I love to spoil Chase! He just needs to give me that look over his shoulder and I want to drown him in food and love, but it’s the food part that can sometimes be dangerous for our dogs. Not only can it add kilos to their waist line, some products contain ingredients that may not be good for our pets.
So here are some healthy snacks that can keep your pets happy and their waist line trim.
1. Raw Meaty Bones
This is one of my favourite snacks/meals for Chase. Not only are they a great boredom buster, they can also give your pet a good workout (watch how your dog uses the muscles in their legs upper body and jaw to eat) and can offer your pets a lot of good nutrients.
What are some bone no no-s?
· Never feed your pet cooked bones. This can splinter into shards and cause health issues for your pet.
· Be careful when giving bones around young children. Dogs may become aggressive or guard bones if they have not been taught to relax around people and their bones. If you have children or even strangers at your house make sure the dog has its own private space to eat that bone and people are aware that your dog has a bone in its possession.
· Appropriate bones for your dog’s size and eating habits - If your dog tends to swallow their food whole or eat fast, larger bones are best that you know they cannot swallow whole. Same goes for smaller dogs to get the best nutrients from a bone you want to give them ones they can chew and eat all of.
What are my favourite types of bones for Chase? The No. 1 bone I love to give him is lambs necks. For smaller dogs chicken necks are great as well as chicken wings and legs. You can also give lamb shanks, whole chicken carcases, and large beef bones for those scoffers.
2. Vegetables and Fruits.
Chase’s favourites are raw carrots, raw broccoli, cooked pumpkin, apples (make sure seeds are removed) pears (also seeds removed) capsicum and zucchini.
Other vegetable and fruit suggestions for your dogs can be: spinach, oranges, asparagus, blueberries, strawberries, peaches
3. Dried Treats
While these should be very occasional foods, they can also be great treats. This includes dried liver, pigs’ trotters, roo meat as well as dried sweet potato, pumpkin and carrots. If you own a food dehydrator, why not make your own!
Got a pooch that eats like you are throwing a raw chicken to a starving crocodile? This behaviour can cause problems such as vomiting, food aggression and bloating. So here are some inexpensive tips to slow down their eating habits:
1. Changing their bowl - Making food harder to access from the bowl is one way to slow down your dog. One easy way to do this is to flip their stainless still bowl upside down. The crevice makes it harder to get to the food. Muffin trays are also a great idea; it divides the food into smaller portions and allows the dog to pause between mouthfuls. You can also place a tennis ball on top of each muffin cup and turn it into a fun game!
2. Nothing in life is free - This is the number one rule for dogs that I find helps with many behavioural problems. Not only does it create good manners it also changes the dogs thinking process from scoffing food as fast as possible, to slowing down and thinking about what they have to do next to receive that food. It is also a great bonding experience. How it works: Start out simple, asking your dog to sit and hold that sit until you give a release command. Asking your dog to preform a task before giving each portion of food.
3. Feeding toys and games - Another great way is toys and games. However while they do work well there is no need to buy expensive food balls. Filling containers such as water or coke bottles with food works cheaply and effectively. You can also use PVC pipes with the ends sealed and holes drilled for the food to drop through. Placing food in an old cereal box and sealing the ends is another great idea.
4. Food mats and slow feeders - Their are many on the market. adding stickier foods can increase the complexity of removing food.
5. Splitting up family members - Sometimes fast eating can be caused by fear that food is going to be taken by other family members. Giving them their own space when eating takes out that fear and allows the dog to eat in a calm manner.
6. Scatter food- Skip the bowl completely and throw the food on the ground for your dog to search. or hide in different locations around the yard
A bath and Tidy is great for inbetween grooms, specially during those cold winter months when a full groom maybe to much. This service can help keep your pet matt free, allow the coat to gain length, give a healthy coat all year round and keep them hygienic and smelling fresh.
So what happens after you drop your puppy off for a Bath and Tidy at Funky Fur? Check out the process below.
The right shampoo is a big part in keeping your pets coat healthy. There are many factors that determine the health of a dogs coat, and while I cannot always control internal factors, I can assist in helping externally.
So how do I pick the right shampoo for your dog ?
The first step I take is research. I make sure I have an understanding on what goes into the shampoo and how it works. Here are lists of ingredients I avoid when picking and why.
SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulphate) are types of detergents or surfactants. Detergents are the most abundant ingredient in a shampoo and makes up about 10-15% of a formula. It lifts oils and dirt and carries it away from the coat.
So why do I avoid SLS and SLES?
There is a lot of mixed research on how these surfactants affect the skin. What we do know is it can be very drying and cause skin and eye irritations. As there are many other alternatives to these detergents I feel it’s better to be safe and avoid.
