Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday, March 18, 2006

4 Ways In Which You Can Spoil Your Dog Rotten

You spoil your pooch as close to rotten as you can get, don’t you? Hey, who doesn’t? It’s almost impossible not to, with those adorable, big, beautiful eyes, the little lashes, and the soft fur just behind the ears they almost beg to be spoiled. But what can you really do? There are all of those new doggie day spas, doggie day cares, and other doggie luxury services, but how often can you really afford things like that? I mean, most people rarely have enough cash in the bank to get themselves a surprise manicure and pedicure, much less spring for their pups to get a quadripedicure. You give her a few scratches behind the ears, rub her belly, and maybe give her a massage and splurge on some gourmet treats, but you have to pay rent and eat each month. Your budget just doesn’t allow for constant spoiling of your dog…

1. Or does it?

You can make the shampoos, fragrances, and skin conditioners the doggie day spas use whenever you want for a lot less money than you think. Wouldn’t your pup love to have an at-home spa treatment? Give these recipes a shot the next time you want to pamper that pup:

2. Aromatic Dry Shampoo

250 ml (1 cup) cornmeal
250 ml (1 cup) baby/talcum powder
5 ml (1 tsp) rosemary
5 ml (1 tsp) lavender

Combine all of the ingredients in a large, airtight container and let them sit overnight. This will allow the rosemary and lavender to scent the other two ingredients lightly. When ready, sprinkle generously over your dog and brush it into her fur by working your fingers against the lay of her coat. Once it’s worked in thoroughly, use your fingers or a hard rubber brush to massage her coat in the direction of the fur but working in circles. Brush until the mixture is completely out of the coat. Your baby will smell great, the powder and cornmeal help absorb excess oil and dirt to clean her, and she won’t have had to go through the trauma of having a full bath! How great is that?

3. Herbal Shampoo

470 ml (2 cups) purified water
10 ml (1 tbsp) rosemary
10 ml (1 tbsp) orange zest
30 ml (2 tbsp) chamomile
10 ml (1 tbsp) lavender oil
120 ml (1/2 cup) baby shampoo

Bring water to a boil, and then remove from heat. Add all of the herbs, cover the dish, and allow it to steep overnight. Strain the mixture and stir in the oils, then gently add the shampoo until well mixed. This shampoo should be kept refrigerated for freshness when not in use, but use about 2 tablespoons every time you wash your dog for a sweet-smelling, great treat for both of you. Don’t forget to give her a little massage while you’re rubbing it in!

4. Lemon Flea Dip

3 lemons
940 ml (1 quart) water
60 ml (1/4 cup) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp) herbal shampoo

Cut the lemons into eighths while bringing the water to a rolling boil. Add the lemons, boil for one hour, then cover and let the mixture steep overnight. Strain the solution then add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Warm to a tepid temperature before applying. To spoil your pup with the application, dip a sponge into the water and drizzle it slowly over her coat, then use your fingers to work it in using slow, deliberate circles focusing on points like the hips and shoulders. Give her a good massage - she deserves it! This shampoo uses citrus oil to help repel fleas, but the warm water and baking soda also help to soothe any existing irritations she may have.

See? Spoiling your dog is much easier and less expensive than you think, and I’ve compiled 101 Ways to Spoil Your Dog for Under $10 for just that reason. Any dog owner knows how hard it is to resist spoiling their pup, and now there’s no reason to resist! Spoiling her can be as easy as talking to her… you just might not realize the impact simple things have on her. Give the book a read, then try some of the ideas you’ll find. You’ll be amazed at how much closer and more bonded with your dog you feel!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

4 Ways In Which You Can Show Your Dog How Much You Love Him

Do you have at least one framed photo of your dog somewhere in your house... or maybe in your wallet? Is your dog pretty darn close to being the very center of your universe? Do you love spoiling him, responds to his every whimper and cry, and spend hundreds of dollars on gourmet treats? To say that dogs are man's best friend is anything but a cliché. You might be the most miserable person in the world without a friend to your name... but your dog will treat you like royalty every time you walk through the door. So how do you repay that unconditional love and devotion? There are hundreds of different ways!

1. Spoil him rotten.

A lot of people spend a lot of money at chic pet boutiques, dressing their dogs in hundred-dollar sweaters and paying for meticulous pedicures. They buy diamond-studded collars and give their dogs rooms all to themselves. You probably don’t have the budget for things like that, right? You can still spoil your dog with simple, everyday things that cost you the absolute minimum. Next time your pooch needs a bath; focus on giving him a massage while you’re working the shampoo into his coat. Take him out for a drive once each week. Or you can…

2. Making him a special treat from your our kitchen! Often you can find recipes that can be a great treat for him and you! That is a double plus.

You know that food needs to be both delicious and nutritious to make sure he has as long and happy a life as possible. Why not try making some homemade treats and dog food that are absolutely packed with all of the vitamins and nutrients he needs? Bake him a delicious, healthy doggie cake for his next birthday, or share a few cookies with him, but remember your dog cannot have human food; chocolate from your chocolate chip cookie could make him sick.

3. Prepare for the worst.

If you know exactly what to do in a tough situation or an emergency, you infinitely increase the chances that your dog will be around for a long time to come. Do you know what to do when he’s choking? You should lay your dog on his side and place one hand on his back and the other on his stomach just behind his rib cage. Using the stomach hand, push in and toward the throat twice, but without too much force. If you can see a foreign object, sweep your fingers through his mouth to remove it. If he’s still choking, place your mouth over his nose and exhale until his chest rises. Repeat once, and then thrust two more times. Continue until he coughs out the obstruction. Now consider what would happen if he started to choke and you had no clue what to do, then ended up spending 10 minutes calling vets and driving him there. Making sure you’re prepared to care for his health and wellbeing is a great way to show him how much you love him.

4. Speak his language.

Unless you believe in pet psychics, there’s really no way for you to read your pooch’s mind and figure out exactly what she’s thinking. The good news is that, like many dog owners, the problems you’re having can probably be traced to one simple thing: you’re trying to communicate with your dog from a human standpoint, and your dog isn’t a human. Rather than saying “no,” a word that doesn’t really mean anything to a dog, try growling in a deep, throaty voice the next time you’re unhappy with something he’s done. He’ll get the message immediately and you won’t have to go through a big, drawn-out battle of wills. He’ll appreciate you meeting him halfway!

Secrets to a Healthy and Happy Pooch

Article courtesy of

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

5 Tips For Feeding A Happy, Healthy Dog

5 Tips For Feeding A Happy, Healthy Dog

Do you really know all there is to know about your canine companion’s nutritional needs? Many pet owners think they’re doing what’s best for their dogs when it comes to food, but in reality they rely on pure instinct more than science. Nutrition isn’t a guessing game, even when it comes to your pooch. Think about it - if you were left to feed yourself based only on what you craved and had no knowledge of what your body needs to function, would you be eating 5 servings of fruit and veggies or would you head straight for the Ding Dong case at the market?

1. Cover all of the bases.

A dog’s diet can be as complex as any human’s (including yours!), and it’s absolutely essential that you, as an owner, hit all of the vital nutritional bases. A deficiency of certain vitamins and nutrients can lead to upset tummies; overly dry or oily skin, brittle bones, weight issues, and, in some of the worst cases, death. A balanced and proper diet is the building block of your dog’s overall health - if he doesn’t get the right blend of nutrients, the most impeccable care otherwise won’t mean a thing. But with the right diet, his defences against disease and disorders are infinitely stronger than a dog whose owner hasn’t put much thought into an eating plan.

2. Mix it up!

For the most part, pre-packaged food will help you cover all of the major nutritional requirements a healthy, fairly young dog has. This where many owners trip up simply because of the ease of the decision; Most think that the major choice is between dry and moist food, when in reality the best diet you can provide your dog is one varied in ingredients, textures, and nutritional value. Wolves where carnivores, and that instinct remains with their our modern day dog; to this day. They continue to hunt prey (poor Kitty), love sausage-flavoured treats, and adore the great crunch they get when chowing down on a bone. Those varied elements should give you a little bit of insight into how diverse your dog’s diet can be.

