PAWSIBLE TAILS (TALES) Dog Trivia, Dog Care, and Training tips!
Who Are We??
Our goal is to simply share some of our knowledge and experience as working parents and pet experts who understand that our relationships with our pets can impact and change our lives. We want to offer advice on dog care and training. How to raise a dog, dog facts, etc...
Why is your dog licking his/her Paws??
- PawsibleTails Dog Care and Training tips
Why do some dogs lick or chew their paws? There are several reasons so let's list them first and see what is your dog's reason. Paw licking and chewing is a serious condition that should be stopped or prevented and not allowed to persist.....
Can You Save a Pet's Life?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Please read the article below, especially now that the winter months are upon us.
If you think you could never "get involved" and take action to save a dog/cat/etc., read what happened to me, right on my street. There was a dog a couple houses down from me who kept getting away from her house and escaping down the street. I would guess that for about 6 months I brought that dog home at least twice a week. Eventually, one of the times I brought the dog home, the owners were not there so I just went into the backyard. To make a long story short, I came to realize that the dog lived outside and never went in the house. The place she had to sleep was wide open with no clear spot to get comfortable (no bed) and really no protection from the cold, rain, and sun. This went on for a while until it was December and starting to get really, really cold. I kept checking and seeing that, no matter the weather, the dog was outside. Finally, I had had it. The next time she got loose, I brought her into my house, told the owners I was going to give her a bath (I'm a dog groomer), and that I couldn't return her that day because it was too cold -- but that they could come get her the next day. I knew what would happen, and it did. THEY NEVER CAME. "Black Dog," as we called her, stayed with us for a bit, and then my niece "adopted" her. "Black Dog" then ended up with my sister and brother in-law. Needless to say, she ended up with an awesome life with a lot of love. This story is especially poignant for me today because Kayla, as she was called by her family, died today. It is a sad day, but I know she was happy and well-loved. And isn't that the way every pet should be treated?
Sunbear Squad Tip Of The Week
Posted: 16 Nov 2009 06:05 AM PST
Thank you to our friends at Sunbear Squad for teaching us how to be good Samaritans for animals.
Watch Tip Week of Nov. 15:
Watch for collars, chains, dog houses, and kennels that are too short or small for growing puppies. Call the authorities!
Below is a story sent to Sunbear Squad showing the importance of this week’s tip.
Who needs to spend good money on a dog collar when you have a piece of barbed-wire?
A reader sent me a story last week about a Great Dane female rescued with a barbed-wire collar embedded in her neck. A “backyard” breeder in Portage, Wisconsin kept her in an old garage. The breeder didn’t need a real collar because he never let her out of that garage. He wrapped her neck in barbed wire when she was young. She grew up into an adult and that collar grew into her like a wire grows into a tree trunk. She was bred, and she and her puppies lived amid feces and urine, never seeing the sun or smelling the clean wind. After her puppies were sold one by one, she lived alone in that dark, putrid hell with open, infected wounds on her neck caused by that too-small barbed-wire collar. Surgery was required to get the wire and cruel barbs out of her living neck tissues. Thankfully she is now cherished in a loving home. But she will always have scars and sensitive spots around her neck.
Please WATCH and LISTEN for the hidden victims of cruelty like this poor mama dog. Always be alert. In this case, neighbors might have heard loud barking from that garage when vehicles approached the house, or perhaps heard puppies yelping in play from time to time. Odors of feces and urine may have carried into the neighborhood when the wind was right. Neighbors may have even spotted someone carrying a stinky puppy or two from the garage into the house to wash before a showing.
What do you think are reasonable standards of care for animals?
Dog Bloat-A Silent Killer
I have a routine. I make my coffee, take the kids to the bus, come home and feed my four large dogs about 3-4 cups of food (Wellness dry with some wet mixed in). Then we immediately jump in my truck and go to the park for some crazy playtime. And they run, and they chase balls, and they run some more. And I feel like the greatest dog mom on the planet.
Turns out, I'm not.
Ever hear of dog bloat? I have, but I've ignored it. I know it causes an excruciatingly painful death, and there are several causes, certain warning signs, and possible treatment. But it scares me, so I've ignored it.
But recently I've heard several horror stories about friends' dogs getting bloat and dying, or nearly dying. So I've decided to take my head out of the sand and learn about it, scary as it is.
Bloat is a common name for Torsion and Gastric Dilation-volvulus or GDV. Very basically that means the dog's stomach swells, flips, and causes death. It occurs when an abnormal amount of air, gas, food, and/or fluid expand in the dog's stomach. As the stomach swells, it can twist or flip, cutting off blood flow and trapping the air, food, and water. When this happens, your dog can't burp or vomit to relieve the pressure, and veins in the abdomen are obstructed -- leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.
So, the obvious question: What causes it?
Well, bloat occurs when your dog eats a large amount of food quickly, or drinks a lot of water quickly, and then immediately goes to the park and runs like crazy, chases balls, runs some more, jumps, gulps at tennis balls. Um, yes, exactly what my dogs have been doing. There are several other singular causes of bloat as well, however, such as rapid eating and drinking, an elevated food bowl (yes, I have been elevating their bowls for their dining comfort), heredity, preexisting digestion issues, high-stress situations, eating high-fat food or kibble containing citric acid as a preservative; and eating gas-producing foods such as beans and yeast products.
