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Would My Dog Be a Good Therapy Dog?
Evaluating a Dog's Temperament for Therapy Visits

Dec 23, 2008 Joy Butler

Therapy dogs have a special personality and talent for visiting nursing homes and hospitals to lift spirits and promote healing.

Unconditional love and affection provided by therapy dogs brings comfort to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and any stressful situation. The medical world has, for years, seen the therapeutic effect of pets on lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and lifting spirits. It also encourages children who have emotional disorders or speech problems. A therapy dog’s job is very important.
Many therapy dogs are pets belonging to someone who decided to share their wonderful dog with others. Although most owners could never be convinced that their dog is not the most wonderful in the world, not all dogs are suitable for therapy work.
When evaluating a dog for therapy work, temperament and personality are most important. A good therapy dog can be any size or breed but should have the following qualities.
Must love people – It’s the dog’s wagging tail and happy face that people respond to.
Must be good with children – Children are everywhere and even if the dog will not be working with them, it’s important that he behave appropriately when he comes in contact with a child.

Must be good around other animals – It’s important that your dog know how to get along when he encounters pets or works with other therapy animals.
Must welcome being petted – Therapy dogs often encounter awkward pets from children or disabled people and must not shy away from unfamiliar hands.
Must be reliably housetrained – Accidents are not appropriate while a therapy dog is working.
Must be obedient – Some dogs accept training easier than others but it’s important that a therapy dog obey basic commands of come, sit, down, stay, and heel.
Must obey reliably with distractions - The therapy dog must remain calm, confident, and obedient in the midst of wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and unfamiliar noises and smells of hospitals, nursing homes and disaster areas.
Must be healthy – Therapy dogs should be up to date on shots and free from parasites and infectious diseases; however, handicapped dogs are often a great inspiration to others with similar handicaps.
Must be well groomed - Before each visit, a good therapy dog will be clean, clipped and brushed for minimal shedding.
Dogs can be trained but a good therapy dog just naturally loves people and knows how to bring out the best in them. For those who feel their dog is a good candidate for therapy work, a good place to start is the Canine Good Citizen certification or contact a therapy dog organization such as the Delta Society or Therapy Dogs International which operate in all 50 states.

Read more at Suite101: Would My Dog Be a Good Therapy Dog?: Evaluating a Dog's Temperament for Therapy Visits

Pet Therapy | Transitions: 1093 | Added by: Joy Butler | Date: 2010-05-04

Information About Spaying and Neutering
Frequently Asked Questions About Cat and Dog Sterilization

Feb 12, 2010 Jennifer Copley

This article provides answers to many commonly asked questions about spaying and neutering, including prices, best age for surgery, and health effects.

What effects do spaying and neutering have on an animal’s health? How much do the surgeries cost? Are spay-neuter surgeries dangerous? Here are the answers to these frequently asked questions and more. What are the Benefits of Spaying and Neutering?

Spaying and neutering can provide a number of benefits, including: Reduced risk for breast cancer in females (this disease is fatal for about 90% of cats and 50% of dogs, according to the ASPCA) Prevention of uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as severe uterine infections such as pyometra (a common problem that requires hospitalization, antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and emergency spaying) Prevention of testicular cancer and reduced risk for prostate cancer (unneutered dogs have a 25%-30% likelihood of developing testicular or prostate cancer, according to veterinarian James W. Day) Significantly reduced risk of developing the genito-urinary problems which frequently lead to kidney disease in unaltered male dogs Decreased anxiety, aggression, and fighting, which reduces the risk of fight-related injuries and abscesses Reduced compulsion to escape and roam, which lowers the risk of pet theft, infectious diseases such as rabies and Feline HIV, and car accidents (according to Robin Tierney of the Partnership for Animal Welfare, 80% of dogs hit by cars are unneutered males) Reduction or elimination of undesirable behaviours such as urine marking in both genders, and reduced shedding in females Are Spaying and Neutering Dangerous Surgeries?

Although all surgeries present some degree of risk, spaying and neutering are considered routine, low-risk surgeries. The risks to unfixed animals are far more significant, as they have a greater likelihood of suffering from fatal diseases and accidents. Day notes that pets that have been spayed or neutered live 30% longer on average because of the health and behavioural benefits provided by surgery.
Pets can usually be dropped off at a clinic in the morning and retrieved later the same day, though in some cases an overnight stay is required. Owners are given instructions for post-surgical care, which usually include restricting activity for a week or so.
Recovery times vary based on an animal’s age. Younger animals usually recover very quickly (kittens and puppies may take only a day or two). Older pets usually take a little longer. Most pets are back to normal within a few days.

Will Neutering Make Pets Lazy and Increase the Risk of Obesity?

Many pet owners are concerned that their pets will become lazy and obese after sterilization surgery because their metabolisms are a little slower. However, experts assert that obesity in animals is more likely to result from feeding too much cheap pet food. In particular, cats become overweight and suffer health problems when fed a high-carbohydrate diet.
Pets that are sterilized at a young age tend to be longer and taller when full-grown, but not necessarily fatter. Some altered pets may have an increased risk of obesity because they don’t roam far away from the house and thus get less exercise, but animals that are walked or played with regularly and fed reasonable portions of a good quality food are unlikely to become obese. Shouldn’t a Female Cat or Dog Have at Least One Litter Before Spaying?

Female animals enjoy better health and longevity if they are spayed before having a single litter, and early spaying has no negative emotional impact on pets. What is the Best Age to Have a Cat or Dog Spayed or Neutered?

Many pets are capable of procreating as early as 5 months of age, so dogs and cats should ideally be altered while relatively young. Based on recent studies, veterinarians are increasingly endorsing very early spay-neuter surgeries.
One study in which kittens were divided into 3 groups – neutered at 7 weeks, 7 months, and 12 months – found that there were no problems associated with neutering 7-week-old kittens, and that they recovered more rapidly than those neutered at a later age.
Dogs can also benefit from early sterilization. For example, Day notes that unspayed female dogs experience an increase in breast cancer rates of 700% after just 5 heat cycles.
Many organizations are now advocating for sterilization of healthy cats and dogs at 8 weeks of age. Such organizations include the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Kennel Club, the Cat Fanciers’ Association, and the American Humane Association. How Much Does It Cost to Spay or Neuter a Cat or Dog?

The cost of having pets sterilized varies widely from one clinic to the next. Spaying prices typically range from $100 to over $200, not including additional services that may be required.
Having male pets neutered ranges from about $50 to well over $100, not including additional services. Spaying or neutering dogs is usually more expensive than sterilizing cats.
For those experiencing financial hardship, there are lower-cost options available for both cats and dogs. See Free and Low-Cost Spay-Neuter Clinics for information on how to find affordable local services.
References: ASPCA. (2010). "Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet.” Cruden, D., Winn Feline Foundation. (1992). "Early Spay/Neuter in the Cat.” Cat Fanciers’ Association. Day, J.W., DVM. (2007). "Why Spaying and Neutering Is Important for Pet Health.” Plotnick, Arnold, DVM. (2006). "Spaying and Neutering: Facts, Myths, and Misconceptions.” Sacramento SPCA. (2008). "Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet.” Second Time Around Aussie Rescue. (n.d.). "Frequently Asked Questions About Spaying and Neutering.” Tierney, R., Partnership for Animal Welfare. (n.d.). "Spaying and Neutering.” University of California School of Veterinary Medicine. (n.d.). "Spaying or Neutering Your Cat.”

Spaying & Neutering | Transitions: 1127 | Added by: Jennifer Copley | Date: 2010-05-04

Dog Health Care
Flea and Tick Control, Heartworm Prevention, Intestinal Parasites, and other aspects of dog health care.

Jul 30, 2006 Charla Dawson

Many people do not know how to care for a dog and meet all of its needs; the top 6 are outlined.

