Thursday, August 4, 2016

Natural Tick Control

In the spring I purchased the popular brands of tick control. Namely, the commercial solution that you drip between the shoulder blades. 

Bruiser was somewhat despondent for a day but Rocki was SICK...lethargic, shaking, didn't eat. I did some research online and found that many dogs got sick from this "preventative" measure and indeed, some even died. I toyed with taking him to the vet but he slowly got better and I never did do that. What I did note was that even with the treatment, they still had the odd tick that was immune to the chemical cocktail in their systems and still had to be removed. However, it stuck in my head that there must be a better way to treat them for ticks without them getting violently ill from commercial products.

After much research, I discovered that Geranium Oil (which can be purchased at any health food store) was recommended for ticks. So, my boys became guinea pigs in my Shih-Tzu lab.

I bought the oil and applied it between the shoulder blades and then let them out. No ticks. I reapplied it after a couple of days. No ticks. They run in the grass and we own part of the forest behind the house where they run - no ticks.

So what are at the side effects of Geranium Oil? Nothing...except your dogs smell like geraniums. Which could be a good or bad thing depending on your sense of smell!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Booties

My boys do not like winter. They do not like the cold nor do they like snow.

I worry about their little feet so I bought some dog booties for them to wear when they go out. Temperatures here can be as cold as -35 C so it's not pretty when you think of going out in "bare" feet.

The booties are made for little dogs. They are black felt material and have a velcro strap that allows you to tighten them on the dog's foot. So armed with my new buy, I went to grab Bruiser who refused to sit still to put the booties on. Because Bruiser is the daredevil of the two (he will leap from chairs or your arms because he thinks he can fly) I decided Rocki was the safer bet to try on the booties.

I got him in my lap and proceeded to put the first bootie on. When it was done I allowed him to walk so I could gauge if I had it on right. Obviously it was not tight enough as the first thing he did was run away, grab the bootie in his teeth and yank it off, and then proceeded to beat the crap out of it. He shook it, pawed it, growled at it, and then shook it some more. He would not come near me again so getting booties on them was a wasted effort. I tried again this winter - no luck. As you can guess, the doggie sweaters I bought are nothing more than a new irritant that they would rather beat up that wear.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ear Infection Finally Gone!

My little Bruiser has always had some form of yeast infection in his ear. I got sick and tired of taking him to the vet to get antibiotics only to find the ear infection clear up for a couple of weeks and then come back.

Thanks to a local groomer, I have found a better solution.  Something so simple...

Apple cider vinegar.

I was told to put some in a spray bottle and do a quick spritz in his ear. At first I couldn't find a bottle so I took a cotton ball and dipped it in the vinegar. Usually Bruiser is very sensitive to anything in his ear...he will yelp or nip...but when I applied it he never flinched.

I did notice that the vinegar dries the ear out and makes it itchy so I bought a tube of Zincofax and rubbed it in his ear. That took away the itch.

He has finally stopped scratching his ears and constantly shaking his head.  Love it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunrise in the Country

Bruiser is always up with the birds and loves to sit at his favorite perch - the couch - and watch the sun come up.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Walmart Finds

"Red Dog" was discovered at Wal-Mart one day and was one of the best purchases we made. Bruiser likes to beat the living daylights out of him (a good workout!) and Rocki likes to sleep with him. All in all, a good find.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just Rub My Tummy...

Bruiser is the king of tummy rubs. Rocki likes them but Bruiser takes the cake. He will follow me around the house, run in front of me and then plop himself down so I can give him the tummy rub. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I have to bend down and rub his tummy. He'd have them 24 hours a day if he could.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Being Responsible for Your Pet

When we moved to a small town, we immediately built a fence around the house so our dogs had a place to run without disturbing others and without worrying about other dogs and assorted critters getting into the yard. To me, it was just what a responsible pet owner does - you keep your pet in your yard.

In this town, however, I didn't realize that dogs were such a huge issue. It seemed that many people had dogs, however, they were allowed to roam all over town and do whatever they wanted. Many people were fed up with this, particularly with some of the large dogs who would not be described as friendly. One older lady was going for a walk and was cornered by one loose dog. She was rescued by a local storeowner who chased the dog away. There was another dog - a big german shepherd - who was not friendly, chased cars and people, and lives right next to the school. They found evidence of her wandering on the school grounds and chasing little kids. The real fear came when she had pups and became even more aggressive...right next to the school.

Many town people were complaining. There was a bylaw about the dogs but no one seemed to be doing anything to enforce it...we couldn't get past the town secretary who kept telling us it was our responsibility to contact the dog owner and deal with it (even though the bylaw said different). In the end, a group of us got together and went to the next Town Council meeting to demand that something be done. And it was...we not only got the Council to begin enforcing the bylaw, but we got them to amend it to say we could use a picture as evidence of a dog on the loose in town and we got them to up the fine from $15 to $500.

Amazing how fast money talks. Overnight, all the lax pet owners immediately found ways to keep their dogs in their yards.

You know, the sad part of all this was that people were shooing the dogs and aiming their cars at the ones on the road, but it was never the fault of the animal. It was the fault of the owners. One in particular had a beautiful, well tempered little cross breed who was always allowed to run free and usually hung out on the road. I don't know how many times she was almost hit by car. She was always left outside. No one ever paid any attention to her. And all this little pooch wanted was some love. She would pee whenever she saw me because she was so excited and knew that she would get a nice belly rub and lots of affection. One of the councillors and I used to plot how we could find her a good home, kidnap her from the road and take her to a loving place. We even went so far as to discreetly speak to people from nearby towns to see if they wanted this sweet little dog.

In the end we do not have a problem with dogs. There is a lot of bitching and grumping about the new bylaw, but the bottom line is if you have a pet you need to take responsibility for it. That means caring for it, giving it affection, taking it to the vet and ensuring that your pet stays on your property for the safety of others and the dog's own safety.