Dog food manufacturers have acknowledged the priceless bonding between you and your pet. In their advertisements they confirm your pet is not a property like your TV or your car. No, you have a real relationship with your furry pal and it deserves the healthiest dog food. Then when your dog dies after eating it, it suddenly returns to being just property and you get the animal’s market value plus the veterinary bills recovered. Is that fair?
Animal rights lawyers and pet owners now argue these laws are outdated and fail to consider the position of pets being companion animals in today’s society. The growing legal recognition of pet’s value is in the spotlight because of the dog food recall affecting over 100 brands in the USA. Animal rights advocates aim to upgrade the legal status of pets to somewhere between property and humans. Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide
Image by kentkb
Went to alemany flea market and took a walk on Ocean Beach.
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Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying my 52 week project this year? I’ve had the occasional frustration, but for the most part I’m really enjoying trying new things, going new places and finally taking pictures I’ve been thinking about for a while. Some weeks are more creative than others, but I’m trying to do learn something new each week – or at least 3 out of 4 weeks per month.
This week the theme was “Budget” and you had to take a photo using props while remaining within a $ 20 budget. I’ve been wanting to photograph bubbles for a while and it turns out that Lorelei has a bubble machine (of course she does – she has everything!) so I borrowed it. It wasn’t the best day for it because within a few minutes the bubble solution cooled and started to freeze. But I managed to get one that I liked before that happened.
A well timed outtake. :)
I tried taking pictures of just the bubbles too – it is pretty cool to see landscape reflected in them. Would be fun to try in a more scenic location.
In case you are wondering what frozen bubbles look like. Here’s one with 2 that have already popped floating nearby.
Last week the theme was silhouette. I’ve taken lots of silhouette pictures in the past so I decided to try some in a “studio” setting instead. So I set the lights up to shine on the background. I also tried some bubbles in the background to see if it would add some fun texture. I think I prefer the plain but this one of Lacey didn’t turn out too badly.
Chewy helped me when I was setting up. She didn’t really understand the whole modelling concept so this was hard to get! The red one on the end was the original – I then just changed the hue in Lightroom to get the other 3 colours.
Coulee’s image for the project…
On Sunday before I took everything down, a few friends came over and we tried some stuff with them too. This is Zack.
And I can’t forget Miss Molly! We also tried shining a light straight on them instead of on to the background. It had a pretty cool effect.
The itchy or painful butt is a daily occurrence in any veterinary hospital. Dogs and cats itch it, scratch it, lick it,and scoot on it. There can be many causes, but I’ll talk about the most common ones. If the description fits your pet’s symptoms, you may be able to help the situation.
The most common causes of itchy butt in both dogs and cats are flea bites. Fleas are hard to spot unless you are patient and have really good light. Look for the fast moving dark specks at the tail head, along the back and neck, and lighter belly of both dogs and cats. Fleas especially love to hang round the face, neck, and ears of cats!! You may spot small dark specks between the hairs and against the skin of lighter areas. These small dark specks may be either flea poop or dirt. Flea combs are a great way to look for fleas or “flea dirt” (which is really flea poop). When wet down on a light paper towel, flea dirt will turn red(that’s because fleas are blood suckers and poop blood), where real dirt will just be a brown smudge or black speck. Even if you don’t see fleas, just a few bites can make a sensitive dog or cat very itchy, just like a mosquito bite is much worse for those sensitive people. Rinsing a pet in a white bathtub or sink with the plug in will sometimes help you spot the pesky varmints. Fleas can be part of a pets itchy butt problem or the whole problem.
Many pets have multiple allergies that can cause an itchy butt and getting rid of fleas may or may not completely solve butt problems . Fleas are the most common cause of hind end itching and pretty easily treated. Flea control products need to be used monthly on all pets for at least a few months. Depending on the number of fleas in your house and yard ,the number carried by neighborhood cats and dogs in your area, and the amount of shady moist areas in your pet’s world, you may need to address fleas year round or just during “the season” which is usually warmer weather in the spring, summer, and fall. You can use topical flea control, oral flea control, or natural flea control(rinsing or bathing pets , diatomaceous earth on floors and carpets ,and nematodes in the yard to eat baby fleas, garlic in dog food, lemon spray repellent) . Some dogs and cats may be very sensitive to the topical chemical on their neck and back, or may become nauseous with oral flea control. You may have to try different products for one that works best for your budget, lifestyle, and your pet’s sensitivities.
