Brusha Brusha Brusha

by Sue on March 30, 2016

Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath. It’s a part of good oral care is important to your dog’s overall health. Although most people aren’t aware of it, gum disease is a common and serious problem in dogs. Yet brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent it.

Veterinarians estimate that 85 percent of dogs over five years of age suffer from gum disease. Gum disease develops when food particles and bacteria collect along the gum line and form soft deposits called plaque. Over time that turns into rock-hard tartar. If tartar isn’t removed from your dog’s teeth, it will eventually inflame the gums. As the inflamed gums begin to separate from the teeth, pockets form. This causes gum disease to worsen. At this point, your dog can experience severe pain, lose teeth, form abscesses in his mouth and develop a bacterial infection. This infection can spread through the bloodstream to the kidneys, liver, heart or brain.

Gum disease is irreversible, so now is a great time to get started on a regular oral care regimen for your dog. Remember…prevention is the key.

It’s ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily, just like you brush your own. However, if you cannot do that, aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least every other day.

Smaller dogs and dogs with flat or short, broad snouts (like pugs and bulldogs) may need more frequent brushing. Their teeth are often crowded together, which allows more plaque to accumulate and increases their risk of developing gum disease.

Things to keep in mind:

If your dog is losing weight, starts eating slower or refusing to eat for no apparent reason, it is time to have their teeth checked.

If your dog develops bad breath, don’t reach for breath fresheners for your dog until you have their teeth checked. Giving breath fresheners to a dog with bad teeth is like sweeping dirt under a rug.

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly does not totally eliminate a professional dental done by a qualified Veterinarian. It will however greatly reduce the trips to the Vet for this procedure.

Since I started brushing my dog’s teeth, my Vet is doing a professional cleaning on my dog’s teeth every three years now instead of every year like before.

 

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Follow up to last week’s survey.

by Sue on March 25, 2016

Did anyone notice the trick selection listed? If you said there is no such thing as an “Emotional Service Animal” you are correct. There IS no such thing as an Emotional Service Animal. Service Animals are dogs which help a person with a physical, mental, or neurological disability with day to day tasks. Emotional Support Animals are strictly Companion Animals. The ADA rules say the following about Service Animals.

 

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with dis­abilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pull­ing a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Note carefully the last sentence. This is why there is no such thing as an Emotional Service Animal.

So what type of dog do you have you ask? Is it an ESA or is it a Service Dog? The answer may shock you. People are led to believe that if you have a mental disorder, your dog is an emotional support animal. Actually that is far from the truth. The ADA has a partial list of disabilities that a Service Dog can be used for.

Physical Problem:

Asthma (or other breathing problems)

Blindness (& partial blindness)

Deafness (& partial deafness)

Diabetes

Dizziness/Balance problems

Epilepsy

General Hearing Difficulty

Mobility Problems

Neurological Problems

Paralysis

Physical Weakness

Speech Problems

Seizures

 

Emotional/Mental Problem:

Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Any Psychiatric Condition (see exclusions below)

Autism

Depression

Dyslexia

Bipolar Disorder

Emotionally Overwhelmed

Panic Attacks

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety

Social Phobia

Stress Problems

 

ADA Definitions of Qualified Disability

 

Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:

Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

Has a record of such an impairment; or

Is regarded as having such an impairment.

A physical impairment is defined by the ADA as:

Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.

A mental/emotional impairment is defined by the ADA as:

Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

The ADA does not list all conditions or diseases that make up physical, mental, and emotional impairments, because it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list given the variety of possible impairments.

Exclusions to the Qualified Disability Definition

Neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual. According to Title II of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, current or future interpretation of psychological disabilities excludes common personality traits such as poor judgment or a quick temper.

Service Animals are allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Emotional Support Animals are NOT allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Service Animals are recognized by the Department of Justice under the American’s with Disabilities Act. Emotional Support Animals are recognized by the Fair Housing Act and the Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act. This means that Service Animals have access to any place open to the Public. Emotional Support Animals are allowed into dwellings with a “No Pets” policy that the owner is renting or leasing, and on Airlines. Taking an Emotional Support Animal into a place posted Service Animals Only is against the law as it is misrepresenting a dog as a Service Animal. The ADA states the following about misrepresentation.

