Friday, July 29, 2011

Not an Old Dog Story--But a Good Dog Story

If you haven't heard the story of Dozer who escaped the his yard's invisible fence system and joined a crowd of runners as they passed his yard, you have to watch these videos. Dozer is a 3-year-old labradoodle that is quite a celebrity. He was noticed throughout Maryland Half Marathon, which benefits the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center and was videotaped at the finish line. Then he wandered home...limping but okay. His owners heard about a dog in the race and contacted the race officials. Dozer was awarded a medal for completing the race the next day...and as his story got out donations started coming in. Dozer is not just a great dog...he is a great fundraiser for cancer research. Good Dog Dozer!

Young or old, dogs bring so much joy to our lives...this is a great "Good Dog" story!

Copyright 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moving Day Stress Can Overwhelm Older Dogs

Moving day is very stressful for the entire family even under ideal circumstances. No matter how we plan for that move, things come up. Wallets get lost; moving trucks breakdown; volunteer helpers don't arrive (or worse yet, don't help much). Yes, moving day is stressful but families with pets have special issues. And when the dog is older, sometimes we just have to accommodate the situation.

Today, I had a closing where my clients were moving about a hundred miles south of their current home in Chisago County. They were to give immediate possession to the new buyers after the closing so they had to have the home entirely cleared out prior to the meeting. With temps in the 80’s at 8 AM, it could have been deadly to leave a dog in the car so their terrier-mix, Max, had to accompany my clients into the title office. It was obviously the poor dog was already stressed from the move. He trembled and whined softl as he sat on his owner’s lap while she signed one document after another. Max is not a puppy and the stress of a move can be hard on an older dog. So I thought a few good reminders of what to do on moving day might be in order.

Keeping Your Dog Happy on Moving Day!

Make sure your pet is safe. Keep him in a safe room/kennel or at a trusted neighbor’s or pet sitter’s home while your belongings are being loaded into the truck. (A pet sitter directory is available here). Make sure it is a place your pet is familiar with as to not create additional stress. If you do leave your pet in a room in your home, remember to check in frequently unless you want to have a carpet cleaning and/or replacement bill added to your closing statement.

Identify your pet. Make certain that your pet’s collar or tags have current information with a cell phone number and/or the new home information so you can be contacted in the event of an escape.

Make the Carrier Feel Like Home. Put in your pet’s favorite blanket, toy or bed along with food and water for the trip. Remember a container of additional food and water in case of spills. It is a good idea to pack paper towels and wet wipes to clean up any messes from sickness or accidents during the ride. Don’t leave your pet unattended for more than a few minutes at a time in his transportation kennel.

CLICK HERE for additional tips on making your senior dog comfortable on moving day. 

Article written by Teri Eckholm who is a Minnesota REALTOR who works with families and their pets as they move throughout the northern Twin Cities metro.

Copyright 2011


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Old Dog Love!--Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one of an older Golden Labrador  is priceless! The love and loyalty shows through. Adopting a senior dog can add so much to a family.

Copyright 2011 OLDDOGPAWS.COM

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cigarettes Can Kill Your Dog

The pet owner of this video clip may have found this hilarious, but could it be considered a form of animal abuse? I wonder...because that cigarette could kill the dog. We all know smoking is bad for your health and yes, it can even kill smokers eventually, yet some people cannot kick the habit. But did you know that ingesting just one cigarette could KILL your dog? I'm not talking about second hand smoke here...though I am sure that can affect a pet's lungs and heart, especially if you have an older dog, as much as it affects a human. But if your dog were to get a hold of your pack of smokes and eat one or several, it could be deadly. An ingested cigarette could cause several conditions in your pet including an elevated heart rate, a drop in blood pressure, seizures, respiratory failure, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases your pet could die from the stress caused by the nicotine.

So what do you do if you think your dog ingested a cigarette or any other poison?  

