January 17, 2018

2 Tips On Feeding Miniature Dog Breeds

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Although miniature dog breeds are so adorably cute, you have to remember that what they may lack in carriage, they overcompensate with personality. And a huge ego plus a very compliant owner can doggy care a real problem. Aside from grooming, obedience and house training issues, feeding miniature dog breeds can also be a pain. However, professional dog trainers say that this issue could be avoided altogether – or at the very least, circumvented to make a harmonious accord with pet and pet owner. All it would take is a bit of discipline… on the part of the owner. So if you have a miniature doggy pet nipping at your heels, here are tips on how you can make feeding time a breeze.

1. Feed a little but feed often. Here’s the thing: your miniature pet also has a miniature stomach, so feeding it a large volume of food in one meal can actually make it sick. But because your pet can be an energy bursting dynamo, it tends to use up a lot of calories as well. So feeding your pet as much as four times a day is acceptable, but you need to limit its portions and space its meal times to 3 to 4 hours apart.

2. Never deviate from the assigned meal time. Giving your pet scraps of food whenever you feel like it can have dire consequences. For starters, this upsets the dog’s eating pattern. Secondly, you are actually encouraging your pet to become overweight or even obese. And lastly, the dog will learn to manipulate you into giving it food whenever. The more you give in, the more obnoxious your little pet can become as it grows older.

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Worlds Ugliest Dog

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I just came across this news article about the worlds ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. It caught my eye because a Chihuahua mix won and being a new Chi owner myself I’m partial to the breed. There’s a pic of her on the front page of the story – I think she’s cute myself!

Check it out here

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Basic Tips For Choosing A Dog Breed

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Choosing a dog breed is not as simple as matching a terrier to your active lifestyle. It might surprise you how some of these so called dynamos can actually be very sedentary, while others are not only active, but frisky to the point of destructive as well. No canine pet is inherently bad, but with improper guidance and training, this may happen. So if you are thinking about adopting a dog, here are some questions you need to address first.

1. Do you intend to have your pet socialize with other home pets or with children? If you answer yes, then you need to train your dog to socialize well with the others. Otherwise, you may find yourself visiting the vet or your health care provider too often and for all the wrong reasons too. Despite the popular misconception, small dogs and miniatures are not really great pets for very young kids. However, you would not want to have a very large dog overwhelming your other pets, or your kids.

2. What is your purpose for acquiring a pet? Do you want a quiet house companion? Would you care for a watchdog? Are you looking to train a dog for tricks? Would you want a dog for competitive training? Would the dog be socializing with other people, (as with the cases of trained animals doing hospital visits?) In this case, you need to consider the temperament of your canine companion above everything else. Although there are some breeds that may be known to be of a certain type, individual personalities still surface after the puppy is weaned from its mother and thereafter. You need to take that account before you get the dog into any form of training.

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Dog Dental Care – Tips For Cleaning Dogs Teeth And Relieving Bad Dog Breath

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dog dental careWhen it comes to keeping Fido healthy, dog dental care is a crucial but often overlooked part of a daily pet care routine.

While you might just think that cleaning dogs teeth is a good way to relieve bad dog breath (and it is), there are actually more important reasons to ensure that you provide your dog with the appropriate canine dental program and, in fact, having bad teeth and gums can cause a lot of health problems for your dog that will cause him illness and shorten his life span.

How Bad Dental Care Can Kill Your Dog

Just like in people, dogs can get tarter build up on their teeth. This can cause bacteria to form which is the main cause of that awful dog breath you smell. If left untreated, this can cause tooth loss as well as gum disease.

But the bacteria can be more harmful than just some bad breath and lost teeth – it can get into your dogs blood stream and cause affect his organs.

In fact, there is a new study out done by Dr. Larry Glickman at Purdue which links gum disease to heart disease in dogs. So, not taking care of your dogs dental needs may send him to an early grave!

How To Provide Proper Dog Dental Care

I know you don’t want your pets life to be cut short and thankfully it’s pretty easy to put a good canine dental plan into place. There’s 3 steps you can take to ensure healthy teeth and gums for your dog:

1. Regular vet visits and a dental scaling when necessary.
2. Brushing your dogs teeth regularly
3. Providing your dog with treats or toys that help to clean his teeth.

