Articles about anything and everything to make your pooch pampered, happy and posh!
 


Quick Tip:  Easy way to give your dog medication.

We've all been there... your little one gets sick and you are sent home from the vet with a container of medication.  Pills.  The bane of all canine kind.  Human kind as well.  While cats are the most notorious haters of pills, dogs certainly come in a very close second.  Giving your dog a pill makes you realize just how smart and clever they can be.  Our Maltese, Tuffy is a known pill hater.  I've tried many things to get him to take his medication to no avail.  I tried just giving it to him.  Ha, no way.  I tried putting the pill in his mouth and then gently holding his muzzle closed.  Supposedly the dog is supposed to just swallow it.  No again.  Tuffy would spit the pill out as soon as I let go.  I tried putting a little Nutrical (nutritional supplement) on the pill.  At first I thought, yes, finally.  But no sir, Tuffy would lick the Nutrical off the pill and then spit the pill on the floor.  After all of this Tuffy became sneaky.  He would let me give him the pill and he would walk to another room and spit it out.  So I had to get clever.  So here is my solution.  Gerber Chicken Sticks. They are similar to Vienna sausages but without all the flavorings.  I take one chicken stick and cut just a small piece off and then with a drinking straw I hollow out a little core inside the chicken stick.  Make sure not to hollow it all the way through.  Then tuck the pill into the little hole and before you know it you've successfully given your dog a pill.  It's an easy, pain free way to give your dog medication. 


Pet Friendly Housing:  Does it exist?

Recently we started looking for a new place to live and I found it is incredibly hard to find pet friendly housing in general.  It amazed me how many apartment complexes I was able to rule out because they either only allowed cats or didn't allow pets at all.  Why a place would allow cats and not dogs is beyond me.  One of my head shaking moments while apartment hunting was one lease agent told us they only allowed one pet per apartment and looked at us as if to say, you better get rid of one.  Her insinuation of actually getting rid of one of our beloved pets just made me walk out immediately.  I'm so surprised that apartment complexes haven't tuned into the fact that many people have pets and those pets are members of their family and where these pet owners go, the pets follow.  Gone are the days when pets were relegated to the backyard to live in a cold little dog house alone.  Pets share everything with their owners and it's about time that apartment complexes begin to realize this.  Maybe I'm a bit cynical but I will never understand how an apartment complex can allow children/babies without a second thought, require no deposit or rent for the children but will absolutely turn down a pet owner.  Last time I checked, children tend to be as messy as pets and as loud.  But at this point, I'll take the exorbitant fees, deposits and extra rent to actually find a nice place to live that allows me to bring my cherished companions.  Luckily there are a few websites out there to help pet owners find friendly places to live.  Here are a few good links and one tip from me:  Call ahead to find out the pet policy.  Best of luck to pet owning apartment hunters out there!

http://www.peoplewithpets.com/
http://www.bestfriends.org
http://www.rent.com
http://www.apartmentguide.com
 


Grooming: To cut or not to cut

Every summer.. well, not every summer but every summer since the doggies have entered my life I face a dilemma.  To groom or not to groom.  Though it usually is more of a question of whether or not I want to get the babies shaved down or not.  As you owners of long haired pooches can relate, maintenance on a long coated dog is tough.  Add to that the heat of the summer and it really makes you want to chop it all off.  But then you ponder how they will look without their hair.  I'm facing this dilemma with my Pixie.  She has never had a haircut and I'm loathe to start now.  But it's reaching over 110 in Arizona daily and that's just too hot even in the air conditioned house.  But what if she gets cold with no hair?  Will she hate me for cutting her beautiful long locks that we've painstakingly slaved over?   Will her hair grow back the same texture or the same color?  I don't have these issues with Tuffy as we've long since made peace with the fact that his hair just isn't made for being long so he routinely gets cut down.  He loves it when he's free of that hair.  Will Pixie react the same?  Pixie is one of those dogs that gets embarrassed.  Really she does!  And of course to add to the drama I have yet to find a groomer I feel comfortable with out here.  Something always seems to put me off a groomer and I'm hesitant to give the same groomer a 2nd try to prove themselves.  Of course I could attempt the process myself but it will be bad enough for her to be cut down let alone ravaged by my inexperienced hands.  At any rate.. the drama continues and by the time I finally break down a make a decision one way or the other the summer will be over.  While this wasn't much of an article I'd be interested to know what all you other long coated dog owners do during the dog days of summer.  I'm also open to suggestions and if you have a groomer that you absolutely love in the Phoenix area please send those recommendations along!  :)
 


How To: Moving with your Pet

Moving can be just as stressful on your pet as it can be on you.  We are in the midst of preparing for a move to a new state so we were interested to learn what we could to make it run smooth for all of us.  Here are a few tips to make the transition easier on both of you.

v      Stay calm.  It seems like a silly suggestion but pets are very perceptive, they know you are feeling frazzled and they will start to get nervous and upset. 

v      Maintain a normal schedule with your pet.  Feed them, walk them and play with them as you usually would.  Try to stagger your packing as to not interrupt your pet’s schedule.

v      Microchip your pet prior to moving and register them as soon as your know your new address.  Most shelters and vet clinics are now equipped with microchip scanners in the event that your pet goes missing.

v      Have new pet ID tags made with your new contact information as soon as you know it.

v      Obtain your pet’s medical records from your veterinarian so you can have them on hand when you move to your new home.  It is important to have documentation of your dog’s vaccination record as you may need these if you are moving across state lines. 

