Archive for August, 2011

When a Dog Hates Baths

If you can bathe your dog with minimal fuss, consider yourself lucky. Many dogs do not like baths and will run, hide, whimper or howl when they realize they’re headed for the tub. Dogs don’t understand baths; they’re perfectly happy with the way they smell and with whatever nastiness is on their coats. Some dogs have a fear of water which extends to bath time. These pups tend to be anxious, overly sensitive or victims of abuse. If bath time equals fight time in your house, try these tips to ease your dog’s fears.

• See a groomer. At Dawg Gone Good, we have experienced groomers who can help your dog relax. If your dog is scared of water, try our Desert Dry Grooming, a waterless shampoo that leaves dogs smelling heavenly.

• Make bath time no big deal. Get your supplies such as shampoo, conditioner, brush and towels ready, then take off your dog’s collar and calmly carry him into the room. Never say the word “bath.”

• Put down a rubber mat in the tub. Dogs can become afraid if they lose traction in the tub and start to slip.

• Don’t fill the tub and minimize the sound of the water from the faucet. Keep the drain open and don’t have the taps turned on all the way. Some dogs do not like the sound of the water running. Use a cup to gently pour water over your dog.

• Stay calm and talk to your dog throughout the bath. Your soothing voice will reassure your dog that bath time is not so bad. Also, if your dog is afraid, becoming agitated will just make his fear grow.

• Enlist a helper. If your dog really fights you, ask someone to help. Leave the dog’s collar on so your helper has a place to hold; the helper can also put a hand on your dog’s rear to hold him in place.

• Give your dog a treat after his bath. Your dog will start to associate bath time with getting a special treat.

Teaching Your Dog to Love the Tub

If you have an anxious dog, slowly introducing him to the bathtub can ease his fears.

1. Put your dog in an empty tub once or twice a day. Give him lots of praise and treats. Don’t make it a big deal if he climbs out. Make him sit in the tub for longer periods of time to get his treat.

2. Add an inch or two of lukewarm water. After your dog willingly goes into the empty tub, put him in the tub with water. Give him treats and praise and slowly extend the amount of time he’s in the tub.

3. Turn on the faucet. Give your dog praise and treats. Using a cup, pour some water across his back. As he learns to tolerate being in the tub with the water running, you can try washing part of him, such as the back half, and see how it goes.

When to Bath Your Dog

Some owners give their dogs a bath once or twice a year. Others may bathe their furby monthly.  It all depends on your dog’s breed, coat and what he’s been doing.  As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t bathe your dog more than once a month because you can damage his coat and skin by removing natural oils. It may be tub time when:

• Your dog has rolled in something and smells. Use a deodorizing shampoo and shampoo twice.

Your dog has the “dog” smell. Some dog odors are signs of ear, mouth, feet or anal gland problems and disease. For odor beyond the doggie smell, take your dog to the vet.

• Your dog has dandruff. Flaking can be caused by dry, irritated or oily skin. Check with a groomer or vet to determine the right shampoo.

•  Your dog has ticks, fleas or mites. Shampooing can be very effective against parasites. Check with a groomer or vet to determine if your dog has parasites.

• Your dog has allergies. Bathing can help with itchy skin. Look for a soothing oatmeal or hypo-allergenic shampoo.

Dawg Gone Good Recommends . . .

Happy Tails Canine Spa Line offers solutions based on specific needs such as stinky dogs, dull coats and dry, itchy skin. Stop by and we’ll find a shampoo that’s right for your pup.

My Dog Ate . . . WHAT???

As we all know, dogs will eat just about anything. Scavengers by nature, they seek out potential tasty treats on the ground, in the trash and off the floor. Your dog eating garbage or poop may creep you out, but is it really harmful? In most cases, the answer is yes.

Dog Poop

As disgusting as this seems to us, it’s very common for dogs to eat their own and other dogs’ poop.  There’s no known cause for coprophagia (that’s the technical name for this behavior) but theories range from boredom to vitamin deficiencies.

Harmful? Your dog could pick up parasites or other diseases if she eats poop from an infected dog. It’s also good to have her checked by the vet to rule out any nutritional issues.

Cat Poop

Some dogs find cat poop delicious and it can be an ongoing battle to keep them from snacking in the litter box. This can stress out your territorial cat or family members the dog decides to kiss.

