57.8 F
Billings
Monday, September 20, 2021
Home Blog Page 2

Puppies : Choosing a Reputable Breeder

puppies
puppies

It’s easy to find people with puppies to sell. However, there are some things you can’t tell just by looking at a puppy. If you want to be sure about the character and health of your dog your best bet is to choose a reputable breeder. They will be able to provide a guarantee and you can be sure about what kind of dog you are getting. If you are serious about finding a good purebred dog then here are some tips for choosing a good breeder.

Reputable breeders know a lot about the breed they specialize in. If you are really serious about choosing the best breeder then the best thing to do is ask various people. Ask veterinarians, groomers and other people directly involved with dogs on a daily basis. They will have some good suggestions for you.

If you want a reputable dealer its best not pick one out of the classifieds. As with everything, if the breeder really is top quality then they will have no reason to be advertising in the classifieds. Some breeders have puppies booked years in advance. Another reason you don’t want to find someone in the newspaper is they offer no guarantees. Usually forty-eight hours is all you get and if something happens to that puppy six months from now most will just say it’s not their problem. Most reputable breeders will not only give you a year guarantee or more but they will also give you lifetime support.

Another sign of a good breeder is they involved in some rescue of the type they breed. Breeders will usually look to help their breed. Also notice if they will take a puppy back if for some reason the buyer can’t take care of it. Most will not refund any money but at least they care enough about the puppy they’ve bred and will always have a home to come to.

The most obvious clues about the quality of the breeder is by looking at the puppies themselves. Puppies are a product of their upbringing and a healthy puppy will have a pleasant temperament as well as a healthy look. This means no runny noses, clear eyes and, of course a wagging tail. If you are buying over the internet see if the breeder can send you a video of your puppy.

The environment in which the puppies are kept will also tell you a lot about the standard of the breeder. If the environment is clean and the puppies have space then it is more likely that the breeder is a good one.

It’s a good idea to talk and find out about your intended breeder before seeing the puppies. See if they have children and are involve in social activities. Most Puppy millers wouldn’t have time for this. Often once you see them you can be much easier to convince – because you have been convinced by those big eyes! Ask to see the dog’s parents and try to assess their demeanor. Stay away from dogs that seem unusually fearful or aggressive.

You should already know quite a bit about the breed you are interested in. Ask your breeder any questions you might have left. Don’t forget to ask about chronic conditions and special care. After all, this is their passion and many have spent years learning about their chosen breed and living with them! If a breeder is good then they will be just as concerned about figuring out if you are going to be a good dog owner. A good breeder cares a great deal about the puppies and the homes they are sent out into.

For most good breeders, the main goal is not to make money. In recent years however finding a puppy on the internet has become popular. It’s a little harder to find a good breeder on the internet but every tip I have given here will still help you. You may not personally be able to go to see where the dogs are raised however you can tell a lot by a conversation. Just by talking to people you can tell if they are educated or not and they still should be able to tell you about the breed (s) they breed.

Now that you know what to look for there are some things you should avoid at all costs.
Any puppy that comes from a backyard or puppy mill can be a dangerous buy. A backyard breeder will know little about the breed standards. Often they don’t maintain puppy’s health properly. Backyard breeders and puppy millers will sell the puppies often at six weeks of age because they have just got too many; having to move them out for the next litter.

Puppy mills produce large amounts of puppies often in horrible conditions. There isn’t appropriate medical care and more often than not, the puppies are not fed well. Puppy mills often sell directly to pet stores. For this reason it is best to avoid puppies bought from pet stores. Often the puppies are separated from their parents at much too young an age, often as early as 4-5 weeks old as well as the other problems of lack of healthcare, love and attention.

When choosing a breeder look find out how many breeds they breed. Usually two or three different breed types is what seems to be the standard. However this is not the case any longer. If a breeder breeds more then this most likely the person started out with one. Find out when they started out with that one and you can find out a lot by how it progressed. Judging by the conversation on the phone with them you can usually tell their level of knowledge. If it’s just a puppy and they don’t know anything then that’s a clear sign to move on.

Most reputable breeders will not let there puppies go before they turn eight weeks of age or more depending on the breed. Most puppies are not completely weaned and self sufficient any younger then that. This varies among the breeds. Most breeders will talk about the there age, when they let them go and also about the transition from one home to the next before selling the puppy.

There is so much more that could be said about choosing a good breeder however the space here does not permit it. If you will just follow these few simple steps you will have already beat the odds of finding a good puppy. It goes both ways, not only do you the buyer wants a happy puppy but the breeder also wants you to have a happy and healthy puppy for the years to come.

Why dog’s bark

Thousands of years ago, humans began the process of domesticating the dog and shaping what “being a dog” really means. Through careful selection and breeding, an astonishing variety of dog breeds have been created. Desirable traits have been selected for in various breeds that are of a benefit to humans. There are some traits, however, that quickly become undesirable when expressed too frequently. Barking is an example of a natural behaviour that is encouraged in terms of guarding behaviour, but becomes a problem when the behaviour is produced in excess. A recent health insurance investigation revealed that the sound of a continually barking dog was cited as the most disruptive and stress inducing noise for humans.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Barking, in addition to whining, howling and growling, is a dog’s natural means of communication. Barking is characterized by a series of short, sharp sounds, that tend to vary little in tone or pitch. A dog’s bark can signify territorial protection, exertion of dominance, or expression of some need. Typically, barking is “a means of communication triggered by a state of excitement.” Being a natural trait, barking is not considered a behavioural problem, until it is produced in excess.

Causes of Problem Barking

Problem barking has a variety of origins. Genetics does influence a dog’s tendency to bark. Certain breeds belonging to the terrier family are prone to more frequent barking than breeds such as Greyhounds or Basenjis. Generally, however, excess barking can exist in any breed of dog. The key to solving the problem of inappropriate barking is to determine what external stimulus is triggering the behaviour. Improper confinement can be a major cause of problem barkers.

Improper confinement can include leaving a dog alone in a locked room, or in a dog crate (a tool used for housebreaking and other behavioural modifications). Other improper confinements can include restricted tethering outdoors, or even an enclosed yard without proper shelter from the elements. Such confinement can cause frustration in a dog and cause it to bark excessively. Closely associated with improper confinement is lack of exercise as a cause of excess barking. When a dog is not provided with adequate exercise, pent-up energy is released through barking.

Environmental sounds can also trigger barking. These sounds include such things as the barking of other dogs, the sound of passing cars, strange voices, thunder, and mechanical noises such as the ringing of the phone. Noises can initiate barking at different times of the day. A dog may not bark at accustomed sounds during the day, but at night may be incited to a volley of barking, much to the chagrin of the neighbours, by the slightest of noises. Other causes of problem barking can include separation anxiety, or the temperament of the dog: an over-aggressive animal may bark at the smallest provocation. A strongly territorial dog may bark at any stranger, invited or uninvited, entering your property.

Solutions to Excess Barking

Excess barking can be a serious behavioural problem and can mean the termination of the relationship with your dog or the dog itself if left untreated. The following text includes information on how to solve your dog’s problem barking as recommended by the veterinary profession.

The first step in solving problem barking, is to determine if your dog is barking in response to inadequate shelter or improper confinement. If this is the case, the dog must be provided with a comfortable amount of space or supplied with a doghouse if outdoor shelter is inadequate. Increasing the amount of exercise given to your dog may also help.

