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Happy Dog, Happy Planet

New Baby in the House

Hello friends!!! Sorry I have been MIA for a bit. My sister had a beautiful baby boy that has been distracting me:).  Good news is that is gave me the topic for this blog!

My sister has a red nose pitbul that we all love!! He is sweet and cuddly. However, he had never been exposed to a baby before and we had no idea how he would react. The day they come home from the hospital they did the right thing by allowing someone to go in first to get all of his excitement and energy out. Next step was to leash him for the entrance of baby. Like any dog Max was curious about the tiny human; but he was also excited to see his parents that had been gone for a few days.

As soon as baby stated to cry we noticed Max getting very concerned and was whining like we have never heard. My sister had the baby and Max was determined to uncover what that sound was.  He was very agitated and worried. Max has not shown signs of aggression before but he is still having a hard time adapting to the new noises. My sister’s family is doing their best to keep Max calm but separated from the baby at the moment while he adjusts to the new sounds that are in the house!

I have learned a lot while researching the experiences we are going through. Prior to coming home insure that your dog listens well and only enters the nursery when you tell him it is OK; otherwise it is off limits. When you arrive have someone go in first to allow your pup to welcome you back home and then leash your dog; this allows you more control in case he gets concerned, fearful or agitated. It may seem natural to put your dog up while baby is up and bring him out when baby is asleep. In fact, doing the opposite will be more effective. Teach your dog that when baby is awake he will receive a lot of love and affection. When baby is asleep he will realize it’s not as fun without baby and it will help them bond. During these first few weeks make sure to have lots of treats handy!! When your dog is showing signs of calmness around baby always reward him. When baby cries and he becomes concerned give him treats. This will teach him that the noises aren’t bad but actually good!!! NEVER force your dog to closely interact with baby. Only encourage interaction when your dog makes the first move. When this happens allow your dog to sniff babies feet!!

It may seem overwhelming to have your dog around while taking care if your baby. Give your dog new toys during this time to help him focus on other things so he is not alerted constantly while the baby is around. It might also be beneficial to feed your dog when it’s baby feeding time. This may seem like a lot of food, and it could be, so only put a little bit in the bowl!! Your dog will calm down but it will take some work!!

Most important is important to know your dog and be able to pick up their signs of distress.  A distressed dog can  be unpredictable so pay attention to both your dog and the baby.

What experience have you had with this?

Thu, July 17 2014 » Blog, Care, Fears » No Comments

Keeping Puppy Warm!

Happy winter months doggy parents!! Are you still in snow and ice?  So much of the country is and more may be coming!

Are you cold this time of year? Odds are your furry friend is struggling as well. Even if your dog has very thick fur he can still be in discomfort and danger during these frigid months. If you have strictly an outdoors dog that will not do well inside, prepare a shelter for him. For instance, a doggy home with insulation will help keep your dog warm. Using straw and blankets will keep your dogs shelter warm. Most pet stores also sell heated pads that are great! It may seem natural to place a heat lamp with your dog but this is not only a fire hazard, but can easily burn your furry friend.

During these months your dog will need extra food and water to keep healthy. Pet stores also carry heated bowls to insure your dogs water won’t freeze!

Take caution during this time while walking your dog. Your dogs paw pads are sensitive and will become irritated if too much salt and ice get lodged into his paw. After a walk make sure to rinse your dogs paws with warm water to reduce irritation. If you notice your dog licking his paws during this time odds are he is experiencing dry and cracked paw pads for road salt. To avoid these irritations you can try dog booties and also ointments on his paws before going on walks.

Last but not least, dog jackets! If you need a jacket so does your dog! If it’s sweater weather then he needs a sweater. Not to mention they’re cute :)

Stay warm friends and spring is coming!

Thu, February 20 2014 » Blog, Care, Food & Nutrition, Health, Seasons » No Comments

Pet Safety for the Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s that wonderful time of year again when our homes are decorated and our bellies are full! Unfortunately, this time of year can be very dangerous for our furry family members!

