Ulka, the Briard

You don’t see many Briards in the south of France. Perhaps because it’s too hot. Surprising though because they are, after all, a French Shepherd Dog.

Meet Ulka. She’s 10 years old and lives in Paris.  I met her in the medieval village of Gorbio.

RIVIERA DOGS

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Why Dogs Eat Grass

As a dog owner, from time to time you may have wondered why dogs eat grass. I’m not referring to weeds or plants that a dog sometimes munches on, but ordinary grass that grows on your lawn or a neighbor’s.

Dogs are carnivores and their diet is largely based on meat and meat products. But dogs are very adaptable and they often like to eat vegetables and other types of food. Most dogs, unless they are very spoiled, are not picky eaters, so if you find your dog eating from your garbage or chewing on things like paper sacks from the grocery store, don’t be alarmed.

The definition of an herbivore is an animal that eats mainly grass and other plants. An omnivore is an animal that eats both meats and grass or plants. So if you wanted to be technical, you could say that a dog is an omnivore if it eats both meats and greens.

There are some theories that possibly explain why dogs like to eat grass and green plants. If a dog has an upset stomach it will be inclined to munch on grass because it stimulates vomiting and relieves the queasiness in the dog’s stomach.

If a dog swallows grass without first chewing it, the rough texture of the grass can irritate its stomach lining and cause the dog to vomit. Likewise, if the dog chews the grass before swallowing, it won’t always provoke vomiting. If you notice your dog is suffering from mild gastrointestinal problems, you probably shouldn’t let it eat grass because it can worsen the problem.

Some dogs enjoy the taste of grass, so even if they aren’t suffering from an upset stomach, they may eat grass. That doesn’t make them vegetarians; but if their usual diet is lacking in vegetables or greens, they may compensate by eating grass.

If you do notice your dog eating a large quantity of grass, understand that this is an indication it needs more fiber and greens in its diet. I like to add broccoli or green beans to my dog’s regular food and he always scarfs it down as if it were a treat I’m feeding him.

These are the main reasons why dogs eat grass. Grass is not toxic to a dog unless large quantities of fertilizer or pesticides have recently been placed on your lawn. Dogs should not eat fertilized grass until the fertilizer has had time to fully absorb into the soil.

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Dirty Jobs- That’s Lice

Watch Dirty Jobs Tuesdays at 9PM E/P on Disovery! For more Dirty Jobs, visit http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/dirty-jobs/#mkcpgn=ytdsc1 | The bad news for Madelin…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Removal of head lice from African American first grader by Elimilice, Atlanta’s largest head lice removal company. Refuting the myth that those with “ethnic”…

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A Little Bit of Fun

We’ve been looking after my sister’s family’s dog Micah for the last few weeks.  She is such an easy dog to look after.  Even Jack liked her – and he doesn’t like anyone.  :)

She went home today and seeing as I had some time to kill this afternoon I thought I’d play around a bit in Photoshop and convert some of my favourite images to black and white.

I really don’t know what I’m doing in Photoshop and everything seems to take forever, but I realize I’m never going to get better if all I do is the same things over and over again.

These four images (which have nothing amazing done to them) took me a few hours.  LOL.  I flounder A LOT.  I’m quite enjoying the second and last ones though.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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House Breaking Your Golden Retriever


To properly train house break your Golden Retriever, you must stick to a routine regarding your crate, and ensure that he doesn’t spend additional time outside of his crate. When he is outside of his crate, you should watch him at all times. If you don’t keep an eye on him when he is outside of the crate and he has an accident inside the house, you can’t blame no one but yourself as you didn’t correct him the second it happened.

To help your dog learn the right way to relieve himself, you should always praise him when he goes to the right location. You can crate him at night, then take him out when he wakes up in the morning and show him the correct spot. Give him some time, then praise himself once he starts to go. If you avoid accidents, you should be able to train your Golden without any problems. Once accidents begin to happen though, it can be extremely hard to break the pattern.

When you house break your dog, you should never give him any freedom. Getting it right is a lot of work for him, and chances are he’d rather be doing something else. If you are tolerant with him and allow him to make mistakes, you’ll find yourself needing to be a lot more stern to break him of the bad habits that you have tolerated and allowed. If you start when your Golden is young and enforce the rules, he’ll be a happy member of your family in no time at all.

When you house break, you should use confinement as much as possible. Confinement basically means that until you have housebroken your Golden Retriever, he isn’t allowed to freely move around the house. You should always keep a watchful eye on him and make sure that if he’s outside the crate – you know where he is at all times and what he is doing.

If you happen to take your eyes off of him even for a second, he could easily relieve himself on the floor. Once he starts to go on the floor, it can be really hard to break him of this habit. The smell will be there, and he will smell it the next time he is in that area. Each time he smells it, he will instantly go to the bathroom in that same area. The best way to prevent this from happening is to watch him at all times and ensure that he only goes in the area you have for him.

To housebreak your Golden Retriever, you should also allow him a way outside. Normally, a doggy door is the best way to do this, as your puppy can go outside and relieve himself when the time comes, without disturbing you. You should also use puppy pads or a litter box inside as well, so that he always has somewhere to relive himself. During times when he can’t make it outside, he needs somewhere else that he can go.

Housebreaking your Golden Retriever can take you some time, although it will be well worth it once your Golden is properly trained. He’ll be an essential member of your family, and not use the bathroom anywhere he takes a notion. He will only relieve himself outside or in an area that you have trained him. Golden Retriever’s need interaction with people, and if you are going to keep them inside – you’ll need to ensure that they have been properly house broken.
Welcome to The Top Dog Blog!

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Griffin Pest Management (Calif.) Announces Acquisition

Griffin Pest Management (Calif.) Announces Acquisition
Griffin Pest Management, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., is owned and operated by Travis Swope. Swope is also the president of the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC). “This is an exciting opportunity for us to be able to expand our
Read more on PCT Magazine

Shoo, fly! New pest infests Minnesota berries, grapes, other fruits
Growers of raspberries, strawberries, grapes and other Minnesota summer fruits are on guard for a newly arrived pest that could spoil some late-season delights. Spotted wing Drosophilia, an Asian fruit fly that arrived in the United States only five
Read more on Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Human Food For Your Golden Retriever


A lot of people wonder what type of human food they should feed their Golden. Even though many prefer to stick with dog food and only dog food, there are certain types of human food that Golden Retrievers love – and is actually good for them. Golden’s crave attention as we all know – and when they watch you eat it never hurts to give them a bite – as long as you know what they should and shouldn’t consume with their diets.

For your Golden’s health, feeding him foods such as chicken, raw vegetables, turkey, brown rice, fruits, and oatmeal are always great. Even though we think of these type foods as “human food”, they are actually good for many animals as well. All dogs have taste buds and noses, meaning that they get very excited when they see you with food.

If your Golden Retriever runs to the refrigerator when you open it up, he’s trying to tell you that he smells something good. Even though he may run to the refrigerator, he isn’t begging for food as many think, he is simply wanting to have some real food. Once your Golden starts to do this, you should give him some of what he wants. Although most real food is great for Golden’s, there are some that aren’t quite so good.

Egg whites
If you feed your Golden a large amount of egg white in his diet, he will get a deficiency in biotin, which is a B vitamin, due to the amount of avidin, which is a very destructive substance. If you are feeding your Golden Retriever egg yolks, you shouldn’t worry as the effects of avidin will be offset by the high biotin levels that are found in egg yolks. You can also feed your Golden egg shells as well, as they contain a large amount of protein. If you want the best for your Golden – try feeding him raw eggs – with the shell intact.

Any form of Chocolate
We all know never to feed chocolate to any type of animal. Chocolate contains bromine, which is very toxic to both dogs and cats. Unsweet chocolate is by far the worst to feed to your Golden, as it contains a large amount of bromine. Bromine is a very harmful chemical, one that normally leads to death of your animal should he be fed any type of chocolate.

There are other foods out there that can be good or harmful to your Golden. If you have any questions, you should always ask your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to recommended real food that is beneficial to your Golden, as well as foods you should avoid. You can experiment with real food if you like – although you should never allow your Golden Retriever to consume any type of chocolate.
Welcome to The Top Dog Blog!

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Beware of Treats, Dental Chews, and Pill Pockets Containing Wheat!

Treatitis!!! 

Beware of wheat, barley, additives, calories , and the low nutritional content of biscuits, green dental chews, and allergenic pill pockets.

Caution: May cause or worsen medical problems!!

Even with my nutritional warnings, I still have dogs present with sore ears or anal glands, or an itchy butt or sides due to a allergenic wheat filled biscuit, treat, or chew. Remember, treats can be healthier choices like baby carrots, apples, baked sweet potato slices, cheese, deli meat, pieces of chicken, or chicken or turkey hot dogs. They don’t have to be allergenic, high carbohydrate treats

Pet owners can do such a good job feeding a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet for itchy skin,ear infections, anal gland problems, or diarrhea, then feed a wheat filled biscuit, chew, or treat that makes the allergies flare up!

 

 

Those pill pockets meant to hold allergy pills can in themselves cause ear and anal gland pain and itch!Make sure you have the hypoallergenic pill pocket or use chicken or turkey hot dogs like I do at work!)

Green dental chews may cause a less immediate gulp, but don’t really cause the gnawing and cleaning that teeth need to be clean!(raw meaty bones, raw chicken wings, rawhide, and  antlers may work better!)

Remember these ideas for treats!

I buy big bricks of cheddar and if a dog tolerates dairy products, a small piece may make a great nutritional supplement/ treat a couple times a week. (Remember, all dogs are individuals and some can eat dairy, but others may react to it.)

Pieces of chicken, hot dogs, or deli chicken, turkey, or ham.

Green beans, baby carrots, fruit.

If you want to feed a better diet, help with allergies or medical problems,  or home-cook your pet’s food visit:

http://dogdishdiet.com/order-now

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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The worst situation in the world

A couple of days ago, the wonderful Dr. Nancy Kay posted a story I hope all parents (human and pet) read about the trend of kids and dogs in pictures getting into potentially scary situations.

If you haven’t read it yet, she punctuated the apprehension she feels seeing pictures like this:

oh god

And this:

oh boy

with a story from her own practice, where a parent disregards her attempts to help her children interact with their dog more safely. And the story ends, after the dog bites one of the children in the face, with Dr. Kay tearfully euthanizing the dog after another home could not be found.

While most of the respondents reacted with sadness about the situation, a good-sized number of commenters took Dr. Kay to task for euthanizing the dog. While she is too gracious (or smart, but I’ve never pretended to be that) to respond to the people who think they know what goes through the mind of a veterinarian in these situations, I feel somewhat compelled- OK, really compelled- to say this:

You have no idea how hard, how awful, how utterly agonizing these situations are, because if you did you would never call her a murderer. And until you’re the one holding the syringe in your hand, I implore you to take a step back and return the discussion to its original context, how we all need to do a better job by working together to prevent these situations in the first place. Because here’s the truth:

That is an utterly impossible situation to be in. Yes, vets have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to “my cat is peeing on the rug” or “my dog has flea allergies” or even “my dog growled at a kid” to say, “I am not comfortable with euthanizing this pet.” But once a pet bites a person, a line has been crossed and everything changes.

The law is stacked against any dog who bites

Once upon a time, a person went to their veterinarian and said, my pet snapped at my neighbor and I don’t know what to do. The veterinarian said, let’s try to work through this with a good behaviorist, or find a rescue who can take this on.

Later on, the dog bit someone. The person who was bitten sued not only the owner but the veterinarian for not suggesting the aggressive dog be put to sleep. And they won. That is the legal precedent we function under, the standard of care to which we are held.

So let me reiterate: if a dog comes to us after biting a person and we do not counsel the owner the dog should be put to sleep (even if the owner never brought it up), we are liable if that dog bites anyone in the future. If a dog with a history of biting a child comes in, the owner requests euthanasia, and you refuse? You are basically agreeing to hand over your license, your livelihood, and your ability to be an effective advocate for anyone should another bite happen. Even if a rescue agrees to take the dog, which despite protests to the contrary is pretty rare. That is not to say I have euthanized every dog who’s ever nipped- far from it- but yes, every time I send them away for behavior work I’m taking a risk that only I can truly assess.

And when you have an extreme case in front of you like Ben? That is a horrible, awful corner to be backed into as a veterinarian. There is no happy solution. You’re either a murderer or someone willing to gamble away their entire career on a really bad bet or someone passing the buck to a shelter employee. It is awful and nausea inducing and likely to cause migraines and the sort of thing we all struggle with and few are brave enough to mention out loud for fear of judgmental types who think they know better questioning our dedication to animals. So you take that weight on yourself, mentally apologize to the dog for the crap hand he has been dealt, and cry. At least that is what I did the one time I was put in the same position.

Solving the problem we all helped create

I don’t want to play advocate Olympics here and saber rattle over who has done the most good for dogs, but if that’s your thing- Dr. Kay, for example, quite literally wrote the book on animal advocacy. And it makes me sick to my core to have people react to her with nastiness because of that unwinnable situation that we have all contributed to.

We contribute when we suggest any situation be handled through specious lawsuits.

We contribute when we throw shade at each other and erode the trust between the public and veterinarians.

We contribute when we roll our eyes at well meaning but ultimately uninformed parents instead of trying, with kindness and care, to change the way we educate new parents about pet safety. With compassion, and consistency. I am sure the people who took the above pictures love their kids and their dogs, as do I: only difference being I have no pictures like this because I understand the risk more than they do and don’t allow that situation to happen in my house.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go continue the conversations I’ve begun about ways to make life easier and safer for parents then get on a plane to South America for a volunteer spay/neuter initiative . Signed, your local animal murderer/advocate (you decide).

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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