Sunday, March 30, 2014

Changing Dog Food



dog dish, dog bowls, image shows dog food, Pet SuppliesWe recently had to change our dog food because it was no longer available. The manufacturer stopped making it. Our dog, Whirly, is a 12 year old Maltese and we are concerned with his dietary requirements. I wanted to give you a few tips on how to change food with as few as possible problems.

Things to consider is; type of food you are currently feeding your pet, ingredients, and your pet's needs.

Finally, when you do find the food you want to transition your pet to, do it gradually. To prevent stomach upset or an adverse reaction, gradually add the new food to the old food so your dog can become acclimated easily over several days.

What type of food do you feed your dog?
I highly recommend researching brands, quality, and what ingredients your dog food has and then consider the food you are transitioning to. If you currently feed your dog an inexpensive grocery store brand, think about changing to a more expensive specialty food. You will use less, your dog will feel and look better, and you will have peace of mind that your pet will be getting quality ingredients without fillers or by-products.

Ingredients.
What is the age of your dog? Activity level? Any allergies or special diet needs?
Many inexpensive dog foods are filled with by-products, fillers, or poor quality ingredients that can cause health problems for your dog. Even if your dog doesn't have any special requirements, it is still a good idea to go with dog food that has holistic, all natural ingredients. For example: deboned chicken (rather then chicken byproduct), rice or potato flour, wild salmon or fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc.

Does your dog have special needs? 
Understand that puppies have different dietary needs then adults or seniors. Read the Nutrition Fact Box on the label and choose the proper amount of proteins, fat, and other nutrients needed for your dog.

Your dog is part of the family. Feed them like you would any member of the family you love. Their health and happiness is so important and choosing the right food is vitally important.




Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dog Shirts, Made the Correct Way




I have struggled over the past few years, since adopting our little Maltese dog, to get pet clothes and dog apparel that is good quality and fits correctly.

I have listed a dog t-shirt with a cute fire engine and dalmatian print on jersey knit fabric. (as seen in picture)

I purchased several dog shirts from various "Big Box Stores" such as Walmart, Petco, Petsmart, Target, and a few others. We sat and took them apart and really studied how they were made. Here is what we found:

  • Thin, poor quality fabrics.

  • Not all seams were properly sewn together.

  • The pattern wasn't cut correctly and areas in the seams had been folded over and then sewn together, adding several weak layers of fabric.

  • Sizes where smaller then they type of dog they were supposed to fit.

  • Fabric was not preshrunk, after washing as suggested by the manufacturer the garment decreased in size significantly.

What does all these mean to you, the pet owner who's looking for a quality dog shirt and spending $10-20 of your hard earned money?
Answer - You will get something that's not going to last and will fall apart after a few washings, or even a few times of your dog wearing the pet clothes.

I spent some time really studying how these dog clothes were manufactured. And I looked at the dog apparel and pet clothing patterns I had, as well as reviewing my own designs. The end result was a re-designed quality dog shirt, that will fit your dog better, uses quality designer fabrics, and are made to last keeping sharp attention to every detail.

Now, when you purchase dog apparel and pet clothes from Whirly Dog Supplies, you can have the confidence that you are buying a product that is of the highest quality, attention to detail makes the workmanship better then the rest, will fit your dog properly, and is designed to last!





Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Help for Stray Dogs in Sochi Russia



Sad homeless puppiesThe 2014 Winter Olympics just ended and the problem with stray and homeless stray dogs in Russia has come to light around the world.

Journalists, athletes, and celebrities have been shocked by the number of stray dogs and are hoping to adopt. There are an estimated 4,000 strays in Sochi alone. Russia states they are aware of the problem and are doing what they can to help.

Stray dogs aren't just a problem in Sochi alone. Worldwide there is around 200 million but do to the Olympics, the problem in Russia has been brought to the attention of the world. We are so thankful to those Olympians who are trying to help by adopting and getting these loving creatures homes, such as athletes like Gus Kenworthy.

If you are interested in getting  dog to the United States, it's not as hard as you would think... You can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention checklist regarding bringing animals into the United States. The CDC's website will give you all the information needed for the importation of pets to the United States; certificates of general health, vaccinations, airline restrictions, etc.




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Changes Coming to Dog Hoodies

dog hoodie made by whirly dog supplies, cute dog apparelHere at Whirly Dog Supplies, we have been making dog hoodies for about two years now and it's always been a struggle to make the hood on the jacket just the right size to meet our customer's needs. Like people, dogs have different sized heads, also to complicate things, they come in different shapes depending on the breed.

Our dog, Whirly, which is a Maltese has a small round head. Your "standard issue" dog hood on dog jackets notoriously fall down over his face. I have tried to design the hood using my dog as well as others to get them to come to just the eye brow area. But the other week a good friend, who is also a colleague (who makes and sells the most beautiful afghans on etsy, QuailCreekCreations) and a customer suggested that I start putting a draw string in the hoodies. She has a Maltese as well and finds it very hard to get the hoods of jackets not to fall down over the dog's face.

We went out to the fabric store yesterday and did some searching and found some material to use for draw strings, over the coming weeks I will be redesigning the hood portion of our dog hoodies/dog jackets and using them on some test subjects... stay tuned for updated news and info! They are going to be great.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dog Grooming, Not Easy



Whirly, the model of pet clothes and dog apparel sold at whirly dog supplies online stores.Depending on the breed of dog you have, dog grooming and be quite difficult. We have a Maltese, the model for pet clothes and dog apparel at Whirly Dog Supplies, and it took us over two days to get hi groomed to where he looked good.

If you are going to going to groom your pet, here's a few things you will want to keep in mind and have on hand before you begin:

Proper tools

  • Wash and brush your dog first

  • Use quality tools - clippers that have changeable blades and not the snap on plastic guards (the plastic guards simply don't work well)


A person to assist

  • Someone to hold the dog or lift the dog up in the air when grooming the legs and underside makes the job so much easier!


