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Archive for September, 2012

All Fashions for Your Pooch

Sep 28, 2012

Dog owners strut your pups this fall season

The season of fall is here and with it will follow new trends and weather that our clothes are bound to accommodate to. A new hat maybe? Perhaps a new jacket would help keep the upcoming chill or drizzly downpour at bay. Our clothing changes frequently from summertime swimwear to winter jackets; we constantly change our appearance and style throughout the year.

But what about our dogs? Don’t they have a little dressing up to do this fall season? Many dog owners enjoy helping their dogs address the weather changes and perhaps even look a little stylish in the process as well.

Coats for the fall

Jackets are easy and stylish for the cooler weather. For toys and short-coat dogs, this can often be effective as well as stylish. Consider styles that fit your dog’s personality, in more ways than just straightforward. For the sweet puppy personality, try a leather jacket that contradicts their character to start some fall conversations in the park.

What about their own personal coats? A lot of dogs are going to start growing in their winter coats to help keep them warm. Dual-coat dogs are going to start shedding, so don’t forget that a trip to groomers can be comforting and a little less messy for your home’s interiors.

Of course, you could always exemplify their natural coats with the simple addition of a bow-tie. This works best for dogs with a natural “tuxedo” look (black coats with a white belly). They’re easy enough to find and can definitely add some style to your pooch. With the style of professionalism to match their companion, this simple addition gets them ready for any social event so that they can show off what really makes them so very charming.

There is also the fun of sprucing up for the holidays. This fall opens up holiday options like Halloween and Thanksgiving, so outfits that look a little spooky might be a great way to start getting ready for the fun. An orange shirt with a spider is classic, or even something that makes a statement- (hugz are my favorite treat!).

Though fashion is important, keeping them warm and out of the weather is also a concern. Rain coats for your pooch are growing in popularity. They can’t carry around an umbrella, so a coat and hoodie may be great for those moments when they need to go out and take care of their potty business.

Basic attire

Shirts are great for matching the season. A little sweater to keep them warm when you’re out for walks in the park. But, what about a harness to hold fast to your pooch during walks in the park? Collars and leashes are worn year around, and this fall is a great chance to get your dog a new set of clothes. As far as leashes are concerned, fall has a very rustic sense, and in many cases a good leather collar can give your dog a very proper and wise look about them. Consider a leather leash with their name embossed on it to ensure that they always find their way back home.

Patterns matter and fall is full of oranges, reds, and yellows. Stripes and colored patterns matching the season are always a tradition. This includes harnesses, especially for those who enjoy camping during this time of year. In these cases, you will want to consider bright colors so you can keep track of your pup in the fall foliage. Plaid is always popular and gives your dog the look as though they were truly born for the outdoors, even if they spend most of their time on your lap enjoying a scratch behind the ear. Harnesses are perhaps the most useful attire that can demonstrate fashion.

The bandana style never goes wrong (unless they decide it would make a better chew toy). The great thing about bandanas is that they come in all manner of style. With the approaching sports seasons (football), give your dog a style of support for your favorite team. Bandanas aren’t very expensive and can definitely give your dog a different look for each occasion so they can stay with the trend.

This fall is a season of falling leaves and beautiful colors. The weather is nice and your pup is eager to enjoy a few walks in the park with their best friend. With the cool weather, it’s time to get outdoors and show off your dog’s new attire and start a few trends of your own.

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!

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The New and Improved Porch Potty

Sep 26, 2012

The new Porch Potty for dog owners

For those who enjoy the fun activities and companionship of a dog, but don’t always have the time to clean up the mess, grass litter boxes like the Porch Potty have worked to make potty time as simple as possible.

Designed for either indoor or outdoor use, the Porch Potty is renowned for its ability to self-cleanse, reducing the need to regularly clean the potty yourself. Basically, it is an automated dog potty for your pooch so they too can enjoy the luxury of indoor plumbing.

A principle to simplify

The structure is simple, but more amazingly is that it is responsible for cleaning itself. Premium potty units utilize a built-in sprinkler system that washes down any sticky residue (and the smells that go along with it) to reduce the need to clean regularly. You would still have to pick up any larger materials, but we may have to look forward to robots for that particular job.

When rinsed, the porous grass keeps larger debris on top and funnels smaller materials to the center where it is channeled into a drop point. Here, you can simply hook the garden hose up or relieve it into a basin.

