Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chewy Louie Chicken Jerky

These are my dogs' favorite treats and they each get one as soon as I come home from work. They are so excited that they always hurry up to pee and then come back in and dance around the "treat" cabinet (yes, they have their own cabinet and drawer). The best part about them is this whole bag is about $8, which is pretty affordable when comparing these types of treats. They are also all natural, not too hard to eat and no one has choked and ruined it for the others.

These treats are so good, that even when there are outside distractions (other dogs, kids playing, bunnies or squirrels), they will stop and come running if you yell... "Chickens". Sometimes I trick them, but they know they'll get a treat when that word is shouted. Yes, they are a little spoiled, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Chewy Louie Chicken Jerky... your dogs will love them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sasha is doing much better



We went back for her checkup a day early and everything seems to be much better. She peed in the kitchen again over night, but that's because of the steroids that she was on. Everything should be back to "normal" in a few days.

As for her back problems... that will always be an issue. Since she has never stopped jumping around, it must not bother her too much. I would like to thank everyone for their concerns and positive thoughts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yawn! Lazy Sunday.

Here's a little picture of Mel to get you through your Sunday. We hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sasha doesn't have a tumor


The new X-rays looked much better. It doesn't appear that there is a tumor or cancer anywhere. It is also good that I found out how blocked her intestines were getting, because that could've killed her too. She does still have the back issues, but that is much more manageable. She will have back problems for the rest of her life, but with weight-management and regular vet checks, she should be just fine.

Even though she had to fast for 24 hours and is on a stool softener (plus the usual pumpkin additive), she still has a lot of poop in her intestines. I don't know how that is even possible, but at least it's gone down from Tuesday (she lost a whole pound). She'll need to remain on the softeners for the next several days and go back for a final exam next Tuesday.

Hopefully she will pass the final check with flying colors (and no poop). I'll keep you posted either way. Thanks for all the well wishes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sasha goes back to the vet on Friday



Poor Sasha has to fast for the next 24 hours, which is going to be difficult because she is food crazy! We go for more X-rays tomorrow and hope that there's really not a tumor on her spleen. Four slipped disks aren't really great, but better than a tumor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If it turns out to be a tumor, she'll need to have her spleen removed right away. I'll post more after her appointment tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Potty training your puppy



Potty training a puppy takes patience and consistency. Crate training is best, but you can give them a little more space. It is very important to have a crate big enough to grow with your breed of dog. I also bought an "exercise fence", which is extra long and folds up. They can be purchased at most pet stores or online. Baby gates are also a good purchase. They don't have to be made specifically for dogs because they are really the same thing. I bought three baby gates at Meijer and they were a lot cheaper than buying a "doggie" gate. Once you have the crate and at least one baby gate, you are ready.

The first thing to do is confine your puppy to a small area with an easy to clean floor (which usually means the kitchen, bathroom or any room with a hard surface). The puppy should be kept confined to this area during the night, while you're at work or when you can't keep a watchful eye on them. I don't suggest leaving them in confinement more than needed, because you need to have positive interactions with your dog. They also need to be social at a young age to avoid aggressive behavior later. Make sure the crate has something soft to lay on (I use fluffy bathroom rugs), plenty of water and a favorite toy to play with. A bored dog is a destructive dog!

The next you need to do is get them on a schedule. Dogs love structure and need this more than anything. Always take the dog out as soon as you get up in the morning, after feedings, as soon as you get home from work and right before you go to bed. A puppy may need to go out every 30-60 minutes at first, just to get the hint.

Once you are outside, tell them to go potty, pee pee or whatever word you are planning to use for that. It needs to be the same word, all the time. Dogs do learn what words mean and mine can even spell. As soon as the pee or poop happens, shower your dog with tons of praise. Acting really excited, talking in a higher voice and jumping around like a "fool" can help them understand your excitement. Always say, "good pee pee" (or whatever word you're using) and I do mean EVERY time. Carrying around small treats certainly can add to their positive experience.

You must stick with a routine or you won't get the results you're looking for. I also don't suggest teaching them to pee on anything in the house. I trained my first dog to go in a "doggy litter box" that I kept a "pooch pad" in front of. The big problem was, when we moved, there was no longer a good spot for that. Since she was going out side like a normal dog, I didn't worry about having it out. Now, my throw rugs get used in emergencies because she thinks they're "pooch pads".

