Posts Tagged ‘pets’

natural defense

with the weather starting to warm up and the pooches spending more and more time outside, it’s all more the reason to make sure they are safe guarded from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes

Buddy: "who moi?!"

being i kinda have a thing for sticking to the natural paths as much as possible, something inside of me wasn’t sitting right… it seemed off when i’d apply the chemical based flea and tick repellant once a month between my dog’s shoulder blades. what is IN this stuff? why do i have to limit MY physical contact to it if i’m putting it right onto MY own dog’s skin?!

Lexi: "you're putting THAT on me?!" lovin' the stoic face!

hearing about ‘Natural Defense’ by SENTRY came at the right time! my SIL has been using it on her dachshund for a while now and couldn’t speak more highly about it. what’s there to not like?

it’s naturally derived from plant based oils

it smells good AND prevents fleas, ticks and mosquitoes for a month!

SOLD

it still leaves a bit of an oily slick on their back for a while, like the chemical based one, but i’ve figured out a way around this! put an old t-shirt on your pooch until the oils soak in

he may not look pleased, but he secretly loves the t-shirt!

as for deterring a certain someone from stealing the socks from the hamper… maybe there’s another natural remedy out there on the market?!

caught red handed

is your clicker loaded?

“well, did you load your clicker?” was what the dog trainer asked us after she asked the group if anyone had tried using one for dog training before… i couldn’t help but crack up at the question :0) JC and i automatically thought there was some special way to use it or press it down… little did we know what we were in for in this six-week doggie training class we signed up the Lexi-monster for!

being the sweet, little, innocent, monster that she is, we decided a little formal training for the 5-month old pup and US was def needed. perhaps we’ve been swayed by the goodness that our 3-year old Bud-man has to offer… i’ll admit – we’ve been diluted of the puppy-ness and badly needed a refresher course!

our first class consisted of:

the pup learning the ‘watch me’ command
and yes, the flea brain that she is actually got it after realizing treats were involved… lots and lots of chicken liver treats!

the pup learning the ‘sit’ command with just a hand motion
who knew the actual word ‘sit’ could become useless if used too much?!

the pup learning the ‘quiet’ command
what, walking around the house and yard barking at ghosts, shadows, bugs, the kids playing, and sometimes just to hear herself = not annoying?!

us learning how to ‘herd’ the pup when she jumps up on the counter and tries to lick everything that goes in the dishwasher
granted, this does assist in our pre-washing time, but something tells me its just not right

us learning how to use the ‘clicker’ as a positive reinforcement tool
command, click, treat, repeat

and the added bonus – we were dismissed with ‘homework’ to work on every day with her for the next week… jeez! 🙂 i though graduating from college meant no more of that stuff?!

i’ll take anything we can get to make even just a dent with this stubborn little handful!!

so maybe you’re wondering, like i was, what is this ‘clicker training’ stuff all about?

info jacked from this site:

its a slang term used to describe a way of training animals that has become increasingly popular because of its gentle methods ~ the scientifical term for it is operant conditioning.

Operant conditioning is the way any animal (including the human kind) interacts with and learns from its environment. Simply put, an animal tends to repeat an action that has a positive consequence and tends not to repeat one that has a negative consequence.

‘The Clicker’ is a small plastic box with a metal strip that makes a sharp, clicking sound when pushed and released. Its value is that the unique sound doesn’t get lost in the babble of words we are constantly throwing at our dogs. It is faster than saying “Good dog!” and allows the trainer to mark with great precision the behavior for which the dog is being reinforced. Paired with something the animal finds very reinforcing, the clicker becomes a powerful tool for shaping behavior.

after about 10 or so times with the ‘command, clicker, treat’ method, i’ve gotta say, she was actually starting to GET IT – slowly! i was leery about this little box and what it could do, but for now, I’m taking the trainer’s word for it when she tells us our little Lexi girl will have learned her manners after this six-week course! I think Buddy is thanking us already :0)

ensure with insur-ance

CONGRATS to our good friends who are going to be new parents soon – to these two adorable little bits of goodness!!

they asked if we had ever looked into getting pet insurance for our pups… i did – many moons ago – look into that option

i did some digging, made some spreadsheets, asked other pet owners for their stories… a lot of confusion and debating later, i hung up that idea on the fence

the conditions, clauses, deductibles, closures and whatnot had my head spinning, worrying more over what may come, will they get hit by a car, will they get cancer, do i want to use it for annual stuff and prevention or treatments… i threw in the flag and decided to pray that nothing too tragic will happen to our pets and also put together a little ‘doggie fund’ in case it is ever needed – HOPEFULLY it does not need to be tapped!

BUT – there are some great resources out there if you want to scour them and determine if they fit you and your pet’s needs

places like:

VPI Pet Insurance

Pets Best Insurance

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Petplan Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance

it really all depends on what you want to pay now for what may or may not happen later. they can include the yearly things like physicals, check ups, teeth cleaning and go all the way to cancer prevention and treatment.

look very closely at the fine print, not all of the costs of the procedures/treatments are fully covered, or the deductible may not make it worth even going through the insurance.

and in the meantime, i’ll continue to pray to St. Francis of Assisi that he keeps our animals safe and blessed

i hope this helps J – looking forward to seeing more pictures of the pups!