Saturday, December 21, 2013

Yappy Holidays!


 

I'm so excited!  Christmas is almost here! I know because I heard some dogs on the radio singing Jingle Bells.  I remember my first Christmas.  It was all new to me so I didn't realize the significance of the day until the night before.  That's when I found out that lots of the pretty boxes under the special tree that lit up were for me.  And those boxes were filled with TOYS!!!!  That's when I understood that Christmas is when dogs get lots and lots of toys! So this year I'm ready.  I'm already sniffing the pretty packages but all I smell are clothes.   I hope those are for the humans cuz I don't like clothes.  My cousin Sophie like to wear sweaters and stuff, but I don't.

Although the most important part of Christmas is the toys, and we pets get excited about all of the new things in our houses please remember that Christmas can be a dangerous time for us.  My sister Dixie never had a home when it was Christmas so this is all new to her.  I'm teaching her all about presents but also about things we need to look out for.
We all like looking at the pretty trees with their flashing lights and pretty balls, but the oil in the trees is toxic and the needles don't digest.  The chemicals people put in the water that help the tree live while it is inside are also toxic to pets.
Make sure your pets don't chew on the electrical cords that keep the lights flashing and those pretty balls, if made of glass, can easily break and those little pieces of glass can cut our paws.  Tinsel, is very tempting, but tinsel does not digest either and can get all knotted up in our bellies.  We can die from knotted up bellies.

So please be extra watchful of your pets around your Christmas tree.  In our
house we have a very little tree and it stands on a high table so I can see it but can't reach it.  In some of my friends houses, there are gates in the doorways so the dogs can't be in the room with the tree unless there are humans in there too.  Cats are different so gates don't work for cats and cats love to climb trees. So houses with cats need to be extra careful.

So please remember to keep your pet safe during the Christmas Holiday and remember to buy them lots of toys and treats.  If you don't know what to get them, just give me a call.  I helped design all of the pet gift baskets and can help you choose the right gift for your pet.  You'll find some of our most popular ones in the Pet Gift Division of our website.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Your friend,
Zeva

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A BONE OR A PHONE


I’ve been surfing the web and choosing the gifts I’m going to put on my Santa Paws list.  There are some really great toys out there!  I know Mom is going to be practical and probably tell Santa we need new Shoo! Tags because Dixie ate hers and we need to be protected against fleas and ticks.  She’ll probably say we should ask for Kyjen tug toys made out of fire hoses cuz Dixie ate all our other toys.  But I’m looking for something really different this year.
I’m a real techie dog so the PetCell really got my attention.  It’s a small bone-shaped phone that attached to a dog’s collar.  Too cute!  I wonder if it comes in pink.  It works just like a human cell phone so your humans can talk to you even when they aren’t around.  How cool is that!!!  It also has a GPS and Geo fencing.  Wow.

I told Mom all about it but she says I’m too young to have my own phone.  I’m three!  And besides, I’m very responsible. I’m putting it on my list anyway cuz Santa Paws knows I have been very, extra, super good this year.

I like when Mom puts kibble inside the Kong and when I play with it, it gives me treats.  I saw some other toys like that on line so I’m hoping to get one of those.  What could be better than playing AND getting treats at the same time?

I have a ball that flashes lights when I play with it.  I like to drop it at the top of the stairs and watch it go down.   It’s a new toy so I don’t know how long it will last before Miss Chews Everything gets it and Mom throws it out.  So I looked and found something called X-Tire Blinky Ball.  It’s a ball that blinks like the one I have but this one is surrounded by two rings that are made out of the stuff car tires are made of.  Definitely going on my list.

Antlers are always a good choice and on Christmas day, after we open all of our gifts, I would like nothing better than to relax and enjoy a fresh marrow bone.  Perfection.

I think that about covers my wish list for this year. After you mail your list off to Santa Paws, drop me a note, I’d love to know what you are expecting to see under your tree.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Seasons Greetings,

Your friend,

Zeva
P.S.  blatant self-promotion... all of our holiday gift baskets have lots of great toys and treats so if you don't have the time to shop around, check out our website.  It's so easy, just choose the gifts you want and tell me where to send them.  I'll even include a nice card.  Our site is filled with great gifts for pets and the people who love them.  Here's the link to the pet page http://laurelmtbasket.com/index.php/store/category/pet-gifts-and-baskets

Friday, November 15, 2013

Home For The Holidays

The Holiday Season is here.  Thanksgiving is just a few days away and Christmas is right behind it.  OMD!  I haven't written to Santa Paws yet!  Anyway, the holidays are a very hectic time of year for pets as well as for people.

Houses get decorated and big meals get cooked.  Lots of people come to visit.  All of this can be confusing.

Mom and Dad love Christmas and love to make the house pretty with all sorts of decorations.  The biggest decoration is the tree.  They actually go outside and bring a tree into the house.  Imagine that!  Bringing a tree in means that they have to move stuff around which is kind of confusing for a while.

A real tree needs to have water so if you get a real tree in your house you need to remember that you are not supposed to drink the water that is under the tree.  That water is the tree's water.  Also, sometimes people put chemicals in the water.  Chemicals are good for the tree but bad for pets.

Christmas trees are not for chewing.  I like to chew sticks but the kind of trees that make good Christmas trees, make bad chewing trees.  These trees have oils in them that can make your tummy very bad and the little green needles can get into your intestines and, oh boy, it can hurt.  The last thing you want to do is go to the emergency vet.  Your humans will not be happy.

Cats -  As tempting as it is, DO NOT climb the inside tree.  Humans don't like it.

Male Dogs - The inside tree is not for lifting your leg. You still need to go outside to pee.

Having a tree in the house can be pretty but humans take it a step further.  Humans like to decorate the tree with all kinds of stuff.  They wrap the tree in lights and garland, hang pretty round things called ornaments on the branches and even sprinkle shiny tinsel all over it.  None of this is good to eat!

The ornament things are really pretty but you need to be careful because some of them are made of glass.  Glass ornaments are easy to break and you don't want to get any broken glass in your pads.  Tinsel and garland are very pretty too but you don't want to eat them because they make you very sick and again, you don't want to go to the vet.

I'm the curious type so I'm always sniffing the ornaments and poking them to make them move.  That's why Mom puts ornaments that can't break on the lower branches of the tree.  If I poke one or hit it with my tail and it falls off the tree, it won't break which makes Mom happy and keeps me out of trouble.

Be very careful that you don't knock over the tree.  Dixie and I play tag and wrestle so we are going to have to be extra careful around the Christmas tree this year.  Hopefully Dad will put it in a very sturdy stand so that we can't knock it over while playing.

The best part of having a tree is that that is where Santa Paws puts the presents. You just have to remember that not all of the presents are for you and you should not unwrap them or chew the boxes.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and I hope Santa Paws brings you lots of toys and treats.

Your friend,
Zeva

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion our Yappy Holidays! gift baskets  is one of my very favorites because it has some yummy stuff for your humans too.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Winterizing your Pets


Winter is on the way and Mom and Dad are getting ready.   The oil man came with his big truck and put oil in our tank and another man is coming to clean the furnace so we will have a nice warm house when it gets cold outside.  We have the storm windows in place and the snow blower has new spark plugs and clean fuel.

It gets very cold in New England and cold weather can be hard on pets so Mom and Dad make sure Dixie and I are safe and can enjoy the winter months.  Winter is especially hard on puppies and seniors so if you are a puppy or a senior, or if you have a medical condition like diabetes, you need to limit the time you spend out of doors.  I know it’s fun to play in the snow but you can get tired really easy, so be careful.

Dogs with short hair also need to be careful and not stay outside too long.  Dixie is a mix of short hair breeds and she has never seen snow so Mom is going to buy her a coat or sweater to wear when she goes out.  This should be fun to see since Dixie doesn’t even like to wear a collar.  Hee, hee.

When playing or exercising outside we need to be careful that the snow doesn’t get in between our toes and turn to ice.  Make sure your humans check your feet when you come inside and if there is any ice, make sure they make it go away.  Some dogs wear boots to keep their feet dry.

Speaking of ice, if you live near a pond or any kind of water, do not go out on the ice.  It can break and you could fall in and get died. 

People don’t like to have ice on their stairs or sidewalks so they put down this ice melting stuff.  That ice melting stuff is dangerous if dogs or cats lick it.   If you get it on your paws, don’t lick it off.  Wait until you are back in the house and let your human get if off with a moist cloth.  There is ice melting stuff that is especially made for households with pets so make sure your humans buy that kind.

Another thing that can make a pet sick or died is called Antifreeze.  Antifreeze is something that people put into their cars so the car works in the winter.  They tell me that Antifreeze is sweet and tastes good but it has a poison called Propylene Glycol in it which is very, very bad.  People can buy Antifreeze without Propylene Glycol in it which is much safer.

I know most of you are house dogs but if you know any dogs that live outside, let them know that they need to be extra careful.  They should have some kind of shelter to keep them out of the wind and snow.  A dog house that is big enough to turn around in but small enough to keep their body heat in is a good choice.  The floor covered with hay or a nice blanket and a blanket over the door helps too. 

An outside dog needs extra food during the winter and having unfrozen water available is a challenge.  There are special water dishes that help keep water unfrozen.