There is no doubt that we love our dogs, dogs continue to be a favorite family pet. Unfortunately many people do not know how to properly care for their dog and ultimately many of its needs are not met. I've outlined the top 6 dog health care needs to meet, in no particular order:
Heartworm Prevention - Heartworms are parasites that are spread by mosquitoes, once the heartworms are in your dogs heart they grow and reproduce causing damage to the heart. Heartworms are easily prevented with heartworm prevention medications that are now availabe through your veterinarian.
Vaccinations - Vaccinations are what keep your dog from getting sick; your veterinarian will let you know when they are due and what vaccinations are recommended for your dog. I've outlined different dog vaccinations and puppy vaccinations that might be recommended by your veterinarian.
Flea and Tick Control - Using a good flea and tick control is the key to preventing fleas and ticks from being a problem for our pets. Fleas and ticks are tough to control once we have an infestation, the key of course is prevention. Don't let the little buggers in to begin with. If you use a good flea and tick preventative on a regular basis then you won't have to worry about fleas and ticks on your pets or in your house. There are a lot of options out there, I've outlined the products I would (and do) use. Another thing to remember is to treat all the pets, indoor and outdoor, in order to rid all the fleas from the area, otherwise you'll continue to be re-infested with the little buggers.
Spay/Neuter - Although there are risks involved with any surgery the health benefits to having your dog spayed or neutered outweigh the risks. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. The dog spay surgery eliminates unwanted pregnancy, messy heat cycles, and risks of pyometra and mammary tumors. The dog neuter surgery eliminates testicular cancer, decreases the chances of developing prostate cancer, and your pet will not be out roaming looking for chicks, thereby decreasing the chances of being hit by a car or being picked up by animal control. Your pet will not become fat and or lazy from this surgery. Obesity in dogs and cats comes from overfeeding and lack of exercise. In some cases a thyroid problem or genetics is to blame but the spay surgery is not to blame for a fat dog.
Intestinal Worm Control - Dogs can be victims to several different intestinal parasites or worms, but roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms are the most common. I've outlined the common intestinal parasites and facts to keep in mind for preventing parasites. It is important to know what kind of parasite your pet has so you can de-worm accordingly. De-wormers will generally not kill all parasites so it is important to use the right one. If you keep your pet on monthly heartworm preventative your pet should be protected against most of the intestinal parasites. Just one more good reason to use heartworm prevention.
Proper Diet and Exercise - Walking your dog is good for you and your pet. The walk is great exercise physically but it is also good for the mental health of your dog. (Imagine if you were trapped behind the same four walls day in and day out, or trapped in the same back yard). Might get a little boring, huh? Also, our pets are overweight due to overfeeding and lack of exercise. Obesity in pets is a growing concern. Having excess fat on their bodies can lead to joint problems as well as diabetes. Luckily for us we now have some options for getting this problem under control before it leads to a life threatening illness. Here are some points to help you get some of that weight off of your fat dog or cat.

Dog Care | Transitions: 1041 | Added by: Charla Dawson | Date: 2010-05-04

How to Choose a Dog Groomer
Finding a Groomer Who Will Help Your Dog Look and Feel Great

Mar 30, 2010 Monique Bos

Dog groomer Marian Ward shares tips on how to find a dog groomer who will pamper - not hurt or traumatize - your pooch.

As a dog groomer at the Paw Place in Grandville, Michigan, Marian Ward has seen plenty of traumatized pooches.
"We specialize in senior and challenging dogs. We’re basically the final stop before your dog has to be anesthetized to be groomed,” explains Ward, who has worked at the Paw Place for more than four years. "I do a lot of rehab with dogs who have been hurt at the groomers.”
For dog owners shopping around for a groomer, she offers suggestions on what to ask potential groomers and what to pay attention to when you visit their premises. Questions to Ask Potential Dog Groomers

Gather as much information as you can about the groomer and the shop before you decide whether to entrust them with your dog.
"Make sure the person has some experience. Ask what kind of program they went through,” says Ward. "For example, I went through a 600-hour, hands-on program. So from day one, I was working with dogs of all kinds of breeds.”

She also recommends doing some research about what products the groomer uses. "If they’ll buy the cheapest shampoos and conditioners and charge extra for nail trims, if every little thing is an add-on, chances are they’re only in it for the money,” she explains. "In our shop we only use products we would use on our own dogs – they’re all natural and low chemical; a lot are sulfate free.”
How the groomer dries dogs is extremely important, Ward says. "I wouldn’t use a place that uses kennel dryers. Basically, they put your dog in a box with a fan attached. Dogs have died in those.”
She adds, "With a hand dryer, the groomer can get out all the dead skin and hair. The groomer can look at the skin; I’ve found cancerous lumps and infected bite marks.”
This is a valuable service a groomer can provide, she explains, because "you can’t always see what’s under your dog’s hair. The groomer has the tools and the ability to look at your dog’s skin and coat, so if there’s anything wrong, he can let you know.” What to Look for at the Dog Grooming Shop

Before you schedule an appointment for your dog, visit the grooming shop you’re considering. It’s important to get a feel for the setup, meet the groomers, and watch them interact with clients.
"When you first go into a grooming shop, you want to make sure it doesn’t reek like urine and feces,” Ward says. "Be realistic; there’s going to be dog hair, and there might be some accidents, but check to make sure things are getting cleaned up efficiently.”
She also warns, "Make sure the place doesn’t smell like chemicals or cigarettes.”
It’s important to observe how the groomers interact with both dogs and humans in the shop.
"See if the groomer comes out, gets on their level, and is friendly with the dog,” Ward advises. "Especially if you have an older dog or a higher stress dog, find a place that will work with them.”
For example, she says, "At a lot of shops, anywhere from four to ten dogs will come in at 8 a.m. and have to wait until the groomer gets to them. At our shop, we have it set up just like a human hair salon. Your dog can be in and out in an hour and a half. We don’t have dogs waiting in kennels.”
She also recommends asking to see work samples and possibly requesting a tour.
"If the groomer has a dog, check out that dog and see how it looks. Often, they’ll have books of photos of different work they’ve done.”
She adds that during particularly busy times, groomers might not be able to conduct tours of the facility, "but see if they act suspicious about it.”
Always make sure that the groomer checks your dog's shot records for rabies, distemper, and bordatella, she says.
With a little time and research, you can make sure that your dog will have a positive experience at the groomer. Bad grooming can result in trauma and even severe injury to your dog, so finding a good groomer is well worth the effort. As Ward says, "You want to make sure they’re treating your dog like you would treat your dog.”

Read more at Suite101: How to Choose a Dog Groomer: Finding a Groomer Who Will Help Your Dog Look and Feel Great

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1119 | Added by: Monique Bos | Date: 2010-05-04

Removing Mats From a Dog's Coat
Cut Grooming Costs with Brushing and Trims at Home
Mar 17, 2010 Joy Butler

When long haired dogs develop mats from tangles, shedding, or fleas and ticks, skin irritation, pain, and sores can result. Regular grooming is easier than mat removal.

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Dogs, especially long haired breeds or breeds with undercoats or curly coats, often get mats in the hair that need to be removed. Mats start when hair tangles and collects burrs, sticks, shedding hair, or other debris. Flea and tick infestation can add to the matting problem as dogs tend to bite, chew and scratch the irritated areas.
Mats often grow in size over time and pull on the pet’s skin causing discomfort. Severe mats can irritate the skin and even cause sores. Repeated wetting and drying only hardens and tightens the knot, making it even more irritating to the dog and more difficult to remove. Where Matted Hair Typically Develops

Mats are often seen where hair is the longest or where friction occurs such as behind ears or tips of ears, collar area or chest, lower front legs, the feathery skirt on the hindquarters, or the tail. Preventing Mats in a Dog’s Coat

Preventing mats before they develop is much easier than removing them. Good flea and tick control, regular baths to keep coat clean, and daily brushing to remove shedding hair and tangles before they become a problem will help to prevent mats. A groomer or veterinarian can recommend grooming products and flea and tick control products that will also help in preventing matted fur. Removing Mats from a Dog’s Coat

Small mats can usually be picked apart with a brush or mat breaker or cut into or cut off using scissors. Do not simply pull a mat out as it can be very painful or cause injury to the skin. Large mats are usually too hardened to pick apart and must be cut off. Severely matted dogs may need to be shaved by a professional groomer.

