Archives for May, 2010

Ticks Explained and How to Check Your Dog For Ticks

By Randa Magdi

Ticks are parasites that can be deadly to our pets, other animals and to humans. Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually blood-sucking arachnids like scorpions, spiders and mites.

Ticks can be present anywhere-from deep woods, urban parks to our own backyards.

Adult ticks attach themselves to the tips of grass blades and vegetation and transfer themselves onto passing animals or humans. Ticks are not very mobile – they rely on passing animals to both feed on and for transportation.

With their hairy coats, closeness to the ground, playfulness and love of exploration dogs are the perfect host for ticks.

The tick will attach itself to a warm, moist and dark place on the body then insert a probe into the skin and begin sucking blood.

Dogs are apparently 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come into contact with disease-carrying ticks. As a result, each year thousands of dogs contract Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and other vector-borne diseases.

Signs of Lyme disease in dogs are difficult to detect, and warning signs may not appear until several months after infection. Signs may come and go and can mimic other conditions. Cases vary from mild to severe. In severe cases of Lyme disease, kidney failure can occur and the result, fatal.

You need to check your pet for ticks. It is easier to feel for ticks than to look for them.
Mostly, the ticks are found around the head, neck, chest, front legs and especially behind the ears, with many exceptions. At first glance, a tick may look like a small grey dot on your dog’s skin but eventually the tick will grow in size and appear wart-like.

In tick prone areas, it is essential that you do a daily search for ticks. You need to check from nose to tail to check for ticks. Ticks attach themselves by embedding their claw-like mouth parts into a victim’s skin and feeding on its blood.

If this check is done routinely, you can then eliminate tick paralysis because the tick usually has to be on the animal’s body for more than two days to cause paralysis.

Remove a tick as soon as you discover it. Use fine pointed tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible (making sure to grasp the tick where the mouth parts are embedded into the skin). Gently pull the tick straight out with steady pressure. If you have difficulty, seek veterinary help.

Do not try to kill the tick by dabbing it with methylated spirits or other chemicals. This will cause the tick to inject more toxins.

If the tick is accidentally pulled apart and the head stays in the skin, there is a risk of being infected with other microscopic organisms. This kind of infection has nothing to do with Lyme disease, but can still be dangerous and unpleasant and its worth taking your dog to the vet for assistance.

If you have a dog with a long coat, a comb is a great way to find ticks. You need to comb your dog from the top of the head and go through their fur, running the comb backwards, against the grain of the fur, followed with your hands.

Feel for any bumps and if you feel one, stop and have a good look. You need to pay particular attention to armpits, behind the ears, and in the ears.

To create a home environment that is free of ticks, as a precaution, you should regularly mow your grass in the backyard and keep mulch and leaf litter away from the main entrance to your house. Trim shrubs, overhanging paths and play areas. This not only protects your pets from ticks but also protects you from them also.

Luckily for dog owners, a wide array of pest control products for pets are available from your pet store or vet. These include foggers, sprays, dips, powders, dusts, collars, oral liquids and tablets, and even a liquid one-spot topical treatment. Your vet can advise on an effective tick control programme for your dog.


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May 31, 2010 | 0 | Dog health, dog safety

Dog Grooming : How to Groom a Toy Poodle

Have you met Charlie yet? Charlie is the Toy Poodle Puppy that we will follow as she grows..


Toy poodle grooming options are endless, as the fur can be cut into several different styles including the teddy bear cut, the lamb cut and the continental or show cut. Learn to groom a toy poodle properly with help from a professional dog groomer in this free video on pet care.

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Expert: Sammi
Bio: Sammi is a dog groomer at the Animal Care Center in West Bountiful, Utah.
Filmmaker: Michael Burton


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May 30, 2010 | 2 | Dog breed information

How to Make Tuna Dog Treats

By Karen Friesecke

It’s fun to make treats for your dog since you get to have fun in the kitchen AND you know exactly what the ingredients are!! Tuna treats are easy to make, use only three ingredients AND baking time is a mere six minutes in the microwave!! Also, you can substitute the tuna for any fish that you want.


