Monday, January 31, 2011

Tick Tick Scratch! Parasites and your Pooch

It’s never too soon to start thinking about the dreaded tick and flea season when your dog starts scratching and you may start to notice those itchy bites around your own ankles. Even heartworm is a concern for dogs, especially when traveling to areas like the Interior of British Columbia where heartworm is much more common.

Ticks are irritating arthropods that prey on dogs. When ticks are in need of a blood meal, they seek out prey by heat sensors. When a warm object passes by them, they attach to this object by clinging to clothing or hair. Dogs are one of the most common targets for ticks.

Once they’ve jumped on board, the tick migrates to an area that has little hair or does not prevent difficulty in feeding (the ears and skin around the ears or lips are common). While grasping the skin with their pincher-like mouth parts, the tick inserts its penetrating mouthpart into the skin and begins feeding. The mouthparts are cemented in place and will only dislodge when the tick has completed the meal. Once the meal is complete, the adult female will fall from the prey and seek shelter. The female lays eggs and the adult female dies and the cycle continues.

Ticks can transmit many different diseases to both humans and pets, including the much feared Lyme disease. Prompt and proper removal will significantly decrease the likelihood of infection. You can grasp them close to the skin with a sharp pair of tweezers and slowly and gently rotate and pull out the tick. Personally, I prefer to let my vet take care of this situation as it makes me very squeamish. I have on occasion had to step up and remove a tick from my dog, Casey, and I did it by first touching it with a red hot pin and when it pulled out of my dog I had it in my tweezer grasp and easily removed it.

Fleas are a constant source of aggravation as their egg laying cycle often goes uninterrupted because of mild, wet winters. A cold winter helps interrupt that cycle.

Many dogs are allergic to flea bites, or rather the saliva from the flea bite, and will chew themselves raw in their attempt to stop the itching. Preventative medicine is the key to control of all parasites.

My vet, Dr. John Clarke, at Granville Island Vet Clinic, has Casey on Interceptor from December to March to keep any chance of parasites like worms under control (remember, my dog is a poop eater). From April until November we use Sentinel to keep fleas under control as my dog is highly allergic to their bites and gets huge, itchy hives that make us all miserable!

Other products on the market include Advantage, Program and K9 Advantix which is a convenient, once-a-month preventative treatment for ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies and chewing lice for dogs. There are many products to consider, so talk with your vet about preventative care and what will be best for your pooch to keep him happy, healthy and parasite free.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Best Trips with your Best Friend

Each month we will try to feature a vacation destination that you can travel to with your dog that is relatively close to home to make traveling easier. First up, is Cannon Beach, Oregon. A sugar sand beach, 200 yards wide and more than 3 miles long will blow your dog’s mind. And Cannon Beach is super dog friendly! Not just pocket pooches but the all-breed kind of dog friendly.

Cannon Beach is an enchanting, artsy little community with 14 pet-friendly hotels and 11 eateries where doggys can do dinner at outdoor tables along with you.

At the beachfront Surfsand Resort (from $209 US plus $15 per night pet fee; or 1-800-547-6100) your dog will get a beach towel, bowl and basket of treats.
Dogs are invited to curl up under the tables on the deck at Lumberyard Rotisserie Grill (264 Third Street) and are invited to go shopping with you in the dog friendly shops and stores throughout the area. Puppy Love by the Sea (271 N. Hemlock Street) is a recommended stop. It’s a dog toy and accessory store with wonderful, fun dog items in stock.

The main attraction though, for all who head to Cannon Beach, is the beach! It is truly one of the world’s greatest walking beaches which allow dogs to go leash-less as long as they are under voice control. You will all get plenty of exercise and fresh air while laughing and chasing your pooch though the sand. Doggy paradise without a doubt.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Love on a Leash In the Country

I am pleased to introduce my sister, Shelly Dueck, and our beautiful dog loving facility out in the Fraser Valley. We are thrilled to offer a truly lovely alternative in the “country” for your dogs to stay, play and frolic in this gorgeous setting!

Situated on 65 acres of farmland on Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford, B.C., Love on a Leash in the Country is headed up by every dog’s “Fairy Dogmother,” Shelly. As an added bonus, for dogs staying more than one week, Shelly offers complimentary door-to-door pick up and delivery.

Shelly has more than 23 years experience with dogs: from breeding and showing boxers, to training in dog psychology. She is 100% certified in canine first aid and has extensive training in canine nutrition, including Internet conferences with the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Shelly has also been actively involved in animal rescue groups over the years and is still involved in boxer rescue to this day. She works extensively with all ages and breeds of dogs -- from puppies to seniors -- and believes every dog “deserves his day.”

Many of our client’s dogs are “rescue” dogs who have special needs and need extra time and attention. Love on a Leash in the Country is equipped to deal with dogs that are in different stages of rehabilitation, socialization and love. Shelly believes strongly in the principles and training of Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, and practices these positive reinforcement techniques with all the dogs in her care.

Shelly is pleased to have her home and facility ready and open as a loving, caring place where all dogs are welcome to stay when their owners are on vacation. She has never left her dogs in a kennel environment and wishes to invite dogs to join her on her farm that is forever peaceful, beautiful and tranquil and offers loads of space for dogs to run, exercise or just hang out and enjoy this ideal retreat for man's best friend!

Summer Dog Camp 365 days a year at Love on a Leash in the Country.

As with all of Love on a Leash’s services, bookings are through, or contact us at 778-552-1301.

Monday, January 24, 2011

An Entrepreneur’s Vision: Restoring Sight to Animals

An East German firm has an answer for dogs who lose their sight from cataracts: custom-made “contact lenses.” Sounds crazy, I know, but cataracts generally mean blindness for dogs, unlike for humans. And because animals have short life spans, it means losing quality of life in a greater share of that life. This may be the answer to every “old” dog owner’s dreams: their little pooch doesn’t have to go blind as they age, but can have clear sight right up to the end.

The procedure is highly delicate, to say the least, and requires special training for veterinarians. It has propelled this small company, S&V Technologies, founded by Bavarian chemist and entrepreneur Christine Kreiner, to global leadership in a highly specialized field.

The acrylic intraocular lenses are implanted into animals’ eyes when their vision has clouded to the point of total impairment. They can be fitted for various species, from cat-eye-sized to fist-width for rhinos. Since launching in 2008, the firm has fielded calls from Sea World in San Diego (for a sea lion with vision problems) to an Australian Nature Park (a blind kangaroo).

The German lenses have helped turn the lights back on for dozens of house pets, dogs, racehorses, and guide dogs -- literally preventing the blind from leading the blind -- and even wild creatures roaming protected nature reserves. Although the expense of such an operation and subsequent checkups can run into the thousands of dollars, the procedure is often worth it for animals that have gone blind -- and for their owners.

“Naturally that is only one side of it -- some are well-loved pets and seen as members of the family and worth any expense,” says Ingeborg Fromberg, head of the company’s veterinary division. The main limit to the growth of this “pet lens” business is a lack of vets able to perform the implantation procedure, which is why Kreiner now organizes training weekends for animal doctors from around the globe. Participants have come from around the globe including Australia, Brazil, Japan. Taiwan and the U.S to learn the delicate procedure within the company’s laboratory on eyes harvested from animal cadavers.

Here’s hoping that my own vet sees this (I will be chatting with him about it) and although I am not sure I’d put my Bichon Frise, Casey, at age 14, through this type of surgery, I’d like to think this could be an option down the road. And the more common this procedure becomes, the more affordable it will be -- now that’s a win-win situation for any dog owner faced with their pet’s diminishing eye sight.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ask Casey...

Dear Casey,

My owner always scoops my poop but I am noticing that an awful lot of owners don’t. Are there any repercussions to this nasty crime?

A. This is why people hate dogs -- and I just want to reiterate that there are NO bad dogs, only bad dog owners. Listen up people, you wouldn’t leave your own poop out there for other humans or dogs to step in so why leave ours? It’s plain and simply rude!! And, yes, there is a pooper scooping law in Vancouver that comes with a fine if you are caught and I hope you are caught because it is criminal to leave poop behind! Starting at $250...

Dear Casey,

I hate taking pills. My mom tries to push them down my throat but I am a master at spitting, choking and coughing them back out. Can you offer her any suggestions to make this process easier?

A. Two words: peanut butter! Slather the pill in either butter or peanut butter and presto: pill gone. Personally, I am a sucker for anything with the word “butter” in it. Yummy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Recipe Corner: Turkey Bars

Delicious, easy and so good for your canine companion. Your dog will love you for these!

Turkey Bars

1 lb. ground Turkey
2 eggs
1 ½ cups Parmesan cheese grated
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
3 cups oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl combine the turkey, eggs, cheese and garlic. Hand mix then add the oatmeal. Mix well, using your hands, to ensure oatmeal is well blended into the meat mixture. Press down by hand into an 11" x 17" deep-sided baking pan. (Not a cookie sheet type pan.) Bake @ 350 F. for 30 minutes. Cut into bars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Afterlife Fairy “Tail”

There are very few things about loving and looking after pets that I really dislike. One of those things, though, is saying good-bye. Sadly, this is one of the realities of living with -- and loving -- pets. Their spans are too short. And our sorrow? It can be so very deep.

In memory of the pets we’ve loved and lost, we offer up this album on our Facebook page as well as this afterlife fairytale:

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery when it occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me sir, where are we?”

“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.

“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.

“Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.” The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

“Can my friend,” gesturing toward his dog, “come in, too?” the traveler asked.

“I'm sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

“Excuse me!” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”

“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in.”

“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.

The man replied, “There should be a bowl by the pump.”

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

“What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.

“This is Heaven,” he answered.

“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”

”Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.”

“Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?”

“No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Feeling Lucky, Punk?

In the five or so years that Vancouver dog boutique bow wow haus has been catering to their canine clients, they’ve proven time and time again how committed they are to being a leader in their community. With locations on W. 4th in Kitsilano and on Davie Street in the West End, I would guess that they probably have a larger than average share of tiny canine clients, too. Not to mention people who love dogs of that dimension. So it’s no surprise, really, that bow wow haus not only understands the really little guys, but also thrive on putting little ones in need together with big-hearted new owners.

All of this is leading up to both kudos for bow wow haus and an invitation for you to attend a fundraising event they’ll be hosting on February 10th at their West End location. They’re out to raise money for a special chihuahua named Lucky who they are supporting from a high-kill shelter in California. “Lucky has some special health care needs (including the need for a custom-made front wheel cart!) and we are throwing a ’do to help raise some $ as well as awareness about adoptable dogs.” From a recent release:
We are sometimes asked why we support dogs being rescued from California rather than focusing on dogs in need in BC -- but the reality is, few small breed dogs come into rescue in Canada and the interest in adopting small dogs is high. Not so in many parts of the US -- in L.A. alone over 3,000 animals are euthanized every month. When small dogs are brought to Vancouver, many of the little ones find loving homes fairly quickly. The availability of small dogs for adoption also decreases the demand for puppy mill pups -- so we think it's a win-win situation!
The February 10th event is one of several small fundraising initiatives bow wow haus is supporting to help contribute to Lucky’s care and transport. “We are asking some of our friends in the doggie biz to help us spread the word about our event amongst your circles.”

You can read more about Lucky and his special needs on the bow wow haus blog here.

Reading Is For the Dogs: Tammy’s January Picks

Do Old Dogs Dream? by Harold J. Creel (Thornton Press) is a tender and humorous must-have book for any dog lover. This collection of poems, photos and pictures all about the canine geriatric set celebrates all dogs lucky enough to reach old age. The baby boomer generation is aging, right alongside our favorite old dogs. Our aging lives are enriched by their grace and candor. The author is donating ALL profits from the sale of this book to the rescue and care of old dogs. See interviews and more on the author’s Facebook page.

Merle’s Door: Lessons From a Free-Thinking Dog by Ted Kerasote (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). This national bestseller explores the bond between humans and their dogs and is truly a wonderful read.

Both of these books are wonderfully written and will make you laugh and cry. Plus they will make you truly appreciate every day with your own dog and all the lessons we unwittingly learn from our very best canine friends.

Happy reading...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ask Casey...

Q. What kind of music do you like to listen to?

A. I have a few favorite CDs including Songs to make Dogs Happy by Skip Haynes & Dana Walden. My favorite song is “You’re a Good Dog” although Chloe, my little Bichon buddy likes “Squeaky Deaky” best. All available from

My absolute favorite music is the Pet Music 3-CD Collection: Sunday in the Park, Natural Rhythms and Peaceful Playground that my Mom has played for me since 1999. Pet Music was created especially for us and the soothing collection is supposed to help reduce our separation anxiety, eliminate stress and enhance our daily routines. All I know is that it makes me fall asleep on the couch and snore up a storm when my Mom plays it for me. It’s available from

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop & Grass and Other Nasty Stuff?

I am embarrassed to admit that my beautiful Bichon dog eats poop. Cat poop. She loves it like a kid loves candy. A vet once told me that she eats it “because it tastes good to her.”

And she loves toilet paper. With three bathrooms in my home, if I am not constantly monitoring the situation and creating bathroom barricades, she could probably down a whole roll, what with her travels throughout the house while I am out during the day. Or at the very least mutilate a roll to the point of making it unusable for us humans!

She used to chow down on copious quantities of grass, including lawn clippings if she got the chance, and occasionally enjoys a good graze to this day, but poop is truly her flavor of the moment!

So why do dogs eat grass and poop? If you asked 10 vets, you will likely get 10 different answers. I have read many articles on this subject and will try to give you the “poop” on the nasty things your dog eats.

Dogs cannot digest vegetable matter as horses and cows do, so it has no nutritional value for them. Yet they eat it. Much research has been done on this subject and grass has been found in the stomachs of up to 80% of wild dogs. It’s natural to eat it.

And that old wives tale that we’ve passed on from generation to generation telling us that grass settles a dogs’ stomach or that eating grass helps a dog who is ill throw up are also not true. Contrary to popular belief grass eating is not always followed by vomiting. My dog never vomits when she eats grass.

Studies have shown that in 80% of dogs who eat grass, less than 20% of them actually vomit afterwards. Conclusions showed that if a dog was ill before eating grass, he would be more likely to vomit after, case closed. A dog’s diet seemed irrelevant to grass eaters. It didn’t matter if they were fed raw, or kibble, or table scraps, or if their diet was full of fibre already. Bottom line? Eating grass is a common behavior in normal dogs.

As for poop eaters, females eat their puppies’ poop when they are newborns as part of the cleaning process, but that doesn’t explain why an adult dog would eat other dog or cat poop. Looking for vitamins and minerals or other nutrients? I think not.

Another theory is that dogs eat feces or grass because they have worms. This whole theory is actually backwards as dogs get worms from eating grass (larvae crawl up grass stems) or poop. They eat and get worms, not have worms and then eat.

Another suggestion is that dogs self-medicate: maybe plant and poop eating serve a biological purpose. Eating fibrous materials may actually help expel intestinal parasites? How smart are our dogs in this regard as in this day and age, we seldom see high worm loads in our dogs as we might if they were in the wild. NOTE: Be sure to worm your dog on a regular basis. It is relatively inexpensive and will protect your pet and yourself from the many types of worms they can pick up and pass along to us!

Basically, dogs are nosy. All dogs sniff in the great outdoors, especially puppies. They like to check things out and they do this primarily with their nose.

The thing to remember is that to a dog, eating grass or poop is normal. Every spring, my dog loves to go outside and chow down on the delicate shoots of fresh grass coming up in my front yard. And my neigbour’s rose garden is poop haven for the cats in our area. I try to stay one step ahead of my dog and keep her out of the poop buffet next door.

There are no easy answers for this disgusting behaviour. I did some research on dog eating disorders and found information about a dog eating disorder called “PICA,” which my dog clearly has. According to this article “PICA” is the eating of non-edible items, which can be caused by psychological factors. I like to think of myself as pretty stable and having provided my dog with a relaxed home to grow up and grow old in so I found this far-fetched. Besides, compared to some of my friends’ dogs who eat items like tube socks and panties, my dogs’ eating habits seem pretty normal to me.

Why do they do it? In conclusion, as my vet once told me years back, “Because it probably tastes good.” That answer doesn’t make it any easier for us to stomach though, does it?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lost? Found! is devoted to finding lost pets and was the brainchild of Vancouverite, and realtor, Glenn Renney. “I live near a busy road,” Renney tells visitors to the site. “One morning, I saw a stray dog wandering the street without a leash or an owner. I tried to approach the dog to read his tag; however, he was too scared. He ran towards traffic and what I thought might be a terrible fate. Owners can register their pets, and if a stray animal is spotted, this site can be used to notify the animal’s owner!”

While Renney reports that the incident he witnessed had a happy ending, many pets aren’t so lucky. Dogs tend to stray and wander. provides a photo of your pet with contact information so you and your pet can be reunited quickly. If someone finds your dog, they can go to the site to find the owner. I think this is a great concept and congratulate folks who make an effort to help man's best friend!

Our Community: The Dog & Hyrdrant

For Tanya King, a dream became a reality when she opened The Dog & Hydrant boutique in Yaletown in 2006. “I love dogs and always wanted to open a dog boutique with a photo studio,” says Tanya.

The Dog & Hydrant Pet Photography Studio & Boutique was featured in Modern Dog magazine along with owner and fabulous pet photographer Tanya King.

Tanya has studied photography for the last 20 years, utilizing both film and digital. Before opening her own studio, she worked with an acclaimed commercial photographer for eight years.

Tanya has two wonderful dogs that bring a smile to her face every day. Of course she has many photos of them! She loves dogs and loves taking pictures of them. Tanya found herself taking pictures of dogs in her own studio and decided to include a doggy boutique into the mix. The result is a really special store at 1146 Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Have You Given Your Free Kibble Today?

Free Kibble provides your daily dose of “kibble karma.” Humans can play BowWow and Meow Trivia each day. Every day you play, 10 pieces of kibble are donated to animal shelters to help feed hungry dogs & cats. The site asks just one dog and one cat multiple choice question for you to test your animal knowledge. It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s easy to play and support a great cause. Remember to hit the “daily reminder” tab on the Free Kibble site so the daily question pops right into your inbox each day!

The site was developed by a 12-year-old girl, Mimi Ausland, with help from her Dad. Mimi has been featured on both Ellen and Oprah for her philanthropic work with animals. What a great gal.

The Free Kibble web site is here.

Love on a Leash Employee Profile: Penny Adam

Penny Adam has worked closely with animals since 1996, including eight years at the S.P.C.A. Animal Hospital and seven years as a professional dog walker. This has helped Penny fine tune her knowledge of animal behaviors, health, and well being.

Penny has worked extensively throughout the animal world: from specialty pet stores to grooming businesses. These positions improved her knowledge of pet products, animal nutrition, grooming and care of dogs.

Penny recently became a certified dog trainer! She went through training to help further improve her skills and knowledge in dealing with a variety of different situations regarding dog handling and certain behaviors that may require some special work to ensure that owners and their dogs are happy, healthy, well adjusted and well behaved!

Over the years Penny has owned and loved a variety of different pets including dogs and cats plus other small animals. She gets tremendous enjoyment working with dogs. Penny feels these loveable pooches help keep a smile on her face and deliver new challenges each day and that dogs enrich people's lives so much with their unconditional love.

We have to agree: there is no substitute for your dog’s love!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Recipe Corner: Sardine Dreams

It would benefit all of us -- nutritionally and environmentally -- to eat more seafood, especially the smaller bottom feeders such as herring and sardines. Fortunately sardines don’t carry the same “yuck” stigma for dogs as they do for humans!

These bottom fish -- mackerel, anchovies and the 11-plus species that are packaged as sardines -- are not only cheap due to thriving populations, but are nutritionally stellar. Oily fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, are a great source of protein, and the inclusion of soft, edible bones makes them particularly high in calcium. Sardines also contain plenty of Vitamin D and phosphorous, which aid in calcium absorption. Plus, because they feed on algae and plankton, they tend to have much lower mercury levels than larger fish.

When it comes to dog treats, sardines make the ideal ingredients by virtue of their intense flavour. Choose plain, unflavoured sardines packed in oil or water and don’t worry about going for cheaper varieties, which tend to be larger and fishier tasting. If you don't have a food processor, mash them with a fork, your dog won’t be concerned about getting chunks of fish in his or her treats!


1 cup (120 g) Sardines packed in oil or water, undrained
1/2 cup (125 ml) Water
1/4 cup (60ml) Canola or olive oil
2 cups (500 ml) Whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (185 ml) Cornmeal

Preheat oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the undrained sardines, water and oil. Pulse until well blended and smooth. Add the flour and cornmeal and pulse a few more times, until the mixture is blended and crumbly. Turn onto the countertop and mix with your hands until you have a soft dough.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on an ungreased cookies sheet. Press each one down with the back of a fork, like a peanut butter cookie.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until firm. If you like, turn the oven off and leave them inside to cool down as the oven cools: this will make a slightly firmer cookie.

Makes about 18 cookies. Store extras in an air-tight container, or freeze.

Ask Casey...

Q. Can you recommend bath and beauty products?
A. My mom bathes me with the All Natural Lavender Conditioning Shampoo from the Cain & Able Collection. It’s an all natural and gentle shampoo with mild cleansing agents that don’t dry my skin. Pure essential oils nourish my coat leaving it clean and shiny! The handmade dog shampoo is infused with citronella oil and essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus & tea tree to provide natural flea control in addition to the aromatherapy benefits. The Lavender/Eucalyptus blend is made for sensitive skin like mine: we Bichons are prone to itching and skin sensitivity so my mom has to be very careful with me. Check out the entire line or purchase at bow wow haus or Three Dog Bakery. Their all natural vanilla toothpaste and extra special toothbrush keeps my teeth clean and white and keeps my breath fresh, too!

Q. Can you recommend some healthier dog treats?
A. I LOVE EVERYTHING, especially Milk Bone Dog Biscuits! Unfortunately, I have discovered as I age, that I have a very sensitive digestive system and my vet insists I need to lose weight and eat natural treats. Although I will eat anything -- and I mean anything -- my mom has become very discerning with my snacks and feeds me cookies that are rather small in size to help cut back on calories. My faves are Cheese Hearts from Bark & Fitz on Cardero Street in Coal Harbor. They come in a refillable milk glass bottle and make me crazy with delight! The Three Dog Bakery has scrumptious Itty Bitty Bones that make me whine at the sight of them and Natural Balance makes Healthy Bones Dog Treats with turkey, oatmeal and cranberry in big and small-sized biscuits. These more budget friendly treats are available at Tisol and Bosley’s Stores.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Be Dog Safe!

DOGSAFE Canine First Aid founder and head instructor Michelle Sevigny, a former Vancouver police officer, is also the author of DOGSAFE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know in an Emergency.

In 1992, Sevigny graduated from university with a degree in communications and psychology which started her fascination with how both humans and animals learn. Michelle continued into formal canine education where she studied all levels of obedience, behavior problems, aggression and obtained the designation of certified master trainer. Michelle also received certification in canine massage after intensive studies of canine anatomy and massage techniques. She currently offers private, in-home puppy training through DOGTIME Canine Recreation Company.

The inspiration behind DOGSAFE was Michelle’s Shar-pei, Dallas. An incident where she was bitten by an injured Dallas sparked an interest in canine first aid and compelled her to educate other dog owners and professionals. Michelle’s nine years experience in emergency response as a police officer as well as her understanding of dog handling, behavior and communication was the ideal background necessary to develop the DOGSAFE Canine First Aid courses. As an instructor, Michelle is thorough yet fun and really strives to ensure that every student understands the principles and techniques of canine first aid. She shares her home with Monty, a Rottweiler adopted from the Vancouver City Shelter. Monty, who was named after Monty Python, because of all his goofy antics and Michelle says he reminds her daily of the joy to be had by sharing your life with a dog.

DOGSAFE Canine First Aid is committed to maximizing canine first aid and safety awareness to everyone involved with dogs.

You can check for more information on upcoming DOGSAFE courses on the company’s website.

Recipe Corner: Peanut Butter Treats

What could feel better than spending a Sunday afternoon making treats for your best pal? Try these easy and wholesome treats on for size! Your dog will love them.


1 1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Oatmeal
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Salad Oil
1/4 Cup Honey
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Combine all ingredients and mix on low until mixed. Make into 1 Tablespoon-sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls to 1/4 inch using fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 20 cookies.


Today’s Top Bark: Is your dog licensed?

The City of Vancouver is actively checking for dog licenses these days -- especially in dog-friendly parks and beaches. Fines for an unlicensed dog range from $150-$350. A license for a neutered or spayed dog is only $35 per year and $65 for an intact dog.

