Tuesday, May 31, 2011
So was I.
Then, as many of you know, we got healthy and fit together. That's what our forthcoming book is all about. As a place to get together and discuss the struggles of losing weight and maintaining weight loss, for both people AND pets (because often, they are so connected) I've created a new Dieting with my Dog Facebook page. Won't you drop by and "LIKE" it? And then, please come back and visit often, so we can talk about the book and your weight loss ideas and concerns, and support one another...and our pets! I hope you jump over and say "hi." We look forward to meeting with you there.
Peggy & Kelly
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Q: Are some breeds of dogs more susceptible to getting fleas than others?
DH: All dogs are equally susceptible to getting fleas but smaller dogs are at risk of developing a life threatening anemia because of their size so a flea infestation can be more dangerous for them. Certain dogs do have allergic reactions to fleas, which is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis and it is the most common allergic skin disease of dogs and cats. Animals that have flea allergy can develop a severe allergic reaction to a protein in the saliva of certain fleas that is left behind from fleabites. This condition causes severe itching, rash, and more. In dogs, it leads to hair loss and infection, usually on the rear legs or at the base of the tail; cats get scabs around the head, neck, and body. Medical treatment is needed.
2. What parts of the country have the greatest incidence of fleas and tick problems, or is it equally prevalent?
DH: Fleas and ticks are prevalent throughout the country. The highest incidence of fleas and ticks occur in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Hawaii, but can be found almost anywhere. It’s important to remember that wildlife such as coyotes, foxes, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, opossums, and several rodent species, as well as other cats and dogs, can bring fleas and ticks into your yard. Pets and people can bring fleas into your home. More information on the geographic distribution of ticks can be found on the Center For Disease Control and Prevention website.
3. Are topical monthly flea and tick preventative treatments safe for pets?
DH: Fipronil-based products have been used safely on pets since 1997. As a responsible pet owner, you should always consult your veterinarian before starting your beloved pet on any type of medication. PetArmor™ Plus is a great solution for prevention and control of fleas and ticks, not to mention it costs significantly less than Frontline. The product has the number one veterinary-recommended active ingredients, in the same concentrations as the leading veterinary flea and tick brand.
4. What is the best thing we can do to keep our pets free of fleas and ticks?
DH: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is never truer than with fleas and ticks. The problem is that many pet owners wait until they see these creatures, have an infestation, or, worse, their pet becomes sick. And remember that ticks carry a number of diseases that can also be transmitted to people including Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The cost to treat illnesses related to fleas and ticks can be expensive, not to mention the unthinkable suffering of your pet. This is why prevention is so important. Because the length and severity of flea and tick season varies across the country and changes from year to year depending on the temperature fluctuations and humidity, I recommend using a high quality, safe and effective treatment such as PetArmor Plus every 30 days on all pets in the household all year long. At the very least, you should start flea and tick prevention in the spring before your pets get bitten and to head off an infestation because summer will be just around the corner. When using preventative medication, always read instructions prior to usage and never use on debilitated, very young, sick, or elderly animals without directions from your vet. Never use dog products on cats and vice versa.
Doc’s words of wisdom:
It’s important to realize that only 5% of the total flea population is in the form of adult fleas on your pet. The other 95% is in various stages: 50% eggs, 35% larvae, and 10% pupae that are not readily visible to the naked eye but are in your carpet, furniture, bedding, lawn, and anywhere else your pet walks or lies down. Learning more about fleas and their life cycle will help you understand why they become so prolific in such a short period of time and how to avoid an infestation. Although fleas thrive at 65 to 80 degrees F with humidity levels at approximately 80%, they have been known to survive indoors during the winter, even in cold climates. Fleas also travel—as much as one mile in an hour. They will hop inside through an open door or window and are often small enough to come through a window screen. Once inside your home, there’s no place a flea can’t go. Fleas can be miserable for you and your pet, and not just from the bites. They can bring about a host of serious problems such as: Flea Anemia, Tapeworms, and Flea Allergy Dermatitis. So the key to controlling fleas is to interrupt their life cycle at an immature stage so they don’t develop into adults. Again all pets in the household must be treated.