You will need;

One egg, a can of tuna in oil and 3/4 of a cup of flour (any kind).

STEP 1 – Preparing The Tuna

Tuna right out of the can will be in pretty big chunks and they need to be minced into smaller pieces with a knife.

STEP 2 – Adding The Egg

In a separate bowl, beat the egg, add it to the tuna and mix well.

STEP 3 – Adding The Flour

Add the flour a little bit at a time. Depending on how oily the tuna is, you might not have to use the entire 3/4 of a cup of flour. What you want is for the batter to have the consistency of mashed potatoes.

STEP 4 – Baking The Treats

Spread the batter evenly into a microwave safe dish. There is no need to oil the dish since the batter already contains oil from the fish.

Total cooking time is 6 minutes. If you want chewier treats, cook the treats for 4 minutes. Microwave on HIGH in 2 minute increments to check on the cooking process, since fires in the microwave aren’t fun. When you have gotten the treats cooked the way you want them to be, remove the entire cake with a spatula and transfer to a plate to cool.

STEP 5 – Cutting Up The Treats

Cut the treats into strips and then into cubes. The beauty of baking these treats is that you can make them as big or as small as you want them. If you cut the the treats into small enough pieces, cats can enjoy them, too! Since these treats do have oil in them, it’s best to store them in the fridge to prolong shelf life.

Karen Friesecke is the author of Bloggie Stylish a new blog dedicated to recipes and free projects for dogs. Please visit Tuna Dog Treats to see this tutorial, complete with pictures.

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May 29, 2010 | 0 | Dog nutrition

Pet Proof Your Yard

By Sonia C Llesol

Let’s face it, we all love pets in our house. We give our dogs, cats, fish and birds all the necessary comfort and nutrients for them. In connection with this, it is also a must that as a homeowner and pet owner that you should consider pet-proofing your yard to make it a safe place for pets. You may also want to keep your neighbor’s dogs and cats out of your yard too.

Nevertheless, not all backyards are the best playgrounds for your pets, so the following will help you pet-proof your yard.

1. Check the fencing around your home and your gate and make all necessary repairs. Gaps that are more than two inches wide should be filled. If you think that your dog can open the latch on the gate, replace the latch with a heavy-duty one. Furthermore, you could also add an extra locking device like a slide bolt or chain around the gate and the gatepost.

2. To prevent dogs from digging under the fence to get out, put cement blocks under the fence or you could also extend a chicken wire from the bottom of the fence several feet underground. Provide a section of yard with loose sand and soil for your dog to dig in to satisfy his digging urge.

3. Avoid using toxic pesticides in your garden and your lawn. Keep in mind that rat poison can kill dogs and cats. If you are going to use it in your yard or house, make sure that your dogs or cats could not get into it. Inspect your yard everyday for any rats or mice killed by the poison. Get rid of them to avoid getting your pets near bodies of poisoned animals.

4. Make sure to clean up dog poop daily since animals can acquire bacterial infections and parasites from droppings.

5. Put up a ‘Keep Gate Closed’ sign on both sides of your gate as reminder to people to always keep the gate closed.

6. Make it a habit to take your pet for a walk everyday and take time to play with them so they will not be inclined to escape your yard. Leave small holes in the fence so they can be able to see outside your yard. Give them toys to play with.

7. Refrain from using cocoa mulch fertilizer for your plants. Mulch that contains cocoa shells can be harmful to pets since it contains theobromine, which can cause stomach upset and even death when taken in large concentrations. This ingredient is the same one that makes chocolate dangerous to cats and dogs.

8. Ensure that you have enough water and shade in your yard for your pets. Put the water in a place that remains shaded the whole day.

