Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Buster the Boss! Bad breath in dogs

Well! I feel most indignant that I'm being asked to write about something so personal...I'm not convinced they've got the right dog...ME?...Bad breath?! I've been taking herbal sprinklings on my dinner for the last 8 years so how can THAT be?!  Sigh-it must be so. I know my family wouldn't fib and now they're doing all sorts of things about it....with me!....Here are my top ten tips:

1. Get your vet to check your teeth at least twice a year. Although my breath wasn't great my actual teeth were ok so that narrowed down the causes quickly.

2. Get your teeth cleaned everyday!! Pot, kettle, black. My family have sadly failed on this one, and NONE of my doggie friends in the park get their teeth cleaned EVERY day, tho some do once a week or when they go to the vets. It's apparently never too late to start, but I find it MOST undignifying and always give my Mum a hard time, so we have to trolly off to the vets all the time....the following tip is a MUCH better idea..

3. Chew on really good dental chews! Do get your owner to check the ingredients as there are some really dodgy chews out there-usually the cheapest. Persuade your owner that when they're paying a little more for quality dental chews they are likely to be saving on future vet's bills!

4. Get your owner to check your mush for anything that shouldn't be there...squirrel tail, cat fur, rat leg-you know. Seriously tho', just like humans, it could be just a piece of old food that's got stuck in your teeth. Some dogs are good enough to let their owners FLOSS their TEETH..not this one. That's just not happening and I made that clear within seconds of being held-in-the-position-that-I know-means-trouble...between someone's knees.  So my Mum has to make do with having a good look around in my mouth which I can just about tolerate.

5. As well as dental chews (and a lot longer lasting) another good prevention technique is chewing on a hard plastic toy. No promoting meant, but the Kong range are great value and very hard to work your way through! There are many others though and they all work the gums and teeth well, really helping to prevent disease and some even have a great smell about them too.

6. A healthy mixed diet is essential for all dogs...and not just meat. Our digestive systems and consequently breath respond very well to plenty of vegetables and rice, so hanging around the kitchen after your family have had dinner might remind them to pass on any leftovers into your bowl! 

My family always cook a little more just for me and my sis-always a treat that costs next to nothing!

7. If your owner has good eyesight and can read the small print (!) get them to look for a product containing chlorhexidine.
It's used in chews and spray and kills the bacteria in the mouth...though not for those of us who prefer natural remedies!

8. There are many natural remedies for halitosis in us dogs-so easy to find nowadays when your owners go online.

We've been using 'Plaque Off' successfully for many years, though just recently due to my old age apparently (15) my owner's needed to add other interesting things to my daily routine-one of them being 'Tropiclean' to my water, of which I really like the taste and which seems to be working. 

9. I need to get a bit personal for the last tip, which I'm sure your owner knows about, but SOME don't!  Do have your anal glands checked regularly! As we get older we often need a bit more help with this. Often owners can do this themselves (great details are online!) or they can trolly you off to the vet! Good luck!

I do hope some or even all of these tips have been helpful..try not to be too embarrassed about having bad breath..every dog has it at some time in their lives, and we ALL know what it's like when our owners have had a lot of garlic!!! Eeeeyuk!    Good luck friends!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Buster the Boss! Dementia in dogs

Well! I think it's all a lot of fuss about nothing! Maybe I do get a bit confused when I'm out in the park or the garden and sometimes walk off in the wrong direction, but that's solved by my Mum keeping me on a lead. I NEVER thought I'd say this as I used to be SO keen to be let off my lead, whereas now I find it keeps me feeling secure and safe. If I am allowed off it, it's only when my Mum knows I can't wander off, but to be honest, now that I can't run about like I used to, I'm quite happy staying on my lead.

Apparently I have been found with my nose in the corner of the kitchen-looking at nothing-but do remember that I'm not the one that's bothered about that-it's just hard for my family to see sometimes. (I don't think that my sister Roxy takes any notice at all!)

I've done some research for my doggie pals in the hope that it helps your owners, who I'm sure find it as sad as my Mum does, but she seems to be more accepting now that she understands it's just part of being able to stick around longer...and as long as I'm fed, kept warm, giving lots of affection and short walks, I'm HAPPY!

I thought you might like to see that my mind goes a bit off track sometimes..it's not all bad..I used to NEVER want my sis near me when having a kip. Nowadays I like to know that she's around! (I'm the one with the fancy white front paw.)

Below is a list of dementia symptoms for your owners to check out: 

  • Disorientation/confusion
  • Anxiety/restlessness
  • Extreme irritability
  • Decreased desire to play
  • Excessive licking
  • Seeming disregard for previously learned training or house rules
  • Slow to learn new tasks
  • Inability to follow familiar routes
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Changes in sleep cycle (i.e, night waking, sleeping during the day)
    I also love it when anyone in my family picks me up and gives me LOTS of stroking and MOST of all I LOVE a face-rub! It makes me purr with pleasure (well, groan then) and really helps me feel part of the family, when I often feel confused and a bit lost. Doggies... IF you can read this without your owners....the best thing about losing my marbles a bit, is that I'm getting spoilt! For the first time EVER I'm allowed to sleep on Mum's bed in the daytime and in the photo above, we managed to sneak in before she chucked on our dog-blanket...much nicer!
    If you too are suffering from doggie-dementia, I hope that your family can turn up the patience and compassion dial! I'm sure your owners will create their own ways of giving you happy and loving end of life care...just in case it helps, below is a list of general points.

  • Try not to change, rearrange, or even refurbish furniture
  • Eliminate clutter to create wide pathways through your house
  • Consider purchasing or building a ramp for any stairways
  • Know your dog's limits when introducing new toys, food, people, or other animals
  • Develop a routine feeding, watering, and walking schedule
  • Keep commands short, simple, and compassionate
  • Encourage gentle and involved, short play sessions
Wishing all ageing dogs like myself a happy and comfortable end-of-life. Buster the Boss.