Mats in areas such as ear tips and toes, or mats very close to the skin, can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the body part itself. To prevent accidentally cutting the skin, slide a comb between the mat and the skin and cut only above the comb. If the mat is too large or too close to the skin for a comb to fit underneath, it should be removed by a professional groomer. Cutting Costs on Dog Grooming

In a tough economy, the expense of the dog’s haircut by a professional groomer may not be on the list of priorities but grooming is an important part of health care for dogs and should not be neglected. When the budget is tight, daily brushings to keep tangles and mats under control, regular baths, flea and tick preventives, and simple scissor trims at home can help stretch the time between trips to the dog groomer. 

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1189 | Added by: Joy Butler | Date: 2010-05-04

The Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene & Care for a Dog's Teeth

Apr 30, 2010 Amanda Griffith

Dogs need sufficient dental hygiene to prevent plaque and tartar build-up, cavities and gum disease. Learn the best techniques, including what tools to use.

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Just like their human counterparts, dogs also need to have clean teeth, not only to prevent cavities but to avoid dental conditions like gingivitis and periodontal disease. But how does a pet-owner go about ensuring proper dental care for her four-legged friend?
Dental ExaminationsMost dogs visit the veterinarian twice each year for well check-ups. During this time, the staff will check his teeth and gums. The doctor is looking for buildup of plaque or tartar, reddened gums (gingivitis), bleeding, broken teeth, and other problems.
If pet owners notice problems like breath odor, drooling, or difficulty eating, though, a dog should be examined right away. The sooner that dental disease is identified and treated, the better the outcome. Common Dental Problems Faced by Dogs quotes an American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) statistic that 80 percent of dogs show oral disease by age 3, and it is the most common health problem treated in small animal health clinics today.
Two common problems dogs with poor hygiene have are loose tooth and abscesses. Studies also show that 98 percent of dogs with bad breath suffer from periodontal disease that is caused by plaque build-up.

The buildup of bacteria in a dog's mouth may cause more than just bad breath; according to research presented at a recent conference on Companion Animal Oral Health, bacteria are also the cause of oral disease and diseases in other organs of the body. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacterial infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to a dog's kidney, liver, heart and even brain, according to Dog Breed Info Center.
What Type of Toothpaste Do Dogs Use?Dogs cannot use human toothpaste because human toothpaste is not edible. Because dogs can't spit, they will end up swallowing fluoride which can be harmful.
Dog owners can, however, purchase an edible toothpaste, just for dogs, at the pet store. There are a variety of flavors available, from maple to beef, which can serve as a delicious treat for a dog.
Five Simple Steps to Brush a Dog's TeethBrushing a dog's teeth is really quite easy, once a pet owner gets the hang of it. By following a few simple steps, the process becomes even smoother over time. Select an appropriate time - start when the dog is relaxed Acquaint the dog with the process - for the first few sessions a toothbrush isn't needed. The owner need only gently stroke the outside of the dog's cheeks with a finger. After she becomes comfortable with that, place a dab of toothpaste on a finger and let her taste it. Introduce the toothbrush - with a small amount of toothpaste, in a slow circular motion, brush one or two teeth and the adjoining gum line. Begin brushing - over the next several of days, gradually increase the number of teeth brushed Ensure the experience is a pleasant one - make the experience relaxing and fun. Praise the dog after so she looks forward to the next time. How Often Should a Dog's Teeth Be Brushed?

A dog's teeth should be cleaned at least twice a week. Feeding him dry dog food and giving him plenty of hard bones to chew on is one way to help keep his teeth healthier between brushing. Treats, Chews and Other Dental Products

The PurinaCare Pet Health Library notes that a variety of products are marketed to help keep a dog's teeth clean at home. These include dental care diets, plaque reducing treats and toys, and solutions that are applied to dogs mouth.
Before using a commercially available product, pet owners should always check with their veterinarian because some may be unsafe or may interfere with other treatments a dog is receiving. In general, dogs should avoid very hard chews such as natural bone or cow hooves to prevent damage to the teeth and gums. It is important to remember, too, that although treats and chews may be of some benefit, there is no substitute for regular tooth brushing. Taking Care of a Dog's Teeth Long-Term

Understanding the importance of keeping a dog's teeth healthy and bright, of ensuring fresh breath and healthy gums is critical to the long-term health of a canine.
Pet owners should remember that consistency and thoroughness is key. In just a few minutes each week, it is easy to maintain a simple and effective teeth cleaning ritual through teeth brushing, proper food and supplemental treats.
Sources:"You Want Me to Brush My DOG's Teeth?," Dog Breed Info Center website
"How to Care For Your Dog's Teeth,"
"Caring for Your Dog's Teeth," PurinaCare website
"How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth," Placerville Veterinary Clinic website

Dog Care | Transitions: 1203 | Added by: Amanda Griffith | Date: 2010-05-04

How to Stop a Dog From Scooting
Take Care of Dog's Anal Area to End Scooting

Nov 19, 2008 Kelli Roche

If your dog is scooting on his bottom like a bicycle "popping wheelies", it may be time to have him checked out for impacted anal glands or other problems.

Although a scooting dog usually has impacted anal glands, it could be due to a variety of other conditions including the dog having fleas, tapeworms, ulcers, a back injury or other issues. It is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for an exam if you notice this behavior for a proper diagnosis. Why Do Dogs Scoot?

Anal Sacs are two glands on both sides of the dog' anus. They contain a foul-smelling oily substance that is supposed to coat feces that is expressed when a dog defecates. This oily substance may play a role in communicating a "scent" from one dog to another. Most dogs go for a lifetime without having any problems. If a dog is unable to express this substance from the anal glands when it defecates, they can become impacted or full. This can be painful for the dog and it will scoot, chase its tail or lick around their anal region to get relief. If left untreated, these glands can abscess and rupture. What Can Be Done To Relieve Impacted Anal Glands

For the dog to get relief from scooting, a veterinarian will need to manually express impacted anal glands. Few pet owners may want to do this at home, but most prefer to schedule an appointment to bring the dog to the veterinary hospital. Once the anal glands are expressed, there is a very bad odor associated with it. Most dogs feel relief from the impacted glands and scooting stops immediately after this procedure. For prevention of this condition in the future, some dogs need an increase in fiber to bulk of stools, exercise or a change in diet. A veterinarian can offer the best advice. Tapeworms: Another Common Cause of Scooting

Tapeworm segments look like small grains of rice. They attach around the anus underneath the tail, so they may go unnoticed. If your dog is licking the anal area and scooting, this could also be a sign the dog has tapeworms. If you do see these segments, try to remove some, place them in a container and take them to the veterinary clinic for proper identification. The dog will be dewormed and the pet will recover within a short time. if you dog has tapeworms, other symptoms may occur. Look for decreased or increased appetite, weight loss, diarrhea and a rough coat.
Check your dog regularly for anal problems to prevent him from scooting. It will keep your dog less frustrated and provide you with nice smelling, clean carpet.

Dog Care | Transitions: 1088 | Added by: Kelli Roche | Date: 2010-05-04

Anal Gland Secretion in Dogs
What It Is and How to Deal With It
Mar 27, 2007 Jessica Springgay

Anal gland secretion is a common occurance with many dog breeds. Here are some tips on emptying the glands, and what to do if they're infected or impacted.

That smell. As soon as you’ve smelled it you know what’s happened. It’s the smell of rotting fish shoved directly up your nostrils. But not just rotting fish. Rotting fish mixed with…freshly run over skunk.
It’s anal gland secretion – a common occurrence with many breeds. Not good for your clothes. Or couches. Or pillowcases. Or blankets. Or car seats. Or nostrils.
Every dog has two anal glands or sacs (one on each side of the anus). These glands are occasionally referred to as "scent glands” because they allow dogs to mark their territory and identify each other. We’ve all witnessed dogs greeting each other by sniffing the other’s rear.
Anal glands are ususally emptied by rectal pressure during defecation. The secretion from the glands is a brownish liquid, though is can become thick, yellowish or creamy in texture if the glands are impacted or infected. The glands can also be emptied by involuntary contraction of the anal sphincter, which can be caused by the dog being upset, frightened or under stress. Dogs can also trigger the contraction to mark territory. Anal Gland Impaction

Impaction can occur when the anal glands fail to empty normally. Impaction is most common in small dog breeds, like pugs, but can occur in any breed. Anal gland impaction can be caused by: soft stools, small anal gland openings or overactive anal glands. When impaction occurs, the secretions become thick, pasty and creamy in texture. Impaction is treated by manual emptying of the glands.
Emptying the Anal Glands

To empty the glands, first prepare a warm moist wash cloth, towel, paper towel or cotton balls. Be sure that hands and skin are not in the way. Gloves are recommended. Raise the dog’s tail and locate the anal glands, which should be at approximately five o’clock and seven o’clock positions in relation to the anal circumference and feel like small, firm nodules (often pea-sized).
Place the cloth or paper towel over the area. It is easier to have one person hold the dog while another empties the glands. If only one person is available, position your thumb on one gland and index finger on the opposite gland. By pressing in and squeezing your fingers toward each other and upwards, the glands should empty. Wipe the area clean and repeat if necessary.
If the discharge contains blood or pus, there is probably an anal gland infection. below. Infected Anal Glands

Anal gland infection is identifiable by blood or pus in the anal gland secretions. The dog may also exhibit discomfort when the glands are emptying (either naturally or by a human) or do a great deal of scooting.

To trean infected anal glands, express the glands as described above. Once the glands are empty and the area is clean, fill the gland(s) with antibiotic ointment (which can be prescribed by your veterinarian) by placing the tip of the ointment tube into the anal gland duct opening and squeezing the tube to fill the gland. Repeat this process as often as necessary (usually two days, but may vary depending on veterinarian recommendations) until the secretions no longer include blood or pus. The dog should also be receiving oral antibiotics during this time (also available from your veterinarian).

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1146 | Added by: Jessica Springgay | Date: 2010-05-04

How to Make a Doggy Shirt for Toy Breeds
Making Small Dog Clothes from a Sleeve
Nov 24, 2008 Joy Butler

Homemade dog clothes can be quick, easy and inexpensive. Very little sewing for this craft makes dressing your toy breed creative and fun.

The beauty of this project is that, because it’s made from a sleeve, there are very few stitches involved and one doesn’t even have to own a sewing machine to make this toy breed doggy shirt. Even those who don’t sew can make this simple shirt in a few minutes.
The best material to use will be of a somewhat stretchy texture. The sleeve of an old sweater or sweatshirt from a yard sale works great. The sleeve band will serve as the collar. Doggy Measurements
Measure the length of the dog’s back starting at the middle of the back of the neck to the base of the tail. Measure the distance between the dog’s front legs. Cutting the Material
Measuring the sleeve from the tip of the band, cut it the same length as the dog’s back measurement. Dog owners who plan to hem should allow an extra inch for that. For those who really don’t like to sew, a hem is not required as sweatshirt material doesn’t ravel easily. Turn the sleeve inside out and lay it flat so that its existing stitch line is in the center facing up. Using a large jar lid and pencil, draw a half circle line on the cut end of the sleeve. The stitch line should be at the height of the circle. Cut on the line and remove the half circle piece. This allows for ‘tummy room.’ After the cut, several hand stitches will be needed on the existing stitch line to prevent it from coming loose. With the sleeve still inside out and lying flat with the stitch line in the center facing up, leg holes will be placed. Depending on the size, breed, and shape of the dog, the center of the leg hole will be approximately three inches below the tip of the sleeve band and approximately an inch and a half from the stitch line. This may have to be adjusted somewhat for individual dogs. Place a dot where the center of each leg hole is to be. Estimate the size the holes need to be, allowing room to pull the foot through. An inch and a quarter in diameter is a good starting point. The hole can always be cut bigger if necessary. Using an appropriately sized small jar lid, draw the circle and cut out the hole. The Fun Part

