May 31, 2010

A List of Dog Supplies That Are Essential For Dog Owners

When you think to get a dog, you must make sure that the decision is not made lightly. Give careful thought to the kind of dog you get to ensure that it's the right fit for your home, family, and energy level. Additionally, be certain that you are in a position to sufficiently care for your pet. This includes not only appropriately feeding it and exercising it, but buying all needed dog supplies.

There are a wide range of these pet supplies for dogs available, however it is important to understand that you don't need all of them right away. However, there are many things you must be certain you have available before you ever bring your dog home.

May 13, 2010

Secondhand Smoke Can Cause Cancer, Lymphoma in Pet Dogs and Cats

Secondhand smoke does not only affect the people around those who smoke, it affects pets, too. Secondhand smoke is dangerous because it contains more than 250 toxins, at least 50 of which cause cancer, according to the Connecticut Surgeon General's Office. In humans, secondhand smoke can lead to heart disease and lung cancer. In pets, secondhand smoke can cause cancer and respiratory problems, as well.

May 10, 2010

Puppy Training: Dog Biting

The family recently bought a 1-month old shih-tzu puppy. We named her Pugsy. She was behaved during the first few weeks, until recently when we noticed scratches and bites in our furniture (sofa). At first these were just small scratches and minor bites. Last week though, I noticed her biting off the edge of our wooden sofa such that the edge actually chipped off, showing the inner of the wood. I just felt so bad that I hit her with a slipper...I was just so frustrated!

Since that incident, we agreed to place her in a cage. On few occasions that she's free, she still has the habit of tagging or pulling things.

I have a few questions here:

1. What puppy training can I employ to prevent puppy housebreaking such as dog biting?
2. Does employing "force" immediately after committing a sin prevent a dog from committing the same bad act?

Training puppies not to bite could be a hard help me please...

May 6, 2010

Dog Training: Gaining and Maintaining Dog Control

Your dog learns 'Nothing in Life is Free' (aka NILIF)

Dominance rolls, alpha rolls, harsh corrections in order to gain control of your dog and show him "who calls the shots" are a thing of the past. Instead of force, humans can use ignoring certain behaviors and having the dog work for privileges to teach the dog that humans are in charge.

This is not a substitution for behavioral work and should only be used on dogs in good health and of stable temperament with no major behavioral issues. If you have any questions regarding your dog's behavior, seek professional advice before beginning a NILIF program. But for the average dog, this program is valuable.

Do you get frustrated when your dog jumps on you? Do you do things like leave food down all day for your dog? Give in and play when he jumps on you and the get frustrated when he jumps on you just before you go out for dinner? Do you allow your dog to get away with undesired manners like barking for attention or acting up when it is time to go for walks? Does your dog run roughshod over you? Not good. It is time to get serious and begin NILIF'ing.

Behaviors Learned from Demanding Attention

Many undesired behaviors are learned out of demanding attention. For example, dog jumps on you, you pat him, dog is more likely to jump for attention the next time he wants it from you. Other dogs may poke, bark in your face, etc. The key is the dog is in control of the situation when he gets the attention he demands. Not good. He is also developing undesired behaviors, not because he is bad, but because you are reinforcing them. It is time to stop this. Since the dog is doing this for attention, you are going to deny him that attention.

Walk away. Totally ignore the dog. You can give him as much attention as you want as long as it is by your rules and not his. Now, encourage your dog to come to you and sit. If all four feet remain on the floor, he can get attention. If he starts that undesired barking or jumping or mouthing, walk away. Be consistent and be fair. Maintain your composure and level of being in charge. Dogs that are confused about who is in control are more likely to act out.

Hold your ground, don't give in When first beginning a NILIF program the dog may get a bit confused. "Hey, this always worked in the past!" Chances are he will now try in earnest to get your attention. He will burst, explode and the behavior will get worse – or as I call it – The Storm Before the Calm. Hold your ground and do not give in. Giving in at any time is going to encourage the undesired behavior to continue. "See, I finally broke you down!"

Compare it to children throwing a tantrum. Think of it as a toddler throwing tantrums and always getting what he wants. First time child sees something he wants and starts to fuss, mom gives in. She has just started the cycle of "If I fuss, I will get it." Next time mom ignored the fussing, the child escalates
a bit. Mom gives in and child realizes "Gee, I got her to break down." The next time, the child will work even harder to get mom to give in if she does not crack immediately. The more mom breaks down, the more the child will throw that tantrum. If mom puts her foot down and ignores the tantrum, the child will escalate it trying to get his own way again. She may have to endure hours of screaming, kicking feet, tears, wailing, throwing things, even the child gagging and possibly even vomiting as he works up that frenzy. Eventually, the child will stop. The tantrum just does not work any more. Yelling, or even pushing the child away is not what he is looking for, but it is something and a sign that mom is breaking. You need to totally turn off to the tantrum and endure it. As long as a child is not hurting himself, others, or breaking things, tantrums can often be allowed to run their course with children.