Under federal laws, the fine for misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is $3,000, plus you can be subject to prison time. State laws vary, but many carry penalties as well.

 

This also leads me to bring up another misconception. Registries or certifications of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.

Each year more and more sites have popped up online claiming to “Register” or “Certify” service dogs and emotional support animals.

 

The Facts:

  1. No federal government agencies certify or register service dogs or emotional support animals.
  2. No federal government agency designates any businesses as an official registrar or certifier.
  3. Ask yourself how someone can certify that you have a legitimate service dog or ESA if they have never seen your dog.
  4. The certificates that these bogus businesses issue aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. You might as well get your neighbor to certify your dog because it would be just as legitimate.
  5. These businesses bank on the fact that most people believe your dog must be registered or certified by someone to be a “Real” service dog or emotional support animal.

 

Real service dogs or emotional support animals do not need to be registered or certified by ANYONE and any business claiming to do either is misleading you.

 

You may read more about the above at this website http://www.servicedogtag.com/the-service-dog-registration-certification-scam/

 

The ADA states the following. ADA will not impose any type of formal training requirements, registration or certification process. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training, registration or certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals, especially for individuals with limited financial resources.

 

Hopefully this helps clear up some, or allot of confusion when it comes to Service Animals verses Emotional Support Animals.

 

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It’s shedding season again!

by Sue on March 2, 2016

Despite the common belief, there is no way to completely stop your dog from shedding. Aside from the hairless breeds, all dogs shed to one degree or another, regardless of size, coat length or hair type. The best you can hope to do is control or reduce dog shedding by regular grooming.

Dogs need to get rid of unneeded or damaged hair. Most grow a heavier coat in the winter to help them safe from the elements and then shed that extra fur in the summer to stay cool. Shedding can also result from skin irritation or infections, parasites or a poor diet. There are many ways that you can reduce dog shedding or prevent it from becoming a problem

 

REGULAR BRUSHING!

Regular combing and brushing is essential.  Use an appropriate brush for the dog’s coat type, followed by a finishing comb. Many breeds benefit from daily brushing. It makes the coat softer, cleaner and less prone to heavy shedding. It will also root out fleas and other parasites.

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OIL!

Try adding unscented salmon oil to your dog’s food on a daily basis. It is almost without taste, contains omega-3 fatty acids that help condition the skin and provide a healthy, shiny coat. It also helps control shedding in many breeds.

NUTRITION!

If a dog isn’t receiving the proper nutrition he needs, his skin and coat will suffer. What dogs are fed helps to influence the texture of their dog coat and skin health. Healthy skin has healthy follicles that support long-lived lustrous hair. Unhealthy skin has sickly hair follicles and poor skin oils. The hair is brittle and dull. It breaks off and falls out easily. It’s important that the dog’s food full of nutrients. For a dog coat to be healthy and not to shed, dogs require proteins that are absorbable.

Remember, it’s not possible to completely stop shedding but if you take these steps, you can definitely control and reduce dog shedding.

 

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A fantastic contest open to ANYONE!

by Sue on February 29, 2016

This is not a joke. It’s real. We really are giving one away.

Click below to enter for a chance to win a fitbit

http://contest.io/c/jrz3mdwr

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We still have quite a few of these clearance items left.

by Sue on February 24, 2016

1/2 off or over 1/2 off. Once they are gone, they are gone.

http://www.servicedogtag.com/clearance-sale/

 

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We have three clearance items on our site…

by Sue on February 17, 2016

1/2 off or over 1/2 off. Once they are gone, they are gone.

http://www.servicedogtag.com/clearance-sale/
 

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Should your dog wear clothes?

by Sue on January 28, 2016

You’ve seen them at coffee shops, street corners, fire hydrants, jazzed up in sweaters, smoking jackets, ascots and sunglasses. Yes, dogs wearing clothes. It happens every single day; someone gets up and dresses up their dog in some hand-made or specially-ordered article of clothing. Maybe you dress your dog up too. If you do, maybe you already know why. If you don’t dress up your dog, you probably wonder “Is it really necessary?”