3. Move beyond meat.

Building some portion of his diet from meat gives you many of the crucial nutrients he needs for energy and growth, but he also needs fiber and carbohydrates to aid in digestion and stability. You could throw down a bowl of dry food every day and maybe give him a “treat” of moist food once a month, but how would you like it if the tables were turned and he insisted on feeding you pancakes every day for the rest of your life? Not such a sunny outlook, is it?

4. Make it a real meal.

Listen, nobody ever said you had to rely on a bag or can of food to feed your dog. You cook for your family all the time. Doesn’t your dog deserve similar treatment? Most owners say they’d love to cook for their pups but just don’t know where to start, and that’s where I come in. Now you can help fulfil all of your dog’s nutritional needs as well as his taste desires with just one quick flip through my new book, 180 Delicious Gourmet Dog Recipes. I know, I know, you’re busy, and there’s barely time to cook your family a proper meal. That’s why you’ll love this book - in addition to covering all of the usual recipes like traditional dog chow and cookies, I’ve created several that are healthy and delicious enough for you, your dog, and your family. Being skeptical is natural; after all, I never dreamed I’d come up with recipes I could easily share with my dogs! But how can you pass up recipes like biscotti, muffins, omelettes, dinner mints, and even sushi?

5. Give him some green.

Your dog needs a well-balanced diet, and the best way to accomplish that is through a wide variety of ingredients. Did you know that many dogs love veggies? In fact, if your dog likes to nibble on grass, he may appreciate some of the veggie-oriented recipes in the cookbook. Give it a shot and see what you - and your dog - think. After all, the worst that could happen is an improvement in your pooch’s health!

The only set rule in feeding your pup is to make sure his meals satisfy the unique nutritional requirements any dog has. You don't have to stick to the bag or the can, and you don't have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. Making dishes for your dog can be a family event, and nothing expresses gratitude better than a big, sloppy, wet kiss. "180 Delicious Gourmet Dog Food Recipes" features a huge array of delectable treats made to please any pup... but you'll be amazed at how many you can eat, too! It's a great starting point for any well-rounded nutritional plan for your dog. You'll both be happy you made the investment!

A Happy Pooch

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dog Breeder -- Finding a Dog Breeder

Finding a Dog Breeder

If you’re in the market for a purebred dog, you’ll need to find a breeder from which to purchase the animal. This can often be as easy as opening the classified advertising section of your local newspaper, but you’ll want to be sure that the breeder you’ve chosen is reputable. There are several ways to help ensure that the breeder you’ve found knows his stuff and is reliable, professional, and trustworthy.

Ask for References

Any good breeder will be able to provide you references of clients he has worked with in the past. These will be people who have purchased a puppy or utilized stud services and will be happy to share their experiences with you. Choosing a breeder that was used by someone you know is a good choice as well. If your friend or family member was happy with the service and treatment he or she received from the breeder, the odds are good that you will be as well.

Prepare to be Asked Questions

A good breeder will have as many questions for you as you have for him, perhaps more. Good breeders work to ensure that the dogs they breed are placed with the correct people. They may ask whether you have children, what size home or yard you have, and numerous other questions to help them let you know whether the dog you’re seeking is right for you and your family. A breeder that doesn’t ask these types of questions may be looking just for the money from the sale of the dog and is probably not the sort of breeder you want to do business with. A good breeder always has the best interest of both the dog and the clients in mind.


A good breeder will have had the puppies checked for potential health risks before ever selling the animal. Some problems, however, simply are not detectable until later in life. If you purchase a golden retriever pup, for example, and six months later discover that it has hip dysplasia (a genetic defect in the animals hip joints, it is often nearly undetectable until the animal is several months old), a good breeder will issue a refund to you, no questions asked. Genetic defects like this are avoided by the use of selective breeding (hip dysplasia in dogs has between a 25% and 85% chance that it is genetic in origin), but sometimes a pup will display the disorder even if there is no trace of it in either parent’s history.

Other Sources

Aside from looking in the newspaper or on the internet for a dog breeder, breeders can be found through veterinarian’s offices, pet supply stores, and at dog shows. Dog shows are a very good choice since the breeders that attend these events are often showing one of their dogs or are there to see the performance of one that they bred and sold in the past.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

My Dog Has Fleas!

