Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fire in west london

I think Morgana had the right idea this morning of wanting to stay in bed. On top of the first signs of snow one of the warehouses near west fields has been ablaze since before 9am. Its now three hours later and all the electricity has been cut off which has really confused the girls. The good thing is that no one has been hurt but they are expecting this to last a while. At least it means the builders next door won't be making a racket with their drills today.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Health problems in chihuahua puppies

Chihuahuas can live for more than 15 years and when compared to other breeds they have far fewer genetic defects but with their popularity increasing so is poor breeding. To make sure you have a healthy puppy are you able to answer these questions?
  • Is the area clean?
  • How are the puppies/mother with humans?
  • Does the mother look healthy?
  • How old are the puppies?- they should be eight weeks or older when leaving their mother
  • Do the puppies look healthy- make sure they do not have dandruffy coats, runny eyes or noses, signs of coughing, diarrhoea or hair loss
When buying a puppy you should also do some research about what kinds of problems you could encounter as many dog breeds are known to have specific problems.
Here are a few problems found in chihuahuas;
  • Hydrocephalus- this is an extremely painful condition where the head is unusually large compared to the size of the dogs body. This enlarged head is caused by swelling on the brain, dogs who have this have a lot of visible white showing in their eyes which are typically east-west facing (like the opposite of crossed eyes), they also have an unsteady walk, are prone to falling and have seizures.
  • Hypoglycemia- low blood sugar. Most puppies will grow out of this when it is time for them to leave their mum but some will never grow out of it. Dogs suffering from this have an unsteady walk, glassy eyes, limpness and without treatment seizures and death. This is easily treated once diagnosed by simply having a feeding schedule and avoiding sugary treats.
  • Delicate areas- chihuahuas, very much like babies, have a soft spot on the top of their heads which they will not grow out of, don't worry though most will shrink as the dog grows. Around 90% of chihuahuas have this molera so opt away from petting their heads and be careful when handling their head.

Morgana hiding from the hoover

Morgana really doesn't like the hoover, whats really cute is when she hides under things she really believes I can't see her lol.

'Mummy can't see me!'

Doggie Paw Moisturiser

One of my favourite 'luxury' dog products is dog paw moisturiser. Depending on where you live the pavement and weather can really take its toll on paw pads. During the winter Cassies paws tend to dry out quite a lot so we use Shaws Paws Wax, not only does it do the job but it also smells sweet like honey which me and my sister love. (The girls also love it because it means they get a foot rub in the process.)

Shaws Paw Wax is easy to apply and gives your dog extra stability through gravel, asphalt, ice, snow and on a variety of road surfaces. It is usable all year round. You can be rest assured, no more slipping!

Don't let the tin fool you it is actually a quality product. The moisturiser inside is solid but it is pretty much like vaseline for dogs. You also don't have to worry about those little troubles who like to lick and groom themselves as this is perfectly safe. You can either just rub your dogs paws onto the wax or apply a thin smear onto their paw pads which is advisable for dogs with long hair.

This product definitely transforms your little troubles cracked dry paws into soft healthy paws in a matter of days. However, I'm not too sure about preventing slipping, both Cassie and Morgana slip as much as they did before on our wooden floors.

The great thing about this is that it is pretty cheap compared to other products (Shea Butter & Avocado Paw Balm [£12.00]) and lasts for ages, it is available at...

Chihuahua Property Laws

All the chihuahua owners out there will understand how true this is...

Puppy Morgana

I absolutely love it when I find pictures of Morgana as a puppy she was soooo adorable!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Short leads vs extending leads

Both short and extending leads have their advantages and their disadvantages. I believe the kind of lead you use is totally up to what type of dog you have on your hands. Morgana and Cassie are the yin and yang of doggie world, so we have had two completely different experiences with both of these troubles. Morgana took to walkies straight away and walked perfectly but Cassie (check out the harness post) was a different story. However, when in the park Cassie would return if called but Morgana responded better to visual instructions and usually becomes too absorbed in trying to chase pigeons.