As for the self-draining aspect- a fourteen foot drain hose is included. You simply run the hose to a drainage area, allowing all liquid waste to eliminate away from the potty area. With the premium package, the sprinkler system helps to flush away any larger debris regularly, or you can pour water over grass to clean it manually if you need to.

If running a hose isn’t an option, a large three gallon catch basin is available to replace the hose. It’s removable so the contents can easily be disposed of regularly.

The potty area

The trademark item of the Porch Potty is the fire hydrant. The hydrant is pre-scented to entice the dog to “go” there. This helps reduce the need to invest in sprays and helps the dog maintain familiarity- especially if they enjoy marking things.

The new design is far more stylish and yet still as durable as its previous models. The structure is based upon a metal frame but entails a whicker exterior to improve the look and feel whether it’s out on your porch or inside your home. It is ideal if you’re debating on matching charm to functionality in your home. The new design reduces the obtuseness and provides a far more eye-friendly appearance when you have guests.

Grass options for the potty unit allow you to choose from either synthetic grass or natural grass sod. The soilless sod- dubbed “training sod”- possesses no dirt or mud and has never been used on the ground. It’s grown hydroponically and a nutrient source is built in to ensure the sod stays healthy and resistant to urine burns for a longer period of time. This helps to ensure that dirt clods or chunks won’t fall into the funneling system and clog anything up. Special delivery packaging ensures that it remains fresh and ensures longevity, especially when combined with the sprinkler system.

Primarily, all Porch Potties come with a synthetic grass mat, which is designed for both durability and permeability. This helps it to remain cleaner during the self-cleansing process. The synthetic option is perfect for dogs that are already familiar with potty area similarities (the yard or park), but if a natural grass is desired, there is no change in design. You simply remove the synthetic mat and replace it with the natural sod. Additionally, the synthetic grass is very handy for situations in which natural sod needs to be replaced and you’re waiting for delivery.

The best thing about the Porch Potty is that it allows you the convenience of leaving your dog at home without worrying that while you’re away at work, sleeping late, or otherwise out enjoying a social event, something bad will happen. Your dog doesn’t have to squirm and wiggle to hold it in while you’re away. They can relax as well and potty at their own convenience. The Porch Potty is basically convenient for everyone!

The Porch Potty does the work for you so that you can sleep in on your day off while your pup takes care of business in their own personal potty. Porch Potty make life easier for dog owners and their companions so that we can spend more time having fun and enjoying the important things in life.

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!

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Rocky Gets into a Fight

Sep 24, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Leash? Check. Water? Check. Snackies? Check. Me? Check. We’re ready to have some fun.

The old man opened the door and I rushed out to wait by the car door. Today has gone as planned. We got up, ate breakfast, and now it’s time to get over to the park to play with some friends and perhaps meet a few new ones.

There’s always new tails at the park, many of which enjoy playing just as much as the next dog. It’s a great chance for both of us to get out and stretch our legs, so we make it a weekly tradition. For the most part, the other dogs are fun to play with, but there is the occasional “grumpy” out there that doesn’t like their ball touched.

But this time, things started out a little different. We took our usual route to the park, allowing me to announce to everyone outside my window exactly what we planned to do and that they should meet us there for some fun playtime. Once we arrived, the old man and I walked up to the gate, which is where I met him. Yes, it was that dog. The one that doesn’t like it when you look at him. He’s such a self-conscious fellow, anti-social if you get the drift. All you have to do is look at him and he gets mad.

And today, he’s at the park. I’d usually stay away from dogs like that, but he was there to meet me at the gate. He barked.

I barked back.

Luckily his companion heard the irritability and talked him out of some potential commotion. I looked up at the old man. He seemed as intimidated as I was. I’m not a big dog, and fighting isn’t my strong point. I prefer to bark my way out of things rather than put up my paws and try to duke it out with a dog three times my size. Sure, I’d do what it takes to protect my faithful friend, but I’d prefer it not come down to that.

Once the path was clear, we entered and I was let off my leash to enjoy the wide open spaces. A man threw a ball. So, everyone tried to get it. I said hello to a few familiar noses and we played catch for a while.

Usually, Izzy would join us, but I think there were some pies baking in the oven that demanded his immediate attention, so it’s just the old man and me today. Buck might still show up to add to the fun, which any dog could hope for. After all, it’s not a party until everyone’s there.

And that’s when my daydream was rudely interrupted. It was him- right in my face- chasing me instead of the ball. How rude!

