Winter is coming! Is your dog prepared?

October 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s cold outside here in Crown Point and while we remember to bundle ourselves up before going out in the cold we often forget that our pets might not be equipped to handle the cold weather and snow that comes along with it.  Below are some good habits to get into during the winter months to keep your dog safe.

  1. Thoroughly clean and wipe down your dogs feet, legs and tummy after going for walks.  The salt and chemicals that are used to melt snow can be very irritating to a dog’s feet.  A good pair of boots for your dog to wear out in the snow and for winter walking will protect their feet from ice and chemicals.
  2. Make sure dogs have current identification secured to collars and microchips.  Snow can make it difficult for animals to follow scents back home and are more easily lost.  Keep cats indoors.
  3. Fur keeps a dog warm,  if you normally keep their coat short consider letting it grow out a bit to help keep them warmer during cold weather.  Dogs with thin or short coats may need the added help of a sweater or coat during the winter months to stay warm.  Older dogs and dogs suffering from arthritis will also appreciate the extra warmth that a sweater can provide.
  4. Puppies are very sensitive to the cold, if you are housetraining during winter months consider paper training the dog and then transitioning outside when it gets warmer.
  5.  Keep your dogs moving.  It’s easy to let our dogs become couch potatoes in the winter. Many dogs experience muscle atrophy during the winter which can lead to injuries when spring arrives and they are not physically ready to begin running and playing all day.

Leslie Cook

A video Dr Dan took of a client’s dogs walking on a treadmill


Anyone can get their dogs trained to do this. The little Frenchie begs to be on the treadmill several times a day. I know this is a post about safety and these guys are usually hooked up to a safety string that pulls a kill switch that shuts off the treadmill if the dog falls. The owner usually has this on when the treadmill is running faster. However, this was a quick video at a slow pace just to show you a treadmill in action. You can see the dog can hop right up on the treadmill and run up to the front with ease at how slow it is going.

A related post about winter safety in cats –

Fall and Winter Holiday Plant Toxicity in Cats

Flowers and plants add beauty to any holiday, and they make great holiday gifts. But if your family includes pets, you may want to learn which plants are safe and which ones you need to avoid.

THE 10 Best Websites For Dog Lovers

March 15, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

OK So this really is not THE 10 Best Websites For Dog Lovers but rather a difference of opinion to an article on Business Insider with the same title.  I firmly believe there is no such list as the 10 BEST websites. Opinions change,  websites change at a rapid pace, and it is difficult with all the information available out there and with all the websites out there what criteria do you use to say a website  is THE best? So why am I writing this then?

It is blatantly obvious in Evan Britton’s article The 10 Best Websites For  Dog Lovers (click for the article) that the sites he chose are not based on proper research but something else. I am not sure if it is, as some of the commentors wrote, just the paid or sponsored websites that are being mentioned in the list or ignorance. Is it he threw a list together with no research and just put familiar names he knew just so he could promote his own two websites in the list…and what is with that? I know I am very proud of my own website here and I do promote it but to call it one of the top websites for dog lovers is reaching a little and so is Evan.  I don’t know how he formulated his list but in my opinion it is NOT the best list.

So I decided using my own dog knowledge with a slant on what is best for a dog’s health, based on popularity of the passionate dog owners, caretakers and professionals that I interact with, along with finding some of the least biased information I could on the topics Evan suggested in his list, to formulate what I would consider THE 10 Best Websites For Dog Lovers list. Please passionate dog lovers please correct my list in the comments and we can provide an even better list than THE best. :-)

1. Pet Food – OK just giving a store and a big chain at that as your BEST website for dog food? There are some big changes happening in the pet food industry especially with the dog food recalls going on. Many pet owners need more knowledge about pet food and what is best for their dog. Besides there are so many online stores that will ship dog food to your door with the same if not better customer service than PetCo. Not that PetCo is bad just not the best. How about a couple websites telling you which dog food is the best and why?
Dog Food Analysis and Dog Food Scoop. These two sites will help you choose the best kibble for your dog that is if you are not cooking for your dog or feeding raw which would be better for most dogs anyway.

