Thursday, April 29, 2010

How To Protect Your Dog From Rattlesnake Attack

With summer fast approaching many of you will hit the hiking trails or campgrounds with your dog. If you live in the Southwest or desert you have a higher chance of encountering rattlesnakes especially April through October which is rattlesnake season. Rattlesnakes and dogs do not mix. Being aware of you and your dogs surroundings is a matter of life or death. Rattlesnakes can climb trees, walls and love to sunbathe on rocks. They like to be alone and will often hide in warm places such as woodpiles, animal burrows, underneath rocks or cars. Here are ways to protect you and your dog from a rattlesnake attack, ultimately saving both of your lives.

1. Get the dog trained. Sign you and your dog up for a rattlesnake avoidance class in your area, highly prominent in southern Arizona where rattlesnakes are common.

2. Keep your dogs leashed. It is important to keep your dog within eyes view and on a leash if you are hiking the trails. Dogs are curious by nature so never let your dog venture off alone on the trail or into tall grassy areas where a rattlesnake lair may be lurking. If you don't want your dog having an up and close deadly encounter with a rattlesnake make sure to leash up as a precaution.

3. Stay on the path. If you are on hiking never take a detour or the road less traveled, always stay on the path and follow the trail signs. If a path is not present walk in an area with open space and shorter grass so you can easily see where you stepping and what's a head. If you and your dog unknowingly step on or near a rattlesnake it will feel threatened and strike. Staying on a clear path will give you a heads up before its to late.

4. Don't touch or dig away! Dogs are notorious diggers and this can be a fatal flaw, especially if you catch your dog digging in rattlesnake territory. It is important to think smart and think like a rattlesnake by viewing every hole, moving rocks, logs, piles of debris and other places as potential place for rattlesnakes to habit-ate. You can use a ling trusted walking poke at branches on the path, remember snakes can often camouflage as branches.

5. Know rattlesnake habits. Rattlesnake sightings are most abundant in August and September (breeding season) and often seek refuge from the heat in cooler areas under a shady tree or rock. During the summer they tend to wander out during dusk and dawn. Keep this in mind if you are taking your dog for a walk or hike. When the weather is much cooler (70s or 80s) they usually gravitate toward a rock or a sunny perch.

6. React with caution. If you do spot a rattlesnake it is vital that you react with caution. If you are with your dog and within rattlesnake striking distance, stop dead in your tracks and sternly command your dog to "stay" and stand still. Proceed to back up slowly. If you are not in striking distance, turn around flea the scene quickly with your pet.

7. Canvas your backyard for rattlesnakes. Examine your yard before before letting your dog venture out for playtime or potty break. If you spot a rattlesnake don't attempt to lure it out your yard yourself or catch it. For your own safety contact your nearest Animal Care and Control Center for snake removal.

IMPORTANT: Rattlesnake bites can be deadly and need medical attention immediately. In the unfortunate event that your pet is bitten by a rattlesnake, remain calm so as to keep your dog calm and still and take him to the vet immediately. If the attack happens after vet hours quickly drive your dog to your nearest emergency vet clinic to be treated. Depending on the extent of your dogs injury the vet may administer an antivenin. The sooner you get your dog to a vet the higher his or her chances of survival.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How To Deskunk Your Dog : Removing Skunk Smell From Your Dog

Dog's are very curious by nature and love to chase balls, squirrels, butterflies, cats, birds, people, quite frankly anything that moves, even skunks. When a dog encounters a skunk it rarely bodes well for the dog, only to get him in a stink of trouble with Pepe Le Pew. If you and and your dog live in a rural or suburban area populated with skunks then the odds are stacked stinkingly high against you.

It can be quite a chore to remove powerful skunk stench from your dog's fur. Contrary to popular belief, washing your dog in tomato juice does very little to eliminate skunk odor. Tomato juice only mask the unpleasant odor for a short time and can stain light colored fur. So, save those cans of tomato juice for a cold rainy day when you have the sniffles. Since skunk spray is extremely oily, the best way to eliminate is to get rid of the oily base. It is important to act fast! So we have a home remedy solution that will get the job done and your dog smelling good again.

