Skip to Content for Porch Potty Blog

Archive for July, 2012

ROCKY ADVENTURE – One Chance to Potty, What’s it Going to be?

Jul 30, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventures

“I’ve got your ball!” Tim’s muffled cries challenged me to pursue. I did, and quickly overtook the small pup. We wrestled for a minute before the slippery pup managed to get free of my grasp. I may be bigger and faster, but he has a knack for getting out of a tight spot.

I already know the day is probably going to be a long one. Our companions left earlier, dressed up in their best (the old man had quite the hat on, making him look a lot taller than usual). There was plenty of discussion going on, involving a visiting group that brought over all the fancy clothing. This goes there. That goes where? Everyone was rushing around the apartment, just like they did down on the streets. Then they left in a flash, the old man barely spending a moment to tell me to be good while they were at the wedding. I wasn’t worried about going with them. After all, if they were going to be rushing around while having to wear all that hot clothing in the summer heat, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

So that leaves just Tim and me all alone with a whole lot of rascally business to get into. Despite Tim’s regularly timid composure, he’s surprised me with his eagerness to check all the nooks and crannies for adventure. But since we’re limited to the relatively small apartment today, there’s really not much to do but play a few games.

Right now, an old torn up soccer ball is the toy to have, and with only one available, we’re going to have a competition to decide who gets it. Most of the patches have been pulled off, leaving little ruffles that are ideal for getting a good grip. Despite the rough condition, it is my very favorite of Tim’s wide selection of goodies. (He’s hidden a few, but I found them when he wasn’t looking). The best part is that when you tackle it, you end up rolling right over with it, almost as if it were wrestling back.

I lunge at the ball, taking a tumble as I roll over with it in my grasp. Tim lets go of his side, allowing me to take my prize and run.

That’s when I realize that in this morning’s rush and commotion, our companions had neglected to take Tim and I for “walkies” before they left. And when you’ve got to go, well there’s no time like right now. Wasting no time at all and completely forgetting the ball-competition, I rush to the door and look for the doggy door.

I’ve been so accustomed to my regular lifestyle, that when something you take for granted is completely unavailable, you’re more surprised than upset. Right now, I’m both. We’ve been having so much fun that I didn’t even realize the urge was sneaking up on me. That’s when I remember Tim’s potty spot. Strange as it may sound, he goes potty inside sometimes, just like the old man does.
“Stop!” Tim shouts as he jumped between me and the grass box. He eyed me suspiciously as though he were contemplating my plans. “What is it that you think you’re doing?”I rush back to the bathing room, where Tim keeps his grass. I nudge the door open with mynose and spot his facilities. It calls to me, and despite the fact that I’m not accustomed to going indoors, I’m pretty sure that if Tim can do it, then it’ll be alright if I do too. After all, I’m sure it’s better than a door mat to welcome the old man home.

“I’ve got to go.” I shrug innocently. “I’m just going to borrow it for a moment.”

“No!” Tim yelped. His expression had gone from suspicious to victorious as though he knew I needed something from him. “First, you must tell me that I’m the best ball-chaser in the world.” He nodded and added, “My box, my rules.”

I stared at him, confounded that he obviously didn’t understand the intensity of the situation. He just sat there between the grass box and me with a proud look on his face. Upwards his nose was turned and he was trying his best to look down at me by straightening up and arching his head high. Okay then. Two can play at that. I pattered directly over to the side of the bathtub and hiked my leg.

“Whoa! No!” Tim’s eyes went wide with surprise. He rushed over and started nudging me toward the grass box. “I was just messing with you. It was just a joke…don’t scare me like that again.”

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

Bookmark and Share

Puppy Swimming Lessons

Jul 27, 2012

Tips for dog owners who want to take their dogs swimming

Not all dogs naturally know how to swim, and it is up to you to teach them for safety’s sake. Expecting them to be able to handle themselves in an aquatic situation can be dangerous, especially if you have a pool or visit lakes or rivers during camping trips with your canine companion.

So, how exactly do you teach your dog to swim? While they quickly learn how to stay afloat, it is crucial that you target a few specific points and techniques to ensure their safety and make the experience fun for them. After all, fun is the best teaching tool of all.

For most owners, getting them adjusted to the water is a good start. You don’t want them to panic when they enter a water environment (river, lake, pool, or even canoeing) because they can easily get confused. So, how old should a puppy be before they begin any kind of swimming lessons? Generally, it’s good to start early, around seven months, to get them accustomed to a water environment. It’s good for safety purposes, just in case they fall into a swimming pool or get excited and jump in (dogs are renowned for their desire to save their friends and will often jump in to try to save you if you’re in the pool).