Harmful? A dog that eats cat poop probably eats at least some cat litter, which contains chemicals. Cat litter that clumps expands 15 times when wet, and could cause an intestinal blockage. And, just like dog feces, cat poop may contain parasites and other disease-causing germs.

Grass

Some people think that dogs eat grass because their tummies are upset. While it’s true that dogs eat grass and then sometimes vomit, there’s been no proof that puppies ingest grass as a medicinal herb. They eat grass because they like the way it tastes.

Harmful? Grass and other plants that have been treated with fertilizer or herbicide will cause stomach upset and could be serious. Keep your dog away for these chemicals.

Cat Food

If your dog loves to clean out the cat bowl in addition to eating her own food, she’s getting way more calories than she needs. As carnivores, cats require a diet of meat and meat products. Cat food has more calories and fat than dog food, which makes it super-yummy for pups.

Harmful? Cat food will not harm your dog in the short-term. Over time, eating rich cat food can lead to obesity and digestion problems.

Garbage

Dogs see garbage or trash as an all-you-can-eat buffet. The food found there is so much more exciting than their daily kibble. Also, if you share food off your plate or leftovers with your dog, he doesn’t know the difference between those okay treats and the ones he finds himself.

Harmful? Eating garbage can cause more harm to your dog than just an upset stomach. Garbage contains many toxic elements that can poison dogs and even kill them. They can choke on bones and ingest non-food items that may cause intestinal blockage.

Dirt

It’s called pica when a dog eats dirt, mud, rocks, wood or anything without nutritional value. If you’re feeding your dog a nutritionally balanced diet, pica may be a behavioral problem caused by boredom or the need for attention.

Harmful? Many icky things can be in dirt or mud such as antifreeze, intestinal worms or parvovirus. Check with your vet if your dog continues this behavior to rule out parasites, nutritional deficiencies or other health problems.

Weird Things Dogs Have Eaten

•  13 rocks eaten by, Lucy a Lab puppy

•  Rubber ducky swallowed by Ozzie, a Staffordshire Terrier pup (above)

•  10-inch toy arrow consumed by Betty, a Bull Terrier pup

•  Chocolate and plastic egg with Homer Simpson figurine eaten by Dixie, a Dalmation

•  Fork swallowed by Apachee, a Husky

•  Magic fairy wand wolfed by Pip, a Whippet pup

•  130 (!) nails eaten by Roxy, a Basset Hound

•  15 baby pacifiers gobbled by Lulu, an English Bulldog

•  Mobile phone consumed by Nero, a Doberman/Great Dane mix

 

Legal Disclaimer

This post is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for a vet’s professional diagnosis and treatment.

Back to School & Doggie Blues

As summer ends and kids go back to school, your dog may start howling the blues. Fall brings new schedules, different activities and sometimes more alone time for your dog. These changes can distress your pup, leading to unwanted behavior or illness. If you notice your four-legged friend moping around, try these tips to get her tail waggin’.

1. Banish boredom. If back-to-school means more time alone for your dog, make sure he gets plenty of exercise and a variety of stimulating toys. Bored dogs may bark excessively or become destructive.

2. Establish a new routine. Dogs become stressed when there are big changes to their routine. If your family’s schedule has changed, keep your dog’s feeding, walking and playing times consistent.

3. Watch for separation anxiety. If your dog develops destructive behavior as schedules change, she may be suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs try to relieve the stress by barking, digging and chewing. They may also urinate or defecate in the house, whine or pant.  Try  to keep your dog calm as you’re leaving and when you come home. Since most behavior problems happen during the first hour you are away, you can try leaving your dog for just five minutes and gradually increasing the time he is left alone.

4. Enroll your dog in a class. A schedule change is a good time to reinforce you pet’s training. Look for an obedience or agility class or just work with your dog at home. The mental stimulation and bonding will be good for your pup.

Dawg Gone Good Tip

Happy Tails Sleepytime Tonic helps calm nervous, anxious or overactive dogs. Just place a few drops in your dog’s mouth or food twice a day and you’ll see him relax. The all-natural  Bach Flower-based remedy is safe and effective.

Time to See the Groomer?

