Dog Care the A-Z List

A – Agility is a great sport for high energy dogs.  It also creates a deeper bond between dog and owner.

B – Boarding options should be researched in advance to ensure your dog will be comfortable and will be well cared for when you have to be away from him.

C – Collars shouldn’t be tight or constricting.  Make sure you can easily slide two fingers under the collar.

D – Dog parks are a great way to allow your dog time to socialize with other dogs and expend some of their energy.  They are also a wonderful place for the owner to make new friends.

E – Emergency veterinarian clinics are available in many locations.  Research your area and find the one closest to you, so you know where to go in case of a medical emergency.

F – Food for dogs come in a wide variety of quality.  Reading the label will help you find food that has quality ingredients.  Try to stay away from brands that are made of corn and meat byproducts to keep your dog healthy and happy.

G – Grooming your dog can be great bonding opportunity.  Most dogs love to have their coats brushed.  However, bath time can be a bit tricky with a dog.  It is important to be patient, positive, provide warm water, and do your best to make your dog comfortable.

H – Heartworms are deadly parasites that live in the heart and they are transmitted by misquote bites.  Heartworm prevention can save your dog’s life.  Talk to your veterinarian if your dog is not already on a heartworm prevention medication.

I – Identification is important, in case your dog ever gets lost.  Putting tags on your dog’s collar and having them microchipped will increase the chances of your dog returning home.

J – Jumping is a common problem with dogs.  To teach a dog not to jump, ignore them whenever they try it.  I will turn away from the dog and not even look at them, until they become calm.

K – Kids love to pet dogs, but it is important to monitor them for the dog’s safety and the children’s safety.

L – Leashes come in a variety of styles.  Retractable leashes can be dangerous, because they break easily.  They can also get stuck, which makes it difficult to get your dog under control in a potentially dangerous situation.

M – Mothers and puppies should stay together for at least six to eight weeks.  The puppies need time to mature and be weened.  They also benefit by learning appropriate dog manners from their mother and their siblings.

N – Natural disasters happen all over the world.  It is important to have a plan for your dog in case of emergency situations.

O – Oral hygiene is often overlooked in dogs, but having an unhealthy mouth can cause other medical problems.  Dry food is better for the dog’s teeth.  It is also important to have their teeth regularly cleaned.

P – Paws are another area that tends to get overlooked.  Dogs need their nails trimmed to prevent foot pain and injury.  They also need the pads on their feet inspected for any cuts or abrasions that may need to be treated.

Q – Quite spaces to rest are important to dogs.  They like having a little personal space from time to time.  Teach children not to disturb the dog, when they are in their quite/personal resting space.

R – Rescue organizations are full of dogs of every size and breed.  Dogs get sent to these places for a number of reasons and it is often not the dog’s fault.  You can find a great dog by checking your local rescue organization.

S – Socialization is important for all dogs.  They need to know how to behave around other dogs and people.  When socializing your pet, try to introduce them to all kinds of people.

T – Training your dog can be fun and creates a deeper bond between you and your pet.  Training can be done at home or you can take your dog to a training school.  I enjoy the training schools, because we get to meet different people and practice training skills in a wide variety of settings.

U – Understanding your dog will improve your relationship with your dog.  Dogs use body language to communicate with us and other dogs.  You can easily learn what your dog is saying by reading books on dog body language or doing a little bit of online research.

V – Vaccinations help your dog stay healthy and live a longer life.  A lot of countries require dogs to be vaccinated for rabies, but there are other diseases that can be prevented through vaccinations (parvovirus, distemper, bordetella, and canine hepatitis).

W – Walking your dog can be a lot of fun for both you and the dog.  Dogs love to explore and sniff new areas.  They also love doing fun things with their owner.

X – Xerox copies of important documents (vaccination records, microchip information, and other medical documents) can be a life saver in emergency situations.

Y – Yacking or spitting up stuff is a common problem.  Dogs will vomit much easier and more often than humans.  When a mother dog is trying to ween her puppies, she will eat food and then regurgitate it back out for the puppies.  This allows the puppies to go from milk to soft foods and eventually to eating regular food.  That’s why dogs are more prone to vomiting.  However, it can also be a sign that your dog needs medical attention.

Z – Zest and a zeal for life is common among dogs.  They tend to appreciate the mundane things of life and bring joy to those around them.

Kids Can Benefit From Having a Dog

Dogs are amazing animals and wonderful pets.  Children that grow up with dogs, benefit from their companionship.

  • Having a pet teaches responsibility.  Children can help with taking care of the dog and learn new skills as they grow older.
  • Children also learn compassion and the importance of putting the needs of a loved one above their wants.  There will be times when the dog needs to go to the bathroom; however, the child is busy having fun.  This is an excellent way to teach the child about needs vs wants, putting others first, and compassion.
  • Dog training classes actually teach the owner how to teach the dog.  The child will learn concepts like behavior modification; positive reinforcement; as well as how to meet the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of the dog.
  • Having a dog can make science fun.  Here is one example:  The dog has about 200 million more olfactory receptors in the nose than a human.  However, that is only part of the reason why they have such a phenomenal sense of smell.  The design of their outer nose, allows more smells to enter the nasal cavity.  That small slit on the side of the dog’s nose, actually does serve a purpose.  The olfactory system in the brain of a dog is 40 times larger than that of a human.  This allows the dog to process and remember all those wonderful smells.
  • Children that grow up with dogs have a stronger immune system, because they are exposed to a wider variety of bacteria.  They also have a lower risk of developing allergies.
  • When a child has a dog, it opens up a whole new world for them.  They will interact with veterinarians, trainers, and groomers.  They will be able to visit dog parks.  They will learn how to play games that involve their furry friend.  Also, they will always have a best friend that loves them and wants to be their constant companion.

The Lost Dog

It had been a good day.  I was smiling as I opened the door and I was thinking about all that had transpired that day.

My dog, Joey, spotted a rabbit in the front yard while the door was open and he bolted past me and was gone like a streak of lightning.

I dropped my bag on the floor and felt a sense of overwhelming panic.  The sun was almost done and finding him in the dark would be no easy task.

I grabbed a leash, a few treats, and jumped into my jeep in hopes of quickly located my lost dog.

I drove all over the neighborhood for two hours.  Each minute that past weighed heavy on my heart.  Joey is a big goof-ball, but I love him.

Gwen was also out searching for Joey, and Mom was at home posting his information on neighborhood websites.

Finally, my phone rang and I answered with great anticipation.  The lady on the other end of the line said she had our dog.  Her husband opened the door and Joey ran past him so fast it about gave the poor man a heart attack.

She said Joey was drinking water, eating treats, and playing with her dog.  Basically, he was having a grand old time.

Gwen and I went to pick up Joey and gave him a big hug.  We felt relieved to have our friend back home safe and sound.

My Cattle Dog Needs Help

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Blue is an Australian Cattle Dog and he loves to put things in a group.  That boy will herd anything.

Blue is now trying to herd bees.  He stares at them while they are fluttering around the flowers, but if they try to leave the area he pounces and nips at them.

I tried to explain to Blue that bees are an important part of the ecosystem, so he should leave them alone.  Also, getting stung by bees is painful.  However, Blue is ignoring my advice.

I need to find some cows, sheep, chickens, cats, or small children for Blue to herd.  He needs help to channel his herding drive.