The extending lead has the advantages that there is increased freedom in which the dog can walk whilst also having some control compared to having your dog off-lead. There are certain limitations to the extending lead in that a dog can cover distance if you don't have quick reflexes. Also you have to be aware of friction burns if the cable is pulled across skin. These situations can be completely avoided if your dog doesn't suffer from poor lead manners, where it is actually quite dangerous to use an extending lead. To put simply I wouldn't have Cassie on an extending lead but Morgana uses hers frequently.

There has been an increase in some very pretty flexi leads, for Christmas my lovely mother bought me this gorgeous pink and black flexi lead and different styles are becoming available. Compared to the previous versions these flexi leads don't have a cable but something that resembles a normal lead that is retractable, so if you manage to get wrapped up you won't experience the same cable burns.
Flexi Lead

Pretty short leads can also be found, one of my favourites is Pet London, where you have the choice to purchase a matching lead with some of the harnesses. Urban Pup also provide cute collar and lead sets. For those who really want something that stands out you should take a look at the Fabuleash.  These are available in the UK now at stores such as Pets At Home and for under £10.00.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Paws on my nails

I absolutely love it when my sister wants to do my nails, even though it is just her experimenting on me, she always makes my nails look cute. Today, after seeing the paws on my mobile, she painted seriously cute teeny paw prints on my nails for me! Its the first time we've used an nail art pen so its not perfect but check it out (yes I am also wearing my paw print pj bottoms)...

Product Review: Dog Litter Tray

Everyone knows about cat litter trays but litter trays for dogs are less well known. These litter trays aren't meant to replace walkies but to give an area for little bladders who can't always hold it in long enough. All dogs vary in the amount of times they need to visit the toilet, smaller dogs tend to go more often- anywhere from 3-5 times a day (larger dogs can probably manage about 2-3 times a day).

Initially we bought our dog litter tray because Morgana LOVED running off with the puppy training pad. At first we looked at the Simple Solution Puppy Pad Holder [£12.49], but this seemed pretty flimsy and to be honest didn't look like it would last very long. If you are only going to be using this for a puppy who will be growing into a big dog quickly this is perfect for you as it is only temporary and a lot cheaper than dog litter trays.
Simple Solution Puppy Pad Holder

We then found the UGODOG Indoor Dog Litter Tray [£34.99] where the puppy pads could just be placed under a grate. We personally use puppy pads as they are the more absorbent than news papers and it doesn't smell as much. This tray is indestructible as its the only thing we have bought that has lasted 2 years. It is also one of the bigger dog litter trays out there measuring 67cm x 49cm (26.5"L x 19.25"W).

UGODOG Indoor Dog Litter Tray

Since then a lot of other prettier trays have come out, such as the Nugi Indoor Dog Litter Tray Medium Olive & Cream [£37.99]. The difference between the Nugi and the UGODOG, despite the nicer colour, is that the Nugi comes with a reusable pad that is placed in the bottom of the tray which you can be rinsed clean and left to dry before using again (maximum of 50 times). This sounds great but I do get the feeling most people will just end up sticking newspaper or puppy pads underneath anyway. Refill pads come in sets of two for £15.99. This tray is slightly smaller measuring 47.5cm x 54.5cm x 3.5cm (18.75"W x 21.5"D x 3.5"H)

Nugi Indoor Littery Tray

The latest addition to the dog litter trays is the RASCAL DOG LITTER BOX "LITTLE SQUIRT" [£50.00-£70.00]. If I didn't already have a litter tray I most probably would have bought this one. Besides being the prettiest tray, it also has fake grass which makes the litter tray nicer on little paws. Even though Morgana and Cassie have never had an issue with the UGODOG I do like the idea of fake grass. The grass has holes in it which drains the wee, under the grass is a support grid, when cleaning you can remove the grass and grid and simply tip the wee down the toilet, give it a rinse and its good to go. The grass is also machine washable and with high walls, if you have a little boy, its the best dog litter tray for you.