Dogs want attention - Negative or Positive

This is very similar with dogs. For some dogs, attention is attention - be it positive or negative. Use the denial of any attention instead. Endure the extinction period and things will improve if everyone in the house is consistent. Again, you can give all the attention you want to the dog as long as it is by YOUR RULES and not his!

You have the power

You as the human have the power, but you are also empowering the dog to learn self-control. Again, do you just give in to your dog? Does he get food and play for free and there is no "currency" he has to pay with to get it? Change that. You have the power; you are in control.

Simple things like making him "work" or "pay" for things can help re-establish who is in charge. Insist the dog sits before he gets to eat. If he sits automatically, regain control by having him down. If he takes a few bites and walks away, dinner is over until the next meal (feed your dog two meals a day). You control the food. He does not decide when mealtimes are - you do. Does your dog get up on your bed or furniture when he feels like it? Change. He has to now wait until he is given a command to come up. Before play and during play, stop the dog and have him work, teach him tricks like "Shake" "Play Dead" "Take a
Bow." If he does this, he can continue to play with you. If not, the game is over.

The dog is given power if he does as you ask. The balance of power has shifted. The dog is given power in his own right. If he does what you ask, he gets what he wants. He is in control to an extent. But you are determining the outcome and what has to be done in order for that to occur. Sort of like a pay check. You do what you are supposed to and when you are supposed to,your pay continues, your job continues. Failure to do this and your job may very well end as does that pay check! With your dog no longer in charge of the house, you will have to make more of an effort to engage in play and socialize. But it is worth it.
NILIF does not mean denial of attention or play, it just means that the balance of power has shifted and the human is back in charge.



Dog control can indeed be very demanding especially for someone who still has to learn the basics of dog behavior. Having read the above article brings to mind how I treat my dog pets at home. My family actually have a 1-year old and a month-old shih-tzu dogs. As we never had dog pets in the past, just imagine how chaotic the house is as we all do not know how to impose dog control. Puppy training though is the most difficult as one finds it hard to teach dog obedience on a puppy so adorable! When a puppy fusses to demand attention, we actually respond by cuddling him. But as the article above recommends, dog behavior such as this should be ignored. Accordingly, doing so would shift the control back to us! Training dog really needs patience and kowledge on our part.

To all dog enthusiasts like me, let's increase our dog awareness by sharing notes and experiences by linking to each other thru the comment post below!

April 2, 2010

Pet Toys as Pet Treats, Is this Always the Case? Twitter Says it could pose a risk to pet dog health....

crazycritters_ Toys for pet dogs need to be 'carefully chosen' - Animal Friends Pet Insurance: Toys for pet dogs need to be 'care...

chummydog Selecting The Ideal Pet Dog Toys For Your Pet There are many types of dogs t...

puppyblog1 Buying Dog Toys For Your Dog: These days when you walk into the toy section of any pet stores for dogs, you are ...

TheGypsyDad PET TOYS - A WARNING: DOG TOYS – A WARNING I can not tell you that I know this is a true story, it was forwarded t...


Pet toys, pet treats? Is this always the case? In a very recent experience, I would like to refute that very first statement that pet toys are pet treats...this is not always the case. Pet dog toys could especially rubber pet toys could even pose a risk to your pet dog health. Thus, giving considerable thought on what dog toys to buy should be made especially if what you're buying fall under that cheap dog toys category. I bought that puppy toys from a dog store, but it did not carry that warranty of "no dog products risk". After only a few days, we were all seeing our dear shih tzu dog slowly getting weak. For almost one week, we watched over him so closely as he got really weak. Fortunetaly, our vet is really good and had him up again after only a week of medication.

March 17, 2010

Top Five New Products & Inventions for Dog Lovers

The numbers are in, and despite restrained consumer spending throughout 2009, Americans nevertheless spent a whopping $45.5 billion on their pets, an increase of 5.4 percent over 2008 levels. A large portion of that spending was focused on canines. Yet as much as dog owners love their pets, they are realistic enough to know they are a lot of work, too. Here is a countdown of some innovative new pet products to solve the Top Five problems dog owners face. (Hint: Problem Number 1 is, of course, number two! And there you go, scrolling down to read it first!)

Dog Problem Number 5: "My dog is such a sloppy eater that he spills food out of the bowl and sloshes his drinking water everywhere! NOT COOL!"

Solution: The Neater Feeder offers a drain and overflow reservoir to capture gulp splashes and the drippy muzzle-water, so you can cut back on the paper towel response. This dog invention sports a rimmed tray surface that takes care of any spilled food, so your pup's enthusiastic dive into his food bowl doesn't mean you must reach for the broom or hand vac at every meal. The feeder system was introduced by TowerStar Pets in 2009 and has been receiving rave reviews ever since. The original sloppy canine that inspired this new dog product, Duke, is now the company spokesdog, and his feeding system can be found in many specialty pet stores and directly from TowerStar Pets.

Dog Problem Number 4: "My dog eats so fast the bowl slides across the floor (making a mess) and he gets indigestion (and sometimes, you know, gas)... that's NEVER COOL!"