One danger is table scraps!  I am guilty of this, and you may be also. I have such a hard time resisting those puppy eyes, but it is extremely important to watch what is being fed to your dog! So many of these foreign foods can lead to gastrointestinal problems for our furry friends and are unsafe for their digestive tract! Be careful when there are children in the house because they are unaware of what is safe and unsafe for dogs to eat. They mean well but don’t know any better. You can help them by making them aware that giving the dog any human food can hurt the dog.

Another pet hazard this time of year—can you guess,? Decorations!! Dogs are curious creatures and want to explore all the shiny new things in their home. Ornaments are made of plastic and glass and dogs can confuse them for toys and chew on them. So, be cautious of the low hanging ornaments. Trees can be extremely unstable and can easily fall on your animal if they are playing and rough housing around it. If you have multiple dogs who play actively put your tree in a safe place or put a gate up around it; they make cute ones these days;). If you only have one dog just make sure you are aware of your dogs whereabouts and that’s he’s not exploring the tree.

Christmas lights are also a huge hazard! They are beautiful, yes, but sometimes you have to extend the lights cords to reach an outlet. This draws attention for your dog and if he’s a chewer, (Teddy is big time), your dog can get electrocuted. Be cautious about where you are plugging in lights inside and hide them as much as possible to decrease visibility and curiosity!!

During this time of year your home tends to be much busy with guests. If your dog gets anxiety with people around make sure to take that into consideration. Make a safe spot for your dog in another area with toys, bed, food, and water to give him comfort while guests are over (we do this with Jasmine many times). I also suggest turning on the TV or stereo to drown out the noise going on in the other rooms. If your dog does well with guests in the house that’s great! More than likely he’ll be the hit of the party, (Teddy always is). Just make sure your guests don’t leave doors open after drinking too much eggnog. This could lead to a bad night searching for your dog.

The holidays are always a great time with friends and family, which your dog is a part of! A little awareness and planning can insure that a good, safe time is had by all!

Have a very Merry and safe Christmas everyone!

Wed, December 18 2013 » Blog, Holiday, Seasons » No Comments

Natural Disasters and Pet Prep

Some of us have experienced it first hand. Some have watched it on the news.For some of us we have read it in books. What are we referring to? We are talking about natural disasters!

There are so many shows on TV  that show you how to prepare for these natural disasters. As helpful as these shows may be, I have noticed they don’t cover the topic of your dog. Our dogs are used to us providing for them and will continue to do so after a natural disaster. It will be up to us to keep our furry friend safe and healthy. The first step to prepare is to always have a collar & tags on your dog and/or a chip! This will help identify your dog if he or she is lost and these items will be able to identify whether your dog is up to date on vaccinations.

Make an emergency supply kit for your dog. Supplies should include:

  • Good, current photo ID of your dog
  • First aid supplies
  • 3-day supply dog food in a waterproof container (be sure to replace food supply to assure it’s fresh)
  • Bottled water
  • 2 bowls for pet food and water
  • Safety harness and/or leash
  • Waste clean-up supplies
  • Medications and medical records (vaccination records)
  • Contact list / information of veterinarian and pet care organizations
  • Contact information for you (name, phone, address)

It would be a good idea to keep this supply kit in a convenient location such as a closet by the front door. There are options out there such as pet rescue decals you can put on your front door for first responders to see so they are aware if any pets to search for. It is always a good idea to know where your animal hides when frightened so you can search for him quickly or direct someone else to him quickly to increase the chance of survival. Last, but certainly not least, do your research at hotels and shelters in your surrounding area just in case you need to evacuate your home. Not every hotel and shelter accepts animals so you will need to know which ones accept animals so you know without a doubt where to go! Natural disasters can happen at anytime and our furry friends are part of our families and must be taken care of as well. Better to be over prepared than under prepared!

Have you ever had to leave in an emergency?  How did you handle your pet?

Mon, September 30 2013 » Blog, Health, Rescue, Travel » No Comments

Let’s Go to the Dog Park!

