January 28, 2007

Little Dogs and Garden Ponds

We had an interesting experience last week that could have turned out badly, and I thought it may be a good idea to share with other dog owners (especially those with very small dogs). We've always wanted a small fountain at the end of our patio so, finally getting a spell of really nice weather, we went ahead and installed one. We used one of those black pre-made plastic pond forms that you bury in the ground and then fill (like you see in the garden centers of most hardware stores), and the one we selected is only a couple of feet wide and maybe a foot deep. It seemed harmless enough, but the morning after we had it filled, our littlest Mini Pinscher fell into it.

We're not even sure why she went near it, since she has no great fondness for water, but nevertheless she did. I scooped her out immediately, and there was no harm done, but it occurred to me then how dangerous even the smallest ponds could be. Though the water isn't even high enough to reach my knees, it's well over her little head. Even worse, most pond forms are very smooth inside (which doesn't allow for traction) and the sides are almost vertical. There would have been no way she would have been ok if she had been outside without supervision. We immediately put a very stout decorative fence around said pond, even though the dogs don't go out alone!

Now I'm sure a some of you are out there reading this and saying "duh!", but when you have a dog that dislikes water and a pond that's just about as shallow as they get, it's easy to feel safe. I post this as a warning to others who have tiny dogs or puppies though... be careful of with your water decorations. Even some of the kiddie swimming pools that are on the market today are deeper that a little dog could handle, and they can apparently pick the oddest times to get curious!

January 17, 2007

Pegetable Dog Treats Review

Awhile back we sent away for some free samples of dog treats from the Pegetable company, and ours arrived here yesterday. If you are not familiar with them, Pegetables are edible chews, similar to Greenies. With so many dogs, we are always trying new treats, and these impressed me right away. I noticed that they were a tad bit softer than other edible chews that we had gotten before and, with a quick zap in the microwave, we were able to soften one of the chews in order to cut it in half for our Mini Pinschers.
The company had sent the celery flavored treats, which I had my doubts as to whether our dogs would go for or not, but all four pups took to them immediately. We never give our dogs chew bones without supervision, and as we watched them with the Pegetables it was amazing how the treats were tough enough for the large dogs not to gobble down, yet soft enough that the tiny dogs weren't having any trouble at all with them. What few pieces broke off during the chewing were quite small and somewhat flaky, and when I picked one up I noticed that it was fairly soft compared to other brands--- thus eliminating any worries about them choking on a piece. Best of all, these treats were really clean. No stains, no greasy mess, NOTHING on the carpeting when the feasting was done!
Our dogs really loved these, and I am definitely going let them try the other flavors that are available.

January 05, 2007

10 Naughty Dog New Year's Resolutions

Well, we've interviewed the naughtiest of naughty dogs this year to bring you the top ten bad dog New Year's resolutions:

#10. Learn to open the biscuit box
#9. Practice my howling more
#8. Keep the mail guy out of the yard
#7. Find more hiding places for my toys
#6. Teach that bad soccer ball not to run away
#5. Help mom lose weight by snitching her food
#4. Finish digging the hole under the fence
#3. Catch the Evil Squirrel
#2. Rescue the squeeky thing that's stuck in my toy
#1. Poo in the neighbor's yard so ours stays clean

January 04, 2007

We're Back

Hello fellow dog bloggers. It's been quite awhile since there's been a post here, but a lot has happened in that time. Puppycoat Junction has undergone a complete re-structuring, and we have added and dropped many brands in the proccess. As a matter of fact, we are still adding some of the new things, so the website is changing almost daily.

More importantly though, two of our dogs have had some serious medical problems in the past few months, and we are spending every spare moment with them. One morning in late October we noticed that Jay (the eldest Boxer) was extremely lethargic, and we couldn't get him to eat anything. Since we have dealt with spinal problems with him (which makes him lethargic) and bladder stones (which makes him lethargic AND not eat), we just assumed that he was having a flare-up of one of those problems and calmly scheduled a veterinary appointment. But the following morning he had a high fever and was noticibly dehydrated... and we all panicked! It took two veterinarians and a whole slew of tests to pinpoint the problem, which turned out to be a severe prostrate infection. I'm still boggled as to how it could have gotten that bad without him showing any signs earlier, and at how quickly he went down. He didn't respond well to the first few antibiotics, and it was late November/early December before he started acting like himself again. Now he's severely underweight. If any of you have any suggestions for anything that might put weight on this guy (low sodium and no dairy), PLEASE let us know. We've tried all the top brands of store-bought dog foods, a prescription-only dog food, and now I'm cooking human foods for him and nothing's working. It makes you want to cry to look at him, because every rib and bone in his body sticks out, but we can't think of anything else to try. The vet says he's fine, but that he's just "old" (as if we didn't know that!!).

A couple of weeks after the ordeal began with Jay, Mia (the eldest Min Pin) stopped responding to her heart medications and her lungs began to fill with fluid. Luckily, we caught this *very* early, and the vet was able to adjust her meds accordingly. We have to watch her activities and her diet very closely now, and we have been warned that her age is working against her too.

Both dogs are on quite a few meds daily, and we have learned an interesting thing about doggie meds that may be useful for some of you. Many of these drugs are the same medications that humans take, and the prescriptions for most can be filled at your local Walgreens or Walmart for a fraction of the cost of getting them from the veterinarian's office (we pay less than half price for Mia's & Jay's at the drug store). This may not hold true for everyone everywhere, but it's sure helped us with our pup's needs!