“You smell!” he barked.

“So do you!” I barked back and turned back towards the old man. I’d feel much safer knowing the old man was close.

But he cut me off and grabbed my ear. Not the playful way either. It hurt. I didn’t know what else to do so I bit the nearest thing I could find- his nose. And I didn’t let go. He yelped and let go of my ear, but I still held on. He wiggled and pawed, but I was determined to hold fast.

“Mercy!” he whined.

“Promise me you’ll be a good dog!’ the barks came out muffled, but he understood.

“I will!”

I let go and dropped to the ground. I could see his companion rushing over to help and several other people had arrived. A few dogs circled and barked at us, but the commotion had subsided. At least that’s what I thought.

The old man had arrived, slow but steady he walks on all three legs. That dog’s companion seemed mad, not at his own dog, but at me. He yelled at me and pushed me away, like I was all to blame. But the old man would have none of it. And neither would the other companions. They told the companion and his dog to play nice or don’t play at all. At least that’s what I understood. After all, people can bark some silly words sometimes.

Dogs know when there’s a bully around, and they always take the fun out of a day at the park. We enjoy playing, but there is occasionally that dog that just doesn’t get along with everyone else. And the thing about a dog and their companion is that they work as a team. We work as one and act just alike, learning and growing together. It’s good to have a friend, but it’s up to our friends to help guide us and teach us how to play together so we can all have fun.

Maybe next time, everyone can play nicely. But in the meantime, Christy is playing doctor on my ear…Ouch!

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.

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What Happens to Your Dog’s Body When You Make Them Wait

Sep 21, 2012

Here’s why dog owners should not make their dogs wait

Everyone has to go potty. But not every potty area is convenient, especially for a dog. Most owners have to take their dog outside to potty, whether it’s out in the yard or out for walks. Regardless of where, the question is always- when?

The body naturally wants to eliminate waste. But what happens when we don’t let it? What happens when we don’t permit our dog to regularly take care of their physical necessities? Not only is it harmful, but it’s just plain mean not to let your dog potty when they need to. Consider if you had to hold in your bowel movements for a long time. Wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable? Perhaps even in pain?

Every good dog owner understands the importance of letting their dog take care of nature’s call, but it’s just as important to understand why.

Age and size matters

Not all dog’s bodies are designed the same, and every dog has different habits. As for puppies, they should not be forced to hold their potty for any longer than two hours. It goes up an hour after their first birthday. For the most part, three hours is a good schedule of elimination for the average adult dog and eight hours is the maximum hold time. Senior dogs tend to have less bladder control as well, so be sure you address their timely needs.

Do keep in mind that if you have to go, it’s likely your dog has to go too. This is one of the best ways to gauge potty time for your dog because it acts as a regular reminder about what’s necessary.

Feeding and drinking schedules play a part in potty needs. If they eat, they will need to potty, usually within the hour. Dogs are creatures of habit and will regularly need, or at least want, to go out during specific times of the day.

Physics apply- namely larger dogs have a higher bladder capacity than smaller dogs. Small dogs, therefore, need to be provided potty opportunities more often.

The waiting one

As far as your dog is concerned, they show signs whenever they need to potty. Circling, pawing at the door, coming to get your attention are all signs. A dog relies on their owner to help them fulfill a happy day. Initially, a dog feels the need to urinate when their bladder is half-full. The body senses the swelling of the bladder and informs the dog that it’s ready to be relieved. A dog may start to show signs of needing to go before it is vital that they go. This is to give you adequate time to make arrangements to allow them to relieve themselves.

Remember that if they can’t eliminate in the proper area, they will do so wherever they feel most secure- such as behind furniture. This is mostly because they understand that what they’ve done isn’t according to the rules, but as far as their body is concerned, they needed to do what is only natural.

Obstruction of potty time

The important thing to know is that when a dog is forced to hold their potty for extended periods, it can cause physical damage to their body.

A dog that can’t potty will often avoid eating or drinking as well, resulting in dehydration and malnutrition. If your dog isn’t eating, it could be because they are sick, but it is often due to constipation. Rawhide bones have a tendency to build up in the intestines, causing blockages. If they can’t potty for long periods, it can result in an impacted colon, requiring laxatives or even surgery to remove and repair the damage.

The bladder is something completely different. A bladder infection, or cystitis, is an inflammation of the bladder due to bacterial or fungal infection. When your dog is forced to hold their urine for extended periods, it gives the urine time to build bacteria. Resulting infections can occur which will only cause your dog to need to potty more frequently until treated properly.

Give them an option if you can’t be there to provide the opportunity. If you spend long hours away from home, consider an indoor litter box so they can potty at their own leisure. This will help keep them from overwhelming their body or even secretly eliminating behind the couch.

Some dogs can hold it in for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for them to. Take care of your dog properly and make sure they stay happy and healthy.

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!

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What are the Basics of Dog Allergies?

Sep 19, 2012

Dog owners should watch out for dog allergy symptoms

Allergies are never fun to cope with. Stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy skin are just a few nuisances one has to deal with when the flowers bloom or the wind blows in a dust storm. One thing to consider is that allergies aren’t just something that humans face; dogs can have allergic reactions just as easily.

As a loving dog owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy. Allergies aren’t fun for anyone, but for a dog, they can be very annoying- especially since they can’t tell us what’s bothering them.

Signs of a reaction

Allergies affect dogs in the same way, and it’s up to you to discover and diagnose. There are some basic symptoms to watch for, but it’s important to keep an eye on behavior and attitude changes as well.

Itching at the base of their tail is a good sign that something isn’t right. Fleas love this area because it’s easy to hop onto, since dogs often sit in grassy areas. Fleas are a regular cause of allergies, so keep an eye out for any signs of irritation and keep the fleas off your dog.

Constant irritation in any area is another sign of allergies. Dogs scratch occasionally. They might get a tickle or an itch, but if they just can’t stop nibbling and scratching one area, it could be sign of allergies. In some cases, it could also be due to yeast or fungal infections, so beware of multiple causes before you start treatments.

Flakey or irritated skin is another sign of allergies. Dogs might shed regularly and have a little dandruff, but any excess skin flaking is a sign that they have something irritating them.

Swollen paws are a definite sign that they’ve walked into something that doesn’t agree with their body. Early signs would be excessive licking and redness.

Lumps, swelling, and redness are easily detectible on short-fur dogs, but areas such as paws, snout, and ears may show signs of reaction even on long-haired dogs.

Heavy breathing or snoring, due to a swollen airway is something to listen out for. If they have sudden trouble breathing, be cautious about anything they’ve eaten or sniffed around recently.

Sneezing and a runny nose are possibly the most easily spotted symptoms. Dogs may shake off a couple of regular sneezes every now and then, but if they’re sneezing all the time, something is definitely irritating them.

Ingestion can be even more dangerous if your dog has allergies to foods. You may see symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting.

The causes are numerous, so it’s your job to know where your dog has been and what they’ve encountered recently. Causes such as dust, pollen, mites, fleas, chemical content in pesticides (such as flea collars and shampoo), and food are amongst the most common causes. A veterinarian can help you find the cause if you can’t resolve the issue, especially if it is reoccurring.

What can you do to alleviate symptoms?

Avoiding allergic situations is the best method, but there are times when things get bad, such as seasonal blooming. One of the best practices is to give your dog regular baths to keep dirt and debris out of their fur and off their skin. Most allergic reactions are natural to dust irritation, and bathing helps keep the dirt off your dog and down the drain.

Consult with a veterinarian to discuss anti-histamine solutions. As a warning, human anti-histamines such as Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can work in an emergency situation, but the dosages are very different for dogs. Do not use human drugs on a dog without consulting with your vet first.

Omega 3 supplements help maintain your dog’s skin and coat. For situations such as itchy or dry skin, this can be a real blessing for any dog. Brewer’s yeast also has skin moisturizing benefits and helps to naturally repel fleas. Additionally, it helps keep their coat luscious and fashionably stylish.

Keep your dog’s environment flea-free. Fleas are one of the most notorious causes for allergies, especially since they are host to many different substances (breeding grounds such as the yard or in dusty areas).

Dogs can get just as itchy and sneezy as you can, so be sure that you keep your dog happy by keeping them out of anything that their body doesn’t approve of. Keep your environment allergy-free so that your dog can stay happy year-round.

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!

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ROCKY ADVENTURE: Who Did It?

Sep 17, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

What am I going to do today? Boring…must seek entertainment! My mind is swirling with emptiness right now. I don’t know what to do.  And that’s how it was all morning. But not anymore. Now, here we sit, a room full of friends and three judges. Somebody did something, and no one is going anywhere until we find out who did the deed.

The evidence of the crime was clear as day. A wet spot soaked the carpet in the left corner of the living room. It was almost impossible to miss because you had to step in it to get to the couch. This is exactly the reason it has so urgently been brought to our attention.

Earlier, right after I had been pouting about not having anything to do, my plans had sharply changed from wanting to play to enjoying the good company of all my friends. First Debbie and Izzy had showed up with a freshly baked pie. Shortly after, Christy brought Buck over and I’m sure that Thieves was sneaking around somewhere. Then we added in a new friend. New neighbors had recently moved in, affirming the story that Mr. Good Cat had told me a few days ago. The strange thing is that I never guessed that a dog and cat would live in the same den.

Yes, it is very true. Our new friend _____ was a dog of a different sort. He almost looked like a bunny rabbit instead of a dog. He had a long body, short legs, and ears that perked up just like a bunny. He even hopped around when we played keep away.

Like a good bunch of dogs, we invited him out for a few games and laid down the rules for my home. The young puppy nodded in agreement (he was only four dog-years old) and we played for hours. Izzy would run with the ball, then Buck would tackle him and pull his ears to make him let go. I’d dive in and scoop up the prize. Izzy tackled me and the ball bounced over to _____ and it all started over again.

Of course, we were having so much fun outside that we didn’t even know anything had happened inside. That is until we heard the yelp. Christy’s voice was loud enough that we even stopped playtime. (That’s not easy for a dog to do.) Buck was first in to make sure his companion was all right, which she was. It was more of a surprise than anything else. Nothing to worry about. At least that’s what I thought.

Now the judges are here, and the evidence says somebody has “wet” the carpet. Debbie, Christy, and the old man are staring down at us four, trying to figure out who the culprit is.

Buck: Well, it wasn’t me!

Izzy: No way, mama! You gotta believe me!

______: I was playing. No potty!

Me: I would never…

We weren’t getting anywhere. No dog would fess up and the truth is that we were all accounted for at the time of the incident in question. I’m sure I had Izzy by the tail, Buck had a clamp on my ear, and _____ had Buck by the scruff.

That accounts for everyone. But someone here is guilty. That spot didn’t wet itself. I’m no scientist, but I know that spots don’t just pop up anywhere they please. I looked at each of my playmates, my own suspicion growing. Who did it? Buck knows better and Izzy went outside. That leaves the bunny-eared newcomer, _____.  But, he hasn’t even been inside today.

I have to gather more evidence. I sulked over to the spot, informing the judges of what I was doing. I’m sure they didn’t want me tampering with evidence, but I had to check the scent to match it to our records.

I sniff. I taste. I declare the match to be….soda pop! I enjoy a little more. Christy scoops me up and tells me no. I ask why not. After all, it wasn’t us. Last time I checked, dogs don’t wet carpets with soda pop. I present this new evidence before the judges.

And that’s when our new neighbor walked in with a spray cleaner and a towel. The judges started laughing and down I went. My friends and I were free to go. We were exonerated on all charges and it’s a good thing because we had to catch up on missed playtime.

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.

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A Pet Emergency Plan – The Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Sep 14, 2012

Dog owners should have a pet emergency plan

Emergencies happen, whether it’s a secluded accident or a regional crisis. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of Louisiana, destroying homes and displacing families across the coastline. A crisis of this magnitude gained national attention and individuals from all over the country arrived to offer assistance in this time of need.

The disaster

Steps were taken to aid in the assistance of the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, but there was far more to save than just people because their pets also faced the same problems. There were approximately 8,000 pets rescued during the crisis, but during the event, air rescue teams refused most pets in order to make room for people in need.

In the aftermath, the Humane Society of the United States along with the Louisiana SPCA and several other groups recruited hundreds of volunteers to assist in rescue efforts. They managed to rescue 6,031 pets and reunite 400 of them with their owners. But overall, an estimated 600,000 pets perished or were left without homes in the aftermath.

From this, we can see that there is good reason to realize the potential hazards of your region and take precautions. A planning lesson can be well learned from The Audubon Zoo, which lost only three animals out of a total of 1,400 because they invested in good disaster planning and because of their elevation. The zoo considered the hazards of their environment and to ensure the safety of their facility and its residents, took precautions to ensure safety. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) was signed into law in 2006 to assist disaster recovery efforts through FEMA in order to help both pets and service animals.

Being a responsible pet owner

While government organizations such as FEMA are prepared to offer assistance, it is up to every responsible pet owner to put a plan together in response to emergency situations.

The number one thing you should do is ID your pet. Keep their tags up to date and list multiple contacts. More pets are displaced because there is no way to contact their owners even after they are rescued. ID-ing your pet will aid in the recovery process and is a must for every responsible pet owner regardless of whether or not there is a disaster situation.

Put a survival kit together. What would you need to survive? Do you have a medical kit? What about fresh water? Food? Doggy paw covers (socks could work) or anything to keep your dog’s paws safe from broken glass and debris should be included in your kit. It’s necessary to always have supplies for yourself but do keep in mind that your dog will need supplies as well. It is wise to have a kit for both your home and your vehicle just in case you have to move immediately.

In case of evacuation, consider a doggy harness that can carry items such as food and water for them. (there are growing numbers of doggy harnesses that already have pouches for treats and potty bags). In the event that you are forced out on foot, it would be helpful to have your pet carry some of the burden and help the family out.

If you can’t get back home, consider if there is someone such as a neighbor, pet service, or friend that could help evacuate or care for your dog. Make sure both you and your dog trust them because in the event of a disaster, a dog will likely be scared. They will have to trust the individual they are with to ensure their complete safety.

Don’t cage your dog during a disaster. Though you may think they’ll be safest in there and out of the way, it can become a trap if you are forced from your home and have to abandon your pet. Instead, leash them and keep them with you at all times.

Consider electricity problems as well. During a disaster, power is likely to go out, and due to extreme weather, it is likely that your dog will be subjected to high heat or extreme cold. Take precautions in case of a power outage, such as keeping your pet warm or cool. Keep ice in the freezer and heat packs for cold weather.

Disasters are most dangerous when you aren’t prepared for them. Though assistance is helpful, it is up to each individual pet owner to help themselves and their pets. When you are ready for that “just in case” moment, both you and your dog are less likely to get separated and remain safe in the event of a disaster.

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!

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Dangers to Your Dog in Your Own Home

Sep 12, 2012

Dog owners learn about the dangers in your home

Every dog owner should be aware of the dangers that surround their dogs in their very homes. While we often consider our homes a safe place where our dogs can be kept safe from harm, there are a few dangers that lurk in places you might not be thinking about.

Consider the nature of a dog. What do they like to do? They are indeed very curious and love to investigate everything. Their noses wander, their paws travel, and their mouths tend to find the strangest things (an old slipper forgotten under the couch). Since most dogs don’t truly comprehend the dangers that surround them, it is important that every dog owner does in their stead.

Cleaners

Household cleaners are perhaps the most hazardous for any animal. Even spray cans can be dangerous (as sharp teeth can puncture a can), so hazardous cleaners should be kept out of paw’s reach.

However, cleaners don’t often stay in the container because they are obviously used to sanitize surfaces such as countertops, flooring, and even dishes. This is something that is often overlooked because it’s difficult to imagine that cleaners can be toxic after they’ve been used. Mopping the floor? The floor is sanitized but it’s not safe. Harsh cleaners such as bleach and ammonia can leave residues, which are easily picked up by your dog’s paws. Dogs naturally lick their paws to clean them, which means they end up ingesting toxic cleaner residue as well.

When cleaning an area, keep your dog away until the area has dried. Also, don’t let them lick the floor. If you use carpet cleaners, consider laying a towel over the cleaned spot until it has dried properly.

Electricity

Electrical cords are one of the deadliest household items. High voltage runs throughout the entire house and can easily threaten a dog’s life if they decide it’s interesting enough to chew. Because just about everything in a house utilizes power, it’s likely that cords will be accessible to them.

Where do your power cords run? Can your dogs get to them? Check little spots where they can squeeze into as well, such as between the couch and table stand. If you have open cords, cover them with a rug and keep power outlets concealed or use safety prongs to plug up unused outlets.

If you have cords traveling along the wall, consider running them up high out of reach. Two sided tape or hangers can be used to keep them up and out of chewing range. During the holiday season, this becomes an even bigger concern due to all the Christmas lights.

You may want to consider keeping your dog entertained as well. Chewing is a habit that usually reflects boredom. They will want to naturally chew to keep their teeth clean, but excessive chewing amongst adult dogs is a common sign of being bored. Be sure that they have plenty of toys to play with and that they receive regular interaction.

Household plants

Plants have been renowned for both their beauty and their dangers. Some flowers, pollens, and even their fruits can be dangerous to dogs. Decorative flowers and plants should be researched before they find a place in your home.

