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Dog Masseuse – How To Give Your Dog A Massage

When  you’re 102 in dkensleep2IMG_0417og years your bones are old and weary so when I came across this article on dog massages from The Doginton Post I knew I had to share.

I’ve had acupuncture before and while I admit it did help having a bunch of needles stuck in your fur suit isn’t that fun.  A dog massage looks like a much better way to go. It’s not only a great way to bond with your pup it actually provides health benefits for them such as pain management, firming up muscles, and helping with circulation.  Those are just a few of the many issues that massage targets.

With a little guidance from Brandy Arnold you can get started. Read more

Winterize Your Dog

March 4 | 5 Comments

_DSC4319We live in the south now so snowy paws aren’t much of an issue anymore but when we lived in New York it was a big deal.  Not only did Bo get the ice crystals stuck in his  paws he also got the salt in there.  You always knew when this happened on our walk because he would promptly stop wherever we were, like the middle of the road, and start licking his paw. It’s been a while since I had to deal with this so I went to Way Cool Dogs for some good tips on how to keep your dog’s paws safe.

Winterizing dog paws are on the same level of care as clean water, healthy dog food and freedom from disease. Dog paws are the most vulnerable and exposed part of the dog’s body. What most dog owners do not realize is that the paw of the dog causes them the most damage. Read more

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Too Fat?

March 3 | 4 Comments

www.boknowsonline.comThere’s the old joke about ‘If you’re dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise” but there’s truth in that statement.  If you sit around chances are your dog is too.  Instead get out and go for a walk, you will both become healthier and more fit. Here’s a great true life story of how Deborah Wood, pet columnist for The Oregonian newspaper, pursued an exercise regimen with her pup and lost weight. Read more

Dog Allergies: New Miracle Pill or Nightmare?

golfence_DSC3876Our Bernese Mountain dog, Goliath, has allergies during certain times of the year that are out of control.  Because these types of dogs are prone to cancer we are very careful about giving him steroids but last fall we did have to do a short round since nothing was working. It was so bad he was gnawing at himself relentlessly and had chewed himself raw in some spots given himself an infection. We only used the steroids for about a week  to give him some relief so that we could get rid of the infection and allow him to heal.  After that we went back to the allergy pills and topical sprays. You can only imagine how excited I was to learn about a new pill that was being used for dogs that have allergies.

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The Games Veterinarians Play

February 20 | 2 Comments

While mom is at the vet’fecalIMG00136-20120402-1635s office waiting for Goliath she’s looking for something to kill a few minutes and this is what she finds. What kind of sick game is this? If anything you would think they would have a game of Operation lying around somewhere. But this? The rules aren’t even clear, what score do you need to win? That is all.

Woof!–Kensy, The Dog

 

 

Not Happy With Your Vet?

February 11 | 2 Comments

We had a vet that we went to for over 10 years and were very happy. Unfortunately everything changed about six months ago when she left the practice. Although there was another vet there she wasn’t ‘our’ vet and we didn’t have the relationship with her that we had with ours.  Since we had been with this practice for so long, the staff was practically like family, we decided to stay. However, after visiting the new vet on a number of occasions my husband and I just weren’t happy, we decided it was time to search for a new vet. Way Cool Dogs shared an informative article on 5 warning signs to look for that you may need a new vet.

To find a new vet mgotconeIMG_7337ay be necessary from time to time for pet owners. Taking your pet to the veterinarian is a stressful time for both you and your furry friend, and having a vet you can trust is essential. Not all vets, however, are equally competent to properly care for your dog, cat or other pets.

 Here are five warning signs that should send you running to find a new vet. Another warning sign is when your instincts tell you something is wrong with how your vet cares for your pet.

A dirty environment in a vet office

One of the most obvious ways to spot a less than desirable vet is to look around the office and examing room. Vet facilities that are dirty or dingy usually mean there are deeper issues brewing in the practice.

A dirty vet clinic puts your pet at greater risk of contracting infections and diseases. While you are at the vet, checking floors and exam tables for cleanliness as well as making sure instruments are properly sterilized will help you ensure facilities are in the right shape to care for your pet. Any problems in this area are a clear sign that you need to start vet shopping.

Inappropriate handling of pets

If you are at the vet, chances are you have a sick animal in a certain amount of pain. Animals in pain behave much differently than healthy pets. They are more likely to lash out.

A good vet must know the basics of animal behavior and how to appropriately handle sick animals. If your vet is too rough or shows any signs of practicing inappropriate behavior modification, begin your search for a new vet.

Vets who rush pets through

If the vet is good, their office will be busy. This does not mean that they should rush through the examination in order to get to the next patient.

A good vet will hire on more staff to accommodate increased demand or refer new patients to an excellent colleague. Do not go back to a vet that acts as if your pet is an inconvenience or worth only a few moments of attention.

Disregard details about sick pets

While your veterinarian should be an expert on animal behavior, each pet has a distinct personality.

You are the expert on what is normal behavior for your particular pet, and your vet should take that into consideration. If your vet ignores your details regarding strange and unusual behavior your pet is exhibiting, it is time to switch clinics.

A well-qualified vet in your area, like Markham vet clinic Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic, will know the importance of getting detailed information on any out of the ordinary behavior from your pet. This will allow the most accurate diagnosis and care for your pet.

If your vet seems uninterested in these details, consider not returning again.

Pushing pet products

A good vet will make recommendations and referrals for products they think will be healthy and helpful to your pet.

Ethical vets will never make recommendations for products that are useless or not good for your favorite animal. If you find your vet making a hard-sell on a product, they may be receiving a kickback from the company. If you suspect your vet is making inappropriate recommendations in exchange for money, you should immediately find a new vet.

The health and comfort of your furry friend should always be the top priority of your veterinarian. If there are any signs to the contrary, do not hesitate to find a vet that cares. Finding a vet who truly understands and cares for your pet is worth the effort you invest to find a new vet.

 Samantha Stainsburry is a student at the University of Virginia, where she is studying nursing. She has an energetic 2 year old pet boxer named Gilligan and a love for other people’s cats. Information on proper veterinary treatment credit of Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic.

In our case it wasn’t any of these specific things that made us want to change.  The relationship with the new vet was just not a good fit, the trust and level of comfort we had with our old vet wasn’t there. We started asking friends who they were using and even spoke to our holistic vet to see if she had a recommendation. After deciding on a few possibilities I went to meet with them.  Yes, you have every right to ‘interview’ a potential new vet. We have now found a new vet who we feel is the perfect choice for our furry family.

 

 

 

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance, Best Pet Insurance, Dog InsuranceYou may be asking yourself, pet insurance, is it worth it?

There are some dog owners who think it’s a total rip-off and others who swear by it, so what is the truth? Perhaps it lies somewhere in-between.

When we adopted our first Bernese Mountain Dog, back in 2008, I knew the breed had certain health issues which could become very costly. I looked into insurance but to cover what we required was very expensive. We opted to take our chances and not get insurance. Sadly we lost him to cancer. We now have two other adopted Bernese Mountain Dogs and, due to recent events, decided to rethink getting dog insurance.

Several weekends ago, one of our Berners began yelping in pain when he moved quickly. It turns out he had torn a ligament requiring a $3000 operation. Even if we had been putting aside a ‘pet emergency fund’ of $100 a month we’re still talking 2.5 years to get to cover the costs of the surgery. And of course it’s always easier to say you’re going to put the money away than to actually do it.

While insurance obviously would not cover an existing issue, I found out from the veterinarian when one knee goes there is a very good chance at some point the other one will too. We’re talking another $3,000 and that’s just the surgery which doesn’t include other expenses such as overnight care, rehab, and medications.

That’s what drove me to reconsider getting pet insurance. The question was where do I start?

It’s important that you find the best dog insurance to meet your specific dog’s needs. Here are what I found to be the top 10 questions you should ask before buying:

  1. Does it cover hereditary issues in certain breeds, like cancer? Very important, many policies do not.
  2.  Would I be better off  if I put the amount it would cost me each month for insurance in an ‘emergency fund’ to cover any issues I think my dog might have?
  3. If you have a dog with ligament issues and one leg has already had problems will the other leg be covered? You really need to read the fine print on this one.
  4. Does the insurance company decide what’s reasonable in terms of vet fees or is it whatever the vet charges will be covered up to your coverage amount? Since ‘what’s reasonable’ is subjective this makes me weary of this type of policy.
  5. What is the waiting period until the policy takes effect?
  6. Is there a cancellation period if you change your mind? Do you get all your money part or just a percentage?
  7. What is the reputation of the company? It’s always good to check out reviews from other people. For the best accuracy I always tend to toss out the worst and best reviews and focus on the ones in the middle.
  8. Can the prices increase as your dog gets older?
  9. Are things that you may want covered, like holistic care, included or an add-on? Those add- ons can add up quickly.
  10. Lastly, not a question but an important to do. Make sure you read all the small print so you know exactly what you are getting. I have found some policies look great until you delve into the page with all the fine print, aka, exclusions.

Also, it’s important to compare companies based on what your deductible is, what the reimbursement amount once your deductible is met would be, and what the payout cap is (lifetime, yearly, or individual or per incident).  You want to make sure you compare apples to apples, so to speak. There are a lot of great sites that have unbiased comparisons of the different pet insurance companies and I urge you to look at each one. They are a great place to start your search and to help you narrow it down to a few choices.

The bottom line is that dog insurance probably isn’t the best bet in every case but in some cases it will save you thousands as well as giving you the peace of mind that you will be able to provide your pet with the best possible care when he/she needs it the most.

So do your homework, know all your options, and make an informed decision based on your needs.

Full disclosure: this post, although very personal to my situation, is a sponsored post.

Cheesy Dog’s Near Death Experience

I’m not ashamed to say it, “We all need help sometimes. Even from our human counterparts.”

It turns out not all owners are clueless like my parents. Yup, some are smart and heroic, and they don’t even have to be named after a man…i.e.  Superman, Batman, Fartman.

Why just the other day I heard of an owner with the wherewithal to give his dog a spoon of peanut butter. What was the emergency? The pup had the munchies.

Very smart, and quite heroic for giving up some precious nut crude.

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Dog Tip: How to Lose 20-Pounds Quickly

Is Dr. House here yet?How can my old man lose 40 lbs of ugly fat really fast?

By cutting off his head.

How does my neighbor Dino, a dachshund, lose 20 lbs of ugly fat really fast?

By divorcing his chihuahua wife.

Hahaha…I got loads of ‘em folks and I’ll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waitress. Try the veal. You’ve been a great audience goodnight everydog.

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Doogie Goat, MD.

Goat milk, goat cheese and the ever popular goat tee.

Which of these things doesn’t belong, which of these things isn’t the same?

Did you guess the goat tee? Guess again. Goat cheese, ba-a-a-ad choice.

The answer is goat’s milk. Read more

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