First things first, as soon as you realize your dog has been skunked its important to give your dog a once over. Grab some rubber or latex gloves, old clothes and canvas your dogs body for bites or scratches since this smelly creatures can carry rabies. For this reason it is important that your dog is up to date on his rabies vaccinations. If your dog has been bitten, scratched, has eye discharge or redness or any injuries seek vet help immediately before proceeding with the bathing process. Once you realize your dog has not been injured now its time for the fun part, the bathing process.

Try a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and regular dish soap which works wonders to neutralize the obscene odor. The sooner you apply the solution to your dog's fur, the better your chances of completely eliminating the smell. So you don't bring the smell indoors it is probably best to set up the bathing station outdoors. If your are going to bathe your dog indoors open your bathroom windows for some fresh air, trust us you will need it. Before you start bathing your dog apply it is recommended that you apply eye lubricant or 1-2 drops of mineral oil in your dogs eyes to protect them from any solution that may splish, splash or drip.

The De-skunk Solution:

1. Use about 1 qt of 3% peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and a drizzle (1 teaspoon) of dish soap.

2. Mix it well and add a cup of water if need. Before applying the mixture place cotton balls in your pets ears to protect the inner-ear from the solution that could easily drip in.

3. Do not pre-soak your dog with water. Lather up your dog right away, apply it liberally. Massage the solution in your dogs coat starting with the head, then wash towards his back and end with the legs and feet.

4. Let it soak into his fur for 10 minutes. Rinse out the solution completely with lukewarm water- always being careful around eyes, ears and mouth. Towel dry him off. Continue the entire process on a daily basis until the odor is removed. It is not recommended to use a heat source for drying since the deskunking mixture will leave the skin and fur in a very dry condition. A heat source will cause even further drying of the skin. Apply a conditioning treatment in about a week to treat the dryness.

5. Discard any leftover deskunking solution because it becomes combustible when stored.

Important tip: In order to avoid smelly encounters with skunks do not leave food outside (i.e bird seed feeders, fallen fruit from trees or dog's dish). Make sure garbage cans are well-secured with a tight lid. But most importantly keep your dog within eye view so they are not tempted to run into the woods unattended only to come home smelling like a stink bomb.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day! Bark-tastic Earth Day Video- GREEN PUG RECYCLES!

Happy Earth Day all you eco warriors! We came across an inspirational video of how we can go green in our everyday lives. It is all about small puppy steps that make a huge & positive impact. The pug in the video sorts paper from plastic, rides mass transit, swaps carrots for cows to prove being green is totally easy! Besides, if a pug can do, so can you and me! If you don't know where to start of your eco-journey here is a nifty green list of 50 Ways to Help the Planet compiled by Wire and Twine.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nature & Nurture the Planet- How To Plant A Tree For Earth Day

Earth Day (April 22nd) is more then just picking up garbage should be all year round. So, what better way to celebrate and spread awareness about Earth Day then getting a little dirty and planting a tree to beautify your yard or neighborhood. Tree's not only make our world a beautiful place but helps to keep the air clean. Here are some tips on how to properly plant a tree for your Earth Day tree planting ceremony.

1. A tree for all seasons. Choose a tree to plant that is appropriate for the soil, weather and seasonal conditions you live in.

2. Purchase container grown or balled-and-burlapped trees (clump of soil around its roots) with the roots already developed.

3. Stay cool. Keep your tree in a cool, shady place and roots moistened until you are ready to plant.

4. Bond over tree planting. Gather a crew of friends and family to help with the tree planting. You, will be glad you did once you start digging the hole and if you go with a mammoth size tree then you are gonna need help lifting so you don't break your back. Looks can be deceiving, balled tree roots are much heavier than you'd think.

5. X Marks the Spot! Pick the perfect place in your yard or garden where your tree will call home and calculate the size hole you will need dug. If you are unsure, always play it safe and measure the root ball and plan on digging a hole 6 inches wider and deeper than then the root ball.

6. Ready set dig! It important to use all your muscle power to dig the hole. Aren't you glad you took our advice and asked for help. :)

7. Create a bed. Use some of the soil you dig out to make a little bed for the base of the root ball in the hole. Make sure to tamp the bed of soil down hard.

8. Get in position and begin to lower the covered balled root into the hole. Position the tree so that the top of the root ball sits just under the ground when it's level. Make sure not to plant the root ball to deep.

9. Place the tree root ball on the base you made in the bottom of the planting hole. A firm foundation or base is the key to preventing the tree from sinking and sliding.

