How Do I Know If My Dog Has Allergies?

Sneezing, watery eyes, nose dripping and itchy skin. Yup, sounds like allergies. Just like humans, dogs can have allergies too. Also, like the 2-legged mammal, allergies can show up at any stage of your pet’s life even if they did not exhibit signs of an allergic reaction before. But how do you know for certain it is allergies and not something more serious? It’s not like your best bud can say, “The ragweed is really bad this year! I can barely stand it.”

Rule of Thumb – Two Main Types of Allergies

1) Food

2) Outdoor Allergens.

What’s the Difference?

Food allergies will show up year-round. Environmental allergies typically occur during the change of seasons. However, in areas with mild winters, it can be confusing to tell the difference. But don’t fret! There are still ways you can get to the bottom of your babies ailments and solve the problem.

Signs Your Pet Has Allergies

Skin. Even though we all get allergies, pets typically show signs of it through their skin. Inflammation, intense itching, and skin irritation resulting in hot spots or welts will occur when your pooch is suffering.

Ears. In addition, a pet that is having a horrible skin reaction will tend to have a irritation in their ears as well. (Poor babies can’t catch a break!) You will see (and smell) the signs of an overproduction of bacteria and/or yeast in the ear canal. Your pet will scratch her ears, rub her ears/side of head on carpets and furniture and shake her head, sometimes violently because of the pain. Simply flipping the ear flap over and peering inside, you will see a puffy ear canal that is sometimes filled with infectious fluid. There may be spots of blood as well from your baby pawing the swollen ear.

Feet. Seasonal allergies can do a number on dogs’ feet and pads. If you see your pet constantly licking and chewing their feet, you might want to check for allergies.

Respiratory. Experts say that you may not see as many respiratory problems, however, any experienced pet care professional will tell you that they have seen multiple cases of red, puffy and watery eyes, running nose and a cough. Your pet may also feel a little warmer than normal.

Keeping Track and Talking to Your Vet

When in doubt with any health concerns with your pet, please visit your local veterinarian. They are your best resource into your fur-babies well-being. They can conduct an allergy test that can correctly identify what is affecting your best friend negatively. But I always feel that it is best to be prepared and be a voice for your pet.

Get a Doggie Calendar

Exclusively just for your pet, buy a monthly calendar that you can track and record your pet’s behavior, sleeping patterns, eating habits and any of the above allergy signs. By tracking yearly when your pet is uncomfortable, and monitoring the daily news for outdoor allergens, you can have an idea of what ails your best friend. You can take this information with you to your vet to assist with prognosis and treatment.

Treatments and Precautions

To help your beloved best fight allergies, start with the right food. A healthy diet will better your bud’s immune system, which in turn, will lessen the aggravation of allergies.

Skin Issues: Weekly medicated baths will help soothe their itchy, irritated skin. You

Abby the Labradoodle

Labradoodles are wonderful family dogs. They are great for the first time pet owner. They are friendly, intelligent, and do well with children and other dogs. They are easy to train, easy care, and make good watch dogs.

Description: Labradoodles are Hybrid Dogs that are a cross between a poodle and a Labrador. They come in various sizes depending upon the size and characteristics of the parents, the lab and the poodle. Their coloring may be black, brown, cream, gray, silver, white, or yellow, again depending upon the color of the parents. There are also miniature Labradoodles for those looking for a smaller dog.

Health: Labradoodles are generally quite healthy. They are prone to hip dysplasia and genetic eye problems depending upon their parents’ genetics. That is why it is so important to get your labradoodle from a reputable dog breeder. Be sure to read the ingredients label when buying dog food. The primary protein should be from a quality animal source, preferably, chicken. Grains such as soy, corn and wheat gluten can be hard to digest and may cause possible allergic reactions. It is not natural for dogs to eat grain, so grains should not be included in the dog food you buy over the counter. Remember, never feed people food to dogs, especially food with a lot of seasoning.

Care: Labradoodles should be brushed at least a couple times a week, with regular grooming every 8 to 12 weeks including ear cleaning, nail clipping, and teeth brushing. Usually there is little shedding with a Labradoodle, however, if it has more characteristics of the lab rather than the poodle, it will have a tendency to shed.

