Monday, June 29, 2009

Dog days of summer

Check out Buddy`s awesome full-body stretch and facial expression as he basks in his cool-down pool time. On the hottest, most sultry summer days, Buddy and Daisy lllloooooovvvveee their little pool.

A kiddie pool is a fun and easy way to give your dogs a break from summer`s heat. Fill it up with clean water, then watch your dogs enjoy life.

Stay healthy, stay safe

Dogs can drown too, so make sure you always supervise pool time - especially for really small dogs. Then when play time is over, either empty it or put a cover over it to prevent birds from accidentally falling in. Change the water regularly to keep your pool clean and disease free.

Enjoy the heat!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ew. It's tick season!

When you live in Saskatchewan, you long for summer. Ah, hot days, comfortable clothes, BBQs, Rider pride, and bugs!

Prevent ticks by keeping your dog healthy with proper nutrition and grooming, and by talking with your vet about suitable chemical or alternative tick treatments and collars. And, after your dog romps and plays in tall grass, make your pup happy by doing a full body tick check. You'll discover ticks before they do too much damage, and your dog will love the extra attention.

If you find one of those nasty little buggers, spray it with a small amount of human insecticide, then wait 10 minutes - or cover it with Vaseline. (Do not spray insecticide near your dog's face!) Use tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin, then pull it out using steady even pressure being sure that the tick's head comes out. (To avoid infecting yourself with disease, don't use your fingers to pull it out.) Monitor the bite spot - if you notice signs of infection, take your dog to the vet for additional care.

Learn more about parasite prevention and treatment by taking a Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid class near you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cute canine cousins

This little guy lives with his family on a rock pile at our acreage. How cute! Our local conservation officer says they'll hunt rodents, then once they grow big enough, they’ll move on. In the meantime, we love watching them play and hunt.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wouldn't it be incredible if everyone was responsible?

My friend is a responsible breeder. She is fully aware about her dogs’ genetic histories, works closely with her veterinarians, and selects compatible males with good temperaments who are genetically healthy. This winter her beautiful Hope delivered seven healthy, strong and adorable puppies. Later that week due to complications, Hope died on the operating table. Hope’s seven puppies were left behind needing tube-feeding every three hours for three weeks. The veterinarian bill was huge, the cost of the powdered puppy milk replacer was over $800 and one of the puppies needed extensive medical care costing over $1,000. It was heartbreaking to lose a three year old dog who was very much a family member, especially under these circumstances. My friend did everything right to create healthy, genetically sound puppies with strong pedigrees.

All puppies are cute. But many grow up with temperament issues and painful and expensive health problems caused by poor breeding practices. Back Yard Breeders create animals without consideration of genetic disease and temperament. Basically, they do nothing to ensure that your puppy is healthy. Puppy Mills are high-volume back-yard breeders operating with unsanitary, crowded and unhealthy environments. Their puppies are often sold through pet stores. Responsible breeders care about the betterment of the breed. They test for genetic disorders and disease and through selective breeding practices produce healthy puppies. They screen and educate future families and take lifetime responsibility for the pets they breed by taking them back at any time.

If you want to become a responsible breeder:

  • Ensure that your dog is a very sound example of its breed according to the standard set for it by the breed parent club in Canada so you create quality puppies that improve the future of the breed. (The only exception is where dogs are bred for a specific purpose - for example, a lineage of service dogs.)
  • Talk with your vet and talk with experienced responsible breeders - not backyard breeders!
  • Understand your dog’s lineage or the health of its parents and grandparents.
  • Spend money to get genetic testing done to make sure that your dog isn’t carrying hip dysplasia, congenital heart disease, congenital deafness, autoimmune thyroiditis or other inherited diseases. Good breeders do not breed dogs with genetic diseases. Your diligence will ensure that your pups won’t go through the pain of a debilitating disease and future pet owners won’t experience heart ache and expense to treat diseases that you could and should have avoided.
  • Save a couple thousand dollars to cover the cost of an emergency caesarean, euthanization or other emergency medical costs for the mom or her puppies.
  • Figure out your work schedule so you can take time off to tube-feed puppies if something happens to the mom.
  • Socialize the puppies so they are well-adjusted and able to deal with the world once they leave your home.

If you’re not ready to do what it takes to be a responsible breeder, don’t breed. Anything less is irresponsible! There are many wonderful shelter dogs already looking for homes. Look into the eyes of the lonely and scared animals in need of homes. Talk with shelter employees who love animals only to have to euthanize them. 171,191 animals entered Canadian shelters in 2007 and half were euthanized!

If only responsible breeders bred their dogs, fewer animals would end up in shelters and rescue organizations.

Please choose to be a responsible breeder or spay and neuter your pet.

Read more at:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Speaking without saying a word

Meet little Buddy. Right now, he’s releasing stress and telling you to chill out.

Dogs use calming signals all the time. Some people are more natural around dogs than others – these people are unconsciously doing the right things to talk dog. They look or turn away, blink, lick lips and yawn. They also avoid specific things like straight-on frontal contact and direct staring.

Next time you meet a dog, try out some nifty dog body language and notice their positive reaction.

Learn more about calming signals at: