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How to massage a dog | becoming your dog’s masseuse

massageMost people enjoy a nice, long relaxing massage. Why wouldn’t pets like one too? It turns out that with the increase in the number of holistic veterinarians that massage and acupuncture have become big news in the canine world too.

My dogs are either way too hyper and energized away from the house or, in Sara’s case, very wary of strangers, so finding a dog masseuse isn’t an option for me. Luckily, there are loads of resources out there for people such as myself to learn how to give your dog a relaxing massage.

Massaging your pets is extremely beneficial for both you and your pet! First, the contact between you and your pet increases the human-canine bond that you feel and releases endorphins in both of your blood streams. Even if Fido is the one being massaged, you’ll reap the benefit and feel calmer too.

Secondly, massage increases circulation, eases constipation, lowers blood pressure, relaxes stiff muscles, and regular massage can help you find anomalies (like lumps and bumps) on your pet before they become problematic. There are schools where you can go to learn specific canine massage techniques, such as Tellington Touch (TTouch massage), Acupressure, Healing Touch therapies or Reiki therapy. The purpose of this article is to instruct you on giving a basic, relaxing massage to your pet and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat ailments without the aid of your veterinarian.

Here is my method to learn how to massage a dog, feel free to change it up as you see fit while you working with your dog, since every canine is an individual.
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Becoming a Tripawd– The Truth About Leg Amputation in Dogs

June 26For those of you who have been following Barret’s story, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of canine cancer following a surgery to remove a lump.  The only option available that would save his life was to amputate his front left leg. My last post about Barret’s surgery I covered some of the products that were helping us through the recovery stage.

We’re about 3 weeks post-amputation now and I have to admit that Barret is doing even better as an official Tripawd than I anticipated. Every time we take him out in public, we get a barrage of questions about his condition and I’m starting to realize that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about 3 legged dogs and I’d like to set the record straight! Read More »

Severe Weather Safety Tips for Pets – Keeping Pets Calm and Safe

StormWe’ve had our share of storms and rainy days in the Northeast so far this year, with more deluges in the forecast! Meteorologists and other media entities are quick to warn about the possibilities of flooding and other consequences of consistent rains, and they often give tips and pointers about how to stay safe if flooding should occur in your area. But what about your pets? What do you do to keep your pets safe and prepared in case severe storms, flash flooding or some other cause for evacuation should occur? It’s certainly best to plan ahead for a weather disaster, and with just a few simple steps you can have your pet prepared to deal with a variety of disasters sparing you both from possible heartache.

One of the simplest and most important things you can do for the safety of your pet, pending weather event or not, is to get them an ID. Whether it’s in the form of a metal dog tag, a tattoo, or an injected Microchip ID, these small applications can help to get your pet home if you should get separated for any reason. You can have a simple metal tag custom etched for a few dollars here at That Pet Place or at many other pet stores. I’ve even seen kiosks at places like Lowes and Wal-Mart. Tattoos (lifetime licenses) and micro-chips are permanent markers which can’t be lost if your pet loses his collar. Most shelters are equipped with a scanner, and one of the first actions is to check all animals for a microchip before they evaluated. Some shelters and vets offer micro-chipping and/or tattoo services, and micro-chipping clinics are popping up more and more, at very affordable prices. Read More »

Dog surgery | Preparing your home for a recovering dog

Barret

Barret, resting the day before his surgery

I recently found out that a lump on my dog’s leg was actually a form of dog cancer, specifically Hemangiopericytoma, a very aggressive, locally invasive cancer. Talk about devastating news! I did a ton of research and consulted with several vets in my area. All of my sources (books, forums, and vets alike) recommended amputating Barret’s front leg as the only viable option to treat the type of cancer he has.

I do not have words to describe the gambit of emotions those words and this journey in general has brought to the surface. It is really a life changing experience for anyone who has to go through it. I need to take a second here and give a shout out to a wonderful community devoted to 3 legged dogs, Tripawds.com. The founders and members of that community are the only reason I have been able to hold on to my sanity the last few weeks (and probably the coming few weeks too).

Barret had his surgery yesterday and he was supposed to stay at the hospital 2 nights, but because he is such a fighter he has rebounded quickly and we are going to be bringing him home tonight! Good thing I’ve been preparing for this for a few weeks now, I know we’re ready for him.

Many of the items that I purchased or the precautions I’m taking to help my dog recover from surgery will help for any type of dog surgery recovery, so I’d like to share these tips with you.
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Measuring Quality of Life in Your Pet

While I’ve been doing my due diligence and reading everything I can get my hands on about treating canine cancer, I’ve noticed the term “quality of life” comes up a lot. How do you define quality of life? How do you know when your pet’s quality of life has declined to the point that it is time to let them go?

dog cancer survival guide authors

Dr. Dressler & Dr. Ettinger from The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

In my pile of books I did find one (The Dog Cancer Survival Guide) that attempted to define and measure quality of life in dogs. It broke the “quality of life” concept down into bite-sized chunks of the things that we think our pets enjoy. When one or more of these things is compromised because of age, illness or injury, quality of life is diminished. It is up to the individual pawrent to decide when to when to pursue a treatment or euthanize a pet, but this broken down way to quantify the of the quality of life can be useful in making decisions by employing a more scientific and less emotional scale to measure your pet’s true quality of life. It is only intended as a tool to help with decision making, not as a definitive guide of when to help your pet move on.

Dr. Dressler breaks down quality of life into 6 sections: Read More »

Doggie Diets Update: How homemade dog food has improved my dogs’ health

3 dogs

My pack, looking slim, trim and healthy!

Has feeding homemade dog food improved the health of my dogs? If you want the short answer, it is a resounding YES! It has been 3 years since I decided to start making my own dog food… wow, time flies! I thought it was well past time to update everyone on how choosing a high quality dog food has helped my pets become healthier overall.

Just a quick disclaimer: I worked with my veterinarian and did a mountain of research before I decided on a diet that was right for my pets. I encourage you all to talk with your vet before trying home cooked dog food, or at the very least read Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD.

overweight dog

Barret was overweight and I didn’t even know it!

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

I didn’t know my dogs were overweight until I looked back at some old pictures. I can’t guarantee that your pets will slim down on a home cooked diet. No matter what you feed them, if you overfeed them, they’re still going to be fat. However, part of creating a dog food recipe is determining how many calories your pets should be eating. A combination of reduced caloric intake and eating only fresh whole foods have slimmed my guys down considerably. Read More »

Dog Cancer: What to do when your dog has cancer

Canine Cancer AwarenessHi fellow pet lovers,

Today I am writing about a subject that I hope none of you will ever have to experience:  Canine cancer. If you’ve been following my recent posts (here and here), you’ll remember that my 4 year old mixed breed dog, Barret, had a tumor removed and a biopsy was performed. Unfortunately, last week those results came back positive for the “C” word. His cancer specifically is called Hemangiopericytoma, a type of soft tissue sarcoma.

I never dreamed that I would have to cope with something this emotionally draining so early in my dog’s lives. It happens, and unfortunately either because people are more in-tune with their pets or due to environmental factors it is becoming an all too common epidemic.

I’ll be using That Pet Blog to chronicle my journey, provide insights, and hopefully to help someone else who may be struggling to fight canine cancer.

I thought I had been preparing myself for this diagnosis from the time we found his underarm lump, but I was still devastated to learn my Heart dog had cancer. Now that I have had a week to process, I think that there are a few distinct steps you have to go through in order to make great pet parent decisions. So if you’re reading this because you just received some bad news of your own, start with these simple steps:

  1. Let Yourself Grieve
  2. Be a Strong Pack Leader
  3. Arm Yourself with Information
  4. From Here Out, Make Every Day Count
  5. Make Responsible, Informed Decisions

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Pet Surgery | Products that help with after surgery care

 

Barret wasn't thrilled to come to work with me

Barret a few days after surgery

Hi everyone,

This is a follow-up post about Barret’s tumor removal surgery. You can read more about my struggle with the anxiety of finding a lump and learning that it may or may not be cancer in my previous post.

I dropped Barret off at the vet last Wednesday for his pet surgery. He was happy as a lark as they lead him to the back. I was a nervous wreck. They said they’d call when he woke up. It turned out the surgery that was supposed to be a simple cyst removal turned into a very long and arduous procedure. They ended up keeping him overnight. The minute he was ready to be picked up I was there.

sleepy dog after surgery

Sleeping off his pain medication

I wasn’t prepared to see him all wrapped up in colorful vetrap, but there he was trotting towards me with his usual energy. He was bouncing away trying to give me kisses as the vet explained he needed to stay calm and inactive for the wound in his armpit to heal. He wished me luck and had me make follow up appointments.

After surgery care for my dog was pretty simple, but there were a few items that my doggie first aid kit was lacking and there are a few extra items that I bought or already had that proved to be invaluable during this process and I would like to share those with you so you might be more prepared than I was. Read More »

Choosing the Right Dog Bowl for Your Dog

Choosing a dog bowl

Click to see the full sized graphic on thatpetplace.com

If you’ve recently walked down the dog bowl aisle, you’ll know that there are dozens of different sizes and shapes of dog bowls available to choose from. What you might not know is that the different shapes now available are specifically manufactured to meet the specific needs of different dog breeds and age groups. Here at That Pet Place we’ve put together a handy infographic to help you with choosing the right dog bowl that is the perfect match for your pet! Read More »

How much is too much – What is the real cost of extending our pets’ lives?

Barret

My teenie tiny Barret the day we brought him home

If you’ve been a Pet Blog reader for some time now, you know that I treat all of my pets as if they were two-legged family members. They get home cooked meals, birthday parties, and great veterinary care. Each one of them has worked their way deep into my heart, and life without any one of them just wouldn’t be the same. A medical issue has come to a head recently and left me with some very serious topics to consider: How much is too much to spend to extend a loved one’s life, and what is the true cost emotionally, financially and through the suffering of your beloved pets? Read More »

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