Solution: J.W. Pet's Skid Stop Slow Feed Bowl has rubberized feet to hold it in place as the unique design forces your ever-ravenous pooch to poke around and maneuver his muzzle and tongue to navigate carefully around the bowl dividers. It could also be fun to watch!

Dog Problem Number 3: "I like to throw a ball for my dog, and then he wants to play tug-of-war with it. But he slobbers WAY too much, and the ball is always so slimy and gooey, I can't hold onto it... I AM GROSSED OUT!"

Solution: Never touch a slobber-ball again! The Toss-N-Tug will give you a fighting chance in that tug-of-war contest. And if that weren't enough, you can select ball color and strap design for a customized purchase when you order directly from the company, If It Wags, LLC. Toss-N-Tug inventor Rob Sinninger, who introduced these new dog products for Christmas 2009, creates them using special tennis balls with a modified nap that's better for dogs. The selection of nylon webbing is terrific; shoppers may want to coordinate a Toss-N-Tug with a new designer collar while they are on the site!

Dog Problem Number 2: My dog is so tired from playing tug-of-war that he sleeps for hours on end, leaving me with time on my hands. Also, as I look at him sleeping, I realize he doesn't look goofy enough... I NEED SOMETHING TO DO!

Solution: Awaken your creative and innovative muse: make your dog an outfit for next year's Dress Up Your Pet Day Competition. After a month of online voting, "Ragedy Andy PeeWee" was awarded top honors by the contest's co-sponsors, the Craft and Hobby Association and We at InventHelp love the imagination and dedication that creative people demonstrate every day, and we are committed to acknowledge it when we see it, and happy to laugh at it when we can! Come on now, that's funny, we don't care who you are!

Dog Problem Number 1: "My dog poops every day! Yo Dog, that ain't COOL!"

Solution: The Poopsta is a spot-on dog invention for cleaning up your pet's dumpsites, to make it all good in the 'hood! This sleek, cylindrical container snaps a rubber band and plastic bag deftly beneath the pile, totally out of sight and hands-free! That's right, this invention is powered by a rubber band! We haven't seen a rubber band put to such hard work since our science teacher wound one up on a toy airplane propeller, and the Poopsta is even less technical than that. But there's more: the Poopsta is ideal for the poop-prolific, as it is capable of scooping multiple piles per outing. So if you are "tired of that squishy feeling under your fingers," check out the Poopsta for hands-free poop-bagging, the solution from Across the Pond. The website links to a video that captures the snap-action of this innovative tool that just might be the next British sensation.



Dog supplies especially those which were invented to make the lives of dog enthusiasts a bit more convenient, have once again invaded the market. The above article actually shows dog supplies online that can be acquired such as dog bowls, dog apparel among others, but this time with a little twist to make pet dog care easier.

Petdogs-Manila: Dog Washing Machine

Petdogs-Manila: Dog Washing Machine

Dog Washing Machine

A machine made specifically for washing dogs is making the lives of groomers easier in Japan.

It may look more like a washer machine for clothes, but this contraption is perfectly safe for pets.

No more scratches from wrestling with unwilling animals, and it is much cheaper for the customer, too.

A machine wash only costs ten dollars, compared to the 50 dollars that is usually charged for a hand washing.

The only limitation is the size of the dog, big ones won't fit.

The machine was designed in the U.S. and has been available here for a while, but so far Japan only has ten of them.



This newest technological advance in Japan on dog bath seems more popular with owners than dogs. Well, according to my research, the full cycle lasts 33 minutes and includes a shampoo, a rinse and a dry and that more and more people are making use of the dog washing machine such as one installed in a pet supermarket called Joyful Honda in the suburbs of Tokyo.

Is this some kind of animal cruelty? Well I guess we just have to weigh the pros and cons of convenience as against seeing our pet dogs inside a dog washing machine. I must admit, dog bathing is not an easy task especially if your dog washing supplies only revolve in a dog wash tub. It can give you scratches as you battle with your pet dogs' mood for that moment. But I must salute the inventors as they took dog grooming one step ahead thru innovation. With this invention, 'do it yourself dog grooming" will become much easier for pet dog enthusiasts!

March 14, 2010

Pit Bull Dogs and Great Training Tips

Did you know that despite the aggressive behavior of pitbull dogs, this breed is easily trained as compared to other breeds? Dog training will require the willingness of the dogs to participate. Some dog breeds are smart while others are quite hard to train and you're lucky if you own a pit bull. These dogs are smart and very eager to obey their owners. You have to options when it comes to dog training - do it yourself or you can hire a professional trainer. The techniques used for training pit bulls and other dog breeds are now more effective and easier. In due time, you will have an intelligent and friendly dog as your companion.

Follow these tips when training your pit bull:

1. Dogs usually live their lives in the current moment. When giving your punishment or reward, you have to make sure that you're doing it properly. Just in case you've found an 'accident' but it took place hours ago and now you see your pit bull taking a nap. Don't try to correct this wrong behavior NOW because your dog will associate the punishment with his nap and not the 'accident' that he did hours ago.

