Blog

  • Isa’s Quote Of The Day – Limit your “always” and your “Nevers”!

    Limit your “always” and your “Nevers”!

  • Daily brushing duty – tips and tricks on brushing your dog

    A lot of people like poodle-type of curly coat due to minimum shedding and near hypoallergenic. However curly coat pup comes with a lot of coat maintenance duties. The first and foremost is brushing.

    Tools required:

    • Metal comb
    • Slicker brush
    • Wet brush
    • Detangling/de-matting spray

    Brushing Process

    I love the fluffy look, and I am so scared of having mat and she has to be shaved. So I made daily brush Isabelle a serious duty. Initially when she was less than 12 weeks, it was fairy easy to brush her with the metal comb to keep her from mat free. Notice the comb has a wider and a narrower teeth sections. I started with wider and then did the second round with the other side. Isabelle had very lightweight and thin puppy coat. She was shedding quite a bit hence daily brushing reduced shedding significantly.

    Isabelle started to blow her adult coat around 16 weeks. That’s where I noticed that the metal comb wasn’t as effective anymore. A lot of people recommended the CC brush. But I didn’t want to invest over hundreds of dollars on a sleeker brush yet. I got the Wahl sleeker brush from Ren’s pet. So far it is a game changer. I follow the line brush technique and brush her daily.

    The importance of line brushing is to move section by section slowly. The sleeker brush needs to go all the way to the skin as shown in the picture below. Every brush session takes about 30 mins these days. Isabelle gets her favourite bully stick during the brushing session.

    Finishing Spray

    I really like the best short finishing spray. I use it after shower to cut drying time. I use it every other day which really helps with removing small tangles. It also makes her smell good ☺️.

    Finally the wet brush is very useful when I don’t have 30 mins and just want to run through quickly. I also use the wet brush when washing her.

    The key is to have patience and be persistent if you want to maintain a good fluffy coat. Or trim the curly hair short. LOL.

  • Best of retractable dog leash

    We have purchased two different retractable dog leashes for our Isabelle. Both work really well. The first one is the Kong retractable dog leash. It lasted us quite a long time. The second retractable dog leash that we purchased is the longer leash from Flexi. This one is a work-horse for our long walk.

    The longer leash is really great for Isabelle to run around without having us to run after her. One warning is that the longer the leash, the heavier it is. I would buy leashes with different sizes and use them for different purpose.

    1. Kong retractable dog leash – normal length
    2. Flexi retractable dog leash – different length

  • Separation Anxiety for puppies and doggies – prevention and treatment

    Separation anxiety is a major behaviour issue that could have a big impact on both yours and the doggie’s quality of life. By understanding the issue, you can prevent it from happening or treat it effectively. Below is a short list of the potential different solution that can prevent or treat the separation anxiety. One or a combination of the solutions below have been identified by many dog owners as being very effective in helping to solve their puppy or older dog’s separation anxiety issue.

    Non-medical solution

    • For puppy: kennel training will help
      • When you are home, keep the puppy in kennel at times while you are home. The puppy can hear you talk and clean. This really helps with separation anxiety.
      • From time to time feed puppy or give treat in the crate to associate positive things with the crate
      • Try to leave a shirt you have worn in the crate will help with anxiety as well
      • Use a sheet to cover the kennel if needed
      • Squeaky toys and chewy will help
      • For us personally for the the first few month we prevented the puppy to go upstairs to protect her joint. This actually helps with separation anxiety as when we are working upstairs, she is downstairs by herself so she is used to not having us around all the time
    • Socialization with people and other dog – dog daycare or hotel once a week is a good option for socialization. The key is to make sure the dog is getting used to you not always around.
    • Huge Teddy Bear
    • Stuffy toys
    • Another doggie
    • Training
    • Exercise: have enough physical and brain exercises that are age-appropriate for the dog or puppy will help the dog to settle down if you are not around. It will help with socialization as well as the dog will get to see other dogs on the streets so they are not only focus on you all the time.

    Medical solution

    Make sure you consult with your vet prior to using any of the medication options below. I would recommend talking to a behaviour trainer first if you are to go with any medical or supplementary solution.

    • Trazodone for the day that you are away or even daily. This works really well for many people. It could be life changing for both the doggie and owner and it is a common medication used in shelter as well.
    • CBD treat
    • Clomicalm
    • Proza

    Behavioural trainer

    There are also behavioural dog trainer that can really help. Identification of the problem is the key. If you stay positive and patience, there are many people that can support you during this process.

  • Daily Routine for Doggie with People Home All Day

    Since we work from home due to COVID, it is great having Isabelle with us. We get a lot more exercise comparing to before having Isabelle. She also loves going out with us.

    Below is the daily routine that works really well for us.