Teaching your dog to doggy-paddle

You may want to start with a doggy pool. They’re inexpensive and are great for cooling them off during the hot summer months. In a shallow environment, they’ll be able to move around in the water without being afraid.

Once accustomed to getting wet, it’s time for swimming lessons. Don’t just put them in the pool. There are some handy tools, such as pool ramps, that give your dog a boost out of the water. This is mainly because dogs cannot climb out of a pool like we can. Just keep in mind that swimming can be disorienting for them, and knowing their exit point is important. Dogs can panic, so be careful that they don’t pull you down or scratch you.

Place them in the pool at their exit point and allow them to get a feel for the water environment. Then you should guide them around the pool and have them follow you. At the end of the lesson, guide them back to the exit and let them get out on their own.

Precautions when swimming

Protecting yourself is just as important. Wear a shirt and shorts that will cover your torso and legs. Dogs can easily scratch you with their nails, especially when they’re paddling or even panicking. It is likely that first time swimmers will want to grab on to you for safety, so this can save you from unnecessary nicks and scratches.

This brings up the importance of hygiene. Something to consider before introducing your dog into a pool is your dog’s nails. Many people know how much it hurts when they stub their toe or hand when swimming or just getting out of the pool. Dogs are just as susceptible, and can easily crack or shatter a nail, which could easily become infected. This is where additional tools like the doggy ramp can help out.

You must also be cautious about a pool environment, since chlorine can be hard on their eyes or dangerous to ingest. Sometimes it’s not good for them even to just inhale it. Consider the use of a salt-purified pool. Salt actually makes the water denser and things in it more buoyant (so your dog will find it easier to float) and is softer on their skin and eyes. Keep in mind that their fur can be hard on your pool filters, so don’t be surprised if you have to clean your filters more often.

Swimming lessons for your dog

There are of course a range of doggy swimming training facilities available to help train your dog. Because this is all about safety, there are a few questions to ask before you enlist in any classes. How will they train your dog? Do they teach through positive reinforcement or through discipline? How you train your dog will affect their outlook and attitude towards water. What safety precautions do they take? Is their pool a safe environment and dog-friendly? Consider that it is also important that trainers be aware of the risks of an aquatic environment and are able to take measures to ensure your dog’s complete safety (such as resuscitation). Then consider what type of environment they will be in. Remember that chlorine pools can quickly irritate their eyes.

As your dog’s owner and protector, it is up to you to ensure their safety at all times. Though we do not always think about how dangerous a pool can be to our dog, it is important to understand that without proper training, your companion could injure themselves or even someone else if they don’t know how to swim safely.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Bookmark and Share

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Jul 25, 2012

Dog owners watch your pet’s weight

Dogs can easily become overweight, especially since we are sometimes too busy to really spend time ensuring they have an active lifestyle. While we’re at work, they hang out around the home because they don’t have much else to do. Combined with once-a-day feeding habits, it is very easy for our dogs to become a little chubby.

Of course, a dog’s health is essential to their happiness, and although they love it when you feed them a little extra, that doesn’t mean that it’s good for them. So, it is up to dog owners to help their dogs lose a little weight so that they can get back to being healthy and happy.

Realizing your dog’s present condition

Are they obese? Maybe they’re just a little pudgy on the sides. But identifying your dog’s condition will give you a good idea of where you need to start. The most convenient test is to run your hands along your dog’s rib-cage. If you can’t easily feel their ribs, then they’re obese (take into consideration fur thickness). Next you must consider what a healthy weight is for your dog. Their body type, size, and breed must all be included as factors. You don’t want to set a goal that your dog can’t healthily achieve. If you are going by weight, you should check your dog’s weight against a respectable source. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention provides a good reference in their site: http://www.petobesityprevention.com/ideal-weight-ranges/

To get your dog’s weight, it is easiest to simply use a bathroom scale. If you know your weight, all you have to do is pick up your dog and subtract the difference. Then compare it to a chart and start planning your dog’s fitness goals.

Plenty of exercise

Regardless of your rush to get your dog healthy, you need to start slow. Despite your good intentions, rushing an overweight or unhealthy dog into a rigorous exercise plan could do more harm than good. Realize that overweight dogs who are not accustomed to frequent activity normally have higher blood pressure and are susceptible to injury if they become radically active too fast.

The best place to start is to take them for regular walks. Regular activity is important to a dog’s health for many reasons besides simply working off the extra weight. It also helps their digestive tract function properly. Walking helps move their bowels and eliminate waste properly so that it doesn’t accumulate in their body. As their body begins to function properly again, they’ll begin to lose weight and become healthier.

