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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Resources on pet health

Further reading on vets and allergies

Pet Health Resources  - the experts
(click on the links to see electronic highlights)

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats
Richard H. Pitcairn, Susan Hubble Pitcairn

The Allergy Problem
Monica Segal

Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food
Michael W. Fox, Elizabeth Hodgkins, Marion E. Smart

Monday, December 10, 2012

Flea Control

Look into magnetic tags like the shoo tag 

Research humidity and flea control and decide if running humidifiers is right for your home  
Pet parents who have yard might research beneficial nematodes and decide if they want to use them. Contact a garden center for purchase.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pet Alleriges - Before you start treatment

So your pet starts chewing, scratching, scooting and biting him/herself. What do you do?
We love our pets and we can’t stand to see them suffer.  It is so tempting to try to stop their discomfort as soon as possible. But sometimes, if we rush to treatment, although we can get temporary relief, we might be setting up our pet for more problems later on.    

Puddin's Allergy Battle

allergy Research

Puddin and I have read a couple of articles stating that "Itchy skin prompted the most visits of dogs to veterinarians in 2012" Puddin falls into that statistic; so we thought we'd share our battle to make Puddin more comfortable:

A. Pulled up the carpet and put down rubber flooring. For details, see Buh Bye Carpet!

B. Removed as many dies, perfumes, chemicals, etc.. out of her environment as possible
1) This includes not using them on her, on myself, the yard, the house, etc..
2) We don't let strangers cuddle her
3) Kept her away from cigarette smoke (note folks who smoke outdoors and return to indoors can carry particles/reside on their clothing)
4) Cleaned the house with only white vinegar and water
5) Washed clothes and bedding with perfume free, die free detergent.
Used minimal detergent and rinsed twice. Used hot water. Washed once  a week.

C. Encased sofa, mattresses and pillows in zippered, hypo allergenic encasements
(1). When we didn't see much improvement from the encasements, we elected to get rid of all unnecessary furniture

D. To the greatest extent possible, provided her with only human food and supplements
1) Because of the possibility of stricter care and labeling standards in human-grade products Always consult with your vet before giving or changing foods or supplements

D. Kept a log of her activities, her consumption, when she was most itchy, when she was least itchy,etc.. Then used that log to come to conclusions as to how to proceed

E. Found a quality meat (hopefully not from feed lots) that seemed to agree with her and stuck with it (Food elimination diet). Slowly added in other things and see how she reacts. See more on elimination diets below.  Always consult with a vet before embarking on a food elimination diet

F. Provided distilled drinking water and put bowls all over the house to encourage more drinking

G. Dehumidifiers . For details see  (note, work with your electrictian. Dehumidifiers might be an electrical hazard. Also note any recalls on dehumidifiers that have overheated.

H. Homeopathy, vitamins, anti-inflammatory food and supplements based on reading :
1) Complete Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr Pitcairn
2) Dr Karen Becker’s website
3) And several other websites and books Always consult with a vet before trying homeopathy, herbs, etc..
Other things to dry
  • Dust every day
  • Vacuum every day if you have carpet
  • Mop every day if you don't have carpet
  • Don't wear outside shoes inside the house
  • Brush or comb pet daily
  • Bathe pet often in perfume free, chemical free, dye free, sodium lauryl sulfate free shampoo
    • Note that for some dogs, being wet can make itching worse. For those dogs, fewer baths might be in order
  • Or rinse the dog off in distilled water; dry thoroughly
  • Or wipe the pet with a damp cloth often then make sure the feet are dry
  • Clean pets' feet whenever they come in from outside
  • If you have a yard, try to remove or be sure to stop planting anything that pollinates
  • Use St Augustine grass because it doesn't pollinate and/or use rocks or other landscaping that won't exacerbate allergies
  • Use air purifiers
  • Change filters in heating and air conditioning units at least once a week
  • Control fleas -
  • Dermatomes - do some research and discuss with your vet. Dogs can chew on themselves because of pain. Reference Dr Dan Kirby on his vet talk show - Sunday, 12/16/2012. 550 KTSA San Antonio
  • Dr Kirby also mentions that cold laser can help skin issues as well as pain issues
  • Ref: Dogs who pull on collars or who are choked by choke chains and the like can experience sensations in their feet that make them lick.  Quote from the article:
    • "Leash pulling impinges the nerves supplying the front legs.  This can lead to an abnormal sensation in the feet and dogs may start licking their feet.  These dogs are often misdiagnosed as allergic and all that needs to be done is to remove the collar and treat the neck injury.”"
  • More on choke chains here:
  • Use medical collars or other devices to keep dogs from injuring themselves.   See:
  • Keep dog occupied (mentally and physically) so he/she has fewer chances to scratch, lick, or chew
    • Long walks
    • trick training
    • food puzzles
    • etc..
  • Be sure that the itching isn't related to a more serious issue such as mange, ringworm, cushings, or other medical problem.
  • Research Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS). One article here:
  • Research thyroid issues since low thyroid can cause skin problems.
  • Research cooling and warming food in Chinese Medicine. Consult with a vet
  • Research and consider allergy testing - either blood draw, saliva, or skin prick - or all or some.  Before starting the desensitization serum, use the test results to see how many allergens you can reduce or eliminate - see more details here:
Also see the same article before giving your dog any medications: Pet Allergies - Before You Start Treatment

This article also includes links to other resources including some great books on pet care.

