Monthly Archives: December 2011

Weekly Trick – Teaching a Dog To Close the Door

I love this trick.  It’s a smart, and fun trick to show off how smart your doggie pal is.

It may take a while for your dog to learn this trick and remember that a dog’s attention span is not overly long and they will tire when trying to learn so patience is key.  Take about 5-10 minutes per day for a week or so, depending how fast your dog learns, and they should have this trick down pat.

First, have your dog outside and put a treat down by the side of the door for when they come in.

Next, call your dog to come in, if they spot the treat, don’t allow them to have it, instead say “Close door” and make the motion with your hand to close the door.

The dog should move to close the door and once they are close to the treat, the door should close and they will grab the treat, leaning against the door and closing it for sure.

Once your dog gets this down, in warmer weather, the door can be left ajar, and the dog can come in the house and close the door behind him/her, grab the treat and there you have a dog that is pretty darn smart and able to close doors behind them!

As always, I have a video showing this trick.  It’s NOT ME in the video.

I’m wishing everyone a Happy New Year.  I hope that 2012 is everyone’s best year yet!  Type to you in the New Year!

 

Weekly Recipe – Flaxseed Catnip Treats

I found this great recipe and tried it out, Isis is a huge fan, hopefully your kitty will be as well.  Remember to feed in moderation only.  Also, if your cat cannot handle goat’s milk you can substitute.  Cow’s milk would probably be all right as well.

Flaxseed Catnip Treats

Ingredients (makes 100 treats)

  • 1-1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup goat’s milk
  • 1/8 cup dried catnip

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix together the first three ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well.

If the dough is too stiff to mix well with a spoon, flour your hands so you can handle the dough without it sticking and knead it.

Using a spoon, scoop up 1/4-tespoon-sized bits of dough. Form each into a small ball and place on greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper instead).

Bake for 5 – 7 minutes or until the bottoms of the treats are golden brown on both sides.

Remove from oven, let cool thoroughly, and store in an airtight container.

Yet Another Dog Food Recall

I had another post planned for today, but I wanted to mention, yet again, another dog food recall.  This is just astounding at how many recalls there have been this year.

Here is the posting from my e-mail:

Petrus Feed and Seed Stores, Inc. of Alexandria, Louisiana has announced a voluntary dog food recall involving one of its products due tocontamination with aflatoxin.

The event was reported by the Food and Drug Administration in a news bulletin dated December 14, 2011.

The affected dry kibble products were manufactured by Cargill at its manufacturing facility located in LeCompte, Louisiana between December 1, 2010 and December 1, 2011.

The recall only applies to the company’s 21% Dog Food, packaged in 40 lb Petrus Feed bags with the following packaging date codes (lot numbers) 4K1011 through 4K1307.

Updated lot numbers are 4K1011 through 4K1335.

Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by a certain species of mold commonly found in cereal grains.

FDA claims no illnesses have been reported.

What to Watch For

According to a previous FDA news release…

“Pets that have consumed any of the above recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.”

What to Do

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

According to the FDA bulletin, Petrus Feed and Seed Store, Inc. is implementing this recall as a precautionary measure.

Consumers are urged to return affected products – whether or not the packages have been opened – to their place of purchase for a full refund.

For more information, consumers should contact 318-443-2259, Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM and Saturday, 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

If you do not receive these notices in your e-mail, you should!  Sign up here to get them sent directly to you.

Doggies Learning to Take Treat Nicely

Does your dog snap like a crazy boy/girl when you offer treats?  Ever wanted to be able to give your dog a treat without loosing your fingers.  I have an easy solution for you to be able to teach them to take treats gently and leave all your fingers in tact!

When we first brought Sasha home from the shelter, she had never had treats before, so she used to jump and snap when I offered her one.  What I did to stop her from doing this behavior is as follows (it’s very simple):

I first got a treat and made Sasha sit down.

Then I put the treat in the palm of my hand and closed it until I made a fist.

I let Sasha sniff my hand so that she knew there was a treat in it.

It was at this point that she tried to nip and bite at my hand to get the treat.  I firmly said “NO!” and she finally stopped doing that.

Next, I kept my hand in a fist until she started to lick my hand only.  Once she did that, I used the command “Gently” so that she would know as soon as she did that, she would get a treat.

Once she started to consistently just lick my hand, I would open it up, and let her lick the treat from the palm of my hand.  There wasn’t anymore biting or snapping or going after it like she had never eaten before in her life.

This took about a day to train her to take the treat gently.  It was also important that I used the command “Gently” so that she wouldn’t grab.

With some dogs that grab, you might need to invest in a heavy glove so that your hands don’t get bitten to pieces.

Make sure to let the dog know what behavior is not acceptable and what is acceptable.  Praise your dog like crazy once they get the hang of taking treats from the palm of your hand gently.

I hope this helps the dog owners out there who have snappy dogs, and I hope this helps the dogs to learn to be gentle and have manners.  Good luck and I hope it works for you as well as it worked for Sasha and I.

 

 

Pet Safe Ice Melters

The other day I was outside with Sasha, playing in the yard.  It had just snowed a few hours earlier, and with the fresh powered blanket, the driveway was now a sheet of ice.  In the span of a half hour, I ended up slipping and falling six times and have the bruises to prove it!

We had salt in the trunk of the car and I figured I should just throw that down on the driveway.  Then I thought twice – is that really safe for the environment, let alone for animals?

I came inside and started to Google “ice melters” and “salt ice melters”  I came across this article.  Alarmed, I decided to look around for some pet safe ice melters and see what’s out there.

You may order online, but I wanted to have some now, considering how crazy and unpredictable the weather has been.  I tried my local Walgreens with no success, and several other stores, and finally went to the pet store where they had some in the back corner of the store.  The brand my pet store carries is this one.

Just to note, there is no perfect pet friendly ice melter on the market.  Each one will most likely have at least one ingredient that is controversial.  The choice will be yours as to which one will be best for you.

With so many on the market now claiming to be pet/child safe, there is a site with all the brands available, prices to order online, and reviews of each one.  This is the site.  Each links to another site, either Amazon or the site the product is sold on.  It really is a helpful site and I highly recommend doing some research before buying.

This has been an eye opening experience for me, and I am thankful I didn’t just throw down the bag of salt we had in the car.  I am sure Sasha and the other animals outside would thank me for not using something that can be so toxic.  I am glad I took the time to research, I don’t know what I would have done if something would have happened to Sasha.

 

Weekly Trick – Roll Over

This trick seems easy, but for some dogs, they don’t like to roll on their back, so you may have to take this trick very slowly.

First, make sure your dog is in the down position.  Treat them and make sure they are comfortable in that position.

Next, start to move your treat to the side of the dog, so that they will start to move onto their side.  Once they are comfortable on their side, you can move on to the next step.

Now, move the treat to the dog’s rear end.  The dog should move like they are going to roll over.  Treat them to get them used to doing this.  As you are doing this, you should be using the command “roll over” in a playful tone to encourage them to complete the trick.

Then, once the dog is starting to try to roll over, move the treat to the dog’s opposite side so that they complete the “roll over” motion.  Once they have completed it, give them tons of praise and treats.   To get them to roll the other way, complete the trick the same but on the opposite side of the dog.  Once they complete this trick five times, the trick is considered learned.

I have a video of this trick to help you teach your dog.  This is NOT ME in the video.

 

And now, because it is Christmas, here are some very talented doggies singing jingle bells!

And we wouldn’t want to leave out the kitties!  Here they are singing their rendition of I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all, whichever you are celebrating, I hope you have a wonderful time with your friends and family.

 

Weekly Recipe – Doggies, I’m Dreaming of a “Rice” Christmas

I came across this recipe and it sounded good enough for us humans to eat.  In the spirit of the holiday season, he is a great recipe for a special treat for your doggie buddy, and I suppose if you get hungry, you can eat it as well!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (if your dog is allergic, leave this out)
  • If your dog is allergic to any of the above, you can leave it out or substitute for something else your doggie loves.

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel- lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from the skillet. Add the carrot, celery and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, brown rice and turmeric and cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Serve the rice in a dog dish. Crumble the bacon on top and let it snow with the parmigiano-reggiano!

 

As you can see, it sounds like a delicious dish that both human and dogs alike can share.  Try it out, while you are feasting on your Christmas dinner, give this recipe a try and feed it to your dog.  They will think they are sharing the Christmas dinner, only the calories they will be ingesting won’t be near as much if they did eat your Christmas feast.

Enjoy!

Say No To Pets as Presents & Kitty Treat Recipe

I wanted to repeat my post on not giving pets as presents this time of year, so here it is.  Please please reconsider doing this.  Wait until after the holidays and the chaos of the season is over.