Does Your Dog Need A Dentist?

You know how you go to the dentist every 6 months and get a cleaning?

Well, chances are your dog might need one too.

Now, if you clean your dogs teeth properly you may not have to have this done every 6 months but chances are that you will have to spring for a dog teeth cleaning (or scaling) at some point in your dogs life.

When you take your dog in to the vet for a yearly check-up, they will look at your dogs teeth to see how much plaque is built up. If it is excessive, they will probably recommend a scaling which involved scraping the plaque off the dogs teeth.

Of course, Fido probably isn’t going to sit still for that like you do in the dentist chair, so this involves anesthesia and can get to be a bit expensive. I just had one done for my dog and it was $350!

Providing proper dog dental care throughout the year can help reduce the frequency of needing to have his teeth cleaned by the vet.

Dog Teeth Cleaning Tips

In order to keep Fidos teeth in tip top shape, you will need to add cleaning your dogs teeth to your daily grooming routine and for that you will need a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste.

Some people like to use a little rubber tip that fits over your finger and has some nubs on it. You put the toothpaste on the tip and rub your finger on the dogs teeth.

My dog doesn’t mind me playing around in her mouth, so I like to use a small dog toothbrush and actually brush her teeth like you would a persons.

If your dog doesn’t like you putting your finger or a toothbrush inside their mouth, you might have to approach this gradually. Start by touching the outside of her mouth and over a period of a few weeks, move to lifting up her gums and then finally touching her teeth.

Here’s a good video that shows you what to do during dog teeth cleaning:

A Bit About Dog Toothpaste….

Be sure to use ONLY dog toothpaste made specifically for canines because it has special enzymes that help reduce tarter and bacteria. Human toothpaste isn’t good for dogs plus your dog probably won’t like the taste. Dog toothpaste, on the other hand, is flavored for dogs and they love it! Just like in the video above, I use the poultry flavor on my dogs teeth and she really likes it!

Treats For Dog Dental Care

In addition to brushing your dogs teeth, there are some treats and chew toys you can give him that will help, not only with cleaning dogs teeth, but also with getting rid of bad dog breath.

My vet recommended a Nylabone that helps to keep down tarter and gives your dog something to chew on to keep the amused. The great thing about them is that they don’t break apart so you don’t have to worry about your dog ingesting a big chunk of it and causing a digestive issue.

Another thing you can use is a Dental Kong which is a rubber chewy on a rope. Great for throwing around or playing tug of war with or just for chewing on! It’s supposed to be very durable (I haven’t tried it with my dog yet):

Finally, if you want to relieve bad dog breath, these greenies are pretty good. My Pom had horrid bad breath and they worked great plus she loved them! And if your dog is overweight, the even have a “lite” version!

As you can see, providing the appropriate dog dental care isn’t that difficult and cleaning dogs teeth properly can really help keep your dog healthy. Ignoring your dogs dental needs can result in disease and shortened life span. Don’t let your dog die over something that can easily be prevented

Affiliate disclaimer: I am a proud affiliate of Petco and have provided the product links for your convenience. If you buy from the link, I get a small commission which goes towards the upkeep of this site. I sure do appreciate it!

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Is Your Pooch Dyeing For A Change?

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Are you tired of your dogs look? Maybe she needs something different that will make her stand out from the crowd. Well look no further because the latest trend is dying your dog!

Yep, that’s right, you can dye your pets fur to resemble just about anything. Wanna give Fido the look of a Tiger, how about dying your dog to look like a zebra or a Panda? And you don’t have to stick with animal dyes – you can do anything – hot pink, even a dog dyed in a spiderman motif!

Right now it’s big in China – but you can bet pet shops around the world will be dyeing to get in on the trend soon!

Find out more about it and see some pics of these dyed pooches by reading the original story here.

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Tips For Trimming Your Dogs Nails

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Trimming your dogs nails can be a frustrating and unpleasant experience for both you and your pet but it doesn’t have to be – if you go about it the right way.

The key to making this experience more pleasant is to get your dog used to having his feet handled. Most dogs don’t care to much for this and if you can start when your dog is a puppy you’ll have a bit of an advantage. However, even older dogs can learn to love getting a little pedicure every so often.

