Clearly from the image above, Soph was left unattended while I had a shower.. again clearly I was not watching her, my own fault. Luckily the paint is non toxic, but still.
We’re really at a trial and error point with Soph and her toys, we’ve come to the conclusion that she enjoys fabric toys and not so much hard toys as you can see from some of her selection below.
Fabric toys tend to last her all of 5 minutes before she has a hole right through it, but man does she love them. Rope Bones are her next favourite, they last longer than fabric toys of course so we’ll probably stick closer to them.
Kong I find was a great solution until she figured out that to get the treat out she just has to slam it on the floor a few time .. lol.
Natural Chews work great as well to keep her interested, I don’t have any current images though as she tends to get through them pretty quick. I definitely want to try antlers for her once shes a little older, they’re just too hard for her little teeth at this point.
Once she starts getting pieces of anything off I remove the toy or chew (unless edible) from her reach. We always recommend that any new toy be supervised with puppies.
Do any of your dogs have a favourite style of toy? What was the best when they were a puppy? What was the worse thing they chewed on you?
We would love to hear some of your funny stories, leave a comment below!
First off, i would like to state I am not a Veterinarian nor do I not have training in the field. I simply wanted to share what I did after our cat healed from having Crystals. IF your cat suddenly stops using their litter box please seek Vet advice immediately, as this could save their life!
As some of you know, a while back our poor boy Jaxy had a run in with Crystals.
It was a heart wrenching battle, but one that he made it through and healed very quickly from. However, the healing process did have it’s own form of hurtles to get through.
A lot of the time cats, who develop crystals, stop using their litter boxes because they tend to associate it as the source of their pain. So I’m sure you understand that they have to “go” somewhere right?
Lets face it cat urine is SMEEELLLY, and very unhealthy, breathing it in and having over exposure to ammonia can cause:
respiratory infections, like pneumonia
That is why it’s so important to get on top of the pee and getting your feline pal back into the litter box!
To get them back in their kitty box
I’ll explain what i did, again I’m not a professional, i just love my fur babies and like to ensure they’re well care for and healthy.
When we came back from the vet I had set him up in a separate room so he could have piece and quiet while he recovered. The room had pee-pad flooring set up, because I knew there would be accidents galore!
By the second day I noticed he was trying to urinate in the same area, on a pee-pad. That’s when i had the idea to place pee-pads into a lower bin that he could comfortably get in and out of. ( For our cat’s we use a rubber-made bin, it gives them more space inside, and was a way cheaper option then the traditional litter box).
So I got a new bin, something he wouldn’t associate the pain with. Inside of the new box i put a pee-pad down, also placing the box in the same area that he was urinating in (not urinating much mind you, because his body was still trying to break down the crystals with the help of the medications and S.O. wet food.) and put him inside of it. (like you would if you were to move the litter box).
He was in there for a sort time; did not use it at that point, came and had some snuggles. Then I left him for about an hour to rest.
When I came back in to check on him, he was snoozing away on a ” towel bed” I had put together for him. I seen some dibble marks on the pee pads that I had set up all over the room, which is typical of a cat who has crystals. However when I glanced into the new bin I noticed had USE THE LITTER BOX! Full pee and more! Such a sigh of relief, It was so simple and easy.
Once Jaxon started getting back to his normal comical self, I slowly started adding a little bit of kitty litter on top of the pee-pad every day, and bit by bit he re adjusted to using just his box and his regular litter.
Now I’ve heard, because cats can be so finicky, that sometimes they will still associate that particular litter with the pain they went through, and they may not use the box. Some people recommend having an additional box set up that you know they will use. That way they aren’t holding their bladders too long, as it is possible for this to cause the crystals to build up again. so in that case please keep a close eye on your kitty, and you may need to change brands of litter to something different and slowly add that instead.
Now not all cats are the same, I just wanted to share the process of what I did with Jaxon and hopefully it will be helpful to someone, and their fur babe, in need.
