Koda, The Wonder Dog

Posted by: Jon Stein • May 6, 2011

Koda is the wise mentor and hiking companion of Gail Lynne Goodwin, the founder of InspireMeToday.com. He’s also a 2-yr old Samoyed pup.

If today were my last day on Earth and I could share 500 words of brilliance with the world, here are the important things I’d want to pass along to others…

From watching Koda for the last two years, these are things that he would share with you if he could write….

You’ll get much more from tail wags and licks than you ever will from barks and bites.

Be persistent and you’ll usually get what you want.

If we weren’t supposed to play in mud puddles they wouldn’t exist.

Happiness and love are the only things that matter.

Few things in life are as good as a long cool drink of water or a back rub.

When someone tells you “You’re beautiful”, just smile, knowing they’re really seeing a part of themselves in you.

Knowing that all of the answers to all life’s questions are already inside us all, sometimes silence really is the best answer.

Honor our differences. Just because I run after a stick doesn’t mean I’m going to bring it back anymore than you could expect a retriever to pull a sled. Recognize and appreciate our individual talents.

Enthusiasm can overcome fear in almost any situation.

Don’t worry about what you look like, ever. Just be you.

Play until you’re too tired to play anymore. It’s what life’s all about.

It’s great to lead but don’t forget to wait and help those behind you too.

Toys don’t have to be expensive. The right stick can be the greatest find of the day.

Give back the love that’s given to you.

Exercise is an important part of life if you don’t want to feel old and achey.

When another dog barks at you, you have a choice whether to bark back or not.

Throw away the leash! Think without boundaries. Dream without limitations. Life is lived more fully when you play without fences.

The tone of your voice is much more important than any words you could possibly say.

All people, no matter who they are or what they look like, should be greeted with an enthusiastic tail wag.

Everyone is just looking for love and someone to scratch them behind the ears.

When someone who loves you calls your name, run to them with the greatest enthusiasm, knowing that just by showing up, you’ll make them smile.

Don’t cry today over yesterday’s lost bones.

Keep it simple. Eat, sleep, play, chew bones and love.

Worry is something I just don’t understand. It steals the moment and playing is just more fun.

You can tell a lot about someone from just one sniff.

Forgive in the moment so you don’t have to remember stuff that doesn’t matter anyway.

Mud on your feet just means you had a good day.

No hill is too high to climb if the adventure is exciting enough.

Nothing beats a good tummy rub.

Share tail wags with everyone. You may be the only one to give love to a stranger today.

Chasing deer is more fun than chasing cats. Make your own trail and do what you want to do.

Eat when you’re hungry, don’t eat when you’re not and you’ll be healthy and maintain the perfect weight.

The best place to be is walking along side of someone you love.

Nap when you’re sleepy and play when you’re not. Spend your energy doing things that you love.

Love and protect those around you.

Kisses and affection are always appropriate.

It’s always good to have a friend who can scratch the places you can’t reach and pull the burrs from your fur when you need a little help.

“NO!” isn’t a fun word.

Poking your nose in places where it doesn’t belong (like bee’s nests) can result in painful consequences.

Today could be your last day, so don’t waste time burying your bones- enjoy them now.

When you show gratitude for the treats in your life you get more of them.

No matter the season, no matter the reason, love is always the answer.

And, love isn’t really love unless it’s unconditional.

See original article at inspiremetoday.com.

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Pet Friendly Traveling

Posted by: Jon Stein • July 26, 2010

Do you dread leaving your pet when you go on vacation? Take your pet with you. Traveling with your pet has gotten a lot easier.

Many airlines and hotels have become pet friendly. Googling pet friendly lodging generates a list of inns, hotels and resorts where dogs, cats and other pets are welcome. Telephone the hotel before you make a reservation to confirm your pet will be welcome and to ensure the setting is safe.

A few of the conveniences hotels offer to dog owners include leashes, bowls and dog beds to use during your stay. Just don’t order room service for yourself, add a special pet meal for your best buddy! Hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door when you are out of the room, so your pet will not be startled if a hotel employee enters the room.

There are many options for flying with your pet. Pets must be in an airline approved crate or carrier for the durations of the flight. Dogs up to 12 lbs can travel in a stylish Gray Pet Messenger Bag. It is Airline carry-on approved with mesh windows on both sides with one large zip down mesh opening in front. The zippered supply pocket on front, cell phone holder on lower strap and a pet waste bag dispenser provides comfort and convenience in one. Large dogs have to be checked in as luggage and flown in the cargo area of the plane.