  • Lilies can cause kidney problems in pets. Even the pollen can be dangerous, especially since it can fall on their fur and then be licked off later.
  • Tulips are toxic to a dog’s nervous system, often leading to convulsions.
  • Oleanders affect a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to discomfort, loss of appetite, and cardiovascular issues.
  • Chrysanthemums are quite popular and pretty, but they also induce intestinal upsets, including vomiting, nausea, and poor coordination.

There are a wide range of toxic plants, so be sure you investigate anything you are considering for decoration or are planting in your garden.

Food

This brings up the toxic foods that dogs should never eat. There are certain foods that we owners love to eat but a dog should never have, not even just a little bit. Onions are good for humans, offering plenty of nutrition and even stimulating the immune system but are extremely dangerous for dogs. Chocolate is well known for its toxicity to dogs, so be sure that you keep candy out of reach at all times and dispose of wrappers properly. Tomatoes aren’t usually considered toxic, but a number of dogs tend to develop intestinal issues such as diarrhea or allergies when they ingest them. Raw rice can be a host for many fungi, so keep rice containers out of reach.

Even your house holds its own doggy dangers, so be sure you create an atmosphere in which your dog can play, sleep, and move around without worrying about injuring themselves. Take the time to make your home doggy safe and your faithful companion will love you for it.

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!

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Rocky Meets Mr. Good Cat

Sep 10, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

What is it that a cat thinks? Dogs don’t often question the very nature they were born to, but often wonder how it is that a fellow four-legged creature as such could prove to be the absolutely most fascinating thing in the room when it comes to entertainment.

And it’s not the fact that we love to chase them. It is the fact that it is they who seem to love to be pursued. Why run? Why flee a playmate unless there is a game to be played. Yes. It is the cat that loves the game and that is why we chase: Because we are dogs.

So that brings us to that exact predicament. Mr. Cat here says I can’t catch him. He sits upon my fence, meowing soft mews that are quite frankly very annoying. Before this I was laying in the sunshine that the window overlooking the backyard offered my soft dreams. And that’s when mews interrupted my fancy sleep and brought me out here to get a better view of what was going on.

Everything was in complete order. The leaves were undisturbed and even the squirrels had clearly known better than to trample on my ground. But Mr. Cat didn’t. Or at least he claimed he didn’t. He sat upon my fence with a very pompous attitude that seemed to say: All that lay before me is mine.

He was wrong. And even when I told him to scat, he remained unwavering. I barked. My efforts were joined by my good neighbor Buck, but nothing phased this cat. He stood his place firm.

“What is it that you want?” I barked furiously. “You’re in my yard now and whatever I say goes. I say you had better run before we catch that fluffy tail of yours and use it for a chew toy.” I could sure be intimidating when there were trespassing felines around.

“Well, my good sir, I happen to be exploring my new homestead,” Mr. Cat explained as though he had every business being here. “I have recently set claim to the territory a little ways down the road and I want to meet all the common folk that reside in my territory. Who might you be, my good dog?”

I was astounded. No cat had ever taken a moment to speak as much as a meow to me, but Mr. Cat here had basically just introduced himself, even if it was a little obnoxious.

“Anybody around here knows that I’m Rocky and that this is my castle,” I growled.

“Yeah,” Buck chimed in, “And I’m the loudest dog on the block. Those that hear me call me Buck!”

I covered my ears to block out some of Buck’s wildly obnoxious howl, but it seldom does much to save the old eardrums. Even Mr. Cat covered his ears and shied away from Buck, but did not leave our presence. He did in fact seem more intrigued than before.

“My, that is a very powerful howl you have there,” Mr. Cat exclaimed after the noise had subsided. “It’s good to know that there is a siren around to warn in case of danger or threat. I will rest better knowing that there is a reliable alarm in the neighborhood.”

I was baffled. No cats had ever talked to us let alone offered a compliment. I had to know more about this cat. He didn’t belong. I rushed the fence to instigate chase, but Mr. Cat remained.

“You have a lot of determination, Mr. Rocky,” Mr. Cat meowed down to me. “But, why is it that you can’t get up here?”

“I can if I want to,” my fierceness had left me now that the cat had called my bluff. “But I know better than to leave the yard. I could get doggy-knapped or worse.”

