Category: dog care

5 reasons not to have a dog at school

Some colleges and universities are offering “dog friendly” dorm room. Those who live off campus may have a agreeable landlord, or they may decide to have one anyway. This is a good way to lose housing or have to find the dog a new home too quickly.

While dogs are definitely good companions, they can cramp college style and get left behind in the process.

Kodi the corgi was a “college dog.” Lucky for him, and us, when his owner decided to join the Peace Corps after graduation, Kodi had a home waiting for him. Not all dogs are nearly as lucky.

Here are 5 reasons not to have a dog at school

  1. Loss of spontaneity – Your friends want to take a weekend trip where dogs are not allowed. You stay home –
  2. Isolation for dog – Your dog spends most of the day inside while you are at school. At night you want to visit friends, participate in club activities or join a study group. So the dog gets a half hour walk — maybe?
  3. Medical issues – Dogs need vets from time to time. Getting there, paying for the visits, and taking time from studies all should be considered.
  4. Holiday and summer break – This is especially difficult if you got the dog after you arrived at school. How are you getting it home? And are your parents receptive?
  5. Lonely dogs – Lonely dogs are going to cry out, bark at people walking by. Others in the building may not appreciate this, even the dog lovers.

There are ways to get a “dog fix” without actually getting a dog

  1. Volunteer for a nearby rescue or humane society: Most schools require community service hours.
  2. If there are no rescues groups nearby, look for a veterinarian. You may be able to walk dogs for them.
  3. Check with others who have pets and offer to pet sit. (This includes your professors)
  4. Become a dog walker. (Again, professors)
  5. Walk around town. You are going to come upon people with dogs and people with dogs generally love to talk about their dogs. Always ask, before petting a dog.

 

Transforming a homeless dog into an adopted dog

 

This week my newspaper column was about volunteers at one of our local humane societies who use their skills to make the most wonderful transformation by turning a neglected dog into a pet that is loved again.

I was so moved by the photos I had to share.

The photo above is what “Charlie” looked like when he was brought into the humane society. Look at him now! And I am happy to say – adopted.

charlie after

So many dogs come into shelters across the country looking like this, matted, dirty, covered in fleas and ticks. The matting can also cause medical issues if the skin beneath gets pulled to the point of separating the skin and becoming infected.

If you can volunteer even a couple of hours a week or a month to groom — or even give these dogs a bath — what a difference you will make. Just ask Reno. Also adopted now I am happy to say!

 

 

reno before
Before

And After!

Reno after

 

Does your pet chew their paws? Why?

crossed paws

Do you ever have to tell your pet to stop chewing on their paws? The chewing could be their way to relieve pain and discomfort.

  1. Get a wet washcloth and quickly soak each paw. If your animals don’t mind their paws being touched you can do a more thorough job. The water can soften anything that might have become embedded or dilute anything they might have stepped into that could be burning their pads.
  2. Examine the paws. You are looking for anything from a stray unpopped popcorn kernel that’s gotten wedged to broken glass. If you see blisters it’s time to call the vet for a visit and a topical treatment.
  3. Bug bites. Mosquitoes, ants, and spiders may have bitten the pads of your pet’s paws, maybe while he or she was playing with it.
  4. Long or ingrown nails
chewing
Pets can rest easy when their paws aren’t bothering them.

If your pet is an indoor cat, consider what chemicals you might have had around. If a cat (or dog) steps into something and it burns they will chew on the affected paw and could ingest some of the chemical. Outdoor cats have the opportunity for a greater number of foreign objects that can affected them.

I heard of one cat when after his owner checked his paws, found what looked like mosquito bites. An inside cat in Boston, except for lounging on the balcony, can get bug bites too.

If your pet is chewing on its paws, or anywhere, it is time to find out why. It is important to address the chewing quickly so bad habits aren’t formed.

 

Getting rid of ants without hurting your pets

 

UPDATE: It’s been three days since I tried this. I still haven’t seen any “trails” of ants. They seem fewer but we could be in between hatching cycles. I did add some of the mixture in a line from the outside of an ant hole in the walkway outside to the grass and that colony doesn’t seem to be active any longer. If anyone has a method that works inside – please share.

