Friday, December 30, 2011

How to make New Years a happy time for your dog.

The HUGE end-of-year celebration is fast approaching! Did you know it is also one of the most prevalent times of year that result in missing pets, as many pets become frightened and dart out open doors. The onslaught of extra people in the house (or lack thereof, if you're away) can bring on anxiety, as can the noise that sometimes accompanies the festivities. Fireworks and, in some cases gunfire, are unfamiliar and frightening to pets of all species.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, and tips to help keep pets safe, sound and happy:

CLICK HERE to view the rest!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year, Inspire Your Dog!

The beginning of a New Year inspires us to improve ourselves as well as our pets and their relationship with us. If setting BIG training goals for your dog seems overwhelming, here are 10 small things you can do that will help!

To see all 10 tips CLICK HERE or go to

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shelters Overrun With Abandoned "Purse Dogs"

This topic is one that is near and dear to my heart.  Please read Shelters Overrun With Abandoned "Purse Dogs" on my new blog!! I would love to hear feedback as well!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Likely Match!

Check out our post on a likely match by clicking here. This is the link to the new and improved blog! It's a work in progress, but it's getting there!!  =)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 Dog Calenders

Holiday Gifts at

Ever year around this time I look forward to buying a dog calendar! I will be buying a Shih Tzu dog calendar of course, however, offers any calendar you could ever possibly want!
What kind of calendar do you buy every year? CLICK HERE to view all of the awesome deals on calendars that is offering.

Holiday Gifts at

Monday, December 19, 2011

Burly owners of foo-foo dogs, rejoice!

Hi all!  I'm starting to move this blog over to Word Press. I just completed a recent post called Burly Owners of Foo-Foo Dogs, Rejoice! click here to see the whole post!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's NEVER too late to socialize your dog!

Dog not socialized well?  With patience and a little common sense, it’s never too late to have a very friendly, well-socialized dog.

While the window of socialization closes for most puppies by the age of five months, many puppies – and dogs slip through the crack without this experience. Not to worry, all is not necessarily lost. It is still very possible to begin again with an older pooch – it may just take time and patience. Oh yeah, and food treats!

If your dog was not socialized by 5 months of age, start now. Today is the first day of the rest of your dog’s life! Remember the first time your puppy or dog came home and you called him into the kitchen as you unscrewed the lid on the “doggie cookie jar?” The sound had no meaning until your dog connected it to the cookie in the jar. Now every time he hears that lid unscrew, it’s a good thing! Cookies! What if your dog made that same great connection with people he didn’t know? Every time he met someone new he got a bunch of high value cookies? That would be way too cool!

If you have not taught your dog commands, work on sits, and downs so that you can eventually give your dog sits and downs to focus on rather than feeling anxious about the new person. Always work your puppy on leash to control the training environment. Each new person widens his circle of friends. Take your time with your dog and move at his speed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Leibster Award!! YEAH!!!

Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. It was my honour to receive my award from the lovely and talented Nicole who has created PAWFECT FRIENDS! She blogs about her love of dogs and has done a fantastic job! You really should check out her blog! =)  I really need to thank her for giving me the Liebster Blog Award. So I must continue the trend and send to 5 other blogs!

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Thank the giver and link back to them.
2. Reveal your top five picks {with less than 200 readers} and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers and keep it going!
It is hard to just pick five!  I’m sure there are plenty more that deserve an award as well! So, here it goes...

1. Nicole and Gwedolyn

2. Life with Dogs

3. Animals Animals Animals in my life

4. Little dogs on long leashes

5. You did what with your weiner?

This was certainly not an easy task picking only 5 blogs! So what are you waiting for it's your turn to give the Liebster Award to your top 5!!  =)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dog Ear Infections

If your doggy is suffering from an ear infection or you suspect that he is you’ll want to learn all you can about them.  These dog ear infections are also called Otitis Externa.  This is basically when the outer ear canal gets infected.
 It’s important to learn about the structure of the ear in order to understand infection.  The three parts to the ear are the outer, middle, and inner ear.  These infections actually occur in the outer ear, which is the pat of the ear you can actually see.

 It is this structure that makes dogs prone to getting ear infections.  The way the different parts of the ear are laid out makes it hard for the ear to drain.  That means that water and other debris can become trapped inside.

 If you’re not sure if your dog has an ear infection it’s important to learn the signs.  Many dogs that are infected will shake their head often, their ears will drain with a yellowish-brown fluid, and the ear gunk might smell a bit like yeast.  There may also be some redness and swelling around the area depending on how bad off the infection is.

 There are many reasons these infections occur.  One of the most prevalent is because of allergies.  Some dogs are more apt to get allergies than other dogs, which can cause a chain reaction of more ear infections.

 If your dog swims that might be another reason they’ll develop ear infections.  The ear anatomy makes it hard for water to drain out so yeast and bacteria multiply in the area.  You can try and dry the area as thoroughly as possible in order to prevent the problem.