Mr. Cat sat and considered what I had said. “You know, that is very true. Cars rush by and I can’t tell you how many times my tail has met the grasp of another person. In my old home, no one dared to grab my tail, but everyone around here wants to tug on my furry tail. They might be doing the same to my companion as we speak. Perhaps I should return to ensure she is safe.”

Mr. Cat looked around suspiciously and asked us to keep an eye out for any intruders that would want to steal his fluffy ball and string, and then he hopped away and raced down the sidewalk. Buck and I watched as his tail sped down the walkway and enter the third house on the left.

“What a strange cat.” I told Buck.

“Yeah, but he would have made a good cat for chasing.” Buck howled. “I sure hope he comes back to play a good game of chase.”

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.

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Say No to Fleas!

Sep 7, 2012

Tips for dog owners on how to keep fleas away from your pet

Fleas are extraordinarily hard to get rid of, especially once they’ve made their home on your pets. This is due mostly to the fact that they are similar to roaches and are easily adaptable to pest-controls and chemical compounds. And while there are some very powerful chemicals on the market that would kill fleas (at least for now), they also have the tendency to affect our dogs – mostly negatively.

While fleas have the ability to adapt to chemicals, their need to feed in a particular environment never changes. Animals and even humans are often subject to these nasty creatures, and the worst part is that they are bound and determined not to simply go away.

We must therefore find out what it is that these parasites don’t like and use that to our advantage. Most flea repellants are Cholinesterase inhibitors, which paralyze and kill insects that come in contact with it. Most work for a short time before fleas adapt and return. This leaves us with the most effective solution: make your dog, home, and yard undesirable for fleas.

The natural solution

Apple Cider Vinegar: A spoonful of this in your dog’s water will turn a dog’s skin slightly acidic, which will deter ticks and fleas from wanting to turn your dog’s furry coat into their new home. If the flavor isn’t favorable, it can also be used as a spray deterrent.

Lemon water: Quarter a lemon and place it into boiling water and let cool (almost like a tea so as to eliminate any toxins and bacteria). You can now use the liquid as a spray to repel ticks and fleas.

Brewer’s Yeast is one of the most favorable of natural flea and tick remedies. It is also a great source of natural vitamins and is known to increase the health and luster of your dog’s skin and coat. Because of the sulfur content in the yeast, many studies have shown that a dog’s skin becomes unpalatable for housing, keeping your dog healthy and repelling those nasty parasites.

Garlic: Renowned for its ability to ward off just about any parasite that likes to bite (including vampires), garlic is an age old remedy for making the flavor of your dog very undesirable. Much like Brewer’s Yeast, it is the sulfur compounds that help to naturally repel annoying parasites.

Keep your dog’s environment flea-free

Fleas do not usually live on your dog. They, in fact, prefer to eat on the go, residing in your pet’s belongings and bedding (sometimes your bedding!). For every flea you find on your dog, there are likely thirty more living in your home. And do keep in mind that while the lifespan of a flea is only ninety days, their eggs and larvae can survive up to a year without feeding at all.

This means you must also take measures to kick those unwanted squatters off your land.

Diatomaceous earth is perhaps one of the best yard solutions you can find. It’s completely natural and doesn’t hurt larger organisms like people and their pets. Much like a sand or fine powder, it is the fossilized remains of ancient creatures. When small organisms, like insects, worms (yes, the ones that are a threat to your dog), and fleas crawl over the substance, the granules cut them up and either kill or deter them. It’s completely natural and can usually be found where swimming pool equipment or livestock feed are sold.

Of course, don’t forget the insides of your home. Most natural remedies will help to deter ticks and fleas, but you want to eliminate the threat of nesting. Regularly wash your dog’s bedding. Dust and vacuum often, and don’t forget to clean out the vacuum and spray it with some deterrent. The insides of vacuums aren’t usually considered but they are perhaps the best breeding ground for fleas.

Strange as it may sound, and not exactly recommended, is the fact that ants have a very interesting purpose. While they on their own can be pests, they do enjoy hunting and snacking on parasites like fleas, ticks, termites, and just about any bug that wanders in their territory. While it’s not a solution, there have been many accounts where after poisoning an ant pile and eliminating the colony, fleas and ticks took nest and became the next issue to deal with.

The trick isn’t to eliminate fleas. Rather, it is to eliminate your flea problem without turning your dog into a host for multitudes of chemicals that don’t always work. Instead, work towards making your dog and home inhospitable for those annoying fleas and best of all, do it the all-natural way that your dog can really appreciate.

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!

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