Okay, this might be a bit of a stretch, but fish are companions to, so I rest my case.
As an artist, I am compelled to share this incredible museum in Cancun. If you are a fan of fish, the ocean, museums or Cancun, I think we got you covered. This is mind blowing in a good way.
Stay creative and Keep Wagging,
We are publishing a common sense guide to pet ownership and one of the things we speak about is how dangerous it is for dogs to be outside during the summer. Specifically, being taken to the beach. If they don't have shade, water and are being monitored for signs of heat stroke, it can quickly turn into a bad situation.
I'm always thrilled when I run across a product that is additive, that can help prevent a bad situation. You've got to check out the K&H Pet Cot Canopy - brilliant! And no, we are not being paid to discuss this product. We just believe its an awesome idea that will most likely keep dogs more comfortable and possibly save a few lives.
Keep your four-legged companions safe and Keep Wagging everyone!
The use of PEMF devices is gaining traction in the companion animal market. Simply put, PEMF is a a pulsed magnetic wave directed to the body or injured area to promote healing. Numerous studies indicate that PEMF has a benefit and has been approved for non-union bone fractures. You can do research online but be careful - there are plenty of charlatans out there and it can be hard to wade through what is legitimate.
The PEMF playing field is crowded with companies such as BEMER and SPORTINNOVATIONS.NET having companion animal and human products.
Cytowave is a company that I am intrigued by because they are a hybrid technology – PEMF and a patented “STS” or Squid Therapy Signal. Keep in mind this is unproven in terms of research but the case studies I’ve seen and the people I’ve spoken to swear by it. Many high level (as in Olympians and Kentucky Derby competitors) competitors use Cytowave and the results are intriguing. Currently they are equine only but may toss their hat into the companion human animal market.
The theory is interesting. Richard Parker, the inventor, patented tissue-specific algorithms he created using a SQUID machine – hence the squid therapy signals.
“Because the signals are tissue – specific and derived, the body recognizes them as its own and readily accepts them,” said Richard Parker. He went on to say that many products out their simply offer a “shotgun” approach and treat a whole body rather than a specific area. You can listen to the inventor, Richard Parker, here.
Let’s hope they put some money into redesigning a unit so it can be used for dogs and cats. I can’t think of a better holiday gift for an aging dog or cat than a mat that they can snooze on and heal themselves with. God knows they spend most of their time healing humans so that’s the least we can do for them.
The big issue to keep in mind is safety since these are typically unregulated and there are several products out there that are highly dangerous. Read this article for a good overview on which products are considered dangerous.
If you are interested in a specific PEMF treatment for you four-legged companion and have questions, feel free to reach out to us and we'll get you an answer.
Thanks everyone and Keep Wagging!
This is just a real quick post to give a shout out to a much needed product. But before I tell you about the product, I'll tell you a quick story and you'll understand why this resonates with me.
A number of years ago, I was coming home from work and I had Big Tuna, our female English Bulldog, in the front seat with me. She resembled a large, white meat loaf but that's irrelevant to this discussion.
Since we were going down our quiet street and traveling about 7 miles per hour, I didn't have her strapped in. I spotted my husband who was coming home from a job and I pulled alongside him as he was lurching down the road toward home.
Tuna, of course, was happy to see him. She was standing on my legs and looking out of the drivers side window when all of a sudden she decided to simply jump out of the window to join her daddy!
Okay, now to the whole point of this blog. Check out this product which I suspect will save a lot of dogs from getting injured. www.breezeguard.com/
There have been some exciting developments in pain relief and treating inflammation, and the two I’m thinking of are both natural. One is the use of PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic fields), and the other month is curcumin.
We’ll discuss PEMF and what it may mean for your furry companion in more detail later. Today we're going to focus on turmeric/curcumin.
Curcumin is a compound derived from turmeric, which is considered a natural remedy for pain relieve. Tumeric comes in many forms such as tea, powders and the raw root so it can be used to treat inflammation associated with arthritis, among other things. What makes turmeric of interest is that it has the ability to block an enzyme responsible for causing inflammation.
My husband has been taking turmeric for years to relieve the aches and pains from his many sport related injuries. The point of all this is that what is frequently good for our bodies, can also be good for your four-legged companion’s body.
Why address inflammation? One of the issues with chronic inflammation is that in many cases it will lead to other issues, such as damaging tissue or laying the ground for creating micro-fractures which will lead to, if left untreated, bigger issues.
There are many products out there but we'll wait on recommending one until we hear back from clients and what they find is working. Dogs Naturally Magazine has an excellent overview on using Tumeric/curcumin for pain and inflammation.
Because of better medicine, we're seeing dogs and cats live longer than ever. That's the good news. The downside is we're dealing with issues that, although not new with humans, they're newer with our companion animals. Watch Monique discuss this topic regarding her old boy Bishop.
One thing you'll notice that we discuss frequently is the need for socialization and training your canine companion. One issue that rears its head often is many condo's or apartments either will not let you have a companion animal or they have restrictions in place. But there are steps you can take to improve your chances - which brings us to certifications for your dogs behavior. In fact, the American Kennel Club offers such a certification with their Canine Good Citizen program.