Parabens are a preservative added to products to give them a longer shelf life and to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Parabens are known to cause skin, eyes and respiratory irritations and allergic reactions. They also can be absorbed by the skin, blood and digestive system. Endocrine disruption: Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Formaldehyde also used as a preservative. Formaldehyde is considered a known human carcinogen by many expert and government bodies, and has been linked to leukaemia. Widely understood to cause allergic skin reactions and rashes in some people
Testing a chosen shampoo
This product has been tested on humans
Yes I admit I test all shampoos on myself before using it on any pets. While our ph. levels maybe a little different, I can get a better understanding on how the product feels during and after the process and if any irritations occur. I also see how the product affects my hands, using shampoo all day every day I know if a product is going dry out my hand it will do the same for the dogs skin.
There are some cons to being a groomers dog
Yes poor Chase sometimes is my next guinea pig. Chase suffers from external allergies so if a product is ok with him it will be for most other dogs. I also can keep watch over him for 24hrs and close to bathing facilities if a reaction occurs.
Test patches and observation.
Lastly is your pet. I carry a wide range of shampoos; everyday, medicated, clarifying, whitening, soothing, deep clean. So how do I know which one to use? At the beginning of every visit I assess your dogs coat to see if its oily, dry or brittle or flaky and from their decide which will best help correct the skin to a normal ph balance . Once the skin starts to normalise itself i will change back to a gentle everyday shampoo. Many factors can change your pets coat from one visit to the next so my shampoo choice on your pet will also change making sure what leaves my salon is a healthy coat and happy pet.
1. HIDE AND SEEK
This can keep your pet entertained for hours with enough variety to prevent it becoming repetitive. Start by getting your dog to stay while you go and hide somewhere in the house. At first hide somewhere they can still see you and offer treats as a reward when they find you. Then you can gradually make things more difficult hiding well out of sight. The game can be transferred to your dog’s favourite toy or treats.
2. TUG OF WAR
This is another great energy release game for both you and your pets. It’s important that your dog knows a ‘release’ command to let go of the tug toy when needed.
3. INTERACTIVE TOYS
You can find many interactive toys at your local pet shop but are also easy to make your self at home. A drink bottle with a small neck filled with dog or cat food. Or you can fill one with raw rice and close the lid tightly the noise will entertain your dog for hours.
All dogs need grooming and love the extra attention. Not only will this help you bond with your pet it will also keep the coat healthy and matt free.
5. PASS THE PARCEL
Nothing more fun than unwrapping a present and your dog loves it too. Wrapping their toys and treats in different layers of newspaper and watch him have fun finding what’s inside.
It’s hard to keep your dog active and entertained during those long rainy days. With winter just around the corner, over the next two weeks we’ll show you 10 ideas to keep your dog from being bored senseless…and you going stir crazy.
Being cooped up indoors can be the perfect opportunity to practice some basic training commands. Once you have mastered the basics you can move on to more advanced tricks like playing dead or high five. You tube is a great source for new tricks you can teach your dog.
2. DOGGIE PLAY DATE
Does your dog have a favourite friend? Invite them over for a rainy day play date, this will keep both pets entertained while you can catch up with a friend for a coffee.
3. OBSTICAL COURSE
If you're going to do something, go all-in, right? Setting up an obstacle course for your dog and helping teach him how to navigate the obstacles is a lot of fun. A lot of work, sure, but you're stuck inside on a rainy day so why not! Here are some suggestions for what to use:
· A sturdy milk crate, stool or other item to balance on
· A kitchen chair to jump up on or run underneath
· A box with two open ends that he can crawl through
· A basket alongside a pile of toys he has to place in it
· A pole on two stools or boxes that he can leap over
· A hula hoop to jump through
· A frisbee or ball to catch
Create a few obstacles and guide your dog through each one, building up to go faster each time. Make sure to reward your dog with lots of praise, tug games or other high-value rewards each time she gets through the obstacle course. Make it fun, rather than work. And you can make it as challenging as your dog needs.
4. LASER POINT
Not just for cats, a cheap laser pointer can keep your dog entertained for hours. Move it around often to give him plenty of exercise.
5. DOGGIE BASKET BALL
This great clip shows you how to teach your dog to play. Don’t have a basketball ring? Why not use a washing basket? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwzScx4tnZQ
Next week: Want to know how to play Hide and Seek with your dog? We’ll tell you in Indoor games for bad weather days, Part two
Introducing Your Puppy to grooming is one of the most important aspects to raising your dog. Grooming is something they will have to deal with their entire life and because this is a learnt behaviour, setting them up for success at a young age is very important.