v      Create a safe spot to keep your pets on moving day.  A large crate is suggested as it is the most secure place.  If you dislike crating your dogs make sure to secure them in a bathroom or other room that can be locked.  Let movers and friends know that this door is not to be opened.  Place a large sign on the door marking it “DO NOT ENTER” just to be sure.  Placing a puppy gate in front of the closed door is another step of security you can take. The last thing you want is your pet to get loose and run out an open door right before your move.  This is also a step you will want to take when you are moving into your new home.

v      If your current city or destination city has a doggy day care, that can be a great place to keep your pet on moving day.  If you are using one in your current city, try taking your pet there a few times prior to moving day to get them used to it.  You will have peace of mind having your pet taken care of elsewhere on moving day.  Another perk is a worn out dog that will sleep if you have a road trip ahead of you.

v      Plan for your trip.  Whether you are flying or driving to your new home, your pets will be coming too.  If your pets are uncomfortable traveling, talk to your vet about possible medications to use to lessen the stress of travel.  If you are planning to stop at a hotel mid trip, call ahead and make sure that they allow pets.  Plan your route and accommodate yourself with lots of stops to allow your pets to use the bathroom and stretch.  Check our links at the ends of this article for websites that list pet friendly hotels.

v      Prepare you vehicle for a road trip.  Make sure you have plenty of water, food, piddle pads, Nutrical for possible hypoglycemia episodes, harnesses with new ID tags affixed and any other comfort items. 

v      If you are traveling by airplane, call airlines well ahead of time to plan for taking pets aboard.  Find out their rules and regulations for taking pets in the cabin with you as well as the rules for a pet going in cargo.  One important note is to make sure your carrier meets airline standards.  If you are unsure if it is appropriate take it up to the airline in person and ask if it will be suitable and if you can, get that fact in writing.

v      Once you arrive to your new home you’ll want to take the same security precautions previously stated to make sure your pet is secured when you are moving into your new home. 

v      Settle in.  Get your pets settled in as quickly as possible.  Decide on a nice comfy area for them and place their food & water bowls, piddle pads and beds in an area and let them get situated.  Again, take your time to unpack and try to settle into a normal schedule as soon as you can.

Here are a few resource websites that will help you in your move:

http://www.petswelcome.com
http://www.dogfriendly.com
http://www.travelpets.com
http://www.peoplewithpets.com
http://www.petswelcome.com/milkbone/petmvframe.html
http://www.homestore.com/Move/Moving/DIY/Pets.asp?poe=homestore


How To: Make a den for your dogs as an “indoor dog house”.
by Miles Comer

Ever notice your dog “hide” under the table? Have you ever had to retrieve your dog from hiding behind a couch or under a car? Why do dogs do this?

A dog is a “denning” animal. They seek close quarters and overhead protection for safety reasons. Sure you can turn them loose in the dog park and watch them run and play, but when it comes to sleeping, or defense, they like to get into smaller spaces where larger animals cannot reach, which is why we have dog houses.

Since small dogs tend to spend the majority (and overnight) in the house, why not make an “indoor dog house” for your small dog. The “indoor dog house” (or den as I like to call it), is the perfect place for your dog to retreat to when it wants to take a nap, or wants a break from playing.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or costly, just try and keep a few things in mind: low ceiling, low or no light, soft floor, and a place that you don’t get into. My choice for a den is the bathtub of the guest bathroom. For just the small cost of an extra shower curtain and shower curtain rod, a plastic trash bin, and old towels or blankets, and plastic block for a step, I’ve made an area where my dog can retreat from the rest of the house, or a place to sleep when they can’t stay in our bed.

I made my den by first placing a plastic trash bin upright in the bathtub to keep the dogs away from the faucet. Not that I expect them to turn on the water and drown, but that makes sure they don’t turn on the water and drown.

Then the rest of the bathtub is filled with old blankets (clean), old towels, and old clothes, and the dogs favorite blanket on top, almost up until the rim. A old dog bed is placed in the corner (though they tend to sleep directly on their favorite used comforter that lies on top).

The shower curtain that normally comes down past the rim of the tub, is then pushed up against the wall (the wall where your soap dish is, the one farthest from you when standing outside the tub), and is held there, but placing the second shower curtain about a foot from the far wall. You then try to get a “drape” going where the shower curtain comes straight down until about a foot above the rim of the bathtub, then goes away from you, over the tub, until it drapes over the second shower curtain rod.

Lastly, add a step outside the tub, to facilitate your dogs getting in and out.

Don’t be surprised if at first they don’t go for it. Shut down most of the lights and try sitting beside the tub, putting treats on the step, then the rim, then inside, praising them each time they get the treat. Then walk away from the tub and just throw a treat in it, walking farther away until your dog jumps up the step to the space all on their own (similar to getting your dog used to crates).

The point of a den is a nice “enclosed” space that your dog can retreat to. Try not to disturb them to much or ever pull them out of their den or “invade their privacy” so to speak. This lets them know that this is their space, and you will respect it.

This also makes your bathroom a great place to be able to close your dogs off in. Add a peepad, some extra food, block the door (don’t close it), add some background noise, and they’re cool to be left alone for hours at a time.

-Miles Comer 2005-10-07
Copyright 2005 by Miles Comer All Rights Reserved; You can link to this article without first contacting me.
http://www.tinyempire.com

Tuffy says: "I like to hide in the den to get away from Pixie."
Pixie says: "I go to my den to get way from all the demands of life, like constantly being so darn cute!"



 

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