Category Archives: Educational

your dog's poop

Your Dog’s Poop Tells a Tale

Talking about your canine friends excrement may not be a glamorous topic, but there are some things that all dog owners should be aware of and watching for.  Yes, that’s right: you need to be looking at your dog’s poop.

Why Examine Your Dog’s Poop

With dogs, as with people, what is excreted can give clues to problems that are building inside.  Watching for signs of trouble as you clean up after your dog can give you warning well before severe symptoms set in.   Here’s what to look for:

NOTE: To be as effective as possible I have included photos.  To be as inoffensive as possible, I have made the on-page photos very small.  Click the photos to view them full size — or skip that if you’re squeamish. Continue reading Your Dog’s Poop Tells a Tale

pit bull

Pit Bulls We Loved Before They Were Feared

According to nationalpitbullawarenessday.org, Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a non-profit rescue and education effort in Tennessee, introduced the idea of National Pit Bull Awareness Day in 2007 and it took off like wildfire.  Now, the entire month of October is known as National Pit Bull Awareness Month, while devotees of pit bulls recognize October 27th across the country as National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

pit bulls
Am. Pit Bull Terrier

National Pit Bull Awareness Day (NPBAD) is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about pit bulls and their responsible owners.  NPBAD was established to educate and foster positive communications and experiences in the communities in which we and our dogs live, and it is an initiative dedicated to restoring the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

It is well known that pit bulls, and pit-mixes, are at the current target of breed specific legislation, discrimination, and negative bias among the nation’s media and government.  Despite continued efforts by supporters, much of the general public is overwhelmingly misinformed about the breed and hold to a fear-filled image created by humans who exploit the dogs, not the breed itself. Continue reading Pit Bulls We Loved Before They Were Feared

cheesy dog treats

Making Cheesy Dog Treats

cheesy dog treatsDogs love cheese, so even the most discriminating dog ought to love these cheesy dog treats.  Because they’re homemade and you will choose the ingredients, you know they contain nothing insidious — something you can’t be sure of with commercial treats.  They’re easy to make, too!  Because they’re made with real cheese they add protein to your dogs diet, but they ARE treats: so dispense responsibly.

Ingredients

Continue reading Making Cheesy Dog Treats

Universal K9 Turns Pit Bull Death Row Into 2nd Chance

Universal K9Universal K9 is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in San Antonio TX and Richmond VA that pulls dogs from kill shelters and rescues and trains them to work with police officers as narcotics dogs, pursuit & take-down dogs, or as dual-purpose dogs.

They also train dogs to work as business drug/explosives/weapons search dogs.  These are useful in airports, jails, schools, oil fields, warehouses, trucking companies, and similar.

They have a special program for veterans on the GI Bill to attend a two week Dual Purpose Handlers course.  All students who complete the course are eligible to receive a FREE single purpose narcotics or explosive dog.

Universal K9 Favors Pit Bulls

Continue reading Universal K9 Turns Pit Bull Death Row Into 2nd Chance

honey as medicine

Using Raw Honey as a Topical Antibiotic

Doug
The dogtor is in

The use of honey as a topical antibiotic has a long history.  In fact, it is considered one of the oldest known wound dressings.  Honey was used by the ancient Greek physician Dioscorides in 50 A.D. for sunburn and infected wounds.  He described honey as being “good for all rotten and hollow ulcers” [1].   Honey’s healing properties are mentioned in the Bible (Prov 24:13), Quran (16.68-69), and Torah.

Wounds infected with Pseudomonas, not responding to other treatment, have been rapidly cleared of infection using honey as a topical antibiotic, allowing successful skin grafting [4], [5].

Honey as a Topical Antibiotic?

Some of the compounds in honey kill certain bacteria and fungus.  This is why honey is the one natural foodstuff that won’t spoil.   No one knows how the bees do that, but we know it works.  When applied to the skin, honey also serves as a barrier to moisture and keeps raw skin from sticking to dressings.  Honey also provides nutrients that speed healing. Continue reading Using Raw Honey as a Topical Antibiotic

Food Guarding In Dogs and How To Deal With It

Dogs tend to protect or “guard” things they feel are most important to them, things they feel they can’t do without.  Some will guard toys, some food, some will “guard” or become vicious when others approach their people.  Guarding is rarely a desirable trait.  Food guarding is dangerous to other dogs and to the people who care for the dog.  It needs to be corrected.