Exercise: Labradoodles are highly energetic so they need to have a regular exercise routine of 30 to 60 minutes every day. Due to their high energy, they may become destructive if they become bored and do not receive the needed daily exercise. Exercising the dog is not only a healthy for the dog, but is also healthy for the pet owner. Walking a dog can be a very enjoyable and relaxing experience.

Training: Labradoodles are very intelligent and are usually easy to train. They like to please their owner so they are inclined to listen to commands with fewer repetitions for obeying specific instructions. They also make good watch dogs. They will bark and alert their owners if an unknown intruder enters their area.

If it is time to own a pet, remember these important facts: Check the local or online Pet Adoption Centers first. There are thousands of pets needing adoption every day; If you are unable to find your perfect pet at the Adoption Center, then begin to conduct research and find a reputable pet breeder from whom to buy a pet. Do not buy from a puppy mill; Always spay and/or neuter the pet; and Be sure to devote quality love, time and attention to care for the pet.

FYI: For those who want to help find homes for pets that need adoption, go online and view profiles of pets who need adoption. Then share the profiles via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Email. Perhaps there is someone within a social network who is in need of a pet and is ready to adopt

Animals are wonderful companions. Whether it is a cat or a dog, they can

Importance of Socializing Your Canine Companion

Socializing your canine companion with people and other canines is very important. It is best to start socializing as young as possible. In doing so, it can help prevent certain aggression problems later on.

A friend of mine Jen; has owned her dog Diesel, since he was 11 weeks old and he is now 12 years of age. Diesel was socialized as a pup but only to a few other dogs, so as he got older he showed more aggression towards dogs he was unfamiliar with. Diesel also had some aggression towards people, but only when they were walking or moving away from him. He would be the dog to bite you on your way out the door not as you were coming in. When Diesel would act afraid of something; say a sign on the side of the road, Jen would pick him up, instead of encouraging him to approach the sign. Now, in Diesel’s mind, the sign is something to be afraid of. Think of a child falling down and scraping its knee, the bigger the fuss, the more the knee hurts, the more the child cries.

When Diesel was about 7, I introduced Jen to Mark, a friend and dog trainer who has helped me out a lot in the past. Mark started working with Jen and Diesel by having Jen join his dog walking club so she could start socializing Diesel with other dogs and people. Jen started out on the walks about 20 feet behind the group, but within a few weeks she was walking side by side with a select few. Within a couple of years Jen and Diesel were walking with everyone and every dog in the group. People in the dog walking in the club can now walk up to pet Diesel and he wants them to pet him instead of trying to bite them. She can even take him to the dog park now.

If Jen had started socializing Diesel at an earlier age the aggression more than likely would not have developed so strong. I say this do to the fact that Diesel has changed and can be with other dogs now and wants to be with other dogs. Instead of wanting to bite them or attack them he wants to play with them. Instead of trying to bite people, he now wants people to pet him. Diesel actually wants to go up to people as he walks by them now, where before he was ready to lunge and attack. I am not saying that Diesel is never going to show aggression, that potential is there, but it is more manageable now and more controlled on both Diesel’s part and Jen’s part.

Take the time to socialize your companion and allow your companion to be the best companion he/ she can be. Take advantage of every opportunity you can in socializing your new companion. Take them to the park, or the pet store; since most pet stores allow you to bring your pet in these days and just walk around encouraging your companion to meet and greet the proper way. Joining a dog walking club is another great option, if there is one nearby.

What It Means to Be Passionate About Something?

Are you passionate about animal rights? Or animal welfare? Please read below for information about some of the abuses toward animals.

During Yulin festival, dogs and cats are stolen from their homes and off the streets. They are then thrown into cages that should hold one or two animals. However, they are piled on top of one another.

They are mistreated right from the beginning. They are terrified because they do not know what they did, why they are in there or where they are being taken.

I saw a picture of one puppy who wanted some attention – as they do. He did get a little pat on the head just minutes before he was skinned alive.

The people performing these cruel acts to dogs and cats seem to be having fun. How could that be? Are they so hardened from doing this for so long? No, the answer is worse than that.

