Tag Archives: dog owners

Doggy pedicures?

It’s important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed to avoid injury to their paws and general irritation.  Some dog owners find that walking on urban/suburban pavements means that the only real concern is the dew claws.  Other owners, such as those on lifestyle blocks and farms, find that their dogs need regular nail clipping.

But beyond that – do our dogs want/need pedicures?

I’m talking decorative colouring of the nails.  Products like this one from Warren London – Pawdicure Pens – which decorate the nails in colours…

Pawdicure pens from Warren London come in a variety of colours

Pawdicure pens from Warren London come in a variety of colours

I love my dog and I love to include her in my daily life and activities.  But would I colour her nails?  Never!!!  I think that is over to the top and exposes her to chemicals she doesn’t need.  Looks like this one don’t excite me:

Dog nail polish photo

What do you think?  Would you polish your dog’s nails in colours and designs?   If so, why?

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Helping pet owners make tough choices

When your dog becomes seriously ill, it’s your job as the owner to make decisions about quality of life.  And it’s one of the toughest decisions we face during our lives.

Researchers at Michigan State University  are developing a new tool to help people assess their pet’s quality of life, a key factor in decisions about when to order life-prolonging procedures and when an animal’s suffering means it’s time to put them to sleep.

The research team, led by veterinarian Maria Iliopoulou, created a survey to help dog owners monitor the quality of life of 29 dogs undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer.   The owners completed the questionnaire when they received their dog’s cancer diagnosis and answered questions about how their dog was behaving then and how they behaved six months prior to the diagnosis.

Similar questions were asked in questionnaires administered at three and six weeks into chemotherapy. Meanwhile, the veterinarians treating the dogs filled out shorter surveys based on their observations.   The research team wanted to see if owners and clinicians agreed.

The research found that there was a close match between owners and vets, particularly in questions involving play behaviour, the dog’s happiness as perceived by the owner and clinical signs of disease.  These areas of commonality create the basis for a tool that will help to facilitate client and vet communication.  If there’s agreement about what constitutes quality of life, then it is these criteria that owners and vets should use to help agree on next steps for the dog’s care.

For the study, dog owners completed a questionnaire at the time of diagnosis about how the animal was behaving then and how they typically behaved six months prior. Follow-up questionnaires filled out three and six weeks later documented changes in behavior as the dogs underwent chemo. Meanwhile, the veterinarians filled out shorter surveys based on their observations. – See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/helping-pet-owners-make-tough-choices/#sthash.aUqdUd6n.dpuf
Dr Iliopoulou and her dog Rocky (photo by G L Kohuth)

Dr Iliopoulou and her dog Rocky (photo by G L Kohuth)

The research team has published their results in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  All dogs were patients at the Michigan State University Animal Cancer Care Clinic.  The plan is to expand the work using a much larger sample size of patients and Iliopoulou hopes to develop questionnaires for dogs suffering from other diseases as well.

Source:  Michigan State University media statement

ichigan State University researchers are developing a new tool to help people assess their ailing pets’ quality of life, a key factor in decisions about when to order life-prolonging procedures and when an animal’s suffering means it’s time to let go. – See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/helping-pet-owners-make-tough-choices/#sthash.aUqdUd6n.dpuf
ichigan State University researchers are developing a new tool to help people assess their ailing pets’ quality of life, a key factor in decisions about when to order life-prolonging procedures and when an animal’s suffering means it’s time to let go. – See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/helping-pet-owners-make-tough-choices/#sthash.aUqdUd6n.dpuf

A letter to my dog – NZ style

In February, I blogged about the wonderful website A Letter to My Dog, based in the United States.  (here’s the hyperlink to that blog posting).

Did you know that New Zealand has its own A Letter to My Dog site?  It started, just as the US site did, to support a book project.  In this case, the book will raise funds for Paw Justice and is sponsored by bookseller Whitcoull’s.  (The sponsors have now chosen their 30 stories for the book, but encourage owners to keep sharing their stories).

These sites are a wonderful read.  They celebrate how people feel about their dogs and the bond they share.  It’s something that all dog owners – past and present – understand.

Here are a few excerpts to heighten your interest:

Dear Sid,  you little goofball.
I will never forget what happened at 3 am on that cold Sunday morning,  me and Mike were walking home from town.  It was still dark, suddenly out of nowhere (you) this black dog came running up to us with this biggest grin and most waggy of tails.  At first I was a bit scared but then you started following us down the street. There were plenty of other people around that you could have followed, but you picked us. We took you to the pound but no one ever came for you, when the guys at the pound offered you to us, we just couldn’t say no.

Dear Lady,

It’s been three days since we said goodbye. I know you are in a happier place but I still miss you here with me. I think of you everyday. I imagine you everywhere I look. I imagine your happy face greeting me at the door when I get home. I hear you breathing peacefully asleep at the foot of my bed, but you’re not there. I think of you when I hear a dog bark or see people walking their dogs. And it makes me sad because I know I will never see you again, never play with you, play fetch with you, cuddle or kiss you.

Roy, you are such an awesome doggy.  I found you on that “Trademe” site. You were bought here on trial for a day and within hours we knew we were right for each other. You have such an awesome trusting nature.You are the light of my life Roy.

Love your dog survey results

Australian website PawClub surveyed dog owners from across Australia about their dogs.  Some of the more revealing responses to their How Much Do You Love Your Dog survey are:

  • When asked who they spend more time with and given the choice between their dog, partner, and all relatives including parents – 73% said their dog.
  • When asked who they spend more money on each month – their partner or their dog – 76% said their dog.

78% of respondents take their dog to the vet for a health check (at least once per year) and 51% reported that they walk their dog each day.

Over 80,000 dog owners participated in the survey.

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