Is that puddle safe to drink for your dog or is it poison?

Dog_Hlth_AntifrzePsn_99737194 Ever take your dog for a nice walk after it rains? Sometimes it’s still a bit muggy and your pet needs a drink so it stops by the puddle and takes a swig. The problem with this is most puddles are near the street or drive where people tend to work on cars or park cars. Antifreeze is very deadly to pets and it doesn’t take much to poison them. Next time you’re out with your dog keep a bottle of water with a spout for them to drink from. Or bring a collapsible water dish to ensure they are drinking good clean water.

To shave or not to shave…..your dog that is

casperSummertime is here and it’s getting hotter outside. Now is the time of year people who want to keep their dog cooled off, shave their coat. While this is ok for some breeds other breeds it can do more harm than good. A Siberian Husky for example people think it is a good idea to shave but that actually removes the dogs natural sun protection and disrupts its ability to naturally cool down. When shaving a breed like a Husky the top layer known as the guard layer is removed exposing their skin to the elements. This can cause many problems but the most dangerous is the inability for the dog to properly regulate their body temperature. This could lead to heatstroke and heatstroke if not caught early and properly treated can lead to death. So before you take your dog to the groomer or bust out the shaver, read up on your dog breed and make sure shaving them is helping and not creating a potential disaster.

Summertime heat is on the way. Don’t lock your dog in the car!

hot-car-hot-oven2I see it every summer. Nice summer day, sun is out, time for a ride in the car with the dog. While I am out the phone rings and it’s the wife asking me to stop at the store. Not a problem I am out anyway and it will only take a few minutes. I stop at the store roll up the window but leave it cracked since the dog is in there and he needs fresh air. What people forget in that scenario is even though the windows are cracked the summertime heat will begin to build in the car. As your dog sits it will begin to pant to cool down. If your 10 minute stop turns into a longer one this situation could turn deadly for your dog. If you are traveling with your dog don’t leave it locked in a hot car. It doesn’t take much for heat stroke to set in or the police to show up and break the dog out.

Its that time to choose what comes first! Cut the grass or clean the pet waste?

grass

Now that the rain is falling and the temps are on the rise, yards are starting to grow. This is also the time of year that causes a dilemma for a pet waste removal business and lawn mowing services. Most lawn mowing services in my experience do not want pet waste that has built up over the winter still in the yard when they mow. The normal reaction would be to have our company come out and get the waste cleaned up. If it is caught before the grass gets to tall then we can come out clean up the pet waste and dispose of it, but if the grass has already gotten to long we won’t be able to get all the waste that is there. We can get what is closer to the surface and when the grass gets cut there may be waste uncovered that is closer to the ground. So is it too late? Not if you’re in one of our service areas and can get on the schedule for this week. The grass is growing and if we can get in and clean up the pet waste from winter your yard will be ready for its first cut.

How the right dog food can cut down on the yard mess.

Dinner Time
This is the time of year when the snow is gone and the reminder you own a dog and forgot snow doesn’t dissolve pet waste becomes clear.

It is also a busy time for us here at Scoop-It taking care of our regular Weekly Customers as well as our Spring Customers and it gives us time to survey the type of food people feed their dogs.

Why the interest in what dog food? Just as what we humans eat affect our health and digestive systems so does what your dog eats.

I can usually tell how bad a yard will be if they have not cleaned up since last fall but use food that has meat as the first ingredient.

If the dog was feed food that had rice, corn, or anything other than meat in the first ingredient I would know to schedule more time for that yard.

Dogs (I hope you’re sitting) are carnivores and there system needs meat. If your dog food has filler than your dog will have to eat more often to get the nutrients it needs to live and thus produce more waste.

There are a lot of choices of dog food on the market some high priced some really low price but you do not have to pay top dollar for quality dog food.

It may cost a little more than the cheap stuff but the cost over time will balance out since your dog will eat less of it, lower Veterinarian bills, and less waste in the yard.

A families struggle to help their dog.

german-shepherdsBailey is a full bred German Shepherd, now about 8 years old. A little over a year ago he began losing weight.
Around that time Brad from Scoop-It stopped by to let us know that he wasn’t seeing much stool in the yard, and what was there, was the size he would normally see with a small dog, not one that was 125 pounds.