I love coming in the house and cuddling in my warm bed after an afternoon playing in the snow.  I’m looking forward to showing Dixie how to bury her nose in the snow and chase snowballs.

What are some of you favorite things to do in the wintertime?

Your North Country friend,

Zava
 
P.S. Shameless self-promotion.  One of my favorite things about winter is Christmas!  That's when we all get presents.  Our Santa Paws is one of my favorite Christmas gift baskets

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rescue Me


October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  According to the US Humane Society an estimated 2.7 million healthy shelter pets are not adopted each year, and only about 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters and rescues.  Do you know what happens to the 2.7 million healthy pets that are not adopted?  They get euthanized.  Euthanized is a nice word for KILLED.
I know, not everyone can adopt a pet.  There are already two of us adopted dogs living in our house and that is all we have room for.  But there are lots of things we can do to help shelters and hopefully get more pets adopted.

The big word is DONATE.  When people hear that word they automatically think money but there are so many other ways to donate.

Donate your TIME.  Volunteer to work at a local shelter.  You could walk the dogs or stuff envelopes for a mailing campaign.  You could donate your time assisting at a fund raising event.  You could donate your time hosting a collection drive or yard sale to benefit the shelter.
Donate your SKILLS.  Are you an amateur or professional photographer?  Donate your skills and take photos of the pets to be put on the shelter’s website or on Petfinder.com.  Have a way with words?  Help write copy for the newsletter or fund raising materials.

Donate your STUFF.  Donate out grown collars and leashes, crates, beds, or gently used toys your dog doesn’t play with.  Pet food is always welcome.  Donate office supplies, postage stamps, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies (scent free is best) and paper towels.   Your old towels can be used to dry pets after baths and your old blankets make wonderful warm beds.  Donate your olds newspapers.  The shelter can use them to line cages or shred them for litter boxes.
Donate your HOME.  It takes a very special person to foster pets.  Are you one?

Oh yeah…. You can donate MONEY.  Support fund raisers and events designed to help your local shelter or you can write a nice big check.

Several times a year my company donates part of the profits from our Pet Gift Baskets to the local shelter.  It’s easy.
So, now you know you don’t have to adopt a shelter pet to help.  If you know other ways, let me know.

Your friend,

Zeva
 
P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  Our To The Rescue Gift Basket has is the perfect way to welcome a new dog into your home.

 

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Is It About Cats?


I’m a pretty smart dog.  I read lots of blogs so I know a lot about a lot of stuff.   The other day I noticed our neighbor’s cat sitting in the window and realized that I don’t know much about cats.  Even more puzzling is why anyone would want to let them live in their house.  I mean, they aren’t very good guards.  They don’t warn their humans that the mail or UPS truck is coming and they don’t bark and run to the door to see who is there.
They catch mice and bugs but so does my sister Dixie, bugs anyway but I bet if she saw a mouse she could catch it.  I don’t see cats chasing anything big like a burglar or zombie.

I don’t understand why humans find cats entertaining either.  A cat will chase a dot of light around for hours and never catch it.  The human just sits there.  I would think watching TV or surfing the Net would be more fun.   At least people get exercise while playing catch or Frisbee with their dog.
Cats don’t know how to get the full value from their toys.  I have not seen one cat toy that was mangled or chewed up so much it had to be taken away.  Cats also love cat nip.  They have these little toys filled with the stuff.  I tried cat nip once.  We had some cat nip toys and pillows for sale when we had our shop.  I don’t know what the big deal is, it did nothing for me.

Do people realize that cats don’t care if their humans go away?  When Mom and Dad go away for a time, I miss them and let them know how much when they come home.  Cats don’t even seem to notice who is home and who isn’t.   It’s like cats think all humans are good for is making sure there is food and water in the dishes.
I’m just guessing cuz it’s hard to tell what a cat is thinking.  They rarely talk.  We dogs are always talking.  We bark, whine, growl, and whimper.  Cats purrs.  Okay, so if a cat is really, really mad it might hiss but you’d think it would at least try to learn a language to communicate with other species.

I have to admit, one thing I find interesting about cats is that they don’t have to go outside to pee and poop.  They get their humans to set up these little yards in a box right inside the house.  This is a huge advantage since they don’t have to go outside on rainy or cold days.  I wonder if I can get Mom get me one of those yards in a box.
I am going to have to do lots more investigating about cats.  They may be on to some other good things.   I’d love to hear from any dogs that live with cats.  I’m curious.  Oh my, isn’t curiosity a cat trait?

Your canine friend,

Zeva

P.S. Blatant self-promotion.   Mom says we have gift baskets for pets and the people who love them and that includes Cats.  I kind of like our Cat Nappin’ gift basket cuz it has a nice soft blanket in it.  Everyone should have a nice soft blanket, even cats.

