Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Needy Dogs – Why To Much Attention Is Bad.

I have chosen this topic because as of late my doggies have become even more needy for attention. I evaluated how we interact to see if there is something in our relationship that is causing this issue. I can only think that I have been at home more than I used to and therefore they have come accustom to the increased interaction that we have. Now that I am getting out of the house more, the attention has dropped and that is causing an emotional response. I have begun to slowly get them back to the level of attention that I have given in the past based on my schedule.

As many of you know, rewarding needy behavior with love obviously is more detrimental to the dog. Dogs work best in a structure environment. This environment must include a management of attention. A dog trainer told me once that his dogs wait for him to tell them they are allowed to come and receive attention. Now I am not sure that this is the extreme that we need to go to as dog owners, but we must realize that needy behavior is detrimental to a dog’s mental and ultimately their health. Dogs that are constantly receiving attention expect to receive this attention 100% of the time. When they do not get, what they assume is the level of attention that is to be provided, they become nervous/anxious and that of course can have a negative impact on their health. I have asked a trainer to provide a brief example and a solution that we all can benefit from below.
What I want all of us to get from this blog is that we must provide love and attention to our dogs in a consistent way and avoid doodting over them. Remember that our lives change (demands at work, new relationships, increase in travel etc.) and these changes have a direct impact on your dog’s mental state. As loving owners we must realize that by providing them attention by our permission is the method in which the dogs can handle our lives and still feel loved.

Molly Feeney
Owner: Just Paws Training LLC

I work with many clients who have attention anxiety. One weekly story we see in our socialization puppy groups is a 3 year old yorkie who absolutely can NOT tolerate his Mom leaving for even the shortest time. Even if his Mom steps out to get a cup of coffee or grab some treats for her pup and he will go crazy, pacing, crying, panting etc...

What we have been doing is having her step out for 30 seconds then 1 minute then longer. This can teach the dog their owner will return and help desensitize them to the situation. We also try to recognize the triggers and cues which promote this behavior. If you cannot pay attention to your pup or do things differently each time you leave, that will promote needy behavior.
Another remedy we have been using is something called Rescue Remedy: http://www.rescueremedy.com. It is an over the counter product you get a natural food stores. The remedy is safe and easy to use for both animals and humans.
If owners work on this behavior with a positive and persistent approach dogs can learn to overcome this problem in time.

Thanks for reading and please comment or provide stories, because it helps us all.



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Safety For Our Furry Friends

First off happy holidays to you all. As I attended Christmas parties; I noticed some events that could have really gotten a dog sick or even die. Remember that not all your friends and acquaintances that you celebrate with this year have dogs and understand that dogs too can get really sick. In one instance I saw folks continually feeding my friend’s dog. As you all know dog are opportunists by nature and will of course accept food when presented. After awhile the dog slinked away to throw up and eventually the next day became very sick from being fed too much and being fed things that they should not have. Another instance I notice a complete immature adult feeding a dog alcohol. He of course thought this was the funniest thing that he ever saw. You all know how alcohol affects humans, but in dogs the process of breaking down the alcohol is quite different and can lead to sickness and aggressive behavior. And of course the chocolate. Remember that this can lead to death of a dog quickly. All of us have those awesome holiday treats around, so just remember to have them in a place the dogs cannot get to.

I guess what I am saying is that remind those around you that your dog is not to be fed by anyone but you and by no means fed alcohol or chocolates. Ask those close to you to monitor these requests with those that you do know that well so you and your best friend will enjoy the holidays.

Finally, during this coming New Year let’s all remember those dogs that are not as privilege as ours and donate to our local pet charities. Even just a small bag of food can help your local shelters provide a better life for those dogs that are abandon or abused.

Happy New Year from all of us at DoggStarr.com.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stem Cell Treatments for Dogs

I wanted to start off by saying that I have absolutely no affiliation to the company mentioned below. I wrote this blog to give my opinion only and to elicit feedback and thoughts from everyone in hopes that we can all become more informed about health options for our dogs.

I was recently at the vet and found out that my female St. Bernard has arthritis. Of course I was very concerned. As the parent of my wonderful, loving dog I immediately began to pepper my doctor with questions of how best to deal with this issue with minimal medication. As a person who in generally does not like to medicate myself for injuries, I was hoping that another solution could be found for Saffie. As we discussed options she told of the stem cell treatment that is being offered by a company called Vet-Stem (http://www.vet-stem.com). The procedure seems to be straight forward. They take fat cell from the dogs; ship them overnight, Vet-Stem processes the cells and produces healthy stem cells that are sent back to the vet for injection. Of course I was very skeptical due in part to the lack of progress in human stem cell research. Now I have to admit that I have yet to do the procedure as my dog is responding well right now to medication and due to the fact that this procedure, I have been told, is expensive. But, my vet has done the procedure on 10 dogs at the time of this blog and all 10 have recovered from their arthritis. There is also talk that this may help hip dysplasia as well. One note, there are limited research numbers on the percentage of dogs that respond to the treatment versus those that don’t. Also, I could not find any side effect information on this procedure. Of course there are no guarantees that this will work, but at least there are options now to help our dogs live better lives.
If the medication treatment for Saffie does not work or seems to have a limiting effect, I will be doing the procedure on her.

I would suggest to those that are looking for an alternative to medication to check out this procedure and talk with your vet in order to make an informed decision.

If anyone has had the procedure done on their dog I would love that you share your thoughts. I want everyone who reads this blog to have real stories (good and bad), so they can arm themselves with as much information as possible.

Take care!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dog Safety While Walking – Retractable leashes?

I noticed the other day a young woman walking her two labs. She had them on two retractable leashes and was having troubles controlling her dogs. Especially when they hit the smells of my dogs in front of my house. They pushed and pulled her in an effort to get as many smells in that they could. The leashes wrapped around her and she fell to the ground.

I have always thought that retractable leashes were very dangerous. These leashes provide no control over dogs at all. The idea behind these leashes is to allow dogs to move ahead of their owners with great distance. But one must ask “who really is the leash retracting?” The owner. When your dog(s) is face with another dogs(s) for example, the owner has no control over their dogs(s) they are too far ahead and these types of leashes are not strong enough to pull the dogs(s) back. So if any issue arises you better learn to run fast to avoid any type of situation where you dog(s) may get hurt.

Take another situation. Your dog(s) sees something that they want to chase. They run after it and before you know it your dog(s) are in the street, putting them in danger of being hit by a car etc.

In my opinion if you really want to be in control you must stop using such a device. In reality you have no control over your dog(s), which puts you and the dog(s) at great risk.

Remember walking a dog(s) with a short, stronger leash still achieves the goal of providing exercise for both you and your dog(s). Safety first is used quite frequently in a variety of social circumstance and that mantra should be applied here as well.

As always I appreciate your comments and thoughts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update to Joint Post

I have been told that you can find joint medicine at jefferspet.com as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cold Weather Joint Relief

It's winter time here again and one thing that sometimes we may overlook with our furry love ones is how this affects their joints. Being an owner of two St. Bernard’s I see how the cold air changes their mobility. There are many different methods of dealing with this issue. My first recommendation is that you give your dogs glucosamine year round. I have found that Cosequin for dogs works extremely well and it is easy to use. Just break the capsules open and pour the contents over your dog’s food. It is tasteless so you should have no troubles. You can find this product at either at your vet or at 1800 Pet Meds (http://www.1800petmeds.com/Cosequin+for+Dogs+-prod10317.html). The other more immediate relief is to go to your vet and ask for Meloxicam (I would not recommend giving you dogs Advil or like products). This is an anti-inflammatory and depending on the size of your dog you just give them one pill as needed. Remember that as we all get a bit older our joints seem to show the wear of life. Joint health in dogs is key to keeping your dog happy and pain free!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Hello. I wanted to introduce myself and my company. DoggStarr is committed to providing high quality products for dog owners. I will regularly be posting information on dog ownership and other information that relates to that topic. Stay tuned!