Hack Yo Dawg

1. DIY a treat-dispensing toy to entertain them for hours.

DIY a treat-dispensing toy to entertain them for hours.

Or until they eat all the treats. Cut open a tennis ball with a scissor and stuff it with their favorite snack.

2. Play fetch downhill to tire your dog out faster.

3. Use a carabiner to easily leash your dog.

Use a carabiner to easily leash your dog.

Don’t spend 10 minutes undoing knots when you get out of the grocery store. Loop the leash handle through the carabiner, wrap it around a post, and hook it onto the remaining length of leash.

4. Put a ball in your dog’s food bowl if he or she eats too fast.

Put a ball in your dog’s food bowl if he or she eats too fast.

They’ll be forced to move the ball around the bowl, which prevents them from scarfing it all down in one lick.

5. Make an ice lick by freezing toys, bones, and chicken broth into a cake mold.

Make an ice lick by freezing toys, bones, and chicken broth into a cake mold.

I think this one is SUCH a good idea….especially for people living in particularly hot climates.

6. For an on-the-go water break, try a collapsible water bowl.

For an on-the-go water break, try a collapsible water bowl.

I have one of these for Beatrix.  
7. Make a dog car seat using a laundry basket, a pillow, and a blanket.

Make a dog car seat using a laundry basket, a pillow, and a blanket.

To keep your dog safe and in one spot, wrap a blanket around a pillow, place the pillow in the laundry basket, and use the excess fabric to drape around the basket to soften the edges. There’s a chance you’ll want to curl up in there, too.  In Oregon, one needs to safety belt-restrain their dogs, so I have devised a comfy little bed for Beatrix that includes strapping her safely into place.

8. To DIY a cute dog bed, use a crib mattress, a fitted sheet, and a wooden pallet.

To DIY a cute dog bed, use a crib mattress, a fitted sheet, and a wooden pallet.

This would be a California King size bed for Beatrix.  She would barely fill a child’s shoe box!
9. And if you want to reduce clutter in the bedroom, put your crate where a drawer would go.
And if you want to reduce clutter in the bedroom, put your crate where a drawer would go.
You can hang a curtain over it with a tension rod.  Good idea, yes?

10. If your dog hates the crate, opt for a pillow instead.

If your dog hates the crate, opt for a pillow instead.

Our Beebs loves a soft pillow!

11. You can also hack an Ikea shelf for a super-modern dog bed.

You can also hack an Ikea shelf for a super-modern dog bed.

This one, I like!

12. To save on floor space, put your dog’s bowls in a bottom drawer.

To save on floor space, put your dog's bowls in a bottom drawer.

Our Beatrix is so small that we could use a thimble for a water container and she’d still be perfectly hydrated.

13. Use peanut butter to distract your dog during nail trimming.

Use peanut butter to distract your dog during nail trimming.
I just take Beebs to the vet to get her nails trimmed.  It’s a three minute walk from our house.

14. And if you accidentally cut your dog’s nail too short, stop any bleeding with a mixture of cornstarch and water.

And if you accidentally cut your dog's nail too short, stop any bleeding with a mixture of cornstarch and water.

I don’t trim Beatrix’s nails myself because I’m terrified of nicking her.

15. If you’re traveling with a pet, get a spillproof bowl.

If you’re traveling with a pet, get a spillproof bowl.

We have one of these.  Works great!

16. And if your pet loses a toy while you’re on the road, make a crinkle toy from a sock and an empty water bottle.

And if your pet loses a toy while you're on the road, make a crinkle toy from a sock and an empty water bottle.

Have been doing this for years.  Another good idea is to stuff an old sock with crumbled up newspapers, unless you have a big dog that might tear it up.

17. Use a squeegee to remove dog hair from your car seats.

Use a squeegee to remove dog hair from your car seats.

Works like a charm.

18. For the dog that’s constantly trying to climb into the front seat: Use this zip line harness.

For the dog that’s constantly trying to climb into the front seat: Use this zip line harness.