2. The rules should always be consistent. For instance, if your rule is not to allow your dog to sleep with you on the bed, then you shouldn't allow him to do so in the coming nights - not ever! If you give in to the 'doggy eyes' and other begging acts, your dog will learn that if he do those actions, he is going to get his way. Pitbull dogs may develop the wrong behavioral patterns and you will find it hard to correct it.

3. Always give a reward for your dog's good acts. As time pass, your dog will always do the right things so that he can get rewards or treats. When you go to the grocery, don't forget to buy some dog treats. Give the rewards properly. Never give treats for a behavior that you don't want your pit bull to develop.

4. Pit bulls are eager learners. Show your dog what you want him to do instead of forcing him to do it. If you train your dog by force, you will only intimidate and distract him thereby slowing the learning process.

5. It's not a good idea to shout or yell at your pet. Repeating the commands is ideal but if you the dog is not catching up, you might as well show him the right way to do it. Take your time and don't rush your pit bull.

6. Being patient has its rewards. As a trainer, you should be patient enough. You will surely encounter some tough times with your dog but this should not discourage you. The keys to success are consistency, gentleness, and humor.

These are some of the tips that you can use when training pit bull dogs. Follow them and you will have a peace-loving and friendly pit bull even in the presence of other dogs.

Article Source:

I have always had a bad impression on pitbull dogs as one of the dangerous dogs. This is because of the many news I heard on pitbull dog attacks. They are also being trained for pitbull dog fight, which just all the more heightened my dislike for pitbulls as a pet dog. The article above on pitbull training somehow gave me the impression that given the proper pitbull training, pitbull dogs can also be man's best friend just like any tamed dogs out there.

March 9, 2010

Is a Leash a Must Have Even for Shih-tzu Dogs?

My family recently bought a shih-tzu dog. All cuddly and very tamed, our shih-tzu dog is allowed to roam around the house unguarded. This is despite the presence of two kids who both loved to play with our dog. Reading your article though on dog leash, i got the impression that having a dog leash is a must have. Here are just a few of my questions related to the topic:

1. Is a dog leash a requirement even for the most tamed dog like a shih-tzu?
2. Is a dog leash training effective to ensure dog obedience? Should this be part of dog training?
3. Are there available flexi dog leashes in the market?
4. Is running dog leash not dangerous to a dog, i.e. would this not cause injury to the dog?
5.As a dog leash is used to lead or hold a dog in check, is this not a form of dog control which could be similar to placing a dog in a dog cage? Will this not increase dog aggression? Or will this be an effective thing to controlling dog aggression?

March 8, 2010

Learn Dog Training Tips

Dog Training Methods Compared - The Positive Vs. Negative Debate!

Looking to train your dog and stumped about which dog training method or philosophy is best? Ask ten different people how they believe dogs should be trained and you’ll likely hear ten different stories. The truth is there are really two major dog training approaches, positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. And most training techniques fall under these two approaches.

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Techniques

Positive reinforcement isn’t a new technique however it is a more recent approach when compared to negative reinforcement techniques. Positive reinforcement basically means you reward for good behavior. It embraces the philosophy that animals perform better when they know they’re going to receive a reward. The training results are permanent and positive reinforcement doesn’t create negative behaviors.

Benefits of positive reinforcement include

* Creating a bond of trust between owner/trainer and dog
* Creating a structure of behavior and reward
* Eliminating and preventing negative or aggressive behaviors
* Empowering owners to train – it’s easier to use positive techniques successfully
* Motivating dogs to learn. When a dog knows they’re going to get a treat they’re much more excited to learn a new behavior.

Positive reinforcement training embraces several training methods including clicker training, play training, nothing in life is free, and even luring. The essence of these techniques only differs in the process.

For example, with clicker training the click marks the correct behavior and the behavior is enforced with a reward. It can be a food reward, a belly rub or a game of tug of war, it doesn’t matter.

Food rewards, are of course easier and most dogs are very responsive to food. Play training substitutes the food reward with play time and luring guides a dog’s behavior with food. Okay, onto negative reinforcement…

Negative Reinforcement Dog Training Techniques

Before there were positive reinforcement dog training techniques, negative reinforcement was the standard approach trainers took. Now negative reinforcement isn’t all bad. Sometimes a little aversion goes a long way. However it has it’s time and place.

Negative reinforcement takes the following approach – punish for bad behaviors and the dog will remember what they’re not supposed to do. Negative reinforcement training techniques range from yelling at a dog when they do something wrong to electric shock – think about those invisible fences, that’s negative reinforcement. Choke chains and confinement are also forms of negative reinforcement.

Here’s the thing…

There’s a reason why positive reinforcement is a more recent philosophy. Trainers and animal behaviorists have learned that negative reinforcement typically doesn’t help an animal to really learn a behavior.

When a person or an animal receive a positive impulse there are chemicals released in the brain that make associations. Positive associations help an animal learn a behavior faster and better than negative reinforcement. Additionally, negative reinforcement creates potentially negative emotions like fear and aggression.