 

Now, we haven’t had a recipe for cat treats in a while, but I came across a good one and since you  may be looking for something to give as a treat for your kitty this time of year, here it is!  Again, remember to feed in moderation to keep your cat from getting overweight.

Kitty Heaven Sardine Surprise

  • 2 flat cans of sardines (please don’t buy the spicy ones, just the plain ones) (do not drain)
  • 2/3 cup cooked rice
  • 1 TBSP cooked, pureed liver (or canned liver cat food)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsely

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Shape into balls of desired size (make them small enough so your cat can easily chew them, so quite small works well), and serve.  You can also just spoon the mixture in moderation into your cat’s bowl.  These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.  You may also freeze these for up to six months.  Easy to make and your kitty should love them!

 

Chin Acne in Pets – Causes and What To Do

You wake up one morning and your cat has jumped on your bed.  You’re scratching their chin and all of a sudden you see and feel a little white bump.  Worried, you investigate further and find that your kitty has acne on their chin!

How did this happen?  What can I do to fix this?  Simple, put on your thinking cap and read on.

Do you own any plastic dishes that your cat eats or drinks out of?  Any kind of plastic dish whatsoever.  If you do, get rid of it.  Plastic dishes are a hotbed for lingering bacteria.  When your cat eats food from the dish, their chin usually rubs on the dish edge and voila…this is the reason they are getting acne.  Throw the dishes out, no amount of cleaning or sanitizing can get rid of all the bacteria those dishes harbor.

If you have ceramic dishes, make sure they are not made in China, and make sure they are of the better crafted variety.  The problem is that some cheaply made ceramic dishes can leak dyes and cause health issues and acne on your pet’s chin.  As well, some dishes can contain lead and we all know that can lead to lead poisoning and we don’t want that!

Stainless steel can also harbor some germs and create some issues with more sensitive pets.

If you have a water fountain your pets drink out of, make sure that it’s not made of plastic.

When I read all this information recently, I had to do a complete overhaul of all the dishes I use.  I now just purchase any clear glass dishes that humans use (I use small ingredient bowls like this one for my cat, Isis, or you can find larger ones for your dog on the same site).

Neither had acne but I wanted to make sure that they are safe and glass dishes are the safest to use.  Just make sure to wash their dishes frequently, to make sure they stay safe.

As long as there isn’t any acne on your pet’s chin, they should be fine.  Keep checking if you’re worried or in doubt, buy glass dishes.  Some pet stores do sell them, you might have to dig to find them if you are set on getting them at a pet store.

If you do the above and it’s still present, make an appointment with your vet, just to rule out anything else it may be.

Stay safe!

 

Humorous Websites – Be Prepared to Laugh!

Since it is close to Christmas and not everything has to be serious all the time, I figured it would be a nice change to put up links to some humorous websites all about animals!

As I am sure most of us know LOLCats (I can haz cheeseburger) is a great website for funny captions on photos of cats, and they have videos as well.  There is now a more adult version of this website, which is ICHCAD NSWF (After dark website is not safe for work). (I can haz cheeseburger after dark).

A follow up to LOLCats is LOLDogs (I has a hot dog).  Basically the same at the cat website, but with doggies!

Another great cat website that for some reason makes me laugh really hard is Invisible Cats.  It’s cats captured in motion where the pictures are captioned.  Hilarious!

A great but possibly Not Safe For Work website is mycatisadick.  People send in pictures of their cat doing, well crazy cat behavior, and there is a description of the picture underneath it.

If you enjoy TV and a mix of watching shows about animals, Animal Planet has a great website with games, puzzles, videos and much more to check out.  I could spend hours putting together virtual puzzles.

Do you like to watch funny videos?  Do you like videos of dogs?  Well put the two together and you have the Funny Dog Website.  Not to be outdone by the dogs, there is a funny cat website.

Upsidedowndogs is another site with cute and funny pictures added daily.

Another cat website is ROFLCAT.  Pictures, , captions and comics.

Stuffonmymutt is well…putting stuff on your mutt and taking pictures of it.

Does your cat come and try to play while you are working on the computer?  Well there is a website where you pick a critter and watch it dance and move across your screen while your cat goes nuts batting at it and chasing it around.  It’s your own Cat TV!

As you can see, there are many humorous websites out there that are all about animals.  There are more, but these are my favorites and the ones that produce the most laughs.  I wanted to put something fun to do as nothing has to be serious all the time.  These sites are also great time wasters and if you’re at work this week, you might have a lot of time on your hands.  Just watch the sites that are not safe for work.

Have fun!