Before you even get out the nail clippers, though, you’ll want to touch your dogs feet often. Just a little touch at first. If your dog pulls away, don’t push it but keep it up, touching his feet often throughout the day. Eventually he’ll get used to it and you can proceed to holding his paws for longer and longer. Once this seems to be acceptable to him (this could take weeks or even months), it’s time to get the clippers out.

dogsnailsWhen trimming your dogs nails the big thing to watch out for is that you don’t cut into the quick. This is in the middle of your pets nail and contains nerves and blood vessels so it can really hurt if you cut into it or even too close to it. Depending on your dogs nails, you might be able to hold them up to the light and actually see the darker vein of the quick in the middle.

Start by trimming a little off the end, then a bit more until you see pink in the nail or feel like you might be close to the quick. On dark nails, it’s pretty much impossible to tell so you’ll have to just cut enough to trim down the nail or else you will risk cutting the quick. The edges of the nail might be a bit jagged after this so go ahead and file them down until they are smooth or they might end up catching on something.

You might want to have some styptic powder handy in case you do cut into the quick and hold this on the nail to staunch the bleeding.

How do you know when it’s time for trimming your dogs nails?

Your pets nails should just about touch the floor when he walks so if you hear clicking then the nails have grown too long and it’s time for a trim. This usually needs to be done every 4 to 6 weeks but if your dog does a lot of walking on hard surfaces like pavement and concrete you could go longer as the surfaces themselves will help wear down the nails kind of like a natural nail file!

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Treating Ear Mites In Dogs

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If you are a dog owner, you’ll probably have to deal with ear mites at least once and probably more than once in your dogs lifetime since ear mites in dogs are moderately common. These tiny parasites are barely noticeable by the naked eye and resemble small crabs. The like to hang around in your dogs ear canals where they dine on fluids and debris from the ear tissue.

Although 1 ear mite is not that noticeable, they multiply like crazy, so if your dog has one he probably has dozens, maybe even hundreds. Although the ear mites themselves are white, the presence of them leaves a black discharge in the ear that looks almost like dirt. As you can imagine, they make your pets ears rather itchy so if you see him shaking or scratching his ears then take him to a vet to see if the cause is ear mites.

Ear mites are extremely contagious – don’t worry you can catch them from your dog but your other ear mites in dogspets can so if you have multiple pets and one gets ear mites, you’d best have them all checked out.

Ear mites have rather a sheltered existence living their whole life on one dog. While they usually stick around inside the ear, sometimes they can spread to the surrounding skin and even take up residence as far away as the feet and tail.

Luckily, ear mites in dogs are easily treated. Once you suspect your dog has them, get him to the Vet. It’s important that your veterinarian diagnose the problem since there are other ear problems that can cause the same symptoms. Once the ear mite diagnosis is made, then a few simple steps are taken to eradicate them.

The first thing your Vet will do is flush out the ear canal. This is critical as it gets rid of the buildup (called exudate) and if this is not removed then medications used to treat the mites probably will not work. Needless to say, it’s best if you don’t try flushing your dogs ears at home – best to bring him to the Vet for this.

The next step can be done at home and consists of medicated ear drops that will kill the mites. These are usually put in the ears once or twice a day. The drops contain an insecticide (usually pyrethrin) which kills the mites. Treatment might continue anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks depending on the particular medication your Vet has prescribed.

Ear mites in dogs are common and easily treated, however they can become serious if left untreated. If you suspect your dog has ear mites, then please check with your Vet as soon as possible to insure this problem does not get out of hand.

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Are You Fulfilling The Dog Nutrition Needs Of Your Pet?

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We often think of our pets as family members, but the truth is that dogs are not people and dog nutrition needs differ from those of humans. Sure, they need proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals just like people do, but in order for your dog to be healthy and have all the energy he needs he will need them in different ratios than you eat your food in which is why feeding your dog from the table only is not the best way to meet his nutritional needs.

All dogs need protein, but some need more than others. Puppies and working dogs will require more to meet their energy needs. Your dog should get his protein from meat and meat byproducts, but be careful about the dog foods you buy and read the labels to be sure what you are getting inside the food.

dog nutrition needsJust like in people, one of the most misunderstood factor dog nutrition needs revolves around fats. Yes, fats can make your dog fat if he gets too much of them but they are also critical for normal function. Fats help keep your dogs coat from drying out and his skin healthy. They also allow fat soluble vitamins to be metabolized by the body.