Fear and aggression are the most common causes of unwanted behaviors in dogs thus making negative reinforcement techniques a potentially vicious circle. Many traditional dog training methods like the Koehler Method embrace and are founded on negative reinforcement techniques.

Depending on your dog, your personal training philosophy and the reason you’re training your dog, different approaches may work better for you. Additionally, often times a combined approach, using positive reinforcement 99% of the time and the occasional negative stimuli 1% of the time, may be the most effective.

Dog training techniques are wide and varied. When exploring which method is right for you, examine whether they embrace positive or negative reinforcement techniques and what tools the method uses. Some methods are developed for high level agility training and competition and others are designed to help you co-habitate with your dog in a loving and structured environment. You know your dog best, what method fits your goals and needs?



The above article brings to mind the same concept being used in human Psychology to better understand and appreciate motivation. I supposed choosing either to use positive or negative reinforcement, just like in human Psychology, would largely depend on what the expected outcome would be. Thus, family dog training would have to be different than when your dog is intended for other purpose other than being a pet dog.

March 2, 2010

Controlling Dog Aggression

The death of the 4-year old daughter of ‘Ax Men’ star Jesse Browning is indeed very unfortunate especially so that it was their family dog, a Rottweiler, which caused the tragedy.

This once again brought to my consciousness my fear for dogs even pet dogs. As a mother and as a newbie in dog care, I have just a few questions which I hope you guys could help me be enlightened:

1) Is there really such a thing as dog aggression training? Does it really help in controlling dog aggression?

2) In training aggressive dog, do we consider the dog breed, and dogs behavior? could these factors help in designing the dog training tools?

3) What household remedies are immediately available as first aid to dog bites?

4) Is there really such a thing as dog behavior problem? Can this contribute to dog aggression?

5)Kindly give me simple tips in training aggressive dog and how to house train a dog to reduce anxiety at home.

February 28, 2010

Questions on Dog Care from a Newbie Pet Owner

The family recently bought a shih-tzu dog from a neighbor. At first I was not interested as I am not an inborn pet lover...not even for the tamest dogs. As taking care of dogs especially shih-tzu is really something new for me, I have here a few questions which I hope you could enlighten me with being a newbie in dog care.

1. AS part of dog grooming, what are the things that I should do to eliminate the odor? our shih-tzu takes a bath once a week only, should we increase the frequency?

2. Is the use of ordinary shampoo and conditioner (for humans) appropriate for dogs especially for the thick dog coats of shih-tzu? or should I really use dog products such as dog shampoo, conditioner, powder, etc? what dog products would you recommend?

3. Our dog is almost 1 year already. Is he prepared for mating already? when is the most appropriate time?

4. We will soon acquire a girl shih-tzu. I this ok for our boy shih-tzu? or are there preparations for our boy shih-tzu?

I would highly appreciate it if you could answer my questions above.

February 27, 2010

Pet Grooming: How to Brush Your Dog's Hair

Pet Grooming can be synonymous to pet health. But pet grooming covers a wide area. so for now, let us concentrate on our pet dog's hair specially the proper technique and pet supply needed for combing your dog's hair.

Brushes for Thick Coats
There are many different brushes out there. First, I would start with a slicker brush, this is a very stiff bristle, works really good on your curly coats or thick, double coats and helps get through a thicker coat a little bit easier.

Brushes for Older Dogs
Our next brush has softer bristle for your older dogs, for fragile skin types. The main thing is to avoid causing brush burn.

Brushes for Smaller Dogs
This is our third brush, it's a little more smaller of a brush. This one can be used for your smaller or shorter breeds. It s a little more delicate of a brush.

Dog Combs
Along with the brushes I would always have a comb. This is a medium coarse comb with a little bit of spacing in between. This is just to double check and make sure your dog is brushed out all the way.

Line Brushing
We're going to go over and watch the proper technique for brushing. We're going to use the softer bristle brush, especially for a dog which is a little bit older, with a coat that is getting a little bit thinner, which tells us that its skin may be more fragile.

Basic typical problem when brushing is that a lot of us pet owners want to brush our dogs in a manner called this "top brushing." We need to get to the skin, so we need to use a technique called "line brushing".


1. Pull Coat Upwards to Reveal Skin
So what we need to do is take one hand and begin to pull the coat upwards so we can see the skin. So well take what's under our hand holding the coat back and we'll gently brush out from what's underneath our hand. That way we can see the skin, and we know we're getting the coat brushed out all the way from the bottom. As I mentioned, our typical pet owner wants to top brush, but when we go over with our comb in the end it tends to get stuck.

2. Double Check With Comb
Once we get an area brushed out, we take our comb and double check. The comb should go right through like it would our own hair. If were going to be working on the head area, a lot of our dogs at home may not want to be bushed when they see the brush coming, so what I would suggest is to just do a little bit at a time.

3. Make Brushing Fun
Don't make your dog sit for too long in one place. Make fun out of it, make it positive. So what we can do is brush over the ear afterwhich do line brushing underneath the neck area, making sure you getting through the coat and down to the skin, cause that's where our problems start.