Healthy Diet

While exercise is important, what and how you feed your dog will make a world of a difference to their weight. Choose a dog food that is formulated for weight control and avoid puppy formulated foods for less active dogs. These have an abundance of additional carbs and proteins that growing dogs need.

Part of a healthy diet includes feeding them on a regular schedule. Several small meals throughout the day will help regulate their body functions better. It will also provide energy when they need it most, such as in the mornings before exercise or playtime in the afternoon.

As far as proper feeding time is concerned, don’t feed your dog right before bedtime. In addition to being a potty risk, it also means that the food they’ve just eaten will simply be stored as extra fat later on. Also refrain from feeding them just one big meal a day. This often results in a low metabolism and lower insulin secretion, resulting in a higher body weight and a higher risk for diabetes. When feeding, use a measuring cup to keep serving amounts at a steady and reliable quantity. Making guesswork of your dog’s servings can end up countering your entire health plan goal.

A treat?

Treats are often a pet owner’s biggest weakness. Dogs love a treat, and we love to see that tail wag. But treats are not always good for them or their weight. What types of treats are you giving them? How many and how frequently? You don’t have to cut out all treats, you just have to make sure they get them at the right times. Make them earn their treats. It also helps to choose healthy or all-natural treats. Also keep in mind that the best treat of all is your attention. Table scraps are not treats.

Monitor your dog’s weight and physical changes each week. They may not drop their extra bulk quickly, but the idea is to do it safely and in a healthy manner. Regular exercise and proper diet are crucial to a dog’s health. As your dog’s owner, you are responsible for their well-being, and with the proper technique, you can provide your faithful companion with a happy, healthier lifestyle that both of you can enjoy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Bookmark and Share

ROCKY ADVENTURE – Big City Dog

Jul 23, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

The scents and sounds were astounding. If only you could’ve been there to see them with me. People everywhere were rushing like they had someplace to be without enough time to get there. Maybe somebody had stolen their favorite ball or was marking a spot in their den. Even the cars and bicycles rushed by in the streets while we just walked, or at least tried to.

Yesterday, the old man loaded the car up and we left to seek some adventure for the weekend. Our trip removed us from the regulars of our neighborhood and the friendly familiarities and placed us in the big city. The drive was fun, with a few stops where the old man let me out to tend to my necessaries, but mostly we just drove. And sang. Oh, the old man can definitely sing when he’s in the mood. The radio played and we kept ourselves entertained. Ah, the magic of music! If only the car had a piano, too.

But we’re here now, staying with the old man’s son. He was the man that had spent a few days with us last year, along with his troublesome pup, Tim. I can’t say that I didn’t much care for Tim, but he was a rascally pup that could get on just about any dog’s nerves. Fortunately, we’re staying with him, so there isn’t going to be any radical territorial disputes this time.

So, while the old man’s son is off to work at “the office,” the three of us wandered around the big city in search of some entertainment. Well, at least the old man and I thought it was an adventure. Tim, however, was his annoying old self.

“Hey, see that? That’s the guy that always drops half his muffin in the morning. See that? That’s the guy that writes notes and puts them on everyone’s cars. Hey, check out the statue that all the birds poop on! Oh that? That’s just a fire-hydrant.” Tim states spastically, like I would ever believe him. That “fire-hydrant” is clearly a doggy-mailbox if I ever saw one. So I stop to leave a message.

We hurry along, much like the others, just like we’re trying to get somewhere we should’ve already been an hour ago. The old man is working fast today, his three legs working well to keep up with my four. Tim seems to straggle behind, breathing hard like he hasn’t had much of a chance to get out and exercise regularly.

We stop when the food calls to us. A fella works his kitchen on the street-corner, heckling to an audience that always seems in a hurry to get things done. And though the cook clearly states something about “hot dogs,” the old man affirms that they are just franks. Regardless of whether they’re made of dog or a fella named Frank, they smell pretty good. Tim and I share one, of which I take a bigger bite to ensure a better share of the meal. Tim’s a small pup who is a little portly on the sides. He could appreciate the diet, even if it was only momentary.

