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Nov 24
1

Greyhound Racing Should Be Shut Down

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education , Family , Interest

Greyhound Racing Should Be Shut Down.

I want to vent my opinion on this horrible, so-called sport. I hope you don’t mind…

As custodians and advocates for the animals on this planet I think the time has come to rid ourselves of this cruelly run, and diabolically mismanaged industry.

I have been listening for some time to various media reports and opinions too, from radio announcers, television sport presenters and the like. It seems that the viability and dogged persistence (pardon the pun) of Greyhound racing is inextricably linked to the amount of money that changes hands.

Boo Hoo!

I am amazed that the argument I hear most often about why the industry shouldn’t, wouldn’t and couldn’t be shut down is because it is apparently worth $3b. 3,000 people are apparently employed in NSW. Government revenue would be affected, betting agencies and the livelihoods of people would be destroyed – blah, blah blah. Boo hoo.

What price then, for the astonishingly cruel and evil practices carried out by SOME trainers and owners? If GR was worth say, only $3m, would we say that’s it? That it's not worth it? It must be stopped? Clearly it’s quite alright to perpetuate cruelty for $3b, but probably not for $3m.

It seems as though the big money provides some kind of salve for our collective consciences, and blinkers. Great big blinkers. The kind of blinkers that destroy our moral compass.

Its time to pull up stumps and admit that this industry is nothing more than a festering boil on the bum of humanity. Admit that we are not capable of running animals, sport and money as a business without selling our souls. The three should never be put together in the same sentence anyway. It's cheap money from a dirty business.

The appalling way “blooding” has been carried out is both disgusting and wholly unnecessary. Anyone who owns a sight hound knows they would chase a paper bag blowing down the street without any encouragement. When a strong prey drive is inherent in a breed there is no need to tie a defenceless small animal to the lure drive and then allow the dogs to chase. Even writing this makes my stomach churn.

Those who know me though, know that I am not a supporter of any industry that uses animals for entertainment or the procurement of money…rodeos and performing animal circuses are two that come to mind. And horse racing? That’s for another day.

Have we become so inured, so greedy and arrogant that we think other life forms are ours to use as we please?

But I digress, back to GR. The latest item to emerge from the inquiry into GR has revealed that the dogs spend, on average, 23 hours per day locked in their cages. Really? Is that ok with ANYONE? Clearly it must be, or it would be stopped.

Puppies are bred at a rapid rate to replace the dogs that are turfed out for not making the grade and earning enough money. Some are incredibly lucky and meet agencies like GAP or Greyhound Rescue and get to live a life.

HOW CAN WE SIT BACK AND ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?

Most others who are not so lucky are taken out to the bush and shot or bludgeoned to death, en masse. Some go off the universities to be killed for veterinary student training. Some go into the breeding program. We used to export some to Asian countries but thank God that was stopped some time ago. And all because they weren’t FAST enough. Just think about that for a minute. Those dogs are treated as commodities and anyone who doesn’t oppose this industry is for it. Which means they condone it. Is that you?

I still remember the greyhound that was rescued from Rose Bay in Sydney many years ago. The photo on the front page of the newspaper showed her head streaked with blood because her ears had been cut off (no anaesthetic, just hacked off with scissors) and she was buried in the sand…alive. Her ears were removed obviously so she couldn’t be traced via her ear tattoos. Whomever it was couldn’t even do the right thing for the wrong reason and have her humanely euthanased because that would cost money. Someone or something was watching over her and she was found in time.

But now we hear that approximately 17,000 - that’s SEVENTEEN THOUSAND, greyhounds are killed each year in this country. Do the math – that’s 46 greyhounds PER DAY. And all because they weren’t FAST enough. Or they never made the grade in the first place. Perhaps as many as 8,000 puppies and young dogs don’t even make it to the track and the rest are “retired”. Permanently.

God forbid a dog is injured during training or a race. If it is not a winning dog, then it is not economically logical to spend money on treatment.

Another one for permanent retirement in the bush at the hands of the executioner.

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t live with or even know a person who is capable of such cold-blooded horror. The same hands that kill those dogs will hold their partner’s hand or play with their children. They are monsters. How do they explain it away in their own minds? I know we are not meant to judge but how can one not?