It sounds sad to have to check your pet in as luggage and have them travel in the cargo area of the plane. Pet owners can choose to mildly sedate a dog, so they sleep the whole flight. Airlines tend to take good care of pets, realizing they are as near and dear to us as our children.

Traveling by car is always an option. If your car is not roomy enough to comfortably fit your family and your dog, rental cars are an option. Car rental companies like Budget and Avis allow pets in their vehicles and don’t charge fees as long as there is no damage to the vehicle.

Public transportation allows service pets, however rules and restrictions apply to bringing dogs and cats on local transit systems. Each state has their own rules which apply to taking pets on the subway. Small pets in carriers are permitted on subways in many, but not all states. Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses do not allow pets.

Allow extra travel time when traveling with your pet. Water and walks will be needed. The best of times is when everyone is making memories together.

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Dog Hair Needs Dog Shampoo!

Posted by: Joanne Gallagher • May 31, 2010

Does your dog like to roll in deer, geese and dog poop? Dogs usually like to rub the scent into the hair around their neck, I assume so they can easily waft the odor. This instinctive behavior makes every dog owner cringe and shout out, “Stop rolling in THAT!”

Most dogs don’t get too excited when they are about to get a bath. Actually, most dogs really don’t like getting a bath. Bathing a dog too often will dry out their coat and skin. Depending on the dogs activities and dog breed determines how often a bath is necessary.

Daily brushing will help keep your dog clean between baths. Using the appropriate grooming brush stimulates your dog’s scalp, which benefits the skin, undercoat and overall pet coat. The Oval Shedding Slicker Pet Brush is designed to remove all dead hair and is suitable for all coat types: long-haired; wire & course-hair; short & smooth-hair breeds. Brushing your pet can also be a wonderful bonding experience.

Using the correct dog shampoo is essential in keeping your pet’s skin and coat healthy. When a shampoo is soothing, especially for dogs with sensitive skin, the bathing experience will be better for the dog and the bather. Pet shampoo is formulated for the pH of dog’s skin. The skin pH level of a human is more acidic than dog skin; therefore your shampoo could irritate your dogs’ skin.

There is a pet shampoo for all types of pet coats and skin sensitivities. Tearless, whitening, deodorizing, sensitive skin, flea and tick …. even waterless shampoo is available to keep a dog clean and smelling fresh. Cucumber Melon 12 oz Dog Shampoo & 4 oz Daily Spritz from nootie comes in a combination shampoo & daily spritz bottle. Your dog will smell fresh everyday! A homemade dog shampoo using dish soap, apple cider vinegar, glycerin and water works great for most breeds.

Apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water is also an effective rinse to restore the ph balance of your dog’s skin after a shampoo. In addition to treating hot spots, apple cider vinegar also treats ringworm, fleas, ticks and other skin conditions. Since we are talking about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, a splash in the dog’s water bowl helps keep the digestive system balanced. Yeah ACV!

Whether you use a store bought dog shampoo or use a homemade shampoo, be sure to rinse all the shampoo out. When soap ingredients dry on the skin they tend to cause irritation and itchiness. After your dog has finished shaking, an old t-shirt works well to massage and dry off your dog.

Dogs tend to be outside often during the summer months. They perspire and inevitably roll, sit or lay in dirt. The summer time baths can turn into pleasant experiences by using the pet shampoo that is right for your dog!

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Some dogs are obsessed with balls.  They can chase a ball for hours and hours.  Drop the ball for a drink of water, then walk around or lie down with the ball in their mouth and wait for someone to play fetch.  One of Jake’s Dog House’s favorite balls is made by Orbee.  The Planet Dog virtually indestructible ball is made from 100-Percent recycled material … Reuse, Reduce, REWOOF!

Some dogs will look at the ball as it rolls by with little or no interest.   They will look and see who threw the ball and hope they don’t do it again.  A bouncing ball can be disturbing, if you’re not in the mood!

For many dogs, fetch is an instinctual trick.  A dog owner throws a ball or dog toy and your dog will return it and do all over again.  Herding dogs and retrievers tend to enjoy fetching a ball and many are also quite talented in catching a Frisbee as well.    Actually the correct name is Disc Dogs.

