Monday, March 31, 2014

It’s Tick Time: Do You Have Your Frontline?

Well, it’s official. I saw my first tick of the season this morning, even with the rain/snow mix pelting down on me. If you stopped applying Frontline Plus to your dog or cat over the winter months, as I did, it’s now time to start up again.

Even though it’s not mosquito season yet, those nasty ticks are up and about, ready to grab onto your dog’s coat (yours too, unfortunately!). Frontline will kill ticks within 24 hours and kills fleas and flea larvae, as well. The ticks may be the first to make an appearance but fleas are not far behind.

If you do find a tick imbedded in your dog or cat's skin, here are instructions on how to remove a tick safely.

Stock up on your Frontline today and start applying it to your dog or cat every month to keep him flea and tick free. I usually buy a multiple pack because it’s more economical. Some vet offices will sell individual applications for you to use each month. If you can’t get to the vet that often or you think you might forget, it might be a better idea to buy at least a 3-pack of Frontline Plus.

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Dog Is Afraid to Ride in the Car

It seems that most dogs love to ride in the car. I see them with their heads out the window, nose sniffing the air, ears flapping in the breeze, and the happiest look ever on the dog’s face.

 (Just a note: it’s dangerous to let your dog hang his head out the window if driving on the highway or in a lot of traffic. I do not recommend letting your dog hang his head out the window for any reason. I am only trying to make the point that most dogs like to ride in the car.)

Not all dogs get that blissful look on their face when they ride in the car. Many dogs whine, pace, drool and try to jump in the front seat when driving in the car. These fearful dogs associate the car with something scary.

If you only bring your dog in the car when you’re going to the vet, the groomer of a kennel, most likely he will be afraid of the car.

Getting Your Dog to Love Car Rides

If your dog is already afraid of riding in the car, this will be a slow process but with patience and treats, you’ll have your dog jumping in the car without a problem.

  •            Using one of your dog’s favorite treats, lure him into the car. Just sit in the car with him, praising him and giving him treats.
  •       Call your dog out of the car and walk around it a few times, and then lure him back into the car with more treats. Do this several times, and then call it a day.
  •           Continue with this process until your dog gets excited to jump into the car 100 percent of the time.
  •            Have your dog get into the car and settle down. You get in the driver’s seat. Start up the car and see how your dog reacts. If he is scared, turn off the car and just sit there until he calms down, giving him more treats.
  •          Start up the car again and talk soothingly to your dog. Give him treats and praise him. If he is still afraid, you might want to try a Thundershirt or use an old t-shirt to snuggly wrap around him. This helps him feel grounded and in control.
  •             Once your dog is settled in the running car, back out of the driveway and take a short ride around the block.
  •       Treat and praise your dog when you pull back into the driveway. Continue this entire process until your dog  is not afraid of driving in the car.
  •        Take your dog for a drive to someplace he really likes, such as to a park for a nice long walk or the beach, if he likes that.

Soon, your dog will associate the car with something wonderful, expecting the ride to end with a fun time or his favorite treats.

Image Credit: By User:Almonroth (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Million Dollar Tibetan Mastiff Not a Good Choice as a Family Pet

Tibetan Mastiff
I was just reading an article in the New York Daily News about the ancient dog breed, the Tibetan Mastiff. A Tibetan Mastiff puppy sold for $1.9 million dollars in China! The average weight of a Tibetan Mastiff is 100 to 150 pounds but the million-dollar puppy weighs 200 pounds. Although this breed is named mastiff, it is
not a true mastiff but was originally given the name because it was a “large dog.”

A wealthy land developer from Qindao, China bought the golden-haired puppy at an upscale pet fair in China’s eastern province of Hangzhou. Tibetan Mastiffs are very rare but they are the latest trend with the wealthy in China. Another Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash sold for $1.5 million dollars.

