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Helping to Save the Lives of Two Miniature Pinschers

Posted on February 21, 2012 by Jen Young

It's been a pretty exhausting week for The Pet Connection after we were brought in two one week old Miniature Pinscher puppies that needed serious attention. Their former owner needed help with a female with a large gaping cut in her side and a much smaller male with either serious pneumonia or lung damage. The Pet Connection took charge of the pups and rushed them to the vet. Vets had little hope for the small male who could barely breathe and weighed one quarter the weight of his sister, and because the female's cut was old it could not be stitched up and the risk of infection was great. When I returned from the vet's with the pups, Pitoune, our 4 year old Great Dane, who was used for breeding and then sold to someone off the Internet that couldn't keep her, insisted on smelling and licking the pups. We took a chance and low and behold, she had them cuddling in her belly, doing their business because of her baths and she was even letting them suck, even though there was nothing for them to get. Pitoune will not leave my side and will not stay with the pups on her own, but we quickly developed a routine. Every three hours, Pitoune and myself go in to care for the pup. She baths them, gives them comfort and I give them each their medicine and their special milk. Today (Tuesday) marks a full week that the pups have been with us and we, like the vets, are very happy that our little male, who we named Squirrel (since he looks and acts like one when he drinks) is still with us and he has even gained 100 grams in weight. However, his breathing continues to be congested and there is still a very high risk that his little lungs could just give out on him. We all believe that Lolly, the female, is out of the woods as far as her cut is concerned. Thanks to Pitoune licking it, it has almost completely closed up on its own and there is no sign of outer infections. She has gained 105 grams of body weight and could eat all day. I believe that Pitoune, a Great Dane that was no longer wanted or needed, has become the surrogate mother that will give these pups the strength they need to keep fighting and I believe the pups, who came from a home with not enough resources to properly care for them, have given Pitoune the confidence and purpose she was ripped away from for so many years. Sometimes The Pet Connection saved more than just animals. Sometimes they save each other. There is definitely something poetic and amazing about watching a Great Dane, the largest breed of dog, nurse and care for two miniature pinschers, the smallest. Anyone can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a Mommy. We continue to pray and fight to keep our little pinschers alive and well.


Dog Socializing

Posted on February 7, 2012 by Jen Young

Dogs are social animals. They would more often than not prefer to get along than not, but we, as their masters or handlers have much influence on how those encounters will fair. When a pup is young, it learns its boundaries. When the puppies begin to play, one will yelp and that shows the aggressor that he played too hard. If pups are separated from each other and their mother too young, those boundaries are not learned. A dog that will be good with other dogs should be socialized with other dogs from a young age. When adopting a young pup, try to invite friends with canines over, go to the dog park or bring your puppy to a cageless doggie day care, where you know a human is always with them, once a week. Let the dogs play. Don't be too protective and hover over your pet. They do tell each other what they like and what they don't. If you are walking in to a situation with other dogs, be ready. Watch the body language because while you want your pet to be well rounded, some dogs aren't, and if your young pup runs up to a dog that isn't socialized and it attacks, you may have just scarred your pup. Never a tight leash. Unless you are in the midst of training your dog or you do not want your dog to socialize, keep the leash loose and watch the body language of both dogs. A dog that will growl and back up is not a healthy, "I want to play" sign. Remove your animal without pulling on his leash too quickly and never say, "No". More often than not, when we pull on a leash and say no when our dog is approaching another, we ourselves are teaching our dogs they are not allowed to be around or be nice to dogs while they are on their leash. It's normal for dogs to want to walk up and sniff each other. It's their, "Hi, how are you?" Be proactive and know the dog you are introducing yours to, or give a quick shout ahead to its master and ask them if it is okay that your dogs meet. Keep a hold of your leash and be alert. A great sign is when one or both of the dogs jump down on their front paws for play. Dogs can get to playing pretty rough, and like kids in a playground, it can result in bumps and bruises, but when they get to playing too rough, it's a good idea to let out a, "okay, okay, easy now." When dogs are excited, a small disagreement can break out. Unless two dogs have met numerous times and there is no question of any squabbles, masters should always be watching.


Dry, Cracked Skin in Winter

Posted on January 31, 2012 by Jen Young

Do you suffer from dry, cracked skin in the winter? Before this turns into a Head and Shoulders commercial, let me tell you; so can your pets. Those white spots on your dog's fur when it comes in from being out in the snow; that stays even after the snow has melted, is actually dry skin. Don't worry. It's not lice. Animal lice are actually brown or black. Your pet has good old fashioned dandruff. A moisturizing bath with oatmeal can sooth it and get rid of it, or you could pick up some leave in conditioner that will moisten the skin. But, what really helps a dog or cat's skin stay moisturized is a regular intake of fish. Yes. Fish. Not only is fish, preferably Salmon, full of natural and healthy Glucosamine, good for hips and joints, but also Omega 3. You can get foods, like Orijen or Acana, that have fresh fish as a primary ingredient, but if you're satisfied with your food, just want to see healthier skin and coat; you can get salmon oil or salmon oil capsules. After one week you will see a difference in your pet. If you're feeding your pet a food that comes from a grocery store or one that has a first ingredient of grain, you should seriously consider a salmon supplement. If you're like me, your hands don't fare a well in winter as you would like. And if your dog is like my dog, its paws will get rough and chapped and maybe even bleed when you head out for some winter excursions. As I moisturize my hands at night, I also moisturize my dog's paw pads. I use "Protecta Pad", which not only works on my Labernese's cracked pads but also on my chocolate lab's rough elbows from sleeping on the hard ground. Do not try to use a human moisturizer. They are filled with perfumes and additives that if your dog tries to lick will leave him with an upset stomach or diarrhea. Use only a product that is designed specifically for dogs. If your dog has cracked pads, use booties or a product like, Bag Balm, before heading out for a city walk. Salt in a cracked pad can cause much discomfort. When you return from your walk, wipe off your dog's pads to remove any salt residue. Happy Winter!