There is a difference between turning your dog into a hipster extension of your own style and simply protecting him or her from various weather conditions. If you have a tiny dog with little fur, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies, and you live, let’s say, in Minnesota, your dear dog might benefit from a well-made sweater or even a down-lined jacket in the middle of winter. With the right gear, you and your short coated dog can still hit the great outdoors during the winter months. Getting some much needed fresh air and exercise while staying warm and comfortable.

Dogs with such thin fur or thinner body types need some extra protection against the conditions. However a Siberian Husky,Saint Bernard or the like simply don’t require anything since they are well suited to such temperatures.

If you are an avid runner and you don’t mind dashing out in the rain, you can still take your dog with you if you put on their rain jacket. If it is a warm rain, you and your pet probably won’t mind, but those chillier drizzling runs can become quite uncomfortable for both of you, so you should both put on your rain gear. No matter what type of fur your dog has, in this case, it makes sense to suit up for the cold rains. Remember you both need to towel off and get warm upon return.

Whereas outdoor gear is a matter of protecting your pet from cold and damp or other uncomfortable conditions, dressing them up for other reasons is a matter of preference for human companions. While there is no harm in it, it certainly isn’t necessary, and it might even feel a bit confining for your pet to wear anything when it is perfectly comfortable in good weather.

If you want to dress your dog in clothes, monitor the response. If he or she behaves as if they don’t like it or get overheated, reconsider your plan to dress your dog.Even though your dog can’t let you know whether that costume is to their liking, an occasional dress up might not be too bad, as long as you find a costume that fits your dog comfortably and don’t keep them in it too long. Dogs can “dress up” as superheroes, bumblebees and pretty much anything that humans can, so it makes sense for die-hard Halloween fans to extend the holiday to their dogs.

NOTE: If you plan to take your dog someplace with hot and blistering asphalt, find some protective wear for his or her feet with some dog boots that are now available.

Under ideal climate conditions, your dog’s coat is beautiful, And as long as you keep it healthy and shiny, why not let it glow on its own? Sometimes just letting your dog be a dog is the best way to go, as long as the conditions are safe for you to do so.

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What do you think about dog clothes?

by Sue on January 26, 2016

I have been noticing quite a trend as of late in dog clothes. Summer clothes. Winter clothes. Clothes that match the owner. Fancy collars. Lots of bling. Sunglasses. Booties. You name it and there is probably something like that made for a dog. The popularity of the dressing up of dogs as grown so quickly over the last few years, that what was once considered nonsense has now become the norm.
Gunny does have a Hawaiian shirt that he wears for special occasions. He also has a float coat and doggles for when we go sailing. But, other then a couple rain coats and winter coats (and a t-shirt I bought him once to keep his incision clean after the operation), he’s pretty much a clothes free weiner.

I have nothing against doggles or footwear on dogs. Doggles can prevent cataracts which can develop from long term exposure to the sun. There is also nothing wrong with footwear as pavements and sidewalks do become rather hot on a dogs feet in the summer. Not to mention the dangers of de-icer on them in the wintertime. However, personally, I do have a problem with fancy clothes on service dogs. Mainly because it draws attention to the dog and makes the dog look more like a pet than a service dog.

Emotional Support Dogs and some forms of Service Dogs that are allowed or encouraged to be petted, are fine dressed up. It has been proven that dogs which are “dressed up” tend to be more inviting and less threatening to the public than dogs which are not. A service dog which is mildly dressed would be less frightening to children as well as some adults who are wary of dogs, thus be more accepted. I call mildly dressed such as having a bandana on or maybe a snazzy collar or harness.

What do you readers think of them?

What do you readers think of dog clothes in general?

Comments please?

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Should you be in a panic over the new Canine Flu?

by Sue on January 20, 2016

The answer is no.