If your cat stops using their litter box, seek Veterinarian advice immediately!
Because we brought Jaxon in so quickly we were able to prevent surgery.
Jaxon made a full recovery and with the help of the Royal Canin S.O. wet food, he hasn’t had a Crystal flare up since.
So we decided to do a review, not sponsored, of Pet safe’s Easy Walk harness. Bently has always, some how, found a way to escape most harnesses we’ve tried, and using just his collar hurts his trachea, causing discomfort and coughing fits. We thought now would be the perfect time to try the Easy walk harness, simply because we needed something for Sophee as well; she doesn’t pull much, but it allows us to correct her when we need to, and again I prefer not to use just a collar.
We found our Easy walk harnesses online at amazon.ca for around 25 cad; I realized after that Pet Safe has them for about the same price on their website. The ones we ordered from Amazon did come within two days so that was a nice bonus, not sure what Pet Safe’s shipping is like though, I’m sure their fairly decent as well.
Pet Safe Harness Info- from their website.
The Easy Walk Harness gently discourages your dog from pulling on the leash. When your dog pulls, the harness steers your dog to the side and redirects his attention toward you. The harness rests across your dog’s chest instead of his throat, so there’s no choking or gagging. The Easy Walk Harness is perfect for everything from teaching your dog to heel during daily walks to keeping your dog under control at the vet or dog park.
Discourages your dog from pulling on the leash
Comfortable & easy to fit
4 adjustment points for maximum comfort & reliable fit
Martingale loop in chest piece prevents twisting
Quick-snap buckles on shoulder and belly straps for easy on and off
I’ve seen a lot of these harnesses as of lately and by the look of them, they seemed to be our perfect solution for Bently the escape artist; with the step in harnesses no matter how perfect the size, he always seemed to be able to quickly lower his head and contort his way out with ease. It made me super nervous when I was walking him because:
we don’t have sidewalks on the streets around us, he listens to come back but when he sees other people he just has to say hi first.
Not all people, and other dogs want to say hi or are friendly. and
He could run out in front of a car.
I found that the easy walk had a great style with basically a circle around the ribs, and with it connecting at the front, Bently can’t get his head out. It also allows me to always safely, and comfortably for him, correct his pulling if he sees another dog or person on our adventures.
Sizing for harnesses can sometimes be a little tricky, I found Pet Safe made it really easy with their charts and images.
For Bently I ended up going with the small size in green, when it did come in the nylon straps were an excellent width for him with lots of space for adjusting to the perfect size.
For Sophee I picked the small/medium, I was not too sure about that one because I didn’t know if it would be way to big for her now, she’s still a puppy and growing, I wanted to make sure it would fit her for a long time. When it came in I was so happy I went with that size, the nylon thickness was thicker than Bently’s but it worked perfectly for Sophee; the adjustments were awesome, tons of space to make it bigger as she grows.
An added bonus with Sophee’s was it also came with a matching leash, where as Bently’s did not which was a little disappointing for his, I thought that all came with a leash, but we have lots anyways so it wasn’t a huge issue.
Another positive for this style and how they harness is fitted is, its flat, nice and small so it fits under their winter attire, great for all seasons!
Now For The Real Test! Does It Work?
Now not all dogs are the same, our two can be polar opposites most days; what I can say is that I noticed a big difference almost instantly.
When we get ready for out walks I always suit the dogs up first, its just easier that way for me. Now normally their dragging their leashes with them running around while I get ready, this time they were still very excited but when they tried to pull from me they simply calmed down and sat; wicked sign already.
I opened the door and the dogs and I calmly stepped outside, normally by this point they’re so excited it usually is a very chaotic exit, so I was very pleasantly surprised.
One thing I found interesting during our walk was them getting less and less entangled on each other, they both seemed to pick their own position beside me and stick with it; where as normally they’re back and forth switching spots beside me, and by the end of our walk their leashes are a tangled mess- this time that wasn’t the case.
