12/24/13

The Week in Tweets – 17th December

This is our (almost) weekly segment where we review the content posted on our Twitter over the course of the week. It’s a long post! So make sure you grab a coffee and prepare yourself for some serious reading.

 

But before we start, you might remember Bandit – I blogged about him in July, and he’s still waiting for his perfect home. I made this video to try to get him some exposure.

 

Tweet of the Week

So, unashamedly, I am a border terrier fan. I really enjoyed reading ‘Breed Priorities: The Border Terrier‘. I also equally enjoyed reading TerrierMan’s critique of this: ‘The dog that chases ribbons‘.

 

Sheltering and Rescue

From YesBiscuit!: ‘Brevard Co Oops Kills Microchipped Pet‘ and ‘New study indicates vasectomies might reduce feral cat populations most effectively‘.

From the Winsconsin Watchdog: The Jigsaw Puzzle.

From SavingPets: ‘Getting 2 Zero – Saving Pet’s Preso – The opportunity cost of killing‘, ‘Starving, neglected pets find no safety with the RSPCA‘, ‘Vets – better at being shelters, than shelters‘, and ‘Thousands of pet microchips faulty‘.

From ThatMutt: What are no-kill shelters doing differently?

A video of AWDRI on Better Homes and Gardens.

Good intentions, but the wrong focus.

They want ‘em, they really do! (on pitbull types in rescue)

Assumptions about future behavior of shelters dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.

 

Dog Training and Behaivour

Two CPDT Study Sessions from Crystal at Reactive Champion: ‘Ethical considerations and humane treatment‘ and  ‘Puppy Development‘.

Is food really the problem? asks the Fearful Dog blog.

Training strong dominant breeds with a firm hand (video).

Zani Shuts Down video from Eileen and Dogs.

LIVE! From Nassau, The Bahamas, A Day of life in Paradise. Right.‘ from the Canine Aggression blog of Jim Crosby.

Calming Signals.

Do dogs think? (as opposed to instinct)

Serious dog fighting within a household; Questions to ask if considering ‘what next?’

Counting and graphing behaviour (it’s talking about human behaviour, but!).

Social facilitation: When two dogs are better than one.

8 BAT Myths: suggested revisions for Clinical Behavioral Medicine.

Impulse Control by Denise Fenzi.

Euthanizing aggressive dogs: Sometimes it’s the best choice.

 

Spay/Neuter

Coming soon: Non-surgical dog neutering.

Should a dog with MRSP be spayed?

Perfectly good reasons not to spay/neuter.

Like Entirely Friendly on Facebook.

A new and safer way to spay your puppy.

 

In the News

The 9/11 rescue dogs: portrits of the last surving animals who scoured Ground Zero one decade on.

Google maps ‘murder scene’ in Almere, Netherlands is water trail from golden retriever.

Dogs can classify complex photos in categories like humans do.

Is a dog’s life worth more than a person’s?

 

Dog Breeds

Royal Adelaide Show – Best In Show 2013.

Breed branding.

Boxer’s natural ear taping.

What Flint can tell us about working terriers.

The black spot phenomenon attacks.

 

Dogs, Kids, and Dog Bites

How to be a kid dogs feel safe with.

Which are the best dogs for kids; and which breeds aren’t?

Dogs and baby – the secret to success.

Are dogs ‘kids’? Owner-dog relationships share striking similarities to parent-child relationships.

Dog bites – debunking the myths.

Dog alerts parents to abusive babysitter.

 

Other Dog Stuff

Royal Show ‘Double Trouble’ act with Kate and Badger and Tanya and Dexter.

Caesar, the dog who was placed in front of royalty.

Dog room (a photo of a cute kennel).

Hip dysplasia an advantage?

 

Instagram

Cindy likes Jesse.

Today’s puppy classroom helper: Bandit.

Breaker’s helping arrange the puppy classroom.

Clover’s chin trick is often offered when I’m trying to do anything else.

Clover’s ‘chin’ trick.

Tried to get picture of 3 dogs. Got a picture of two dogs, only one looking at the camera.

