Seven Good Rules for the Summer Months

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia reporting. It’s been an unusually hot & humid summer here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. So today I thought I’d remind everyone some important hot weather rules for good dogs. They may seem obvious but every summer tragedy happens because a rule wasn’t followed.

  1. Never leave a dog in a car. It can become an oven in less than two minutes, even with a window cracked open. Leave your good dog at home.
  2. The sidewalk test. Put your hand or bare foot on the sidewalk before you head off on a walk. Count to 10. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your good dog’s pads. Try to walk on grass or trails.
  3. Never leave a good dog outside for a prolonged period of time with out adequate shade & cool water. Best leave a good dog indoors on hot, humid days.
  4. Limit your good dogs water play time. That may sound wrong but dogs can suffer water intoxication ( it’s called hyponatremia) from ingesting too much water. Symptoms include loss of coordination. lethargy, bloat, vomiting, glazed eyes, excessive drooling, difficult breathing & in worst cases seizures or comma. It can be fatal.
  5. Check for ticks. They are even in larger city parks now. After a walk, check your good dog for unwelcome passengers. Look especially in the ears, under the throat & between the toes. Pet stores & vet’s have tick remover tools. Maybe have one in the house. Sniff out this video on how to use one. Never squeeze the tick, gently pull it out. You should consult your vet & test for Lyme disease if you do find a tick attached to your good dog.
  6. Allergies can be a problem in the summer months. Good dogs can have reactions just like you humans. There are allergy medications available but consult with your vet, it’s important to know what allergy medications are safe for your good dog. We have an earlier article on that subject. You can paw here to sniff it out.
  7. Keep an eye on your good dog on really hot days, especially if it’s a senior good dog or one who is on medication, like myself. They might not cope with the heat as well as other dogs.

There are many other things I’m sure I haven’t thought of, feel free to add to the list. Just remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your good dog.

CEO Olivia

Canine Epilepsy & Cognitive Impairment

News

pug dog playing chess

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. I have a confession to make. I’m not always obedient & sometimes I may appear to be ignoring my HuMom.

The Royal Veterinary College of London may have an explanation. They have conducted several studies on the connection between cognitive function & epilepsy in canines. It seems that dogs with epilepsy may find it harder to obey commands, are slower to learn new tricks, have spatial memory deficits & are easily distracted.

In one study, when measured against non epileptics, dogs with epilepsy found it harder to obey a sit or stay command, were slower to learn new tricks, were more easily distracted by interesting sights, sounds or smells, & were less likely to pay attention to their human. Anti-epileptic drugs were found to worsen behavior, particularly potassium bromide & zonisamide, along with the use of multiple drugs simultaneously.

In another study, dogs with epilepsy more commonly failed to recognize familiar people, had difficulty finding food dropped on the floor, & paced or wandered without direction or purpose ( speaking personally, my meds make me pace a lot). Within the group of dogs with epilepsy, those with a history of cluster seizures or a high seizure frequency were most likely to show these signs, which may reflect progressive brain damage.

In the most recent study, dogs with epilepsy were found to show reduced performance in a spatial memory task. While most control dogs were able to immediately find a food reward in a room after a short period of ‘forgetting time’, dogs with epilepsy spent longer searching for the reward. These results are published in Veterinary Record today.  

The researchers, following the conclusion of these studies, recommend using reward-based methods when training a dog with epilepsy, & engage in brain-boosting training activities to improve their cognitive abilities.

My HuMom has always looked for ways to keep my brain sharp. I’m pretty smart & we want to keep it that way. That’s why I have puzzle games & sometimes I do a routine for a treat. She also feels all training should be reward based which is wooftastic for me. Besides, adverse training methods, such as using bark-activated collars, prong collars or verbal punishment are not effective & do more harm than good.

In closing, if you have a good dog who lives with canine epilepsy, just remember, he or she may be a bit slower & less focused than other dogs. You will need more patience, understanding & treats. Emphasis on the treats. BOL!

CEO Olivia

Happy New Year

News

Another year has come & gone. Hi everyone, CEO Olivia here. Along with everyone at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs, I want to wish everybody a joyful, wooftastic new year. We barked in the New Years Eve snuggled by the wood stove. We are experiencing what huMom is calling a cold snap. I don’t remember it ever being so cold. Just doing my business is proving to be too long outside.

This month I will be barking out about keeping your good dog or cat safe & warm this winter. I will be sniffing out this season’s furbulous warm fashions. Suzie Q & I will share some boredom buster ideas for the long days stuck inside & I will also be pointing out some winter safety tips & precautions that come with these cold months.

But for today, I’m heading back to my wood stove. Suzie Q, Jerry Underfoot, Dottie & G.G., are saving me a spot.

Again, all of us here at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs wish everyone all the very best for 2018. It’s going to be the Year of the Dog you know.

CEO Olivia

Have you sniffed out my new FREE eBooks on living with canine epilepsy? Just go to my store & paw the subscribe button at the bottom of the page.