Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Palawan Horses and Haopee's True Identity

This is Mitras Ranch in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.
Most tourists  pay their handlers 100 php to ride the horse and have their pictures taken with them.
Instead of watching them from afar, Haopee decided to approach the friendly horses....

And for what, you may ask?

To observe? Nope!

To touch them? Nope!

To be friends with them? Nope!

To have her selfie taken with the mother horse?
.
.
.
.

What? You mean, after all these years of keeping her identity a secret, she's finally posting a picture of her?!?

Nope... just kidding!
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Train Your Dog To Sleep In His Own Bed

Today, I read an article titled "Is it safe to let sleeping dogs lie in your bed?" by Dogtime. In it, the author discussed about pet-to-person transmissible diseases like Chagas, Cat Scratch disease, and the notorious Bubonic plague. This made me recall the story my sister once shared with me about a colleague's story of Lyme disease.

Honestly, I really don't mind having my dog sleep on my bed. Chooey and Peanuts used to sneak up when I'm asleep. However, being asthmatic, having the dog in my room (but not beside me) is a more beneficial set-up on my part.

This pillow used to be mine...
Training your dog to sleep in his own bed can seem like an arduous task, especially when that cute little face is looking up at you. Therefore, it is better if you teach your dog to sleep on his own whilst he’s a puppy, as it can be harder with a more mature dog.

So, what are the benefits of bed training? 
  • Some experts believe that it teaches your dog his place in the ‘pack’ or hierarchy in your home.
  • It trains your dog to be alone sometimes, and can guard against separation anxiety.
  • Your tiny puppy won’t stay small for long. Some breeds can grow to a huge size, and you could be the one with no space in your own bed!

First of all think about the type of bed you’d like. Choose one that your dog can grow into, as he will grow quickly. Smaller breeds and puppies do like to feel secure, so a round, donut type bed is a good idea. Make sure that there are no loose edges, or parts that could become loose and a choking hazard. Swell Pets has a variety of different beds you can look at for inspiration.

Since Asti doesn't like staying inside a crate, we opted for this type of round bed. It's made of plastic and easy to clean.

If you have an older dog, or one with joint or mobility issues, consider a heated bed. These can be ‘self-heated’ and work off the dog’s own body heat. Others are thermostatically controlled to a temperature just above the ambient room climate. The gentle warmth will soothe old bones, especially in the colder months.

Consider a crate too. More pet owners are using crates to give their dog a place of his own to sleep or just to rest. For puppies this can be a good idea to get them used to being alone and also to save your possessions from little teeth.

Training Time!

Before you begin training, remember to go at your pet’s own pace. This will give you the best result and cause the least stress for everyone.

Pop an old t-shirt of yours in the bed, this will add your smell to the bed. Also pop one of your dog’s toys in there too to add his scent. This will make the New Bed seem a much friendlier place.

Show your dog the bed and let him have a good sniff to acquaint himself. Then place it in the agreed place. This can be in your room, or on the landing nearby if that is better. Wherever you put it, make sure that it is a quiet place in the home that doesn’t have a lot of activity. It needs to be your dog’s retreat, so must be peaceful.

And if your dog is this cute, sometimes it's just too hard to say no. 
My Female Dog Sleeping in My Bed by Rafel Miro, CC BY-ND 2.0
If he seems reluctant, pop a few treats in and around the bed. This will help him associate the bed as a positive place and somewhere he wants to be. 

When it’s time for bed, simply take your dog to the bed and place him gently inside. Saying the word “Bed” each time will help him associate the word with the act. 

Older pets can be taught to sleep in their own beds, although if they have spent years sleeping with you, this could take more time. Simply follow the steps above, and don’t give in!

This video has about 21 million views. It's about the smart pittie who takes advantage of his master's absence. I've seen this a couple of times already, so I definitely want to share it with you.

You may experience a few tiresome nights of taking your puppy or dog back to their bed, but the repeated action accompanied by positive words and lots of praise should soon have everyone sleeping soundly – in their own bed!
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Chillin' Cats

Haopee is off to Palawan again. She has an important appointment with some big shot called Kat-san. That's the tabby's photo taken at the bottom.

Not this cat! This cat lives in Subic, Olongapo.
Yeah, we were talking about this cat. He's the yellow tabby lounging on the purple plushie! According to the hotel staff, this dude (or dudette) is their mascot (and unpaid staff member, if you ask me!).

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Run Free, Buchi!

Dear Friends,

These past days (and weeks), I have been busy tending to Buchi's health needs.  It has taken so much of my time that I didn't have time to blog. To put it more simply, wound creams turn into lotions because Buchi's skin breaks out into lesions with the lightest touch.