Now, if you (like me) have provided your dog with some of these risk factors, don't beat yourself up. Simply make some adjustments to your routine and take a few precautions. Feed your dog smaller portions twice a day, rather than a big bowl once a day; give your dog a couple of hours rest after a meal; buy one of those special dog bowls with a protrusion in the center if your dog tends to devour his food without tasting it (I bought one; most pet stores have them. It forces your dog to eat slower); don't allow your dog to drink too much water immediately after exercise; avoid stressful situations if possible; and place the feeding bowl on the floor, rather than on an elevated tray or stairs.
Even if you take those precautions, bloat could still strike your dog, unfortunately. But how will you know? There are definite warning signs. First, your dog will probably start gagging or trying to vomit, often resulting in dry heaves; he might try to tell you through his body language, hunching over, curling up in a ball in corner, walking with a strange, wide stance; he might start licking or biting the air; his abdomen will be swollen; he might be extremely restless and start pacing; his heart rate might race; and he might start foaming at the mouth.
If your dog exhibits these symptoms, there's only one thing to do: Call your vet immediately. Bloat is a medical emergency and the dog must be treated fast or he'll die. If bloat is caught early enough, your vet can treat him - by inserting a tube down his throat to release the gas and relieve pressure, or by performing surgery. The key here is acting quickly.
So who gets bloat? Any dog can get it, but it occurs most frequently in large breeds and those with deep, narrow chests. The breeds commonly affected include bloodhounds, German Shepherds, Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Setters, Dobermans, Weimaraners, and Akitas. But keep in mind that every dog is susceptible if proper precautions aren't made.
Which is why, starting today, I no longer feed my big dogs right before our playtime, I've trashed the elevated dog bowl holder, I've changed to feeding them twice a day instead of once, I watch carefully while they eat and drink, and I now feed them apart from each other to minimize stress. It's the least I can do to keep them healthy and safe. And for my own peace of mind as well.
When a Dog's Jaw Locks on a Toy-Or Worse!
Did you know that the pressure applied by the mouth of the average
dog is 150-200 pounds per square inch, and that 450 pounds
of pressure is applied by some dog's mouth's? I didn't. Until yesterday.
It was a normal morning at the park, and I was using my fetch-it to throw tennis ball bombs for my black lab/Sheppard mix, Chloe. She's usually single-minded and reliable during our game, and always manages to drop the ball between my legs without my having to touch the slobbery, icky black (was yellow) ball. And then she saw it: a bright orange training toy that another dog owner was using with her puppy 200 yards across the field from us. Apparently it called out to her, because he suddenly fled like a rocket in the direction of the toy, leaving me and my dumb fetch-it game behind.
Within seconds her jaws had locked on the poor puppy owner's training toy, and she was proudly prancing around with it. The puppy owner wasn't amused (the puppy was, though). When I finally caught up to them, the puppy owner was sternly yelling "Drop it," Chloe was running in large circles showing off with the toy, and I was standing still, calling Chloe, knowing that chasing her would be futile and embarrassing as well. I knew that once Chloe's jaw locked on something, we had a problem.
Many dog owners can probably relate. When a commanding "Drop it" alone doesn't work, then what?
Well, there's the "trading technique," which works with many dogs, but not all. And not Chloe. Basically, you "trade" something with the dog; while saying "Drop it,'' you show him a nice, smelly piece of hot dog, or liver, or rawhide, and usually he'll drop the item he's been holding and take the treat instead. With some consistent practice, variety of treats, and lots of praise, eventually your dog will drop anything -- from a stranger's training toy to the neighbor's cat -- with a simple "Drop it." Theoretically, anyway.
Other methods? Well, sometimes your dog may have clenched onto something more than a toy -- such as a dangerous bone, another animal, or a human -- and there's no time for games. Dousing the dog with water, using a hose, a bucket, or even a bottle, often works to loosen their grip. But not always. I've heard stories of owners having to shoot the hose into their dog's mouth before he finally let go.
You could also try pinching the dog's snout, basically forcing him to hold his breath until he drops the object and can breathe again. It works sometimes. Again, not always.
Some pit bull owners carry around something called a "break stick" in case they need it to pry open their dog's jaws after it clamps down on an object, animal, or human being. Pit bull education websites recommend that owners carry a break stick in case their dog gets into a fight. I suppose a crow bar, hammer, or even a long screwdriver might work too in a dire situation.
Another method, which I've actually had to use while breaking up a major dog fight, is to jam a finger in the attacking dog's anus. Yes, it's gross, but it worked to unlock the large dog's jaws from the neck of the smaller dog, probably saving the smaller's dog's life. You do what you have to do. Ideally, of course, the "Drop it" trade game is the best and most reliable way to train a dog to let go of objects. But it does take practice. And patience. And time. And most of all, a bag of smelly, sticky, slimy, and delicious dog treats.
With Chloe? Well, the puppy's owner finally got fed up, left her training toy with us, and went home. (Yes, it was embarrassing.) I had given up too. I disappointingly walked toward my truck, angrily telling Chloe and my other dog, Lolly, that their playtime was over. When I got there, I turned around, and there was Chloe next to me, looking up with her huge brown eyes, panting heartily with her long tongue at rest. The training toy had been dropped at my feet.
Author-Janet Simmons Hayes