Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Free To a Good Home....(or moderately decent one)

This recently slid across my Facebook news-feed.  Take a few minutes to read it, and maybe even pass it on.  Not only is it well-worth the read (READ TO THE END!!), but anyone looking to adopt, buy or (heaven forbid) give up an dog (or other pet for that matter) could definitely learn a few things. 

*This post was originally written by a wonderfully witty dog owner/advocate and was listed on Craigslist for the world to see

"Hi, I have a 2 year old pure bred Great Shepdanepoo that needs to be re-homed. That's right he's a one of kind designer mutt. His mom was a German Shepherd and dad a Great Dane. Heck there might be some unicorn in there. I threw in the poo b/c it seems to make him more appealing. 
Sadly I can't keep him anymore. When I first adopted him I never ever thought that I might have to move. Apparently, no pets are allowed anywhere in this country besides where I currently live. Also, I think I'm pregnant so it's okay to give him up, right? I would never do that to my future kid though. Don't worry I'll never tell my child I owned a dog only to give him up. B/c that would be teaching him or her that when life gets hard just dump your problems onto someone else and make excuses for your own lack of responsibility.
Anyways, this dog is annoying. He requires a solid exercise routine. I have to exercise him mentally and physically (that's right both kinds of exercise) for 3 hours almost everyday. I have to be out of the house by 5 am (rain or shine) to go on a bike ride with him for 45 mins. Then I play fetch, tug o war, hide n seek and other games. Followed by some training. This is all done before I go to work so he can stay asleep in his crate until I come back about 8 hours later. When I do come back I have to play with him some more, ughhhh. If I don't do this he whines and yelps the rest of the day. Who would have thought that a GSD mix would have this much energy.
He slobbers and farts a lot. He always manages to get water onto my kitchen floor instead of into his mouth. He eats everything, seriously, everything. I have to make sure that my floors are free of socks, leather/cloth materials, tissue paper, really any paper, certain shoes and small plastic things b/c he will eat it. I have to be so tidy and clean now, its frustrating. He snores like a trombone. Don't be fooled by his 80 lb body my friend b/c he is a lap dog, whether you like it or not. He barks like a maniac at anyone who walks past my fenced backyard (esp. if he hasn't been exercised). Meaning, I actually have to go outside and tell him to be quiet, otherwise he won't stop. He tracks in a s*** ton of mud. When he's sick I have to take him to the vet or else he just lies there looking lifeless. Btws, who would have thought that seeking services from a professional who went to school for 8 years or so would be expensive, really. Blows my mind.
He is great w/ kids, cats, and other dogs. But he must be supervised while around them b/c of his size. He is not super friendly towards adult strangers, just aloof. In fact, don't expect to be walking Lassie down the street. He is no eye candy. When I baby sit my mom's pure/well bred husky everybody runs up to me. Sh** ppl stop cars to come pet the husky (no joke). But when I walk my dog most ppl. just want to get to the other side of the street to avoid him; I guess he is scary looking . He does walk well on a leash but you need to be strong and firm b/c if he sees a rabbit, fox, deer, squirrel, or bicyclist (random right) he will try to run after it. So you must know how to handle that situation (and hitting him is not handling it).
All in all, when I first went to go adopt a dog I was really looking for a dog like lassie. He is nothing like it. What a disappointment. 
He is up to date on all his shots, according to the second family that returned him to the shelter. Yep, his balls are gone but his sack is still there. 
I've changed my mind he is no longer free. There is a re-homing fee of $300.00. I want to recoup some of the money I spent on him. Heck, I'll even throw in the cat for free. She is also a lot of work; I have to clean her litter box everyday, pet her and play with her w/ a piece of string. I just don't think I have time or money for that.
Never mind, who am I kidding. Despite everything I mentioned above I love him to death. This dog loves me despite the many flaws I have. He has loved me better than most men I have been with. And I am willing to put in the time, money and effort to keep him. B/c I know that this kind of unconditional love is hard to come by. Hope everyone here may come to that realization themselves. "

Remember, a dog's love is unconditional and forever.  They give us every part of themselves completely, it's only fair that we do the same for them.