The Border Collie and German Shorthaired Pointer are two of the best Disc dogs.  They have a sharp alertness that helps to estimate the path of the Frisbee.   Disc Dogs are skilled with the physical agility to easily jump to catch a Frisbee in mid air.

A dog doesn’t have to be a pure bred or come from a line of disc dogs to be an accomplished disc dog.  Many mixed breeds, dogs from animal shelters and rescue groups have been trained to be World Champion disc dogs.  In many cases, dogs have overcome abandonment, aggression and various trauma issues via their disc training.

Steps to training a dog to play fetch can be a dog owner/dog bonding experience.  Begin by throwing a ball or favorite dog toy and running with your dog to retrieve it.  Sometimes dogs need a little extra coaxing.  Putting a dog treat inside the ball adds a little incentive to fetch the ball.  When your dog picks up the ball take the dog treat out of the slit and reward your dog with the treat, words of praise and a belly rub.

Using a Frisbee as a food and/or water bowl is a subtle way of making your dog comfortable with a disc.  Begin throwing the Frisbee in the air next to your dog.  Do not reward your dog with a treat unless the disc is caught in the air.  Fetch is retrieving an object from the ground, catching a Frisbee in the air requires different training and rewarding.

Dog training, whether fetch or disc training requires trust.  Never throw a ball or disc directly at your dog.  Playing ball and Frisbee is great exercise and skill training for dogs.  It also brings dogs and their owners closer together through lots of attention, praise and treats.

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The clocks have been changed … spring ahead! Just the sound of SPRING AHEAD sounds energizing! Come out of hibernation and get outside and enjoy the daylight.

Enjoy those outdoor walks again. As we shed layers of heavy clothing, remember that some short hair breeds still need a dog sweater on chilly mornings and during evening walks.

Responsible dog owners clean up after their pets. A great Spring Ahead resolution is to use eco-friendly biodegradable poop bags. Clean Go Pet Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags are biodegradable dog waste bags made from a corn-based plastic that will naturally decompose after use. Unscented leak proof bags have quick-tie handles to seal in odors.

Cleaning up the dog poop in your backyard on a regular schedule can prevent attracting maggots and parasites. Dog poop can present a health risk, especially if you have a dog who likes to eat poop. Rakes and shovels or poop scoops get the job quickly.

Poop Scooping has also emerged as a profitable business. Does it get any easier to have someone come to your home and pick up all the dog poop on your property? Voila! A dog friendly yard!

Being outdoors replenishes our energy level. Dogs enjoy being outside in the yard while their owner is cleaning up the winter debris and planting gardens. A little sunshine and exercise does wonders for humans and canines alike!

Some pet owners train their dogs to stay in a certain section of their yard. This helps prevent brown spots on the grass and trampled gardens. It also assures dog owners with small children that there is a clean area of the yard for their children to play.

Happy Spring! Enjoy the crocus and daffodils and additional hours of daylight. Best of all, get out there and CHASE A SQUIRREL!

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Roll over Clover. It’s time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Irish Dog Breeds are popular not only on the Emerald Isle, but all over the world.

Back in the day of St. Patrick the dogs of Ireland were hunting and sporting dogs. The popular Irish breeds that have evolved through generations include the Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Terrier, Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Irish Red & White Setter and Kerry Beagle.

Mixed breed dogs, also known today as Hybrid dogs, are a combination of two or more purebred dogs. The hybrid dogs, such as the Golden Irish, have the traits and personality of both the Irish Setter and a Golden Retriever. Another common hybrid is the Irish Doodle, which is a mix of a Standard Poodle and an Irish Setter.

Many Irish dogs have Irish names. The Galelic name, Madigan, (pronounced MAD i gan) and Madden, (pronounced MAD din) translates as little dog. Anlan, (pronounced ON lin) translates as great hound. Mac is the Gaelic term for son, and some Irish owners use this as a prefix in their dog’s name, such as Mac Cutie.

If you happen to be the proud dog owner of an Irish breed, part of loving and caring for your Irish dog is celebrating their heritage with them. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated March 17th by the Irish and non Irish all around the world. Parades, Irish food and wearing green are some of the festivities of the day.

Potato dog treats and lamb stew are tasty ways to taste the roots of Ireland. Potatoes are about as Irish as you can get and are one of the staples of the Irish diet. Avoderm Potato all natural dog treats are crunchy oven-baked treats your dog will love. During the festivities dogs can also sink their teeth into a lamb filled rawhide.

