Archives for December, 2010

Pre- New Years Eve Behaviour Tips – Help Your Dog Through Firework Fear

Training and Behaviour Advisor Vicki Horsley and Veterinary Director Chris Laurence give advice on helping your dog through firework fear.

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Please share your tips also?

We have just given Candy her anti anxiety homeopathic drops..



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Dec 31, 2010 | 0 | Tips

Cancer Warning Signs in Dogs

By Frank Will

There are several cancer warning signs in dogs and some of them will be very obvious, while others will be very discreet and hard to spot. However, as an owner, if you understand these warning signs as well as cancer itself, it will be much easier for you to identify them. This is critical with any disease, but with cancer, identifying it very early can make the difference between a normal life compared to one that may be seriously challenged, as well as life and death in some cases.

Cancer, even with the recent advances, still accounts for over 50 percent of all the deaths in dogs that are ten years old or older. However, it was not that long ago that if your dog was diagnosed with cancer, it was considered to be an automatic death sentence as it was only a matter of time before this killer came for your dog. That has changed drastically in the last few years and the research that is ongoing with both human as well as dog cancer is advancing faster with each passing year.

Because of this, the more you know about the cancer warning signs in dogs as well as what some of the basic terms mean, the better prepared you will be in protecting your dog.

Cancer Terms:

One of the first important steps for any owner in identifying the cancer warning signs in dogs is to understand what some of the basic terms actually mean. Most owners are not professionally trained, and if you are not, the terms themselves can be frightening without a full understanding.

The first place to start is with the term cancer itself. Cancer is identified as any malignant or cellular tumor, and these are then divided into two major groups; carcinoma and sarcomas. The term tumor is defined as a swelling or a cardinal sign of inflammation, and a new growth of tissue in which there is cell multiplication that is both uncontrolled and progressive is referred to a neoplasm. A neoplasm is also a tumor, but the key to this term is abnormal, as well as new. These tumors will then be identified by two other terms; benign or malignant.

The term benign brings immediate relief in an owners mind, but it can still be dangerous. Benign implies that the tumor is lacking the proper properties to become invasive and metastasis, which refers to the tumors ability to spread. Benign tumors will also show a lesser degree of abnormality than malignant tumors. A malignant tumor will cause an owner to react completely opposite, and there is a very good reason for this.

Malignant tumors do have the properties to be both invasive as well as metastasis, which mean they can and do spread. They also display cells that have a wide range of varying characteristics, and it this fact that allows them to spread very rapidly in some cases if they are not stopped. The term carcinoma refers to a malignant tumor or growth that is made up of epithelial cells that can infiltrate the surrounding tissues, and as a result, allows them to metastases or spread.

A Sarcoma is also a malignant tumor that originates either from the connective tissue in your dog’s body, their blood, or their lymphatic tissues. However, there are still two terms in dealing with cancer warning signs in dogs; a growth or a lump. A growth refers to any kind of an abnormal increase in the size of tissue in your dog, and a lump implies a growth or fluid filled cyst. It can also refer to any structure that rises above the normal surface of your dog’s tissue plane.

Warning signs:

Cancer warning signs in dogs can appear anywhere on or in your dog’s body as it can be localized, meaning it is confined to one central location, or it can spread and invade both adjacent tissues as well as spread throughout their body. It is estimated by the medical community that cancer attacks dogs at about the same rate it attacks humans and still accounts for fifty percent of all older dog deaths. All of the first set of cancer warning signs will involve tumors, with skin tumors being the most common.

All skin tumors in dogs will be either lumps or a mass of some type that appear their skin and can include melanomas, lipomas, as well as basil cell and mast cell tumors. The next most common sign is with Lymphoma, but in most cases you will not be able to spot this form other than by the symptoms. This form of cancer affects your dog’s digestive tract as well as their liver. It will cause vomiting, diarrhea, as well as a yellow tinge to develop in your dog’s gums as well as their skin.

It can also cause your dog to cough, which is the worst warning sound you will ever hear from your dog. If you ever hear your dog cough other than to clear their throat if they have eaten or drank too quickly, you need to have it checked immediately. Mammary gland tumors will be the next set of cancer warning signs and are the most common form of cancer in older female dogs that have not been spayed.

It is estimated that over fifty percent of all of the tumors in dogs are mammary tumors, and of these, over fifty percent are malignant. However, this tumor you can spot as it will begin to appear in your dog’s breast tissue and you can easily feel them if you examine the area on a regular basis. The next form of tumor that you need to watch for is abdominal tumors, but this is another one you cannot see or feel. However, you can very easily see the symptoms, as you dog will begin to lose weight for no reason, start to become weak, as well as develop very pale gums.