2. Dog Breeders – Not even going to go there.  Full disclosure here – I have a purebred, but for a specific purpose and if you want a purebred for a specific purpose then fine do research and choose an appropriate breeder by going through the appropriate channels which is not going to the website mentioned on Evan’s list! However if you are looking for a family pet and want to really feel good about getting a dog that really needs you check out one of the best websites for dog adoption – Pet Finder

3. Puppy Names – his website was mentioned here. Um – Ok it probably is a fun website but whatever – NOT a 10 best website.

4. Dog Whisperer & 9. Common Dog Problems – Both of the sites he mentions for these categories are single person trainers. One trainer is not the best for everyone. Even though these sites provide a lot of information for helping you, they provide a lot more by purchasing something. Fine everyone needs to make a living, but is Cesar’s Way the best way? Well even Cesar himself will tell you that it is best if you are having behavior problems with your dog to have a trained professional work personally with you to help solve the problem. So why not a website that will provide you the information to search for such a trainer? Purdue University has a dog behavior modification course and provides a list of individuals that have completed the course. Another list of trainers can be found at Truly Dog Friendly, which is a list of trainers that use training methods that are pain free.  Or if you want to do it yourself but can’t decide which method/s to use how about a scientific approach to dog training? Although this website is old (2001) it provides excellent information on training from an educational/scientific standpoint Dr. P’s Dog Training & Behavior. It provides opinions from many different perspectives not just one trainer and one method.

5. Dog Health – He got one right here! But isn’t this where I promote my own website? :-)
Have to admit it, VetInfo is a good solid source of information. With that said, your best source of information about your dog’s health is the veterinarian that is taking care of your dog.

6. Dog Insurance– with all the articles out there bantering back and forth as to whether or not pet insurance is even worth the premiums, I think it is bad form to single out one insurance company as the best. This is especially bad, when you go to the review sites about insurance companies and you find that although the one Evan chose is one of the most popular here in the US, it is not the best as decided by consumers. So now if you do decide that pet insurance is something you want to look into,  how about looking into the choices you have and deciding for yourself which insurance company is right for you – Pet Insurance Review An unbiased look at the options for insurance companies, with customer reviews and ratings.

7. Dog Breeds – OK Dog Breed Info does provide the information on dog breeds but it is not as slick or cool as Animal Planet’s – Dog Breed Directory

8. Labradors – um – his own website I see. Well how about my breedist views – Border Collie ;-)

already did 9 back at 4 since they are basically the same thing.

10. Pet Travel Guides – Another one right! Dog Friendly is a cool website helping dog owners find places while traveling that are dog friendly.

Full disclosure – I do not own or operate any of the sites in this list. :-)

7 Signs that Your Dog Needs to See a Vet

February 24, 2011 by · 16 Comments 

Pet dogs are like family members, but when it comes to illness and disease, they’re like children who cannot talk yet. They know that something is wrong with them, but they’re unable to communicate the problem to you. So if you notice them behaving abnormally and out of character, it’s best to schedule an immediate visit to the vet. Some symptoms may be serious, while others may be temporary hiccups that disappear in a day or two. You can easily tell if your pet needs to see a vet by using the below checklist:

  • General appearance: If your dog seems pale and if there are other marked changes in the way they look, if he/she refuses to eat or drink anything for many hours together, it’s time to take them to your vet. Dogs tend to get dehydrated very quickly, so if they refuse to drink water, treat the situation as an emergency and seek medical help.
  • Physical changes: If your dog seems lethargic and less active than usual, if he/she limps around or shows any signs of pain, if they seem disoriented and are clumsier than usual, or if they show signs of restlessness and discomfort, talk to your vet or take your dog in for a check.
  • Body temperature: The normal body temperature of canines is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. So if a rectal reading shows a temperature outside of this range, call your vet immediately.
  • Vomiting: Your dog may throw up a little if it has eaten something unpalatable and it may not be a cause for concern. But if your pet seems to exhibit lethargic, dull and lifeless behavior and also vomits, it’s best to check with your vet to rule out the possibility of a serious illness.
  • Color of gums: If your dog seems listless and dull, check his/her gums. Pink gums are a sign of a healthy dog while white, yellow or bluish gums signal that they may be anemic and require the care of a vet immediately.
  • Unusual urination: If your dog is urinating more frequently than usual, or if he/she is not able to produce any urine in spite of straining to do so, it’s time to rush your pet to the vet. Your dog could be suffering from a serious illness and it’s best to get him/her checked out immediately.
  • Changed food habits: Your dog could be in the habit of overeating or not eating much on some days, but if this kind of behavior becomes repetitive, call your vet immediately.

