Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dog Walkers in New York City

When considering dog ownership in New York City, one of the things you have to ask yourself is "how do I walk my dog in the City"? I am a "rural" dog, so don't really know what city life is like. My owner just opens the door and I'm off to run, sniff about, and "take care of business" on my own, but it's a more complicated thing when you live in a City. Most live in apartments, and some do not want to be running out with their dog whenever the dog wants to go out. Plus we do need our exercise. Perhaps you are unable to walk your dog due to illness, or not wanting to miss part of a game that you are watching on television.

11/7/13 update: Please note that this blog was written as if Aspen, our Yorkie wrote it in first person until August 2013 when we had to say a tearful goodbye to our beloved dog.  We miss her still, but will continue to maintain this blog in her memory.

If you are in New York and dog walking is a challenge for you for any reason, it's nice to know that there's a service like Swifto Dog Walking to come to your rescue. In fact, they promise to be at your door within an hour of your call. This is true no matter where you live in New York City and no matter what time you need a dog walker.

We were happy to see that Swifto is a member of, and insured, by Pet Sitters Associates. It's nice to know that their dog walking service comes with a money back guarantee and all dog walkers are pre-screened. It's good to know that there is such a nice dog walking service for the NYC dweller for those times when you need one.

This post contains both personal and sponsored information written by me on behalf of Swifto
All opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Should We Get Another Yorkie?

Is it okay to get another dog when you have had a dog for as many years as I've lived with my family?  And for some of you, is it a good idea to bring a pet into the home at all?

My owner was looking at the animals that are in our local animal shelter, which she has "liked" on Facebook, and found that they have a little young Yorkie that needs a home.  We are such cute dogs, that we tend to get adopted easily, and she was tempted to consider adopting another dog, so she asked a few questions.

I'm not sure what it would be like to have another dog come into our home after being the "top dog" around here for almost 13 years.  It may be fun, it may not.  It is a nice thing to do for a homeless dog, but people have to take time to think about how they are going to add this new family member to their homes.  Some things to consider:

  1. How does the dog you have act around other dogs or when other dogs are brought into the home to visit? Try it if you haven't.

  2. Are you going to be home to help the new dog transition into the home, watching to see how the dogs respond to one another and react accordingly?

  3. What kind of personality does the dog have that you are bringing into the home, and how well will it match with the dog that you already have?

  4. What kind of background did the dog it's previous home were there children or other pets?

  5. How was the dog treated in it's former home?  Was it abused?

  6. Has it had all of it's shots and what is it's health history?

  7. How much time do you have to give to a dog?  They need companionship from you or another pet if you work all day.

  8. What size dog would best suit where you are living?

  9. Do you have time to train a dog?

All of the above applies to other types of animals as well.

Take your time when you are considering bringing a pet into your home.  Yes, do adopt a dog from a shelter if you can, but be wise in your would be very sad to have to return it to the shelter if things don't work out.

Consider all of the above when purchasing a dog as well, or the poor thing may end up in a shelter if you are not satisfied.  Pets should be considered part of the family, they should not be dispensable...please, please, please be careful when you are considering bringing a new pet into the home.  At the same time, do consider adopting one from a shelter if your home and lifestyle permit it...there are so many pets that need good LOVING homes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tonight I got my Rabies Vaccine

We live in a town that gives free rabies shots for dogs and cats if you happen to be in town when they are giving them.  This year my owners were out of town for the weekend, so I had to go get my shot tonight.  I hate getting shots, and am glad it's over-with now.  My owner had a flu shot a couple of days ago and is talking about how much his arm hurts as a result...well a rabies shot isn't any fun either.

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) has written a publication, "What You Need to Know About the Rabies Vaccination" to help you understand what this shot is all about.

Now we wait and see if my rabies vaccination shot site hurts, but hurt or not, it's something that has to be done or I don't get my annual dog license, and if they come around and we don't have our licenses, there is a fine.  So not getting your rabies shot can lead from one problem to another, and are a must in our Town.

How about your Town or City, are rabies shots required where you live too?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Need Dog Health Questions Answered?

You don't have to look at the categories and pages along the right for very long to realize that we like providing answers to dog health questions.

But we aren't the only blog that likes to help answer your questions about dogs.  We have a friend who keeps another blog called "Ask About Dogs" that you're going to want to take a look at.

The site provides you with dog health and dog care advice of all kinds.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Expressing Dog Anal Glands

We learned the hard way about impacted anal glands and how to express them.  I got sick during our own natural disaster, Hurricane Irene, and my owners were doing their best to keep up with flooding issues and me not feeling well at the same time.

I couldn't tell them that it wasn't just the Pancreatitis that I'd had before...but something more.  At first it seemed like I was doing better when they started treating me for the Pancreatitis, but then one Saturday I was miserable and in pain.  These are the things I did to try to let my owners know what was wrong, and some things that they should have picked up if they weren't so distracted by the weather, power failure, etc.:

  • I scooted around dragging my bottom on the floor, they just thought it was itchy, but it was more than that

  • I licked myself a lot trying to clean my anal area, which made me feel sick..and icky thing to have to do

  • I didn't have an appetite.

  • I skulked around the house with my head down, flopping down wherever I felt like it.

  • My belly felt bloated and distended, and felt hot, I was feverish

Finally my owner looked online, and through searching for different things about dogs anal glands, she found that they can need what they call "expressing" and if they aren't cleaned, they can get impacted.  She realized I had all the symptoms she was reading about, and tried to find a video on how to express the anal glands.  There were a few, but this is one that you can see really well, and of a small dog, so it was most helpful:

BUT, my owner couldn't do this, and decided to take me to the vet (finally) after the weekend. The vet said that because I had diarrhea, maybe from stress related to the storm, he wanted to hydrate me so gave me fluids under the skin. Also told my owner to continue to treat me for the Pancreatitis, and then he expressed the glands. He said that they were very full and that what they contained was thick, so hard to express.

I came home and now it's over a week later, and I'm better almost right away after that, and now my owner will know the signs and symptoms that show the anal glands need to be expressed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do Dogs Know What You're Feeling?

Either dogs can sense what you are feeling or they are able to read body language.  I know when my owner is feeling blue, and sometimes I want to comfort her by sitting close to her.  I don't think there is anything mystical about it, it's just the way the person looks or acts that makes us aware of their emotions.  I know my owner doesn't like thunder storms, neither do I, but as soon as there is thunder, I sit up against her...she knows I'm not afraid because I would be trembling if I was.  Whenever there is a clap of thunder, I bark at it, not because it is thundering, but at it, because I want it to go away so my owner is more peaceful.

It goes the other way too, when I am afraid, I tremble.  When dogs are not feeling well...we tend to want to go somewhere and be alone.  We have feelings and tend to show them more than some least I think we do.  So pay attention to us and do your best to read us...we need your help and comfort sometimes, too.

You can click this article about Dogs and Human Emotions if you like, the writer feels a bit different than I do about the whole thing, but I am "just" a dog, after all.

What about you?  Does your dog sense your fears and other emotions?

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Eat Rachael Rays Nutrish Dog Food - Do You?

I have a very sensitive doggie digestive system, and my owner used to have to make a special trip to a feed store to find food that didn't upset my tummy. Then she discovered Rachael Ray's Nutrish brand of dog food at our local supermarket, read the ingredients on the package, liked what she saw, and I've been eating it for about a year now.

11/7/13 update: Please note that this post was originally written as if Aspen were writing in first person.  In August of 2013 we said goodbye to our sweet Aspen, but her blog lives on.  She ate this food right up until the end and lived a good happy long life.

SO, when the opportunity to try a free sample (you can try it the link and see if it is still available at this update) of a different variety of Nutrish called Rachael Ray Nutrish just 6 dry dog food , we jumped on the opportunity. My owner knew I liked to open presents, and that's just what I tried to do when she gave it to me all wrapped in a new dog dish and tied with a ribbon that has dog footprints on it, it was cute but when transferring this blog, lost the picture:-(

Let me tell you about the good things in Rachael Ray Nutrish just 6 dry dog food . There are 6 natural ingredients, plus vitamins and minerals that dogs like me need. There are snacks in the "just 6" line too, but we tried the dog food. The key ingredient in the package we received was lamb, there is also rice, natural chicken flavor, beet pulp, and other nutritious ingredients and vitamins. You can get other varieties as well. There isn't any corn, wheat or soy...things that more and more dog owners want to avoid. It is a completely balanced diet so you don't have to worry about your dog missing any of the nutrients he or she needs.

I should tell you that I am an older dog, and like many older dogs my size, have lost some of my teeth. So my owner adds some water to my dry food. Good dry food that isn't overly full of cereals does not swell up as much as foods with less meat...we liked how this food responded when we added water. Younger dogs and dogs with a full set of teeth won't have to worry about adding water.

When you buy Rachael Ray's Nutrish dog foods, a percentage goes to Racheal's Rescue. We're hoping you'll visit the site and maybe try a free sample. They offer coupons, too!

This post contains personal and sponsored information written by me on behalf of Nutrish
All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flea Repellent You can Make Yourself

My owner has used Frontline on me to get rid of fleas for years. She just gave me my first "dose" of it for the spring season a couple of weeks ago. I get a terrible rash all over my body with just a couple flea bites, so it's important to keep me treated.

While we were looking at information about flea repellents, we found that there is actually a natural herbal repellent you can use on dogs, cats and other furry animals as long as their skin is not sensitive to it.

What you do is combine 1 part eucalyptus powder; 1 part pennyroyal, sage or rosemary powder; 1 part fennel powder; 1 part yellow dock powder. Put all in something that has a shaker top...we keep a few emptied spice bottles that have shaker tops around to use for things like this.

Try a bit on your pet to make sure they are not sensitive to it. If all seems okay, sprinkle just enough so that the smell is evident on the fur, brushing hair against the grain as you sprinkle it on.

Do not get it in your pet's eyes...concentrate on areas like the back and "chest" area of the belly where they won't lick too much. You don't want to overdo it, and again, make sure it won't irritate your pet's skin.

You can also sprinkle this on carpets to repel fleas in the house, or around the perimeters of the room or outside of the house to keep them away. How often you do this is a matter of trial and shouldn't have to use it every day on your pet unless they are particularly infested. I'd definitely put some on before going for hikes in the woods or grassy fields.

We have just discovered this, and are thinking of giving it a try. Have any of you ever tried natural herbal flea repellents for your pets? If so, tell us about it in a comment.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Strangest Items Surgically Removed from Dogs

Maybe you think that spaying or neutering your dog are the most common reasons for surgery...and maybe they are.  But dogs need surgery for some of the strangest things as well.

Some dogs eat just about anything, and sometimes the things they eat cannot be passed through the digestive system, and cause intestinal blockages, and need removal.

I am a small dog, and admit that I do eat some very strange things...I like licking the bottom of my owners shoes, or eating small things while out on the deck...a good reason to make sure all our dogs immunizations are up to date and making sure we're getting our heartworm pills.

Anyway, strange things removed from a dogs intestines are usually in larger dogs who have bigger mouths than mine, and can include:

  • Socks - This is a big one, and if you are missing a sock and have a dog that likes playing with your socks, and your dog is vomiting, you may need to consider this should keep dirty socks in the laundry and out of reach.

  • Stones - yes, we are known to eat rocks and even sticks when we're outside, for some odd reason.  Keep an eye on us, if you can, when we're outdoors, and if you keep us penned outside, make sure there isn't anything around that we could eat when your not looking.  (And make sure we have shade and water in the summer and a warm place to go in the winter!)

  • Undies - Sounds disgusting, doesn't it?  Some dogs are kind of disgusting to humans because we find smelly socks and smelly underwear is appealing. Sorry if you have a sensitive stomach, this is just something you should know if you own a dog.  Don't leave those things lying around on the floor...they belong where you put your dirty laundry.

  • Dog Toys - including balls that we like to play with

There are many other things surgically removed from dogs, you can do your homework searching online....we just write this to make you aware that even though we're cute, we don't think like you, and dogs can eat strangest and sometimes the most disgusting things!

Since a dog vomiting is sometimes a symptom of blockage, we thought we'd include this video about reasons why dogs vomit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

About Chow Chow Puppies and Dogs

One of my neighbors has a Chow-Chow, a beautiful fluffy dog that you want to run to and pet because it looks so soft and love-able. However, when my owner attempted to do so, she was warned by the owner that her Chow-Chow was very protective and would attack if we were to get near, so, we have had to enjoy the only Chow-Chow we know from a distance.

This doesn't mean that all Chow-Chows have bad temperaments, in fact, if we search for information on the temperament of a Chow-Chow, we find results that span from saying they are wonderful with children, to being aggressive, especially when protecting their home and family. I will leave it to the reader to do further research on that, and choose their pet wisely.

We tend to think, and hope that it is true, that a pet will be only as good as the owner that raised it...if you are kind and gentle yet disciplined in raising your dog from a puppy, then your dog will grow up to be the same. If you do not raise your dog from a puppy, but acquire it from a shelter, then you should go to a shelter where they take time to learn the personality of the dog before placing it in a home, or bring it into your home only if there is no risk of harming home or members of the family. These are things that seem obvious, but sometimes one is taken in by the cuteness (just look at the puppy cute!) of the beautiful Chow Chow dog or puppy, and they don't think about how the dogs personality and habits might affect the home.

If you would like further, more detailed information about this breed, be sure to take a look at wiki Chow-Chow information.  To view the Chow Chow breed standards set by the American Kennel Club, visit this link.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Dog Mouth is Cleaner than a Human's

At least I'd like to think so, as a dog. But whether a dogs mouth is cleaner than a human mouth is not something my owners can agree we're going to do a little research, and use a lot of common sense.

First, we naturally clean everything you can think of from ourselves, and from everywhere...if you know what I mean...everywhere. We lick our feet after we've been outdoors to clean off whatever might be on them, we lick our private parts....because we don't know how to use toilet paper, we eat yucky things off the floor, I even knock over my owner's size 13 shoes when he gets home from work to sniff...and sometimes lick them...then we jump up and love to give you kisses...right on the lips.

I have overheard discussions that my owners have had on the subject, one says that maybe we have some super anti-bacterial properties on our tongues and in our mouths that instantly kill any bacteria on, that just isn't true. We do lick our wounds and can heal our own selves, and there may be some good things on our saliva, but our mouths and the hair around our mouths are full of bacteria. Unlike humans, we do not get sick from e-coli bacteria like you do, for obvious reasons...we're designed by God to clean ourselves and not get sick from it.

After reading all that, do you still think a dogs mouth is cleaner than a humans? Let us know!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Antifreeze Can Kill a Dog

A few weeks ago it was time to check the cars to see if they had enough antifreeze in them. This is something that people put in cars so that the liquid that circulates around the engine doesn't freeze.

It's great for cars, but terrible for dogs like me. I heard that about 3 Tablespoons could be enough to kill a 20 lb. dog, imagine what it could do to a little 7 lb. dog like me! It has a sweet taste, so we are tempted to lick it....that includes licking it off our paws if our owners don't keep us from stepping in it. Then we get very very sick and if it's too much, may become so sick that we die.

It attacks our nervous systems and kidneys, and we act like we're drunk within 1/2 hours to up to 12 hours depending upon how much we get into our systems. If we don't get treated in 3-8 hours, it may be fatal.

We just wanted to share that today since it's the time of the year, especially around here, when everyone is making sure that they have enough antifreeze in their cars, and if they put it into their cars themselves, there's just a chance of it spilling on the ground, and a dog finding it or walking in it and then licking either the puddle of it or licking it off their feet.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eye Problems and Disease in Dogs

The older a dog gets, the more likely they are to develop eye problems.  This is unfortunate, and something that I am beginning to experience.  So my owner and I did some searching around, and found some information that we are sharing with permission about common dog eye problems.  I hope you will find it helpful.

Sometimes you just have to adjust because there is little you can do, and one thing about most of us is that we do adjust pretty well most of the time.

Here's the information we found:

Eye Problems In Older Dogs by Becky Day

Regrettably, most senior dogs do not see as well as they did when they were younger, there are 4 conditions listed here that cause their world to become over cast.

Cataracts are the most common cause. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens. They occur when the normal mechanics of the lens is altered, and the normal balance of water and protein in the eye alter, allowing excess water to enter the lens. The eye has a whitish cloudiness to it. If the cataracts have progressed sufficiently, your dog could show signs of vision loss.

