Tag: dog


By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

We are often more excited to bring the little bundle of furry joy home quickly without first preparing ourselves mentally and emotionally, and arming ourselves with a basic understanding of the dos and don’ts of fur-parenting. When reality sets in with destructive chewing, housetraining woes, mouthing, barking and other unsettling behaviours, it can turn that moment of happiness of having a puppy to one of frustration, anger and some regret.

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes new owners make:

Taking the puppy home too soon

Most of us are excited and want to bring the puppy home – this is one of the biggest mistakes we can make.  During the first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life, he receives nurturing from his mother and also picks up invaluable social skills from his litter of brother and sisters. Due to the number of unethical breeders out there whose intention is to make money, they would allow their puppies to leave earlier than they should. One of the key concerns is health issues. Most puppies would require three vaccinations before they are allowed to leave their breeder. Puppies who leave their litter too soon might struggle to learn proper interaction with dogs and people. So, a good time to take the puppy home would be when it is 12 weeks and older.

Giving it the license to roam

Puppies are curious, especially about their environment. Once you allow them to wander everywhere and anywhere unsupervised, it will eventually get into trouble. Chewing furniture, clothes, shoes, running out of the house and the most dreaded of all, improper toilet behaviour. For the latter, try to enforce crate training or a fenced enclosure.

Failing to put crate training in order

Crate training takes advantage of a dog’s desire not to soil their sleeping and eating area.  The crate is a good place to start conditioning your puppy. In the crate, your puppy will be able to sleep and eat peacefully away from children, other pets and distractions. The crate should be tall enough, especially if you have a big or medium-sized puppy as they will grow quickly within the next two months. Key points to note are that the crate should be high enough for the puppy to stand in and long enough for him to turn around and move. Another point to note if you have to leave home for some errands, is not to leave your puppy alone in the crate for more than two hours.

Not getting into basic obedience training 

The puppy that you bought home is capable of learning basic obedience commands the moment he walks into his new home.  However, too many people fail to realise this and focus strictly on housebreaking. Simple obedience commands like sit, down, stay and come are instructions that you can pair with conditions before meals, treats or playtime. I would recommend to not wait and start as soon as possible.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Every dog owner dreads fleas and ticks.  Many turn to flea and tick meds which are really bad for your furkid. Flea and tick meds are essentially pesticides that work by attacking the nervous system of these pests. Few know that it also affects and damages your furkid’s nervous system. The monthly liquid that you put on your furkid’s coat could well affect his nervous system. So stop using them and read on for alternative solutions for remedy.

I have a neighbour who had a badly flea-infested dog.  He tried everything that was available in the market. When he mentioned this to me, I told him that his house is probably infested with eggs from the fleas. Fleas are very active insects, feeding on blood from dogs and humans. They jump onto passing animals and burrow down into the fur to the skin, where they stay well-hidden while biting and ingesting blood. This is irritating to the animal, and to humans as well, as the bites can cause severe itching and inflammation.

If your dog is restless and is licking and scratching more than normal, it’s an indication of possible flea infestation. To inspect your dog, turn him onto his back and check the areas that allow fleas to hide best. The armpits and groin are areas that are warm and protected, making them preferred spots for large flea populations. Check the ears carefully for signs of scratching, redness, blood, or dirt. These can all be signs of fleas. The skin on the belly, groin, or base of the tail may appear red and bumpy, especially if your dog is doing a lot of scratching.

So back to my neighbour’s problem. I immediately recommended him food-grade diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is composed of tiny organisms known as diatoms which have the ability to lacerate the exoskeletons of various types of insects and kill them through dehydration. Sprinkle a thin layer of food-grade diatomaceous earth throughout your pet’s fur. Dust the powder into their coat and skin underneath. One of the key areas to pay attention to is the backbone. Remember diatomaceous earth is not effective when wet. You should also sprinkle some sparingly around your home where your dog has been as we need to kill the eggs or any remaining fleas around the corners of your home. The beautiful outcome of this ordeal is that my neighbour’s flea-infested dog was completely rid of fleas, and he swears by diatomaceous earth to this day!

