Tuesday, February 13, 2018

5 Ways To Celebrate Valentines Day With Your Dog

February 14th is Saint Valentine's Day.  Americans celebrate the entire month of February as the month of romance.  Valentine's Day is celebrated in the U.S. and many other countries as well.  It is an ancient celebration, thought to have originated as part of a pagan fertility ritual in ancient Roman times.

The origins of Valentine's Day weren't exactly hearts, flowers, and kisses, but that's what it symbolizes in modern times!  Valentine's Day is synonymous with cards, candy, gifts, and flowers.  And for pet parents, it's also synonymous with special treats, toys, and dates with their best furry friend.

My Furry Valentines, Phoebe and Icy!


Making your dog your Valentine?  Great! 'Cause Dogs Make The Best Valentines Day Dates!!


Here are 5 Extra Special things to do with your dog this Valentine's Day. 💕


RELAXING SPA DAY OR HOMEMADE FACIAL


Several grooming salons and hotels are offering spa treatments for dogs.  They know many pet parents want to thoroughly spoil and pamper their pets.

The Pooch Hotel, with a number of locations in California and a few on the East coast, will pamper your pet with style.  In addition to more traditional dog grooming you can add spa treatments to thoroughly indulge your dog.  I read about one place that even offers a warm Hydro Surge massage bath hydrotherapy for dogs with arthritis and other muscle problems.

If a doggy day spa isn't in the budget, create an at-home spa treatment.  Give your dog a facial and a pawdicure, dog friendly nail polish and all!   I found a fun recipe for a homemade Blueberry Facial for your Dog on Wag's web site

In a mixing bowl, grind up a half cup of oats to a powder.  Add crushed fresh blueberries and combine.  Wag says that this will create a facial mix that is high in antioxidants and good for the dog's skin and fur.  Check out their web site for full instructions and the proper method to give your dog a facial.  blueberries tend to stand so make sure you don't use your good white towels!


DOGA (Dog Yoga) CLASS


Get some Valentines Day relaxation for you and your pup!  Try taking a DOGA (Dog Yoga) Class.   In New York City, you can book a private DOGA session with your dog, or find a group DOGA session to attend. Search for a DOGA class in your city. If you can't find one in local search, check out the site Trips With Pets.   They list some DOGA classes being given in various parts of the country.  You can also Call a local yoga studio and ask if they know of any instructors that have led DOGA classes.  A local animal shelter in my area actually hosted a few DOGA classes last Summer!  How cool is that?  There's a yoga studio in The Hamptons, NY that gives DOGA sessions in Summer as well.    According to DOGA in NYC,    "Doga is simply creating a space of presence where you and your dog can share a state of peace"  That sounds good to me!


VALENTINE'S DAY YAPPY HOUR


Host a Valentines Day Yappy Hour party for your dog's best furriends at your house, or search for one in your neighborhood. 

A local brewery here in New York is hosting a Valentine's Day Yappy Hour.  In Phoenix, Arizona there was a local bar that regularly hosted Yappy Hours.  If you live in a warm weather state and are near water, you may be lucky enough to find a Valentine's Day Yappy Hour Cruise!

A few years back I read about a singles group that hosted a mixer for singles looking for love... and their dogs!  Attendees brought their dogs along to the event in the hopes of  finding love.  Talk about a great ice breaker having dogs at the event!  The event doubled as an animal welfare fundraiser.

Search on Valentine's Day Yappy Hours in your city.   BringFido.com/event lists Worldwide Dog Events, so it might be worth checking out their event page as well.

If you host a Valentine's Day Yappy Hour yourself, invite your dog's best furriends and have fun with a Valentine's Day theme!

💗 You can find inexpensive party themed items at the dollar store or craft store.

💗 Get some Valentine's Day themed dog treats to serve your furry guests.   Petco and PetSmart always have some fun holiday themed dog treats.

💗 Set up some fun games for the dogs to play.  I like the tennis ball muffin tin game.  You place treats in a muffin tin and cover each of the muffin holes with a tennis ball.  The dogs have to knock the balls out of the way to get to the treat!  If you have a lot of interactive toys you can bring them all out and have the dogs circle around to each one.

Interactive games can be fun for multiple dogs to play with together

SERVE UP A SPECIAL VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER


Serve your dog a special home cooked Valentine's Day dinner.  Boil up some Chicken, beef, or liver in a pot with healthy dog friendly vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, broccoli or other pet friendly veggies.  Leave out the onion & garlic, as those can be toxic to pets!

If you don't have the time or desire to cook, look for such as Merrick Pet Food's PUGS N' KISSES Grain Free canned dog food.  It's one of their many special Limited Edition, Seasonal Recipes.  Available through Chewy.com and other pet retailers.