About the Tibetan Mastiff

If you’re contemplating getting one of these dogs, (if you have millions of dollars!) be aware that they are strong-willed and can be very aggressive toward strangers. The Tibetan Mastiff, also known as "Do-Khyi” is protective, as well as stubborn. They are certainly not for the casual dog owner and must have extensive obedience training. Sometimes, even obedience training does not work with the intelligent, powerful Tibetan Mastiff.

This breed is definitely not suited to apartment living but needs a large fenced area. Tibetan Mastiffs were bred as guard dogs for livestock and can easily take on wolves and even leopards. Because of its extensive guard dog breeding, the Tibetan Mastiff will bark at any sounds it hears during the night. This breed often sleeps during the day and stays awake at night to keep watch. Because of its nocturnal habits Tibetan Mastiffs are not always the right choice as a family pet, not to mention their aggressive temperament.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Share Meals with Your Dog --The New Trend in Feeding Your Dog

If you're thinking of making your own dog food, check out the recently released book written by chef, Gayle Pruitt entitled "Dog-Gone Good Cuisine: More Healthy, Fast and Easy Recipes for You and Your Pooch." In her book are over 100 recipes for both you and your pet. Some of the ingredients used in the recipes are kale, lasagna, salmon and curried beef.

Not only are pet owners  preparing homemade food for their pets with the same ingredients that they eat themselves but many pet food manufacturers are preparing gourmet food for dogs and cats.

According to a segment of Good Morning America by Joanna Prisco, many pet foods for sale in pet stores today, advertise "human grade" ingredients. Some of the "grain free" dog food varieties, such as Blue Wilderness, Innova Nature's Table, Nature's Recipe manufacture the dog food with chicken, duck, bison, salmon, venison or turkey in combination with berries, sweet potatoes, peas and other natural ingredients.

Kari Liu, senior scientist in formulation and diet design of Innova Nature's Table stated that, “Each ingredient found in Nature’s Table recipes serves a specific purpose, like high-quality animal proteins for lean muscle mass, omega fatty acids for a shiny coat, healthy carbohydrates like lentils and peas for sustained energy, and nourishing antioxidants like vitamin E to help promote a healthy immune system.”

ABC News: New Pet Food Options Take a Page from Human Food Trends

Monday, March 10, 2014

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

I know this post isn't exactly about pets but most pet owners I know also like birds. I just wrote some tips on how to get your hummingbird feeder ready for summer on another site.

I included tips on where to hang the hummingbird feeder and how to prepare the hummingbird nectar at home without having to buy it at the store.

Take a look at the Homemade Hummingbird Nectar and Tips on Hanging Your Hummingbird Feeder.

Get ready to see these tiny whirlwinds in action.

Photo Credit:

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Thundershirt Calmed My Dog during Fireworks

I used a Thundershirt for my collie who was terrified of fireworks while we were camping. On the Fourth of July, the campground had fireworks and I always had to sit inside with my dog. He shook, drooled and hid under the table. Nothing I did would calm him down. His agility instructor recommended the Thundershirt for him.

I picked one up and it really helped. I also use it when I'm walking him, so he doesn't get upset by other dogs. It grounds him and keeps him feeling secure. The thundershirt was a lifesaver for me and my dog.

If you have a dog that has anxiety from other dogs, thunder or other loud noises, you should really consider a Thundershirt. They come in sizes to fit all breeds of dogs. The shirt even helps with excessive barking.

The Thundershirt really helped my dog with his fear. He stopped trembling and hiding under the table when he heard fireworks. He doesn't need it anymore because we stopped camping.

Sizing: 24" to 32" chest (40 to 70 pounds) My collie is 60 pounds and the large Thundershirt fit him fine.

The Thundershirt has velcro for adjusting its size.

With its patent-pending design, Thundershirt's gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt.

Thundershirts are used for:

Fear of Thunder
Separation Anxiety
Barking Problems
Noise Anxiety
Car Anxiety
Crate Anxiety
Leash Pulling