Welcome to Winter

Posted on January 23, 2012 by Jen Young

As much as you may feel a bit ornery or downtrodden, missing warm sun and grass under your feet, so is your dog. If you haven't noticed, going out for morning pees in minus 25 degrees isn't exactly anyone's cup of tea; unless you own a Canadian Eskimo Dog, which can handle and enjoys subzero temperatures. And, if you don't but you would like one, let us know, we have five still in need of a good home. But, regardless, winter can be trying for everyone. Some days can be a vicious circle in your home. It's cold and windy so no one, human or canine, want to venture outside for one second longer than the time it takes to pee. However, while cuddling by the fire is satisfying emotionally, it's not satisfying your dog's need to exercise. Without enough exercise, he will get rambunctious. You may not notice it at first. You may think he's just cozying up, but really he's asking for something. He can't tell you, "Hey, I need to run off some steam or I'm going to be under your feet and jumping on and off the couch fifty times. Or I may even pick up your shoe and chew it because I feel the need to do something," but he's saying it and you have to just know it. Once he starts getting under foot, you may start losing your patience with him. Our dogs give us back the sentiments we show them. As a result, an unspoken rivalry due to cabin fever. So, in short; I would recommend you get your long johns on and get out there for your regular walks. If your dog is small, think about picking up some dog boots to ensure his pads on his feet don't freeze and thinking of picking up some protective petroleum for your bigger boy would be an idea too if you really get ambitious and want to go out for a real winter walk. Don't forget: it may be cold, but your dog still needs water for hydration when outdoors. If going on a long jaunt, pack a water bottle for both of you.


Dog Leashes

Posted on January 16, 2012 by Jen Young

I've had numerous people coming in lately asking for, "...a dog that will stay around and doesn't need a leash." tough one. First of all, no dog that comes in to new surroundings can or should ever be trusted off-leash right away. I always recommend to adoptive parents to keep their new pet on a leash for at least two weeks. The animal must grow accustomed to its surroundings, learn trust and basically learn that it gets all it needs; food, water, love, discipline and exercise, from its new home. That takes time. At first, your new pet is lost, scared and will most likely have the instinct to run back to what it is familiar with; an old home or us. After a few weeks, it would be time for the test. Just because your dog is a certain breed, age or sex doesn't mean it will be a dog that will instinctively stay at your side. Ever see the kid's movie "Up"? You know how the dog is talking to the boy and all of a sudden in mid sentence, "Squirrel!". That's exactly how dog's think. "Yes, you told me to stay and I am staying. Running cat! Gotta chase it!" Adopting a puppy helps your chances in persuading your dog to stick around, but again, that is never guaranteed either. Start slow. Take your regular walks and drop the leash. Call your dog back and reward. Do this often and gradually extend your walks and time when the leash is dropped. Each dog is different and a dog that can be trusted off-leash takes work. If your dog is missing affection or exercise, don't expect him to stick by your side when he has a chance to run, play and interact with others.


Dog Jackets and Boots?

Posted on January 3, 2012 by Jen Young

Now that the holidays have come and gone, it's time for everyone to get back in to their regular routines. If you have a new member in your family, it's time to start your new routine. With all the hussle and bustle, it's no wonder why your pets may be acting a little differently. They, like you, need to have their regular walks, feeding and rest schedules to be happy and healthy. We're all lucky the cold snap we had over the holidays didn't stick around too long and walks can be a pleasant one again. I've had numerous people come in and ask me about jackets and boots for their dogs. Are they needed? More often than not, no they are not. If your dog has not been recently shaved nor had a hair cut then his coat is sufficient enough for his short outings. However, if you want to be out for long hikes in the woods, then getting a breathable vest for your pet is never a bad thing. And, if you don't like your pet getting too wet and leaving your couch a mess than the vest is equally as appreciated. Keeping your pet dry can also help prevent hot spots, sores that develop in damp fur on the skin. Boots: Your dog's pads of his paws are as weather proof as they come. Not many dogs need to have boots on for regular outings unless they have a paw injury that needs to be kept dry. I do recommend, however, that city dogs, who walk on road salt often, do wear boots if they are out often or for long periods of time. The road salt will dry out the pads of your dog's paws, like dry skin, and can cause deep cracks. But, for regular short walks with their master, only a leash and a smile are required.


Happy New Year!

Posted on January 1, 2012 by Jen Young

Happy New Year to all our Pet Connection families out there. Wishing you and your pets a very happy and healthy 2012!

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