Welcome to our DogBlog: A Dog’s Eye View, written by Boise, Idaho website designer, Julie Walton; her hubby, Murry; and their best friend and dog blogger, Maggie. (Note – sorry to report Maggie died October, 2012. We are happy to introduce you to to the newest member of our family, an adopted rescue Aussie/Heeler named Blue Belle.) She is the Rescue Dog that rescued us.
Our goal in creating this website is to inform and educate our friends about dogs and the resources we have here in the beautiful Northwest, and to include some good clean fun!
If you have a suggestion, or idea, please feel free to comment or send an email. See the Comment link at the bottom of each post. Thanks for your interest.
“The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” ~Author Unknown
When I first heard from a guest poster about this subject of dogs improving my health, I thought of how much our dog has improved our mental, emotional, and physical health by being such an awesome companion and member of our family. But I didn’t realize how much they can improve our health because of a fine blend of human and canine microbes. – Julie
Has it ever occurred to you that keeping a dog at home is not just a momentary bliss but a permanent health regimen? A few licks and tail-wagging from your pet can surprisingly change your mood right then and there, and it makes everything a whole lot better, even with the most depressing of circumstance. Truly, their magic never fails to amaze us.
But did you know that dogs can improve our health too? Not only do they make a great companion and become our best friends but new evidence suggests that having a pet dog can’t only decrease stress in their owners but the microbes from dogs may also be aiding the dog owner’s overall physical health and well-being.
Thanks to microbiome – a single celled organism which is present just about everywhere in our environment; they outnumber the cells in our body by 10-1. As science starts to understand the importance of the microbiome, we are starting to realize just how important they are to our general health and well-being.
After all, it’s not just simply about emotional attachment, it does have something to do with how these micro-organisms are wired on the planet. It’s the connection between one living thing to another that drives us all into existence. These organisms may not be visible to the naked eye, but with enough ratio, it can be truly beneficial to everyone. In fact, they are often shared through a dog’s mouth, fur, and its other parts of the body. Science and emotional well-being does have something in common, doesn’t it?
So what’s the link between a dog’s microbiome and improving our own health? Check out this infographic for more information.
When any of our dogs have had health problems, we of course want to do whatever we can to give them the very best medical care. Can you imagine how you would feel if you learned your dog was going blind? Sadly, Our friends Brett and Hillary are dealing with this heartbreaking ordeal in their family. We have known Hillary since she was a young girl and were thrilled to see her get married to her loving husband and bring into their family two cute little Boston Terrier Dogs, Gin and Tonic. We recently heard that 3 year old Gin needs cataract surgery. Poor little Gin wants to play with her brother, Tonic, like she used to before her eyes developed severe cataracts.
We are reaching out to our readers to ask for your help. Hillary and Brett have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the expense of the cataract surgery. Please consider a small donation. I know every little bit will help.
Julie, Murry, and Blue Belle – DogBlog – A Dog’s Eye View
February is #NationalPetOralHealthCareMonth. We all know how important it is to help our fur buddies keep their teeth in good health, in fact, it should be a year-long activity.
Today Blue Belle is testing Greenies. This is not our first test. She absolutely loves them. Our dentist has told us Blue Belle’s teeth are in good shape. I can’t say if this is because of the Greenies, especially since she tends to gobble them up so quickly. She does seem to have good breath.
If you would like to purchase some Greenies for your best bud, we received our sample from Chewy.com. Blue Belle and our family are dog bloggers. #ChewyInfluencer!
Complete oral care is important for your dog’s total body health and can add years to their lifespan. Greenies Freshmint Canine Dental Chews are proven to clean dogs’ teeth by fighting both plaque and tartar buildup, freshening breath, and maintaining healthier teeth and gums. These low-fat dental chews contain dried spearmint for a natural mint flavor, and are perfect for daily treating.
For many home owners, who are also dog owners, hardwood flooring is but a dream. Dogs claws, vomit, urine and dirty paws are all things that can cause havoc to a hardwood floor. However this doesn’t mean hardwood floors are out of the picture. Providing you choose the right wood, finish, sheen and cleaning products, your dog and floor can coexist in relative harmony. Although there is no way to stop damage altogether, you can reduce and limit the damage.
Wood – Choosing the wood will be the first thing you do, and there are so many woods available, oak, pine, walnut, ash, cherry, maple, the list goes on, but which one is best. The key to choosing wood flooring for a home with dogs is finding one which is strong and light in colour. You want it to be strong so it stands up well to your dogs claws and light in colour so any damage is less visible. This sums up oak perfectly as it is one of the strongest woods available, is naturally light in colour, and it is affordable. Although you could try an aged or distressed looking wood so any damage look like it is intentional.
Finish – Now that you have chosen the wood, now the question looms, what finish should I choose? Your new hardwood floor needs a finish to protect it from dirt and wear, otherwise it will quickly become damaged and eventually ruined. There are two main finishes on the market for floors and these are oils and varnishes. Oils are very popular as they offer a natural look and feel, but they are not suited to standing up to the wear caused by dogs. For this reason a floor varnish is the best choice of finish to provide the resilience you need. A varnish offers a hard and durable protective coating on top of the wood, helping to prevent damage and protecting the wood. The great thing with a varnish is multiple layers can be built up to increase protection. Make sure you use a specific “floor varnish” as these are made for floors and have increased protection to other generic varnishes. You can find a range of floor varnishes at Wood Finishes Direct.
Sheen – When choosing a varnish you will also have the option for what sheen level you want. Sheen determines how shiny the finish will be, but the more shiny/glossy the finish, the more likely it will show scratches and dinks. For this reason it is best to go for a matte or satin finish and these will help to hide any visible damage. If you are unsure about what finish you would prefer, conduct a small test area on some scrap wood or obscure corner of the room to see what each one looks like, before committing.
Cleaning – So you’ve got the strongest wood, the best finish and the right sheen, now the hard work is over right ? Wrong, it doesn’t stop there, now you have to care for, and maintain your floor. Dogs will leave your floor covered in muddy paw prints and this dirt could get into any cracks and begin to damage the wood beneath. Not only that dogs vomit or urine contains chemicals which can stain and ruin the wood and finish, so these should be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent them causing damage, and this can be done with a wood floor cleaner. Not all domestic cleaners are suitable for floors, and they could cause more damage than good, due to chemicals that they contain. Instead apply the wood floor cleaner directly to a damp mop or cloth, and wipe dry after. You can find a range of wood floor cleaners at Wood Finishes Direct.
Other Tips – There are a couple of other things you can do to help prevent your dogs from causing too much damage to your hardwood floor. Keep their nails trimmed, ensure they are toilet trained, place water bowl on a mat to stop it spilling onto floor, put carpet off cuts by doors leading from outside to remove dirt from paws and put a rug anywhere that receives excessive wear.
Thanks for the Guest Post, Aedan. Very good information about how to take care of a wood floor and keep all in the family happy.
The Zogoflex Air Dash Frisbee Dandelion Dog Toy has an aerodynamic design that’s easy for parents to throw and fun for dogs to fetch. The durable outer shell surrounds a soft foam material, so it won’t hurt your pup’s mouth or your hands, and the center hole allows for smooth, off the ground pickups, a stable, fast flight and a gradual descent. This Frisbee is injected with Air Technology, making it a high-flying dog toy that’s fun to fetch on land or in water.
Bright dandelion color
Light design floats in water
Eco-friendly and recyclable
FDA compliant and BPA and phthalate-free
Non-toxic and top shelf dishwasher safe
Designed, sourced and made in the USA
This was a difficult product to review. First of all the dad in the family was afraid to let Blue Belle give it a try. The Air Dash Frisbee seems soft enough for her to catch, but it seems very heavy. He was worried that it would hit her in the head and hurt her. Finally I was able to give it a try. Blue Belle loves to catch a ball and her soft bite floppy disc, but didn’t know what to do with this heavy frisbee. I started by telling her it was a frisbee. I threw the Air Dash Frisbee into the yard several times and she just let it go and didn’t even go after it. I showed it to her again and told her to pick it up and bring it to me. She finally understood that it was something she could play with. Success – she caught it and brought it back. But she doesn’t really play with it, because she loves her pink floppy disc flyer.
The Zogoflex Air Dash Frisbee by West Paw is very sturdy and all of their claims do appear to be true.
“Fly + Fetch
100% guaranteed tough
Made in America
DASH features an ergonomic shape that’s easy on human hands and canine jaws like, a center hole for fast, steady flight, and a wavy profile for better in-air visibility and smooth off-the-ground grabs.”
Our dog, Blue Belle, an Ausie/Blue Healer, prefers a light-weight flyer.
As pet owners we are all very careful about the food and toys we give to our pets, and what we do around them, which could be detrimental to their health. We are all aware of the dangers of things like chocolate, not many pet owners are aware of health implications that domestic decorating products like paints can have on our furry friends.
The Danger of Paints
Paint might not seem like the most dangerous household substances, but some domestic paints can have serious implications on the health and wellbeing of our pets. These paints are so harmful due to the harsh chemicals that they contain, which includes solvents, heavy metals and VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). These chemicals release gases which can cause serious harm to our pets when they are inhaled. Although these gases are most potent while paints are drying, fumes can still be released long after the paint has dried. While the full extent of the damage caused by these chemicals is unknown, symptoms include dizziness, irritation to skin, eyes and air ways and in extreme cases full bodily hair loss.
Paints are not the only decorating product which can cause harm to our pets. Some other hazardous products include varnishes, paint removers and white spirits. The dangers are not just limited to inhalation of these gases and pets can suffer from the same symptoms if they ingest paints or other decorating products.
Pet Safe Alternative
There are pet friendly alternatives to normal domestic paints, which can be used without fear of jeopardising the health of your pets. While not all paint are branded as being pet safe, you will be able to identify which ones are safe by looking at the ingredients. You will want to use paints which are water based instead of solvent, free from heavy metals and creosote and have either low or no VOC’s. If you are still uncertain whether a paint is pet safe or not, do some research as you may find someone who has used it before and can give you their advice. For example Earthborn Clay and Eggshell paint are not sold as being pet friendly, but many people have used them before without any harm coming to their pets.
It might not always be possible to use a pet safe alternative and if this is case you should take some extra measure to help reduce the possibility of any harm coming to your pets.
Make sure any products used are kept out of the way, so there is no chance of pets accidentally ingesting them.
Ask a friend or a family member to look after your pets for the day, so they are out of the house. The harmful fumes are strongest whilst the paint is wet and drying and this will help keep them out of harm’s way. If this isn’t possible keep pets out of the way and minimise any direct contact with wet paint.
Ensure the room being painted is as well ventilated as possible, as this will help to remove as many of the lingering gases as possible.
If you are painting small pieces for furniture, try painting them outside in order to prevent gases getting trapped inside your home.
Keep an eye on how your pets are behaving and if they start acting strangely, or you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above contact your vet immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns about a product, contact either the manufacturers or suppliers, as they will be able to advise you on whether a product is pet safe or not.
Aedan Kiernan is a Digital Marketing Executive for Wood Finishes Direct, who are the UK’s largest online supplier of wood finishes and treatments, including eco paints and wood products.
By: Blue Belle Walton, Canine Contributor
DogBlog: A Dog’s Eye View
Hi there dog lovers, Blue Belle here, canine dog blog contributor, grateful rescued dog, and tail wagging happy member of a furever family.
My family wanted me to talk to you about a very serious issue. Today my mom gave me a new collar. She said that this could actually save my life. What is so special about my new collar? It has a feature that makes it come apart if I get my collar caught, so I don’t get strangled. My new collar is a PetSafe® KeepSafe® Break-Away Collar. Isn’t it pretty. I really like it. My mom listened to a video interview from the women who created it. She invented this collar after she lost her dog Chinook, to a collar strangulation accident. How terrible! You can see the video below.
The collar features a patented break-away safety buckle that releases when pressure is applied or it gets caught on something, allowing it to fall off harmlessly and reduce the risk of strangulation or injury to the pet. The KeepSafe collar also has a metal D-ring on each side of the breakaway buckle, which can be used to attach ID tags and can also be clipped together with a leash so pet parents can safely walk their dogs using the collar.
We didn’t even know that this was a risk, but my mom heard about the Educational Campaign to Protect Pets from Collar Strangulation Accidents . They call it Collar Safety Awareness Week. We think everyone should help get out the word. Mom said it is urgent to make everyone aware of this safety issue. So listen up, people. Please pass this along. I know your dog will thank you.
Collar Related Injuries
Over 19 million dogs wear collars everyday
More than 26,000 collar related injuries happen each year
71 incidents per day
More than 50% of pet professionals have experienced a collar related incident in pets
Common Causes of Dog Collar Incidents
The first annual Collar Safety Awareness Week, October 18-24, 2015, is being launched to educate the public about the risks of strangulation and dangers of traditional collars as part of National Animal Safety and Protection Month.
PetSafe® Interviews Tenney Mudge, Inventor of KeepSafe Collar
PetSafe® Collar Safety Awareness
Blue Belle’s Message to All Dogs and Their Family’s PROTECT YOUR PET WITH A SAFE COLLAR.
Blue Belle loves to do tricks and one of the best treats for rewarding our dog are small treats like these little mini treats from Zuke’s. We received the Zuke’s Mini Naturals Fresh Peanut Butter Formula from Chewy.com to review.
The 6 oz. package is actually a pretty large package. And I see that they are on sale at Chewy right now.
These treats are wheat, corn and soy free and there are less than 3 1/2 calories per treat.
Blue Belle really likes these tasty treats, in addition to using them for training purposes, we also use them inside her Odin Toy.
We received a 2 oz. package (approximately 55 treats) of freeze dried dog treats made from duck and duck liver. The treats are proudly made in Canada. The package indicates they use regional ingredients delivered fresh. The founder says the quality is never outsourced, preparing Orijen treats in their own kitchens, where they freeze-dry fresh local ingredients and control every detail of preparation. They are freeze-dried to lock in flavor and nutrition.
The first thing I noticed about the treats is the fact that they are very light in weight. The first thing my granddaughter noticed, is the smell. But Blue Belle loved the smell. We are very careful to feed our special loved one only the best dog food and treats. This product by Orijen qualifies as a healthy good snack which we feel we can trust.
We were so excited to wake up early in the morning with our car jam-packed with luggage, sleeping bags, a cooler full of drinks and lunch, an audio book for our listening pleasure, snacks, and of course the BEST DOG IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, Blue Belle, who joined us on our road trip to to the great Northwest. We traveled from Boise, Idaho on the interstate freeway system through Oregon, over the Columbia River to Washington State, through scenic wine country and finally to venture through the picturesque cascade mountains and Kittitas County. We truly love to travel the state highways through the beautiful small communities. As soon as we could, we hopped off the interstate to relax on the slower pace of the Washington state highway.
Shortly after leaving our home in Boise I realized that I should have given Blue Belle a bath the day before we left. Riding in our small car, with Blue Belle snuggling up between us, caused some discussion about the unpleasant odor we would have to endure for several days. It didn’t seem to bother Murry much, but I do have a very good sense of smell. So we looked online to see if there was a self service dog wash somewhere on our route. We knew we would be spending the night in Cle Elum, WA, and the next day stopping to take Blue Belle for a walk and enjoy the awesome view of Snoqualmie Falls, so we searched google for a self serve dog wash near Snoqualmie.
Our search brought us to a fantastic jewel of a find, Pet Place Market, located in North Bend, WA. We sent an online message to let them know that we would be traveling through North Bend the next day and would be so happy to give Blue Belle a bath in their self serve dog wash. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised when we stepped inside to say we were traveling and needed to use their self serve dog wash. The nice lady said “this must be Blue Belle”. Yah! They read our message. We were greeted by the Manager, Amanda, and a nice young man named Zack.
Amanda showed us into the back room where the doggie spa was located. A nice sized room that was very nicely decorated with several bath stations. She gave us a tour and explained how everything worked. First we put on some stylish blue (Boise State Colors, by the way) rubber aprons and took Blue Belle to a table where we brushed her. If we wanted we could do a few other grooming things like clip her nails. Then we took her to the bathing station. The water was already set to the proper temperature and ready to go. Amanda showed us how to use the shampoo and conditioner, how to hold the sprayer for the water and how to use the blow dryer. We even had scented spray to use after she was all cleaned up. We chose the lavender spray. She smelled so good.
After her bath we looked through the pet store and found a product to add to our purchase – an organic dog treat made with real berries produced locally. Wet Noses grain free dog treats are USDA organic Non-GMO and made nearby in Monroe, Washington. I found this information about their facility on their website: “Every single one of our treats are produced at our facility in Monroe, Washington – about 30 minutes north of Seattle. Wet Noses has called the beautiful Pacific Northwest home for nearly 20 years, since our beginnings in a Seattle kitchen in the late 1990s”. They also say “Our company is founded on one very basic philosophy, if you wouldn’t eat it – don’t give it to your pet”. What a great attitude!
We were so thrilled to find this super duper pet place with such a friendly staff. We plan to stop in again when we take another road trip with the BEST SMELLING DOG IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.
We found a great place with a self serve bath.
Murry signs us up to JOIN THE PACK!
Blue Belle wasn't so sure about this.
Tips and instruction about using their dog bath.
Blue Belle was being such a good dog.
Murry takes his turn at bathing.
The shampoo/conditioner worked great.
Amanda tells Blue Belle she looked so pretty. And she had treats.
We found a local organic dog treat from Wet Noses.