Origninal post

We have had a very rainy spring and summer. I have also had work done on the house, resulting in doors open, saw dust, etc. So which is responsible for the ants?

I don’t know and don’t care, just want to get them out.  I think the rain has a lot to do with it, as I have heard from others having the same problem.

My ants have wings, but they aren’t termites thankfully. I double checked with a photo of both on the internet. My ants have segmented bodies and are built differently. So that’s the good news.

After turning on the light in the front room last night, and finding at least 20 of these unwanted visitors.

I resorted to clicking onto Lowes to find out if there is a fogger I could use. There is but I would have to take the two dogs, cat and bird out of the house for up to four hours. Not convenient and not really the method I prefer to use.

When possible I go as natural as possible. Any method will require you to keep an eye on your pets.

After much research I have combined what I was comfortable with and come up with this method. Let me know what you think. I have just put out the traps and will have to wait a few days to see.

What you will need:

20 Mule Team Borax

Sugar

Cotton balls

Plastic containers with lids (if you have some of the thinner ones that lunch meat comes in perfect!)

knife and scissors

Preparation:Ants 4

Cut slits along the bottom of the plastic container. I used a knife and squared it off a bit with scissors. Put these close to the bottom and make the slits small. You don’t want dog or cat tongues trying to lick the sugar out.

Remember you want the ants to be able to get out to take the mixture back to the queen. If you find too many still in the container you are only killing those. You want the entire colony. It’s going to be difficult, but for the next day or so I need to not squish the ants so they can make their return to the colony with the “treats.”

The method I decided was a mixture of borax and sugar. I didn’t measure, about half and half. You want it watery but with some solid pieces.

Roll cotton balls into the mixture and place three or four in the plastic tub. Snap on lid.

Ants 3

Place in strategic places. You may have to move the baits around. Everything I read said follow the trail of ants but I haven’t seen a “trail of ants” and my house is pretty tightly sealed.

I put one outside under a bush to see if I can lure some before they come into the house.

Ants 1

I choose to use the containers with lids rather than just the lids themselves. This is for my pets sake. Of course as soon as I put the container in the front room, Kodi the corgi’s nose was right there, checking  it out.

This is an experiment for me. I am really hoping it works and will post updates.

Wish me luck!

Baby wipes help reduce allergic reaction

Dog allergies
A simple box of unscented baby wipes could help reduce your dog’s allergic reactions.

Spring is showing itself on most of our lawns and on some of our dog’s skin. As the small flowers, grasses and weeds start to bloom, you may also be seeing red patches on your dog as they lick one specific area.

Diagnosis: Allergies

Both of my pups are showing signs. Buddy twists to chew the area from hip to hip, and the hair around Kodi’s tail nub is getting thinner and thinner.

Both are now on medication to relieve the itching and hopefully reduce the desire to chew.

Chewing is one of those things that can start out as relief for the dog and turn into a habit, something I don’t want.

When I picked Buddy’s medication up at the vet a couple of weeks ago, my vet’s wife told me to get baby wipes. Unscented baby wipes to wipe on each paw when they come in from outside.

I had never really given much thought as to how the allergic reaction occurred. I contributed it to airborne pollen or perhaps when the dogs rolled on the grass. But her explanation makes a lot of sense.

The allergic reaction can be from the dog licking the paws when they come in from outside. When I started to think about it both dogs do lick their paws after being outside. Doing this they ingest the pollen, or whatever is in the grass that they have an allergy to, and voila! the allergic reaction followed by chewing.

A pop-up plastic box of baby wipe, the store brand, now sits next to my front door. As soon as we come in, before the leashes come off, each dog get his paws wiped. Buddy isn’t too bad about it, but Kodi doesn’t like his paws being touched.

The process should be quick and easy. Just rub the cloth under each paw making sure to separate the toes a little and get in there. One cloth per trip outside.