Believe it or not, this is one of his "normal" days. This picture was taken last September 29, 2014. 
Since last year,  Buchi has been battling an ailment we still don't understand. There were days he was completely healthy, and there were days that he was in terrible shape. At first, it was mange, Then, there was bacterial infection. Then, his eyes were too dry because of the bi-monthly Ivermectin shots the vet gave him.

Taken last October 8, 2014. He became excessively oily and smelly, but it was a normal episode in our household. We were waiting for a next vet visit since it was just a couple of days later.  It was a typical cycle for him to become worse, then real better, then worse, then better.
Last month, I was so happy to tell the vet that we hadn't dealt with any oily or smelly conditions for an entire month. The vet was relieved that she told us that we could go a month without having the shot. 

Our relief was however short-lived.

This month, Buchi was getting thinner, even when he was eating so well. Then, these past three days, he lost his appetite, and I was hoping that it was simply an upset stomach for all the licking--which is also normal. 

Today, we were planning to give our vet a visit, but he decided to take an earlier flight to the rainbow bridge.

This picture was taken last August 23, 2014. Run Free, Buchi! No more itchies and oily skin for you.
I'm really sorry I haven't visited anyone's blog recently. Buchi has been an integral part of my life that somehow, it felt right that I spent most of my time with him.

Thank you so much for your caring and understanding. 

Sincerely,

Haopee and the My Dogs Love Me Pack
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Many Sleeping Positions Does Your Dog Have?

While Coal sleeps without a fuss, Puppy twists and turns like a self-cooking pancake. 

Hey, pups and friends! How many sleeping positions do you get yourself into during nappy time?
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Keep Your Pets Safe Around Your Swimming Pool (Guest Post)

We interrupt our weekly programming with this guest post by Kaitlin Gardner on canine pool safety.

Dog swimming
By Prachya Singhto [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
It may be something most backyard pool (and pet) owners overlook, but the fact is that not all dogs are natural swimmers. Additionally, having a backyard pool does present a risk—even to animals that are comfortable in the water. But there are some easy, inexpensive ways to ensure that your pets stay safe around your pool. Here are a few links to some great ideas for blending pets and pools:

A Few Simple Steps

For any pet that is comfortable in the water, especially many breeds of dogs, a cool pool on a hot day is a welcome sight. What’s more, getting in is easy! But keep in mind that dogs don’t necessarily know how to get out of a pool. Many pool owners have had to rescue perfectly good swimmers because their dogs insist on trying to struggle out of the pool on one of the edges, which is nearly impossible for any dog and may result in injured paws and claws.

Dog Swimming Pool - geograph.org.uk - 90401
David Stowell [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Before you allow your dog free access to your pool, train him as you would for any other task. With a few treats in hand, leash your dog and walk him over to the steps in the shallow end. As you both enter the water together, he will likely try to paddle without even using the first step. Still, try to get him to stand on the first step before you unhook his leash. Then let him paddle around the shallow end.

Dog fetching ball in pool
By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
After just a moment in the water, show him the treats and call him. Stand on the pool deck so that he must exit the pool using the first step. Once he is up on the deck, give him the treat. Enter the water again with him, but this time, stay in a little longer. When it is time to exit, again, stand on the deck and show him the treats. If he begins to swim over to the edge of the pool away from the steps, get back into the water and go toward him. Show him the treats and entice him over to the steps. Exit the pool and when he follows you out of the pool using the steps, give him a treat. This will reinforce the habit of exiting the pool at the shallow end.

Cover it up

Dog Days 2013 -- cooling off in the pool (9358350221) (2)
By vastateparksstaff [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pool covers are another way to not only keep your pool’s heat contained, but keep unwanted critters (pets and wildlife) out of it. While solar covers that lay on the surface of the water won’t do much for keeping an animal out, they may even present further risk if the animal is caught underneath and is unable to find its way out. If you have a dog or other pets that don’t see well, it may be worth the added one-time investment in a more sturdy cover that is attached to a track on each side of the pool, which automatically covers the pool tightly and securely. Other covers that roll out may also be attached to the pool deck.

Fencing Options

To keep unwanted animals (and people!) out of your pool with no maintenance and just a one-time expense, it may be wise to install a “play-pen” style fence around the perimeter of your pool. These fences contain the pool and pool deck (including portions of grass or flowerbeds) and can also feature a self-closing gate that shuts securely.

When choosing the height and style of your fencing, think about your dog’s habits and abilities. Small dog only? Large dog that can jump or dig? Of course, if you have small children in addition to dogs or other animals that need protecting, a five-foot fence with a secure latch is a perfect solution.

Author's Bio:

Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.
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