).'It has come to my attention there are some evil dog walkers afoot (as well as many stellar ones). One walker loads her van with 20 or so dogs, often muzzling or tethering them in the van. More time is spent in traveling than many realize, so these dogs are overcrowded and uncomfortable. The walker has helpers ready at the dog park as the dogs are loaded off (six dogs per dog walker allowed in Toronto).
Another walker puts those e-collars on some dogs (electric/shock collars), prong collars; one places a heavy enough weight around the dog's neck to stop him from jumping out of the fenced dog park.
This is more than old-school. These are abusive methods being used. Tell your friends who choose walkers to find out where the walker takes the dogs and stalk the walker! It is not enough to hear positive reports. The dog with the weight around his neck may be calmer, but at what cost? His spirit is broken -- and imagine what a chiropractor would say upon examining the dog!
Stalk the walker! Three observational times should be sufficient. Watch the walker's tone of voice, volume, correctional methods (positive or punitive), time spent at the park, level of engagement (is the walker on the phone? talking to humans vs. the dogs under her/his care?).
This is an animal rights issue.
When to and should you neuter your pet?
Our Frida is now almost four years old. What would I do if we were to go back to her first year? I don't know, really. There is new, sometimes conflicting research out there.
I'll do my best to bring research to your attention. Please do feel free to email me with your findings/thoughts!
Respecting our canine friends and their rights to health and happiness,
I just read an article about early neutering (males and females) that causes me to stop and think about our Frida who was spayed at seven months. The article refers to a study where early/late neutering poses health risks. It's worth a read and might urge you to do further research concerning when to neuter your pup: http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10498
Advice on Eating Raw
Hot today! Frida is suffering from 'cold tail.'
Pet Valu on the Queensway (east of Parklawn) can order in a great fruit/veg mix from Sojo who makes the food. You can phone them and order it.
I get chicken backs from Rowe Farms on Roncesvalles; they also have beef liver; beef neck bones; chicken pet food (ground whole chicken in a sausage-like wrapping).
You can also order pet food (ground chicken) from St. Andrew's meat market in Kensington. It's about $1 a pound there! I used to keep my eyes open for deals at the supermarket, but I am more and more inclined to go to Rowe Farms (just because of the inhumane animal treatment elsewhere).
I add a trace mineral supplement (5 drops) which I buy at our local health food store, Evergreen, 1/2 teaspooon ground pumpkin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar which is good for just about everything, and 1/4 teaspoon probiotic powder also from Evergreen. Oh and I give her 5 capsules of Omega 3 - which she loves and I give her as a treat after breakfast. The supplements are once day.
Green tripe is great. At Global, you can buy frozen tripe cubes and you can give these twice a week (1 - 2 cubes). You just give a bit less of the other meat for that meal. Sometimes I give Frida liver from Rowe Farms, but green tripe is better.
I also make sure Frida has meaty bones - she loves the Chicago ribs from Rowe Farms and of course she loves the beef neck (not marrow!) bones. She has these about twice a week. Her teeth are really white! Also, watch that the stook doesn't get too chalky or grainy, which means you have to cut back on bones. I find it helps if I give Frida ground chicken or meat without the bone for a day or two.
Oh - Honest Kitchen also makes a product "Preference," which is a fruit/veg mix. I used this before switching to Sojo and the quality is also excellent.
Some dogs don't know what to do with chicken backs and you have to hold it for them and teach them to chew and tear it apart. Frida used to throw up in the begiining, becasue she ate too fast without chewing enough. Even now, when she doesn't chew well, she will throw up (even the following morning) and I'll find a bit of bone she couldn't digest. I think dogs are amazing this way. But then you can always use ground chicken etc.
Stay away from pork and turkey; also don't give your dog wings (long bones and tough for them).
There's more info here http://www.barfworld.com/html/learn_more/Learning_directory.shtml.
So sorry this took as long!
Please do email! Rushing - battery low!
Natural Flea Repellants
I have been thrilled with the approach and care at East York Animal Clinic which uses a holistic approach. Here is a partial copy of their online notes concerning natural flea products:
ALTERNATIVE FLEA PRODUCTS
§ Please refer to the end of this brochure to find out how you can make your own natural flea
collars for dogs and cats.
§ Following shampooing, you can spray your pet using Solvarome (diluted). Add 50 drops of
Solvarome per every 1.0-1.5 liters of water in a spray bottle. First, test a small patch on your
pet to check for reaction to Solvarome spray. If no reaction, spray all haired areas on your
pet (avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth) a few times a day.
§ Although diatomaceous earth is effective, it can be very irritating to breathe and is not
recommended for humans who have asthma.
§ If your cat and dog has a favourite area in the garden, you can use parasitic nematodes (tiny
worms that eat flea larvae) on that area. Search online for retailers. Prevention and control of fleas and ticks
East York Animal Clinic Holistic Centre 4
§ Avoid desiccants, unless they are specifically formulated for flea control in homes with pets.
§ Borax and borax powders are toxic to fleas. However, they are also toxic to cats and dogs.
§ Diatomaceous earth, as mentioned above, can be very irritating to breathe and is not
recommended for those with asthma.
§ Rotenone, naturally derived from derris root, is more toxic than some synthetic flea
products and is poisonous to aquatic animals once it enters waterways or ponds.
§ Limonene and other citrus extracts, although natural flea repellents, have been known to
cause poisonings—particularly in combination with other flea products.
§ Electronic flea collars are not usually effective.
§ Pyrethrum, derived from the chrysanthemum flower, is available in both natural and
synthetic form such as permethrin. Permethrins are toxic to cats.
Avoid letting your pet on areas with long grass during tick season. Keep lawns mowed short. Groom and
check your pet daily for ticks, checking ears, under the tail, and between toes. In regions where paralysis
ticks or disease-carrying ticks are common, use a tick product such as Advantix. When using a tick
product, make sure to use when incidence of ticks is highest during April and May and again during
October and November. Prevention and control of fleas and ticks
East York Animal Clinic Holistic Centre 5
Ticks can carry disease such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever,
and Bartonellosis. Contact your vet immediately for advice as tick poisoning (tick paralysis) can be life
threatening. Use tweezers to grasp the tick at the base of its body, keeping the tweezers as close to your
pet’s skin as possible. Avoid crushing the tick and pull it out gently and slowly. You can place the tick in
a jar and bring it with you to the clinic for identification. If the tick’s head remains under the skin,
monitor the area for a few days as the remaining part will usually fester out on its own. Seek veterinary
attention if there is pain and/or swelling. Monitor your pet for the next few days and contact us if you
have any concerns.
ESSENTIAL OIL FLEA COLLAR FOR DOGS
This flea collar is potentially toxic if your dog chews it—supervise your dog initially. If your dog seems at
all distressed with the collar on, remove it immediately as some animals are very sensitive to smells. It is
important to note that this collar provides a repellent effect and will not be useful for animals with flea
1. Purchase a soft cloth collar.
2. Mix together:
§ 2 tsp Vodka
§ 2 drops Lavender
§ 1 drop Cedar
§ 1 drop Rose geranium
§ 2 Garlic capsules
Note: For dogs weighing between 15 kg – 30 kg, double the amounts listed above. For dogs that
weigh more than 30 Kg, triple the amounts.
3. Soak collar with the mix, then allow collar to dry. Repeat each month as the smell wears off. Prevention and control of fleas and ticks
East York Animal Clinic Holistic Centre 6
DOG FLEA-FREE BLEND
Place 4 drops of mixture per 5 kg of body weight onto a bandana daily, and 1 to 2 drops per 5 kg of body
weight to the base of the tail.
§ 15 ml Sweet almond oil
§ 4 drops Lavender
§ 1 drop Citronella
§ 5 drops Peppermint
§ 3 drops Lemon
§ 2 drops Clary sage
Use an amber bottle to store mixture.
ESSENTIAL OIL FLEA COLLAR FOR CATS
This is potentially toxic if your cat chews the collar, make sure to supervise your cat initially. If your cat
shows any signs of distress with the collar on, remove the collar immediately as some animals are very
sensitive to smells. It is important to note that this collar provides a repellent effect and will not be useful
for animals with flea allergy dermatitis.
1. Purchase a soft cloth collar.
2. Mix together:
§ 2 tsp Vodka
§ 5 drops Lavender
§ 5 drops Rose geranium
Soak collar with mix, then allow collar to dry. Repeat each month as smell wears off.
Solo Bonding Walks
I am doing something new and would appreciate feedback. Once every few months, and I am not sure how often yet, I am taking each dog in the pack for solo walks with me. I think this really helps with the bonding process, with the need for each dog to feel special (which each dog always is) - just to have that one-on-one time.
This week Buckley had his day alone with me, which was today, and he spent his 90 minutes swimming and hiking, his tail wagging the entire time! I just feel it was a very special time.
All I had to do was rearrange the time of the other dogs today. I will have to go back and bring one out for a later pee and play break, but that is no problem and well worth it.
I would really appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks and have a great weekend!
Uisce at Sam Smith Park
Eight-year-old Uisce visits with us once a year when his family goes to Ireland.
This year was a little different. He has switched, with his mom's permission, to a raw diet! I was astonished at the positive results!
These are the facts - when Uisce visited this time, he had great difficulty going upstairs the night before his scheduled morning pain meds. Uisce has arthritis now and, every two days in the morning, he has his pain medication. His family takes him for daily city walks (sidewalk) for ninety minutes.
Upon visiting us, he started eating a raw diet (which is described briefly in the prior post) and his hikes were all on country trails.
Within four days, he no longer cried the evening before his pain meds and he was demanding to share our second daily hike (and our evening hike as well). I tried to hold him back from running!
Uisce is back home now and his family is eagerly awaiting instructions on the raw diet. I do believe he may be back on his city walks. I will share all I have learned about the raw diet with with his mom.
May 18th, 2012
Tomi and Joyce are Parker's fine humans. They are just starting the RAW diet and I offered this advice.
For dogs starting off, I prefer chicken breasts, bone in. Also Rowe Farms has rolls of chicken - they grind the whole thing, bones and all. I keep some Rowe Farms pet food in my freezer, but Frida does enjoy crunching bones!
FYI - Parker will also need organ meat. You can buy green tripe from Global Foods on Bloor west of Keele. Also he needs veggies. I suggest Preference made by Honest Kitchen at the same store. We give Frida our steamed veg, but this product is excellent. Get powdered probiotics at Evergreen on Roncy and Omega 3 there as well. I also give Frida ConcenTrace from Evergreen, as well as apple cider vinegar.
Some of the info was given to me by our holistic vet who is very well
known; other stuff was research. Also stay away from pork, rawhide,
and chicken wings.
If you can, would you also pick up a bag of beef neck bones (small
size, I guess), which is what dogs love. This is a raw meaty bone
(RMB) and it;s considered to be a meal (plus the vegetables. The vet
advised staying away from the marrow bones (forget the name - the ones with the center). You can also get chicken backs from Rowe farms and long beef ribs as well. The chicken backs are inexpensive and Frida loves to pull the meat off the long beef ribs which are also
I forgot to mention - I use the apple cider vinegar (1/2 tsp.), ground pumpkin seeds (I get the pumpkin seeds from our local Evergreen), and wheat bran ( 1/2 tsp., soak in the fridge the night before or make up a batch) - this may help in the fall, spring, and summer to ward off Giardia ( pumpkin seeds and wheat bran to keep the intestines flowing) and perhaps fleas (apple cider vinegar).
There is a site that has recipes for anti-flea sprays that are easy to prepare as well - earthclinic (look under "pets").
You might feed Parker 2 - 3 % of his desired weight (per day). I think this does not include the veggies, but I'll check and get back to you!
The East York Animal Hospital started us on Billington's Raw Diet and Frida is doing wonderfully! The diet we follow is really the BARF diet which includes veggies, as opposed to the Prey Diet which does not.
Best in this endeavor,
May 18th, 2012
To the fine parents of our Happy Trails Dogs,
Just a short note about dog licenses - this past Thursday, we had a bit of a scare with one of our dogs scurrying under a boulder at Humber Bay Park. The city was incredible! Two animal control trucks arrived; three workers dug and moved rocks for perhaps two or more hours; and the police arrived via boat. Had we needed additional help, the fire department would have been called!
The sweet pup we were searching for had found her way into a crevice, but could not find her way out; the exit slope was quite muddy and deep underground. A loud whoop went out from all involved when our Belle was finally retrieved!
Heartfelt thanks to Swagger, Frida, and the amazing puppy Maize who waited patiently, sitting, sometimes softly crying, as the workers struggled to free Belle. Swagger and Frida were able to locate Belle's exact location and they never wavered from their watch.
Sasha, Zorro's human, also helped in the effort. He stayed for the whole time, helping, and comforting. Another fine individual, Rita, and her boxer Bonsai stayed as well. These fine dog lovers and their sweet dogs never wavered in their watch. Heartfelt thanks to Sasha, Zorro, Rita, and Bonsai!
The boulders at both Humber Bay East and West are truly hazardous ground for small, inquisitive dogs. Our Belle will now remain on leash at these locations, and although I do love trails, there are those dogs who may be in danger while they enjoy their freedom. (This fox terrier is an alert, bright, playful dog with a most amazing sense of smell and instinct to match!)
Another note - please make sure your pup has his/her Toronto Dog License and that it is up to date. The fee is $25 (for neutered or spayed pets). Here is the link: http://www.toronto.ca/animal_services/licensing.htm#01
I am looking forward to sending news of a sweeter nature (although this ending was thankfully a happy one) as your dogs and I continue our explorations! I love them all!
We are all glad our Belle is safe and resting this weekend after her ordeal!
A letter from Swagger's mom to me -- one month ago, Swagger came to me with a muzzle on. Here he is today!
"I had him off leash this weekend for the first time. This saturday my cousin and I went for a dog walk with Swag and his dog Buckley (a big happy go lucky blonde shepherd lab mix) and I was super hesitant about letting him off but he was amazing at greeting other dogs, humans and running around with Bucks. I saw how far he has come Janice and it took my breath away.
Absolutely he still has a long way to go. Thanks you so much for getting him to this point!Have a great day Janice and thanks for caring about him as much as you do. He is a lucky boy!"
I gave Swagger the opportunity to run on a trail and across large spaces. I truly expected him to be able to shed his fear-based aggression. I loved him from the start, as did my sensitive lab, Frida. I think Swagger knew we trusted and loved him, and he responded by making magnificent leaps every day.
Janice is the founder of and primary caregiver at Happy Trail Dogs Service. She is also the founder of an arts-related non-profit and worked in the fitness industry for over two decades. She is an artist, editor, writer, and mother of two wonderful women and a glorious lab named Frida.