Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quench Your Dogs Thirst : How to Care For A Sick and Dehydrated Dog

Got Water? Water is essential to humans and pets living a healthy & happy life. When dog's becomes ill it is so easy for them to become dehydrated & lethargic.

Canine dehydration is a serious issue that can become life-threatening if not properly treated. It is important that you constantly hydrate your dog back to health. Here are some simple tips on how to care for a dehydrated sick dog and get him on the road to recovery & back to his old tricks again.

1. Seek help of a certified vet. Your dog may be too ill or dehydrated for you to nurse her back to health and made need vet observation of emergency assistance.

2. Ready Set Hydrate! Place your dog on a strict water diet by hydrating your sick dog every 1/2 hour to an hour. If your dog is refusing to drink it is important for you to be persistent. Your dog may be to weak to drink on his or her own so bringing your sick dog water throughout the night is important.

3. Electrolytes to the Rescue! Make your dog a 5o/50 mixture of Gatorade & water. Gatorade contains sugar and electrolytes that help your dog's body hydrate better.

4. Hydrate with a dropper. You can use a store bought plastic dropper to administer fluid. Your dog may be to weak to suck on the dropper. So one trick is to place the dropper in the corner of her mouth and push it in about 1/2 an inch. Squeeze the dropper and release the fluid in the back of the throat. Hold your puppy's head up for a second or two after each squirt to make sure she gets all of the fluid.

5. Chicken & Rice Diet. Stick to a very simple diet of rice that has been really saturated with chicken or beef broth. Giving your puppy regular food could cause him to develop diarrhea and become even more dehydrated.

6. Revisit the vet if health does not improve. If your dog 's condition worsen make sure you go to the vet immediately as a precaution.

Here are some Frozen Treat Ideas to Keep Your Sick Dog Hydrated

1. Ice is not only a nice cool, fun & delicious treat for your dog it is also a great way to hydrate your sick pup. So, get out your ice trays!

2. If your sick dog is not a big fan of ice cubes then you can substitute in frozen chicken stock ice cubes in place of water.

3. Frozen banana slices

Need Help!

Don't forget to use our Is Your Dog Sick? easy drop down menu on our homepage to find eco-friendly, healthy, all natural products that with help with your dogs specific ailment.

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tips on How to Make Your Dog Stop Humping & Mounting

Let's start by saying that dogs give the term "public displays of affection" new meaning and aren't shy about it. Dogs are considered "man's best friend", or shall we say "leg's best friend". We all know that embarrassing face redding feeling we have when you have house guest over and your dog takes a humping fancy to one of their legs. Although this can be viewed as a form of flattery, this situation can get out of control very quickly when your dog refuses to loosen his grip.

Instead he or she goes to town like the energizer bunny, that keeps going and going. Perhaps random passerbyr's, couch pillows, your new furniture & your child's favorite stuff animal has fallen victim to your dogs out of control horny, humping & annoying behavior. Watching your dog get personal with random strangers & household family heirlooms can be quite disturbing, but is not abnormal. So what do you do to curb this unsightly jaw dropping behavior? Unfortunately their is no such thing as Dog Humpers Anonymous. Instead of reaching for the nearest rolled up newspaper to tame your four leg humping friend here are some helpful tips to get your dog to dismount and calm down.

1. Just say "No" -Remember you are the alpha dog & pack leader. So don't be shy and let your dog know who's boss. A firm "NO" or "STOP" will make your dog aware that this behavior is not appropriate. In order for a verbal correction to work, your dog has to understand that you are the leader. You can also clap your hands to get your dogs attention. Never hit your dog to curb bad behaviour this will only evoke fear & resentment towards you.

2. Spritz Away! Spray your dog with a spritz from a water bottle when he or she starts to exhibit humping & mounting behavior. For experienced dog humpers your may want to carry a spray bottle with you at all times. Having a spray bottle on hand is a gentler way of giving your dog a message that this is not proper pettiquette.
  1. 3. The Root of the Matter-Learn the causes for dog humping. Just keep in mind that dog humping & mounting is not always sexual in nature but can be to display dominance or admiration by males or females. Humping may have nothing to do with sex or dominance--it may simply be a form of play. Dogs ages 6 months to 2 years are the ones most likely to hump. If they get into the humping habit at that age, it's much harder to break later on.

    4. Re-focus Your Pup-Dog humping is an instinctual response. Change your dog's focus and he or she will stop the behavior. Distract your dog in mid-hump with his favorite dog toys , a walk & exercise or other sort of playful redirection. If he likes a good game of fetch with frisbee or ball, toss one across the room and see how he reacts.

    5. Ignore & Give silent treatment- Dogs love attention so perhaps as simple as it may sound, ignoring the behavior may do the trick. Leave the room suddenly. Ignoring your dog's performance will let him know that his humping is not gaining your approval. Your dog may stop humping if you stop paying attention to him.

    6. Spay & Neuter Your Pet-Spaying & neutering not only helps control the pet population, but will slow down your dogs urge to hump everything in sight. But spaying & neutering is no sure cure if your dog has firmly established the habit. Male dogs that hump may have increased testosterone levels. Studies have found that neutering stops humping in 60 percent of the cases.