Doc Halligan is a a widely recognized national authority on animals. She has appeared on Regis and Kelly, the Today Show, the Mike and Juliet Show, iVillage Live, Fox and Friends, Animal Rescue 911, Dog Tales, Dogs 101 and Cats 101 and is a judge on Animal Planet's hit reality show "Groomer Has It". She is also regular contributor to PARADE magazine. Doc Halligan is the author of " What Every Pet Owner Should Know: Prescriptions for Happy, Healthy Cats and Dogs (HarperCollins, 2007).
She is currently the Director of Veterinary Services at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles (spcaLA), where she oversees the health and well being of all the shelter animals and routinely performs surgical procedures and other medical treatments. Doc has donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time to various animal-rescue groups and entertainment nonprofit.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
What if you could spritz your dog with something safe...and effective? Earthheart inc has created a natural insect repellent that claims to be just that. Buzz Guard is safe for both humans and dogs, and you can spray directly onto clothing, skin or fur. I tried Buzz Guard on Kelly and was pleased to find that a light spritzing wasn't heavy or messy. Outside, the mosquitoes and flies left us alone. It's more difficult to tell about fleas and ticks, since they are impossible to spot in the grass, and just as difficult to locate on Kelly's heavily furred body!
neem seed oil
pure essential oils of citronella, fir, geranium, rosewood, basil and myrrh
*Favorably field tested on a variety of dogs
*Treatment is effective for up to 5 hours. Would have to spray every day (or more) to protect against fleas and ticks all season.
Note: earthheart inc. provided me with a free sample of Buzz Guard in exchange for my honest opinion.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
No one wants to put potentially harmful pesticides on their pet. But how do we combat those pesky flea and ticks? Are there effective natural remedies? What about an antiparsite disc? This is a small, gold colored lightweight aluminum disc "charged" with electromagnetic and scale waves that it claims to repel fleas and ticks. The literature states that the waves "create a protective field" and is "95% effective" on any cat or dog of any weight.
CatandDog provided me with a free disc to try in exchange for my honest opinion. I tried the disc on Kelly. It is lightweight and attaches to her collar easily. Kelly generally does not get fleas, but we have a large problem with ticks in our area. Kelly wore the disc for 2 weeks.
Did the CatanDog antiparasite disc work?
To be honest, I'm not convinced. Even though I found no ticks on my dog after 2 weeks, to make a more accurate test I would have to try the disc for the entire season, and then if Kelly remains tick-free all season I might be less skeptical. Most importantly, I found no scientific evidence that this type of electromagnetic therapy works. As much as I may want to believe in something so safe and easy, it is difficult to put my faith in something like this without substantiation.
Here is what I can say for sure about the CatanDog antiparasite disc:
*The disc is free from chemicals and safe to handle.
*It is light and unobtrusive and your pet should have no problem wearing it.
*The disc is cost-effective compared to months/years of topical flea and tick treatments.
*Your pet most likely won't get any side effects from it.
*The treatment is not scientifically supported as being effective.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
When it comes to flea and tick prevention, my veterinarian can't stress strongly enough the importance of topical flea and tick treatments. However potential side effects, and news reports of a link between such treatments and serious health problems, some fatal, have me concerned. The Center for Public Integrity released a report on the perils of pesticides in 2008. Here's what I found out about Flea and Tick products from the New York Times report:
*Some people report side effects: from minor such as itching and loss of hair at the contact spot, to serious, such as heart rate changes, nausea and vomiting, and convulsions.
*According to ConsumerReports.org, the EPA logged about 600 pet deaths and 44,000 reports of harmful reactions to flea and tick treatments.
*There have been reported some counterfeit products out there, stealing brand names such as Frontline and Advantage.
*The ingredient fipronil, used in some treatments, is classified as a carcinogen, as it has been known to produce malignant tumors in laboratory tests.
*Topical treatments are generally considered safe for healthy pets other than young puppies, pregnant or nursing moms, and very senior dogs.
*Most animals do not have an adverse reaction to topical flea formulas, if used as directed.
*Topical treatments are an effective way to keep fleas and ticks off of pets.
And now, our own con and pro:
Con: Kelly has had seizures a couple times. I don't remember exactly how long after flea and tick treatment application they occurred. No cause for her seizures has been determined. Were they related to flea and tick treatments? Who knows for sure. (It hasn't happened every time she was treated, however.)
Pro: When I stopped using the treatments, Kelly immediately got a tick and got Lyme disease, which is prevalent in our own back yard. This disease, if not properly treated, can be fatal. And, the testing and medication is expensive. Fortunately, Kelly recovered well. The flea and tick treatment, however, is effective in keeping off ticks which carry this serious disease.
What is your experience with topical flea and tick treatments?
Monday, May 23, 2011
First, here are some facts about fleas and ticks from webMD:
*there are 2,200 kinds of fleas
*ticks can lie in the grass without feeding for more than a year, just waiting to jump on your pet's leg (or your own leg!) as you pass by.
*fleas can jump 10,000 times in a row
*fleas and ticks are blood suckers (yuck!)
How your pet contracts fleas:
*neighbor dogs or cats
*infected rugs or bedding
*wildlife (even in urban areas). Your pet doesn't have to come in contact with wildlife, they can leave behind fleas and flea eggs just by walking through your yard.
Visit again tomorrow and we'll begin discussing some preventatives and treatments. Bring your questions, too!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Kelly wanted to introduce you today to a special breed of dog, newly recognized by the American Kennel Club...the six-toed Norwegian Lundehund!
According to the American Kennel Club, this dog is:
*able to fold close its ears
*able to turn its head 180 degrees, so that it's chin touches its spine!
*able to turn its feet out sideways (to hunt Puffins, of course)
*oh yeah, has 6 toes on each foot
I cast my vote for Homeward Bound Dog Rescue, a busy rescue shelter near me. I know some great bloggers volunteer for this rescue. And, some of their dogs will be featured in my upcoming video book trailer!
To join me in voting for Homeward Bound, simply click here:
And, if you want to participate in the contest and nominate your favorite shelter, here's all you do:
1. Find your favorite shelter
3. Recruit friends to vote for your shelter:
Send an email to your friends and networks asking them to vote for your shelter.
Spread the word on your website, blog, Facebook or MySpace pages and/or Twitter. (Be creative and get the word out that your shelter could win $15,000!)
Post a flyer at your work, school,library, anywhere!
Send a press release to your local media telling them about your efforts.
Download additional material such as flyers, press releases and letter templates!
Let's all join the efforts to help shelters!
Here's a list of top shelters so far. Maybe we can get Homeward Bound on the list!
Monday, May 16, 2011
This is what Kelly does to snakes.
We have snakes in our yard. Lots. And a very small back yard. They're called ribbon snakes and if you ask me, they are about 8 foot long and as thick as a flag pole, but my husband contends they are about 2 foot long at best.
I don't like snakes. They skeeve me out. Some people tell me to leave the snakes alone, they eat bugs and rodents and which would you rather have?
Me: bugs and rodents.
Some people even like snakes.
Ribbon snakes are said to eat frogs and slugs and I do notice that we no longer have any frogs and slugs around. Frogs are actually kind of cute, and slugs are slimy but at least not scary. So, I want to get rid of the snakes. They might bite Kelly. They might bite me. They slither. 'Nuff said.
Here are some ways to repel or discourage snakes:
1. keep your grass trimmed (as you can tell by the following photos, we were overdue for a mowing.)
2. remove piles of wood or stones where snakes can hide
3. get rid of their food source
4. try mothballs
5. hire a professional snake handler to remove the beasts
All I have is a snake-hunting dog who thinks that snakes are playthings or interesting stuffies, and swings them about like a cowboy. Here is Kelly with her friend.
me running away
So, my questions are:
* Will Ribbon snakes bite Kelly?
* What ways have you found successful to get rid of snakes?
* Is there a way to repel them without them getting the idea in their snaky brains that they should find a crack in our 100 yr old house and come on inside?
* Should I try to get rid of the snakes, or learn to live peacefully together?
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
* From the Associated Press, the new Journal on Animal Ethics discourages using the term "pets" and suggests "companion animal," stating that "pets" belittles our relationship with animals. What do you think?
* New television show: EW.com reports on "My Cat from Hell." (What would the Journal on Animal Ethics think of that title?)
* In a public statement to CNET in response to opposition about the Android dog fighting app where players feed, train and fight their virtual dog against other players, Kage Games says that they don't condone violence against animals or humans, and the game is a "satire" and even educational. Instead, check out the PETA iphone app with real ways to help animals.
* Update on Patrick, the miracle pit bull who survived being dumped down trash chute: Patrick continues to improve and weighs in at 40 lbs now. The woman accused of his abuse pleaded not guilty in court. Have Dog Will Travel Blog does a great job at keeping everyone updated about Patrick.
* Smile! Enjoy watching Benny and Lily build their new house on Doggy Days blog!
Monday, May 9, 2011
As part of Diversion Press Third Anniversary Event, I'm happy to participate in Dakota, A Work in Progress blog book tour. Author Bill Rosencrans joins us today.
Q: Welcome, Bill. Tell me a little about your book.
Bill: Dakota: A Work in Progress is a very funny book about the world's most neurotic dog and it is appropriate for all ages. You will be laughing out loud as you read each short story about this one of a kind golden retriever named Dakota. Stanley Coren - author of How Dogs Think and The Intelligence of Dogs wrote "Dakota: A Work in Progress is a cheerful and amusing romp through the life of a manic but sweet and endearing dog. If you love dogs and need a smile this book is for you."
Q: What makes your book different from other books about dogs?
Bill: As Amy Thompson, editor-in-chief at Diversion Press Inc. so aptly put it “This is not just another book about a dog.” And, she’s right. This is not a book on how to train your dog, or pet care. Far from it. This book is a glimpse into the life my family and I share with a delinquent, but very much loved golden retriever. What also makes this book unique is the way in which it is set-up. Instead of one complete narrative, there are 76 vignettes 1-4 pages in length, making Dakota: A Work in Progress more reader friendly. This book is laugh-out-loud funny, and it makes for a gift book too.
Q: What are Dakota’s best three qualities?
Bill: Even though he is a flawed character, you can’t help but love him.
Other dogs gravitate to him because he is so much fun to be around.
He doesn’t mind sharing his pool with his other dog friends – and he has plenty of them.
Q: What are Dakota’s three worst qualities?
Bill: He’ll burp after eating his food too fast.
He doesn’t realize that it is impolite to stare.
He won’t jump up to get in the back seat of the car. He turns around and gives me that look “Could I have a little help, please?”
Q: You are working on your next book Dakota: Still a Work in Progress. What has Dakota learned between book one and two?
Bill: Wow. That’s a tough one...Hmmm...Oh yeah, he recently started coming to me when I call him, after only five short years of trying to get him to do that. That’s not bad! See, he’s not through learning yet. He’s still a work in progress.
You can order Dakota: A Work in Progress on Amazon, or at your favorite bookstore.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways. I wish I had books for everyone. But I promise to have more giveaways in the future (and one for my own book too!) And now (drum roll!) CONGRATS to these contest winners! Please be sure to email me your contact information to receive your books (peggyfrezon (at) gmail (dot) com).
A Famous Dog's Life:
Angelo's Journey e-book:
Carol N. Wong
Congratulations! I hope you enjoy the books. Again, send me your snail mailing address and I'll be sure the books get to you right away. Happy Reading!
