Author Archives: Bonnie Pfiester

5 Things Most People Don’t Know About Danes

great dane on couchGreat Danes are so misunderstood. SO many people are under the wrong impression when it comes to who a Dane is and what type of pet they can be. For example, they think they require a lot of space just because they are big.

Here is an article I found that tackle some of the most best Great Dane facts: 10 Surprising Facts About the Great Dane. I’m sharing 5 of the facts I liked the most here. Go to his page to see all 10!

  1. They really don’t eat that much. A full grown Great Dane eats about 2-3 cups of dry dog food in a meal. Too much protein should be avoided, particularly with puppies, as growing faster than they already do can damage bones and joints. Rather than the high-protein, quick-grow type puppy foods, they should have an adult food with no more than 23 percent protein.
  2. Apartment life is just fine for Great Danes. Despite their size, according to the AKC, life in an apartment can suit a Great Dane quite well. They are not as high energy as other breeds, but despite their couch potato ways, daily exercise is important. A brisk half hour walk a day will do, especially if complemented with some run time at a dog park or secure area a few times a week. No fenced area? A 50-foot training leash and a ball can help your Dane keep fit.
  3. Great Danes grow incredibly fast. Within a span of just 1 year, Great Danes go from just a handful of fluffy puppy to being able to stand up on their hind legs and look a 6-foot tall man eye-to-eye. During their rapid growth spurts, puppies can be visibly bigger after a night’s sleep.
  4. Great Danes can be remarkably gentle. That is, once the period of rapid growth passes and they gain full control of their body, bringing an end to accidental injuries due to clumsiness. Many Danes share their homes with small dogs and cats. Great Danes have a well-deserved reputation for being wonderful with children and sometimes work as therapy dogs. However, no animal should be fully trusted with young children, especially one of such a size that a single mistake could be tragic.
  5. They tend to be a lady’s dog. That’s only because of the difference in speech and mannerisms between men and women, however. Great Danes do not respond well to hard correction or training methods, as they are emotionally sensitive creatures.
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Vero Beach Dog Event: In the Ruff Golf Tournament

I just received this email and wanted to pass it along! Check it out!

Dog Event Flyer 2013

The 5th Annual In The Ruff Golf Tournament to benefit H.A.L.O. Rescue and Stray No More, Inc. date has been set for October 4~5, 2013.

In_The_RuffThe event kicks off with a cocktail party on Friday evening, from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM,  poolside party at the Indian River Club.  There will be a DJ, silent auction and…wait for it …. another K-9 demonstration by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office…(ladies, calm down now!!!) ! And because we are definitely non-discriminatory, we have a little something else planned for the evening.  Captain Bob has stepped up to the plate and is donating a guided airboat tour to the winner of the evening’s chipping contest (into the pool) and I’m pretty confident you’ve never seen an aqua golf water ball retriever like this!

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served throughout the evening. Cash bar. Cost per person will be $50. This is so much fun for non-golfers and golfers alike to support two great causes and enjoy a beautiful venue, good food and friends. 

The golf tournament day and events at the beautiful Indian River Club will remain basically the same.  To summarize:   Continental breakfast at 8:00 AM, four man scramble begins at 9:00 AM, followed by an all you can eat barbeque and awards.  Player entry fee is $100 per player. 

There will be a pet adoption ON-SITE again at the golf tournament on Saturday, featuring dogs and cats needing a new home.

We’re looking for corporate sponsors of all levels, door prizes, silent auction items and players.

In addition, individuals and businesses will be offered the opportunity to purchase “tee signs” for $50.  This is a sign that could promote a business or memorialize a sentiment to loved ones, or even just a thank you to someone or something important.  Tee signs can include photos and artwork of almost any style – if you would like to see some examples, please e-mail me (the files are very large).  These signs will be placed along the course where players tee off and will be seen by everyone-it is a great source of advertising!  The tee sign sponsor is welcome to keep the sign for themselves when the tournament is over. 

I know this is a lot of information, so please call me at 772-360-9294 or e-mail me at intheruffverobeach@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  If you own a business, please consider giving something to the tournament – donations and the entry fee are tax deductible as both organizations are Florida 501 (c) (3) not for profits. 

No item is too small for a door prize and the bigger the better for a silent auction item!

All of the profits will go to directly assist animals in Indian River County, either via HALO Rescue or the spay / neuter program established by Stray No More, Inc.  Proceeds are split 50% / 50% between the two non-profits and all funds raised stay in Indian River County and are used locally.

Please share it to everyone you can, golfer or not…..everyone can help with this incredible event raising funds to help animals and residents in Indian River County! 