SPECIALTY DOG CAKES & TREATS


Bake some special Valentine's Day dog treats, or Find a doggie bakery that makes something special for Valentines Day.  Many dog bakeries (or BARKeries, as they're often called) will ship goodies right to your home.

Our friend Emma at My GBGV Life has a great recipe for Strawberry Banana LuvCakes !  These are really special.




💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝

Now that you've planned something extra special for your dog this Valentines Day, why not treat yourself to something special?  

Our UNCONDITIONAL LOVE design was created exclusively for Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them by Brooklyn artist MendyDraws.com  It's our own unique design, inspired by the Unconditional Love our pets give us every day.  You won't find this exclusive design anywhere else!




Hoodies

Lightweight Sweatshirts

T shirts in several styles & colors
 iPhone and Galaxy cases, Laptop Cases & Skins, Mugs, Bags and more!




Are you doing anything special with your pet on Valentine's Day?  Tell us about it in the Comments!




Saturday, January 27, 2018

How Pet's Dental Health Effects Overall Health, & A GIVEAWAY!

February is Pet Dental Health Month, but we should be conscious of our dog's oral health all year long.  Poor dental health in pets can lead to more serious health issues.  Whiter teeth and the absence of bad breath in my dog are great, but good oral health for dogs goes deeper than that.

If a dog has poor oral health it can lead to dental disease, especially periodontal disease which can lead to more serious health problems.  Toxins from periodontal disease get absorbed into the dog's blood stream and can cause infections in the body.  This can potentially damage kidney, heart, and brain tissue.  



Good Pet Oral Health isn't just about fresh breath and whiter teeth, it's an important part of your dog's overall health!  

Oratene Brushless Oral Care for Pets.  Line of brushless products for pet dental health care. Safe to use on Dogs and Cats.
Oratene Brushless Oral Care for Pets, from Zymox
This post is sponsored by Oratene® . I am being compensated to help share information about Oratene Brushless Pet Oral Care products for Pet Dental Health Month, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.


Many kinds of bacteria can grow in your pet's mouth.  The mouth is moist and dark, a perfect place for bacteria to flourish.  Bacteria such as plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which can throw off the balance of normal, healthy microbial flora in your dog's mouth.  This can ultimately lead to dental disease.


Nearly 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have dental disease, the most common health problem effecting dogs.  Pet health. Dental disease in dogs and cats. Pet Dental Health.  Zymox Oratene Brushless Oral Care for pets
When we adopted Phoebe at age 5 her teeth were already in poor shape. 

Pets taking medications are especially prone to dental health issues. Some medications can cause a condition known as "Dry Mouth".  Although pets may still have saliva and drool, the quality of the saliva is poor.  Pets with chronic Dry Mouth can develop severe halitosis (very bad breath), and tooth decay.  

PET DENTAL DISEASE CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS


According to both the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and PetMD, nearly 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have dental disease.  It's the most common health problem effecting dogs.  


Pet Dental disease includes:  



🐶 Periodontal Disease; one of the most common diseases in dogs, it causes damage to the gum, bone, and tissue around the teeth.


🙀 Gingivitis; an inflammation and infection of the gums.


🐶 Tooth root abscesses


🙀 Broken or lost teeth



When I adopted Phoebe she was about 5 years old.  From the start her teeth weren't good.  I was nervous about getting her a dental cleaning because in order for pets to have a Veterinary dental cleaning they need to be put under anesthesia. That scared me and I didn't want to take the chance.


I tried to brush her teeth but it didn't work well, she hated it.  I was really happy when I found Oratene water additive, which helps prevent plaque and remove biofilm.  I hoped the water additive, along with dental chews would help me avoid a dental cleaning for her altogether, but it was too late, her teeth were too far gone.  Although it helped both my dogs bad breath a lot, the damage to Phoebe's teeth could not be undone.   



Nearly 80% of dogs over age 3 have dental disease, it's the most common health problem in dogs.  Oratene brushless oral care for dogs and cats helps prevent plaque & biofilm in pets.  February is Pet Dental Health Month
Phoebe's beautiful pearly whites after her cleaning at the Vet.  
At 8 years old one of Phoebe's teeth fell out for no apparent reason.  After that I bit the bullet and took her to the Vet for a dental cleaning.  I'm so glad I did because she ended up needing to have 6 teeth pulled!

I felt so bad that she had to go through the stress of a Veterinary dental cleaning, anesthesia, and having to stay at the Vet all day and into the evening.  I vowed to make her first Veterinary dental cleaning her last by using Oratene's Brushless Oral Care Toothpaste Gel and water additive!



MY PET DENTAL HEALTH ARSENAL


After her dental cleaning, I made a more serious effort to use both the Oratene Brushless Toothpaste Gel and Water Additive daily.  


