Choking…Don’t Panic



“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Chocking is something very scary to witness, although it is a very rare occurrence, it’s good to be prepared.

Signs: Symptoms may include noisy breathing, gagging, breathing difficulty, severe respiratory distress, or complete inability to breathe. Often a pet is noted to be playing with or chewing on a rawhide (which we all know you should not be giving to your dog), toy, or other object prior to onset of symptoms.

Action: First and foremost, use extreme caution and good judgement to avoid getting bitten. If you can safely do so, examine your pets mouth to determine if you can see a foreign object in the mouth or back of the throat. If an object is visible, you may attempt to dislodge it using a kitchen utensil such as cooking tongs. Do not use hands or fingers, as saliva will make the object very slippery. Also, there is risk of being severely bitten, especially if your pet is distressed. The Heimlich maneuver can be performed only if a foreign object is visible in the back of the throat and it cannot be dislodged any other way. Grasp your pet around the waist and place your hands or fists just behind the ribs. Compress hands upward and inward in a few short, quick bursts. Afterward, carefully check the mouth to determine if the object had been dislodged. Please be aware that performing the Heimlich maneuver on a pet that is not chocking can result in internal injuries. 

Even if you are successful in removing a foreign object, examination by a veterinarian is strongly advised due to potential for injury to the airway or lungs.

Information Courtesy of : Lakeshore Pet Emergency Resource Guide

Training Tip: It is important for your dog to know some basic commands before starting agility training such as wait, sit, stay and recall with distractions.

Training tip provided by: Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Trainer

Please use the link above to register for various training classes from Obedience, Service Dog, and Agility training.

FUN FACT: Gidget was the Taco Bell Chihuahua from Feb 1994-July 2009. Although Gidegt was a female she portrayed a male dog in the franchise commercials.



Pawsitively Healthy Lovin!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

As part of Responsible Pet Owner Month and Pet Health Awareness Month we compiled some key things you should be aware of. The 20th was also Love Your Pet Day and the 23rd is National Biscuit Day. Take advantage of the unusually warmer than normal temperatures and take your dog for an extra long walk to help take care of the “spring fever” they feel this time of year for Love Your Pet Day (along with extra hugs and kisses too!). It’s also Pet Dental Awareness Month so to combine this with National Biscuit Day I will be including a Fresh Breath Biscuit recipe below.
Feed a Good Diet
Work with your veterinarian or breeder to find the food that is best for your dog’s age, size and activity level. Keep the diet consistent. Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water.
Dogs need regular exercise to ensure continuing good health. Take your dog for walks, run around in the yard, throw a ball around – anything to get him up and moving. This will benefit his health and could prevent behavior problems.
Dogs should follow a strict schedule of vaccinations to prevent diseases. Keep your dog current on his vaccinations, following the schedule recommended by your veterinarian. Keep a copy of your dog’s vaccination records handy.
Prevent Disease
You can take steps to prevent other diseases not covered by the regular series of vaccinations. Depending on the area of the country you live in, your dog could be at risk for diseases such as heartworm and Lyme disease.
Know Your Dog’s Patterns
You should become familiar with your dog’s patterns in terms of eating, drinking, sleeping and relieving himself. Any major variations in these patterns could indicate illness and should be reported to your vet.
Provide Appropriate Chew Toys
Dogs never outgrow the need to chew. Protect your possessions by providing a variety of chew toys to satisfy your dog’s urges.
Regular Grooming
All dogs should be groomed and bathed regularly for health and best appearance. Over bathing can be harmful to a dogs skin. Some short-coated breeds need just a quick brushing every week, while some longer-coated breeds need daily brushing to prevent matting and to reduce shedding. If your dog requires clipping or sculpting, you may want to consult a professional groomer.
Clip Those Nails
Keeping your dog’s nails short will keep him comfortable, prevent injury to his feet, and may save the surface of your floors. If you can hear your dog’s nails click on a hard surface, they need to be trimmed.
Clean Those Teeth
To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, clean your dog’s teeth regularly. Most dogs will accept a “toothbrush” if introduced to it slowly and gently. You can also give your dog products such as hard biscuits, rope bones and nylon chews to keep his teeth clean.
Prevent Obesity
Keep your dog healthy by maintaining him at an appropriate weight. Feed him a well-balanced diet and give him plenty of exercise. Don’t give in to begging – “people food” is generally bad for dogs.