*Please remember these trays are not meant to replace walkies*

The One Show- Dog Prosthetics

Last night I managed to just catch The One Show where they had the Bionic Vet, Noel Fitzpatrick, discussing animal prosthetics. I was truly touched with the lengths that these animal owners went to for their pets. There is a lot of debate about whether it is worth 'putting animals through' procedures discussed on the show and that it might not be right.

Here are the stories they talked about.

The cat who had his back legs cut off by a combine harvester. They thought he had no hope and was beyond repair. Oscar is like any other cat now running around outside.

The dog who was trampled by a horse. The only option was to cut off her leg or leave her leg and put her to sleep. Mitzi was bleeding a lot, her owner opted for the prosthetic leg and could not be happier.

At 14 months he was diagnosed with cancer which was eating away his forearm. Charlie now has a real elbow and a real foot but everything between is metal, but you wouldn't even notice. It has been two years since he was diagnosed and he is a very happy dog.

Oscar and Fitzpatrick

So do these prosthetics involve? Mitzi has an advanced bionic device where a piece of metal was placed through her ankle bone and a prosthetic foot was attached from the outside (an endo and exo-prosthesis). This would not have been possible without the amazing work conducted at University College London, where these implants were designed (similar to that of a deer antler), where skin and bone can grow into a honey-comb web of metal.

Lots of people believe that this kind of procedure isn't possible and many think that it shouldn't be done but watching these animals was extraordinary, to think that any of these animals were going to be put to sleep or that it was being considered that they should be to me seems ridiculous. These types of procedures could also assist in human treatment, even though doctors and vets have diverged Fitzpatrick believes there is a possibility that this could also help people.

The Bionic Vet concluded with the statement 'if its possible why should we not save these animals'.

The episode is available here, the Bionic Vet appears between 35-40mins.


Friday, 27 January 2012

Good thing its not a real rabbit!

The girls love their toys, Cassie in particular loves sleeping with her teddies but today Morgana decided she was going to try and eat Bunnys stuffing out through his ears. Cassie jumped to his rescue and even tucked his ears under her! In the end we had to sacrifice Little Ted to stop Morgana from trying to steal him back. Doesn't Morgana look evil.

New Poll- Favourite film to watch with your pooch?

Hey everyone,

I've added a little poll to the left of this post just above my blog archive.

Favourite film to watch with your pooch?
The choices are...
  • Beethoven
  • Turner & Hooch
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua

You only have a week so get voting!

To vote make sure you click on your favourite film on the poll just below 'About me'.

Cavaliers and their celebrity pets

So we all know the obvious celebrities who have fallen in love with chihuahuas; Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and the amazing Sandra Bullock who rescued a two legged chihuahua. However, it did get me thinking about Cavaliers, there is so much press around chihuahuas I started wondering what other dog breeds were popular amongst the rich and famous. So naturally I went to google and guess what I found? These are just a few Cavaliers with their celebrity owners!
Amanda Bynes
Courtney Cox- Harley and Cooper
Jennifer Love Hewitt- Charlie

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Morgana loves the sound of walkies

I love it when I tell Morgana we're going for a walk, it always makes me laugh when she tilts her head.

Paw prints on my mobile!

My new mobile phone cover has arrived today! My lovely mummy bought me a Samsung Galaxy Ace for christmas (which is an amazing phone) but when trying to find a nice cover I was pretty stuck. Ideally I wanted a chihuahua mobile cover or one I could personalise easily but it just didn't happen then I found the perfect cover on amazon *wiggle*. Even Morgana likes it!

This cover is available for under £4.00 at Amazon, they also have it for blackberry and the iphone!

Where's Cassie?

My mum showed me this photo that she took of Morgana yesterday. Morgana had decided to do her t-rex/ meerkat impression to try and get a treat off of my mum but if you look closely you will see why it made me laugh.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

33,000 years of companionship

Another article in the news today talks about finding domesticated dog bones dating from 33,000 years ago. This skeleton also suggests that dogs didn't have one common ancestor but evolved from several different ancestors. This reasoning comes from several different dig sites in Siberia and Belgium.

They also state that dogs may have been domesticated before any other animal such as sheep and cows. This is pretty significant as it suggests that humans domesticated dogs for other reasons such as protection and maybe even on hunts, compared to cows and sheep which were used for milk, meat and wool etc.

Check out the full article here:

The English Setter

Today in the news I was deeply saddened to see a story that the English Setter breed is becoming 'extinct'. According to the news there is a drop of 33% with under 240 English Setter puppies registered last year. Having a Gordon Setter (part of the Setter family) next door I know what adorable dogs they are but also the extremely high maintenance it takes to look after them.

The reasoning behind this breed becoming 'extinct' (explained by the news) is due to dog owners preferring more 'exotic' breeds. A comparison was then made to more then 6,000 chihuahua puppies being registered which is more than a 25% rise. To add to this further a statement was given by the Kennel Club that 'dogs are not immune from our fickle tastes'.

Even though I am really upset that not as many Setter puppies are being registered, I really don't think the reasoning behind what is happening is really being put across. With the demands of living in a busy city, increasingly smaller apartments, smaller parks and busier lifestyles, I personally think all those small dog owners out there are very responsible for having a dog they are properly care and provide the best for.

I also have the utmost respect for large dog owners out there as I know the care and large amounts of time a larger dog takes. I grew up with an rescued cross breed Alsatian, my grandfather also raised Alsatians, so I really do know what it takes to look after a larger dog. Being in the city I would never dream of owning a big dog without a bigger garden and a big park with several hours free every day to take them there.

To read the whole story check it out here:

Chihuahua mum

I saw this today and it automatically made me think of my mum. My mum always insists that she is not Morgana or Cassie's mummy but that doesn't mean we can't tease her about the fact she really is :p The girls love playing 'find mummy' and 'give mummy kisses' even though it drives my mum crazy. I think this mouse mat is quite fitting!

Its available here from zazzle...

Zazzle- chihuahua mum mouse pad

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Why do dogs lick their owners nose?

Morgana has always enjoyed licking my nose, it is the first thing she does in the morning and its definitely one of the things that really makes her tail wag. Something that has always confused me is that Morgana always licks my nose and my mums (when she lets her) but when it comes to my siblings she would prefer to lick their arms like she is about to munch on them.

So today I decided to do a little googling and see what I could find out. According to some experts this licking behaviour is a form of affection. When puppies are little they lick their mothers mouth so they can regurgitate food for the puppies to eat, but they also display this behaviour as a form of social contact (grooming). This kind of behaviour becomes a ritualistic behaviour between puppies as well as submissive little furbabies and their owners.

Some others believe that dogs noses and mouths have evolved to be extremely sensitive to scents. All humans release pheromones which contain different messages, some studies have shown that human pheromones can be collected on the upper lip. This means that when your little trouble is licking you they could actually be processing all kinds of information you are releasing without even realising it.

However, if you guys out there don't want your dog licking you make sure you find another way of your dog to greet you or display affection otherwise they will get pretty stressed if you just push them away all the time. One such greeting is the rubbing of the tummy, which my little Cassie Bear always does when I see her. Or if that doesn't work just shake hands!

Chihuahua kisses!!!! *lick lick lick*
So really there is nothing wrong that Morganas kissing me and I quite enjoy watching her sneaking up on my mum to lick her nose. One thing is for sure I like the affection and Morgana sure does enjoy it so I see no reason to stop :) But what about Morgana licking my sisters arm? It could be a sign of affection, it might be submission or it could be Morgana just likes my sisters strawberry body lotion :p

Monday, 23 January 2012

10 things you need to know about cavaliers

  1. Cavaliers are seriously affectionate, if you want a cuddle a cavalier king charles is for you.
  2. The cavalier breed are known for having heart murmurs.
  3. Due to their shorter muzzle and long fur they cannot tolerate very warm conditions.
  4. Cavaliers come in three colours: blenheim (red and white), black and tan and ruby.
  5. The cavalier king charles need companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
  6. Due to their smaller size cavaliers can live in apartments but still need regular exercise and at the very least daily walk. They are prone to putting on weight otherwise!
  7. Some people prefer to trim their cavaliers paw hair as it gets very long and can easily become matted and dirty during walks.
  8. Even though they have gorgeous fur, they do shed so grooming is a must if not you might just see balls of fur being blown across your floor.
  9. They are quite intelligent but when it comes to training they are eager to please or just get the treat out of your hand.
  10. They have remarkable eyesight and smell so you had better hide those treats away in an air-tight container!