Phoebe never accepted me brushing her teeth, she just hated it too much.  Rather than continuing to struggle getting her to accept a toothbrush or finger brush, I tried Oratene's Brushless Toothpaste Gel.  Yes, that's right, I said Brushless toothpaste!  You just apply the gel to your dog's gums once or twice a day. The pet's saliva works to get the toothpaste to all parts of the mouth without brushing.  No more struggling with an uncomfortable brush in Phoebe's mouth.  


The toothpaste gel and water additive are safe for use on both dogs and cats.  That's such a convenience, you don't have to keep two sets of pet dental care products for your dog and cat, they can share!



***** IMPORTANT! Never use human toothpaste on your pet, it contains ingredients, such as fluoride, that are toxic to pets *****


Fortunately, Phoebe didn't have much of an issue with me sticking my finger in her mouth, it was the brushing she hated.  I took the time needed to have her get used to me applying the gel to her gums.  It was a much easier process than I feared!  I make sure to give her a small treat afterwards so she knows that the toothpaste gel leads to a TREAT! I think she almost looks forward to it!


I'll continue using Oratene's Brushless Toothpaste Gel along with the Oratene Water Additive, and hopefully Phoebe won't have to get another dental cleaning for the rest of her senior years. 


PIN THIS!


Oratene Brushless Oral Care for Pets.  Line of brushless products for pet dental health care. Safe to use on Dogs and Cats.
Zymox's Oratene Brushless Oral Care products for pets


Oratene's Brushless Pet Oral Health Products help keep your dog's teeth clean and prevent dental disease.  They make it easy to kill harmful bacteria and germs, and remove plaque biofilm in your dog's mouth to restore oral balance.  

Oratene's oral care products use two patented enzyme systems not found in other enzymatic oral care products to boost the natural oral flora, help protect against gum disease and dissolve plaque biofilm, and inhibit the bacteria that cause bad breath.



ORATENE BRUSHLESS ENZYMATIC ORAL CARE


> Oratene brushless oral care products contain two patented, natural enzyme systems, the LP3 Enzyme System and the MD2 Enzyme System (Mutanase + Dextranase).  


Oratene Water Additive for pets is easy to use.  Just 2 cups of water + 2 pumps of the additive in pets water bowl daily.

> These enzymes inhibit harmful odor-causing bacteria and remove plaque biofilm.  The LP3 Enzyme System destroys bacteria and fungal microorganisms while restoring the oral balance in a pet's mouth.  The MD2 Enzyme System makes plaque water soluble and unable to bind to the teeth.


> Oratene Oral Care products do NOT contain CHLORHEXIDINE, XYLITOL, ALCOHOL, OR DETERGENT, and is safe for dogs and cats to use daily!

NoteAccording to Oratene, the Water Additive can be used in a pet water fountain however "the filter MUST be taken out or it will remove the active compounds, and it will plug up the filter."


**** PRODUCT GIVEAWAY!! ****  

WIN AN ORATENE BRUSHLESS ORAL CARE FOR PETS PRIZE PACKAGE!

Nearly 80% of dogs over age 3 have dental disease, the most common dog health problem.  Pet health.  Dental disease in dogs.  Pet dental health.
Zymox Oratene Brushless Oral Care for Pets PRIZE PACKAGE; Toothpaste Gel, Water Additive, & Breath Freshener!


 a Rafflecopter giveaway



If your dog is taking medications, or if you just want to improve your pet's oral hygiene and bad breath, give Oratene Pet Dental Health Products a try.  Oratene Brushless Oral Care products for pets are safe for both dogs and cats!

Zymox also offers a complete line of skin care products for pets.  If your pet suffers from allergies, Hot Spots, Hair Loss or general poor coat condition Zymox has a number of products that may help.  They also offer products for wound care and skin infections.  Fortunately, I haven't had a need for skin care products for Icy or Phoebe.  They don't have allergies or other skin issues.


What do you think about the convenience of a brushless oral care system for pets, is that something you would try?  Leave us a comment and tell us!

Friday, January 19, 2018

3 Blog and Social Media Video Mishaps To Avoid

Most of us realize the importance of video for both our blogs and social media accounts.  If you want to grow your blog and social audiences, good video content is a must!  

2016 saw the launch of Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.  2017 was touted as "the year of video marketing", with a huge increase in consumer's preference for video content in pretty much every area.

According to WordStream, internet video traffic made up about 69% of all global consumer internet traffic in 2017.  The growth of  the online video evolution continues into 2018 and beyond, with global internet traffic from videos projected to make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.  According to Cisco, video is expected to make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2021.


By 2019,  80% of all internet traffic is expected to be from videos

Now that we know how vital video has become and will continue to be, let's not screw it up by making bad videos!  One of my key goals for 2017 was to improve my video skills.  I was coming from a near zero starting point so I need to master the basics of making and editing videos.  I knew it would take some time to learn how to make a good video, but I didn't realize just how much time it would take to learn and how many blunders I'd make along the way!

