Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

5 Tips on Choosing a Halloween Costume for your Dog

Halloween costumes S. CarterBy Laurie Darroch

Many people love to dress up their canine buddy for Halloween. There are some dos and don’ts to consider, however. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect attire for your dog to wear during the spooky celebration.


Not every costume is appropriate for a dog, even if it does fit. Some manufacturers of pet costumes may focus more on designing a cute costume instead of considering the safety issues. Things to look for include good construction and how added features of the costume hang or are attached. The little bells on a jester costume or the balls on the top of a head piece are tempting chew toys that can be ingested and cause injury to your dog.  Anything that can fall off easily or be chewed off is a potential danger.

In addition, loose fitting costumes or ones with extra pieces that hang off can be a safety hazard for walking, running or getting tangled up and caught on something. Vision and mobility can be hampered by the style of some costumes. If you choose one that limits your pup’s function, be aware of that fact. Watch out for closures and how the costume attaches. Your dog isn’t used to wearing clothes and may be tempted to chew on a piece of Velcro, a snap or button.
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How to Help a Grieving Dog

dog grieving katjaBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs do have emotions as deep as grief. As loyal and loving as dogs are, there is plenty to show in their behavior that our dogs do indeed grieve the loss of a companion, whether human or other. Grieving can be about change too, such as a major move. No matter the reason for their grief, there are signs you can learn to recognize and methods you can use to help your grieving dog.

Recognize and Acknowledge

Since our dogs cannot speak to us in words, it’s important to learn to understand the language they do use – that of behavior and body language. As responsible pet owners and loving companions, over time we can learn how to recognize changes out of the norm. In the case of a lost companion, the source is obvious, but grief can be caused by other things as well. What signs does your dog show when they are depressed or grieving?
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Why Do Dogs Roll Around on Objects?

dogs roll tony alterBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs roll on their backs to show submissiveness or trust, and as an act of defense when fighting. They might also roll around on a toy, food or something they find during play or while exploring outside. When your dog rolls on his back on an object, he is doing it for a reason.


A dog rolling on their back may be showing that they are content. During play, a dog can expresses happiness and pleasure at the activity with every part of his body. Have you ever watched a dog rolling around on your bed on his back? It may just feel good to him. Certainly the exuberance with which they perform the activity is a sign of happiness. Rolling around on a favorite toy, for example, may just make them happy knowing that is their toy and they are staking their claim to it.
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6 Tips for Choosing a Good Dog Groomer

groomer 1By Laurie Darroch

When it’s time to groom your dog and doing it yourself is more than you can handle, knowing a good dog groomer is a definite bonus. There is more to choosing the appropriate groomer for your dog than simply picking one out of the phone book. Not every groomer is a good fit for every dog. Consider these points when searching for the right groomer for your dog.

References and Reputation

Word of mouth, reviews, experience and reputation all matter when it comes to the care of your dog. Although most grooming tasks do not require extensive training, the more experience a groomer has, the better. Some groomers do attend professional schooling and/or get training on the job. You want a groomer who is reputable, the same way you want a beautician or any personal care professional to have the necessary skills and training when you need services yourself.

Every groomer is not instantly acceptable simply because they advertise their services. You have to find the person who fits your dog and your individual needs. You want someone who knows what they are doing in general with any dog and for your particular dog as well. Hanging a sign on the wall saying they are a dog groomer does not automatically mean they do a great job. Take the time to check them out to find a groomer who is qualified.
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5 Signs Your Dog Isn’t Feeling Well

By Laurie Darroch

Dogs cannot verbally tell us when they are not feeling well. They show it in altered behavior or physical cues. As we get to know the normal ways they act, any changes in their actions and reactions may be a sign that something is wrong. Here are five things to watch for.

Physical Symptoms

The most obvious signs that your dog is not feeling well may be a visible injury, infection or vomiting, but other signs take observation skills on your part. Skin lesions or irritating rashes, coughing, difficulty breathing, lumps, discolored eyes, excessive scratching, abnormal drooling or bad breath are all possible signs that can mean your dog is not feeling up to par. They may be signs of a simple condition that is easily treated, or of something more serious. If you have doubts or you can’t easily figure out what is actually wrong, go see your vet.

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6 Ways to Make Walking Your Dog More Fun

dog walking tambakoBy Laurie Darroch

Although most dogs enjoy a good walk and exploring the neighborhood or other local terrain, it is fun to make the occasion extra special for your dog and yourself once in a while. For the more timid or hesitant dogs, the extra encouragement may be just the motivation they need.

Bring Along a Throw Toy

Dogs learn to associate things with particular activities. They will soon understand that bringing a leash out and attaching it to their collar or harness means it’s time to go somewhere. The presence of a favorite chase and fetch toy is a sure sign that playtime is about to begin. When you take your dog out for a walk, bring along a throw toy such as a ball or Frisbee to use for added exercise and training. You can practice commands such as “Fetch” or “Release” while you are walking and playing.

Change the Routine

People get bored with the same routine, and your dog might enjoy some variation as well. You may have a favorite route you take when you go walking with your dog, but vary it once in a while. Pick a park or an alternate neighborhood, go walking at the beach or even on a hiking trail for a nice change of pace for both of you. Your dog will enjoy all the interesting new smells in the different areas.

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