    7. Training Day! Enroll your dog in obedience training or what some may call doggie boot camp. Seek help & advice from an experienced trainer or canine behavioral specialist, who can train the dog to stop the humping behavior.

    8. Exercise is key-Daily exercise helps release pent up aggression, energy, stress & desires to hump. In most cases, humping results from stress or aggression, especially if the dog has contact with other canines. Take your dog out for at least one long, strenuous walk and play time each day. Set aside enough time for the dog to tire before you stop the exercise session.

    9. Seek vet advice. In some cases, humping is caused by hormone imbalances that may indicate serious conditions, such as hypothyroidism.

  2. Need Help!

    Don't forget to use our Is Your Dog Sick? easy drop down menu on our homepage to find eco-friendly, healthy, all natural products that with help with your dogs specific ailment.


    Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to Easily Administer Pet Pills & Daily Vitamins to Your Dog or Cat

How do I get my dog or cat to take his pill? This is a common question that many pet owners ask their vet. Dogs & cats have a tendency to outsmart us when it comes to taking & swallowing their daily vitamins & medications. Leaving you with a wet soggy pill in the palm of your hand and in search of a dog or cat on the run.

Truth be told, administering your pets medication can be quite a dramatic challenge for you and an even more torturous experience for your furry friend. If you have or ever owned a pet then you understand what we mean. We have some simple steps to make giving your dog or cat his medication a painless & enjoyable experience. Gone are the days of having to stick your finger down your pets throat. There is a hassle free and easier way to medicate!

1. Get the pill ready in one hand. Make sure your dog or cat doesn't see or the hear the pill container, one look could cause your pet to flee the scene. Approach your pet in a friendly, kind & gentle manner.

2. Get your lap dog or cat in a comfortable position. Either sit on a chair or sit on the floor and have your dog or cat positioned on the floor in front of you or on your lap. The pet should be sitting with it's side to your chest and wrap your arms around your pet in a non-threatening manner.

3. Open Wide! Quickly with pill in one hand, open your dog or cat's mouth. Place one hand over the top of the jaw and the other hand on the underneath side of the jaw. Then lightly & gently press your middle fingers and thumbs into the gums toward the back of the pet's mouth.

4. Place the pill as far back in the pet's mouth. Quickly & gently close your pet's mouth keeping your hands around the pet's mouth to keep it shut so you don't have a pill overboard.

5. Getting your pet to swallow can be a challenge. One trick is to gently blow into the pet's face while lightly tickling the pet's throat. The air in the pet's face will make them swallow. You may need to repeat blowing the air gently into the pet's face a couple times.

6. Praise your pet and reinforce with treat, toy or favorite past time like a brisk walk, game of fetch or tug of woof.

If all else fails & your dog or cat is still being difficult you can do the following:

1. Crush pill or pour capsule content in to your dog's or cat's dish. Stir the powdered medicine or capsule contents in with a little bit of their pet food and mix thoroughly. It is vital that your pet gets his or her complete dose. Before you get out your meat tenderizer and start pounding away, double check with your vet to make sure their pills can be administered in this fashion. Sometimes a pill’s package instructions or your vet may strongly advises against it.

2. Up the ante, use pill treats. There are many types of pill pet treats on the market designed specifically to help you administer your pets medication. If you don't have treats on hand you can use a piece of bread.

3. PB loco! Dogs love the irresistible nutty taste of peanut butter. Place the pill in a small spoonful of peanut or smear this gooey delicious treat on the roof of the dog's mouth, just behind his front teeth. This will force him to swallow. Since the peanut butter sticks well to the pill, your dog is less likely to spit it out.

Need Help!

Don't forget to use our Is Your Dog Sick? easy drop down menu on our homepage to find eco-friendly, healthy, all natural products that with help with your dogs specific ailment.

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is Your Dog Lethargic, Sluggish, Tired or Fatigued? Facts, Tips & Advice About Pet Lethargy

Did you know you and your dog have something in common besides that adorable grin? Like you, your dog can also get doggone tired and lethargic. Unfortunately, your dog can't grab a cup of coffee or one of those high packed energy bars for a boost of energy. Once a fur ball of energy, your dog has decided to hit the snooze button on life and is now a bona fide couch potato who hogs the remote.

Not even a persuasive enticing game of fetch, a brisk walk, arrival of the mailman, a siren, or a taunting stray cat gets him excited or barking mad. You have even resorted to bribery to lure him off his bed with his favorite food, but all has failed. You have began to come to grips that only a miracle or help of a forklift will get him off the couch and back to his playful ways. Timeouts & lounging on the couch with your best friend has been great, but you miss your once energetic dog's zest for life. Well, we are here to offer up some advice and tips on this topic.

What is lethargy? Lethargy is decreased energy levels.