9. Get rid of toxic plants in your yard. Several common plants like Sago palm and avocado can intoxicate your pets. Animals that are safe for your pets are coleus, African violets, palms, catnip, Swedish ivy, ferns, spider plant and wheat grass.

Overall, look at your yard from the point of view of your pets. Keep them safe at all times by ensuring that you have a safe yard for them to play.

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May 28, 2010 | 0 | dog safety

Meet Charlie – and Watch Her Grow Right Here

Meet the gorgeous Charlie. We are going to follow Charlie’s journey and try to answer any questions her mother Angelique may have as Charlie grows.



I asked Angelique to tell me how they came together… here is her story:

“Charlie was born on the 18th March so she’s now nine weeks old.  I got her last week at eight weeks old. I flew from Sydney to Brisbane to get her.  I got to pick between her and her brother.  It was a hard decision as they were both adorable and the thought of splitting them up was tough but I couldn’t take both. I flew her back on the plane and that was a challenge as it’s all a new experience – I had to have the right cage to bring her back in so I hired one from the vet.

My partner bought me Charlie as a present to keep me company whilst I’m on leave from work. That way I have time to spend with her and my days aren’t so dull and boring. I had been spending time previously babysitting my friend’s toy poodle “Sasha” so I was aware of poodles as dogs and enjoyed spending time her. Walking her and taking her swimming with me at Clovelly was a wonderful experience and great company so I guess my partner saw how happy it made me to have a dog around.

I’ve never been a dog owner before so it’s all a new experience for me. It’s quite expensive setting the place up initially so I had everything from piddle pads, a new bed for her, a blanket, throws for the couch, food, snacks, toys, shampoos, and then there was the initial vet check to look her over, get the micro-chipping done and the next injection.

But like anything, once you set it all up, it’s done and then it takes ages before you need anything again. I remember driving with her in the car just sitting in the front with me when a friend told me that the dogs need to be In a harness and secured. I thought I was prepared but there are so many thing I don’t know. I went straight out and bought a harness.

At night, she sleeps in her own bed and when she whimpers, I give her my hand to lick so she knows someone is there and then she goes back to sleep. I don’t want to get her used to sleeping on my bed. I know people do that, but having her own bed, next to mine, allows her to have her own space that’s just hers and safe and makes it easier for my partner and I to have quality time together without sharing the space.

She’s great company! At the moment it’s frustrating not being able to walk her to the park and play as you’re not supposed to take them to the park until they’ve had their next injection – so I try to entertain her at home and out shopping (she sits in my jacket). She’s tiny. She eats, sleeps, pees, and poos everywhere.. It makes it tough to train her as I’m sure she’s missing her brother and Sydney is so new to her. It’s hard to pick what’s too much discipline/ training or what’s not enough. We are both learning from each other.. I’d say it’s a good learning curve. If I can handle and train a dog, it’s good preparation for having a baby. It sure is a commitment – a change of life as a puppy’s needs come first. But when you get through these first few months, it’s great, and in the meantime, she is adorable. She’s very playful, loves to give licks and kisses and sleeps on me. She loves people too so I can see her being a very social dog..

I will be sending her to puppy pre-school as soon as she grows more in a few weeks. She’s so tiny… my flatmate loves her and as an added bonus for meeting people. If ever someone is single, puppies are a great way to get attention and chat with others…not that I am single ,but Charlie gets a lot of attention – people just adore her. So, my flatmate has already got plans to babysit her in order to get a date hehehehe

It’s great and funny too….”

Stay tuned for the next installment on Charlie..


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May 26, 2010 | 1 | A++++ Watching Charlie The Pup Grow

Unique Instruction For Support Dogs

By Ira Nelson

For the longest time, guiding-eye dogs for the blind were almost the only kind of assistance dog around. Over the last thirty years, the field has changed remarkably.

In today’s world, canines assist not only the blind, but also the hearing impaired, wheelchair restricted and even bedridden. Many dogs even provide a new sought after kind of therapy for the clinically depressed, children that are underprivileged and even inmates in correctional facilities. These dogs are actually allowed to stay with inmates in cells. Therapy dogs have emerged to be very successful in how they interact with people on the road to any recovery.