When you buy your license, your information will automatically be entered into the City of Vancouver's Emergency Pet Registry. This service will give you a better chance of your pet being rescued and you being reunited with your dog. All things considered, it makes that token licensing fee seem like a pretty good deal! You can read about that as well as the other services provided by Vancouver’s Animal Control division here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where the FREE treats are!

In a world where all things are created equal, a lot of dog owners choose their destinations based on who is handing out the free treats. Here are a couple to get things going and we’ll add to this list periodically. Meanwhile, if you and your dog know where the cookies are, please drop us a note so we can spread the word. We love to support pet-friendly merchants in Vancouver and all over the Lower Mainland. If you have a dog-friendly destination in mind, write to us, including a picture of you and your dog if you can.

Here are a couple to get things rolling:

Higher Grounds Coffeehouse is located at the corner of West Broadway and Vine in Kitsilano. Troy and Tonya and their delightful, smiling crew serve an excellent latte plus their delicious morning ham'n'eggers and fresh baked muffins sell out each and every day! Delicious food for us and a full dog cookie jar by the door for our pooches!

At MayFair News there is always a cookie at the post office in back when you visit on West Broadway just off Granville. A great selection of magazines and newspapers, plus full postal services for us humans and a cookie for Fido... yum!

Remember: let us know when you encounter pet-friendly businesses in Vancouver and the GVRD!

Is Your Dog Psychic?

On a recent road trip I listened to an interesting program called Dogs that Know. I found it so fascinating that I dug around for more information as soon as I got home.

Now, you may be wondering if you’ve heard of this somewhere before. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, and former Fellow of Cambridge University investigated this phenomena in the mid-90s. He even wrote a book titled, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. While many dog owners, trainers and other experts have witnessed this behavior, some scientists remain unconvinced. This research project aims to resolve this question.

You can check out their theories and even take part in their study if you wish. The Dogs That Know website is here.

Does your dog seem to know when you're coming home? Do other people in your house tell you they knew you were on the way home based on how your dog was acting? Do you have a story of unexplainable communication between you & your dog? If so, please share your story and photo with us for publication in our upcoming newsletters.

Pet Friendly Housing in Vancouver

All of us at Love on a Leash would like to see landlords recognize both the need for pet friendly housing and the responsible tenants who do not abuse the privilege of having pets in their homes.

Please check out this section on the BCSPCA website regarding pets and rental housing. We all know how difficult it can be for responsible pet owners to find a nice place to live with a beloved pet.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome to the new Love on a Leash blog!

When I think about it, the creation and development of Love on a Leash Trusted Dog Care Services has been all about love and evolution. It’s a sweet thought, here in the new year. One I wanted to share with you.

Love on a Leash was born of my own frustration in trying to find really excellent overnight and extended vacation care for my dog, Casey, a Bichon Frise. Leaving town for more than a day became a nightmare when I couldn’t find a place for Casey to be where I felt she would be really happy and comfortable. I didn’t want to put her in a kennel and I wasn’t okay with just having a daily service  look in on her periodically. I wanted really great and present care, but when I could find that sort of attention for her, it was over $80. per day. And, more or less directly from that experience, Love on a Leash was born.

Like a lot of good ideas, though, it didn’t stop there and for several years, in addition to providing truly excellent care for so many delighted and delightful canine clients, we’ve been publishing PADS, a monthly newsletter focused on all things dog in Vancouver, from what’s hot in the dog park (and where the good ones are!) to tips regarding dog care, health, nutrition, grooming... and just about everything related to dogs.

While the newsletter has been inviting an ever-larger following, we realized that what was needed was a home for the news we gather for PADS on the web because, while it’s wonderful to get a monthly message stuffed with great information, some people prefer and nibble and bite approach, which seemed a perfect fit for blogging technology. Also, it’s all terrific information, and where could it be archived in a more or less permanent way? And all of this, of course, leads us right back here: to our brand new blog. While we continue to invite you to sign up for PADS, make sure you check back here frequently to see what sort of canine-driven fun we’ve been getting up to.

So thank you for joining us in another permutation of what is essentially a single service: we are completely involved in providing excellent and worry-free care for your canine companion when you can’t be there. And the rest of it -- newsletters and blogs and whatever else we might dream up to add -- it’s all good and wonderful, but it’s icing on the cake.

Thanks for joining us!

Tammy Preast, for Love on a Leash