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

We have always advocated the importance of maintaining an optimal digestive and immunity health for our furkids. This is possible through the informed use and consumption of pre- and probiotics. The relevance of these supplements in keeping our furkid’s digestive system in tip-top condition should not be overlooked in the overall health care. Let’s take a look at their health benefits:

PROBIOTICS

The health benefits are numerous and they include the following:

– Maintain and restore your dog’s digestive system due to bad nutrition, bad eating habits, stress, weak digestive system, illnesses or consumption of antibiotics or steroids

– With a healthy digestive system, probiotics can stimulate better absorption of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, etc

– Promote the growth of the body’s natural microflora which is good bacteria

– Inhibit and fight harmful microorganisms and protect the body against infections and diseases

– Improve bowel functions to maintain intestinal regularity

– Help in the relief of digestive problems like diarrhoea, bloody stool, irritable bowel syndrome or constipation

– It can also enhance the body’s immune system by producing immune stimulating agents

Essentially, probiotics will help promote the growth of good or beneficial bacteria, prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, and give your furkid excellent gut health.

PREBIOTICS

– It helps to increase the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium to improve bone health

– Lower blood lipid and cholesterol levels

– Increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the colon and reduce harmful microorganisms

– Maintain intestinal regularity and shorten gastrointestinal transit time

– Support the control of glucose and insulin in type 2 diabetes (yes, it can happen to dogs too!)

– Reduce faecal odour through the reduction of compounds such as ammonia

– Support optimal intestinal functions to maintain a healthy digestive system and increase higher faecal frequency

– Prebiotics are insoluble fibre that feed the probiotics, which means we need to feed prebiotic foods like bananas, green leafy veggies or apples to your dog’s diet to support the probiotics that you are giving him.

In summary, probiotics are live microorganisms that live in various parts of your dog’s body. Basically probiotic means ‘for life”. Having a colony of good bacteria in your dog’s system helps in more ways than one. Good bacteria is crucial for the health of your dog’s gut, at the same time, it supports his brain, digestion, absorption of nutrients and boosts his immune system which is probably the most important role of probiotics. One important fact to remember is never to add probiotics to your furkid’s food when it is still warm or hot as it will destroy the efficacy of these beneficial bacteria.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

 

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

I am often quizzed: “Do you brush Bailey’s teeth?  He has such nice, clean teeth!” Well, the answer is no. I prefer to maintain his oral cleanliness and health in a more natural way and not have to brush his teeth or even send him for descaling. As they say, dental health can affect a dog’s overall health. Oral and dental hygiene is key in keeping your furkid healthy.

Diet and supplements can make a difference in keeping this aspect in check. Let’s touch on how diet, nutrition and supplements are essential for oral dental health.

For a start, kibbles are not good for dental health. Many are misled into thinking that kibbles help to clean the teeth but in fact, kibble and other heavily processed foods actually contain pro-inflammatory ingredients that fuel inflammation and disease.

Instead, opt for products that will help in your dog’s oral hygiene. Below are some choices:

RAW MEATY BONES

Raw meaty bones provide an active chewing and gum advantage. Try not to give your furkids cooked bones as it is brittle and can splinter when chewed on. Consuming cooked bones also presents a higher risk of damaging tissues and teeth with small and thin bones more likely to cause broken teeth than marrow bones. The reason for this, if you have noticed, is they usually use the back of the mouth and teeth, much like how they would chew on large and bulky toys.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Oxidative stress contributes to free-radical damage to the body’s cells and tissues. Hence, antioxidants play an important role in your dog’s dental health. Astaxanthin, which is a super antioxidant, is now readily available as part of your dog’s diet through Astamate (add hyperlink here). This product is highly protective against free radicals and reducing oxidative stress

FATTY ACIDS

Fighting periodontal inflammation is what fatty acid supplements does. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for coat, skin and joints. They are also beneficial for supporting oral health, heart, kidney and brain health.

