The one thing we dogs can communicate very well to our owners is that we need to be fed. If you walk to the refrigerator and there just happens to be some healthy dog treats from One Lucky Dog Bakery in the refrigerator I’ll bet you can tell from our excited run to the refrigerator that we could really use a dog treat. If you usually feed us the first thing in the morning and around 6 at night I’m sure that you can tell from our excited pacing that it is time to feed us because we are hungry.
If we aren’t feeling well I’m sure your owner has never sat in front of you to ask, where does it hurt? If you are going to properly care for your dog you have to be aware of some health signs and what you should do to help us. Here are Finn’s top three dog health issues and the signs you need to look for.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea - These occur because of an infection or because we ate something we should not have. This could be your shoes, clothing, toys, paper, carpet, or whatever is available. Because we will eat just about anything you can expect an occasional problem with vomiting or diarrhea. If these problems occur often or last for more than a day you need to get us to the Vet. Allergies are another issue which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Many times the allergy is from something in the dog food such as wheat or corn. In recent years dog owners have to be more aware of dog food recalls because bacteria in problem dog foods can really cause us problems. There is independent help out there on dog food issues. I like Dog Food Advisor, you can click this link to see the dog food recalls for 2013. This is also a great link to see how your dog food is rated.
- Obesity – Just like humans this is a big problem for dogs and being overweight can cause us all kinds of health issues. Looking at us from above you should see our waist just before our hips. You should be able to feel our backbone and ribs without pressing hard. If your dog is overweight you need to walk/run your dog more often and you will need to cut back on our food intake.
- Heartworms - Heartworms is a very serious disease where parasites infect the dog’s heart and arteries. Dogs are exposed to the disease from mosquito bites and if the disease is not controlled the larvae will develop into large worms. The symptoms of heartworm disease are coughing and depression. The disease can cause heart failure and death. This disease is easily prevented with injections or a once a month pill.
I did not list my top three in any order, they are all serious and dog owners need to be watchful.
All this serious talk has me hungry so I think it is time for me to see if Mom has a Finns Chocolate Dream dog treat for me. I’ll use my sad face on her, it always works.
If you have been following my blogs by now you are aware that I love to counter surf. If you are not familiar with the term it occurs when a big dog is able to see what is on the counter or table and more importantly is able to pick it off the counter without even jumping. In addition to having the size to preform this feat it is also important for the dog to preform the feat with stealth. I like to think of myself as a Navy Seal when it comes to counter surfing.
As you also are aware we dogs have a very keen sense of smell and certain smells really get us excited. The smell of coconut is divine to me. Mom uses Burts Bees coconut foot cream and one day when she was in the kitchen baking I ate two tubes of it. As you might suspect Mom wasn’t very happy but she was also very concerned for my health. No problem, it takes more than two tubes of Burts Bees to get this Deerhound down. Problem is I haven’t had any lately, I think Mom stopped using it. I wonder why?
Of course my love and need for coconut didn’t stop. Mom loves to bake Christmas cookies for family and friends and one Christmas she was making coconut macaroons. I thought I was in heaven as the smell of these wonderful cookies awakened me from my resting place in the living room. I convinced Knight to distract Mom (Knight is very good at distracting Mom) and I did my best Navy Seal impression and got to the kitchen while Knight convinced Mom there was a real problem in the bedroom. Mom was in such a hurry to find out what was wrong with Knight that she forgot to block the counter and the prize was mine, 12 coconut macaroons. I was in heaven. Mom was not very happy and to this day she hasn’t made coconut macaroons. I think friends and family are not very happy with me. Mom was really worried about me getting sick but it takes more than 12 coconut macaroons to get this Deerhound under the weather. I must admit that Mom found a big block of coconut pooh in the yard that night.
If you stop by the dog bakery in Medina Ohio you will probably see me relaxing in the back. If you smell and see some dog treats cooling on the counter I would really appreciate it if you would get involved asking Mom about dog collars or dog food and I’ll do my Navy Seal impression. Please try not to laugh as you see me grab a few dog treats.
Just like humans we dogs think we can live forever and always be able to run and play in the same way we did as pups. Just like humans the years do take a toll on our bodies and just like humans some of us suffer from the affects of getting older more than others. The larger breed dogs like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and of course me have more problems with joint pain as we age. Now that I have reached 10 years old, really old for a male Scottish Deerhound, I simply cannot jump around like I could even a few years ago. It got so bad I couldn’t even jump up on the couch and if you know us Deerhounds you know we love to be couch potatoes.
