Blue Heeler Health Issues

18 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Health

Australian cattle dogs are powerful and bold herding animals who hail — you might have guessed it — from the land of koalas, kangaroos and vegemite. These midsize canines are commonly referred to as “blue heelers,” a reference to their heel-nipping approach to herding and their often blue-tinged coats.

Blue Heeler Basics

Blue heelers have been around since the end of the 19th century, when they were bred to work alongside cattle. Not only are blue heelers renowned for their diligence, they’re also frequently considered to be loving family dogs. Their thick and short fur is either blue or red, and “red heeler” is another common handle for the breed. Blue heelers who have caring and attentive caretakers can have content and thriving lives of 10 to 13 years. Blue heelers are vulnerable to a handful of medical conditions.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye condition that frequently appears in blue heelers. This ailment involves retinal deterioration and the vision detriment that follows it. If your blue heeler is dealing with this disease, you might notice symptoms including difficulty seeing at night, widened pupils and the emergence of cataracts. Dogs with this issue do not experience pain. Progressive retinal atrophy works slowly to bring upon full vision loss in canines.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Blue heelers are susceptible to canine hip dysplasia, a disorder caused by irregularities with hip joint growth. With dysplasia, hip joints aren’t fixed in place, and discomfort results. If your blue heeler has canine hip dysplasia, he might hobble a lot and exhibit a strong aversion to physical activity. His body might always be rigid and tense, particularly at morning.


Deafness occurs in many blue heelers. Some blue heelers who develop hearing difficulties can’t hear at all; others can to a degree. If your blue heeler has congenital hearing problems, he might make it apparent to you in a variety of ways. If, for instance, your pooch never seems to be aware that you’re nearby prior to your establishing physical contact with him, it could mean he never hears you approaching him. Other common indications of deafness in canines are inordinate barking, lack of reaction to random noises and trembling of the ears.

Other Health Issues

Other health issues that blue heelers are prone to are the blood vessel irregularity of liver shunts, the foggy eye lens condition of cataracts, the eye difficulties of persistent pupillary membranes and the blood disorder von Willebrand’s disease. Since symptoms for any diseases to which blue heelers are prone might not always be 100 percent clear or obvious, regular veterinary appointments are a must. The sooner you confirm the presence of a medical situation in your pooch, inherited or otherwise, the sooner you can get him the proper veterinary management he needs.

Grooming Dogs at Home: Tips

14 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Gooming

Grooming your dog is an important part of his overall care. Although it’s common for an owner to have her dogs professionally groomed, it’s also possible to handle basic bathing and grooming duties at home. To improve the odds of a successful outcome, schedule the grooming session at a quiet time of day so the dog won’t be distracted. Establish a bathing and grooming station in a secured area, so the dog can’t tear around the house when he’s soaking wet.

1Assemble your equipment and supplies. Gather your grooming brush and comb, nail clippers, styptic powder and ear cleaner. Add pet shampoo and bath towels. Remember that you cannot leave your dog during the bathing and grooming process, as he can injure himself if he attempts to escape. In addition, his attention span may limit your bathing and grooming time.

2Secure the dog for his grooming session. Find a tub that will securely contain the dog while allowing you control over the session. You can bathe small dogs in the sink or in rubber bins. Make sure the dog has a rubber surface or mat for his feet. Secure him with a grooming lead instead of his regular collar, and make sure the lead can’t accidentally strangle him if he thrashes a bit. Keep a muzzle handy if he is prone to biting during his baths.

3Clean your dog’s ears. Obtain a canine ear-cleaning solution and some clean cotton balls. Hold your dog securely and examine his ears for signs of redness or irritation. Gently trickle a few drops of the ear solution into his ear flap and down into his ear canal, but don’t force the applicator too far in. Massage the base of the dog’s ear to help move the solution along. Use moist cotton balls to remove any debris or discharge from the inside of the ear flap.

4Trim the dog’s toenails. Obtain a pair of high-quality dog nail clippers and some styptic powder. Gently take each paw in your hand, and push on the nail pad to extend the nail. On white nails, you can easily see the quick, or portion with blood vessels.

Gently snip off a small portion of the nail tip, cutting at a 45-degree angle. On dark nails, make very small snips until you see a black dot in the nail’s center. This is the quick that you want to avoid. If you happen to cut the quick and the nail bleeds, blot off the blood. Press some styptic powder into the nail for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. If your dog has dewclaws on the side of his feet, trim those as well.