As we made our way around on our walk I found it was a lot more pleasant with the dog’s both content in their spots on my side, both were happy and excited but also very calm, taking in the smells as we went along.
Unfortunately it’s winter here and was fairly chilly today and there was not anyone else walking or about, so I couldn’t really test the harnesses to see how they would work when the dog’s tried to really pull, so that I will have to let you know at a later time. But all and all I’d have to give these harnesses an A+ for ease of use, correcting, and comfort for the dogs.
We hope you guys find this review helpful, and if you give the Pet Safe’s Easy Walk harness a try let us know how it works for you! I’d have to say we couldn’t be happier with the results, and I’m so glad I chose this brand to try.
before I get into the post, I wanted to just take the time to explain that I am not a groomer, I have been through hair school (for humans).
This post is just to basically explain how I groom Bently at home. I’ve been grooming him myself since he was 12 weeks old- therefore he is very use to it, I am comfortable and confident in doing it. Should you feel that your pet is not patient enough to be groomed by yourself, or you, yourself are not confident in doing it please seek professional advise as It can be risky grooming at home- if the pupper’s skin is nicked it puts them at risk of infection and so on.
So with that being said I just want to give you a word of warning to please please please be careful if you choose to groom at home, if your dog is not use to hair clippers, get them use to the sound, and having the clippers close by; before you jump right into grooming them.
So as you can see from the image above, sir Bently was in desperate need of some serious pampering. We are right in the beginning of winter here and I always like to let him adjust to the temperature a bit before I cut his hair.. I probably waiting a little too long, but hey it is what it is.
So the tools I use to groom him regularly are in the image above, I also use thinning shears, A LOT. I find it’s way easier than using actually scissors because it gives you a nice soft cut; but I will get into that more later on.
The clippers I use are amazing and were so cheap on amazon, I actually use them to cut my husband’s hair as well- after a good cleaning of course, haha. Link for them below.
How to properly and safely hold the face still while trimming around sensitive areas such as the eyes.
GENTLY, do not be rough; you want to have a firm grip incase they try to move as your cutting, but not so firm that your pulling on their hair. This will saves them from nicks should they try to pull away while you are cutting around their face, lets face it, the scissors are SHARP!
I always like to start with the face, Bently is not a big fan of getting his face trimmed but loves to be able to see; some kind of silly dog logic if you ask me- haha.
The best rule of thumb, I find, is to keep to a triangular shape at the top of the muzzle and between the eyes; this helps to remove the irritating hair from his eyes and remove some of his tear stains. An example you can see above.
Next spot I move onto is his lippers, I find he tends to get some pretty long hairs that almost hook into his mouth. As you can see from the image above they start to turn fairly orange, just from it being wet all the time. For this I usually take my scissors and cut down the area, WATCH THEIR LIPS! I like to leave it a little longer, that way it leaves you enough space to get in there and soften the blunt cut with the thinning shears.
I moustache you a question
Now for this area, I am really careful; there have been a few times that I wasn’t so careful and Bently came out looking pretty funny, if I do say so myself- haha.
His moustache is really what makes him, in my opinion, it’s his signature look. So for this section, I use my scissors to get the bulk of the hair cut, sticking to a rounded shape; but again leaving just a little room to be able to use my thinning shears after to make the edges nice and soft.
What little ears you have
all the better to not listen to you my dear..
The littlest ears I have ever seen, XD. I like to keep his ears fairly short, The hair around them tends to be on the finer side; I’ve tried to grow them out in the past and do fun things with them, but they never ended up looking right. So eventually I decided he had nice little ears and we wanted to show them off. For this section I find the ear leather at the top of the ear and trim close to it, then cut a curved line down, getting rid of the bulk; as you see in the image above in blue.
For in the front of the ears, seen above in a pink line, I trim that smaller area fairly short; this allows the ears to breath and them to dry better if they do get wet when hes outside. keeps them clean, nice and neat.