 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Home Alone


I’m a very lucky dog.  We own our own business so my sister Dixie and I get to go to work with Mom every day.  When we aren’t at work, we go with Mom and Dad almost everywhere else so we very rarely have to stay at home by ourselves.  For those times we do have to stay at home by ourselves, it is only for a little while.  Being home alone for a little while is okay cuz we get to nap in our own crates.  I like having my own crate cuz Dixie can be a pain sometimes.
The other day, Mom and Dad went to a family party far away and they were gone ALL DAY.  Napping in our crates is okay but ALL DAY is a very long time to be in a crate.  For long times like all day we have a Pet Sitter.  A Pet Sitter is a person who comes to our house to feed us and take us out to play and do our business.

Finding a good Pet Sitter is serious business.  We had a very good Pet Sitter at our other house but when we moved, we were too far away so we needed to find another one.  Like any busy dog, the first thing I did to find a Pet Sitter was to look on line.  From reviewing the different websites, I could see who lived close by, what organizations they belong to, what training and experience they had and all sorts of other valuable information about them.

We chose a very nice lady.  She has lots of experience taking care of animals and even has a lot of animals of her own living on her farm.  She came to visit and played with me and Dixie so we could get to know her and see if we thought she would be okay.  She gave Mom lots of paper to look at.   Mom thinks things like having special insurance is important for a Pet Sitter to have.  She also likes that our Pet Sitter knows our new vet and knows the people at the emergency vet hospital near by.

She asked Mom lots of questions about us and our routines.  And she wrote down lots of stuff.  The one question that impressed me the most was “Where do you keep the cookies?”.  I was sold.  The lady had her priorities right.

Having a Pet Sitter come to the house is very nice.  We like our neighbors and they would be happy to help but Mom likes to have a "professional" who has special training with dogs.   I never had to stay in a kennel and I hear that some are really nice but I’m not good with change.   I think I would miss my own crate and yard.   Also, with two dogs, a stay at a kennel can be expensive.  And then there’s the whole thing about dropping us off and picking us up.  We’d have to be on the kennel’s schedule, not ours.   Also we’d need to take our blankets and toys and food dishes and food.  And don’t forget our cookies.  What if they don’t have good cookies? Staying at home is much nicer for us and lots easier for Mom and Dad too.
How about you?  Do you have a Pet Sitter come to your house when your Mom and Dad have to go away?  If so, what do you like best about your Pet Sitter?

Your friend,
Zeva

P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  My very special Dogs in Toyland gift basket was designed for that very special dog in your life!

Friday, August 16, 2013

FAST FOOD - 5 Ways to stop your dog from gobbling their food

My sister Dixie holds the world record for fast eating.  She has to eat in her crate cuz she finishes so fast then tries to eat my food too.  I used to eat very slowly.  Sometimes I would take a piece of kibble into the next room, eat it, and then come back for more.  Not anymore!  I have to eat everything sort of quickly or Dixie will steal it.

I can understand when she first came to live with us that she thought she might not get enough food.  She was a stray so sometimes she didn’t get enough to eat.  I tell her that we always have lots of food.  I even show her where we keep the HUGE bag of food in the cabinet.  I tell her it is all for us and it never gets empty! But, she still gulps down her food.

I’m part Lab and Labs are always hungry.  We get lots of very nutritious food which is  divided so we get fed three times every day.  And, we get cookies and carrots for snacks.  I may be starving at dinner time but I still have manners when I eat.
Gobbling food is not only undoggy like, it can cause bloat.  When a dog gulps food, air gets in the tummy which is a bad thing and can make a dog very sick or even died.  So getting a dog to eat nice is very important.

Mom decided Dixie is not going to stop fast eating all on her own so we are trying some tricks.  First Mom tried to hand feed her.  Poor Dixie, she would gobble what little Mom had in her hand then sit and wait for the next handful.  Only, she looks so pathetic while she is waiting, Mom couldn’t keep feeding her that way.  Besides, Mom’s hand got all sticky and yucky from Dixie slobber.

Hand feeding is one trick.  Here are a few others that might work if you or someone you know gobbles their food.
1.      You can buy a special feeding dish called a Break Fast Bowl.  It has big posts in the bowl so the dog has to eat around them.  It also slides a little so the dog has to chase the food.

2.     You can make a regular feeding dish into something like a Break Fast Bowl by simply turning it upside down.  The food goes in the groove around the big bump in the middle so the dog has to work harder to get at the food, slowing down the eating.   A regular feeding dish is much less expensive too.

3.     Instead of using a bowl, try a muffin tin.  Put a little of the food into each of the little compartments.  The dog has to stop a bit when going from one compartment to the next.