After we filled our bellies, the speed was on again. A lady raced past us, rushing with her baggage as though a wild crocodile was in hungry pursuit. Izzy had once let me watch his picture-box, and I had seen those deer-like creatures run super-fast when crocodiles were starving for a hot meal. She was moving that fast. We just kept with our pace, though I did glance back to see if there were any crocodiles hot on our tail. You can never be too sure when you’re in the big city…

It wasn’t until the park and the pigeons that things calmed down enough so that we could absorb where we were. The park was lovely, just like home. We had green, grassy hills and a wide array of urban wildlife to chase around. Even Tim seemed to fall out of his “I already knew that” routine and went into “discovery mode.” We all worked together, the old man sprinkling some seed that drew in the pigeons. Tim had little experience in this department, so I had to teach him.

“We stay still at first. Then, when they’re munching on the goods, we pounce together.” I explained after Tim had spooked the first bunch away before the chase could really prove entertaining. After a couple of tries, and some more doggy-insight, Tim proved himself a natural at having fun in the park. Sniffing, spotting, and chasing—we did it all. And the best thing is we did it together.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

Bookmark and Share

Your Pet Holiday Photos

Jul 20, 2012

Tips for dog lovers while taking your holiday

Family photos always seem to find their way into holiday celebrations. Everyone lines up in their holiday dress and smiles big for the camera. And while most might be thinking that it’s all about the parents and the kids, we can’t forget about our four-legged family members too.

Dogs always seem to have some of the cutest pictures, but that’s because we have to work at it. It can be difficult to catch the right angle or keep your young pup looking right at the camera. They always seem to look away right as you press the button.

What day is it?

Of course, keeping your dog’s attention isn’t the only concern of a photographer, because it all comes down to setting up the right scenario that gives your pup the holiday spirit. So, what type of occasion and theme does your holiday have? Christmas? Birthday? Doggy Birthday! (Celebrating your dog’s birthday is a completely legitimate holiday for dog lovers everywhere). Consider what type of theme you want to capture, then you can focus on making it happen.

That leaves you considering how exactly to put your puppy’s pictures into perspective. It’s up to you to set the moment with the season, which means it may be time to be a little creative. For a holiday picture, you’ll definitely want to make sure your dog is in character. Try going with a theme, and be sure that your dog’s theme coincides with the rest of the family. If everyone is in costume, have your dog in costume as well. Consider theme holidays such as Thanksgiving or Halloween. These are great opportunities to set your dog in a theme, like featuring them with a stuffed turkey or a pumpkin to maintain simplicity. You don’t have to take extreme pictures to capture the moment.

Start with a quality situation

So, what about taking pictures in general? Dogs almost always seem to have an unnatural talent for looking away at the last second. Sometimes you even end up with a little “red” in their eyes from the flash. For starters, getting your dog’s attention and keeping their attention are two very different things. Consider only taking a picture when you first get their attention instead of trying to maintain their attention while you try to get the right angle.

Getting rid of “red” glare is actually much simpler than you might think. The “red” is actually just the reflection of your flash. You can solve this by putting your dog in an already well-lit area, such as outdoors, and avoid using the flash in general.

That brings us to the live-action moments. While getting your dog to sit still for your photographs, it doesn’t really capture what makes our dogs so lovable in the first place. Capturing your dog in a moment of curiosity or an excited jump in the air that says “I’m having a great time” can really give your holiday card some extra spirit. Sometimes all you have to do is follow them around for a while and they’ll present you with the perfect picture you’ve been looking for (dogs can be real hams sometimes).

Are you getting the right angle of your dog? Maybe your photos just don’t seem to put your dog in the right perspective. Of course, you must consider the fact that because they walk on four legs instead of two, they tend to see the world from an entirely different angle. What they see is completely different, and getting a picture from their point-of-view can sometimes give your photo just the canine style you want.

Making a decision

What about choosing the best pictures? By the end of your photo session, you may end up with a plethora of different styles, angles, and themes. Some you may not like, while others can be difficult to decide between. Holiday pictures should really maintain a theme, but if you can catch a great moment that you and your dog shared together, you may have exactly what you need to capture the meaning of holidays. After all, nobody can say “happy holidays” like a happy pup.

Setting up and capturing your dog in the right photographic moment is a fun challenge that will really set the mood for your holiday celebration. Whether it’s an invitation, a family newsletter, or a holiday card, a picture featuring your family with your faithful canine companion will be the perfect way to express a special holiday occasion.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Bookmark and Share

Losing Sight

Jul 18, 2012

Signs and proper dog care if your dog is losing sight

One thing many dog owners find themselves concerned with as their canine friend gets a little older is that many dogs end up losing their sight to some degree. While this is a prominent concern for senior dogs, many people may not realize that blindness can occur at any stage in a dog’s life. It may even be the result of a condition such as diabetes or sometimes even an accident.

