Help Your Senior Dog Live A Happy Healthy Life

The beautiful, bright-eyed, over-active puppy you brought home about seven years ago, is now entering a new phase of his life. Welcome to the senior dog years!senior dog health

Signs of Aging in Senior Dogs

Just like humans, senior dogs will begin to display signs of aging.  Along with the graying muzzles, his mental and physical health will begin to change.

Aging Dogs Arthritis and Joint Problems

You may notice your senior dog begins to walk slower and tire easier.  He may become snappy and not want to be touched.  He probably long ago learned not to jump up on people but now he may also have trouble jumping up onto the porch, into the car or onto the bed. And stairs may be slow or impossible to climb. Old bones and tired muscles are now in control. Consider putting carpet or treads on your steps. Ramps are available for porches, decks, cars and beds. And nutritional supplements can help to ease the arthritis achiness he is feeling. Your Vet may also prescribe an arthritis medication.  A supplement that is working well for our fifteen-year-old senior dog is Glucosamine Chondroitin.  Short frequent walks with your senior dog help to keep his joints limber. Your Vet may also prescribe an arthritis medication.  

  • Consider putting carpet or treads on your steps.
  • Ramps are available for porches, decks, cars, and beds.
  • Nutritional supplements can help to ease the arthritis achiness he is feeling. Your Vet may also prescribe an arthritis medication.  A supplement that is working well for our fifteen-year-old senior dog is Glucosamine Chondroitin.  We use and like the Naturvet Brand.  
  • Short frequent walks with your senior dog help to keep his joints limber.
  • Get an Orthopedic Bed to cushion and support your older dog’s joints.

Incontinence and Your Aging Dog

Older dogs go through changes just as they did in their puppy years. You may notice your senior dog urinating in the house. Remember when you patiently (for the most part) cleaned up his potty accidents, taught him not to jump on visitors and walk beside you (not several blocks ahead) on a leash? Well, now there may again be potty accidents due to forgetfulness or the fact that his bladder and bowels cannot hold it so well any longer. More frequent bathroom breaks may be in order. Remember, your senior dog does not want to disappoint you. He just is not able to wait.

  • If you have a job outside the home, try to arrange for someone to come in during the day to let your dog out for a bathroom break.  Hiring a dog walker may be an option.
  • You can revert to the puppy days and use pee pads in your dog’s area when you are not home.  Puppy pads can also be used in your dog’s bed if he is peeing while lying down.  
  • Another option for dog’s that wet their bed;  Replace the bed with a crib or bassinette mattress, depending on your dog’s size.  Cover with sheets to fit and then you can simply remove the wet sheet, wipe down the plastic surface of the mattress and replace it with a clean sheet.  Often these sheets can be found at yard sales.

 

Age Related Health Issues to Watch for in Your Older Dog:

*Sudden lethargic behavior in a senior dog

*Cloudy eyes in your aging dog

*Older dog not seeming to hear you when called

*Slowness in movement or limping

*Confusion

*Senior dog losing weight

*Senior dog urinating in the house

While many of these changes are a normal part of aging if the symptoms appear suddenly or are very pronounced, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. It could be a sign of a serious ailment that needs medical treatment.

15 Tips to Help Your Senior Dog Enjoy a Healthy, Happy Retirement:

  1. Exercise your senior dog with short, frequent walks and gentle, stimulating play.  Don’t over do and be aware of the temperature when walking.  Choose to take your walks in the early morning or later evening times.  Take a small container and bottle of water with you and offer frequent sips to your dog. For convenience, I recommend a portable water/feeder to carry with you on your dog’s walk. This one has over 13,000 great reviews on Amazon.
  2.  Change to a good quality senior formula dog food.
  3. Avoid giving too many treats or overfeeding to help prevent extra weight on his old bones. Green beans are a good substitute for more fattening treats and are easy for your aging dog to chew.
  4. Consider helpful aids like dog ramps, quality padded and heated beds, add nutritional supplements to his diet.
  5. Hopefully, you have already established a relationship with a good veterinarian that knows your dog. Now is the time to step up the visits to at least twice a year so your vet. can give your senior dog a physical assessment, checking for lumps and any other warning signs that may signal a need for further tests or treatment. Be sure to include dental care in your dog’s Vet visit.
  6. Keep your senior dog groomed, bathed, nails clipped and ears cleaned to help him feel refreshed. He may not think he likes a bath but, just like us, he will feel so much better when freshly bathed and groomed. And don’t forget to tell him, in your best praising tone, how good he smells and looks.
  7. Consider seeking out a dog massage therapist or learning to do dog massage yourself.  Does wonders for achy joints and dogs love to be touched.
  8. Provide your aging dog with good dental care.  Poor care of your dog’s teeth and gums will cause him discomfort and may lead to heart and kidney disease.  Brush his teeth at least a couple of times a week with a toothbrush specially made for dogs.  If you need help with how to brush your dog’s teeth, take a look at this article.  You can also supply your senior dog with a dog teeth cleaning chew toy that helps clean his teeth and massages the gums.  And, he will not even suspect it is good for him.  Get your dog a professional teeth cleaning at his veterinarian if his mouth has been neglected and he has tarter and plaque buildup.
  9. An elevated food and water bowl will be helpful if your aging dog has difficulty bending down to eat and drink.
  10. If your senior dog has trouble walking or getting up, try a sling lift harness specially made to help him.  We used one for our senior Lab mix and it was a true blessing.  It helped us to get her outside to potty as well as gave her a small bit of exercise.
  11. Older dogs tend to have less of an appetite and may lose some weight.  f your senior dog does not want to eat, try adding bits of cheese, some meat baby food or canned sardines to his food.  This often will help stimulate his appetite and help prevent weight loss.
  12. As the weather gets chillier, make sure your elderly dog is staying warm.  Provide him with a warm sweater or tuck a blanket around him as he sleeps.
  13. Keep your aged dog bathed and groomed.  We all feel better after a nice bath or shower and your older dog is no exception.
  14. Spend time taking your older dog out for special treats.  Chances are he will still enjoy a trip to Starbucks for a Puppichino or to McDonalds for a plain cheeseburger.  Take him to the park, simply to enjoy being outside and watching the world go by.
  15. Above all, shower your senior dog with lots and lots of hugs, praise and affection. Dogs, as well as humans, live happy healthier lives when they are shown love and acceptance.