Never ever rub your dogs' nose in it. By the time you find the mistake, it is too late. Punishing them after the fact is confusing and they don't know why you're mad. You can only scold (use a deep and serious voice) them when they are being caught in the act.

Keep to the schedule and routine, then before you know it, they are fully trained. These tips can apply to any age dog.

Buffalo Blue treats... Mmm Mmm, Good

I was at PetSmart a few weeks ago and found these treats on sale. A decent size bag for $4.69. While not as good of a bargain as the old Milkbone standby, I thought I would "treat" them to something new. I'm always on the lookout for treats that my dogs will like and that they are allowed to eat. I say allowed, because some have been banned due someone eating too fast and choking.

My dogs are always VERY excited about new things, whether it's food or toys. I open up the bag and they can hardly contain themselves. Sasha is jumping up and down, Cercei is about to wag her tail right off and Mel is running around like crazy. "Hurry Up" seems to be the message they are sending me. I open up the bag and these things are HUGE! Think of a dollar bill that is folded in half. No way are they getting a whole one to themselves! Once I was able to break a few pieces off, they were allowed to have some. These treats were a big hit. If I even mentioned the name "Buffalo Blue", they would go crazy.

If you are looking for a healthy treat, made with natural ingredients, try these Health Bars. They also carry regular food for dogs and cats. For more info, please visit their website at www.bluebuff.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sasha has some issues



I took Sasha to the vet today because she's been acting sick. She doesn't want to eat her breakfast about every third day and then vomits 30 min. later. Sometimes she has bathroom issues and I discovered that she had peed on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night. I found this strange because Sasha doesn't have accidents like that and the two little ones have been wearing "diapers" overnight.

X-rays were taken, blood work was done and a total health evaluation performed. She has several issues. First of all, she is constipated so bad that it's pushing on everything. This also is creating gas pockets and pressure on her bladder, which explains the pee accidents. The second issue is the fact that she is in pain (even though she's not showing it) and about four of her vertebrates are in bad shape. The last and most horrible of the problems could be a possible tumor on her spleen. Since she's so constipated, she needs to go back in for more x-rays on Friday, after 24 hours of fasting and several days of stool softeners. Hopefully it turns out to be nothing, but she may need surgery to get her spleen removed.

On the positive side, she's acting totally normal and wants to play. The news is not great, but it seems to be fixable. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

National poison prevention should be every day



Protect your best friend!
Visit the ASPCA for poison prevention tips online. If you own the popular Sago Palm house plant, BEWARE, it's highly toxic to cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA, "Since 2003, the ASPCA has seen an increase by more than 200 percent of sago palm and cycad poisonings, and 50 to 75 percent of those ingestions resulted in fatalities." You can enjoy beautiful plants, just be mindful of what you own and where you place them.


The unthinkable doesn't have to happen, as long as you stay educated and use a little common sense.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

People got a lotta nerve



http://www.anti.com/media/download/708

Click on the link above to download her song.

Training Tip

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Training tip #1 - When training, make sure to use something they can't resist... like a burger.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1st Day of Spring Sale

The Animal Rescue Site is having a first day of spring sale.

One Day Only - Free Spring Orchid Pin with All Orders!

Today only, all orders get a free Classic Spring Orchid Pin!

Your free pin will appear in your shopping cart as you check out. No minimum order required.

When you shop at The Animal Rescue Site store, each item you buy also helps fund food for animals -- at no extra cost to you! The site has a chart that shows bowls of food generated by shopping at The Animal Rescue Site store over the past six months. Your shopping here makes a difference -- thank you for all you do!

Also, don't forget to visit The Animal Rescue Site and "Click to Give". It's a totally FREE way to help.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring officially starts tomorrow!



With spring just a day away, it's time to start planning your garden. Keep in mind that there are some plants that are toxic to your pets. The entire plant may not be poisonous; maybe it's just the stems/leaves, the flower itself or the bulbs. I have a large assortment of plants/ flowers in my own garden and some of them are on this list. As long as your pet doesn't eat any of them, it should be safe. My dogs are never left unsupervised, so the most that happens is that the plants get peed on. They like to help me "water" them.