Last year we tried a new product in the Bakery, Myristin, and If you have a dog with joint issues I can recommend it highly. The main ingredient in Myristin is Cetyl Myristoleate and it provides the most natural joint supplements to reduce inflammation and lubricate the old bones. It also serves as an immune system modulator. Vets have been using Myristin for dogs, cats, and horses since 1996.
My personal experience with Myristin is after taking it for two weeks the swelling in my joints was reduced and I could run and play with Jane, Knight, Cookie, and Fergus just like the old days. I can even get to my favorite spot on the couch next to Mom with ease.
Mom feels the only reason she has the Bakery is to make life better for as many dogs as she can because “It’s all about the dogs.” Stop in and talk to us about your dog problems and I’m sure that Mom can point you in a positive direction.
Do dogs have different barks? The research says yes and if you listen closely you will probably agree. Here are just a few that I know.
- If you grab the West Paw throw toy and head for the field your dog will probably get very excited and this excitement will be reflected in the type of bark you hear.
- If your dog is a guard dog and a stranger is knocking at your door the type bark you will hear is an angry one not the excited bark you heard when the dog knew you were going to play.
- I’m sure you have driven by a dog tied to a pole or a tree and the bark you hear from this dog will be different than the first two, it will be a bark of an anxious, possibly distressed dog who is asking for attention.
- If you have a rescue dog who was mistreated this dog may bark whenever a stranger approaches and it will not be the guard dog bark. The bark you will hear from this dog is one of fear.
- Sometimes barking is due to the dog just having too much energy.
What can you do if you have a dog who barks too much? Here are a few things to try.
- Try using a special sound or a look to stop the barking. You will need to be patient because he may relax at first but then his brain tells him to start over. Give the sound or look again and again until your dog submits.
- Constant barking can be very stressful and you need to remain calm and patient. Remember your dog will mirror you and if you are upset the result will not be good.
- If you think the barking is due to too much energy maybe it is time to go on a long walk.
- Another way to challenge your dog is to get involved in agility or obedience training.
I almost forgot, some dogs bark when them come in the store. I think it is the great smell of the dog treats that are baking. You probably noticed that I never bark for dog treats, it might have something to do with the fact that I can reach them on the counter whenever I want. It is great to be big. Stop in to see me, I am at the store almost every day.
Picking a dog food isn’t easy but I have found three rules that really work.
- Look at the first 5 foods on the label and if you see any of the following look for another dog food.
a. Corn, corn meal, any meat by-product, animal fat, any grains if your dog has allergies.
2. If you see BHA or any food coloring look for another dog food.
3. Check the label for the feeding rate for your dog. Calculate the cost per day and compare it to $1.59/day for a 22# dog on Orijen which I believe is one of the best dog foods you can buy.
Step three is really important because many dog foods use a lot of fillers like corn meal which means you have to feed more per day. You will probably find out that feeding the best dog that will give you a healthy dog only costs 10 to 15% more per day or less than a quarter. This is a really small price to pay to ensure that you have a happy healthy dog, just like me.
As you know another thing that makes me happy is a dog treat from One Lucky Dog Bakery. Time for me to do some counter surfing.
It appears that every dog owner wants their dog to look great and be under control while walking with their owner. When I helped Mom start the Bakery we thought that dog collars and leashes offered at One Lucky Dog Bakery should be different than those our Customers could get at the big box Pet stores. We decided to go with USA collar manufacturers who supplied high quality collars that were unique but also reasonably priced. We now have ten (10) suppliers who give us great support and wonderful designs that are truly unique. We can supply:
- Nylon, Hemp, Rubber, and Cotton collars with quick release. Mom stays away from buckles because two of her dogs got connected at their buckles while playing and she fears if she wasn’t there to get them apart the result would not have been good.
- Martingale Collars – These are great for dogs like greyhounds who can lower their head and slip out of a normal collar.
- Leashes to match each collar in various lengths.
- Harnesses – Bring your dog to get properly sized.
- Slip lead leashes which serve as collar and leash for those quick runs to the car.
- We can even supply flowers for the girls and bow ties for the boys that attach to the collar for that special occasion.
- Collars that glow in the dark for those dark night walks in the winter.
- If you or your dog has a tie to England, Scotland, or Ireland we have some beautiful collars that really stand out.
Stop in with your dog to get properly sized and to make sure the color is perfect for his or her coat. It will also give you an excuse to pick up some dog treats. My favorite is Finn’s Chocolate Dream which are coming out of the oven right now. Time for me to do some counter surfing when Mom is waiting on a Customer. Wish me luck.
Since some of our Customers tell us they have heard that bananas are toxic for dogs I thought I would take a few minutes and clarify the facts about this fruit. It is true that many human foods are very toxic for dogs and should never be given to your dog. The good news is that bananas are not toxic for dogs. Bananas are not on the list of human foods toxic for dogs that is published by ASPCA. This fruit can be cooked, baked, or eaten raw. We combine bananas with peanut butter to make a treat call Monkey Bones and this is our most popular treat at One Lucky Dog Bakery. It is true that if you give your dog more than one banana per day it can result in digestive issues. Monkey Bones and our other treats that have bananas contain just enough to give your dog that good smell he or she is looking for plus added health benefits. Bananas contain almost zero fat, are low in sodium, are a good source of fiber, and provide vitamin C, K, potassium, B6, manganese, and folate. I hope that I have clarified this issue for you and in a future blog I’ll tell you about some human foods that should never be given to your dog. Thanks for your time.
Is your dog constantly scratching behind the ears or biting and scratching the legs and feet? The first thing you should do is go get your dog food bag and take a look at the ingredient label. If you see any of the following items on the label you need to look for another dog food.
- Food Coloring
All of these are very common allergens for dogs and and are the primary reason why the only dog foods that are sold at our bakery do not carry these ingredients. Stop at the bakery and talk with Mom about the problem and I’m sure she can help you and your dog.
It is also possible that the shampoo you are using is drying out the skin of your dog. You should change to a natural shampoo that has mild cleansing agents and thus will not dry the skin and strip the coat of its natural oils. The shampoo should also contain conditioning oils to make the dogs coat shiny and smooth. Check out the shampoos that we carry at the bakery, use these and your dog will thank you after you have a lot of fun at bath time.
The last thing you need to think about is your dog treats. These should not contain wheat, corn, soy, food coloring, yeast or preservatives. There is a fresh batch coming out of the oven and it is time for me to do some counter surfing. These batch is Chicken MacKnight and I love the white meat chicken and carrots in this one.
I hope that I have helped with the scratching.
As I’m sure you know there are weight ranges published for every breed but the problem is those figures are for an average dog in that breed. The problem is that I’m sure your dog is not average and I sure know that I’m not. There is a very simple test that you should preform on your dog on a regular basis. Simply run you hands down the sides of your dog to feel the ribs. If you feel the ribs and they have a slight padding this is good news. Your dog is probably at the correct weight. If you can’t feel the rib cage then most likely your dog is overweight and you need to make adjustments in the feeding and exercise for your dog. If the rib cage is obvious and has almost no padding then your dog is probably underweight, unless you have a Whippet, Italian Greyhound, or Greyhound. These breeds show their ribs when at a normal weight.
Weight monitoring is important because it is a well known fact that overweight dogs live almost two years less than dogs who carry their normal weight. We want to be around as long as possible to give you the maximum amount of our love.
Dog food labels do not make it easy for us because most give a range of weight for the dog and a range of feeding. The feeding range is usually very wide so you need to do some testing. When you change food brands monitor your dog very closely with the rib test and adjust your feeding rate base on the rib test results. Remember that the feeding rate will be affected by the exercise your dog receives, how old your dog is, and is your dog female or male. Females usually need a lower feeding rate than males. Puppies usually need more food because of the activity level and the growth factor. Older dogs usually need less food because most of slow down with age and simply are not as active.
Dog treats are not a big factor in most of our diets and if they are healthy like the treats that I sample at the bakery they will not affect your weight. Right now Finn’s Chocolate Dream is coming out of the oven (all the treats have a unique smell and I love this one) so it is time for me to do a little counter surfing.
Hi it’s Finn again; as you may have guessed I am the leader of my pack of deerhounds. I must be the tough guy, strong, and ever watchful for problems because that is my job. Please don’t spread this around but at times , not too often, I become the biggest woose in town. Sometimes when we have a really bad storm with a lot of thunder and lightning I start pacing and panting. Mum knows I am upset so she gets this stuff we carry at One Lucky Dog Bakery. She puts six or seven drops on a Monkey Bone dog treat (I can tell by the smell) and of course the dog treat is gone in seconds. The other dogs think I am acting nervous to get a dog treat but of course I would not pull a trick like that.
The product is called Rescue Remedy. It is an all natural flower remedy (Mum is really into this all natural healthy stuff) and it isn’t like prescription drugs, you cannot harm your dog by giving too much. The label says four drops but since I am a big guy it takes a little more to calm me. Just experiment with the dosage to find what is correct for your dog. I know that after I get my special Monkey Bone/Rescue Remedy dog treat I am able to crawl on the couch with Jane & Mom and just relax.
This flower remedy helps with any stressful situation such as visits to the Vet, loud noises, excessive barking, shock, or mistreatment. You can purchase it on line at our website and pick it up at the store or we’ll ship it to you. It is your choice.