Your senior dog may not be the bouncy active dog he once was but inside still dwells the puppy you once knew.  But, in his golden years he still desires many of the things he has always enjoyed.  By giving him these things, as his health permits, it will help him to live a happier healthier life and you will know you have given him the best throughout all the years of his life.

 

Your Dog Swallowed WHAT???

Panic settles in when you discover your dog swallowed an object not meant for canine consumption.  Dogs have an innate ability to find and consume the most unusual things.  Knowing what to do when your dog has swallowed something bad for him is the first step to making sure he will recover from his antics.

Prevent Dog Swallowing Foreign Objects

It is nearly impossible to entirely prevent your dog from swallowing things that are bad for them.  But, it is important to take our best precautions in order to assure our canine companions remain healthy.

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  • If you have a fenced yard your dog is allowed to play in, check it regularly for any items that may have fallen or been thrown into the yard.  Make sure your children keep any toys picked up after playing.
  • Always check on your dog regularly when he is outside.
  • When walking your dog, keep him within sight on a leash.  They are amazingly fast at finding foreign objects to eat.
  • Keep all laundry, socks, underwear, and shoes out of reach of your dog.
  • Make sure your purse is tightly closed and out of reach.
  • Keep all trash secured in a locked trash can away from your dog’s inquiring nose.  This locking trash can works great for that purpose and comes in five colors to match your decor.
  • If you crate your dog at night or while you’re away, use a crate bed that is as chew proof as possible.
  • Dogs love raw beef bones, but be sure to take the bone away after all the meat is off the bone. (Do not feed cooked bones as they break down and become splintery.
  • Two great options to keep your dog busy and satisfy his desire to chew are Buffalo Horns or Deer Antlers.  They last forever and don’t tend to splinter or break off.  Of course, as with anything, always monitor your dog’s chewing, removing the item when you are not with him.  My dogs have had their Bully Bones and Deep Antlers for months and they remain intact.  And, my heavy chewer, American Staffordshire Terrier really gives them a workout.

Symptoms Your Dog Swallowed a Foreign Object

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting – usually undigested
  • Nausea – frequently licking of the lips, drooling, gagging
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • May want to be alone, retreating to another room or into a corner
  • Abdomen tender to the touch

What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Swallowed A Foreign Object

The first and most important thing to do if you even suspect your dog has swallowed a foreign object is to call your Veterinarian.  The Vet will be able to tell you if your dog will need to be seen immediately or if you can take a wait and see approach.  Some of the most common things veterinarians hear are:

My Dog Swallowed A Sock  

We all seem to have the problem of our washing machine eating socks, you know, the mysterious occurrence of two socks going in and only one coming out, usually never to be seen again.  A similar thing happens with dogs.  Maybe you left your dirty socks on the floor or in an accessible laundry basket.  Suddenly, instead of a pair, you have a single.  This could be a case of your dog swallowing your sock.  It is important to get your dog help as quick as possible before the sock enters the intestine where it could become lodged, creating a blockage. Your Vet will likely decide to x-ray to determine where the sock is located within your dog’s body.  From there he will possibly decide to induce vomiting if the sock is not yet in the intestine or surgery may be needed if the sock has passed into the intestine.  In any event, it is imperative that the dog is at his Vet.  Do not induce the vomiting yourself, as the sock could come partially up and cause the dog to choke.  Best to be at the Vet if that happens.   

My Dog Swallowed A Corncob

We know this emergency well.  Our Pitbull, Bella was adopted from our county Pound.  She was very thin and sad looking but did not appear really unhealthy.  Withing about two months she had put on some pounds and looked good.  Suddenly, she began to vomit, grow lethargic and would not eat.  We took her to her Vet who examined her and sent her to a specialist who diagnosed her with an intestinal obstruction.  She was scheduled for surgery where they removed a putrid corncob about six inches long.  The corncob was still intact.  Apparently, before being picked up by the county Pound, she had been roaming the streets, finding whatever she could to eat and survive.  She found a corncob.  Bella’s surgeon theorized that the corncob had originally settled in a place where it was not causing symptoms.  Then, it moved and that’s when the symptoms began.  Even with the corncob removed, there was considerable infection left behind.  With good care and about $5,000 in fees, Bella recovered.

