DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's THAT Time Of Year - When The BOYZ Start Invading The Gardens

This is the time of year when The BOYZ can really start getting into trouble. They get winter salt on their paws, chase the squirrels and rabbits, and start prowling in my gardens!

We erected a two foot fence around all the backyard flower and shrub beds just last year.

Alvin (who stands a whole 12 inches at the shoulders) has discovered he can scale these picket fences with ease. Actually, danger aside, it's a very athletic leap - back paws tucked up, springing from a standstill.

Unfortunately, he can now get into the budding bushes and flowers to poison himself.

That means the owners need to try and outsmart the mutt. Ain't easy. Either we train the little monster to stay out of the beds, build a bigger fence, or ban him from going outdoors.

The option that will work best is to build a bigger fence! Onward to Home Depot . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Elizabethan Collar (ecollar) - Is It Worth The Effort?

The BOYZ have suffered through several post surgery periods during which they needed an ecollar to prevent them from licking sutures. I suspect that most dogs hate them and spend much of their time attempting to remove their ecollars.

What's a dog owner supposed to do under these circumstances? If you give in to their whims, the dog is at big risk for infection. If you leave them on, they may keep themselves amused, but they are NOT comfortable for the dog and tend to mutilate the furniture, moldings, and owner's legs.

A Solution
While assembling an ebook on Simon's luxating patella surgery, the solution to this problem jumped out of a squidoo lens written at the time Simon was recovering.

He had to wear an ecollar - he had 8 easily reachable stitches in his right leg. He had the hard plastic ecollar from the animal hospital.

Researching wholesale pet supplies online results in SOFT ecollars. What a revelation! The dog is more comfortable, the furniture and the owner can't be damaged!

FYI - here's the two comfy ecollars you might consider when your pet has to be restrained from licking stitches (or hot spots for that matter):

Pro Collar

Don't Forget The Thermometer!
Almost forgot . . . Post surgery you should take a dog's temp to see if it rises - a possible sign of infection. A rectal thermometer gives the most accurate readings, but requires care - make sure you put vaseline on the tip before you use it. And read the directions - dogs have been injured due to incorrect insertion of a rectal thermometer.

Here where you can buy the one we used for Simon:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Creative Dog Grooming - Simon's New "Do"

Last Sunday the boyz were groomed by their favorite Spamaster and Professional Furrologist. The Spamaster agreed to shave Sir Simon closer around the muzzle to lose his fuzzy bear appearance. We were actually going for a Cocker Spaniel look.

After the grooming, Simon strongly resembles his mother June Beth, a cream-colored Poodle. That's June Beth on the right.

Bottom Line - the moustache, and beard are gone, and we can now see Simon's expressions. His best feature is the doelike brown eyes (a prominent feature of his daddy Spotty) - they are truly expressive when there's no hair in the way.

And for those of you who think we are "Cocker Spaniel" owner wannabees - we aren't, we just wanted to see the real Simon at his Cockapoo best!

And the Spamaster worked her magic again!

Sir Simon The Sad With His New Do

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What You Can Do To Prevent Dog Anxiety During A Vet Visit

Does your dog get anxious going to and during a vet visit? Sir Simon AND Prince Alvin turn into balls of mush as soon as we're within 5 minutes of the office. Then, they want to be picked up on the way into the office and held while waiting for the vet.

I can't say that I blame them and I wonder how they fared at the animal hospital during their stays for neuter and knee surgery.

Apparently there are several things you can do to ease their anxiety and make it easier on them and the vet. That's the theme of an article that spells out 5 things to teach your dog to improve vet visits by Colleen S Koch, DVM, KPA CTP.

Here's the condensed version:

1. Touch - if your dog is used to being touched, it makes the vet's exam much easier and less stressful for your dog.

2. Stand Still - it is difficut for dogs to stand still for even short periods of time. The boyz's groomer has taught them to stand still and I'm sure the vet is happy with that lesson!

3. Down positions - helps the vet examine your dog for any number of things - fleas, ticks, sores and to take x-rays.

4. Clicker trained dogs make everyone’s life easier. Why? When the vet clicks, the dog knows he has done something right! See When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs for lessons on how to train your dog with a clicker.

5. Hand target with nose. Apparently this has many different applications at a vet's office or clinic, including the following:
If dogs know how to hand target it helps us to move them around the clinic; on scales, into kennels, from one kennel to another, and makes them more comfortable in stressful situations.

It is much easier to apply Elizabethan collars as well as put on muzzles if your dog knows how to target. Dogs that know how to hand target can be easily distracted by the “trick” during uncomfortable situations, or moving past another “scary” dog or thing. You can also use this to help your dog learn to stand still, for any purpose.

So, what do you think? I say anything that eases a dog's anguish is worth the effort! No one likes to see a pained and feaful doggie expression (on a dog, that is!)