4.     Another thing you can buy is a feeding cube or ball.    The food goes into the cube or ball and you have to play with the cube or ball until all the food falls out.  I would like this one.  Sometimes Mom puts some Kibble (or peanut butter) in the big Kong and I have to play to get it out.  It’s lots of fun.

5.     There is another kind of gadget you can buy that goes in the feeding dish.  It’s a round ball made out of ceramic or some kind of shiny metal.  Some people put a big rock in the dish (it has to be big cuz we dogs do tend to eat little rocks), but they say you can’t wash a rock so they invented these other balls.

Mom is trying the “rock” method now only she is using the big Kong.  She puts the food in the dish then puts the Kong on top of the food.  Dixie is eating a little slower cuz she has to stop and move the Kong around to get to the food.  Mom likes the Kong cuz, first all we already have it, and unlike a big rock, she can wash it.

We’ve only been trying it a couple of days, but it seems to be working.
If you or anyone you know is a food gobbler, please let me know what you did to help get better eating manners.

Thanks
Your friend,

Zeva

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Dixie and I are very spoiled… so I created a gift basket especially for Spoiled Rotten Dogs. Can you guess what I call it?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Senior's Have Class


"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog." - Sydney Jeanne Seward

Being very active in social media, I follow a lot of dog blogs, dog rescue and adoption groups on FaceBook.  I am always sad to see so many dogs who don’t have furever homes and most sad that lots of older dogs never get adopted at all.

I know, puppies are cute.  But I have to tell you, puppies can be a pain in the butt.   I mean, we adopted my sister Dixie.  She’s not a baby but she’s just out of puppyhood and I’ll tell you, what a handful.  She runs, and plays and chews constantly.  Good thing she likes old bones and not the furniture.

Now, if we adopted a Senior Dog, he or she would be much quieter.  They would walk nicely, not run a hundred miles an hour everywhere.  They would also take more naps.

When we got Dixie, she didn’t have all of her shots yet and she wasn’t spayed.  It costs a lot of money to get a dog spayed and to have all of their shots.  Many older dogs that are turned in to the shelters already have had their shots and have been spayed or neutered.

And most shelters don’t charge as much to adopt a Senior Dog as they do to adopt young dogs.

People think that older dogs come with “bad habits”.  Any dog can have “bad habits”.   That’s what dog training is about.  Helping dogs have good habits.  Old dogs LOVE to learn new tricks!

People are afraid to adopt Senior Dogs because they think they will die soon.  That is so not true.  When a dog has a good home, with good food, it can live a long, long time.  Who wouldn’t want to experience unconditional love for 8 or even 5 years?

So, if you or someone you know is thinking about adopting a dog, suggest an older dog.  They make wonderful companions and are very deserving of a good furever home.

Your friend,

Zeva

P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  Every dog deserves a little pampering now and then.  That’s why I created Spot’s SPAGift Basket.  It has everything a well groomed pooch needs.

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good Bye Schoep


“Dogs lives are too short.  Their only fault, really. ” (Agnes Sligh Turnbull)

I’m sure you heard the sad news that Schoep passed over to Rainbow Bridge last week.

Like many of us, Schoep was a rescued dog who found a wonderful furever home.  He and his Dad, John were the bestest of best friends for almost 20 years which is a very long time.  Some people say that dogs are angels in fur coats because we come into people’s lives when they need us the most.  I know his Dad is going to need a long time to heal and I hope that when he is ready he finds another wonderful dog to share his life and love with.


Run Free Schoep,

Your friend Zeva,

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Paw Prints on the Heart Gift Basket.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Birth Control for Pets


According to The Humane Society of the United States… “About 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs—about one every 11 seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets. Spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation, ensuring that every pet has a family to love them.”

My sister Dixie went to the vet on Tuesday to get spayed.  I did a Google Search and found out that spaying is an operation that makes it so girl dogs can’t have puppies.  I’m a girl dog so I asked my Mom how come she didn’t take me to the vet to get spayed and she said I was already spayed when she adopted me. I was really little so I didn’t remember.

Mom and Dad love us, and they loved all of the dogs that lived with them before and they made sure all of them were spayed or neutered.   Mom said it wasn’t a difficult decision because she did lots of research and believes the good that comes from “fixing” her dogs, out-weighs the bad that could possibly happen to them.  Yes, she said sometimes bad things happen but the odds or on our side.  Whatever that means.

Spaying not only stops dogs from having puppies when there aren’t enough homes for all of them, it can be good for the mental and physical health of the dog.  Spayed dogs have less of a chance of getting sick with uterine, ovarian or breast cancer which are all very, very bad sicknesses to get. Spaying also makes dogs act nicer.  Believe me, when Dixie first came to live with us, she was in heat and she was a major witch with a “B”. She tried to get out of the pen all the time.  She was moody and so bossy and when we would play fight, sometimes she would try to bite me for real.  I hope they are right when they say spaying will help her not be so witchy.