4. Make Sure to Remove Dead Skin
A lot of times if we don't get to the skin well get matted situations, and were not getting the dead skin off, and that's what we need to do to make the skin breathe and be healthy.


February 25, 2010

Consideration on Dog Health

I don't like pets... not even the most tamed dog could capture a non-pet lover like me. Well, that's what I thought almost a year ago. This all changed when a neighbor offered to sell us a shitzu dog which he claimed is one of his rarest if not best small pet dogs. We called our pet dog Yugi-O, named after a favorite TV show most kids are addicted to.

Last week put to test how we dearly love our pet dog, Yugi. It got sick after we bought it a tennis ball dog toy from Ace Hardware. thinking it was safe, since we bought it in a big store, we had our dog played on the ball. Unfortunately,our pet dog got sick. To all of you who could be thinking that any dog product or dog supplies bought in a reputable store could mean it's safe for a dog is in for a big mistake. Believe me. It was a terrifying experience. Seeing our dear Yugi very weak brought us all panicking the whole 2 days.

Lesson learned: dog health should be given paramount importance. It's not something we could just shrug off or consider as irrelevant.

But the most important realization I had after the ordeal? That I am capable of loving a dog and consider it as one of the family.....

Allergies Dogs

Dog allergies are very similar to human allergies and also produce the same symptoms as human allergies. There are 5 types of dog allergies: food allergy, flea allergy, bacteria allergy, contact allergy and atopy. Here are some basic facts about each of these allergies.

Food Allergies

The most common symptom of food allergies is scratching, due to skin irritation. Dog foods contain a host of ingredients which can cause an allergic reaction to your dog. Some of these ingredients are:

Meats: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Fish, Eggs

Diary products (Milk)

Grains (Wheat, Whey)

Most dog owners often scold their dog for scratching too much. Any obsessive behavior your dog demonstrates, such as constant scratching, chewing, licking, requires immediate attention. Never assume that this is just a new habit your dog picked up. Dog allergies can make your dog very uncomfortable.

Aside from scratching, some of the other symptoms dogs can experience are:



eye and nose discharge

Itching around the anus

hair loss

loss of appetite

pawing at their ears or head shaking



breathing problems

Isolating the allergen which causes the allergy is not easy because the dog is usually allergic to one specific ingredient in the food. Therefore, it is a matter of isolating that ingredient. You can try doing this with an elimination diet, which most people don't have the time or energy for. The elimination diet requires preparing specially-cooked meals consisting of a more exotic meat, like rabbit or venison, mixed with rice or potato, which wouldn't normally be found in dog food.

An easier and more modern approach to test for the presence of a food allergy is to try a dog food which contains hydrolyzed proteins, such as Purinas HA or Hills z/d. Hydrolyzed proteins are broken down into molecules so small, they can't affect the immune system, which is what causes the allergy. If the allergy goes away while your dog is on this diet (which would take about 8 weeks), then he most likely is suffering from a food allergy. At this point, you would start to re-introduce the possible allergens one by one (individual meats, wheat, corn, milk, etc.) for a period of two weeks each. If the symptoms return, it is most likely due to the ingredient being introduced at that time. You should look out for that ingredient on dog food labels in future purchases.

Atopy (inhalant allergy)

Atopy is the most common of all dog allergies, which is caused by environmental factors, such as dust mites, molds, house dust, human dander, feathers or pollen.

Signs of atopy include excessive chewing, licking and scratching at the face, paws, abdomen, armpits and genital area. Evidence of this behavior can be found in examining your dog's paws, armpits and genital area. Reddish-brown stains develop in these areas due to excessive licking. This may not be evident in dogs with dark coats.

Atopy is not easy to diagnose due to other dog allergies having the same symptoms. Once these other dog allergies (food, flea and contact) have been ruled out, your vet can proceed with testing for the root cause of the atopy. The most accurate method of testing for atopy is Intradermal Skin Testing.

There are many different treatment options for atopy. The best treatment would be avoiding the allergen altogether. If this is not feasible, other treatments include cool water baths with medicated shampoo, antihistamines, allergy shots, corticosteriods or a diet rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Flea Allergies

Dog allergies to fleas are not caused by the flea itself, but rather the flea's saliva. A common symptom of flea allergies is scratching at the tail area which causes hair loss, scabs and sores. Your vet can easily diagnose a flea allergy by checking for the presence of fleas in the coat. Fleas can be seen by the naked eye. Intradermal Skin Testing can also be used to test for this type of allergy. The most effective products for eliminating fleas are:

Advantage - Flea control for your Dog & CatFrontLine - Flea & Tick

Medication for your Dog & Cat

Capstar- Flea infestation on Dog and Cat

K9 Advantix Flea and Tick Medication (based on dog's weight)

Bacterial Allergies

A dog's skin normally harbors Staph bacteria. Usually, this bacteria does not have any affect on your dog but some dogs develop a sensitivity to it causing an allergic reaction. Your dog may develop crusts on the skin and patches of hair loss due to scratching, similar to ring worm. If these patches become infected, your dog will need to be treated with antibiotics.

Contact Allergies

Contact allergies are the least common of all dog allergies. This type of allergy produces swelling, redness, itching and hair loss. Common contact allergens include flea collars, plastic food bowls, pet sweaters, plants, grass or wool bedding. The best way to diagnose this allergy is if the symptoms continue after ruling out all other allergies. If this is the case, then you must pinpoint the allergen and remove it from your dog's environment.

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Natural Dog Treats - Provide Extra Nutrition For Your Dog the Natural Way

By Stewart G Robertson

It seems that nowadays, thank goodness, more and more dog owners are becoming increasingly more conscious of the nutritional needs of their pets. More and more they appreciate the benefits of giving their animals treats made only from natural ingredients.

* Marketable Natural Dog Treats

Natural dog treats have nothing added to them. No fillers, no preservatives and most importantly, no chemicals, leaving just pure dog nutrition. In addition, natural treats make use of the highest quality of edible foodstuffs and prepared using methods which make them even edible by human beings. There are loads of different natural treats available, some which you will already be aware of, and some which you might not have thought of.

Natural pork dog chews are probably the most popular and widely known dog treat. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from pigs ears to pig snouts to rolls of pork rind. Pigs ears are much loved by dogs. They contain an acceptable quantity of fat and have a flavor that dogs find irresistible.

Natural fish dog chews have loads of protein and different varieties may contain omega-3 and omega-6 which are fatty acids which promote a good healthy skin and fur. Dog chews made from natural poultry are low in fat and are suitable for dogs with allergies. Dog chews made from natural lamb are perfect for sensitive dogs and dogs which are allergic to certain foodstuffs. All these natural treats should be oven baked and dried and contain no seasoning, preservatives or coloring agents.

Greenies are one more much loved dog treat - a distinctive range of treats that utilizes chlorophyll and naturally cleans your dogs teeth and freshens the breath. If your dog isn't used to having his teeth brushed, Greenies and other dental chews will help keep your dogs teeth and gums healthy. New Greenies are softer toothbrush shaped and when your dog chews them their teeth sink in up to the gum which provides a cleaning action and removes any debris lodged in between the teeth.

* Other Types Of Natural Dog Treats

If you take a look around your kitchen, check the refrigerator or even look in the garden you will be surprised at just how many natural treats are available right on your doorstep. Sliced apples, sticks of celery as well as carrots all make very good natural treats. Each and every one provides proteins and vitamins. A carrot by itself contains 5 different Vitamins, Protein, Iron, Fiber, Potassium and loads more. All natural ingredients and no chemicals. Just feed them on their own or for an extra special very occasional treat try with a little peanut butter. Dogs go absolutely crazy for peanut butter but don't feed it very often. don't feed dogs chocolate intended for human beings, grapes, figs, plums or raisins.

Whether or not you purchase commercial dog treats or use treats direct from your garden or refrigerator, natural dog treats are a fantastic method of providing your dog with a supplement of extra nutrition and no need to worry about any nasty chemicals being administered without your knowledge.

More health tips and information can be found at for a limited time you can save 50% on a fantastic Dog First Aid Guide with loads of tips on First Aid, Grooming, Nutrition and loads more.

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This is a good material to read if you are wondering what healthy alternatives to give your dog pets. From the article alone you can imagine now what better pet dog food we can actually give our dog pets that could actually address dog health issues through the benefit of foods available even in our refrigerators.

February 24, 2010

Small Pet Dogs: Shitzu and Children

Children are drawn to the shitzu for its charming appearance and small size, but children must be taught to reverence these noble, proud dogs and to resist the enticement to touch until the dog has had time to become acquainted. The shitzu is a friendly, trusting, affectionate dog. It should not be mishandled. Teach children to approach your shitzu gently and to pet them only with permission and under your supervision. Shitzu's are sweet, gentle, and mild mannered, but under the wrong circumstances, accidents can happen.

Kids should learn not to put their face up close against an animal. It is very appealing to rub a cheek across the soft fur, or even to try to kiss the pet, but this should be dejected. Since young children are short and their heads are large in fraction to their bodies, the greater part of animal bite wounds inflicted on children happen in the area of the face and head.

The next thing kids should learn is how to properly pet and handle their new shitzu. Demonstrate the correct way to lift the puppy, by placing one hand under its rear legs and the other hand under its chest and abdomen for support. Many children are too small to hold a puppy or an adolescent shitzu. Under adult supervision, however a child can sit on the floor and hold the puppy in his or her lap. Teach children not to lift the shitzu by its legs. Your pet could be dropped or its limbs could be injured, dislocated, or broken. Also, do not try to lift your shitzu by the nape of the neck. This is uncomfortable for a shitzu. It will struggle and try to get away and may be dropped and injured. It may also cause the animal's eye to bulge. In some cases, if the skin is pulled back too tightly, especially around the head, one or both eyes can be forced out from their sockets and require immediate veterinary care to save the eye and vision. For a shitzu, holding it by the back of the neck can be dangerous and painful.

