Springtime Water Safety for Dogs

So, at last it’s spring! The almost all of the snow has melted in our mountain town and across the country, people are getting out more and enjoying the warmth and sunshine. But don’t forget that along with warmth and snow melting, comes higher rivers and even flooding in some areas. Add to that, the fact that not all of the ice has melted in some colder places, you have a potentially dangerous situation that could affect you and your dog.

We all want to take to the trails and hike, now that we can get around easier and the weather has changed, but before you head out, whether it’s for a little stroll around your neighborhood, or a hike in the woods, make sure you can control your dog and that you keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

There are two issues you need to keep on your mind in order to keep your dog safe and yourself too; fast, deep waters and weak ice.

Fast rivers and streams can deceive the most careful pet owner, simply because you might not think that your dog would head into something flowing that hard, but not only is that not the case, a lot of dogs head down to the water’s edge and fall in. Some dogs just don’t judge the velocity and jump on in because that’s what they did last summer, and then they find themselves in a lot of trouble. The fast moving water isn’t really the problem; it’s the objects in the water that can cause the hazards. Strainers are obstacles in the water that water can flow through and over but you (and your dog) can’t, causing the swimmer to be pushed up against or under them. Not all strainers are visible above the water, but the most common are logs and trees. Another hazard is a hydraulic (or Maytag or washer). When the water flows over an object, it creates a strong churning on the other side that is like a recycling motion, continuously pulling the swimmer back under water.

No matter what the obstacle, you need to be constantly on the alert and keep your dogs away from the edge of fast moving rivers and streams, and don’t forget, they can slip in just as easily as the rest of us, so keep them away.

Many people are aware of the dangers of ice breaking and someone falling through, and this isn’t any different for animals. Sadly, we’ve been involved in several ice rescues of pets and very often, we were too late to help. Right about now, some bodies of water can still be ice covered and look just fine to a pet, but the ice can easily break, causing them to fall in and most likely under, some intact ice.

All of these water hazards have 2 things in common; they can kill your dog, and they can kill you when you try to rescue them.

So in conclusion, please prevent the problem by watching your dogs carefully and monitoring the conditions around you while you’re out and about in this beautiful weather. Let’s all make this a safe and fun spring!

Pet Friendly Holidays

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to take some simple steps to ensure that everyone in your family has a great holiday, and that includes your pets. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing the best ways to keep your four-legged friends safe, happy and holiday ready.
Some of the subjects we’ll be discussing are foods, decorations, house guests and to round out all the serious talk, a few gift ideasallhailthedog for your pets and your pet loving friends and family.
Since we all like to enjoy and indulge a little more than usual this time of year, we’re going to cover some food safety tips first. First off,
Chocolate is probably the most commonly known hazard to dogs, so how on earth do they still get into it? Easy, it smells great and frankly, we’re just not paying as much attention to these things as they are. If you have any doubt and you’re not embarrassed to try something a little strange. Next time you have a gathering at your home, even just when the family is getting dinner ready, sit yourself down on the floor, be really quiet and just watch for a few minutes. Now do you see? Just seeing things the way our dogs and cats do opens up a whole new world of understanding. Parents are nodding their heads right now because toddlers do the same thing. Just a few precautions and a minute of paying attention can save you all a lot of grief. Place foods gifts, holiday treats and party food out of the easy access zone for you pets and keep an eye out for the agile and determined. Other foods to be careful with are raisins, grapes, garlic, onions, macadamia nuts, avocados, cinnamon, popcorn and anything seasoned and salty, just to be safe. I know a lot of animal experts advise to NEVER feed human food to your pets, and on the whole, we agree. That said, there are some very safe treats that can be enjoyed by dogs and cats if you do it in moderation. Cheese and turkey are 2 great examples, again, just make sure they’re plain and not seasoned.
More tips to follow, but if you have some fun holiday traditions that you share with your pets, please share them with us, we’d love to hear from you!

Preventing dogfights and other aggressive behavior.

robinswoodWhat does it look like when a dog is about to start a fight? Other than really knowing your dog and understanding their body language there a couple of signs that everyone can look for, in your own dogs and others as well.

Stiff body/neck; watch your dog play with a friend and then watch when they see a new dog that they’re not so sure about, what do you see? Stiff, slightly raised neck, stiff legs, raised shoulders and hackles, if they get close enough, you could see bared teeth as well, or just wrinkled lips. These are the most obvious signs and can roll over into the next one;

Change in play behavior; let’s say the dogs are already playing, pay attention to their body language to see if attitudes are altered along the way.

Dogs actually have pretty strict rules about play behavior. The play bow is an invitation to play, as well as an apology if one dog was too rough as in “sorry, didn’t mean to nip so hard”. Dogs, coyotes and wolves all ostracize others who don’t play by the rules. Biting too hard, nipping too close to the eyes and excessive roughness in any form are all a part of the canine “moral code”.

So now you know what to look for, what do you do when you see it?

The quickest, easiest and safest way to diffuse a potential fight is to remove the threat of proximity; that means, if you’ve trained your dog well, a sharp “this way” or “come” or “here” in addition to you moving rapidly away as well, is all it would take to change your dogs direction, moving him away and almost guaranteeing that there won’t be a fight. If you don’t have that ability to get your dogs attention, maybe throwing a ball or toy could do the job for you.

Picking up the smaller dog. This is a fast way to move a dog you trust not to bite you and again remove the threat and cool down aggressive behavior. But. You could get a nip form the little dog, or worse, make yourself a target for the other dog. That said, I would always err on the side of the little dogs safety and pick them up. Unless they’ve already engaged in a major way, you will most likely be just fine, especially if you turn your back on the other dog.

Lastly, I have been able to grab the attacking dogs’ collar while straddling it from the back. This has a lot of risk to all parties, including becoming the focus of the attack, losing control of the dog and lastly, not finding a way to let go. Yeah, I said it, because at some point you’re going to have to let go and I’m hoping you’ve been able to come to some sort of an understanding by then.

Whatever the situation, I can only hope that you and your dog can better navigate the complex social world of dogs after reading this, and please write in with questions or comments.

Dog Park Clean Up

This past Saturday was a great event for event patrons of the Warm Springs “Dog Park” in Ketchum Idaho.

Clean up crew

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this location, the “Dog Park” lies on the former site of a golf course and restaurant. It also happens to be located on some of the most beautiful acreage you’re likely to see. It looks far more like the rolling lawns of a huge estate and yes, we get to walk our dogs on this!
Having been to dog parks across the country, I’m sure most of us are aware of the huge range in quality you can find on any given stretch of open ground that’s been designated as a place for dogs to meet, greet, run and play. That said; you’ve never seen anything like this. And even though you could say that those of us who live out here amongst some of the most beautiful wild places to hike, ski, bike, run and fish are just about the luckiest people around, (you’d be correct), we are like anyone else in that sometimes (OK a lot of the time), you need to be able to let your dog run and play without it being a long excursion into the back country. Enter the ‘Dog Park” to end all dog parks. Now my readers will know that I’ve been a dedicated traveler and blogger about pet friendly places, hotels, trips and so on, and you’ve seen and heard about some of the better and some of the could-do-a-lot-better dog spots around. This spot is far and beyond the nicest place you’ll ever stroll and it’s right in town.
Privately owned and maintained, the Warm Springs Ranch is also home to a vibrant Frisbee golf community as well.

Stick 'em up

Stick ’em up

On any given day, you’ll also see someone practicing Tai Chi, 5 or 10 dogs madly chasing each other, balls or squirrels (although oddly enough, NOT the Frisbess) as well as a few people just stretching their legs on their lunch break.

As the “park” grew in popularity however, some problems grew along with it, namely dog waste. It seems that some were taking advantage of the generosity of the property owner and the hard work of the property manager and not bothering to pick up after their pooches. To be fair, there was also evidence of some teenager partying going on as well. As the problem grew, signs were posted warning people to be responsible or else the area would be closed off to the public. This led to AllHailtheDog.com and Idahound Dog Food Company to arrange a park clean-up party. We’re happy to say that not only was the clean-up effort successful, but a lot of fun was had with a dog trick contest and some dog and dog people socializing.
Did I mention that even people without dogs showed up to help? Yep, it was that much fun, in fact the winner of the Most Poop Collected category was a mom and her young son and they don’t even own a dog!

Winner!

Winner!

Another winner was a very young girl and her pound dog Chihuahua mix Heidi. After a fabulous performance of dancing in a circle on her hind legs and rolling over, these two took home the grand prize of Idahound dog treats, Sun Valley Mustard gift pack and an All Hail the dog cozy dog bed.
All participants received a delicious bag of Sun Valley Mustard Pretzel Chips, generously donated for the event along with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from a local restaurant Perry’s and coffee from Starbucks, also donated.