They will also start to vomit, but it will not be a gagging type of vomiting; instead it will be a protracted form that will be explosive in nature. There are also two other warning signs to watch for; diarrhea that is persistent, as well as an enlarging of their abdomen or stomach area. The last of the cancer warning signs that involve tumors will be testicular tumors. These tumors are the second most common tumors in intact male dogs and these are very easy to identify as your dog will have one normal sized testicle and one that is enlarged.

More warning signs:

Cancer warning signs in dogs also have a list of general warning signs that you can watch for. This list begins with any type of lump or growth that grows very quickly, a firm mass that seems to be attached to an underlying tissue, as well as a pigmented mass. However, this pigmented mass will also begin to change, and this is yet another sign. If your dog has a sore or any type of wound that does not heal, a difficult time in eating or swallowing, as well as a loss of weight or appetite, these are also more cancer warning signs in dogs.

However, the list is still not complete, as it also includes any type of repeated vomiting, especially if your dog is in their middle to late ages. Coughing or any type of labored breathing, bloody urine or a difficulty in urinating, as well as a straining to defecate, are also signs you can watch for. If your dog suddenly becomes very lethargic, especially if they are normally very active, are also warning signs as is a sudden lameness.


Cancer warning signs in dogs and the symptoms can be very easy to identify if you understand what to watch for, especially as your dog gets older. What is extremely important for any owner to remember is that just like cancer in humans, early detection can mean the difference between life and death in most cases, but by no means is it any longer an automatic death sentence.


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Dec 30, 2010 | 0 | Dog health

Dominant Aggressive Dog Behavior

By Mitra Goh

Dogs are animals which naturally live in a pack with a hierarchical order. When a dog is welcomed in a family, that order still exists in the dog’s instinct. That instinct will put you, the owner as the pack leader. However, that does not mean the same for all your family members.

Dogs dominance behavior is displayed from the strongest down to the weakest in the hierarchy when it comes to leading food hunt, fighting for a mate, and defending territory. Just like with humans, dog aggression towards family members is displayed to live up that high status right below yours.

Also known as dog social aggressive behavior, it is crucial that you recognize your dog’s perception as second ranking in the family before it develops danger towards your children or others. These are some reactions from your dog towards another family member to take note; to detect any dogs aggressive behavior.

  • Growls menacingly when its bowl of food or chew toy is taken away
  • Barks menacingly when its disturbed in sleeping or playing
  • Lunge out when someone tries to hug, bend over to touch or carry it up.

This particular dog aggressive behavior only puts insecurity in your family’s life and therefore something has to be done. What you need is professional help with dog dominance training that can be done from home so that your dog will learn to “re-sort” its ranking status with all your family members, especially children. But to help your dominant aggressive dog is to understand better.

Until you seek understanding and solution to dominant aggressive dog behavior, advice your family to take these prevention steps towards your dog:

  • do not take its food away
  • do not take its chew bone, toy or stolen object away
  • do not hug or kiss the dog
  • do not maneuver the dog into lying down on its back
  • do not bathe or groom the dog
  • do not touch the dog’s ears or feet
  • do not jerk or pull the dog’s leash
  • do not verbally abuse the it
  • do not try to hit or threaten it
  • do not go through the door at the same time with it

Click here to see your solution.



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Dec 30, 2010 | 0 | Tips, Understanding Your Dog

Dog Poisoning: What You Need to Know About Common Causes of Dog Poisoning

By Deb Gray

Your dog can be poisoned in a number of different ways including regular “people food;” chemicals around the house and garage; plants and medications. Last year, there were more than 100,000 cases of pet poisoning in the U.S. according to Here’s what you need to know about the most common causes of dog poisoning.

These dangers lurk everywhere, so it’s well worth it to puppy-proof your home when you first get a dog, and to review those puppy-proofing techniques at least once a year.

What to watch for?

1. Know the poisonous foods for dogs and keep them out of reach.

  • poisonous foods for dogs include chocolate, grapes and raisins, alcohol, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, salt in excess and coffee, among others.
  • one surprising source of dog poisoning: raw bread dough or pizza dough. It expands in the dog’s digestive system and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture!
  • the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a complete list of people food that can poison your dog on their website.
  • stick to dog food, limit snacks and ask guests to never feed your dog.

2. Chemicals and cleaners around your home

  • common household cleaners can be deadly; they’re often kept in lower cupboards where a curious dog can paw open the door and get into them.
  • some common poisons around the home, such as antifreeze and sweet-smelling air fresheners, actually have a very sweet taste that animals like, so special care is needed. Antifreeze poisoning in dogs is almost always fatal.
  • child-proof all cupboards that your dog can possibly reach with special latches, and don’t forget to put things in the garage up and out of reach.