These dogs and cats are then placed and held in boiling water to cook.

Over the course of the 3-day festival, 10,000 dogs and cats are tortured, skinned, boiled and eaten.

The reason they are tortured so badly is because some of these human species animals believe that if the animals are made to be terrified their meat will taste better.

Yulin is not the only festival like this. In South Korea, there is another festival over three different days. This one is called Bok-Nal and is just as horrific for these animals.

Sadly, abuse happens to dogs and cats all over the world. From puppy and kitten mills to their owners. Yes, the same people who are supposed to protect and care for them also abuse animals.

I read an article about how someone used their cat as target practice with his bow and arrow. The arrow went through the cat’s torso. Luckily, no organs were damaged and the fur baby is all right now but suffers from nightmares and has to be reassured.

Dogs may be the most abused animals with Pit Bulls being at the top of that list. They suffer more than any other dog. They are subjected to blood sports, both as fighters and bait. They are used as weapons in inner cities to attack people. From my experience with Pit Bulls, all they want is love. They are not natural fighters.

Sure, if they feel threatened, they will attack as would any other living breathing animal, humans included.

Pit Bulls are also the least likely to be adopted if they find themselves in a shelter. They are also banned in some countries and shot or euthanised by injection on sight.

Why do people continue to abuse animals? Does it make them feel stronger, more powerful? To me, anyone that can hurt an animal, any animal, in any way, is a coward, pure and simple.

Please help to keep the conversation going. Get the word out about animal abuse. Let’s help begin the process of stopping the abuse today!

If you wish to help in other ways, visit my donation page and give to animals in need.

What You Should Know About Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Why do dogs have separation anxiety?

There are several events that can trigger separation anxiety in dogs. Those that are given up by their previous families and placed in shelters often exhibit this behavioral problem. This is also the case for dogs whose families have moved to a new home and those that have lost a human family member (either because of death or moving away).

Dogs whose owners change their schedule can also experience separation anxiety. For example, if you used to work at home but then get a new job in an office, your dog might get anxious when you leave for work since he’s used to having you at home the whole day.

Separation anxiety versus simulated anxiety

Just because you have a seemingly sad dog doesn’t mean he’s automatically going through separation anxiety. He might be experiencing simulated anxiety, which has similar symptoms with the former but is actually a type of learned dog behavior.

Simulated anxiety happens when the dog mainly wants to get his owners’ attention. For instance, if your dog frequently jumps on you, you might push him away to show that you don’t like his behavior. But, while the action might have a negative connotation on you, your dog might actually interpret it as positive since he got you to notice him. As a result, he’ll develop the habit of jumping on you when he wants your attention.

So how do you tell if your sad dog has simulated anxiety or true separation anxiety? Well, if your dog has the former, he’ll usually exhibit negative behavior most of the time; if he has the latter, he’ll usually behave badly only when you’re out of the house.

Signs of separation anxiety

Different dogs exhibit different behaviors, but there are several common signs that you should look out for. These include:

• Howling
• Excessive barking
• Pacing in a circular pattern or a straight line
• Digging (particularly in points of exit like doors and windows), sometimes in an attempt to escape
• Chewing on objects other than his toys, or excessively chewing to the point of destroying his toys
• Urinating or defecating, with some dogs even exhibiting coprophagia (eating their excrement)

How to reduce or eliminate separation anxiety

One of the first things you should do is to remove leaving and arriving cues (such as fussing over your dog when you get in the door). Acting like going to work and coming home are a big deal can actually make your dog more anxious, so go through your routine quietly and act like it’s a normal part of the day that your pet should get used to.

If your dog has mild separation anxiety, you can calm him down by giving him an activity toy that’s filled with delicious treats when you leave. This can distract him from your departure since his attention will be focused on extracting his snacks from the toy. It will also make him associate his alone time with a positive experience (i.e. enjoying yummy snacks).

Working Dogs – The Border Collies

Border Collies are energetic dogs that want to work. They were originally bred to work sheep and are happiest when they are working. They are known for staring at the sheep to intimidate.