10. Before burying the roots make sure to remove any synthetic wrappings or fastenings from the root ball. Cut back the natural burlap and twine around the sides of the root ball.

11. Filler up! Start filling the hole halfway with soil, tamp it lightly to remove any air pockets. Good posture is important, even for a tree so make sure it is standing up right and not toppling over.

12. Although your nose might disagree it is a good idea to add some composting, manure smelling, rotten goodness to the soil you're returning to the hole. Add one part organic material to two parts soil. Nutrients + richer soil = happy tree.

13. Get out the watering hose. Insert a hose into the backfill to water the tree. Saturate the soil around the tree until it settles and removes any remaining air pockets.

14. Now back to filling the hole with dirt and water until the soil settles.

15. Give your tree training wheels to grow by using a stake and flat tree straps (made of soft materials) for added stability. Make sure the straps allow enough slack for some swaying in the wind, one of life's simple pleasures.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

How To Organize an Earth Day Neighborhood and Park Clean-up

With Earth Day fast approaching its time to get this planet squeaky clean. One way to give back to the planet and community is by organizing a dog park, local park, hiking trail or neighborhood clean up. You can even plant some more greenery and trees. Here are some tips on how to organize a group of green cape crusaders on a mission to get this planet in tip top shape. So, litter bugs beware of the we mean clean green squad!

1. Spread the word and get your neighbors and people in your local community excited about the park or community clean up. Keep a list of those who had interest in helping out and keep them informed of the time and day of the big clean up.

2. Speak with local authorities to see if they have any neighborhood cleanup programs or initiatives you can get involved in or qualify for. Some municipalities allow free access to dumpsters used in neighborhood cleanups.

3. Select the drop off location that is large enough to accommodate cars and dumpsters such as a parking lot.

4. Scour the clean up site and get a consensus on the types of trash that will be collected, size and what recyclables will be gathered. Never let your wonderful volunteers pickup hazardous material or waste, instead leave that to the experts by contacting your local hazardous waste pickup service for the job.

5. Organize volunteers. It is important to divide the volunteers into groups, some will need to unload trash into dumpsters while others can be on trash pickup duty. Don't forget you will also need a group of volunteers to deliver recyclables to the recycling center.

6. Purchase supplies for the clean up such as heavy duty trash bags, gloves, signs, drinks and tools for collecting trash. Keep a first aid kit within reach in case of injuries.

7. Enjoy the clean panoramic view and reward your volunteers with a thank you BBQ or picnic lunch. Don't forget to recycle and pick up after the bash.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Earth Day ! Simple Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is just around the corner its time to pay it forward. So, lets celebrate April 22nd together and give mother earth a big hug. With green on everyone's conscious these days more and more people are choosing eco-friendly alternatives. Gone are the days when green only meant dull burlap sacs, granola and Birkenstock. Smile! Because a new era of doing good for the earth has been ushered in. So what does it mean to go green? Going green is living a healthier life style with minimal negative impact on planet we are so lucky to reside on.

It all starts with making the decision to choose healthy products that are better for you, your family, and the environment. This can be summed up as small day to day steps that make a positive environmental impact. Here are some practical, simple ways you can join the eco movement and make green living part of your lifestyle.

1. Carpool, Walk or Pedal Power to work. Trade in your gas guzzling truck for a sweet hybrid fuel efficient ride. You can even opt for alternate forms of transportation such as the metro, bus or biking. Lower your carbon foot, save gas and get exercise by walking to your desired destination when you can. Not only will you be making the planet a bit greener, but you will be pocketing the green.

2. Buy Organic or become a localvore! Buy organic food at grocery stores or local farmers market that is free of pesticide & chemicals and use less packaging. Now there is a greener way of eating within a 100 mile radius. Now everyone in your local community invited to join in and decrease air pollution cause for CO2. By becoming a locavore you are not only supporting your local farmer but and community, but minimizing CO2 emission needed to transport food around the globe to your neck of the woods.

3. Hooray for BYOB Recycable totes! Save a tree, be diligent about bringing your own sturdy recyclable grocery bag on those shopping errands and conserve paper. At checkout when asked by the cashier, "Paper or plastic?" get the joyful pleasure of saying, " No thanks, neither." If you don't have your own recyclable tote don't fret, you can purchase them at checkout for $1. These bags come in all shapes, sizes and attractive designs. Some grocery stores even give you a discount each time you bring your own reusable bag.