From the beginning, there is a deliberate process of breed selection. Many breeds tend to be more valuable then others. Through diligent selection the roles of certain breeds can be detected. Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and a few others are preferred both for temperament and cleverness.

Even inside some different breeds of dogs some individuals are more keen on instruction than others. These breeds of dogs display not only the intellect needed to fulfill a simple task on instruction, but a confidence and desire that’s fundamental to performing the job routinely. With such intellect and desire to please to the utmost of these dogs ability, instructors have realized that rewarding and caring for their temporary friends, giving them time off to rest and recover from their activity is very important.

These dogs are provided with dog beds for maximum support and comfort after a long days work. This rest time is required when instructing canines for extended periods of time mimicking a ordinary work day for the blind person or handler. Mattress variety beds are often better for senior dogs or canines with health issues. Commonly orthopedic dog bedding is the best choice if your well instructed dog heads to his rest shortly after a arduous jaunt or play time.

After a year of in-house instruction and much needed bonding with a person/handler who also receives unique training, the canine advances to the next tier. Then, depending on the anticipated role, they receive an additional two months to two years of accelerated, specialized instruction with extremely trained professionals.

Canines in these training programs encounter everything from knowing when to bark to alert the deaf to a door knock, to even gathering containers of food or drink on request. These well trained dogs can even open doors for those in need, and of course provide vision based information to the sightless.

A seeing-eye guide dog can lead their blind companion around and through obstacles on the street. The hearing-guide dog can alert and guide their owner away from an oncoming ambulance or fire truck. The wheelchair assistant can guide the occupant off the floor when needed or even into bed at night.

These unparalleled animals are trained to stay focused in small or large groups of people and even handle varying weather and environments. Many go to urban areas where they’re trained to distinguish a curb as a boundary. Others find homes in rural areas where they are tutored that turning on a garden hose is more crucial than chasing a squirrel or occasional bird from the property.

Besides the universal sit, stay, or come, these working dogs can even turn on or off lights, change the volume on the stereo, and bring bags holding medicines. Many dogs have even mastered how to deliver a cup of water, without spilling, to a paraplegic. Unbelievably, some are even trained to recognize and react to heart attacks and strokes and call 911!

With this competency to be taught and retain many requests, it takes months of devoted focus by both instructor and dog. These trainers, instructors, and canines portray patience exceeding what most individuals possess needed to teach even the most willing students.

All dogs learn by certain cues and repetition. Although they can learn to distinguish sounds and grasp simple meanings, they don’t possess even the three-year old human’s comprehension of language. Teaching these canines to identify the sound of water with fetch me a cup is much more difficult than for even the ordinary toddler.

Yet these awe-inspiring animals, with the guidance of their gifted and dedicated trainers, learn to carry out a wide variety of behavioral tendencies well beyond their peers. If you ever notice one accompanying its instructor or partner, respect the sign they carry that says Working Dog, Please Do Not Distract. Just give a earnest bow of respect to these hard-working canines and the committed, unique people who train them.

Find out about choosing the right Dog Bedding for your dog, and how a Dog Bed Bolster type of dog bed might be the right choice for your dog.

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May 25, 2010 | 0 | Training

How to Get Your Dog Ready For a New Baby

By Tina Sherman

Just as you prepare your other children for a new sibling, you should also get your dog ready for a new baby. This is especially true if you are first time parents who have had your dog with you for a long time.

Welcoming a new baby into your home will be life changing for Max the Labrador, if he is not adequately prepared he will see your baby as a competition in getting your attention. Of course you will want to avoid such stressful consequences and to do that you must get your dog ready for a new baby.

What To Do Before Baby Is Born

1) It is vital that you prepare Max early in your pregnancy by starting him in obedience training. He should be trained to see you as the leader of the pack and he should learn to respond to verbal commands such as “Sit”, “Stay”, “Down”, “Off”, or “No”.