The project is now ready for the fun part. Turn the sleeve right side out and get creative. Use sequins, material paint, or lace to dress up the shirt. Designs can also be cut from other material and sewn or glued on. Letters can be stenciled on to spell out the dog’s name or cute lines such as ‘Spoiled Rotten’ or ‘The Boss.’
Many small dogs are cold natured so this pattern is designed long to provide warmth over the hip area but can also be cut shorter to fit just behind the rib cage of the dog. In this case, the half circle tummy cut would be eliminated.

Since this project is very simple, quick and low cost, dog owners who have two tiny dogs can have their pooches dressed like twins in a no time.


Dog Fun | Transitions: 1088 | Added by: Joy Butler | Date: 2010-05-02

Planning a Puppy Shower
Party Games, Food, and Fun to Welcome the Fur Baby
May 27, 2008 Joy Butler

New doggy parents can have a baby shower too!

You have decided to get a puppy. Falling in love was easy. That little pudgy rear waddling around made you laugh and those big brown eyes and puppy kisses really captured your heart. Yes, puppies come well equipped to redeem themselves after howling, yowling, chewing the sofa, and making a mess on the carpet. But you accept that honeymoons don’t last forever and have made the commitment to love your puppy through good and bad, for the rest of his life. Just like adopting a baby!
Now if new parents can have a baby shower to celebrate the coming of a new baby, puppy parents can certainly do the same thing! A puppy shower can be the perfect way to introduce the new family member to friends. Puppy Shower versus Baby Shower

Puppy showers are a little different in that they are usually planned by the new parent themselves and are held after the puppy arrives and has completed his immunizations. Guests don’t have to be female only; they can be whole families including their dog. A puppy shower may be held in your backyard or at a local park. Invitations and Gifts

Your invitations may be of the appropriate pastel pink or blue and have a cute puppy theme. You can even make your own, using your computer and your own puppy’s picture. Include the guest’s dog in the invitation but, for everyone’s safety, request he be up to date on shots. If you desire, you can suggest guest dogs come dressed up.
You may register at a pet shop for gifts or have suggestions in mind if anyone asks what the new puppy would like.

Décor and Refreshments

Décor will set the mood. Streamers, napkins and plates can be of pastel baby colors or have a puppy theme such as paw prints, bones, or fire hydrants.
Refreshments can include a puppy theme cake for guests along with a variety of doggy treats for the pups. You can even make your own doggy treats. Be sure all of the homemade foods are safe for dogs. Leave plenty of water bowls out in convenient places for guest dogs. Fun and Games

Have plenty of toys such as frisbies, balls, rope toys, and squeaky toys as well as scoop bags available. You can even set up a simple obstacle course for guests and pups to frolic in.
Use your imagination. Try a homemade 'pin the tail on the puppy' game. Activities such as 'guess the puppy's weight' will be fun for the humans and a weenie dunk and treasure hunt for the dogs will have everyone laughing.
Prizes and goodie bags can be awarded with both humans and dogs in mind. They may include items like chewies, bandanas, leashes, stuffed animals, tennis balls, and gift certificates to pet supply stores. Memories

Place an open album where guests can write notes and messages to you and your new puppy. Have your camera handy to record all the fun. Precautions

Be careful that your puppy does not become overwhelmed or frightened. Be sure to introduce dogs separately and slowly. Have crates or quiet areas available for shy or grumpy dogs.
And remember that puppy showers aren’t just for puppies. Adoption of an older dog works too!

Dog Fun | Transitions: 1003 | Added by: Joy Butler | Date: 2010-05-02

Little Red

Puppy Shopping

Glamour Puppies

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