There is no limit to the things children can learn from a shitzu. These magnificent dogs provide an outstanding chance for adults to teach children about pets, the significance of gentle care and handling, kindness, and respect for life. They provide a way for very young children to learn responsibility by participating in the animal's care, learning the importance of providing water, food, a home, and a kind heart.

A number of children are alarmed or uncomfortable around dogs, particularly big ones. Since a shitzu is small and appealing, it can be probable for a child to replace nervousness, fear, or shyness with gentleness and warmth. Adult direction is necessary when a child is caressing any dog of any breed.

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How to Train Small Pet Dogs

We all love the cute little antics of our puppies - their high energy level, their constant love of playtime and their undying love for romping and running with you and your family. Play time is a great way to create a bond between you and your new puppy. It can also be a way to get in some much needed training, without your puppy even knowing!

Because puppies have such a high energy level, creating a game that releases that energy is great for you and for him! Try making an obstacle course for your pup to run through, around and under. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Get a few old, large cardboard boxes and cut off the top and bottom flaps so that it is open on both sides, making it easy for your pup to run right through. Set up a few cones or other objects that your puppy can weave in and out. Anything you can find around the house that is safe and will make a great obstacle for your dog.

Have your pup sit a few feet from the first obstacle, show him the treat and put it on the other side of the cardboard box. When your pup runs through the box, give him the treat on the other side and reward him with lots of praise.

With the cones, lead your pup around each cone, treat in hand and in sight. When he completes the obstacle, give him the treat and lots of praise. Pretty soon, he will be running through on his own at lightning speed!

Tug-of-war is also a favorite game among all dog owners. You should never let your dog win the match though. Letting him win makes him think he is the alpha dog or pack leader. Tug-of-war gives you the opportunity to teach your puppy "drop it" or "give". This is perfect for when he has a shoe, remote or any other item he shouldn't be playing with. Teaching these commands will create a well-balanced and behaved adult in the future.

Fetch is a game that never gets old for your pup. Throw his favorite toy and tell him "come" when he retrieves it. This is a great way to practice the command and to burn off that extra energy for your puppy.

There are tons of games and exercises that can be helpful to you and your puppy. Playing is not just a way to have fun but creates that friendship that each owner should have with their dog. The next time you're wondering how to entertain your puppy, just use your imagination and have fun - your pup will be sure to join in!

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February 23, 2010

Training Dogs to Be a Loving Friend

The most popular dog training problem is aggression. More than 4.3 million people every year are bitten by dogs. That is about 2 percent of the population of the United States. Not a small number.

The most common reason people dismiss this behavior is that "the dog is an animal" and it is going to behave as such. It has natural instincts. It is always no matter what behavior it is engaged in, good or bad, playing to those instincts. Now the good thing about dog pets, the reason that they are so loved as pets is because they have been bred to be domesticated animals. So that means that one of the dog's instincts is to try to please.

So along with this being a symptom of a dog being a dog there is also the fact that dogs have an instinct towards a pack society. Now what this means is that there is a hierarchy of respect that a dog will give other dogs and/or humans according to how the dog perceives you in the hierarchy.

So to make it more clear, if you are clearly an authority figure to that dog it is much less likely to engage in some of the behaviors that we do not appreciate such as dog aggression or the dog biting you. The reason for that is that if you are seen as the authority figure, the alpha of the pack, then your dog would not dare play in a certain manner.

So for example, let's say there are two members of your household; one has trained the dog from the beginning. There is a certain bond to their relationship with the dog. Many people now mistake this and say well, the dog loves me but hates my husband, that is why he bites him. But that is not really accurate. It is somewhat of an oversimplification.

It is not so much about love, instead it is how the dog perceives you versus your husband. Say you have trained the dog from the day you brought it home from the breeder, pet store, shelter, or pound, and you have been constant with this dog. You are the one giving it treats. You are the one responding to its behavior. And let's say your husband or boyfriend or significant other, whoever it may be, even a friend, encounters the dog and the dog jumps up on the friend or the dog bites the friend. This is someone that the dog just does not perceive as being higher than it in the social standing of your little household pack. So in that case the dog feels more freedom to do certain things.

A perfect example would be let's say at work you may say you act a certain way with your coworkers who are in the same job as you with the same title or even with someone of a lower job title in your company where you work than you would with your boss or the head of the company. You are going to be much more guarded with your boss, much more careful about everything you do than you would be with the buddy that is in the next office or next cubicle or the next desk. The same is true with your dog.

So, I am sure you are starting to see a pattern. The key to making your dog less aggressive is to increase your standing in the pack with proper dog training. Being authoritative is required. Crate train your dog if you haven't yet. The uninformed see that as cruel. However, dogs are den animals. They enjoy having a space of their own. Lets put it this way-remember your first apartment. You didn't care how small it was because it was "all yours". Your dog is no different. If you take those steps you should able to make strides in having a much less aggressive dog.

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