#52WeeksOfTricks – Week Three: Up


Week Three: Up!

After teaching your dog how to put their front paws up on an object, it’s time to move on to getting their back legs in on the action as well!

After giving the command of “Paws Up” hold the treat once again just in front of their nose and move it slowly away from them so they start to reach forward.

If they move their back legs slightly as they try to get the treat, reward! If they move a back leg and put it up on the object, reward!!! If they hop up onto the object with both back legs, reward!!!!!

Practice this over and over until your dog is able to hop up with a quick command of up. The important thing to make sure is that you distinguish between just wanting their front paws up, and the whole body, so make sure you practice both smile emoticon

We’d love to see some photos of your dogs showing us their Up skills!


How to Stop Your Dog Itching From Allergies

Itches puppy Papillon on a orange background

Spring and summer can be an itchy, uncomfortable time for some dogs. Today Dr. Eloise from Love That Pet vet clinic Darlinghurst talks about some of the ways to help your dog gain some comfort this allergy season.

Allergies in pets are very common and there are so many different causes. Your dog can be allergic to something in their food, fleas, suffer from contact allergies or atopic dermatitis. Dogs with allergies get frequent ear infections, lick or chew their feet, experience skin rashes, often have an itchy bottom or anal gland problems and may get irritated, watery eyes. For some pets one symptom is particularly bad, for example your dog might just get an ear infection every springtime.

What is Atopic Dermatitis?

For those dogs unlucky enough to experience atopic dermatitis, the cause can be challenging and sometimes costly to identify. Atopic dogs tend to have seasonal allergies, depending on what they are allergic to, similar to humans that experience hay-fever. They might be allergic to pollens, dust, grasses or anything that is airborne. For these dogs, short of keeping them in a bubble, it will be hard to remove the cause of the allergy entirely.

When to See the VetUnhappy dog

Dogs with allergies are very prone to developing infections on the skin, both fungal and bacterial. They are usually red, smelly and extremely itchy. If the infection has extended into the ears, your dog might shake his head, scratch at the ears, or you might just notice a pretty foul smell. This is the time you really need help from your vet for medications. A good relationship with your vet will help you get through the process required to identify the cause of your pet’s allergies, or if that is not possible, to work out a strategy that works for both you and your pet.

Managing Mild Allergies

All allergy prone pets are different and in my many years helping pet owners manage their pet’s allergies I find that different things work for different families too. Not everyone can wash their dog weekly, and for some dogs that can even exacerbate the problems. The things that I have found do work include:

  1. Oatmeal-based shampoo therapy weekly, like Aloveen. The oatmeal is soothing and the regular shampoo will remove any allergens like pollen granules from the coat, so they don’t keep on causing irritation.
  2. Wipe your pet down after coming inside with a damp towel, particularly the problem areas like the feet. Again, the idea is to remove any allergens from the skin and coat.
  3. Use omega 3 and 6 fatty acids ideally in the correct ratio to reduce inflammation and allergy. My favourite is Dermoscent weekly (on the back of the neck), since it makes dogs smell nice. This strategy is particularly important for dogs with dry, flaky skin.
  4. Use QV bath oil at the concentration on the bottle and allow your dog a nice soak for 10 minutes, just don’t let them drink the water and keep it away from those ears!
  5. Wash bedding weekly on a hot cycle in the washing machine (over 60 °C or 140°F) will help to kill any dust mites and fleas.
  6. Strict flea control with the fastest flea product available, Comfortis. Even if fleas are not the cause of your pet’s allergies, we do find that switching to Comfortis helps the overall itch level.
  7. Vacuum twice weekly to reduce allergens in the home.
  8. Topical treatment using cortisone creams or sprays can often manage symptoms without having to get out the ‘big guns’ and put your dog on those little blue prednisone or steroid pills. Ask your vet if you can get some Cortavance spray next time you go. It’s brilliant at getting through the hair, particularly on those feet. 
  9. Antihistamines can work well for some dogs, particularly if combined with fish oils and shampoo therapy. Just check with your vet which dose to use, and you can buy over the counter human varieties. They don’t work in dogs as efficiently as humans, but they are very safe to use and may just cause some drowsiness, just don’t let your dog drive the car!
  10. Medicated shampoos are useful to use when you notice the skin is starting to get red. This usually means there is a secondary infection on the way. You can often nip it in the bud with a good Malaseb or Pyohex wash and hopefully avoid the need for antibiotics. For dogs that have generally smelly, greasy skin and skin folds (like English Bulldogs and Shar Peis), a weekly Malaseb wash can help with fungal infections.

Allergies can be challenging and frustrating for our pets and of course their families. No one likes to watch their furry friend itch and scratch their way through spring and summer. We hope some of these strategies help your dog beat the seasonal itch this year.

What remedies have you found work well for your own pets?

Moving house with pets…. And the LG CordZero™ 2-in-1 Handstick Vacuum

IMG_8097Moving house is incredibly stressful, they say it’s 1 of the top 5 stressful life events that a person goes through. Now imagine for a moment that you’re moving with 9 dogs (3 adults and 6 two and a half week old puppies), a cat, a ferret, a rabbit, a mouse and a frog! Think of all that pet hair left behind after you’ve lived in a property for around 3 years! What were we thinking? What were we going to do!?

Thankfully we recently got our hands on the LG CordZero™ 2-in-1 Handstick Vacuum, thanks to LG and Social Soup, so we were a little more prepared for the task at hand. It took a number of trips with the moving van, 3 cars and a lot of manpower but we got everyone to the new house safe and sound, but of course it was then time for the dreaded clean up!

Whilst we hired professional cleaners to do the most part, I did some quick spot cleaning to test out the CordZero on the carpeted floors at the old house, before moving to the new house and hardwood floors. IMG_8093

So how does the LG CordZero stack up?

There are a few things that I absolutely love about the CordZero:

  • Moving around the house is a breeze thanks to the dual battery packs meaning you don’t have a cord to accidentally pull out of the wall (I’ve done this SO many times)
  • The front LED lights make it easier to see the mess just in front of the vacuum
  • With so much pet hair around the anti-tangle brush is a real life-saver! It really lives up to it’s claims and so far, no tangles!
  • It’s really lightweight and maneuvers well, turns corners and goes under couches, tables, etc. really easily.
  • Easily works on different floor types and the quick release hand-held is great for getting those harder to reach spots and corners.
  • You can easily tell how much battery power you have left and switch batteries over if you need to
  • Doesn’t overheat like our last vacuum (true story, our last vacuum actually melted it’s own plastic!)

IMG_8096As an upright and hand-held it’s great for spot cleaning smaller areas. The collection canister is only small and so I found myself needing to empty it after only a couple of minutes vacuuming due to the amount of pet hair around!

The Verdict: The LG CordZero™ 2-in-1 Handstick Vacuum is a great vacuum to have around the home for smaller messes and spot cleaning. It’s lightweight and easy to use and would work well in conjunction with a bigger vacuum to cover the whole house. Being able to take the vacuum around the whole house without needing to continuously plug cords in is also a real plus.

The LG CordZero was provided by Social Soup for review purposes, this has in no way influenced our thoughts on this product.


Dog Vaccinations: What do they protect against and when should you do it?

lunaandcynderAt the moment in my house we have 3 fully vaccinated dogs, and 6 unvaccinated puppies (they are just shy of two weeks old as of writing this). I work at an animal shelter and understand the need for vaccinations, particularly when we see outbreaks of preventable diseases such as Parvovirus. You may know that your dog needs its shots, but you may not know what those vaccinations are protecting against and when they should be done. The main vaccine we use in Australia is a C5 vaccine (or C3 with a Bronchishield to protect against kennel cough).

A C5 vaccinates our dogs against five main diseases: 

Canine Parvovirus – Otherwise known as Parvo this viral disease can be deadly in young puppies and is expensive to treat. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and severe bloody diarrhoea. Parvo is highly contagious and outbreaks can claim the lives of many dogs.

Canine Hepatitis – Another highly contagious disease, canine hepatitis attacks the liver and can cause high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. Dogs that have recovered from canine hepatitis may continue to carry the disease which increases it’s spread.

Canine Distemper – Canine distemper is a viral disease that can affect any dog, especially puppies. Symptoms may include a high temperature, lethargy and inappetence. In conjunction with fever there may be discharge from the nose and eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea and coughing. Pneumonia may also develop in time. Distemper can also cause muscle spasms, convulsions and progressive paralysis. Permanent brain damage and death may result.

Canine Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica – These are the viral and bacterial forms of the disease commonly referred to as “Kennel Cough”. This is a highly contagious respiratory disease  which affects a large percentage of dogs at least once in their lifetime. Symptoms of kennel cough include a dry, persistent cough and watery discharge from the eyes or nose.

Cynder and friend at parkInstances of many of these potential deadly diseases are quite low thanks to routine vaccination schedules for our pet dogs. Your veterinarian will set out a vaccination course for your pet but generally speaking most dogs will be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks for Distemper, Hepatitis & Parvovirus, 12-14 weeks for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella and a third vaccination at 16-18 weeks for Coronavirus and Leptospirosis (another set of infectious diseases which are particularly harmful to young puppies). Your vet will then recommend an annual booster every year to maintain immunity.

Visit the Frontline Plus website for more information on Dog Vaccinations.

Disclaimer: This post was written by That Dog Dancing Guy and sponsored by Frontline Plus. This has in no way impacted the content of the article.