Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ask Lola the eco-Dog: Twitter edition - You ask, Lola barks!!

This week's Ask Lola the eco-dog is brought to you by Twitter.com
Have a pet question? You ask, Lola the eco dog barks right back!!

Dear Vamomma,

There is much truth to the phrase absence does make the heart grow fonder, or in your dogs case his belly. We are all familiar with those sad puppy eyes and the whines that tug at your heart saying “Please don’t leave” which can be a challenge. It's no fun to leave for work in the morning and hear your dog barking and howling in misery as you drive away. Remember that doges are relation and love to be with their loved ones all the time, but with work and errands this is not possible. If only you could get paid to stay at home with your dog.

It's even less fun to come home and find that he has torn up papers, gnawed your coffee table, dug a hole in your couch, de-stuffed pillows or chewed through your shoe closest. With missing you and having extra time on his paws, your dog can get in a lot of mischief.
Besides, indulging in the occasional comfort snack or box of pop tarts, your dog bark, cry, dig, chew, scratch at doors, howl or leave the occasional surprise soil on your beautiful hardwood floor. But don't be discouraged there are a few things you can do to help your dog's separation anxiety:

1. Keep arrivals and departures low-key- This is the hardest thing for any loving parent to do but does work. When you arrive home, ignore your dog for the first few minutes, then calmly pet him. This may be hard for you to do, but it's important to train your dog to remain calm and collective.

2. Distract your dog from whining, pacing, and recking havoc on your home by giving them a new outlet.Give your dog a fun eco-toy to occupy his time. Toys with treat spots are perfect because times flies when you are having fun.

Leave your dog with an article of clothing that smells like you—such as an old t-shirt that you've slept in recently, but one that you don't mind being possibly chewed or torn.

4. Turn on the tv or radio to a soothing station truly helps any dog to relax. When you leave, put the radio on to a soothing station: classical music is ideal, but any station featuring lots of talk shows is also ideal. Keep the volume quite low, and it’ll calm him down a bit and give him the feeling that he's got company.
My favorite is Food Network.

5. Excercise your dog- If you are going to gone for a long time tiring your dog out will help him sleep while you are away. A good vigorous 15-20 minute walk can really help so enlist the help of a dog walker for mid-day strolls.

6. Get him accustom to you leaving- Try this out!! Taking things nice and slowly, practice getting ready to go: jingle your keys about, put on your coat, and open the door. Then – without leaving! – sit back down and don’t go anywhere. Do this until he's not reacting any more. When there’s no reaction, give him a treat and lavish praise for being so brave. Next, practice actually walking out the door (and returning immediately), again doing this until there’s no reaction. Gradually work up – gradually being the operative word here! – until you’re able to leave the house with no signs of stress from him.

**Important - Never reward you dogs crying and whining by saying "Its okay, good boy !" this only makes things worse. Although this may sounds mean patting and cooing your dog only makes the situation worse and reinforces the behavior.

But if all else fails you can also try Spot Organics Chill Spray or Essential Oil which helps calm and relax any restless dog. Great for separation anxiety, during trips to the vet, training sessions, during storms, family gatherings or parties, or any situation where calming might be needed. Take it from a dog whos had her share of whines and tantrums this works wonders!!

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco dog

Dear Pamela1986,

Walking a dog can be quite a power struggle literally, especially when the four legged person at the end of the leash is a Great Dane. But don't get discouraged you can teach an old dog new tricks. Like many you found yourself being pulled in all directions leaving you wondering who's walking who. Dogs are always excited for their daily exploration and sniffing walk . I am no perfect angel I've been know to pull the reigns and my handler just to fulfill that quenching squirrel chasing desire. But my squirrel chasing days are cut short when i am corrected in love. So, if not a dog is not retrained and corrected in love he will continue to pull and take the lead, which does not boast well for that sore arm of yours.

Well, it time for you to take back your role as pack leader, the Dog Whisperer would be so proud. No longer does walking have to be a drag, pun intended. One trick taught in obedience training to curb pulling is being a tree that cannot be moved, its all about standing firm. As your dog runs out the leash put your foot down and refuse to walk forward if he continues to pull. This will train him that pulling gets no where fast. Moving forward only when the leash is slack and your dog is not walking you. Using words like "heel" and "stop" will make him aware of his behavior, choose a command and stick to it.

