Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Doodle Days #32 (My Year in Review!)

Since 2014 is drawing to a close I like to look back on my year and see the highlights! This was a good one!

January started out very snowy! We went on several walks throughout the day of the big snow so I could get some exercise because we knew when the snow was done it would be hard to get out and stretch our legs for awhile.
This is just the beginning of the snow!

A little later in the day and it is still going strong!
February saw the snow still sticking around. I don't mind! I love the snow!
The snow stuck around for a very long time!
In May I spent time with a little cutie! We had a good time entertaining each other.
I love when she comes to visit!
July was a very special time for me! I turned three!!
Birthday boy here! 
In September I went in for a visit to the vet's office! I don't mind going there because I get to hang out with lots of cool people!
I'm trying really hard to be a good patient!
October was a wonderful month because we moved to a new home! This place has a great back yard that I like to run in and keep a close eye on at all times!
I love my yard! The first thing I do every morning is a perimeter check. 

I must monitor for any shenanigans in my yard!
Before we knew it, it was December and time for my Christmas toys to come out!
Rudolph is one of my favorite toys! He only comes out after Thanksgiving!
Phew! It was a big year for me! How about all of you? I hope it was a great year and that 2015 is even better!

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Resolutions for our Pet's (and their owners)

As we sit down to make our own New Year’s Resolutions, we may want to consider a few for our pets as well! Here are a couple of suggestions for your and your pet!
I will not steal food from the table (Image Source)

  1. I will not steal (or feed my pet as the case may be) table scraps
    1. People food while very enjoyable to our pets, can cause upset stomachs and require an unwanted visit to the veterinarian. It is best to avoid people food whenever possible!
Exercise is important in a daily routine (Image Source)
  1. I will exercise for 1 minute per pound of body weight per day (This is true for dogs and cats!)
    1. Cats and dogs need daily exercise. This can be walks around the neighborhood or structured play in the house. The general rule of them is 1 minute per pound of body weight per day. If you get more that’s great! 
Getting your pet to take medication is very important! (Image Source)
  1. I will not struggle with my owner to give me monthly flea and heartworm prevention
    1. Flea and heartworm prevention is essential to the overall health of our pets. We strongly recommend administering this monthly! If it is a struggle there are a variety of products on the market that could be a good fit for your pet, just ask your veterinarian before giving up!
Try to avoid chasing furry critters! (Image Source)
  1. I will not chase the cat (or other furry critters)
    1. Many dogs love to chase cats and other critters outside. This can lead to very frustrating walks or living arrangements. Work with your pet to reward calm behavior when other animals are around and this could help make everyone more happy! 
Don't let your cat pick on the dog! (Image Source)
  1. I will not instigate chasing by tormenting the dog
    1. Dogs are not always innocent when starting to chase or fight with a cat. Sometimes the cat instigates the situation and can then get away. Make sure there are plenty of interactive toys for all furry friends to keep them entertained so they don’t’ resort to tormenting each other. 
Always measure food with an appropriate cup! (Image Source)
  1. I will not beg for more food so my owner can measure my intake appropriately
    1. Obesity is a huge problem in the veterinarian industry. Properly measuring out your pets food rather than just filling the bowl repeatedly can really help cut back on unneeded calories.
Visiting the vet is important! Let's try to make it more fun this year! (Image Source)
  1. I will not put up a fight or hide when it is time to go to the vet
    1. Yearly (if not twice yearly in older patients) is extremely important even for cats! If it is a struggle to get your pet into the office, speak with your veterinarians about alternatives. Maybe they offer home visits, or have suggestions on calming therapies that could make the visit more pleasant. A lot can change in a year in our pets so a visit for a regular check up is extremely important.
Keep all medication (including those for your pet) out of reach (Image Source)
  1. I will not get into my owners medications
    1. Some of the most common toxicities in pets is from accidental ingestion of human medications. Even over the counter medications can be harmful to our pets. Make sure all medications (prescription or OTC) are out of reach of our pets. 
Always monitor pets outside! (Image Source)
  1. I will not go outside unsupervised
    1. Having a fenced in yard or even an underground fence is great for playing with your pet off leash. It is however still very important to monitor them when outside. This will help prevent ingestion of unwanted items in the yard and also ensure that other critters are not coming into the yard and bothering your pet. (remember an electric fence will keep your pet in but not prevent other animals from coming in)
Image Source

  1. Have fun!
    1. Pets are meant to enhance our lives! They are great companions. Sometimes we need to just sit back, relax and enjoy our furry friend!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Breed Focus: Abyssinian