Also see Resources on pet health 

Check back for updates to this information: 

See my amazon checklist for allergy pets:

* a note on the food elimination diet.  You might want to consider planning for it now in case you and your vet later decide that is something you want to do. It involves picking a novel food and sticking with it for several weeks. The reason I say plan for it now is that if you feed your pet a huge variety of foods, you might not have a novel food to use later on.  So think of a couple of novel proteins that your pet has never had. Be sure they are easy to find and try not to feed those until you are ready for your food elimination diet.
As always, consult with your vet before planning and/or implementing. And do your own research as well.

Email questions or comments to Replies might be shared on this blog but names will be changed or left out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dog Behavior Class Follow up

Caution - never leave a slip leash on a dog unattended.  Just thought I'd mention that since I gave out slip leashes at the end of class.

Thanks so much for attending my class. Below are are links to some of the things we discussed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting used to the man of the house

For some shy dogs, men can be scary. Maybe because men tend to be bigger and taller and have deeper voices.

We can help our pups get used to the man of the house by taking things slowly.

Puppy Afraid of Men

Question: Advice needed for a shy 16 week old puppy


Remember to never ever punish the dog for her fear/aggression towards strangers.  No yelling, startling, leash yanking, hitting, etc..

As the benevolent leader, your are responsible for your dog.  If anyone tries to touch your dog when she is upset, step in front, block that person from touching your dog. If the person doesn’t want to listen, then either remove your dog (no snatching or yanking) or politely ask the visitor to leave.


Caution: Always check with your vet before feeding new foods.

Treats or life rewards are the hallmark of positive enforcement based training.

Loose Leash Walking

When teaching our dogs how to walk well on leash, pet parents should try to remember the reason we are out for walks in the first place - enjoyment for the dog and human.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hiring a Trainer - Where to start your search

So we've discussed in detail things to look for when hiring a trainer (and we are not done yet). But how do you even find a trainer to interview and scrutinize?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Puddin's Pet Pages

Puddin's Pet Pages is a coloring book for kids.  And information book for adults

Click here for the pdf online version
Click here for the MS Word online Skydrive version

Click here for the Google Docs online version (formatting isn't as good as the other versions) can be downloaded as a Word Doc, PDF or other formats.
Once the booklet is opened, click "file" then click "download" then choose your format.
Or you can print directly from the website. Click "File" then click "Print"

Click here for Word 2010 printing instructions - if you want to print front and back or reduced sized copies to save paper.

Permission to copy and share by link or by hard copy.
Please leave all words intact when sharing and leave the websites posted on each page. Not all pages have to be printed.

Please check the above link often for updates.

Last updated 02/16/2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to address humans who mistreat pets

A lot of my blog is about treating our dogs with compassion; setting them up for success; rewarding good behavior instead of waiting for our dogs to mess up then punishing them.

People deserve no less compassion,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Free Dog Behavior Class for Humans Saturday January 14, 2012. 3:00 PM

A kinder, gentler way to handle your dog's behavior issues
Brought to you by Puddin's Training Tips

Fix common dog issues like digging, jumping, nipping, barking, leash pulling etc. using humane methods. There is no need to knee your dog in the chest, threaten him/her with newspaper, nor throw a can of pennies at your pet.

Class is scheduled for 1 hour and 15 minutes  and the format will be determined by the desires of the participants - question/answer, guided discussion or prepared lecture. This is an information only class. Please do not bring pets to class.

Everyone is invited but parents who live with dogs who might have aggression or biting issues should consult a professional. This class will also cover what to look for when choosing a professional.

Class starts at 3:00 PM at the Semmes Library.  The training room holds about 35 people and the seats are first come, first serve.  The doors will open at 11:30 AM for anyone who wants to arrive early to ensure a seat.

Although seats are first come, first serve, anyone wanting to RSVP can do so by clicking here  or entering a note in the comments section below (not required). This would give me an idea of how many people to expect.  Also, if you enter your email in either the facebook event or the comments section below, I'll be able to email you with updates, last minute changes or a cancellation if that should happen.
Note that the class will be canceled in the event of inclement weather.  And could be canceled for other reasons.

For directions to the Library, click here

Please check this link for last minute changes right before attending class

For more details, please click here

We do not take any responsibility for any injuries or other losses. Always consult a professional.