Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Moo, I Mean Woof

I admit it, I like to eat grass.  Mom buys us good nutritious food but I still like a little grass now and then.  I guess it’s all right since most vets, even though they don’t know why dogs eat grass, say that eating grass is okay.

I like grass cuz it tastes good but I make sure I only eat grass that doesn’t have pesticides or chemicals on it.  Sometimes Dad adds fertilizer to our lawn but never in our pen so pen grass is always safe to eat.  I specially like the grass that grows near the fence because it’s extra long and thick.

Some people think dogs eat grass because they have a bad belly that makes them wanted to throw up from eating something yucky or that they are having a little digestive problem.  I remember a time or two when I had to hurry and wake Mom up to let me outside because I was going to be sick and eating grass did help. 

Some people think it’s a way for dogs to get rid of worms.  Back in the olden days when dogs didn’t live with people, they didn’t have vets so they had to take care of worms themselves.  Still others think we eat grass to grass because we don’t get enough of good stuff like nutrients or fiber from our food.  Could be the reason for some dogs but we get carrots and other veggies and even get tuna fish juice or eggs in addition to regular dog food.

If you like to occasionally nibble on some grass, it’s probably okay but if you suddenly start chowing down like Bessie the Cow or if you are eating and throwing up lots of days at a time, you need to visit your vet cuz it could mean you need medicine.

For the record, the real reason we eat grass is to mess with our human’s heads.  We have to keep you all on your toes and if you think we are sick you give us more hugs and cookies.

While I am in a confessing mood, I admit I also eat dirt, sticks and poop and DixieLee eats paper and sox but those are topics for a whole other blog.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self-promotion. Our pet gift baskets are filled with so many yummy treats you won't want to eat any grass.  Check them out at PawPalsBoutique.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Declawing Cats

Hello Everyone.  Fo the Cat here.  Zeva asked me to write the Paw Pals Boutique blog this week.  She noticed that there has been a lot of discussion recently about banning the practice of declawing cats and wanted my opinion.

She didn’t see why people were so upset.  After all, dogs get their nails clipped all the time.  Some dogs even like to get their nails clipped because they get to wear nail polish.  After I explained to her what really happens to a cat when it gets declawed, she understood why people were so upset.

Cat’s claws are really sharp.  They are supposed to be.  The cat’s claws are its main defense tool.  Their claws help them run up trees when they are trying to escape a predator or, if cornered, used to slash and cut.

A cat’s scratch can be painful but for most people, if cleaned and treated with antiseptic right away, shouldn’t be a real problem.  For the elderly and people who have medical problems that are being treated with blood thinners, however, a cat scratch can be more serious and not treated so lightly.   The main reason people declaw their cats so they can’t scratch (slash and cut) them or climb (and ruin) their furniture and draperies.

What people (and I guess dogs) don’t understand is that a declawing a cat is not like clipping people’s or dog’s finger nails and toe nails.  A cat’s claw is part of the bone in its toe.  When a doctor declaws a cat, he or she is amputating the last joint on the cat’s toe. Cats are very graceful and agile creatures.  Declawing alters how a cat’s feet work. Imagine how difficult it would be to walk without toes.

Declawing is major surgery but a cat can’t rest in bed for very long.  Even with medication to ease the pain, the cat still needs to walk and needs to use the litter box.

Declawing also takes away one of the cat’s defenses.  They can no longer climb trees or fight off other animals so that’s why declawed cats are not allowed to go out of doors.

Scratching is just something cats do.  They scratch for a bunch of reasons like to shred the outer layer of their claws or to stretch their muscles.  It’s part of who they are.  It’s hard to stop them completely but there are ways to control scratching that don’t require amputating body parts.

There are tapes and sprays that make places they may want to scratch annoying or uninviting.  Used with a scratch tree or perch, the tapes and sprays can be quite effective.  Rubbing a little catnip on the perch helps with helping the cat to make the right decision on which object to choose for scratching.

Like dogs, cat’s nails can be clipped or you can get nail caps that fit over their claws.  I haven’t seen the nail caps but I understand you can get them in pretty colors too!

Some countries have banned declawing outright while others say it should only be done if a vet thinks it is medically necessary.  For anyone considering declawing their cat, please give it some thought, it’s not a simple decision to make.

Your friend,

Fo, the Cat

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Zeva wanted me to remind you that Paw Pals Boutique has a huge selection of gift baskets especially designed for cats and the people who love them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dogs Really Are Man's Best Friend

As you might imagine, my job as Chief Canine Officer of the company requires me to be quite internet savvy.  The other day I was surfing the net and came across a site called Soldiers Best Friend  The organization provides military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with a trained Service or Therapeutic Dog.

How great an idea is that!  And it gets even better!  Most of the dogs chosen to be trained for the program are rescued from local shelters. I love these people.

It's about time humans realize how much we dogs help them.  For years, dogs have been trained to help humans with special needs.

Children with brain injuries, ADD/AHD and children with all kinds of physical and mental challenges relate much more quickly to dogs than to humans.

Seeing Eye Dogs allow blind people to get out into society by being their owner's eyes.  Other specially trained dogs know when a person is going to have a seizure or is going to have a diabetic reaction, even before their humans knows and they alert the person so that they can take appropriate actions.