Like any operation, bad stuff can happen but she has been home for couple of days she seems to be okay.  Neither of us is happy that she can’t jump on the couch or bed or play fight with me.  She has to be in her crate a lot during the day and all night. Mom says we have to wait a couple of more days and then we can play all we want.  Some people say girl dogs get fat after they get spayed.  Maybe that’s why I tend to be a little on the chunky side but we do watch my diet and exercise and I’m sure Mom will do the same for Dixie.

There are lots of different opinions about what is the best age to spay or neuter a dog but I think most responsible dog owners will agree that spaying and neutering is the right choice for their pets. After all, if I had a litter of puppies, we could never give any away and we would have too many dogs in our house.

Are you spayed or neutered?  Is so how old were you when you had your operation?

To your health!

Your friend,

Zeva

P.S. Blatant self-promotion:  We have a whole line of gift baskets for cats too.  Check out our Finicky Feline Gift Basket!

 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Be A Picky Eater


It seems like every day there is another recall of pet food or treats but did you know that it is okay to sell pet food with stuff in it that is not all that good for you.  My friend Eric, The Amazing Dog Training Man, showed me what to look for and what to look out for when choosing food.

Here are the ingredients on two different bags of dry dog food.  Which one would you choose?

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, propylene glycol, meat and bone meal, tricalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, salt, water, animal digest, sorbic acid (a preservative), potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried peas, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine.

Or:

Whitefish, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Canola oil (preserved with Mixed Tocapherols) Pea fiber, Tomato Pomace, Natural Fish Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries,

Vitamins (E supplement, Beta Carotene, Nicacin, d-Calcium. Pantothenate, A supplement, Riboflavin, D3 supplement Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrae, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Folic Acid)

Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfte, Iron Proteinate, Ferrou Sulfate, copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Maganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate)

Choline Cloride, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation product, Rosemary extract.

I know, the second one has lots of weird sounding stuff in it, but the weird stuff is mostly vitamins, minerals and probiotics which are good for you.  The second one also has many more good for you foods like different fish and lots of veggies.  Corn, rice, soy, sugar and animal by-products will fill you up but they aren’t all that nutritious.  Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Blue 2 are actually pretty bad for you.

I think the best food to eat is raw but making raw food takes time and you need to make sure you are getting the right mix of good for you stuff.  Me, I’d love a whole chicken (raw) or a nice chunk of beef (raw) with a side of mashed sweet potato and carrots.  And for desert, I would love a big Frosty Paws!

Now I’ve done, it.  I am starving.  Think Dixie and I will see if Mom will give us a cookie.

Bone Appetite,

Your friend,

Zeva

P.S.  Blatant Self-promotion. My Own Cookie Tin Gift Basket.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

I was talking with my friends Bumo and Miu who live in India.  They are having the hottest summer in ten years.  The temperatures are reaching 118F and 120F.  That's super hot! They are lucky that they live in a house that has air conditioning.

It doesn't usually get that hot here in New England but it still gets hot enough to be dangerous for us dogs.  Everybody knows that dogs should not be left in a car at all in the summer because even if it is only 70F outside, it can get over 100F in the car very, very fast.  Leaving a window open doesn't help.

Dogs need to be able to get fresh water to drink all the time but it is even more important in the summer when we can get dehydrated.  Humans should bring along enough water to share with their dog when they go for a walk.  They have these really cute bowls that fold up or humans can just make a bowl with their hands to give their dog a drink.

We dogs like lots of exercise but it's best to exercise in the early morning or evenings when it is not too hot.  Running is fun but we get tired easily so walking is better.  Please remember that we don't wear shoes and that roads, sidewalks and sand are hot and can burn our paws.

We love to play in grass.  I especially love to roll and stretch in the cool grass so be sure not to go on grass that has been chemically treated until it is safe.

Summer time is buggy time.  Fleas, ticks and mosquitos are everywhere.  They are not only annoying, they are dangerous because they can spread serious sickness.  In New England we are especially careful of ticks that carry Lyme Disease and in the South, where my sister Dixie comes from, mosquitoes are filled with heartworm buggies.  There are shots and medicine and stuff to put on our coats to keep us from getting buggies.  Make sure you are protected.

Swimming is a good summer sport, so I'm told.  I don't particularly like swimming, which is shameful since I am part Lab.  Anyway, if your human takes you swimming, let them know if you don't like it and make sure you are a good swimmer before you go too deep.  You should never go swimming without having your human there because a big current could come along and make you drown.

