Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How to Keep Your Dog's Ears Healthy and Clean

A healthy dogs' ear is pale pink and has no odor. A little bit of wax or dirt in the outer portion of the ear canal and around the ear leather wrinkly area is perfectly normal, and it's okay to carefully remove this with a piece of gauze, cotton ball, or a cotton swab (Q-tip). By keeping your dog's ears clean and healthy, you can avoid having him suffer from a painful infection.

All dogs can develop problems in the ears. The ear canal gets hot, red, inflamed, and full of smelly gooey stuff. If you touch the ear the dog will groan or yelp. Sometimes the ear leather (the underside of the dog's ear) looks dry and flaky. In many cases, the dog will frequently shake his head and scratch his ear because ear infections itch and hurt! If he has a severe infection, your dog might flinch, cry out, or attempt to snap at you when you touch his ear.

Prevention is the best medicine. From the day you get your dog, check his ears regularly for excessive dirt or unusual odor.

Keep the ears clean with a weekly cleaning by using what your vet recommends for an ear cleaning solution, or use a home-made recipe of equal parts water, distilled white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. (That is what I have always used to clean my dog's ears.)

Make sure the solution is at room temperature. Lay your dog on his side and pour an amount onto the ear leather and gently into the ear canal. Starting at the base of your dog's ear (where it attaches to his head) massage it in thoroughly.

Continue for about 15 seconds working the cleaning solution into the ear massaging from the outside while holding your dog's ear up. This will help loosen normal dirt and wax. (Dog's generally enjoy having this massage.)

Then use a cotton ball to dry as much of the ear as you can reach without pushing down into the ear canal. Your dog will naturally shake his head after a few seconds of ear cleaning; this will help to release any internal debris.

Hair that grows inside the dog's ear canal is very easy to pull out. You can ask your vet or groomer to show you how it's done. If you start doing this when your dog is a pup, he won't you a hard time. Many dogs like having the ear hairs pulled out and become very relaxed!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Life Hacks To Having A Pet

Swipe Pesky Pet Hair Off Upholstery with a Rubber Glove!
Anyone who’s tried using a lint roller or handheld vacuum cleaner on that dog hair sticking out of the fibers in your furniture or vehicle upholstery knows it’s a pretty futile act. Instead, put on a simple rubber glove, like the kind used for household chores, dampen the glove with a bit of water so it’s moist but not dripping, and slide it over that furry sofa cushion or car seat. The damp rubber will attract the dog hair and pull it out from between the fibers of your favorite upholstered furniture. Dog hair will simple stick to the rubber glove, where it can be rinsed away and repeated as needed. 

Lift Pet Hair Out of Carpet Using a Squeegee!
Vacuums designed for pet parents are excellent for keeping carpets fur-free, but they don’t always work on edges and in corners where dog hair tends to collect or on extra plush or deep carpets. Instead, grab an inexpensive squeegee, just like those used for wiping car windows and simply slide it over the carpet. Because the squeegee is small, lightweight, and portable, it’s easy to get into corners and under the edges of furniture where the vacuum can’t reach.

Slow Down a Fast Eater with a Ball!

If you’ve got a speedy eater, but don’t want to bother with a slow-feeder bowl, simply drop a ball into your dog’s dish to slow down dinner time. Depending on the size of your dog, a tennis ball is usually adequate (extra large dogs will require a larger ball that won’t become a choking hazard). Having a ball (or large, heavy rock; rubber Kong toy; or other like-sized object) in the bowl will force your dog to slow down as he eats around it. He’ll also have to move the ball around the dish, making mealtime more challenging and mentally stimulating as he learns to problem-solve!

Use a Shower Cap to Protect Eyes and Ears at Bath Time!
 A simple shower cap will make bath time easier for you and gentler (and even more adorable!) for your pup. Soap suds and water can be irritating in your dog’s eyes and can lead to painful ear infections if allowed to enter delicate ear canals. To protect your pups eyes and ears at bath time, just top that cute fuzzy head with a shower cap, tuck the ears inside while you’re lathering him up, and pull down over his eyes (for just a second) while you rinse to keep these sensitive areas dry.