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

RECALL ALERT: True Raw Choice Treat Recall

November 20, 2013 — Health Canada has announced Your True Companion Pet Products is recalling its True Raw Choice Bulk Dehydrated Natural Pet Treats due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Recalled products include:
  • Duck Feet (Lot 228870)
  • Duck Wings (Lot 213825)
  • Chicken Feet (Lot 214733)
  • Lamb Trachea (Lot 225215)
  • Chicken Breast (Lot 154339)
A total of 280 total cases of the affected treats were sold in bulk at various pet food stores across Canada.

About Salmonella

Pets such as dogs and cats (and their food) can carry Salmonella bacteria. People can get infected with the bacteria from handling pets, pet food or feces.
Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:
  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

What to Do?

Consumers should contact Your True Companion Pet Products at 855-260-5024 if unsure if the product you have is affected or not.
As of November 8, 2013, all affected products have been disposed of in the market place.
Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Snack Safely and keep your tails Wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Bear (the ever-indulgent and ever-patient) has a new modeling gig!!

Swing by and visit us as HOOKED to see what else he's trying on!

Keep your tails wagging!
Bear's P4ws 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

ALERT: Dog Treat Recall! Bailey's Choice Chicken Treats.

Bailey’s Choice Dog Treats, LLC, of Waleska, Georgia is expanding its voluntary recall to include additional five-ounce packages of its chicken dog treats.
“These two lots tested positive for Salmonella. We have had no reports of anyone or any pet becoming sick. These treats will not harm your dog, dogs digestive systems are designed for eating raw food. It is more dangerous to humans. As with all raw foods, after handling jerky products, we recommend washing your hands thoroughly. We are working with the GA Dept of Agriculture closely to recall the effected lots. We will have more details here as they become available.”
The recall was announced by officials of the Georgia Department of Agriculture because of possible contamination of the treats with Salmonella bacteria.
  • 100% Chicken Treat
    Lot “Jun 2 2013″
  • 100% Chicken Treat
    Lot “Jun 3 2013″
  • 100% Chicken Breast Treat
    Lot “Jun 4 2013″
  • 100% Chicken Treat
    Lot “Jun 15 2013″
  • 100% Chicken Treat
    Lot “Jul 8 2013″
  • 100% Chicken Treat
    Lot “Jul 11 2013″
  • 100% Teriyaki Chicken Treats
    Lot 132881

What to Do?

If you are in possession of one of the affected packages, officials recommend consumers discard the remaining contents.
Bailey’s Choice Dog Treats LLC will provide a full refund. They can be reached at 770-881-0526, by email at thomdo4570@gmail.comor online at www.baileyschoicetreats.com
You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
sourced via Dog Food Advisor

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Things your Pooch Should NEVER Eat

We've all heard of owners "killing their dogs with kindness" by giving them handouts of table scraps and snacks with no knowledge or thought to the damage that these things might do to their beloved pets. 

A rather creative graphic artist and pet-lover put this little gem together (circulated around Thanksgiving and then taken down due to a typo) to help owners see what the innocent table-feeding may do to your furry family member....

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Don't Leave Me! ...Dealing with your Dog's Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety in Dogs VS. Looking For Something To Do 

Separation anxiety (S.A.) symptoms often resemble boredom behaviors, including chewing, dissecting, digging (if dogs are left outside), "accidents" in the house, and excessive vocalization. A close look at your lifestyle will determine if yours is a case of dog separation anxiety or dog boredom.

Some Dogs Struggle With Modern Lifestyles

According to Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, dogs evolved because humans have inadvertently or intentionally selected for "low flight distance" for millennia - those dogs that were most comfortable in close proximity to humans and their settlements were most likely to receive food from humans. Closeness to humans conferred a reproductive advantage for dogs through increased access to resources.
Traditionally, this arrangement worked well for dogs. Then and in many rural areas today, leashes or fences were few or non-existent. Dogs could roam off-leash, greeting other dogs, chasing squirrels, rabbits, deer, woodchucks, cats, and the occasional skunk or porcupine. Crashing happily through woods, fields, and streams, dogs exercised their bodies and all their senses. Many worked closely with their owners all day hunting, herding, carting, or guarding. These dogs would then return home exhausted, crash on the floor to happily receive belly rubs, and sleep until morning. Very few dogs living this type of lifestyle suffer from separation anxiety.
Automobile traffic makes this type of lifestyle dangerous for dogs now, and busy modern lifestyles and long working days make similar stimulations impractical and out of reach for most dog owners. This is a conflict of interests - what is in the best interest of the dog (plentiful mental and physical stimulation) conflicts with the owner's desire to relax after a long day.

Ask Not What Your Dog Can Do For You, But What You Are Doing For Your Dog

How much exercise does your dog get? How much daily training? How often do you play with her? How long are you separated each day? How often does she socialize with other dogs appropriately?

Many dogs have deficits in socialization (with humans and dogs), mental stimulation (training, toys, play), and/or physical stimulation (running, swimming, walking, hiking, playing). Make sure to provide your dog with an opportunity to engage in all three daily. If dogs are not provided with this stimulation, boredom digging, chewing, barking, will likely ensue. Fulfilling basic needs remedies behavior problems related to boredom.

Puppy Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can take root in puppyhood - now is the time for prevention. It is always better to prevent than untrain; so provide your puppy with "stuff to do" in your absence (stuffed Kongs, a visit from a puppy walker to play/walk), and always remember to make entries and exits to the home very low key (these are good tips for adult dogs as well!). Practice separation as a behavior, starting with a small duration and gradually building as your dog is successful.
If you must say goodbye to your dog, do it well before you plan on leaving (at least a half hour in advance) and get it out of the way - remember that this is for your benefit - not your dog's; dramatic goodbyes will only teach her that separation is cause for stress. Wait for calm behavior before greeting your dog upon your return home, and keep the greetings quiet, relaxed.

Identifying Separation Anxiety In Dogs

If your dog's basic needs are being met and you still suspect separation anxiety, look for the following symptoms: extreme destruction of property or self (tearing walls apart, bloodying paws trying to escape from a crate, breaking or cracking of teeth trying to escape the house or enter if left outside, anorexia/inability to drink fluids when left alone, inability to be separated from you (even briefly, in another room) while you're at home, and anxiety behavior related to one specific individual in the household (dog is not relieved by the presence of other household members in the absence of the attachment figure). If you note these symptoms in your dog, consult with a behavioral professional for guidance.

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions

Dog separation anxiety treatment should include desensitization and counter-conditioning to the attachment figure's absence as well as the environmental cues which predict her absence (grabbing keys, putting coat/shoes on, sunglasses, starting the car, etc.). For extreme cases, it is best to bring a veterinary behaviorist into the rehabilitation team, as some S.A. dogs can benefit from conventional or alternative medical treatments. For dogs with hormonal or neurochemical imbalances, desensitization and counter-conditioning may need to be accompanied by medication or supplementation. For these dogs, neither medical nor behavioral treatment will be successful without the other.

original article can be found Here

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Howl-o-Ween!!

Bear and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, tail-waggers and fellow dog lovers a Happy Howl-o-ween!

Stay safe and happy!!
...and don't forget to keep some treats handy for our four-legged trick-or-treaters!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

8 (more) Tips for Poochy Safety this Howl-o-ween

A wonderful (and adorable) inforgraphic put together by the Uncommon Dog.

Bear and I may not be going out trick-or-treating this year, but we will most definitely be dressing up to hand out some candy.

Bark back at us! How will you and your pooch be celebrating this year's spooktacular festivities?

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's Paws

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

10 Halloween Safety Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …

6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it.
If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

10. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.

originally sourced from PetMD

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Do Dogs REALLY Like Being Dressed Up For Halloween?

Like many pet owners, I have, on occasion, dressed up my dog. Bear has been trussed up and presented as an old English Gentleman (complete with top hat, tie and vest) two years running, but there have been some mumbling and murmurings within the pet-parent comumunity that suggest that dressing your pooch up as a pink princess, superhero or food item may actually be considered "cruel" by some circles.
 Alexandra Horowitz, a dog expert who teaches psychology, animal behavior and canid cognition at Barnard College in New York, says that while dressing up the dog for Halloween may delight the owner, the dog most likely is not amused.
Ms. Horowitz, author of “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know,” notes, though, that the experience of wearing a costume isn’t “entirely torturous” for your pet.To put raiments on a dog is to blithely ignore his essential dogness. Consider the Canis part of his heritage. Both wolves and dogs are descended from some wolflike ancestor; thus, we might look at the behavior of the dog’s cousin, the present-day wolf (Canis lupus), in order to provide one explanation for dog behavior. Among wolves, one animal may “stand over” another: literally placing his body on top of and touching the other, as a scolding or a mild putting-in-one’s-place. To a dog, a costume, fitting tight around the dog’s midriff and back, might well reproduce that ancestral feeling. So the principal experience of wearing a costume would not be the experience of festivity; rather, the costume produces the discomfiting feeling that someone higher ranking is nearby. This interpretation is borne out by many dogs’ behavior when getting dressed in a costume: they may freeze in place as if they are being “dominated” — and soon try to dislodge the garments by shaking, pawing or rolling in something so foul that it necessitates immediate disrobing.
But it's not all bad.  She also goes on to state that:

By submitting to be a jack-o-lantern, hot dog (with bun), biker dude or princess, the dog gains something valuable. He gets your attention, and probably an extra round of liver treats. Aside from the liver, there is little as nourishing to a dog as the attention of his owner.
To learn more, read the full article, “On Dressing Up Your Pets,” 

 Bark back at us and let us know: How does your pooch react to being dressed up for Halloween?

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Bear and his Bunny

There's nothing quite like the relationship between a pooch and his stuffie....

Happy snuggles my friends

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Simple Pleasure....

....of finding a ball at the park....

...and claiming it as yours forever and ever and ever....
(or until mum decides that it's time to go home...and the ball can't come)

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Benefits of Social Dog Walking

Those of us with “Dogs In Need of Space” definitely want our space, but that doesn't mean we never want our dogs to enjoy the company of other dogs. We simply want or need more structured socialization opportunities where we can count on other dog owners to respect our space.

This is especially true for reactive dogs who are learning to stay calm around other dogs.

If you've ever been in a reactive dog training class, you know that one of the best ways to increase your dog’s skills around other dogs is to practice, practice, practice. But that can be really hard to do once class is over and you no longer have a set time and place to meet up with other responsible families who are working on their dog’s leash skills.

That’s where dog walking social groups can really come in handy.

If you have a reactive dog and you’ve laid down the foundation for your leash work in a group class, a great way to continue working on your skills and exposing your dogs to other canine pals, is to join a dog walking group.

These groups are a terrific opportunity for any dog, reactive or not, to socialize with canine pals. Contrary to popular beliefs, off leash play isn’t the only game in town when it comes to socialization.  Side by side walks on leash and training classes are social activities for your dog too!
So whether you have a dog that is a social butterfly, but prefers calmer, on-leash socializing (like a senior dog) or a dog who needs exercise in a more controlled environment than a dog park (like a dog recovering from an injury), groups walks might be the perfect fit for you.
Before joining a group, you need to do two things:

Know your dog and their limitations. These groups aren’t every dog’s cup of kibble.

Know the rules of the club. Every group is different.

Many dog walking groups follow the rule that dogs do NOT need to interact during the hikes or walks and openly encourage all dogs to attend their events. But please check first. Some groups allow more interactions between dogs and might not be the right fit for your pup. You’ll also need to know if your dog is up for the challenge of being around a potentially large group of dogs. You may need to start small and work up to joining this type of social outing.

That being said, Bear (who isn't at all a dog in need of space) and I happily joined our first "Pooch Posse" on Monday.  I will admit that it took a little while to get him settled into the walk - especially with so many tails available for chasing and all the new scents on the trails we were taking (most of which he had never seen before), but by the end of the hour, Bear had settled wonderfully. 
Social dog walking is a happy occasion for both dogs and dog-parents.  You get the benefit of meeting and networking with other local pet-parents within your community while your dog is given ample opportunity for socializing and exercise.   It's like the dog park - only (in some cases) better

Bark back at us!  Would you ever join a Pooch Posse (or a social dog walking group)?

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sometimes We Stargaze...

The happy Star-gazer

Not exactly a dog related post, but every now and then Bear and I enjoy sitting outside and watching the stars.

Tonight while we were out walking, we were fortunate enough to catch a wonderful dusk-filled sky show. Venus and the slender crescent Moon gathered in the twilight sky for a beautiful conjunction. Sky watchers across North America who happened to be looking west were able to see them only 1o to 3o degrees apart. It was a nice way to end the day
Venus and the Moon

Keep your tails wagging!
Bear's P4ws

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Them Pesky Back-to-School Blues

For many dogs this week, the big yellow bus has taken their buddies away.
Back-to-school time isn't just a daunting time for kids and their parents, but the four-legged members of the family, too. Think about it — there is nothing better in a dog's eyes than having his people around for vast amounts of time during the best part of the year, especially the youngest members of the family.
Originally sourced from this page

Dogs and people (kids especially) just go together.

But when children go back to school, they have a lot to look forward to: activity-filled days with friends, sights, and sounds - fun. Extracurricular activities fill up some of the time after the school day ends, too. Mom and Dad stay busy day in, day out.

What are dogs left with when all of this is going on? Not a whole lot, most often.

Consequently, the lack of stimulation, activity and attention can make for some very difficult days for these pooches and, in many cases, they act out in not-so-good ways. Separation anxiety is not uncommon and is more common in some breeds, typified by destructive behavior and barking.
Also, most dogs are raring to go run and play like crazy when everyone does finally does arrive home — and that can be difficult when the family is tired after a long day.

So how can humans help pets beat the back-to-school blues?

Be consistent. Keep your pooch on the schedule that he is used to: feeding, playtime, etc.

  • Burn off that energy! A fun morning walk can help start the day off right by giving dogs the exercise that they need, setting the stage for good behavior all day.
  • Keep them entertained! Use a stuffable, chewable toy that can keep them occupied while everyone is away. Kong toys are great (although Bear doesn’t enjoy them quite as much as the next dog), as are the AtomicTreat Balls from OurPets.
  • Make time for play at different times of day. Being spontaneous is a boon to canines. All dogs love attention, and doing the things that they like to do is essential. Even a quick game of fetch, chase or tug of war is beneficial. There is no substitute for your time where your dog is concerned.
  • Consider making time for a new hobby, like agility or tracking with your dog. Find something that they love doing that can continue through the school year.
  • Give your pooch more than four walls to look at all day. Having a dog walker come in can help break up the day, give him a little fun and exercise and something to look forward to — especially interaction.

Some people may suggest crating your dog for the day while you’re away…I personally am very much against this.  Yes, it may be a little harder to get your pooch to stop acting out, and it may take a little longer to come home to a clean floor and un-eaten shoes (remind me to tell you about the time Bear unpacked my groceries for me), but the end result is all that much better.

Thankfully Bear doesn’t suffer from the Back to School Blues too badly.  He gets a little more mopey when I leave, but if you keep at it and stay consistent, you pooch will acclimatize to the house-hold’s new rhythm.

Bark back at us!  Do you have any “Back to School Blues” stories you would like to share?

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear’s Pa4ws

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Happy Birthday Bear!

Maybe it's a little silly, but when he was first dropped in our laps we never thought Bear would make it to his first birthday, let alone his fourth.

Happy Birthday to my cuddle-bunny, my snuffleupagus and my ever-loyal friend;
May this year bring us many more romps, hugs and snuffle-kisses.

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Roughhousing With Dogs: Rules and Consequences

Roughhousing with your fur-baby can be an incredible amount of fun!
They love it, are always willing and happy to oblige and both human and dog are up for a great time. Although men are generally more inclined to such playful activities, I've seen women and children also enjoy getting on the floor to wrestle with Fido. We push the dog around and Fido comes back mouthing, jumping and grappling with us. We roll around, we bear hug him, we grab his cheeks, we play tug-a-war, etc. It’s all fun, so what can possibly be wrong with it?

 Could roughhousing have any consequences on our dog’s behavior when we’re not playing around?

Dogs chase, grab, push and sometimes play rough with other dogs. When dogs have all the right social skills, they have many ways to keep the situation under control. They stop and pause regularly, allowing for the excitement to go down and adapt to the size and strength of their playmate (self-handicap). Some dogs however play too rough, in a hyper-aroused state. Playtime with others takes the dogs to very high levels of energy, increasing the chances for things to turn bad. When we roughhouse with our dog, because we’re not dogs, we don’t master the rules of play and will often bring the excitement level out of control.

Roughhousing with my dog is a personal choice. If we’re training for a specific task, in which speed of reaction and hard actions are needed, like in police work, playing with the dog this way could develop those needed drives. If we’re not, we have to fully understand what behaviors we are encouraging and what consequences could occur over time. Just like children, dogs need us to be consistent. If one moment we’re allowing jumping and mouthing, we can’t expect them to understand that just because we’re now wearing expensive work clothes, that behavior will no longer be tolerated. Certain movements that we make or things that we say, that are similar to those used during roughhousing could trigger rough responses from the dog.

In our house, Bear knows that he has to be gentle with people. We’re responsible for our dog’s behavior during their entire life. When a dog is allowed to play with humans like they would with rambunctious dogs, we take the chance that the dog may react in the same way with other people. We’re teaching the dog that humans are fun playmates to wrestle with and jump on. If we adopt the dog when we’re young adults, will it be OK for the dog to play this way when we have toddlers or when our friends visit with their children? Will our aging parents be able to keep the dog under control? The dog will not always know the difference and understand when it’s alright to play this way or when it’s not. Fido may also solicit attention for instance, by jumping or mouthing, behaviors that are rewarded during playtime.

If we still chose to roughhouse with our dog, a few rules will help keep the situation under control:
  • Put the behavior on cue and don’t encourage it when the dog initiates roughhousing without the cue.
  • If you like your dog to jump on you, teach her that it’s OK to jump on you, only on you and when given a cue.
  • Teach your dog to settle on cue.
  • Keep your dog under close supervision when around other people, especially children, people with disabilities or of a certain age.
  • Watch for signs that your dog is getting stressed and would rather get out of the situation (lip licking, turn away, trying to get away, etc.).
  • Do not chase the dog around or you may have a hard time getting a hold of him in emergency situations.
  • Don’t push the excitement level too high. Take short breaks and allow the dog to calm down on a regular basis. The video below shows a nice example of roughhousing that keeps the energy level under control and limits jumping and mouthing.

There are many fun and dynamic ways to have a good time your pooch, like playing fetch, that don’t encourage behaviors that are considered problematic in all other instances. The choice of roughhousing or not has to be taken wisely since it may have negative implications for the dog. Any behavior that has the potential to hurt a person can lead to injuries or lawsuits and the dog will pay the consequences. The question becomes: how important is it for us to roughhouse? Keeping everybody safe, the family, the visitors and the dog should always be the priority when making the decision to roughhouse or not.

 originally by Jennifer Cattet Ph.D

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws

Monday, 26 August 2013

Where Did Your Pooch Spend His Vacation?

Most pet-parents find that they can't fully enjoy the benefits of a what should be a relaxing travel experience because they spend most of their time worrying about their pets - even when Fido get's to come along for the ride. 
When travel takes an owner away from his or her furry-friend, most will turn to friends, family or neighbors to watch their fur-babies.  For those who are lucky enough to get to travel with their precious pets worrying about pet travel, theft and smugglers can come into play.  

What did you do with your fur-baby this summer vacation?  Did he or she get to travel with you, or did circumstances have them staying in a friend's or neighbor's backyard?

Bark back and let us know!

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Continued Search for Bear's Birthday Cake - Part 2

The hunt continues....

With one more week left until Bear's 4th birthday, and the relative success of the wonderfully simple no-bake kibble/peanut butter cake option, I've decided to try my hand at a cake that is slightly (but not really) more complex and actually requires some baking.

The Peanut Butter Carrot Doggy Cake


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded carrots
1 egg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8" round cake pan or an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
2. Whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the rest of the ingredients and, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
3. (Optional) Spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the top of the cooled cake - like icing
This one smelled absolutely wonderful as it sat in the oven and Bear approved of it rather whole-heatedly....and now for the ultimate decsion.....which cake will I make on the 31st!!?
I'm still rather torn - both cakes turned out well and neither was particularly difficult to make...and the pooch-friendly icing from recipie one could easily be transferred to decorate this cake as well.

So many choices, so little time!

Bark back at us and let us know which cake YOU think Bear should get for his birthday!

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Thursday, 15 August 2013

RECALL ALERT: Iams and Eukanuba Dog and Cat Food Recall

The Procter and Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio has announced it is voluntarily recalling specific lots
of its dry pet foods because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

According to the company, no Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.
The affected products were made during a 10-day window at a single manufacturing site. P&G’s routine testing determined that some products made during this time-frame have the potential for Salmonella contamination. As a precautionary measure, P&G is recalling the potentially impacted products made during this time-frame.

No other dry dog food, dry cat food, dog or cat canned wet food, biscuits/treats or supplements are affected by this announcement.

What’s Being Recalled?
(Dog food only - cat food list can be found here)

About Salmonella 
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

This issue is limited to the specific dry pet food lot codes listed below.

What to Do? 
Consumers who purchased a product listed above should stop using and discard the product immediately.
You may also contact the company toll-free at 800-208-0172 (Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM ET).
Or visit their websites at www.iams.com or www.eukanuba.com.
You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Make sure to check back with us for updates and other recall alerts!

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Search for Bear's Birthday Cake - Take 1

Birthday's are incredible, fun filled celebrations of life - and Bear's is poking it's head through the door announcing it's imminent arrival (at the end of the month).

That being said, I've already started stockpiling gifts (a new collar, a new stuffy, some steak - but shhh don't tell!).......This year's we've been contemplating a pooch-party to celebrate the fact that Bear will be turning 4.  We've started making some really wonderful poochy-friends within the walls of our condo, and it could be an exciting adventure - or an epic mess....all things depending.  

With this possibility firmly in mind, I've started the hunt for the perfect Doggy Birthday Cake recipe.  I know that there's always the option to go out an purchase a cake from one of our local pet stores, but I've always enjoyed the warmth and care put into home-made cakes.

My journey into dog-cake-making started with Created by Diane who put together a rather yummy sounding No-Bake creation.
It was surprisingly easy to make - and Bear.....well, if there's food involved, he's more than happy to try out most of my culinary experiments...

1½ cups Iams Cat or Dog ProActive Health Senior Plus food
3 tablespoons peanut butter
¼ cup pumpkin puree

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sprinkles
1.     put dog food into food processor along with peanut butter and pumpkin puree.
2.     Pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs and sticks together.
3.     Press into a 4 inch spring form mini cake pan or any other small baking mold - cupcakes, cake pops
4.     Remove from cake pan.
5.     Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons water to make icing to pour over top of cake. Spread it with a spatula and decorate with sprinkles (optional, but rather festive, so why not?)

And that's it!
Simple and super-tasty -- if Bear's rate of devouring was anything to go by..... 

Do you and your pooch have any favorite cake recipes?
Bark at us and let us know!

 Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Friday, 9 August 2013

Where Does Your Pooch Sleep at Night?

Bear loves sleeping.  In fact, had he been given the choice, he probably would have chosen to be born less of a pooch and more of sleep monster.

In our house, Bear and I share the bed, unless it's too warm inside - in which case he'll move to my little reading nook and sprawl himself across the entire couch (greedy puppy).

Where does your fur baby sleep?

Bark back at us and let us know!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Pooches on Parade....

Dear readers and tail waggers,

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you!  And no, this blog has not been abandoned - Bear and I simply went away on a short vacation.

We're back now, and to celebrate I give you this:

Look! It's a poochy play-time parade!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Banana and Peanut Butter Frozen Dog Treat Popsicles

This one’s so good that even the household humans may want to try it! 

 32 ounces of plain yogurt,
2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 
 2 tablespoons of honey, 
 ⅓ cup of water, 
1 large banana, 
A dozen (or so) of your Pooch’s favorite bone shaped biscuit, 
Dixie cups (I like the smaller ones, good for one-bite treats) 


Take yogurt, peanut butter, honey, water and the banana (chopped) and place them in a blender or food processor. 
 Purée ingredients together then pour into Dixie cups. 
Stand dog biscuits in the cups of purée like you would a Popsicle stick and then place them in the freezer. 
Your dog will love you for your culinary creations. 
They make the perfect cool-down snack after a walk, or a romp at the park.

Hide these from your kids!– their ice-cream-like texture and heavenly peanut-butteryness may have even you reaching in for a lick or two. 

original recipe found on the Hartz Blog 

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear’s P4ws

Monday, 22 July 2013

No dogs allowed: In defence of man’s best friend

As seen originally on Metro News

"The daily news is filled with reports of racism, sexism, ageism and absurd-ism  but a large faction of this country’s population silently faces a form of discrimination I like to call  anti-caninism. That’s right, people who hate dogs. You know the type; distinctly anti-social, but ultra-sensitive to child safety, hypothetical allergies or the physically challenged, as long as the disability doesn't require canine assistance.

Wherever dog owners gather, there is inevitably, some scowling curmudgeon hiding in the bushes taking video of puppies peeing on grass. Oh no! Now, we've exposed the children! For centuries, scientists have been mystified by the various causes of disease, but ‘Pooch Patrol’ has connected it all to dog urine. Parents beware: Your local park has not been sterilized for your kids’ protection.
We belong to a culture spoiled by the freedom to dismiss ourselves from all responsibility. Parents use children as the excuse by which to perpetuate their own ignorance, and we spout improperly learned notions as universal truths.

Now, I’m not implying that the enlightened 19-year-old at 7-Eleven is not thoroughly versed in Canadian law but I recently entered one while holding my 10-pound Maltese.

Apparently, just having a dog exempted me from the basic courtesies afforded to the general public, let alone patrons.
“Mister, you can’t have that dog in here!” She told me. When I questioned the hostility, she said, “It’s against the law.” (Gasp!) Am I a criminal now? Naturally, I probed further. “What about service dogs?” Apparently, our crackerjack legal scholar was ill-prepared for such meticulous cross-examination, as she responded with “Huh?” I specified, “What about seeing-eye dogs?”
And it was then that my clever foe truly earned the right to wear that plastic name tag by delivering a stunning rebuttal of “It never happens.”
Well then folks, I guess the law is clear.  Only it really isn't.

Canada’s Animal Pedigree Act prohibits animals from direct contact with food preparation. Beyond that, every province, municipality and establishment owner has their own unique set of rules.
Parks, malls and department stores can legally allow your dogs, only many of them choose not to. One manager actually admitted that it depended largely on personality. That of the dog AND its owners.

Hound-friendly malls and patios exist throughout Canada, but all it takes one anti-caninite complaint to spoil the show. It’s never about them. These are just selfless citizens doing their part to protect the helpless from your vicious Chihuahuas.

Friends, think of dogs as babies. They can be cute, and at times disgusting, but they are part of the population and deserve to share the world with everyone else. So let’s exercise a little tolerance and open public places to man’s best friend."

A moment of honesty:
....not that I'm typically dishonest...

As a dog owner/pet-parent/dog lover, even I am not blind to the somewhat abrasive tone of this article; so I can understand why some of the reactions and comments to the post have been full of vitriol.  However, snarky-ness aside, the writer does bring up some VERY valid points.  

On the whole, there are no places that Bear and I can go together in the area that we live, outside of the dog park and a few pet-friendly pet stores.  Even our local coffee shops (with the exception of one single Starbucks location) does not permit dogs - not even on the patio (enclosed or otherwise).  
It tends to make socializing a little tricky.  For us pet-parents, life becomes a bit of a balancing act.  We teeter between making sure that our dogs are not left alone and un-stimulated for more than the average work day, while still participating is the daily social interactions that we, as human beings, require.  
This is not unlike the daily lives of parents (to human - not fur - babies).  However, where they are permitted to take their babies out and about, we are not.  

It's an interesting shift in perspective - and that's what we ALL need to realize (pet lovers and haters alike).  Once upon a time in the not-so-distant past, dogs were work animals and scavengers.  They were not brought up in houses or with specially designed beds, pillows, collars and leashes.  They were fed table scraps and generic-brand kibble.  Not the "organic/grain-free/high-protein/GMO-free/preservative free" food that lines the pet store shelves today.  

It's a shift that needs to be acknowledged.  More people are adopting or buying dogs - not as pets, but as family members.  And whether the general population loves it or not, so long as dogs and dog owners (according to Canadian law and health standards) keep away from "direct contact with food preparation" areas, maybe vendors and shop-owners need to start loosening up their stringent rules.

This isn't to say that you should be able to walk your dog into a grocery store or restaurant......but a patio?  Why not?  Or a book store, or a mall, or even a Walmart/Target for that matter....Why shouldn't we be able to socialize with our leashed and well-behaved pooches?

...Who knows, maybe letting our dogs socialize with the rest of the general populace will help reduce the ridiculously high levels of dog-related phobias and social fears.....It's worth a thought, isn't it?

Join the conversation!  Let us know what you think about this issue, or the article in general

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws