Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chew on This: Elk horn dog chews

With a big dog, you need a big chew. I have tried the bones that come from the pet store, and while my newf enjoys them, they don't last very long.

Recently, I found elk horn chews. My dog goes crazy for these! They come in various shapes and sizes, but her favorite is about 6 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter...the size of her large fetch stick. She will gnaw on the chew for hours.

I love that elk/deer horn chews are

  • organic
  • sustainable
  • long-lasting (they don't splinter or crack, instead they wear away over time)
  • economical
  • readily available (either at your local pet store or online)
  • no elk or deer were harmed in the making of these treats

I love the peace of mind knowing she isn't going to break a splinter off and swallow it. I love that she enjoys it so much.

Today's chews are cleaned and sanitized for our dogs' protection, unlike what might be in the wild. Ranging from $7.- $16, they seem steep, but last a long time. Unlike bones, they can be gnawed on by a large dog for months.

One warning, not let it fall on your foot! It's as heavy as a rock and could easily break your toe! And I wouldn't try to have the dog fetch it in the house.

Beyond that, they are a good alternative to rawhide, and certainly will last longer!.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to stop a dog fight

Last month, while trying to stop another dog from going after my newf, I was bitten pretty badly on the forearm. I did what any loving pet owner would do: I tried to get in between the dogs and block them from one another. As a newf owner, I know to take the space of my big dog when I need her to listen. I stepped in front of her and the other dog, going in for the attack, latched on to my arm. In retrospect, I would never do this again.

So hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes. I present to you:

Ten things to do if your dog gets into a dog fight:

1) DO NOT, under pain of death, try to get between the dogs. You have a high chance of getting bitten. Trust me on this.

2) Citronella spray by the dog's nose

3) try an air horn. It can startle the dogs enough to pull them away from one another

4) spray the dogs with a hose. Or use a bucket of water

5) scream with a high-pitched screech. This can sometimes distract the dogs long enough to get them separated

6) carry a container of pepper spray

7) fire extinguisher sprayed to the dogs (make sure it is safe to spray in the face)

8) use a leash to "lasso" the dog's leg, and pull them out and secure to a tree/fence, etc. Then get the other dog by the back legs "wheel barrow-" style.

9) if the fight takes place inside, you can try slamming something to the floor to startle them

10) Try throwing a blanket over one of the dogs in order to confuse it

There is something else I've heard, but it seems ridiculous. Apparently, you are supposed to stick your thumb up the dog's bum. This startles enough to get the dog to let go. Now, I cannot begin to tell you how crazy this seems. If you get close enough to do this, you are probably going to get bitten.

The best way to stop a dog fight is to prevent it in the first place. Make sure your dog is dog-friendly. If you are at a dog park, monitor the play, and if they get too frenzied, bring your dog over for a break. Dogs that get too riled up can turn to aggression as their excitement increases. This is what happened to me with the dog my dog was playing with.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Alternative Ball for Big Dogs

Those of us with giant breed dogs are often nervous around tennis balls. If you have been in newf circles for long, you will have heard of the friend's friend whose dog choked on a regular-sized tennis ball. While the prospect seems remote, I offer this story.

When Poppy was about 6 months old, I was defrosting some rather large chicken breasts. She is well-mannered and doesn't counter surf, but I cannot say the same for the cat. The cat knocked the chicken breast to the floor, and Poppy snapped it up. It happened so quickly, I wasn't sure she actually had anything. My husband proved she did, indeed she had an entire chicken breast, about 4x6, in her mouth. She closed her mouth around it, and there was no evidence! Had we not looked, we never would have known.

Based upon that incident, I resolved that she would not play with regular-sized balls. Luckily, I found Tuff Ball. Not only is the ball stronger than a regular tennis ball, it is also larger. And at around $4.00, it is very reasonably-priced. She really loves hers.