Is a Chihuahua Right for You?

Chihuahuas are among the oldest – and most popular – dog breeds in the world.  Currently, the Chihuahua is the 30th most popular dog in the United States according the American Kennel Club, but is a Chihuahua right for you? Temperament Despite being a toy-sized dog, Chihuahuas have a lot of personality.  According to the AKC breed description, they should be “sassy, charming, and graceful,” with emphasis on sassy.  Indeed, Chihuahuas can become aggressive and territorial when not properly socialized.  In addition, Chihuahuas are extremely loyal dogs and have a tendency to become protective over a favorite human. Size, Coloring, Upkeep Male and female Chihuahuas should weigh 4 – 6 lbs and stand 6 – 10’’ tall at the shoulder.  There are two different coat lengths:  short and long.  Contrary to popular belief, long-haired Chihuahuas are lower maintenance than their short-coat counterparts, as they shed less frequently.  There are nine...
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Product Review: Greenies Dental Chews

Dental hygiene is important for dogs, as an alarming percentage of household pets suffer from periodontal disease.  While many veterinarians recommend regular tooth brushing and dental cleanings, few owners provide routine dental care.  Here, Greenies Dental Chews will be reviewed. Greenies Dental Chews are green, tooth-brush shaped treats that are designed to clean teeth and freshen breath.  The treats are dense, yet soluble, and require chewing in order to completely break down.  This chewing action controls plaque and tartar buildup.  The ingredients found in Greenies Dental Chews include wheat flour, wheat protein isolate, glycerin, gelatin, oat fiber, water, lecithin, poultry flavor, minerals, choline chloride, dried apple pomace, fruit juice color, vitamins, and turmeric color. The benefit of Greenies Dental Chews is that this product maintains the health of a dog’s mouth while also doubling as a high-value reward.  For instance, when I adopted my beagle mix, Sadie, from the shelter,...
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Boarding Kennel or Dog Sitter: Which is Best?

As you schedule your summer vacation you will be faced with a dilemma:  what to do with your dog while you are away?  There are many options for pet owners, including leaving your pet with a boarding kennel or dog sitter.  Which of these solutions is best?  The pros and cons of a boarding kennel or dog sitter will be discussed. Boarding Kennel A boarding kennel is a commercial facility that specializes in housing animals.  There are many types of boarding kennels, ranging from strictly cage free, caged with cage-free play time, or caged with individual exercise. Pros The benefits of boarding kennels are numerous.  Most notably, leaving your dog at a boarding kennel ensures that your pet is cared for by professionals that are licensed and insured in addition to being subject to inspection.  Boarding kennels are typically staffed 24 hours per day, and have protocols in place for...
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Product Review: Bil-Jac America’s VetDogs Skin & Coat Treats

Dog treats are an indispensible item for pet owners.  They assist in training, are perfect for hiding medication, and help your dog know that he or she is loved.  However, with the wide selection of available dog treats on the market, it can be difficult to determine which is best.  Here, Bil-Jac America’s VetDogs Skin & Coat Treats will be reviewed. The Bil-Jac company has been producing high quality training treats made from real food since 1947.  The ingredients in these liver-flavored treats are simple: chicken, chicken meal, wheat flour, glycerin, phosphoric acid, salt, potassium sorbate, citric acid, mixed tocopherols, calcium propionate, BHA, and rosemary extract.  With a 20% protein content and only 9.9 calories per treat, these made-in-the-USA treats are a great option for your pet. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from each purchase of Bil-Jac America’s VetDogs Skin & Coat Treats goes towards America’s VetDogs.  This non-profit...
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Brachycephalic Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Dogs with scrunched noses, cute wrinkles, and large eyes have become increasingly popular.  However, short-nosed breeds (also known as brachycephalic dogs), have additional needs versus a typical hound dog.  Here, everything you need to know about brachycephalic dogs will be discussed. What does Brachycephalic Mean? Brachycephalic generally means that an animal has a skull that is short and broad, with the width at least 80% of the length.  The general characteristics of a brachycephalic dog are a significantly shortened nasal pathway, an elongated soft palate, dramatically restricted nostrils (stenotic nares), a hypoplastic trachea (abnormal growth in the trachea that results in narrowing), and everted laryngeal saccules (i.e. saccules that grow into the airway and restrict respiration). Which Dog Breeds are Brachycephalic? There are a number of brachycephalic dog breeds.  The most common include: Affenpinscher American Bulldog Boston Terrier Boxer Brussels Griffon Cane Corso Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Chihuahua (apple-headed) Dogue...
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Product Review: Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo

Frequently bathing your dog is the best way to remove unwanted odors, allergens, loose fur, dirt, and debris.  However, many dogs have sensitive skin that can become irritated when washed too often.  To keep your pet’s skin and fur healthy and itch-free, oatmeal shampoo is the most recommended cleanser by veterinarians.  Here, Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo will be reviewed. Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo is made from all natural, soap-free ingredients and is specially designed to relieve dry and irritated skin.  The main ingredient is 2% raw colloidal oatmeal USP, which is an ingredient that has been proven to relieve irritated skin in both dogs and cats.  There are no parabens or dyes, and the cleansers in this product (corn, coconut, and palm kernel oils) are from 100% renewable and biodegradable sources.  Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo is safe to use with topical flea and tick medications, and has...
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How to Spot Eye, Nose, and Ear Disorders in Dogs

The most common health issues  – particularly for purebreds – are eye, nose, and ear disorders in dogs.  In many instances, early detection is crucial for preventing worse problems in the future.  Here, how to spot eye, nose, and ear disorders in dogs will be discussed. Ears The most common eye, nose, and ear disorders in dogs are undoubtedly ear infections among dogs.  This is especially true for pets with floppy ears or excessive hair growth.  Cocker spaniels, beagles, Labrador retrievers, and Bassett hounds are among the most likely to suffer from frequent ear infections. The best way to determine whether your dog has an ear illness is to watch his or her behavior.  Excessive head shaking and ear scratching are two telltale signs that your dog’s ears are bothersome.  Next, peer into your dog’s ear with the help of a flashlight.  If the skin appears red and inflamed, an ear infection is...
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Product Review: Burt’s Bees for Dogs Ear Cleaner

Nearly every dog requires regular ear maintenance, particularly pets with long or floppy ears.  However, many ear cleaning solutions are not gentle enough for regular use, or leave behind repugnant odors.  Here, Burt’s Bees for Dogs Ear Cleaner will be reviewed. Burt’s Bees for Dogs Ear Cleaner is a gentle ear cleansing solution made with peppermint oil and witch hazel.  The peppermint oil is designed to soothe a dog’s itchy or inflamed ears, while the witch hazel cleanses the ear canal while reducing excess moisture.  Unlike other ear wash solutions, only 1 – 2 drops of this cleanser is required, reducing discomfort for your pet.  Also unlike other products, Burt’s Bees for Dogs Ear Cleaner has a pleasant smell. There are many advantages to this product.  Perhaps most importantly, Burt’s Bees is a trusted brand for all-natural products.  High-quality, ethically sourced ingredients comprise this product, which has never been unfairly tested...
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Is an Australian Shepherd Right for You?

Australian Shepherds, also known as Aussies, are popular dogs thanks to their unique coloring, mesmerizing eyes, and trainability.  However, this breed is also one of the most commonly abandoned, due to its high energy levels.  Is an Australian Shepherd right for you? Temperament The Australian Shepherd is highly energetic, as well as highly intelligent.  This breed requires a job to perform, whether that involves learning new tricks, herding animals, running with humans, or any other outlet that provides both mental and physical stimulation.  Other traits of the Aussie include a loving, loyal demeanor, as well as being adaptable and protective. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs, with males weighing 50 – 65 lbs and females weighing 30 – 45 lbs.  There are four colors and three markings recognized by the American Kennel Club, which are black, blue merle, red, and red merle.  Markings can be tan points,...
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Product Review: Gulpy Water Dispenser

Since dogs don’t have an efficient cooling system they require plenty of water when out on a hike, walk, or run during warm weather, in order to avoid overheating.  However, carrying water for your dog can be difficult and cumbersome.  Here, the Gulpy Water Dispenser will be reviewed. The Gulpy Water Dispenser is a 2-in-1 water bottle and water dish for your pet.  It is easy and convenient to use, and has a belt clip that allows for the bottle to be easily attached to a pocket or belt loop.  The bowl component folds against the water bottle, which minimizes the amount of space this product requires.  Simply unscrew the lid (which is attached to the bowl), fill the bottle, and go.  To use the Gulpy, unfold the bowl from the bottle, squeeze the bottle to fill the bowl, and encourage your dog to drink.  The Gulpy’s bowl can even...
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