You and your love-bug are cuddling when suddenly, you notice an odor. Someone needs a bath and it isn’t you! If you’re short on time, don’t have the right tools or lack patience and dog grooming experience, it’s time to call in a professional. Dog groomers provide many services for your dog including bathing, brushing, clipping, nail care and ear care. Reasons to see a professional groomer include:

• Convenience. There’s nothing like dropping off the furry one and picking up a soft, clean, sweet-smelling dog.

• Comfort for your dog. Professional dog groomers know how to make your dog cooperate for nail trimmings or ear cleanings without hurting him.

•  Professional products. The right tools and products get the job done easily.

•  Detection of injuries or parasites. Your dog will be given a thorough inspection for cuts or open wounds which will be treated prior to any service.  A groomer can also alert you to external parasites and treat your dog accordingly.

• Information on keeping your dog looking good. A professional groomer will give you tips, not only on your dog’s grooming, but also on how to care for him on a daily basis.

How to Choose a Groomer

Where you take your dog for his grooming can make a big difference in how he’s treated. Ask vets, trainers and pet supply store owners for recommendations. Before booking an appointment, go to the facility and look for the following:

Cleanliness

• Friendly and knowledgeable staff

• Gentle and kind treatment of dogs

• Area where dogs are kept before and after grooming

• Atmosphere, not too loud, hot, cold or uncomfortable

Desert Dry Puff & Fluff

If you’re in the Albuquerque area, stop by Dawg Gone Good located in Nob Hill on Central at Wellesley, and check out our new grooming services.  Our feet, face and fanny services are eco-friendly (no water needed) and cage- and kennel-free. Wait for your dog or leave him with us–after his service he can relax in our doggie play area. For more information and reservations, call 505-508-2704.

Sharing “People” Food

In the not-so-distant past, people would scrape all their leftovers into a pan for the dog. Today, we know that a dog’s nutritional needs are different from our own. Table scraps don’t provide the minerals and vitamins dogs need, lead to obesity and can even be toxic. Yet, some “people” food such as lean meat, fresh veggies and fruit, can enhance your dog’s diet. The key to sharing “people” food with your dog? Moderation.

Sharing “People” Food

Avoid feeding your dog at the table. This can lead to unwanted begging. Give him treats away from the table and ask him to do a trick before giving him the food.

Give your dog small amounts of new food. Introduce a new food every few days so you can recognize the cause of any digestive upsets.

Know which type of food you are giving your dog, such as meat, carbs, fats or fibers. This will help you balance her calorie intake.

Don’t give your dog “people” food if he doesn’t eat his regular kibble.

Don’t overdo it. Giving your dog extra treats adds calories and too many calories can lead to disease. Try cutting back on your dog’s regular meals to compensate for any treats. Also, watch out for smaller dogs. Only a few extra calories can cause weight gain.

“People” Food for Dogs

Just like humans, dogs will become ill if they eat too much fat, carbs or calories. Some “people” foods, however, benefit a dog’s nutritional needs when given in moderation.

Yogurt provides calcium, protein and probiotics. Look for sugar- and fat-free options.

Pumpkin adds fiber to keep the GI tract moving.

• Sweet potatoes, which can be sliced and dehydrated, contain fiber, vitamins B6 and C, and magnesum.

Salmon and herring offer omega-3 fatty acids.

Green beans, with vitamins K and C, magnesum and fiber, can be substituted for some of your dog’s kibble to control weight,

Eggs provide a very digestible protein boost.

Apples, but not the seeds which contain cyanide, give a crunchy treat of vitamins A and C, plus fiber.

Popcorn, with no butter or salt, contains potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Rice, an easily digested carb, helps settle a dog’s upset tummy.

Cottage cheese, high in calcium, adds extra protein.

Extra Special Treats

In addition to the “people” food above, you can share marshmallows and ice cream with your dog for special occasions. Remember, moderation is key!

“People” Food Not Okay for Dogs

The following foods, some in low amounts, can make your dog very sick. No matter how much your dog begs, do not give in!

• Chocolate

• Grapes

• Raisins

• Onions

• Garlic

• Avocado

• Raw meat, fish and eggs

• Macadamia nuts

• Alcohol

• Coffee and tea

For more information on you dog’s nutritional needs, please visit Dawg Gone Good. We carry quality foods and treats your dog will love!

Legal Disclaimer

This post is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for a vet’s professional diagnosis and treatment.