    • 8:00AM: up-time for everyone in the family. We take Isabelle out of the play-pen, put the collar on, and walk her out of the door right away. We tend to do a short-walk and a light run with her in the morning. Both of us really enjoy the morning fresh-air walk.
    • 8:20AM: light play and food/water time for Isabelle. We feed Isabelle 3 times a day so this is the good size breakfast for her.
    • 8:45AM to 10AM: self-playing, napping, and watching Vincent having online class
    • 10:00AM to 10:20AM: Vincent takes Isabelle out for a walk around the neighbourhood. Isabelle has a good time saying hi to all the doggies in the neighbourhood. We have quite a few parks and parkettes in our #Ottawa neighbourhood… This is a great city with many outdoor trails if you haven’t been here before :).
    • 10:20AM to 12:00AM: self-playing, sleeping, and hanging-out watching Vincent having online class
    • 12:00PM to 12:20PM: Have fun with Vincent outdoor at the park – medium walk
    • 12:30PM: Lunch-time for everyone including Isabelle!
    • 2:00PM: Outdoor time walking with Vincent again!
    • 2:15PM: Grandparents coming by – Isabelle will have a good time saying hi to the grandparents
    • 5:00PM: This is when the lady of the house usually takes Isabelle out for a short-walk
    • 6:00PM: Dinner time!
    • 7:00PM – 8:00PM: Isabelle gets to do a superb long walk, saying hi to the doggie friends around the neighbourhood
    • 9:00PM – 11:30PM: snack time or nap-time for Isabelle
    • 11:30PM: short-relief walk
    • 11:45PM: Sleep time in play-pen

  • Isa’s Quote Of The Day – Believe you can and you are halfway there!

    Believe you can and you are halfway there!

    #IsaQuoteOfTheDay

  • The never-ending Tick topic – tick preventation for dog and puppy

    The summer season is here and there are so many ticks around in the trails that we walk every weekend. Luckily there are both natural and medical preventation for dogs and puppy that help when they catch a tick. This post describes a few options for your research prior to talking to your veterinarian. For our Isabelle, we give her Nexgard Spectra monthly for Tick prevention.

    Natural prevention:

    • Plan peppermint or spearmint around the house/bush line on the inside to prevent your dog from eating them (could be toxic for dog)

    Medical prevention options:

    • Nexgard Spectra monthly dosage
    • EM collar
    • Bravecto (warning: do not let dog breathes in the medication – could cause lung damage)
    • Revolution
    • Advantix II

    What to do if you catch a tick on your dog:

    • Take a photo and send to eTick.ca
    • Call your vet

    Check out the Health section for other health topics to follow.

    Our Isabelle is on the monthly Nexgard Spectra. No issue so far and we did spot 2 ticks on her fur this summer season.

    Isabelle with NexGuard tick medical preventation

  • Limber tail syndrome

    Limber tail is not usually a serious condition. This is an injury to the dog’s tail muscle causing the tail to appear limp. In certain cases, the dog could be in pain and running circle if they try to wag the limber tail. This injury usually need a few days to recover.

    It is usually caused by dog that has been swimming in too cold or too warm water (rarely). It is basically a tail sprain from trying to wag vigorously against the resistance of the water. It could also due to the dog that has been in a small crate for too long.

    The usual treatment is to let the dog rests for a few days and no water play for 7 days. If the dog is in significant pain, you can visit the veterinarian office for treatments to reduce the pain and inflammation such as anti-inflammatory drugs or pain reliever.

    To prevent this condition, we transitioned Isabelle early from the smaller crate to the big playpen. We only put Isabelle in the playpen when we need to leave the home or at night when she needs to sleep. We cannot wait for Isabelle to be less destructive around the house and remove the playpen. Since we are having a swimming pool soon, we need to watch out for this condition and slowly introduces her to the pool and limit her play time.

    You can check out this website for more information on the condition.

  • Summer grooming

    For the summer, it is recommended to cut your puppy hair shorter. Below is Isabelle first summer groom DIY.

    There are many advantages:

    1. Cooler for the dog and reduce overheating
    2. Likely more comfortable
    3. Easier to avoid and find ticks

    For certain type of double-coated dog, becareful not to shave your dog hair too short. Double-coated dogs have a soft inner layer that keeps them warm in winter and cool in the summer. You can read more on this website.

  • Crate training

    There are so many different sleeping strategies: crate, playpen, sleeping on the same bed as the owner, etc. This post is focusing on crate training. Hope some combination of the below will work for you. For us personally, we had Isabelle in the crate for the first 2 months. She was ~11 weeks when we got her so it was a bit easier for the crate training. After, she was too big for the crate, she complained quite a bit at night so we transitioned her to the playpen.

    1. Sleep next to the crate and lightly tap on the crate if the puppy cries until the puppy falls asleep. If the puppy is able to fall asleep, after a few days (or even first night), you can move to your own bedroom with the door opens.
    2. Move the crate right beside the bed, covered the top
    3. Put your uncleaned cloth into the Crate so the puppy has a familiar smell
    4. Buy a snuggle puppy (SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy)
    5. Try to get the puppy to use the crate during the day, play crate games, etc.
    6. Leave the radio on or add some white noise
    7. Covering the crate
    8. Lots of treats when the puppy is in the crate.

    You can also check out Zak George on YouTube for crate training technique