Thursday, June 15, 2017

Signs Your Dog isn’t Feeling Well and What to Do

We like to think that our dogs always feel great, are healthy, and happy, but sometimes they can feel under the weather or have something more serious going on. Because dogs can’t tell us when they don’t feel well, as owners it’s important to know what to what to watch for, and learn to read the signs that your dog isn’t feeling quite him/herself. So, what are the signs they aren’t feeling well, and what should you do about it? Here’s some advice that can help make things a bit more clear.

Diarrhea or Vomiting – More than Just Once

Helping a sick dog can be tricky since they aren’t able to communicate with you, but some symptoms are much more noticeable and easy to catch. Diarrhea and vomiting are two big signs your dog isn’t feeling well. If it only happens once, then it’s probably nothing to worry about or act upon, what you need to watch for is a dog that has vomited many times in one day, or had diarrhea throughout the day.
Along with these symptoms the dog may start to get lethargic, start to become dehydrated, and lose their appetite. There are all kinds of reasons these symptoms can be occurring so it's best to get your dog into the vet immediately. As well, try to encourage them to drink, and don't worry about pushing food on them.
Diarrhea and vomiting can be caused by eating human food. It is vital that you check out the foods your dog should never eat to prevent this from happening again.

Your Dog Suddenly Starts to Limp

If you have a dog who is healthy and full of energy and suddenly seems to be limping or having a hard time getting around, there’s a good chance they have injured themselves somehow. In these cases,it’s important to give your dog space, and not crowd him.Make sure he is somewhere safe where he can't fall and hurt himself further, and that his water is right there for him. Depending on how serious the injury seems, you can give it a day and see if the dog starts to recover, or you can call the vet.

Your Dog’s Breathing Becomes Labored

Just like with people, dogs can catch infections from time to time. If you should notice your dog has developed a cough, is wheezing, or seems to be having difficulty breathing, there is a good chance he may have a respiratory illness, cold, or even allergies. Give your dog a quiet, comfortable place to relax so he isn’t running around, and give the vet a call. It may be that he needs a round of antibiotics to fight his bug.

Your Dog Loses its Appetite

Dogs are notoriously known for being big eaters who don’t really care what it is they eat. If your dog is a great eater and suddenly loses interest in food, this is the time to book an appointment with the vet. Again,a number of things could be happening. Sometimes a dog may even be turned off his food suddenly. Without seeing a vet, it’s impossible to know what’s really going on.

Be Your Dog’s Voice

Because your dog can’t talk and vocalize how he is feeling, it’s up to you to be aware of any signs he may display so you can act as his voice. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thinking About Adopting a Dog? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions

You’re ready for a canine companion and your Facebook feed is full of pictures of adorable pooches that need loving homes. But hold on! Don’t let your heart overrule your head. Taking in a rescue dog can be hugely rewarding but it can also end in tears. Ask yourself the following questions before you make a commitment.

Is This Your First Dog?

Caring for a dog for the first time brings its own challenges and you’ll have a lot to learn, so a rescue dog might not be the best choice for you right now. Every rescue dog will have issues - many have suffered abuse and neglect, while others will keenly miss their previous family. The time and patience needed to work through those problems with your pet could be more than you bargained for.

Are You Capable of Training an Older Dog?

Teaching a puppy to behave is much easier than retraining an older dog. If your rescue dog has obedience or anxiety issues, you’ll have to eradicate the unwanted behavior before you can hope to make any headway with his training.

Are Health Problems Likely to Be an issue?

Before your visit to the rescue center, do your homework and find out all you can about the dog breeds on your shortlist. Some breeds are prone to health problems and you’ll need to be prepared to meet the costs of dealing with those issues if they arise.
Bulldogs can develop respiratory problems, German Shepherds can suffer from Hip Dysplasia, and Boxer’s are at higher risk for certain cancers - and those are just a few of the problems that can affect pure breeds.
If huge vet bills aren’t something you want to deal with in the future, you’ll have a better chance of finding a healthy dog if you choose a mixed breed.

Is the Dog Used to Children?

If you have a young family, it’s important to choose a dog that’s used to children. Sometimes, the rescue center will have this information, but if the dog was picked up off the street, then it’s impossible to know how safe the dog will be around kids.
Some dogs have such gentle temperaments that they’re very unlikely to snap or bite, while others, not used to quick movements, high-pitched squeals, and over-enthusiastic playtime, can react aggressively out of fear or annoyance.

Is The Timing Right?

When you bring a new pet home, you’ll have fewer problems if you can keep the dog company for the first few weeks. If on the other hand, everyone is heading straight back to work or school, then the dog will be left alone, which will hamper his ability to get to know and trust you.
If possible, arrange some vacation time and give your dog the attention he needs while he settles into his new home.

Adopting a dog from a shelter is a great thing to do, and so long as you think things through and can fully commit to your new pooch, you’ll have a faithful friend, full of gratitude for his new forever home.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A New Life: More About Prosthetics for Dogs

It is really sad to see a dog unable to run, jump, and enjoy a full, exciting life due to problems with the limbs. A few years ago, dogs who were born with deformed legs or whose legs were amputated for medical reasons had little to no option of living a full life. Many of them were put down for this very reason, while others end up with conventional carts that acted as extra support.

Today, however, there are so many more options for dogs suffering from leg injuries or deformity. Prosthetics for dogs have gotten really advanced these past few years. Here are the important things to know about prosthetics for dogs.

