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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