At the crack o’ dawn when your Irish pup is ready to play, remember their rolling green hills of their native land and play with eco-friendly toys. GO GREEN on St. Patrick’s Day and every day. Paw Planet Bone with Rope Eco-Friendly Dog Toy Natural chew toy is made with pure natural materials and unbleached linen, cotton rope and sisal filling. Eco-friendly, durable and interactive fun!

Irish dogs have emerged from a hard working breed residing in Ireland to a wonderful family dog to many dog owners around the world. With their natural affection and loyalty, Irish Breeds are wonderful human companions.

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Teaching Your Dog Right from Wrong

Posted by: Joanne Gallagher • February 23, 2010

Where do dogs learn their manners? From their owners! Dogs are pack animals and it is important for a dog owner to be the pack leader.

Having a happy and properly socialized pet requires teaching and guidance from the pet’s owner. Whether you have a puppy or adopt a dog, a relationship of trust should start as early as possible.

Training requires a disciplined and patient dog owner. It is easy to cave in when your dog just wants your attention and doesn’t want to listen to your commands. Reward your dog for good behavior. Positive reinforcement is more effective than punishment. Physical punishment will make your dog afraid of you and break down the trust you are trying to establish.

Housebreaking is one of the first aspects involved in dog training. With a 95% success rate Poochie-Bells are recommended by professional trainers. No more whining, barking or waiting by the door, your pooch can be trained to ring the bells when they need to go outside. The bells are strategically placed on a heavy duty designer durable grosgrain ribbon to accommodate small and large breeds. Poochie Bells are portable, there are no batteries or wires so dog owners can remain consistent with housebreaking wherever you and your pooch happen to be.

Some dog breeds are more difficult to train than others. There are breed specific behaviors that need to be adapted to their environment. Herding and excessive barking are natural instincts that dog trainers and owners need to modify for a dog to adapt in their environment and home.

Barking is an instinctive behavior for dogs. When a dog hears an unfamiliar noise, sees a stranger, or hears a knock or doorbell they tend to begin barking. It is their way of communicating what they hear. Some hunting breeds like a Beagle or Terrier tend to bark more than other docile dogs.

Excessive barking is an unwanted behavior that requires attention. Dogs usually bark in a standing or sitting position. Command your dog to lie down and the barking should subside. Dogs don’t tend to bark when they are lying down. The command “ENOUGH” spoken in a firm tone also informs the dog to stop barking.

Training a dog can seem overwhelming. The dog owner’s role as the pack leader is based on mutual trust. When the trust is established a dog will look to their owner for behavior cues. A dog wants to please their owner and responds to positive reinforcement when they behave appropriately.

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Sleeping like a Dog

Posted by: Joanne Gallagher • February 11, 2010

Do you like to sleep? Then a dog’s life is for you! Dogs sleep about 12 hours a day, every day. They sleep almost half their life.

Dogs sleep out of boredom. Some dog’s sleeping habits influence its behavior. Stimulation during the day is necessary for some dogs that need to be awake during the day so they can sleep at night; at the same time as their owners.

Even though a dog sleeps for 12 hours or more a day, they are still aware of their surroundings. If it is not time for a walk, pet, play or food, dogs tend to sleep. Sometimes they are tired, especially after an afternoon at the dog park and other times its just boredom.

Talking to a sleeping dog, saying their name or saying, do you want to go for walk, is a safe way to wake a sleeping dog. Touching them, can startle them and cause an unwanted behavior.

Did you ever have a hard time keeping your eyes open? Dogs are smart and just give in to the fatigue. One moment they are sitting next to you and the next their eyes are rolling in their lids and they are dreaming.

Usually a dog starts falling asleep on their side or belly with their legs stretched out. When they start falling into a deeper sleep they roll over on their back. In this position a dog is completely stretched out and relaxed. Their legs are straight up in the air and their belly is nice and cool.

Have a clean and comfortable place in your home where your dog can rest feeling safe and secure. It is their natural instinct to be in a sheltered place, under a table or in a corner. Before a dog lies down, they circle the spot they intend to lay down to sleep. Snoozer® Camel Microsuede/Sherpa Cozy Cave Dog Bed is a comfortable soft berber dog bed that caters to the sheltered instinct.

Dog owners may not get 12 hours of sleep each day, but we can learn from our pet’s nature to slow down and more often. Stretch out, release your tension and SNORE!

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Causes of Dog Tear Stains

Posted by: Joanne Gallagher • February 3, 2010

We all strive to look our best. There are cosmetic remedies and prescription medicines for dark circles and puffy eyes. The same is true for dogs that have reddish-brown stains under their eyes.

Tear stains are apparent on white and light hair dogs. Brown, black and dogs with darker hair and fur experience tear staining also; it just is not that noticeable because it is camouflaged by their coloring. Light or dark coated, not all dogs experience tear staining.

There are many reasons why a dog has tear stains. It is trial and error to figure out which is causing the problem in your dog. Every dog has a different chemical makeup and lives in a different environment; therefore the eye stain culprit can vary from dog to dog.

Some dogs just have good genes, at least in the tear staining category. Veterinarians suggest that eye structure is the source of the problem. A sinus condition can lead to excessive tearing. The sinuses are connected to eyes, ears, nose and fluid blockage and inadequate draining can lead to infections.

Fleas tend to congregate around the eyes where it is warm and moist. They irritate a dog’s eyes and leave their red feces under the dogs’ eyes. Fleas also carry mites, which cause ear infections that also create excessive eye tearing and staining.

A Veterinarian can help diagnose the cause of excessive eye tearing and staining. Vets can determine if your dog has clogged tear ducts, ear infections or irritating eye lashes that are causing your dog’s eye to tear. Treating an ear infection or unclogging an eye duct via eye irrigation can be medically necessary. If there is a severe eye condition a Veterinary Opthalmologist might be required to treat your dog’s condition.

Good hygiene is important for every pet. However it can also play a simple role in keeping eye stains under control. Routine baths with a flea shampoo and washing your dogs face daily can make a significant difference.

Keeping dirt and hair out of your dog’s eyes and staying alert of any changes like excessive licking, or goopy eye conditions is the best way to keep your pet’s eyes healthy. Seek advice from a Veterinarian and/or dog groomer about treating the sensitive eye area.

Visit Jake’s Dog House for Tear Stain Solutions

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Diet Reflects a Dog’s Health

Posted by: Joanne Gallagher • January 26, 2010

Deciding what kind of dog food and dog treats are appropriate for your dog is as important as deciding what to feed your family. Reading ingredient labels to stay aware of recalls is necessary to insure your pet is receiving safe and healthy meals.

Recent recalls include peanut butter dog treats. Not all manufacturers were affected by this recall. Claudia’s Canine Cuisine and Northern Biscuit Company are examples of dog treat manufacturers whose products were not affected by the peanut butter recall. Thankfully the contaminated peanut butter products were taken off the shelves and the recall is over.

As dogs age their metabolism slows down. Sound familiar? Older dogs require special diets. Veterinarians suggest a diet high in fiber and complex carbohydrates and low in fat for dogs who don’t engage in an active lifestyle. There are many brands of dog food specific for aging dogs such as Merrick 5-Star Dry Dog Food Senior Medley. Fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, no animal fat and real meat make Senior Medley an appropriate choice for senior dogs.

Diabetes also affects dogs and requires special care to keep glucose levels in an appropriate range. High fiber diets are recommended for diabetic dogs. The added fiber slows the digestion of carbohydrates and regulates breaking down the carbs.

Many aging dogs and large breed dogs like a Labrador Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter and Great Dane suffer from arthritis. Arthritis symptoms may increase with age or develop the joint pain and stiffness during old age. Dogswell Happy Hips dog treats with Glucosamine & Chondroitin are not only nutritious all natural chicken breasts, but also scientifically formulated to help maintain the physical condition of a dog’s joints.

Food allergies are common among many breeds of dogs. Wheat, corn and soy can cause itchy skin, skin and ear infections, excessive scratching, hot spots, hair loss, and frequent bowel movements in a dog with an allergy to these products.

Overweight dogs need to be on a special diet. If a dog is eating table scraps too may dog treats, and not getting enough exercise they will become overweight. This happens frequently when a dog is in a crate during the day and then spoiled all evening with love and food.

Caring for your dog from puppy to senior is an educational process. During each stage there are nutritional requirements that need to be met so your dog will be healthy and have the wonderful life every dog deserves!

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