DogTime Blogs

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Dog is Attracted to Smelly Things

Unfortunately, like their wild counterparts, dogs are attracted to smelly things like dead animals, manure, droppings, and garbage. It’s not fully known why they do it, but there are some tips to help prevent it from happening:
• Keep your pet fenced in your yard
• Pick up droppings in the yard
• Secure trash so they cannot gain access even when it is knocked over
• Keep your pet on a leash when walking
• Train your pet to come and stay so that you can avoid them rolling in smelly things

Friday, November 27, 2009

My House Smells of Urine!

Urine smells can be difficult to remove from the house. And, unfortunately, dogs tend to return to the areas they have soiled in the house. It’s important to train your pet outside or with a crate to toilet in the appropriate places.

Suggestions for removing urine smells:
• Unsealed concrete floors (garage, basement): Use disinfectants to seep into the concrete. Rinse with water and allow to completely dry. Use concrete sealant once completely dry.
• Linoleum: use disinfectants.
• Carpet: To remove the smell completely, pull up the carpet and replace the padding. Then clean the carpet with an enzymatic cleaner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Calluses are thickened and hairless areas of skin that form over the joints as a result of repeated rubbing against rough surfaces. They do not pose any health risk and prevention by protecting your pet from abrasive surfaces is best.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tail Chasing

Dogs can chase their tail for a number of reasons:
• Fleas
• Anal gland problem
• Worms
• Boredom

Parasites and anal glands can easily be managed through proper medical care. Unfortunately, if the problem is behavioral, it is most likely the sign of an obsessive-compulsive disorder which requires the professional help of a behavioral specialist. Dogs such as terriers are more prone to these behavioral problems.

In the meanwhile, try not to react in any way when your dog chases its tail. Laughing or scoldings are forms of attention. You may notice that some incidences trigger this behavior such as rain, time of day, or food.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why do my dog’s teeth chatter?

Teeth chattering is not all that uncommon and it is often an indication of excitement or nervousness. If your pet has been doing it all their life, it’s probably just an old habit. If your dog suddenly starts to do this, you should have its teeth checked by the veterinarian. Dog’s can start chattering if their have dental disease like swollen or bleeding gums, broken teeth, oral masses.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The ‘Ideal Dog’

A recent survey was conducted to determine the ideal dog. A number of behavioral and physical characteristics were identified:
• Medium size
• Short hair
• Neutered
• Safe with children
• Fully house-trained
• Friendly
• Obedient
• Healthy

Participants also wanted their ideal dog to come when called, not to escape, enjoy being petted and display affection towards them.

King, T et al. Describing the ideal Australian companion dog. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Handling an Injured Pet

If your pet is injured or you come across an injured pet, it’s important to know the basics of handling in order to prevent harm to yourself and further harm to your pet.

Even the most gentle of pets can be unpredictable when in pain.

• Call your veterinarian immediately to explain the situation
• If you suspect a fracture, muzzle your pet
• If your pet is vomiting, do not use a muzzle
• If you are unable to get your pet into a carrier, use a thick blanket as a stretcher to carry your pet into the car

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Steps to Appropriate Play with your Dog

1. Provide plenty of exercise
2. Provide mental stimulation with puzzle toys such as the KONG
3. Interactive games such as fetch
4. Teach basic commands
5. Ignore bad behavior
6. Promote socialization with other dogs

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal infections in people (Salmonellosis). Clinical signs include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever and cast last up to 4-7 days. It is usually contracted through the ingestion of food contaminated with animal feces. Birds and reptiles (such as turtles, snakes and lizards) naturally carry salmonella and therefore should be handled with care.

Illness can be prevented with simple hygiene practice:
1. Wash hands with soap before eating;
2. Cook all meat;
3. Do not use raw eggs;
4. Wash kitchen surfaces and utensils with detergent;
5. Wash hands after handling reptiles or birds especially after coming into contact with their droppings

Who Is Responsible for Teaching Pet Safety to Children?

