Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Revealed - How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

Some dogs get a heap of satisfaction and enjoyment through digging up your yard. It's not that they intentionally want to destroy your impeccable flower bed, just that they love digging.

Some dog owners have resigned themselves to the fact that their dog will dig up their yard regardless of what they try, others decide they won't tolerate it.

One way that you can guarantee to keep your dog from digging up your garden is to install a small electric fence at its perimeter. Electric fence's are cheap to buy and extremely easy to set up. They don't do any real harm to your dog either, they only give a very minor flick to encourage your pet not to enter the garden. Don't worry if you have children as these fences can be adjusted to a very minor level that won't hurt your child should they touch it.

You can try placing foul moth balls throughout the garden - this is a technique that is very effective but also has a downside. First, the positives: your dog will hate the smell of these and stare clear of the garden, they are also totally harmless and can be hidden out of sight. The only real downside is that you'll need to replace these from time to time, especially it it's been raining.

You can also try using a spray deterrent. Bitter apple spray is very effective and easy to use. You simply spray it around the garden every few days and your dog will not want to dig there. Bitter apple dog deterrent can also be used to stop your dog from chewing household furniture and opening the trash bag. Once your dog becomes accustomed to the smell, it will stay well clear off the area.

Dog's dig because they are conditioned to do so. Its in their blood. If you work consistently to stop your dog digging using the tricks mentioned above, you should be able to almost totally eradicate the problem.

Make sure you are persistent and from when training your dog not to dig. Don't expect results overnight and prepare yourself for the occasional digging spree. In time and with persistence your dog will learn to stop digging.

House Train Your Dog Quickly and Easily

Trying to house train your dog can sometimes seem difficult and frustrating. This is especially true when you don't know where to start. There are a few things to remember when housebreaking your new pet.

Try to give your pet a limited amount of space. This will help to make a more confined area and help your pet to recognize this as his living space more quickly. This is important because it is the dog's nature to be outside of their living space when urinating. When our pet finally decides that this is his home, he will try to keep it clean. You can also purchase your pet a crate. Line the new crate with old newspapers. This is a good idea at first because it will make clean easier. Confine your pet to areas of the home that are easier to clean such as rooms with vinyl flooring or tile surfaces. Do not let your new pet have access to your carpet or hardwood floors.

Try to remember to limit the amount of water your dog has access to at the end of the day. This will make sure that you will not have to take your new pet out at midnight for a potty break. Take a quick walk outside at regular intervals. Your pet will become accustomed to this schedule and begin to know when it is time for him to go out. This will make it easier as your pet will then know that he will be going out very soon. Be certain to us one certain word to tell your pet why he is going out. Do not return indoors until your pet has urinated. Remember to reward your new pet for a job well done. A simple pat on the head or "good boy" will do the trick.

If your pet does have an accident indoors, correct him immediately. You should make sure that your supervise your pet closely enough to do this. Your new pet is very intelligent, however short term memory is a weak point for most dogs. If you do not correct your pet immediately after the accident has happened, you pet will not realize what he is being scolded for. Make sure to thoroughly clean the area as dogs really do try to mark their territory. You should make sure that any odor from the accident is cleaned up so that your pet will not return to that area and smell the soil. If he does, he may exhibit the same bad behavior in the same location.

Following these simple suggestion should make house training your new pet a little bit easier. This should help save your carpets and your relationship with you new pet.

Dog's Urinary Tract Infection - Are There Home Remedies For It?

Urinary tract infection in dogs can be a recurring phenomenon and it might tire you to constantly take your dog to the vet. Consequently, you may wonder if a dog's urinary tract infection can be treated with a homemade formula. Fortunately, a dog's UTI can be treated from the comfort of home. Make sure, though, that the dog's condition is not severe. If it is, it is highly advised that instead of giving the animal homemade treatment, you take it to the vet for proper diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment.

Urinary tract infection does not pose a life-threatening risk to dogs. Thus, you may address the problem yourself in your home. There are several homemade remedies that are effective in treating a dog's UTI. Some of these remedies are listed below.

