Jul 15, 2010

Micro-chipping My Dog -- Cost and BENEFITS

Microchip rfid riceImage via Wikipedia

Before micro chipping, many people tattooed their dogs on their bellies and their thighs; this was commonly done with show dogs. When micro chipping became available and affordable to the general population, people started to realize what a great idea this is. The microchip is a size of a small grain of rice and the vet uses a special gun to place under the dog’s skin. The microchip is scanned before and after it is in place. Some dogs will yelp or cry during this process, some may not notice the process happening. Be sure to use a lot of rewards and praise while the process is taking place.
This is really the best way should your dog be lost and put into pound or in a vet’s office, you can find him easily. No two microchips are the same, each chip has your dogs and your personal information stored in a data base. This is something almost all vets can do; the cost is between $40-60 for each dog. If you do not want to microchip your dog, be sure your dog has up to date tags at all times and it is also a good idea to register with the new online sites with your dog’s and personal information, should they go on a little adventure too far from home. It is also important to note that doggy gps collars are starting to be widely used. This is also something worthwhile looking into because if your dog slips out through a hole in fence, hopefully your GPS tracking collar is on and you should be able to find Fido trotting down the road within minutes.
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"Low-shed" doesn't mean "No-shed", and then there is still Dander

Bedlington Terrier from 1915Image via Wikipedia

Not all of us can spend hours of brushing our dogs everyday, obviously, but you should know there is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog. There are dogs that shed less, or are low shearing dogs, and there is a wide variety of low-shed dog breeds to choose from. Here are some naturally “low-shed” breed options:

Bichon Frise: This sweet, affectionate dog barely sheds at all. In fact, many doctors recommend this breed for their patients with allergies. However, you will have to take him in for a monthly professional grooming and brush his coat every few days to prevent matting.

Chinese Crested: This dog breed has very little hair save a crest on her head and tufts at her feet, so there is very little to shed. This variety is a shy dog that is happy with a bit of indoor playtime. For this reason, the Chinese Crested doubles as a great apartment dog. There is also a “powder puff” version of this breed that has fur but minimal shedding.

Poodle: While poodles have long been stereotyped as a frou-frou breed, they were in fact originally hunting breeds. Their dense, lofty coat protects them from the cold when they entered the water after a bird. In fact, that fancy haircut you see at shows was originally intended to protect their joints from the cold when hunting. A poodle’s traditional cut is optional, however, so styling can truly be low maintenance.

Other low-shed breeds are the Affenpinscher, Bedlington Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, Shih Tzu, West Highland White Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.

If you are worried about allergies, remember that it is usually an animal’s dander—and not the fur—that causes sniffles. Even dogs that shed very little may not be allergy-friendly.
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A GREAT Bonding Experience for You and Your Dog or Puppy

This is a photo I took of my Newfoundland afte...Image via Wikipedia

It is really important that you and your dog do some grooming exercises at a young age.As with anything else with a new puppy or dog, if they are young enough to be imprinted or they are at the age of needing training, grooming is a part of your everyday puppy’s life.

It is important for them to stand calmly and relaxed for bathing, brushing their hair, cleaning ears, eyes, feet, and even around the tail. The more you do this at a younger age, the more likely your puppy will come to enjoy this time as bonding time and not an experience he has to run from, because of the water or brush. A good tip is for two to three minutes, two or three times a day, run your hands over his entire body with a brush, practice opening his mouth, wiping over his eyes and wiping in his ears, and even cleaning his rear end and tail. Remember, positive reinforcement is what is going to work here, not negative. If in the beginning he doesn’t like the brush on his fur, just simply put the brush down, let him relax and come back with a softer brush to try again. Again, having a treat as a reward will assist in the process.
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How Do You Know When It Is Time To Call the Vet?

Typical standard phone used with Centrex. Note...Image via Wikipedia

You should keep your Vet’s phone number handy–near your telephone, in the glove compartment of your car, and in your wallet. For quicker access, encode the number in the automatic-dialing feature of your phone, if it has one.

Call you are Vet if your dog or puppy has these symptoms:

If your Puppy/Dog has an elevated temperature for more than 24 hours.
Skin temperature
Skin color
Tounge Color
Eyes Not bright and they look like they are dazed.

2. Behavior
If your Puppy/Dog exhibits abrupt or prolonged changes from his normal behavior, such as irritability or hyperactivity.
If your Puppy/Dog is sluggish or drowsy for long periods.

3. Bowel movements
If your Puppy/Dog has unexpected changes in his bowel movements.
If your Puppy/Dog has blood in his stools.
If your Puppy/Dog has severe or prolonged constipation or diarrhea.

4. Urination
Tenderness – is going too much or he cannot relieve himself at all.
If your Puppy shows that, and an area is tender to the touch.