The link below is a fascinating article about certifications that you can get for your companion that will improve your chances of moving in with your dog. These certifications are growing in popularity and I suspect will be pretty much standard operating procedure as dogs continue to gain a pronounced role in our health and families.
Lola is a very energetic 7 year old rescue Bully. We adopted her at age 4 and after several years of hard work, she has blossomed into a lovely little girl, albeit a bit high-maintenance. She has the energy level of a two year old Jack Russell and we are constantly seeking out new ways to keep her active as well as keeping her cognitively challenged as she gets older.
One of the things we have been doing is allowing her to "find" toys that we have hidden. She has a keenly developed sense of smell so when we hide a favorite toy of hers outside, she is somewhat at the whims of the wind.
The way it works is we'll take her Katy's Bumper and go outside to find an obscure place for it. Generally it isn't visible until you're right on top of it. And fascinatingly so, Lola's sense of smell seems to override her vision - she'll be so focused on the scent trail she's picked up on, she'll stroll right by it. Eventually though, she'll turn her attention back to it.
Surprisingly, doing this exercise a couple times in a row really tires her out compared to playing "tug." And it keeps her mind active as she remembers the old spots and checks them out first, then starts zeroing in on a scent plum.
Of course we also make sure that we follow along to make sure that there aren't poisonous snakes, Cane toads or anything that she would be interested in ingesting.
Keep your four-legged companions safe and Keep Wagging everyone!
AVOIDING HEAT STROKE
The first step is to avoid putting you and your dog in a situation where they can succumb to heat. No trips to the hot beach, no stay in the car while I run in and do an errand and no lets go for a walk on a beautiful day.
When we first moved down to Florida, we were driving in Hobe Sound. It was a brutally hot August day and we were driving north on US 1. We spotted a guy carrying a six pack of beer and a Boxer lurching about behind him. We could tell something was wrong and turned our car around.
We pulled over and moved quickly to save this dog that was obviously exposed to brutal heat for too long. We grabbed cold water that we had in a cooler and a collapsible dog bowl. The dog drank and then we put him inside our car with the AC blasting. In our discussion with the owner, it turned out that he wanted some beer and decided to go for a walk and bring his dog. He was about a mile from home.
After about fifteen minutes, the dog cooled down and he was hydrated. If we had not pulled over, the dog most likely would have died by the time they returned home. The thought that his dog could have died in the heat simply did not occur to the owner. Do not take your buddy on long walks, running or jogging if it’s hot out! It doesn’t matter that your dog would enthusiastically embrace any activity - they just want to be with you and don’t know any better.
Always have plenty of water available when driving with your pet. You never know when your car may die down here. And even if you don’t have your companion with you, bring water - you never know if you’ll run across someone in need.
If you find yourself in a position where your dog is exposed to heat and hot sun for an extended period of time, here’s what to look for when monitoring your dog for heat related problems. It is important to know the signs that your companion is in distress.
One topic which I will speak frequently on is that of avoiding cane toads and if your dog or cat encounters one, the steps to take to prevent them from dying.
We often talk about the importance of supervising your pets, and for good reason. Letting them out unsupervised, even in a fenced-in yard can be fraught with danger. If your dog/cat encounters (and they will), a Cane toad, it will be minutes before you discover that something is wrong, and at that point, it can be too late.
The only sure prevention is to avoid them, which is easily done if you supervise your dogs walks by leash walking them. Same for cats. It is not a good idea to have a cat that spends time outdoors in Florida at all. Because most incidents will occur during early and late evening, you’ll want to know where the closest emergency clinic is and have their phone number saved to your personal phone and posted in plane site (i.e. on your refrigerator). Hopefully you’ll never have to use it.
Lola, our aforementioned rescue bully, came to us with a very high prey drive. If something moved, be it a leaf, lizard or toad, she moved toward it, ostensibly to kill it. If we had ever let her out to go to the bathroom, unsupervised, she would have quickly found a toad and we would not be in a position to react quickly enough to save her.
Lola did in fact have an incident with a Cane toad within a few months of adopting her. We stepped outside for a quick walk and I turned away for one moment. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her lunge toward something. I was only a second behind but at that point, she already had a Cane toad in her mouth. She would not drop the toad so I had to pull it from her mouth. I carried her over to our garden hose and rinsed her mouth, taking care to angle the stream of water to the side and away from the throat as my wife told me to do. My wife joined me and she checked the color of her gums while I continued rinsing. If the gums turn an angry red color, your dog has taken in a good amount of toxin.
Lola was fortunate that I was there just as it happened and that I knew what to do. My wife had repeatedly shared the horror stories of dogs dying quickly and the steps to take if Lola happened to grab a Cane toad.
We have since trained Lola with a quick verbal command (“Leave it”) that is sufficient to warn her away. I suspect she also may remember the incident as she seems inclined to steer away from them. Unfortunately, most animals do not learn and they can’t override their prey-driven nature.
You’ll never prevent Cane toads from coming around but you can make your home less attractive to them. Do not leave food bowls outside and don’t feed them cat food like we did.