You Are What You Eat (Same for Your Pets)

Dogs Trapped in Gold Mine Manage to Escape

Two dogs trapped inside a Colorado mine shaft since Monday managed to escape on their own.

Christy Huffman told KRDO that her border collie and Chihuahua escaped from her home Monday, along with a third dog who is still missing.

The two who ended up in the mine pit at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine in Teller County got out and are now in the care of the local animal control office.

Rescue crews had been trying to reach the animals since Tuesday, and Animal control officers Wednesday tried coaxing the dogs out of the mine shaft with food, treats and water, but had no success.

CC&V Gold Mine spokesperson Jane Mannon says the dogs were able to make their way out of the mine on their own.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mikel Baker said officials were worried about sending a search-and-rescue team down the 500-foot Ironclad Mine because the ground is unstable.

The dogs’ owners have been cited for letting their dogs run loose.

5 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Digging
by Paul Ciampanelli -

How on earth do you stop your dog from digging holes in your garden, lawn and flower bed? The good news is that you don't have to live on a gopher hill. Use these tips to level the playing field!

Pay attention to the obvious. A bored dog will dig for the mere pleasure of expending energy. Exercise your dog, supply him with chew toys, and provide regular activities to deter him from digging. During warm weather, dogs dig for comfort. The earth is cool and they lie on it to reduce body heat. Make sure that your dog has fresh water and shaded rest area. By instinct, dogs will bury bones and treats. When you distribute these goodies, control the food supply and make sure that excess food items are not smuggled into the backyard.

Research the breed before you buy a dog. If you're looking to adopt a dog and you're worried about digger damage, the solution is simple: Do some research and steer clear of breeds that are predisposed to digging. To some degree, all dogs dig, but some breeds are designed for the task, such as Border collies, cairn terriers, dachshunds and basenjis. As a general rule, smart dogs dig out of boredom, rodent hunters dig out of instinct, and bird dogs dig to bury food.

Catch him in the act. If you already own a dog and he's removing dirt from your backyard with the speed of a rototiller, catch him in the act and reprimand him by immediately going to the hole and firmly saying "No." Point to the hole and remove him, gently but firmly, from the area where he is digging. By repeatedly and consistently rebuking his digging activities, you will curtail such behavior. The important thing to remember is that dogs do not understand cause and effect in the context of time. If you don't catch him in the actual act of digging, your reprimand will mean nothing.

Create a designated digging area. Let's assume that your dog is a compulsive digger who disregards all commands to cease and desist. One solution is to restrict his digging activity to a particular section of the yard. Create a sandbox where digging will be permitted. If you catch your dog digging in another section of the yard, reprimand him on the spot and walk him to the sandbox. Encourage him to dig in the designated area and praise him for doing so.

Make it difficult and unrewarding to dig. If your dog repeatedly digs in a certain area of the yard, introduce some natural deterrents that will inhibit his efforts. For example, plant ground pepper or seed the soil with gravel. If you make it unpleasant and difficult to dig, your dog will usually lose interest. Some dog owners claim that chicken wire, laid horizontally just below the surface of the digging area, is a good deterrent. A proven, but less aesthetic solution, is to drop fresh dog feces in the current hole that your dog is digging. Dogs have no problem marking their territory with urine and feces but they definitely don't want to dig in it.

Remember, most of these solutions are effective but they require persistence and repetition. Be patient and be consistent!

5 Tips for Hiking with Your Dog:
A Green Vacation for the Whole Family
By Kimberly •

This is a guest post by Dog Fence DIY’s staff veterinarian Dr. Susan Wright. Dog Fence DIY will help you choose the right system for you, help you install it, and help train your pet to use the new system.

My favorite vacation involves packing up a small tent, a backpack and some food and heading out with my husband for a hike or a bike ride. Even if we only manage a few days away, I really enjoy the seclusion, and the time to think and talk. It feeds our relationship.

I love the quote, “Take only photographs and leave only footprints” and I always make the effort to leave the environment exactly as we found it.

On our last walking trip, we took our dog. It was quite a learning curve, because although we’d traveled with our dog many times, this was the first time we’d tried a green vacation with our dog.