5. Vomiting
If your Puppy/Dog vomits over a prolonged period or vomits forcefully after every feeding.

6. Coughing
If your Puppy/Dog has a prolonged cough or Mucus.

7. Breathing
If your Puppy has difficulty breathing, especially if the breathing is noisy and rapid.
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Taking a Puppy or Dog to the Vet for the First Time

Cover of "Puppies"Cover of Puppies

Here is a list of things you can try to do, so that going to the Vet is always a pleasant experience for you and your new puppy or dog. Remember the first experience is the one your young puppy will remember especially if he is under 17 weeks of age. You can still IMPRINT upon him to make the vet's a fun experience.

1. Relaxing Puppies during Check-Ups
Going to the Vets office for routine medical checkups should be a positive experience for your Puppy /Dog and an informative and reassuring one for you. Here are some tips for keeping baby happy when you visit the Vets.

2. Try to schedule the appointment at a time when your new puppy is normally awake and not fussy. Make sure Puppy has gone to the bathroom and has had a meal before you go.

3. When to call your new Veterinarians
There are bound to be times when your Puppy/dog is not feeling well and you will learn is this a visit or just a phone call? However, with experience, you will know which situations warrant a phone call to the doctor–and which do not. Until then, do not hesitate to call your VET whenever you have a question about your puppy’s poo or his sleeping habit. No question should be too small or big as you are both learning. This is again, why you want to find the Vet who works well with your own personality.

4. Middle-of-the-night calls
Does this go to a machine or to a person? If it goes to a machine is the 24/7 emergency Vets office close to your home?
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Finding a Great Vet - No Matter Where You Live

52/365...Our first monthaversary.Image by This Year's Love via Flickr

Finding the right Vet for your puppy/dog is well worth the effort it will take. Ideally, you will want to find someone who is easy to share your thoughts about your dog with. This way, you will feel more comfortable expressing your concerns and thoughts about your dog’s health. Not only do you need to trust your Vet, but also you need the Vet you choose to trust your (the owner’s) intuition. Here is how to shop for a Vet:

Call each Vegetarian on your list to schedule a consultation before you bring home your new puppy/dog. Ask if there is a fee when you set up the appointment.
Arrive for your appointment with a list of questions. Talk to both the doctor and the staff to get a better idea of how the office operates. Sit in the waiting room for a while to soak up the atmosphere and get an idea how the staff interacts with patients.
Veterinary Interview List
Print out the list of questions below to guide your interview with your new Veterinary

Veteterinarians Name: __________________________________

Date of consultation: _____________________________

Questions to Consider after the Interview:
1. Did you feel comfortable talking with the doctor and staff?
2. Are the doctor’s philosophies and communication style in line with your own?
3. Would you feel comfortable asking him or her any question, however silly it might seem?
4. Is the staff friendly, efficient, and helpful?
5. is the office easy to reach and is the staff accessible in case of emergencies?
6. Is the office inviting to adults and your pets, or is it too sterile or messy for you?
7. Does the Vet seem to know about the latest medical advances?
8. Finally, look around. In the Vets office, what reading materials do they displayed for your reading pleasure?
9. Are there materials for you to take with you?
10. Do you find them interesting, informative, and educational?
11. Do they offer Grooming?
12. Do they offer boarding if you should go away?
13. Do they offer a pet taxi services?

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Overheating and Heatstroke -- Save a Life by Reading This

Ice cubesImage via Wikipedia
In the state of CA they have made it a law that you are not allowed to leave your dog or cat in a car anymore. Some states have even passed laws about leaving children and pets in a car unattended.

Dogs have an extra challenge, because they don't sweat the same way we do. We have sweat glands all over our bodies. Dogs -- they only sweat from the pads of their feet, and their noses and by panting.

Senate Bill 1806, signed into law on January 1st, 2007 and sponsored by Senator Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) is a new anti-cruelty law. The law states no animal may be left unattended in a vehicle under conditions that "endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food, or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal." Pet owners in California, in violation of this new law, may face high fines, jail time or both.
Be especially sensitive to senior or overweight cats and dogs, short-muzzled dogs (i.e. pug, Lhasa apso, or shi Tzu), as well as pets with heart or lung disease. A big no-no: don't shave your pet thinking this will keep them cooler. In some cases, their fur will protect them; believe it or not, the fur helps keep them cool and protects them from sunburn.
If your dog spends time outside in a kennel, then it is a good idea to purchase a kennel covers which are available at most pet stores, internet sites and Wall Mart Type of stores they are an option to provide shade for your dog while in their kennel. Make sure plenty of water is available. You can purchase a pet fountain that supplies a continuous supply of fresh water. NEVER leave which will always led stagnant water can lead to mosquito larva.
It should be a law everywhere because many of our pets die when left alone in our cars here is what we do not realize when we leave our pets alone in our vehicles.
The interior temperature of a car can rise to above 110 degrees in just a short amount of time. In Colorado, the city of Boulder is cracking down on pet owners who leave their pets inside a hot car after a Bulldog died recently of heat exhaustion. The owner was ticketed and charged with a criminal offense after the dog died inside their hot car. For example, if it is 70 degrees outside, the heat inside of a car can reach temperatures of more than 100 degrees in 15 minutes. When an animal is panting in very hot air, this only accelerates heat stroke.