Some dogs might not be so keen on wearing a cap, so be sure to offer lots of praise and treats. Your pup will quickly learn that it’s only for a second and that she gets rewarded for wearing it - and you’ll prevent lots of potential pain and discomfort in the long run!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ways To Encourage Your Dog To Drink More Water

Sometimes, dogs and cats don't want to drink water like they should. I'm the same way. I know it's good for me, but I just don't want to drink it sometimes. Here's a few things you can try with your pets to make sure they stay hydrated and encourage them to drink more water:
  1. Add ice cubes to their water bowl.
  2. Use a pet fountain. Some pets prefer to drink from running water.
  3. Turn on the sink faucet. This mostly applies to cats who like to drink from the sink.
  4. Give your pet wet food.
  5. Add some water or broth to dry kibble.
  6. Make a pet friendly popsicle.
  7. Put a water bowl in more than one room of your house. Keep one outdoors too.

Do you know how much water your pet should drink each day? By knowing the amount of fluids your pet should be getting, you can better monitor their water intake. This is helpful in case you need to encourage them to drink more often.

Pets need to consume about one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day to stay hydrated. They may need even more than that if they are exercising or are in hot weather. For example, my dog weighs about 50 pounds and needs to drink just over 6 glasses of water a day.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Five Pet Friendly Campgrounds in New England: Pawfect for Memorial Day Weekend!

North Truro, MA
Most pets are allowed at Adventure Bound--ask about restrictions before bringing your animals. A maximum of 3 dogs or 3 cats or a total of 3 animals are allowed per campsite. Bring your dogs Rabies Certificate. All animals must be on a leash if outside your camping unit and dogs must not be left unattended at the campsite.
Hidden Acres Family Campground-
Preston, CT
Sit back, relax and soak up some sun beside the Quinebaug River, or if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, grab a tube and jump on in! Dogs are allowed at Hidden Acres Family Campground, but they must be kept on a leash when outside your vehicle.
Moose Hillock Campground-
Warren, NH
Campground is tucked away in the beautiful White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire. Moose Hillock brings the proper balance of quiet solitude and family fun to camping. Dogs are allowed at Moose Hillock Campground, but they must be kept on a leash. Other restrictions may apply.
Nickerson State Park Campground-
Brewster, MA
Camp in gorgeous Cape Cod at Nickerson State Park. with 1900 acres to explore, the park includes woodland settings of pine and oak with eight fresh water ponds. There's plenty of hiking, biking, boating and swimming, as well as spacious, quiet campsites. Dogs are allowed at Nickerson State Park Campground, but they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet when outside your vehicle.
Sandy Beach RV Resort-
Contoocook, NH
This camp is an excellent base for day-trips around the region, whether to the coast or to the NASCAR races at the New Hampshire International Speedway. The park is set in a pine forest on the shores of a lovely spring-fed pond. Dogs are allowed at Sandy Beach RV Resort, but they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet when outside your vehicle. Dogs are allowed at all of the tent sites only. (No pet friendly cabins.)


Monday, May 02, 2016

Statistics show dogs dislike being hugged by their humans

We hate to break it to you but there’s new data that shows most dogs hate getting hugged. There is nothing like a doggie hug to tug at your heart. But is it mutual? Let’s ask the owner of Special Agent Maxwell Smart.

Jeanne Moos: “Now do you think he does love it when you hug him?”

“I know he does,” said the owner.

Good thing Maxwell isn’t smart enough to read Psychology Today, “The data says ‘don’t hug the dog.'”

Jeanne Moos: “Supposedly dogs hate it when we hug them”

“Really? Not this one. He’s a lover not a fighter,” said Maxwell’s owner.

According to a new study, almost 82 percent of dogs show at least one sign of stress when being hugged. Some of the signs, ears down, head turned to avoid eye contact, submissive eye closing, lip licking, anxious yawning. When psychology professor and dog author Stanley Coren looked at 250 photos from the internet of people hugging their dogs, 4 out of 5 of the dogs showed stress.

“The internet is filled with pictures of happy owners hugging stressed dogs,” said Stanley Coren.

Professor Coren says dogs evolved so that their main means of defense is to run away. And what does a hug do? Immobilize them. Professor Coren compares hugging a dog to what one of his Aunts used to do.

“She came over grabbed both of my cheeks and said oh you’re so cute. Well it hurt and I didn’t like it at all,” said Professor Coren.

However, dog owners aren’t buying it.

Jeanne Moos: “Does your dog like to be hugged?”

“He does. Yes. He likes to kiss as well,” said a dog owner.

“When I hug him he leans into me and he seems very happy,” said another dog owner.

Maybe they’re just part of the approximately 8 percent of dogs found to be comfortable getting hugged.

“He’s (Maxwell) says that’s full of baloney,” said Maxwell’s owner.

However, even Max would probably prefer baloney to a hug.

What do you think? Does your dog show signs of being stressed when you bend down to hug them?