Fleas are a problem for dogs and their owners alike. These tiny insects will live on the body of your dog, sucking the animal’s blood and laying eggs. The bites and presence of fleas will cause the dog to itch and if the dog happens to be allergic to fleas (the allergy is technically to the insects’ saliva) it can experience extreme itching, loss of fur in some places, inflammation, and infections. Regardless of whether the dog has an allergy to flea saliva, infestations must be dealt with or they will go on and on and the fleas will also infest your home, other pets, and can even live on humans. In short; you can be directly and adversely affected by an uncontrolled flea infestation.

Detecting Fleas

If you suspect that your dog has fleas because it’s been scratching more than usual, there are ways to check for their presence. Fleas are very small (about an eighth of an inch long), but visible to the naked eye, and brownish in color. Because they prefer dark places they will try to hide beneath the dog’s fur, under the collar, or on the underbelly. Their fecal material can also be seen on the dog’s coat and looks like multiple black flecks or specks - almost like pepper. If fleas or their droppings are found it is time to treat your dog to get rid of them.

Treating Your Dog for Fleas

While flea collars, powders, and sprays may help to prevent infestations to some extent, they will not help if the dog is already infested. When fleas are infesting a dog the female lays eggs at a rate of about thirty per day. These eggs fall off the dog and into the carpet, soil, or wherever the dog may be. In these areas they hatch and pupate, eventually growing into adult fleas which can then re-infest the dog. In order to halt the cycle all the fleas on the dog and in the environment must be killed or the life cycle must be interrupted.

There are several flea treatments available for dogs, but one of the best is an oral medication that will not kill adult fleas, but does kill the eggs and larva. This interrupts the flea life cycle and prevents them from coming back, as long as the dog is not continually exposed to new fleas. If that is happening, the source must be cleaned of fleas whether it is the carpet, the environment, or other dogs with which your pet associates.

Fleas can be a real nuisance for dogs and their owners, but catching them and treating the dog quickly is the key to eliminating the infestation and preventing the insects’ return.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Soft or Hard Dog Food - Which is Best?

Sometimes dog owners are faced with a dilemma regarding what type of dog food to provide their dogs. Dogs themselves tend to prefer the moist, canned types of food. They are more aromatic and naturally tempting to the dog’s palate than the dry kibble that comes in a bag. A dog’s dental health, however, relies on the dog being able to chew hard and crunchy items and dry kibble foods serve this purpose well. What’s an owner to do?

Some owners make a two pronged approach when selecting dog food for their furry friends. They will mix a portion of dry food with canned, effectively giving their dog the “best of both worlds.” If you are feeding canned food to your dog, you’ll definitely want to supplement it in some way with something that the dog can chew and crunch. Chew toys and dog biscuits or treats can help to serve this purpose.

Remember that a dog’s health depends greatly on the nutritional value of its food. A dog is only as healthy as the food that it eats, in many respects. The food you buy for your dog should meet its nutritional needs as best as possible, whether it is dry or moist. Unfortunately when it comes to dog food you get what you pay for. Store brands and generics tend to be made with cheaper ingredients and lots of fillers. They’ll feed your dog, but they may not be the best choices for it. The more expensive brands like Science Diet and Eukanuba which advertise that they are “specially formulated” really, to a certain extent, are. They will have higher quality ingredients and are better suited to meet your dog’s needs.

Truly, as long as you are providing a good method for your dog to work out its choppers on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter whether you’re using dry food or moist. During regular veterinary checkups your vet will examine the dog’s teeth and will warn you if there’s any issue that needs to be corrected by providing a different type of food or some dietary supplement.

The reason that dogs need to be able to chew on hard materials is twofold. It strengthens their teeth and works out the muscles of their jaw, keeping the teeth strong and the jaws powerful. It also provides a form of dental care. Owners should brush their dogs’ teeth at least twice a week. If this is not possible, however, crunchy foods like kibble and biscuits act as a sort of natural toothbrush for the dog, loosening plaque and tartar and cleaning the teeth.

Choosing the right food for your dog is important, both for the pooch’s nutritional needs and its good dental health. If you prefer to provide your dog the tastier soft, moist foods that come in a can that’s fine, just make sure you’re also providing something for Rover to really sink his teeth into.