In a side note, I also wanted to thank Mark of Beloved Pets for this nice blog review this week. Jump over and check it out, they have info on lots of cool products for pets.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Here we are with another Hound of the Book Reviews, and this time it's an e-book. And, read on to see how you can win a free copy of this e-book too!
Whenever I read a news report about the happy reuniting of a previously missing dog with its family, I always wonder about what had happened to the dog while it was away. Leland Dirks was thinking the same thing when he wrote his novel, Angelo's Journey.
Although this is a novel, there are a few true parts: Leland's beautiful border collie Angelo disappeared one day. And, after 40 days Angelo returned. What happened in the middle, and the contents of this book, are left to Leland's imagination. Each chapter is a different story, written in the first person by each person Angelo encounters along his journey. The second chapter, about the man who kidnapped Angelo, is brutal and made me sad. But the rest of the chapters are stories of all the people Angelo touched on his journey-- the truck driver, the cowboy, the waitress, and more. Interspersed are accounts of how Angelo's companion searched for him, missed him, and prayed for him. I truly enjoyed this book and agree that dogs can be angels in people's lives.
About the Author:
Leland lives in the middle of a beautiful nowhere that is Colorado's San Luis Valley. Angelo, the world famous Border Collie, and Maggie, his black Lab philosopher mix, allow him to share their off-grid home. All three tolerate The Cat who does a merely adequate job of rodent control.
Check out Leland Dirk's website.
Angelo's Journey is available on Kindle (can also be read on smartphones, PCs, Macs and ipads.)
* Enter to win a free e-copy of Angelo's Journey. If you don't have an e-reader, never fear! I read my copy of the book with a free downloadable app to my computer, and it worked just fine. Just leave a comment to be entered. For additional entries, follow this blog and leave another comment saying that you are a new follower. And/or post about this contest on twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you posted. Contest ends at midnight 5/5 and winners will be announced on Friday.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing, and Inspiration by Allen and Linda Anderson
First of all, the pooch on the cover of this book is just about the most adorable pup I've ever seen (with the exception of Kelly, of course)! What a face! Of course, an equally delightful treat waits inside the pages: story after heartwarming story of amazing dogs. Here are some of the stories:
* Miguel, a Newfoundland-Labrador mix introduced an impoverished child to Rosanne Nordstrom, a resourceful woman who became like a mother to him.
* Euri, a loving English cocker spaniel, inspired Houston’s Bobbi Leder to become a dog writer columnist and miraculously healed her of a chronic illness.
* Beau, a rescued black Lab became “co-founder” of Patriot PAWS, a Texas nonprofit that Lori Stevens started to train service dogs for disabled veterans.
* Major, an abused and neglected German shepherd, saved the life of national-award winning police dog trainer Janet Koch Ballard while serving as her K-9 partner.
* McDuff, a Scottish terrier, turned Judy McFadden into his soul mate as the dog brought healing pet therapy to Henderson, Nevada’s most severely disabled residents.
* Frankie, a dachshund in a doggie wheelchair, inspired Barbara Techel to write award-winning children’s books; she designed a school campaign with Frankie to help children appreciate differences in each other
* A Los Angeles public relations firm president realized a childhood dream of becoming Santa’s lead reindeer Rudolph because a childhood dog let her put lipstick on his nose.
I loved these stories. Each one made me reflect on how happy I am go be a woman who loves dogs!
According to Linda Anderson, “Because dogs opened their hearts to love and their minds to possibilities, the women in this book healed from life-threatening illnesses, started new careers or missions, pulled entire groups together for a common good, learned to love again, chose better mates and dates, transformed the lives of children and people with disabilities, brought joy and comfort to the elderly and ill, and laughed when they felt like crying.”
O Magazine recommended Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, and it’s on the Oprah.com website. Betty White, Wendie Malick, Vanessa Williams, and American Humane Association are among others endorsed the book. Find Dogs and the Women Who Love Them on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Today we're reviewing a wonderful new book, just being released today. A Famous Dog's Life, the Story of Gidget, America's Most Beloved Chihuaua by Hollywood animal trainer Sue Chipperton and People magazine writer Rennie Dyball.