How to use clippers on a pooch
After that is all done I move onto using my clippers and leaving his head until last. It has been so cold outside so I have decided to use a clipper number 6 on his body, with a clipper number 3 around his neck (where the collar sits- I find if its a little shorter in that area then he doesn’t get knotted from his collar rubbing).
The best way to use clippers, on a dog, is to go with the hair; this keeps the clippers from pulling the hair and is more comfortable for your pup.
Once his body is all nice and clipped up I move onto his feet. With Bently being a Shih tzu Maltese mix, he gets a lot of hair between the pads of his feet. I use to use my scissors and cut all the hair between each toe, but after time I found out the clippers were way faster, and I like to leave the hair slightly longer just to help keep his feet warm in the snow- if you do this you have to check them regularly and keep them trimmed, helping to keep matted hair away.
For his legs, I simply comb the hair and cut to the desired length; which is normally slightly longer than his body, with my scissors. I find using my clippers on his legs does not normally work out and he does NOT like the vibration on his little chicken legs- haha. By his hips and shoulders I use my thinning shears to blend the line from where the clippers stopped.
When his legs are complete, I move onto his belly; usually at this point hes laying on his side anyways and is maxin’ and relaxin’.
For his belly, like I mentioned earlier, I used a clipper number 3; I find having it shorter to be a lot more hygienic- him being a male, if it’s left too long he tends to pee on himself, which is not pleasant for anyone.
Always be sure that when doing their belly you are mindful of their skin; you want to keep it fairly tight just so there is not any cuts.
Once that is all finished I move onto trimming his head, and again I use my scissors. Combing out his hair to make more even cuts. I start at the back of his head and angle my fingers from short, where the clippers stopped to the desired length of his head. Using that first cut as a guide I do the same along the whole back of his head. Once at the top I use the longer end of the guide (from the back) and cut the top all the same length.
Now it’s just time for blending everything together; around the ears you blend with the top of head (your longest point) to the neck (your shortest point).
After all that is done I hose him down to remove any loose hair that is stuck to him; and it’s bath time!
Some products I really enjoy are
Burt’s Bees shampoo and conditioner; I find them to be a very nice mild smell, I don’t recommend anything that has too much perfume as dogs noses are way stronger than ours and perfume tends to cause a lot of skin irritations. Another great thing about burt’s bees pet products is they are 100% safe — veterinarian recommended formulas, free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals. Link Below
So a few months back I fell very ill, the humans were so worried they rushed me to the hospital. I tried to protest, I hate the hospital. But they insisted, and I was in no state to put up much of a fight. My belly hurt so bad, I was hot, then cold. I couldn’t pee, I thought maybe it was my litter box causing me so much pain; so I attempted to go on the floor. Nothing would come out but dibbles.
Then at the vet they rushed me away from my humans to the back room.
The doctors said it didn’t look good, my bladder was so full and I couldn’t get enough urine out; putting my kidneys at risk.
She explained it as “crystals”, and they would need to do a test to find out what type of crystals it was. Not long after the test was preformed she told my humans there was good news and bad news, the bad news was it was crystals; but the good news was it was struvite crystals- the kind that can be broken down with special food!
Another postive too, was my humans bringing me in so fast, because I still had some urine making its way out- and I wasn’t completly blocked, the doctor decided there was a chance to break down the crystals with some medicated food, along with some pain medication, and muscle relaxers; they would however, have to drain my bladder that day, and probably would have to again the second day. My humans agreed to give it a chance before pushing for surgery. But it would be serious, the doctor said I would need to be monitored consisently for the next few days, incase of complication they would have to rush me in for surgery.
After the procedure of draining my bladder, given some pain meds and muscle relaxers, the humans took me home along with the medication and special food.
It was a battle, the mom human layed with me on the floor of the spare room all night, checking me, cleaning my pee dipples up and putting down fresh pee pads. I could see the worry and fear in her eyes; but the fact that she was with me and not leaving my side gave me strength. It was a really touch and go night, but the medication helped me sleep here and there. My mom had to push some of the food into me with a food syring to get me to eat, I know I was suppose to, I just didn’t feel good so I couldn’t on my own.
