Allergy Attack

I think I’ve mentioned that some of my family members are totally allergic to dogs (so sad!) and I just wanted to tell you what happened to my grandma last month.  She went to visit some family on Christmas Day who have a dog, but it’s hypoallergenic and she hasn’t really been allergic to it at all.  But when she went to their house, a bunch of other family members were there with their dogs (not at all hypoallergenic), so she went inside and immediately started itching everywhere.  Hives, itchy/watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, asthma and coughing.

allergies

The longer she’s there, the worse she gets.  Finally, she has to go sit out in the freezing cold, car (snow everywhere) for a couple of hours until my grandpa was ready to go.  It could have been much worse though…my little brother has wound up in the ER several times because he can’t breathe due to dog allergies.  Poor kid.  People without allergies don’t really realize what a real problem it can be.  So if you’re thinking about getting a dog and have family or friends who have allergies, let me suggest a hypoallergenic dog.  No dog is 100% hypoallergenic, so you can still be allergic to them, but it’s usually dramatically less, especially if you keep your dog clean. Here are a few of my favorite cute hypoallergenic dogs (that means they have a non-shedding coat that produces less dander – that’s the stuff attached to pet hair that most people are allergic to.)  Always remember to research these dogs further to make sure it’s the right fit for you personality and need wise.

 

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear – easy to train, great first dog, needs regular grooming though

 

Irish_Water_Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel – easy to train, water repellant, easy to clean

 

Maltese

Maltese – long, sliky coat that needs constant grooming

 

miniature bull terrier

Miniature Bull Terrier – short hair with minimal grooming (low maintenance)

 

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer – smart and alert, but need daily grooming

 

Poodle

Poodle – highly intelligent, known as “divas” of the dog world

 

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog – Very friendly and active, thick waterproof coat

 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu – silky and fleecy coat, very friendly

 

Welsh Terrier

Welsh Terrier – Friendly and good with kids, rarely sheds

 

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier – big personality in a tiny body

(LOTS of Terriers are hypoallergenic, I just put a couple on here.)  Aren’t they all so adorable?!?  Oh I want to snuggle one!!

The Turkey wasn’t the only thing that got stuffed on Thanksgiving!

Of all the holiday traditions that exist, there is one that I think I love the most:

Fat Dog.

Fat Dog

It’s a really easy tradition that I believe even the Scroogiest person would enjoy.

Step One: Gorge yourself on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes & gravy, delicious buttery rolls, candied yams with mini marshmallows on top, raspberry Jell-O, and green bean casserole. Then top it off with the seasonal favorite: pumpkin pie and egg-nog.

Step Two: Regret your life decisions.

Step Three: Lay down like a Fat Dog on the living room floor and let a sleep coma take you down to wonderful dream land.

See! Like I said, I think anyone can enjoy this festive holiday tradition.

Now, I’ve got to say that there is one tradition that I do NOT enjoy:

Clean up.

Uck. Anybody with me?

This year there was something that made my clean up even less appealing. Our sweet new puppy. All of my guests ignored my polite request to not feed the dog too much. And as sure as the sun comes up in the east, about 2 hours after everyone left the smell hit me. Our cute little poochy had vomited in our bedroom closet. <Gag reflex>

I cleaned it up the best I could, but there is still a lingering smell there. I asked around and tried to find some do it yourself home remedies, but nothing seems to work. Anyone have any suggestions?

Anyway, hope you had a great Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday 😉

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Oh, how I love the Holidays! There is just something magic in the air. I love the sights, the smells, and tastes of this festive time of year. And you know what? I know our dogs must too! So why not make Turkey Day special for your best friend as well?

baking-dog

Today’s short but sweet post is a Do-It-Yourself post. I want you to whip up a treat for ol’ Spot to show him how thankful you are for his companionship!

Somethin’ Savory:

1) You’re going to want to preheat your oven to 350 before you start.

2) Make sure you have the following:

  • 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour (you can change it up by using oats instead if your dog has wheat sensitivities)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. beef or chicken broth (use the bouillon granules. They break up easier in my humble opinion) or you can buy beef or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • Bacon or chicken broth, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits.

3) Instructions:

  • Dissolve the bouillon in hot water.
  • Add remaining ingredients (if you’re using beef or chicken stock, combine that with the ingredients now).
  • Knead the resulting dough until it forms a ball (about 3 minutes ought to do the trick).
  • Roll dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut the dough into bone shapes (I just use a cookie cutter).
  • Place the bones on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Something Sweet:

1) You’re going to want to preheat your oven to 350 before you start.

2) Make sure you have the following:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3) Instructions:

  • Beat the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  • Add water if you need it to help make the dough easier to work with. BUT, the dough should be dry and stiff when you are all done.
  • Roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick
  • Once again, cut the dough into doggy bone shapes
  • Bake until hard (about 40 minutes)

Your dog is going to love these treats and this will probably become a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Money, money, money, money…MONEY!

Let’s get down to brass tacks (and yes, that is the right “tacks”)

How much does a dog cost?

money-and-dogs

Well, the obvious answer is, “It depends”. How big is the dog? What breed? Is it purebred/”papered”?

According to petfinder.com, you might want to consider purchasing your pet through a pound. A lot of times, many of the upfront costs (de-worming, spay/neuter, micro-chipping, etc) have already been taken care of by the pound or the previous owner. And if not, the pound charges a lot less than a private veterinarian would. For example, spaying/neutering could cost as little as $25 at the pound versus $200 at the vet.

According to the ASPCA, average first-year ownership is easily above $1000. That may seem pretty steep, but remember, you are buying a companion. A furry friend. This isn’t a pair of shoes you’re splurging on.

Here is a breakdown (according to another site) that might help you budget for your poochy (these prices are only estimates and I’m going by veterinarian costs, not pound costs):

  • Spay/Neuter  – $200
  • First Exam – $75
  • Some type of collar – $30
  • Crate or cage – $95 (and that could be more. It just depends on the size of your dog)
  • Obedience school or some type of training – $110

Those are your up-front, one-time costs. It’s around $510. And that doesn’t even include the price of the dog itself. That can be anywhere from free (because your neighbors had puppies) up to $1500.

Now, what about the stuff you’ll need to buy all the time? Here ya go (again, only estimates):

  • Food – $10/month
  • Yearly check ups at the vet – $250/year
  • Toys/Treats – $10/month (I tend to want to spoil…)
  • License – $15/year
  • Pet Health Insurance (yes, it’s a thing) – $225/year
  • Miscellaneous stuff – $10/month (stuff is going to happen so you might as well be prepared.)

That totals about $625/year.

So, is it worth it to you? Well, I think the answer is yes, but if you need more convincing, think about how much you spend each year on coffee or Redbox. I’m sure you can suck it up somewhere so you can afford man’s best friend.

What would Harry Potter do?

daniel-radcliffe-turns-heads-as-new-york-dog-walker

So before you leave a comment below, let me just answer the question I know you are all asking. Yes. That is a picture of Harry Potter walking some dogs. Well, not Harry Potter, but Daniel Radcliffe. Same thing, right?!

Why a picture of Daniel Radcliffe walking some dogs? Another great question! I put it here to give you one more way to know if you’re ready for a dog.

In my last post, I suggested spending some time at a pound or pet store to get a feel for which type of dog might be best for your personality. So my advice for any of you who are still not sure if you’re ready, is become a dog-sitter or dog walker. I’m sure you have a neighbor, friend, or family member who would love to let you walk their precious pooch. And hey, you might just make a little moolah!

Walking or watching someone else’s dog will give you a chance to see how dogs behave in a more authentic setting. You’ll be able to get a better feel if you are equipped to handle what a day in the life of a dog throws at you.

So. Go walk a dog. You may even see Harry Potter while you’re at it!

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Personality Matching

So, now that you’ve decided that you are responsible enough to own a dog, it’s time to decide which kind of dog you want.

The next few blog posts will aim to help you make that crucial decision.

As you are making the choice I suggest you try to find a dog that matches your personality. Afterall, haven’t you ever noticed how dog owners start looking like like their dogs? There’s a reason for that!

dog-owners

So what kind of personality are you?

If you’re more shy and quiet you’ll probably want a smaller, less hyper dog that likes to cuddle.

If you’re an outgoing socialite, you’ll probably ready for a bigger, more playful dog. You know the kind. The ones who are happy to see you when you come through the door and jump up and lick you.

If you are type 1 may I suggest a Shitzu. They are small, adorable and not really the hump up on you. The love to be held and cuddled. You could also consider a Chihuahua. You’ve probably seen people carrying them around in their purses.

Type 2 personalities would probably love something more along the lines of a Golden Retriever. They are so forgiving and loyal. If you’re up to the challenge, a Great Dane might be more your style.

My grandpa owns a couple English Bulldogs and let me tell you, they are always happy to see you. So that might be a good fit too.

Whatever you do, I suggest going to the pound, or pet store and play with the dogs first. You’ll get a feel for what fits your personality best.

Good luck and happy hunt.

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Are you even ready for a dog?

Okay, it’s time for “the talk”.

stern-lecture

No, not “the talk” your parents have with you when you ask where babies come from. Not “the talk” you have when you’re ready to break up with someone (or take things to a new level).

I mean “the talk” you have when you are thinking about getting a dog. The whole, “Am-I-even-ready-for-a-dog?” talk.

There are a lot of things to consider:

  • -Do I have the space a puppy or grown dog would need?
  • -Can I afford to feed it?
  • -Do the people I live with want to share that responsibility?
  • -Do I understand the commitment involved in owning an animal?
  • -Do any of my loved ones have allergies?
  • -Am I okay with my loved ones not being able to visit me because of their allergies?
  • -Who will I ask to care for the dog when I have to go out of town?
  • -Will my landlord allow me to have pets?
  • -Am I okay if the dog damages furniture or clothing?

There is a lot more to think about. My advice to you is to sit down and talk with someone who has owned a pet and someone else who currently owns a pet. I think you’ll get some good perspectives and think about some things you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about if you had just gone out and bought a pet on impulse.

I  know it’s not the most fun way to start a blog about dogs, but it is responsible. And after all, if you are going to own a dog, you will need plenty of that.

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Nice to meet you fellow dog lovers!

I’m really excited to introduce my very first website, Jamelle Saint Bernards. While I have a great love for all things dog, I’m not the most adept at computer/tech stuff so I’m begging you to come back soon and check out all the great stuff I’m excited to share with you.

In the meantime, why not head over to my “About” page to see what this site is all about.

Thanks for checking this out! Talk to you real soon.