that kill bacteria and virus, rinsing well afterwards.

8. All facilities must have a relationship with a local veterinarian so that if there is a problem, help is surely on the way. Ask the name of the veterinarian and make a phone call to the clinic, just to be sure.

9. Visit places without an appointment.

In addition, it should be noted that many pet spas are now giving parents the option of self-serve as well as full-serve pet grooming.

We all know that getting our pets cleaned and groomed can be expensive and trying to do it yourself at home can get chaotic and messy. With self-serve pet spas, you have the best of both worlds. To top it all off, at a self-serve pet spa, you can make your mess and leave it all behind ... water and bubbles everywhere! The staff thoroughly cleans and sanitizes the stations after each client.

Ryan Joseph is a writer and researcher. Additional Info. at

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

How To Know When Your Dog Is Sick

By Jack Prime
Most dog owners will notice any sudden or odd changes in their dogs normal behavior but it is useful to know the specific symptoms to watch out for.

If you dog shows symptoms of excessive drinking, sudden loss of appetite, continual vomiting or diarrhea, or unusual lethargy then these should be obvious enough to raise your concern.

Discharge from the eyes or inflamed eyes, a shallow or rapid breathing pattern or perhaps persistent coughing can all be signs of something serious.

Typically when a dog is sick or ill they will show a raised temperature, indicated by a hot, dry nose. If your dog has a high temperature or even a very low temperature you should seek professional advice from your veterinarian.

Do be aware that a dog's temperature will be raised after strenuous activity or excitement and will not therefore be a reliable indication to its health.

If you are unsure you can take your dogs temperature yourself and this is taken rectally with a suitable thermometer. A dogs normal resting temperature is 101.5F, although if your dog is a hairless breed their temperature could be one or two degrees higher.

To take your dogs temperature choose a time when your dog is calm. You will need to ensure your dog is firmly held to prevent them from sitting down onto the thermometer. Smear the thermometer with vaseline or suitable lubricant and insert it into your dogs rectum about an inch.

Any reading above 102.5F or any reading below 100F should be regarded with concern and veterinarian advice should be sought.

If you known or feel your dog is ill make sure you keep them calm and display a reassuring manner until you get them to the veterinarian. Dogs can be very sensitive to your tone of voice and will pick up any worry or anxiety in your voice and manner.

Understanding your dogs needs and keeping a watchful eye for symptoms of sickness and ill health will ensure you can take swift action and ensure you dog is cared for sooner than later.

For further advice on looking after your dog or puppy, visit Dog and Puppy Care.

For full details on dog training, care, health and diet, visit Dog and Puppy Training, Care, Health and Diet .

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dog Comfort, Safety and Fashion with Collars and Leashes

By Connie Limon
Dog collars are practical and fashionable. A dog collar can hold your dog's identification which can be his ticket back home to you if he gets lost. A dog collar can also be your dog's most fashionable statement showing the world just how pampered and stylish he is.

Every dog needs at least one collar. But as it is with you and earrings or necklaces and rings, your dog and you will enjoy having several. Of course, you only really need one pair of shoes, but chances are you have many, a style and color for every occasion. So can it be the same with your dog's collar. You and your dog can enjoy a color and style for any and every occasion.

The dogs that belong to celebrities are known to wear some of the most fabulous-looking collars. The rich and famous love to splurge on fashionable collars for their dogs.

Throughout history people have adorned their dog's necks with jewels, brass and velvet. We are not the first generation to love our dogs. A dog-collar museum at Leeds Castle in England displays a collection of collars from medieval times to the nineteenth century. Many of those collars include the same kind of identification information we put on our dog tags today.

The collars you choose for you dog should provide comfort and safety as well as adornment. A collar that does not fit properly can create sores. A collar that is too loose can allow your dog to slip out. A collar that is not sturdy can break just at a time you need it most to be strong enough to hold your dog in safety. Finding the right fit is the first rule when purchasing collars for your dog.

Do not put a huge collar and leash on a little dog. It can irritate your dog's throat. The little guys under 8 pounds should have a collar that is 3/8-inch wide. Bigger dogs can use a collar 5/8-inch in size.

