Monday, October 26, 2015

Five Dog Jackets to Keep Your Canine Warm

This week will be a bit more short, sweet and to the point. Winter is right around the corner and those short haired dogs will need a little extra layer to keep them warm. Here are five dog jackets that I found on Etsy. Keep in Mind, these jackets are practical for the everyday wear of going outside to go to the bathroom or short walks around the block. If you are going to take your four-legged friend on a long hike, you would probably want something a bit more substantial to keep the wind and snow blocked. I have added the links to the Etsy shops below each picture for your convenience.

 Because who doesn't love a Sugar Skull? By Patience Way Shop.

Obviously the name is across the picture, but here is the link to the shop.

Maybe it's just the picture, but I think this one is just lovely. It is by K9 Trading Company.

A classic long sleeve by Happy Pooch.

A hand knitted hoodie by Couch Potato Dog Knits.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Canine Distemper and Rabies

Just last month, I saw some Montana headlines about dozens of raccoons being euthanized for distemper in Bozeman and pets in Missoula County being placed under quarantine for rabies. This raises the questions: What is distemper? What is rabies? Is there a difference or are they the same thing?

Here I have broken it down for you in Layman's terms:

Please note: I did not put ALL the symptoms for rabies on my list. There are two different phases of rabies: Furious and Paralytic. The names pretty much describe the symptoms, both result in death.
PRE-EXPOSURE VACCINATION is the only thing that will protect your dog from rabies and distemper. If you think you (or your dog) have been bitten by a rabid animal, wash the wound with soap and water for about 15 minutes immediately. The Rabies virus is very fragile and will most likely be killed by the soap and water before it travels through your body to the brain. BUT, you still need to call your local doctor/ veterinarian for post-bite treatment and protocol.  You don't want to mess around and take chances. There is a Post-bite vaccination for humans, but not for domestic animals. If your dog is not vaccinated, he/she will have to be placed in quarantine for approx. 6 months and normal vaccination protocol will be administered. If your dog shows signs for rabies, euthanization will take place. A diagnostic test for rabies involves taking tissue samples of the brain from at least two locations and requires the animal to be euthanized. Distemper cannot be transmitted to humans. There are two types of distemper: Feline and Canine. Canine distemper cannot be passed to felines and vice versa. Rabies on the other hand, can be passed to any animal including humans.   


World Health Organization:

Pet, Rabies in Dogs: Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and vaccination:

Pet Poison Helpline, Distemper and Rabies:, YouTube video series:

Remedy's Health Communities, Rabies: Signs and Symptoms: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Caring for Client Animals with Potential Exposure:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dog Costumes 2015

Is it really that time of year already? Bark City's Howlleen costume contest/ party is just around the corner. To get you all pumped up for it, I am going to keep this blog post short and sweet with just a few costume ideas:

Minions are always popular: By My Knitt      .

A Ladybug: by Pugs N Giggles

An awesome bat, or you could get super creative and turn this into Toothless (How To Train Your Dragon) by: The Recycled Wino

A simple Hello Kitty hoodie that your dog could also wear year round by: Puppy Doggy Clothes.

A loofah complete with a rubber ducky by: Create Alley

All of these costumes can be found on Etsy (hence the links provided). But, I'm not necessarily saying the dog that wins the contest will be in a store bought costume. These photos are just to get ideas rolling in your head. Whether handmade of store bought, we will be looking for creativity. I am sure your panel of judges (All dog lovers that want to oogle over pictures of dogs in costumes on Facebook and press the "like" button) will appreciate the ingenious canines at our Howlleen party.

Have fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bone Broth for Sick Puppies

Bone broth should be in everyone's freezer during the flu season. It's great for 4-legged and 2-legged family members on the road to recovery from a bout of germ mayhem. It's full of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes and very easy to make. It does need to be made ahead of time, because it takes a LONG time to make-- like 10 hrs. The good news -- that 10 hours has nothing to do with preparation or you in the kitchen. It has to do with all the ingredients simmering into goodness in a crockpot. After it's made, you just have to freeze it into portions and wait for the germ apocalypse to strike.

What you need:
  • Bones-- any kind of bones. Chicken, beef, pork... whatever suits you fancy. Meat is optional, but obviously Fido will think it's delicious. A popular choice is Oxtail, but anything will work. 
  • Vegetables-- please see this list for vegetables that are good/ bad for your dog. Obviously, onions and garlic are not a good choice for Fido (TOXIC), but are a good choice for human taste buds. So, you may want to make two batches labeled appropriately? Just a thought. 
  • Vinegar-- You need an acid to extract the minerals from your bones. I like Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Water.
  • A crockpot (If you don't have a crockpot, you can always cook it on your stovetop on low.)
What you do:
 Throw the bones in the crockpot. Chop up the vegetables and throw in the crockpot. Add water to cover everything and vinegar. You don't need much vinegar-- approximately 1 tsp/ gallon of water. I usually don't measure. I just kind of "guesstimate".  Cover with a lid and cook. If you are using the low temperature setting, it will take about 10 hours. If you are using the high temperature setting, it will take about 6 hours.

Once it's cooked and cooled enough to handle, ladle (or pour) it into a large bowl and refrigerate. You will notice that when it reaches refrigerator temperature, it will look like gel. Which is kind of gross to look at, but don't worry. When it's heated up, it will turn to liquid again. The gel means that it is super-duper healthy = full of gelatin from the bones. If yours doesn't turn to gel, don't worry. It' still has the nutrients in it. It's just not jam packed full like the gel. You can now scoop out your gel (or pour your broth) into your storage containers and freeze.

Here are the internet accolades for bone broth:

I like to use bone broth as the first "go-to" after gastrointestinal upset. I then gradually introduce solids-- like rice and chicken (with bone broth) and then my dog's regular dog food. You can even try to use bone broth to entice a finicky eater. (Same goes for my human family members, except substitute the dog food for people food.)