Dogs commonly have poor eyesight to begin with, and rely primarily on sound and smell. This can make it very difficult to diagnose when a dog is only mildly blind. In most cases, blindness will set in at intervals. This can make it difficult to diagnose because dogs adapt very well to disabilities. When they begin to lose sight, they rely on smell, sound, and even memory. It may not even become noticeable until they almost can’t see at all.

There are some cases that set in very quickly though. Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARDS) is a form of blindness that may take as little as a few weeks or months to develop. In these cases, you’ll notice the signs of blindness very quickly because your dog won’t have time to compensate his loss of sight with their other senses.

Signs to watch for

Early warning signs would include low-light vision loss. They’ll be clumsy, such as stumbling or bumping into objects at random (not when they’re hyper or playing). This often happens at dusk or night, when sight conditions are already poor.

They may appear to “hunt” for their food bowl or water bowl. If they’re in the mood to play and they ignore a thrown ball or toy, even if they’re staring right at you when you throw it, it could be a sign that your dog is developing blindness.

Your always faithful companion may one day fail to recognize you or be easily startled by you or other familiars. In this case, they may bark at you or at a familiar family member when first entering the room, but then resume their normal behavior as though nothing even happened.

As sight-loss becomes more extreme, dogs tend to become lethargic or lack the energy and enthusiasm to play. In younger dogs, this may only be temporary while they become accustomed to compensating with their other senses.

More noticeable symptoms of blindness often accompany such conditions as glaucoma and cataracts. In these cases, their pupils may become cloudy or even bulge awkwardly.

In certain situations, a dog’s pupils will sometimes fully dilate and remain open all the time, which will make their eyes appear completely black. When your eyes react to light, your pupils will adjust and become smaller or larger to focus. When the pupils stop reacting, it is likely that they’re completely blind or see little more than shapes and shadows.

Sometimes, you may not even notice anything at all. Puppies can be born blind or develop blindness right after birth. Because they’ve never experienced sight, they often play and interact just like the other puppies, making their condition very difficult to detect. Puppies who are born blind often adjust very well to their lives, and when accompanied with loving owners, they grow up to be just as happy as the next dog.

Taking care of your dog and their eyes

A healthy diet can work to ensure healthy sight throughout their lives. Over time, senses will wear down to some degree, but if you keep your dog on a quality diet and proper nutritional supplements, they’ll be able to enjoy everything around them.

Beware of situations that could harm your dog’s sight. Dogs are curious and will often do certain things without even being aware that they are damaging their eyes. Staring at bright light conditions, such as welding, can damage their retinas very easily. Be aware of what safety precautions you would take and apply them to your dog as well.

As dogs lose their sight, memorization becomes one of their biggest navigation tools. Moving to new locations or even rearranging furniture can affect your dog’s ability to get around the house. If your dog is freshly adjusting to blindness, avoid any radical changes in scenery or new locations.

When losing their sight, dogs may be intimidated very easily. Be aware to avoid “sneaking” up on them or creating any movements that might surprise them. They’re going to rely on scent and sound to find you, so make your presence audible for their comfort (they’ll smell you on their own).

Blindness affects dogs differently, depending on what causes it and at what point in their life it is. Though sight is one of our most prominently realized senses, dogs prefer scent and sound, which helps them adjust to their condition more easily when coupled with a little help from their loving owner too, of course.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Bookmark and Share

ROCKY ADVENTURE – Going Acorns

Jul 16, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

I’ve been staring out the window for a great while now. The green yard is definitely in its prime, with the leafy texture coming right up to the edge of the patio. Just about every flower is in bloom and the old trees have begun dropping their seeds for next year.

That means only one thing- my yard is buzzing with life. In fact, a jolly little squirrel has been rushing back and forth in the yard all morning. His bright bushy tail wiggles above the grass line to let me know where he’s digging. He does not seem to have the slightest care in the world, wandering close enough to my window to spot me and offer a mocking “hello.”

Of course, all that does is drive me a little crazier than I was when I first spotted him. I lash out and tell him to scamper his fluffy tail right back out of my yard. His tail wiggles with delight, clearly understanding that I can’t give chase. And it’s all the old man’s fault.

He left early this morning to take care of some business that he clearly didn’t need my help with. I’m used to having the house to myself every now and again, but the problem is that he neglected to leave the doggy door open. While the current situation reminds me of this, it is the eventual need to take care of my daily business that will really bother me later on.

In fact, the need has already been building a secret desire deep in my belly. Sure I can hold it for a long time, but I haven’t had the opportunity since before bedtime last night. I hate to make a mess in my own home, but unless the old man shows up soon, we’re both going to have to deal with the consequences.

But that moment hasn’t arrived yet, and for now the yard wildlife preserve has my fullest attention. The squirrel continues to dig up my yard, probably looking for my treasure. Right now, he’s cold on the trail, but if left with enough opportunity, he’s bound to find some of my hidden goodies.

The vague sound of the old man’s car grabs my attention as I watch him pull up in the driveway. Whew, good thing he’s home. Inconveniently, the squirrel also notices the old man and flees to the far side of the yard- right where my treasure is buried. No! It wouldn’t have been that traumatizing if he hadn’t started tossing up the freshly dug dirt.

I rushed to the door and waited for the old man to open it. There would be no time to waste. Keys jingled for what seemed like a dog’s year before the door finally cracked open. I squeezed my head through, but my body was holding me back.

“Rocky!” the old man exclaimed in surprise, almost dropping his bag of groceries. He tried to stop me with his foot, but he was currently occupied with keeping his balance. I told him about the squirrel and how I had to go. He either understood what I needed to do or just gave up trying to stop a determined pup.

My body quickly followed my head and I leapt out into my yard. “The defending doggy cannot be stopped!” I challenged the invading rodent, trying to take care of my potty business while still keeping pursuit. (It’s definitely not as easy as it looks.) His bushy tail fluttered in the air and his eyes widened as big as the acorns he was carrying. Understanding the chase had definitely begun, he abandoned the treasure and made a mad dash for the fence. Quick as a cat, he was up on the ledge, chattering some very unkind words down at me.

“Hey!” Buck cried out from beyond my fence line, “Squirrel!” My friendly neighbor started trying to carry on a conversation with the invading critter, obviously completely lacking any understanding of what had been going on earlier. It didn’t matter, though. The invader had been subdued. Knowing he was outnumbered and outsmarted, the rodent fled the scene with his tail not so very bushy anymore.

“Hey, thanks buddy.” I called across the fence. “He’s been driving me acorns all morning.”

“Where’d the squirrel go?” Buck asked aloud, sounding a little disheartened, “I was gonna see if he wanted to get my Frisbee off the roof.”

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

Bookmark and Share

Rat Poison can be Deadly for Dogs

Jul 13, 2012

Dog owners use rat poison with caution

While we’re normally well aware of the dangers of many of today’s household cleaners, toxins and poisons are sometimes right in plain sight. Rat poison is known for getting rid of infiltrating wall-pests. But, we don’t always consider the fact that dogs don’t read, and just because it says “rat poison,” it doesn’t mean that it works just for rats.

In fact, rat poison is renowned for containing arsenic, which is a highly toxic chemical to just about any creature that lives and breathes. Most rat poisons will also utilize a wide range of additional chemicals, most of which are designed to interfere with the blood’s ability to clot properly, basically functioning as a powerful blood thinner.

Dangers and risks

Timing is everything, but don’t ever wait to see if they’re going to be okay. When ingested, the poison may not act as quickly as you might think. It may take a large dog that has eaten a small dose a couple of days to really begin showing signs of toxicity. What makes it so dangerous is that rat poison does not easily vacate the body and can remain active for long periods of time while it slowly damages your dog’s body.

This is because the poison works by preventing the formation of vitamin K within the body, resulting in hemorrhaging and internal bleeding. While it is often almost immediately fatal for small rats, it can take a dog several days to succumb to the full effects.

Keep in mind that while dogs are known to simply eat poison directly, there is also the more elusive situation that many would not even consider. Rats will likely ingest the poison, but won’t necessarily stay still for your convenience. You may end up with a poisonous rodent anywhere inside your home. Due to the nature of rat poison, if your dog eats a poisoned rat or other rodent, they too will become poisoned. This can make it very difficult to diagnose or predict.

Deadly Attraction

While the bright color of rat poison makes it clear to humans about the deadly contents, to dogs and even cats who lack sight in the full color spectrum, it can look just like a bowl of their regular dog food or even small treats. Because the poison is designed to trick rats into eating it, it is necessary to make it somewhat flavorful, which only incentivizes an unsuspecting dog into eating it. So just remember that while you know that it’s toxic, your dog is not normally capable of detecting the dangers of rat poison.

How to avoid poisonous situations

When laying out poison, do not let your dog wander in designated areas. If you’ve put down poison in the garage, don’t let your pup sniff around in there. Avoid laying poisons down within the household. When the situation demands, only place poisons inside of cabinets that can be secured with a latch or lock to prevent your dog from getting inside.

Consider using rat traps in conjunction with poison to help avoid any wandering poison carriers. This will help you locate rodent targets when it is time for clean-up.