If you have a bigger and more active dog be sure the collar is strong. If your bigger dog suddenly flies to the end of the leash after a cat while on your walk, you will be glad he was wearing a very strong collar and leash. Once I was walking one of my 10 pound Shih Tzu's on a sidewalk that surrounded a lake. The ducks on the sidewalk suddenly flew into the water, and right after them went my Cindy and almost me too. Without a strong collar and leash that day she would have ended up in the lake for sure (I am unsure if Cindy can swim), but my first instinct would have been to run right after her and I for sure cannot swim. Luckily I was able to pull her back.

Look for well-constructed buckles and collars made of leather or other materials that won't fall apart right at the "wrong" moment.

Be sure your dog's collar is secure around his neck. Otherwise he could learn to get his head out of the collar. Put your thumb or other fingers inside the collar. If you can fit more than one finger comfortably between collar and your dog's neck, the collar on a small dog is too loose. Collar fitting can also be determined by the size of your dog's head. If your dog has a big neck and a little head, the collar has to be fitted snug around his neck. If he has a skinny neck and a large head, the collar can be looser.

Whether you pay $5 or $100 for your dog's collars, think about quality, comfort and safety before you buy. It is fun to find stylish collars, but just be sure your dog is comfortable and safe as well.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. Buy designer dog clothes, collars and leashes at: http://www.littleguysdogclothesshop.com

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dog Food - Teaching Your Dog Better 'Tricks'

By Rebecca Prescott
There is much to recommend feeding your dog homemade dog food if you have the time to prepare it, and make sure you have recipes that give the correct ratio of nutrients, as well as the vitamins and supplements you'll need to add. These can be mixed up in a bag, stored, and sprinkled in every meal.

Dogs should have a minimum of 18% protein for maintenance when they are adults, and 22% for reproduction and growth. Fat should be a minimum of 5% for adult dogs, and 8% for reproduction and growth. But the more fat that is in the diet, the more protein there should be.

Fat makes dogs, as well as people, eat less by making them feel fuller. If they eat less, and there are less of other essential nutrients like protein and vitamins and minerals, the dog will not get the nourishment it needs.

Generally, commercial pet food is made according to the appropriate guidelines, but care should be taken if significant amounts of other food is added to the diet, and it is high in fat.

But whether you're feeding your dog commercial dog food, or home made dog food, there are a few things to keep in mind so you don't end up with a fussy dog:

  • dogs should be fed once a day once they are no longer puppies, or two small meals, no more. Feeding your dog too frequently when he is older can turn him appear like a fussy eater, when he is actually full.
  • feeding your dog too regularly can get him into the routine of expecting to eat at those times, too, and may lead to weight gain. Letting him get hungry, and feeding sensibly, will not harm him. In the wild, dogs would eat for once a day until they were completely full.
  • Don't stand and stare at your dog waiting for him to eat. He will likely think something is wrong, or something else is coming, and won't eat.
  • Don't give into your dog and give him something else straight away if he refuses his meal, as he's effectively training you and not the other way around!
  • There's nothing wrong with feeding your dog a varied diet, but don't keep changing the food because he seems fussy and won't eat it. Make sure nothing is wrong with him physically first, then if he is healthy, take charge of the situation.

    Put his food down, leave him to it, and then 30 minutes later go and check to see whether it's been eaten. If it hasn't, take it away, then at the end of the day put down some fresh food. Repeat the process, and take it away 30 minutes later if it still isn't eaten. This way you'll train your dog to eat his food, and not reinforce his behaviour.

    Brian Kilcommons has a very interesting method for teaching dogs to eat their food. When the above fails, he prepared the dog food in front of the dog, making lots of 'yummy' noises whilst he did it. He made it slowly, and when the dog still wasn't interested, he put it down in front of his face, then took it straight away and threw it out. He did this first at breakfast, then at dinner.

    At dinner, the dog in question was more interested, but he still threw it out after putting it in front of him. The next morning, the dog was jumping up and down whilst the food was being prepared. He put it down, pulled it away, then looked at him for about a minute, then left it for him to eat. That dog now eats anything put down for him.

  • If your dog suddenly goes off his food, it could be because he has dental problems, or a stomach problem. Get him checked out by the vet.

  • Some dogs do actually prefer a certain type of food, just as people do. Try your dog with a variety of foods, and if he only eats one type, and will starve himself if he doesn't get it, the best solution can simply be to feed him that type of food.
  • Don't feed your dog a high fat diet, or junk food, including chocolate. It's not good for them.