5Brush the coat to remove debris and mats. All dogs benefit from regular brushing that removes debris, reduces shedding and improves circulation. Gently brush down to the skin while you look for cuts, scrapes or ticks. If the dog has an undercoat and top coat, brush both coat layers carefully. If you find mats behind the dog’s ears or on the legs, remove the mats with a slicker brush featuring short, slanted metal bristles. Do not pull on the mat to remove it, as this is painful for the dog and usually won’t loosen the mat.

6Bathe the dog thoroughly. Run warm (not hot) water over the back of the dog’s head, and on his back and body. Apply pet shampoo to his back down to his tail, and along the back of his head. Gently massage the shampoo throughout the dog’s entire body, except for the front of his head. Rinse by covering the dog’s eyes while you rinse the top of his head. Cover his nose to rinse the rest of his face, and carefully rinse his entire body from the top down. Repeat the shampoo process if the dog is very dirty.

7Dry your dog completely. Gently pat the dog’s coat with bath towels, as this method is less likely to tangle his coat than vigorous rubbing. Carefully use a pet dryer or hair dryer on a very low setting, and don’t aim the dryer at the dog’s face. Make sure the dryer doesn’t get hot, as this can damage the dog’s skin. Also ensure that your dog is completely dry before you send him outside in cool or cold weather.

How to Make Cheap Homemade Dog Food

10 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Food

Organic, holistic and raw foods are among many premium-quality pet food options for the discerning pet lover, and they come at a premium price. An alternative to spending bucks beaucoup for top-quality dog food is to make it yourself. A few ingredients will keep cost to $10 to $12 dollars a batch.


1Put a whole fryer and chicken livers in a slow cooker.

2Add frozen vegetables.

3Cover the meat and vegetables with water.

4Cook in the slow cooker on high for two to four hours.

5Switch the temperature to low and cook for eight more hours.

6Stir or mash the meat and vegetables together. Drain with a strainer.

Money Saving Ideas

1Check your refrigerator before you begin cooking a batch of food.

2Use leftovers from your refrigerator for ingredients. Dr. Greg Martinez says, “meat and veggies in the Crock-Pot even makes old salad taste good.” In other words, even wilted lettuce works. But stay away from avocados, dairy and the onion family.

3Buy meat and vegetables that are on clearance or sale to save.

Feeding and Storage

1Feed a 20-pound dog 20 ounces or 2 1/2 cups of homemade food a day.

2Feed an inactive 20-pound dog less; feed a pregnant, nursing or extremely active dog more. Winter may be an excuse to feed a bit more than in warmer months.

3Store the unused food in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze serving-size portions for up to three months.

White Dog Breeds

7 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Breeds

If you don’t mind putting away your dark wardrobe, you can choose a white canine in any size. While some breeds have a variety of permissible colors in their conformation standards, at least 14 dog breeds are strictly white, with no spots accepted, according to standard.

Small White Breeds

Small white dogs include the Maltese and bichon frise, both bred for companionship. A less common breed, the Bolognese, resembles the bichon frise. The West Highland white terrier sports the curiosity and drive of the terrier. The Coton de Tulear is named for his cottony white coat. All of these dogs mature at under 15 inches in height.

Medium-Size White Dogs

Originally trained as circus performers, the American Eskimo comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes. The standard size is actually a medium-size dog, between 15 and 19 inches in height. This smart, foxlike dog excels in agility and other canine competitions.

Large White Dogs

Several large white dogs, those maturing over 19 inches tall, originated as sheep guardians. They tend to blend in with the flock. These include the Great Pyrenees, Turkish Akbash, Slovenský Čuvač, Owczarek Podhalansk, maremma, kuvasz and komondor. Sled-pulling was the original purpose of the Samoyed, a northern breed.

Do Dogs Remember Their Previous Owners?

5 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Adopted

Dogs may, indeed, remember previous owners.
Each year, millions of dogs enter shelters where many of them, if they’re lucky, get adopted by new owners. Likewise, every year outside of shelters, many dogs get handed down and passed along to new owners, whether because of hardship or inconvenience to the owner. New owners may wonder whether their adopted dogs remember previous owners, and the answer is: It depends on the dog, but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest they do.Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!