Know Your Breed’s Health Risks
You should be aware of common health problems in your breed, how to prevent them, and how to recognize their onset. For example, some giant breeds are prone to bloat, while some short-faced breeds are prone to respiratory problems.
Protect From Poisons
Make sure that your home and yard are free from poisonous substances, such as antifreeze, which tastes good but can cause serious illness or even death. Keep your veterinarian’s number handy in case of accidental ingestion.
Be Alert to Changing Needs
As your dog ages, his needs will change. He may require a different diet, need more sleep, and be less active. Do what you can to keep him comfortable. Your dog may not be as “fun” as he once was, but he is the same dog you loved as a puppy. You should do everything you can to pamper him in his final years.
End Suffering
If, due to illness or old age, your dog reaches a point where his quality of life is severely compromised, arrange to end his life humanely. Letting go is sometimes the kindest thing you can do. Don’t prolong the suffering because you fear the pain of losing your dog.

Information Courtesy of: American Kennel Club

Fresh Breath Biscuits

1.5 cups gluten free flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup each of finely chopped Parsley, Mint and non-fat dry milk

1 large egg

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon honey

In large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. In separate bowl lightly beat egg. Add water and honey. Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until dough forms. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead by hand 2-3 times. Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes using any cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for approximately 5-10 mins. Be sure to check for doneness throughout cooking time. Ovens may vary.

Be sure to use the link above to register for classes ranging from Agility, Puppy Play House and Obedience. Registering for Trilogy offers the best value plus membership benefits.

Training Tip: Make sure when going to the Vet, the Petstore or Training class that you have the right tools with you. Lots of treats, a six foot leash and an appropriate training collar (if needed). 

Training tip courtesy of Amanda Mondloch a RUFF Academy trainer.

FUN FACT: Toto the dog of the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie was actually a female Cairn Terrier. 







The Paws Have It!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

As part of National Pet Health Awarness Month we will be covering “Paw Pads”.

Paw pads really need good nutrition to keep replacing dead cells with new healthy cells. If nutrient metabolism (I.e. Iron, copper, zinc, vitamins A and D, etc.) is not normal due to a diseased liver, then skin/paw cells will not make enough new cells and/or the new cells will not be healthy and be a normal surface barrier.


Allergies are a common cause of chronically irritated feet in dogs. Allergies to pollen, mold, mites, ingredients in food, etc. can make a dog’s feet very itchy. In response, dogs lick and chew and the skin becomes red, even itchier, and often times infected. Treatment may involve avoiding potential allergens (if possible) and/or medications.

Autoimmune Issues

If your dog is excessively licking his paws and experiencing swollen or cracked, reoccurring lesions or blisters that spread to more than one paw it could be an autoimmune disease. Dogs, like humans, have an immune system that’s responsible for fighting off foreign cells within their body. With autoimmune disease the immune cells turn on the healthy normal cells and try to destroy them.

While autoimmune issues are rarely curable they can be kept under control with corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medications. Secondary bacterial infections may be treated with antibiotics and medicated baths.

Although it may seem like a simple thing, regular examination of your dog’s paw pads can be a revealing and effective element in maintaining your dog’s health. We encourage dog owners to pay attention to even small changes in their dog’s health. Make a point of looking over their dog’s feet when they’re healthy so they will know the difference if there’s a change.

It’s like us looking at the bottom of our shoes. You’ll notice that they probably don’t wear the same because you may not be bearing your weight the same on both feet. That can have an effect on how your hips and joints are supported which can lead to greater problems down the road. The sooner we catch things like this the better chance we can prevent something more serious.

Information courtesy of : PetMD

Training Tip: Make sure to use your very best treats (jackpot treats) to get your dog’s attention. When you know you are going to a training class (use the link below to register for multiple classes) or going to a public area with lots of distractions. Some examples of  jackpot treats are freeze dried chicken hearts, freeze dried liver, hot dogs and string cheese just to name a few.

Training tip courtesy of: RUFF Academy dog trainer Amanda

Be sure to check out our website using the link above to register for various classes such as Obedience, Agility, Puppy Playhouse and much, much more. Trilogy offers the best value and additional perks offered only to members!

FUN FACT: The smallest dog in the world according to Guinness Book of World Records is a female Chihuahua named Millie. She measured 3.799 inches or 9.65 centimeters on February 21, 2013


Say Cheese!!!




