Hey Poochy!

Helpful tips for happy paws.

To Neuter or Not to Neuter — September 26, 2017

To Neuter or Not to Neuter

It’s a good idea to neuter/spay your dog, if you are not planning on breeding them. It is also a humane thing to do, as neutering reduces aggression. In today’s society, we already have an abundance of homeless, unloved and unwanted dogs. Most of them get euthanized. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent all of that by neutering your pooch?

City of Toronto, charges less of an annual dog tag free for registering your dog, when it’s neutered. So when is it a good time to neuter your fur-baby?

The best time is always before the dog reaches sexual maturity. However, different dogs mature at different times. So as a general rule, most puppies get neutered/spayed at 5 – 9 month of age.

Here is the list of some of my favorite veterinary clinics, in Toronto and Area:

  1. Ajax North Pet Hospital – located in Ajax
  2. Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic – located in Scarborough
  3. Leslie Street Animal Hospital – located in Richmond Hill
  4. Dr. Brodetsky – Mobile Veterinarian for home visits

 

Warning Signs — September 22, 2017

Warning Signs

These are the signs to look out for when getting a new puppy from a breeder. If you come across the following, do not purchase the dog:

  1. Breeder doesn’t encourage you to visit puppies before selection one of two.
  2. The dogs don’t appear to be cared for or look sick
  3. The parents or mother in particular is aggressive, shy or anxious
  4. Puppies are kept in dirty environment, scared to ply and shy away from touch.
  5. Breeder doesn’t ask you about your living conditions and doesn’t have knowledge of dogs. Seems eager to sell.
  6. Breeder refuses to show you parent dog i.e. a mother, and refuses to show you their environment.
  7. Breeder doesn’t provide any medical records or history of a puppy.
  8. You are not given a certificate of vaccinations, deworming or micro chipping.
  9. Breeder raises a few different breeds of dogs and doesn’t seem competent.
  10. The price is extremely low, compared to other breeders.
  11. The dogs have lived without intensive human contact, and are scared when held.
The Art of Playing — September 21, 2017

The Art of Playing

Tennis balls aren’t the best play toy. It might be a cheaper solution, but also may cause issues for 2 reasons:

  • Pieces of the ball can get bitten off and swallowed. This may cause an intestinal blockage.
  • The outer layer of felt can easily get stuck in dog’s teeth.

Either one of the cases will cause large vet bills. Instead of putting yourself and your dog, through this hassle, simply invest in a few chew toys at pet store. This will save you on vet bills and pose no threat to your dog, plus it will also last longer than any tennis ball.

Purebred vs. Mixed – Which is better? — September 18, 2017

Purebred vs. Mixed – Which is better?

When it comes to purebred, you can look up dog’s size, personality, temperament and appearance ahead of time. The description usually matches purebreds. If you love surprises, than mixed breed is for you. Sizes and appearance are harder to predict. The same litter of puppies can be quite different in color, size and in the inheritance of their parents’ traits. Mixed puppies are usually unique as no 2 dogs are alike.

There are many debates, weather mixed breeds are healthier/better. This is not so. The puppy may inherit some genetic imperfections from its parent, regardless of purebred or mixed. Some breeds have genetic illnesses. Mixing breeds is used as a tool to repair the genetic deficiencies. For example: Bichon poodles are prone to seizures. Mixing Bichon and Maltese, produces a higher chance of a seizure-free dog. Since mixed breeds come from at least 2 breeds, there is a chance they will not develop breed-specific disease. Doing some research before choosing a breed, will help you understand the complexity of each breed.

Once again, all dogs are amazing. I am yet to meet a dog I didn’t like. So this preference is entirely up to you. When you treat your dog like family, they will grow up to be gentle, playful and affectionate.

Tips for Leashes — September 15, 2017

Tips for Leashes

Since I live in the city, leash is a necessity. And with huge selection from the stores, how do you know which leash to get? It all comes down to preference.

I prefer nylon leashes. They are durable, don’t easily stretch and are easy to clean. When choosing the right leash, consider the following:

  • Does it feel comfortable in your hand?
  • Does it slip out of your hard easily? If yes, than this is not your leash.
  • If the dog were to suddenly pull, would the leash cut into your hand?
  • Are the clips durable and easy to open/close?

For city dwellers, the leash shouldn’t be more than 4-feet long. It should be long enough to keep your dog close to you and out of danger, yet let it feel unrestricted. If you live in a more remote location, than you can give your dog a little more wiggle room, as you aren’t limited by space

Everyone Does This, You Should Too — September 14, 2017

Everyone Does This, You Should Too

Microchip is essential. In the event your dog goes missing, you want to be able to find it quickly. With microchips, the changes of getting it back are much better.


*** Good to Know ***

If the breeder offer to microchip your dog, accept that offer.


What is a microchip? It’s a tiny transponder, a digital ID, the size of a rice grain. It is implanted just under the skin of your dog. Each chip contains a unique identifier, dog’s name and owner’s information. Any veterinarian office is able to use a special device to scan it.


.:. Tips .:.

You cannot track your dog with microchip. Microchip contains mostly owner information and is not a GPS device.


 

Adopt Porsche — September 13, 2017
Difference between Collar vs. Chest Harness — September 10, 2017

Difference between Collar vs. Chest Harness

Collars vs. Chest Harness                                   

I’m not a big fan of collars. I feel as if I am dragging my dog around by its neck, rather than allowing it to comfortable walk. Don’t get me wrong, there are pros and cons to both. However, as a personal preference, I love chest harness. I know that no matter how much the doggy pulls the leash, chest harness will never “choke” the dog. After all, when I go for walks with my pooches, I let them control where they want to go. If I see an obstacle, I can always redirect them, knowing full well, that they will change direction with a gentle tug of a leash.


*** Do not leave harness on your dog for more than 2 days. It might cause shaving and loss of hair. ***


So what’s the difference between collar and chest harness?  If your dog walks in zigzags, constantly tangling you in their leash, or squirm around a lot, than you can better control it with a collar, simply because they cannot twist around to all sides. However, as the collar sits on their neck, be sure that your dog doesn’t have an injury in the vicinity of a collar or trachea.

Chest Harness on the other hand, is more for dogs, who have mastered basic obedience skills. The harness should be well padded and fit the dog accurately, to avoid being too loose and to avoid chafes.

Click here for a helpful diagram about different chest harnesses, by Planned Urban Life.

The 9 Signs of a Healthy Puppy — September 9, 2017

The 9 Signs of a Healthy Puppy

The general rule is getting a puppy at 8 weeks old or later. It is essential for puppies to spend its first 8 weeks with its mother and siblings. In this short time frame, the puppy learns basic social behavior from its mother.  It develops its personality and learns how to get along with other dogs. If a puppy, is taken too early away from its mother, than it might miss out on learning basic social behavior. We all want our puppy to be happy and social.

Signs of a Healthy Puppy

  • Clear eyes and an alert gaze
  • The fur should be shiny, healthy and well kept
  • No discharge from eyes or nose
  • Has a nice “puppy tummy” and is well nourished
  • The anal region is clean
  • Puppy is curious and full of life, no trouble of running around, jumping and exploring everything around it
  • Expect dog’s droppings. There must not be white “rice” marks (tapeworm segments) nor  diarrhea
  • Check fur for fleas, by running your fingers against the lay of the hair
  • Check for blindness by moving an interesting object in front of them and check their reaction time