You probably know Gidget as "the Taco Bell dog." This is her story, from the day the tiny puppy demanded the attention of an animal trainer who was actually out looking for a West Highland terrier, to her starring role as the Taco Bell dog. Gidget has walked the red carpet, flown on private jets, hobnobbed with dozens of A-List celebrities. Her image has graced posters, Tshirts and dolls, and a Google search for her best known role even today yields over 325 thousand website results. And through this book you will fall in love with her sweet, spunky, and quirky personality.
This book is different from many other dog books I've read lately. It's a fun glimpse into the interesting world of acting and a dog who is not only a pet and companion, but also has a job to do. I was fascinated to read about the way dogs are trained for commercials and movies. It is clear that animal trainer Sue Chipperton takes wonderful care to make sure the animals are happy and healthy and won't be harmed in any way. Gidget's playful and sometimes naughty personality shine through in this engaging book. You can find A Famous Dog's Life on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.
* Win a copy of A Famous Dog's Life! Just leave a comment below. For additional chances to win, follow this blog and leave a separate comment saying that you are a follower, and tweet about the contest and leave a separate comment saying that you tweeted. Two lucky winners will be drawn at random. (Sorry, U.S. only.) Be sure to leave a link to your site or some way for me to contact you to get your mailing address. Check back on Friday, contest winners will be announced then. Good luck!
Clue to tomorrow's review: Most of my blog readers probably fall into the category that is the described in the title of this next book.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Kelly loves to be the taste tester for new dog food. And I was happy to give her this sample, provided by Rachael Ray NutrishJust 6. What does Just 6 mean?
It refers to the 6 ingredients in this dog food:
1. Lamb Meal
2. Brown Rice
3. Ground Rice
4. Dried Beet Pulp
5. Poultry Fat
6. Natural Chicken Flavor
* also contains added vitamins
Nutrish Just 6 also contains NO
I like that these ingredients can help provide complete nutrition and help me keep Kelly healthy. But the real test is in the taste. How did Kelly like Nutrish Just 6? Well, Kelly isn't known to be picky, but I can report that she absolutely loved this food. She definitely enjoyed her meal and didn't leave a crumb behind!
Why not let your dog try and see for himself? You can visit the website and get a free sample of Nutrish Just 6 dog food. I think your dog will be glad you did.
Oh, and one more thing. Proceeds from Rachael Ray's Nutrish products go towards helping animals in need through Rachael's Rescue organization.
First up is Dog Walks Man: A Six Legged Odyssey, by John Zeaman
I walk Kelly for various reasons...to get exercise, to give her exercise, and because she loves the sights and smells. There are also many reasons why I sometimes dread walking her...too cold, too hot, too tired, too busy. But, as you may agree, we do it for our dogs.
In this book, John Zeaman takes a humorous and thoughtful look at walking the family poodle, Pete. While his kids begged for the dog, all too soon the dog-walking duties fell to Zeaman. The "minor miracle of dog walking," Zeaman writes, is "how, forced to do something--even something that you really really didn't want to do--you could end up feeling grateful for it."
Throughout his walks, Zeaman reflects on dogs, family, friends, nature, and slowing down time. My favorite part was when a meandering Pete, dragging so far behind as to be lost from Zeaman's sight, ends up being picked up as a stray and taken for a perp ride in the patrol car.
Dog Walks Man is a "compelling and powerful meditation on the simple wisdom derived from dogs and walking with them."
About the Author: John Zeaman writes an arts column for Design NJ magazine and reviews art for The Record (Bergen County, NJ) and the Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ). He has won numerous journalism awards and is the author of a series of children's books called "Before They Were Pets." Zeaman's young adult book, Overpopulation, was selected for the New York Public Library's "Books for the Teen Age" list. He lives in Leonia, New Jersey.
John Zeaman's website.
Hint for tomorrow's review: Yo Quiero Taco Bell!