In the event your dog is barking in response to environmental noises, or the barking is simply due to its temperament, behavioural modification methods should be used. These methods can include reconditioning using a verbal reprimand such as “No!”, and leash correction. It should be noted however, that you should never yell at your dog, as loud noises may encourage your pet to bark more. Also keep in mind the punishment should be applied while the barking is occurring, in order for your dog to associate the unwanted behaviour with the punishment. Also remember to reward your dog when it stops barking.

Indirect intervention methods can also be applied. These techniques can range from spraying your dog with water while it is barking, to using noise producing devices such as “Dog Stop” or “Barker Breaker,” which emit loud or high frequency sounds that interrupt and deter barking. These devices can be controlled by the owner, or triggered by the dog’s barking. In the event your dog is resistant to these behavioural modifications, more drastic action can be taken in the form of bark activated shock collars. This device is particularly effective when barking occurs in the owner’s absence. Shock collars, however, are recommended only after other control measures have failed. A final resort, when all other behavioural modification methods have been tried, and particularly when the dog’s life is in question, is a vocal cordectomy (debarking). This surgical procedure involves removal of all or part of the vocal cords.

The key to solving the problem of excess barking in your dog begins with an understanding of what is causing this behaviour. Once you have determined a cause, you have a greater chance of choosing the most effective solution (e.g., more exercise) or behavioural modification. Modifying such an instinctive and natural behaviour as barking can be difficult, and may require considerable patience, time, and hard work. Solutions, however, are possible, and worth the effort.

Rottweiler FAQs

Is a Rottweiler good with kids?

Short answer, yes! Rottweilers are great dogs for kids because they are loyal and protective. A properly bred Rottweiler who receives adequate socialization and training will get along excellent with children, but tolerance will vary from dog to dog.

He must be taught early on what is acceptable behavior and what is not, as should the child. Because of their large size and inherent desire to “herd”, Rottweilers should always be supervised around children. A minor “bump” can cause serious injury to a small child. Also, some Rottweilers have a high degree of “prey” drive (the instinct to chase moving objects), therefore should never be left alone with children, who naturally will want to run and play.

Some breeders recommend waiting until the children are at least school age before introducing a Rottweiler into the home. The amount of space in your home, the age of your children and the amount of time the dog will be in contact with the children should be part of your decision.

Is the Rottweiler the right dog for me?

The Rottweiler is the current “fad” guard/macho dog of the moment. For four years running, it has been the second most-popular AKC registered breed. Don’t be swept up by the hype, or the fact that you neighbor, aunt, sister, or best friend has one. The Rottweiler is a large, powerful dog and along with ownership comes much responsibility. Rottweilers require extensive socialization from an early age. Are you willing to carry your puppy for several months, (he shouldn’t be walking in public places until he is fully immunized at around 16-20 weeks), exposing him to the sights, sounds and people he will encounter as an adult? Because of their size and strength, obedience training for your Rottweiler is a must. Weekly group classes for 6 to 12 months is generally considered a minimum. Rottweilers are “people” dogs.

They want to be with their masters. As a working breed, the Rottweiler requires daily exercise, a good romp twice a day at least. Left alone or with inadequate exercise for long periods they may become unruly and destructive.

Rottweilers are great dogs

Are they vicious?

A properly bred, socialized and trained Rottweiler is not inherently vicious. The rapid rise in popularity of the breed has attracted many irresponsible breeders who are only interested in making a profit, and don’t care what damage is done to the breed in the process.

Are they good with other pets?

Problems should be minimal when a Rottweiler is raised from puppyhood with other pets. Introducing a new pet when there is an adult Rottweiler in the household should be done slowly and with care. Dog to dog aggression is influenced by the early socialization of puppies, their bloodlines and sex; males are less tolerant of other males than they are of females. Bitches may also be intolerant of other dogs. The Rottweiler is highly intelligent and trainable, and with perserverence, should be able to learn to co-exist peacefully with any pet you wish to introduce.

What kind of training do they require?

The Rottweiler has been developed for its working ability and often blooms when given a chance to work with its master, although there are occasional exceptions. It is very necessary to establish your control of the animal and obedience training is often the easiest and most rewarding way to do so. Your breeder should be able to provide you with guidance in the selection of a training class, however, avoid the very rough trainer, no matter how highly recommended. Rottweilers can often be controlled using verbal reprimands alone, and while they occasionally require strong physical corrections, some trainers tend to be much rougher on Rottweilers than is necessary. Women have been very successful with the dogs in obedience training. Physical mastery of the dog is generally less important than sensitive, patient and positive training methods. Patience is an important factor in training a Rottweiler.

What about discipline?

The Rottweiler is a sensitive, intelligent and loyal animal and usually wants to please its owner. Occasionally, it can be quite stubborn though, and requires more attention. It is imperative that discipline is consistent and firm without being overly rough. A harsh word will often suffice, although sharper corrections are sometimes necessary. Ownership isn’t for the timid or very busy person who cannot or is not inclined towards careful supervision of his/her pet.

Do they require much exercise?

The Rottweiler is a working breed. He is generally not happy sitting around doing nothing all day. A large yard with a six-foot high fence is ideal, but adult Rottweilers have been kept successfully in large apartments. The yard is essential if a puppy or young dog is being acquired; it will help to keep the dog exercised and reduce boredom which in turn may prevent destructive behavior. If you don’t have the space, consider a smaller or less active breed. Personal commitment on the part of the owner is the most important thing. People willing to walk their dog on a regular basis will find a more personal and bonding relationship developing than just letting them run by themselves in the yard. Your Rottweiler will require a minimum of two good walks each day (10 to 20 minutes each). Adequate exercise is necessary to maintain the good health of your Rottweiler, as they have a tendency to gain weight without proper exercise.

Do they shed?

The Rottweiler is a double-coated breed, with a medium length outer coat and a soft downy undercoat. They do shed, more than one would think by looking at their appearance. The amount of shedding will vary with climatic conditions. They generally tend to “blow out” their undercoats twice a year, in spring and fall.

Are they noisy?

Rottweilers will bark to announce the arrival of people on the property, and at animals and birds in the yard, but they generally don’t bark without reason.

Which sex makes the best pet?

Opinions vary on this topic. Most breeders would generally recommend a female, especially for first-time owners. Females are smaller and easier to control, somewhat less dominant and usually more affectionate. Males are stronger, more powerful and dominant, and therefore somewhat harder to train and control.

Where should I buy my Rottweiler puppy?

There are various places where you may acquire a Rottweiler puppy, but only ONE place where you should – from a responsible breeder. Pet shops acquire their puppies from puppy mills, brokers and back-yard breeders. Their puppies are separated from their dams and litters at too early and age, they are not properly socialized and may well develop serious health problems.

Puppy mills, brokers and back-yard breeders have only one priority – to make a profit. They are not interested in the welfare of the puppies they breed. Beware of petshops that advertise “we get our puppies from private breeders.” No responsible breeder would ever broker puppies to a pet shop. Don’t perpetuate the puppy mill problem – steer clear of pet shops.

What is a “Responsible” breeder?

