Archive for September, 2012

Tips on Choosing a Vet for Your Pet

The relationship between a vet and you and your pet is very important. You need to be able to talk to your vet and have clear lines of communication. You should feel comfortable discussing your pet with your vet. It’s also important that your cat or dog like your vet. Here are some  tips to help you choose a good vet for you and your pet.

Choose a vet before your pet gets sick

The last thing you want to do is try to pick an unknown vet out of the phone book or online when your pet is sick. Instead, check around when you have lots of time before your pet ever gets sick. Consider the following issues:

Do you want a vet who is located near you? Location can be an important issue for many owners, especially if your dog has an emergency.

  • What days and hours is the vet open? If you work then make sure that the vet will be open on days when you are off.
  • Does the vet handle emergencies after hours or refer clients to a pet emergency hospital? Many vets no longer handler emergency calls after hours but some still do. Find out what a vet’s policy is on emergencies.
  • What services does the vet provide? Some vets have more advanced equipment than others, for example, and are able to do more diagnostic testing or can provide more advanced treatments. However, not all pets require these services.
  • How do the vet and staff handle phone calls? Sometimes you may need to call your vet. You may not know if you should take your pet in to see the doctor or not, or you might just have a question. Will you get a helpful response? Are client phone calls returned quickly?
  • If you choose a multi-vet practice, can you see the vet you prefer? Sometimes you or your pet might like one vet better than the others. Can you see the vet you like best? Or do you have to see whoever is available?
  • What methods of payment does the vet accept? Vet care can be expensive these days, especially for illnesses and injuries. Find out in advance what kind of payment your vet expects. Does he or she expect bills to be paid in full at the time of the visit? Can you make payment arrangements or pay on account?
  • Does the vet accept pet insurance? A relatively small number of people in North America have pet insurance for their pets but it is growing in popularity. Find out if your vet accepts pet insurance. Pet insurance usually requires you to pay for the services yourself and then the company will reimburse you for some portion of the bill.
  • What is the vet’s staff like? This can be important since the staff often spends as much or more time with your pet as the vet.

How to find a good vet

There are a lot of ways to find a good vet. One time-honored way is to ask your friends and neighbors. Talk to people whose opinions you respect who have pets. Ask them which vet they use. They will probably recommend a vet they use. This is often a good vet to check out.

You can also check online. Many cities have sites which offer client reviews of local veterinarians. You may find some extreme reviews from disgruntled clients, but there should be a consensus.

You can also check online to find out which vets belong to veterinary organizations you respect such as your state veterinary medical association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, or other organizations. If you’re looking for a vet who is a specialist, check out his or her credentials.

Visit

When you have found a few vets who fit your criteria, pay a visit to their offices or veterinary hospitals. Do you like the atmosphere? Is the facility clean and pleasant? Is the staff courteous and friendly? You should be able to form an impression.

You probably won’t know what you think of the veterinarian until you bring your pet in for a visit but these are some good ways to choose a vet for your pet. Plan ahead and consider all the factors before your pet needs to see the vet.

Choosing the Best Dog Bowl/Feeder

There are several different kinds of popular bowls for feeding dogs. Your choice can depend on your budget, the style you prefer, and even how many dogs you have. You might also be interested in purchasing a dog feeder if you are away from home sometimes and can’t always be there to feed your on a schedule.

Stainless steel bowls

Stainless steel bowls are a traditional and popular way to feed dogs. They are easy to sterilize, dishwasher safe, and they come in different sizes and shapes to fit the needs of different dogs. For example, there are stainless steel puppy pans called “flying saucers” for weaning puppies to solid food; and there are conical-shaped bowls for dogs with very long ears so the dogs won’t get their ears in their food. Stainless steel bowls can slide around when dogs eat from them, but you can buy bowls that are weighted so they won’t slide. Stainless steel bowls also have the added benefit of being relatively inexpensive. Stainless steel bowls are often a good choice for pet owners, especially if they have multiple dogs.