Here are some signs to look out for: heat stress, swollen tongue, heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, and unsteadiness, staggering and walking in circles, vomiting or their tongue turning purple. If your pet shows any of these signs, here's what to do immediately.

Place rubbing alcohol on only your pet's paws. Place your pet in a cool, not ice-cold bathtub. Us a hose and wet your pet down, then let the water run under their belly. This will help cool them faster. Apply ice packs only to head, neck and chest. It is better not to let them drink a lot of water, as this will induce vomiting. Offer ice cubes instead, to control their amount of water intake. Immediately call vet and take them to the vet's office.
In times of emergency as in heat stroke or overheating, our pets truly count on us to be their advocate and caretaker.

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Heatstroke: A potential warm weather killer As temperatures soar, so do the chances that your dog can become severely overheated.(SAFETY): An article from: Dog WatchHeatstroke: A potential warm weather killer As temperatures soar, so do the chances that your dog can become severely overheated.(SAFETY): An article from: Dog WatchHeatstroke: A potential warm weather killer As temperatures soar, so do the chances that your dog can become severely overheated.(SAFETY): An article from: Dog Watch

If You Have to Evacuate Your House with a Pet, Do You Have a Plan?

If you have to evacuate from your home with your dog, will you know what to do? Do you have an evacuation plan?

I wanted to take time this week to talk about a topic that we may have talked about in the past, but I feel this is so important; we should update this and go over how and why we need to be prepared all the time for an emergency evacuation with our pets.

On  October 14th of 2008, here in Los Angeles, twenty minutes before I was to go on my weekly radio show, I heard overhead via a fire/police helicopter to be prepared to evacuate, as we were now being put on an evacuation watch. For those of you who don’t live in California this means get ready to evacuate with our pets and what personal belongings we could get ready to take with us. I had to call the radio station 20 minutes before going on live, and tell them I am now on a watch and I would not be able to do my show which they completely understood. I then started to get the three boys ready.

I had been watching television for the past twenty-four hours and was very much aware of all the fire storms happening around me, but the fires were at least forty miles away and I thought I personally was safe. I knew some of my family who lived closer to the fires had been evacuated, but I still did not think they would get as close to where I lived in Los Angeles. Imagine my surprise I then received a knock on my front door and was told by a fire marshal to be ready to evacuate with no more than a thirty minute (if that) warning.

The new fire was now 1 mile away from my neighborhood and it is time to really figure all this out. I have had been in 2 big earthquakes and I also had been in a fire evacuation before but I also had a husband to help me and this time everything was and is very different in my life which is why I am here today to help you to always be ready to God forbid you have to evacuate with you and your pets safely. The good news here is they wonderful fire men did get our fires out and the boys and myself are fine today but the message of being ready is one that is so important lets go over what to do and what you need to have on hand.

I always talk about the important of having a first aid kit in your home and car. It is also a good idea of you are a camper or go boating to have a first aid kit in the camper and on the boat, which should also have a “doggie” life vest if Fido goes boating with you. When it comes to evacuating there are different things you will need to take with you, which is why a plan is so very important, because God forbid if your home is damaged you could lose some very important papers you many never be able to get back.

For example you may not be able to recover your dog’s registration papers if you have an AKC registered dog. The same can be true if you adopted your dog, you may not be able to get papers replaced from the ASPCA or a place you can retrieve the information back from.

Here is what you need to do when it is calm, and there is not an emergency going on, in order to always be prepared. If you live as I do in the earthquake and fire country then you want to have an earthquake box filled and ready to be used at a
moment’s notice. Remember to always have plenty of food and water, not only for you but for Fido also as a dog can go two weeks with little to no food but they cannot go for more than twenty-four hours without water, as they will die. So water is very, very important to have stored, and always have extra water in any vehicles you are driving.

Another important item to always have copies of is your dog’s shot records. In the case you have to evacuate and travel to another place due to a hurricane or flood, and then they will ask for a health certificate for your dog. You may not have that as they are usually only good for thirty days. However, a current shot record will help a new vet know exactly what inoculations your dog has had, and what they may need in order to get to another place or stay in a kennel if the emergency calls for that.