After that Bailey started squatting numerous times trying to have a bowel movement, often with no success.
We took him to our Vet who ran X-rays which showed nothing out of the ordinary. His routine blood work was also good. So they prescribed something for diarrhea assuming his problem was related to cramping and the sensation of still having to go when nothing was there.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work and Bailey became increasingly ill wanting to go outside day and night straining to go with no results.

Bailey began to whine to the extent that one night we took him to an emergency vet clinc. Their X-ray showed that he had a large amount of stool in his intestines. So they gave him a litre of fluid intraveniously and gave us an enema pack to give him if needed. When we got home however, he was able to expel a large amount of stool. That was in the end of January 2012.

Bailey’s problems continued resulting in frequent visits to the Vet who was unable to find any root cause and prescibed prednizone. On one visit they took extensive blood work that was sent to Texas A&M to check for pancreatic issues, but the tests came back negative.

All during this process we asked about perineal fistulas a condition common to German Shepherds and because of conversations we had with Brad from Scoop-It.
However, the Vets we were seeing didn’t think it was fistulas because normally they present themselves on the outside of the rectum, and Bailey’s examinations showed nothing unusual.

Finally in May of 2012 we were at the end our rope. Bailey was suffering and we needed to make some hard decisions.
As a last resort we took him to the Ohio State University Animal Hospital. They kept him for 3 days and did numerous tests including a colonoscopy. What they found were fistulas but they were down inside the rectum.

They prescibed cyclosporine, a medicine given to humans after transplant surgery to help the recipient not reject the new organ. They also gave us an unusual diet of non typical – non processed foods – such as rabbit, venison and even kangaroo meat!

Within a short time on the medicine Bailey was having less pain and problems going to the bathroom.

The diet however was a nightmare. Not only were the items hard to find and expensive, but Bailey didn’t like them.
Eventually based upon Brads recommendation we called a kennel owner who had two German Shepherds with the same condition as Bailey. She told us that she had good success with a dog food brand called Wellness and we’ve been feeding that to Bailey ever since along with hypoallergenic dry food that we buy from the Vet.
Bailey has been on the medication now for almost a year. We would describe his condition as much improved although we still monitor his bowel movements and sometimes have to hand feed him to get him to eat (but Bailey has ALWAYS been a picky eater anyway.) We’re grateful for the support Scoop-It provided during this process and hope that Scoop-It’s readers who may be seeing similar issues with their dogs may be able to find a shorter route to getting the problem fixed.

Our journey was expensive. Ohio State gives wonderful care but was not cheap. The cyclosporine is also pretty expensive.
But we’re thankful for having Bailey still with us and seemingly pain free.

Help my dog is destroying my house!

Buster-Cube
Like most pet owners we have to leave our dogs at home to entertain themselves when they can’t be there. While some crate train their dog a lot of dog owners like to let the dog have the run of the house or at least a room. Some dogs are ok with this but there are those that will take this time to keep themselves entertained and what they find entertaining you may call destruction.

Have you ever come home to find chairs chewed, shoes torn apart, stuffed animals or pillows ripped to shreds? Your pet isn’t just looking to cause as much damage as possible they are keeping themselves busy. They are board! Just as we get board when we are stuck at home. While there are many different solutions to this I wanted to introduce the Buster Cube.

The Buster Cube is a plastic square toy that has a maze inside. The Buster Cube comes in different sizes to accommodate different sized dogs. The idea behind the cube is to keep your dogs mind active by offering a puzzle and by solving the puzzle your dog will get a reward. Simply take the cube and put your dogs dry kibble into the hole and as it fills shake the cube to move the kibble from the hole into the maze inside the cube. I usually put about two cups for my dogs which takes the place of a meal. Once the Buster Cube is full you can set the cube for easy or hard depending on how well your dog knows the cube. In the beginning easy is best. Place the cube on the ground with your dog and roll it. As the cube rolls it will dispense some of the food. Once your dog knows all it needs to do is keep it rolling to get a treat they will be knocking the cube around until it’s empty. This is one way to keep your dogs mind active and focused on something other than that couch cushion. If you’re not sure where to get a Buster Cube check out the link below and pick one up from Amazon.