4. Eco Cleaning Products. Always buy non-toxic cleaning products. Read the labels and make sure the cleaning products are "biodegradable", "non-petroleum based" and "phosphate free"

5. Fight weeds & pest the all natural way. Say "goodbye" to herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers and "hello" earthy solutions.

6.Recycle Newspapers and Magazines. Don't forget to fill up your recycle bins with outdated newspapers. Better yet, in our ever growing high tech age cancel the paper boy delivery and your e-news online at the click of a mouse.

7. Full Loads Only. When you wash laundry, wash a full load. Top load machines use almost as much water to do a small load as they do a large one. Upgrade to energy efficient washer and dryer and recycle the old.

8. Take a Soak in the tub! If you are notorious for long showers & wasting water, then you should take a bath. If you prefer showers then install a cost effective and simple water saving shower heads to reduce your water waste.

9. Dishwashers = water saved! Thank goodness for the dishwasher, one of life's greatest invention since sliced bread. When getting those dishes squeaky clean use your dishwasher, not Fido's licks or your dish scrubber. Dishwashers use less water then if you were to hand wash and save you time. If you must hand wash fill one sink with soapy water and one with clear water so you conserve water.

10. Compost those peels. Did you know that a lot of our garbage waste can be recycled or composted with little effort on your part. Turn your vege and leftovers into fertile soil for planting and reduce unnecessary waste in landfills. You don't have to be a green thumb to have some compost action. Simply build or purchase a compost bin at your local house ware store that will do all the work for you. Consider using food scraps, coffee grounds, used paper towels, and banana peels in a compost pile rather discarding them in the garbage can. If you don't the space or desire to compost, make use of your garbage disposal for food.

11. Stop Throwing Money (aka paper plates) In the Garbage. Although disposable paper towels, paper plates are convenient and can be composted, it can become to costly. Minimize disposable purchases, instead opt for reusable alternatives or dine on real dinnerware collecting dust in your cabinets. If you are going to use disposable paper plates or cups go for corn based products that biodegrade. NEVER use plastic cups!

12. Re-use More, Dispose Less. Purchase reusable water bottles like the SIGG to stay hydrated on the go. Instead of buying a pack of bottled water, install a in home faucet water filter or get a refrigerator filter or Brita pitcher for a refreshing glass. If don't have a water filter you can opt reuse your water jugs and refill at your local water filtering site.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

How To Treat Minor First Degree Dog Paw Burns

Dogs go barefoot 24/7 and can easily have their pads burned and injured from walking on hot asphalt, pavement, terrain or accidentally coming in contact with abrasive chemicals. So, its is very important to take extra precaution when caring for your pets paws and pads. Regardless of the extent of a burn these injuries should be treated immediately and not taken lightly. Do keep in mind that second and third degree burns need proper vet attention. Here are some tips to treat, soothe and heal minor first degree paw burns.

1. Cool Down! Gently apply a cold compress to the minor burn or submerge and soak your dogs paws in a soothing cold water bath in 10- 20 minute increments to take away some of the sting. When applying a cold compress or drying soaked paws its a good idea to use a soft towel that does not leave painful fibers stuck to the burn wound. NEVER pat your dogs soaked burned paw dry, this will only cause further irritation.

2. Clean the Area. Its important to disinfect the burn by gently and slowly flushing it with cool running water while using mild soap to help kill any possible infection. If your dogs hairy paws are getting in the way, gently cut the fur around the burn to prevent hair from sticking to the burn causing irritation.

It is always important to keep harmful & potentially deadly chemicals out of paws reach, better yet opt for more pet-friendly solutions. In the event that your dog gets acid or chemical burns apply a paste of baking soda and water instead of soap to help neutralize the burn or soak your dogs paw in a vinegar-water solution.

3. Sooth, Wrap and Heal. Then gently dab the burned area with an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. You can even purchase witch hazel, a natural remedy, at your local natural health store which is safe for your pet and provides a cooling and soothing sensation. Witch hazel is a anti-inflammatory & astringent agent, when applied can help sooth, ease the pain and heal the burn. Once the burn is treated, wrap it loosely with burn-safe gauze to protect it, keep dog from licking and help keep it moist. It is important to keep the burn clean, change the bandage often and reapply the witch hazel and antibiotic healing ointment.

