Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Do You Dread Trimming Your Dog's Nails?

Whether you use a dog groomer or not, sometimes you need to trim your dog's nails.  Most dog's nails seem to grow really fast, a lot faster than their fur!  I almost never have to trim Icy's nails, she's so active they get worn down naturally.  I often need to step in and trim Phoebe's nails myself between grooming sessions.

Icy is always outside, running around the yard or taking very long walks and hikes.  Her nails always wear down naturally.  She goes to the groomer for a bath on occasion, but rarely needs any grooming.  Other than brushing of course, because the way Huskies shed, brushing them is like a full time job, LOL!

When you need to trim your dogs nails yourself, use the right tool.
Icy is so active, her nails wear down naturally and rarely need to be trimmed.
Phoebe, on the other hand, needs to be groomed several times a year.  I like to let her hair grow out in Winter to keep her warm, so she goes several months between grooming sessions.  During that time her nails get really long!  She goes out for walks and does some hiking with us, but she's not quite as active as her Husky sister.  Her nails don't get naturally trimmed the way Icy's do.

Do you dread having to trim your dog's nails?  Make sure you have the right tool
Phoebe isn't nearly as active as Icy.  Her nails seem to grow at lightning speed, so trimming her nails between grooming appointments is a must!
I had been struggling with trimming Phoebe's nails for a while.  It was getting so frustrating trying to clip her nails.  I'd get out the nail trimmer and make an attempt, but it didn't do the trick very well.  Then, I'm embarrassed to say,  I'd get out my own large toenail clipper and try to use it to trim her nails.  That didn't work out so well either.  I just couldn't get the hang of successfully trimming my dog's nails!

My husband, a serious DIY-er always says "You need the right tools for the right job".  I thought I had the right tool, a pet nail trimmer!  The trimmer came in a pet grooming kit I won at a party a few years ago.  I had used it but only sporadically.  What I didn't realize was that the trimmer had gotten really dull really fast.  I couldn't successfully trim Phoebe's nails because the trimmer was too dull to make a clean cut.  How did I find that out?  My husband suggested the trimmer might have gotten dull and was no longer able to make a clean cut.  I decided to make one last ditch effort and buy a new pet nail trimmer.  If I couldn't be successful, I'd resolve myself to extra trips to the groomer just to get her nails trimmed.  As though grooming isn't expensive enough!

These two dog nail trimmers look like the same kind of tool, but one of these things is not like the other.  One of these things is dull and won't cleanly cut!
I found one in the store that looked pretty good so I bought it.  I was trepidatious, I didn't expect it to work any better than the one I had.  I assumed the problem was me, I just couldn't perform the simple task of cutting my dog's nails.  To my surprise, the new nail trimmer worked perfectly!  I was able to get a clean, sharp cut the first time.  No flattening of the nail or not catching it, just a clean cut.  I was overjoyed!  I had felt so inadequate not being able to do the simple task of trimming my dog's nails.  Now I know, dog nail trimmers don't last forever.  They wear out and get dull!


If you have the right tool, the job of trimming dogs' nails is a lot easier

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO TRIM YOUR DOG'S NAILS?

Keeping your dog's nails trimmed isn't just cosmetic, it has actual health implications.  Letting your dog's nails get too long can cause them to lose traction as they walk and run, which could lead to a foot or leg injury.  It can cause pain for your dog to walk with nails that are too long.   When long nails hit the ground, it creates pressure back into the nail bed.  It also puts pressure on tendons in the foot and leg, and can cause injury to them over time.  

I like this analogy, given by Carol Bryant of Fidose of Reality:  "Imagine wearing a pair of high heels if you are accustomed to flats or wearing shoes: Now try running in those heels and wearing them 24/7: This is akin to what overgrown nails feel like on a dog"

A really overgrown nail can ultimately start to curve, and grow into the dog's paw pad!  This is an extreme case, but I have seen it once or twice at the animal shelter where I volunteered.  Most of us would notice something like that long before it happened right?  However, if your dog has dew claws it is something that could escape your notice for quite some time.  Those claws don't usually get very worn down during normal activity.  I was shocked and a little mortified when I once found that Phoebe's dew claw had gotten insanely long and started curling under. I hadn't been to the groomer in several months and I hadn't tried to trim her dew claws.  I didn't see them under all that hair!  Now I make sure to trim those too.


There was only one place for those dull dog nail clippers!

HOW TO TRIM YOUR DOG'S NAILS


➤➤ Before you start, trim the excess hair from around the toes using blunt edged scissors so you don't accidentally cut your dog's foot.
➤➤ Grip the paw firmly but be gentle, tiny paws are sensitive!
➤➤ Don't cut the fur with your nail trimmer, it will dull the trimmer.  I wouldn't be surprised if that's what happened with my trimmers.  It's so hard to get Phoebe's wavy hair out of the way to cut her nails.
➤➤ Be careful not to cut the quick,  the pink part of the nail that contains tiny blood vessels.  Cut the "shell", the clear part that hits the ground.
➤➤ Make a quick clean cut.  If you're having trouble making a clean cut, your trimmer might be dulled like mine was.

If you're still unsure, watch this video from PetMd on how to properly trim dogs' nails:

Some people prefer to use a grinder to keep their dog's nails trimmed.  I haven't used a grinder, mainly because I'm afraid Phoebe's wavy hair will get snagged in it.  I also feel more comfortable with a small hand trimmer than a powered tool.  It's a matter of personal preference.

PetSmart has a good variety of dog nail clippers, as well as nail grinders.  You can follow my PetSmart affiliate link here:
PetSmart


HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S TIME TO TRIM YOUR DOG'S NAILS?  


I could usually tell by the way Phoebe's nails tap on my hardwood floors and tile.  I can tell they're too long when it sounds like she's tap dancing on the floors!  Now that I've got the right tool for the right job, and I no longer dread it, I can trim her nails on a scheduled of every 2 weeks or so.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:
 UNLEASH A FRESH SPRING LOOK WITH PETSMART GROOMIING
EMBRACE YOUR DOG's DIGGING!
EXTENDED FLEA & TICK PROTECTION IN A TASTY CHEW W/ BRAVECTO

Note: I am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online!  I just share tips and information that I have found useful for my own dogs, my foster dogs, and those of my family and friends.

Do you trim your pet's nails yourself, or do you leave it to the groomer?  We love hearing your thoughts, so please tell us in the comments!  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

5 Great Reasons To Attend the BlogPaws Conference

BlogPaws is the premier online social media company for bloggers and social media influencers.  BlogPaws connects brands with bloggers and social media influencers, and connects bloggers and influencers with each other.  Take your blog and influencer skills to the next level by joining us at the BlogPaws Conference! 
May 18 - 20, 2017 
Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 
This post is sponsored by the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated as a BlogPaws Conference Ambassador to help share information about the BlogPaws 2017 Conference but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.

If you're a new blogger or haven't attended a BlogPaws conference before here's why you should go!  

5 Great Reasons To Attend The BlogPaws Conference

1. THE EDUCATION!
The blogging and social media education is more valuable than I can say.  Whether you're brand new to the blogging community or a seasoned influencer, there are Featured Speakers and Workshops that will help you grow your blog and your social media presence. The workshops cover a wide variety of the hottest industry trends in blogging & social media.  There are so many great sessions to choose from!

2. THE NETWORKING!
Network with other bloggers, brands, and industry experts in the pet community.  BlogPaws bloggers learn from each other, support each other, and have a bond that comes from our shared interest in pets and their welfare.  We're in this blogging journey together!

3. THE CONNECTIONS!
Connect with industry professionals and brands you'd like to work with.  There's nothing like meeting in person and talking about your passion and your blog (or microblog) to make an impression and forge a relationship with a brand.  You'll learn a lot about their company and products as well, and what new products or initiatives they may be working on.

4. IT'S ALL INCLUSIVE!
The BlogPaws conference is a great deal.  You get SO much for the price of a conference ticket.  It's all inclusive from Keynote Speakers, to Working Sessions, Food and more!

5. THE SWAG!!
BlogPaws SWAG bags always contain great new products to try!  You'll want to share about all the great SWAG you got with your readers after the conference... or during the conference via your social media channels!

********************************************************************
I'm honored to serve as a Conference Ambassador this year, and pleased to be able to offer you the AMBASSADOR 10% CONFERENCE DISCOUNT!!  Use the code  BP17-10off-Ambassador to receive 10% off the price of your conference ticket!  Click here to Purchase Your Conference Ticket   (discount applies only to the conference ticket, not hotel or airfare)
********************************************************************


Already have your ticket but haven't made your Hotel Reservation yet?  You can make your Hotel Reservation Here.

Meet My fellow BlogPaws Conference Ambassadors:

Paula Gregg of Sweet Purrfections

BlogPaws, the premier online social media company for pet bloggers and social media influencers hosts an annual conference
Serving up Learning, Networking & FUN at the 2016 BlogPaws Conference!

9 Common Conference Questions Answered

What does my conference ticket include?
Entrance to the Exhibit Hall, all Keynote Speaker sessions, Working Sessions (w/ a few exceptions as noted), Events, Nose-to-Nose awards dinner, Meals (as noted on the agenda).

Should I bring Business Cards with me?
YES!  You'll be meeting so many people you want to keep in contact with, from fellow Bloggers and Influencers to Brand Representatives and  Industry Leaders.  You want them to remember you so business cards are a must.  If you need to order them, do so NOW!  Printing mistakes often happen (especially to me, I have no luck with printing!).  Leave time to have them redone just in case.

Can I bring a friend or my significant other to the conference?
Yes!  Your companion will need a conference ticket as well if s/he wants to partake in any of the sessions, events, meals, or the awards dinner.  You can apply the 10%  Ambassador discount code to their ticket as well!  Update: One Day Conference Passes will be made available if you want your companion to attend the awards dinner with you, but they won't be available until closer to the event date.  Stay tuned for that!

What kind of food will be served?
BlogPaws always offers a wide selection of delicious food, and plenty of it!  They include vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options as well.  If you have other dietary restrictions let them know in advance and they will work to accommodate you.

How will I get from the airport to the hotel?
BlogPaws will be providing a code for FREE Uber taxi rides to & from the airport.  Airport transfer is included in your conference ticket price.  Watch for updates to find out the code & details on airport transport.

What do I do with my pets while I'm at the presentations and sessions?
One of the best things about BlogPaws conferences is that you can bring your pets with you!  They can even attend presentations and working sessions with you.  If you or your dog need a break there is supervised doggie playtime at on-site Pet Parks available. This is set up either indoors or outdoors, depending mostly on weather. There is no extra charge for this!

What should I wear?
Dress is mainly casual/business casual, although it can vary.  You want to be comfortable and dress appropriately for a warm climate, but you will also be meeting industry professionals and brands you want to make a good impression on.  Most importantly, wear comfortable shoes!  You'll be doing lots of walking and standing.  You are free to dress up for the Awards dinner the last night, many people do!  You'll find people wearing anything from slightly dressed up to full out black tie, it's up to you!

What should I pack? 
One important thing I'll say right now is to Leave Extra Room in your bag for all the SWAG you'll pick up as you walk through the Exhibit Hall!  Our generous Sponsors want you to see their products, and most want you to take a sample home with you to try - and hopefully write about!  Honestly, people always say they wish they had left more room in their suitcase for all the fabulous SWAG!!

You'll have your cell phone of course, and you may want to bring a laptop or tablet for taking notes during the sessions.  I also bring a notebook & pens because one year I somehow deleted notes I was taking at a session!  Some folks like to upload photos and video to blog about the conference in the evenings.  I share conference images on my social media during the conference, and blog about my experiences later.  Sponsors love when you take photos or short videos with them at their booths showing their products.  I'll be posting photos & video with some of the brands on my social media.  Don't forget your chargers!

BlogPaws Social Media Conference is pet friendly!
Icy and Phoebe loved their first BlogPaws Conference in 2015!
Pet food isn't provided at the conference, you'll need to bring your own.  I'll bring along fun outfits, collars/leashes, and bandanas for my dogs.  I'm going to dress them up for the Awards dinner too!  You don't have to be a Nose to Nose Awards Finalist to walk the Red Carpet, we're all invited to strut our stuff on the Red Carpet that night!  Check out the 56 fabulous Nose to Nose Awards Finalists!  

Where should I go to stay up to date on conference news?
Follow the BlogPaws Conference 2017 Facebook Page.  As we get closer to the conference, updated conference information will be posted there.  Check out the Essential BlogPaws 2017 Conference Everything Post on the BlogPaws web site for all the essentials you'll need to know for the conference.

A really wonderful addition this year is the BlogPaws  Newbies Course! If you're a new Blogger or Influencer attending the conference for the first time, you should take the BlogPaws SLC 2017 Conference Newbies course - it's FREE and full of great conference tips!  It's not completely finished yet, but go on in and introduce yourself!

Click this link to learn more about the BlogPaws 2017 Conference.  

I went to my first BlogPaws conference in 2014.  When I read about all the great speakers and working sessions they were having, I knew I had to be there!  Despite the fact that I was a total newbie blogger who wouldn't know a soul there, I took the plunge and went.  I didn't know anyone or have any idea of what to expect.  As soon as I arrived however, I started meeting people!

Not only did I have a great time at the conference, I learned so much more than I ever expected.  The connections I made and the things I learned did wonders for my blog and my social media presence. I couldn't believe so many pet loving people (and their pets!) gathered in one place to network, learn, share information and ideas, and have FUN!  I had found my "Tribe"!

As a Conference Ambassador, I'm happy to assist conference attendees in the BlogPaws Conference experience both before and during the conference.  Do you have questions about the conference?  Post them in the comments and I'll answer them!  If I don't know the answer, I'll find it for you.

Want to get an idea of some tips you'll take away from a BlogPaws Conference?  Check out one of my post-conference blog posts from the 2016 conference.


FOLLOW BLOGPAWS  & KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST ON ALL THINGS BLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA!  
FACEBOOK     TWITTER     INSTAGRAM     PINTEREST

I'll See You In Myrtle Beach, Friends!!



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogPaws. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Dogs Want To Meet YOU!

WOW!! Only 8 more weeks until the BlogPaws Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC!!

Icy and Phoebe made their conference debut at the 2015 conference in Nashville and will be at this year's conference in Myrtle Beach, May 18-20!



This year I have the honor of being a Conference Ambassador!   I also have the pleasure of offering you the special AMBASSADOR 10% DISCOUNT if you haven't yet purchased your ticket!

Disclaimer: As a BlogPaws Conference Ambassador, I am compensated to help share information about the BlogPaws 2017 Conference.

USE THIS CODE TO GET 10% OFF YOUR CONFERENCE TICKET:  
BP17-10off-Ambassador


STOP BY THE BLOG TOMORROW WHERE I'LL SHARE THE TOP 5 REASONS FOR ATTENDING THE BLOGPAWS CONFERENCE AND TIPS FOR CONFERENCE ATTENDEES!

Who's Going?  Leave us a comment and let us know if you'll be there.  Icy and Phoebe want to meet YOU at the conference!

JOIN US FOR THIS WEEK'S BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How Do You Know Your Pet's Food Is Really SAFE? #WeBelieveinNB

Finding a healthy pet food you can trust can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be!  I've done my best to educate myself on what a high quality food for pets should look like.  Premium Quality Ingredients and Safety are the two most important factors for me in choosing a dog food.  Taste is another key factor, because what's the point in feeding my dog the best quality pet food if she won't eat it!  

I want to feed my dogs the most nutritious food I can, which is why I'm always reading pet food and treat labels.  A habit that drives my husband nuts when we're at the store!  I want to know what's in my dog's food and treats, where the ingredients come from, and how it's made.  For years now, I've trusted Natural Balance Pet Food®.  I've been feeding Icy Natural Balance since I first met them at a pet festival when Icy was a puppy.  I really liked what they had to say. I could hear their passion for healthy pets and for high quality natural pet food, in everything they said.  I read the labels on their food and treats and liked what I saw.  I tried a few samples of food and treats and was delighted with both the quality and how much Icy loved all their products.  We've been fans ever since!
Finding a healthy pet food can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be! You'll find Premium ingredients, Safety testing, Nutrition Experts to talk to, and 100% Satisfaction with Natural Balance pet food.
I want Icy to continue to be healthy enough to play like this, so I give her the best nutrition I can!
Natural Balance pet food is a high quality food made with the premium ingredients I want to see in my dog's food.  High quality animal protein, fruits, vegetables and grains (some varieties are grain free). Most importantly, I know it's safe for my pets.


This post is sponsored by Natural Balance® and the BlogPaws® Professional Pet Blogger Network™. I am being compensated for helping to share our thoughts about why we believe in Natural Balance as a quality food for our dogs.  Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Balance Pet Foods is not responsible for the content of this article.

Natural Balance is committed to the Quality, Nutrition, and Safety of their pet food and treats.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE PREMIUM QUALITY INGREDIENTS YOU'LL FIND IN NATURAL BALANCE PET FOOD AND TREATS:


** PREMIUM PROTEINS 




SALMON: Provides essential amino acids that help maintain muscle tone and a shiny coat.








CHICKEN: A premium animal protein source that provides essential amino acids that help maintain strong muscle tone and a healthy, shiny coat.







VENISON: A premium animal protein alternative for pets who have food sensitivities to common animal proteins such as chicken.







LAMB: A great  option for pets who have food sensitivities to common animal proteins such as chicken.








DUCK: A premium quality protein source not commonly used in pet foods.  It's a great option for pets who have food sensitivities to common animal proteins like chicken.








BISON AND BUFFALO: Lean meats rich in amino acids, with fewer calories and less fat than many other meats.




** NUTRITIOUS VEGETABLES 



SWEET POTATOES: A premium quality, grain-free carbohydrates, rich in potassium.  A highly digestible energy source.








GREEN PEAS: With complex carbohydrates and protein, they're a great alternative to grains.









GARBANZO BEANS: An excellent source of fiber and protein, they're easy to digest making them a great carbohydrate alternative.




** WHOLE GRAINS (EXCEPT IN GRAIN-FREE FORMULAS)




Whole grains like OATS are a great source of energy in pet foods. 








FLAX SEEDS, a good source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which help promote healthy skin and coat.









BROWN RICE: A great source of fiber, along with the minerals  magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, as well as Key B Vitamins; Thiamine, Niacin, and B6.






** NATURAL PRESERVATIVES & INGREDIENTS 




Taurine: An amino acid that studies show is imperative for Cardiovascular Health in dogs, especially large and giant breeds. 







Salmon Oils: an excellent source of Omega 3 to support healthy skin and a beautiful coat.




Another thing that's really important to me is that you'll NEVER find these ingredients in Natural Balance pet food:

❌ Artificial Flavors
 Chemical Preservatives
 Soy
 Wheat
 Corn
 By-Product Meals

What's NOT in a pet food is as important as what is in it. I love that Natural Balance says NO to these ingredients!

IT HAS TO BE SAFE!
The best quality pet food has to be made with high quality healthy ingredients, has to be delicious, and absolutely must be SAFE.  I'm very careful about what I feed my dogs.  I have to feel confident that any food or treats I give them will always be safe for them to eat.  There's nothing more important to me than the health & safety of my pets!


Nothing is more important to me than the health and safety of my pets.  Quality ingredients and robust Safety testing of Natural Balances's food and treats gives me confidence.
Nothing's more important to me than the healthy & safety of my pets!
Natural Balance goes the extra mile in their Safety Testing. They test every batch of food and treats in their state of the art lab, an ISO 17025 Accredited Laboratory, one of the most technologically advanced labs in the industry.  

They don't just perform one test, they perform 9 different safety tests and they provide transparency by making their test results available online! That gives me a lot of confidence and peace of mind.

At the cornerstone of what Natural Balance believes in are the 4 Pillars of their  Buy With Confidence™ Promise.

> Premium Quality Ingredients

> Safety Testing

> Nutrition Experts

> 100% Satisfaction

These 4 Pillars work together to give pets Nutritious, Safe, High Quality nutrition!

Premium quality ingredients, Safety Testing, Nutrition Experts you can speak to, and 100% Satisfaction with Natural Balance pet food.


Visit Natural Balance online today and learn more about the 4 pillars of the Natural Balance Buy with Confidence™ Promise.  You'll be so glad you did!


Learn more about the Pet Nutrition Experts at Natural Balance and how you can have a conversation with a Nutrition Expert about your pet's unique food needs.  They'll help you select the right food for your pet!

CONNECT WITH  NATURAL BALANCE ON 



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Natural Balance. The opinions and text are all mine.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

HOPE YOU HAD A HAPPY SAINT PATTY'S DAY!

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with a plate of treats with a bit of Irish Green in them!  No I don't mean Brussel Sprouts, I mean green dog biscuits!  VitaBone has dog biscuits in multi colors, so I picked out the Green ones for Icy and Phoebe to enjoy on this fine St. Patty's Day!


What, no Corned Beef with these delicious biscuits?
I hope you didn't give your pup any corned beef on Saint Patrick's Day?  It's loaded with sodium and not healthy for dogs.  According to Dogster :

"Corned beef is even worse for dogs to eat than bacon. Dogs do not react well to an excess of sodium, which is what corned beef is all about. Preparation methods for corned beef call for it to be treated with rock-salt, which seeps over time into every square inch of the meat" - Dogster

Although it is a source of protein, an 800 calorie serving of Corned beef has about 60 grams of fat and 3600mg of salt.  It also contains nitrites.  "Corned" beef is cured using large kernels, or "corns" of rock salt.  It's made from the fatty part of a cut of brisket beef.

Instead of sharing corned beef with the dogs, I shared some green dog biscuits to celebrate St. Pat's Day!
When I feel the need to share my cooked meats with the dogs, I opt for very lean cuts of meat.  Better yet, I prefer to give them chicken, turkey, or lamb.  I boil it up for them and stay away from seasonings, especially salt.

Easter is just around the corner!  If you're looking for a special treat to share with your dog on holidays, try Vitabone's Artisan Inspired Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry dog biscuits!

Did you buy or make any special Green treats for your dog on St. Patty's Day?  Leave us a comment and share!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Snowdog Days

The big conversation the last two weeks has been the Weather!  Mother Nature has been more fickle than ever.  A couple of weeks ago we had a snowstorm, then she sent Spring for a week, but then she changed her mind and sent another snowstorm!!  WHAT is she thinking??

Here are some photos of us as we got jerked around by Mother Nature's whim this month.

SNOWSTORM
In February we had a pretty big snowstorm.  That was expected, and FUN too!


Icy and her buddy Cooper are up to their tummies in snow!

YAY, SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!
A week after the snowstorm we were at the Beach!  The beach in February, amazing!  Thanks you Mother Nature for giving us an early Spring....



PetSmart Affiliate Link:
PetSmart


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE..... MORE SNOWSTORM THAT IS!
A week after Mother Nature teased us with a Spring week, she slammed us with another Snowstorm!  Not that everyone was complaining!

Icy wasn't complaining about another snowstorm, she was having a blast!

OH HEAVEN'S, WHAT WILL MOTHER NATURE HIT US WITH IN THE NEXT 5 WEEKS...!?

With Winter still hanging on in many places, be mindful of WINTER SAFETY TIPS FOR PETS

Will the next 5 weeks bring another snowstorm or will Spring finally be here by April?  Leave us a comment and let us know your weather thoughts!

JOIN THE BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Irish Dogs That Say Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

We're always talking about dogs and dog breeds on the blog but today I'm doing something slightly different.  In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, I wanted to find out what the most popular dog breeds were in St. Patty's homeland of Ireland.  Here they are!


TOP 10 IRISH DOG BREEDS


1. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient dog breed that is estimated to be over 5,000 years old.  They look menacing, but are actually quite friendly dogs!

When I was around 10, my oldest sister got married.  She and her husband lived in a Manhattan apartment with two Irish Wolfhounds!  They were the sweetest dogs.  Compared to 10 year old me they were quite huge! I loved visiting and seeing these giant, scruffy looking dogs.  My sister told me the dogs used to wake them up each morning by making a soft whistling sound in their ears!  Better than any blaring alarm clock, right?

Manhattan is quite a dog friendly city.  I used to think you could only have a tiny dog if you lived in a Manhattan apartment - which by default IS a tiny apartment, unless your rich like Donald Trump - but you don't!  Large dogs can live in small spaces, it's the level of activity that matters most.  Irish Wolfhound dogs may be the tallest breed in the world but they're not one of the highest energy breeds so they were quite happy living in the Big Apple.


Kiss Me, I'm Irish!  OK, so I'm really Havanese, Maltese, and who knows what else but on March 17th we're all Irish so pucker up!

2. Irish Setter
Irish Setter dogs are best known for their beautiful, flowing reddish brown coat.  They are smart, friendly, and graceful.  Despite their graceful appearance, they are high energy dogs! 

Growing up, our neighbor Carrie had a beautiful, sweet friendly Irish Setter.  There were lots of family friendly dogs in our neighborhood, but this Irish Setter was a favorite among neighborhood kids.  One of my sisters, who was close friends with Carrie, loved this dog to pieces and really wanted an Irish Setter of her own.  She was always asking our parents if we could get one but we didn't.  Don't feel bad though, a few years later we got my amazing childhood dog Ginny from the shelter.  She was a mutt, and the best dog ever!

3. Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a coat color that actually looks bluish.  The breed emerged in the 1700's in County Kerry, Ireland.  According to the web site Irish Central, there's a legend that surrounds this beautiful, exotic looking Terrier:

"A certain romantic legend holds that when a Russian shipwrecked in Kerry’s Tralee Bay, an exotic blue-coated dog frantically paddled its way ashore.
 
Rewards awaited. The gallant survivor had such a gorgeous coat that it was promptly mated with almost every fine local female of reproductive age. Some say the shipwrecked stud proceeded to mate with “all the female Wheaten Terriers in Kerry.”


I just love a good romance legend, don't you?  So it seems the original  Kerry Blue Terrier that made it's way to Ireland, was something of a ladies man!

4. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is one breed of dog that's a real water dog!  They're similar to the Portuguese Water Dog just like Bo, the Obama's Presidential Pooch.  Both breeds are good with families, but the Irish Water spaniel is reportedly easier to train and is easier in terms of grooming needs.  The Irish Water Spaniel came to Ireland in the early 19th century.  They are a fun loving, clever breed of dog.

5. Irish Terrier
The Irish Terrier is a strong, muscular little breed of dog with a coarse reddish brown coat.  Of the 4 Terrier breeds from Ireland, this is the only one with a red coat.  Irish Terriers are super active dogs with a feisty temperament!  This Terrier will keep you on your toes, so good training is a must.  To show you how tough and smart they were, Irish Terriers served as messenger dogs and sentinels during World War One (WWI).  This is no lap dog!

6. Wheaten Terrier
The Wheaten Terrier is a small, athletic dog.  They're extremely friendly and fun loving dogs.  They're not super high energy, a moderate amount of exercise is great for them.  In typical Terrier style they learn fast but need a dedication to good training.  They would be a good choice for apartment living and families.

7. Glen of Imaal Terrier
First off I have to say that I just love the name of this dog; Glen of Imaal.  It sounds so exotic!  Like most Terriers, this breed of dog is small but muscular and packs a big personality.  They are smart, driven dogs with a very high prey drive so if you have small pets in the home exercise caution.

An interesting fact about this dog breed is that they tend to live  for 15 years or more.  That's a lot of longevity for any dog breed!


8. Irish Red and White Setter
The Irish Setter nearly drove this dog breed to extinction with it's popularity.  It looks very much like the Irish Setter but instead of being all red in color it has beautiful red and white markings.  Like the Irish Setter, the Irish Red and White Setter is good with families and is a high energy dog that needs a lot of exercise.


9. Irish Lurcher
The Irish Lurcher is an ancient breed, a sighthound that is usually some mix of Greyhound, Collie and Terrier.  Lurchers were hunting dogs.  In the middle ages, only the nobility could own and breed purebred sighthound dogs such as Wolfhounds, Greyhounds, and Deerhounds. Supposedly, this breed was created in the 14th century to circumvent British rule that prohibited "commoners" from owning established sighthound dog breeds.  Today, many of these dogs end up in shelters and rescues due to brutal hunting rituals and abusive ownership.




10, Irish Toy Collie
"Collie" is an old Celtic term that means "useful dog".  The Irish Toy Collie is a smart (aren't all collies smart?) energetic breed with a friendly personality.  This dog looks like the Shetland Sheep Dog, or Sheltie, but is not a the same breed. It is smaller than the Sheltie.  Irish Toy Collies are friendly, sweet dogs that love people and love to cuddle.  They make a great companion dog.


Learn more about Irish dog breeds and see beautiful photos of them on Irish Central's web site, which was one of the main sources for this blog post.

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Which of these wonderful Irish dogs would you want to invite over for a plate of Corned Beef and Cabbage?  Let us know in the comments!!  Note: I am not a Veterinarian, Vet Tech, or pet healthcare professional of any kind, but my research shows that corned beef is NOT healthy for dogs at all.  Cabbage is a dog friendly food in limited quantities. This was merely a tongue in cheek statement.

THIS IS THE PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!  THANKS TO RASCAL AND ROCCO, BARKING FROM THE BAYOU, LOVE IS BEING OWNED BY A HUSKY, AND BIONIC BASIL FOR SPONSORING THIS HOP!



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Hat

Saint Patrick's Day is coming!  I'm trying to find the right hat to wear in my town's St. Paddy's Day parade.

Does my head look big in this hat??

Erin Go Bragh!!  

I always wondered what the heck that saying meant so I finally looked it up.  It's a term used to express allegiance to Ireland!  Everyone's Irish on Saint Paddy's Day, right?!

Will your pet be dressing up for St. Paddy's Day?  Tell us!

Join us on the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday BLOG HOP!!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

One Baby Animal's Struggle To Survive

Although this is a dog blog, today I'm posting about a very special bird whose tenacity and struggle to survive inspired me and touched my heart.  This is Tiny's story.

My Mom always loved birds.  When she was in her 80's, she ended up with a pair of Cockatiels that friends of hers could no longer keep.  One day one of the birds laid eggs!  It was a total surprise, we didn't even know what gender the birds were, my Mom never thought to ask.  The eggs hatched and she soon had a clutch of baby Cockatiels. It wasn't the first time the pair would have babies. They turned out to be quite an amorous pair! 

