Tag Archives: Health

Our Night Time Oral Care Routine

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Champagne and Abby (Left to Right)

Brushing your dog’s teeth is very important for your overall canine companion’s health.  Because of that I do my best – I do forget once in a while – to brush her teeth every night.

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My tools.

Yes, each doggie has her own toothbrush and toothpaste.

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Abby, “Am I first?”

I always make sure that I place them in a spot that they are not to move from in order to maintain order in my pack and safeguard my sanity.  Abby, next to me, since she will be my first “patient”, and Champagne, patiently waiting for her turn.

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Abby, “Mom, wait”.

Abby is already used to getting her teeth brushed in the morning, and before going to bed.  Although you’d never know it from looking at the above picture.

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My next victim, I mean patient was Champagne, a beautiful Pit Bull.  She is very comfortable having me put my fingers in her mouth.

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If you are asking yourself, “How did she get such compliant doggies?”  Well, magic.  No, really, I used treats.  At the beginning, most dogs will take some time to adjust to you brushing his teeth, but as time goes by you’ll be able to do it in a matter of minutes.  With that in mind, do you brush your dog’s teeth?

Alex On Sabbatical Leave

add1I’ve had Alex since she was about 3 months old, and I still can’t believe that she is on her way to be 12 years old next year.  Thanks to Alex I have been able to help other dogs be more balanced and manageable, and as a result their pet parents were able to enjoy their canine companions and not find the need to rehome them.

Please, understand this, although Alex is perfect for me, she is not perfect, but then again, why would I want her that way?  It’d be boring, don’t you think?  Anyway, since she will be on bed rest for a while I was thinking about fostering a dog.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, about 2 years, and I think that this is the right time to do it.  With that in mind, I put an application and it was approved so we’ll be going to pick up our foster dog within the next couple of days.  I am really excited about it.

add2By the way, I’ll continue to keep Alex engaged by introducing and reenforcing commands so my girl is not bored half to death.  Right now I am working on teaching her how to walk towards me slowly using voice and signal commands.  Why?  Because now that she is feeling better she wants to run towards me at full speed.  I don’t ask her to sit anymore for I fear it may hurt or cause her pain, but she is able to do a lot of other things without discomfort.

Have a great weekend, and thanks to the many bloggers that foster and served as an example for me to follow, and I hope that others would follow suit.

Snowing in Odenton, Maryland

snowdex1This is how my neighborhood looked a couple of days ago.

snowdex2This is how it looked this morning when I took Dexter for a walk.  It was still snowing.  When we got back home I dried him, turn the heater on, and got him to go to his bed.  We walked for about 1/2 hour and he seemed to enjoy the snow.

snowdex31And this is how Dexter looked after our walk followed by breakfast.  Yes, he was tired.  What a hard life this good-looking doggie has, don’t you think?

snowdex4Alex stayed with Cynthia at home since she is to be on bed rest for a while.  I miss walking with her, but I don’t want to push it for I want her to get better.  For those of you that had to go out in this crazy weather, please be careful, and for those of us that stayed home, eat, sleep, read, watch tv, etc., in other words, vegetate.  I hope the weather improves soon.  Take care.

Keep Your Senior Dog Active

During our last visit to Alex’s vet, one thing that resonated with me was the vet’s advice to keep my senior canine companion active.  I told the vet that since she put Alex on supplements for joints, Alex does not limp at all and walks without a problem.  There are times when she has so much energy, yes at 11 1/2 years old, that she runs back and forth inside the house.  This is my cue to increase the walks.

activesenior1But, I am also very vigilant regarding signs/cues that on occasions she displays that tells me that I need to make the walks shorter and perhaps more frequent.  Alex was only walking a maximum of  about 30 minutes right after she was put on supplements, but now she can easily walk as much and as long as she used to do before, but I don’t let her over do it.

activesenior2Today, Saturday, Alex and I went to a pet store in Annapolis, MD and after that we went to PetSmart to get her food and some treats which kept us out for a couple of hours.  She had her morning walk, but not her evening walk because she looked tired.  I had her pose for this picture with one condition.

activesenior3The condition was that she would have some time to “explore” the area without having me rush her.