I DON'T GIVE A DAMN

Quite frankly, I don’t care if people could lose their livelihoods from this truly terrible industry if it was shut down. I don’t know how they sleep at night. And the excuse that “this is how it has always been done” doesn’t wash either. And before you accuse me of being emotional and therefore irrational, I am happy to feel some emotion. I SHOULD feel some emotion. So should you. The overriding emotion I feel is shame. There would be something missing from my soul if I felt nothing. I have worked in veterinary clinics and had to help euthanase many an animal over the years. But they were done humanely and with kind hands and hearts. I know when it is right and must be done. This doesn’t come anywhere near being right and never will.

WE ALL KNOW what has been happening. Cruel is cruel is cruel – it doesn’t matter what the source or the reason or to whom or what. To do nothing now is to allow more evil to flourish. And it IS evil. We have abrogated our duty of care. In 39 states of the US, commercial dog racing has been declared illegal and so far about 28 of the 49 tracks have been closed down so at least something is being done.

There is something we can do…no more blooding, no more puppies bred specifically for racing, no more killing of perfectly healthy beautiful animals, no more of any of it. There comes a tipping point in any crisis and I think we are there now, don’t you? Where is our integrity, our decency,… our backbone?

JUST SHUT IT DOWN

And if you really need to bet on something there are two flies crawling up the wall of their own free will…$20 says Fly A will beat Fly B.

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Subscribe and become a DogWise member to get your free weekly video or article on keeping your children safe.

Oct 18
2

Feeding your dog

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education , Family , Interest

Feeding your dog

Food glorious food. We, as humans, have varied relationships with and views about food. We use food to comfort us, to sustain us; we use it as bribery or punishment (particularly with children). We have experts tell us what to eat and when to eat it. Often the scientific findings about food will cause expert opinions to change every 5 to 10 years. Confusing isn’t it? Eat chocolate, no, don’t eat chocolate. Drink red wine, oops, maybe not or then again a glass or two won’t hurt. Eat low fat, low sugar; unprocessed, fermented…the list goes on.

Phew! I am glad that feeding your canine isn’t that difficult nor does it need to be expensive.

…”but my dog is a fussy eater”!

…“He will only eat what I eat”.

I hear this and similar comments every day.

Many people feel that cooking for their dog is an expression of the love they feel for their animal but it can have its own set of problems and may even create fussy eaters and subsequently nervous owners who try harder and harder to please their dog.

Now while dogs have undergone many evolutionary changes they remain omnivorous but with a heavy leaning toward fleshy protein foods. So unlike felines for example, who are strict, or obligate, carnivores, your dog may enjoy a variety of foods such as some vegetables and grasses along with their protein intake. They are not grain eaters.

I try to encourage my clients to think about what wild dogs would have eaten. By this, I don’t suggest that your dog should be outside catching and killing the local chooks, I mean that you cooking fillet steak or chicken breast every night for your dog is unnecessarily expensive and time consuming.

If you care about the health and longevity of your dog, please read this to the end…

Ok then, Suzy smarty pants…What do I feed my dog?

Keep it simple…

Raw foods are generally considered better for your dog. A chicken carcass, drumsticks, raw brisket bones and the like will satisfy many needs within the dog. The simple act of chewing on a tasty meaty bone will release feel-good endorphins and the added nutrient values of fats and proteins along with gut-enhancing pro-biotics will benefit their physical health. Gnawing on bones also cleans teeth thus helping to avoid costly dental treatments.

I know when you read this you may be fearful of giving your precious pet a bone to chew. Or as a compromise you may think that something small such as chicken necks are safest. We once fostered a tiny little dog named Molly who would position the chicken neck in such a way she somehow swallowed it whole, just like a dolphin swallows a fish! I was horrified and watched over her ALL NIGHT, certain she would end up with a terrible tummy ache or gut obstruction but she was fine. Needless to say we didn’t feed her chicken necks again but larger raw bones that she could not swallow whole.

As an aside, chicken necks are fine as a treat but as teeth cleaners they are not beneficial. One or two bites and they are gone. The dog needs to GNAW on bones and take some time doing so. I also know of clients who chop bones into pieces to feed to their dogs. Their smaller dog swallowed a chunk whole and spent that night and the next 3 days in intensive care with a gut obstruction and ensuing bacterial infection.