 After your dog has been diagnosed with having an ear infection you’ll want to take steps to get rid of it.  The first thing you need to do is clean your pup’s ears.  Try putting a few drops of ear cleaner in their ear and massage the area.  This will loosen anything that might be stuck in there.  Be sure to wipe away the dirt afterwards.

 When you’re sure the ear is very clean you can put the medication in your dog’s ear.  Be very careful to follow all directions from your vet so you can be sure the treatment will work.  Your vet will usually specify to put a few drops of medication into each ear.

 Now, not every dog with an ear infection receives the same treatment.  If it is more of a yeast problem your dog will most likely receive an anti-fungal medication.  If it is more of a bacterial infection your dog will get an anti-bacterial.  Also, if your dog’s symptoms are very bad they might not get drops at all, but rather a systemic treatment where your dog takes oral medication.

 In addition to medication your vet might also cut the hair down around the ear. That will increase the airflow that the ear receives and speed up the healing time.  If things do not clear up your dog might require surgery to reconstruct the ear canal for better drainage.

 Once you know what to look out for you can do a lot to prevent ear infections in your dog.  If your dog happens to get one, you can rest assured knowing there is treatment available and that you’ve done your job as a pet owner to learn all about it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seven Steps to a Great Dog Life!

The responsibility that comes with having a pet is not to be taken lightly. It is up to you to make sure that your pet's needs are met and that you have done everything in your power to make your pet's life a happy one.

Here are seven easy things you can do to make sure that your pet has the best life possible:

1. Make sure your pet has it's ID tag. The ID tag tells where your pet lives and of any medical conditions your pet may have. If your pet wanders off, it may be the only thing standing between your pet and the pound!

2. Prevent behavioral problems by enrolling your pet in a behavior training class before it acquires any bad habits. This tip will make both you and your pet happier for the entire lifetime you are together!

3. Get your pet a check up from a vet at least once a year. Some behavior problems can be health related and taking your pet to the vet on a regular basis will help you with tip # 2.

4. Prepare for disasters. Your pet cannot read the escape plan you have made for your family in case of a flood, fire, or other disaster! Make sure your escape plans include someone in your family having the job of securing or gathering up and removing your pet(s) from your home and taking them to a safe place.

5. Plan for the future. Who will take care of your pet if something happens to you? Make sure you have a "godparent" for all of your pets. This includes short term care as well if you are in the hospital, incapacitated, or out of town.

6. Learn to avoid dog bites by training your dog and your family. This is especially important for children. Every year 4.7 million children are bitten by dogs. 80% are by dogs they know and have been in daily contact with! See for more information and how to videos. (The site is part of The Humane Society web site.)

7. And last but not least - Have a heart - Be smart - and have your pet neutered or spayed as soon as they are old enough. If you can't afford to have your pet spayed or neutered go to these two web sites to see their requirements for getting a voucher to pay to have the procedure done. or Both sites will help you pay for the vet bill to get your pet spayed or neutered.

There you have it!

Seven simple steps to keep you and your pets happy for a long, long time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Danger of Dog Ticks

People have always known that ticks can carry various forms of disease. But now due to a number of conditions, their numbers are increasing across the United States.

Numerous experts have recently been warning that due to certain changes the numbers of ticks are increasing and their chances to infect your dog with disease is also increasing.

Urbanization of the woods and farmland is probably the most common factor that causes dogs to become exposed to ticks. Other causes cited by experts include a warming climate. In the past diseases that ticks carried would often show seasonality. But due to a warming climate some ticks are active all year long, and hence the diseases they carry are seen all year long.

Also the migrating patterns of birds are changing as well due to climate changes, and due to sub-urbanization more people are enjoying outdoor activities with their dogs leading to increased exposure to ticks.

Ticks have been implemented in carrying dozens of diseases. The most common ones known to dog owners are Lyme's disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Canine Ehrliciosis.  

For an adult tick the preferred animal to get a blood meal from is a large animal, preferably a deer. Deer are one of the main causes of a thriving tick population. If we didn't have deer we wouldn't have as big of a problem with ticks as we do.

Deer were heading towards extinction in the early part of the last century, but due to restrictions on hunting their numbers are increasing, hence we have an increase in the number of ticks.

Due to this increasing problem with ticks and disease most veterinarians are now recommending year around tick protection for dogs. Most common heartworm medications also prevent fleas and ticks so chances are your dog may already be protected against ticks but you should check with your veterinarian to be sure.
Ticks are continually increasing in numbers so it is important to keep your dog protected. Always be sure to check yourself, and your dogs for ticks after going in an area known to be populated with ticks.

Monday, December 5, 2011

10 Things You Should Never Give Your Dog

It can be fun to figure out what your dog’s next treat should be.  You might also be tempted to slip Fido some scraps from the dinner table.  Before you start doing anything like that you should know that there are certain foods you should never feed to your dog.