Argos, the Great Dog Who Remembered

Anecdotal evidence supports the idea that dogs do remember previous owners. Argos, as told in Homer’s classic, The Odyssey, waits 20 years for his master, Odysseus, to return finally from his worldly travels. As soon as the dog recognizes his long-lost master, he has strength only to drop his ears and wag his tail, and then dies. True, it’s a sad story, but it has become a strong metaphor for the faithfulness of dogs.

The Concept of Time & Remembering

Patricia McConnell, PhD, and author of several books about dog behavior, says it seems reasonable that dogs have some sense of time. As proof, she cites a study published in Applied Animal Behavior Science that found that the longer dogs are left alone, the more intense they greet their owners. So time — even 20 years in the case of Argos! — doesn’t seem to affect a dog’s memory of relationships, past and present.

Dog vs. Human Memory

Humans, unlike dogs, have a concept of time known as “episodic memory,” using artificial measures of time, like seconds, minutes, and hours, to distinguish events. Also, we tend to remember when something happened by relating it to other events. Dogs, on the other hand, can tell how much time has passed only since the event happened. Still, that doesn’t mean dogs can’t remember the past, or people from the past.

Survival, Fear & Trust: Reasons to Remember

Dogs remember for other reasons, too. It’s commonly believed they remember what they need to in order to survive, or because of fear. Dogs remember past unpleasant or dangerous circumstances to avoid having similar situations in the future. Finally, a type of survival memory is connected to remembering friends, owners, and those people with whom dogs generally feel safe and can trust. Therefore, if a previous owner was kind, the dog may well remember him.

America’s Biggest Free Pet Adoption Event

3 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog News

An adoption event funded by Maddie’s Fund® and set for June 1-2 will be the first of its kind in the nation, offering free adoptions of an estimated 5,000 dogs and cats in eight communities across the U.S.

more than 200 shelters and rescue groups will participate in the adoption event, which will place thousands of pets into their forever homes.

The participating metro areas are:

New York City

Washoe County, Nevada

Dane County, Wisc.

Alachua County, Fla.

Santa Clara County, Calif.

Alameda County, Calif.

Contra Costa County, Calif.

San Francisco County, Calif.

The goal of Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days is to give all healthy, senior and treatable shelter dogs and cats a second chance. As in past years when the event has been held in the San Francisco Bay area, adoptions of dogs and cats will be free to qualified adopters. In return, Maddie’s Fund has set aside $4 million so that it can give each shelter or rescue group $500 – $2,000 per adoption.

Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days is being held to increase awareness of shelter animals and their need for loving homes, and to shed light on the tireless efforts of the shelters and rescue organizations across the country that work so hard to save the lives of countless dogs and cats every day. The adoption event honors the memory of the foundation’s namesake, a Miniature Schnauzer named Maddie. To learn more about the event

Maddie’s Fund will pay organizations $500 per regular adoption, $1,000 for each adoption involving a dog or cat who is seven years of age or older or who has been treated for one or more medical conditions and $2,000 for each adoption involving a dog or cat who is seven years of age or older and who has been treated for one or more medical conditions.

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation endowed by the founder of Workday® and PeopleSoft, Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. The goal of Maddie’s Fund is to achieve no-kill nation by providing solutions to the most challenging issues facing the animal welfare community. Maddie’s Fund is named after the family’s beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997.

Caption: Dave Duffield, founder of Maddie’s Fund, has donated more than $300 million to animal rescue.

Dog Training Toys

29 Nov 2014 | Filed in Dog Training

Play can be an efficient way to train your dog by teaching important skills like self-control, patience and motor control. Toys provide mental stimulation, exercise and reward. Combining play and training results in fun ways to work with your dog within the context of daily life.

Food Puzzles

Mental stimulation provides exercise, relief from boredom and an outlet for natural behaviors like chewing and hunting. Food puzzles range from basic toys stuffed with kibble or canned food to more advanced toys that require problem solving to obtain the hidden food.

Tug and Fetch

Tug and fetch toys, like ropes and tennis balls, provide reward when teaching a dog self-control. While playing fetch or tug, ask your dog to sit or down. When he responds correctly, say “yes” and toss the ball or invite him to reengage in tug. By using play as a reward, your dog learns that self-control is a valuable skill to practice.

Flirt Pole

A flirt pole looks like a large cat teaser. This toy provides exercise that teaches muscle control and balance. It can be used to teach a dog self-control and “chase” or “get it” on cue, as well as improve the “point” skill for hunting dogs. Allow the dog to reengage in chasing the toy for each successful self-control response.

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