3. Poisonous plants for dogs are an other insidious danger, especially around holiday time.

  • ingesting Christmas poinsettias, Christmas rose, holly and mistletoe will all make your dog very sick.
  • some common garden plants poisonous to dogs include azaleas and rhododendrons, hyacinths, hydrangea, tulips, daffodils and Sago palms – just a few seeds may cause vomiting, seizures, and liver failure. Any of these common plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and potentially even death.
  • indoor plants poisonous to dogs include mums, ivy, asparagus fern, calla lily, dracaena, dieffenbachia and philodendron.

And of course dogs should never be exposed to marijuana in any of its forms.

4. Medications

  • just one of our pills dropped on the floor and grabbed up by your dog, especially if it’s a small breed, can mean death.
  • particularly dangerous meds include anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen; antidepressants and Isoniazid, a tuberculosis drug.
  • their own medications, including heartworm and flea treatments, can also cause serious damage if too much is ingested.

In summary, avoid feeding your dog people food of any kind, especially if you’re not sure if it’s on the “dog poison list.” Keep household cleaners and chemicals secured and out of reach and be careful what plants you bring into your environment. You’ll greatly increase your changes of enjoying a happy and healthy dog with these tips.


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Dec 28, 2010 | 1 | Dog first aid, Dog health

Heart of a Foster Dog

This video was made as the creator’s  tribute to those who foster. They say “I made this video after a chihuahua touched my heart and nearly made me give up fostering altogether. I couldn’t give him up. I didn’t think I had the strength to foster. Now, he is moving on and out of my life and another will come. He changed my life.”

See it for yourself..

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Dec 27, 2010 | 0 | Miscellaneous, Rescue Dogs

Merry Christmas Eve

On the eve of Christmas we here at Dogs and Cats would like to wish you a Merry Chsitmas to you and your dogs

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If you like fun/funny videos, don’t forget to check in with us weekly. The FUN and PHOTOS tab hosts lots to amuse you including an updated weekly recommended funny video – check out this week’s selection at


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Dec 24, 2010 | 0 | Videos

3 Tips To Look For In A Great Golden Retriever Breeder

By John Banning

3 Tips to find a good golden retriever breeder

When you have made the decision to get yourself a new golden retriever puppy it’s extremely important that you also find yourself a good golden retriever breeder. Why is this so? Because this one decision that you make will have a long-lasting impact on your dog’s health, dog’s happiness and your dog’s overall character as the breeder that you choose.

The problem is finding a good golden retriever breeder can be somewhat troublesome. Why is this? The answer is simple – the golden retriever is an extremely popular dog. This means that there’s going to be lots of people out there trying to make an easy buck off of your decision-making process. If you’re not informed, or if you don’t have all the facts straight, then you will be the target for some of these people. Now it may sound like I’m being over dramatic but I’m really not. The country is full of puppy mills. Chances are anyone that buys a puppy at a pet store has bought a puppy from a puppy mill. If you’re a true dog lover or even someone who cares about animals even this slightest thing this is something that you want to avoid.

First of all, under no circumstances, are you to buy a puppy at a pet shop. Once again, it’s practically guaranteed that the puppy that you get from a pet shop will in fact be from a puppy mill. A lone fact that the animals from a pet store are treated essentially like a commodity. A new family member should not be purchased from someone who’s merely looking to make them the maximum amount of money, instead, you want to purchase your new dog from someone that has a genuine love of the breed.

It’s actually very easy to sort out when you have found a great breeder.

Kennel club membership

The first thing that you want to look for or ask about when you visit your breeder is his kennel club memberships. The ideal breeder will belong to at a minimum the AKC, as well as a local dog club of some kind. Why is this important? Again it’s very simple. You want to find a breeder that has invested money, time and knowledge into his breed. There is no better way to do this than by belonging to the call clubs. It also shows that the individual you are dealing with as a depth of knowledge about the subject that he is talking about.

Ribbons and Awards

You also want to be able to see what’s awards are at your breeders place of business. This shows a level of pride in his organization. It also means that he’s breeding the best possible dogs because only the best dogs win these sorts of awards. This is the kind of dog that you want even if you don’t plan to register it and show it. It will have come from the best stock and it will have been bred with care and will most likely be an excellent specimen of the breed.

Testing programs

A good breeder will be more than happy to show you his vaccination programs and his inoculation programs that his dogs follow. He will be more than happy to show you the minimum tests that he does on his breeding stock. Chances are he will offer this information before you even ask.

If you follow these three tips and ask these questions or look for the signs you will have found a good breeder. Of course you can always ask your vet ask friends that had good luck but if these signs are missing then you may wish to rethink your decision or move on to the next person on the list. Good luck.


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Dec 20, 2010 | 0 | Dog breed information

Greyhound Adoption

Did you know they Greyounds make great pets? They have had an awful life and need love.. once they are no good to be a racing dog they are not wanted! they can be in cages for years and yet they are beautiful gentle gods.. I mean dogs..

This video is one example.. they say:

“Where do greyhounds go after their days on the track are over? Long Island Greyhound Transfer (LIGHT) is finding loving homes for these speedy pooches.”

See the video here – YouTube Preview Image


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Dec 19, 2010 | 0 | Choosing your dog, Dog breed information

How To Choose Dog Names For Your Puppy

By Athena Andris

If you just added a new puppy or dog to your family, one of the first orders of business is naming your pup. Your dog’s name is an important part of how he will be perceived by others and the way they react to him, so the name you choose is important. Just think about it this way….

You are at the dog park and in the off-leash area you hear an owner call out to his dog: Bruiser, Dagger, or Lucifer, come here. Now ask yourself, would you think twice about going into the area with your little Snowball?

So just how do you go about choosing a great name for your dog?

5 Steps for Choosing Dog Names

  1. Type of Dog – What breed of dog do you own? Search the breed traits to help narrow down your choices. If you have a strong, bold, fearless breed you can lean towards a name that fits those traits like Hercules and vice versa.
  2. Physical Characteristics – Use your dog’s physical features to help you decide on a name. Does your new dog have any distinguished markings? For instance, a white dog with black fur just around his eyes could be named Zorro!
  3. Personality – Watch and play with your new puppy a few days to see what his personality is really like. A super playful pup could be called Zippy, whereas the pup that just wants to sleep all day could be called Slumber.
  4. Sex of dog – You can narrow your choices down further depending on whether your dog is a male or female. Or you can decide on a unisex name for your pet.
  5. Command sounding names – Stay away from names rhyming with commands. A dog named Shay might confuse his name with the command Stay.

A few more tips to naming your dog

Make it a family decision: If you have children in your family, have everyone suggest names for your new dog or puppy. Once everyone contributes, vote on the names as a family to narrow down to the final name. Your dog’s name should be one the entire family likes.
Get inspiration from your favorite things: There are lots of different sources you can use to get inspiration for names. Try your favorite comic book heroes, celebrity names, city names, or choose your favorite clothing designer’s name or brand names, like Gucci. The possibilities are endless.

Just remember whatever dog name you choose for your new family member, you will be using it quite often each and everyday, so be sure you like the name and it is one your dog will easily respond to.


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Dec 18, 2010 | 0 | Choosing your dog, Puppies, Rescue Dogs, Tips

Dog-Gone Fun at Doggy Daycare

By Thomas Ladt

Long workdays and other obligations prevent a considerable amount people from giving their dogs the proper time needed to exercise and burn off any excess energy. In some cases, all that built up energy – combined with hours away from the pet owners – can cause dogs to have anxiety attacks. As a coping mechanism to deal with the stress, these dogs will often use their unbridled energy to act out destructively on their surrounding environment. If you’re looking for ways to unleash your pet’s unspent energy, consider a trip to dog day care.

Doggie day care is exactly what it sounds like: A supervised environment catering to dogs that provides ample opportunity for exercise and other enjoyable activities. The frequency to which you take your canine to doggy daycare is totally up to you. The first dog day care center opened in New York City in 1987. Since then, a slew of pet day care centers have opened their doors across the country and around the globe, giving dog owners an ample selection of facilities to choose from.

The cost of taking your dog to one of these day care centers depends on several factors, including the type of activities provided and whether the facility is a commercial operation or based from home.
Home-based day care facilities usually have a lower number of dog clientele than commercial operations, which might be more appealing to owners with dogs that are less social with their own kind and prefer more human interaction.

Commercial centers tend to be a better fit with canines that enjoy interacting with other dogs. These types of operations usually have open play areas, which give your dog plenty of opportunity to make new friends. Whether you choose a commercial or home-based, proof that your pet is healthy and up-to-date with vaccinations is mandatory for enrollment in any facility. Tips for choosing the right doggy day care

- Make sure the facility is clean and odor free.

- Make a mental note of the questions asked by staff during the application process. The more detailed information asked about your dog is often a good indicator of the quality of service provided by the facility. Avoid centers with little or no emphasis on an application or screening process for potential canine enrollees.

- Examine the play areas to ensure the facility has safe and secure indoor and outdoor space for your pet to roam. Also ask about how the areas are monitored and the number of staff on-hand supervising the dogs during playtime.

- Inquire about the type of disciplinary methods employed by staff during dicey situations and when dogs get a little out of control. Don’t forget to ask about the day care’s access to emergency medical services in the event of an injury.

- Get details on nap times and the type of sleeping quarters made available to your pet. Make sure to ask about lunch time as well. See what type of food and snacks are served, and whether packing your dog’s lunch is an option.


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Dec 16, 2010 | 0 | Tips