Here's a list of toxic plants…

Alocasia, Amaryllis, Apricot, Arrowgrass, Avocado, Azalea

Baneberry, Bayonet, Bear Grass, Bird of Paradise, Bittersweet, Black-eyed Susan, Black Locust, Bleeding Heart, Bloodroot, Bluebonnet, Boxwood, Buckeyes, Burning Bush, Buttercup

Cactus, Candelabra, Caladium, Cherry - Domestic and Wild, Cherry-Ground, Cherry. Chinaberry, Christmas Rose, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Cornflower, Corydalis, Crocus, Autumn, Crown of Thorns, Cyclamen

Daffodil, Daphne, Deadly Nightshade, Death Camas, Delphinium, Dicentra, Dumb Cane

Eggplant, Elderberry, Elephant Ear, Euonymus, Evergreen

Ferns, Flax, Four O'clock, Foxglove

Golden Glow, Gopher Purge

Hellebore, Hemlock-Poison, Hemlock-Water, Holly, Horse Beans, Horse Brush, Horse Chestnuts, Hyacinth, Hydrangea

Iris, Ivy

Jack in the Pulpit, Java Beans, Jasmine, Jerusalem Cherry, Jimson Weed, Jonquil, Jungle Trumpets

Lantana, Larkspur, Laurel, Lily, Lily-Spider, Lily of the Valley, Locoweed, Lupine

Marigold, Marijuana, Mistletoe, Mock Orange, Monkshood, Morning Glory, Mushrooms, Mustard

Narcissus (Daffodil), Nightshade

Oleander

Peach, Peony, Philodendron, Pimpernel, Poinciana, Poinsettia, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Pokeweed, Poppy, Potato (especially the green parts), Privet-Common

Rhododendron, Rhubarb Leaves, Rosary Pea, Rubber Plant

Scotch Broom, Skunk Cabbage, Snowdrops, Snow on the Mountain, Staggerweed, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Pea

Tansy, Tobacco, Tomato (leaves, stems, any of the green part)

Virginia Creeper

Weeping Fig, Wild Call, Wisteria

If you feel like your pet has eaten something toxic or been poisoned, call the ASPCA, Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cute and famous

Our little Flickr pals TJ and Teddy made it on CuteOverload.com. Be sure to check it out!

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Fun

Just having a little fun on
St. Patrick's Day.
This is TJ, be sure to
visit his Flickr page
to see more of his
cuteness. He also has a
brother, Teddy, who is
just as adorable.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Irish Ikea is celebrating St Patty's Day!


Irish Wishes


Irish Wishes
Originally uploaded by reneetellezphotography
Have fun, but NEVER give your dog "green" beer. Alcoholic beverages are toxic to pets and should NEVER be given to them.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Playtime

Winter is not over, but it's not quite spring. Cold, wet weather doesn't have be boring. Having plenty of toys and games can make the "winter blues" go away. Having fun with your furry friend doesn't just help your dog(s) burn energy, it also can lift your spirit.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

It only takes one free click a day

The Animal Rescue Site is a free way to help animals in need. A daily click gives .6 bowls of food to rescued animals. That's all it takes, just the time it takes to visit their website and click on the big purple button. No strings attached, no money to spend. Other free ways to help include sending an E-card, signing up and linking to the site. You can also help buy visiting their sponsors, who have many great services and unique items for sale.

You may also be interested in helping people for free. You can get to the other help sites through the Animal Rescue Site. The other sites help the following causes: Hunger, Breast Cancer, Child Health, Literacy and the Rainforest. In less than one minute, you can help six different charities for FREE. You can't beat FREE!!! Take the time and click today (and everyday).



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Itchy Ears

Does the weather changes make your dog act crazy? Are their ears constantly itching? Whether it's from food allergies, seasonal changes or just plain old dirty ears, I've seen it all.

A really great product, that helps relieve the ear itch or great for cleaning ears, is NaturVet Ear Wash with TEA TREE OIL. I bought it a few years ago at a small pet store in my area (check your local pet supply store). It lasts a really long time and is fairly inexpensive. It is also available online at Amazon, as well as at many other dealers

It's all natural and can be used on dogs AND cats. You just squirt a few drops in, cover the ear with your hand or a cloth and that's really all you have to do. It says to use a tissue to wipe out any debris, but as soon as you let go they are going to shake their head and take off running. Save the wiping part for a later time. It's also very gentle, which is comforting.

Clean, itch free ears = a happy dog (or cat).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In honor of Ghenghis Khan, Martha Stewart's chow

Martha Stewart lost one of her beloved Chows, Ghenghis Khan, in a tragic propane explosion that caused a kennel to go up in flames and kill 17 of the dogs there. In honor of her precious pup, please visit her website, marthastewart.com

Here's one of the many awesome things you can find there:
Click on this link for instructions – No-Sew Fabric Pet Portrait

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lazy rainy day


Lazy Mel
Originally uploaded by reneetellezphotography
We've got spring fever and wish it would hurry up and get here. Just when it started getting warm enough to venture out into the neighborhood, the rain came...

Rain is still better than snow!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Still having tummy troubles?

If you've tried the bland diet and yogurt, but your dog still has the upset tummy blues, see your vet. There are two prescriptions that our doctor gives us that work wonders.

The first medication is Gastricalm chewable tablets. You give this twice a day (for small dogs 1/2 tab, but dosage will be specified) This coats the stomach and makes them feel better fairly quickly. In the past, an emergency animal center told me on two separate occasions to give half a tablet of Pepto Bismol to my small Pomeranian. NEVER do this! Pepto Bismol contains aspirin, which is poisonous to dogs.

The second medication comes in a dual package. It's called PROVIABLE – KP is a paste and DC are capsules that go with it. This stuff is awesome. It's a multi-strain probiotic , paste helps firm stools and capsules help get the intestinal balance back. This is yogurt times a million!

I've used both of these products on several occasions, with fantastic results each time. Besides being wonderful products, they are very affordable too.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Doggie Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray cookie sheet(s) with cooking spray.

Things you'll need:
2 (4 oz.) jars baby food (make sure they don't contain onions or raisins).
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (or a tad less) cups of whole wheat flour


Step 1. Beat baby food, eggs and salt together in a large bowl.
Step 2. Stir in flour until dough comes together (I didn't use the entire three cups)


Step 3. Roll dough out onto a flat surface (your table or counter top is fine, but I used a large cutting board, to cut down on the mess).


Step 4. You can choose to roll little balls with your hands, cut out with a knife or use cute little cookie cutters. Since I don't have any bone shaped ones, I used little teddy bears.



Step 5. Place the cookies balls or cut-outs onto your sprayed cookie sheets. Depending on the thickness of your cookies, bake for 20 min. for thin and 35-40 min. for thick.


Step 6. Remove and cool thoroughly on wire racks (or paper towels, if you don't have the racks). Once cool, store in an airtight container. Keep at room temp. for those that will be used within the week, and store the rest in the freezer until ready to use. (Make sure the frozen cookies are thawed before giving them to Fido, to prevent tooth chips or breakage).




I hope your dog loves them as much as mine do! Not only will they love them, you'll know exactly what's in them.

For more recipes, visit Recipezaar.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Top 10 Pet Poisons, by the ASPCA

With various dangers lurking in corners and cabinets, the home can be a minefield of poisons for our pets. In 2008, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which included everyday household products. Don’t leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep themselves safe. Below is a list of the top ten pet poisons that affected our furry friends in 2008.

Human Medications
For several years, human medications have been number one on the ASPCA’s list of common hazards, and 2008 was no exception. Last year, the ASPCA managed more than 50,000 calls involving prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up medications accidentally dropped on the floor, so it’s essential to keep meds tucked away in hard-to-reach cabinets.

Insecticides
In our effort to battle home invasions of unwelcome pests, we often unwittingly put our pets at risk. In 2008, our toxicologists fielded more than 31,000 calls related to insecticides. One of the most common incidents involved the misuse of flea and tick products—such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. Thus, it’s always important to talk to your pet’s veterinarian before beginning any flea and tick control program.

People Food
People food like grapes, raisins, avocado and certain citrus fruit can seriously harm our furry friends, and accounted for more than 15,000 cases in 2008. One of the worst offenders—chocolate—contains large amounts of methylxanthines, which, if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.

Rodenticides
Last year, the ASPCA received approximately 8,000 calls about pets who had accidentally ingested rat and mouse poisons. Many baits used to attract rodents contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to pets as well. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestions can lead to potentially life-threatening problems for pets, including bleeding, seizures and kidney damage.

Veterinary Medications
Even though veterinary medications are intended for pets, they’re often misapplied or improperly dispensed by well-meaning pet parents. In 2008, the ASPCA managed nearly 8,000 cases involving animal-related preparations such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heartworm preventatives, de-wormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements.

Plants
Common houseplants were the subject of nearly 8,000 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center in 2008. Varieties such as azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera are often found in homes and can be harmful to pets. Lilies are especially toxic to cats, and can cause life-threatening kidney failure even in small amounts.