This is a difficult category to define, but there are certain minimum standards that are accepted as “responsible” by most who are active in the dog fancy. Following are some of the things a responsible breeder will be doing:

  1. All breeding stock will be certified free of Hip Dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Elbows may also be certified as free of Elbow Dysplasia; this is a relatively new trend and some older dogs/bitches may not be certified. The breeder will be willing to supply you with copies of the OFA certificates. No bitch or dog will be bred before the age of two, (the minimum age for OFA certification). OFA does issue preliminary evaluations of hips and elbows, but actual certification will not be done before two years.
  2. Breeding stock will be certified free of inherited eye disease annually by a Board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist; the certificate is issued by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).
  3. Bitches and dogs used for breeding will have achieved certain competitive titles such as AKC Champion or an advanced obedience title (CDX, UD). Responsible breeders will usually not breed dogs and bitches whose quality has not been proven in competition, although under certain circumstances (injuries which prevent competition) they may.
  4. The Breeder will belong to one or more Rottweiler Clubs which require adherence to a “Code of Ethics” from all members (adherence to a certain level of responsibility in ownership and breeding). The largest of these clubs include the American Rottweiler Club, The Colonial Rottweiler Club, The Medallion Rottweiler Club and the Gold Coast Rottweiler Club. There are numerous local Rottweiler clubs, some are “Code” clubs and some are not – ask. Code of Ethics clubs do not permit members to advertise puppy prices.
  5. The Breeder will be active in the sport of dogs, competing in conformation, obedience, tracking or herding events.
  6. A responsible breeder will not give you a “hard-sell” routine when you call to inquire about his/her dogs. Usually he/she will be trying everything they can to discourage you from buying a Rottweiler. A reputable breeder’s number one concern is that his/her puppies are placed in responsible homes where they will receive the same kind of care and training he/she gives his/her own dogs. Expect to be interviewed at length as to why you want to own a Rottweiler, and what your family and lifestyle is like. The reputable breeder will ask more questions of you than you will of him/her.
  7. A responsible breeder will try to steer you clear of rushing to buy a puppy this week or this month, but he/she will also not expect you to wait an unreasonable amount of time to buy one of his/her puppies. If he has no puppies available and has no breeding planned in the near future, he will recommend other breeders whose standards are as high as his own.
  8. A responsible breeder will be happy to have you meet the parents of the litter (at least the dam; frequently the sire will not belong to the breeder), as well as his/her other dogs. The dogs and puppies will be kept in a clean and healthy environment.
  9. A responsible breeder will only sell puppies with a signed, written contract. He/she will pass on accurate health, breeding and registration records and pedigree records of at least three generations. They will require that any puppy not purchased as show and breeding stock be made incapable of reproducing, and require that limited registration “blue slips” be provided, or that registration papers be withheld until a veterinarians certificate is received as proof of sterilization.

What is the difference between pet and show quality?

“Show Quality” is a term that is often misunderstood and misused. It can mean something as simple as a puppy with no disqualifying faults (as listed in the breed standard) at the time of sale. The serious buyer looking for a potential winner or breeding stock had best spend time going to dog shows and talking to exhibitors as well as studying the standard for the breed. Serious and disqualifying faults to avoid include overshot or undershot bites, missing teeth, long or curly coats, light eyes, hip dysplasia and unstable temperaments. All lines carry one or more of these traits, and a responsible breeder will be able to give you a candid description of what is in your animal’s genetic background. Be aware that the nicest puppy in the litter can mature into a very mediocre adult. Be prepared to critically evaluate your dog, because even if you paid a good price you may still end up with a pet.

“Pet Quality”: many time breeders will offer puppies with serious faults for lower prices than show quality. These faults are generally cosmetic (bad bites, white spots on the chest or belly, missing teeth, etc.) and will not affect the health or temperament of the dog. These animals are not for breeding because these are serious genetic faults. A responsible breeder will require that the animal be spayed, neutered or vasectomized before releasing the AKC registration papers. Breeders may now sell their puppies on the new AKC Limited Registration Certificate, which allows the dog AKC privileges of obedience activities but will not allow showing in the conformation ring or use for breeding purposes. These dogs make good companions and often their faults are not detectable to any but the most experienced eyes.

How much can I expect to pay for a Rottweiler puppy?

Show quality puppies will generally sell for $1,000 to $2,000, with pet prices approximately half the show price.

An Introduction to Canine Hip Dysplasia

What is Hip Dysplasia?

The hip joint consists of a “ball” on the femoral bone, and a “socket” on the hip bone.
Canine hip dysplasia simply defined is when a dog’s hips do not develop normally and the ball does not fit snugly into the socket.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?

While there is no “conclusive proof” of the cause of hip dysplasia, there are 2 general schools of thought about its cause – 1) genetic or 2) environmental

These two differing viewpoints often place the dog breeders at odds with the dog owners, causing each to blame the other for the problem.
Genetic: The puppy is born with the problem
Environmental: The puppy is too heavy resulting in excessive growth and/or over or under exercising a puppy during its growth phase resulting in developmental problems.

The most common theory is that hip dysplasia is indeed genetic. Most breeders have their breeding dogs’ hips rated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (Penn-HIP), or various other international orthopedic groups.

We could discuss the merits of both theories, but it doesn’t change the facts. If your dog has hip dysplasia, you need to deal with it. You may be deciding what to do next, or you may have already decided, and want to know what to expect.

When Does a Dog Get Hip Dysplasia?

If you subscribe to the theory that it is genetic, they are born with it. Dogs that have severe hip dysplasia often begin to have problems as puppies. Sometimes, the hip dysplasia does not cause pain for the dog, so they do not show signs of it until they develop arthritis in their hip joints. Some dogs that are not as severe can live out their entire lives with few, if any symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?

There are a number of symptoms of hip dysplasia. Some dog owners only say that their dog didn’t walk right. Others will say they saw no symptoms at all, or just that their dog began to limp. Following is a list of common symptoms, of which your dog may have a couple and not have hip dysplasia.

Bunny Hopping: The dog tends to use both hind legs together, rather than one at a time. This occurs when the dog is running, or going up stairs.

Side Sit: Also called lazy sit, slouch or frog sit. When the dog sits, its legs are not positioned bent and close to the body. They can be loose and off to one side, or one or both legs may be straight out in front.

Sway Walk: Also called a loose walk. When the dog is walking, the back end sways back and forth because the hips are loose.

Unusual Laying Position: Legs are straight out and off to the side when the dog is laying on its stomach or legs are straight out behind the dog. (All dogs lay with their legs behind them on occasion, many dogs with hip dysplasia lay like this all the time.)

Limping: The dog may favor one hind leg or the other, and may alternate legs that it is favoring.

Quiet Puppy: Puppies who are already in pain from hip dysplasia tend to be very good puppies. They do not rough house the way that normal puppies do. They also tend to sleep for a long time after playing or going for a walk. Some owners describe their puppy with hip dysplasia as the best puppy they’ve ever had.

Dog Doesn’t Jump: Not only do they not jump on you, they seem to pull themselves up by their front end onto furniture as opposed to jumping up.

Underdeveloped Hind Quarters and Overdeveloped Chest: This is caused by the failure to use the hind legs normally and jump. The dog also may actually be shifting weight forward.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia

The only way to diagnose hip dysplasia is with x-rays. However, I must note here that you should treat the dog and not the x-rays. Some dogs with seemingly mild hip dysplasia are in a lot of pain, while other dogs with apparent severe hip dysplasia do not display symptoms.

What Can Be Done for My Dog?