Therapy dogs visit nursing homes, making the lives of the residents more enjoyable.  Often the elderly in homes miss the companionship of pets that they have had and a visit from a therapy dog is much appreciated.  Hospitals have welcomed therapy dogs for some time and many are now allowing patient's own pet to visit.  We've known all along that dog kisses are the best medicine and it seems that doctors are starting to figure it out.

Just because the ordinary family dog doesn't have specialized training doesn't mean we aren't the best friends a family could have.  We provide love, comfort and protection  No squirrel can get in my family's yard without me sounding the alarm and my sister DixieLee is a world class cuddler.  Who could ask for more?

Your friend,

P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Looking for a special gift for your very best friend?  I bet he or she would love a gift basket from Paw Pals Boutique.  Check out our website today.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pass The Ear Plugs Please

You know that human children are given middle names so that when their Moms and Dads use their middle name they know that they are in big trouble.  Well, my sister’s first name is Dixie and her middle name is Lee but she is in trouble so often that Mom changed her name to DixieLee.  She says it saves time.

One thing that gets DixieLee in trouble a lot is that she likes to bark. 

She isn’t a very big dog but her bark is loud and fierce. 
Dogs can’t talk so we communicate in different ways.  One of those ways is by barking and we bark for many different reasons.

1.  Excitement.  When we are playing DixieLee gets really excited.  She is a very playful and energetic dog so when we are play fighting she really gets into it.  She likes to pretend she is a big brave hunter so she barks her fiercest bark.  Mom used to get scared cuz she though DixieLee was hurting me until we ‘splained to her that it was only for fun.

When it gets too much for Mom she starts another game like fetch to distract us which usually stops the barking.

2.  Alerts.  I’m with DixieLee on this one.  It is our job to keep our house and our humans safe.  We learned that it is okay for the neighbor’s chickens or the squirrels to come on our yard but we still don’t trust the mail person or the man in the big brown truck.  They may bring us stuff now but what if they decide to take some of our stuff away.

Mom explained to us that we don’t need to bark.  She taught us that silently watching was just as good as barking.  It’s working so far.

3.  Attention/Boredom.  It may seem like we just eat and sleep all the time but dogs need to be active both mentally and physically.  Barking is one way some dogs break up the boredom.  It’s like when a human talks to themselves.

Barking is also the way we get your attention.  We like it when humans pay attention to us so barking is a way to let you know we are here.  Even when you are yelling at us to “shut up!” at least you are paying attention to us.

Mom pays attention when we bark to go outside to pee but she ignores us when we are being brats.

4.  Fear.  Barking is a good way to make scary things go away.  It’s up to our humans to help us understand that they will protect us from all the scary things and we don’t have to bark them away.

5.  Breed.  Some breeds bark more than others.  I almost never bark but DixieLee is part hound and hounds bark.  It’s part of who they are.

Excessive barking is very annoying to humans.  The first step in helping a dog stop barking is to understand WHY they are barking and work together to fix the problem.

If your human needs help, they could ask you vet or they could find a good trainer like our friend Eric at amazingdograiner.com

Looking forward to some quiet,
Your friend,

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Birthday To Me!

I turned six years old today!  Even though I am a big girl, my Mom and Dad tell me I am still their baby.

I love birthdays.  They are so much fun. I had my party on Saturday so we could all spend the whole day together.   In our house when someone has a birthday, we all get presents.

 On DixieLee’s birthday in November we each got a pterodactyl toy. I like mine cuz it squeaks and DixieLee likes hers cuz it feels like a sock and she LOVES socks.

For my birthday we each got our own caribou antler!  We have to be very careful with caribou antlers because chewing any kind of bone can break teeth, especially when you are an aggressive chewer like DixieLee.  As long as we gnaw on them and not try to take big chunks out of them, we are allowed to play with them.

Even though we get lots of hugs and pettings and treats every day, we get extra special attention when it is our birthday.  At my party we had sweet potato chips and we got to go for a big walk.  Mom and Dad sang Happy Birthday to me too.

My party was only with family because my bestest friends live too far away to come to our house.  If you live near your friends you could invite them to your party.  If you are having a doggy birthday party with your bestest friends, here are few things you might want to think about.

1.  Where to have your party.  We have big fenced-in yard so we could have a good party right at our house but if you have a tiny yard or live in an apartment, the local dog park or daycare center might be a good place to have your party.

2.  No matter where you have your party, make sure there are plenty of humans around to supervise.  With everybody running around and playing some body could get over excited and before you know it, a fun game could turn into trouble.

3.  Have lots of treats.  A good party has lots and lots of good snacks.  And don’t forget to keep the water bowl full.  A dog can work up a big appetite and a mighty thirst during a game of tag or tug-of-war.

4.  Have a pool party.  I don’t particularly like stepping in water but on a really hot day I like the kiddy pool at doggy daycare.  And there are always lots of dogs playing in the river pool at the dog park.  I bet those dogs would love a pool party.

5.  Don’t forget the cake.  Every birthday party needs a cake but make sure it is doggy friendly.  If you don’t have a doggy bakery near your house, there are some really easy to make doggy cake recipes on line.

6.  Have fun.  

One thing about birthdays is that you get tired out from all the excitement so I think it’s time for a birthday nap.

Your friend the birthday girl,

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  When you are looking for a birthday gift for your bestest furry friend, check out the selection at pawpalsboutique.com.