They are especially good ranch dogs for herding cattle. They are often used at rodeos during the bull riding events to help herd the bull back into the shoot. They take on the massive bulls by nipping at the heels. They are quick and agile so they can quickly get out of the way of the bull’s head and horns.

They have been used to chase wild birds, such as Canadian Geese off small airport runways and golf courses.

Description: Medium sized dogs that come in a variety of colors. Although most are black and white. They have a double coat of fur so shedding is a problem. I know this from my personal experience. My daughter has a Border Collie and is constantly picking up dog fur.

Intelligence: Very intelligent. They are known to be the most intelligent dogs. They learn commands very quickly and are quite easy to train. They are very loyal and protective of their owners. I have known one that sat outside and guarded his owner’s boots all day until the owner returned home. They do make good guard dogs.

Exercise: They can be very demanding dogs that need a lot exercise and mental stimulation. They do not make good dogs for apartment living because they need room to roam and work. They can be quite destructive if not given the needed attention and exercise.

Health and Grooming: Generally pretty healthy, especially if you get them from a reputable breeder. It is best to use a high quality dry pet food made of natural products and grain free. It toenails clipped, teeth and ears checked. They should be brushed at least once a week to help prevent matting of their fur and also to help control the shedding problem.

If you are in need of a good working dog and have lots of room for them to run and exercise, then the Border Collie is the dog for you. They are loyal, smart, and like to work. Conduct your research and make sure you find a reputable breeder from whom to buy your dog.

If you have a local Humane Society, it is best to check with them to see if they have a Border Collie that fits your needs. You may also go online to find a one to adopt that needs a good home.

Remember, once you get your Border Collie, be sure to provide appropriate food, shelter, training, and love. They are very loyal and will work for you as well as guard and protect your family.

Keeping Pets Cool in the Summer Heat

As the temperatures soared last week, so did cases of dogs left in hot cars and one poor dog was left to fry on the hottest day of the year!

The RSPCA and other animal welfare charities only recently launched a campaign to highlight the dangers and despite warnings they are still being left!

Let me ask dog owners one question. Have you ever walked barefoot on a hot pavement? If not, please try, since that is what your dog feels each time he is walked in the midday sun!

We have strict guidelines with regard to our pet care services, in that dogs are never exercised during periods of intense heat. They are walked early morning and late evening. When the mercury rises, dogs are encouraged to settle on a stone floor and in the coolest part of the house.

Pet Sitters are always careful to follow these simple procedures.

Damp towels

If your dog does start to show signs of overheating, put a towel under the cold water tap, wringing it out before placing it over your dog. This is an excellent tip for bringing down your dogs temperature as explained by our local veterinarian. Our German Shepherd Dog absolutely loves playing with water, hence we have great fun with the hose on a hot sunny day and placing a paddling pool in the garden will prove to be a real hit with your canine friend.

Cooling mats

These can be purchased quite cheaply and if you do not have stone floors in your kitchen a cooling mat is a great alternative. Just ensure that you buy the correct size for your dog in order that they receive the full benefit.


Like our cats, yours will probably gravitate to a favorite area of the house, so make that area cool by including a fan or air conditioning unit.


Did you know that even your pets can suffer sunburn, especially white dogs and cats and with this comes the increased risk of cancer.

Apply a dog/cat sunscreen and use a quality one. It should be applied to the nose, ears, groin and any area that is normally pink. Many human sunscreens can be toxic to your pet, especially those that contain PABA or zinc oxide, so if in doubt, ask your vet.


Ensure that hutches are removed from full sun and if possible, check them regularly and bring them inside to the coolest area of your house.

Fans can be used, but ensure that it is pulling the cool air in and not blowing against it.

Ensure that their water is changed regularly and the hutches are kept clean. Fly strike is a real problem in rabbits and keeping their area clean is essential.


Make sure that water bowls are filled regularly giving your dogs/cats fresh cold water throughout the day and you can include some ice cubes to keep it cool. We always have a few water bowls around the house, in case one is spilt.

We are lucky enough to have a feature pond in a garden, which is wonderful for the birds in hot weather. You may not have a pond, so why not fill a large bowl with water and watch as the wildlife as they use it to keep cool.

We all look forward to the summer, but the heat can prove fatal to our furry family. Remember to keep