10 things you need to know about chihuahuas

  1. Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dogs, this makes them very delicate but by no means does their little stature match their personality. 
  2. Chihuahuas come in a range of sizes with different coats; the short or long haired.
  3. They really do not realise how small they are! So you have to be careful with them around children and larger dogs.
  4. Due to their size they don't need as much exercise as larger dogs but this doesn't mean they shouldn't have a walk at least once a day.
  5. Chihuahuas are extremely loyal and become very attached to their owners.
  6. Being highly intelligent they learn quickly and love the attention that comes with it.
  7. They don't need to eat a lot, but that doesn't mean you should share your food with them, because they are little it doesn't take much to poison them.
  8. Poorly bred chihuahuas can suffer a range of serious health problems.
  9. The cold is something chihuahuas HATE! Which is why most chihuahuas, if not all short-haired chihuahuas, need to have a coat when being walked in the winter.
  10. The chihuahua is definitely not just for christmas, they can live beyond 15 years.

Morgana loves her collar, she even likes wearing it as a bracelet

The boxer puppy and the herd of cows

This video was in the news this morning, it was taken when a dog owner was walking their 6month boxer puppy. The puppy's response to the cows is adorable and I'm sure it will make all the animal lovers out there go 'awwwww!'

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Cavaliers and epilepsy

So I've written a post about chihuahuas and pyometra so I thought it would be a good idea to write about Cassies dilemma with epilepsy.

Last summer we noticed Cassie just wasn't acting her usual self then suddenly she started moving her front paws frantically in front of her like she was trying to swim. What was even more worrying was that she looked like she had gone blind and deaf; she wouldn't answer to her name or respond. We called the vet straight away and they had a look at her.

The vet was pretty certain Cassie had an epileptic fit. If you have witnessed your dog having a fit then you will know how frightening it can be. However, it's not something to worry too much about as fits and seizures aren't uncommon in dogs but you must contact your vet when they occur. The vet reassured us that many dogs will only experience a fit once and never again.

Unfortunately a few weeks later Cassie started acting strangely again, this time she refused to lower her head and didn't seem comfortable lying down. Once again we rushed her straight to the vets (our vets are amazing!). Now there is a condition in Cavaliers known as syringomyelia (SM) where the brain becomes too big for the skull (see syringomyelia here). However, the vet did some physical tests, bending the head to see any discomfort etc. and Cassie was absolutely fine.

What we were told was that we had actually seen the final stage of the seizure, and that there were three stages:
  1. The beginning: mood changes, dizziness, headache, nausea...
  2. The middle: confusion, shaking, tremors, stiffening and loss of consciousness...
  3. The final stage: the transition back to normal which may take hours...
It has been over six months since Cassies last seizure but there is no saying if she will have another although our vet thinks this is likely. If she experiences more seizures they are easy to treat through medication.

Here are some facts about epilepsy in dogs:
  • When your dog fits they will actually be unconscious so they cannot hear you or respond
  • Most dogs become stiff, fall onto their side and make running movements with their legs
  • Sometimes they will cry out and they may lose control of their bladder
  • Most fits in dogs last between 1 and 3 minutes
  • Seizures in some dogs are triggered by particular events or stress.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Book Review: Best dog trick book?

Our vet actually recommended buying a dog tricks book to teach Morgana some tricks when she was a puppy because chihuahuas are such intelligent dogs and can get frustrated if they aren't mentally stimulated. She already knew the basics; sit, down, high-5 etc. and she caught on very quickly. So we did some shopping around and I was a bit sceptical about how good some of these books were; I didn’t want to get a book where she already knew most of the tricks or would find them too easy.

Eventually we came across this book...

If I had to say which book to do with dogs was the best I would definitely say this is THE book to have. The book covers the traditional favourites, obstacle course, jumping, dancing, chores and many other cute tricks which you and your little furbaby will love. Morganas favourite trick is peek-a-boo, where she runs up behind me and jumps through my legs to surprise me.
My favourite thing about this book is that in the top corner it states whether the trick is easy, intermediate, advanced or expert, so you have some idea of how hard it is. The tricks are presented in a step-by-step format. It even includes pictures of what to do, the verbal cue and visual cue (as some dogs respond better to visual cues compared to verbal). The book also has a troubleshooting section so if your little furbaby isn’t getting the hang of the trick there are suggestions of what may be going wrong and what you should do instead.

The only down point about this book is that little dogs won’t be able to do absolutely all of the 101 tricks listed in the book such as ‘turn off the light’ but the majority can still be done and the book is definitely worth it for all dog owners.

Check out the book:

The problem with little chihuahuas

This is a major issue when owning a chihuahua, which I'm sure other owners will agree with, they hide under everything! At first we thought we had brought home a meerkat instead of a chihuahua she liked to dig and hide under everything. This is what we have to resort to...

If we didn't label where she was hiding (especially on seats) someone would sit on her because she is amazing at concealing herself. Chihuahuas are masters are hide'n'seek, I have lost count of the number of times I couldn't find Morgana due to her hiding in the house.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Facebook Fan Page!

I almost forgot to post this! I have opened up a facebook page for my teeny tiny troubles! So be sure to go over and like us so you can keep up with all the lastest pictures, videos, reviews & top tips. Please feel free to write on the wall, I would love it if you guys shared your own stories and pictures! :)

Top tip: Bone Treat

We have a problem that our supermarket sells mini treat bones with dried chicken in them but the medium bones are plain. The small bones are too tiny for cassie but she has absolutely no interest at all in the plain ones.

These bones are amazing for cleaning teeth. So how to solve this problem? Try stuffing soft treats into the knots. The treats I think work best are natures menu treats :)

Check out Morgana enjoying the bone stole from Cassie

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Chihuahuas and pyometra

Just before Christmas Morgana became quite poorly. Like any other chihuahua she is very hygienic and licks to groom herself but one day we noticed that she looked like she might have a sore from licking herself a little too much. She had also started growling at my brothers and sister and became increasingly clingy to myself and my mum. After a couple of days it hadn't improved and we noticed tiny drops of what looked like very dark dried blood in her litter tray and we weren't expecting her to go into heat for another couple of months.

Convinced that she might have a bladder infection of some kind off we popped to the vets and thats when we got the news. The vet was pretty sure Morgana had pyometra; a very serious uterus infection in female dogs that have not been neutered. Pyometra is caused by bacteria infecting the uterus when it thickens because a dog does not have puppies. Morgana was only 2 so she hadn't had any puppies and because of Morganas small size I didn't really want her to be neutered.

To check if she did indeed have pyometra a swab was taken and it took a day to get back to us, however, the test results were inconclusive but now there really wasn't an option. Morgana was given a fortnights worth of antibiotics and painkillers to prepare her for surgery. Morgana is very shy and doesn't really like strangers so I was very lucky that it was Morganas favourite vet who would be carrying out the operation.

On the day I dropped her off in their care very early and signed some forms and agreed to a blood test prior to operating. When it came to picking her up she was very very very sleepy. Some dogs come around pretty quickly but Morgana pretty much spent the night sleeping it off. On top of that she had to wear a collar cone which she hated and eventually it seemed to bother her more than the actual stitches themselves.

When asking the vet about what they had found inside of Morgana I was pretty close to tears. After the operation her tummy was noticeably slimmer, it turned out she did indeed have pyometra which had filled most of her uterus with pus which had leaked elsewhere as well as the uterus. I was pretty shocked at what I was told, the only change in Morganas behaviour was an increase in personal grooming and over-protectiveness, both of which disappeared immediately after the operation.

The worrying thing here is that Morgana did really show strong signs of pyometra and if we didn't operate Morgana would have deteriorated very quickly.

Here are the facts about pyometra;
  • It only affects un-neutered female dogs
  • It is more common in older dogs over 6 years of age but Morgana was only 2
  • It occurs around 2 months after the dogs last season
  • She may lick herself more often and go off her food
  • She may drink a lot more
  • She may wet herself
  • Discharge may be visible on her private parts
  • She may start to vomit
  • If untreated the symptoms will worse over a period of days to several weeks
  • If untreated it will lead to dehydration and death from toxic shock (kidney failure)
The only way to prevent pyometra is to neuter your dog. I was very lucky that I have such an amazing vets that I could trust Morgana with and now she only has a little scar on her tummy and is back to her bouncing self.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Strange sleeping positions

Any dog owner out there probably has to retrace their steps and maybe tilt their head a little when watching their pup sleeping... I know I'm no exception especially with my two little troubles...

Morgana today...

Cassie always likes to sleep with a teddy...
I  guess Morgana does love cheese lol...

The dangers of lying on the sofa...
Morgana fell asleep sitting up...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Dog harnesses: when should you use them? Which are the best?

If you have seen the video of Cassies first walk (http://youtu.be/SxASFg6vYI4) you can begin to understand the problem we have when it comes to walkies. Morgana, being the chihuahua she is, was just naturally a little lady and went to the toilet where she was supposed to and walked perfectly outside but Cassie... that was a different story.

Cassie walking? She would be like a horse and pull you along the road, instead of you taking her for walks it would be the other way round. She is deceptively strong. Cassie and Morgana had the same harness as puppies (one in pink and the other red as seen in the video) and Morgana never had a problem with this harness but we noticed when Cassie pulled it caused her to wheeze because of the pressure around her neck and we knew this was hurting her and her neck.

So we did a little research and we found some good reviews about the 'non-pull dog harness'. The harness was easily to put on and worked straight away and stopped Cassie from pulling almost completely and her panting and wheezing stopped. It might not be the prettiest harness ever but it was a miracle. It works by gentley tightening across the chest when the little trouble pulls.

Some people might want to use a 'choke' collar to prevent pulling but I personally believe the non-pull harness has the same effect without the distress. I have recommended this harness to other owners who are taken for walks by their little monsters and I have heard nothing but praise about this harness. Now that Cassie walks with hardly any pulling at all we don't use this harness as much, so we have managed to buy her some pretty harnesses.

So to conclude, the luxury furplast dog harness is perfect for dogs who do not pull (though the little diamonds do come off quite easily). If your dog pulls please give the non-pull dog harness a go it may work for your dog, it could be your quick simple solution too.

Please use a harness if your dog pulls, has a short muzzle or is a small dog as their windpipes are more delicate than the larger breeds.

Check out these links for some harnesses:

Non-Pull Dog Harness from PetPlanet

Padded and Puppia Dog Harnesses from Pet London

Monday, 16 January 2012

Product Review: The Puppy Pen

When buying a puppy there is the typical list of things to get before you bring your little furbaby home.
The obvious list includes;

The essentials
  • Puppy food- it is best to stick with what they have been weaned onto because what you will come to realise is that puppy tummys can get upset easily. So ask the breeder or who you are getting your little bundle of joy from what food they are currently eating. If you want to switch its best to wait a while and slowly introduce the new food mixed with the old over a period of a week or so, that means slowly increasing the new food and decreasing the old.
  • Bowls- water and food bowls are very important. Remember that the puppies and dogs have to have access to water at all times.
  • Puppy pads- the little cutie will need to go to the toilet somewhere and until they have all their jabs no going outside!
  • Puppy bed including blankets
Should you buy a crate?

Now most breeders and pet shops will recommend that you buy a crate when you buy a new puppy, I personally do not like the idea of crates. When we got Morgana she was placed in a crate and my heart nearly broke seeing how terrified she was inside it so she was never put in one again. To be honest my hamsters cage is bigger and much nicer than some of these crates. However, this meant that when we got home Morgana could run rampage in the living room. If you're interested to see what she got up to check out her first night at home http://youtu.be/iAdfp3OkIbE. So everyone went into overdrive trying to find something that could work. So we found the perfect solution: the puppy pen.

