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We hope that you enjoy the DOT posts and the different views from everyone included. We promise lots of cute pictures, laughter, maybe a tear or two, and some information. Please note that the views and opinions expressed here are each author's own and do not necessarily represent DOT as a whole.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dogs on Friday??

Hello all! Penny here. Yeah, I'm late. My typist used the lame excuse that she's been doing taxes to try to get more money to buy me dog toys. Really. I deserve dog toys, treats, and everything else I can get. I'm a princess, after all.

I'm now a year old. My birthday was March 12. Mom informs me that I'll no longer be able to use that "puppy" excuse for not listening to her when she tells me what to do. Except now I'll play the "dachshund card", since we dachshunds are notoriously independent thinkers. Think cats in a canine body. Kind of a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality. Show me the treats and I'll think about doing it.

Since we last barked, we've had a little bit of warmer weather here in Georgia. That means I can get out and walk around with my pack. We live near a lake, and just a couple of days ago, I saw what my dad says were ducks. They were great fun to run after! Except they had the advantage of being able to fly away from me. Cowards. I seriously think I could take a duck. Dad muttered something about me being a bird dog. I'm an earthdog! Whatever that means.

We're having more thunder here too. Mom says it's spring storms. Kind of scary, but I keep barking at it and it goes away. I'm quite proud of myself for it.

Are any of you going on vacation this year? Mom says we may travel and stay in something called a hotel. Mom says there are lots of places that allow pets like me and that it's a great idea to travel with your pet. She says we're going to stay in a hotel close to home to give me a try out and see if my barking gets us kicked out. I'm a watchdog! I have to bark to scare away intruders! What does she expect me to do? But, evidently I'm going to have to learn to be quiet in certain situations. This is going to be really interesting for all of us... It would be sort of embarrassing for my folks for me to get us kicked out, I guess.

Until next time... here is me in my favorite spot:Sometimes it's good to be a pup.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mud Puppy Parade..

Only one photo was submitted but I think that you will agree this picture says it all! The picture was submitted by Kathy who says:

"This is Lucy. The photo was actually taken Nov. 2008 but I hope that's ok. We are at the dog park and she found the muddiest part of it. It must have rained the day before. Yes, she had a shower before she was allowed back in the Jeep."

Thanks for sharing your photo Kathy!

As for HoneyDew, Sampson and I, the temperature is supposed to hit 60 degrees today, the sun is shining, and we are heading out to enjoy it!

Happy DOT's!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Senior Wellness revisited

Previously I wrote about senior wellness screening that your vet may want to perform on your pet. Today we are going to revisit senior wellness but from a "what can I dog at home?" perspective.

1. Lump and Bump check: Once a month feel all over your dog, checking for new lumps that may be under or on the skin. Many of these may be benign age related changes but only a quick needle biopsy can tell for sure. Also check for lumps under the chin, armpits, groin and behind the knees (back legs). These are places were lymph nodes are and enlarged lymph nodes are also something that needs to be checked out right away.

2. Dental care: If you are able it’s best to brush your dog’s teeth. If you can’t then at least try to take a quick look in the mouth and look for obvious signs of disease-heavy tartar, red or bleeding gums, irregular gum tissue or tumors.

3. Diet: Feed your older dog an appropriate diet. Your vet may prescribe a prescription diet if you pet has certain diseases like kidney failure, heart failure, or diabetes. But even if they don’t have a specific condition older pets have different metabolic needs and will need a quality senior diet.

4. Exercise: Just because your dog is older and less active doesn’t mean he should become a couch potato. Light exercise is still good to keep the muscles strong and joints loose. Go for shorter walks if needed or don’t throw the ball as far or as much but still let them exercise. Keeping your older dog lean will lessen the problems he or she may have with arthritis as well.

5. Weight: Monitor and write down your pet’s weight every month or so. When we see our pet every day it’s harder to notice a gradual weight loss or gain. But both of these changes, especially weight loss can indicate a serious problem that needs to be addresses.

6. Supplements: Two supplements that I think are great for any older dog are Glucosamine/Chondroitin and Fish oil (fatty acids). Glucosamine/chondroitin help slow down the process of arthritis as well as reduce some of the discomfort. My favorite brand is Cosequin or Dasuquin-both from Nutramax laboratories. Since nutracueticals are not regulated many of them don’t contain what they claim they do and may not be bioavailable to dogs. These two supplements are proven to be reputable. Fish oils are anti-inflammatory and are useful for many conditions such as arthritis, heart, kidney, and skin disease.

7. Eating and drinking habits: Keep an eye on your dog's eating and drinking habits. Decreases in eating can be caused by a variety of problems . Unexpected weight loss or gain in relation to appetite are also cause for concern. For example weight loss with good appetite or weight gain with normal to decreased appetite are not normal. Watching the food intake and the weight will help you notice these things. Increased water consumption is also a sign of several age related diseases that need to be further investigated.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy March!

We are in the home stretch now, as the first day of spring is only 16 days away! We are excited even though you know what comes with spring...MUD!

To celebrate the season I thought it might be fun to have a photo "parade" of the muddiest pictures you may have of your pup(s).

To participate, just email your pictures to me at thegardner63ataoldotcom by March 17th and the parade will be posted on March 18th.

Happy DOT's!

Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!