A Publication of St. Louis Critter Sitters
September 2006


Breed of the Month – The Beagle

DESCRIPTION I’m a hardy, sturdy, squarely-built, small hound. I have a sleek, easy-care, short coat that comes in tri-color, red & white, orange & white, or lemon & white. My coat is close, hard, and of medium length. I look like a small English foxhound. My skull is broad and slightly rounded. I have a straight and square muzzle. My feet are round and strong, and my nose has full nostrils for scenting. My long, wide ears are pendant. My eyes have a characteristic pleading expression; they can be brown or hazel. My tail is carried gaily, but never curled over my back.

TEMPERAMENT I’m a gentle, sweet, lively, and curious dog that loves everyone. Some of my traits are brave, sociable, intelligent, calm, and loving. I’m excellent with children and generally good with other dogs. I shouldn’t be trusted with non-canine pets, unless I was socialized with other cats and other household animals when I’m young. I have a mind of my own, and I’m determined, watchful, and require patient, firm training. I don’t like to be left alone; consider buying me a Beagle companion if I’m going to be left alone a lot. I have a loud, baying cry that was a delight to hunting horsemen, but can be disturbing to a family and neighbors. I have a tendency to follow my nose. I may take off on my own to explore if I’m let off my leash in an unfenced area.

Dog Training 101

1. Set rules immediately and stick to them.

2. Avoid situations that promote inappropriate behavior.

3. Observe the pet and provide for his/her needs.

4. Supervise the new pet diligently through undivided individual attention and training, and restrict the pet's access to a limited area of the house until training is complete.

5. Encourage good behavior with praise and attention.

6. Correct bad behaviors by providing positive alternatives. (A toy for a slipper, scratching post for the sofa.)

7. Never physically punish or force compliance to commands. This may lead to fear biting or aggression.

8. Don't play rough or encourage aggression or play biting.

9. Expose pets to people, animals, and environments where you want them to live.

10. See your veterinarian if serious or unresolved behavior problems exist.

St. Louis Critter Sitters
Recipe Corner

Ace’s Favorite Cheesy Dog Biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup Grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 lb. Corn oil margarine
  • 1 clove Garlic -- crushed
  • Milk

Grate the cheese and let stand until it reaches room temperature. Cream the cheese with the softened margarine, garlic, and flour.

Add enough milk to form into a ball. Chill for 1/2 hour. Roll onto floured board. Cut into shapes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly brown and firm. Makes 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size.

Pet Tip – Allergies

Humans with allergies usually react by sneezing, but your pet reacts by scratching. Both you and your pet are reacting to an allergen, which is a substance that causes irritation. Most allergens irritate from inhalation, but few are contact types, such as an allergy to wool. Some allergens are found in food, most commonly corn, wheat, soy, beef, and dairy products. The first signs of allergic reactions are scratching, licking, biting, or rubbing the skin. This can lead to infection characterized by red bumps and pimples. Because of the discomfort, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible.

PAW CARE

If one thinks of all the foot problems we would have if we always walked barefoot, it is understandable why pets often have paw issues of their own. Terrain is one of the main factors in helping keep a pet’s paws healthy and protected. Some hazards are more obvious than others. Being aware, particularly in the city, of glass and other debris that can cut or injure a paw is often a well know hazard to pet owners. However, more rural terrain can have damaging elements too and can be overlooked. If hiking with a dog be aware that a rocky area may have sharp jagged rocks that can harm your dog. Similarly, certain types of gravel that may be used on roads or driveways can also hurt the paw. In the summer pavement and other surfaces can become extremely hot and painful or damaging to your pet. Be especially aware of this when walking your dog as he may not have the option to walk on a cooler surface. In the winter ice and road salt can harm paws.

Besides awareness of terrain, also be aware of the activity level and sensitivity of your pet. Often active owners and pets who run, hike, and exercise together may find that the dog’s paws may become sensitive, chaffed, or cracked. Particularly when starting your dog out on hikes and runs he may need some time for his paws to adjust and may also need some time to build up general endurance. Be aware that some dogs will continue with an activity even if uncomfortable or hurt because they want to please their owner.

A pet’s claws can also be an issue. Keeping claws trimmed is important because catching a nail can be a very painful injury. Also, long nails can make wood floors and tiles difficult to walk on. For older pets slipping can lead to an injury. Typically, indoor and less active pets need the most frequent nail clippings as the nail isn’t wearing away as it would normally. However, there also appear to be many pets that simply have fast growing nails that also need frequent trimming. Checking nail length once a month is wise, but if a pet is slipping or having other nail issues check more frequently.

There are some additional solutions to paw care issues too. Dog booties are a good choice for dogs that frequently encounter rough terrain or need extra protection due to a high activity level. They also are helpful if a paw is already injured, as paw injuries can heal slowly and it is nearly impossible to keep a pet off his paws. Paw Wax is another helpful product. It coats the paw softening and protecting it, and is helpful for pets that skid or slip on slick floors. It also helps dogs whose paws are frequently dry or cracked. Healthy paws help keep pets happy. Some awareness and extra care is a great way treat your pet right.

"If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one."
                                             
...Andy Rooney