Who is responsible for teaching children about how to properly interact with their pet while avoiding harm to themselves? Doctors, veterinarians, teachers and parents all play a significant role in educating children about pet safety.

Pets’ Playground: Playing Safe in a Dog-and-Cat World, a fun yet educational children’s book, was created to help veterinarians, medical doctors, teachers and parents provide children ages 4 to 9 with the necessary skills and knowledge to promote safety for both children and their pets while strengthening the human-animal bond. Pets’ Playground, written by Australian veterinarian Amanda Chin, covers topics such as dog and cat behavior, parasites, nutrition, home care, and veterinary care.

Pets' Playground teaches children about:
• Pet behavior and feelings
• Pet toys and playtime
• Healthy meals and treats for pets
• Good pet care and responsibility
• Creepy crawlies that pets and kids need to avoid
• Household safety and poisonous plants
• Visits to the vet
• And more!

Available now at Amazon

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to Stop Bad Play Behavior

1. Ignore your pet if it is showing bad behavior towards you i.e. barking, jumping up
2. Distract your pet with the right toys if it is chewing on the wrong toy
3. Speak up with a ‘No’ if your pet is doing something wrong
4. Keep your pet on a leash to help maintain focus
5. Use head halters for better control
6. Consider muzzles in extreme cases to prevent biting injuries
7. Give time-out as a last resort if your pet won’t stop the bad behavior

Avoid punishment!

And, always seek professional advice from your local veterinarian.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Arsenic Poisoning

Arsenic Poisoning
Dogs that like to chew outdoor furniture may be at risk of arsenic poisoning. Decks, balconies, and porches made of pressure-treated wood built before 2004 may contain arsenic. Arsenic was used as a preservative. Any arsenic-treated wood that has been washed or sanded can expose our pets to arsenic.

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and drooling. Any dog suspected of coming into contact with arsenic-treated woods should be taken to the vet hospital immediately.

To help protect your pet:
- Never allow your pet to drink rainwater that pools on outdoor furniture
- Wipe down your pet after being exposed to outdoor furniture to reduce any arsenic that may be clinging to your pet’s coat
- Prevent your pet from playing in the soil where any outdoor furniture may exist
- Use a sealant regularly on outdoor furniture to seal in any arsenic
- Replace any wood furniture that you are unsure of

Friday, November 13, 2009

Normal Puppy Play Behavior

Normal puppy play consists of chasing, pouncing, and barking. But, it is important to understand early signs of aggression so that it can be addressed.

Normal puppy play
Play bow (lower its head and raise its back end)
Tail wagging
Dart back and forth
High-pitched barks
Play growls
Play-attack on command

Aggressive Behavior
Deep-tone growl
Fixed gaze
Stiff posture
Spontaneous attack

If your puppy is showing early signs of aggression, seek professional advice from your veterinarian on how to handle it, sooner than later.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stopped Using the Litter Tray?

Cats can be fussy when it comes to their litter tray. However, the reasons for it can range from serious to not so serious reasons.

1. Urinary Problem: urinary tract infection, bladder stones, urine crystals
2. Dirty Litter Tray: litter trays should be cleaned daily and fecal matter removed as soon as possible
3. Use of disinfectants: potent disinfectants such as bleach can discourage cats from using the tray. Detergents and warm water are sufficient.
4. Litter type: avoid scented litter
5. Toilet Position: Keep the litter tray in a quiet area away from thoroughfare, water bowls, food bowls, or sleeping areas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Latest research on the bond between baby and dog

Babies may very well know what your dog is trying to say. A recent study done at Brigham Young University looked into infants less than 6 months of age and their reaction to angry and friendly barks. Based on the research that emotions are one of the first things babies pick up on in their social world, they put this to the test.

Study participants were all from households that lived with dogs. Babies were shown a friendly or angry picture of a dog and were observed to see how they would react when the angry or friendly bark was played.

