Category Archives: products for dogs

The PupLight – helping an older dog see at night

As a dog gets older, it is common that they will experience a loss of eyesight or visual acuity.  I have found that many owners assume that their dog has cataracts but a more common problem is nuclear sclerosis.

Nuclear sclerosis, which is also called lenticular sclerosis, is a condition that causes the pupils of the eyes to look cloudy and often blue-gray in colour.  Nuclear sclerosis isn’t painful and it comes upon the dog gradually.  At some point you will notice that your dog isn’t seeing well at night and their peripheral vision may also be limited.

Such is the case with my Daisy.  We have stairs that go from our house to the outside garden and I noticed that she would stop dead at the top of the stairs because she couldn’t see the steps in the dark. It made sense that, although I could turn a light on in the house, the lighting in the garden wasn’t as easy.

Then I found the PupLight, the lighted dog collar.  Although marketed most strongly for people who walk their dogs at night and need to be visible to traffic, I decided to give it a try…

The PupLight

The PupLight

It’s been great!  Just what we needed.  I can clip the collar on before letting Daisy out at night and she can see the steps, and all the irregularities in the garden.  And she adjusted to its use very well.

Daisy shows off her PupLight dog collar

Daisy shows off her PupLight dog collar

The PupLight's bright light makes it much easier for Daisy to see at night

The PupLight’s bright light makes it much easier for Daisy to see at night

Bottom line:  Highly recommended product, particularly for senior dogs

Note:  This product endorsement is entirely my own and was not paid for by the PupLight company or its retailers.


Daisy’s boo-boo

This week, a cyst on Daisy’s leg became irritated and broke open.  Poor Daisy!  There was blood everywhere and, not surprisingly, Daisy was licking and uncomfortable.

A visit to the vet confirmed that she needs to keep away from the wound and be on antibiotics for at least a week.  We were initially given a traditional Elizabethan collar (also known as the bucket or cone of shame).  However, this stressed Daisy out and she wouldn’t settle.  She couldn’t drink from her raised feeder, either, because the collar got in the way.

And when you think about it, who would feel comfortable with their peripheral vision closed off and feeling like you were trapped?

Enter the BooBooLoon Air Cushioned Pet Recovery Collar! This inflatable ring comes with sturdy Velcro fasteners and allows Daisy to see out and drink from her bowl, without the constriction of the Elizabethan collar.

I recommend this alternative for dogs as it is more humane and less likely to cause stress.  I doubt the Velcro will hold up to a dog that really wants it off because running into furniture or pawing it strongly is likely to break through the fastening.

But for dogs who are well-behaved like Daisy, it’s ideal.  Ask for it specifically at your vet or buy one directly from their website.

Full body shot

Daisy rests on her bed wearing her BooBooLoon despite hating having her photo taken

Daisy rests on her bed wearing her BooBooLoon despite hating having her photo taken

Fast asleep on the bed with the BooBooLoon supporting her neck comfortably

Fast asleep on the bed with the BooBooLoon supporting her neck comfortably

This product endorsement is non-paid.  I bought Daisy’s BooBooLoon from my local veterinarian, who ordered it especially for us.

Bag balm

bag balm

Bag Balm® is a tried and true product that has been around since 1899.  Originally designed as a salve for irritated cow udders, it is also a great product for your dog.

Bag Balm® contains lanolin and is ideal for irritated and dry noses, healing/softening of paw pads and minor scratches.  For dog walkers with chapped hands in the winter – it’s also great!

In my canine massage practice, I deal with a lot of elderly dogs and when they are not ambulatory, the skin on their paw pads can build up and become rough and cracked.  Bag Balm® works wonders.

I have no concerns in endorsing this product for your dog.   In a pet market that is flooded with products, isn’t it nice to know that something pure and effective has been around for over 100 years?

***This is not a paid endorsement.  I purchased this product for use in my canine massage practice***

The Throver – the throw made with dogs in mind

I don’t give product recommendations very often but I have to say that the Crypton® Throver is  made with the dog owner in mind.  These all-purpose throws come in various designs, some including dog motifs.  I purchased the Dogland pattern when I purchased my new settee.  Now both Daisy and I enjoy our new furniture.  Here she is.  She’s comfortable and happy and the settee isn’t covered in dog hair.

Throvers are made from Crypton® super fabric that is permanently stain, moisture, mildew, bacteria and odor-resistant.   Made in the U.S.A., this fabric is perfect for the dog-owning household.  We’ve had our Throver for several months, it’s in constant use and it still looks new.  Pet beds and mess mats are also available in this durable fabric.

The Throver is more expensive than other throws on the market (currently retailing for $99.00 for a throw measuring 48″ x 54″) but it’s worth it.

Purchase your throver online from Crypton®.

Cool Collars for summertime heat

In Christchurch, we are starting to get some hot summer days.  I walk Daisy twice each day and our early morning walks ensure that we escape the summer heat.  However, the pavement heats up during the afternoons and even when we walk in the evening, it can be hot for Daisy.

That’s where the Cool-Collar comes in.  Made by D-Fa based in beautiful Wanaka, New Zealand, this collar features a reusable chill strip insert.  As the insert (or ice, if you use it instead) melts, it cools your dog’s neck and chest.  This helps them to manage the summer heat better as panting is really the only other option for them to cool down.

Daisy in her Cool-Collar - ready for walkkies!

Daisy poses for her close up, wearing a D-Fa Cool-Collar

I don’t recommend products often, but this is one that I definitely support.

D.A.P. for stressed dogs

D.A.P.™ (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is a great product for dogs who are having problems managing stress.

A pheromone is a natural chemical that animals, especially mammals, secrete which can have an effect on behaviour or development of animals of their species.  D.A.P. is the pheromone that bitches secrete when they have puppies and are lactating.  Within 3-5 days of giving birth, the bitch secretes this pheromone and it has a calming effect on her puppies.

Scientists have isolated this chemical compound and re-created it in the lab, creating the D.A.P. product.   I can speak from experience that this product helps to manage temporary behavioural and anxiety problems.   Things like separation anxiety, the anxiety brought on by a change of home,  having to go to a boarding kennel, or fear of thunderstorms are all situations where D.A.P. can be used.

8-10 sprays of the product (pictured)  are recommended, to be sprayed in the dog’s environment 15 minutes before they are introduced to it.   D.A.P. is also available in a plug-in diffuser that consistently delivers it to the environment.  There is a slight alcohol smell when you first spray the product, this quickly disappears.

You can buy D.A.P. from veterinarians; shop around for the best price!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Royal Wedding goes to the dogs

It is less than a week to go before Kate Middleton marries Prince William.  There is lots of merchandise out there to buy to commemorate the Royal Wedding.    Now your dog can get in on the action too, since dogs can’t go to the Royal Wedding but the Royal Wedding can go to the dogs!

How about the  Royal Wedding t-shirt for dogs?   A ribbed cotton t-shirt for dogs of all sizes which proclaims “Official Royal Wedding Corgi”  Price = $35.30  This shirt is available in traditional white as well as mint, lilac, pink, heather and light blue.

The Urban Pup is offering a range of 100% cotton t-shirts for dogs for NZ$34.29 each.  Their designs include a shirt to let your dog proclaim its love for Prince William!

Bonnie Dogs offers a bride and groom dog t-shirt for £18.99.

And not to be outdone, French Horse and Country offer a Crown Jewels collar for £36.20 – £46.00

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand