Sunday, August 30, 2015

Introducing the Best of All Things Dog Blog:

Find me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter

(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2009
Tanner Invites You to Read On...
Scrolling through my archives the other day found me wondering how any new visitor to the blog would ever find my best posts. Tanner and I put on our thinking caps and came up with a brilliant idea:

This link will take you to a list of YOUR favorite posts. No, I'm not bluffing. My really geekie analytics program tells me which posts and what topics are most popular with my readers. If you'd like to explore some of our more oft-read articles, you need only click on the sub-heading just above this paragraph to find a list of these posts. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Inspire Your Dog's Instincts for Brain Work

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Add Yourself or a Toy for Swimming "Work"
Just like my dogs, each of yours come from a rich history of jobs that they were once trained for and worked at daily. Even if your pup is a Heinz 57 mix, he has likely got a strong suit of instincts that can help you guide him through activities that will work his brain, helping to keep him young. Finding these interests will be key to working your senior dog as he ages and is less able to handle extensive, physical activity.

Not sure what your dog's instincts are? You may want to pick up a DNA test kit to see what your particular Fido's primary breed profile looks like. This should aid immensely in finding out what you can do to find Bowser's favorite activity.

Some of you may think your dog is not much more than a lap warmer. Dogs like Oliver, for
Dogs With Jobs Live Longer,
Happier Lives
example, started their breed development as attendants to queens, acting as daily companions. Oliver's breed history as a companion dog--despite his puppy mill breeding--has bode well in his new job as a Medical Alert service dog. He keeps tabs on me quite attentively, rarely losing focus except for the occasional social opportunity. I can't complain about that; a social life is healthy for us all.

Tanner, on the other hand, has a strong Retriever DNA thread. His instict for retrieving is so strong, in fact, that I have witnessed several episodes in which he cornered a live critter, only to sit and await my arrival and instructions. There's no killing instinct in him, which I am told is true to a pure Golden--the need to return the downed animal to his handler without damaging it. Who knew?!!! 

Retrieving is an activity that involves both mind and body, a good combination to keep your pup young and alert. Using his brain to solve problems and follow through on a job helps to keep him young.

All that said, I've been able to put my boys to work in ways that best suit them. To maintain the health of Tanner's hips, he is now spending a greater share of his exercise time swimming and fetching in water. These activities put little weight on his joints, while helping maintain the strength in his muscles. 
A photo posted by Carrie Boyko (@allthingsdogblog) on

Today's exercise involved retrieving 7 toys from the pool and returning them to a pile. This is an activity we have developed since he mastered the toss and return game at a young age. I wanted to keep him learning. 

Oliver's job requires his keen observation skills and attention to my scent. If there's a shift in this, he's up and in my face, letting me know it's time to take action. All seems to be well in his world as long as he is able to be near me. What's not to like about that?!!!

We hope you have enjoyed some of our other #SilverSlippers tips for enhancing the benefits of your senior's walks. These techniques can be used with any and all dogs, but are designed specifically to give your seniors some extra challenge, rather than extra physical work. 

Theming a Dog Walk
Putting Pet in Your Senior Dog's Step
Inspire Your Dog Walks

Happy tails,

Follow Me on Pinterest instagram

Monday, March 23, 2015

Behind the Wheel: 7 Safety Tips

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

Tanner ALWAYS Rides in the Back
I have a couple--sometimes 3--favorite tagalongs for errands, dog park visits, checking in with Grandma and other fun outings that are dog-friendly. With each passing year I seem to learn new things that help me to maintain a safe drive for all participants. Hopefully you'll take a minute to soak these up:

  1. Always use crash-tested seatbelts and harnesses, attached to either the car's seatbelt system or the cargo tie downs. These could save not only your dogs' lives, but also your own. You don't want a dog in your lap while trying to maneuver during a potential accident situation, nor do you want a flying dog to hit you or the windshield in case of an accident. Securely fastening your pups using an unbreakable harness and seatbelt are essential. As American Express would say: Don't leave home without it.
  2. If your pint-sized pup is accustomed to riding up front, please, please, please,
    Locked and Loaded
    in the Back
    evaluate your airbag situation. Older models may not have them; newer models may have ones that cannot be turned off. The latest models have on/off switches or are automatically turned off when no weight is on the seat. Know your car's potential for deployment in the passenger seat. When in doubt, move your toy-sized dog to the back.
  3. If you assess your front and side airbag situation and determine that your pup is safe from a deployment, there's still one additional safety matter to attend to. While carseats do generally include seat attachments and clips for the dog's harness, these rarely are made to withstand the pressure of an impact, leaving your pup at risk of a snapped tether, forcing him into projectile mode. Avoid this by assuring the carseat is secured by the automobile seatbelt, and then attach your pup to the seatbelt using a crash-tested harness and tether. I know this sounds like a mouthful, but once it's in place, it only takes a few seconds to hook your pup in when you head off for some fun. Let's make sure you both arrive alive.
  4. When carrying a single, small dog in the back seat, use either a folded seat back to raise his level, or place an elevated carseat in the center. The center of the back seat is the safest place for your pup in the event of a collision. Be sure that the carseat you select includes the option to secure it to the car's seatbelt, and purchase a separate crash-tested carseat harness and tether to keep Fido safely in his seat at all times.
  5. Your medium to larger dog must always ride in the back seat or on the forward-folded platform behind you, with a seatbelt harness tethered to the luggage tie downs or the car seatbelts. This safety measure will keep Fido from trying to join you up front, interfere with your concentration or your ability to steer, see ahead and control the vehicle. These safety concerns are just as important as his own safety.
  6. Remember that one of the most common injuries our pets' doctors see is foreign objects in our dogs' eyes. Despite the joy your dog exhibits when riding with his head out the window, for his safety you should keep the windows closed or at least only cracked, to protect his peepers from injury.
  7. Finally, consider loose items in the cabin area of the car. Anything heavy enough to cause harm should be tied down or placed in the floor area where they are least likely to come into contact with your pup. 
Secure Heavy Items to Protect Your Pets
Now, it's your turn. What are some other safety tips for your dogs when riding in the car? Hit the comment button and share your thoughts.

Happy riding,

Follow Me on Pinterest instagram
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by A Mommy's Blog Design (© Copyright 2011)
Header Banner created by Bill Henderson Design