What are the warning signs your dog is lethargic?
  • Tire easily
  • Reluctant to play, walk, eat, drink, or do other things that he used to enjoy doing.
  • Don't take outdoor potty breaks as often, resulting in "accidents" in the house or on his bed.
  • sleep a lot
  • Lost interest and enthusiasm in almost everything.
**Don't hesitate to seek vet assistance if symptoms persist these could be the warning signs for something more serious. **

So, what can cause your dog to be lethargic & sluggish? Well with the help of a certified vet, it important to pinpoint potential culprits so you can remedy the situation. Sickness, depression & injury can bring on your dogs lethargic ways and should not be taken lightly. Before you can tackle lethargy it is important to dig deep for the root cause. Here are some common cause of lethargy:

1. Anemic pup- If your pup lacks enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to different parts of the dog's body, then he or she has anemia. Anemia leads to lack of oxygen making a dog lethargic. Anemia can be caused by flea infestations, gastrointestinal parasites such as worms, internal bleeding caused by ulcers or other conditions (e.g. poisoning, clotting disorders, bone marrow disorders, cancer).

2. Aches & Pains- If you had aches & pains you probably wouldn't want to leave the couch. Pain caused by injuries or physical problems can make a dog lethargic & not wanting to move. Just keep in mind that if your pup has sustained an injury, then his or her body's resources and energy are probably being redirected to the injured area for healing. Therefore your dog may not have sufficient resources or energy for normal day to day activities. Pain can arise from dental disease; ear inflammation; bone, joint, or spinal diseases; gastrointestinal obstruction; pancreatitis; urinary tract disorders; and eye diseases, such as glaucoma and corneal ulcers.

3. Obesity- Overweight dogs are less likely to move around and engage in activities since it simply takes too much effort and energy! Lack of exercise will cause anyone to feel tired & sleepy. Exercise is key to improved mobility and heightened energy levels. So, get your dog to break a sweat on the treadmill or take a walk around the dog park.

4. Poor Diet -Lack of well balanced diet. Malnutrition & insufficient quality diet can lead to decreased nutrient absorption resulting in weight loss & lethargy. So, make sure you are feeding your dog food that promotes his overall well being & health. Throw away the mystery meat & go for the real thing!

5. Aging Canine-Older dogs naturally have less energy than young puppies and they tend to move slower due to achy joints. They are more prone to suffer from such age-related ailments as heart failure and liver disease, which can also make a dog lethargic.

6. Depression-A dog may become lethargic simply because of a lack of stimulation & socialization! Dogs that are cooped up in the house all day with out companionship, bonding time or paw pals will naturally feel bored, depressed & lethargic. It is important that your dog gets enough play time and outside interaction with you, other humans and furry friends. So a doggie play date or day at the dog park is in order!

7. Infectious Disease such as canine distemper and parvovirus infection.

8. Endocrine disorders. Hormonal conditions as hypothyroidism, a common disease in dogs that causes a slowed metabolism and lethargy. As well as other disorders such as Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, and diabetes mellitus can lead to lethargy & fatigue.

9. Hypoglycemia- Your dog's lack of energy may be due to low blood sugar caused by severe infection, insulin-secreting pancreatic tumors, liver disease, or starvation.

Mother Nature Knows Best!!

Various herbs such as ginseng & rosemary have been effective in boosting a dogs energy levels for the weak & fatigue. As well as helping pup young & old recover from illness or surgery. Here are some all-natural lethargic remedies & products that will help energize & put pep back in your dogs wags!

1. Happytails Re-bound herbal Elixer

You’ve pampered the outer hound now nourish the inner dog with all natural elixirs designed to improve canine health from the inside out. Re-Bound helps to recharge your dogs battery and restores normal energy levels after periods of general malaise or inactivity. Turn back the paws of time! It's also the perfect tonic for an older or sluggish dog or a dog who is recovering from an operation or illness.

2. Spot Organics Happy Dog Aromatherapy Spray

Is Spot dog-gone tired. Spray a few times on the chest to uplift a depressed dog or increase the appetite of a senior dog

3. Fuzz Yard Organic Rosemary & Peppermint Aromatherapy Refreshing Blend

Pamper, uplift your dog and deodorize your living space all in one spritz! This natural and refreshing blend of organic Rosemary, Peppermint and Aloe Vera essential oils will do the trick. Simply spray the fine mist around the house, on your dog's bed, on furniture or directly on your dog. This unique blend of essential oils helps to create a refreshing environment for you & your dog.

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sick As A Dog? Tips on Boosting Your Pets Immune System

Like humans dogs can also feel a little bit under the weather when a virus or infection strikes. So, whats a loving pet owner to do? When your pet falls ill it important to boost their immune system so they can fight foreign invasions.

Remember that dogs are social creatures by nature and always on the go. So you can imagine that their social butterfly status & curiosity puts them at higher risk for coming in contact with toxins & pollutants that could wreak havoc on their vulnerable immune systems. But no worries! Here are some preventive steps you can take to promote your dogs wellness, build up their immune systems & be a responsible guardian.

1. Clean & Fresh Water-Keeping you dog's water dish full with fresh clean water is key. Filtering the water is highly recommended as tap water contains chemicals that can hurt the internal systems of your pet. By making sure that they are getting lots to drink, you will know that they are getting what they need to flush out the dangerous toxins that may have entered their system, which in turn will help keep the vital organs working the way they are supposed too.

2. Daily supplement-Adding a daily supplement can help with your dog's immune system. Make sure that it contains important vitamins, minerals, and other special herbs. Look at the labels to determine what they contain to ensure that you are getting something appropriate for your pet. Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium are ones to keep in mind when doing this. Proper supplement that meets your dog needs will ensure a strong immune system.