Tis the season for the dog park! Although we might believe this is an easy, breezy activity, it is also very important that you practice proper dog park etiquette.

To start, it’s important to take your dogs temperament into consideration. You know your dog better than anyone so make sure they are having a good time and not becoming aggressive or feeling fearful. There are many do’s and don’ts.  Take these into consideration:

Don’t:
Take a dog under 4 months old
Let your dog off their leash unless you are confident in their obedience to your verbal commands
Let your dog bully another dog
Stay on your cell phone, it’s important to have full attention on your dog at all times
Bring or use treats and toys when other dogs are near
Being your dog to a park if they are uncomfortable

Do:
Make sure your dog is current on vaccines
Clean up after your dog
Supervise any play time with another dog
Know when to interfere when dogs seem to be getting aggressive or uncomfortable
Be willing to leave the park if your dog is no longer having fun or being bullied

Going to the park is a super fun activity! However, there are many factors to take into consideration before going and while there. You always wants to make sure your furry friend is safe and having a good time! Don’t forget water!:)

Fri, September 6 2013 » Blog, Care, Just for Fun, Travel » No Comments

Tail Gating with Your Dog

In light of the upcoming football season I thought it would be important to discuss safe ways to take your furry friend to tail gate parties!
First, it is important to make sure the location is pet friendly. Whether it is at a friend’s house, public park or a stadium, it is always important to double check to make sure it is okay to bring your pet.
Another extremely important “to-do” is to bring dog safe foods. Odds are your dog is going to be eating some human food at a tail gate party, so make sure  you bring pet friendly people food such as lean meats, carrots, watermelon etc.. It would also be a good idea to bring your dogs regular food since tailgating is normally an all day activity!
Just like humans, dogs need shade and plenty of water on these hot days. Bring a portable dog dish like the one from DoggieBaby.com.
Remember,  you are packing for the day. Odds are there will be activities going on all around you such as frisbee and tossing footballs. Bring toys for your dog to keep him occupied. Although you want to have fun with your dog on these extremely fun days, don’t forget to keep your dog on a leash. You never know what will startle your dog since there is a lot going on!
Make sure to always clean up after your dog. No one wants to ruin their game day shoes =)
Speaking of cleaning up, keep your tailgate area clean so your animal does not eat anything unsafe. You don’t want your dog to end up choking or getting very sick. This last point is something I had not thought about until recently. Have you ever heard of a doggie first aid kit!?!?! It is always a good idea to be prepared for anything that might end up hurting your animal. Here is a list of what to put in a doggie first aid kit:
  • gauze
  • bandages
  • sting ointment
  • any medication your dog is taking
  • towels
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • eye dropper
  • muzzle
  • vets phone number
I don’t know about you but I will be putting together a first aid kit for my dog!! This may seem like a lot of information but it will be worth it for you and your furry friend to enjoy game day!! Happy football season everyone and stay safe!!

Tue, September 3 2013 » Blog, Care, Food & Nutrition, Health, Just for Fun, Seasons, Travel » No Comments

Doggie Acne

Do you remember the dreaded teenage years filled with acne? Unfortunately, our animals can also experience this. I noticed bumps on Teddy’s chin just three weeks ago. I became very concerned and did a little research to figure out what it could be. Turns out dogs can get acne!!!! Poor thing.  It appears that a lot of short haired breeds are known to get acne such as Boxers, Bulldogs, and Rottweilers. It us very common in the chin area and is extremely sensitive. It is important to see a vet just so he can rule out other diseases that can be mistaken for acne. These diseases include Demodicosis, Ringworm, and puppy strangles. Your vet will most like prescribe a benzoyl peroxide to apply to the area. If the acne is on your dogs face make sure it is a low dose since those areas are so sensitive. During this time you might want to limit your dogs activities and remember this is only temporary and will heal!

Wed, August 14 2013 » Blog, Care, Health » No Comments

Assistant Dogs

How many of us get so excited when spotting a seeing eye dog?  I know I am amazed seeing these fabulous dogs that assist their owners with their life.  They make if possible for those that may not experience independence to experience it!

I cannot help but pet and love on a dog when I see one. Unfortunately, this is not appropriate to do with an assistant dog. When the dog has its vest on that means they are working and don’t need any distractions. When you notice these dogs working you are not supposed to give the dog any attention because this could distract the dog from the very important job at hand.

It is also important to know how you should best react if you yourself are with someone that has a seeing eye dog or other assistant dog. Be sure to stand just slightly behind the human’s left shoulder and never stand directly in front of the dog while walking and standing. A seeing eye dog is trained to be in control of the human’s safety. So for example, if you’re walking down the street with a friend that   has an assistant dog, you may be tempted to “interfere” by telling your friend a street or curb is coming up. BUT don’t!  The dog will warn the owner when it is time. And last, but not least, if you are at your friend’s home make sure to ask permission to touch or play with their seeing eye dog; always remember that they have a job to do and you would not want to distract or interfere with that.

Anyone have experience with assistant dogs?

Tue, June 11 2013 » Blog, Health, Training » No Comments

Swollen Lips

Just wanted to talk about a scary experience I had last week with Teddy. I was playing with him and touched his mouth and noticed his lips were extremely swollen and he had scabs all over them and dried blood. As you can imagine I was extremely worried. We assumed he had an allergic reaction to something since everything has changed for him during the move. We watched it carefully and kept cleaning it throughout the weekend hoping it was going to get better and it never did. We even started noticing that it was becoming painful for him. I was a very concerned mommy :(

We took him to the vet the following week and learned that he has a bacterial infection in his mouth. I wasn’t sure how long it had been going on because, like most of us I don’t pay very close attention to his mouth all that often. The vet could not narrow it down to what it could be but it got me thinking. Is it his food? Is it his treats? Is it allergies? Did our cats claw him? There were so many things it could have been but it was hard to narrow down because I wasn’t positive when it started. He got a shot and is on antibiotics and is getting it cleaned everyday.

Thankfully, it is looking much better every day! Just wanted to tell you all this so you could be more aware if something is happening with your dog’s mouth, or any other area. My advice is to check your dog everywhere, especially if there is a new environment, to make sure an infection or allergic reaction doesn’t get too out of control!

Wed, May 29 2013 » Blog, Health » No Comments

Moving to a New House

It has been an eventful two weeks moving into our new home! I have to say I was very nervous as to how Teddy was going to react. So many things are different from where we were living before and all I wanted was for it to be easy on him. We were going from a large home with his best friend dog to an apartment with two cats. Teddy adapted very well. He found his potty spots outside relatively quick, this made me very happy.

The hardest part has been living with two cats. They hate, him poor guy. They mostly hang out upstairs so Teddy will not go up the stairs. If he tries to walk upstairs when they are close they hiss at him and he runs away. I really want them to all be friendly! It only took Teddy one time of being ganged up by the two of them to learn to be gentle and move slowly when approaching the kitties. They are warming up to him which I thought would never have happened.

But even with the cat factor, he seems to really love it here! I have learned a few things during this move. Being your dog’s old stuff to your new house. It carries familiar scents from your old house which will comfort your dog. When you get to your new home and notice your animal is comfortable, give them a new toy. Hopefully your move will go as smoothly as ours did!!

Have any of you moved with a pet?  Easy? Challenging?  What are your tips?

Tue, May 14 2013 » Blog, Care, Fears, Travel » No Comments

Molly Molly
Molly

I am a three year old German Shepherd from South Georgia.  I don’t really have a favorite toy because my favorite things are sleeping and getting petted on the head. Although if I do get up some energy I will admit that I love getting into the trash to look for napkins.

My brother Teddy is lots of fun to play with, plus he usually takes the blame for my chewing.  I really like him for that!  I love to bark a lot; sometimes my humans do not appreciate that so much.  I am SUPER special because I am a white German Shepherd and that is not so common I hear.

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