Keep your senior dog active, but don’t over do it.  The key is, like in almost everything in life, moderation.  If ever in doubt, ask your dog’s vet.

Joint Problems And Walter

The last time Walter stayed with us, May of this year, Cynthia mentioned to me that Walter went up the stairs using his hind legs in unison and I agreed with her since I had seen it myself, therefore I did a bit of research and I found out that some dogs do that when they start having trouble with their joints and that to be on the safe side, since it may just be a dog’s quirk, is best to talk to the vet.  When Walter’s mom came to pick him up, I mentioned this to her and she said that she’ll take him to the vet.

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Walter’s mom told me that the vet advised them to watch him since he is only a little over 2 years old.  Two months later, Walter came back to stay with us, and his mom told me that the vet after seeing that Walter started to have more difficulty with his hind legs suggested to either start with supplements or surgery.  She said that the vet wanted to run some tests first before deciding what treatment would be best for Walter.  Because of that our walks that used to be from 40 to 60 minutes long twice a day were reduced to 15 minutes twice a day.

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Every time a dog stays with us, Cynthia and I talk about their behavior, quirks, likes, dislikes, etc., and if there is anything that seems out of the ordinary, I talk to the pet parent about it.  That is why when a pet parent is coming to pick up her dog, I do ask her to have a couple of minutes so we can talk.

Whether you pet sit, like I do, or have your own dog, please watch him and you’ll be surprised what you can find out about a dog.  One time I did go overboard with Alex though because, no I was not drunk, I noticed a “lump” on her rump so I took her to the vet and to my horror she told me that she had two “lumps” on her rump and they are called Muscles.  I was so embarrassed, my face was red like a tomato, but the vet was so amazing and understanding and she told me not to worry about it with a big smile on her face.  Between you and me, I think she was laughing at me.

Anyway, please send well wishes and positive energy and thoughts to Walter.  He is one of a kind.

Alex’s Furry Friends: Milo and Bella

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We had a couple of days off and I was determined to take Alex for an outing to Annapolis, but it just did not happen.  I’d have to say totally la mia culpa.  I promised to make it up to her the next time she is the only kid at home:)

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These 2 beautiful canine specimens are Milo and Bella.  Our walks with them are shorter because Pugs can overheat very easy, and because they have a short-muzzled face making it a bit harder to breathe.  By the way, I am not saying not to walk Pugs.  Au contraire, walk your pug, but be aware of the weather, your pug’s age, health, level of activity, etc., and if unsure about what to do, please contact your vet for guidance.

All Things In Moderation

I am a firm believer that we can all do things in moderation rather than abstaining from them, and as such we find balance in life.

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L - R)

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L – R)

Let me start by giving you an idea about our morning routine, and it goes something like this:

  1. Morning walk/run
  2. Morning ablution: brush hair and wipe and inspect paws
  3. Breakfast for humans followed by breakfast for canine children
  4. Treats – I look at it as dessert.  That is why Dexter is licking his lips
  5. Sunbathing – 5 minutes,  by my watch, during the Summer.  Longer during the rest of the year
  6. Nap time

Alex could sunbathe the entire day if I let her, and some pet parents have told me the same about their dogs, but letting dogs stay out in the sun for too long is dangerous, therefore I limit the time we are out on the deck to no more than 5 minutes in the morning during the Summer.

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Alex is always the first one to fall asleep.  Sarris looks like she is about to follow Alex to dreamland, but Dexter, between you and me he thinks he is a guard dog, is still awake.

Alex and Dexter love to sunbathe while Sarris only prefers to do it for a couple of minutes.  By the way, never leave your dog/s unattended anywhere and that includes your deck regardless of the time of day or season of the year.

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Right after we come in, Sarris relaxes in the kitchen on top of these cool tiles while Alex and Dexter go to their bed.  There are times when all 3 of them end up in the kitchen and those are the times when I am so glad that my kitchen is not small.  Because our morning routine takes a while, I always tell pet parents that if they call me or text me I will return their inquiries after I am finished with our morning routine.

Let your canine companions enjoy being out sunbathing, but make sure that you are there to supervise and do it in moderation.