Barks & Bytes

Dear Labby: Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?

Dear Labby: Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?

Dear Labby,   We just rescued a 12-week old pup from the local shelter. We think he is a Lab/Pit/Boxer mix or at least that’s what they told us. He is so cute and we have lots of fun with him. We’re planning on taking him to puppy classes soon. The only thing that bothers me is that... »

SlimDoggy Health Check: Muscular & Skeletal Systems

SlimDoggy Health Check: Muscular & Skeletal Systems

A dog’s muscular system, like humans, is designed to support movement. A basic understanding of the major muscles and how they work together is important to help you diagnose any potential issues and determine whether it is a muscular, skeletal or a nerve disorder. We will look at all three, b... »

What’s Up with Maggie?

What’s Up with Maggie?

Those of you that follow our blog know that we rescued our Lab, Maggie about three years ago. She came to us from a Lab Rescue who had removed her from a breeder, a breeding farm really. Her condition was not good, both physically and mentally. She was extremely fearful and didn’t eat for thre... »

Coyote Season

Coyote Season

In the area we live there are a lot of coyotes. Sometimes we see and hear them all the time, sometimes we don’t see or hear them for months.   This time of year, when new pups are born we see and hear them A LOT. Almost every night they gather in the fields across from our house and discu... »

Dear Labby: Why Do My Dogs Feet Smell Like Fritos?

Dear Labby: Why Do My Dogs Feet Smell Like Fritos?

Dear Labby,   Whenever I sit down to pet my dog, he typically rolls over on his back so I can rub his belly. When he does he sticks his feet right in my face and I notice his paws smell like Fritos. What’s up with that?   Frito-bandito   Dear Bandito,   We should have menti... »

5 Reasons NOT to Get a Dog

5 Reasons NOT to Get a Dog

We love dogs. We can’t imagine our life without dogs in it. There is much written about the benef its of owning a dog, the fun that they are, the security they bring, the unconditional love. That’s why we love having them in our life. But you don’t usually see much written about th... »

SlimDoggy Health Check: Fungal Diseases

SlimDoggy Health Check: Fungal Diseases

Next in our SlimDoggy Health Check series on dog diseases are fungal diseases. A fungus is any member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. Wikipedia   Many types of fungus exist in the environment... »

Would You Rather?

Would You Rather?

Jack was bored the other day and wanted to play a game of Would You Rather? Wikipedia defines the game as: “a conversation or party game that poses a dilemma in the form of a question beginning with “would you rather”. The dilemma can be between two supposedly good options, such as... »

Should I Spay or Neuter my Pet?

Should I Spay or Neuter my Pet?

Conventional wisdom in the United States says that spaying or neutering your pet is the responsible thing to do. The only “politically correct” excuse for not spaying or neutering is if you were a responsible dog breeder or if you have a pedigree show dog and they are required to be inta... »

SlimDoggy Health Check: Bacterial Diseases in Dogs

SlimDoggy Health Check: Bacterial Diseases in Dogs

Recently we introduced our SlimDoggy Health Check series and provided a list of the different types of dog diseases. The list was long, but our plan is to start at the top and work our way down.   Bacterial diseases “Diseases caused by bacteria. The most common infectious diseases, they r... »

Maggie CREATES a Home

Maggie CREATES a Home

Our Maggie May has been with us for almost 3 years now. It’s been a challenge because she was an extremely fearful girl when she came to our home. She came from a puppy mill breeder situation and had been kept as a breeder mom for 8 years. She got tossed out when she got too old to have pups, ... »

Dear Labby, Help me Choose Our New Dog

Dear Labby, Help me Choose Our New Dog

A few weeks ago, Dear Labby started a new series in response to a letter about adding a 2nd dog to the family. We discussed the factors you should consider in your decisionmaking, including the time and cost involved. In this post, we’ll provide some tips on choosing the right dog for your fam... »

How Protective is Your Dog?

How Protective is Your Dog?

Most of us have dogs because we love them and the fact that they might contribute to the security of our home or our family is just a side benefit. Sometimes I wonder what Jack or Maggie would actually do if someone broke into our home or tried to cause harm to us outside of the home. I don’t ... »

Dear Labby, Should We Get a Second Dog?

Dear Labby, Should We Get a Second Dog?