The beach is a fun place but ocean water is very bad for dogs.  Dog should not drink ocean water cuz the salt and stuff can make them sick.  Also if you swim in the ocean water, get washed off when you come out cuz the salt and stuff can make your coat and skin bad.  Also watch out for that hot sand.

You may not know that dogs can get sunburned just like humans so don't stay in the sun for a long time.  There are sun screens available to help protect sensitive areas like our ears and noses.

Summer is a very fun time for dogs and their humans to play outdoors.  My sister, Dixie, and I love to wrestle outdoors in the summer time.   Let me know what your favorite thing is to do in the summer.

Have fun but remember to stay safe.

Your friend,

Zeva

P.S.  Shameless self promotion.  No matter what time of year it is, it's important to be well groomed.  That's why I created our Spot's SPA Gift Basket so every dog can be pampered pooch.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Dog House Redux



This might just work.  A while back I wrote that I was getting a sister.  I was kind of excited since I would have someone to play with all the time but then I would also have to share things like my toys and my Mom and Dad and I wasn’t so sure about that.

Well, Dixie, that’s her name, came to live with us a couple of days ago.  Mom and Dixie’s foster Mom were only a little concerned about introducing us at my house.  It’s way better to introduce strange dogs in an neutral place like a park but since Dixie was used to living with other dogs and I am very socialized, we met at my house.
 
Of course, Mom picked up my food bowl and toys but we barely noticed.  It didn’t take more than a couple of minutes of checking each other out that we started playing.  And playing, and playing.  I have had other dogs come to my house so I was a little surprised when her foster Mom and Dad left and she stayed.  I guess that’s what it means to have a sister, not just a friend. 

Mom kept my schedule pretty much the same.  I got to eat at the same time and we went to sleep at the same time.  Going to sleep the first night almost didn’t work.  Dixie couldn’t settle down so Mom finally brought her crate in the bedroom and Dixie went right to sleep.
 
The next night, she jumped on the bed with me and went right to sleep.  I am going to have to talk with her cuz she is a bed hog and she snores.  She wants to sleep on Mom’s feet and that is where I like to sleep.  I’ll just cuddle with Dad until she gets more used to us then I’ll get my space back.

I still get to eat at the same times but Dixie doesn’t know how to eat nice.  She gets way too excited, jumping up and down, and she eats way too fast.  Then, when she is done with her food, she tries to eat mine.  Mom says the people who owned her probably didn’t feed her nice so she is helping her to have better manners. Dixie gets fed in her crate so even when she finishes first, she can’t come and try to get my food and I can take my time and enjoy my food.

Mom makes sure we each have alone time with each human.  Yesterday Dad took me to dog-park while Mom took Dixie to see our Vet.  I also get to spend time by myself on the deck.  It’s my thinking time.

Enough work for now.  Time to get back to playing and then a little nap. 
Let me know what your experience has been with having a new dog come live with you.

Your friend,
Zeva

P.S.  Shameless self promotion… Our To The RescueDog Gift Basket

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Help Me If you Can...Where Do You Bury Your Bones?


I need your help.  Where do you bury your bones?

Only a few more days and Dixie is coming to live with us.  If you follow my blog, you may remember, Dixie is a Ditch Dog (i.e. dog abandoned by the side of the road).  Mom’s friend found her and got her heartworm treatment and everything but she can’t keep her cuz there are already two rescues living in a very small house with two humans.  When Dad saw a picture of Dixie he said she could come and live with us. Okay, so she is “cute” but cute isn’t everything.  I’m cute ….

I guess it will be fun to have someone to talk to and play with all the time but I’m not sure I want to have another dog living in MY house with MY humans.  Mom says she will have her own dish and her own crate but I still will have to share my toys and we will all sleep in the big bed.  I’m wondering what else I will have to share with her.

When Mom bought dog food this week, she bought a GIANT bag and she bought two boxes of treats instead of one.  Still, what if Dixie eats all of my food and all of my treats.  What will I do?

I am a smart dog, and always want to be prepared so today, when Dad gave me treats for helping him work outside, I hid them all.  I hid one under the rain spout and the others all around the yard.  If Dixie eats all of my food and treats, I will at least have something to eat so I don’t starve.

We dogs have been burying bones for hundreds if not thousands of years because you never know when you will need food.  Treats are okay, but bones are the best. Our ancestors used to eat their fill and then bury what was left so they could eat it later when they didn’t have fresh food to eat.  Even back then they knew that bones were the best.  Bones have marrow in them and we know that marrow has good protein and fat and tastes awesome!  Mom and Dad are very good to me.  I get three meals a day and treats but still, I need to be prepared “just in case”.