My Dog Swallowed A Bone 

Dogs and bones, of course, go together.  Dogs love them and will love them to death, gnawing away until they are gone, but the cannot be allowed to do so. 

  1. Splinters of the bone can become stuck in the dog’s teeth, gums or throat. 
  2. Whole chunks of bone can be swallowed and become lodged in the dog’s intestines. 
  3. Sharp pieces of bones can cause injury to your dog’s esophagus, windpipe or cause severe rectum bleeding. 
  4. Sharp fragments may pierce the intestinal wall or stomach causing a bacterial infection called peritonitis.  This is potentially fatal to your dog.
  5. The bone may become lodged in your dog’s windpipe, blocking air passage and creating a breathing difficulty
  6. The bone can become stuck in your dog’s jaw, keeping him from being able to open or close his mouth and causing great pain and discomfort.
  7. Constipation may result from the bowel being unable to pass the stool past the bone piece that is stuck in the intestine.  This will cause your dog to experience a build-up of painful gas as well as pain from the sharpness of the bone.

My Dog Swallowed String

String is so much fun for dogs, but bad fun.  They love to unravel their bedding and toys, pulling and devouring the string.  Unfortunately, this fun can turn hazardous, when the string is swallowed and becomes wrapped around your dog’s insides.  Be cautious around Thanksgiving.  The string used to tie the turkey legs are an especially tasty temptation with the bits of meat attached. Sometimes string your dog eats will also have objects attached to them, such as fish hooks or needles, causing even greater concern.  DO NOT pull or cut any string you may see visible in your dog’s mouth or protruding from his rectum as this will likely cause even more danger for your dog.  Take him to his Vet immediately. 

My Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick

Bully sticks are easily digestible and break down in your dog’s digestive tract.  This makes them one of the least harmful objects for your dog to swallow.  Just be sure to choose a quality Bully Stick.  These Dog Bully Sticks are 100% USA sourced and made so no worrying about what some foreign country is allowing in the product.  They are high in protein and odorless.

My Dog Swallowed A Penny

A penny may seem the least harmful foreign object your dog could swallow.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Pennies contain zinc which is extremely toxic to dogs.  Your dog needs to be seen IMMEDIATELY if you even suspect he has swallowed a penny.  Zinc poisoning can cause:

  • Liver Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Anemia

Your vet will likely x-ray to reveal the location of the penny.  Smaller objects can often be removed through an endoscopy tube inserted down your dog’s throat.  Then the dog will need supportive care to monitor and treat any toxins from the penny.

My Dog Ate His Toy

Depending on what kind and what part of his toy he has swallowed, the dog may eventually pass it through his stool.  Small non-sharp pieces, without string attached, may come out the other end okay.  Of course, call your Vet anyway to be safe.

My Dog Swallowed A Rock

A rock of all things!  Couldn’t be tasty.  But dogs will eat about anything.  If your dog swallows a pebble of smaller rock, it will likely pass through the stool.  If he swallows a larger rock, your dog may require surgery.  As always, call your Vet to confirm the best course.

My Dog Ate A Stick

Dogs love chewing sticks.  They can and will chew off and swallow bits and pieces.  The danger occurs when sharp pieces jab into the mouth which can cause an infection.  Also, sharp chunks can become lodged in the dog’s throat or intestine causing a blockage or infection.  Call your Vet right away if you know your dog has swallowed a stick.

Dogs are natural chewers.  They can and will chew almost anything.  We as their caretakers must be vigilant to supply safer alternatives for chewing as well as making sure their environment is as safe and free from danger as possible.

  • Choose dog beds that are as indestructible as possible.  The Kuranda Elevated Dog Bed is exceptionally strong and durable.  It can be used inside or out and resists moisture.  If you prefer a plusher choice, the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed is a great choice.  Not only is this bed durable and made for heavy chewers, but it is also made of orthopedic memory foam and has a waterproof liner with a removable cover for washing.
  • Supply your dog with an assortment of safer chewing options. Elk Antlers are a wonderful option for aggressive chewers. Elk Antlers are long-lasting and very hard to break off pieces.  They will supply months of chewing pleasure for your dog and hopefully distract him from seeking out guilty and dangerous pleasure, such as socks, underwear, and trash.  This Ultra-Durable Chew Toy made by Monster K-9 has been tested on heavy chewers including Pitbulls and German Shepherds.  It is non-toxic with a lifetime guarantee, so you have nothing to lose in giving it a try.

Your veterinarian is your dog’s best ally.  When your dog swallows a foreign object, place a call to him immediately.  He is the best one to advise on the next step.  If after hours, do not hesitate to call the nearest Emergency Veterinarian.  Time is of the most importance on many swallowed objects.  It can make the difference in a simpler inducing vomiting solution and a serious and expensive surgery.  Also, it can make a difference in whether your dog recovers completely or dies.

 

 

Dog Poop; What the Color and Consistency Means

Dog Poop, something no one wants to talk about (or clean up.)  However, your dog’s poop can reveal a lot about his health.  Consistency, color and frequency can all be indicators of problems.

Nobody likes cleaning up dog poop but paying attention to certain aspects of your dog’s poop can help to detect health problems early on.  And, since it needs cleaned up anyway, take the opportunity to check out these characteristics of your dog’s smelly gift. 

What is Normal Dog Poop?

Normal can vary from dog to dog but generally speaking, normal dog poop will be firm and moist with a medium to darker brown color, similar to chocolate.  It is also usually shaped somewhat like a Tootsie Roll.