3. Eat healthy-Make sure that before you let your dog chow down to read the label first. Often times some commercial foods are lacking in the area of nutrition. We such taking a holistic approach and opt for organic, all natural, human grade dog food that are free of animal by-products, hormones, artificial preservatives & ingredients. Things that you would normally not eat. Sure, the organic route can at times be a bit more pricier, but the money that you will save on vet bills makes up for it.

4. Add Yogurt to Your Dogs Diet-You can also buy plain unflavored yogurt that contains acidophilus. Add a tablespoon of yogurt to your dog's meal twice daily. For larger dogs (dog's larger than 100 lbs.) add 2 tablespoons. Stir the yogurt into your dogs food so it's well incorporated.

Natural Immune Boost Remedies to the Rescue!

But just like humans, a dogs strong immune systems must develop over time. Beside annual vet visits and caring for your pets health & wellness. There are several herbs, vitamins & minerals that work wonders to give your dogs immune system a boost:

1. Vitamin A is essential for the natural protection of your dog's skin which is their first line of attack. It plays a critical role in both the repairing and the protection processes of the tissues that surround the mouth, nose, throat, as well as the lungs. It is also essential in fighting eye infections and maintaining eyesight.

2. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps the immune system naturally in several ways. It helps both protect against both bacterial as well as viral infections. It also helps to heal wounds and scar tissues naturally as it strengthens blood vessels; and in the process also helps your dogs systems protect against hemorrhaging.

Not to mention it produces collagen, a type of protein that assists in supporting several body tissues. It helps the skin, bones, tendons, and muscles. It also helps to protect internal organs and aids both forms of your pet's immune systems.

3. Vitamin E also know as the miracle vitamin for dogs as it assists vitamin A from breaking down and combining with foreign substances that may cause autoimmunity in your pet. It aids both the innate and the adaptive systems in protecting against attacks on the cardiovascular functions in your dog as well as protecting against aging and cancer.

4. Zinc mineral is present in almost every tissue of your dogs body and is absolutely essential as a natural treatment for dogs immune systems as it builds blood circulation, as well as the brain and nervous system functions. It also helps in the synthesis of both protein and nucleic acid.

Nucleic acid is what makes the memory of the adaptive system work. It allows organisms to transfer genetic information form one generation to the next. Without this natural treatment, your dog's second line of defense will not function properly.

5. Copper is a mineral is found in every tissue of your dog's body. Copper is essential for the forming of both hemoglobin and red blood cells, as well as assisting several enzymes that break down as well as build up body tissue in your pet. It also surrounds nerve fibers and works in harmony with Vitamin C to form elastin in your pet's muscle fibers.

6. Echinacea extract is a herb that acts as a natural supplement which helps to purifying your dog's blood. In doing so, it stimulates the immune system to help fight both viral and bacterial infections. It acts as an interferon which is produced naturally by your dog. Interferon is a group of glycol-proteins manufactured by different cells and react to different attacks. It is an essential herb in building the adaptive immune system & boosting the lymphatic system.

7. Viscum album (Mistletoe) - It is known for its ability to improve the immune system of animals. It also keeps your dog's blood pressure levels under control.

8. Sylibum marianus (Milk Thistle) - It is one of the most commonly used herbs in natural medicine. It strengthens your dog's liver. It contains flavonoids which fight the free radicals which damage your dog's external and internal organs. Without milk thistle, your dog's immunity boost plan is not complete.

9. Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) - It has a restorative effect on your dog's body. It promotes good health and vitality in dogs. It also nourishes your dog's blood.

10. Uncaria tormentosa (Cat's Claw) - It increases your dog's disease resistance capacity and makes it strong enough to defend against various diseases.

Here are some all-natural products that will help give your dogs immune system a boost!

1. Fuzzyard Eucalyptus Lemon Immunity Blend

This all natural fragrance blend contaisn no harsh chemicals or additives. It works as an immune booster, wards off infection and creates a healthy environment for your dog

2. Organic Pet Superfood Super Immunity Formula Supplement

Provides a complete nutritional defense against the onslaught of invading internal free radicals and external stresses such as nutritionally inadequate food, environmental and situational stresses. In addition to supercharging your dogs immune system the Super Immunity Formula works to promote healthy joints, improved digestion and the maintenance of a beautiful coat.

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grieving Is A Natural Part of Healing: How To Cope With the Loss & Death of A Pet

Saying goodbye is never easy. There is always an overwhelming saddens when we lose a close loved one or friend. Well, the same holds true for our furry best friends also known as honorary family members. Pets play a huge role in our lives by providing us with companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love. So, one can clearly understand why the loss of a pet can be painful and heartbreaking.

Family pets hold such a precious place in our hearts and lives, one can't deny the strong human and pet bond. Many pet owners & caregivers celebrate their pets birthday, confide in their pets, have pictures of their furry companions hanging on their wall of fame or even carry their dogs mutt shot in their wallets. It is no surprise that with the death of a pet comes many tears shed, sorrow & emotions. Here are a few tips to help you or your friend cope with the loss of a pet during the grieving and healing process.

