How Do I Stop My Dogs From Fighting?

18 01 2009

dogs-friendsA reader from Canada sent me an e-mail asking for help with his two Yorkshire Terriers, who have begun fighting recently.  Both dogs are intact males, and the reader figured out the first step to addressing the problem on his own.  Even with one intact male dog, there is a lot of testosterone in the room, but TWO?!

If you are not planning to have either dog “stud” to make more little Yorkies, then it is imperative that you have both of them neutered as soon as possible.  Read the rest of this entry »

What Benefits Can Be Achieved By “Fixing” My Dog?

29 12 2008

spikes-pack-smokey-hardenFor those of you following the nominations and voting for Spike’s Pack, you will recognize Smokey Harden.  He is also the dog in the picture to the right.  He has recently experienced the addition of a baby brother, which you can see here and here.  I would like to congratulate Smokey on his new addition.  I am really impressed that your parents taught you to ring the bell when it is time to potty.  Don’t worry,  your little brother will ring it also, but you may need to help teach him! Read the rest of this entry »

Why Does My Puppy Pee When She Sees Me?

22 12 2008

agility-springer-of-the-yearEarlier this month, a reader e-mailed me about a problem she was having with her Springer Spaniel puppy.  Basically, anytime her puppy saw her, she would get so excited that she could not contain herself, and she would pee wherever she stood, sat, etc.  This seems like a pretty cut and dry case of submissive urination, but there are some steps we need to take to rule out other potential issues.

Submissive urination is a problem common to a lot of puppies, especially the exceptionally energetic ones.  This problem occurs when your pup is just so happy to see you, she simply releases her urine.  My first suggestion in this situation is to rule out any physical problems.  Read the rest of this entry »

What Kind Of Food Should Your Dog Eat?

9 12 2008

I am asked this question all the time, and it is a question that can be argued about til the end of time.  You may recall a Spike Says where I made some broad suggestions.  The only thing I can say for sure is that it should not come from your table.  As far as dog food, we have all had the same experiences from our trusted vet.  Every time you visit their office, they will recommend a certain brand to their clients.  Lucky for those of you that want lighter wallets, they don’t push the cheap stuff.

While I have heard good and bad things about every brand of dog food, I can suggest that you shop for a “premium” brand food with as few artificial colors.  Shades of brown are best.  These premium brand dog foods generally have a price tag that is higher than grocery store brands.  However, there are certain advantages to when your dog eats a premium food.  Although the price tag may be higher, your dog will eat less of the food, costing you less in the long term.  This is because there are less “fillers” in premium dog foods.  Fillers are all that junk that they add in so your dog has to eat more food in order to be satisfied.  When he eats them, guess where all of those fillers end up?  They end up in pile after pile all over your yard.  I have heard that Royal Canin’s breed-targeted foods do a pretty good providing some additives to assist in fighting that breed’s genetic maladies and to make him healthier.

When it comes to puppies, this question takes on a different meaning, since puppies can have very sensitive stomachs. Ask the shelter, rescue, foster, or breeder what kind of food the puppy has been eating, and if it is a good, premium brand food and is agreeing with the pup, there is no reason to change it.  I heard a saying once, “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!”  I can also strongly recommend that you get your puppy eating dry food as soon as you can.  Eating dry food helps to clean the teeth and push out the particles trapped between the teeth.  For the most part, puppies should remain on a food designed for puppies for their first year.  Sometimes, a vet will move a pup to adult food early depending on the situation.

If you have a vet already, I am sure that they will suggest a certain food.  If you are not already on a premium dog food plan, go with what they suggest.  If you are on a food plan already, discuss it with your vet.  Since he or she will be treating your puppy a lot over the next several months, there may be a specific reason why he wants your pup on a particular type of food.