References: Brian Kilcommons, Good Owners, Great Dogs
For more information on feeding your dog a natural dog food diet, see this article. For information on commercial v's non commercial dog food that might shock you, see this article. Rebecca Prescott runs the website, http://www.thedogsbone.com/

Friday, September 15, 2006

How To Administer Ear Medication for Your Dog - Painlessly

By Aidan Bindoff
Has your dog ever had an ear infection? Likely your vet will have prescribed ear medications for treatment or prevention of future ear infections.

The problem with ear medications is that they can be quite uncomfortable for your dog, the medication often needs to be administered in liquid form directly into the ear canal.

Your dog may find this uncomfortable and start avoiding you, or even becoming aggressive towards you.

If your dog becomes aggressive, consult with your vet and seek help from a competent behavioral trainer knowledgeable in desensitisation and counter-conditioning. Avoid anyone who suggests punishing your dog for this behavior.

If the problem is only mild, then you can begin this simple and effective desensitisation procedure yourself.

Have some small, yummy treats ready. Do this exercise before a meal, not after. The exercise involves forming a positive association with the ear medication and having the ear touched by pairing with yummy treats (for more information, Google "Pavlov").

The first step is to have your dog used to having his ears handled - without medication. Touch the outside of his ear and give a treat, do this a few times. Then touch the inside of the ear and give a treat. Don't stick your finger into the ear canal, just touch the actual ear and give a treat. Do this a few times, as many times a day as you can. Gently massage your dogs ears if he likes it, tell him how good he is!

When your dog seems to enjoy having his ears touched, show him the medicine bottle and give a treat. You can do this a number of times.

Next, leave the lid on the medicine bottle and touch the inside of his ear with it, then give a treat. This step is probably the most critical, particularly if your dog has already had ear medication and doesn't like it.

Now we get to the point where we need to administer some medication. I would suggest you administer just a small amount unless your vet insists upon a full dosage all in one go. Feed treats while you administer the medication, and after. Now tell your dog how proud you are while you gently massage the outside of his ears (if he enjoys having his ears massaged, of course, we are building positive associations!)

Remember to keep it positive, don't move ahead too fast, and give plenty of treats and praise as you go!

Aidan Bindoff is intensely interested in dog behaviour and training and works to remediate fearful, anxious and aggressive dogs in Australia. He also runs the Training Levels list providing a step-by-step program for people training their own dog. For more information visit http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/traininglevels/

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tips for Solving Dog Behavior Problems: Ditch the Tantrums

By Tim Lee
Dogs can sometimes be very unfriendly with the other dogs. They snap in the air, growl and bark a lot. These may sometimes indicate normal acts of defense to protect their owners and territory. Hence, one can surmise that they do not mean any harm.

However, there are times when such behavior becomes excessive and uncontrollable. At this point, your dogs can be very unruly and may even do more harm than good. What was once a pet may become a growling monster if not examined for any behavioural problems immediately.

Here is a list of some tips for solving your dog's behavior problems and make them live a normal, happy life.

1) Following the leader
Show the dog that you are the leader. Try not to confuse your dog. Teach him that you are the master and he has to obey.

When dog behavior problems take place, the dog becomes the master instead. The dog tends to project itself as the main boss of its environment. This has to stop, and your dog should know where he stands.

2) Go out and socialize
Expose your dogs and let them mingle with other dogs and people as this help them get rid of their insecurities, nervousness and make them learn how to socialize.

Like in humans, dog behavior problems indicate some psychological problems. There are some instances that dogs are just bored that is why they are behaving that way.

3) Too many puppy problems
As much as possible raise not more than 3 puppies at a time. They can be jealous. Imagine having a couple of siblings of same age, fighting over the same toy and getting the mother dog's and the owner's attention.

4) Abundant food equals healthy mind and body
This is common with stray dogs. Not having ample water, food and even sex in their environment affect their brains and way of thinking. They might also be eating dirty food and develop rabies. It is best to stay away from street dogs or better report it to the dog pound.

5) Training school
If your dogs are really stubborn and uncontrollable or you just want them professionally trained, you could enroll your dog in training schools.

6) Play and prepare
They should learn to play such as to run, jump, wrestle, chase, nip, be brave, use their mouth, and paw. A canine should learn all these because those are part of their normal behavior and in order to get them ready for the real world battle and hunting if ever they need to. Playing should also be done in moderation because too much of it could also add in the progress of aggression.