1. Use Biodegradable Poop Bags
I always pick up my dog’s droppings when we’re out and about. Plastic bags can last a long time in the environment, so I made sure to purchase biodegradable poo bags. That way, if we were out on the trails, I could pick up the poo and bury it off to the side of the trail, and I’d know I wasn’t harming the environment with plastic.

2. Keep Your Dog on a Leash
I know our dog is well behaved, and would come back when he’s called, but I never let him off leash when we’re hiking. Dogs are predators, and their instincts are strong. Our dog is a whippet, and if he saw a small creature run across his path, he would be off after it, and would have a very good chance of catching it.

For the sake of the birds and wildlife that live in the forests, I keep him restrained. No doubt he’d rather be running loose, but I’d feel dreadful if he killed something.

3. Know How Far Your Dog Can Walk
We can walk for miles with our dog. However, walking does limit how far we can travel. If we want to take him further than he can walk, we either need to take the car, or find an alternative means of transport that is dog friendly, as well as environmentally friendly.

Enter the bike dog trailer. This neat little trailer attaches to the back of a bicycle, and is safe and comfortable for a dog to ride in. When we stop for the night, it converts to a kennel for him to sleep in. It’s not cheap, and you do need to train your dog to relax in it, but if you’re going to make a habit of biking trips with your dog, it’s a great investment.

4. Don’t Give Your Dog a Bath (Unless He Stinks)
Dogs can become quite dirty while they’re hiking. They love to roll in dust and mud, and they find the aroma of dead animals particularly appealing. I’ve found that the less I bathe my dog, the better his coat repels dust and dirt. So, save water, don’t bathe him and the natural oils in his coat will allow you to brush the dirt off him.

Of course, that doesn’t apply to “eau de dead animal,” in which case you really do need to shampoo him. Try to choose a dog shampoo that contains no parabens or sodium lauryl sulphate.

5. Think About Bug Bites
Depending on where you live, hiking along forest trails may leave you and your dog susceptible to attack by biting insects, including ticks and mosquitos. There are many shampoos and sprays that contain natural insecticides such as tea tree oil or neem oil which will help to repel insects, without the need to apply chemicals to your dog. Take care with natural oils because natural doesn’t necessarily mean non-toxic.

We found that it really doesn’t take too much effort to enjoy a green vacation with our dog. A bit of forethought means we can share our trip with our four legged family member, while taking care of our environment. That’s a win-win situation.

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A Sad Tale:
The Dog That Couldn’t Bark
The New York Times

To the Editor:

Zachariah O’Hora
Re “Heel. Sit. Whisper. Good Dog” (front page):

It is typical, more’s the pity, that we humans should embrace the policy of debarking dogs to make our lives quieter — in noisy cities yet! Dogs love to bark, but even more, they love to be with us intolerant humans.

Isn’t that gift, given so freely, enough?

I lived in an Upper West Side apartment for 14 years with my family and two dogs. A few neighbors complained, but most were fine. One night, one of the dogs kept barking until we realized that some cloth next to a heat pipe at the other end of the apartment was smoldering; that dog’s persistent barking saved us, not to mention our building.

I left the city for the mountains years ago, and here, we expect our dogs to bark at visitors and delivery trucks; we need them to let me know when something’s wrong. And we’re thrilled at their barking when we come home.

Bertha Rogers
Delhi, N.Y.

Cesar Millan Issues His
7 Top Tips for New Dog Owners

National Geographic Channel’s Cesar Millan aka The Dog Whisperer, has issued what he considers to be the seven most important tips for owners of new dogs. Millan believes in order to prevent problems down the road, it’s important that owners establish routine and boundaries early on.

1. Create a schedule that includes a daily walk in the morning. This is
critical for your dog’s health, both physical and mental. If you have a
puppy, talk to your veterinarian about the risk of long-term bone
development problems, parvovirus, and other health issues before
implementing an exercise routine.

2. Set aside time every day to provide mental exercise by maintaining
rules, boundaries, and limitations. When these needs are met, the
affection you give to your dog will be channeled as a reward.

3. Always walk out the door ahead of your dog when leaving the house. This
will show your dog who is in the leadership role.

4. On walks, make sure that your dog is not in front of you, pulling you
down the street. Instead, keep your dog to your side or behind you.
This will also demonstrate to your dog that you are the alpha figure.

5. Give your dog something to do before you share food, water, toys, or
affection. This way the dog earns his treat. For example, have her
perform the Sit or Down command.

6. At bedtime, if your puppy tries to leave her bed, begins to whine, or
tries to use chewing as a way to cope with the anxiety of being alone,
give her gentle but firm corrections. The puppy’s mother set very
strict rules for behavior, so she should need very little correction in
order to get the point.

7. Create a budget for unexpected circumstances, like medical bills and
training classes. A healthy, well-trained dog makes a wonderful pet.

Keeping Your Pet's Pearly Whites Clean
Veterinarian Marty Becker on Pet Dental Health -

One of the most overlooked aspects of care for dogs and cats is dental health -- and it's not just about ending bad breath or getting a prettier smile on your pet. Dental disease in cats and dogs is a serious health problem that causes them pain, puts strain on their internal organs and shortens their lives.

Our resident veterinarian Marty Becker on how to keep pets teeth healthy.And yes, it also makes their breath stink.

How bad is the problem? The fact is that eight of 10 dogs and cats over the age of 3 are already showing signs of periodontal disease. Left untreated, these early problems become increasingly serious.

Early signs of problems include discoloration of teeth, tartar buildup and redness at the gum line. These symptoms require your veterinarian's attention to treat, after which you can help prevent further problems at home.

Fortunately, it's easy to change your pet's dental destiny. Veterinarians now recommend brushing your pet's teeth daily to prevent problems. It's not difficult to teach pets to accept this daily regimen, as long as you start slowly and use positive reinforcement as your pet learns to accept first your handling of his mouth, the introduction of brush and paste and finally a full daily brushing. Take your time, and let your pet be your guide as to how quickly to proceed with your training. Puppies and kittens learn to accept brushing quickly, but even adult pets can learn if you're patient, positive and persistent. Pet toothpastes don't foam up like human toothpastes (designed for humans who like action inside the mouth as they brush). Use a tasty toothpaste meant for pets: Not only is it in a pet-friendly flavor like salmon, poultry or beef, but it's also designed to be swallowed. Unlike people, pets can't rinse and spit.

But brushing isn't enough: Your pet also needs your veterinarian's help to keep teeth and gums healthy. That means a complete oral examination on at least an annual basis -- twice a year is even better -- which may include dental X-rays to locate problems just as it does with your own dentist.

If there are problems, your veterinarian will recommend a complete dental under anesthesia, including scaling of the teeth, removal of any broken or diseased teeth, and treatment of diseased gums. Some groomers offer "anesthesia-free" teeth cleanings. These are cosmetic procedures at best, and may, in fact, make your pet's dental problems worse in the long run, especially if you're relying on these measures in place of a true veterinary procedure. It's understandable to be concerned about anesthesia, but your veterinarian can and will minimize any risk, and the problems of dental disease are worse in the long run than a short period of anesthesia.

After your pet has had his dental problems addressed -- or before he has them, ideally -- your veterinarian may recommend other preventive measures. The key is daily oral care. The best is brushing, and while daily brushing is recommended, even weekly brushing provides major benefits. If you're unwilling or unable to brush your pet's teeth (know the vast majority of pet owners don't brush their pet's teeth) or need to take additional preventative measure you may utilize one or more of the following: Special foods with dental benefits such as Hill's Prescription Diet t/d that are meant to scrub teeth as a pet eats, dental treats such as Greenies which act like edible tooth brushes (are even in a toothbrush shape), dental wipes such as Dentacetic, oral gels such as Oravet to help prevent tartar formation and therapeutic chew toys such as Bristle Bone to keep pets happy while cleaning the teeth.

When choosing toys, avoid those that are rock-hard, as these may break teeth. The guideline: if you wouldn't want a pet's toy to hit in the kneecap, it's too hard to give your pet.

Talk to your veterinarian!

View Photos of Singles -
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Paw Print Pick:
Kitten Has Big Shoes to Fill

Kitten loves to play in empty bath tub.