Another tip is constantly walking in different directions. If your dog starts to get ahead of you, turn and walk the other way quickly. Dogs learn best when praised and rewarded so give him a training treat or "Good boy" when you get slack in the leash again.
Speaking in a soothing manner when praising him, patting him or slipping him a treat will let him know he should continue this behavior.

Sometimes the best thing to do with a pulling dog is to start over from scratch, no not getting rid of the dog although that can sometimes be tempting. But just keep in mind walking your dog should be enjoyable for the both of you. If this continues consider enrolling in some obedience classes which will help retrain your dog to follow the leader.

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco dog

Dear ppierodds,

Alaskan Malamutes aka as the Arctic sled dog can withstand extreme cold weather
. Their double thick, coarse outer coat and woolly, dense undercoat helps keep them warm and protect them against wind, snow, ice and 70 degree below zero temperatures. So, while we are snuggling up with a blanket and layering to bet the chill the Malamute has it warm coat to keep him warm. Being a short haired dog myself an extra layer of fur would be nice during those cold winter months.

But always keep in mind for any dog that although they are dressed for cold weather they should be provided with a sturdy dog house as shelter from the elements. A good insulated house with nice straw bedding is perfect for Malamutes that spend most of their time outside, but as always the best bet for shelter is inside the home. Warm weather is more of a concern for Malamute because of their coats can overheat.

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco dog

Dear Systembath,

Congratulation on being a soon to new mom of a furry bundle of joy. Thanks for opting to adopt, for that you deserve a paw on the back. Like I always say pet adoption is the ultimate form of recycling. Now on to some barking words of wisdom. It is so important to create a safe and loving haven for your pet. Give them lots of praise and unconditional love even when your dog has the occasional chew-a-thon with your slippers or makes a mess of the house. So, with that said patience is key. The best way to show love is spending quality time with your dog, a nice walk or game of fetch suffice. Not to mention a praise and a good organic treat goes a long way.

Hey all my Twitter friends send @systembath some loving congrats, advice and well wishes of encouragement!!!

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco-dog

Dear HawiiRealty,

Hey recycling your dogs poo sounds like a great way to save planet, like they say its the thought that counts, however, using your dogs poo as fertilizer can do more harm then good. Many people think that dog poo is your average fertilizer, but this is not the case. Dog poo is considered hazardous waste which should not be ingested, left on the ground, or use in the garden. It carries many harmful organisms which are transferable to humans.

Dog poop contains:

  • E.coli: This potent bacterium can cause infections of the ears, eyes, throat and gastrointestinal system.
  • Campylobacter: This is another nasty bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea in humans.
  • Streptococcus: This bacterium has the ability to cause systemic infections that can be fatal.
  • Salmonella: These bacteria can cause muscle pain, headaches, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

As if that isn't enough to cause some major concerns, dog poop often contains some nasty parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, and pin worms left behind in the ground to await their next host.

So if you want to do something good for the planet, you and your dogs health, and the soles of your tennis shoes by picking up your dogs business in the back yard. If poo is left to sit in your yard, at the park or on the sidewalks it will be washed away by the next rainstorm into our sewers and waterways. It is said that 20-30% of all waterway pollution is due to dog waste. Wow that’s a lot of poo for thought! Lets be the solution to the poop-lution problem by using eco-friendly doggie pick of bags which biodegrade instead of plastic bags that are made of petroleum, which is non renewable, do not biodegraded and takes thousands of years to break down. Spikebrand Business bags are an eco-solution to the worlds smellest problem and vanish without a trace in 45 days.

Also, another eco-friendly sanitary alternative and the closest thing to a “Va-poo-rizer” is The Doggie Dooley a pet waste disposable system for Fido's landmines. It so simple to install and easy to use. Just install in the ground, drop in dogs waste, and add digester powder and water to begin the break down process. This doggie septic tank is harmless to lawns, pets and shrubbery and can withstand the waste of a large dog. It works just like a human septic tank by using enzymes and bacteria to turn dogs waste into a ground absorbed liquid.

Now every business trip you make with Spot, can make for a clean planet and a cleaner conscience !