So the point of these anecdotes? Keep the fussing and fiddling around to a minimum. In the wild, a dog would catch a rabbit, chicken or some other animal and consume everything except feathers and fur. That means gut contents of their prey are eaten too. Think of the gut contents as their vegetables with all the enzymes to aid digestive health and their immune system.

How best to replicate the diet of a dog in the wild?

Biologically appropriate and species specific is the short answer!

Raw bones 1 -3 times per week. These may be beef, chicken, turkey, lamb or kangaroo. I am not a huge fan of raw pork but that is just me! Hormone free and organic are obviously premium but buy the best you can afford. Use larger bones that are impossible for your dog to swallow whole. If your dog is a voracious eater then it may be better for you to observe him while he is chewing but give him a larger bone next time to slow him down. He’ll figure it out.

A good quality GRAIN FREE dry food moistened with warm water, or a decent wet food if you must. Read the ingredient list on the tin of wet food to ensure no cereal component is present.

Add cooked or raw vegetables if you like.

NEVER, EVER FEED COOKED BONES OF ANY DESCRIPTION

I am also not one to advocate table scraps for the dog – it is very hard to ensure they are getting a balanced diet over time and the calorie intake is difficult to count. Scraps that include pasta and rice are carbohydrates and may adversely affect their health. Having said that though, if your dog is neither obese nor undernourished, and has been living off your table scraps for years then why change?

What vegetables should we feed to our dog?

  • NO ONION
  • Raw carrot (may be grated initially but is a great crunchy treat whole)
  • Broccoli, pumpkin or sweet potato (my dog prefers these to be cooked). There is some debate about broccoli and cauliflower for dogs but if your dog enjoys them and they tolerate them, then all good I say.

Dry foods?

Aah, the question I am asked most! Tricky to answer and there are lots of opinions out there. Some people swear by veterinarian prescribed foods. Some judge the quality of a food by the retail price. My beautiful old dog lived to be 18 years of age and ate pretty much what I described above. I purchased a supermarket brand of dry food that is grain free and made in Australia. He also ate some tinned food which contained kangaroo and had minimal ingredients apart from the primary, and no fillers. Also made in Australia. Raw organic chicken and other meats formed part of his diet too.

Something to consider…dogs aren’t designed to digest grain based carbohydrate – and they don’t need carbs for energy…they get their energy from the fats in their diet. Most dry foods are grain or carbohydrate based so I am sure you see the problem. Much like putting petrol into a diesel engine, the wrong fuel for your dog will result in sluggish performance or even illness. Bad skin, itchy feet and ears could be seen as a backfiring engine! Sluggish energy or obesity is sub-par performance and eventually it requires a visit to the mechanic or in this case, your vet.

Foods that aren’t digested properly remain in the gut and basically ferment causing inflammation and disease.

Give your dog the fuel it needs to run effectively and efficiently.

Does it matter where the food is manufactured?

YES IT DOES!

Country of origin of production plays a huge role in my decision to purchase any food I feed to my dogs and that includes treats. I ONLY BUY AUSTRALIAN MADE. Unfortunately for us, and whether we like it or not, the pet food industry is not regulated overseas as carefully as it is here. Do you remember the melamine-in-the-baby-formula scandal in China? Melamine also found its way into the production line of a very expensive, premium brand of dry dog food and it killed thousands of dogs in the US. There are also very questionable practices carried out in the production of dog foods overseas with the raw ingredients such as chicken and vegetables being grown with contaminated water and growth promotants. Don’t risk it – read the label and if it is not made in Australia from Australian ingredients then I suggest you do not purchase it.

What about treats?

Very useful little tidbits to be used as rewards or during training. Treats form part of the total calorie intake and many people make the mistake of not adjusting the main meal according to how many treats or extras are fed throughout the day. The same goes with ad-lib feeding (leaving food in the bowl for the dog to “nibble” on during the day). This type of feeding may also create fussy dogs.