If you have had x-rays taken of your dog’s hips at your regular vet, you may have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon is going to recommend various surgical options for your dog. I am going to give you a very brief overview of these surgeries. You will need to discuss your dog’s options with the surgeon. They will provide the details of each surgical option. Some people are able to treat their dog with nutritional supplements and avoid surgery. Ultimately, it will be your decision to determine the best treatment for your dog.

Surgical Options:

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) – This surgery is performed on puppies under 20 weeks of age, generally when the puppy is neutered or spayed. It shows great promise as a preventive measure, by altering the pelvic growth. This surgery has a short recovery period, but is generally done before a puppy can be diagnosed. However, once you’ve lived with hip dysplasia, it may prove to be worthwhile for a puppy considered at risk for developing hip dysplasia.

Dorsal Acetabular Rim (DAR) – This surgery consists of bone grafts being taken from other areas of the pelvis to build up the rim on the hip socket (cup). The idea is for the femoral head to have a deeper socket to fit into. It’s relatively new, so there is some question as to how a dog will do into old age – there aren’t many older dogs that have had it done.

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) – This surgery involves cutting the bone around the hip socket and repositioning the socket for a better fit with the femoral head. The bones are plated back together so they heal in the correct alignment. This surgery is performed on young dogs before they have finished growing.

Total Hip Replacement (THR) – This surgery consists of replacing the hip joint similar to a human hip replacement. A new cup is usually attached to the hip bone, and the femoral head is cut off the leg bone and an implant is inserted into the leg bone. This surgery is done on more mature dogs that have finished growing. Due to the size of the implants, this surgery is done on larger dogs. Previously, all artificial hip components were cemented in place. More recently, cementless hip replacements are being performed.

Femoral Head & Neck Ostectomy (FHO) – This surgery consists of removing the femoral head of the leg bone to eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia. The dog’s body will then develop scar tissue to create an artificial hip joint. Long considered only appropriate for smaller dogs or as a salvage operation for a failed THR, it has become increasingly popular for larger dogs.

Non-Surgical or Conservative Management Option
Many people choose to have surgery performed on their dog only as a last resort. Some are able to manage their dog’s hip dysplasia with supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic care, exercise and weight management. Sometimes, the puppy will show signs of pain from hip dysplasia, and once it is done growing and the muscles are fully developed, they seem to “go into remission”, developing signs of hip problems again as the dog ages. Surgical options are still available to you if the conservative path is unsuccessful.

For additional information on hip dysplasia, please visit
The American Kennel Club

Cats And Pills – Tablets.

Nearly everything alive becomes ill at some stage in its life, and pets are no exception. I have been very fortunate in that my two cats have been very healthy for most of their lives. Recently the oldest cat become ill and had to go to the vet. Unfortunately she was diagnosed with a form of cancer. The treatment options were pills or radiation ‘therapy’. The radiation therapy was very expensive so that left the pills. Pills are fine for humans, but if you have ever tried to administer pills to your cat then you would know some of the problems I have had.

I usually feed my cats on a dry ‘all in one’ biscuit diet. This diet and a supplement of fresh food has kept them very healthy for over 14years. But now I need to add pills to her diet every twelve hours. So what do I feed her that will hide the pill well enough for her to eat it without complaining? Well after some experimentation I came to the conclusion that hiding a whole pill was not the answer. Not the answer at all. Whole pills are located and removed from the food with amazing accuracy. The simple answer is to crush the pills before adding them to the food.
( Note : The pill should be added to a small quantity of food – half a normal serve or less, and that small quantity should be given to your pet BEFORE the rest of the meal. This helps to ensure your cat is hungry enough to eat the entire pill. Once the pill food is eaten you can give them the rest of the meal.)

Pills are usually quite easy to crush into powder, I use two spoons, one small teaspoon as the crusher, and a larger desert spoon to hold the pill. Place the pill into the larger spoon and using the edge of the small spoon as a blunt knife, carefully break the pill into smaller chunks. Now use the small teaspoon to gently crush the chunks into powder. In less than two minutes you should be ready to sprinkle the powdered pill onto a small serve of food. Crushing the pill gets much easier once you have done two or three.

This is how I prepare chicken or fish for my cat at pill time :

Chicken : Cooked (cold)

Cooked chicken is a favorite food of my cats so it is a good pill food for them. To make the most reliable pill hiding food from cold chicken is really quite easy. First of all you need to prepare the pill by crushing it into a powder as described above. Then you need a small serve of chicken that you can breakup into smallish pieces – use your fingers, it gives the best results. Once you have broken up the chicken add a small quantity of water to the serving plate and roll the chicken in the water until it is wet all over. Now drain the excess water from the plate – too much water will leave the pill on the plate and not on the food where it needs to be. The next step is optional, but it makes a big difference for my pets. The next step is to place the food in a microwave oven. All you want to do is VERY GENTLY warm up the food, I use about 6 SECONDS on high. What you are looking for is to remove the coldness of the food – which activates the SMELL of the food. Do not make the food hot! ( The heat could damage the pill that you are trying to feed them, and not many cats will eat hot food anyway.) Now that you have a very gently warmed serve of food it is time to add the pill. Just sprinkle the crushed pill over the wet, warm chicken and serve it up!

Note : Always add the Pill LAST!

Fish : Raw

If you want to use raw fish as a pill serving food then it pays to make sure that the cat in question likes the fish that you are going to use. ( Cats are fussy!) I have two cats, one eats fish at every opportunity, and the other will walk right past it and ask for something else..

So get a small piece of fish to test the cat with, and assuming that the fish is accepted it is easy to prepare. I use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the fish into small pieces. A sharp knife is ok but the skin on fish is very tough, so for safety and ease of preparation I use scissors. Once you have the fish cut up all you need to do is sprinkle the powdered pill over the fish and serve it up. Raw fish is usually wet and quite smelly, so it doesn’t require water to be added or the microwave to warm it up.

Fish : Cooked (cold)

To prepare a cooked cold fish you basically follow the steps outlined for cooked chicken. Prepare the pill, get a small bit of cooked fish and cut or break it up into small pieces. Make it wet, drain off the excess water and zap it in the microwave for a few seconds – do not make the food hot! Add the crushed pill to the warm wet fish and serve it up.

Note : Always add the Pill LAST!

The purpose of warming up the food is to make it smellier. Most food has a much stronger scent or smell when it is at room temperature than it does straight from the fridge.

If you need a small quantity of fresh raw fish it can usually be purchased from your local take away food shop. If you want to use cooked fish from a take away shop bear in mind that the batter or bread crumbs should be removed before it is served to the cat. (Well, it should be removed if your cat won’t eat the fish with it still on there..) Also remember to cool the fish down to about room temperature before you add the pill – otherwise the heat may damage the pill.

Never microwave any pill – it could damage the active ingredients or even make them toxic to your pet.

For those that are interested, my cats name is “Eff-Gee” ( “F”+”G” ) and she can tell the time as well if not better than I can. Every 12 hours (+ or – 30mins) she is asking me for her pill food 🙂
My other cat – that doesn’t like fish, is called “Sox”. He doesn’t really like chicken either. Actually he prefers the biscuits over most other foods – unless it is meat with chili on it. He is a nice cat 🙂

Dog Supplements

What to Look For In a Dog Supplement

The market is exploding with products claiming to improve the health and wellness of individuals using vitamins and nutritional supplements. People are now seeking the same products to complement the health of their pets. The benefits of appropriate nutritional supplements are overwhelming and can add several healthy years to your life, as well as your dogs.

Dogs Age Faster Than People

Longevity is attributed 30 percent to genetics and 70 percent to lifestyle. Up to 90 percent of diseases in dogs are due to the degenerative processes associated with aging.

Does Your Dog Act His Age?

Because dogs age seven times faster than people, major health changes occur in a short amount of time. Dogs are considered puppies for about one year, adults from age two to six, and seniors at age seven. Giant breeds, like Great Danes, age even more quickly and are considered seniors at age five. Signs of aging in dogs occur slowly, but generally begin at maturity, somewhere between age one and two.

Dr. Denham Harman’s Free Radical Theory of Aging, applies to people and pets, including dogs. This universally accepted theory states that aging is a process in which the body’s systems deteriorate faster than the body can repair them.

The changes occur due to oxidative damage caused by harmful compounds called free radicals. Free radicals are toxic, electrically unstable molecules. As we age, they are produced more quickly.

Free radicals damage your dog’s body similar to the way oxygen causes iron to rust. They are detrimental to your dog’s genetic material, his DNA and RNA, his cell membranes and enzyme systems.

Free radicals are formed each time we take a breath. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, as well as to environmental toxins, pollution, heavy metals and stress contribute to free radical formation. Your dog’s diet and drugs, such as antibiotics, are also factors.

Free radicals weaken your dog’s natural defenses and have been associated with the development of up to 90 percent of the age-related degenerative conditions we associate with aging:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Premature aging

Our life span, as well as the length of your dog’s life, is ultimately determined by how quickly free radicals cause harmful oxidative changes to occur. Therefore what you feed your dog, as well as the supplements you choose for your dog are both very important.

Help Your Dog Enjoy a Longer, Healthier Life

Your Dog’s Diet
You are what you eat, and that’s just as important for people as it is for dogs. What you feed your dog directly affects his health and wellness. The longer and more consistently you give your dog an optimally balanced diet, the greater his chances are of living a longer, healthier life.

Dogs, like people are omnivores and can naturally exist on a diet of meat, fruit and vegetables. Consult with your vet to determine the best diet for your dog. Commercial varieties worth looking into include organic, natural diets such as Prairie made by Natures Variety.

Homemade, natural diets take more time and effort but in many cases are well worth the extra effort. Vegetarian and raw food diets are another option that, with careful supervision, may provide complete and balanced nutrition for your dog.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, a Border Collie in England named Taffy, lived to the spry age of 27 eating an all-natural, organic diet.

Healthy Dog Snacks
Fruits and vegetables are healthy, low calorie snacks many pets enjoy. Those rich in antioxidants are especially beneficial for your dog:

  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Asparagus Tips

Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, tomatoes are filled with Lycopenes and sweet potatoes are a source of Vitamin E and Beta Carotene. Carrots and cantaloupes also provide Beta Carotene for your dog.

Antioxidant Supplements for Your Dog: Sooner Not Later
Recent research documents that antioxidants provide very bright prospects for increasing the quality and length of your dog’s life. In addition, scientists have found that sooner is better than later as far as your dog’s potential health benefits. Antioxidant supplementation started as a puppy, before free radical damage has occurred, can increase the healthy lifespan of your dog by up to 20 percent.

Antioxidant supplements, including Vitamins A, C, and E, the minerals Selenium and Zinc, and the nutrients Alpha Lipoic Acid and Coenzyme Q10, are the body’s natural defense against free radical damage. They can help to protect your dog by neutralizing free radicals and decreasing the resultant levels of oxidative damage.

Other noteworthy antioxidant supplements for your dog include:

Bioflavinoids, which help to decrease allergic reactions, asthmatic attacks and have anti-cancer benefits for your dog.

Green Tea, whose antioxidants may decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer and help protect the blood vessels nourishing your dog’s heart and brain.

Lutein, a plant pigment from marigolds, helps to protect your dog’s eyes and may reduce the risk of cataracts.

Melatonin, a potent antioxidant that acts to normalize sleep patterns. It also protects your dog’s brain and has been used successfully with cancer therapy.

The effects of antioxidants are beneficial and act synergistically for people and dog’s undergoing cancer therapy. In well controlled studies, people and pets treated with antioxidants (with or without chemotherapy and radiation) have tolerated treatments better and experienced less weight loss. More importantly, they enjoyed a better overall quality of life and lived longer than individuals receiving no supplements.

Nutritional Supplements for Your Dog’s Bones, Joints & Cartilage
Glucosamine is an amino sugar naturally produced in your dog’s body from glucose, which is your dog’s blood sugar, and the Amino Acid, Glutamine. It helps the cartilage between the joints retain water so the cartilage can act like a cushion to absorb shock and withstand compression. Glucosamine is vital to protecting the health and integrity of your dog’s bones, joints and cartilage. It helps to:

  • Decrease joint inflammation and pain
  • Promote cartilage repair
  • Aid healing of damaged joints
  • Increase mobility in dogs with arthritis and hip dysplasia

Glucosamine is also a normal component of the urinary bladder in dog’s and cat’s and may help to relieve urinary disorders.

MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) is a natural source of sulfur that works along with Glucosamine to help protect the health and integrity of your dog’s bones, joints and cartilage.

Essential Fatty Acid Supplements for Your Dog
Essential Fatty Acids are vital to life and support all bodily functions in your dog. They help to keep cell membranes soft and pliable, so your pet’s cells can absorb dietary nutrients. They enhance your dog’s skin and hair coat and are needed for the normal development of the nervous system and brain.

Fatty Acids are vital to brain health and help to preserve mental clarity. They decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in dogs, cats and people. Fatty Acids may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, as well as provide therapeutic effects in your dog for:

  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer therapy
  • Kidney disorders

Flea allergies, food intolerances and bacterial skin infections can often be relieved by providing your dog with fatty acid supplements.

The proper balance of Fatty Acids helps to reduce wear and tear on your dog’s body by decreasing stress triggered increases in cholesterol and the stress hormone Cortisol. Research indicates that the ratio of 5:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Fatty Acids seems to provide the greatest clinical benefits, surpassing that of any individual Fatty Acid alone.

Amino Acid Supplements for Your Dog
Glutamine is the most abundant Amino Acid in the body. It is the major energy source for the cells that line the digestive system and strengthens your dog’s natural defense system known as the immune system.

Glutamine promotes healing of the digestive system thereby reducing bowel disorders. It spares protein and reduces muscle loss during periods of injury, stress and high endurance activities. Therefore it is especially beneficial for pets recovering from trauma and for working and show dogs.

Glutamine also has many anti-aging effects. It helps to preserve memory and to prevent the harmful effects of Cortisol, the hormone that is responsible for accelerating the aging process in people and in your dog.

Digestive Enzyme Supplements for Your Dog
Digestive Enzymes are produced by the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas and liver and are released into the digestive tract. Enzymes help your dog’s body to breakdown proteins, fats and carbohydrates in his food so they can be absorbed and utilized.

Your dog’s production of enzymes naturally decreases with increasing age. Illnesses, stress, food intolerances, allergies and drugs like antibiotics also have a negative affect on enzyme production and function. This can result in a variety of digestive disturbances ranging from flatulence and gas to diarrhea, life threatening dehydration and malnutrition.

Digestive Enzymes are vital to maintain your dog’s overall health. They improve the efficiency of digestion so your pet’s body can utilize the nutrients essential for energy production and ultimately for life itself.

They help the body to recover from disease and promote restoration of good health in your dog. Enzymes are useful to reduce pain and swelling after exercise or trauma and help speed up recovery rates. Enzymes support your dog’s immune system thereby enhancing his ability to ward off disease and infection. They have been also been used effectively in cancer therapy for people and pets.

Papain is an enzyme that has aspirin-like effects to decrease swollen, painful inflamed tissues in your dog. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple stems that inhibits the spread of lung cancer in mice.

Digestive Enzyme supplements may be beneficial in dogs with digestive problems, immune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis, cancer and a variety of bowel disorders. They are especially useful in older dogs with reduced digestive ability.

The Anti-Aging “A” Supplement List For Your Dog:

  • Vitamin A/Beta Carotene: Antioxidant enhances immunity, essential for your dog to utilize protein in his diet
  • Vitamin C: Antioxidant, needed for tissue growth and repair, enhances immunity, needed for your dog’s body to utilize Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin E: Antioxidant, prevents heart disease, promotes wound healing, needed for your dog’s body to utilize Vitamin C.
  • B-Complex Vitamins: As a group, B vitamins help your dog to maintain healthy nerves, skin and muscle.
  • Coenzyme Q-10: A powerful, newly discovered antioxidant. Essential for immune function, beneficial in heart disease and gum/dental disease for your dog.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: Antioxidant. Helps your dog to restore energy metabolism.
  • Selenium: Antioxidant. Works with Vitamin E to help your dog fight infection. Beneficial to dog’s skin and hair coats. Deficiencies linked to cancer and heart disease.
  • Zinc: Essential mineral your dog needs for protein synthesis, promotes healthy immune system, aids wound healing. Critical for hundreds of biological processes in the body.
  • Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids: Essential component of cell membranes in your dog and is needed for healthy heart, brain function and skin and hair coats.
  • Bioflavinoids: Enhances absorption of Vitamin C, has antioxidant effects and promotes normal blood circulation for your dog.
  • Glucosamine and MSM: Promotes normal healthy bones, joints and cartilage for your dog.
  • Digestive Enzymes: Essential for your dog to utilize and absorb nutrients from his/her diet.
  • Melatonin: Immune modulator, antioxidant, triggers restful sleep for your dog.
  • Ginseng: A metabolic tonic to promote brain health and overall wellness for your dog.
  • L-Glutamine: Amino acid needed for your dog to energize the cells of his digestive system so dietary nutrients can be properly absorbed and utilized.
  • Colostrum: The first milk your puppy receives from his mother. Provides your dog with antibodies to protect him against disease and aid immune function.
  • Exercise: 20 minutes twice a day minimum for your dog.
  • Balanced, natural diet: Feed your dog at least two meals daily. Fresh organic and natural sources are best.
  • Relaxation: Stress and anxiety affect pets and people adversely. Set aside an hour a day to relax and enjoy your dog. Consider massage, yoga and music.
  • Positive mental attitude: The mind-body connection is a potent promoter of well-being for you and your dog.
  • Pure water: Fresh, non-chlorinated water is essential for people and for your dog.

Horse Shopping Is Easier If You Do This First

horse lovers
horse lovers

Top 10 Things to do BEFORE you go horse shopping

Buying a horse is a big commitment in both time and money. The emotional energy spent is a large factor as well. With so many horses for sale, how do you choose?

If you buy a horse before you lay the correct groundwork, you run the risk of coming home with one that isn’t suitable for you. At the worst, he could be dangerous and at best, you could easily spend a thousand dollars or more to get professional trainer to correct the problems.

Make a plan before you look at horses for sale and do these 10 basic steps first.

1. Take riding lessons for at least six months.

Horse riding lessons will teach you the basics of control and the foundation for correct horsemanship. In addition to learning to ride a horse, you’ll also learn how to safely groom and handle one. You’ll establish a relationship with a professional horse person in your area who knows you and who you can turn to for help if you need it.

2. Decide on the type of riding you want to do.

There are many types of horse riding styles. The most basic are Western or English. Then you can break down those two styles into many subcategories. You don’t have to make one choice exclusive of all others. Many people enjoy riding both styles and compete in both.

Decide if you want a horse to trail ride and just enjoy having him or if you want to be competitive and show.

3. Horse’s personality

The type of personality you want for your horse depends a lot on the type of riding you want to do and also your personality. Some riders want a horse with a big engine and a lot of fire. Others like a horse to be quiet and laid back.

It’s usually easier to get the laid back one to rev his engine than to get a hot horse to relax.

4. Decide on what breed of horse you most want.

Horse Shopping
Horse Shopping

Once you’ve decided on the type of riding you’re interested in and the type of personality you want your horse to have, the breed choice will become easier. Some breeds are associated with certain types of riding. For instance, a Thoroughbred or Warmblood breed are usually thought of for the Hunter/Jumper circuit or dressage. In the past, the Quarter Horse, Appaloosas and Paints were thought of for Western riding. Today, these breeds can successfully compete at all levels with the more traditional hunter type horse.

If you want a very smooth ride, look at the gaited breeds such as Missouri Foxtrotters, Tennessee Walkers or Paso Finos.

5. Decide on how big a horse you need.

If you’re looking for a horse for a child, buy a pony that your child can groom and handle now. A too big horse is intimidating for a young child to deal with.

If you’re looking for one for yourself, consider the type of riding you want to do. Western styles of riding do not require a large horse and most of the stock type horses can carry a large adult even if the horse is 15 hands or smaller.

If you want to show in hunter/jumper classes, a 16+ hand horse is necessary to be competitive. However, if your plans are to learn to jump and go to small local shows, you’ll save money by buying a smaller horse.

6. Decide on the gender of the horse.

A gelding or a mare should be your only consideration. A stallion is difficult to handle and can be downright dangerous even if you are a very experienced rider. He isn’t suitable unless you’re in the breeding business.

Geldings make great riding horses and companions. Preferably he was gelded before his second birthday so that he never learned stallion behavior.

Mares sometimes get a bad rap for being difficult every time she comes into heat. Perhaps some are, but there are many wonderful mares with very stable personalities.

7. Decide where you will keep your horse.

If you plan to board, check out several boarding stables. Your first choice is probably the barn where you’ve been taking riding lessons. Look at some others to have for back-up choices and as a general comparison.

If you plan to keep your horse on your own property, be sure to have safe fencing, a solid barn and know your time schedule will allow you to feed your horse at least twice a day – every day – rain or shine. Find out any local and state liability laws for a horse property before you bring your new horse home.

8. Figure how much you can afford for the initial price of a horse.

The original purchase price of a horse is a large upfront expense. Obviously, the more you can afford to spend on a horse, the more choices you’ll have to look at when shopping. If you have this money saved up in advance, you’ll have better leverage with a seller. If you have to buy your horse on payments, you’ll limit your bargaining power and choices because many sellers won’t want to take payments.

9. Figure out your monthly expenses.

Monthly expenses include board, lessons and supplements if you keep your horse at a boarding stable. If you keep your horse at home, you’ll be buying feed, hay and stall bedding instead of a board bill.

There are reoccurring expenses that don’t come every month but still need to be added up for a year’s cost and averaged as a monthly expense. These include farrier visits, worming, vaccinations and vet care such as floating teeth and a yearly Coggins test.

10. Tack and Supplies

Purchase the basic supplies before you get your horse so that you’ll be all set when you bring him home. Brushes, shampoo, liniment, leg wraps, buckets and a first aid kit are a good start on supplies to have ready.

An all purpose headstall and a few bits, saddle pads, a saddle, halter and a long lead rope with a stout snap are your basic tack supplies.

If you follow these 10 steps before you begin horse shopping, you’ll have a clear idea of the horse that will be the best choice for you when you do begin your search.

Is Dental Care Important For Your Dog?

If only we could get our pets to brush their teeth regularly! Well you know that can’t happen . . . but we can help our dogs take care of their teeth and gums. They don’t, of course, realize how important dental care is to their health (and maybe you didn’t realize it either).

Following are some facts about dental problems that may either be causing your dog discomfort right now or might soon affect your dog’s health; we’ll also give you some tips on treating those problems.

Gingivitis: Gingivitis is a gum disease that occurs when gum tissue becomes inflamed. If not treated, gingivitis will lead to periodontitis (described below); if it is not treated, gingivitis will cause your dog to start loosing teeth.

Periodontitis: Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that attacks not only the gums but also the bones that underlie the gums. Commonly called periodontal disease, this is the most common dental problem for dogs. Even relatively young dogs may have Periodontitis or the earlier-stage gum disease, gingivitis.

Imagine a year or two of buildup on your dogs teeth — buildup of plaque, food particles and bacteria. If your dog has gum disease you may not have to imagine it, you will probably be able to see a near-white substance coating the teeth and gums — that’s the result of the bacteria.

Tooth fractures: Dogs love to gnaw on things like bones and when they do they might develop small breaks -fractures of their teeth. Endodontic disease is the name for infections that develop inside these fractures.

Preventing the problems mentioned above is as simple as keeping your dog’s teeth clean. Clean teeth means less bacteria and less bacteria means less disease . . . and the extra bonus of no more ‘doggie-breath.’

Brushing your dog’s teeth. The best way to keep your dog’s teeth clean is by brushing them every day. That may sound like an impossible task but its really not. Over time, if you approach it slowly and lovingly, your dog will accept tooth brushing as an enjoyable daily activity.

Important: If you think that your dog has gum disease or fractured teeth take the dog to a vet to have the condition treated and cleared up before you try brushing the teeth yourself. If the dog has diseased gums, any attempt at tooth brushing may be painful and from then on the dog will associate tooth brushing with pain.

Ideally, you should start brushing a dogs teeth when its a puppy. As a puppy this will be more of a game than a threat and, over time, it will turn into an activity the puppy loves.

If your dog is older and has healthy looking teeth and gums, introduce it to a tooth brush by coating an old toothbrush with something the dog likes to taste; one suggestion is a paste made out of garlic salt and water. Let the dog lick it and even chew on it for just a second. The next day, the dog will recognize the tooth brush in your hand and come running over for another “treat.” Gradually work your way into brushing it’s teeth like that, day-by-day.

Eventually you’ll need to get a toothbrush and toothpaste that is made specifically for pets; you’ll find both in any good pet supply store. It is especially important to find toothpaste that is made for pets; don’t try to use toothpaste made for people. Human toothpaste isn’t intended for ingestion and since your dog can’t ‘spit it out’ you need to get a toothpaste that won’t make the dog sick when some amount is swallowed.

There are two types of pet toothbrushes, one looks like a human toothbrush that is designed to brush a small child’s teeth and the other is a finger brush. A finger brush looks like a large thimble with a pad or bristles mounted on it. Both types of toothbrush are fairly inexpensive so you may want to purchase one of each and see which one works best for you. Either way, as long as the toothpaste tastes good to your dog, it won’t mind you ‘messing around’ in it’s mouth and, eventually, it will even look forward to the daily ritual.

Have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to or you can’t brush your dogs teeth yourself, take it to a veterinarian and have the vet give the dog’s teeth a professional cleaning. The vet will sedate your dog and do all the necessary scraping and cleaning of the teeth while the dog is sleeping.

Give your dog a checkup. Its a great idea to give your dog’s mouth a regular checkup. You’ll be looking for any broken, chipped or cracked teeth or any signs that the gums are not healthy. If you see any problems, get the dog to a veterinarian as soon as you can.

Protect your dog’s teeth. Sometimes dogs need to be protected from themselves. A dog will chew on anything and the really hard things like some bones, rocks and other very hard items may eventually crack or break the dog’s teeth. Get rid of the hard stuff and buy your dog some softer chew toys.

Buy some mouthwash for your dog. Nope! Not kidding! There are mouthwash products for dogs and just ignore that mental picture of trying to get your dog to gargle. You just add some of the mouthwash to your dog’s water dish and the mouthwash will not only improve your dog’s breath, it will keep the do’s teeth clean and free of tarter.

As you can see, dogs have dental problems that are very similar to human dental problems and they benefit from dental care just like we do. For all the products suggested here for your dog’s dental care, ask your veterinarian for his or her recommendations on the best products to use. Your vet is your dog’s doctor and should be trusted like you trust your own doctor.

Tips For Taking A Road Trip With Your Dog

Vehicles: With the possible exception of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a side car, I’ve seen practically every type of vehicle used for taking the family pooch on a road trip.

Below I review three of the best:

1.) Tom Rose of High Ridge, Missouri, had a Ford van he converted into a dog-friendly transport vehicle. By enclosing the back area, installing custom upholstery and a special air conditioning vent, he created an area in the back of the van where his dogs could ride in their crates and still stay cool.

The best thing about this set up was that on hot summer days, he could leave the diesel engine running (and the air conditioning too) and leave the dogs in the van for an hour or two, without the threat of overheating.

2.) If you’re travelling in an area with less extreme weather (like Los Angeles)… a pick up truck with a shell on the back is extremely convenient. I’ve installed sliding windows on mine, and put in hardware mesh so that the dogs cannot jump out, and nobody can get in. A light colored, fiberglass shell with cross-ventilating windows will keep the temperature in the back of the truck about equal to the outside ambient temperature in the shade.

If you don’t like to keep your dog in a crate, you can purchase a rubber bed liner that will make it comfortable for your dog to lay on. These usually run about $50, and can be purchased at the same places that install camper shells.

3.) A convertible Jeep. For obvious reasons, the Jeep Wrangler (designed originally for military use) is easy to clean after long trips, and the convertible nature of this vehicle allows you to leave your dog in the back while refueling or running into a gas station rest room, without worrying about your dog over-heating.

Products you can use to help keep dog mess in your vehicle to a minimum I came across this web site by a company called, Black Armor. Their web site is: http://www.black-armor.com/

You’ll find a number of products designed to protect the interior of your Car, Truck, or Sport Utility Vehicle from spills, stains, as well as premature wear. Many of these products:

– install and remove easily
– are unaffected by gasoline or oil
– clean and wipe easily
– are made of a tough, durable material that is non-skid to minimize the possibility of your dog getting tossed around.
– are guaranteed for a lifetime
– are made in the U.S.A.

You’ll also find that most are custom fit to the exact dimensions of your vehicle.

A gear bag to keep water, training equipment, and other dog related stuff is essential.

A Dog’s Life Web Site sells a nice product called the “Rollover Travel Pack & Bed For Dogs”. The pack is described as:

“- Perfect for on-the-go dogs and their owners, the ROLLOVER® Travel Pack & Bed for dogs has a snap-on shoulder strap and built-in handle for easy carrying. The reinforced nylon pack-cloth construction will hold up over the long haul.

– Unbuckle the compact unit, and it unrolls to rugged storage pockets for everything your traveling dog will need– including dog food, water bottle, dog bowl and other necessities. Dogs can easily get dehydrated when traveling. Now the dogs water and bowl can always be in easy reach. And the insulating cushions inside the product keep your dogs cold water bottle cold longer, even on hot, sunny days.

– Fully opened, the ROLLOVER Travel Pack & Bed for dogs becomes a cushioned, fleece-topped travel dog bed with a water-resistant base for indoor & outdoor use. The thick polyester cushions also provide superior insulating qualities to keep dogs comfy, no matter what your destination.

– Now you’ve got a convenient way to help your dog feel “at home” with familiar things they can call their own.

– And at the end of the journey, the ROLLOVER Travel Pack & Bed for dogs is completely machine washable and dryable for easy care. Unlike other dog beds, the entire bed gets cleaned, not just the cover.

– Available in Small, Medium, Large and X-Large– comfortably sized to fit most dog breeds.”

(Check out their web site… they include a picture!)

Don’t forget to include a first aid kit for your dog, too!

Here’s a cool product for anyone who does a lot of outdoor camping/travelling with their dog: A first aid kit designed for both you AND your dog!

Called, “America’s first pet owner and pet first aid kit!” This don’t-leave-home-without-it product costs $32.95 and includes:

1 Blue clean-up mitt

1 First aid scissors, blunt tips

1 First aid forceps

1 Sterile eye wash (.5 oz)

2 Triple antibiotic ointment (1/32 oz)

2 After bite wipes (insect)

1 Adhesive tape (1 x 1 yd)

6 Gauze pads (2 x 2)

1 Self adherent bandage (3 x 5)

5 Cotton balls

4 Cotton swabs (3″)

1 Instant cold pack

1 Styptic pencil

1 Pair Latex gloves

1 Animal First Aid Guide

1 Human First Aid Guide

Additional Resources:

Travel Dog.com – http://www.traveldog.com/TD1999/resource/resour~1.htm

This site has a bunch of good resources you should read before embarking on your trip, including articles on choosing a kennel, travelling by car, and staying at a hotel with your pet. The site also has a number of resources for finding dog friendly beaches, camp grounds, events, kennels, parks, pet sitters, and pet transportation.

If you’re looking to purchase a wire cage for travelling with your pet, Foster’s and Smith have a variety for sale, and their return policy (if you don’t like it) is excellent!

If you’re looking to purchase a plastic crate, you can also find them at:

Bringing a crate with you is practically a necessity if you’re going to be on a long road trip.

That’s all for now, folks!
Adam

The Top 3 Canine Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 2

In part one of this 3-part instructional we pointed out that some canine behaviors are ingrained, while others are learned. We also highlighted successful ways to control excessive barking. In part 2 we will deal with effective techniques to stop biting.

Canine Behavior Problems: Biting

According to the U.S. Disease Control Center in Atlanta, Georgia, about 1,000,000 people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of victims are children between the ages of 5 and 8; in most cases, the biting dogs were house pets.

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. Dogs may bite or display threatening behavior when they are angry, afraid, agitated, over-excited, or when challenged or seeking to protect.

The first thing to do when confronted with biting dogs is to discern “why” the dog behaved aggressively. If the dog was being teased or felt threatened, the problem may not be with the dog. Instead, fault may lie with whomever or whatever teased him or made him feel threatened.

Some dogs bite or snap at their caregiver’s hands when the caregiver tries to take something away from them. According to Barbara Woodhouse, internationally known dog trainer, canine behavior expert, and author of Barbara Woodhouse’s Encyclopedia of Dogs & Puppies, the best cure for such aggressive behavior is to “return violence with violence.”

Effective Ways to Stop Biting Dogs

When the dog attempts to bite, the caregiver should act swiftly by suspending the dog off his front legs by his choke chain; at the same time, scold in a violent tone of voice, “No bite!” The dog should be allowed back on his front legs only after he shows signs of discomfort (usually within 10 seconds). Once subdued; caress and praise him.

This process should be repeated every time the dog attempts to bite; he must be forced to respect your authority. While this type correction may sound cruel, it is not. Curing the dog of biting using this means is much kinder than having the dog sentenced to death in the gas chamber because of injuries inflicted on someone he bit.

Inexperienced caregivers may have a difficult time correcting their dog this way; if that is the case, the help of an expert dog trainer should be sought.

Preventing Aggressive Behavior in Dogs that Leads to Biting

Some dogs are so naturally protective of their owner they attack anyone who approaches, without being given a command. This can be quite dangerous. Allowing a dog to lunge toward people could very well lead to other aggressive behaviors, such as biting.

One of the best methods to prevent this type aggressive behavior in dogs is to take the dog among crowds – muzzled if necessary. Get people to touch him (muzzled), and give him a sound scolding if he attempts to attack.

Another effective method is to get someone who trains dogs to snatch him from you and really shake him (by his choke chain) when he shows signs of vicious behavior. He must be defeated, and then praised for submitting.

What About Puppies that Bite?

Puppies are notorious for biting and nipping during play. One mistake people often make with puppies that bite is to let them get away with it. Caregivers often think such behavior is cute and believe the puppy will naturally grow out of it without intervention. The reality is that such “innocent” biting and nipping can become a learned bad habit, difficult to break once the puppy is older.

Caregivers should address nipping and biting early on, instead of waiting until the puppy has grown and the problem more difficult to correct. Puppies are not like children; they are growing dogs. And dogs need training and an understanding but firm, consistent hand to teach them what is acceptable and what is not. Correction methods for young puppies that bite are different than methods for grown dogs.

How to Handle Aggressive Behavior in Puppies

When a puppy bites hard enough to hurt he must be corrected firmly. Say “No bite!” in a firm tone. If that doesn’t work, use what is called “the shakedown method,” which resembles what the mother dog does to her pup to keep order in the litter. Shake the puppy by catching hold of the loose skin of its neck on both sides under the ears. Repeat “No bite!”

Correcting aggressive behavior in puppies older than 12 weeks is done the following way: grab the puppy by the scruff of the neck with both hands, and lift him off his front feet, if necessary. Make the puppy look you straight in the face, and repeat “No bite!” If you sound angry enough, the puppy will understand.

This correction method must be consistent. If you permit a puppy to bite one time, but get annoyed and correct him the next, the puppy will become confused and will not learn effectively.

Puppies are especially likely to bite or nip children who play with them either for too long a period, or are too rough with them. When a puppy shows signs of being tired of being “mauled” during play, it is time to let the puppy rest. Put the puppy away in his box or pen, and instruct others to leave him alone and let him rest.

Under no circumstances slap a puppy or dog’s nose to discipline him; this is cruel, as well as ineffective. And always give plenty of love and praise for submissive behavior after correction has been administered.

At Savvy Dog Lover, we care about you and your pet. In part 3 of this 3-part instructional we discuss the problem of jumping. Read part 3, “How to Prevent Dogs and Puppies from Jumping up on People” at Savvy Dog Lover, www.savvy-dog-lovers.com.

©2006 Lori S. Anton
Savvy Dog Lover editor

- Advertisement -Genius Dog 300 x 600 - Animated

Recent Posts