Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

Ear Infections in Dogs

dog ears tanakawhoBy Laurie Darroch

Your dog can’t tell you if their ears are hurting or bothering them, so it’s important to learn how to spot the symptoms and signs of any possible ear irritation or infection. Visual changes in the ears and/or your dog’s behavior will tell you that there may be a problem you need to treat.

A dog’s ear is different in formation than a human ear. We have tubes that are situated and drain out horizontally. A dog has an ear canal that is more vertical than ours. Things get trapped in their ears. Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or a yeast problem. Extra ear hair, excess wax, pests such as ear mites, foreign matter such as dirt that gets imbedded in their ear and even allergies are some things that can irritate a dog’s ears.

It’s a good idea to check your dog’s ears periodically when grooming or bathing them, or after a play session outdoors. Also, if you have small children who play with the dog, kids are curious and sometimes stick things where they don’t belong, which might include your dog’s ears.

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7 Tips for Exercising Your Dog in Hot Weather

dog exercise majaBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs need exercise even in the hot weather, but there are ways to do it that keep their comfort and safety in mind. Like us, dogs are affected by the extremes of weather. To prevent heat exhaustion and burned feet, follow these 7 tips for giving your dog exercise in hot weather.

Time of Day

Extreme heat is draining and physically stressful for most humans, and for our dogs too. Even if the heat is not bothersome to you, keep in mind that to cool off naturally, your dog does not sweat over their whole body the way you do.  Extreme temperatures are harder for them to deal with. Minimize exercise and activity in the hottest parts of the day. Walks and outside play are better in the early morning, late afternoon or evening, not in the middle of the hot day. Even if that midday lunch break is a great time and perfectly tolerable for you to go for a jog, it may not be for your dog. Do something different and go for a nighttime walk after dark on occasion, if you live in a safe area. You both might enjoy the change.

Cool Exercise Alternatives

Play in the water to give both you and your dog exercise and keep them cooler at the same time. Go for a swim, run through the sprinkler or go to the beach to keep active and cool at the same time. If you have the space, buy a small kiddie pool just for your dog to cool off. Put it somewhere in the yard where your dog can have access to it. Keep a big beach towel nearby to prevent your dog from running into the house soaking wet after playtime.

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Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

dogs sleep siniBy Laurie Darroch

It may seem like your dog is sleeping too much, but their lifestyle, amount of exercise, and what breed they are may affect the amount of sleep they need. Even the age of the dog impacts the amount of sleep they require.

Age and Size

Puppies sleep excessively. They run around using every bit of energy and then suddenly crash and sleep, almost mid step at times. It is very much like dealing with a human child who has bursts of exuberant energy and plays hard until they drop from exhaustion. Conversely, older dogs sleep more than younger ones. As dogs age, they slow down. The size of your dog can be a factor as well. Larger dogs tend to sleep more than smaller dogs.

Changes

Dogs react to the people and environment around them. If they lose a companion, it may affect their behavior or mood. That can be true whether it’s a human or another dog companion. They are very loyal and like their routines. Losing a being they love can make them depressed.

If you move to a new house, are in a stressful living situation, or become part of a new family, it takes time for your dog to adjust, the same way it does for you. This may show itself in increased amounts of time spent sleeping. Be patient and help them to adjust.

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5 Disney Movies Featuring Memorable Dogs

disney lorenBy Laurie Darroch

Disney has long been a promoter of the special place dogs have in our lives, and the wonderful and varied characters that dogs are. Disney dogs are vast and individual, ranging from an anthropomorphized animated Goofy who made his first appearance in 1932 in Mickey’s Revue, to a more current selection in 2012, Tim Burton’s animated Frankenweenie, and all the dogs in between. Both animated and live action, Disney dogs even have their own franchise. The five movies below are just a taste of the wonderful canine collection Disney has brought to the screen.

Old Yeller

Originally a 1956 children’s book by Fred Gipson, Old Yeller won the Newberry Medal for “The most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” In 1957, Disney released the film version of the story about the big yellow stray dog that wove its way into the hearts of the family it adopted. Moviegoers shed many tears over the heartbreaking demise of the loyal and beautiful dog at the end of the movie. Yes…we do love our dogs!

The original story is set in Texas in the 1860s. It was followed by a sequel called Savage Sam, about the offspring of the famous yellow dog.

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10 Useful Ways We Serve Our Dog “Boss”

dog boss jespahjoyBy Laurie Darroch

From a dog’s point of view, a human’s “job” is to provide endless personal services to the canine members of the household. We seem to think we have them trained, but with a dog in the house you quickly realize they are in charge and we are just the servants who love and care for them. Their needs are our commands. If we do not do our various jobs properly, they will let us know. No complaints from us are allowed. We live to serve our dogs and do it with a smile.

Massage Therapist

Humans have two hands with ten fingers. That means we have multiple digits created just for scratching a favorite spot behind a dog’s ears, or a good spot on their back or stomach. A full massage is always nice too. If those hands are occupied with some mundane unnecessary task, we must immediately set that aside and perform our assigned duty of petty and scratching. The exception is if our hands are busy getting them their CANIDAE meals or treats. Then the lack of required petting and scratching is temporarily forgiven. They consider themselves reasonable bosses, after all.

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How to Read Your Dog’s Wagging Tail

dog tail fauxtoBy Laurie Darroch

It may seem like a dog’s wagging tail is conveying something very simple, such as happiness. However, the language that tail is communicating and the way the dog is using his tail, may be telling you more than you realize. Tail wagging is another way your dog communicates with you; he uses this particular type of body language to convey specific feelings which mean much more than just “I am happy.”

A wagging tail has many meanings, ranging from happiness and excitement to fear, nervousness, a friendly greeting, or simply an acknowledgement that the dog knows you or accepts you. The position of a dog’s tail – when they are wagging it or it is stationary, or if they are reacting to something such as praise or verbal scolding – gives you information on what they are feeling and communicating.

High vs. Low

The position of a dog’s tail can carry meaning with it as much as the actual motion does. A high wag is exuberant and excited in some way. A low wag may be a more subdued and unsure way your dog shows pleasure, or even pain. A wag in the middle is more relaxed.  Think about a dog who has done something naughty or is fearful and tucks their tail between their back legs. This is a submissive or fearful gesture. It can also mean your dog is not feeling well.

Wagging tails are held in different positions for different reasons. For example, a wagging tail held high may be a sign of anger or aggression. Conversely, a low held wagging tail is a much more submissive gesture.

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