Here are 3  Video Blunders I made in the last year or more that kept me from turning out quality videos both for my blog and my social media channels.  Learn from my mistakes, and have a good laugh in the process!


MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES


I wanted to create a video to show how I make one of my frozen dog treats.  I was so happy, my video seemed to be going really well!  I set the shot up with the blender and ingredients ready to go, and I didn't flub any of my "lines".  I thought, this is gonna be a really good video.  Until it wasn't.  I almost had it, my video was nearly complete, and then this happened......


BOL!!  So the lesson here is, if you're using an appliance, tool or any other mechanical gadget in your video, test the darn thing out first!  I was so flustered and frustrated, I never did re-shoot that video. 

It was one of my very first attempts at making a simple video.  If I had learned how to edit video back then I could have re-shot just that segment and dropped it in, saving my dog treat video from ruin.  But I hadn't yet mastered any video editing skills at that point.  My Frozen Pineapple Jerky Pupsicle blog post ended up having only still photos of my recipe.  So sad!

TURN DOWN THE NOISE


When shooting video, background Noises can be a killer!  I was excited to land a sponsored post for True Chews dog treats.  I loved the product and the concept and I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my video.  I got started right away to create a heartfelt video about my journey with my shelter dog, Phoebe.  

I swear it was like a comedy of errors trying to create a video!  I envisioned this beautiful video, shot outdoors at one of our favorite dog friendly cafes.  I would tell Phoebe's story as she sat on my lap and I sipped a cup of tea. Sweet, right?

Noise is the enemy of video, especially outdoor video!  We had a lot of challenges trying to film a dog treat video for my blog!        Blogging tips, creating video for a blog and social media channels.
Setting up in my yard to film the opening portion of my True Chews video
We got a table on their outdoor patio, which faces the street.  I had tea and a pastry for myself and True Chews treats for Phoebe, and we were ready to roll!   Well, I thought we were ready, but who knew just how much background Noise can get magnified on video!?   I guess I hadn't noticed the traffic going by while we were there.  When I got home and played the video, it sounded like I shot it in the middle of Grand Central Station!  Even audio noise reduction in a video editor didn't reduce the background noise enough.  I had to do the whole thing over the next day, choosing a better location.

Down the street from the cafe was our favorite park, right on the water.  It seemed like the most serene spot to shoot the video.  We carefully selected a nice spot on the grass and I began speaking.  Suddenly, a small plane began buzzing overhead!  I was like REALLY!?  What are the odds??  We were nowhere near an airport!

We decided to wait out the darn plane, and when it left we returned to the park to do our video. Again.  As I began speaking, I kid you not, a large boat got slowly and loudly lowered into the harbor and began revving up it's roaring load engine once it hit the water.  I'm telling you it was the loudest boat ever!  I mean, what are the odds?

So now I'm really ticked off about all the noise, and because it was a beautiful late October day, people started pouring into the park with their dogs.  We decided to leave and come back the next morning when it wasn't so crowded, yet again!

The next morning we arrived at the park to find a hoard of gardeners mowing every inch of grass in the entire area!   We went to the cafe to have breakfast and wait out the gardeners and their deafening mowers.  After about an hour they left and once again, we headed into the park camera in hand.   

The park was crowded with people and dogs by then.  At this point I decided that if I could get some good video of us enjoying the park and the cafe, and learn how to do voice-over audio on a video that would do it!  

We finally did shoot some really good video footage in the park and the cafe.  I spent time learning how to edit audio using Filmora video editor and created my voice overs.  After the final touchups I had a finished video to include in my True Chews blog post. I'm really proud of that video,  I think it came out great, but it took a lot of re-shoots and a lot of editing, simply because of outdoor Noise!  Here's how the final video came out:




Lesson learned:  Noise is the enemy of video!  If you need to film outdoors, find a quiet spot - and I mean Quiet.  Arrive at your location during a time when there are as few people, utility workers, trucks and other noise makers as possible.  Sounds simple I know, but believe me, it's Not!  Oh, and learn how to edit audio on a video.


POOR LIGHTING CAN WRECK A GREAT VIDEO

As with photos, lighting plays a huge part in creating a good video.  Lighting has often been the bane of my existence.  I finally got the lighting issues for my indoor photos under control, but lighting for indoor video is still a challenge for me.  

Lighting is important for both indoor and outdoor video.  Bad lighting can ruin your video. Lighting for indoor video can sometimes be controlled by adjusting indoor lights and window shades.  You can also get a simple, inexpensive light set like this one by Limostudio, for staged indoor videos.  This lighting set helped me so much with my indoor photos, and now I'm starting to use it for my indoor videos too.

