dog-campingCamping is a great way to relax while enjoying the outdoors and being able to share the experience with your dog, or even your cat, can make it even more enjoyable.

It is important to realise that taking your pet away camping with you is something that requires some thought and preparation. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a camping trip with your furry friend to ensure that you all enjoy yourself and stay safe while camping.

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australian-shepherd-237014_640If there is one thing that can make a dog clamp their tail and a person hold their nose it’s the anal glands! If your dog has ever had an anal gland problem I am sure you understand what I mean. My darling boy Beau just recently had infected anal glands and it was not a pleasant experience for him or me.

You may be asking, what are anal glands? Well anal glands are small glands that are located under the skin on either side of the anus (at about 4 and 8 o’clock). The glands are designed to secrete an oily semi-liquid substance when the dog passes faeces. The foul smelling substance gives each dog their unique smell that they use to mark territory and be identified by other dog’s. When the anal glands are working efficiently only a small amount of fluid is excreted and humans are generally unable to smell it (thankfully). Dog’s will typically excrete some anal gland fluid when they pass faeces, urine, when meeting another dog or when they are startled or scared

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beau-teeth-4blog

Beau’s teeth, showing the problem tooth before surgery and after surgery.

August is Pet Dental Awareness Month and coincidentally my dog Beau has just had a tooth infection.

One night I noticed a small amount of swelling under Beau’s eye and it was painful when touched. After having a little poke, smelling his breath (which was a little bit stinky) and having a look in his mouth I thought it must have been a dental issue. I took him to the vet the following day and they confirmed that yes it appeared to be a problem with the upper carnassial. Thankfully it looked like it was just in the early stages of the tooth infection and it had not caused him too much pain or discomfort but he did require surgery to remove the tooth.

So the following day Beau underwent dental surgery to remove the problem tooth. The root of Beau’s upper carnassial had become infected because the tooth had a fracture in it and then a bacteria was able to work it’s way into the root of the tooth and cause the problem.

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de-sexing-4blogAs a nation that believes in animal rights and responsible pet ownership we need to reduce the number of animals being bred. If less animals were being irresponsibly bred then in turn this would reduce the number of unwanted, mistreated, stray and abandoned animals.

I am a strong believer in getting your pets desexed. I feel that there really isn’t any need to keep an entire (undesexed) dog or cat unless you are a registered breeder. I believe that all pets should be desexed before they become sexually mature enough to breed, so by 3-6 months of age.

Many people think that having a litter of puppies or kittens is fun and they are so cute or possibly a way to make some extra money. In my opinion these are not good enough reasons to bring these innocent fur babies into the world. Some people even think that owning a dog or cat and then breeding them is their “right”. Owning an animal is not a “right” it is a responsibility! Dogs and cats are living breathing creatures that require and deserve to be cared for.

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boys (468x600)After losing our beautiful dalmatian Lilly, it took a few months before I was ready to look for a new four-legged addition to our family. Lilly was so special and a very important member of our family, so they were going to be big paws to fill.

We know that no dog would ever be able to replace our Lilly, but perhaps, if we were lucky enough, another very special dog would come along.

We were lucky enough!!

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greyhound-4blogRecently there has been a lot of media coverage on the Greyhound racing industry and some of the disgraceful training methods that were being practised and the way the dogs are treated. Rather than rehashing the same story I would like to talk more about the organisations that rescue and rehome Greyhounds and why Greyhounds make such great pets.

There are a number of fabulous organisations in Australia that are dedicated to saving and rehoming greyhounds, providing them a second chance at life. Most of these Greyhound rescues in Australia are non-profit organisations that rely heavily on volunteers and donations in order to keep helping these beautiful dogs. Greyhounds that end up in the care of these organisations have not necessarily been mistreated or subjected to appalling training techniques. Some of them are puppies, some have never raced and others may have raced, been injured or retired.

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dogswimmingSwimming pools are a wonderful source of fun and amusement, not to mention a great way to cool down. The whole family can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool, including your dog.

It is important to remember that even though pools are a great addition to our backyards they can also be dangerous. Pool safety is not only for people and it is important to realise that dogs (and other animals) can drown in pools. The following are some important tips on how to keep your dog safe when they are in or around a pool. Remember, dogs often don’t see the same dangers you do, so to them jumping in the pool is just fun and not potentially life threatening.

Dogs are often left unsupervised for long periods of time which allows them to get up to mischief. If they decide that they feel like going for a swim or getting into the pool area they can often find a way either by digging, jumping over a fence or pushing through a fence. You need to ensure that the pool fence is safe and well maintained to try and prevent this from happening. Make sure there is nothing on or close to the fence that they could climb on and then jump over the fence. Some dogs might like to dig under a pool fence so they can squeeze their way into the pool area. Be sure to check around the edge of the pool fence daily to see if your dog has been busy digging. Also make sure you do not leave toys in or around the pool as pets may be able to see them and be attracted to them.

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Image sourced from http://www.yourdog.co.uk

Image sourced from http://www.yourdog.co.uk

With a new year upon us it made me think about how it is said that for every one calendar year that passes it is equivalent to 7 years passing in a dogs life. So is this 1 to 7 ratio the correct way to calculate a dog’s age?

The dogs average lifespan is only a fraction of the humans average life span and this is how the age calculation ratio came about. This 1 to 7 year ratio is a simple way to estimate a dogs age although it is not entirely correct. The rate that a dog ages is also influenced by their breed and weight, with large breed and heavier dogs aging faster than smaller dogs. Dogs mature much faster than people, particularly in the first 2 years of life. Infact, the first year of a dogs life is actually equivalent to 14-15 human years. Small breed dogs are usually considered to be senior at around 8-10 years. Larger and giant breed dogs age faster and can enter their senior years at 5-7 years.

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dog_park-4fbDog parks – love them or hate them?

Australians love to get outside and enjoy our beautiful weather and so do our dogs. Recently I have seen a lot of “Dog Parks” popping up which is great that local councils are accommodating for mans best friend.

Dog parks are special parks that have been designed for owners to take their dogs for some “off lead” fun and socialisation. They are a fully fenced area designed to be safe and fun for your dog and often have agility equipment or things of interest for the dogs to play with. They can range in size dependant on the land available and some dog parks have been creatively designed and landscaped to take advantage of the natural surroundings like creeks, forests and hills.

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ticks-on-dogSpring has sprung and so have ticks!

In Australia, adult ticks are in their highest numbers during the warmer months of August to February. These little nasties can make your pets very sick and even cause death. As a pet owner you need to be aware of ticks and do your best to prevent your pet from falling victim to them. It is important to know how to check your pets for ticks and how to remove them if you do find one on your pet. If you live in a tick area it is very important to be diligent in tick prevention as well as checking your pets for ticks and knowing the signs and symptoms that may be seen if your pet does have a tick.

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