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Member Since 21 Sep 2006
Offline Last Active Feb 14 2018 03:51 PM

Topics I've Started


21 September 2017 - 07:56 PM

How to fight fleas

The natural way:

ï    Vacuum your home frequently and seal vacuum bags before disposing.

ï    Wash the bedding of your dog weekly in warm soapy water.  This is where fleas usually breed.

ï    Bathing your pet weekly with a mild dog shampoo prevents flea invasion.

ï    Use cedar shampoo for your dog, and put cedar oil in their sleeping mats.  Cedar will repel fleas and other insects.

ï    Fleas are attracted to dry skin, so to avoid it, give your dog Linatone oil mixed with its food. Excessive shampooing should be avoided.

ï    A mixture of brewerís yeast and garlic, available in powder or tablet form can be given in small doses to your pet.  This creates a certain odor in pets, and fleas are surely to avoid them.

ï    Fresh or dried pennyroyal leaves is a natural flea repellent.  Use this in carpets to avoid the abundance of fleas in the home.  Do not use it if you have small children around, as this could be toxic.

ï    A mixture of 60 ml of lavender oil with 2.8 liters of rock salt can also be placed in areas where dogs usually come in contact with and this solution could also be used to wash your dog.

ï    Planting marigolds in the yard is helpful too, it repels certain types of bugs as well as fleas.

ï    Boiled lemon or orange peel in water can be used as a dip for dogs and can be used too to soak in dog bedding for a few hours, then washed with warm soapy water.

ï    Lukewarm water with little shampoo and detergent is a good way to prevent fleas.  A dogís body may be dipped into the solution for fifteen minutes and then rinsed.  This only works if flea infestation is light.

The natural way of treating fleas is effective only if the level of flea infestation is average to very few.  This method usually is recommended for prevention only.

Different commercially available products with chemical contents:

ï    Advantage. Active ingredient is imidacloprid. This is a flea poison, from Bayer.  It is in a liquid form and applied to the skin, at the back of the dog, and works for about a month.  This works by upsetting the nervous system of fleas when they come in contact with the liquid.  This product is fast acting and is not absorbed into the internal organs and bloodstream of the dog.  

Studies indicate that this product is highly toxic to fleas and other insects as well.  A dog will be free from fleas in just a couple of days.  

Ingredients are: imidacloprid -- a chloronicotinyl nitroguanidine integrated from the nitromethylene class of a compound. This joins the  nicotinyl receptor sites of insects, thus upsetting normal nerve transmission which causes death.

A set of two vials costs 15-20 dollars.

ï    Frontline.  This product is very similar to Advantage, but is not water soluble, so alcohol is needed to wash it off.  This can safely be used in pups, dogs, cats and kittens.

Efficiency in repelling lasts up to four months.  

Active ingredients include:  Fipronil 5-amino -1- (2, 6-dichloro-4 [trifluoromethyl]phenyl) -4- (1,R,S)- (trifluoromethyl0sulfinyl) -1H-pryazole-3-carbonitrile 0.29% inert ingredients 99.71%.

Fipronil works as a  nervous transmission interruptor, which causes quick death to fleas and ticks. It is proven to kills 96% of fleas for the  first two hours and 100% within 24 hours. Ticks die sooner than they attach themselves to the host.  Fipronil is from the new phenylpyrazole class.

Very effective and can be considered safe, so long as dogs are not allergic to fipronil.

ï    Knockout.  Performs like Frontline and is as effective, but can only be used in dogs.  Active ingredients: Pyriproxyfen: 21[1-methyl-2-(phenoxyphenoxy)ethyoxy] pyridine....0.05% cyclopropanecarboxylate 2.00% inert ingredients 97.95% Also has NYLAR, which is flea growth regulator.

ï    Biospot.  This is for topical application and kills up to 75 percent of fleas, eggs, and ticks. It also is a good repellant of mosquitoes and  works for about a month. Temporarily, at times, it turns white hair to yellow. This can not be used in cats and contains permethrins and IGR.

ï    Proban (cythioate) and Prospot (Fenthion).  While not to be used in cats, they are widely used in dogs.  This is absorbed by the bloodstream and fleas die due to the poison that is present in the blood.  For it to work, it requires the bitting of fleas.  There are certain conditions to be considered though.  You are injecting a small dose of poison into your dogís body and side effects are not known.  Then this does not help if a dog has flea allergy, and can not risk to be bitten.

Generally fleas abound during the summer months, when it is their breeding season.  These commercial products can greatly help in fighting heavy flea infestation and needed where severe invasion occurs. However, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian as the choice of flea control will greatly depend on your life style.  


making dog crate comfortable and cozy

02 August 2017 - 10:19 AM

Crates are not pretty. Nor are they very cozy.  But for many of us, they are part and parcel of raising a puppy or young dog.  

Many Labs are not de-crated at night until around their second birthday.  And a full grown Lab needs a big crate. Two years is a long time to have a large and rather ugly contraption dominating your home. And many pet parents look for ways to make their crate more 'den like' so that their puppy will feel safe inside.  

We have been collecting ideas and inspiration on our Pinterest page for hiding, disguising, and otherwise prettying up our dog crates. And even for building pretty home made crates or indoor kennels from scratch. 

Some of the ideas require a bit of DIY knowledge, some are more advanced projects, some are expensive and some can be purchased for a few dollars. Check them out and let us know what you think.  

Pinterest is a brilliant place to look for inspiration for home and lifestyle products and projects. But if Pinterest isn't your thing, here's a link to our dog crate covers review, and to a collection on The Labrador Site of a few of our own favorite crate covers.

Teach your pup to sit as his first lesson.

31 July 2017 - 06:12 AM

 There are several good reasons why you should start with this command. First, sitting comes naturally to dogs since they often sit to rest. Two, teaching the pup to sit is relatively easy, a lesson that he will learn very quickly. Three, you will find the sit position an excellent base or jump-off spot from which to launch the other commands. When the pup is sitting, he is quiet and under control. The sit position is akin to the five basic foot positions of the ballet dancer. From the five positions, the ballet dancer can execute any number of steps or combinations, from an entre chat to a capriole.

The sit position has practical applications, it is not just a trick. When walking the pup, you will find the sit useful at intersections, when meeting a friend, and in various other situations where you want the dog to be quiet and under control.

Start the lesson with the pup on the leash. You can place him on your left side; later he'll be walking or heeling from that position. Hold the leash in your right hand, give the command "Sit!" and lift up on the leash. This will raise the pup's head. With your left hand, push down on his rear end. Repeat these movements until the pup sits down without your having to lean on him. Then unsnap the leash and give the command. If he balks or sits down only halfway, put him back on the leash and start over. He'll soon learn that when he doesn't obey, he'll be restrained with the leash. Praise him well when he gets the lesson right.

Next, introduce him to the appropriate hand signal. Move a pace or two in front of the dog, give the command "Sit!" and hold up your forefinger in an admonishing gesture. Let him see it. Keep repeating the lesson, using both the command and the hand signal. While the hand signal has its best use when working at a distance, such as in the field, there are many situations in which you will find it useful. One of these is when there is too much noise for your dog to hear your voice.


So you are wondering if the dog food you are feeding is really good for your canine.

31 July 2017 - 06:10 AM

Maybe you heard that your particular brand of dog food is bad for your dog.

Here I will try to explain what to look for as well as the ingredients and how they measure up to what you are currently feeding. Please keep in mind dog food is essential to their health as for most it is their main source of nutrition.

Some easy tips are:

Do not buy dog food that contains BHT or BHA, they are chemical preservatives and could be harmful.
Do not buy food that has by-products in it; these are often left over from is given to the human market. That means by-products could be feet, intestines, necks etc.

Grains that are often difficult to digest like corn, wheat, gluten and soy, are often used as a protein source instead of meat. ñ This is not healthy and in addition can cause allergies.

Now we get into the fun part!

The first 5 ingredients play a significant role in the overall nutritional make up of a dog food

What are the protein sources? I believe the primary source should come from quality animal protein, not vegetable protein or grain. Foods that list 2 or more grains in the first 5 ingredients may have more vegetable protein than animal protein.

What about grains? Two or more grains listed in the first 5 ingredients means your food may have more vegetable protein than animal protein. Grains such as soy, corn, corn gluten and wheat gluten can be difficult to digest, which means less nutrition and more clean up.

Are there by-products? Some manufacturers consider by-products inferior sources of protein and, depending on the source, they can be difficult to digest.

What are the fat sources? Some fats are better than others. We believe the primary fat source in dog food should be animal based because animal fats contain a profile of fatty acids that are easily metabolized and thus are generally more available to the body.

Look for an identifiable animal protein such as "chicken meal" rather a generic term; such as, "poultry meal," which can contain any fowl (turkey, chicken, geese, etc.).

Some manufacturers use chicken in their pet foods; however, look for Chicken ìMealî Why? Because chicken meat contains a certain amount of moisture in the flesh; however, chicken ìmealî is a concentrated source of chicken protein because most of the water has been removed. Therefore, it only stands to reason that you get a greater ìprotein contentî in 1 pound of chicken meal versus 1 pound of chicken.

Make sure your dog food has bacteria cultures (acidophilus) for easy digestion. Look for vegetables and fiber for anti-oxidants protection, vitamins and minerals.


Things to know about your Dog and Car to keep safe

09 July 2017 - 08:57 PM