1. Frequent bathing. Bathing your pet frequently can help prevent the recurrence or spread of bacteria that are causing complications. Bathing the dog frequently can help flush out bacteria that may invade its urinary system through the opening of the urethra.

2. Citrus juices. If your dog is suffering from UTI, you can give it citrus juices such as orange juice, lime juice, and cranberry juice. These can help boost the acid level of the dog's urine.

3. Apple cider vinegar. This has properties which can neutralize the bacteria present in the dog's urine, reducing the discomfort caused by the disease to the pet. You can give the animal apple cider vinegar by mixing it in water.

4. Clean water. Give your dog ample amount of clean water everyday. This can help wash out the bacteria that have accumulated in the canine's urine. In the process, the infection may be lessened.

Aside from the remedies listed above, you may also give your dog herbal remedies and homeopathic remedies. These remedies have been shown to have wonderful effects in dogs suffering from UTI and other urinary problems. These remedies cannot only help cure the UTI in your dog; these likewise prevent the recurrence of the disease. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are also safe because they do not have side effects that may add to the discomfort and pain felt by the pet.

If you are going to use herbal and homeopathic remedies in treating a dog's urinary tract infection, especially look for products which have uva ursi, staphysagris, berberis vulgaris, golden rod, juniper berry, and cantharis as ingredients. These ingredients have properties which can help soothe the dog's bladder, relieve the inflammation, and ultimately strengthen the bladder. Prolonged use of these remedies can help keep ypur dog in top shape by preventing the recurrence of infections.

Urinary tract infection is truly a rising problem in today's society. However, you can help keep your dog safe from infections by giving it home remedies. It is still very essential, though, that you take your pet to the vet regularly for check-up. By doing so, occurrence of infections can be detected and dealt with earlier.

Can Diet Affect Your Pet's Behavior?

The short answer has to be, "Yes." The connection between diet and nutrition and its effects on health in humans is well documented by now, and general studies have been done in regard to pets. It's pretty well known that the body's ability to function normally is closely related to proper nutrition.

Since behavior depends on how well all systems perform, it should be an obvious conclusion. For example, normal brain development depends on sufficient levels of polyunsaturated fats, especially the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which can affect cognitive performance, and thus, behavior. In addition, antioxidants may help decrease cognitive decline in older individuals, and tryptophan could be related to decreased aggression or fearfulness, especially in dogs.

However, fewer studies have been done with pets than with humans. Thus, the relationship of specific nutrients to specific behaviors is not well understood.

Throughout human history, foods have been assigned certain qualities, and eating them supposedly confers upon one that quality. The most notable example might be aphrodisiac foods. However, it appears that a belief in an expected outcome is the important aspect of a particular result, rather than an actual, provable connection between physiology and behavior.

Since pets don't have belief systems, other than believing their owner will act in a certain way, connected with a certain circumstance (such as feeding them every day at 5 p.m.), their behavior cannot strictly be attributed to specific foods from a psychological perspective without considering stimulus-response training.

Most pets can be conditioned to behave according to a set of stimuli that we provide, such as eating at specific times, as noted, but they also are able to learn preferences for foods by experience. Sometimes they are conditioned negatively to avoid some things associated with an uncomfortable result, such as punishment, and conversely, can learn to desire some things because it has a positive result, such as a tasty treat for behaving well or performing a trick.

The bottom line for our pets, as well as for ourselves, is to provide a healthful and balanced diet for optimal health, and thus, feelings of well being that can lead to positive behavior.

Milk Thistle - A Wonder Herb For Your Pet!

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering plant in the Aster family. A native of Europe, it has been used since the time of the Roman emperors as a liver tonic. Milk thistle is one of very few traditionally used herbs that has been widely accepted by conventional science to have significant medicinal value.

Today we know the active ingredient of milk thistle seed extract as a flavonoid compound called "silymarin." Most milk thistle extracts available today contain about 80 percent standardized extract of silymarin.

Silymarin, which is itself a combination of several other active compounds, has been extensively studied around the world, and has been shown to be safe and effective in treating a variety of liver diseases and other conditions. It specifically protects the liver against toxins (including some molds such as aflatoxin, drugs, and heavy metals), activates protein synthesis, and stimulates growth of new liver cells to replace those that are dead or damaged. Milk thistle also has strong antioxidant (destroys oxygen free radicals) and anti-inflammatory actions.

What It Does

Silymarin reaches high levels in the bile and liver (as well as the lungs, pancreas, and skin).Bile is produced in the liver and is necessary for fat digestion. Milk thistle can be used in the treatment of hepatic lipidosis, chronic hepatitis, cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts), and pericholangitis (inflammation of the tissue around the bile ducts). It may be useful in preventing or treating gallstones by thinning the bile.

Many cats and dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) also have inflammation of the liver/bile system and the pancreas. This threesome of symptoms is called "triaditis." Because milk thistle's beneficial actions concentrate on the liver and bile systems, it may also be helpful in animals with IBD.

Milk thistle should be considered as an aid to healing after drug therapy, vaccinations, and infections such as feline distemper or canine parvovirus, as well as a potential supportive treatment for cancer. Researchers at Case Western University concluded from their work that "silymarin possesses exceptionally high protective effects against tumor promotion . . . ." One human study even suggests a role for milk thistle in diabetes mellitus through its normalizing effects on red blood cells. It may also help prevent diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of the disease that causes degeneration of the nerves controlling the hind limbs, which consequently produces weakness and an abnormal gait.

Milk thistle generally supports the immune system through its powerful antioxidant, free-radical scavenging action, its ability to preserve the supply of another important antioxidant, glutathione, as well as direct effects on immune cells. Glutathione, which is stored primarily in the liver, naturally declines over time, and depletion of this protein appears to accelerate the aging process.

While it's not exactly the fountain of youth, milk thistle clearly has wide-ranging positive effects throughout the body. However, before you add this potent herb to your pet's daily regimen "just in case" it might do some good, it's important to consider that some herbalists believe milk thistle is best reserved as a treatment for existing disease, rather than being used by itself in a healthy animal.

While moderate use of milk thistle is very safe, there is some experimental evidence to suggest that long-term ingestion of very high dosages of milk thistle will eventually suppress liver function.

Dosage and administration

The standard dosage of milk thistle extract is based on a silymarin content of around 80 percent; most supplements contain anywhere from 50-500 milligrams (175 mg is typical). As with many supplements, it's probably better to buy a milk thistle derivative rather than a silymarin-only or other fractional supplement, since there may be other compounds found in the whole herb that significantly enhance the effects of what science has decided is the main player.

Because of its excellent safety record and lack of adverse drug interactions, when I'm treating a very sick animal with advanced liver disease, I do not hesitate to use the full human dose--up to 200 mg per 10 pounds of body weight--of milk thistle extract daily. For most purposes, however, one-third to one-half of that dose is more than adequate. (Animals with liver disease typically will not eat, but it's a simple matter to open up a capsule, mix the appropriate amount of powdered herb with a little blenderized food or baby food, and feed by syringe.) Too high a dose can cause an upset tummy, gas, or mild diarrhea; these are easily resolved by giving less.

Human research studies have shown that it is more effective to administer this herb in three or four small portions over the day than in one large daily dose. When it is not possible to split the daily dose and administer the fractional portions three or four times a day, give it at least twice a day.

The capsule form is easy to find - any health food store, and even most pharmacies and grocers, will have them in stock. The herb also comes in a liquid extract, but most human products contain a fair bit of alcohol. If you prefer a liquid preparation, get one specifically intended for use in animals.

Traveling With Your Pet Dog or Cat - Have Emergency Numbers With You

We love traveling with our dogs. Whether across town or across country we take them along. But what happens if you have an accident. Worse yet, what would happen to your dog if you are hurt bad enough you have to go to the hospital?

If you are unconscious or so badly shaken that you go into shock, chances are the animal control officer would be called to the scene to take charge of your dog. It would be up to them if the dog goes to a veterinarian or to the animal shelter/city pound.