Changes in Dog Stool Color or Texture

Why is my Dog’s Poop Yellow?

Changes in your dog’s stool to a yellow color could be the result of something he ate.  In this case, the yellow will usually appear in splotches in the poop as opposed to a solid yellow.  Yellow dog poop can also be caused by something more serious, such as, liver problems or intestinal parasites.  A trip to your dog’s vet is the best idea to rule out serious issues.

Why is my Dog’s Poop Red?

Red dog poop can also mean your dog has eaten something red.  This is usually caused when feeding human table scraps to your dog.  The red poop color is also caused by bleeding in the dog’s lower digestive tract.  It can be the result of inflammation or if the dog is straining to poop.

Why is my Dog’s Poop Green?

Green dog poop can mean that your dog has eaten an large amount of grass or it could be a result of a more serious issue, such as internal parasites or the ingestion of rat poisoning.  An immediate Vet appointment is necessary.

Why is my Dog’s Poop Black?

If your dog’s poop is a black tarry color or a maroon shade, it can mean he has bleeding in his upper gastrointestinal tract and is bleeding internally.  An immediate trip to the dog’s Veterinarian is necessary.

Why is my Dog’s Poop Runny?

Runny, loose dog poop can happen anytime.  And, usually does.  Often, this is a result of changing your dog’s diet.  Or, he may have been counter-surfing or garbage can diving.  If this is the reason, the stool will return to normal in a short time.  If it does not, or if your dog is showing other symptoms, such as; lethargy, loss of appetite or not drinking water, call your Vet right away.

Why is my Dogs Poop Greasy Looking?

A greasy looking dog stool can be a sign of Pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas.  This may be caused by too much fat in the diet from a high fat dog food or feeding table scraps.

Why is There Mucous in my Dogs Poop?

A certain amount of mucous in a dog’s stool is normal.  It is produced to help lubricate and move food waste through the colon.  An excess of mucous in dog poop can be a sign of parasites or even parvovirus.  See your Veterinarian to check it out.

Why are There White Specks in my Dog’s Poop?

Small, white segments in dog poop can be pieces of tapeworm.  You may also see very thin, wiggly worms within your dog’s poop.  Take a sample to the Vet for treatment options.

Why is There Hair in my Dog’s Poop?

Hair in dog poop can be a result of excessive grooming on your dog’s part.  Allergies or skin issues can cause your dog to lick himself excessively which will allow him to swallow the fur.  What goes in, will come out.  Check your dog’s skin for red or bumpy spots and pay attention to runny noses, sneezing and coughing which are signs he may have allergies.  Check out these signs your dog has allergies for more help.

 

Infographic by petMD.com

You likely will need to take a stool sample into your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis why your dog has a change in color or texture of his stool. 

Tips for Gathering a Dog Stool Sample:

  • Make sure the stool is fresh.
  • Using a clean plastic bag, placed over your hand, gently scoop the sample into a clean, shallow plastic container.
  • You can also try a plastic spoon of popsicle stick to scoop the stool into the container.
  • Refrigerate the stool sample until transport to the Vet.

The color and consistency of your dog’s poop can be indicators of health issues, both minor and serious.  Your dog’s veterinarian is the only one who can give you the full scoop on what the changes in your dog’s poop means.  Any changes should be checked out by your vet, especially if they persist and/or are accompanied by other symptoms, such as: change in appetite or water consumption, lethargy, vomiting or anything else that is unusual to your dog.  Get your dog seen by his vet quickly to assure his return to good health.

 

Are Rawhide Bones Bad For Dogs?

The short answer is YES!  Rawhide bones can be a danger to your dog’s health.  Chewing is a healthy and necessary part of your dog’s life.  Dog love to chew and chewing helps to keep his teeth clean but be very careful what your dog chews.

Five Reasons Rawhide Bones Are Unsafe For Your Dog

  • Can cause digestive upset  As your dog consumes his rawhide chew, it becomes a gooey, slimy mess that can get stuck in the roof of his mouth, in his throat or esophagus.  
  • Large pieces may be broken off and become lodged in your dog’s digestive tract, causing a potentially fatal blockage.  this is one of the most common causes of emergencies in Veterinary practices and often requires surgery to save the dog’s life.
  • Rawhide bones may contain harmful chemicals.  Rawhides are soaked in peroxide, bleach and even has been soaked in arsenic to remove the hair and “clean” the hide.  The chews are often coated with “flavor enhancers” to entice your dog.
  • Rawhide bones are commonly made outside the USA, where regulations are laxer.  Countries such as China, Korea and Thailand are frequent sources. 

Why Rawhide Bones Are Unsafe For Your Dog

 

After seeing how Rawhide Chew Bones are made, I’m sure you will agree, these should not be an option in your dog’s life.  Fortunately, there are better options, although you should monitor anything your dog chews.

 Safe Dog Chews – Alternatives To Deadly Rawhides

  • Carrots make great short-term chews for dogs.  These are more a treat than a chew since most dogs will make short work of them.  Most dogs love carrots due to their crunch and natural sweetness.  You will love them for their nutrition value.  They are loaded with vitamins and are low in calories which makes for a great treat for dogs watching their weight.  The larger carrots work well for big dogs but I like to keep bags of baby carrots in my fridge for my crew.  My Pitbull mix, Lab mix and Boxer mix all love when I head for the Refrigerator, knowing they are likely to be offered a carrot. 

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  • Deer, Elk and Moose Antlers provide long-term chewing pleasure for your dog.  Antlers are naturally shed in the Spring.  They are gathered and cut into pieces for all dog sizes.  My heavy chewers have been working on their antlers for months and still going strong. 

 

 

  • Bully Horns are another awesome choice instead of Rawhide Bones.  These are my dogs personal favorites.  They last forever and the dogs love to chew them for hours.  They have a hollow center that can be filled with peanut butter for an added treat.  Or, try putting a couple small carrots into the hollow to give your dog some mental stimulation.

 

 

Dogs love to chew and they are gonna chew whether it’s your shoe, furniture leg or a healthy natural choice that you choose.  Chewing is not only enjoyable for your dog, it’s a necessary activity for his dental health.  Bad dental health can lead to an unhealthy body,including heart disease.  For more help with keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, check out this article.

Bone Broth for Dogs

Bone Broth for Dogs is a tail-wagging, tongue licking, nutrition packed addition to your dog’s diet.  This broth, full of densely packed goodness will please your dog’s palate while allowing you to feel assured you are contributing to his good health.

Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

  • Bone Broth contains joint supporting items like glucosamine. chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid.
  • Bone Broth contains a large amount of Glysine which acts as a liver detoxifying agent.  Our dogs are exposed to an enormous amount of chemicals in a normal household, such as: carpets, upholstery, detergents and cleaning products and flea medications.  These chemicals work constantly to assault your dog’s liver.  Bone Broth to the rescue!
  • Bone Broth is loaded with gelatine which helps with food sensitivities, digestion and allergies.
  • Older or sick dogs can benefit from nutrient-rich bone broth to help make up for what they are lacking due to a poor appetite.  The taste may also encourage them to eat when their appetite is poor.

How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs

Feeding your dog bone broth is a healthy, tasty choice.  Fortunately, it is also an inexpensive choice.  Making the broth is easy and can be made in larger batches and stored for several days in the refrigerator.

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Items needed to Make Bone Broth for Your Dogs

  • Large slow cooker
  • Bones!  Top choices here are beef marrow bones and poultry bones, mainly: chicken, turkey or duck necks, backs, wings and feet.  If you have access to organic bones, even better.  Ask the smaller local butcher shops to save for you.  It will cost very little for a large amount.
  • Water
  • Apple cider vinegar, natural is better but not necessary.
  • Optional ingredients:  Healthy vegetables and herbs such as: carrots, spinach, broccoli, green beans and parsley.

Bone Broth Recipe for Dogs

  • Place a large amount of bones into the crock pot.  Amount is your decision, but more is better.  
  • Cover bones with water until the level is about three inches over the bones.
  • Add apple cider vinegar at a ration of one tablespoon per gallon of water.  The vinegar form the gelatin as the mixture cooks.
  • Cover and cook on high for approximately one hour.  Lover temperature to simmer and continue to cook for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, now you can add any preferred vegetables.  Recover and allow to cool.
  • Remove bones with a straining spoon and discard.  Your dogs should not eat these bones, since cooked bones will chip and break, possibly causing injury to your dog.
  • Refrigerate a couple hours or longer.  There will likely be a layer of fat on top.  Skim or break this off and discard.
  • The layer below should be rich and gelatinous.  If not, try adding more vinegar next time.  It can still be used the way it is.  So, no waste!
  • Store your bone broth in covered containers or canning jars.  
  • It is also a good idea to freeze some for when your dog becomes ill.  You can freeze individual smaller portions in ice cube trays or small plastic containers.  They will keep for several months in the freezer.

Where to Buy Bones for Bone Broth

Bone broth bones can often be found at your local grocery store.  Ask in the meat department and the butcher will usually save some for you to pick up on a regular basis.  I’ve also had luck finding them in the freezer area.  Our local store packages them as they cut the meat and sells them in packs of 2-3.  

Most towns also have local butcher shops where you can purchase fresh meat and get meats cut to order.  Ask the butcher to sell you the bones.

Feeding Your Dog Bone Broth

Your dog’s bone broth can be spooned directly onto your dog’s regular food.  Just place it on top.  According to preference, you can mix in or not.  Although, if you choose to not mix it in, your dog may just decide to eat the broth off the top and decide the food below does not taste as good.  The amount of broth you feed is entirely up to you.  Several large spoonfuls is usually about right.

And, that’s all there is to it.  Simple ingredients, inexpensive and so, so good for your dog, both in taste and nutrition.

More Ways to Use Bone Broth for Dogs

  1. Add bone broth as your liquid when making dog treats.  Be sure to refrigerate cookies.
  2. Freeze bone broth in ice cube trays for yummy frozen treats for your dog in warm weather.

You can order from a great selection of dog bone/paw shape ice cube and baking molds here.

Where to Buy Bone Broth

If you run out of your delicious bone broth or in a pinch, you can purchase ready-made bone broth here.

Both liquid and powder that you mix with water are available.  Good to keep some on hand for when your dog is looking at you expectantly and doesn’t want to wait.

So, get busy, make your dog some yummy bone broth.  His nose will likely be sniffing the air all day, just waiting for the yumminess.  And, surprise, the great smelling pot is all for him this time.  Stand aside human!

How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Many dog owners are deciding they want to get rid of fleas naturally instead of using harmful chemicals on their dogs.  Here are some reasonings and natural solutions to getting rid of fleas on your dog and around your home.

Common Medications to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs

There are many effective flea and tick products on the market.  Chances are your veterinarian is recommending one of them.  But, while they may be effective at eliminating fleas, they are also harmful to your dog’s health.

Treatments for Fleas on Dogs

  • Flea Medications applied directly to your dog’s body, such as Advantage and Frontline are applied to spots on the back of the dog’s neck and along the spine.  They get into the dog’s body through the skin.
  • Oral dog flea treatments include Bravecto and Nexgard.  These flea meds are given in pill form.  They work by destroying the flea’s nervous system.

Think about this; If these flea treatments are capable of interfering with an insect’s nervous system, what could it be doing to your dog?  These chemical treatments have been proven to cause serious damage to dogs.

  I used them on my own dogs, on my vet’s advice but each month, I was more and more hesitant to do so.  That’s when I decided to do some research on products to get rid of fleas naturally.  

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog

  • Bathe your dog with a good natural shampoo to which you’ve added lemon juice.  Leave the suds on the dog for about five minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
  • After washing your dog, apply a rinse of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water.  Leave this on your dog and dry him well.
  • Spray your towel-dried dog’s coat with the same mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Use a flea comb to check for and remove any lingering fleas.  Make sure to select a flea comb with small enough teeth to pick up the adult fleas as well as the eggs.
  • Dawn dish detergent is a sworn-by favorite of many pet owners for helping with flea control.  Simply wash your dog with the detergent instead of dog shampoo.

Natural Flea and Tick Treatments You Can Buy

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Agatha’s Organic Flea and Tick Prevention Treatment for Dogs is a safe and natural remedy for fleas and ticks.  This product is a tasty, flea fighting powder you sprinkle on your dog’s food daily.  It contains natural ingredients that repel fleas and makes your dog unappealing to pests.  It has many great reviews on Amazon from people who are pleased with how it has helped control fleas and ticks on their dogs.  

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Dogs and Home is a spray made of plant-based ingredients that kill fleas, ticks, and flea eggs.  Also, helps to repel mosquitoes.  As the name states, it can be used on your dog as well as in your home to help eradicate flea infestations.  Make sure to spray on dog bedding, kennels & crates, pillows, blankets, upholstery, carpets, etc.  There are many positive reviews on Amazon that say it is amazing to watch this natural flea spray kill the fleas.

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How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally in Your Home

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpet

  • Make a mixture of equal parts baking soda and table salt.  Sprinkle liberally onto carpets and leave for several hours before vacuuming.  This mixture works by drying out the fleas and their eggs.
  • Thoroughly vacuum carpeting.  I use a vacuum with great suction power in order to remove fleas from the carpeting as well as the flea eggs.  My personal favorite is the Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro.  This corded, bagless vacuum is lightweight but packs a powerful suction.  After vacuuming, be sure to empty canister into a trash bag, seal and dispose of it immediately.  Wipe canister with a paper towel dipped in a 3:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Spray the carpet with a natural flea treatment, such as Vets Best Flea and Tick Spray.  This natural flea treatment for the home contains natural oils to get rid of fleas.  It also works gently on your pet as well.  

How to Get Rid of Fleas With Vinegar

  • Vacuum hard surface floors such as tile, hardwood floors, and laminate.  Be sure to pay attention to the seams and grooves in the floor.  Also, using a vacuum crevice tool, get into the area where the baseboards meet the floor.  Fleas love dark private areas.
  • Damp mop hard surface floors with a solution of water and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.  A 3:1 ratio works well.  
  • Wipe baseboards with the same vinegar/lemon solution.

Naturally Kill Fleas on Soft Surfaces in Your Home

  • Vacuum sofas and chairs thoroughly, making sure to get into the crevices on the seats.
  • Remove any washable pillow covers.
  • Wash pillow covers, linens, rugs, curtains and blankets in as hot water as recommended by the manufacturer.  Dry thoroughly.
  • Also, wash your dog’s kennel bedding, doggie beds and stuffed toys in as hot water as possible.
  • Spray dried kennel bedding and doggy beds with Vets Best Flea and Tick Spray.

Get Rid of Fleas in Your Yard Naturally

  • Mow Your Lawn regularly and keep it short. 
  • Trim any bushes and weeds.  This helps to eliminate hiding places for fleas and ticks as well as mosquitoes.  The more sunlight you can get into the area the better.
  • Remove dead leaves. Fleas prefer dark, damp places, so clear all leaves and plant debris away. 
  • Beneficial Nematodes.  Nematodes are a great natural way to help get rid of fleas in your yard.  They are microscopic worms the feed on flea eggs and larvae.  Added bonus: They also help get rid of mosquitoes, grubs, and termites, while being safe for humans and pets.
  • Diatomaceous Earth is a powder made up of fossilized simple cell organisims.  It can be sprinkled across the lawn or mixed with water and sprayed on the grass.  Be sure to get the food grade.
  • Plant flea repelling herbs. Herbs such as lemongrass, mint, and sage have natural oils that repel fleas. 
  •  Spray indoors and out, in the yard and living room with  Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray.  Use on dog bedding, kennels & crates, pillows, blankets, upholstery, carpets, etc.  It’s gentle on surfaces but effective on fleas.

Fleas and ticks can become a real problem for both you and your dog.  In addition to the misery they cause with itching in your dog, they also can be hazardous to health.  Infections caused by biting and scratching and diseases such as Lyme can be deadly to your dog.  Fleas and ticks are persistent but with persistence on your part with non-toxic flea products can help you to get rid of fleas naturally and help your dog live a healthier and happier life. 

For more tips on getting rid of fleas naturally, check out this article in Whole Dog Journal.

Dog Dental Chews Promote Fresh Breath and Dental Health

Puppy  breath is great but dog breath is a whole different animal!  Stinky dog breath can be helped or prevented by good oral habits, such as brushing your dog’s teeth and regular periodic dental cleanings at the Vet.  Many dog’s HATE teeth brushing.  An alternative for the dreaded brushing can be found in dog dental chews.

Benefits of Dog Dental Chews

  • Chewing Dog Dental Bones helps to clean your dog’s teeth. Works as a great supplement to teeth brushing or for some dogs it is the only way to achieve a teeth cleaning when your dog will not cooperate with the brushing.
  • Dog Dental Bones helps to freshen your dog’s breath by removing plaque buildup and leftover food particles. Also, many dog dental chews come in breath freshening flavors.
  • The act of chewing the dental bone provides a boredom fighting activity for your dog.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more) Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Best Dog Dental Chews

There are many chews on the market to help with dog dental health.  Just as in dog food, quality varies from brand to brand.  The following are the ones I have used or have good knowledge of and recommend.  There may be other good ones as well but I do like that both of these brands are shaped to help with tartar and plaque removal on your dog’s teeth.

Merrick Brand Dental Chews

Merrick dog chews is the one we are currently using with our three dogs, a Lab mix, Pitbull mix and Boxer mix.  They love them and look forward to getting one each day.  One has mint flavored breath strips embedded in, for fresh doggy breath.  The other is infused with coconut oil and botanicals.  Both have a brush shape on the ends to help scrub the teeth as your dog chews.

Greenies Dog Chews

Greenies is another great dog chew. I have used this brand and love it as well.  Made in the USA.  Greenies has a variety of options, including: multiple sizes from petite to large size, blueberry flavor, hip and joint chews, weight management chews and grain-free.  Highly digestible, natural ingredients and a shape that cleans the teeth down to the gumline.  Greenies has the approval of the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

*Cautions When Giving Your Dog Dental Chews

  • As with anything you give your dog to chew, never leave him alone while he is enjoying it.  Although these brands are digestible, your dog could still break off a larger piece and have difficulty.
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of water available as he chews his treat.
  • Only buy dog products that are made in the USA.  There have been too many tragedies associated with products made in China and other countries.  There standards are not as controlled.

Neglecting your dog’s oral health can lead to more serious issues than bad breath.  Teeth and gum issues can cause heart disease and infections in the body.  Give your dog the gift of good oral health by brushing his teeth daily if he will allow it, regular Vet visits to check for cavities or other issues and give him a daily dental bone.  He will think it is a treat but you will know it’s good for him.

For more help with your dog’s dental health, Check Out:

Brush Your Dogs Teeth to Promote Good Health 

Common Dog Skin Problems and How to Help Them

Staying awake half the night, listening to your dog scratching and whimpering as he digs and bites at his itchy skin is painful to both you and your dog.  Dog skin problems can cause your dog to suffer greatly. 

 Is your dog scratching and licking his skin to the point it is red and bleeding?  Just like humans, dogs can and do have allergies and sensitivities to things in their surroundings.  This is known as environmental allergies.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

Symptoms of Common Dog Skin Problems

  • Dry itchy skin
  • Dog is biting paw, leg, base of tail or other affected areas
  • Dog is constantly licking the affected area
  • Inflamed skin
  • Open sores or bumps
  • Rash, usually on the stomach, groin and armpit area
  • Skin that smells or has a greasy feel
  • Recurrent ear infections or dog shaking head or tilting it to one side
  • Patchy loss of hair

Some skin problems that dogs are prone to require assistance from your veterinarian and others are less serious and can be helped at home.

I usually check with my Vet in most matters but here are some ideas to investigate first:

Fleas Can Be A Cause Of Itchy Skin In Your Dog

Fleas will often cause a dog to continually scratch his entire body if the infestation is wide-spread.  Sometimes the fleas can be concentrated in one area, particularly if the infestation is just beginning.  In this case, your dog will usually bite, scratch or lick at his leg, rump area around tail or neck area.  Inspect his body thoroughly, paying particular attention to his belly, inner leg and tail areas.

Use a flea comb, which has very narrowly spaced teeth to comb the area for fleas of “flea dirt”, which looks like tiny specks.  Do these checks several times.

My black Lab was scratching relentlessly a couple of years ago.  He was on flea prevention, so I assumed he would not have a flea problem.  I checked him out and when he didn’t stop scratching, I took him to the Vet.  The Vet also checked him thoroughly and flea-combed him.  She found no fleas, yet he continued to scratch and whine.  I decided to check him one more time and this time I found a single flea. Apparently, this flea had moved in and was causing my dog much misery because he had a flea sensitivity. I had been using Frontline Plus flea medication

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Frontline Plus for Dogs Medium Dog (23-44 pounds) Flea and Tick Treatment, 6 Doses

which seems to be working well but plan to switch to the Seresto collar on my Vet’s advice.

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Large Dog- from 7 weeks onwards or over 18 lb, 8 Month Protection

The reason I am choosing to switch is because the Seresto collar lasts approximately eight months and I will not have to remember to apply the flea meds each month.

***Please, under no circumstances use over-the-counter flea medications such as Hartz or Sargeants.  These are usually found in grocery stores, discount stores, drug stores and some pet stores.  They have been linked to serious and sometimes deadly issues for dogs. 

If you prefer to go a more natural route in your dog’s flea control, this post on how to get rid of fleas naturally will be helpful to you.

Allergies are a Common Cause of Dog Skin Problems

Many dogs suffer from allergies just like humans.  But, while humans display a good deal of respiratory symptoms due to their allergies, dogs tend to display a larger number of skin problems due to their allergies.  Allergies can present as hives, itchy/scaly skin, red/inflamed skin or patchy hair loss.

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs Can Cause Dog Skin Problems 

With Spring and Summer comes gorgeous warm weather but it also is the opportune time for seasonal allergies in dogs.  Red, itchy skin, inflamed paws, ear infections, and hot spots are some of the symptoms of your dog may show when suffering from seasonal allergies.  

Mold, mildew, pollen, and dust are the top causes of dog seasonal allergies.  Fortunately, there are some dog seasonal allergy treatments and ways to help prevent the problem.

How to Help Your Dog With Seasonal Allergies

  • Regularly bathing your dog during the seasonal allergy months will help keep the allergens off his coat and skin.  Be sure to use a mild dog shampoo especially for sensitive, irritated skin.  I use and love this shampoo.  And, apparently, a lot of other users love it too, judging by the great reviews on Amazon.  It is made with natural ingredients. is hypoallergenic and detergent-free.  No harsh chemicals which only cause further problems for your dog’s sensitive skin.  This dog shampoo contains aloe and oatmeal to soothe your dog’s irritated skin.
  • Wash your dog’s paws after he has been outside.  Use warm water or wipe with paw pad wipes containing jojoba oil, coconut oil, and aloe to help soothe.  You can also use a paw balm containing coconut and jojoba oils to soften his paws.  These products are made in the USA of naturally-derived materials.
  • Wash your dog’s beds often in warm to hot water.  Use a hypoallergenic detergent to lessen any further irritants.
  • Allergies are an immune response.  Keep your dog’s immune system in tip-top shape by feeding a quality diet and avoiding over-vaccinating.  Your veterinarian can do a titre test to determine if your dog still has the protection of his past vaccines in his system.  If so, he may not need to be vaccinated as often.

Food Allergies In Dogs

Dogs can be allergic to just about any ingredient in their food.  The biggest culprits in dog food allergies seem to be chicken and grains.  One of my dogs was miserable with red itchy skin, biting at her paws.  We tried eliminating different ingredients.  Turns out chicken was the culprit in this dog’s case.  We switched to a beef and sometimes fish-based food and her paw biting slowly stopped.

Try a limited ingredient food in order to help isolate a meat protein allergy.

Once you discover what the allergen is, make sure your dog’s treats are also free of it.  You might consider treats such as carrots, green peppers or other veggies.  Some dogs love vegetables and other will just give you the stink eye when you offer them.

Some dogs seem to be more susceptible to food allergies.  Breeds including bulldogs, dachshunds, German Shepherds, Golden Retriever, Yorkshire Terriers, Pitbulls, Cocker Spaniels and West Highland Terriers seem to be affected most often.  Pitbulls particularly seems to suffer from skin issues related to allergies.

Indoor Environmental Allergens

Just as pollens and grasses can cause your dog to have an allergic reaction and skin problems, indoor irritants can also cause problems.  

Things That Cause Dog Skin Problems In Your Home

  • Detergents – Wash your dog’s bedding and any item he is in contact with, using a hypoallergenic detergent.  In fact, it could be beneficial to wash your own clothing with a non-allergenic detergent.
  • Do not use fabric softener on your dog’s items.  These wool dryer balls are a great environmentally-friendly way to soften your clothes without chemicals.  They leave the clothes smelling naturally fresh, no static and tumbles them well to help eliminate wrinkles.  They are quite economical too as they last for several years before needing to be replaced.  Regular dryer sheets will leave a film on your clothes, causing your towels to be less absorbent.
  • Avoid chemical-laden air fresheners.  The unnatural scents and propellants can cause respiratory problems for your dog as well as for yourself.  I thought I was safer with the plug-ins since they had no propellants.  WRONG!  I unplugged the one in my bedroom when vacuuming and set it on my dresser.  When I remembered it later that day, this is what I gound.  The white area is my dresser.  The brown is after it dissolved the paint where it was sitting.  If it dissolves paint, I sure don’t want my dog to breathe the air it scents.  Here are some natural ways to scent your home.
  • Use natural shampoos when bathing your dog.  Fleas and ticks can be controlled without harmful chemicals.  Check out these helpful ideas.

We may not be able to protect our dogs from all skin problems but by learning the causing and taking preventive measures, we can get them under control.  Identify the cause, use the right products, eliminate known allergens and parasites and most important of all, take your dog to his veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis.  By doing these things, you will stay on top of your dog’s skin problems.  And, you will sleep better without all the scratching, biting and licking.