Many thanks,

Kim Kern

Les Concierges of Vero Beach, LLC

kirbygirl60@yahoo.com

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I Walk 5 Miles Every Day

Found this and had to share! Maybe I should rename Marley, Marathon. lol 🙂

Walking My Dog

TV Has Gone to the Dogs!

dog watching TVI’ve never had a dog that seemed interested in the TV until Marley. I noticed it one day when a commercial came on with a Harlequin Great Dane and a Chihuahua. As soon as Marley saw them he perked up. Neither dog had made a sound, so I knew he was totally stimulated purely by sight. He kept watching the entire commercial until it was over.

All my other dogs would only perk up if they heard a dog parking or whining on TV (and only for a second), but I had never seen this kind of real interest before. The only reason I used to turn on a TV for a dog was to drown out the sound of thunder or fireworks. But Marley continues to watch TV and look for things that he is interested in – and like a child, he doesn’t like most of what we watch, but he sure love watching all kinds of animals and a lot of funny commercials. So, when I saw a commercial for Direct TV’s new DogTV channel, I could totally see how that might be stimulating for a dog like Marley, which could be very healthy.

dog watching TVDogTV did a lot of research on what dogs like. Every frame and every sound on DOGTV is designed 100% for dogs. They created content to meet the specific attributes of a dog’s unique sense of vision and hearing. That’s also why it may look a little funny to us when we watch their shows. The brightness, contrast, sounds and even camera angels are designed for a dog, not a human. Even their programming has a very specific purpose, focusing on relaxation, stimulation and exposure. Bottom line, this channel is no joke. They did their homework.

This video is an example of their stimulating programming. Notice the low camera angles and all the doggie action. Also, think about all the things we watch people do. We watch them play sports, we watch them talk, walk, dance, sing, play with each other, give each other affection – so why wouldn’t they enjoy watching their fellow dogs do the same? If we sit on the couch and people watch, no wonder they like dog watching!

Just for PFun

There are over 5,000 videos of dogs watching TV. You can see clearly how happy this puppy is watching Air Buddies. Just look at his tail wagging like crazy! He is LOVING it!

Here are just a few cute pics I found online of dogs watching TV

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Dogs watching TV at the exclusive health farm for dogs run by pa

DOGTV_watchingTV

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Dogs Know Best: 5 Dog Stretches You Should Do Too

A Dog Knows BestHave you ever noticed how our dogs stretch when they first wake up, or they twist their bodies into the oddest positions while upside down on the floor? Or, how they will stretch out their legs and back before they get out of bed. If only we were as smart as dogs!

Stretching comes natural to furry friends. However, we humans often need a little reminder. Unfortunately, it often comes in the form of an injury and a doctor’s orders. Sometimes we are so bad at it, we have to actually go to a class that forces us to stretch, bend and move – or we won’t do it at all.

If we watch out dog, we could learn a little something.

5 great dog stretches you should do too.

Click on the exercise for video instruction.

1. Upward facing dog
Stretches the low back, abdominals, hips, pelvis and tops of feet, while strengthen in your chest and arms.

upward facing dog

#2 Inner Thigh Stretch
Stretches the inner thighs and helps prevent groin injuries as well as improve athletic performance and mobility with even simple tasks like walking, swimming and running.

funny-dog-stretching-its-legs

#3 Hamstring Stretch
This exercise stretches the back of thighs and helps improve posture due to tight leg muscles. Often times when the back of the thighs are tight, we bend with our back to enable us to reach for the floor, or for something as simple as reaching for the gas pedal. Flexible hamstrings allow us to bend safely from the hips, so we don’t compromise our back.

stretching

4. Crossover Stretch 
This therapeutic stretch is a staple exercise given to many patients in physical therapy to loosen the lower back and hips. 

crossover stretch

5. Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is an excellent core exercise that stretches the hamstrings, calves and achilles, as well as challenging the core and arms. The key is to keep your heels pressed down to the ground and your back nice and straight so you are in a perfect upside down V. 

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Do you have a favorite dog stretch or dog stretching picture?

 

Best Dog Training Tip for Pesky People-Pullers

Marley One of the first tips I’ve learned from my Dog Trainer at Pawprints of Vero Beach was to always be the leader. With a 130lb puppy, you can probably imagine this is not as easy as it sounds. When I first met Marley, he was dragging his original mommy down the side walk to greet us. This happy pup was very controlling just because of his own weight. He probably didn’t really even know what he’s doing. If we play tug-a-war, he will always win, so the tugging and leading had to stop.

When Sean, from Pawprints, came over for our first consultation, he taught me several training tips – but one tip in particular has been super helpful. Don’t let Marley go ahead of you.

Marley Well, you may ask, how in the world can you prevent that from happening. I’ll tell you how! If your dog runs in front of you, you can be instantly in front if you simply turn around. How SIMPLE right?! As soon as you turn around the other way, your pet is following YOU instead of you following HIM!

By doing this over and over and over, your pet will realize if it it wants to go anywhere, it must follow you. Otherwise, you will turn around and go right back into the house, or to the starting place.

Believe it or not, it only took a few times before Marley began to catch on. Before I knew it, he was no longer pulling me, and was sticking by my side. Of course, occasionally, he will see a dog or want to get ahead, and I just simply turn around. Since they are pack animals, it’s completely instinct for them to follow.

walking dogIt’s a small tip that can make a BIG difference if you apply it and practice it often.

As you can see here, there is slack in his leash, he’s right by my side and we are both having a happy pleasant walk TOGETHER (key word). 🙂

5 Tips to Teaching Your Dog Who’s Boss 

1. Turn around. Remind your dog who the pack leader is: YOU! Always remain the leader through out your walk.

2. Stop & make your dog sit. Teach them that they are going NO WHERE unless you LET them. They’ll quickly learn that following you is much more fun than sitting around doing nothing.

3. Don’t keep a tight leash when your pup is close. This teaches them that, when they are close, they are more comfortable. A tight leash is uncomfortable and doesn’t allow for any correction – plus it’s easier for them to pull YOU.

4. Don’t pull them. If you don’t want them to pull you, then don’t pull them. Just like a horse, a constant pull on the reins (or leash) is something they can bear, and get used to – but a quit light tug is more aggravating for them. So, as they stray (left, right, in front or behind), give them a quick tug of correction to get their mind back on following you, and direct them back in place.

5. Train your dog to walk using a sidewalk. Make it easy on your dog by using sidewalks for leash training. Sidewalks offer more clear boundaries, with a more narrow space to stick to. An open road, path or yard is more challenging since there is more room to wander.

NOTE: I am no dog training expert. If you could use some dog training, I HIGHLY recommend the trainers at Pawprints.  I am literally learning myself! I just plan to share everything I learn along the way in hopes of helping others! 

Cool Tips for Hot Doggie Days

dog tips for hot daysWe took Marley to the beach this weekend and we noticed his not-so-little nose got bright pink from the sun. The poor guy was sunburned. My last Great Dane had a dark mussel and dark skin, so I never even thought about Marley getting burned. Knowing he needed sun protection, I knew I needed to do some research.

On top of it, I forgot his water bowl. I brought a gallon of water for him, but forgot to bring something to put it in. This got me thinking. I need to have a beach bag check list for beach days with Marley so we are more prepared – and I can keep him safe and cool.

After a little research, here is what I found…

Doggie Sun Screen 

Dog SunscreenYes, there is sun screen made just for dogs. However, when I went to our local pet store, they didn’t have any in stock.  One veterinarian site I found recommended the only FDA approved sunscreen for pets Epi-Pet Sun Protector. However, I would need to order that – and I needed a pan B.

safe sunscreen for dogsPlan B

My first thought was to use baby sun screen. I mean, if it’s gentle enough for babies, surely it would be gentle enough for our furry babies. However, some ingredients can be toxic if ingested, like zinc oxide. In a Fox News report, Dr. Mark Macina, Animal Medical Center’s dermatologist, said he found Bullfrog sunscreen SPF 15 or greater worked well for animals.

Hot Spots Check List

Be sure to check these spots for areas you may want to keep covered.

  • Tips of ears
  • Around the Nose and Mouth
  • Belly, groin and inner thigh areas (especially if your dog likes to lounge on his back)
  • Any area with thinning hair or hair loss

Heat Protection & Prevention

  • BulldogLarge breed dogs are twice as likely to suffer from heat stroke
  • Black coated dogs soak up the heat much faster than a light coated dog
  • Flat faced dogs (like bull dogs, pugs & boxers) have less of a nose and narrower windpipe, and are more susceptible of overheating

Signs up Heat Stroke

To be safe, you should know the signs of heat stroke, and how to treat it. Wikihow has great information every dog owner should know.  Click Here to learn more

dog heat stroke

Hydration

dog in convertibleAll dog owners should also know signs of dehydration to be able recognize the signs as early as possible. Since I was the dumb-dumb that forgot a water bowl, I was super worried Marley wasn’t getting enough water (although he was drinking pretty OK out of the jug). Now I will know a few things to look out for like:

  • Gums should be moist and wet, not dry or tacky
  • Skin should bounce back if being pulled away from the body, showing healthy elasticity
  • Saliva should be thin, not thick and gooey

If you believe your dog is dehydrated, of course the first course of action is to give them water. In more extreme cases, you can give them Pedialyte, or even Gatorade. (NOTE: this is great to always have on hand on hot days in case of emergencies.) WebMD suggests you administer the solution at a rate of 2 to 4 ml per pound (1 to 2 ml per kilo) of body weight per hour. In very extreme cases, you must immediately take your dog to the vet for  intravenous fluids.

Beach Bag Check List

The following list are items I should always have to keep Marley safe, cool, comfortable and prepared – and the happier HE is, the more fun (and relaxing) the trip will be more ME too! To make it easy, I’ll pack a special doggie beach bag that’s always stocked and ready to go when we are!

Fido's beach bag checklist

 

Does Your Dog Eat McDonald’s or Subway?

Blue BuffaloMany Americans are eating a TON of food, but none of it’s really quality. They choose hamburgers over whole foods and healthier options. Another words, they can eat loads of calories, but be malnourished and unhealthy because they are missing higher quality foods, like good fats and proteins.

Often times, these choices are based on what’s in the wallet. $5.00 goes a long way at Taco Bell compared to the Outback. So they eat crappy, and they typically feel (and look) crappy too.

The same goes for fido. What they eat greatly determines how they look and feel. The problem is, many dog owners are not comparing apples to apples. They look at high-price food and have a difficult time switching over – especially when their dog is eating 8-10 cups of food a day.

Just the same way I can eat a smaller higher quality meal and be satisfied, dog’s don’t need to eat as much of the higher quality food as they do cheaper brands. This means, when you are price comparing, you need to realize you can’t compare them pound to pound.

For instance, Pedigree recommends 150lb dog get 8 cups of food a day, according to this feeding chart on their website. My Marley was wanting a whopping 10 CUPS a day! pedigree dog feeding chart

Blue Buffalo recommends a 150lb dog only eats 5 cups a day. Big difference! Now that he’s getting higher quality food, he’s not near as hungry either.

Blue Buffalo

The moral of the story is when your dog gets higher quality, he doesn’t need quantity. Most of the time, just like humans, they can eat much less – and be a LOT healthier too! 🙂

Doggie Diet Tips: Improve Your Dog’s Good Looks

great dane dogWhen I got Marley I noticed faint thinning patches of hair. Most people probably wouldn’t notice, but I could tell his hair should be shinier and even fuller than it was.

Since he LOVES to swim and play in the water, I was also worried his many baths would dry him out. So, I asked my doggie experts at Pawprints what I could do to help his coat.

While their first response was diet, they wanted to make sure I wasn’t making things worse by bathing him too often (which I admit I was doing). They know how much he likes to swim, and recommended only rinsing him off without shampoo after his swims. They said to only bathe him once or twice a month at the most. Good to know!

Solution #1

blue buffalo dog foodThey had 2 main suggestions. First up was food. They asked me was what kind of food he was eating. His last owner had him on Pedigree, so I’m in the process of gradually switching him over and blending that food with his new Blue Buffalo food (a grain free higher quality food, which he LOVES by the way). This brand came highly recommended by the Pawprints staff, and to be honest, I just had to trust them because I knew NOTHING!

After I bought it, I came home and did more research to get a better understanding of what he was eating. I was very pleased with what I found online. They even had a handy-dandy brand comparison chart (at the bottom of the blog) so I could compare brands. Granted, I’m sure there are several excellent grain-free foods out there, I’m happy I found one of them!

Solution #2

fish oilWhile nutrition is great, sometimes (like humans) pets can benefit from taking supplements. Pawprints experts suggested adding fish oil to his diet. They said I could just break open a capsule and pour it over his food. Well, thanks to GNC, I had a TON of excellent fish oil supplements at home, so I couldn’t WAIT to get started.

Marley LOVES the fish oil and can’t wait for me to add it to his food – and I can’t wait to see the results!

According the the Canine & Conditioning Rehabilitation Group, to calculate the correct dose, multiply your dog’s weight by 20. That is how many milligrams your dog should be getting. For Big Mar, that’s 3,000mg daily. After I use up my surplus of GNC fish oil, I’ll likely switch to a super concentrated fish oil made for dogs.

Benefits Include:

  • Healthy skin & glistening coat
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased stamina
  • Improved the immune system
  • Decreased shedding
  • Adds moisture to dry, irritated skin

Visit CRCG to learn more benefits of adding fish oil to your doggie’s diet.

PFIT TIP:

Great daneHow many dog owners actually take BETTER care of their dog than they do their own bodies?! (Meeeee!!!) If fish oil does all these great things for dogs, don’t you know they would benefit the dog owner too? I am a firm believer in supplements, however, I’m so forgetful. I have a hard time remembering to take them. It’s funny, I haven’t forgotten to give him his fish oil once.

Today, I am going to commit to the two of us taking our supplements together!

Click HERE to learn more about what fish oil can do for YOU!

Blue Buffalo Food Comparison

Blue Buffalo

Who Got In The Trash?

I came across this a few years ago and it’s still one of my favorite videos. This guy (the dog) cracks me up every time I watch it. (My last Great Dane’s name was Tank too.) So funny!

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