PROBIOTICS

One of the key supplements in any dog’s diet is probiotics. Gastro-intestinal tract health is essential especially for dogs who have consumed antibiotics and steroids during their lifetime since probiotics act to repair gut health and boost the immune system. Give a daily dosage or consume on alternative days; rubbing some on the gums can help improve oral health too.

Paying attention to your furkid’s oral health and teeth wellness is an important aspect of your dog’s overall wellness. Healthy teeth and gums ultimately improve the quality of life, vitality and prevention of disease.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

 

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Artificial colours

Take note that when your dog shampoo comes in orange, yellow, green, etc, be aware that these artificial colours have been associated with cancer and should be avoided.

Cocamide DEA (diethanolamine) and MEA (monoethanolamine)

More foam is not necessarily good. These foam-producing ingredients are usually chemically altered to the extent of being a moderate cancer-causing ingredient, and at times, a hormone and thyroid disruptor.

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB)

CAPB is sometimes used to replace cocamide DEA. However, this substance cause skin irritation and affects the immune system.

Formaldehyde

This is a strong-smelling chemical used to produce many household products. It is also utilised as an industrial fungicide, germicide and disinfectant, and even as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries. Enough said.

Fragrances

Most times, we buy a dog shampoo based on its fragrance.  If the aroma does not come from essential oils or plants, then its highly likely that it comes from an unhealthy substance. When choosing a dog shampoo, we have to pay extra attention to this aroma as our furkid’s sense of smell is way more powerful than ours and hence it can be quite irritating to them. Artificial fragrances can affect the immunity system as well as cause allergic reactions.

Isopropyl alcohol

This ingredient is used in a lot of dog products. Avoid these products as isopropyl alcohol is a known depressant and a toxin that affects the nerves, lung, heart and liver when it enters the body. It is also referred to as isopropanol, 2-propanol and propyl.

Isopropyl

Made from the petroleum-derived substance propylene, this destroys your furkid’s skin moisture balance and causes irritation.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone

Woah… what a long word this is and so difficult to pronounce! This is usually added into shampoo as a preservative and anti-fungal ingredient. Using it can lead to organ poisoning.

Methylparaben and Parabens

Used as preservatives, these ingredients can affect the central nervous system of a dog, which ultimately affects the brain and spinal cord. It can also cause cancer to the uterus and bladder.

Mineral oils

A by-product of distilled gasoline made from crude oil. This ingredient, when coated on the skin, keeps the skin from releasing its own natural oils.

Phthalates

This ingredient helps with the scenting of the shampoo in that they bond the scent to the shampoo. These are disruptors to the hormonal system.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG)

A known cancer-causing chemical used as a solvent in shampoos and conditioners. Side effects can be seen in the form of stomach disorders, loss of memory and immune dysfunction.

Polysorbates

This ingredient helps bind oil with water and is usually used to dissolve fragrances into a solution. It also messes with the pH of the skin and fur.

Propylene Glycol

A strong skin irritant as well as liver and kidney toxin.

Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfates and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate

These sulfates strip the fur of its natural oils and can cause skin irritations. They are also known cancer-causing agents.

At the end of the day, remember that dogs clean themselves and self-grooming is a natural part of their behaviour. So when choosing a shampoo, go for a one made specifically for dogs and which uses natural and simple ingredients.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

I often get asked the question: How frequently do you bathe Bailey? For Bailey, he gets his shower once a week. How often you shower your dog depends on its breed and coat type. Long coat dogs usually need to be groomed and bathed more often to avoid problems like flea hosting, matting of the coat and skin problems. Dogs with a shorter coat require a lower frequency like one and a half weeks to two weeks between showers. When you shower your furkid too often, it can lead to skin irritation or problems. Having said that, breeds like cocker spaniels have an oilier skin condition that requires a more frequent wash otherwise the ‘doggy’ smell will surface.

In our tropical climate, if you have a dog that sleep in your bed, spend lots of time outdoors or running around in public areas, once a week is a good frequency. When you become a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog clean and hygienic like you would in your own personal grooming and hygiene.

Next, the right shampoo. Never use human shampoo on dogs as certain chemicals, ingredients and scents can have an adverse effect on their skin. We shall talk more about those ingredients in the next article. Good dog shampoos work to keep the natural oils of the coat and is not too abrasive for your dog’s skin. Do take note that if your dog is on a medical shampoo for his coat, it tends to be very dry for their skin and coat with prolonged use. A healthy dog has natural oils in their skin and this helps keep their coat healthy. Therefore once he gets well, immediately switch back to his normal shampoo or a better one.

Dogs with a longer coat, like a Golden Retriever, need more work. Regularly brushing of the coat (once a day is good) and before/after his shower. Regular brushing is good to clear matting, removing excess fur and removing debris and dirt from their environment.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Stay calm and move on.  Yelling or losing your temper creates a very negative vibe all around you.  When your dog does something wrong, just give a stern “No!” will do. Stay calm and walk away.  It’s important to reprimand at the point when your dog does something wrong, so they can immediately relate the mistake to the sternness in your voice, not like ten minutes or half an hour later.

Understand your dog’s preferences.  Pay attention to your dog’s likes and dislikes. Understand what he likes and turn it into a positive experience. Things such as his favourite food, games and activity can make you the source of all things wonderful to him. This is part of conditioning a dog where they relate doing something and being rewarded or praised for an action of theirs.  Repeating the reward/praise will soon see him doing the action automatically in return for something positive for them. Knowing his dislikes and things unpleasant to him also play an important part. They could be a range of triggers: thunder, loud noises, being stared at, being hugged, being dressed up in clothes that affect their mobility or create discomfort for them. Take note of these and observe what a difference it makes.

Understanding his behaviour.  Understanding and identifying when your dog is anxious or scared can help you protect or remove him from the uncomfortable situation.  You are your dog’s best friend and he will count on you to keep him safe. A bond like this is very special and he will do likewise for you when the time comes.

The power of touch.  There is a strong bond between Bailey and his loved ones. He loves to be touched and leans physically close to people who he likes. Physical touch like patting and massage lowers stress, reduces heart rate and stress hormones, and in turn enhances the bond and this special relationship. We love our dogs and see them as part of the family; having Bailey around us has enriched our lives in more ways than we can imagine.  So keep that great relationship going or start today by improving what you have with your dog and grow that relationship to something even more beautiful than what you have now.

Remember mutual respect, love, discipline and affection help make your relationship with your furkid a wonderful one.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Having and maintaining a good relationship with your dog is like any relationship that you have on a daily basis, be it with a child, partner or friend. Today we will look at improving a good relationship with your dog.

Communication In the dog world, being consistent and clear with your verbal commands or training signals is very important. Be as clear as you can when you communicate with them.  Dogs read our body language more than what we say.  With the right signal or body language given, our dogs actually use it to gather the information for the action to take when coupled with our verbal command.  So be clear, be consistent and keep the command short. You will feel start to see your dog having a better understanding of you.

Spend time together.  A good and healthy relationship is about spending time with each other. A lot of dog owners buy a dog or adopt but fail to spend enough time with their furkid. Love and patience is how a dog becomes a great partner through a good relationship which in turn becomes an enjoyable relationship.

Train your dog.  A well-trained dog will always be a pleasure to be in the company of, be it with friends, the public or with other dogs. Training conditions your dog to behave in a certain way and what not to do.  A well-trained dog will enjoy more freedom, more outings and more playtime.

Cook for your dog.  You know the way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach. Cooking healthy, tasty meals and baking delicious treats show that you care. When you cook or bake for your dogs, you know what is in his food. Focusing on the best nutrition in the most delicious food form. Bailey enjoys home-cooked breakfast and dinner daily and home-baked goodies so we know what we are feeding him.

Play with your furkid.  Scientifically, parents who play with their children create a stronger bond. Well, this is also true of the relationship with your dog!  Playing games and having fun strengthen your bond with them.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Massaging your dog can be therapeutic for both owner and dog. Bailey loves a good massage and most times, Mama will be the one massaging him. Here are the benefits of a good doggy massage:

Rehabilitative Healing

Massage can help to rehabilitate dogs who are recovering from an injury or surgery. It speeds up recovery time as well as heal scar tissues. Besides strengthening the body by stimulating the muscles, it also supplies nutrients and oxygen to the body. Increased blood flow will help to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, at the same time, remove toxins.

Dogs who suffer from arthritis and joint problems can get relief from muscle stiffness and joint discomfort with massage. I also notice that Bailey is visibly more relaxed and calm whenever he get a massage, and often ends up falling asleep. Massage promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being for your furkid and at the same time, heightens bonding with you.

Emotional Healing

Dogs who suffer from psychological stress will benefit from massage as it helps to provide an emotional calming while simultaneously enhancing bonding with the owner. This also works with newly adopted dogs who need assurance and a calming introduction to their new environment. I am pretty sure massage will go a long way in improving trust and the overall mood of the dog. This would probably be an effective measure at dog shelters as well – massaging a dog helps ease their stress and they may be more likely to be adopted. It will certainly help with abused and emotionally traumatised dogs.

Basic Massage Techniques

Rub your hands to warm them up, then place them on your dog’s body and leave them at a specific spot like his tummy or his arm or rib area for about 20 seconds. This is to help warm up the tissues, get the blood circulating and to put them in a state of calmness. If your dog becomes uncomfortable or fidgety, start providing gentle strokes across his body to calm him down. Next, slowly glide your entire palm with hands closed with a continuous repetitive motion across his body starting from the back to his neck area. This helps the circulation and lymph fluids to warm up the tissues and help him stay calm and relaxed. Do this at the start and end of massage.

When you are done with the warming of tissues, you can start massaging your furkid. We usually use our thumbs and two fingers and in a rhythmic pace and start squeezing the tissue up and releasing it from bone and muscle. This helps to boost circulation by operating muscle fibres and draining toxins. It’s important to massage very slowly and with even pressure to avoid causing nerve irritation.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

After much consideration to have a puppy in your life, it’s time to reorganise your life around this little bundle of joy. Dogs can provide us with plenty of love and companionship but they need lots of attention, exercise and care, just like a child. New dog owners will face a whole new set of challenges like a mouthing puppy, a peeing and pooping machine and an overly energetic little furkid. Puppies will need a lot of attention, care and particularly patience.

So here are some tips on what to do when you leave for work and have to leave your lovely furkid all alone at home.

Time off

When you first bring your puppy home, if possible, take some time off to spend time with the little one. Help him get used to his new surroundings and provide the assurance that you are going to be part of his life from hereon. You will be able to communicate with him that he is safe, he will be taken care of and that this will be his new home.

Setting boundaries for your puppy

Dogs can be trained by conditioning. When a new puppy is brought home and allowed to wander all over the house, you, as the owner, will have to take the blame when they create chaos in your home. Before bringing the puppy home, decide on a good enough space for them for them to use as a play pen, like the kitchen space or sheltered backyard. Make sure you leave some chew toys for them to play with and prepare the newspaper/pee pad for them to do relieve themselves when they need to. Soon, your pet will associate that space as theirs to sleep and have their meals. Make sure you clear their waste daily and quickly whenever you can as they do not like to soil their place of rest.

Technology

With new technology available out there, we could make use of a two-way security camera to communicate with your new puppy.  At the same time, you can monitor what’s going on at home with the little one. Some new cameras come with functions such as auto feed, play and even a video feed of you so that your puppy can see you while you’re at work!

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

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