A simple light set will improve your blog photos and videos tremendously.  Lighting set, lighting for blog photos and videos for a blog or social media
A simple lighting set is great for indoor photos or video
My indoor videos of the dogs are often spontaneous, so I don't have the time to work with lighting.  They come out looking dark and grainy, like this:


Don't worry!  My dogs aren't fighting, Icy is just trying to get Phoebe to come out from under the chair and play with her.  But Phoebe is having none of it!

I continue to have lighting challenges with indoor videos, but I'm working on it.  I've had to scrap many of my videos because they just came out too dark, and video editing can only do so much.

With outdoor video you have to be aware of where the sun will be during your video shoot.  Scope this out in advance if possible.  If the sun is in your subject's face, they'll be squinting and that can be distracting for the viewer.  If the sun is directly behind them it could create shadows, making the visual look poor.   This is definitely not easy, I still struggle with it a lot myself.

There's nothing worse than thinking you've shot a great video, only to realize that the lighting is terrible and the video shows poorly! 

Those are my 3 biggest sticking points in creating a good video.  Leave us a comment and share your blog and social media video challenges and goals!!

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Treating Pets With High Tech Veterinary Services

Weeks ago I mentioned that I had the pleasure of visiting a state of the art veterinary services clinic in Florida.  I promised to share more with you about that visit, especially the fascinating 3D Printing technology being used to treat pets at this veterinary clinic, so here it is! 


Pet parents are using Veterinary Specialists more and more for advanced pet veterinary care.   Dogs, Pet health, Advanced Veterinary care for pets
With Dr. Mark Walter, friends from Bayer Animal Health and a few of my pet blogger friends at Capital Veterinary Specialists in Jacksonville, Florida, opened in 2015 by Dr. Walker BVSc, DACVIM 

Dr. Walker opened Capital Veterinary Services, JAX , a specialty veterinary clinic in Jacksonville Florida, to serve Northeast Florida and South Georgia pet parents.  We loved meeting Dr. Walker and his compassionate, expertly trained staff!  It's easy to see their high level of expertise and feel their passion and love for the exciting work they do. 

Dr. Walker gave us a tour of this beautiful state of the art facility and some of the specialized veterinary equipment they use to help the pets that visit them for expert veterinary care and services, including:






🐶 Anethesia


As we were talking with Dr. Walker one of his staff doctors came into the exam room carrying this weird looking contraption.  I could not for the life of me figure out what it was!  If I can be honest, I'm embarrassed to say I thought it was some kind of machine used to repair a piece of equipment in the room!  I saw the spool of what looked like white wire at the top and I thought, is this Veterinarian going to repair something?!   Don't they have a maintenance guy for that?  He's a doctor for heaven's sake!

3D printers are being used more and more for advanced veterinary care for dogs, cats, and other pets.   Advanced veterinary services like imaging, hydro therapy for dogs, canine rehabilitation, advanced imaging, and other veterinary services for pet health
A 3D Printer being used to treat pet injuries at Capital Veterinary Specialists in Jacksonville, Florida

It's funny now to think of how perplexed we were, but this weird looking machine is actually a 3D Printer!  They use it at the clinic to treat pet's injured limbs or other bones.  I think we were all transfixed on this strange looking machine, trying to figure out exactly How they use a 3D printer to treat an injured pet's bone and exactly how it works.

The spool of white "wire" you see on top of the machine is actually the material used by the machine as it forms a precise replica of a pet's injured bone.  


3D printers are being used at this veterinary specialist clinic to treat pet injuries. A model of the pet's injured bone is made using the 3D printer to better assist the Veterinarian in treating the injured limb in dogs, cats, or other pets
Replica of injured pets' bones, made utilizing this 3D printer

Digital files are created from Images taken of a pet's injury, such as from an MRI or CAT scan.  These files can then be translated into a format the 3D printer can recognize and understand. 

The printer then prints out layer upon layer of the material to create a bone replica, based on digital files of the injured bone that have been sent to the printer.  

The materials used by 3D printers can vary; plastics, rubbers, etc. can be used.  One example of a material used is a plastic polyactic acid  (PLA) filament.  

Displayed on the table in the photo above are 3 model replicas that were created by the 3D printer, based on injured dog limbs.    

In the below photo you can see what the inside of a piece of 3D "printed" bone replica looks like.


The inside of a replica of a dogs injured limb, made using a 3D printer.  Veterinary specialists are using 3D printers more & more to help injured dogs, cats and other animals
View of the inside of a pet bone replica created using a 3D printer

The replica created by a 3D printer isn't actually placed inside the pet's body, it is used to form an exact replica of the injured limb or other skeletal body part.  This enables the Veterinarian to handle a model of the pet's injured body part to gain a better, more precise understanding of the injury prior to a surgical procedure.   

The material that will be placed inside the pet can be more precisely and accurately formed using the replica crated with the 3D printer.  The replica is used as a model to create and accurately form the piece of metal orthapedic material, or other material, that will be placed inside the pet's body.  Replicas created with a 3D printer can also be helpful in testing out multiple treatment options.  

It was so interesting to see a 3D printer and learn how it works, and how it can be used to improve treatment of skeletal injuries to pets!


In their Canine Rehabilitation Department, Capital Veterinary Specialists has both a hydro therapy tank and a swimming pool.  Both can be used for Canine Rehabilitation.  

In the hydrotherapy tank, dogs receive treadmill therapy,  where dogs walk on an underwater treadmill.  The buoyancy of the water helps the dog get a low impact treadmill workout.  This type of rehab therapy for dogs is becoming very popular with pet parents.


Hydrotherapy tank where this Veterinary Specialist used underwater treadmill therapy to help injured dogs in injury recovery


Canine rehabilitation focuses on improving postoperative outcomes for orthopedic, neurological and soft tissue surgical procedures.  

It is also used to treat nonsurgical diseases like osteoarthritis, canine athlete injuries, weight management and non surgical spinal injuries.  It's also useful for field trial and agility conditioning and strength training.

It's amazing how Veterinary services have become so advanced and specialized!  That makes me really happy knowing that such advanced therapies for treating pets are available.  I would do whatever it took to help my dogs recover from an injury or disease.  I know you would too!  

We had some really interesting conversation with Dr. Walker and some of his staff.  We talked about how they run their practice, the significant advancements that have been made in pet food over the years, and specialized veterinary medicine in general.


So many advancements have been made in specialized veterinary medicine, including the use of 3D printers to treat bone injuries to dogs, cats, and other pets
I'm glad so many advancements have been made in Veterinary medicine! 

As most of us know, in recent years many pet food companies have been consolidated into huge corporations, like Belgian company Mars Petcare.  What I didn't know is that similar to the health care community for humans, many veterinary providers are also being consolidated into larger corporations.

It was interesting to hear that corporations in the pet industry have acquired a large number of Veterinary services providers.  For example, Mars Petcare has acquired Banfield Pet Hospital, Veterinary Centers of America (VCA Animal Hospitals), and BluePearl Veterinary Partners.  They even own the Wisdom Panel Dog DNA test kit company.  


Just like in human medicine, consolidations abound! In case you're wondering YES! it's the same Mars company that makes M&M's, my personal fave, as well as Twix, Snickers, and other delicious candies, including the Mars chocolate bar of course! 

We'd like to say a giant THANK YOU to Bayer Animal Health and Dr. Mark Walker for making this visit to Capital Veterinary Specialists possible!  It was so educational, and really Fun meeting Dr. Walker and his talented veterinary staff!



On our trip to Jacksonville, we also had the privilege of visiting  K9s For Warriors where we learned how they are helping military Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disability (PTSD).

Have you ever used hydro therapy for dogs or experienced 3D printing to treat a pet's injury?  Let us know in the comments!




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

When your dog flips, over a Bomb Cyclone!

NOT EVERYONE WAS UNHAPPY WITH WINTER STORM GRAYSON'S BOMB CYCLONE.


WOO HOO!  CHECK OUT ICY'S FACE AT THE END OF THIS 8 SECOND VIDEO.  PRICELESS, LOL!





DID YOU GET HIT BY GRAYSON'S BOMBOGENESIS!?  HOW DID YOUR PET REACT?  LEAVE US A COMMENT & SHARE!



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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Give The Special Pets In Your Life The Gift of Good Health!

When it's time to give gifts for dogs or other pets, whether it be for the Holidays or a pet's Birthday or Gotcha Day, the most common gifts are usually pet toys, treats for pets, and adorable pet clothing.   The New Year is also a time when most of us place a stronger focus on improving our health, but don't leave the dog or cat out.  Use the new year to commit to improving pets health too!  Start the year off right with giving a pet you love the gift of a healthier year.

Toys, treats, and cute pet apparel are fun gifts for sure, but giving a gift that can contribute to Pet Health and longevity is extra thoughtful and special!  It's a gift to the pet parent as well, because it's something that could help extend the unconditional love and priceless moments they share together.


This Christmas, Santa is Giving Pets the Gift of Good Health

When I think about how to enhance the health of my dogs, these


5 Pet Health Products 

are the kind of things that come to mind.  They may not be items you would normally think of when selecting a gift for a dog or cat, but a gift that says Healthy Pet is always a great choice!

SUPPLEMENTS FOR DOGS

When researching supplements for dogs, I noticed a common theme.  The theme I keep seeing is that a dog who is eating a healthy, well balanced diet probably doesn't need dietary vitamin supplements.   However, many Veterinarians say that supplements falling into the following 3 categories can definitely be beneficial for many dogs.  

Glucosamine and Chondroitin 

Many dogs and cats suffer from joint pain, especially as they age. As pets age, the natural production of glucosamine in the body slows down and can lead to joint pain.  Chondroitin is a natural substance found in cartilage.  When coupled with glucosamine, it can have a beneficial effect on your dog's joints.

According to VCA Hospitals (now owned by Mars Petcare),  "Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan found in cartilage. It promotes water retention and elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and adequate nourishment of the tissues that line the joint.  Like glucosamine, with which it is often combined in supplements, chondroitin may also inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators that are destructive to the joint."

According to PETMD, in an article on Dietary Supplements For Pets, "Supplements that are formulated for joint health include the ingredients glucosamine and chondroitin, which have been found to be useful in treating arthritis in both humans and animals."


I wouldn't want joint pain to prevent Icy from running around like a mad dog in the snow!

With supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin, "Pets with arthritis may experience significant pain reduction, allowing improved mobility in arthritic limbs.  Increased mobility leads to more ability to exercise, thereby improving strength." - VCA Hospitals.  And I would add to that; increased mobility can lead to losing excess weight, which helps ease stress on a dog's joints!  

Maximum joint protection to maintain your pet's mobility.  Cosequin DS Joint Health Supplement in tasty chewable tablets. 


Wouldn't it be great to give a gift that can help a dog you love have healthier joints and stay active?!

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential to pet health and are an important part of a dog's diet. These essential fatty acids are found in various plant and animal sources, and are usually present in good quality pet food in varied amounts.   

Omega 6 fatty acids are required for normal reproduction, growth, immune function, and skin and coat health.   

According to PETMD, Omega 3 fatty acids may help with skin conditions, allergies, kidney function, lymphoma, heart disease, cognitive function, arthritis, and more.

As always, be sure to check with your Veterinarian before adding any supplements to your pet's diet.

I didn't realize that GNC had a line of pet supplements! We've been shopping at GNC stores for our vitamins and supplements for decades, so I was happy to see that GNC has a supplement for dogs that contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  I haven't tried GNC Omega Essentials yet, but I'm definitely going to get a bag for Icy and Phoebe! 

I like that their fish oil supplements pictured below are in chewable format instead of tablet/gelcapsule form like many other supplements.  A chew is always so much easier to give my dogs, especially when they're chicken flavor like these.

GNC Naturals Omega Essentials soft chews contain 230mg of Omega3 and 6 fatty acids. Contains NO wheat, corn or soy,  artificial colors or flavors. 

Probiotics

Before last year I had never heard of giving pets probiotics.  But when Icy got sick with a really bad stomach upset the Veterinarian gave her antibiotics.  He prescribed a probiotic along with it because he said that antibiotics can upset the balance of the "good"  bacteria in the digestive tract and that a Probiotic would put back the good bacteria that could be compromised by antibiotics.  

Probiotics are living microorganisms similar to the “good” bacteria naturally found in your dog’s digestive tract.  Antibiotics and other drugs can upset the balance of “good” bacteria in your dog’s intestines.  It can also be upset by emotional or physical stress, or eating strange foods or items they're not supposed to eat.


Healthy pets.  Products that can help your dog or cat stay healthy.  Dogs, Cats, Pet health
A Probiotic can help keep the balance of good & bad bacteria in your pet's digestive tract
The digestive tract is the largest immune organ in a dog or cat's body.  A healthy balance of good bacteria is important to help keep their immune system strong and prevent infection and diseases.




Only Natural Pet Probiotic Blend



According to an article written by Dr. Marty Becker in VetStreet, the three supplements I talked about above can be especially beneficial for aging dogs.   "Talk with your veterinarian about what your pet does and doesn’t need, because individual care is important. But in general, here are the three supplements I find myself recommending often to my patients.."  In the article Dr. Becker proceeded to discuss the benefits of these three supplements; Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Omega-3 and Omega-6,  Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulfate, and Probiotics.

Before giving any supplements to your dog or cat, have a conversation with your Veterinarian to make sure s/he agrees with starting your pet on the supplement(s) you are considering.  

It goes without saying that any supplements you want to give your pet should be purchased from a reputable company.  If you're purchasing online, make sure you know something about the company and that they are ethical and reputable.  


PET INSURANCE


Veterinary bills can be expensive!  Regular Vet exams can be costly, but when an unexpected injury or illness comes up it can be catastrophic.  What if your dog or cat needs expensive Veterinary care to pay for a serious injury or illness, but you can't afford to pay for it?  That's when Pet Insurance can be a big benefit.  

Not all Pet Insurance is the same.  Some plans require you to use Veterinarians from their list of participating Vets, which may require switching to a new Veterinarian. Many pet parents don't want to do that.

Pet Insurance makes a great gift for a pet owner.  Just make sure to research what the plan covers, they are all different.  Dogs, Cats, Pets, Pet health, Gifts for dog owners
Pet Insurance can be a great gift - it's the gift of  Peace of Mind
Not all plans cover every injury and illness.  They don't all offer the same coverage either, and many don't cover pre-existing conditions.  PETMD has a few good articles on Pet Insurance, like this one No Shortcuts To Buying Pet insurance.

When Icy was a puppy I won a year's worth of Pet Insurance at a fundraiser.  It wasn't the most exciting prize in the contest but it seemed like a very useful prize.  The thing that really disappointed me was that using it would have required me to leave a Veterinarian we loved, which I wasn't willing to do.  Unfortunately, it was pretty much a waste for me simply because of that one requirement.

Peace of mind knowing you could pay for expensive critical Veterinary care if needed is a great gift!  Just be sure to do some research before you select a company and a plan.


PET FIRST AID KIT


One of the things I can't do without both at home and when traveling with our dogs is a Pet First Aid Kit.  I have given First Aid Kits as gifts to a few of my friends and it's always a big hit. It seems to be something many pet parents don't buy for themselves until they experience a first aid emergency.  If I had a dollar for every time my dogs have gotten injured or sick and needed the first aid kit, I'd be rich!   

I always tell people about the time we were traveling through New Mexico and my dog Icy cut her paw open on broken glass on her last potty break of the day - at 11pm.  No Veterinarian's were available.  Our first aid kit was a life saver! I used the Hydrogen Peroxide to clean the wound, applied antibiotic ointment, and bandaged her paw to help slow the bleeding and keep it clean.  It was so scary, paw pads bleed a lot more than I expected!


I love Kurgo, we have used so many of their products for years!  I recently found this wonderful Pet First Aid Kit on PetSmart's web site. It has everything you need to administer first aid for your pet.  It's great to have for those just-in-case emergencies at home, or out on adventures with your pet.   Believe me, a comprehensive Pet First Aid Kit is a gift that would be much appreciated by any pet parent. 

Kurgo's stylish and functional 50 piece pet first aid kit folds up to fit into backpacks, glove compartments and more, and includes a guide with instructions on how to assist your pet with most medical emergencies.  Hook closure also acts as bottle opener and allows kit to be hung on a tree or door.


PET DENTAL HEALTH


According to PETMD, around 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease.  It's the most common health problem effecting dogs.

Pet oral health is an important part of a dog's overall health.  Dental cleanings can cost hundreds of dollars and more depending on how many teeth may need to be extracted. The procedure also requires your pet to be put under anesthesia.



Clean dogs teeth & freshen breath with a Toothpaste and Brush Set for dogs 


There are a lot of inexpensive pet oral care products you can use at home to help keep pets' teeth clean and healthy.  There are pet toothbrushes and toothpaste - you should never use human toothpaste on pets! There are also products you can add to their drinking water that help prevent plaque & tartar buildup if you can't brush your pet's teeth.


Zymox Oratene pet oral care products.
A cute gift basket or gift box with a toothpaste & brush set for dogs, a bottle of pet Brushless Oral Care Water Additive and some dental chews would make a fun "Teeth Are Always In Style" - Dr. Seuss,  gift!


GIFT CERTIFICATE TO AN ONLINE PET PHARMACY


Let's face it pet medications are expensive!  Whether it's medication for a pet's medical condition like diabetes, or preventative medications like heartworm prevention or flea & tick control, those costs add up!

A great gift idea for pets would be a gift card to an online Pet Pharmacy like 1800 Pet Meds or Drs Foster and Smith.  It can really save a pet parent some money.  Find out which pharmacy they use and get them a gift certificate!  If you plan to choose the online pharmacy yourself, make sure you research and find one that is reputable!

If they don't use prescription medications for their pet, a PetSmart Gift Card is always a welcome gift!  They have a broad selection of non-prescription pharmacy items.


PetSmart



THE GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH IS A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!  

While you're gifting everyone else, Treat Yourself to something fun, you deserve it!  At my new RedBubble Store, you'll find clothing and other items that celebrate the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE of dogs.  This beautiful, unique design was created especially for Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them by Brooklyn artist Mendydraws




Visit my RedBubble Store to find t-shirts, Hoodies, Bags, Phone/Laptop cases and more with our unique Unconditional Love of dogs design!

Do you think you would enjoy receiving a gift of Good Health as a gift for your pet?  Which of the products mentioned do you think might be the most useful pet health gift for your pets?  Tell us in the comments!

DISCLAIMERI am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online!  I only share pet health & safety information based on my own research, conversations with my dogs Veterinarian, or experience with my own pets or foster pets.