Protecting your pets!

These 4-legged furry friends are extended family to most of us, right? They are just about as much work as having human kids. You have to think of them all the time. If you’re traveling, having guests visit, you always have to think about your pets, right? If you notice flaky skin, upset stomach, lethargy, you’d get them to their vet to help them feel better. Just like human kiddo’s. So, how do you protect your pets?

Iphone 07.09.14 288

Heartworm prevention is something that is so simple and easy, yet so many people slack on it. Usually your vet will give you a prescription for a whole year. Then you can purchase it from a discount site online…I recommend Dr. Fosters & Smith. When it’s not flea season, I buy just Heartguard (instead of Sentinel). I feel like it’s less chemicals going into their system plus it’s cheaper, and (knock on wood) I haven’t had an issue with this method yet. I never miss their heartworm prevention! If you are in FL, you KNOW  how bad the mosquitoes get. It takes just ONE infected mosquito to bite your dog, for him/her to then be infected with heartworms. And take it from me, and Annie, heartworm treatment SUCKS! It is no fun. Having to put Annie in her crate just because she is being too playful, is so sad. And it makes me think how awful it would be with either of my dogs, who are much more energetic than Annie. Anything that gets their heart pumping could kill them, while going through treatment. Plus, it’s expensive! So, why not protect you pet and your bank account, and just keep up with the heartworm prevention in the first place!

Annie5

Another way to protect your pets is by making sure your home is safe for them. I have said many times before that I am a big believer in crating. I think certain dogs need a crate. Whether it is to keep them out of trouble, or to allow them to feel safe in their own space. If you leave your dog out loose, do you check your home before leaving? Do you know what peaks your dog’s curiosity? I leave Lucy out loose, and I know the only thing she’ll get into is food and napkins (she likes to shred them). So before leaving, I always survey the living room and kitchen, areas that she has access too, to make sure there is nothing she’d get into. This is something I’ve randomly done, never really vigilant about it….until I came across this website…I’m not sure how I even found them, and the majority of their posts are extremely sad and tragic, but it always reminds me to make sure my pups are safe. It’s a facebook page called Prevent Pet Suffocation. This page strives to bring awareness about the risk of potato chip bags (and other plastic type bags). These bags are extremely dangerous to our curious pets, because once a pet sticks his head inside the bag, it acts as a vacuum and the pet can’t get his head back out, and the pet then dies of suffocation. Sad and gruesome, I know, but it’s a reality…and I really think it’s important to help spread the awareness about this. So please, take a moment to “like” their facebook page. If you don’t want to see their sad posts, you can unfollow so that it doesn’t show in your news feed. However, while they are sad, they are also a regular reminder to protect my pets from letting the same happen to them.

https://www.facebook.com/PreventPetSuffocation

How do you protect your pets? I’d love to hear of more ways that we can all keep our pets healthy, happy, and safe!

PS-Would you please click the link below & vote for Lucy and Oscar? They are in a photo contest, and it just takes a click of a button to vote for them! If we win, I get a $100 gift card to a cute online store! CLICK HERE TO VOTE: http://bit.ly/1N4pxj4

10958988_749341348507297_6455656233316253761_n

Have a great night, friends! 

xoxo

Sweetness!

Oscar has officially been a part of the family for two years! His “Gotcha Day” was on the 11th, but I was in Mexico so he’s forgiven me for celebrating a couple days late! 😉

I just can’t put into words how much I love this dog. He is naughty, silly, goofy, sneaky, smart, and oh so loving! He was the perfect match for our family from day one. I am so glad his picture was sent my way, two years ago, and have loved him every day since then.

Happy Gotcha Day, my sweetness!!! 

IMG_3528

In honor of his adoptiversary, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pictures, as well as a couple of my favorite posts about him…Enjoy!

Oscar2 OscarStare3 Oscar8

A favorite post: Who is Your Valentine? 

Oscar2 Oscar3

Some other favorites: Religion, relationships…and dogs? and We got skillz! 

IMG_3511 photo 4 (16) halloween1

Last but not least, last year’s post about his first adoptiversary:  My Sweet Oscar

1 1869_10200658551968810_1220267478_n 14579_565627810211986_1598464493_n Oscar6

10298824_579425172165583_4474682605490835880_n

My Sweet Oscar

Ok so I’m a little bit of a bad doggy mom, and realized that I don’t actually know the exact date that Oscar came to live with me. I knew it was in January of 2013, sometime in the beginning of the month. So I decided to start looking through my pictures and my blog posts….and funny enough, TODAY marks exactly one year! One year ago, this little pip squeak of a dog was transported from Gainesville to Tallahassee, to become my foster dog. He was my 5th foster pup, and he was coming to me as a potential forever dog, if he met my many requirements.

Oscar-Adopted! Sassy & OscarOscar9

 

I quickly found that he did have everything I would want in a second dog, and I decided to make him mine! I officially announced this decision, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

OscarStare3

 

Oscar has come so far in the past year. He was little, with not much muscle, and a puny little tail. He could barely make it to the end of my street, without having to take a break to rest. Now, he can run and play with Lucy, for quite some time before he has to take a break. He loves to go for walks, and adores being off leash to chase his doggie sis!