Abyssinian cats are naturally very inquisitive!( Image Source)
The Abyssinian appears to be one of the oldest cat breeds known. There has been much discussion and some controversy over their origin though. Many believed that they came from Ethiopia (which used to be called Abyssinia), but recent genetic discoveries seem to point more to Asia and the Indian coastline. Wherever they came from these cats are beautiful lean creatures that are very loyal to their families.
Beautiful eyes! (Image Source)
Their short coat requires little to know maintenance. Abyssinians overall seem to be very intelligent and can catch on to training quite easily. They will do best in an active family, as they are not known to be lazy and sit around. Inquisitive to a fault sometime, they will investigate any sound or changes in their environment. Being active can also get them into trouble if they are not adequately entertained. This is a breed that will do well with interactive toys and food puzzles. Introducing these at a young age could save your from bored and trouble making pets in the future!
Lighter colors can be found too! (Image Source)
Overall Abyssinians tend to be very healthy. The only breed specific condition known affects their red blood cell population and can lead to intermittent anemia (low blood cell counts). This can be screened in breeding pets and eventually could be eliminated form the gene pool. As all cats (mixed or specific breeds) age, they are more prone to kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. If overweight their risk for diabetes can increase as well. These are conditions that can be monitored with regular blood screening but are not specific to the Abyssinian alone.
This cat clearly leads a difficult life! (Image Source)
If you are looking for a loyal active companion, the Abyssinian could be right for your family! It would be great project to get the entire family involved in training your Abyssinian on a variety of commands and even to walk on a leash! For more information on this breed you can find it here and here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Doodle Days #31

Alright it is almost Christmas! My stocking is hung by the fire! I am ready!!!
Homemade stocking check!
I can't wait to see if I get any gifts! Overall I think I've been a pretty good boy. Aside from a little incident of taking a toy that wasn't intended for me, which I think we can all agree was not really my fault. I'm sure I'm on the nice list! I do have to be reminded from time to time that Olaf is not for me.
Olaf is not for me. Olaf is not for me. Olaf is not for me.

Are you all looking forward to the holiday?
This doodle is ready for his presents!
I hope you have a Merry Christmas filled with lots of fun surprises!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Safety for you Pet

The holidays are a wonderful time of year! It really brings people together and many times lifts peoples spirits! While we are enjoying the festivities it is important to make sure our pets are kept healthy and safe. Here are some suggestions for a great holiday season with your furry friend! 
These beagles may end up on the naughty list! (Image Source)
One of the most important and perhaps often overlooked aspects of keeping pets safe over the holidays is ensuring they have proper identification. This can be a collar and id tag or ideally a microchip. Use this time of year to ensure that all the information is up today and current. With company coming in and out it is much easier for pets to escape, or if you are traveling and they are stressed or in an unfamiliar environment they may try to bolt. Make sure that they can be clearly identified so they are more likely to be returned to you!
This could lead to an expensive ER visit (Image Source)
Decorations are a big part of the Christmas season. These can be very tempting to our pets. Ribbon on presents or tinsel in trees may seem like fun toys for cats but they can actually lead to a gastro-intestinal obstruction if ingested. No one wants to spend the holidays in the animal emergency room if they can help it! Also make sure trees and heavy decorations are stabilized as pets can sometimes knock them over and be injured. Ensure that any edible presents or candles are up high where pets cannot access them. Even though it is wrapped they can still smell it!
Just say no to people food for your pets! (Image source)
Another consideration is all the food and treats that will be around the house. Make sure the garbage is secure and pets cannot gain access to it. Also keep treats (chocolates, fruit cakes, unbaked bread dough etc) out of reach. These can cause massive gastrointestinal upset and make your pet miserable. In some cases the if the ingest enough it can be life threatening.
He is ready for Santa! (Image Source)
Another way to help keep pets safe is to give them a nice quiet place that they can get away from the hustle and bustle if they need to. It should be place where no one is allowed to bother them and they feel secure. The holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones! We want to make sure you and your furry friends have a happy and safe holiday season! For more tips you can visit the following websites here and here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Breed Focus: French Bulldog

French bulldogs have excellent personalities and a cute cuddly appearance. They can make excellent companions in many different living situations. They can be the clown of the house but also like to rest on people’s lap. They appear to have originated in England but gained popularity in France which is where their name finally came from.
What a cutie!! (Image Source)
They require minimal grooming and overall tend to be fairly healthy. They are another brachycephalic breed, so there can be difficulty at times breathing. This is especially true in hot or humid weather. They also seem to be prone to inflammation in the vertebrae known as intervertebral disc disease. This inflammation can affect their ability to walk and cause a great deal of pain as the spinal cord can be affected as well. It can be managed with pain medication and rest or in extreme cases surgery. If there are any signs of discomfort it is best to take your frenchie to a veterinarian.
Adorable just doesn't even begin to describe him (Image Source)
French Bulldogs are wonderful companions. While they may bark to alert owners of any disturbances, most of the time they are content to just spend time with their people. Typically they will adapt well to other people as well and welcome anyone that has a lap for them to sit on. If you think this sounds like it could be a good fit for your life style you can find more information here and here