**NOTE: If minor burn does not heal or dog is having trouble walking please seek help from your trusted vet ASAP!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homemade Chicken and Cheddar Dog Biscuit Recipe for Your Gourmutt

Baking up a batch of homemade dog biscuits is not only rewarding but a real satisfying treat for the lucky dog who gets to munch. Here is a simple cheese pleasing Chicken and Cheddar dog biscuit recipe that will get you barking reviews.

Gather Ingredients:
7 ounces shredded chicken
3 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

14 ounces flour, whole-wheat

7 fluid ounces of water or chicken stock

1 egg

2 fluid ounces vegetable o


1. Turn up the heat. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place boneless chicken in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook the chicken until it's done, about 15 minutes. Drain the chicken (save 7 ounces of the excess chicken stock) and shred it into small pieces.

2. Make the Dough & cut shapes. In separate bowl combine shredded chicken, flour, vegetable oil, an egg, cheddar cheese, water or left over chicken stock from the pot. Mix well until a you have a ball of dough. Don't forget to add water or chicken stock if the dough is too thick and add flour if the dough is too sticky. Drop the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to the thickness you want. Use the cookie cutter to cut out fun edible shapes.

3. Cook the biscuits, once cooled dig in. Place the biscuits on a greased tray or non stick baking sheet. Bake biscuits for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Set timer. Once timer has buzzed take them out of the oven (don't forget oven mitt) and let the biscuits cool down at room temperature before indulging your dog with a big nibble. In order to maintain freshness store leftover treats in an air tight container.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Hoppy Easter Pet Safety Tips

Easter brings up childhood memories of egg hunts, festive baskets and bunnies. But pet dangers can lurk just around the corner. As you get ready to celebrate Easter with family, friends and furry loved ones it important to take some safety precautions. Here are some important Easter pet safety tips to make your Easter celebration a safe and healthy one for every.

1. Easter grass: We all love a beautifully adorned Easter basket decorated with stringy Easter grass but this can be irresistibly edible to cats & dogs. If ingested can be life threatening and can wrap around your pets intestine and cut off circulation. It can also cause vomiting, choking, constipation, painful defecation and abdominal pain. Contact your vet if you suspect your dog or cat has sampled the Easter grass. Instead opt for a safer alternative, tissue paper or real grass.

2. No Chocolate Bunnies for Fido: We all know dogs have a sweet tooth and a determined keen sense of smell to find your Easter chocolate stash. However, chocolate contains a highly toxic ingredient known as theobromine, making even small amounts of chocolate extremely hazardous to your pets health. Theobromine, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. Although your dog should avoid all types of chocolate, dark chocolate contains the highest concentrations of theobromine making it the most toxic. Early symptoms of chocolate toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea and trembling. If your dog exhibits these symptoms please seek vet help immediately.

3. Avoid Sugar Substitutes: Xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gums and baked goods, is potentially very toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar and can lead to seizures & liver failure.

4. Keep Easter Lilies out of paws reach: The beautiful Easter Lily is a plant commonly found in bouquets this time of year but highly toxic to cats if ingested. If eaten this flower can cause vomiting and lethargy, and if untreated, may progress to kidney (renal) failure and death. Please call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant. Other potentially poisonous flowers to avoid include tulips, calla lilies, daisies, chrysanthemums and baby’s breath.

5. Real or fake plastic eggs can be dangerous. This is the case of mistaken identity. Fido or Felix may confuse a shiny plastic eggs for their next chew toy or tasty treat. If chew and swallow the plastic can cause intestinal damage which may require surgery. While hard-boiled have a tendency to be misplaced or not found during those Easter egg hunts and can easily spoil. If the egg is discovered days later and eaten by your hungry dog can cause quite an upset stomach. Make sure you keep track of the number of eggs hidden and their whereabouts so you can easily inventory at the end of the hunt.

6. Cute Easter toys are not meant to be eaten: Festive bunnies and chick toys make cute Easter basket stuffers for the kiddies, but may be viewed as a mid afternoon snack for your pet. Small toys are a choking hazard and should be kept away from cats and dogs. Keep baskets off the ground or better yet keep your pet in an Easter free zone out of potential harms way.

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