Many people like myself are not as comfortable feeding or applying pesticides(flea control) to their pets constantly. I’m not so sure it’s healthy for them and I don’t want pesticides all over me or my family either! Feeding more oils and adding raw meat to the diet may help natural defenses kick in. For millions of years dogs and cats repelled fleas with a secretion by their sebaceous glands of the skin. The low amount of fat and healthy oils ion the diet may have crippled that effective system. ( That’s why I add healthy oils and feed cooked and raw meat to my pets …it’s more natural!!)Putting a very small amount of garlic flakes or garlic may also really help in dogs. I have read and used 1/4 clove per 30 pounds a couple times a week (for dogs only). Fish oil capsules (1-4 daily depending on the size of pet) and brewers yeast as well as other natural ingredients may help the skin repel those invaders!
The incidence of mast cell tumors has skyrocketed in the same period of the advent of topical flea control. I have no data, just suspicions. That’s why natural prevention (better diet with more oils), using a better oral product(comfortis or trifexis), or natural repellents and treatments appeals to me.
Irritated or full anal glands may cause licking, scooting, and straining. These glands may become inflamed and full from eating food, treats, or chews containing wheat or other allergens. They also may be full because the plumbing is too small for proper drainage. Toy breeds were bred to be small and may have faulty pipes, just like my garbage disposal outlet pipe that gets plugged. Too little fiber in the diet may not massage the stinky stuff out the gland. Adding 1 tsp-tbsp of pumpkin to the diet may help. Restricting the common allergens may help an irritated gland clear up.It may take one of the following meats (chicken, duck, fish, venison, rabbit, kangaroo) with potato if a pet is really allergic.
A cat that strains in the box or won’t use the box may have sore anal glands that are really full. I wouldn’t want to use the box if it hurt every time I tried to use it. Cats that are straining may act like they have a bladder infection or urinary blockage, when it’s really a sore butt!
Food allergies can also cause an itchy butt, scooting, or a small amount of red blood in the stool. Always feed your pet hypoallergenic treats, chews, and pill pockets. These are the most common cause of an itchy, sore, butt. Biscuits, chews, or food containing wheat, beef or less common allergens like chicken and rice may cause a soft stool, itchy butt, scooting, and other medical problems like red blood in the stool, seizures, bladder issues, ear infections, and infections of the skin.
That’s why I wrote both the books I list on this website, Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet. If you feed your pet better hypoallergenic ingredients, more healthy oils, and less calories, they may recover from so many medical issues. In fact the number of visits per pet has decreased in my veterinary clinic due to my consistent nutritional counseling. That saves my clients lots of money and prevents needless suffering for their pets. Check the description of my books out at
Question: I have a 6 year old male shih tzu that has had ear problems for years. I have used countless medicines and do vinegar/alcohol drops several times a week. I have always fed grain free, just because I feel it is a more natural feed for canines. However, I am wondering if you think food can be a cause for his itchy, over waxy ears?
So far, he has not had any inner ear problems, they seem to be outer ear canal. He scratches them a lot and they will get tender and sore. There is no yeast or other bacteria found by the vet? I found your blog and thought you may direct me about food and ear issues. Thank You
Answer: Thanks for your question. Red, itchy ears can be a manifestation of true food allergy. Here is an article with more information about food allergies in pets: “Food allergy in pets“.
It may be worth discussing a hypoallergenic diet trial with your vet to see if you get improvement in his ear condition.
Dr. Donna Spector
Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency.
Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via www.SpectorDVM.com.
A Yorkie and a Jack Russell in Villefranche-sur-Mer on the day I went to photograph the Naval Battle of the Flowers. I didn’t stop and ask their names but they seemed quite happy to let me photograph them. Thanks, doggies. Woof Woof … RIVIERA DOGS
Dog in stiff winds on beach – Kit flying scenes from the Morro Bay, CA Parade and Kite Festival, 25 April 2009
Image by mikebaird
Dog in stiff winds on beach – Kit flying scenes from the Morro Bay, CA Parade and Kite Festival, 25 April 2009. Pirate theme. Photo by Michael "Mike" L. Baird, mike [at} mikebaird d o t com, flickr.bairdphotos.com; Canon 1D Mark III, 70-200mm f/2.8 IS handheld, polarizer.
Dog worried about bone
Image by MarthaRiley
This is my favorite of the dog with bone shots.