“Two Paws up Tuesday”

February is not only the month of LOVE it’s also National Pet Dental Health Awareness Month, Responsible Pet Owners Month, Pet Health Awareness Month, Love your Pet Day and National Biscuit Day!

With all that said, we have a lot to talk about this month. And to start off the month we are going to talk about Periodontal Disease in Dogs.

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of some or all of a tooth’s deep supporting structures. Today, it is one of the most common diseases in dogs. If food particles and bacteria are allowed to accumulate along the dogs gum line, it can form plaque, which, when combined with saliva and minerals, will transform into calculus. This causes gum irritation and leads to an inflammatory condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis, which is evidenced by a reddening of the gums directly bordering the teeth, is considered to be an early stage of periodontal disease.

After an extended period, the calculus builds up under the gum and separates it from the teeth. Spaces will form under the teeth, fostering bacterial growth. Once this happens, the dog has irreversible periodontal disease. This usually leads to bone loss, tissue destruction and pus formation in the cavities between the gum and teeth.

Symptoms and Types

Periodontal disease generally begins with the inflammation of one tooth, which may progress if not treated during different stages of the condition. A dog with stage 1 periodontal disease in one or more of its teeth, for example, will exhibit gingivitis without any separation of the gum and tooth. Stage 2 is characterized by a 25% attachment loss, while stage 3 involves a 25-30% attachment loss. In  stage 4, which is also called advanced periodontitis, there is more than 50% attachment loss. In the most advanced stage of the disease, the gum tissue will usually recede and the roots of the teeth will be exposed.


Periodontal disease can be caused by a variety of factors. In dogs, the most common causes are the Streptococcus and Actinomyces bacteria. Canine toy breeds with crowded teeth, and dogs that groom themselves, carry a higher risk of acquiring the disease. In addition, poor nutrition will also contribute to the onset of the condition.


The diagnosis of periodontal disease involves a number of procedures. If periodontal probing reveals more than two millimeters of distance between the gingivitis-affected gum and tooth, a dog is considered to have some form of periodontal abnormality.

X-rays are extremely important in diagnosing periodontal disease because up to 60% of the symptoms are hidden beneath the gum line. In the disease’s early stages, radio graphic imaging will reveal loss of density and sharpness of the root socket (alveolar) margin. In more advanced stages, it will reveal loss of bone support around the root of the affected tooth.


The specific treatment for periodontal disease depends on how advanced the disease is. In early stages, treatment is focused on controlling plaque and preventing attachment loss. This is achieved by daily brushing with animal safe toothpaste (see below for recipe), professional cleansing, polishing, and the prescribed application of fluoride.

In more advanced stages, bone replacement procedures, periodontal splinting, and guided tissue regeneration may become necessary.

Living and Management

Follow-up treatment for periodontal disease consists mostly of good dental care and weekly, quarterly, or half-yearly checks. Prognosis in dogs will depend on how advanced the disease is, but the best way to minimize the adverse affects caused by the disease is to get an early diagnosis, adequate treatment and proper therapy.


The best prevention is to maintain good oral hygiene and to regularly brush and clean the dogs mouth and gums.

Information courtesy of PetMD

Homemade Tooth Paste:

2 tbsp Baking Soda

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 drop of Mint or Peppermint Oil

Mix well, Use a damp microfiber cloth and apply a small amount of paste on cloth (re-wet if needed). Using your finger in the cloth rub on teeth and massage the gums.

Training Tip: Have a teething puppy? Freeze baby carrots and give them to your pup. They can have up to 5 carrots a day. Frozen Kongs stuffed with all Natural Peanut Butter works great. If your puppy is chewing on something they shouldn’t you can take a spray bottle with a vinegar and water mixture (equal parts) or purchase Bitter sprays at the local pet store. Spray the area being chewed, remove the puppy from the area and replace what the pup is chewing with an acceptable item/toy of their own.

Nothing replaces taking your puppy to a professional trainer. Use the link below to register for classes. For a happy, well behaved puppy take a look at the Trilogy Packages offered at RUFF Academy. Not only are the program’s great but the trainers are too!

FUN FACT: No 2 Dalmatians are spotted alike. The breed can have anywhere between 50-500 spots, of colors black, brown, dark blue, lemon, orange, and grey.