7) Fear me not
Dog's life experiences such as being attacked as a puppy or if they have seen two dogs fight also affects their behavior because dogs may develop anger, fear, and even imbalances in their hormones.

Their nerves could also be weak. A program called "slow desensitisation" or systematic reduction of their sensitivity is best performed with these dogs.

Since with this type of behavior the dog is not violent, it would help if they will be given reward and disregard the bad manners instead.

Dogs are always known as man best friend but sometimes, their behavior changes and become violent. In some ways, they are like humans too. They need love and care. Such bad behavior only becomes serious when they reach the age of more than 1 year up to 3 years. Therefore, before it starts to become serious, help them now

For the fastest and healthiest methods that transform your dog's behavior problems, please visit http://www.1st-in-dog-training.info/

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dog Worms: Understand Dog Worms Symptoms and Infestation

By Moses Chia
Until a very recent period, dog worms were thought to be of a spontaneous origin, brought about by the influence of heat upon decaying vegetable matter, and it was and still is freely asserted that puppies are born with dog worms inherited from the mother in some mysterious manner while still in uterus. This has been conclusively proven an error and in the minds of all scientists there is no question about dog worms springing from individual eggs and having a complete life history of their own.

The principal worm species with which dog owners have to contend are round worms and tape worms. The first named commonly infest puppies and consequently are most dreaded by breeders. In shape and size these worms resemble common angle worms, but in color are lighter, being almost white or only a pale pink.

In adult dogs these worms, when full grown, are from three to seven inches long. In puppies they are about half that length, and as thick as common white string. Round worms live in the small intestines, sometimes coiled in such masses as to obstruct the passage, and occasionally they wander into the stomach or are passed by the bowels.

It is easy to understand that when one dog in a kennel is infected with worms, millions of eggs will be passed with the feces. These are scattered all over the floors, bedding, feeding and drinking pans. They get on the dog's coat, are licked off and swallowed and in numbers of ways gain entrance to the digestive tracts of other dogs, where they soon hatch out and in ten days are fully developed.

This rapid development account for the popular belief that puppies are born with worms, for breeders who have held post-mortems on puppies scarcely ten days old and have found in their stomachs fully developed round worms could account for their presence in no other way. They overlooked the fact that the prospective mother, confined in a kennel infested with worms, would get these eggs attached to her coat, belly and breasts, and the young, as soon as born, would take these eggs into their stomachs with the first mouthfuls of milk.

Symptoms Of Dog Worms Attack

Dog worms are responsible for so much sickness and so many symptoms that it is practically impossible to mention all of them, but their presence can safely be suspected in all dogs which have not been recently treated for them, as well as in cases where the patient is run down, unthrifty and out of sorts.

Other symptoms are a hot, dry nose, weak, watery eyes, pale lips and gums, foul breath, mean hacking cough and a red, scurfy, pimply or irritated condition of the skin and harsh, dry, staring coat that is constantly being shed.

Wormy dogs sometimes have a depraved appetite and will eat dirt and rubbish. Some days they are ravenously hungry, the next day they will not eat at all; their sleep is disturbed by dreams and intestinal rumbling, the urine is high colored and frequently passed, bowels irregular, stomach easily unsettled, watery mucus is frequently vomited and the mouth is hot, sticky and full of ropy saliva.

Puppies which are full of worms bloat easily and are pot-bellied. After feeding their stomachs distend disproportionately to the amount of food consumed. Their bodies are also subject to scaly eruptions and their bowels to colicky pains; they do not grow as rapidly as healthy puppies should and instead of playing with each other they curl up and sleep hour after hour; they get thinner, weaker and more lifeless from day to day and if they do not waste away or die in fits and convulsions with frothing at the mouth and champing of the jaws, grow up coarse-jointed, rickety and misshapen. Puppies with worms are also liable to paralysis of their rear limbs and on removal of the worms the puppies regain control of the affected parts.

A wormy dog is usually an unhealthy and unhappy dog who leads a miserable life. It could even be deadly, especially so for young puppies. Bring your dog to a veterinarian if you are unsure. Your dog will certainly thank you for that.

Moses Chia is the webmaster of DogsObedienceTraining.com. He provides more helpful information on dog obedience training, dog training book reviews and dog illness symptoms interpretation that you can learn in the comfort of your home on his website.