  1. Chocolate is widely known as a food you should keep away from your dog.  It can speed up their heartbeat and lead to a heart attack and seizures.  In addition to that chocolate can also cause increased urination as well as vomiting and diarrhea.  As soon as you realize that your dog has gotten a hold of the chocolate you need to take it to the animal emergency center.

  1. Grapes and raisins simply do not agree with a dog’s digestive system.  There is no exact measurement of how much they can handle so it’s best to keep all grapes and raisins away.  If not you might find increased urination, vomiting, and diarrhea.

  1. Onions are another food that can wreak havoc.  They can break down a dog’s red blood cells and drastically decrease the oxygen that gets to its blood.  While the problems might not show up right away it can accumulate over time.  Keep an eye out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and a general malaise.

  1. Macadamia nuts are another no-no.  There is something in the nuts that can cause fever, heart problems, seizures or even paralyze your pet.

  1. Please never feed your dog Alcohol.  Their bodies just cannot handle it and it can give them alcohol poisoning very easily and lead to death.

  1. Bread dough is another food to avoid.  This is very soft and might cause the dog to think that it can just swallow the dough whole.  The dough can then rise in your pup’ stomach and cause bloating and nausea.      

  1. Never feed your dog a caffeinated drink.  This will simulate their system in the wrong way and can have a bad effect.  Your dog’s heart might race which can lead to seizures or heart attacks.

  1. Avocados might be yummy for humans to eat but they are toxins to dogs.  They contain a chemical that can damage many of the body tissues in dogs.  Guacamole dip is a mix you’ll also want to avoid.

  1. Be extremely careful with any food that has a pit.  These pits have cyanide in them, which are dangerous. It might even overtake the bodies of smaller dogs and lead to death.  If the cyanide doesn’t harm your dog, they still might choke on the pit itself.

  1. Do not give your dog raw fish.  When fish is not cooked it can contain parasites.  When a dog swallows these parasites they will attach to the wall of the intestines.  This isn’t something you’ll notice right away either.  It is a tricky thing to catch when your dog has these parasites.  If you must feed fish to your dog you should make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked.

Friday, December 2, 2011

6 Types of Dog Aggression

While we would all like to think we do the best at raising our canine pals, few of us are dog experts. You may inadvertently teach your pup bad habits, or perhaps a family member or roommate’s behavior has. Maybe your dog got an attitude problem because of how owners prior to your treated him. Regardless, aggression is often a problem in untrained dogs and can vary from just an annoyance to downright dangerous. Keep your eye out for these aggressive behaviors in your dog and if you do see them, be sure to correct them or contact a dog behaviorist to help you correct them.

Dominate Aggression

Dominate dogs like to be in charge. Perhaps they were not required to work for anything for their owners, but for some reason, they have it in their heads that they are in charge. This dog can be seen actively approaching other dogs with powerful body language- tail and head held high. If other dogs submit to his control, there will less than likely be a problem, but if a dog tries to stand up to him, watch out. This dog can be very dangerous and can often be seen causing fights in local dog parks.

Nervous Aggression
This dog is often afraid. Afraid of loud noises such as phones, doorbells, outside disturbances or other dogs or humans, this dog reacts negatively by barking, snarling, biting, baring its teeth and generally getting upset. This dog may not have been socialized properly at an early age and is often enabled by their coddling owners who are concerned for their scared dog. This dog can be violent if cornered and often responds poorly to anything they feel threatening when they are on a leash or lead. Many owners do not take this sort of aggression seriously, but it should be noted that this is a very serious behavior problem.

Territorial Aggression
A common kind of aggression, this dog is very protective of his space. He feels threatened by any humans or other dogs entering his home, yard, garden or personal space. His desire to keep his space his own may stem from either fear or a need for dominance. This dog can be very dangerous if you cross his boundaries and could easily bite someone for being in his home.
Possessive Aggression
This dog doesn’t know how to share well. This type of aggression in dogs is a need for possession of their things. They react violently if you play with their toys, try to get in their food or water bowl or are getting attention from their owner’s (who they may feel are their possessions). This dog was possibly poorly socialized as a puppy and can be dangerous if you are to get too close to his things.

Predatory Aggression
This type of aggression is triggered by the need to chase or the prey drive. This type of aggression is created in dogs by lack of basic training or socialization. This type of dog becomes aggressive by seeing something small that could be considered prey move quickly in his line of sight. It could be anything from something that could actually be prey such as a squirrel or rabbit to a small dog or even a passing car, bike or skateboard. There are varying degrees of this aggression and you should not be worried if your dog happens to go wild when you encounter a bunny on a walk. If your dog gets overly aggressive when he is set off by his prey drive (snarling, biting, growling), you may want to contact a behaviorist.
Misdirected Aggression
This type of aggression is often seen in dog parks when owners try to break up a fight. When a dog gets into fight mode, he is often so sharply focused on his opponent than any external forces he may consider his combatant as well. This is a tough one, because just about any dog who is in such an intense situation may succumb to misdirected aggression. The best key to avoiding misdirected aggression is to do preventative maintenance. Keep your dog out of fights to begin with. When at the dog park or on a walk, make sure to monitor your dog’s body language including the position of his tail, whether his coat is standing up or not and how he moves. If you do have to break up a dog fight, avoid using your hands or use a large blanket to pull your dog out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stop Your Dog From Jumping!

Having a dog that jumps up on visitors can be embarrassing, frustrating and just a general pain. Many of us don’t realize that we ourselves encourage this behavior.
Think of the last time you came home from work and your excited little dog ran up to you. He probably jumped up on you and you probably cooed and praised him for missing you. It’s a good feeling to get that sort of attention from your animal, but it’s a habit you’ve got to break if you don’t want him doing the same thing to visitors in your home.
Your inclination when you realize what you are doing and that you want to stop it is probably to push your dog off of you the next time he jumps. Wrong. This will only make him see it as a game and will encourage him to jump back up. Shouting doesn’t work either, as it is still attention and attention is exactly what he wants.

What you should be doing, as difficult as it is to do is to ignore your dog the next time he jumps on you. What this means is that the next time he gets up on you, do nothing. Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him. Turn your back to your dog and fold your arms. If he still jumps again, take a step away, and if he tries to come around to face you, turn the other direction.
Do not acknowledge your dog while he is jumping. However, as soon as he gets back on all fours and stops jumping, go down to his level, praise him and give him a treat.

What you are doing is rewarding him for doing what you want him to do (staying down) and giving him nothing that he could construe as a reward when he isn’t doing what you want him to do.
When he comes squirming up to you, he’s looking for attention. What you should be doing is teaching him that four feet on the ground gets him the attention that he wants and two feet does not.
Another thing to bring up is that all visitors to your home should know this trick. It’s really a pain if you do all this work to better your dog’s behavior and then a friend stops by and reverses all of it.
The task may currently seem daunting, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly your puppy catches on that staying on the floor is what will get him what he wants.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pet Tuesday on AMAZON!!

Today on Amazon it is Pet Tuesday!!  That means there will be lightning deals all day on items for your pet family members.  They also have a list of pet holiday gift items if you are having trouble deciding. You know you need at least some stocking stuffers for your pets too!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Maddie's Monday Munchies!: Easy Meat Strip Treat

Easy Meat Strip Treat

This treat has a softer texture to them. If your dog prefers a softer treat or if you wanted to try a softer texture this will work well for you! This is another recipe whose ingredients are commonly found in the home and only take a few minutes to prepare.


* 2 jars of meat baby food (your choice chicken, beef, etc)

*1/4 cup white flour

*1/4 cup whole wheat flour

*1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


Mix all above mentioned ingredients together. Then take the whole batch and set it in the middle of a cookie pan.  With slightly floured hands, press it flat, until it is 1/4 inch thick or the size you prefer. Using a slightly floured butter knife, score it into the size you want. You may choose a bigger size if you have a bigger dog or a smaller size for a smaller dog. Then bake a 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
**Remember to store this meat recipe in the refrigerator!!

My Dog Is Afraid of Loud Noises

Many dogs have a fear of loud noises. Fireworks, vacuum cleaners, storms, blow dryers, trains or lawnmowers can send some dogs cowering in the corner, but why?
 Several reasons could be the culprit to your animal’s anxiety. It could be that your dog experienced something traumatic that happened to him at the same time as the noise, thus he may associate that sound with the traumatic event he experienced.

 Another possible reason is that dogs have much more sensitive ears than humans do. It could very likely be that it is physically painful for your dog to endure these noises and when he hides from them he is really just seeking refuge from the pain.

 It could also be possible that your dog is learning from you that loud noises should be reacted to with fear. Do fireworks bother you as well? Do you get anxious or fearful during thunderstorms? Dogs are very empathetic animals. If you are communicating to him (verbally or non-verbally) that a certain sound is something to be feared, then he may be taking your cue and reacting by being afraid.

The most likely cause for your dog’s fear of loud noises, however, is how you treated him as a puppy. A young puppy is easily frightened by big or intimidating things, noises included. A human reaction to a child being frightened is to coddle it: to hold it or otherwise show affection to assure that things are alright and to comfort it. While this reaction may be appropriate in humans, dogs are pack animals and you are sending the signal that this booming noise is something the pack should huddle together for. Huddling together, in a pack mentality, is something that is done when there is genuinely something to be afraid of. Thus by petting and holding your puppy when you feel it is afraid you are reinforcing his fear and telling him “Yes, this is worthy of your anxiety”.

 Once you have set this precedent in a puppy, you have cemented this anxiety into your adult dog’s mentality. While it sounds bad, there is a way to reverse this.

 Desensitization is an exercise used to make a dog comfortable and unconcerned with these fear triggers. To desensitize your animal to the noises it is afraid of, you need to first get a recording of these noises. Find a recording of fireworks or thunder or trains or make one yourself. Everyday, you should take your dog into a quiet room with the recording and play it, at first at a very low (barely audible) level. Have treats to reward your dog with and pet him and praise him while doing this. Each day, you should slightly increase the volume of the recording that you play while praising and rewarding him. Eventually, you should get to the point where you can play the recording of the startling noise at full volume without your dog being afraid. Your dog will by now associate the noise with calmness, affection and treats and should no longer be concerned with it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

UPDATE! Recall Chicken Jerky Treats

FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products

November 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or go to

WARNING!! Recall on Chicken Jerky Treats!

This was posted on facebook earlier today...

"WARNING!!!!! It was on Fox news earlier that 70 dogs have died as a result of eating chicken jerky treats made from chicken that has come from China. Kingdom Pets brand from Costco is one of them. Also certain Blue Buffalo brand pet foods have a recall for the same thing. Please re post and make sure all your doggie friends are aware of this..... Just passing this on."

I did some research on and can't confirm these allegations.  The details sound suspiciously like the 2007 problems, not any current problems with that brand of chicken jerky, and the only current recall of Blue Buffalo was due to their putting toxic levels of vitamin D in some lines.

Here are my thoughts:  Almost all commercial pet foods and treats use some ingredients from China. Often the food maker doesn't even know because they buy processed products such as potato powder or rice protein powder from the cheapest vendor which may have bought it from another supplier who bought it from China. There is no regulation in tracing these items as long as they are not for human consumption. The only way you can be 100% sure of what goes in to your pets' food is if you make it yourself!! If you are interested in trying to make treats or dog food for your pet check out Maddie's Monday Munchies!!! and Maddie's Monday Munchies! Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits.

Has anyone else seen this post and did you find any truth to it?  Please share your thoughts!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Guide to Service and Assistance Dogs

Dogs are often said to be man’s best friend, and they certainly are, but there are some dogs out there who go above and beyond the call of that loving bond. From police service to personal guides to herding sheep or cattle, service dogs offer a lot to their trainers and masters.

In addition to working for us, there are some particularly trained dogs out there who work with us. Assistance dogs are there to aid those who have some sort of limitation and may not be able to get around without the help of a well trained four-legged friend. Those who are disabled and having an assistance dog will be more than willing to tell you how essential their animal is to their everyday life.

A short list of the different ways assistance dogs can aid the disabled is as follows:

Guide or “Seeing Eye” Dogs:

If you were to ask someone about assistance dogs, this would be the first one that comes to mind. These dogs are specially trained to help those who are visually impaired  function more easily and safely in the everyday world. These dogs help their masters find their way around, get up stairs and cross streets. An indispensable tool to those who need them, they keep their masters safe in situations that could otherwise be dangerous.

Hearing Dogs:

Hearing dogs aid those who are hearing impaired. They are trained to get their owner’s attention when they hear specific noises. When someone comes to the door, calls on the phone, or when they hear a horn (among other sounds), they alert their masters to the sound.


Mobility Assistance Dogs:

For those of us who have a hard time getting around, these animals are trained to pull their wheelchairs, carry small equipment and items in their special doggy service backpacks and other such tasks.

Seizure Response/Alert Dogs:

These dogs are with their master all of the time and constantly on the look out for trouble. In case of cardiac arrest or seizure, they are trained to hit a certain button connected to a special phone line that directly dials 911. The 911 operators recognize that the incoming call is coming from a service dog line and will notify paramedics that there may be an emergency with the registered owner of the service dog.

Psychiatric Service Dogs:

For those with severe mental illness or phobias, these dogs are continually by their side and offer emotional comfort and security to their owners. Service dog owners with autism are helped to stay focused by their psychiatric service dog. This working dog provides a stable and constant relationship for their owners to seek comfort in.

Combination Service Dogs:

For some owners with multiple limitations or disabilities, their service dogs are trained to perform multiple assistance jobs. Their impressive ability to learn to aid their owners with more than one limitation is only surpassed by their consistency in doing their jobs. These dogs become a big necessity to their master’s lives and are widely recognized as very intelligent and very hard working.

The tasks these service animals learn are vital to their owners’ lives, but just as important is the constant companionship and comfort they offer to their masters. They function as helpers, but they are also incredible friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh No! Look What The Dog Did!


If you have a dog then you probably find yourself saying that phrase once in a while.  Dogs tend to have some strange, gross, annoying habits, no matter how much we may love them.  Perhaps they think the same thing about us, but let's look at some of the things they do and see if we can find some solutions.