Oscar8 Running8

 

I’ve found that he is crazy for water! He loves to cuddle, and he is very smart. He has met every foster that has come through our doors with a happy, wagging tail, including Sassy, Hambone, Shiloh, Wickett, Petey, and Cleo. And of course, let’s not forget his BFF, Apollo!

Petey1 4th2 photo 3 (2)20131106-200848.jpg

 

Oscar has passed his CGC test, and I have high hopes for him to succeed at other things too. He knows a few skills, like “sit”, “down”, “off”, “up”, “stay”, “shake”, and “spin”. The thing I am most proud of though, is his trust in his family. He looks to me as his mama, his leader, and the boss of the house. He looks to Jayden as his brother. He loves to wake him up every morning by jumping on him, and covering him in slobbery kisses. We can take food and toys away from him at any time, and he trusts us to do so. I love the relationship that Oscar and Lucy have, too. He has learned that he will never be starved again, and will now wait patiently as I feed everyone else before him. He will sit quietly, albiet drooling every where, while I practice skills with Lucy, or give her treats. He will share a spoon with her, when I am giving them a special treat (like peanut butter or yogurt). Oscar also is the typical little brother to Lucy, and will pounce on her if she’s got a toy he wants, or will climb on top of her if he wants to be the one cuddling with me.

Dogs3

 

Oscar is so sweet, and I couldn’t imagine ever letting him go. I think that he was meant for our family, and I am so happy that one year ago today, he came into our lives! Happy Gotcha Day, you sneaky, naughty, loveable, sweet boy!!

OscarsTricks3 Oscar 004 Oscar4 Oscar15 4Dec 2013 048 Dec 2013 024 Dec 2013 032 Dec 2013 037

Friday’s Facts: Dogs & Bloat

So, little Oscar decided to give me a heart attack a few days ago! When I say this dog eats fast, I mean it! He eats as if it is his first, and last, meal. When I walk towards him with his bowl, he wiggles and shifts his weight from right to left foot. The second the bowl is down, food is going flying as he INHALES as fast as possible. It is really quite ridiculous, and I figure it is probably caused from the fear of not getting food, since he was malnourished as a pup?! Anyway, the usual occurred, however this time, he got about half way through and then started behaving oddly. He started walking around in circles, with a strange look on his face, and then all of a sudden foam was pouring out of the sides of his mouth! It was like he needed to throw up, but couldn’t. Of course, I thought his stomach twisted & he was about to die in front of me! Then, ALL of the food came back up. Whew! To say the least, it scared the heck out of me! Can you guess what today’s facts are about?!

ready for food!
ready for food!

2 things can happen to dogs: Bloat and Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV).

-Bloat is when the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.

-GDV is a life-threatening condition, also known as “twisted stomach”. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency.

*If you suspect your dog has either of these, you should consult a vet immediately. Your dog’s life depends on it!

The info below is for both conditions, as bloat can lead to GDV:

Symptoms: Distended abdomen, unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit, weakness, excessive salivation, shortness of breath, cold body temperature, pale gums, rapid heartbeat

Causes: The exact cause is unknown, though there are theories that it could be hereditary.

-Risk factors: rapid eating, overeating, overdrinking, heavy exercise after eating, fearful temperament, stress. Deep-chested dogs are at high risk, as well as underweight dogs. Usually bigger dogs are affected, but that is not to say that it doesn’t happen to small dogs.

Specific breeds at risk: Saint Bernards, Akitas, Irish Setters, Boxers, Basset Hounds, Great Danes, Weimaraners and German Shepherds. Dachshunds, who are also deep-chested, are at high risk, as well.

Treatment: Depending on your dog’s condition, a veterinarian may take an X-ray to see the position of the stomach. The vet may try to decompress the stomach and relieve gas and fluid pressure by inserting a tube down the esophagus. If the stomach has rotated, emergency surgery is necessary to correct this.

Prevention:

-Feed your dog several small meals, rather than one or two larger ones, throughout the day to avoid eating too much or too fast.

-If appropriate (check with your vet), include canned food in your dog’s diet.

-Maintain your dog’s appropriate weight.

-Encourage normal water consumption.

-Limit rigorous exercise before and after meals.

*If your dog is an inhaler like Oscar, I found some neat little tricks you can try!

-Put the food on a cookie sheet. This will make the food spread out & hard to get to.

-Place a ball or kong toy in the bowl. The dog will have to maneuver around the toy, which will slow him down. (Hopefully he doesn’t learn to just take the ball out though!)

-Purchase a slow feed bowl, which has an insert in the middle.

Bloat BowlspPETS-11178955dt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I purchased the green one above for Oscar, and it made a HUGE difference! He had to work to get the food, which slowed him down a lot. I have to say, I was a bit skeptical, but it really did work! I am so relieved that I can feed him now without worrying that he’s going to cause himself to choke, vomit, or worse!

So, there ya go! Hope you learned as much as I did! 🙂 Happy Friday, from us to you!

008