Scarlet comes into a house where the previous cat reigned for 22 years. She doesn't seem to be having any trouble getting a fast following. Four grandchildren are among her fans. Here's more.

Owner's name: Carol

Job: Retired

Pets Name: Scarlet

Why I chose this name: My four grandchildren chose it.

Breed: Brown Tabby

Age: 4 months

Why I got her: My beloved 22-year-old cat Baby had to be put to sleep.

Where I got her: Humane Society of St Louis

Where I live : St Louis, Mo.

Pet's favorite thing to do: Loves to play with her mice or in her play tunnel

One thing my pet does that I just don't get: Loves to jump in the bath tub & lay in there.

One trait I share with my pet: Unconditional love.

I'm always looking for cute and funny photos of cats and dogs. Go here to get the form, fill it out and send an email to me along with the photo. Looking forward to hearing from more readers.

Is Your Dog on Facebook?

“Having Dogbook on your iPhone allows you to always have your dog with you, connect with other dog owners and gives you constant access to a number of resources like finding a dog park nearest to you,” said Alexandre Roche, who created the app with his father Geoffrey.

Cynthia Frank is one of a growing number of pet owners using social networking sites to show off their animals and connect with other pet lovers.

Since she and her husband separated, Frank can’t be with her dog, Scout, every day, but she can share news about her and get updates on Dogbook, a third-party application of Facebook.

“It left a big hole in my life when she went to live with my husband ... then we got connected on Dogbook,” said Frank, 58, of Silver Spring, Md., who also maintains a profile of her cat, Cinnamon, at Catbook. “The fun part is that I can send little messages to Scout,” which are read by friends.

Frank says she can give the pup virtual hugs and scratches behind the ear. She’s also been able to hook up with old friends and their pets through the applications, including a woman she went to high school with and her cat. “It makes me feel like I’m more connected,” Frank said.

At Dogbook, canine owners can create Facebook profiles for their animals, find dog parks and products, and tag their dogs in photos. Major advertisers on the app include Purina, Toyota and Coke.

Geoffrey B. Roche, co-founder of Poolhouse Industries, which produces Dogbook and other pet pages, said the idea came to him a few years ago at the dinner table, and took off quickly. Now, there are about 2 million users on Dogbook and about 1 million on Catbook, he said.

The sites work, he thinks, because people see their pets as more than just animals.

“The dog goes way beyond what was just a dog. It becomes a family member,” he said.

“This is a great way to keep track of pets’ lives.” Users “are as excited to show you pictures of their dog as much as their kid, if not more,” he said.

Dogbook’s recently launched iPhone application passed 80,000 downloads after just two weeks.

Brandee Barker, a Facebook spokeswoman, said Dogbook has nearly 800,000 active monthly users, followed by about 175,000 on Catbook, 31,000 on Horsebook, 3,900 on Rodentbook and nearly 1,900 on Fishbook.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to provide a platform for people to connect and share about anything that might interest them, and clearly people are very passionate about their pets,” Barker said. “So, I think it’s a natural extension.”

Facebook doesn’t allow pet profiles on its main site, where it tries to foster “the real-name culture” and keep up security, Barker said.

Other social networking sites, including Twitter and MySpace, also allow people to post updates and create profiles for pets. One popular cat page at Twitter goes by the handle “Sockington” and boasts more than 1.5 million followers who receive Sockington’s (or Sockington’s owner’s) random thoughts. At MySpace, there are thousands of pet pages and nearly 200 pet-related applications listed in its applications gallery.

Pet-related businesses are using social networking sites to reach and educate customers. For example, PETCO has more than 15,000 fans on Facebook, and joins conversations on Twitter in which customers ask each other and the company questions and share advice on products.

Natalie Malaszenko, director of e-commerce for PETCO, said establishing a relationship with customers is good for business. “It helps us to have an insight and a seat at the table in the life cycle of their pets,” she said.

Karen Pudelski, a dog and cat owner from Harvest, Ala., who owns a pet sitting business on the side, said she had been going on Dogbook and Catbook only every few months to update her pets’ profiles, but now has become a more regular visitor because of the iPhone application.