1. Grieving is natural. It is important to acknowledge your grieve and give yourself permission to express it. In the midst of all the sadness give yourself plenty of time and space to grieve the loss of your pet. It may take you some time to get to the point of acceptance, but in time their is healing. Don't be afraid or ashamed to shed a tear. Often times when you grieve the lost of a family member one can experience extreme sadness and depression. Remember, there is not one way to grieve and each person in your family may cope with the loss differently.

2. Speak with Support Group. Reach your arms out for a hug towards others with a sympathetic ear. It is important to open up, lean on, and speak with others about your loss who understand what you are going through. Having a strong support group of family members, counselors, ministers, friends, and loved ones can provide you with emotional support and aid in the healing process. Many animal shelters and humane societies offer support groups or counseling. Talk with your vet about groups, counselors or pet loss hotlines that can help you with the grieving process. It is amazing how sharing your pets story, what he or she meant to you, pets pictures and memories can make a difference in easing the pain.

3. In Memory of _____. Keep the memory of your pet alive. Celebrate the life of your pet by donating to an animal charity or rescue in your pet's name.

4. Re-channel Grief. Channel your grief into a positive way by sharing your love with animals in need. Volunteer one hour a week at an animal shelter.

5. Give Yourself time to heal. When your pet passes away don't run out immediately to fill the void by getting another pet. Give yourself time to grieve because rushing into this decision isn't fair to you or your new pet. . When the pain of losing your pet becomes more bearable, you can consider getting a new pet. There are so many deserving pets in need of a home, so when the time is right and your heart ready consider adopting a pet from a local animal shelter or rescue .

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is your dog blind or deaf? Tips on Living, Communicating & Caring for a handicapped pet

As humans we all can agree that with aging comes loss of sight & hearing and our pets are not immune. Like us, it is typical with doggy years that our canine paw pals can start to lose their keen sense of sight and hearing. But vision & hearing loss is not only common among senior dogs, but often times puppies with hereditary conditions or viral infections may be predisposed to hearing and sight loss even at a very young age.

Besides unconditional love & support, it is important as primary care giver that you learn how to care & communicate with your blind and/or deaf dog. Here are a few steps to make your vision and hearing impaired dog's life much easier and help you transition to be your dogs eyes & ears.

Some tips for working with blind dogs include:

1. Don't do any unnecessary re-decorating or rearranging. Its important that your home be a safe haven and familiar territory. So, try to avoid moving furniture or household belonging in the home or yard. As long, as your dog knows what to expect at every turn or maneuver inside and outside the home they won't have a huge problem with mobility.

2. Doggy Proof your home to prevent injuries. Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent the dog from trying to use the stairs without supervision.

3. Don't play Hide & Seek with food and water bowl. Dogs love routine, so always keep water and food dishes in the same location.

4. Leash them up. Always keep the dog on a leash when outside of familiar settings. Just because your dog has an vision impairment does not mean the urge to chase is gone. Blind dogs may still try to chase other animals that they can smell, which can be dangerous & deadly if they venture into roads & on coming traffic.

5. Let them sniff first & hear your sweet voice. With a loss of sight, hearing & sense of smell is heightened and this will be how your blind dog will relate to the world. Allow a blind dog to hear and smell you before you pet them. They may naturally be more startled if someone simply touches them, so try to give the dog enough time to be aware of your presence before petting. Talk to the dog as you approach to help them understand that you are there.

6. Be slow to punish & anger but quick to be patient & loving. Never punish a blind dog for accidents in the house. He or she may have become disoriented looking for the doggy door or may simply be aging and loosing control of his or her bladder or bowels. Doggy diapers or more frequent trips out to the yard are usually all that is required.

7. Help build their confidence. Although your dog has a physical handicap does not mean that he or she is incapable of living a normal life. Treat your dog as normal as possible. Building their confidence is key and ensure him or her of your unconditional love and that they can still do things. It is important that your blind dog knows that he or she is the same dog in your eyes, even with their vision impairment. For a blind pup it can be the basis for what type of personality they will developed.

8. The Little Engine that Could. Coax, encourage and praise them to do the same things they did before. However, understand and still praise them if they "can't".

9. Mark their territory with scents. Be creative with different safe scents to mark areas for your blind pup so they can distinguish between different rooms in in the home. Use all natural flavored extracts, hanging a car air freshener or potpourri sachet on a door.

10. Use textured materials to guide the way. Throw rugs, decorative pillows, indoor/outdoor carpeting, wind chimes, cedar chips, decorative bricks or blocks can help guide them along their way inside and outside.

11. Purchase a tabletop fountain to quench your dog's thirst. A tabletop fountain is a great alternative to a water bowl, if your thirsty blind pup is having a hard time finding his way. The sound of running water helps to orient, find his water bowl and know his surroundings.

12. Be a vocal coach. Be very vocal with your dog, this will keep him or her out of harms way.

Working with dogs that are deaf:

1. Safety first, so leash up! Always keep the dog on a leash when outside of a fenced area. Deaf dogs cannot hear your voice, traffic, or any noises to alert them to danger.

***Go the extra mile with your dogs collar and consider engraving “I’m deaf” on your dog’s tag so that other dog walkers & pedestrians will know his or her special needs. This is will also help passer-byers if your dog becomes lost & disoriented.

