Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tie A Yellow Ribbon

I learned something recently that is probably common knowledge to a lot of people but new to me. I am not even sure that I have seen one in real life as of yet, but if I do - I will know what it means.

A Dog with a YELLOW ribbon around his neck or tied to its collar. 

A friend and I were talking the other day about our dogs and she has 2 Rottweilers. I asked her if she would be interested in meeting at the dog park so we can let our furkids play. Well, her answer was no. The reason being - they are dog aggressive and they are people aggressive and that is what they have trained them to be. They are their guard dogs. So I asked her if they ever have the chance to get out of the backyard and walk or play and she told me yes, but she ties a yellow ribbon around their necks and she walks them during off peak hours so it is less likely they will run into other dog walkers. 

I had not heard of this. If it has been in my studies I must have missed it some how. Maybe I just haven't gotten to that part yet. I don't know.

Anyway  - I started reading up on the idea and it is a very common practice. Not only for dogs that may be aggressive, but for dogs that are not child friendly, may be hyperactive or anxious. They can be recovering from a surgery or have an injury. It is a way to identify that that dog should not be approached, especially by children. 

There is even a non-profit website dedicated to this practice called The Yellow Dog Project and it has some very good points that every dog owner should know as well as anyone with children who come in contact with dogs. It is a good read and I encourage you to check it out if you are like me and this is new news.

*Photo from The Yellow Dog Project.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

By-Products - G R O S S

Do you know what "by-products" are? Really Really are? Whether it is in people food or pet food - you do NOT want to buy these products. For this post I am specifically talking about pet foods, dog food, to be exact.
Now, to be fair, some people think nothing of what goes into by-products. But then some people will feed their dogs anything. They think that since dogs originally came from the wild and ate like the wild then they can eat anything. Today's dogs are domesticated - it has been a few hundred years now since they were eating their kill on a daily basis. I don't understand how a person can treat their dog as  their "baby", buy them nice beds and cute toys but then feed them junk food on a daily basis unless they just don't know any better. Sure they can eat anything you put in front of them and do - but so can kids eat candy or chips every day and if that is all they eat, we know that isn't good for them. We want our dogs to live a long and healthy life, true?

So this is to educate those who do not know any better but do care.

So what are by-products? They are the leftovers of a slaughtered animal AFTER the edible parts have been removed. Whether it be beef, chicken, lamb, hog, or whatever. So think about it ---

the back, the feet, (including hooves) head, brains, stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, eggs which have not developed, spine. Get the picture? Gross, right? Of course some people like to eat those body parts and they are even considered delicacies but, yea, whatever.

So - how do they get by with putting this stuff in our dog food? It is LEGAL! No matter how it is handled, refrigerated OR NOT - no matter how it is stored. It is LEGAL! It is PROFIT for the companies!
Then there are 2 kinds - NAMED by-product and GENERIC by-product.
Here are some of the common names you will find on the list of ingredients: which are obviously named by-products.
Chicken by-product
Beef by-product
Poultry by-product
Turkey by product
You find the above in lower to middle grade dog food.

Then with generic by-products - guess what?  they do not have to specifically disclose what source they come from. It gets worse - it can be any of the following:
dead animals - from the zoo, ranch, roadkill, euthanized pets unclaimed - see what I am saying? When chickens arrive -many do not make it and they are tossed in for this purpose.
These are dogfoods that no one should be feeding their dogs. Yet, they are out there on the shelves and sold daily. The very cheap nasty stuff.

So the smart way to buy dogfood? RESEARCH - the first 5 ingredients are important. You can go to   The DogFoodAdvisor - very smart site.
You will find 5 Star Dog Food all the way down to 1 Star and they give the entire list of dogfoods, recalls, lots of good facts. In fact, a lot of my information on this post came from there. I did a lot of research in dogfoods before deciding what dogfood was best for Opie. Actually we went through 4 top brands that The Dog Food Advisor listed but the one that worked best for Opie was Victor Grain Free for Puppies

Now - that is my rant for doggy foods - don't get me started on people food. BOLOGNA, HOT DOGS...oh my!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dying Grass - No More.

After trying numerous methods  to stop my dogs urine from killing the grass, I finally found something that is actually working and is good for him, too. 

Wait for it...wait for it...
V8 juice!  
Seriously. Apparently it changes the Ph levels in a good way. Whatever works! 

Of course you will want to use the low sodium and no more than 1/2 cup per day. Opie absolutely loves it and drinks it straight. You can add it to their kibble if you prefer. 

So there you have it. Not only could you have had a V8 but your dog could,too!

*the tomato vine is what is poisonous for dogs, not the tomato fruit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Inclement Weather Exercise

If it is raining, snowing or just plain ole too hot or too cold - what do you do to keep your dog busy? If a tired dog is a happy dog - then he still has to have that energy release even when the weather outside is not cooperating. 

Here are a few things that I have found that completely wears my guy out and will send him snoozing in no time. 

Laser play - we have a little laser on a key chain that Opie loves. He will chase that little red dot until he can chase no more. We have the most fun just watching him go after the laser and it doesn't matter if it is up the wall, ceiling, under furniture - he is going to try his best to get to it. 
You can find these in the cat aisle at Petco and Petsmart and I am sure just about any store like Walmart or Target carries them. Cheap and fun!

Remote Control Toy - we bought a remote control toy at the Dollar General for $10! What a bargain! Opie just goes nuts. Of course a little barking comes with the play so if you don't mind that - it is a great tool to wear their little bodies out on an indoor kind of day. You can get all kinds. Robots, cars, trucks, etc. The one we bought turns flips and adjusts itself if it runs into furniture, so that helps.

Treadmill - now this is the biggy. We lucked out and bought a really nice used one for $100. If you don't have one - you can scan Craigslist - they are on there all the time. We have yet to master this one, tho. It is still in the works. We will get there, tho.

So - there you have 3 ideas to keep your dog busy enough to spend a little energy when a walk or the park is not an option. It won't cost you but a few dollars and it takes very little energy on your part. I mean - sitting in the recliner while he does all the work chasing these toys around - come on. Can't get much easier than that!
Like they say - A tired dog is a happy dog!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Don't Bully the Breed

I know exactly what Pit Bull owners have been upset about for years. Frankly, I was one of those people who stayed away and was afraid of pit bulls. Even tho my brother in law has 2 pit bulls and his daughter has one - I was still very cautious around them and I still wouldn't let Opie be around them because  although they are friendly dogs and have been socialized around people they have not been socialized around other dogs. They have grown up with each other and so other dogs haven't really been introduced too much. They are responsible owners and they keep them put up if anyone comes to visit that have pets. 

 We are going through all levels of training classes - we are taking him to Petsmart and Petco to just walk around and be with people. We are taking him to the dog park. We are doing everything we know to do to make sure he will be a well behaved, socialized dog. The problem is - it still won't change anything for some people and some places. He will always be considered a "bully" based on misconceptions and fear society has placed on dogs that comes from pet owners who have raised dogs with the intentions to hurt others. It ruins it for the sweet natured "bullies" out there that responsible owners know will never hurt another.

In the wrong hands, any and all breed types can be dangerous. It shouldn't be breed specific. 
As they say Ban the Deed - Not the Breed.

Be respectful of those who are working twice as hard to train our dogs to be model canine citizens. Please and Thank You!

How sweet is this face?