Why Is the Dog Food Guarding?

food guarding
Credit: warrenphotographic.co.uk

Some dogs just have a greedy nature, even (perhaps especially) as a puppy.  They don’t share well.  Working with them as a puppy is needed to correct this early.  Some dogs guard food because they came from an environment where food was scarce and they had to fight for every scrap they got.  Some dogs guard because, although food is plentiful, others steal theirs.

Discovering why the dog guards is the key to undoing the behavior. Continue reading Food Guarding In Dogs and How To Deal With It

Canine Fostering: What It Is and How It Works

Before I get started, let me just say that what I’m about to say will also apply to fostering other animals: cats, rabbits, horses, guinea pigs, whatever.  I do canine fostering, have for a long time, so that’s the soap box I’ll stand on to pontificate.

What Is Canine Fostering?

fostering, rescue, canine, dog, JosephineFostering is the short term care of an animal you don’t own.  Programs vary: some will provide everything you could need: equipment, bedding, food, medications, everything.  Some provide only veterinary care.  Most are somewhere in between these.  Before joining a fostering program ask what is provided to you and what you need to cover.  Get it in writing.

Purposes of Fostering

There are four main flavors, or purposes, of fostering programs: Continue reading Canine Fostering: What It Is and How It Works

Being Busy vs Being Productive

More and more I encounter people who talk about how much they’re involved in and how many things they do.  Quite often this is delivered in the form of complaint.  I have to wonder, who is it that puts these burdens upon them?  Is it not they themselves who choose to engage in so many activities?

I also note that some of these people are not especially good at some of the things they do.  Some seem to be forever working toward things they never actually achieve: chasing after something that eludes them because they’re weighed down with too much detritus not related to that goal.

too many projectsOur modern world sets this scenario as being the norm and anyone who is not over-burdened is lazy.  I see sayings like, “If you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know.”  At first glance that seems to make sense, but upon deeper examination it falls apart.  Is that person “busy” because as soon as they finish one task they take on another or because they accomplish little: just trying to keep all the plates spinning?  Too often it is the latter. Continue reading Being Busy vs Being Productive

The Phases of Canine Rescue

canine rescueI have on occasion heard dog owners proudly state, “Oh, yes: we rescued this dog.  She was going to die in a shelter.”  Sometimes this statement is perfectly true: they went to a kill shelter, adopted a high-risk dog, and trained her: thus rescuing her.  Many other times people adopt a dog from a canine  rescue agency.  In this case, the story is far more complex — and interesting.  While the adopter may claim to have rescued the dog, that credit must be shared with many who played a part along the way.

Where Canine Rescue Begins

Canine rescue almost always begins with someone being a jerk.  Continue reading The Phases of Canine Rescue

Giving People Medicine to Your Dog

Benedryl uses and dose diphenhydramine
Click to enlarge

If your dog has mild allergies, you can treat them with over the counter medications intended for humans (people medicine) and avoid the risks and cost of prescription drugs like Prednisone.

There are a number of reasons you might want to give your dog Benedryl (diphenhydramine – also available in many generic brands).   Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, so it helps in relieving itching from contact allergies or bug bites or stings.  It can be used to reduce swelling and pain from a snake bite.  It will calm a hyperactive dog or reduce “terrors” during fireworks or thunderstorms.

The usual dosage of Diphenhydramine for dogs is 1 mg per pound of dog every 8 to 12 hours (two to three times daily), but a single dose can be doubled to 2mg/lb if needed in an emergency such as a snake bite. This suggested dose is for formulations containing the active ingredient diphenhydramine only — NO Tylenol. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is poisonous to dogs.  Overdosing on diphenhydramine for an extended period can be lethal, but there is a wide margin of safety.

If you need something stronger, Cetirizine (Zyrtec) and Loratadine (Claratin) are also safe for canine use and available in affordable generic forms. Continue reading Giving People Medicine to Your Dog