Pet Stuff...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Behavior of Dogs

Animal rescue can be challenging. Rescue dogs come in all sizes, but sometimes they have one thing in common. A past. Unless they've come into rescue as a puppy, they have an unknown past. A mystery that displays itself in their behavior. Some react defensively. They might growl or snap in self defense. Even though you're not a threat in their life now, they don't forget the bad people who came before. Some react by cowering or hiding. They fear everyone, even those who come to help.

This is Corona. She came into rescue from a "Sanctuary" in Tennessee. I put "Sanctuary" in quotes because I don't believe this place was anything other than a hoarding situation. Corona, and all the other dogs pulled from this same "Sanctuary" display the behaviors of hoarder dogs. She is afraid of all humans. Hoarder usually have so many dogs they don't socialize with each one. Its like a wild pack of animals. They spend their days with the other dogs and occasionally see the human when they come to throw food to the dogs. But I see something else in Corona's behavior. I think she was abused.

In rescue we have a term called; pancake dog. This is when the dog pancakes to the ground and will flatten themselves down when approached by a person. Sometimes they tremble or will roll onto their back to show submission. This behavior is usually seen in dogs that have been abused; hit, kicked, or thrown. Although Corona has been in foster homes since August she still pancakes when I try to pick her up. She'll look at me from across the room and shake. Loud noises have her searching for a place to hide.

Don't get me wrong, she is getting better. She's more relaxed when I pick her up. Will settle on the couch with the other dog. Follows the other dog around and will even play with the other dog in the house. Play is coming slowly. She won't play with humans yet, only my Shih Tzu and only occasionally.

Corona is up for a adoption. A senior dog at 8 to 10 years, she's going to need a quiet home where people are home most of the time. No kids because she needs to relax. She hasn't learned walking on the leash yet, but comes when I call her. Sweet and shy and working on house training.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Salmonella Dog Treat Alert!

A warning just posted on the Dog Food Advisor's Website is a recall for numerous brands of dog treats due to salmonella. Yeesh!

Kasel Industries is recalling the following brands…
Boots & Barkley
Nature’s Deli
Colorado Naturals
Best Bully SticksMore information with exact lot numbers is on the Dog Food Advisor's website. 

I don't buy anything from China for my dogs because of the issues with contaminated food. In some stores its hard to find any chewy thing for treat without that "Made in China" note. Now we have salmonella.

From what I've read salmonella will make your dog pretty sick with vomiting, diarrhea and a whole list of other nasty stuff. If you think your dog has eaten something off the list call your vet. Even if your dog isn't exhibiting symptoms, better safe than sorry.

I have a friend who makes her own dog treats. Although I'm really not a cook, that idea is getting more appealing.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Free ebook! Soul Mates

Love dogs? And FREE ebooks?

When a deal with God goes terribly wrong a woman is reincarnated as one of the smallest dogs on the planet. Follow the adventure as she seeks her place in a world where she has little control.

Soul Mates (A different kind of love story) is free on Amazon for the weekend. Enjoy a story about a dog that who's spirit never gives up.

I wrote this book on the idea that maybe our Soul Mate isn't a lover or spouse but someone we connect with on a more spiritual level. When soul meets soul and people do the right thing, they can find the thing they've been searching for; unconditional love.

If you like it, leave a review on Amazon. I'd love to hear from you. To find out more about the writing of Soul Mates visit my website.
I hope you enjoy reading Soul Mates as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dog Food Reviews, Recalls, & Alerts

With all the scary recalls on dog food and dog treats hitting the news lately its best to be on high alert when purchasing anything for your dog. One of my favorite places on the web for dog food reviews is Dog Food Advisor. On this site you can check out any food for nutritional value, see best and worst rated foods and sign up for recall alerts. They rate all dog foods and give all the details of each ingredient. They explain why the ingredients in your dog's food are good or why they are bad. It helps to make an informed decision on what to feed your precious pup.

I strongly recommend everyone sign up for email recall alerts.

I never get any spam from this site and the only things they ever send are the recalls. Receiving these alerts allows me to check my own pantry and forward the email to my friends and relatives who own dogs.

 I have a Shih Tzu, Gracie, and usually a foster dog in my home and I feed Natural Choice Grain Free for small breeds. When my Gracie first came to my home she was itching all the time. No fleas, oatmeal shampoos and regular grooming but still she itched. A Shih Tzu forum suggested a grain free food so I went to Natural Choice and the itching stopped. Yay! It's only a 3 star food on Dog Food Advisor, but she's doing good on it so we're sticking with it for the time being. I also give her Fresh Pet Select for dinner. That's a five star food so hopefully these two foods will give her the balance of nutrients she needs. Gracie came from a puppy mill where she was not well cared for during the first seven years of her life so she needs all the good food she can get!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Adopting a Hoarder Dog

Adopting a dog is usually a joyous event for a family. They can't wait to bring the pup into their home, show the dog his new bed, toys and treats and cuddle it. They want to pet him, stroke his fur and tell him all about the great life he has ahead of him.
This would strike terror in the heart of a of hoarder dog.

Most dogs that come from hoarding situations have had very little human contact. They've spent their days huddled with the other dogs and often had to fight for food. To have a human, who can seem like a giant to a smaller dog, approach with arms out, reaching toward him can scare the heck out of him. Imagine if you're in a foreign land where you don't speak the language and all these really big people suddenly have their hands all over you. You don't know where the bathroom is, you don't know where your other dog friends are, and you don't even know how to ask for a drink of water.  You've barely seen people, let alone have any want to touch you. Most hoarders do it because they love dogs and are trying to save the world. Unfortunately, the dogs are often unsocialized and neglected as their numbers mount.

Hoarder dogs can make the best pets. They are sweet, loyal and usually fairly calm. Their one flaw. Hoarder dogs are very shy. The one thing they need from their adoptive family isn't the toys and treats (although treats always help!) is time.

When you first bring your hoarder dog home show it the bed, where the water and food is and then just stand back. Leave the dog to explore on its own. Some will come out fairly quickly and others might hide in their crate for a day or so. Don't worry. If he's hungry he'll come to the food. Just make sure you show him where it is. Depending on how your home is set up you might want to offer the food closer to his crate for a day or two and gradually move it to the spot you prefer.

I'm not always a proponent of crate training but for a hoarder dog it can be his safety spot. A place with walls to protect him while he figures out the dynamics of the family. When he goes into his crate let that be his quiet time. The crate should be big enough for the dog to fully stand and turn around in. If he's going to be crated for hours at a time, it would have to be even bigger. Crating for hours is not recommended.

The major thing with a hoarder dog is to let them come to you. After a few days offer treats. If they don't want to come to you for the treat, toss it on the floor and walk away. Eventually, the dog will realize treats are good and come closer for them. Always keep your movements slow and gentle. Sharp movements or sudden noise can scare your hoarder dog.

Slowly your dog will start coming to you. Scratch behind his ears. If he likes that stroke his head and back. Your dog might run back to his crate but this is a milestone for your foster dog. He reached out for just a bit and opened his heart. Its going to happen again and again and sooner or later he'll be in your lap and giving kisses.

The magic word here is "Time". Hoarder dogs need time to get used to humans and the love they can share. Give them time, love and affection and soon you'll have a great dog who will be romping in the yard and cuddling on the couch. 

This is Corona. She came from a hoarding situation in South Carolina. She's about 8 years old and didn't come out of her crate for two days. The first day I put her food dish next to the crate and she's stretch her neck out to eat. Two weeks later she's on my lap getting belly rubs, eating in the kitchen and wandering around the whole house. When she's not on my lap she's on the dog bed next to her crate. Big step. She just needed time.