The PetGear Puppy Pen can also be collapsed so it is portable, it comes with a bag to put the collapsed pen in, as well as a waterproof base in case of any little accidents. There is a zip panel for access in and out for the little pup. The pen is big enough to put a bed in with some space to move around and unlike a crate this would keeps warm during cold weather. 

I think Cassie liked her puppy pen

This pen is perfect for puppies and small dogs. I would definitely recommend that all owners looking for a way to enclose their new puppy to get a fabric puppy pen.

There are a few on amazon...

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cassies first toy

Just found this video from a year ago of Cassie Bears first day with us and her favourite toy :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Cassies first day at home

Anyone who has had a chihuahua will know how hyper and demanding they can be. It didn't seem right to just have one dog, Morgana seemed to be lonely without her brothers and sisters. It took a couple of weeks of convincing but my mum gave in and our search for the new addition began. At first I was set on getting another chihuahua but my older brother was pretty determined to get a beagle. It was when we were walking Morgana that we came across a king charles cavalier and we knew straight away that cavaliers were definitely for us. Morgana was quite scared of the bigger dogs because she was tiny but a cavalier was the perfect size. 

Luckily enough the breeder of the cavalier we fell in love with had a litter available but there were only two girls left. One little girl had huge puppy eyes and didn't have the typical cavalier spot on the top of her head, whilst the other little girl just seemed to enjoy jumping on her sister. The choice was pretty easy and we reserved the first one straight away. As soon as it came to bringing her home it seemed that all puppies liked turning into little gremlins. Cassie seemed to think that my hair was a toy!

However, unlike Morgana this little cutie really liked her sleep! The differences between the girls is still pretty obvious, Morgana is a little diva who thinks she is the size of a horse whilst Cassie isn't happy unless she is having a cuddle or eating and loves to wag her tail.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Morgana: The little night terror

The first night with Morgana was very entertaining, at least for my mum who insisted that everyone went to bed but Morgana had other ideas! When visiting Morgana several times before we brought her home there was no way you could not love her little angelic face, but as soon as it hit midnight on the day we brought her home... I thought we might have brought a gremlin instead of a puppy.

We were expecting a quiet night with all the excitement that happened during the day, what with the car tyre going flat whilst we were on the motorway which meant we had to pull in to a little remote Sainsburys petrol station. To add to that the AA couldn't seem to find us, but it was two hours later that Morgana's puppy eyes and my mum's friendly attitude caught the eye of a very nice gentleman who changed the tyre for us.

By the time we got home we thought we had a little sleeping angel but as soon as everyone went to bed it started and we realised just how cheeky she could be... squeaking, stealing socks, stealing blankets, licking, attempting to jump on the sofa, chewing my little brothers homework, opening Christmas presents and that is just to mention a few. My mum decided to record a little snippet of what she 'went through' whilst everyone else slept...

So by the morning she had stolen not only one but two of my mums blankets and made herself very comfy. This was the end result...

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The story of Cassie and Morgana

As well as Snoopy and the fish...

The rule which my family grew up with was strictly- no pets in the house! Apparently this rule didn't apply to younger siblings. It was only on my 18th birthday five years ago that I brought Snoopy home, though everyone refers to him as the furry slipper he is actually a long haired syrian hamster. Unlike most other hamsters he likes to be very vocal in the middle of the night and I am pretty sure he thinks he is the hamster version of superman the way he climbs in his cage, I really don't think he realises how old he is now.

After my mum got used to the hamster she decided to treat herself and buy a biorb (she had an aquarium when she was younger). Now we don't just have guppies but fish I can't even pronounce. It wasn't long before we had Morgana, the chihuahua, running around and of course she needed a friend so it only took a couple of months before Cassie, the king charles cavalier, came along. And so the adventures of these teeny tiny troubles began...