Chemical Hazards
In 2008, the Animal Poison Control Center handled approximately 5,500 cases of pet exposure to chemical hazards. A category on the rise, chemical hazards—found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals—form a substantial danger to pets. Substances in this group can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, respiratory difficulties and chemical burns.

Household Cleaners
Everybody knows that household cleaning supplies can be toxic to adults and children, but few take precautions to protect their pets from common agents such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants. Last year, the ASPCA received more than 3,200 calls related to household cleaners. These products, when inhaled by our furry friends, can cause serious gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the respiratory tract.

Heavy Metals
It’s not too much loud music that constitutes our next pet poison offender. Instead, it’s heavy metals such as lead, zinc and mercury, which accounted for more than 3,000 cases of pet poisonings in 2008. Lead is especially pernicious, and pets are exposed to it through many sources, including consumer products, paint chips, linoleum, and lead dust produced when surfaces in older homes are scraped or sanded.

Fertilizer
It may keep your grass green, but certain types of fertilizer can cause problems for outdoor cats and dogs. Last year, the ASPCA fielded more than 2,000 calls related to fertilizer exposure. Prevention is really key to avoiding accidental exposure, but if you suspect your pet has ingested something lawn-side, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Information from the ASPCA, please visit their website for more information.
We are supporters of the ASPCA, click here to donate today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Big Smiles from Sasha


Big Smiles
Originally uploaded by reneetellezphotography
Nothing makes you feel better than a big doggy smile!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Room-by-Room Pet-Proofing

Kitchens/Bathrooms
• Put childproof latches on cabinets
• Store laundry and cleaning products on high shelves
• Cover trash cans
• Close or lock toilet lids

Bedrooms
• Keep laundry, clothes and shoes in closed closets
• Clear nightstands (especially of medications)
• Hide cords and electrical wires

Living Room/Den
• Put away toys and games
• Store breakable knickknacks until pet is older
• Check if houseplants are toxic to pets
• Cover heating and air vents
• Store craft and sewing materials

Garage/Yard
• Keep pet out of yard for 24 hours after using pest control or fertilizer
• Clean up antifreeze—it's lethal
• Bang on car hood to ensure cat is not hiding under the car
• Secure sharp tools, nails and tacks

These useful tips from right@home.

We don't personally use fertilizer at all and try to make sure that any potentially harmful chemicals are behind closed doors (that they can't open). We really try to use pet friendly products as much as possible and make sure all places that they can reach are safe. Read the labels, is the best advice on finding which chemicals are safe and which are not and chances are they aren't safe for humans either.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dog toys don't have to be expensive

Dog toys at the pet store are cute and fun, but usually end up as stuffing bits all over the house. My dogs have a ton of toys, and none of them cost more than $5.

Sales are a great place to start and most pet stores have a clearance bin. Pet Supplies Plus, PetSmart, Petco and many on-line dealers usually have great toys at discounted prices, you just need to shop around. Meijer and Target also have $2, $3, $4 and $5 bins. I've also found some great items at Dollar Tree, but it's hit or miss. When I find something cool there, I get several at a time.

One place that people don't usually think to look is at your second hand stores, like Value World and the Salvation Army. Most carry used kids' toys, so I search for the perfect sized stuffed animal, and it usually only costs .25¢ or .50¢. Just keep safety in mind when shopping. You'll want to look the toy over thoroughly for any holes, loose pieces that your dog could swallow and you never want any beanbag items (stuffing ONLY). It's basically the same you would do when buying baby toys, because they both put everything in their mouth, so watch for any choking hazards.

My dogs love stuffed animals and small tennis balls. They don't care where it came from, how much it cost or what brand it is. All they care about is the FUN!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Small, Sweet & Hard Working - Pomeranians

Pomeranians are one of the smallest dog breeds, and are extremely lively and devoted dogs. They are highly intelligent, eager to learn, and love to work. Poms are a happy and relatively friendly breed, but they are known to be temperamental at times.

The Pomeranian has a natural bold and willful nature. They have an attitude that is much larger than their size and are very independent. Pomeranians make excellent companions, and are the perfect addition to any family when trained properly.

History of Pomeranians
Pomeranians first appeared in the once Prussian region of Pomerania, which is now recognized as Germany and Poland. They are the descendents of ancient sled dogs from Lapland and Iceland known as the Spitz breed. At first Poms were larger in size and were used to herd sheep. They were later bred to a smaller size in Pomerania, which is also where the breed received their name.