The next day I was feeling a little better; mind you I was still in trumendous pain, and the medication made me a little dopey. But I had the drive to keep fighting, I started eating a little on my own.
My humans were so relieved my mom even teared up, she was with me all that day too. I was even able to start getting more urine out on my own, but my blatter was still filling up faster than I could get it out; so my mom human packed me up with all of my paper work in toe, and we drove back to the hospital; calling them along the way to let them know we were coming.
The doctor checked me over again and decided I would need my bladder drained one more time, but if it needed it a third time I would need the surgery; but she was quit impressed with me seeing that I was starting to get a fair amount out on my own too.
So they did the procedure one more time, this time it was game time; I had to push myself a eat, take my medication like the boss cat I am.
When I got home I ate almost an entire cat of medication food, my humans were so surprised! By that night I was peeing more and more freaquently too! My humans were so impressed by how I had perked up that I even got some visits from my other fur pals; that made me feel better, being able to snuggle with them again.
After the main battle was over I was getting back to my old self in no time, I would still need to stay on the special diet to ensure the crystals didn’t come back; but I was where I needed to be, home with my family.
I lived to tell the tail, but for many felines out there it’s too late.
Always make sure to keep an eye on your feline’s litter box habbits, one sign of discomfort is they stop using their litter box. Also be sure they get the proper amount of water daily, and feed wet food along with kibble to ensure the quantity of water is correct to flush away any crystals or keep them from forming all together.
Any sign of unusual litter box behaviour and your human should call your doctor, incase its serious. For more information I have linked some great websites to check out, should you be curious about the condition “Crystals”, Even our canine pals can get them- though they are slightly different, but the best way to find out more is by simply talking to your vet, they are trained professionals, there to help.
Thanks for reading my story, and I’ll see you next time,
That dreaded time again, hearing the clip clop of nails on the floor, time for a good ole nail trim. But before you pick up those nail clippers make sure you do your research.
Excessive nail growth on a dogs paws can cause serious damage, if left to over grow; they can tare or even continue to grow around and puncture the pups pads under their paws. This leaves your pooch open to a wide variety of infections such as bacterial infections; some of the symptoms are, swollen nail beds, swollen foot, pain in foot with limping, and oozing sores.
Although you do not want to leave your dogs nails to over grow you have to be extremely careful when trimming them as well. Hitting a dog’s kwik (pink skin inside the nail) will cause severe bleeding, and again leaving them susceptible to infections.
Our last eight years with Bently has been a consistent battle when it comes to his nails; I’ve gone from doing them myself to going to the vet to going to the groomer and back to doing them myself. He just gets into these screaming fits of not allowing me to do his nails- no hes not in pain, he just acts like a normal “dog-being” for everyone else when getting his nails done- haha, I know his tricks. But I find the more I do them myself the better he is and the more confident I am when cutting them. I have found little tricks that work really well with him; like laying him on his side on the counter facing away from me, really works well helping him to stay calm and keeps him secure.
So if you wanted to start doing your pups nails yourself I would recommend
Taking your time
Have treats handy
Get them use to you playing with their feet
Trim a little off the nails at a time when you do feel comfortable to start trying to trim them. Its better to take too little, for the first little bit, than too much.
Make sure to ALWAYS have kwik stop (a product that stops the bleeding) and a pup first aid kit on hand, mine I just grabbed from a local pet shop. You never know if they’re going to jerk and your clippers hit their quick, it’s better to be prepared!
If you have a groomer ask them if they mind showing you how to trim the nails properly, I know some local groomers to me that don’t mind taking the time to show you even how to hold them properly, which is amazing of them. (always make sure to ask if there is a cost because who knows.. lol).
Do you guys have any tricks when cutting your pooches nails; I’m always up for learning new ways to make it waaaaay less stressful for me and him, haha. See you guys soon! ❤