Doggy training tips, My life 'tails'

Human Foods that us dogs can’t get enough of

It’s so EXCITING when Simon visits to drop off the groceries. He seems to always remember my carrots – what a ‘Top Dog’ he is.  I always have a friendly tail wiggle for him as he pulls into the gravel drive.  I obviously BARK first like any good guard dog would (I’ve got a reputation to keep! I’m a 32kg Labrador… I sound FIERCE!  Grrrrr……(winky face)).

Is there a place at the dinner table for me?

Anyway, it turns out it’s not only the carrots that are edible for us dogs (I hear you yelping for more!). Here are 10 canine-edible foods that I’ve discovered I can eat from the hooman’s very own supplies:

  1. Natural yoghurt

Oh boy! oh boy! – drool…whine…drool…this stuff is darn T-A-S-T-Y! It’s drooltastic!

  1. Eggs

Cooked eggs are SO SCRUMMY and nutritious for us dogs. But watch out for raw eggs my four-legged friends as apparently they carry the risk of salmonella which as with humans, makes us dogs sick. According to my daddy this type of food poisoning is NOT COOL!

  1. Strawberries

These are PEDIGREE! I haven’t tasted blackberries or blueberries, but I’ve overheard I can eat these too! #cantwait

  1. Apples

I LOVE these juicy treats but for some reason I’m never allowed the core…something about apple seeds containing cyanide which just sounds dangerous, so I’m happy to avoid.

  1. Bananas

At first, I was a little unsure of the texture on my tongue but once it hits my taste buds I was hooked!

  1. Broccoli

Chomp Chomp! A great low calorie snack but not too much as it may irritate the digestive system!!

  1. Peanut butter

BOW WOW…‘TOP DOG’ treat! Hours of licking to be had if it’s placed in our KONG toys – an essential for all dogs. WARNING – peanut butter must be Xylitol free.

  1. Oatmeal

Porridge is my FAVOURITE breakfast.  Its wooftastic. I’m sure I have some Scottish blood in me somewhere! I like to think of myself as a doggy Braveheart, being a passionate, soppy, loving thing. But I’m a lover not a hater and Yorkshire’s where I call home.

  1. Cucumber

Staple! Chomp … Chomp … Crunch

   10.  Meat

Obvs! After all I’m a carnivore!! The word CHICKEN sends me NUTS! Crazy like a dog! (chasing my tail) Woof!…Woof!…I’ll do ANYTHING for chicken!

So…what do my fellow canine friends get delivered in their shopping? Are there some tasty dog friendly treats that I haven’t tried yet?

 

Dylan

 

My life 'tails'

A big woof-shout out to dog friendly employers

So I’m on the hunt for woof-tastic businesses that encourage dogs in the workplace! I’ve decided my mama needs to take me to work so we can hang out more!

Are you a dog friendly employer? Tell me more about you…

It seems that the number of dog friendly companies in the UK are on the increase but where are the ones on my doorstep? And for me, are there ones in Yorkshire? I’d like to sniff out these canine friendly businesses that have a ‘pets at work’ policy in place for a four-legged friend like me.

What is a ‘pets at work’ policy?

I’ve ‘googled’ the subject and found it’s more common than I thought! Wait for it…(a long paws for dramatic effect!)…there is even an official UK ‘take your dog to work day’ on the 22ndJune.  This annual nationwide event originally started in the UK in 1996, with one in five businesses now welcoming their loyal four-legged companions (like me), and with numbers on the increase – could the next one be yours?

Bring your dog to work day aims to raise funds for great doggy causes and you can read more about it here www.bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk  – there is even a dog with a job hall of fame! #doglifegoals

The benefits of having us dogs at work…

Obviously, some of you clever humans already are aware of the benefits of having us loving creatures in the office and how we can be good for both the mind and the soul…

But don’t just take it from me.  In March 2012 a US study published their findings on the effects that us dogs in the office had on employees of a retail business… I like a good retail business, particularly one that sells dog stuff for me (flick to visions of me dreaming of bones and beds and bouncy balls… sorry I got distracted …back to it!) So, guess what they found? They identified that us dogs have calming effects, reduce blood pressure, lower stress and make employees more cordial and productive.  Doesn’t sound so barking to me!

And here are the reasons why…

It turns out that us pets:

  • Trigger interactions between you humans that may not have happened without us.  We’re great conversation starters (although, I prefer it when you talk to me than just about me!). Either way, talking is good! And I like to talk…or bark..or whine (but not at work where I’m strictly the professional!)
  • Are a pro-active method of staying healthy and avoiding health issues – so go on, throw the dog a bone!

And playing with us:

  • Can increase levels of stress-reducing hormones.
  • Reminds you to ‘paws’ and take breaks whilst working long hours.

In short, having us dogs at work can help encourage a healthy work-life balance – we improve your job satisfaction, boost moral and employee performance –  no more RUFF days!

I’ve been ‘working like a dog’ – coffee break time!

Naturally, there are benefits for us dogs too, as a friendly work environment provides us with social interactions which we LOVE!