Researchers noted that babies spent most of their time staring at the photo that matched the bark.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FLUTD – Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

FLUTD is a problem of the lower urinary tract of cats. Unfortunately, it affects many cats causing often a long-term problem. Some cats are prone to bacterial and crystal build up in the urinary tract which can result in pain and inflammation.

Clinical Signs:
• Straining to urinate
• No urinating
• Blood in the urine
• Urinating more frequently
• Urinating in unusual places or in their bed

Risk Factors:
• Poor quality diets
• Reduced water intake
• Unsuitable litter trays causing cats to “hold”
• Poor hygiene
• Poor health

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ever thought your pet looked guilty for doing something wrong?

Before you tell your pet off for doing something wrong or looking guilty, read on. Dogs are very good at picking up human emotions. When you’re sad, happy, or fearful, dogs can pick up on it. A recent study done at Barnard College in New York looked into how owners interpreted their dogs’ expressions. Owners were told that their dog has stolen a treat (when they hadn’t) and were asked to react how they would normally. Owners that reprimanded their pet thought they were seeing a look of guilt from their pet, when in fact their pet was expressing unhappiness from the owner’s disappointment. It was concluded that the effect of scolding was more pronounced when dogs were obedient, not disobedient.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Feline Aids - FIV

Feline Aids is a viral disease that is spread via cat bites. Whilst similar to the human form of HIV, the feline form cannot infect people. No treatment exists and positive cats may lead healthy lives for years before their immune system shuts down, making them susceptible to disease and death.

• Limit exposure to unknown cats
• Keep your cat close to home to prevent run-ins with stray cats
• Keep your cat indoors at night
• Always have cats tested at the shelter before bringing it home
• Isolate aggressive cats from other cats
• Neuter all cats to prevent fighting

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Most Popular Dog Breeds

The American Kennel Club recently published the most popular dog breeds for 2008. By looking at their personalities, it’s no surprise they were at the top of the list.

Labrador Retriever
Intelligent, eager to please their owner

Yorkshire Terrier
Energetic, adaptable, driven to investigate

German Shepherd
Direct and dependable, hard working

Golden Retriever
Smart, easy-going, family-friendly

Happy-go-lucky, energetic, sociable

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Common Diseases of the Mouth – Cats

Disease of the mouth is the most common problem of cats, affecting 30-70%. Plaque and tartar build up can lead to more severe disease of the kidneys, lungs and heart. Up to 100 billion bacteria can exist in the saliva every day. And it’s this bacteria that can set up home on the cat’s teeth.

• Use preventive techniques recommended by your vet e.g. tooth brushing, textured kibble, prescription diets.
• Control disease such as diabetes, thyroid disease, FeLV, FIV
• Eliminate plaque and tartar through oral hygiene practices recommended by your vet or annual cleaning

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chronic Diarrhea in Cats

Cats that suffer from diarrhea for more than 3-4 weeks are considered chronic. The most common causes include:
• parasites – worms, protozoa, giardia
• inflammatory bowel disease
• adverse food reactions
• cancer
• viral infections
• antibiotic-related
• organ failure (liver, kidney)
• thyroid problems
• pancreas problems

Cats with chronic diarrhea should undergo a comprehensive workup at the vet hospital. The vet will usually want a fresh stool sample to check for parasites. Blood test will determine whether there are any liver, kidney or thyroid problems.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Microchips Can Increase the Chance of Reuniting a Lost Pet

A recent study done at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State, revealed that pets that are microchipped have a better chance of being returned to their owner after entering a shelter. For cats, the return to owner rate was 20 times higher and for dogs 2.5 times higher.

This highlights the importance of microchipping, as well the importance of securing the house so that pets do not escape the home.

It’s one thing to have a microchip, but as the study revealed, it is also importance to ensure that the data stored on the microchip is up-to-date: 35% of owners could not be found was because of incorrect contact details.

The study was published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.