When the bloom of the Jacaranda tree is here…

12/14/13

5 Ways to Keep Fleas Out of the House

While animal wellness starts with taking care of the pets themselves, it’s integral to treat your home and your pet’s environment as well. Chances are your dog or cat spends a lot of its time roaming all over the house, so it’s important to take flea control seriously in all areas of your house.

 

When a dog has fleas, you can normally see specks of 'flea dirt' (flea poo!) around the groin hair. No evidence of fleas here.

When a dog has fleas, you can normally see specks of ‘flea dirt’ (flea poo!) around the groin hair. No evidence of fleas here.

 

1. Clean your home

According to the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University, if an infestation is light, then simple tasks like vacuuming all carpeted surfaces can be enough to get rid of fleas in the house. All upholstered furniture should be carefully vacuumed as well. Any blankets or bedding that your pet commonly lies on should be either thoroughly cleaned or discarded. Cleaning your home is the first step to controlling a flea infestation and preventing a new one.

 

2. Treat your pet

If you don’t treat your pet for fleas, then reinfestation of your home is inevitable. Not only is it prudent to rid your pet of fleas to protect the rest of your home, but the pests can also put your pet’s health in jeopardy. Constant furious scratching can lead to your pet developing a skin infection, and in smaller animals, blood loss from a flea infestation can lead to anemia. Taking immediate action if you notice your pet has fleas can ensure their health is not in jeopardy.

 

3. Protect your yard

Making sure you house is flea-free not only requires you to focus your attention inside, but outside as well. Fleas can attach to clothing, skin or fur and travel with their new host back into the home, which will start the infestation all over again, even if you just treated your house. There are many pet supplies geared toward repelling fleas, which will go a long way to preventing them from entering your house.

 

4. Look for the signs

Your pet might withstand an infestation for days before you notice its effects. It’s crucial to keep an eye out for signs of infestation. If your pet is scratching, licking or biting its fur excessively, it’s a good idea to check him or her for fleas. Seeing several dot-like insects on your pet’s fur is another clear indicator that your animal may be in trouble.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to take action

Sometimes a flea infestation in your home can get out of control, and in these cases it’s important that you don’t shy away from using all the tools at your disposal. Whether it’s pet grooming, intense cleaning or a professional service, it’s imperative that you take quick and decisive action when it comes to making sure fleas do not attack your home, and your pet, again.

12/12/13

Teach Your Dog How To Love Your Baby

This article is designed to help you establish a strong and lasting relationship between the baby and the dog – a relationship that will last a lifetime. These steps are relevant to after you have already brought the baby home and the dog was introduced to the baby.

The trick is to make an association in the mind of the dog between the baby and good things that can happen. You are normally tempted to pet the dog a lot when the baby is asleep while pushing the pet away when the baby is awake. That is understandable but the opposite is actually a lot better.

 

Sleeping border terrier puppy.

 

Offering Treats At The Right Time

You want to teach the dog that when he/she is around the baby, good things happen: petting, playing, treats and so on. Feed the dog when you feed the baby and when you walk the dog, if possible, take the baby with you. When you apply this strategy, the dog basically starts to love it when the baby is active and awake.

The problem is that such multi-tasking is quite difficult. It is a lot easier when there are two adults that live in the same home. If that is not the case, you can still do a lot by simply holding the baby and talking to the dog, stroking him, offering treats and tossing balls.

 

Sometimes Ignoring The Dog Is Better

When the baby is not around, use some reversed psychology. Try to ignore the dog when that is the case and eventually the pet will start to eagerly appreciate the time when the baby is active.

 

You Need Some Quiet Time

Having a baby is time consuming and there are moments in which you want to make sure that you can tend to the child’s needs without being bothered by the dog. Have designer dog beds in the same room where you will feed your baby. Whenever it is time to give the baby a bottle, offer a treat to your dog and more rewards should be given when the dog just stays on the bed. Once every few minutes, throw a small treat so that the association between baby feeding time and treats on the bed is established.

 

Dealing With Baby Sounds

In most cases the dog will ignore the loud baby signs but there are circumstances in which the pet needs some help in order to get to that level. If you see that the dog is distressed when loud baby noises are heard, try to associate them with something that the dog loves. Once again, the treats work! When the baby cries or squeals, throw a treat! The dog will thus realize that the loud baby noises are not a signal that something is wrong.

 

Babies Grow Up

Even if the dog ends up loving the baby because of the perception that good things happen when the child is around, as the baby grows, things do change. He/she will start grabbing, poking and sometimes bother the dog. In order to establish a very good relationship between the two, you need to also continue paying attention to what happens as the baby becomes a toddler.

 

This is a sponsored guest post.

12/4/13

Nature’s Gift Natural Chews

I have always happily reviewed products on this blog, and as a long-time fan of Nature’s Gift, I was more than willing to review their new ‘Chews’ range when given the opportunity.

Nature's Gift Natural Chews

In our current climate, avoiding treats manufactured abroad is important – and so it’s reassuring to know that all Nature’s Gift products are produced in Victoria, from Australian products, and from human-grade meat products. Also, they don’t use palm oil in any of their products. So not only am I satisfied that this product is safe for my dogs, but that it is also relatively enviornmentally friendly, too.

Nature’s Gift generously sent us two packets of their new ‘Chews’ range: one of ‘Vitality Chews‘ and one of ‘Digestive Chews‘. (There is also a ‘Joint Chews‘ variety, but presumably they are more targeted at older dogs and they sent me products most relevant to my 6-years-and-younger household.)

Each packet contains 20 chews. Each chew is hard, crumbly, and love-heart shaped biscuit. They are easily broken in hard, but produce lots of crumbs! They are too large to use as training treats, and their crumbly nature doesn’t make them ideal for training treats anyway. They are pretty good at keeping a dog occupied mopping up all those crumbs though.

Nature's Gift Digestive Chews

Nature’s Gift Digestive Chews

The novel thing about these treats is that they’re formulated to maximise the wellbeing of our pets. For example:

  • Vitality Chews target skin, coat and eyes, enriched with Omega 3
  • Digestive Chews target ‘inner function’, enriched with prebiotics
  • Joint Chews target joint health and function, with glucosamine (500mg per chew)

It’s an easy and (according to my dogs) tasty way to get some extra nutrients into your dogs, especially if you feel your dog needs a ‘leg up’ in some way. And, if you have trouble providing your dogs with these nutrients in conventional ways (e.g. have a hard time giving your dogs tablets or capsules) then this might be a handy solution.

Now, my dogs are not the best reviewers when it comes to the taste-testing – as in, they eat anything, and this was no exception. However, I was running a ‘full house’ at the time, and both foster dogs (Bandit and a beagle) and a litter of young puppies all happily sampled this product. (Despite the product not being ‘intended’ for puppies under 4 months. Oops.)

For those interested in ingredients, the Digestive Chews contain:

Rye Flour, Copra Flour, Fresh Australian Chicken Meat, Sucrose, Emulsifiers & Binders, DHA Omega 3, Prebiotics, Inulin Powder, Beet Pulp, Vitamins & Minerals, Natural Antioxidant & Flavour.

And the Vitality Chews have the following ingredients:

Rye Flour, Fish Meal, Flax Seed Flour, Soya Flour, Emulsifiers & Binders, Fresh Australian Chicken Meat, DHA Omega 3, Vitamins & Minerals, Natural Antioxidant & Flavour.

You will notice that neither of these chews contain red meat, which may be important for dogs with sensitivity.

The recommendations are for up to 4 chews a day, depending on the size of the dog. That means if you have a large dog, you might be looking at going through one packet every 5 days. If you have a little dog, under 5kgs, though, the recommendation is one chew a day. Because of the fortified nature of these chews, I would be inclined to stick to these recommendations.

 

These treats were certainly palatable, and I would  recommend that others ‘give them a go’ in situations where they think their dogs are lacking particular nutrients. While my dogs are fit and well, and weren’t given these on a regular basis, I cannot vouch for their effectiveness in helping the conditions that they claim too – but I certainly don’t think that they’d hurt!

I am likely to purchase the ‘Vitality Chews’ in the future following dogs being on a course of antibiotics.

 

Nature’s Gift Natural Chews are available in Woolworths and other supermarkets.

 

Nature's Gift Vitality Chews

Nature’s Gift Vitality Chews

 

Disclaimer: This product was provided free of charge, though this review contains my own thoughts.