Dinnertime…

Dinner time comes and they refuse the meal. Often they are simply not hungry but their caring owners think they don’t like what is on offer so they start cooking tasty food in order to tempt. The dog will generally want the piece of chicken breast or eye fillet (who wouldn’t?) and before you know it, you are cooking every night; your spend at the butcher rises exponentially and you have created a greedy, four-legged bully in the form of your dog who basically demands a cooked meal every night. Don’t fall for it!!! And don’t panic if they miss a meal here and there – carnivores in the wild won’t eat every day…and they have to work a lot harder to get their food!

Its also not essential they have all their nutrients at every meal, over a few days is fine. So throw them a raw drumstick and you’re done! Plain and simple.

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Subscribe and become a DogWise member to get your free weekly video or article on keeping your children safe.

Sep 28
3

Plain and simple dog dinners

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education , Family , Interest

Plain & Simple Dog Dinners

I am time poor!

If you are time-poor like most of us and need some help then you may be interested to know that DogWise is also offering Plain & Simple Dogs Dinners to help with the transition to health. The food offered is nothing you couldn’t make yourself, merely a convenience! From a cost perspective, you will obviously pay a little more than if you bought the ingredients yourself but the savings you will make overall will more than compensate.

A healthy alternative

Choose from kangaroo, beef or chicken. Added vegetables will consist primarily of pumpkin and sweet potato.
Can add eggs, sardines, molasses, kelp and/or green barley.
Raw chicken wings or beef brisket bones
Soup or casseroles for dogs
Slow-cooked bone broth (specify chicken or beef) for convalescent dogs or those that just need a nutrient "jump start".
Probiotic Food for Pets also available to order in powder form. Extremely well accepted by dogs.
NO GRAIN BASED CARBOHYDRATE
QUALITY FOOD MADE FROM INGREDIENTS FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. No dodgy offcuts or anything labelled as "pet meat".
Organic and additive free where possible.
Pasture-fed free range meats
Grain-free dry food can also be added for delivery

This is simply a service of convenience, ideal for those who know they need to change the diet of their dog but have no time to make it raw, or shop for and prepare the ingredients if you want it cooked.
Is also excellent for those dogs who suffer from chronic skin and ear infections.

Where can I order the meals?

Only available at the moment fresh on the Gold Coast (Pimpama to Broadbeach) but can be delivered frozen raw or frozen cooked to Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and Southern Gold Coast to the Tweed River district.
Contact Suzy for menu options or to discuss particular needs on 0419400380

A biologically appropriate, species specific and mostly carbohydrate-free diet can be the answer for dogs with low-level constant digestive upsets. Feeding this way can ultimately save big vet bills and constant medication for your dog.

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Subscribe and become a DogWise member to get your free weekly video or article on keeping your children safe.

Sep 28

Probiotics for your dogs

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education , Family , Interest

Probiotics for dogs

How do I know if my dog needs a Probiotic?

As we have previously discussed, if your dog has chronic skin and ear problems or constant digestive upsets then the addition of a probiotic such as the one we recommend here can make a huge difference even if you don’t change the diet.

One telltale sign of a digestive disorder is their poo! If your dog produces diarrhoea, or huge stools with or without mucus, or their food seems to “go straight through them”, then chances are they are having trouble digesting whatever they are eating. This probably means they are suffering from mal-absorption of nutrients too

I am time poor!

Adding this particular probiotic is extra beneficial because it also contains essential PRE biotics – which supply the food for the probiotics or good gut bacteria. I know it all sounds a bit complicated but it’s not. Again, I suggest you re-evaluate your dog’s daily food consumption and if it contains a lot of carbohydrates such as grains, rice and pasta then a change to a carbohydrate-free diet is probably in order. If you are time-poor like most of us and need some help then you may be interested to know that DogWise is also offering Plain & Simple Dogs Dinners to help with the transition to health. The food offered is nothing you couldn’t make yourself, merely a convenience! From a cost perspective, you will obviously pay a little more than if you bought the ingredients yourself but the savings you will make overall will more than compensate.

Order the Probiotic Foods for Pets or the home-made fresh food by following the link below. Call Suzy if you have any particular concerns or requirements.

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Subscribe and become a DogWise member to get your free weekly video or article on keeping your children safe.

Aug 12
2

Parasites

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education , Family , Interest

Parasites

Awful things those pesky parasites. Both types, either internal or external need to be prevented, or treated if they occur. Most common is probably fleas. I see fewer dogs with fleas now, compared to 10-15 years ago and that is due in no small part to the excellent products that are applied topically or given as a tablet/chew treatment every month.

Fleas

Fleas (the most commonly seen is Ctenocephalides felis, or the cat flea). The cat flea is the primary flea infesting dogs worldwide. Most flea activity (3/4 of their life cycle in fact) takes place OFF the animal, so by extension, if your dog has fleas, their environment does too. THIS MEANS YOUR HOME. Some dogs, though very few I would guess, will not react to flea bites. For the rest of them, even one flea causes terrible torment. This is called flea allergy dermatitis or FAD. The allergic reaction is to substances in the flea saliva, injected into the host animal when they need a blood meal. The black sandy looking material seen on the dog is flea “dirt” or faecal matter, usually a sign of a long-term infestation. The flea life cycle is in four stages and even though the eggs are actually laid on the host they filter out of the coat into the animal’s environment. So you see, merely treating your dog won’t eradicate the entire problem all at once.

How do I get rid of the pesky little things?

There are a number of ways to rid your home and your dog of fleas but you must be dedicated. Dose your dog with a tablet to help eradicate the current adult flea population and prevent further breeding from them. Products such as NexGard or Comfortis yield excellent results. It is vital you read the directions for dosage. Both products are available through veterinarians, pet shops or online.

Capstar is used for its immediate knock-down effect. It may be given at any time, usually begins to kill the fleas in around 30 minutes and is then excreted in the dog’s urine 24 hours later. May be used daily but cost could become prohibitive. I believe it is a false economy to rely solely on Capstar but I do think it is extremely useful. I often suggest this as an adjunct to other treatments where there is a heavy flea burden.

Topical treatments

Applied to the back of the neck monthly for fleas, or fortnightly for those dogs that live in paralysis tick risk areas. Some of these are a multi-strand preventative for other parasites such as heartworm, gut worm, ear mites and biting insects. Excellent product, but maybe not quite as fast acting for a somewhat urgent situation. I have noticed over time that some of the older topical flea treatments don’t seem to work as well as they did in the past, so perhaps fleas have simply become immune to their effects and have evolved past them.

What shampoo do you recommend?

Pyrethrins shampoo and rinse. I recommend a product called Fidos Flea Shampoo and Rinse. This is also used by AQIS so that is a big endorsement! Follow the directions. The rinse has a 72 hour residual action which helps repel any fleas looking for a blood meal. It also means they will look elsewhere so every animal in your home MUST be treated at the same time. Always read the label for ANY treatment because some products for dogs are toxic to cats. Check it is suitable for young animals if you have any in your home.

Tapeworm

(I put this bit in here with fleas, as well as with the worms) If your dog has a substantial flea burden, chances are they also have tapeworm. Dose your dog with a reputable brand such as Droncit tapewormer or Drontal All wormer. Know your dogs weight to within 5 kgs, dosage is usually per 10kgs. Worming for tapeworm is particularly important if you have children around your dog.

Environment

Two ways to attack this. You can employ the services of a pest control company or do it yourself with the pesticide “bombs” purchased from the supermarket. One annoying thing to remember is that the eggs and pupae are impervious to any pesticides so you will have to re-treat about two weeks later. A decent pest control company will explain this so don’t think they are ripping you off. Flea eggs and pupae may be present in carpets and the gaps between wooden floorboards. They can be outside in sandy areas or in loose dirt. You know, those places in the garden the dog or cat like to frequent. I had a client tell me once that they had dealt with a flea problem one summer (or so she thought). Their house had been quiet and empty for about two weeks while they were away and then she arrived home. She told me she opened the front door and stepped inside onto the mat and she felt something on her skin. She looked down and there was a mass of tiny little fleas that just hatched out and jumped onto her legs! The pre-emergent fleas sense a host through the perception of warmth and vibration and wait for the opportunity for a meal. Horrid little critters, I know they probably serve a purpose but I don’t know what it is…just talking about them makes me want to scratch!