Most senior dogs at some point develop a blue-gray color instead of a white color on their eyes. Many individuals often mistake this development for cataracts, it is far more likely that these dogs actually have a condition referred to as nuclear stenosis, which has little effect on the dog's ability to see.

The only cure for cataracts is to have the lens removed surgically. But should your canine has diabetes or you have an elderly dog that is failing in health, it might be best to merely get treatment for any inflammation that the cataracts have caused and naturally, to take as many measures as you can to reestablish your elderly dogs overall health.

Older dogs are especially vulnerable to conjunctivitis or "Pink eye", of which is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that surrounds the eyeball and eyelids. This common canine eye ailment has many causes, including bacterial or viral infections, foreign bodies in the eye, irritation from shampoos and dips, or possibly allergies, and a wide range of other underlying eye diseases.

Conjunctivitis. A dog with conjunctivitis exhibits very apparent signs of distress in the eye area. Redness will occur in the white parts of the eye and, or the eyelids, your pooch may squint or even paw at the affected eye. The eye will more than likely emit a discharge, though the nature of the discharge typically depends upon the main cause of the conjunctivitis.

To remedy conjunctivitis, the vet will try and determine what triggered the condition in the first place. If the veterinarian can pinpoint the cause, treatment is going to be according to his findings. The vet will begin by alleviating the discomfort your pet is feeling. If the veterinarian does not find a exact cause, he generally prescribes a topical antibiotic and or corticosteroid to decrease irritation and eliminate the infection. Conjunctivitis clears up relatively fast if the underlying cause is identified and eliminated. If the cause is unknown, treatment of the symptoms tends to be slow.

Dry eye, formally known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, results when a dog's eye does not produce enough tears. Causes of dry eye include skin allergies, side effects of certain drugs, and of course, age. Amongst some breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, and West Highland Terriers, the condition is rather common. With no treatment, the surface of the cornea can become damaged, that can significantly increase the distress your canine is already feeling and will certainly lead to blindness.

A canine with dry eye develops a red eye that discharges thick mucus. Your dog will start to squint to alleviate the discomfort or paw at the eyes. Crusty material tend to form at the corners.

Dry eye does respond very well to proper treatment. Cyclosporine in cream or liquid form, a couple times daily can enhance your dog's tear production. Artificial tears and antibiotic eye medications can help as well. Wiping away the crusty eye material at the corners is a good plan, just soak a cotton ball with warm water or purchase dog wipes designed to be gentle around the eye area. The moisture will soften the crusts so that it is less difficult to wipe away. Unfortunately, in a number of cases, treatment continues for the rest of your dog's life.

Glaucoma results when the fluid within the eye, which normally drains directly into the circulatory system, is blocked from making such an exit. Consequently, the fluid accumulates and takes up space in the eye, resulting in fluid pressure inside the eye to increase. As the pressure increases, the optic nerve becomes irreversibly damaged. With no treatment, the dog loses sight in the eye.

A unexpected bright redness in the eye is a typical symptom of glaucoma. Other signs consist of light sensitivity, dilated pupils, loss of vision, eyelid spasms, eye enlargement, discoloration or cloudiness of the cornea, and rubbing or pawing of the eye area. The dog also may tilt his head on the same side as the affected eye to be able to reduce the pressure. Unlike human glaucoma, the doggy version of this disease can be highly aggressive, because of this, your canine can lose sight in the eye within just a few days if he is not treated as quickly as possible.

Treatment will depend on whether or not any sight remains in the afflicted eye. If the eye retains some sight, surgery to either diminish the production of fluid or to bypass the blockage can help. To decrease pressure within the eye, prescribed medications can help. When the pupil no longer responds to light, your dog loses his or her vision in the afflicted eye. When this occurs, the best course of action is frequently to remove the eye in order to remove any infection or pain that results from the disease. A prosthetic eye may be used to replace the eye.

A dog with glaucoma eventually loses sight in the afflicted eye, and frequently, unfortunately, the other eye is affected later. Prompt treatment may put off the inevitable, usually for quite a while.

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