Our other trick contest winners also took home schwag from

All Hail the Dog, treats from Idahound and Sun Valley Mustard gift packs.
One other good thing that came out of this fun day in the “park” was a “Park Manners List”. All of the attendees wrote down their ideas for a clean, fun and polite dog park experience and that list will be printed out and displayed at the “park”. We’ll be posting that list for our readers as well; you can take it as is to your local park or add to it and let us all know what else you came up with. Until then, have fun and “doo” the right thing!

Who’s Watching Fido? A Dog Sitter Dilemma

Leashed and safe.

Leashed and safe.

 

I was at my job at the fire department yesterday, checking the apparatus like we do every morning, when I just happened to glance outside. What I saw was enough to send me out the bay door at a fast pace; a loose dog at the edge of our busy street, getting ready to cross the road. She didn’t have that look of a dog that was well aware of their surroundings, more like she was quite anxious and possibly looking for someone.

To make matters worse, a gentleman was walking his dog on the other side of the road, a site that as we know, can distract even the most street-wise of dogs. As I jogged across the street, a fast moving car (read: speeding) was passing by, the driver looking out the side window at nothing in particular; pretty much a disaster in the works. Luckily for everyone, I headed the dog off at the last second and she trotted into the small park nearby. I tried several times to approach her, but she was obviously very nervous, barking and running away every time I got near her. Even the nice guy walking his dog couldn’t get her near to his pup. I watched as she jumped up a stonewall bordering the park and into a private yard, where the less-than-understanding owner yelled at her and chased her back into the street. As she started an earnest run up the road, I let my captain know what was going on, and jumped in the pick up truck to follow her. Luckily, she was one of those dogs that just loves a ride and I was able to get ahead of her and coax her slowly into the truck.

Later, after getting her comfortable in my car (she was too scared to even walk in to the fire department) I made the usual calls to dispatch and the local veterinarians to let them know her name. Luckily, her owners had been responsible and she had a collar with her name and their phone numbers on it, so even though I couldn’t get them to answer, I did leave messages. About an hour later, I got a call from dispatch saying she had “grandma” on the phone. She had been watching the dog for her daughter while she was away on a trip and could she come get the wayward pooch?

We met up and all was well. But. This is where I get to the point of my story; this was not a new scenario at all, just one that ended well. As my regular readers know, I am very often to be found dog sitting, but I take that responsibility with an enormous amount of forethought and gravity. After all, this is someone’s precious pet and I can’t imagine watching them with anything less than a high level of concern and planning, that’s just the way I am. I won’t even go into the anxiety that ensues if I have to leave town without my dogs, just suffice it to say that dogs aren’t the only ones who suffer from separation issues.

In my job, I’ve unfortunately seen a lot of the bad things that happen when people leave their dogs with a friend to watch, and it’s very often heartbreaking. I’m sure that most of the time the owners are truly thinking that they’re doing what’s best for the dog, but maybe sometimes it’s just was easiest or cheapest for the owner.

This is not a promotion for kennels and boarding facilities, I’ve seen bad things happen there too; it’s just that very often our friends really aren’t prepared for the responsibility of your pet.

I’ve seen dogs hit by cars when they had been trying to make it back home from the sitter’s house, to others lost in the wilderness while out on a hike.

My only point in telling this story is this; even the most well meaning family and friends need all of the tools you can give them to keep your beloved dog safe while you’re away. You need to research commercial kennels and you need to really quiz your potential sitters to make sure they can do the job right. Then you need to give them all of the info about your pooch that will help them do their job well, that means vet info, diet and medication instructions, even walking guidelines (leash anyone?) and play preferences. Often bringing their bowls, a toy or two and their own cozy pet bed from home will also help keep them comfortable while you’re away, and lets not forget current tags and a collar. Most of all, give them the information they need to keep them safe, controlled and off the streets at all times. Oh, and have a nice trip!

Fireworks and Dogs

best dog bedsFireworks and Dogs

Independence day has come and gone with all its’ accompanying festivities. I know some people plan for this holiday for weeks, if not months; BBQs, fireworks, camping trips etc., but what about their pets? Did they plan to keep the family pets safe? This is such an important question because every Fourth of July thousands of pets are lost and killed because of a lack of planning on their owners’ part.

