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.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sir Simon the Cockapoo Dog Gets Skunked!

Earlier this summer, Alvin walked into a skunk cloud (

Today, the Boyz can brag that they both got skunked!

Only Simon got it much worse than Al.

Simon's Spraying
At about 3:00 A.M. this morning, Simon had a close encounter with a baby skunk. His face was wet with skunk oil. We brought him directly to the shower. I covered him with the deskunking shampoo (bought for Alvin), waited 5 min, rinsed, and then repeated the process.

Stinky House
The entire house smells of skunk and deskunking shampoo. At least we got the skunk oil somewhat neutralized with the shampoo.

The Call to the Vet
We also called the vet to see if the dog should get a rabies booster and to see if it's common for a dog to lose his dinner after getting skunked head on. According to the vet tech at the office, as long as there are no open wounds, he doesn't need the booster and yes, it is common to puke after getting skunked (at least for dogs).

Lessons Learned
  • If you have an outdoor shower or a house handy, it may save your house a lot of stink to wash the dog outdoors.
  • Our house is enclosed with a fence and now we know where the baby skunks are getting in. Close the entry point asap! If your backyard is open to the woods, guess you're out of luck.
  • The sooner you get the skunk oil neutralized, the better. The longer you wait, the longer the smell will linger (up to 2 years!).

flickr photo - Baby skunk in grass from gamppart

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Help for Owners with Difficult Dogs

Some experts call them difficult dogs.

Other dog trainers use the label impossible dogs.

As an owner, you may have your own term of endearment for your disobedient canine.

You can let the bad behavior continue forever.

You can tolerate the jumping, growling, barking canine who chooses to totally ignore your commands.

You might as well be commanding an army of ants, because you get no results when you ask your dog to come. He continues ignoring you. It elicits the same reaction from you as when your spouse exercises selective hearing.

If you have become exasperated with your disobedient dog, here's an approach that works -
Transforming Difficult Dogs into Well-Behaved and Obedient Dogs.

The actual link to this article is as follows: You may be surprised what happpens when your dog is both eager and willing to obey your commands.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Who's Your Favorite TV Dog Trainer - Victoria Stilwell? Cesar Millan? Or Someone Else?

Victoria Stilwell
Cesar Millan
Out of curiosity and because I like finding out what people are thinking, I put together a quick poll: Which TV Dog Trainer Would You Pick to Train Your Dog?

I also put the poll on a dog forum: Some dog forums members seem to dislike the TV dog trainers pictured above! They don't hold back their opinions.

Vote for your choice or add your own favorite . . . What's your opinion?
Which TV Dog Trainer Would You Pick to Train Your Dog?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Selecting the Best Vet for You and Your Dog

After four surgeries and endless trips to the vet for various ailments for two dogs, I am convinced that the selection of a vet is an all-important factor to your dog’s well-being.

It’s well worth taking the time to develop a good relationship with a quality vet.

Where to Start
You could pick a vet from the Yellow Pages or from an Internet search; but would you pick your own doctor from the same source?

My guess is that you’d want a doctor comes highly recommended – someone you can trust.

And the vet isn’t just your dog’s doctor; he’s also the dentist, manicurist, psychologist, and a friend. When you roll all these things up into one, you can see why you need to spend time confirming that you’ve made the right choice.

The best place to start looking for a vet is by referral. If you know friends or relatives who take good care of their dogs, then that’s a place to start. Ask them who they’d recommend, and why. This last one is very important, because everyone has different priorities: for example, your friends like their own vet because he is a specialist in their own particular breed; or they don’t charge very much; or the office is only a five minutes’ drive. Their priorities are not necessarily yours, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your values coincide with the person giving the referral.

Another place to find a vet is through local training clubs (agility, herding classes, police K-9 academies, etc.) These organizations are almost guaranteed to place a great deal of importance on high-quality veterinary care, because the health and well-being of their dogs is such a priority.

Once you’ve compiled a list of vets that you’re interested in pursuing, call up the vet’s office and explain that you want to find a regular vet for your dog(s). Ask if you can you come in for a quick chat, introduce your dog, and have a look at the facility.

Visit the Vet’s Office
Before you decide to align yourself and your dog with a particular vet, test the waters first. Ideally, you want a chance to talk to the vet, and discuss his or her philosophies and approach to dog care.

Also, this is critical - if your dog ever really needs vet care (if there’s an emergency, or if he needs an urgent short-term appointment), you want to be sure that you’ve made the best possible choice as far as his health and comfort levels are concerned. Neither of you should be subjected to undue stress at a time like that – and you can avoid grief by spending a bit of time in preparation.

Questions to Ask the Vet
While you’re at the vet’s office, you’ll be assessing your potential vet’s overall attitude and approach to health care and animals; and you’ll also probably want answers to some specific questions.

Here’s a list of useful questions to help you on your way:

How many vets are there on staff?
If you need to make an urgent appointment, you don’t want to be waiting around while precious minutes tick past. Ideally, there’ll be at least two qualified veterinarians on hand, not just technicians or assistants.

What kind of testing and analysis capabilities does the clinic have?
If they have to send away to a lab for test results, it means that the results are going to be delayed. If your dog is very sick, time is an important factor: it’s best if the clinic has at least blood-analysis testing on hand.

What after-hours services are available?
A lot of clinics close the doors in the evenings and on weekends, which means that if there’s an emergency, you’ll have to go somewhere else – and subject your dog and yourself to an unfamiliar vet. (If you don’t mind this, then that’s fine; but be aware that in a high-stress situation when emotions are running high, it’s reassuring for your dog and yourself to deal with someone familiar.)

What’s their price range? How are payments made? Is there a facility for payment plans in case of unexpected vet bills?
The payment-plan option is particularly important. Even with pet insurance, vet bills can sometimes be high – and not everyone has the resources to deal with large vet bills. Ask the vet how they handle these situations.

How up-to-date is the staff with advances in the industry? Do the vet, the technicians, and the assistants attend seminars and workshops regularly?
The field of medical care is always moving forward. Responsible vets make the effort to keep up with the times, and see that their staff do, too.

Making the Right Selection
When you choose a vet, you’re balancing convenience and quality. There’s no right or wrong vet for you and your dog. That’s why making the choice can be so confusing. There are plenty of vets to choose from, and they’re all different!

Even though it’s tempting to go for the one right around the corner with the lowest prices, it is worthwhile taking the time to shop around. Your dog is dependent on you for his healthcare – and if you take him seriously as a family member, you’ll want to do the best thing by him.

A good vet knows how to take care of you as well as your dog. The relationship that you have with your vet will hopefully be one that’s based around a healthy mutual respect and positive synergy - there should be very little room for misunderstanding. When the two of you see eye to eye, it makes caring for your dog much easier.

Further Reading
For a comrehensive survival guide on stress-free dog care, including detailed information on when your dog needs to see the vet, how to respond to pet emergencies, dog First Aid, and all common health problems, check out the Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. It’s a complete handbook on dog health care, and teaches you how to take a proactive and prepared approach to dog ownership.

Other resources from the authors own experience:
Anal Gland Removal Surgery - Alvin's Story
Simon's Story - Canine Luxating Patella Surgery and Recovery

Material for this article courtesy of Kingdom of Pets
Photo from Veterinarian from Army Medicine