A baby bird struggling to survive after parents refuse to feed it
Cockatiels are very sweet, friendly birds
My Mom loved caring for her birds and hand taming their babies.  When they were old enough she'd give them away to good homes.  The few baby birds that didn't get adopted she gave to family friends who owned a pet store.  They gave her free bird food and supplies in exchange for baby birds that were beautifully hand tamed, thanks to my Mom's TLC.

It was a hobby that brought her so much joy in her senior years.  She took beautiful care of those birds every single day.  She fed them, gave them fresh water several times a day, and kept their cages immaculately clean.  She loved taking them out of the cages to give them affection and a little freedom and "playtime".   She loved them all and cried each time the baby birds had to leave her.  She ended up keeping a few babies herself, ultimately ending up with several cages of Cockatiels.

Years ago, I had to have major surgery.  I was unable to drive or walk for several weeks and was recuperating at my parent's house.  One of the pairs of birds had laid eggs before I arrived.  As luck would have it, while I was staying there, the eggs hatched and 3 baby birds were born!  It was exciting to see those baby birds hatch, and to see how excited and attentive my Mom was to them.  We quickly noticed, however, that something wasn't quite right with one of the babies.  She was smaller than the other birds and her tiny legs didn't seem right, they were sort of crooked and knarly.

A slightly disabled baby bird struggles to survive after the parents refuse to feed or acknowledge it
Cockatiels can be hand tamed.  With proper care, they are wonderful pets
The parents steadfastly refused to feed this tiny little bird, or even acknowledge her existence!  It was heart wrenching to see this little creature begging for food and attention.  She would flap her tiny fledgling wings and with a gaping mouth make slight, raspy sounds, begging the parents to feed her.  But they would not.  They must have realized there was something wrong with this little bird, and nature being what it is they would not acknowledge their imperfect baby.  We were heartbroken to realize that this little baby bird was an orphan, even though her parents were right there in the cage with her.  It was just too cruel!

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My Mom and I were distraught.  We had to help this baby bird, and fast, or it wouldn't survive!  My Mom had some baby bird meal, which we mixed with warm water and fed to the tiny bird through a syringe.  It was tough going at first, but this little baby wanted to eat, wanted to be acknowledged, wanted to LIVE!  We resolved to do everything in our power to help this tiny baby bird survive.  Although her survival was uncertain, I gave her a name.  "Tiny".  I decided Tiny was the perfect name for an itty bitty bird, the smallest of her siblings, fighting with all her might to survive.


Tiny, the bird who wasn't expected to live, fought to survive and lived a full life, where she was loved and cherished
Like my Mom, my husband always loved birds.  Here he is with Tiny perched on his shoulder!
Mom and I took turns feeding our baby bird every 2 hours or so.  We'd mix up the food with warm water, suck it into the smallest syringe I've ever seen, and gently feed the tiny hatchling.  It was touch & go for the first few days, but soon Tiny seemed to be getting stronger and was taking food from the syringe easily.  We were overjoyed, she was going to live!  

After about a week of this careful routine, an amazing thing happened.  The Father bird began to feed Tiny!  It was such an exciting moment, seeing Tiny's Daddy regurgitate food into her minuscule beak.  The Father must have realized that Tiny was strong enough to survive after all, and decided she was worthy of nurturing.  My Mom and I were overjoyed!  We knew Tiny would be OK now that one of her parents took up the feeding regimen. 

Click this Affiliate Link to Save on BIRD TREATS: Save up to 20% select bird treats at PetSmart.com!


Sadly, the mama bird never did acknowledge Tiny and continued refusing to feed or interact with her.  But that was OK, Tiny had her feathered Father and she had me.  Once I was able to go back to my own house there was no question that I would take Tiny with me.  After all, I was her Mama!

An orphaned, imperfect baby bird fights to survive and wins!
Me and my darling little Cockatiel, Tiny.  The bird who wasn't expected to survive lived for years, loved and cherished by me and later by my husband as well.  Tiny will live in our hearts forever, the memory of her zest for life a constant inspiration!
Have you ever cared for a baby animal whose survival was uncertain?  Please leave us a comment and share!  We love hearing from our readers.

THIS IS THE PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!  THANKS TO RASCAL AND ROCCO, BARKING FROM THE BAYOU, LOVE IS BEING OWNED BY A HUSKY, AND BIONIC BASIL FOR SPONSORING THIS HOP!