It’s easier to identify when your dog is sick if you know how he/she looks and behaves when they’re perfectly healthy. Notice all that your pet does when they start to behave abnormally because of the illness wracking them – it helps your vet if you’re able to provide detailed information about their symptoms. Also, it’s wise to sign up with a vet who’s not averse to making house calls during an emergency or one who is available for you when your dog is really sick.

This guest post is contributed by Tina Marconi, she writes on the topic of online vet tech programs . She welcomes your comments at her email id: tinamarconi85[@]gmail[.]com.

A gift for your dog: time-release treat toy

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

These are fun for your dog if he sticks with it.

Amplify’d from
Gifts, Gifts, Gifts, But None For Rover!
Here are some reasons to use a time-release treat toy:

Inspires genius – this toy is a puzzle for your dog to solve, stimulating their brain, their curiosity… and enhancing their problem-solving skills. It brings dogs back to their hunting and foraging roots by allowing them to work for their food. Food is a fabulous motivator for your dog.

Constructive chewing – every dog loves to chew. Now you can satisfy their desire to chew with something besides your household possessions, furniture, shoes, and other items they might destroy or damage. Just stuff the toy with food or a treat, let your dog’s olfactory senses take over, and you’ve encouraged chewing on an object of your choosing.

De-stress your dog; especially at separation time – giving your dog something else to focus on can alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety. They now have a new focal point. They are playing with the toy in pursuit of food – a great motivation.



Halloween Costume for your dog

October 19, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

OK nothing like dressing up your dog like a dog for Halloween! Go ScoobyDoo!

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We’re only two short weeks away from Halloween, the holiday devoted in equal parts to the undead, candy, and dressing up in costumes. These three things are pretty amazing in their own right, but when they’re combined, they make for one of the most fun times of the year. So fun, in fact, that many people think the the joy of Halloween should extend beyond human beings.

Thus, the thriving industry that is Pet Costumes!


Top 5 Exercise Activities for You and Your Dog

October 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I like the sit on the step and throw the ball/frisbee. It works out the arm for me…LOL

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Top 5 Exercise Activities for You and Your Dog

Exercise is often seen as a health issue, but it also has a huge effect on your dog’s behavior.

Walk your dog
Take your dog for a bike ride
Go rollerblading with your dog
Doggie Day Care
How do you exercise your dog?

If you were me, what would you do?

October 15, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Question mark
Image via Wikipedia

If you could ask your vet anything about the care of your dog what would you ask?

Would you want to know how your vet takes care of his/her dog?

In many situations, I am asked if this were your dog what would you do? That question brings up ethical concerns as well as attachment concerns – but in many cases it is a valid question. If you were me what would you do?

So I am asking YOU – what do you want to know about how I care for my dogs?

Anything is game – vaccinations, feeding, exercise, training, whatever you can think of. What would you like to know?

Reply in the comments and we can discuss it. If your comment is good it may get put into the book that I am writing on this subject.

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Dog Pics: I just want to be outside!

October 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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10 Pictures of Dogs Looking Out Of Windows


See more at


Do you have your dog’s costume?

October 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Halloween is just around the corner. Do you have your dog’s costume? :-)

Grain-Free Dog Foods: What’s the big deal?

September 17, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

You may have noticed some dog foods being advertised as grain-free or you may have been suggested to find grain-free dog food for your dog. So what is the big deal with grains in the dog food?

Grains such as corn,wheat, oats, barley and yes, even rice are not bad for many dogs, however for some dogs they can cause significant issues. Grains are considered a “hot” food, meaning  they stimulate the body. In many cases they can stimulate the immune system and the inflammatory process.

Dogs with allergies, dogs with inflammatory issues, dogs with sensitive digestive tracts all can be helped by eliminating grains from their diet. Dogs do not have to be allergic to grains in order to benefit from having them removed from their diet. It is similar to people with allergies using hypoallergenic products. Grain-free food is hypo-allergenic for dogs.

For the normal dog it can also be beneficial to feed grain-free as it may help prevent immune system issues such as allergies and sensitive digestive disorders (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).

For more information you can check out The Dog Food Project

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