The sites are a great way to find pet-friendly businesses or dog parks, she said, or just chat with other pet lovers.

“It’s a great way to connect and meet new people who are just like you ... animal lovers, or a way to find a play date for your pet,” said Pudelski, 43.

Pudelski, who has two daughters ages 13 and 21, said she has fun posting to her pets’ profiles, and virtually throwing a bone or sending a dog toy to business clients.

“My kids laugh at me — I have pictures of the dogs in my wallet but I don’t have pictures of them,” she said.

Rare $15,000 Cat Goes Missing In California

'Katie' One Of Only Couple Thousand Savannah Cats In World

SAN DIEGO -- A rare cat worth an estimated $15,000 has gone missing, and its owner pleaded with the public for the animal's safe return, San Diego TV station KGTV reported.

Bridgette Cowell's Savannah cat, Katie, is as clever as she is expensive. The feline escaped from the Mt. Helix home of a breeder where she and Cowell were staying last week.

"It does sound insane, but once you've met one maybe you would understand why it is such a special pet," Cowell said.

Katie is a cross between a domestic cat and a wild African cat called a serval. She is 16 inches from the shoulders and has spots like a leopard.

Cowell said Katie is one of only a couple thousand Savannah cats in the entire world.

"To add to her expense, she also has a health condition which makes us more nervous about getting her back," Cowell said.

"Someone could think it was a bobcat or maybe a young mountain lion," Dawn Danielson of San Diego County Animal Services said. "My concern is that someone might be frightened and harm the cat, and not that the cat is going to hurt a person."

"They do look like a wild cat and some people do tend to react to them in that way, but the important thing to realize is that their looks are part of the breeding but their personality is entirely domestic," Cowell said.

Cowell said she doesn't want anyone who might come across Katie to be alarmed.

Even though Katie is half wild animal, Cowell said the odds of her surviving on her own are not good.

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Gary Bogue: Panama:
Some Notes Taken on My Recent Trip
to the Rain Forest
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

It's a jungle out there kiddies. Have a very fruitful day.

— Jimmy Buffett, singer & songwriter

Pedestrians in Panama

From some notes taken on my trip to Panama:

You up for a hike through the Panamanian rain forest? You'll get your feet wet, but it's doable.

Like to paddle a tiny dugout canoe up a muddy river to an Indian village in the middle of the jungle? Been there, done that.

Ever thought of going for a ride hanging in a little basket on an aerial tramway high in the rain forest treetops and meeting eye-to-eye with a baby sloth? Now that's what I call fun!

Want some advice on taking a stroll through downtown Panama City, Panama, to look at all the incredible high-rise development going on down there?

Don't do it.

There's only one requirement for you to be a pedestrian in Panama. You must be suicidal.

The only thing drivers watch out for is other drivers — and they only do that every other Monday in months that begin with "X."

In the U.S., when a driver slows down as you enter a pedestrian crosswalk, you can be pretty sure he/she is coming to a stop to let you pass. In Panama, when a driver slows down as you enter the crosswalk, I'm pretty sure he/she is taking aim.

Yes, they have crosswalks in Panama. My son calls them "target zones."

They also have traffic lights, stop signs, no left turn signs and one-way-street signs "... but no one pays any attention to them.

I may have mentioned this when writing about an earlier trip to Panama to visit my son Jeff and his family, but it bears repeating if I did:

Once, when driving with my son, we came to a stop and he pointed up to a sign with an arrow pointing to the left, ringed by a red circle with a line through it (no left turn!). It was a very busy 5-lane one-way street "... traveling to the left.

Jeff's theory is that stop signs and signals are only there for Panamanian police to use after an accident, to see who was at fault.

My advice? To survive as a pedestrian in Panama City, take a cab.

Beast watching

Early one morning last week I was sitting at the dining room table with a cup of coffee, looking out the open double doors into my son's little back patio area at his house in Panama City.

The tropical rain forest is a truly amazing place, even when you're at a residence near downtown Panama City. The actual rain forest is only a 15-minute drive away, so I consider the city to still be a part of it. Actually, that rich green tropical jungle could swallow the city in one tiny gulp (glip?).

Even a tiny back patio is alive and full of life.

Taking a sip of my coffee, I watched an enormous 2-foot long brown basilisk lizard (Basiliscus basiliscus) crawling slowly along the top of the patio wall. The big lizard's head crest flared up as it approached a blue-gray tanager that was also sitting on the wall, but the little bird ignored the huge lizard. It knew the basilisk was interested in more tasty fare — a peeled plantain that my son's wife, Markela, had left on a table to feed the birds.

While the big lizard gulped down pieces of the ripe banana, a steady stream of birds darted around the patio trees and plants.

A great-tailed grackle strutted across the tiles looking for bits of banana that might have fallen from the table. It was followed by two colorful little ruddy ground doves.

A tropical mockingbird warbled away from its perch in a palm tree in the next yard as a clay-colored robin zipped low over the basilisk lizard, checking out the condition of the banana.

I love this place.

I also want a banana.

On Taking the Positive Route
by Lyn Riddle -

Dexter’s on the side of the room, lying down.

Freddie’s beside him, sitting regally.

Across the room, Gracie clearly does not know what to make of those two. She a bichon frise. And she’s wearing a pink sweater.

Dexter would have trouble sitting comfortably in the back seat of a car, he’s so big. He’s a 130-pound Great Dane on his way to probably 185 pounds. After all he’s seven months old. His paws are the size of a mayonnaise jar lid.

Freddie is a standard poodle and has the face of an expectant child.

They are at Speedy Paws for obedience training with Sue Conklin, who just won a national award for an essay she wrote about training with kindness.

“She’s better than the dog whisperer,” said Angela Blaugher, Freddie’s owner. “It is happy training, and Fred responds well to that.”

Blaugher says her friend brought an old dog believed to be untrainable to Conklin and six months later it was easy to live with.

With a little liver biscotti or Z-filets chicken, Conklin has these dogs eating out of her hand, literally and figuratively.

She learned it all from horses. She and her husband managed a thoroughbred horse farm in Pennsylvania for nine years. They trained in the way of the horse whisperer, gentle, consistent and positive.

When they left that job she went to a local PetSmart, prepared to be a groomer. Shortly she was the trainer. She’s been in business for herself – the Puppy Nanny – for six years in South Carolina. She’s trained 2,000 dogs – or rather their owners.

But she always had a story she wanted to tell. The story of Pam and Ginger, the subject of the essay judged among the top entries to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers contest. Ginger, a greyhound, lived with Pam, who raised and showed the breed for 20 years. She was no stranger to dog training, obviously.

But Ginger. She was a work all her own. She was afraid of a leash. Not a great trait for a show dog.

“She would run into her crate and hide with her butt facing the door,” Conklin wrote.

Pam was using old-school techniques, choke chains and pops that just backfired with Ginger.

Conklin went to Pam’s home and decided the way to get Ginger to accept the leash was with a clicker and some cheese. Conklin clicked, Ginger responded and earned some cheese.

Conklin put the coiled leash on the table. Clicked. Ginger looked at the leash. Got cheese. Then they spread the leash out, held it, held it close to Ginger, touched her with it. Ginger got some cheese. Finally Ginger put her head in the leash loop. Herself.

“Clicker training had saved her relationship with Ginger,” Conklin wrote.

Ginger was going to be a show dog. She was to be entered in the Greyhound Nationals.

Then one day not long before the contest someone left the door open at Pam’s house.

Ginger ran out, into the street and was hit by a car.

“Pam and I were devastated,” Conklin wrote.

But the good that came was a friendship for Pam and Sue as well as Pam’s conversion to another way of training.

In the years since Pam has trained three puppies that won Best Puppy at the Greyhound Nationals. She’s trained AKC champions, too.

“When she gets advice from handlers who think that she should crack down on her dogs more, she tells them that she has tried that and it didn’t work,” Conklin wrote.

And then she tells them about Ginger.

What’s That I Smell?
Written by Keith de la Cruz, DVM / Ask the Vet /

Oftentimes dog owners are challenged with the seemingly unsolvable problem of how they could maintain their pet odor-free. They buy different types of shampoo or soap, some even resorting to concoctions being advertised as effective remedy to rid their pets of undesirable smell. What they often don’t know is that there are explanations behind every problem regarding dog odor.


SKIN disorders may be a cause of your pet’s bad odor, and these have several causes.

Skin fold is one. Selecting a breed with lesser folds is important if odor is an issue with the owner. There are breeds with pendulous lips, facial folds and body folds. These folds retain moisture, food, debris and germs (bacteria and fungus), which cause infections and foul odor. It is a must that after giving your pet a bath, it should be dried thoroughly using a towel and blow-dryer. We must remember that trapped moisture in the folds serves as good breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

Wiping your dog’s mouth, especially where the folds are, after every meal would help a lot in eliminating food debris that cause odor.

Long, floppy ears could also cause moisture to be trapped inside the ear. This, in turn, predisposes the structures there to develop an infection, which results in offensive odor. In preparing your dog for a bath, it is advisable to insert a cotton ball in each ear, as this helps absorb water that could easily enter the ear canal during a bath.

Preventing and controlling external parasites as fleas, ticks and mites must always be practiced by pet owners. These parasites cause breaks in your pet’s skin, leading to infection and bad odor.

Skin reaction to allergens may trigger irritation, which can progress to both fungal and bacterial infection that cause bad odor.


PREVENTING and controlling mouth odors are both grooming and veterinary issue. Just like in humans, dental cleaning and scaling are important parts of oral prophylactic care. Keeping teeth clean between veterinary appointments is something that can and should be done by dog owners.

Plaque buildup on teeth causes gums to recede, opening pockets at the root line that are conducive for bacterial growth. Left unchecked, these infections can lead to tooth loss. Rotting teeth and gums can become a strong source of bad breath. Some pet owners treat this with products that may temporarily fix the smell, but since the real problem has not been addressed, the foul odor invariably returns.

While some groomers and dog owners scale the plaque themselves, this doesn’t solve the problem at the root line, so regular cleaning under anesthesia by a veterinarian are essential to ensure dental health. In between visits to the vet for dental cleaning, two or three times a week with a toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for dogs should slow the recurrence of plaque and extend the time between scalings.


ONE of the most frequently overlooked causes of odor in pet is the food that you give them. To put it simply, it means that if you give them good-quality dog food, you will get nothing but a good outcome, odor included. Cost-wise you may find premium-quality dog food to be more expensive, but it would definitely benefit your beloved companion resulting in faster growth, good energy, healthy skin and coat, and less odor (usually observed in your dog’s poo). It is common nowadays to find dog food being sold by the kilo in pet shops, poultry-supply stores, supermarkets and even hardware shops. Most, if not all, such dog food were manufactured using byproducts from meat-processing plants, not to mention the spoiled meats and innards, or those that were candidates for processing at the rendering plant.

Likewise, these contain a lot of sodium and other preservatives in order to lengthen their shelf life and improve palatability. Premium-quality dog food, on the other hand, is manufactured using carefully selected fresh ingredients, and formulated according to your pet’s daily nutritional requirements. Maintenance rations for small, medium and large breeds, as well as those for puppies and adult dogs are available. They also have prescription diets for almost any kind of common diseases in companion animals. Usually, these brands of pet food could only be purchased in veterinary clinics. You can learn more information and discuss the advantages of premium-quality dog food with your veterinarian.

Always keep in mind that whatever the breed or size of your pet dog, hygiene plays a very important role in keeping your furry friend clean and free of odor at all times. Daily brushing of its coat—regardless of the type of coat, short or long—would help greatly in minimizing, if not removing, dirt and other residues that cause bad odor. Use good-quality shampoo that does not contain harmful chemicals. Besides causing irritation to the skin, these chemicals are a source of residue buildup. Last but not the least, a regular visit to the veterinarian would reduce chances of unnoticed health concerns that might progress into something that would make your beloved friend stink.

Dr. Keith de la Cruz is a companion-animal practitioner and an avian specialist. He is a graduate of De La Salle Araneta University (former GAUF) where he is also a member of the faculty. He owns Petropolis Animal Clinic and Grooming Center on Timog, Quezon City. For information, visit Readers may seek advice on their companion animal concerns by writing to Dr. de la Cruz at askthevetBM@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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