Store any poison, even containers that are unopened, up in a high location where your dog has absolutely no access to it. Do not store them near food stuff, treats, or water sources where they can become moistened which may allow the poison to absorb into the surrounding material.

What to do in emergency

If you suspect your dog has consumed any amount of rat poison, get them to the vet immediately. When considering the digestive rate of a dog, the first two hours are extremely important and can greatly increase your dog’s recovery chances.

In extreme situations, it is possible to induce vomiting to get most of the poison out of their belly before it has time to pass into the intestines. This will lessen the threat but will not eliminate it completely.

Activated charcoal capsules are a handy addition to an emergency medical kit due to their absorbent nature. Ingesting the charcoal will help absorb the poisons within the intestines stopping them before they can do any more harm.

Most veterinarians will prescribe vitamin K shots to compensate while the vascular system recovers. Due to the nature of rat poison effects, it is extremely damaging to the heart and liver, which in life-threatening cases can lead to other medical conditions.

It is up to you as your dog’s loving owner to be cautious with any toxic chemicals in your home, for the sake of all your residents, both human and canine. Keep them up and far out of doggy curiosity levels and always be prepared with an emergency medical kit, just in case.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Bookmark and Share

Creating a First Aid Kit for Your Dog

Jul 11, 2012

Create the perfect dog care kit

In most situations, we can always take our dog to the veterinarian when something unexpected happens. But, what happens when it’s up to you to ensure your dog’s health? We don’t go to the doctor when we get a little scratch, so why would you take your dog to the vet? There are even times when a veterinarian isn’t available, so it’s up to you to be prepared.

There are plenty of emergency medical kits available on the market, and while these make for good starting points, you can create your own companion-specific medical kit for your dog as long as you know what you’re going to need when a situation comes up.

Know your stuff

Start by getting a book that covers how to deliver first aid to a dog. Some are available through ready-made med kits and are often specific on how to use the medical kit contents properly as well as deliver artificial respiration to a canine. Keep in mind that injuries aren’t the only thing to prepare for, so it’s crucial that you understand how to deal with heat-stroke and shock. It’s also important that you know what signs to look for especially since your dog can’t really tell you what they’re feeling.

Medical supplies

There is a wide range of medical supplies that you might need. The question is always what is needed and what type of situations will a dog be presented with. Take into consideration the environment and your dog’s already present conditions. Do they have any medical conditions, such as seizures or diabetes? Certain situations call for specific medical attention, so it’s up to you to develop the right emergency medical kit for your dog. Even pregnancy is a medical condition, so be sure you’re ready for anything.

A basic kit:

A large roll of gauze is good for wrapping a wound or even a muzzle. Remember that a wounded animal can become hostile and bite out of fear and pain. Even though they love you, they may feel threatened when hurt badly enough.

As far as flesh wounds go, powdered antiseptics are the best solution to minor cuts. Don’t use alcohol on your dog because it’s bad for their skin and they’ll be inclined to lick their wound, which is bad because alcohol is extremely poisonous for dogs. Powdered antiseptics are your best choices and are easily applied, but hydrogen peroxide can be used as well.

To prevent infection, you’ll also want to invest in dog-approved antibiotic ointment. While triple antibiotics can be used in emergencies, it’s recommended that you locate ointment that is designed specifically for canines.

In addition to surface injuries, you’ll also want to have some cold packs available. These can help reduce swelling and are great for any hot situations. Any medical kit should also include some cotton swabs, latex gloves, scissors, and tweezers.

Specific needs

Certain medical conditions will require proper preparations as well. For situations in which diabetes and shock might pose a problem, honey or bee pollen make for convenient and very effective tools. They will help regulate sugar levels that can become a serious issue in shock situations that result from a range of causes.

Another addition to your medical kit is antihistamine capsules for allergic reactions. Be sure you consult with your vet on what brands can be used and what type and dosage are safe for your dog.

Extreme conditions

There are also the more extreme conditions, such as camping, hiking, and long-term outdoor experiences. Be sure that you consider your situation and what preparations will be appropriate in case of emergency.

Dogs are a very curious breed, and poison is always a constant threat.  Charcoal and a laxative such as mineral oil can help reduce the threat of danger, but you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Socks or protective paw covers should be given to keep their paws safe in case of debris or broken glass. Just remember that if you wouldn’t walk on it with your bare feet, it probably isn’t going to be safe for your dog’s paws either.

Consider anti-venom for outdoor situations. Snake bites can be deadly to people and dogs. Understand the territory and wildlife you’ll be visiting and consult with your veterinarian to ensure that you have what you need to keep your dog safe.