Another purpose of obedience training is to properly socialize Max with other dogs or other people. In short if Max knows how to behave in a crowd he will know how to behave with a baby around.

2) Have Max get used to various sounds that babies make – crying, wailing, etc. – by having him listen to recordings of such. Start with a low volume and gradually increase that to a normal volume every day to establish a pattern.

Get your dog ready to new baby sounds and he will not be distressed every time he hears your baby cry.

3) Gradually expose Max to as many real babies as possible because babies look different than the adults he is used to seeing. You can “borrow” babies from your friends or relatives or you can them come over with their baby.

4) Gradually set up the nursery room, rearrange the furniture, or redecorate other rooms long before you will deliver your baby. Dogs are sensitive to slight changes in the environment.

5) There are dog breeds that have highly sensitive noses so as you’re nearing childbirth, get your dog ready for a new baby by introducing him to smells associated with babies. One idea is to use a blanket sprinkled with baby powder.

This way Max will not get agitated or distracted when he smells something new.

What To Do When Baby Comes Home

1) Before you bring your baby home let dad have something that smells mommy and baby, the blanket the baby was wrapped in will do. Let Max smell this each day he comes home from the hospital to establish a first “meeting”.

2) When baby finally comes home get your dog ready for a new baby by having a neutral person carry him as you enter the house. When you greet your dog, keep it brief and calm.

Remember someone else will be sharing his attention from now on so if Max is still not used to a baby its a good idea that you have him on a leash for the time being.

3) Don’t put your dog outside because of the new baby. This removes the chance that baby and Max can form a bond.

4) Don’t ignore your dog favor of a new baby. It’s important that you set aside time to play with Max preferably with the baby nearby because lack of mental stimulation makes for a destructive behavior in your dog.

Things To Remember

It’s important that your dog feels he’s still loved. Don’t use violence when he does something inappropriate this will make him resent the baby even more because he will associate the baby with him getting in trouble.

It’s also important in getting your dog ready for a new baby that you use positive reinforcement. When he does something good don’t forget to reward him with his favorite treats this way he associates baby with good things.

Pets are considered as members of the family show your love by procuring for him Discount Pet Insurance to help you with the financial aspects of pet emergencies. Also at Older Pet Insurance you will learn more about insurance for mature pets.

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May 24, 2010 | 0 | dog behavior, Understanding Your Dog

Dog Training Tips : How to Show a Dog Love

Don’t baby talk to your dog to show them love, give your dog a massage, or take him for a walk; learn more tips on showing your dog love in this free pet obedience video.

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Expert: Ryan Gwilliam
Bio: Ryan Gwilliam has trained over 10 dogs. He specializes in obedience training.
Filmmaker: joseph wilkins


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May 23, 2010 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

The Dog Language

By Ryan Gimmy

It may sound a bit different that there are people who understand the dog’s language. This is what creates a difference between seasoned dog owners and the novices. The seasoned ones develop a bond with their dogs much deeper and they are the ones who can conveniently understand the dog language. Most of the times it is body language, barks or growls. The important thing is that you can only have a healthy relationship with your dog when you understand him the way you want him to understand you.

So, how can you understand what your dog is saying to you? The barks or the growls may sound just like senseless noises, but the gestures with the barks or growls, when understood by you is the actual essence of relationship you want have with your newly brought in dog.

• Wagging the tail – When your dog is happily wagging his tail and his tongue, he is in a playful mood. He may even lower the front of his body to the floor and raise his little hind end in the air. He is probably full of energy and ready for play time.

• Ears standing up – Something has caught his attention. He may stop wagging his tail and even lean his head to the side to pay closer attention to whatever is catching his eye. This does not always mean that there is some danger it might mean he has found something new.

• Bearing his teeth – This is considered a show of aggression. He possibly will do this with strangers or when meet an animal that he feels vulnerable by or that may be intimidating you.