There’s a new strain of canine flu in the U.S., and it has some pet owners worried about their dogs.

More than 1,000 dogs caught the illness during a recent outbreak in Chicago, and infections are reportedly emerging in other states, including California and Washington. But the H3N2 canine flu, not to be confused with the seasonal H3N2 human flu that sickened so many people last winter, is no cause for panic, experts say.

Most dogs won’t get seriously ill if they catch dog flu. What’s more, a contagious virus in dogs is unlikely to spread rapidly because dogs simply aren’t as mobile, or as social, as we are.

There are two types of dog flu. The first, H3N8, is nearly identical to a virus that has been known for more than 40 years to infect horses. The virus adapted to dogs,first infecting them in the U.S. in 2004, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The second dog flu, H3N2, is a mutated version of a virus that occurs in birds, and was first found in dogs in Asia in 2007. It appeared in the U.S. last month. Although it’s not fully known how it made its way here, Parrish said some believe that it may have been carried over during the rescue of dogs being raised for meat in South Korea.

The American Veterinary Medical Assn.reports that dogs that are sickened by canine flu fall into two categories: those with a mild form (coughing, lethargy and sometimes a nasal discharge) and those with a more severe version (high fever and pneumonia). Some dogs can catch the flu and not have symptoms at all.

Dogs that get sick from canine flu can be treated with supportive care such as antibiotics for secondary infections or fever-reducing medications, and most get better in two to three weeks. Fewer than 10% of dogs confirmed to have canine flu die as a result of the infection, the CDC says.

Although a vaccine is available for the H3N8 strain, scientists don’t know whether it would prevent H3N2 infections, doubting it would because of differences in the two flu types.

Dogs at the highest risk of contracting canine flu are those that have the most contact with other dogs, such locations like boarding kennels, doggy day care and animal shelters.

Crucially, canine influenza is not known to have ever infected people though it was reported to have sickened some cats in South Korea in 2010. The CDC calls the viruses “a low threat to humans” but will continue to monitor them both, in case either mutates and gains the ability to infect humans as the pandemic H1N1 swine flu and the deadly H5N1 bird flu did in the past.

To prevent infection in pets, owners should exercise caution before taking dogs to locations where other infected animals are likely to be. Hand washing can also help halt the spread of disease. And if dogs do develop symptoms, owners should keep them away from other dogs.

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No laser tag!

by Sue on January 13, 2016

Many owners think it’s funny to watch their dog chase that little red dot of light, and they think it’s a bonus to burn off some of their dog’s energy. Unfortunately, a game of laser pointer chase can be very frustrating for a dog and can lead to behavioral issues.

The movement of the laser pointer triggers a dog’s prey drive, which means they want to chase it. It’s an unending game with no closure for the dog because they can never catch that beam of light, like they can when chasing a toy or food.

Many dogs continue looking for the light after the laser pointer has been put away; this is confusing for your dog because the prey has simply disappeared. This can create obsessive compulsive behaviors like frantically looking around for the light; staring at the last location they saw the light, and becoming reactive to flashes of light. Dogs that exhibit behavioral issues are frustrated, confused, and anxious.

If your dog loves to chase but you don’t always have the energy to run around with a toy, try a flirt pole. A flirt pole is like a fishing rod; it is a rigid stick section with a string or rope attached to the end. Commercially made flirt poles are sold by pet supply stores, but horse lunge whips also work well.

You tie a toy to the end of the rope and drag it around for your dog to chase and tug on once he/she’s caught it. The advantage of the rigid section is that you can fling the toy around without having to move much yourself. You can even sit in your recliner!

If your dog loves to chase a toy on a flirt pole, then give your dog the ultimate chance to exercise their prey drive at Lure Coursing.

This sport involves dogs chasing a “lure”, usually a white trash bag,attached to line set up around a field and controlled by a pulley system that moves the bag around the field. Dogs give chase and have a great time.

So please rethink the next time you pull out that laser pointer for your dog. The mind you save just might be his/her’s.

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