Pictures – this is something you cannot replace for you, your family and for Fido. So if you need to evacuate it is a good idea to try to keep your photo albums in one place; in case you need to go, you can grab all of them place them in a box and off you go with your memories and your loved ones with you. The material things can always be replaced, but the things you cannot
replace; these are what you need to be known: where they are and are able to get them packed quickly.
Shots records
Leashes collars with up to date tags
Extra stainless steel bowls food and water
Towels for the car
Dog bed
Food – Kibble and canned enough for two weeks is what the Red Cross recommends to keep on hand. They also recommend rotating the food and water every year to make sure it stays fresh and is still usable.

It is a good idea to always keep your car with if not a full tank of gas, at least half a tank. I play this game with myself especially because gas is so very expensive I cannot always afford to fill my car. I fill up my car to full then when I get to the half tank I let myself know we are almost out of gas and then if I can only do $15 dollars on that day I still am more on the full side versus being on the empty side, in the case we have to drive and leave I know I have enough gas to get a good 200 miles away until I have to stop for fuel. Try this game I can promise you that it will come handy for you even if you never have to evacuate. You will never run out of gas at the wrong time and if you are a woman driving at night alone, again this is just a great safety measure to remember.

Another good idea is to have a plan practice fire drills with your family and be ready if it is just you and your dog/dogs like it is with me. We have a plan and we practice this once a month, not to make some big deal but once a month I make sure I know where everything important is and I make sure when I call the boys they come right away! This is on-going training and dogs love to keep their minds active as well as their bodies. So what I do is practice a game with the boys, as each dog is well-trained alone. It is when all three get on leashes that I need them to be calm and not going wild with excitement, because they think they are off to the beach, or swimming, to a pool or park.

I need them to be trained and calm at all times so we practice getting all our leashes on and staying
calm. Sometimes we do not go out, sometimes we do; the simple fact is now the boys are trained to know when I call for a walk or anything that involves getting ready to go out with leashes on they have learned to all sit and wait their turn to have their leashes put on. If they get all hyper we start all over again until all four of us get it right. This is why I say practice this is a training tool that I promise you will come in very handy.

You may say my dog heels beautiful or my dog is calm, when I say let’s go for a walk; but if you know your dog can easily get nervous or excited then you want to start to train him/her to be calm when it comes time to go out or into the car. This way in case of an emergency you will always have full control of Fido and the both of you can get into the car calmly and move to a safe area never having to worry about the safety of your dog.

Trust me; my boys can be a wild PACK. Yes I said pack, this is what it is called when you own more than one dog and with three dogs I do have a pack and if one dog get excited then all three start so I must be the leader of my pack and I must practice all the time to make sure my pack is listening and ready to go. I do have a release word for the boys it is “OK”, and when they all hear the release word in the happy tone I use, then and only then do they know “OK it is time to play and we are released from the working mind set we are in at that time”. This is one of the best tools you can teach, to have ready in case you do have to ever leave your home in an emergency.

I hope you never have to evacuate, but in case you do the best plan is to be ready and to always remember no matter how prepared we sometimes are, things can and will go wrong, so by not stressing out too much, the best one can do is to try to be prepared and have a sense of humor. As they say “We make plans and then God breaks them”. If that is the case, know you have trained your dog and you have practice for an emergency. No matter what you can take with you or have to leave behind, what you do know is you both are ready and well trained.

See training never ends, it just becomes different and you can always find a new idea to train your dog. You can never have too many tools and you can never train your dog too much. Remember, just never do it for more than a few minutes a few times a day. Do not try to train your dog in one day with an eight hour session, as this will not work for either of you. Start off with five minutes a day, work it up to ten minutes a day and then maybe add another session so you have training time twice a day with your dog, but please, as with everything else go slowly and know you are both learning to be prepared.

“Remember the animals in your life are not just your pets they’re your friends” WNR©2008
Dog Mother Nature

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Jul 13, 2010

From a Service Dog to a "SURFIN" dog!

This video is about a dog who was training to be a service dog, but developed too much interest in chasing critters. Because she also surfs, she went from service dog to SURFice dog. She now raises funds and awareness for charitable causes, and has raised over $30,000 in an 8 month period. She sometimes surfs with disabled surfers, and these videos show the healing power of a dog! For more info, visit her website at http://www.surfdogricochet.com, or join her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SurfDogRicochet?ref=ts for daily updates!

Two Minute Pet Tip © 2010 Wendy Nan Rees

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About wendynanrees.com - the Site, Blog and Radio Program

Wendy Nan Rees uses her 25 years of expertise to answer pet health questions and offer expert advice for pet lovers.

You can find many more great tips in her latest best-selling book shown below, "Dog Lovers' Daily Companion".

It has 365 useful, and inventive tips for your pets.
Read the first few pages by opening the book below.

Her Radio Show "Wendy's Animal Talk" was on 'Healthylife.net' for many years and now we are posting a few of the tips here

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