One of the most common pleasures enjoyed by dogs is raiding the garbage can.  Whether they pull out old coffee grounds, dirty paper towels, or food scraps, the result is usually a mess in your kitchen or yard.  It's not hard to figure out why dogs do this.  As a species they have been surviving not only as hunters but as scavengers for millennia.  Your garbage can (or worse, your neighbor's) is an irresistible target.  When you leave your garbage can at eye level for them in the kitchen it must seem like a gift.
Perhaps your dog was hungry and decided to prowl through the garbage.  More likely, your dog saw an easy opportunity and took advantage of it.  You can solve the problem of trash can raids by sealing anything particularly odiferous in its own container so it will be less likely to attract a dog's attention.  Put bones and other things tempting to dogs in the outdoor trash receptacle.  If the outdoor trashcan also attracts your dog's attention (or the neighbor's dog), consider building a small enclosure around it to keep animals out.  Look for large cans that are unlikely to tip over.  Another kitchen option is to keep trash containers under the sink or other places where your dog can't reach them.  Get cans that latch at the top so your dog can't open them.
You may also wonder why your dog turns up his nose at the lovely food you place before him to go outside and eat grass.  Everything you have ever learned about dogs tells you that they are meat eaters and not herbivores.  They don't normally graze.  So, what's up with that?  The answer is probably in his own stomach.  Something he's eaten may have upset his stomach and he may be seeking out a natural tonic in the form of greens to help his digestion.  Humans, after eating a big meal, may feel like eating a salad.  It's the same with dogs.  This is not usually anything to worry about if it's only something your dog does occasionally.  (The exception would be if your yard has been chemically treated.  In that case you should try to keep your dog from eating the grass.)
Your dog may also eat a little grass to help him vomit up something disagreeable.  This is not unusual but it should be watched.  If your dog continues to try to vomit something for more than a short time you should seek out your veterinarian.
Perhaps these tips will help you the next time you are tempted to ask, “Did you see what the dog did?”  Living with a dog brings lots of pleasure and happiness to our lives.  When we do run into a problem there is almost always a solution.  Hang in there and do a bit of research on some of these issues and you can find a way to overcome even the hardest problems.  Your dog is worth it!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Maddie's Monday Munchies! Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

This peanut dog biscuit recipe is what you're looking for if you want easy dog treat recipes! With only 4 ingredients, one of which is water, you're likely to have all of the ingredients on had in your pantry.

~2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use another type of flour if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
~1 cup of rolled oats
~1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth (I used smooth this time)
~1 1/4 cups hot water


1. Preheat oven to  350° F

2. Mix dry ingredients together.

3. Mix in the peanut butter and hot water. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.

4.  Roll dough into balls then make a cross hatch fork mark on the cookies. This is the same thing you would do to make human peanut butter cookies.

5. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let them cool overnight. If your dog can't wait long enough then cool them completely on a wire rack before serving.

This peanut butter dog biscuit recipe makes biscuits that will last in a sealed air tight container at room temperature for one week.  You can store them in the refrigerator for 3 weeks and in the freezer for up to 6 months.

What's your dog's taste bud feedback?  Have you made this recipe?  What was your experience? Did your dog gobble it up or take a polite sniff and walk away?

Here are some additional photos from our baking experience!! Enjoy!!

Shih Tzu DANCING?!?! =)

I couldn't help myself!! This makes me laugh out loud again and AGAIN!! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!!


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Puppy Mill PROBLEMS!


If you’re considering getting a new puppy there are a lot of options.  One of them is buying from a “puppy mill.”  A puppy mill is usually considered to be a substandard breeding facility that produces large numbers of puppies annually.  They may supply puppies of many different breeds.

Some of these facilities are licensed by the government and inspected by the USDA.  Care and conditions must meet certain criteria.  Others fly under the radar and go without inspections.  Inspected kennels may produce healthy puppies which receive vaccinations and are then trucked to pet stores at a young age.  Kennels which operate without inspections may sell directly to buyers.  Since they are operating without inspections it is more likely that the facilities are deficient and the conditions for the dogs are poor.  These are the “puppy mills” you sometimes see in videos and on TV in undercover investigations.

If you buy a puppy from one of these poor facilities odds are that the puppy could have begun life with many problems.  The puppy is likely to be the victim of breeding from poor quality parents who may exhibit health and genetic problems, dirty conditions, cramped quarters, perhaps no early vaccinations or worming, and the list goes on.

All puppies are adorable, but a puppy’s mother and her health are extremely important.  So are his surroundings in the first few weeks’ life.  A puppy that gets off to a bad start in poor puppy mill surroundings can have health or behavioral problems that last the rest of his life.  It is possible to buy a healthy dog from these sources but many people buying from puppy mills have bought unhealthy puppies.  Some puppies may even die soon after purchase.