The earlier you can introduce your dog to grooming the better, younger dogs are more open to new experiences. By the time most people bring their puppy in for their first groom they usually require a haircut. This can be a long a tiring process for your pup and can be over whelming being introduced to different types of equipment and process at the one time.
So what should your dog’s first experience be?
Starting at home. Getting puppy use to being handled in a positive way will help in all aspects of life. whether that is for vet visits, grooming or being able to check your dog when needed. If you are finding this a challenge, speak a dog trainer or ask your groomer for techniques that can work at home.
Puppy’s first booking should only involve a bath and tidy up, This stage alone introduces a lot of new experiences to your dog which sometimes can be scary and take a while to get used to. Your dog can get used to all the sounds, sights and smells of a grooming salon and get a positive experience (I often give a treat and lots of pats and play at this stage). Here equipment that will be used on your dog later down the track is turned on or introduced slowly. We only move at the pace your dog is comfortable with. This may mean that multiple sessions close together may be necessary to build confidents. After the first visit your groomer will know enough to set a plan of action for your pup. This can mean visits every two weeks for shy or pups that need more time or moving straight to a full groom for pups that are more confident.
First full clip. If all steps are taken above, by the time your pup gets to this stage they should feel very comfortable with the process and find it easier to deal with. Doing things that puppy loves straight after the grooming process will also make the experience positive, so a long walk or a good play will help extend a positive outcome.
Remember that dogs go through to periods where they can become unsure about new and old experiences. Regular positive grooming will ensure dogs will be successful for life long grooming.
While brining your dog in as early as possible is important, making sure your pup is protected is also crucial in keeping your pet safe. While it’s good to have all three vaccinations done, puppy should be ok after two weeks from their second vaccination ( consult your vet for more advice). If your puppy visits a grooming salon without having his vaccinations, it puts him at risk for all of the potential infections.
It’s still important for you to do some regular grooming by yourself at home, primarily brushing. Not only is brushing your puppy's coat a good way for you to bond with him, it can help set the stage for his later grooming appointments. Speak to your groomer on proper techniques and equipment thats right for you and your pup
Dogs love nothing more than a run through the long grass during the warmer seasons. These outings are a good way to encourage physical and mental stimulation for pets as well as an opportunity for us to bond. But sometimes even the smallest of things can ruin a good time. Grass seeds! While very small and not looking like much trouble they can cause big problems for our canine friends.
This little dog shows the damage that can be caused by grass seeds if not noticed right away. The grass seeds make their way up though the dogs coat and embed themselves into their skin. Once embedded infections start to form which can cause serious health problems as well as discomfort and pain.
So how do I avoid this problem?
The best way to protect your dog from grass seeds is to be particularly vigilant during the months when they pose the greatest risk – usually from late spring to the end of summer. Keeping grass and weeds under control at home with a combination of mowing, removal and poisoning can reduce the number of seeds that the dog is exposed to.
When out walking our dogs, avoiding long grass is another way we can help, but we all know that some of our dogs love to jump through the tall grass and have fun. So once home make sure you do a thorough check of your dog from head to toe particularly paying attention to in between the toes, armpits, ears and groin areas and removing any grass seeds seen on the dog.
For those long coated breeds regular grooming will help reduce the amount of grass seeds attracted to the coat. Matted coats can hide grass seeds and infections, so by keeping the coat Matt free we can easily identify any changes to our dogs skin.
So what do we do if we find grass seeds in the dogs skin?
Immediate removal if not embedded to deep and the area cleaned with salty water is your best option. This will prevent infection and swelling occurring. If infection and swelling is already present or the grass seed has gone into the skin to deep a trip to the vet sooner rather than later is advised. They will be able to remove the grass seed safely and advise if antibiotics are necessary.
Happy long summer walks with your dogs.
As a rule of thumb, your dogs nails are too long when its paws are rested on flat ground and the nails are in contact with the ground. Or if you can here them as the dog walks.
While daily walking is usually a good way to keep your dogs nails at a good length, there are times when clipping either by yourself or a dog groomer is necessary. This is usually when your dogs foot is not in the correct posture (like us some dogs can have flat feet or bowed legs which cause the paw to sit in a different position.), Certain breeds that have tough nails that cannot be warn down from general exercise ( example Vizslas), dogs that are not walked daily and dew claws (specially if your dog has back dew claws)
Checking your dogs nails regularly to make sure they are at the correct length can also reduce paw problems developing and keep your dog happy and health.
If you need help with maintaining your dogs nails contact funky fur for advice or an appointment today
Bianca is the owner and groomer at Funky Fur dog grooming and always looking for ways to help you care for your pet.