With your medical kit contents organized, you’ll need to find a place to put them. A small waterproof satchel is ideal, but an old lunchbox can make for a great container as well.

As your dog’s owner and protector, it’s up to you to always ensure their well-being and safety. It’s crucial that both you and your dog are ready for anything, because it’s always better to be prepared for the worst than have to deal with the consequences of not knowing what to do when it matters most.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Bookmark and Share

ROCKY ADVENTURE – What More Could a Dog Wish For?

Jul 9, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventures

“What’d you find over here?” Izzy demands and nudges me to make room to see. Of course, that isn’t his likeliest intention, and as predictably clever as he is, it’s more probable that he’s going to try and take off with my find. So, I push back and cut him off before he can try anything… Funny!

But, I’m not even really sure what it is that I found. The attic isn’t among the usual play areas, but the door was left open this morning and curiosity got the better of us. Now we’ve discovered that the room is full of oddities and strange smells which have kept us busy for most of the morning. And since we’re home alone today while Debbie and the old man have gone shopping (more treats for my belly, hopefully), we haven’t wasted any time finding some mischief to partake in.

My find is by far the strangest today. It looks like nothing more than a simple water bowl, but when I sniff it, I detect more scents that I can keep track of. When I dip my nose inside the bowl to get a better smell, the bowl spins and begins to dance wildly around on the floor. I looked at Izzy, ready to accuse him of knocking it away, but he looks just as surprised as I am.

That’s when the other dog appeared out of thin air. Well, not really “thin” air, more like musty and a little snippety to the nose. But you get the idea.

“Ah yeah, that feels good,” the strange new dog yawned while stretching her legs. “Your wet nose has awakened me from a hundred dog years of nap time.”

Both Izzy and I didn’t know what to do. One moment we’re alone and the next we have a strange new friend to play with. But I get the feeling that’s not why she’s here.

“Let’s cut to the chase and get the ball rolling on these wishes. What do you want first?” she asked, her eyes offering a rather incredulous look that made me even more curious. Both Izzy and I proceeded to inspect her, but weren’t able to actually smell anything. It was almost like she wasn’t there at all. Like magic…if you believe in that sort of thing.

“Who are you? What are you doing in my house?” I demanded, trying to fluff up to appear as big as possible. Intimidating? Maybe, but mostly it was just me trying to be impressive. (I don’t really have to try.)

She shook her head and reiterated my questions to mock me. “Look, this was my house long before it was ever yours. I’m Ge-nia of the Greysons.” She paused and observed us like we were supposed to understand what that meant. We didn’t. “Okay, then we’ll just keep things simple. You can wish for and have any three things you want. Go.”

Izzy wet nosed me with excitement. “Awesome time! Wish for a bone. No. A thousand bones! No wait! Get us a thousand bones that taste like bananas, cupcakes, and steak!” His words were spilling out faster than my ears could catch, but one idea did sit right with me.

“Okay, Ms. Ge-nia, I wish we could have infinite playtime.” I boldly requested.

Then I found myself in an open field, full of grass and covered in balls and Frisbees and toys abundant for me to play with. So, I played. I grabbed a ball and tackled the ropes. I tumbled through the grass and dug deep in the sand. No one was there to tell me to stop. But, no one was there to enjoy it either. I was alone. I called out for Izzy and my other friends to come play. I called out to the old man to come throw the ball. No one answered and no one came. “This isn’t what I wanted!” I called out. “I want to go back home!”

In a flash, I was back in the attic with Izzy and Ge-nia. “That wasn’t what I wanted at all. There wasn’t anybody else to play with. Not even a squirrel to chase or a park pigeon to bark at.”

“Well, that was what you asked for. Maybe you’ll do better with your last wish.” Ge-nia said with a casual and uncaring shrug.

“I thought we had three wishes!” Izzy’s eyes widened with worry and surprise. “What kind of wish-granter are you?”

“Hey, you don’t like it, don’t wish for anything. I just do what’s asked of me and nothing more.” She slumped to the floor with her disparaging words and let out a sigh of boredom.

That’s when it hit me. She wasn’t a happy dog. No matter what kinds of special powers or brainy smarts or millions of bones you might have, if you aren’t happy, then nothing else matters. When I think of all the fun I have with the old man and my good friends like Izzy and Buck, I’ve really got everything a good dog could ever hope to wish for. Maybe that’s all this dog needs too.

“Alright, I wish you could have a loving companion and some great friends as well. I hope we’ll see you around the neighborhood sometime soon.”

And it was so.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

Bookmark and Share