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco dog

Dear rhondacarpenter & bubba,

Woof woof! Lola here. Thanks for asking such a good question, you are correct raw hides can be dangerous and can do more harm then taste good. Rawhides are usually treated with formaldehyde, a carcinogen which is something you don't want Bubba chewing on. Not to mention it is not easily digested, so dogs may bloat, get diarrhea, or end up with the bone lodged in his intestinal tract.
From the smell of things they leave my pup pals who eat them pretty gassy, but luckily I've turned them on to a new way to way of cleaning their teeth. Good & consistent dental regime is the first step toward prevention of bad breath, gum disease, multiple infections, and heart disease by brushing and getting yearly vet checkups and cleaning. Here are just a few natural suggestion to rid your dogs teeth of plaque and get pearly whites:

1. Brush your dogs teeth- My parents for one brush my teeth 2 times a week. At first it was weird, but i got used to it, and love the natural vanilla flavor. D
id you know brushing your teeth can add 2-3 years to your doggies life just from brushing 2-3 times a day. You can buy your dog special toothpaste and toothbrush kit.

2. Chew on this!!-Instead of rewarding Bubba with a rawhide give him a eco-friendly and 100% safe toy to chew on. Like hemp rope toys which are not only fun to chew on but help remove plaque naturally and keep my teeth clean. Another great product is Zukes Dental Chews which are all-natural, easy to digest, naturally cleans teeth & freshens breath, helps scrape and polish. These bone shaped dental chews are perfect for allergy prone pups because they are free of wheat, corn & soy.

3. Yum!! Crunchy Organic Treats- Organic all natural treats not only are pleasing to your dogs growling belly but help with the cleaning process by scraping and polishing.

So, with these tips Bubba we hope this gives you the confidence to flash those pearly whites for the camera.

Barkingly yours
Lola the eco dog

Dear Kimnishia,

It is true that we are as young as we feel, well in Spot's case as young as the wag in his tail. But truth be told that with age comes achy joints and sounds reminiscent of creaking floor boards & rusty hinges on a barn door. Like humans, dogs are not immuned to the aging bug and as they get older they can have trouble climbing stairs, experience pain or achy hips and joint stiffness, and develop arthritis. With middle age comes mid life crisis, arthritis that is. Small or medium breed dogs can get began getting arthritis symptoms by age 7 or 8. While larger or giant breeds like your lab can start having aching joints as early as age 4 or 5.

But don't throw in the towel and start planning your dogs early retirement confined as a couch potato. Here are some ways you can help manage arthritis, improve your dogs quality of life and keep him comfortable in the process.

1. Daily supplements- Supplements can slow and even reverse some joint damage. Glucosamine-Chondroitin supplements, often containing the anti-inflammatory effective in the management of arthritis. My parents give me Zukes Hip Action daily, which contains Glucosamine, to keep my joints healthy and maintain mobility.

2. Maintain Healthy Weight
- Keeping your dog on a strict diet will help to maintain healthy weight. Extra love handles, although the more to love can put st
rain on the joints and arthritis.

3. Regular low-impact exercise of walking and swimming
will help maintain mobility and keep those furry bods trim and in shape. Avoid jogging and running with your dog which can put strain and trauma on the joints.

4. Purchasing a good yet firm Orthopedic bed
will help reduce joint stiffness and pain, especially in the morning.
When selecting a bed make sure it is firm enough to provide support to the hips, shoulders, spine and neck.
Cold weather and drafts is not good for dogs with arthritis so make sure your dog has a warm sleeping area. One way to guard your dog from the cold is to keep his bed elevated off the floor, which helps to relive stiffnes and pain due to the cold.

5. Heating Pad-
Applying heat to the achy spot can help minimize stiffness and pain, particularly in the morning or on a cold day. Applying a microwavable heat pack or a heating pad for 20 minutes at a time, two or three times a day, can help lessen arthritis discomfort. Don't forget to apply heat to those problem areas such as the shoulders, back and hips.

6. Give a Deep Fur Massage
- Nothing beats a nice massage to relieve arthritis pain and stiffness. Start at the end of the extremities and move in toward the heart massaging all those trouble and achy spots. Not to mention a deep fur massage can be relaxing to say the least and a good bonding time with your dog. Now, all you need to do is train your dog to reciprocate but with the lack of opposable thumbs this can be a challenge.

7. Medication
can help dogs who are in need of a bit more pain relief and prescription medication can be beneficial. Speak with your pet’s veterinarian if you feel that medication may improve your pet’s quality of life.

So for all you young pups don't start its never to early to fight the war on arthritis, start now and your joints will thank you later when you are climbing Mount Staircase. Thanks for twittering a question as always you ask, I bark back.

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco dog


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