Puppies in pet stores may come from several sources including licensed commercial breeders and inferior puppy mills.  There may be no way to tell the difference in the pet store.  Even looking at the puppy’s registration papers will not tell you what type of breeder or kennel produced the puppy.  Purchasing a puppy in a pet store also encourages a person to make impulse purchases which is never a good idea where a dog is concerned.  That cute little ball of fur may grow up to be a 100 pound pet that can eat you out of house and home.

If you are seeking a new purebred puppy consider going to a reputable breeder.  Contact the breed parent club for the breed and they can put you in touch with people who are expecting litters.  Reputable breeders perform health testing on their dogs before they choose which dogs to breed to make sure they are fit to breed.  Puppies raised in a home environment receive much more socialization, love and personal care than any commercially-raised puppy can ever receive.  Reputable breeders also carefully screen potential buyers and guarantee their puppies for health problems in the breed.

Breed parent clubs can also tell you about purebred rescue if you might be interested in a young adult or an older dog.  There are nearly always purebred dogs available in rescue looking for great homes.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Should My Dog Be Sleeping In My Bed?

The role of dogs in our lives has changed a great deal in the last 100 years.  There was a time in the United States and many other countries when dogs were not allowed in the house.  In your great-grandmother’s day most dogs were outside dogs.  They may have slept in the barn or under the porch.  Wealthier people kept lap dogs but most farmers and working people had dogs that had to earn their keep in some way.  These dogs were expected to do some work, whether it was herding stock, killing rodents, or protecting the farm.

Today most dogs are kept as pets.  Instead of having jobs to do our dogs have become virtual family members.  We love our dogs so much that this is not surprising.  But it is sometimes confusing for a dog.  Instead of having a well-defined role in the household as a dog, your dog is caught somewhere between being a dog, a pet and an almost-human.  When this happens your dog can begin to challenge you and show aggression because he doesn’t respect your role as leader.

Many people routinely allow their dogs to sleep in the same bed with them today.  Is this a good idea or not?  There are millions of dogs who sleep in the bed with their owners and it never results in a problem.  However, experienced dog trainers point out that in cases where a dog does begin to show aggression toward family members the dog almost invariably is sleeping in the owner’s bed.  In these cases, when the dog begins showing aggression toward family members, the dog MUST be kept out of the bed.

The reason for this is simple psychology.  You have to return to basics with your dog.  You have to remind your dog that he is a dog and you are the leader in your home.  Sleeping in the bed with you is a privilege.  It is not something that he, as a dog, is entitled to without your permission.

Along with removing his bed privileges you will need to take away other privileges from your dog to lower his status.  He will need to wait to eat until after you have eaten.  He should not enter rooms before you do, for example.  If your dog is showing signs of aggression to you or other family members he is probably asserting himself over you in many small ways in the house.  You will need to reassert yourself.

Don’t try to force an issue in a way that could put you in any danger.  But in small ways, in interacting with your dog throughout the day, do things to remind him that you are in charge.  Teach your dog some obedience lessons.  Teach him to sit before feeding him.  Teach him to sit at the door before letting him go out.  All of these small lessons remind your dog that he is dependent on you for all the good things in his life.  They help you re-establish your authority.

Keep in mind that you should not try to take a toy or food away from your dog, especially if he is having problems with aggression.  Your dog may have issues with giving things up or with guarding things.

If you think that your dog’s aggression presents a danger or if making these small changes does not help, don’t hesitate to seek out a professional dog trainer.  Aggression can be a serious problem and may need more help.

Remember, if your dog does begin to show aggression toward you or other family members make a bed for him on the floor or in his crate and do not let him sleep in your bed for the time being.  He will need to be reminded of his role in the household.  The mere physical position of him on the floor and you up higher, in the bed, makes your point.

There is no rule that says you have to allow your dog to sleep in your bed.  Many longtime, devoted dog owners have dog beds in their bedroom or have their dogs sleeping in crates in the house.  What’s most important is that you and your dog have a comfortable relationship that fits your lifestyle.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best Dogs For Seniors?


Dog lovers are well aware of the benefits that come from having a dog in their lives.  Whether that dog is a tiny Chihuahua or an enormous Saint Bernard, we all have our favorites.  Just because we get older doesn't mean we appreciate having dogs as companions any less.  Studies have even shown that having a dog as a pet can improve the health and wellbeing of seniors.  Many nursing homes welcome animal visitors, pet therapists and some allow pets to live with residents.
It is important for seniors to take into consideration some of the changes that occur as we age.  It's usually not easy for a senior to handle a giant breed or a breed that requires a lot of grooming.  It may be more difficult to exercise a dog with high energy levels.  For these reasons, seniors should consider things like size and temperament when they think about getting a dog.  Smaller dogs often make good pets for older people.  Small dogs with shorter coats are good because they usually require less maintenance and they can be easier to handle than large dogs.  Small dogs can also make wonderful lap dogs.
Here are some of the best choices for dogs for seniors:
Shih Tzu – The Shih Tzu is a friendly, gentle dog with a regal appearance.  They are an ancient breed from China – one of several breeds from that land.  Shih Tzu are said to be the oldest and smallest of the holy dogs from Tibet.  These dogs are sturdy, lively and alert.  They do have a snub-nosed face so they are sensitive to problems with heat in the summer and do best in a cooler climate or in an air conditioned house.  They make a very loving and intelligent companion.  Their long, flowing coat does require some care.
Pug – The Pug is everyone's favorite clown.  A big dog in a small package.  They are small but they have huge personalities.  If you like playful, outgoing dogs, then the Pug may be for you.  They love attention and affection.  They are also very affectionate in return.  You should be sure you have lots of time for a Pug if you intend to get one because they will expect you to give them lots of your time.  They are wonderful lap dogs.  Grooming is easy since they are short-coated, but they do shed a lot.