• Lying on the ground with tail down when he greets you – This is a way of greeting you that shows loyalty also. When you walk into the house, he may lower himself to ground. This pose is also referred to as an “active submission.” He doesn’t feel threatened or fearful. It is a way to express his friendship, accepting that you are the boss and a friend.

Now, your dog makes other noises besides barking. Barking can have many meanings in itself, so we are going to talk about other sounds that your dog may makes which you may like to be aware of.

• Growling – Your dog shouldn’t be growling at you, but he may growl at strangers. It could also be in response to his sensing that you are uncomfortable with someone. If your dog does growl at you when you take something away from him, it could be a play for the alpha position.

• Whining – This is such a cute gesture. Sadly it can be annoying as well if you are trying to get him to do something that he doesn’t specifically like to do, like to go to the vet. In these times, ignoring the whine lets him know that it won’t get him out of doing his duty. Droning can also go along with their show of loyalty and greeting.

If you are familiar with any of the gestures mentioned above then you can be the best in communicating with your dog. You can “speak” his language.

To learn much more about the aggressive dog training tips, please visit where you’ll find this and much more.

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May 22, 2010 | 1 | Understanding Your Dog

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Information Guide

By Andrea M C

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is very popular throughout the world and now ranks as one of the most sought after toy breeds. A closely related breed is the ‘King Charles Spaniel’. The most obvious difference is a more compact facial shape, but it also has a clearly domed skull when compared with the Cavalier. The ‘Cavalier King Charles’ were bred to be a slightly larger size and the face shape is the main feature distinguishing the separate breeds today.

Cavaliers have a friendly personality and delights in human company of any age. They are wonderful with children and make a loving companion for anyone at times when just wanting to sit and relax. They are not very athletic compared with larger spaniels but have a playful side to their nature, especially if they are introduced to games and play from an early age. They will also enjoy a short daily walk as their exercise routine.

Cavaliers have a life expectancy of 10-12 years however the breed also has a tendency to put on weight as they can be greedy and prone to obesity. In turn this may predispose them to diabetes and heart problems to which they are susceptible, so it is important not to let your Cavalier become overweight as this may worsen especially later in life. Whilst training your Cavalier alternatively you can use healthy options like pieces of carrot or apple instead of other food treats.

Regular grooming is needed for Cavaliers to keep their flowing silky coats in good condition. A slicker brush and comb will remove any tangles through the coat. They tend to get matting or knots around and behind the ears, so this will need to be trimmed or snipped away. As Cavaliers have long ears it’s important to make sure their ears are kept clean from moisture and mites. So during bathing them you need to hold their ear down or put cotton wool in each ear to avoid getting water in the ears. The ears can be cleaned with medicated ear powder and stray hairs to be plucked away from the inside of ears. The eyes can be wiped with cotton wool that has been moistened with eye stain remover. This will also help remove stains around or under the eyes. The tips of toe nails can be cut ensuring not to cut the quick.

Grooming your Cavalier King Charles needs to be done every 6-8 weeks. The ears need to be checked weekly and cleaned if necessary and toenails should be checked and cut during the full grooming session.

The colourings of a Cavalier King Charles are Chestnut Red and White known as ‘Blenheim’, known to be the original strain developed at Blenheim Palace in the 1700′s. Other colours are Black and Tan, Red (known as Ruby) and also the Tri-Colour – (Black, White and Tan).

They will generally grow to about 30.5cms (12inches) height at the shoulder and average weight of 5.5 – 8kgs (12-18lbs) when fully grown.

The Cavalier King Charles makes a great family pet or a loyal loving companion to be by your side and is one of the best breeds you could ever share your life with.

These dogs are one of my many interests along with food and wine appreciation. l also enjoy gardening and growing fresh vegetables. There are lots of tips and ideas for anyone interested in this field available at

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May 21, 2010 | 0 | Dog breed information