In summary, taking us to work is good for you, good for us and good for your employer. YAY! Everyone’s a WINNER!  So, there you have it – people and pets are better together. Companies that accept us four-legged friends aren’t so barking!

Now who is up for having a cute, very friendly and hard-working black lab like me in the office? Employers and employees out there, get typing in the comments section below and tell me all about your PAWSOME dog friendly businesses…

Dylan 

 

 

My life 'tails'

My lip job – lip fold dermatitis

Woof! You read correctly – a lip job, can you believe it??? I’m a dog! Surely I can’t be enhanced by cosmetic surgery?

Well, it turns out my fishy breath was lingering following my anal gland treatment a few months back, so off back to the vets I went. I got swabbed, and the results came back conclusive – pawsitive for pseudomonas aeruginosa a bacterium present in soil. You know how us dogs like to drag our noses in the dirt! The official name of my condition is bilateral lip fold dermatitis. It’s more commonly found in dog breeds with many lip folds like my fellow buddies the pug or a spaniel.  I was just unlucky. The bacteria found the habitat to grow within my dark, moist and droopy lip folds. And then…it turned into an infection. Pretty ruff huh!

My lip folds
My lip folds.
The infection underneath my lip fold.
The infection underneath my lip fold.
Post lip dermatitis operation.
Post-lip dermatitis operation.

It can become a chronic condition. My pawrents were shocked that surgery was strongly recommended due to growing antibiotic resistance of this bacterium. But apparently you good vets and lots of you pawrents who have come across this nasty bacterium would advise that this is the best route – so I’ve heard?

The condition is pretty uncomfortable, itchy and sore. I started to dislike cleaning my teeth and I LOVE cleaning my teeth! That might have something to do with chicken flavoured toothpaste!! [Check out my video on Instagram]. (Other symptoms) some of which I didn’t display, can include redness in the lip fold area and in severe cases it can cause hair loss and scabbing.  Oooouch!!

One happy chappy! NOT!
One happy chappy! NOT!

Here are my thoughts on why the condition needs treating as soon as possible:

  1. It’s painful!!
  2. Left untreated the bacterial infection can spread throughout the body.[Sad doggy face!]
  3. Apparently, antibiotics shouldn’t be overused – this infection is likely to re-occur and the bacterium is becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  4. Worst case, this condition can become chronic. The best cure is prevention.
My cone of shame!
My cone of shame!

I’m now pain free and I have the most pawfect lips!! Luckily, I only had it several weeks. I’ve read about cases where dogs have been misdiagnosed, even  undiagnosed and have suffered it for years!! Those poor doggies.  I’m so thankful to my vet for identifying and diagnosing my condition so quickly – she’s pretty pawsome, and really nice too!

My new lips!
My new lips!

I also hadn’t realised how down it had got me.  I’m now like a puppy again – full of energy and back to getting in to mischief (just the way I’m sure my pawrents like it)!!!

Just one more aftercare appointment with the vet to go! Have any of my furry friends have come across this nasty beast? Paw your stories or comments below.

Splash!

Dylan

My life 'tails'

My first spa treatment – a treatment for anal glands

So I had my first spa treatment last weekend. A treatment which I believe is similar to what you hoomans call a colonic irrigation. In our dog world its known as having your anal glands emptied. I’m not sure why I’m telling you my intimate details but as there may be others out there suffering in silence like me – I thought I’d ‘man up’ and share. This isn’t a problem shared by all dogs, many can go though life without having to think about their glands at all.

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What are the signs of anal gland issues
In my case I wasn’t showing any of the typical signs of the disorder, which include:

  • dragging your butt on the floor
  • excessive licking and/ or biting of the behind
  • sitting uncomfortably
  • a foul smell
  • chasing our tails
  • licking paws, both front and back

But some of the above can result in fishy smelling breath and that’s when my pawrents realised something wasn’t right. After all I regularly clean my teeth!

Natural activities of the anal glands
Us dogs can’t voluntarily empty our anal glands. That happens naturally when we need to go, if you know what I mean. These glands excrete fluid that helps us mark our territory. Occasionally these glands fill up. A common reason for this is a result of a period of diarrhea. Glands fill due to insufficient pressure being excreted to empty the glands naturally. Some dogs can’t empty their glands and if the fluid is left to thicken they can get blocked. This isn’t a breed disorder so it can happen to the best of us.

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Emptying anal glands
Full anal glands can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful if they become infected.   Luckily I avoided an infection but if your dog is showing any signs of anal gland problems then contact your vet. Your vet will empty the fluids and if necessary, your vet can teach a pawrent how to do it if it becomes a chronic problem. Our anal glands normally need emptied around every 6 weeks. Be aware that applying pressure to an full or inflamed anal sac could cause the gland to rupture – that sounds painful – so should not be carried out without the right training to do so. There is a great article written by vet Marc Abraham published on the kennel club site www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/for-owners/anal-gland-impaction that talks about anal gland impaction in dogs: its treatment and prevention.

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High fibre diet
The good news is I’ve discovered porridge and its good for me. My new high fibre diet should bulk me out and assist in the natural gland emptying process.

Dylan Paw Print