I buried the treats outside but most of the time, I bury my treats inside the house.  My favorite places are in the corners of the couches.  I need to start burying all of my treats “just in case”.  I could use a few more hiding places.  Where are your favorite places to bury your treats?  I won’t tell anyone your secret hiding place if you don’t tell Dixie where I hide my stash.
Appreciate your help,

Your friend

Zeva
P.S. Blatant self-promotion.... Our Spoiled Rotten Dog Gift Basket... in case you know a spoiled rotten dog :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Friend Charles

I love dog park for a whole bunch of reasons. There are no cars in the park so I don’t have to be on leash which means I can run fast and far and Mom doesn’t worry. There are big hills to climb, woods with lots of trees to sniff and grassy fields to play in. There is a place where the little river comes up near the path and we dogs can jump in and swim or get a drink of cold water. I could be at dog park all by myself and have a fun time but the very best thing about dog park is that there are always lots of other dogs who go there too.

There are all kinds of dogs.  There are big dogs and small dogs, old dogs and puppies. Some dogs like to play tag, others like to carry sticks or chase tennis balls. When I go to dog park, I see some of the same dogs and we are now old friends. Even better than seeing old friends, every time I go, meet new friends. And you know you can never have enough friends.
One of my friends is named Charles. That’s Charles in the picture above. Charles goes to dog park almost every day with his mom and his sister Em. Charles and Em are both rescue dogs and have lived with their mom for a long time. He’s eleven years old and his back legs don’t work good any more but that doesn’t stop Charles. He gets around just fine with his special cart. He goes so fast some times that his mom has to make him slow down. He can go up and down the hills, run in the fields and even go in the water.
All the dogs like Charles cuz he is very friendly and happy.  Some times when we walk with Charles and his family, we meet people who ask about his cart.   Charles has a sickness that makes his back legs not move but his front legs work just fine.  His mom straps him into the cart so it keeps his whole back end up and his front legs make the wheels carry him around.  I am happy he has his cart because otherwise, I would not get to see him and play with him when I go to dog park.
Today is a beautiful day and Mom said we are going to dog park.  I hope I see Charles there and we can walk the paths and go to the river to get a cold drink.
Charles' Friend,
Zeva
P.S.  Shameless self promotion -  I think special dogs like Charles deserve special treats like our Dogs In Toy Land Gift Basket.  What do you think?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Superman and Batman Have Nothing On These Real Heroes!


Oh Boy! What a week!  I live with my Mom and Dad in Western Massachusetts, not in Boston, but lots of our human friends and family members are athletes and run in the Boston Marathon so when we heard about the bombs we were very scared.

Mom stayed at her computer, following Face Book and Twitter and Dad watched the TV news.  So much happened so fast.  Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police and so many other law enforcement agencies ran to Boston.  Not much was said on the news, but some of those who responded and who where there doing their jobs were Explosive Detector Dogs, otherwise known as Bomb Sniffing Dogs.

These dogs are my heroes. My human grandmother lives near a State Police Barracks where they have a K-9 agility course built by the members of a local Boy Scout Troop as the project for one of the Scouts to earn his Eagle Scout ranking.
Sometimes when Mom visits, I can watch the dogs run the course.  I would love to try but I know you need special training to do agility and even more to be a real Bomb Sniffing Dog.
Bomb Sniffing Dogs start their training like all of us dogs in Obedience Training.  They have to learn all the normal stuff like sit and stay.  The only difference is that they can be trained in different languages.  Where I learned to “sit”, “stay” and “come, a Bomb Sniffing Dog might learn to Sitzen Sie, bleiben Sie, kommen Sie or sente-se, permane├ža, venha.
How cool is that?!  Bomb Sniffing Dogs speak several languages.
After regular Obedience Training, they get special training so they can focus under distraction.  These dogs have to work in big crowds, where there are lots of noises and smells and they even have to work when there is gun fire.  I have trouble focusing when I see a bird or a squirrel.
Bomb Searching Dogs learn how to sniff out all kinds of scents like dynamite, plastic explosives, TNT, detonation cords, ammonium nitrate and a whole bunch more nasty stuff that can be used to make bombs.
They learn how to search buildings as well as cars and packages.  The different types of searches required different types of training.
I think the Bomb Sniffing Dogs that patrolled the race route before the race and those who went back in after the explosions, when there was a real danger of more bombs, were very brave, as were their human partners.  I read that four dogs from Rhode Island came to help the Massachusetts dogs.
This was a very bad thing that happened and it was wonderful that so many humans, including non law enforcement humans, helped in so many ways.  I am especially proud that some of those who helped were canine.  Dogs Rule!

Zeva
P.S.  Shameless self promotion.  If anyone deserves one of our To The Rescue Gift Basket, it's a dog who is on the job.