Fortunately, little Beatrix is quite obedient, so these extreme measures aren’t necessary.

19. You can also hook the harness up outside while you’re camping or barbecuing.

You can also hook the harness up outside while you're camping or barbecuing.

20. Use chalk around outdoor pet bowls to keep ants out.

Use chalk around outdoor pet bowls to keep ants out.

Who knew?

21. If it’s really hot or really cold out, rub Vaseline onto your dog’s paws before stepping outside.

If it's really hot or really cold out, rub Vaseline onto your dog's paws before stepping outside.

I had to tell my friend about this one.  Those of us with tiny dogs that are low to the ground can really use this hack.

22. If your dog scratches the door to go out, use a door protector to minimize damages.

If your dog scratches the door to go out, use a door protector to minimize damages.

Easy solution!

23. Make your own pill pockets in flavors you know your dog will love.

Make your own pill pockets in flavors you know your dog will love.

Roll the mixture into small balls, poke a hole in each ball with a pencil eraser (for the pill), and stick in the refrigerator overnight. Get the recipe here.

24. If your dog is an escape artist, get an escape prevention dog harness.

Beatrix could squeeze through ANY opening.  This is a great idea!

25. And lastly, check out this chart to know the basics of what your dog can and can’t eat.

And lastly, check out this chart to know the basics of what your dog can and can't eat.

Bow Ties for Dogs??!! (Straight out of Portlandia)

I have written about the food cart “pod” that is a couple of blocks from our house.  It is an amazing gathering of carts that serve gourmet quality international food selections on the cheap.  We love it, both for the food and the low prices, as well as for the diversity of the crowd that gathers there.  In addition to the food carts, there are also a couple of cool shops, one in a double decker bus.

My daughter, Sarah, her daughter, Ingrid, and I took a stroll there over the weekend just to see what was going on.  They usually have music on the weekends and sometimes jugglers or acrobats or other types of free entertainment that Ingrid loves.  This week, we met a nice guy named Josh who had his sewing machine set up at a little table and was making bow ties for dogs.  Said he makes enough to support himself, which you have to admit, is very cool.

See?  This is what I love about Portland.  When people are broke, they don’t just sit around and complain about the economy.  They invent ways to make money.  This is my own way of thinking.    Here is a little video that I shot of Josh.  You’ll probably get a kick out of it.  Looks like a scenario straight out of Portlandia:

 

Neeee-HAWWWW!

I grew up in a small town where, if one did not have a horse….well…everyone DID have horses, so that’s a moot point. I spent many, many hours during my childhood and teen years barrel racing, both for fun and in competitions on Friday nights at the “Play Day” rodeo practice in a nearby town. Bet I could still do it today if I had a horse. I miss it! Anyway….my friend, Tommy just sent me this video. Said he thought of me. Ha. ha.

Thanks, Mr. W! 🙂

Anthropomorphism – Your Dog is Not Human! Please Love it Enough to Treat it Like a Dog!

Image

Rene Best

Here’s the deal.  We all snuggle with and speak kindly to our beloved dogs, right?  We love them, play with them, keep them by our sides.   However, you and I realize that our dogs are dogs.  People that chronically treat their dogs as if they (the dogs) are human beings are all about their own egos, and not, at all, about caring for their pets.

They clearly think  that treating their dogs as if the dogs were human beings shows that they love their pets more than we love ours…but in reality, the opposite is true.  It really just shows their stupidity.  These people are using their dogs to  gratify their own egos.  Their treatment of the dogs has nothing, at all, to do with what is best for the animal and has everything to do with bringing attention to themselves.

People have different motives for  their anthropomorphism. For example, one may lack social skills with other people.  Dogs may motivate lonely individuals to seek out needed connections from nonhuman items. Anthropomorphism helps them to simplify and make more sense of complications in their lives. They substitute the dog where another human being could possibly fit in.

Image

Dogs have specific characteristics that are exclusive to dogs.  Therefore, feeding them people food, projecting human motives and emotions onto them,  and treating them as if they are humans can cause great harm to them.   In extreme cases, it can also mean the death of the dog.    Dogs simply do not think like humans.  THEY ARE DIFFERENT ANIMALS!   Why not respect the dog for being a dog, and treat the animal according to how it should be naturally treated?  THAT is REAL love.

How would you like it if some other species decided to treat YOU as though you were one of them, instead of a human being?

Image

When people take their dogs to concerts where loud music is playing, they do not do this for the dog’s enjoyment.  They do it to bring attention to themselves.  Loud noises can cause trauma in a dog.  It is very bad for them.   This is a serious issue for dogs. Taking a dog into a smoky, crowded club is bad for it.   Standing up close to speakers while a rock and roll band plays is bad for dogs….In fact, the veterinary clinic at Mississippi State did a study on the affects of loud noises and dogs’ hearing.  Dogs that were exposed repeatedly to loud noises suffered serious hearing loss.  I love my dog enough not to do this!  She might bring a lot of attention TO ME,  if I take her to a club or concert, because she is really cute…. but doing this would not be for her own good, so I prefer to leave her in the quiet safety of home when I go to these places.

Image

Why people believe that feeding their dogs human food is good for them is just another of the egocentric projections that is bad for them.  Dogs are not people!  Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for dogs.  A good brand of specially-formulated food for dogs is ALL your dog needs!   If you feed it a high quality, lamb and rice food for ten years, it’s not going to go ‘I’m bored of this’, because dogs don’t understand there’s other choices out there. Humans get bored with with the same things in their diet because they know they can have chicken, or carrots, or cake- they have the imagination to know this.  Dogs don’t- unless they’re introduced to that variety. As far as they’re aware, you, the provider, have put down this food and they should eat it.  There is absolutely no need to feed your dog anything other than his or her dog food.  Doing so is about YOU, the HUMAN dog OWNER….NOT for the good of the DOG!  Love your pet enough to treat it like a dog!

At times, people will swing into their favorite fast food place and grab a hamburger patty or some chicken, thinking that this won’t hurt their dogs.  However, fast food places are notorious for using inferior quality, factory farmed meat that is pumped full of hormones and worse.  This meat is not good for humans and it is not good for dogs!

taco bell

Feeding your dogs from fast food restaurants promotes cruelty to animals and fills your dog with harmful chemicals.

Image

Chocolate, Caffeine, Coffee

Chocolate, caffeine and coffee  all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When eaten or drunk by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Alcohol

Just say, “NO!”.  Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol are soooo bad for your dog!  They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Image

Avocado

I love it.  Do you?  Great.  Don’t give it to your dog, however.  The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Image

Macadamia Nuts

Please!  You would feed your dog Macadamia nuts?  Really?  Macadamia nuts and other nuts can cause serious problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Image

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Image

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Image

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Image

Xylitol

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Image

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.

Image

Milk

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Image

Salt

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!

Image

As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the above-mentioned foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.   And if you want your dog to feel safe and secure and to be happy and healthy, TREAT IT LIKE WHAT IT IS – A DOG!!!

Save

The Beatrix Report

Day #2 in her new home, and our sweet little honey bee has adjusted beautifully!    Beatrix  is a live wire and definitely on top of her game!  I am already head over heels in love with her….and owe a bucket of love to the person that talked me into getting her.  I took B. to Ingrid’s preschool this afternoon and all the children got to meet her. She was shy for the first 30 seconds, then lavished everyone with puppy kisses galore!  She loved it there, and was so GOOD!

She is a great little dog.  The children loved her and it was so much fun to witness their enthusiasm!

Beatrix goes to schoolRene Best musician       Rene Best guitarist       René Best musician

bschool2Rene Best musician        Rene Best guitarist

bea sleepingOf course, by the end of the day, she was completely exhausted.  She is lying in her bed in front of the fireplace as I write this.  Look!  She has a little smile on her face.  This has been a great day!

 

Beatrix day2

I am grateful today.  So grateful.  We are all smiles around here these days.

stacy ingrid happy