Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Perfect Backyard Dog

Those of you that have decided to grow a garden this summer or are planning to add some landscaping to your yard and own a dog will know that it can be quite interesting trying to keep your dog from having a blast in the garden or in the bushes.

As a responsible dog owner, you will want to take precautions, not only to prevent destruction of the garden, but for the safety of your loyal and trusting companion. You need to take steps to protect your dog from any toxic fertilizers or plants.

Here are some tips to help you create a backyard fit for a dog.
Leave spaces between shrubs so dogs can run between them to reduce damage.

Install a fence. Even the best behaved dogs will have trouble holding back the desire to chase that squirrel!

Check your yard for potentially toxic plants, such as a nightshade, which is a poisonous weed. Remove these immediately. They pose not only a danger to your pet, but to your children.
Know that even though some parts of a plant are safe for humans, it could be toxic for your dog, such as tomatoes.

Do not use rocks or mulch that smells good. Dogs can choke or will want to eat the mulch.
Use organic products instead of toxic pesticides to manage bugs.

Train your dog to stay away from the garden.

Avoid planting poisonous plants where you know your dog will be. Find a place where the dog is not able to get to for these plants.

Avoid mulch made from cocoa bean hulls because dogs will eat it because it has a strong chocolate fragrance. It can also contain caffeine and theobromine stimulants that will make a dog sick or could be fatal if eaten in huge quantities. This is according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

You can actually help reduce the lawn from being destroyed by dog urine by encouraging your dog to drink plenty of fresh water. This will help to dilute the urine so it is not so strong.
Train your dog and praise him with lot of treats and love.

Show him the boundaries. You should grab that pet stroller and pet jacket and leave your house the same way when going for a walk outside of the yard. Either get into the car or always leave the yard by the drive way. This will help to confuse your dog and will help in training the boundaries of the yard and areas where he is not allowed.

Play, play, play. If you take the time to play with your dog out in the yard, this will give you lots of chances to train him to stay away from specific areas, but will also give him the sense of belonging in the areas you allow him to be in. After a long hard day of play, he will be ready to sleep in his beloved pet bed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Furry Friends Tidbits

Enjoy our monthly little tidbits on your furry friends. Here you will find interesting fun facts on dogs and cats or any other little tidbits of information from delicious pet recipes to different types of pet beds to fun games to play with your pet. You never know what you will find, so join us each month for some fun and exciting tidbits!

Five Fun Facts
Adult dogs have forty-two teeth.

Did you know a dog can carry HALF it own weight comfortably in a backpack? Your dog would be a great companion on a hike or camping trip!

When a dog chews on grass, it does not always mean it has a tummy ache, grass adds fiber to his diet. It is a dog’s salad!

Kittens are born with blue eyes, just like a baby. If their eyes will change, it will occur at four to five weeks of age.

Cats will meow at people, but will rarely meow at other cats. Plus, they could put in a growl or two with the dog they share a house with!

Popular and Unique Names for your Pets
Dog Names:

Cat Names
Sabrina Lily

A Game to Play with your Pet

Treasure Hunt:
Have your dog sit and stay. Put a treat or special toy within sight. Give you dog the release command to run to her treat or toy. Let her eat it or play with it. After you do this a couple of times, have her sit and stay again, but this time change the place you put the treat or toy, still within sight. After a couple of times doing this, you can “hide” the treat or toy. The first time you hide it, you will want her to see you putting it there, but you don’t want her seeing the item. Each time you hide it, put it further away. You can even start hiding more than one item. This game is a lot of fun for both of you!

Pet Products
Pet strollers are a great way to take your dog or cat out for a walk or to give them a break on the way back from a long playtime in the park.

Pet beds are wonderful to have for your pets to have a special place to sleep after that long walk or playtime in the park!

Pet costumes or clothes are great for cold weather or simply for fun. Check out all of the cute costumes and coats available these days!

Dog Recipes – Warning these can be too tempting for humans!

This section is dedicated to all of those who like to make your own natural dog food or treats.

Whole Wheat Cheese Snaps:
1 cup uncooked oatmeal1-½ cup hot water or meat juice/broth1 cup grated cheese1 egg, beaten1 cup wheat germ¼ cup margarine½ cup powdered milk4 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 300 F (150° C).
In large bowl, pour hot water over oatmeal and margarine: let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in powdered milk, grated cheese, salt and egg. Add wheat germ. Mix well. Add flour, 1/3 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Knead 3 or 4 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make very stiff dough. Pat or roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.