Dear Labby, We are thinking about adding a second dog to our family. I’d like a medium sized dog that would be a good watchdog, but also a companion for our current dog a six-year old Shepherd/Akita mix. We plan to adopt and wonder if our local rescue is the best place to start? Do you think a... »

Update: Fat Labs at Westminster

Update: Fat Labs at Westminster

Last spring, we wrote a surprisingly controversial piece about the apparent overweight Labrador Retrievers shown at Westminster. Our goal was to call attention to the matter in the hopes of raising some awareness about how far the show Labs have diverged from the Labrador Standard and that judges of... »

SlimDoggy Health Check:  Heartworm Pt. 1

SlimDoggy Health Check: Heartworm Pt. 1

Today we begin a new semi-regular series on SlimDoggy – the SlimDoggy Health Check. In this series, we plan to take a closer look at various canine diseases, their cause, treatment and prevention. Our goal will be to keep each synopsis brief and to the point, with a focus on how fitness and nu... »

SlimDoggy Jack &  Maggie Christmas

SlimDoggy Jack & Maggie Christmas

  We are joining the Special Christmas edition Barks and Bytes Blog Hop Co-hosted by our friends at 2Brown Dogs and Heart Like a Dog. Grab the badge and join the fun!     »

Have You Ever Lost Your Dog?

Have You Ever Lost Your Dog?

LOST DOG. Don’t you hate to see those signs and the sinking feeling it gives you? I thank God we’ve never lost any of our dogs for longer than 15-20 minutes. The longest situation was Tino, of course, but HE knew exactly where he was and exactly where I was, so technically I’m not ... »

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving Day and getting their fill of family, food and fun. Last year we created a great info-graphic with some turkey day advice. We think it deserves a re-post:   And to help prevent you & your pup from over-indulging today, here’s a few arti... »

Dear Labby, Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Clothes?

Dear Labby, Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Clothes?

Dear Labby,   Look at this picture of my dog Tally…she’s lying on top of my flip-flops! What is up with that? She does it all the time, whenever I discard a piece of clothing on the floor, she lies down on top of it – why?   Tally’s mom.     Dear TallyR... »

Don’t Judge a Book (or a Dog) by it’s Cover

Don’t Judge a Book (or a Dog) by it’s Cover

Many years ago, back when I lived in Syracuse, I had a yellow Labrador named Maxine. I’ve written about her before and posted pictures of her and her puppies. She was a wonderful dog, loving and gentle with all. She did have a habit of jumping on you when you came home from work, but that was ... »

The Dangers of Distemper

The Dangers of Distemper

Those of you that follow SlimDoggy know of our dog Tino and if you’ve read Tino’s Tale of Tails you would know the story of his rescue and the fact that he had distemper when we first got him. He was one of the lucky ones, his brother Bernie who we also rescued wasn’t so lucky and ... »

SlimDoggy Jack and Maggie

Five Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month and November is Senior Dog Month, so I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about adopting a senior dog. Our two dogs, Jack & Maggie were both adopted and they are both seniors, so we kill two birds with one stone! When we adopted our first senior, Becc... »

Maggie Masters the Dog Door

Maggie Masters the Dog Door

We’ve written a couple of posts about our Maggie, our fearful girl and how she has really started to come out of her shell, let down her guard and be a dog. A recent post called Maggie Magellan described how she’s getting braver about exploring new things and going off on her own without... »

Walking Multiple Dogs | SlimDoggy

Tips for Walking your Pack

Last week, one of our friends asked us for some tips on walking multiple dogs. She has four rescued greyhounds, so I imagine walking them at once can be a real challenge. We only have two dogs and Jack is a star walker – right to my right, very focused. At one time we had a foster, so I had th... »

Walk Your Dog Week: Day 1

Walk Your Dog Week: Day 1

This week as National Walk Your Dog Week. Since we already walk our dogs every day, multiple times per day, we challenged ourselves to not only continue our daily walks, but to do a different walk every day.   Yesterday, on our first day of Walk Your Dog week we drove down to a neighboring farm... »

Do Dogs Have Favorites?

Do Dogs Have Favorites?

We all know that we have favorite foods, favorite movies or TV shows, favorite books even favorite people. But do dogs? Do dogs really prefer one toy over another or one food over another or one person over another?   My totally unscientific research says ABSOLUTELY!   Let me offer evidenc... »

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets

September is National Preparedness Month and we are asked to “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare”. Being prepared applies not only to the human members of your family, but to your pets as well. I’m not going to rehash the same lists of things to do, or store or buy as there ... »

A Dog Friendly Home

A Dog Friendly Home

A few months ago, we posted a fun infographic from the folks at Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters Blog, (a provider of pet insurance). It contained some great information on different activities for your dog and the benefits to their health of exercise, indoor games, walking, etc.   Well, they are... »

Protecting Yourself and your Dog from Coyotes

Protecting Yourself and your Dog from Coyotes

We live in an area where there are a lot of coyotes. I see them at least once a week and there are frequent stories about them chasing and/or killing small pets in the Los Angeles area. Because of this, I keep a close eye on my dogs and leashed in areas where they might be roaming. Even though the l... »

Maggie Magellan

Maggie Magellan

If you paid even a little attention in history class, you’ve heard of Ferdinand Magellan. If you haven’t here’s the Wikipedia link. Magellan was a 16th century Portuguese explorer who’s 1519 expedition is recognized as the first circumnavigation of the globe. He’s right... »

How is Your Dog’s Hearing?

How is Your Dog’s Hearing?

Here’s another Tale of Tails, Tino edition. A few weeks ago we talked about his sense of hearing and smell when he tracked us down in Big Bear. Today I have another story about his sense of hearing and I bet many of you can relate to this skill.   We live in a gated community (believe me,... »

Can my Senior Dog get Alzheimer’s?

Can my Senior Dog get Alzheimer’s?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, they can. The disorder, called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) in dogs is very similar to the human Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study at the University of Sydney showed that by age 15, over 40% of dogs display at least some of these symptoms.   Sympt... »

Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

What do you do when it gets hot? Crank up the air-conditioning if you’ve got it, right? Go for a swim, take a cool shower, go for a ride in the car with the windows down, eat ice cream. Lots of different things to do when it gets hot.   How about your pets, what do they like to do when it... »

DIY Ball for Blind Dogs

DIY Ball for Blind Dogs

If you follow our blog, you know of our dog Tino and the fact that he went blind around age 9. His blindness never stopped Tino from doing any of the things he loved, including an occasional game of fetch. We searched high and low for a ball that would make a continuous sound and eventually found on... »

Pet Safety Month – Vacation Safety

Pet Safety Month – Vacation Safety

July has been named Pet Safety Month by our friends at BlogPaws. You’ve probably seen many posts throughout the month with lots of tips and reminders about your pet’s safety. Well, here’s another one.   Given that we just got back from vacation, I thought I would focus on vaca... »

Writer’s Process Blog Tour

Writer’s Process Blog Tour

You may have seen some posts recently from other Pet Bloggers about the Writer’s Process Blog Tour. It’s a fun virtual tour designed to share the inner workings of our blogs and our writing process as well as introduce you to other Blogs we enjoy that you may not be familiar with. As par... »

SlimDoggy MythBuster | Dog Aggression or Love?

SlimDoggy MythBuster | Dog Aggression or Love?

Today we’re going to discuss a subject not frequently covered…dog humping. Yes, dogs hump each other, they hump you, they may hump the sofa pillows or a stuffed toy. But why do they hump? Some people say it’s a sign of aggression and dominance, that dogs mount each other as a displ... »

Dear Labby: Bad Breath

Dear Labby: Bad Breath

Dear Labby, I’m afraid to admit this, but my dog has bad breath…really bad…don’t come near me bad. He eats pretty good food, what could be causing this problem?   Awaiting your Answer with Baited Breath   Dear Baited,   There could potentially be many causes fo... »

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Tomorrow is designated Take Your Dog to Work Day by Pet Sitter’s International. Many major companies (Google, Proctor & Gamble, Ben & Jerry’s) and smaller companies allow you to bring your dogs to work everyday. Some don’t, but make an allowance on this special day. I wor... »

Some Fun Dog & Fitness Infographics

Some Fun Dog & Fitness Infographics

We love infographics here at SlimDoggy. They are such a fun way to get across an important message or deliver facts in a fun manner. We’ve done several of our own infographics: SlimDoggy on Pet Obesity SlimDoggy Senior Fit Tips SlimDoggy Fit Tips #1 Tips for Keeping your DogFit #2 SlimDoggy Th... »

The Things We Do for our Dogs

The Things We Do for our Dogs

I was looking for a photo for Wordless Wednesday the other day and came upon this picture of Jack that I took awhile ago and haven’t used yet. He’s walking down a ramp we built off our back deck that goes down into the back yard. We built this ramp – actually it’s the second ... »

Dog Life Spans

Dog Life Spans

Increasing the life span of your dog is a topic we love to read about and write about. We firmly believe that being healthy and fit will help your dog live a longer and happier life. But how long should you expect your dog to live and what can you do to give them a longer life? There are life expect... »

The Human-Animal Bond | HABRI

The Human-Animal Bond | HABRI

Last week at BlogPaws, I was fortunate to meet the folks from HABRI, a research foundation whose mission is to study the benefits of the human-animal bond for pet and human health. HABRI stands for Human Animal Bond Research Initiative and their vision is to “demonstrate that pets and animals ... »

Foxtails: Blessing or Curse?

Foxtails: Blessing or Curse?

I was reading an article the other day about foxtails and the dangers they pose to our pets. We live in an area where there are a LOT of foxtails – on almost every trail we take Jack & Maggie they are growing wild alongside the trail. Once they start to dry, they can become very dangerous... »

A to Z Challenge Wrap-up

Yesterday we finished up our A to Z Challenge. It was a lot of fun and a couple of those letters presented a real challenge to come up with something that would be interesting, but also fit in with the overall SlimDoggy message of food, fitness & fun for healthy pets.   April was a really ... »

Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA)

Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA)

Chances are if you have pets, you have heard of the OFA, the Orthopedic Foundation of America. I know ever since I had my first Lab back in 1980’s, I knew of the OFA and their certification process and I made sure that Maxine had her xrays and was cleared for hip dysplasia before we bred her. ... »

Five Tips on using Incentives to Train Your Dog

Five Tips on using Incentives to Train Your Dog

Today’s A to Z Challenge letter “I” post is about Incentive and how to use Incentives to train your dog. Having Labs, using food as incentives comes natural, but what if your dog doesn’t find food that attractive, how do you incorporate incentives into your training program? ... »

FitDog Friday Anniversary Giveaway

FitDog Friday Anniversary Giveaway

FitDog Friday ONE YEAR Anniversary is coming up on April 4th. To celebrate, we have a fantastic giveaway scheduled – a package worth over $230! Check out the list below.   In addition to this great giveaway, SlimDoggy is also going to be holding a special FitDog Quiz and the winner will w... »

Dear Labby | Treats vs. Food

Dear Labby | Treats vs. Food

Dear Labby, The other day a friend asked me a question about their dog and I thought it was a good question for Dear Labby. Here’s the situation, her dog will only eat treats, she won’t eat her regular food. What’s up with that? Friendly Flea     Dear Flea, That is a good... »

Dear Labby | Does my Dog Love (or Hate) Massage?

Dear Labby | Does my Dog Love (or Hate) Massage?

Dear Labby,    Each evening I sit with my dog Kylie and give her a massage – I run my hands up and down her legs and her feet and do a little back massage too. Sometimes she moans and groans and it’s almost a growl…is she telling me she wants me to stop, or does she like it? H... »

Will the Crufts Lab be as Heavy as the Westminster Lab?

Will the Crufts Lab be as Heavy as the Westminster Lab?

A few weeks ago, we created a bit of a furor in the Labrador Retriever world when we wrote a post about the overweight Labradors who won Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex in the 2014 Westminster show. Our concern about the overweight appearance of these dogs is due to the health related problem... »

SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Do Cats Have Nine Lives?

SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Do Cats Have Nine Lives?

Do Cats Have Nine Lives? This is a myth that has been bothering Jack for quite some time, so we decided to tackle it today. The simple answer is no, cats, just like dogs, have only one life to live. Where did that saying come from?   The idea of cats having nine lives most likely stems from the... »

Want to talk to your Dog? You may need a Dog Decoder.

Want to talk to your Dog? You may need a Dog Decoder.

As a follow-up to last week’s Dear Labby post on the importance of new parents ability to read their dogs behavior in relation to the new baby, I wanted to review a new App we learned about last month. It’s called Dog Decoder and it can be purchased through the iPhone App store for $3.99... »

Dogs and kids – what could go wrong?

Dogs and kids – what could go wrong?

Dear Labby, We adopted a border collie/australian shepherd mix a few years ago and she is as sweet as can be. Our problems started when our daughter was born. At first, Blu was totally in love with the baby and slept by her, protected her, watched over her. But now that the baby is up and walking, w... »

Tale of Tails: Tino – Final Chapter

Tale of Tails: Tino – Final Chapter

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. Author: Unknown Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. Author: Omar Bradley The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your re... »

Jack Takes the Dognition Test

Jack Takes the Dognition Test

We’ve read about Dognition, a cognition & personality assessment for your dog, since it was released early last year. It sounds like a really interesting concept – using brainteasers and puzzles, you can learn how your dog thinks. I’ve been wanting to buy it ($29 for one dog or... »