If you are using Comfortis or NexGard you COULD just wait it out. Over time, as the fleas die before they have the chance to lay any eggs and continue the breeding cycle, you will eventually be flea free. Adult fleas must have a blood meal in order to reproduce so obviously breaking that pattern is the most efficacious way to remove them. I personally would be doing everything known to man to be rid of fleas as quickly as possible, ESPECIALLY if my dog has developed a severe flea allergy.

Once you are completely rid of the flea problem, don’t let them back in! Continue to use a quality preventative treatment like Comfortis or NexGard . Comfortis only treats fleas, NexGard does fleas and ticks. If ticks are not going to be an issue you may decide to just keep your dog on Comfortis. You may notice from time to time that your dog has picked up a “hitchhiker flea”. Don’t panic! They will die and drop off before doing any damage.

Simple Solutions

1. Start as you mean to go on. Investing in a monthly control program will probably only cost about $2.50 per week for a small dog.

2. If you decide to do nothing and your dog gets fleas, treating after the event will cost waaaay more than that. Start the treatment as soon as you bring the puppy or adult dog into your home.

3. Treat ALL the animals in the home.

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Aug 09
6

Why does my dog smell BAD?

By dwise_GC | Education

Ears and skin

Smelly ears and skin. If it is a bit gross for you to endure the sight and odour…imagine how your poor dog feels. Ear discomfort causes head shaking, irritated skin makes them scratch and lick – constantly.

What is my first priority?

A visit to your veterinarian is always the first thing to do to ensure there are no underlying nasties that need medical attention. Smelly ears are sometimes a sign of allergies – an early warning if you like. Micro-organisms such as yeasts and bacteria flourish in the ear canals of dogs, more frequently in breeds with floppy ears. Get to know your dog and all of his smells. Healthy ears have no odour or discharge, nor does a healthy mouth other than beautiful dog breath! Healthy skin should be pink with no crusty lesions, bald spots or odour. It shouldn’t be greasy or overly dry. Signs to look for when the balance is off are things such as scratching or pawing at the ear or ears or the endless licking and chewing of feet which results in the dark brown staining of the hair around the mouth and paws. These signs alone or in concert with others are a big warning to you that your dog needs attention.

SKIN 

Skin problems form a large part of vet practice and it can be a long process to heal. Diet and environment are areas to investigate after your vet has ruled out obvious things like foreign bodies in the ear, bacterial infection of the skin or parasites. Of course you should dose your dog with any medication as prescribed but there are definitely steps you can take to try to stop it flaring again.

FOOD

Read the labels of any and all food fed to your pet and remove anything that is not Australian produced from Australian grown ingredients. I cannot stress this enough – there is a very real risk of compromising your dog’s overall health with seriously questionable food and treats imported from overseas, particularly Asia. Change the primary protein source to something such as kangaroo or lamb. Nature’s Gift brand, for example, distribute a canned kangaroo variety of wet food. It is in a 100g small square tin which costs around $1.10. Swap any dry food to one that is grain free. There are also grain free tinned foods available now.

What about Treats?

Treats should be things such as dried kangaroo. (I bought an inexpensive food dehydrator and make dried liver, beef and chicken for my dogs). Much, much cheaper than buying ready-made and I know the origin. I know it seems as though I am banging on endlessly about knowing the origin of the food but the fact is that chemicals, whatever the type, are probably causing the steep rise in the number of dogs with chronic skin and ear problems. It can become an extremely expensive exercise to stay on the merry-go-round of vet visits, ear drops, cortico-steroids, antibiotics, shampoos, expensive foods etc. A lot of people simply run out of energy and either banish the dog to the backyard because they can’t stand the smell or the licking and chewing, or they rehome it. NONE of this is the dog’s fault. Remember any dietary changes should take place over say, a seven day period to avoid gastric upset. Include a multi-strain-bacteria pro-biotic such as the one available through this website.

The immune system

This helps boost immunity which in turn allows your dog’s immune system the chance to fight allergens. Add a quality oil supplement such as an extra-virgin olive oil or flax seed oil. Oily fish such as sardines, if your dog will eat them, are fabulous. Raw eggs too. All of these have two major benefits…one, as an anti-inflammatory and two, they help keep the skin’s pH level normalised which in turn means their skin is not dry. Dry skin is usually extremely itchy and coats are thin and hard. This approach must become your daily regime and don’t bother evaluating results for at least six weeks. It can take the body some time to readjust and heal, but it should be given the chance to do so. And when things are looking great again, don’t stop there! Make this a daily thing. You will save money in the long run and have a much closer bond with your dog. Sometimes the condition of the ears becomes so unbearable for the dog I strongly advise my clients to book their dog with their vet for an ear lavage. This involves flushing the ears under either a heavy sedation or general anaesthetic for your dog but the results are usually fantastic. Certainly not something to be done at home!

ENVIRONMENT

Do some research and find the plants that are known to stimulate allergic responses in dogs and see if you have them in your garden. Rhoeo, or the Moses bush, is a common edging and garden-bed plant and they are a problem for some dogs. Some lawn grasses are irritating too. Do you use fertiliser or pesticides and herbicides? Inside the house – do you use carpet fresheners or air sprays? What washing powder do you use to wash the dog’s bedding? How frequently do you bathe your dog? Around once per fortnight is commonly recommended for dogs with healthy skin. Brushing is just as important as it removes accumulated dead hair and skin. Brush first, then comb to ensure there are no knots or matts forming before bathing your dog. What shampoo are you using to bathe your dog? It should ideally be soap free and specifically for dogs. Products formulated for humans have a different pH and should NOT be used on dogs, sensitive skin or not.

Which shampoo?

There are some great dog-specific shampoos on the market that do not cost a fortune. Soap-free will not interfere with topically applied parasite control products. Again, I know some of this may seem all too hard. I get it. But if your dog has a chronic problem, or is even constantly in a low-grade allergic response, trust me, they are miserable! Have you ever suffered from allergies? I flare up if I am bitten by a mosquito or midgie. People laugh at me because I run inside around 5pm in the warmer months to avoid being bitten! I scratch myself raw for about two weeks after a bite so don’t make the mistake of assuming that although you can’t see a flea right now on your dog there is no reason for them to scratch. And while not all scratching is due to fleas, that is an obvious place to start your investigation. Make the effort to simplify things for your dog which will save you time and money in the long run. And when you see your dog looking and feeling healthy you will feel a sense of pride and achievement that you were able to really provide everything your dog needed from you. 

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS

Ears and Skin

1. Find the cause don’t just treat the symptoms

2. Feed Australian grown and made foods and treats

3. Probiotic (Here is one we highly recommend)

4. Oily fish or other oil supplements

5. Soap free shampoos made specifically for dogs

6. Brush daily

7. Check for environmental triggers

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Please 'share" and 'Like ' us on Facebook

Aug 09
1

Interview with radio 4BC

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education , Family , Interest

Interview with radio 4BC

Moyd Kaye

Loretta Ryan

In 2014, I was invited speak with Moyd and Loretta about the 'DogWise Bite Prevention Program'. We discussed the safe places to touch a dog and how these tips will help children (and adults) develop the necessary skills to avoid a dog bite. 

Aug 09
2

Videos

By dwise_GC | Interest

Scruffy with friends

Dogs life

How to feed 7 dogs
A Stephen Bradbury moment
Fostering puppies
Move Over - This is my lounge
Walking 9 dogs
OctoDad
Escape from Riverlands
The Art of Discipline
Cooper on his morning ride
These dogs have a great life
Looking after Lotti
Jul 30
9

Dog food. What is REALLY in it?

By dwise_GC | Education

Dog food - What's REALLY in it?

Have you ever stopped to think about the effect the food you give your dog may have on its health?

Have you ever given any thought to the way commercial pet foods are produced and packaged?

Do you read the labels to see if chemicals such as preservatives may be present?

Has the meat been treated to retain its pink colour and therefore eye-appeal on the shelf in the refrigerator at the supermarket?

Do you know the country of origin?

Has the packet of treats you are holding been made in Asia for example, by an Australian company?

What assurance is there that the ingredients are produced using safe and sanitary practices?

Are the grains, or any other ingredient present, genetically modified?

Has the fresh meat you bought come from animals fed hormones and antibiotics?

Or worse, and perhaps the most disgusting, has the meat come from say, cows (who are exclusively herbivorous and eat mostly grasses and legumes) that have been forced to eat the ground up remains of other mammals such as other cows or sheep?