On the fourth I was coming back from an ambulance transport when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a very young dog by the side of the road. He was obviously searching for food on the ground, but at the same time he appeared desperately scared. I knew I’d have to be extremely careful both because of his skittishness and his proximity to the road. He traveled a little way down a side road, so I followed and got out of the ambulance when he was about 100 yards away from me and I was between him and the road. Listening to my gut instinct, I didn’t even try to approach him and instead called him, patted my leg and started off in another direction, hoping to have him follow which could be easier for him to handle. Sadly, he ran almost instantly, luckily in the direction of the nearby woods, not the highway. Several fireworks went off about that time and he just took off. I followed slowly for about a quarter of a mile, hoping to find him holed up, but was seriously disappointed. I called our 911-dispatch center and asked if they had any reports of a dog that matched his description (since it was July 4th, they get a lot of those), but no one had called. After waiting quietly for about 20 minutes, I had to get back to work and reluctantly left. The next day, I found that he had been sighted running across the highway a few times and again the next day. I haven’t been able to catch up with him again and it’s breaking my heart.

My plan is to hope that he’ll be safe until we can get a trap into place: I just think he’s too skittish to coax into a car, although I will try again with my dogs. Hopefully, I can work with animal control and we can be successful, but hope is not a plan. This sorrowful dog could be safe at home, snuggled in a cozy pet bed instead of searching for food and water if only his owners had cared enough to plan ahead.

The Fourth of July isn’t a surprise to us humans, but it certainly is to our animals, both large and small and we need to be prepared to keep them safe. Until you know how they’ll react to fireworks, both the big displays and the poppers that are everywhere, you need to get them into a controlled environment where they can’t escape and where you can buffer the impact of what must appear to them to be the end of the world.

I’ve had great success with fireworks shy dogs simply by keeping them inside (windows almost completely closed, I knew a dog that pushed out a window screen on the third floor) and by letting them hide in a closet. Some dogs do well with a little tranquilizer prescribed by the vet, others need some music or even the shower running.

I had a wonderful dog that was reduced to a shaking, panting mess around fireworks if he was inside or out, but if I drove him around in the car, he was just fine!

Cats are usually OK with just about anything, but I always close them up in the house too. As for my horses, each one is different, but so far they’ve been only mildly startled for a minute or two and then they settle back in.

The bad news is that thousands of dogs are lost every year due to poor planning and fireworks. The good news is that with a little care, your holiday can start and end on the happiest of notes. Happy Independence Day and stay safe all year long!

 

Safe Dog Treats

Juno and her carrot

Juno and her carrot

What’s your dogs’ favorite treat? We’d love to hear from our readers about this so please comment and let us know.

 With such an enormous selection of commercially available dog treats, how does a good dog owner make a delicious, healthy choice for their pup? Here’s the thing and I can’t stress this enough. You’ve got to read the labels. Sorry, if you were looking for a simple recommendation, that’s just not happening here today. Yes, I will name a few of the manufacturers that I trust, but in the end my goal is for you to be able to make the right choices based on what you learn about the bag of treats in front of you at the store.

First thing you do need to know, and this is the simplest rule you’ll ever follow; don’t buy anything for your dog to eat, sleep on or play with that was made in China. Ever. There, that’s pretty easy right? Well guess what? It’s a lot harder than you think, because so much of what you’ll find in the supermarket, the pet store chain and yes, even in the chic pet boutique around the block, is made in China. If you haven’t been in the loop, the problem with pet stuff (and human stuff) that is made or assembled in China is that it’s not regulated and safety standards are at best, minimal.  Many beloved family pets have suffered and died from toxic food and badly made products; according to the FDA in an October 2013 report, over 3600 dogs and 10 cats have become ill from jerky pet treats made in China with almost 600 proven deaths. However those numbers require veterinarians having reported cause of death or illness and in many cases, I’m sure they couldn’t have known.

The problems have been reported since 2007, but the identification of 6 unapproved antibiotics in some treats was ultimately the only reason several well-known brands were taken off the market.  The real problems seem to have been melamine contamination, salmonella and even arsenic in some cases. Most of the contaminated treats were chicken, duck or turkey, along with some sweet potato and some dried fruits. Most were also jerky type treats. The point here is most of these treats were made in China, the ones made in the USA are usually a salmonella issue and get recalled quickly. How can you find out more about these? Just check out the FDA website here. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm371450.htm

She doesn't want her picture taken, she wants to eat

She doesn’t want her picture taken, she wants to eat

               Also the Humane Society has excellent links on their website http://www.humanesociety.org.

The other, more salient point that I can make here is that your diligence as a pet owner is of key importance; read labels, check out the websites regularly because it’s unlikely that you’ll see recalls on mainstream media and remember, cheap brands, fancy name brands even brads sold at vet clinics can all be affected. Also keep in mind that the big picture has much more effect on you and your pet’s life; factory farming, pesticides, herbicides, irresponsible antibiotic use, all of these factors are changing your life everyday, and not for the better.

Carrot3

Diesel just loves to eat. Period.

Next time we’ll talk about dog food, not just treats.

 

Cold Weather Pet Safety; A Responsibility, Not a Choice.

 

With cold weather sweeping a good part of our nation, it’s time for pet owners to step up to their responsibilities. But wait, I’m not done yet, it’s also time for neighbors, passers by and everyone else to step up as well.

Many of you may have read the tragic story from Indiana. During the last cold spell, a resident of North Preston Indiana recalls hearing a “weird howling” from a neighbors’ dog, shortly before it was found frozen to death.  The owner was charged with animal cruelty, which is appropriate. The neighbor got some attention from the media but no one asked him why he didn’t do something before the poor dog had suffered and died, which is inappropriate. We’re aware that a lot of Americans dislike government regulations, but if we can’t uphold common decency in our actions or make sure that our neighbors do so as well, then what we need is some government involvement. In fact, animal control agencies across the mid-west and east coast made considerable attempts to warn pet owners about the dangers of cold weather, unfortunately, not everyone paid attention. The skills needed for animal care aren’t rocket science, although they do require a working brain and soul, something very obviously lacking in a significant portion of our population. Dogs found frozen onto doghouse floors, horses dead of dehydration (hint, water freezes) and cat’s left to die in the elements. Every state has different animal cruelty laws; many of them are practically non-existent, (For more information on your state, check out the Humane Society’s report card), but humanity isn’t something we as a species, seem to have been able to master.  After perusing the ASPCA & Humane Society websites, I came up with a few good tips for animal cold weather care; I suggest that you check out those and other great information sources for your specific concerns or animals.

Keep pets indoors and warm.

Cold can be deadly, especially to the very young or old. If you have pets that can’t come inside, then you HAVE to provide safe, warm shelter. Look at it this way, if you couldn’t stay where they stay, then move them or fix up their shelter. For pets who are outside for the day, be sure to provide a dry, draft free shelter that’s big enough for them to lie down in, but small enough to not get so cold. Cover the floor with straw or wood shavings; add an inexpensive but well made pet bed. Make sure it’s insulated and cover the doorway with heavy burlap AND plastic. Then bring them inside at night.

Make sure they have water and food, a lot of both.

Being outside in the cold can dehydrate an animal and make them expend a lot more energy just staying warm. Check their food and water several times a day and makes sure the water isn’t frozen. Use plastic bowls, not metal.

Help strays, feral and “community” cats.

Easy to construct shelters made out of Styrofoam coolers with blankets in them and a small hole cut out for a door work well. Spend a little on some extra food and help them through the tough winter. If you are really motivated, trap them and take them to the shelter to get spayed and neutered and then release the un-adoptable (wild) ones back into their neighborhood. Most shelters have great deals for strays.

Make sure horses and other livestock have effective shelter and around the clock food and water. Also, be sure to check under your car’s hood for cats and wild animals.

Please pass on this information and be kind!

luxury pet beds

 

 

Safe Dog Treats

 

In light of the recent national attention to the problem of toxic dog treats,  (discussed in this blog well over a year ago), we though it would be beneficial to review some of the issues surrounding pet product safety.

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that while the FDA does regulate all animal foods, their regulation only goes so far as to require that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. They regulate labeling which includes weight, ingredients and name & place of business of the manufacturer OR the distributer. Note that the country of origin isn’t included. Also note that they have no requirements that the food products have pre-market approval, they consider some foods to be assumed safe (like meat, poultry and grains) and others are considered G.R.A.S. (generally recognized as safe), such as vitamins, minerals etc.

What does this mean to you as a pet owner? It means that you have to be diligent in picking out treats for your dog or cat, it means that you need to be aware of recalls and country of origin and, as if that’s not enough, you also need to monitor your pets while they’re enjoying those treats.

Just take a look at the list of treat manufacturers finally released to the public. This list contains the brands that are suspected in the illnesses and deaths of over 1,000 pets and they al have one thing in common; they were all made in China.

Waggin Train, Canyon Creek Ranch, Dogswell, Hartz, Snausages, Booda Bones, Aspen Pet, Milo’s Kitchen, American Kennel Club, Dingo’s, Beefeaters, Cadet, Sargents, Ever Pet (Dollar General), Home pet 360, Walgreen’s Simple, The Kingdom’s Pets, Benefuk, Beggin Strips, Pupperoni and Canine Carryout.

A lot of those names look familiar don’t they? They’re brands you may have used for years.

So, what can you do?

  1. Read the label. If it doesn’t clearly state “a product of the USA” or “Made entirely with ingredients from America) or any thing similar, DON’T BUY IT!
  2. Realize that a lot of treats are choking hazards, particularly rawhide, and never leave your pet unsupervised while they have them and be careful with bones too; they can splinter into very sharp pisces.
  3. Notice your pet, their normal activity level, affect and general demeanor. If you want to be objective, make a note of their resting heart rate, respiratory rate and gum color.
  4. Call your vet if you have any concerns and learn pet CPR and Heimlich maneuvers.

If you can be mindful of what your pet eats and plays with, you can keep them safe, so pick dog treats that are locally made, that are made solely with American made ingredients and try organic while you’re at it; it’s better for everyone.

Allhailthedog.com

Antlers need supervision too.

 

 

Feeding the Always Hungry Dog

Best dog beds

May I?

 

Do you have a dog that just loves his food, I mean really, really loves to eat? I’ve only met a few dogs in my life who actually didn’t, one, my Doberman Khazmo, would only eat if I stood by his bowl; if I left, he did too. Not to mention that any one of my cats could come up and intimidate him from eating any more and then settle down and finish up the poor guys’ dinner.

No, I’d say most dogs do love their food, but some dogs, well some dogs worship food, they live for the bowl; the rattle of kibble, the creak of the can lid, everything that portends a meal or for that matter, a crumb. Chow hounds they’re called and I know that many a pet owner has failed their pet by giving in to the pleading, desperate eyes over and over again, until one day they wake up and their pet is obese.  Of course so many of their owners have the same problem, it’s easy to see how they would transfer that need for food to their dogs. I’m here to beg you to learn to honor your responsibility to our pet and to feed them only the best food that you can afford. Talk to your vet and then research your little head off. One of the best references I’ve found is a book by the original dog whisperer, Paul Owens. His knowledge of pet nutrition will blow your thoughts about commercial pet foods out of the water.

Don’t panic, it’s not only simpler than you think; it’s affordable too. Avoiding corn, wheat and any grains is a great start as well as only buying food with human grade ingredients; absolutely no “animal or meat by products”. Many people do the research and end up making their own pet food, but I’ve found that by adding fresh produce that’s been shredded in my food processor into the grain-free kibble and organic, human grade canned dog food that I feed our dogs daily, they stay full and are vibrantly energetic and of excellent weight. Of course I have to measure out their food, or they could still get fat, but the produce (broccoli, carrots, zucchini, apples etc) really helps to them fill up. You owe it to your dog to help prevent so many debilitating diseases that plague overweight animals; from arthritis to heart failure.

A dear friend allows us to dog sit their ridiculously cute rescue puppy Diesel on a pretty regular basis, and this sweet guy is a true chowhound. The good news is that being food motivated is a great training aid, (it doesn’t hurt that he’s clever and willing to learn), but his talent for inhaling whatever is in his bowl is astounding! Luckily for him, his owners weigh him, measure out his meals and feed him a truly high quality food, which has helped him become a sleek, shiny coated model of health, and all of this in just the 2 short months they’ve had him. Diesel’s penchant for meals can leave him hiccupping though, along with a few other digestive problems, so we’ve come up with the home version of the “maze bowl” that people use to slow down a dogs’ mealtime; we simply add two of his favorite bones to the bowl and it works like a charm to control his feeding time and allow him to actually chew his food before he swallows it.

Now we all sleep a little better (and longer) and I like to think that he feels like he actually had a full meal. Although I have to admit, it was awfully funny to watch him hiccup in his sleep, his little nose bouncing in time on the bolster of his lounge dog bed.