About half of your dogs diet should be made up of carbohydrates. This can be in the form or rice, corn, soybeans – whichever you prefer. If your dog develops skin problems, he might be allergic to the type of carbohydrate and you might need to switch from a corn based food to a wheat based food or vice versa to rule this out.

Do you take a daily vitamin? Does your dog? Yep, dogs need vitamins and minerals too. Basically all the vitamins we need – C, A, E and minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium (to name but a few) are necessary for our dogs health. And just like in humans they need to be given in the right amounts. Your dog will probably get a lot of the vitamins he needs from his food, but there are liquid supplements out there that should not be overlooked if you want a healthy pet.

When buying a commercially made dog food to feed your pet, you want to be sure it isn’t loaded with preservative and crappy junk. Your best bet is to read the ingredients list and find out what is actually in the product. There are plenty of all natural varieties on the market today that will be free of toxins.

The higher priced dog foods will most likely have the better quality ingredients which are more easily absorbed and used by your dogs system. Although they may cost a bit more, you’ll make out in the long run as your dog nutrition needs will be met and you’ll end up with a healthier dog and less Vet bills.

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Cleaning Dogs Teeth Is Critical For Their Good Health

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The topic of dog dental care is sometimes met with laughter and funny looks but the fact is that there is nothing funny about a dog with bad teeth. Just like humans, dogs need to practice good oral hygiene as having bad teeth can lead to a lot of health problems, the least of which is bad breath.

Just like in people, bacteria can build up in your dogs mouth. If his teeth are not brushed regularly this can cause a hard, calcified build up that literally needs to be scraped off with a tool. If left this way, your dogs teeth will rot and the bacteria will work it’s way into your dogs system damaging important organs and shortening your dogs life span.

dog dentalOne thing you should do to insure this does not happen is make sure your dog has regular Vet appointments that include a dental checkup. Don’t be surprised if your dog has to go in for a “scaling” where the calcified tarter is scraped away from the teeth – especially if his dental care has been neglected for some time. Don’t worry, though, this procedure is quite harmless although your dog will be anesthetized so he might be groggy (and have sore teeth) for a day or two afterwards.

In order to limit these scaling procedures to a minimum, cleaning dogs teeth on a regular basis is critical. This may be easier said than done, especially if you have never cleaned your dogs teeth before but patience and perseverance will pay off.

You can, and should, brush your dogs teeth just like you do your own. There are two types of toothbrushes available for this – one is a rubber tube that fits over your finger and has rubber “bristles” on the end and the other is a toothbrush that looks very similar to a “human” toothbrush but angled a bit differently. You’ll have to experiment with your dog to see which one works best for you.

The next thing you need is toothpaste. They actually make special toothpaste for dogs and you don’t want to use “people” toothpaste as this won’t be good for your pet. The “dog” toothpaste has enticing flavors like poultry and beef which sounds pretty gross to me, but my dog seems to love it! More importantly than the flavor though is the enzymes that the toothpaste contains – they are specifically for battling the bacteria that builds up in a dogs mouth so you don’t want to skip using the toothpaste when you brush your pets teeth.

When cleaning dogs teeth, you need to be sure to get each and every tooth – even the ones way in the back – as well as around the gums. Your dog probably isn’t going to like this at first but after a while he will get used to it and you really do need to be persistent and brush his teeth every day. Doing so will help keep your pet healthy and those doggy kisses smelling sweet and fresh!

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Check Out My New Dog!

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Here’s some pics of my new dog – Mojo!

She’s mostly Chihuahua – I’m actually not sure of her lineage as I got her at the Humane Society and they said she was a stray. She looks like a Chi but she’s 10 pounds so bigger than the breed standard. She came all the way from California to our Nashua NH humane society and my husband saw a picture of her on the internet and we fell in love with her right away!

She’s the sweetest thing ever and it turns out she is housebroken and knows how to walk on the leash (she loves walks and actually goes along at a pretty good clip forcing me to power walk!).

It’s only been 2 ½ weeks but we’ve already become quite attached to each other. Now If I could only get her and the cat to get along…….



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