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Hints and Tips for Dog lovers




"I have had chihuahuas all my life and now have two who are older pets.  When we moved into our new house, mostly carpeted, I needed a solution to keep our "babies" from having accidents throughout the house.  Luckily I have a large kitchen with a vinyl floor.

I bought a large pet carrier (cheaper at variety stores than at pet stores), left the door open and put their favorite blankets and toys inside.  I then put up those little baby gates to keep them confined to the vinyl floor when we are not at home.  In the States we have a product called disposable "wee wee pads" which they began using immediately with no training.   Instead of feeling abandoned or begging to get out, they absolutely loved their own, private, secure, place.  Before and after work we let them outside to do their "business" and the pads take care of daytime needs.  Of course, we let them out when we are home and every night they cuddle with us on the couch.  But when I tell them to get in their bed, they gladly hop down and go into their very own space.

They really seem to enjoy having their own bedroom and sometimes will even go in there when the gate is down.  It was just a wonderful solution for us, our carpets and our little dogs genuinely seem grateful for their own comfortable space and never beg to get out.

Others may want to try this before giving up their pets or ruining their carpets.  Thanks for letting me share this as it may help others solve this dilemma.  I promise our two little dogs love their own place and don't feel caged or unloved at all.

Thanks to Susan Davis for this one (shame it doesn't work on teenagers!)

 I would like to point out that I have no expertise in this area and, therefore, all such tips are passed on in good faith - I cannot guarantee results or possible after effects.

Always seek professional advice.


Phil Miller has kindly sent in the following information regarding the treatment of Mange. 

"I had an abandoned dog take up with my own pets that had very little hair and smelled quite bad.  Soon after I noticed that the other dogs were developing spots, after taking them to the Vet I found it was Mange.   As many people have found, this can be a very costly and sometimes fatal disease which is really microscopic mites.  Treatment usually means several treatments and could cost 1000 per dog.

I think I found a cheaper way to treat it.   I take an old Windex bottle and fill it with about an inch to an inch and a half of Dawn dishwashing liquid then fill with water. Spray the affected areas with this solution and release the dog without rinsing.  Three to four treatments seem to cure the problem and it kills fleas too.  I've treated six dogs so far and once gone the mange hasn't returned."

I did ask Phil if the dogs foamed up when it rained but he assured me they don't!

Additional tip from Lucie Shaughnessy

I can also recommend the following homeopathic remedies given to the animal for 1 week on 1 week off until animal is clear. Homeopathy is a very gentle yet effective way of treating your dog without it even knowing therefore relieving distress. 

Depending on the size of your dog 6 - 30 drops on food once per day.



I have been successfully treating the local fox too, which is very rewarding!

Ken Blowers sent in the following observations on dog behaviour:-

"If you have an unruly dog it can only mean that the dog is confused as to who is the pack leader.  Leaderless dogs, like leaderless people, can be a nuisance if not dangerous.  Your dog obviously needs to be reigned in a little.  It doesn't take much to regain control.  Just a little time and thought.  It all starts with you.  You're the one at fault, not the dog!

To put things right you just need to occasionally remind yourself "Hey, I'm the pack leader here".  Start behaving like you are.

For example:  stop opening the door and just letting your dog run out - for whatever reason.  Instead, always make a point of stopping your dog at the door (with a command like "Wait" or "Stay").   Every door, mind.  Every day, everywhere.  Then open the door, step out, and then give your permission for the dog to come out (a command like "Come" is a particularly good one to use here, because you can't really use it unless you are in front!).

Follow this procedure and you will quickly re-establish your position as the pack leader.  Your dog will love it! It's what the dog has been hoping for.

When you have proved that it works, try this one:-

Never feed the dog until you have eaten first.  That's what all good pack leaders do.  You might think it strange but the dog will understand - and love you for it!."

Susan Davis has sent in the following tip for making clipping nails less traumatic for both pet and owners:-

"I have two little chihuahuas with tiny little legs they protect and very ticklish feet.  I began when they were 6 weeks old and as I petted them, got them to trust me handling their legs and feet.  Then I clip one nail each day (if needed) just before feeding time.  They don't seem to mind cutting just one nail so badly, especially knowing food is coming next.  Be sure to just "tip" the end.  Large dogs require a tool for this but the little fellows nails can be "tipped" with a human instrument.  Be patient and good luck!"

I have also received the following information -

Cutting dogs nails and it causing upset is often because the owner is nervous of making the nail bleed and the clever dogs know and make it as difficult as possible.  As a groomer for 20 years and not too nervous myself, I didn't have too much trouble with other people's dogs.  My own were a different case as they knew how far they could push me!  I always cut nails after exercise, the quicks have retracted and the nails are sometime soft from being wet.   The retracted quicks let you cut more away.

Thanks to Gail Hussey for this contribution.

I received the following question from a visitor called "Bobbie" who unfortunately did not give me an email address to reply to:-

"I have a white maltese dog and she has ugly tear stains on her face all the time.  Does anyone know what I can do to remove the stains and to stop them coming back?"

I have received a response to this problem from Rosina Skinner (thanks) - apparently pet stores sell specific products for this, whatever colour the dog. 


Insect stings to dogs

Slice a raw onion and apply to the sting as soon as possible.

Contributed by Gerald Martin

Inside the mouth - Keep "Benadryl" capsules in your first aid kit.  A rapid administration of this antihistamine soon after the sting can prevent serious complications from the sting.   Some dogs will actually swallow the insect live, which may continue stinging the dog internally and cause anaphylactic shock.  In rare cases, even death can result.   This is caused from internal swelling of the trachea which cuts off the oxygen supply to the lungs.  Quick administration of "Benadryl" or a similar antihistamine can reduce and even prevent this serious complication.

SPECIAL NOTE - Dosage will vary depending on the size of the animal.   Check with your vet for recommended dosage.  Usually they will refer to the animal's weight as a guideline.

Be aware of this before the unexpected occurs.

This information has been sent in by Donna Boisvert the owner/proprietor of a mobile kennel business and boarding facility in New England U.S.A.  -  Our thanks.

Warning - do not use Fabreze on your animals.  This product is for taking odours out of fabrics.  It says on the bottle it will take out animal smells but does not say it is harmless to animals.

  • If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk wash them with tomato juice.   Two large cans are sufficient for a larger dog - spread it all over them and rub it in.  Once you are satisfied you have covered the dog entirely, rinse, then shampoo.   If there is any stench left if won't be much and will not last long. If you have an old dog with arthritis alleviate it's pain with buffered aspirin.

  • Another remedy received from Tina M is to sponge the animals fur with White Vinegar, then bathe.  You may have to do this twice but she guarantees it will take the worst of the scent off immediately and this works for both cats and dogs.

If you have a dog with diarrhoea you can give them pepto bismal - your vet will advise correct dosage.

If you have a dog which destroys your belongings when left in the house alone, it is usually due to boredom or the fact that he is missing you, this may help.  Put some water in a bowl (the longer you are to be out the larger the bow required).  Place the bowl in the freezer until the top begins to freeze.  Take bologna & cheese (or whatever your dog likes) and try to place it in the bowl so it doesn't all fall to the bottom.  Let it freeze completely then the next time you go out, take the ice out of the bowl, place it on the floor and leave.  Your dog will be so busy trying to get the goodies from the block of ice it won't have time to chew up your house.  (I am not entirely sure what sort of mess this makes on your floor though - especially if the dog gives up trying and just leaves it to melt.)





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