Patience

  • It takes time and looking and re-looking at your pet to see if there are errors or missed areas that need to be touched up!


We worked on Whirly for three hours trying to give him a "puppy cut" and we thought it looked acceptable but the next day I noticed the little dog had lots of choppy looking areas and the lower legs and feet needed to be touched up. So I had to do a little more clipping and trimming and now he looks good.

!whirly after he had been groomed.Whenever possible I am taking him to a professional groomer rather then trying to do it myself. If I ever try this endeavor again, I will make sure to spend a few hundred dollars for some quality grooming clippers... proper tools and assistance is a must

We would love to hear your stories and see pictures of your dog after you have groomed them. Feel free to comment below and tell us your experiences!




Monday, February 3, 2014

Dog Food and Dental Health



Is crunchy dog food better then soft for dental health?
We would love to hear your comments.

[caption id="attachment_213" align="alignleft" width="210"]dog dish, dog bowls, image shows dog food, Pet Supplies Is dry dog food best for your pet's oral health?[/caption]

I have always been taught growing up with dogs, that it's better to feed your pet dry dog food because as they chew it, it cleans their teeth. Now, I have a Maltese who was rescued from a puppy mill and has only three teeth left. He was used as a stud dog and he was neglected, leading to severe tooth decay and ultimately removal of several teeth.

Whirly, our adopted dog and the model for Whirly Dog Supplies pet clothes and dog apparel, is now in great health and his three remaining teeth are always clean and healthy. We buy dry kibble and add water to soften it so he is able to chew it and swallow without choking. I adopted him three years ago and to this day his teeth are always free from plaque buildup. So what does this say about the theory of Dry Dog Food is Better for the Dental Health of a Dog?

I recently read an article, "Is Dry Food Best For Pet's Teeth?" on Embrace Pet Insurance's website, discussing this very subject. It's a big debate and according to the article, some crunchy dog food has very little effect on removing plaque while others may help. This is due to several factors, such as: does your dog "gulp" down their food without chewing it? What are the ingredients in the food? What are your dog's metabolic needs? etc...

In summery... it may depend on they type of dry dog food, the ingredients of the food, or even the way your dog eats their food.




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dogs, Abscesses and Infections






Please Note: Some images are graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers.
Image in the article is of a dog's rectal area abscess that has ruptured.

So many times if our pets get sick we tend to wait it out, which may lead to serious consequences. It's so important to be diligent in caring for your pets and seek medical advice right away if something is wrong.

little maltese dog who is sick and cuddling in his bedI wanted to share my story of Whirly, the pet apparel model from Whirly Dog Supplies, who became ill and gave me quite a scare over the past couple of weeks, hoping that my experience may help others.

On Tuesday, January 14th 2014, afternoon my partner took Whirly for a walk on the way to pick up the mail. Whirly stopped to go to the bathroom and seemed to be straining to poop, which is very unlike him. Also, it was only a small amount.

The same situation occurred the next morning. This was quite concerning because Whirly never has problems going to the bathroom. Furthermore, the entire day he seemed lethargic and didn't have his normal "spark" and sweet personality. When I would pick him up to carry him, his entire body would tense and he would push his head into my chest. Upon sitting him down, where ever I put him is where he stayed (for hours). It seemed he didn't even want to walk. I researched as much as I could on the Internet and came up with all sorts of possible causes, I gave him plain white rice (cooked) with water, to the consistency of a thick soup or stew. He ate it readily. I figured I would wait through the night and see how he was the next morning.

I determined that Whirly may need to go to the Veterinarian, so I was prepared to leave immediately. When I took him down to go to the bathroom, he struggled for a few minutes to poop and then toppled over on his side. He just layed there with his legs stretched out, looking up at me helplessly. I picked him up and took him to the vet.

The doctor examined him and she had found a lump in the middle of a large swollen area on the left side of his bottom. She told me that I did the right thing by bringing him immediately to get medical attention. However, she couldn't determine the problem. The lump was soft but when she poked it with a needle, nothing came out, she said it's not abscessed otherwise blood or mucus would have been present. She tried expressing the anal glands but they were empty. The last thing she said it could be was Cancer, however cancerous tumors where usually hard, however it could be the early stages. If it was a bacterial or viral infection it may have been caused by him licking something like a blade of grass or even the floor and then licking his anal region, spreading it, and causing the infection. There was too many possibilities at this time.

She prescribed antibiotics, I took him home, and gave him tons of love. Over the coming days he began to get a little more energy and seemed much happier even though his rear end seemed painful. Monday morning I took him out for his routine "potty walk" and he seemed fine! But as we were coming in, I noticed his entire back end was covered in blood. The lump had ruptured. When I got him inside, I put him in a warm bath and washed all the blood off (carefully) wrapped him in a towel and took him back to the vet.

The doctor stated that it was an abscess and it had finally formed and broke. She wasn't going to do surgery to remove the area infected, she suggested we wait and let it heal in on itself. I am to continue the antibiotics until they are gone (about 4 more days) and twice per day wash the wound with antiseptic wash, along with giving him an anti-inflammatory. The picture below shows the abscess after it had been emptied and clean.rectal abscess on a dog

After only one day, you would think nothing was wrong with Whirly. He seems so happy and playful. This puts me at so much more ease. I was so scared I was going to lose him. He is an older dog, approximately 12 years old, and just like people dogs become weaker and need a little more TLC, tender loving care. It is so very important that we watch our pets and observe changes in behavior, diet, activity, and overall health.

No matter what... If your dog is experiencing any problems with their health TAKE THEM TO A DOCTOR!!!