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Doodle Days #30

Well it should come as no surprise that I have a lot of toys!! I think I have showcased a few before. What may be a little surprising is my collection of Christmas toys! My people LOVE Christmas. Here are some of my Christmas themed toys...

Now you may notice that there is one non Christmas toy in that bunch. Apparently Pluto was intended as a gift. My people brought it back for their niece from their latest trip to Disney.

Well, they accidentally left it on the floor and I investigated and thought it was for me!! Yay! I do love new toys. Once I played with it they determined it would just have to be mine and their niece would have to get a new one. I call this a win win!

I love the holiday season! I hope you guys are enjoying the season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers and their Pets

With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are scrambling to find the right gift for special people in our lives (furry or human). Here are some suggestions for the pet lover or your furry companion to make their holiday something they will remember!
Picture mugs make a great gift!
Last year I received a very thoughtful gift from my best friend. She had taken a picture of our dog Charlie, and placed it on a mug. It was such a surprise and very thoughtful. It is displayed year round on our shelf. Many pet owners have plenty of pictures of their furry friends around, putting these to good use in a calendar, or photo album is a great way to spread some holiday cheer!
Another great idea for this time of year are special ornaments that are meaningful to their pet either past or present. There are memorial ornaments that can help commemorate a companion that has passed. Breed specific ornaments can also be found to represent a current pet! These will spruce up any tree!
Dog or cat cookbooks are fun way to please both pet owners and their companions. As with most treats this time of year remember to practice moderation. Perhaps cooking a batch but then sharing with your pets furry friends is a great way to get everyone involved.
Shopping for pets is usually pretty easy. There are decorative collars and leashes that can spruce up every day life. New toys that can be placed under the tree or in a stocking are always fun to keep them entertained on Christmas morning. Remember if treats or food are a part of your gift try not to over do it! Upset stomachs are no fun for anyone over the holidays.

We hope these suggestions will help make Christmas shopping a little easier! If you have any special gifts you have received or given please let us know in the comments! We love sharing ideas! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Breed Focus: Shih Tzu

The most distinctive characteristic of the Shih Tzu is its long luxurious coat. The originated in China and were companions for the royal families. Today they make excellent pets that are small in size but mighty in personality!
Demonstrating the longer fuller coat (Image Source)  
Grooming is a definitely consideration prior to obtaining one of these dogs. They will need regularly brushing which can vary depending on the coat length and type. Many owners outside of the show ring elect to keep their Shih Tzu’s on the shorter side rather than dealing with the maintenance of the silky long hair. Establishing a grooming and brushing routine early is essential.
Who could say no to this face? (Image Source)
Shih Tzus fall into the brachycephalic category. This means they have a very smushed nose and typically bulgy eyes. Breathing issues and ocular disease are not uncommon health concerns for this breed. As a small breed they are also prone to their knee caps not being secure in place and can jiggle back and forth. In some cases surgical stabilization is needed. Again like other small breeds they tend to have more dental issues and at a younger age. Regular dental cleanings may be necessary to keep your Shih Tzu at its best health.
More common short hair cut (Image Source)
Overall Shih Tzu’s have a great fun loving personality. Their small size lends them to just about any living arrangement. They can be slightly stubborn so training classes are recommended. But if you are looking for a great companion and have time to keep their coat in check this could be a great fit for you! For more information about Shih Tzu’s please visit the following websites here and here

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Doodle Days #29

You know something I like? Brushing my teeth!!! (ok I don't brush them, they get brushed for me!)
Apparently there is tartar on my back teeth (premolars and molars)
My people have these beef flavored teeth wiping pads and let me tell you, they are delicious!
I LOVE the smell and taste of these dental wipes!

I look forward to every time my teeth get brushed! I have a little bit of tartar on my back teeth that my favorite vet says we will have to get cleaned eventually, but for now I love teeth brushing Tuesdays!!
Brush, lick, repeat
Sometimes it is hard to brush my teeth because I keep trying to lick the pad! My reward when I'm done is uninterrupted dental pad licking!
It is easiest to brush my front ones because my tongue doesn't get in the way as much!

Don't forget the importance of keeping your teeth clean!