Plastic bowls

Plastic bowls are another option for feeding dogs. However, there are many drawbacks to using plastic bowls. Plastic bowls can be scratched and when food is placed in the bowl, bacteria can grow in the scratched places. Some dogs like to chew on plastic bowls and they are not as long-lasting as other feed bowls. They are lightweight and can slide around when  your dog eats from them. In addition, some dogs are allergic to the chemicals used in the plastic. They can develop rashes and bumps around their  muzzles from contact with the plastic. Some dogs also lose pigment on their nose from eating out of the plastic. Plastic bowls don’t make a good choice as a feed bowl for most dogs.

Ceramic bowls

Ceramic bowls are one of the best choices for feeding dogs. The heavyweight bowls are sturdy and long-lasting. They have a baked glaze on them which discourages any bacterial growth. They are usually dishwasher safe and they can be sterilized. Many ceramic bowls are painted with beautiful designs which make them works of art. You can even have them personalized for your dog. Ceramic bowls are heavy and will not tip over or slide around. The only real drawback to a ceramic bowl is that it is breakable but these bowls are quite tough and they don’t break easily. Many ceramic bowls last for years and years.

Feeders

These are the normal choices for feed bowls for dogs. If you need a feeder for your dog, most feeders either have a bowl already attached to the feeder or they are designed to be used with steel or plastic bowls.

Feeders for dogs can be helpful if you are not home to feed your dog. The best feeders have timers so you can pre-determine when the feeder will feed your dog and allow you to set the amount of food it will give your dog. Feeders that let your dog eat all day are less desirable since most dogs will continue to eat even when they aren’t hungry. This will simply lead to a very fat dog. Choose a feeder that gives you as much control as possible over when and how much your dog eats.

Of course, the downside to a feeder for any pet is that the pet may figure out a way to open the feeder and help himself to all the food he wants. Be sure to buy a good quality feeder that will keep your pet out.

Auto Pet Feeder-Holds 10 Pounds of Food-Medium - 2000GM Auto Pet Feeder-Holds 10 Pounds of Food-Medium – 2000GM

Whether you work long hours; or on a quick vacation; chances are that you worry about your pet. Well; ease your mind; and fill your pet’s tummy with this Auto Pet Feeder. This feeder consists of a storage container; a feeding bowl and an 8 setting programmable digital timer. The digital timer can be programmed to feed pets up to 8 times a day; all through the week – even throughout the year! The unit can be programmed to release small quantities such 4 to 5 kibbles of food if necessary (This is ideal for feeding diabetic pets; and pets with eating disorders.). And don’t worry about spilling food all over the floor when you’re filling this feeder – the large opening in the food storage bin enables an easy fill of pet food. A flexible stainless tube sheath (coated with plastic) protects the power cord and prevents pets from chewing on the cord. The feed bowl can be easily removed; cleaned and is dishwasher safe. Pet food does not have to be emptied from the storage container to clean bowl. Slow dispensing of food prevents the feed from piling up and also prevents the pets from eating too fast!










Dogs are not usually picky about their bowls and feeders. They are more concerned about the food than how it is served. But if you follow the suggestions offered here you should find just the right bowl for you dog.

Alzheimer’s In Dogs

Alzheimer’s in dogs is known as canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. It does not have the same medical cause as Alzheimer’s but it presents with similar symptoms in dogs as Alzheimer’s does in humans.

Dogs who have cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) will usually display the following signs:

  • a senior dog who experiences confusion
  • failure to recognize familiar people
  • fails to respond to his name
  • trouble finding the door or standing on the wrong side of the door
  • forgetting why he went outside when he needs to potty
  • seems aloof
  • uninterested in being petted
  • changes in sleep
  • wandering or pacing
  • and having accidents in the house

In short, the older dog begins to experience forgetfulness and a change in personality, along with confusion. These changes often begin when a dog is around eight years old, depending on the dog’s breed.

CDS occurs in many dogs

According to studies, at the University of California-Davis, in dogs between 11 and 16 years of age, 62 percent of thedogs showed at least one sign of having CDS. In a pet owner survey, almost half of the dogs eight years of age and older had at least one symptom of CDS.

Treatment for CDS

However, canine cognitive dysfunction is not unavoidable. It is not a necessary part of a dog getting older. If your dog is diagnosed with CDS, the drug Anipryl has been remarkably beneficial in  treating the condition. In studies, 69 to 75 percent of dogs improved by at least one clinical symptom after taking the drug for a month. Anipryl is a tablet that is prescribed by vets. Dogs generally take one tablet per day in the morning with food.

Prevention

There probably isn’t any way to prevent canine cognitive dysfunction but if your older dog begins to show signs of confusion or a change in personality, you should check with your vet and ask about medication.

As your dog gets older you should make sure that he remains active both mentally and physically. Do not allow him to become obese or too sedentary. See that he continues to get some regular exercise. Try to do some regular activities with him to keep him interested in life and the world around him. Alzheimer’s patients are advised to keep their minds active as a way to fight off their disease and the same advice is good for dogs as they get older, too.

Interactive toys, games, spending time with your dog, and participating in dog sports and other activities are all good ways to keep your older dog’s mind active. Feed your dog a healthy diet with good antioxidants to promote healthy brain activity, too. Antioxidants in their natural state include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, and other fruit. Many people are unaware that dogs love these berries and fruits. Try giving them to your dog as healthy snacks. They’re a great way to promote a healthy mind.

 

Article by Nancy Cope, owner of the online dog boutique Pampered-dog-gifts.com where you can find all kinds of  products for your pampered pooch.  Including gift baskets, gourmet treats, dog perfume & spritz, fancy leather collars and more.

Pet carriers for dogs run the gamut from fun to functional and everything in between. If you have a large dog you are more or less restricted to using a traditional crate of some kind when you travel; but owners with small and Toy dogs have many more options when it come to choosing a dog carrier. Here’s a look at some of the types and styles you and your dog can choose from.

Deluxe Rolling Pet Carrier Deluxe Rolling Pet Carrier

Deluxe Rolling Pet Carrier







For the serious pet traveler

If you and your small dog are flying then you have a couple of choices. Dogs on planes have to fly in an airline-approved carrier. However, if your dog or puppy is small enough and you make arrangements in advance, dogs in their carriers can fly in the cabin as long as the soft-sided carrier will fit under the seat in front of you. Each airline has slightly different requirements about the size of the carrier but as long as it is soft-sided and you can slide it under the seat with your dog inside it, it should be all right. It’s best if the carrier has mesh sides or openings to allow good airflow for your dog. Pockets on the side are also a plus so you can keep important papers and your leash in them. Be sure to call ahead and speak to the airline before you travel to make sure your carrier is approved and they have room for your dog in the cabin. Airlines limit the number of dogs that they allow to fly in the cabin on each flight.

Carriers for this kind of travel can be shoulder bags, carry-on style travel bags, or duffle-style bags. They can even match your luggage.

Your dog can also fly in a small airline-approved kennel as baggage when you travel together. These kennels are made of hard plastic and have a wire door. They will keep a dog secure during the flight. Pets fly in a pressurized, heated compartment of the plane with other pets. Many pets fly this way each year and it is normally safe. However, if you have a brachycelphalic (short-nosed) breed, most airlines will not accept your breed for flights during summer months because of the higher risks to them.

Fun carriers

There are all kinds of fun carriers for small dogs when you just want to zip around town.

 

Handbag-style carriers. One popular type of pet carriers is made like a handbag or shoulder bag for women. Small dogs can easily fit inside these bags with room to spare. You often see their heads poking out when they are having a look around.

Shoulder bags and slings make good carriers for dogs. Some of these bags are sherpa-lined for extra comfort for your dog. These bags can be as deluxe as you like. They can have side pockets, handles, and shoulder straps. Bags can be made of leather, canvas, faux croc, and other designer styles.

Baskets are another popular kind of carrier, especially if you like to ride your bike with your dog. Baskets can fit between your bike handle bars. Or you can use a basket that you carry with your dog inside. Baskets come in many attractive styles.

Backpacks also make popular pet carriers. You can walk, hike, jog, go shopping, or do anything you normally do with  your small dog secure in  your backpack carrier.

There are all kinds of styles of carriers for dogs. If you haven’t seen the kind of carrier you like yet, you can probably improvise one. As long as it keeps your dog safe and secure, then it will probably make a good carrier.