Custom-Made for Every Dog

The technology behind prosthetics for dogs has become so advanced that it is now possible to make one, or a set, based on the dog’s posture, weight, movement and other details. 3D-printed prosthetics, for example, have been popular among bigger breeds, mainly those who are active and full of energy. These newer prosthetics allow the dogs who wear them to run, jump, and live normally despite their leg injuries.
The shift towards customized prosthetics for dogs really took off when Derby ran a mile on a newly printed set of prosthetics. This proved how a dog who has lost its leg could still be cheerful and full of energy, giving hope to dogs with similar conditions across the country.
Sherry and Dom Portanova, Derby’s adoptive parents, even said that their dog ran faster with the prosthetics. The designs behind modern prosthetics also enable dogs to remain comfortable when wearing them over an extended period of time.


Speaking of comfort, there were several issues with older prosthetics that are now completely solved. In the old days, wearing prosthetics for an extended period of time could cause rashes and other problems. The design of the prosthetics wasn’t meant for extended use. Older prosthetics lacked the good weight distribution and comfort features offered by today’s alternatives.
Modern dog prosthetics are so much better in this avenue. There are more options for specific situations too. Simple fillers are used to solve issues like a minor imbalance and difference in length. The more comprehensive full-limb prosthetics are used to help dogs who have lost an entire leg or suffer from more severe problems.

More Affordable Than Ever

The increasing demand for prosthetics and the advancement in technologies behind them has also led to one additional benefit: better pricing. Dog prosthetics are far more affordable than they used to be, even with the varied customization options available today. It doesn’t stop with prosthetics either. Braces for supporting injured legs are also easier to find and more affordable.

It is an investment worth making in any situation. Seeing your dog run again – and seeing that happy look on his face when he tries the prosthetics for the first time – is a priceless moment. Dog prosthetics are bringing new life to dogs with deformed or amputated legs. The technologies we have today are continuing to improve existing prosthetics too.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day is today ~ April 22nd

Earth Day was established in 1970 by a Wisconsin US Senator. It started as a national "teach in for the environment".  I can remember planting a tree on school property for the 1st Earth Day.

Many from my generation focused on being green. Saving our plant. Sad thing is my generation also was instrumental in producing the products which today fill our landfills.  

In the 70"s......
  • No one bought water in plastic bottles.  
  • Very few used disposable diapers. 
  • Trash bags were the brown paper bags from the grocery store. 
  • Clothes were dried outside on a clothes line. 
  • Clothes were mended and reused by family and friends. If not able to re-wear - the clothing was cut up for rags to clean.
  • Paper towels were not used - dish towels were washed.
  • Gardens were planted and fertilizers were manure
  • Plastic bags did not exist -  paper bags were what was used in all stores
  • Fertilizer for houseplants was made using egg shells - veggie scrapes - coffee grounds
  • Electronics were not filling the waste dumps because there were no disposable electronics - the majority of all items were repaired not replaced
Living green has been basically easy for me. I learned as a child how to use vinegar - how to use baking soda and how to reuse and re-purpose. My parents and grandparents made items from scratch - they reused and re-purposed. 

This Earth Day I wish for everyone to develop one green habit. 
Just one!  
If everyone in the USA developed one new GREEN habit - what a 
huge positive difference it would make.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Items I needed to start my Kayaking Adventures

Since this is my first year of Kayaking there were major items I needed to purchase.

I started off with buying my Kayak & paddle.  I took advantage of Black Friday and I got a very good deal at Dunham's on both.

Then the shopping started!  

Here is a list of my purchases to get ready for my Kayaking adventures.

  • Life Jacket - turns out I bought 2 - one full vest that is so uncomfortable that I recently bought a NSR Kayaking vest that I love. 
  • Diesel a Life Vest
  • Waist leash for Diesel
  • Life Cushion
  • Tow Rope with buoy
  • Oar hand grips and water splash guards
  • Paddle lead to keep paddle to kayak - with whistle
  • Waterproof bag
  • Waterproof camera - not risking taking pics with my iPhone
  • Cart to roll kayak
  • Buoy for camera
  • Buoy for keys
  • Jeep Rack - Hullavator plus tie downs - locks - etc
  • Decals for kayak
  • Bags to hold items
  • Water Proof Jacket and Pants
  • Water-shoes
  • Tow rope
  • Phone waterproof holder
  • Fanny pack
  • Open netting bag for wet items
  • Foam to cushion kayak sides
  • Sunglasses safety rope - so my sunglasses do not sink to bottom of lake 
  • Small plastic paddle to keep in storage area just in case I loss my paddle
  • Kayaking gloves
  • Kayaking water clothes - clothing that dries FAST
Crazy amount of items - to be safe. All are very valuable!
A few hints:
* I highly recommend that you go to a paddle shop to purchase your life vest. Your life vest is your single most valuable item. Getting the right fit for you is priceless ~  Not only in comfort but also in safety. Connie at Rutabaga Paddlesports helped us for over a hour to find the perfect life jacket for our needs! I never would of thought a quality life jacket could be so comfortable.

*Go to a paddleshop and ask tons of questions - kayaking info is valuable.  My paddle shop of choice is Rutabaga Paddlesports in Madison. They are amazing - their kayaking knowledge is unreal and they offer the best customer service. 
  I can not forget the guys that installed my Hullavator - excellent service! They took their time to ensure that I knew how to work and keep my kayak safe while traveling.  
Here is a goofy pic taken at Rutabaga after they installed my Hullavator!!

*Amazon is a great place to fine odds and ends - reasonable prices.

My Jeep is loaded for my kayaking, camping, and hiking adventure in Arkansas. 

If there is anything I forget ~ PLEASE comment below.