Bake for 1 hour. Turn off heat and leave in oven for 1-½ hours or longer.

Makes approximately 2-¼ pounds.

Your furry little friend will love these delicious and homemade treats made from the heart!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tips for Introducing Cats and Dogs - July

When I brought our new puppy home, I was afraid that the cat would turn into a very mean cat. She was already “evil” according to our kids, but she was just a loner. She was actually starting to come around where you could actually pet her. She basically tolerates us to make us happy so that we will continue feeding her! So, she allows us to pet her for about three strokes and then she dashes.

So, bringing in a new puppy into the mix was going to be interesting. I was concerned that she would just become mean. The strangest thing happened. She actually became even more tolerant of us. She has turned into a pretty sweet kitty.

She bats and growls at my puppy, but luckily she does not have those front claws! However, it seems as though she actually tries to get the puppy to chase after her. It is pretty amazing the change I have seen in our cat. Now, the puppy will sit there and take the batting at her face because she thinks it is all in play. Little does she know!

Here are some tips to help you introduce your new dog or cat to your pets.

Be prepared to look for the perfect addition to your family. You will need to be sure you are aware of the needs of the dog or cat, as they are different.

Make sure you are able to provide time and resources for both pets.

Prepare your home before bringing in a new pet. Be sure to clearly mark their territory for their pet beds, food, and litter areas. Try to make it so that neither pet can intrude on the other pets resting area.

It is important to clip both animals’ claws before their first meeting.

Each pet should be allowed to smell the other pets blanket to begin the introduction. This helps to avoid surprise.

Give each pet extra attention and praise and be sure to spend quality time individually with each pet. Consider taking them both out for a walk individually. Grab the pet stroller and the pet coat and venture out with your new kitty or puppy.

Monitor them closely for the first thirty days for any aggression. Do not leave them alone until you are positive there is a bonding. If you have to leave, you will need to separate them by putting them in different rooms.

Refrain from punishing either one if they do not get along on their first meeting. This will cause negative feelings. They will resent the other pet because they were punished.

Love, love and love some more-give each pet an abundance of love and praise, especially in the beginning.

Hopefully with time your pets will learn to get along or will love each other at first sight. Usually, it takes a little bit of time for them to come around. Good luck on your new venture and your new little addition.

Friday, July 4, 2008

How to Give your Dog CPR - July

We are all aware of how important it is to know how to give CPR to a person, but have you really ever thought of what you would do if your dog was choking? How much of a tragedy would it be if you could have saved your dog’s life, if only you would have taken the time to learn how to give your dog CPR?

This month’s “how to” is designed to help give you the steps you need to save your dog’s life in the tragic event that your dog chokes. This can happen all too easily with all of the toys that are available for dogs these days. This article does not take the place of a professional training course. It is recommended that you enroll in a professional training course for more specific detailed training.

CPR for dogs under 30 pounds and puppies

Put the dog on the right side.

Locate the dog’s heart in the chest just behind the points on the front elbows. Put a cupped hand over the heart on either side of the chest. One hand should be resting between the dog’s body and the floor, while compressing one to one-and-a-half inches. Count to one, then release for one count. Do this at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.

If you have someone who can help you perform the CPR, you can give one breath using mouth to nose breathing every two to three compressions. If you are alone, you should do one breath every five compressions.

Puppies are a little different. Use your thumb on one side of the puppy’s chest, with your fingers on the other side. You will not need as much force, but you must be sure the compressions are strong enough to compress the chest.

CPR for dogs over 30 pounds

You will follow the steps above, except you should use both hands on the same side of the chest. Do NOT place your hand directly over the heart. Instead you will need to kneel on your dog’s back and place the heel of your hand at the widest part of the rib cage and put your other hand on top of it.

Keep your elbows straight and push straight down while compressing the chest two to three inches at a rate of one and a half to two times per second.

If you have someone that can assist you, you can give one nose-to-mouth breath every two to three compressions. If you are alone, give one breath every five compressions.
It is important to continue to give your dog CPR until your dog has a steady pulse and is breathing on his own.

Grab your dog’s pet bed and rush your dog to the veterinarian or nearest emergency facility. It is likely that your dog’s ribs have been fractured during CPR.

You could be faced with this tragic situation. Don’t take for granted the time you have with your dog. Take some time each day to spend quality time with your dog. Take out the pet stroller and go for a long walk. Make the most of every minute you have with your loyal furry friend.