Keep your dog as calm as possible and immediately contact your veterinarian. If the vet is not immediately available try ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. This phone help line for pet owners is staffed with experts that can answer questions and provide guidance 24 hours a day for a reasonable consultation fee.

More Examples of DOG POISON in your Pocket CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2011


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got a Hot Dog? How to Cool Down a Senior Dog in Extreme Heat

On the  news today they were showing a police dog competition that went on yesterday in our town despite heat indices of well over 100 degrees. One officer mentioned that many have a first instinct to cool a dog by pouring water on them but it is not a good idea. An extremely hot dog can go into shock if suddenly doused with hot water so what should you do?

Senior dogs are even more susceptible to heat stroke in the extreme heat. Our older canine friends can have many health issues and becoming overheated can have deadly consequences with the additional stress on their bodies and heart.


The best way to keep a dog cool in hot weather is to prevent overheating in the first place. Don't take your senior dog with on errands when the temperatures are extremely hot. If they cannot go into the stores or other places on your route, leave them home. A car with all of its windows is like a oven. If your dog's temperature gets up to 110 degrees, there is little that can be done to cool them. Even a dog that loves riding in the car will prefer to remain in the air conditioning at home.

Other quick tips to keep your canine cool:
  1. Let outdoor dogs in--Let them cool off on the basement floor.
  2. Kiddie splash pools are perfect pet ponds
  3. Walk them early in the day or later at night 
  4. Grass is more paw-friendly than concrete or asphalt
  5. Dogs with dark fur will heat up faster than those with lighter fur in the sunshine.
  6. Sunscreen is available for pets with short hair or light colored fur (yes dogs can sunburn).
  7. Check with groomer before shaving. Not all breeds should have short cropped hair
SIGNS of Dog Dehydration
  • Heavy panting
  • Labored breathing
  • Vomiting 
  • Unusual behavior
  • Droopy Lips
  • Lack of Energy
  • Won't eat or drink

Copyright 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dog Arthritis? Painless Tips for a Painful Disease

Our loveable energetic canine best friend Tikki had been a faithful companion for well over a decade when he began to slow way down. He paused dramatically before going down the steps to go outside. He circled his bed over and over before finally dropping down. He limped along at a much slower pace than previously rarely chasing our cat or squirrels as he once had done daily. We began to wonder, could our senior dog, Tikki, have arthritis?

Arthritis is the condition where the cartilage inside of joint deteriorates so bones rub together causing stiffness, pain and loss of the ability to move. It is not a disease reserved for humans. Osteoarthritis affects dogs too! This is especially true for large breed canines (over 50 lbs). But Tikki could not tell us he was in pain so we monitored those important signs of this painful disease.

Indicators of a Dog with Arthritis
  • Trouble Standing or Sitting Is it a struggle for your friend to get to his feet? Does he circle around and around before finally setting down?
  • Sleeping Longer and More Often A dog with arthritis will often begin to sleep more and appear less interested in walks or play.
  • Appearing to suffer from sore, stiff joints Does your dog appears to have stiff legs or walk a bit funny when he stands up after a nap or car ride? Has he started to snap if awakened or whimper when petted?
  • Hesitancy to climb stairs Do you have to coax your dog to take that first step up or down the staircase?
  • Favors a limb Does he tend to walk more on one side or the other? Maybe one leg is appearing to waste away while the other three appear more muscular?
  • Tipping the Scale on the Heavier Side Increased weigh from one vet appointment to the next can indicate avoidance of movement due to pain.
  • Decreased interest in Play or Other Behavior changes If your dog loved playing chase-the-tennis ball but now prefers to chew on it well out of reach, then take a nap Or maybe your pooch loved riding shot gun with the wind flapping his ears, but no longer races to the door when he hears the jingle of car keys., painful joints could be the cause. 
  • Zoned Out A pet that appears disinterested in everything and somewhat less alert than normal is another sign of arthritic joints.
Need tips and ideas on how to help your dog live with arthritis and enjoy his golden years visit the OldDogPaws arthritis page.

Copyright 2011