Schnauzer – Schnauzers love being around people.  They're friendly and enjoy human companionship.  Schnauzers come in two sizes for our purposes:  the Miniature and the Standard.  Both make good pets for an elderly person.  These dogs will be protective of their family but they also have a strong desire to please.  They do require daily exercise but they aren't hyperactive dogs as a rule.  A good daily walk should be enough.  Schnauzers do need regular grooming but this is usually done professionally since they have a harsh coat that needs stripping (or clipping) about every three months.  In between they just need some brushing with a good stiff brush to get out mud or dirt.

Cocker Spaniel – The Cocker Spaniel is always a popular pick because of their good looks and sweet personality.  For years they were the most popular dog in the United States.  They are friendly without being overbearing.  They do require some exercise since they are a Sporting breed, but since they are small dogs they will be happy with a good walk.  They are devoted to their owners.  They tend to have long, curly hair so regular grooming is a must.  Many people opt for a popular pet trim from a dog grooming shop.

Chihuahua – Chihuahuas are always popular, and with good reason.  For anyone who likes small dogs these little guys are very cute.  If you like a dog that you can carry with you almost everywhere, then the Chihuahua may be your kind of dog.  Don't let their small size fool you.  These little dogs think they're big dogs and may well try to tell off a much bigger dog.  They often attach themselves to one person in a family.  If you're a senior living alone they are more than capable of letting you know when someone is approaching or at your door.  They are very protective.  They usually weigh six pounds or less.  Watch out for the so-called “tea cup” Chihuahuas and other breeds.  The super tiny versions of breeds may have health problems later on.

Yorkshire Terrier – The Yorkshire Terrier is not what he appears to be.  With his lovely long coat and small size he looks quite dainty, but this little guy was bred to kill rats originally.  He's still a terrier inside and there's quite a bit of terrier vigor still left in him.  He may be a loving lap dog now but it doesn't take much to get him moving again.  He makes a fierce little companion, alert and feisty.  Yorkies are generally easy to train but they can be a bit stubborn at times.

Scottish Terrier – Scotties, naturally, originated in Scotland.  This is a sturdy little dog, strong and active.  They are brave, alert, playful and friendly as pups.  They grow up to be dignified adults.  Some might say they have a very Scottish character.  They tend to be a bit stubborn and require good training when they're young.  They do not respond well to harsh correction.  They are around 19-23 pounds and 10-11 inches tall at the shoulder.  They do very well in apartments with moderate exercise

Toy Poodle – As with all Poodles, the Toy Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds.  They enjoy human company, probably more than they enjoy the company of dogs.  They will allow you to pamper them all you want.  If you want to dote over a small dog, this may be the one for you.

Pomeranian – Pomeranians are a great favorite with many people.  Cute as can be, they are fuzzy with a foxy little face.  Friendly, playful, active, Pomeranians are a tiny Spitz-type breed that originated in Pomerania, Germany.  They were originally much larger sled dogs before they were bred down to their current size.  Dogs today should not be larger than 10 pounds.  They make wonderful companions and are one of the most popular dog breeds.

Boston Terrier – Boston Terriers are considered to be an American breed – one of the few native American breeds.  They originated around 1870.  These dogs are typically friendly and laid back.  They are small but protective and a senior may feel secure with such a dog around.  They are short-haired dogs that are easy to groom.  Dogs should weigh between 10 and 25 pounds.  They are white with black, brown or brindle.

These are a few breeds that tend to make good pets for seniors.  Some of them are shorthaired, while others have long hair or wire-hair (such as Schnauzer).  If you're interested in any of these breeds, or others, keep in mind that every dog is an individual.  We can make generalities about them but each dog is unique.  You may meet a Cocker Spaniel that wants to run all the time or a shy Pomeranian.  If you are interested in a dog try to meet him or her in person to see what they're like.  See how they fit with your own personality.  Consider your own circumstances and lifestyle to see if the dog would be a good match.  If you love dogs there is probably a good dog out there for you.  Good luck in your search.