This could be prevented by a small 3x5 index card that you have readily visible in your vehicle. This 3x5 card should have the dogs name and any pertinent information about your dog. Things like medication being taken, allergies, or behavior issues that someone needs to be aware of. Then have two or three local names and phone numbers (home and cell if possible) on the card. So someone would be able to call those numbers and have a friend or family member come and get your dog. Your veterinarians name and phone number would also be a good idea, in case the dog is hurt too.If you are going to travel out of the local area you will want to make a separate card for your trip. You will want the dogs name and information on this card as well.

But you will want to include not only the local information but also your destination information, with at least one contact number from there. That way should something happen as you are getting close to your destination you would get help for your dog quicker. Two examples: You could take a photo of your dog and on the back of the photo, with a permanent pen write the information. Then tape the photo to your dash someplace visible. Be sure to have the words "In case of emergency" written on the front, so someone will know there is more information on the back.

Another possible way would be to take your 3x5 card or photo with the information printed on it and laminate it, punch a small hole in the top and hang it from your rear view mirror. (Be careful as not to block your line of site.) You never expect an accident to happen but by being prepared you won't have regrets later. Happy and safe traveling.

Parrot Body Language - Learning to Communicate With Your Parrot

Look into your parrot's eyes. Beautiful, aren't they? Look a little more closely though and you'll notice that, unlike you and me, your parrot can control the size of his iris. This is the portion of the eye that gives him his eye color. And he'll change the size of his iris if he's angry, frightened or feeling aggressive. This is called "flashing" or "pinning."

Understanding this gives you an indication of your friend's mood. Take time to note this action and place it into the context of the activity you and he are participating in. If eye pinning or flashing occurs while you're training, you may want to end the session or try to ease his fear or anger.


Yes, I know that your parrot is a natural-born vocalizer to begin with. But, the type of sounds your bird makes can go a long way to telling you exactly what he's feeling.

Singing, whistling, talking. These sounds are signs of a healthy and content parrot. You may have a bird who is a natural entertainer and this is his way of putting on a show.

Chattering. Your bird may chatter - you'll know the sound when you hear it. Whether it's loud or soft, it can signal one of two things. Either your friend is content or he's beginning to learn to talk. If he's chattering rather loudly, though, consider the fact that he's attempting to get your attention. If you notice that he chatters in the evening before going to sleep, he's trying to connect with other flock members.

Purring. And you thought only cats purr. This may be called purring, it's really nothing like what your cat does. The purr of a parrot is similar to a growl. But don't let this fool you, because like a cat's purr, it too is a sign of contentment. Then again - as complex as your parrot is - it may actually be a signal that he's annoyed with something. To read this vocalization properly, then, you need to take it in the context of the entire environment he's in at the moment.

Tongue clicking. Your parrot at times may click his tongue against his beak. Don't be concerned about this. Usually, he does this just to entertain himself. But he also may be asking you to pet him or to pick him up.

Growling. This is a form of aggressive vocalization and not all birds do this. But, if yours does, then you need to immediately take a good, hard look at her surroundings. Remove anything that you think may be bothering her. But just a word of caution, don't try to pick your parrot up at this point or even touch him. Treat him as you would a growling dog. They definitely don't want any part of you at this point.


Yes, in addition to flight, your parrot uses his wings as a way to communicate as well. Your friend may display his emotions in three distinct ways: Flapping, flipping or drooping.

If your parrot is flapping his wings or flying in place, he's actually exercising, trying to get your attention, or just being happy. Birds also may use their wings simply to stretch or as a built in fan - to cool themselves.

Your friend may perform wing flipping for several different reasons. Perhaps he's angry or in pain. He may also just be fluffing his feathers in order to get them to lay properly. If he's performing this activity while hunching over and bobbing his head (I'm sure you've seen this in some birds), it means he wants to be fed.

The drooping of wings indicates normally that your friend isn't feeling well. This is especially true if your bird is a little older. If, however, your friend has recently taken a bath, she may droop her wings to allow them to dry.

If, however, your friend is a youngster she just may be learning how to fold and tuck in her wings. Often, the wings droop during their attempts at mastering this skill.