2. Learn canine sign language. Start adapting & pairing hand signs, with facial expressions & voice commands as soon as hearing loss is noted. Basic hand signs for sit, come and down are usually all that is required. Sit can be a stop motion of the palm at the chest, down can be a downward motion of the hand from the chest to the waist and come can be a sideways arching motion from straight out in towards the chest.

3. Let your dog greet you first before petting. Always be sure a deaf dog can see and smell you before you pet it to prevent it from snapping or startling from you.

**Alert friends, family, newcomers, and any strangers you might encounter on walks who want to pet your dog, that he is deaf and to approach him from UNDER his chin palm up and let him smell their hand first.

4. Alert Neighbors of dogs impairment. Be sure your neighbors know your dog is deaf; tell them you never let him out alone. If they spot your dog wandering unattended, instruct them how to react (phone you, approach the dog and so on).

5. Fence in your yard. Invite friendly canine playmates over to socialize, rather than letting your dog off-leash at a park.

6. Teach young children a hand signal for greeting the dog. Although the dog might not need such a formal salutation, teaching kids to pause and sign, “Hello,____!” will result in a gentler approach by both parties.

7. Provide a doggy safe haven out of foot traffic. Set up food, bedding & water stations outside of family traffic patterns.

8. Develop a “visible doorbell”. This will inform your dog that guests are about to enter the house: flash a hall light or stomp your feet before you open the door.

9. Get their attention. Use a small key chain flashlight to catch get his attention through eyesight, stomp on the floor with your foot to create a vibration, or wave your arms in front of him for movement. Light, vibration, and movement is what your deaf dog will respond to.

10. Don't startle. You should never surprise a dog, even if his hearing is perfect. If your deaf dog is catching up on her beauty sleep, but needs to be awaken & your attention touch her gently on the shoulder or back. Use the same spot every time. Gently touch with your hand, but never pat her on the head because this might be interpreted as threatening.

11. Be a gentle giant! Be gentle and VERY patient with your deaf dog. During the training process praise, reward with treats & positive reinforcement. Remember your deaf dog can still see the expression on your face so smile when you are pleased with him.

Blindness & deafness doesn't have to mean that life is over for your dog. With a few simple life changes and adjustments your dog can live a productive, active, healthy and happy life.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Introducing a New Dog into the Household: How to Tips on Aquainting Your Resident Dog With a New Dog

Households can get tricky when you add another dog, a forever house-guest to the equation. Especially when you already have a family dog defending their territory and vying for dominance & hierarchy as top dog in the furry pack. Our friends at the Humane Society have some simple new dog introduction techniques to make your new dogs transition into the household and pack easier for the entire family and resident dog. These tips will help to keep the peace and prevent squabbles among your furry family members.

But before we get started with reviewing these helpful techniques. It is important that you first establish the pack leader position and mentality. Since dogs have a tendency to want to assume the lead of the pack. With those adorable not so innocent eyes they prey on our weakness, so take charge and stand firm. In the wild, the Alpha, or the leader of the pack is strong, stable, well adjusted, and confident. They make all necessary decisions for the rest of the pack. Seeing as they are no longer in the wild ( backyard does not count) it is crucial that you assume that role.

Dogs yearn to be part of a pack and want to be lead. This all starts by understanding your role as pack leader, which is to discipline & correct in love. Setting limitations, boundaries and letting your dogs know whose boss is vital to your dogs health and well being and the key to raising well adjusted pups. But don't forget that your role is to reward your dogs with praise, belly rubs & treats when they follow the rules.

Now on to the topic of the to introduce a new dog into the household when you already have a dog.

1. Choose a Neutral Location: Introduce the dogs in a neutral location so that your resident dog is less likely to view the newcomer as a territorial intruder. Each dog should be handled by a separate person. With both dogs on a leash, take them to an area with which neither is familiar, such as a park or a neighbor’s yard. If you frequently walk your resident dog in a park near your house, she may view that park as her territory, so choose another site that’s unfamiliar to her. We recommend bringing your resident dog with you to the shelter and introducing the dogs before adopting the new dog.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement: From the first meeting, you want both dogs to expect "good things" to happen when they’re in each other's presence. Let them sniff each other, which is normal canine greeting behavior. As they do, talk to them in a happy, friendly tone of voice - never use a threatening tone of voice. Don’t allow them to investigate and sniff each other for a prolonged time, as this may escalate to an aggressive response. After a short time, get both dogs' attention, and give each dog a treat in return for obeying a simple command, such as "sit" or “stay.” Take the dogs for a walk and let them sniff and investigate each other at intervals. Continue with the "happy talk," food rewards and simple commands.

3. Be Aware of Body Postures: One body posture that indicates things are going well is a “playbow.”One dog will crouch with her front legs on the ground and her hind end in the air. This is an invitation to play that usually elicits friendly behavior from the other dog. Watch carefully for body postures that indicate an aggressive response, including hair standing up on the other dog's back, teeth-baring, deep growls, a stiff legged gait or a prolonged stare. If you see such postures, interrupt the interaction immediately by calmly and positively getting each dog interested in something else. For example, both handlers can call their dogs to them, have them sit or lie down and reward each with a treat. The dogs will become interested in the treats which will prevent the situation from escalating into aggression. Try letting the dogs interact again, but this time for a shorter time period and/or at a greater distance from each other.

4. Taking the Dogs Home: When the dogs seem to be tolerating each other's presence without fearful or aggressive responses, and the investigative greeting behaviors have tapered off, you can take them home. Whether you choose to take them in the same, or different vehicles, will depend on their size, how well they ride in the car, how trouble-free the initial introduction has been and how many dogs are involved.

If you have more than one resident dog in your household, it may be best to introduce the resident dogs to the new dog one at a time. Two or more resident dogs may have a tendency to "gang up" on the newcomer.

When to seek help?

If the introductions don't go smoothly, contact a professional animal behaviorist immediately. Dogs can be severely injured in fights, and the longer the problem continues, the harder it can be to resolve. Punishment won't work, and could make things worse. Fortunately, most conflicts between dogs in the same family can be resolved with professional guidance.

Here is some more food for thought!

Remember to stay calm during the new pups introduction. Dogs can sense and pick up on your nervousness and uneasiness, making the situation more awkward.

Another great trick is to use a Crate at home. At home, you can put the new dog into a crate and allow your current dog to sniff it. If your current dog shows signs of growling or other aggressive moves you need to step in as their leader and let them know it is not acceptable. To do this, have your current dog on leash with the leash dragging so that you may step in and get a hold of the leash to correct your dog for exhibiting signs of aggression. When the dogs are able to turn their attention off of each other and relax you may be able to introduce them in person without the crate.

Never pat a dog showing signs of aggression. If a dog is showing signs of aggression; growling, barking, etc don't be quick to pet to calm them. Doing so only encourages this aggressive behavior. Only pet or show praise towards your dog when they are calm, obedient and on best doggy behavior.

If you are struggling with introducing dogs to each other, and nothing seems to work don't get discouraged. Its important to realize that bond & friendship will grow in time, so be patient and give your dogs time to adjust to one another. Every situation is different. Don’t rush it. If you have a concern about your dogs initial meet and sniff perhaps consider muzzling your dogs to be safer. Keep your eyes alert, always observing your dogs interactions with each other. If your dogs are doing well together continue to observe for a period of time before leaving them alone.

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Avoid the Moving Blues: Tips for Calming an Anxious Pet

Pet anxiety can occur with a new move, changes in the household, stressors or traumatic events. Unfamiliar situations or disruptions in your pet's daily routine can cause your pet to feel uneasy, frightened, restless, whiny, finicky and squirmy.

Some pets may even cope by displaying destructive behavior such as chewing furniture, persistent barking or relieving themselves indoors on your beautiful hard wood floors. But don't worry we have some tips that will help calm your anxious pet naturally.

1. Turn your frown upside down. Although moving can be a stressful situation for you, imagine what your pet must be going through. Avoid showing stress around your pet. Pets have heightened senses and can infact sense when you are stressed out which can impact their well-being. Remember to stay calm, keep your pets daily routine, use your soothing voice and provide lots of cuddle time.

2. Reward your pet for good behavior. When your pet exhibits calm behavior in the place of anxiety, reward her. Give your pet treats or bully sticks to reinforce positive behavior.

3. Did you say fetch? Keep your pet busy with stimulating interactive toys as a distraction. Give your pet something to play with, such as a chew toy, bone or ball. If your pet is occupied, he is less likely to become anxious and go chew crazy.

4. Turn on the soothing tunes! Play soft music or leave a radio or TV on in the background.

5. Keep the routine consistent. As you settle into your new home try to keep the routine as regular as possible. Keep feeding, play time, walks, etc. at the same or similar times. Stick to your previous schedule as closely as you can. This will help keep your pet calm and help him to adapt more easily. Any break in routine can cause anxiety in your pet so being consistent in routine can help to keep your pet calm and content.

6. Give pet time to adapt. You may find that when you and your pet arrive at your new home he or she may go in hiding. Don't worry, just give your pet time & space to sniff, explore and adjust to the new surroundings. You will see your pet come out of hiding and finally become accustom to the new digs.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

The Moving Blues: Tips on How to Help Your Pet Adjust to a Move

If you haven't already realized pets are creatures of habit and love daily routines & stability. Often times moving to a new home or new situations can be stressful for anyone. We all know what its like to have the moving blues when rooms are filled with boxes upon boxes.

But moving with your beloved pet, although a joyous occasion and exciting adventure, can be a challenge. Like humans, packing, unpacking and the unfamiliar can be quite frightening and stressful for pets. Here are a few simple tips to help minimize your pets anxiety, acclimate them quickly and keep them safe during a move.

1. Microchips- Make sure you update your dogs or cats microchip contact information. You never know when your pet will get the itch to wander & sight see around the new neighborhood and get lost in transit.

2. Refuge- When packing and unpacking create a safe haven refuge area for your dog or cat to relax and de-stress. Setting the mood with soothing music will keep your pet calm amidst the constant moving commotion.

3. Welcome- Get out the welcome mat immediately. Pets feel safe when they are around the familiar. Unpack their bed, bowls, treats & toys so your pet feels right at home.

4. Explore- Pets are inquisitive and love to explore & sniff their surroundings. Spend sometime walking your dog through the neighborhood and home so he or she can identify the new smells of their new home sweet home.

5. Be prepared- Make sure you know where the nearest vet hospital is for emergency situations, expect the unexpected.

6. Set up home- If possible move your pet into your new home already arranged and unpacked, since chaos & clutter can cause any pet to go barking mad. Familiar furniture will make you, your pet and home fill more settled and lived in.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Healthy Eco Friendly Lawn & Garden Care Pet Safety Tips

Our pets are like our children and we want to keep them safe. Although stubborn, mischievous, rough around the edges and inquisitive life would be boring without them. We would be the first to admit that sometimes it can be hard to live with them, especially when your dog has raided the garbage and turned your home into a frat house. But truth be told you surely can't imagine your life without them. There is so much joy that comes with pet ownership.

Like parents, it is a pet owners responsibility to lovingly care for our pets. During the summer months we need to take extra precaution to protect them from fleas, heatstroke and indoor & outdoor household hazards. So with summer forging ahead some of you are battling those weeds, pesky bugs and neighbors with the perfect the manicured lawn for the coveted bragging rights for best lawn. While you are partaking in this summers lawn care & garden wars remember safety first. Keep your pets safety in mind when you are gardening, landscaping and shopping at your local lawn care store. If you are an avid gardener, landscaper or lawn mower here are some
healthy & eco-friendly lawn care and gardening pet safety tips to consider.

1. Grass is Greener, but is it Safe-
Just like you, our plants need food & nutrients to live & grow. Although your neighbors lawn may be greener, the question is… is it safer? Certain fertilizers can pose as a threat to your pets digestive tracts, health and cause death. So fight the yard & lawn wars the all natural & eco-friendly way by using your lemons, egg shells, and banana as the secret ingredient to your fertilizer. You neighbor who wins lawn of the year every year won't know what hit him and will be asking whats your secret. Not only are you doing your part for Mother earth, composting your kitchen or yard waste (not dog poo!) will reduce your cost and need for chemical fertilizers. Homemade fertilizer is a great way to give your lawn & garden the essential nutrients that your plant and grass are shouting for.

2. Alternatives to Pesticides- It is common nature to reach for a chemical pesticide when you are faced with lawn or garden pest infestation. But do keep in mind that a lot of these harsh chemical have a big warning sign on the bottle aren't meant for human consumption, but also for four legged companions as well. Our pets who love to roam, explore and taste the world with their mouths. Using toxic pesticides & herbicides will expose them to these harsh chemicals with the likelihood of your pet consuming the plants sprayed with these toxic chemicals. Worse yet is that many of these pesticides are designed to stay in the environment weeks after application. So while your pet is rolling joyfully in the grass, munching on grass, and playing a game of fetch they are exposed to these toxins & put at risk for weeks. Did you know that last year the ASPCA received more then 2,000 calls related to fertilizer exposure.

Fortunately there is a solution & safer alternative for the average avid gardener, you can have the best of both worlds. You can rid your life of those garden & lawn pest and protect your pet. If you are having a problem with aphids, spider mites or insects they can be eliminated or reduced with a simple spray of water. Place your nozzle on the appropriate setting so your plants don’t wash away with those pesky insects. Or fill your watering can and shower away. It may take a few sprays or soaks but the infestation should clear up in days. Just make sure your hose & nozzle is turned off after use to conserve water.

Another great alternative is soap & water, amazing huh! If your insects are like the Terminator and won’t get the hint, you can add a teaspoon of dish soap to a gallon of water. Pick you weapon of choice and opt to reduce, reuse & recycle an old spray bottle. Just make sure the spray bottle you use has been properly cleaned so you are not tainting your solution. The soap acts as an irritant to insects and breaks down their exo-skeleton giving you the victory and joy of saying those famous words “Asta la Vista Baby”.

Lawn Care Food for thought! Read labels when choosing commercial lawn care products, fertilizers or insect sprays. Don't forget to go the all natural route that is both safe for pets, good for your plants and safe for earth.

3. Death by Chocolate Mulch-Many gardeners use cocoa bean shells to landscape their yards & gardens. But remember cocoa beans are a by-product of chocolate which is toxic to pets. Sure “Death by Chocolate” is a fun name for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but when it comes to pets this saying can be taken literal. Dogs are not ones to have discriminating taste or be finicky eaters, they will tend to eat anything & everything in front of their noses. For a dog if it smells good, and taste good then it must be good for them, a misconception that dogs just don't understand.

But who can’t resist the sweet smell of chocolate, well like many humans, dogs don’t have the will power. Dogs let their snouts and tummies do the talking for them. Ingestion of cocoa mulch can cause some serious health problems from vomiting, diarrhea, tummy aches, muscle tremors, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and seizures. Instead go with a less toxic alternative like shredded pine, ceder or hemlock bark. But remember the true key to pet safety is supervision, so keep an eye on your pet when they are outside. Because hey, you don't want your dog digging up your prized flower bed.

As my friends would say at the ASPCA or Pet Poison Helpline when in doubt call for help for a peace of mind!

Long live the lawn & garden wars! May the healthiest lawn or garden triumph.

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