Pomeranians didn’t become a popular breed until one dog was brought to England in 1888 and was presented as a gift to Queen Victoria. Due to the Queen’s popularity, it wasn’t long before owning a Pomeranian was considered high fashion among the court.

With their popularity well established in England, Pomeranians were brought to America during the early 20 th century, and quickly became a hit. However, the dogs that were held with such esteem in England and America during this time, did not look like the Poms so many dog owners have come to know and love today. Pomeranians of the past had less puffy coats, larger ears and bones, and weighed just under 6 pounds.

Aside from having a history of being cute, fashionable dogs with plenty of personality, Pomeranians have also been used for other purposes than simply as a gift to the Queen. For instance, Poms are celebrated for their intelligence and hard work. They were, and still are often used for:
* Search and rescue – When the assistance of a small dog is needed to search for survivors, such as in an earthquake.
* Hearing assistance
* Therapy for the ill and elderly – Poms are often brought into nursing homes to cheer up the patients.

Currently, Pomeranians are still one of the most popular toy breeds today.

Pomeranians
Like many of the Toy breeds, Pomeranians have plenty of energy and are not afraid to use it. They are not the type of dog to laze around, and enjoy staying active whenever they can. Therefore, regardless of where you live, Poms will find ways to get the exercise they need, as they are extremely active indoors. Thus, even if you live in an apartment, or are unable to provide the dog with plenty of outside exercise, the dog will not suffer from this. That being said, you should still make it an effort to take your Pom outside whenever you can, as he does enjoy long walks.

The Pomeranian is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. He stands 8 – 11 inches at the shoulder, and weighs only 3 – 7 pounds. His physical characteristics make him susceptible to injury. For this reason, it is important that children are taught how to properly play with the dog, and that everyone in the family is conscious of where the dog is at all times, as he can be easily stepped or sat on.

Furthermore, although Pomeranians don’t mind children, they are tempermental and can easily become overwhelmed if very young children pay them too much attention. This attention may make the dog nervous and cause him to become snappy.

Aside from children, Poms are known to get along well with other pets, especially their fellow canines. However, should a Pom feel threatened by a larger dog, they won’t think twice about attacking and defending themselves or their owner, as they are not aware of their own size. Therefore, it’s your job to keep your Pom out of danger and trouble. This can easily be done through proper training, which will give you the right control over the dog.

Speaking of training, the Pom is a quick learner. That being said, it is imperative that the Pomeranian is taught that their owner is boss. If you let a Pomeranian walk all over you, he’ll no longer listen to you, and become extremely possessive and demanding of you. In addition, a Pomeranian should also be well socialized, or he could become suspicious or show aggression towards strangers.

Pomeranians love to bark, which makes them excellent watchdogs. On the other hand, if you let the barking get out of control, it won’t be long before the barking wears your patience.

Poms have a long double coat that requires frequent brushing (every day). They do shed their undercoat twice a year, so expect tufts of fur scattered around your home during shedding season. The coat should be given a dry shampoo only when it is needed.

Pomeranians live an average of 12 – 16 years. They are prone to heart, skin, knee and eye problems. They are also prone to early tooth loss which is common among many of the Toy breeds. They should be fed dry food to help keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Pomeranians are ideal for first time dog owners, as they are easy to care for, and easy to love. Just remember you need to make sure the Pom knows who’s boss, and be constantly conscious of his presence.

Photo by me, but information from Pomeranian Savvy. Please visit their website for more fun Pomeranian facts.

If you would like to have one of these great little companians, find a private breeder, rescue group or shelter. Never buy a dog from a pet store (unless it's an adoption event), because you may not get the healthiest dog and could be supporting puppy mills.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Proper Feeding

"Free" feeding encourages picky eating and stealing (in a multiple dog family). Leaving food out can also attract unwanted visitors, like rodents and other unwanted pests.

Dogs like routine even more than people. Feeding your dog twice a day, at a scheduled time, is important for their overall digestive and emotional health.

It is also very important to know how much your dog is eating. Overeating can be dangerous and bad for the waistline. Having a fit and trim dog helps prevent heart health issues, as well as making it easier on their joints. Don't follow the "recommended" amount listed on the bag/can of food. Every dog needs a different amount of food, depending on activity amount, temperature, size and age. Talk to your veterinarian to see what they suggest.