That particularly revolting practice has also caused concerns in the production of food for humans.

Tricky, isn’t it?

So many things to consider.

Truth is, pet food and all facets of the companion animal sector of the business world are a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s doubtful that CEOs spend as much time thinking about the quality of the food as they do their shareholders and the bottom line. Pet food is produced at an astonishing rate and shelf-life is a big consideration.

That accounts for the preservatives that must be included to stop the food from spoiling before it may be sold. Other chemicals are added for taste appeal for the pet. Fillers are used to extend the production and are often indigestible grains such as soy. Some of the medical (and perhaps behavioural) problems seen in dogs may be attributed to diet. One of the things I see frequently is “smelly ears”, sometimes confused with “smelly dog”.

Think about this.

Here is a scenario to consider…how smelly ears can result in a dog losing its home. Client will complain that their dog “smells”. Sometimes it gets so bad that the poor dog is booted outside. The dog then complains bitterly at this dismissal and then it manifests behaviours to get attention. This might be barking, digging or escaping, just to name a few. Things get so bad that one day a neighbour complains. The owner gets fed-up with the dog and carts it off to the local shelter to rehome. Imagine if the owner took the time to investigate the bad odour emanating from their dog.

Bad smells in ears are usually attributed to yeasts and other organisms. Yeasts and other organisms are present everywhere and in all of us but usually kept under control by our immune systems. Sometimes these organisms flourish at a rate that the immune system is overwhelmed and needs help. Most of our immunity is formed in our gut, particularly in the lower bowel where most of the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients takes place. Good gut flora, or beneficial bacteria, is essential for this occur. It’s the same for dogs. So what is the connection to food, I hear you ask? The adulterated foods we feed our dogs can compromise their immune systems and may cause the inflammation that presents as ear and skin problems. The skin is the largest eliminative organ and can be working overtime. This may result in reddened looking skin and malodorous ears.

The answer.

To try to prevent this from occurring, examine honestly the food you are giving your dog. Simple is ALWAYS better. By simple I mean as close to nature as possible and always, always Australian produced, grown and packaged. Again, I suggest a grain free dry food and a simple wet food with as few ingredients listed on the label as possible. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to feed your dog a healthy, wholesome diet.

Simple Solutions

1. Buy Australian grown and made

2.Raw bones, add some vegetables

3. Grain free if possible

4. Read the labels on everything you purchase to feed your dog

5. Add moisture to dry food

6. Make own treats if possible

7. Add a probiotic to your dog's diet. Here is one we highly recommend

ABOUT SUZY'S MISSION

DogWise Founder - Suzy Marstaeller

"I take a PROBIOTIC, so why not my dogs?

After experiencing her own radical health transformation after taking probiotics, Suzy Marstaeller is dedicating her life to helping dogs reach optimal health, through the power of diet and this Australian made, 100% natural, nutrition superfood,  PROBIOTIC FOODS FOR PETS .  

For more exciting tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy, you can check out all of her amazing articles.

30 day trial for only $10

Product shown is 150g and retails at $40.00​

Jul 30
3

Swimmer Puppy Syndrome

By dwise_GC | Behaviour , Education

Mick, the Puppy finds his legs, through love!

4 Minutes of Bliss - watching a Puppy who was unable to walk find his legs -- through LOVE and care!!

Mick was born with Swimmer Puppy Syndrome. Essentially Swimmer Puppy is when a young pup develops a flat chest and sternum, which makes them unable to get their legs under them and their head up. If you were to look at them from above, they would be splayed out flat with their legs out to the sides. This leaves the puppy unable to crawl or walk. And unfortunately, puppies can be euthanized when they are born, with physical issues.

But with love and care and careful work, Mick was guided to be able to slow learning to crawl, then to walk!

If you can't view this on your smartphone, click here:

The vid was created by Love For Mia - Cleft Palate Chihuahua, which rescues animals that are born with birth defects. www.themiafoundation.com

They believe that Everyone Matters -- including animals who need our love and attention!

We all need to help everyone - human and animal - MANIFEST THEIR ABILITIES!

Join their community where Everyone Matters! - www.facebook.com/everyonematters

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