How to Make home made dog treats

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

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How To

How to Make Dog Bone Treats

By Tricia Goss, eHow Editor

How to Make Dog Bone Treats
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You take extra-special care of your dog, from grooming to exercise to loving attention. With lots of dog food and treat products having been recalled in recent history, it can be difficult to know which brands of foods and treats to purchase for your pooch. You can make taking care of your puppy less scary by making these treats at home.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 3 1/2 cups lukewarm chicken or meat broth
  • 1 tbsp. (or 1 package) dry yeast
  • Mixing bowls
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutter
  • Cookie sheets
  • Non-stick spray
  • One egg
  • Tablespoon of water
  • Pastry brush
  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Combine unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal and powdered milk in a large mixing bowl. Stir until ingredients are mixed well.

  3. Step 3

    Pour the broth into a large mixing bowl. Pour yeast into the broth and allow the yeast to dissolve completely. Allow it to stand for about 10 minutes. Stir flour mixture into broth mixture and mix well until a thick dough has formed.

  4. Step 4

    Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out to about a quarter of an inch thickness using the rolling pin. Use a bone shaped cookie cutter to cut cookies from the dough. Ball up the remaining dough, roll it out and cut more cookies. Repeat until you have used all of the dough. Place the cookies onto the greased cookie sheets.

  5. Step 5

    Beat the egg with the water until frothy. Brush the tops of the cookies with this egg wash (it will give it that shiny gloss you see). Bake treats for forty minutes and turn the oven off. Allow to harden for several hours or overnight. Keep in an airtight container.


Food allergies

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Itchy Dog or Cat? It Could Be Food Allergy Dermatitus

Food allergy dermatitis, more precisely known as “cutaneous adverse food reaction,” is a chronic skin disease that affects both dogs and cats.

Reaction to certain foods is the third most common allergy in dogs, after flea allergy dermatitis and atopic dermatitis (hypersensitivity reactions to mold, pollen, dust, mites or other allergens in the environment), says Catherine Outerbridge, assistant professor of veterinary dermatology at UC Davis.

“Companion animals can suffer from dermatitis due to flea, atopic or food allergies alone, or in combination, such as flea and environmental allergies—sometimes all three,” says Dr. Outerbridge.

Dogs and cats with food allergy dermatitis, if continuously fed the same diet, do not have seasonal variation—they are usually itchy year round. Occasionally, dogs may have gastrointestinal signs as well, including diarrhea, vomiting or flatulence.

“While flea allergy dermatitis is also the most common allergy in cats,” says Dr. Outerbridge, “we see more cases with food as the sole allergy in cats than in the dog. By the time food allergy dermatitis is recognized, cats may have extremely itchy skin, especially around the head, face and neck area.”

“Since cat owners expect to see grooming behavior in their pets, it can be difficult to recognize mild itchiness versus normal grooming behavior,” she says.

“Many mildly affected cats with allergies may never be brought to the dermatologist. Dogs are not grooming animals, so any increased licking is usually interpreted by owners as a problem.”

Dogs with cutaneous adverse food reactions may itch anywhere, especially the face, ears and feet, says Dr. Outerbridge. “That is also true for pollen and mold allergy—the signs can look exactly the same.”

Both dogs and cats may scratch and chew affected areas until they inflict skin damage, and they may have recurrent skin or ear infections. The veterinary dermatologist must evaluate the animal and determine the nature of the allergy.

The onset of food allergy signs can appear suddenly, at any age, and continue as long as the offending food continues to be eaten. It might be assumed that a food allergy has resulted from a recent change in diet, yet it has been shown that dogs may regularly eat a food for at least two years before visible signs of an adverse reaction. (1) Also, rather than being caused by some exotic ingredient, reactions are generally elicited by common food ingredients—and those eaten most often by the animal.

Animals usually react to a protein source such as chicken, beef, soy or egg, but they can also react to a carbohydrate or preservative. Other possible dietary allergens include dairy products, poultry, lamb, fish, wheat, corn and rice. Dogs and cats may react differently to ingredients in their food in different geographic locations because of variability in available proteins, manufacturing techniques or additives. (1)

Food allergy dermatitis is diagnosed by means of an elimination diet. The animal is prescribed a homemade or commercial diet that contains a single protein and a single carbohydrate to which he or she has never been exposed, while all the other food elements are completely eliminated.

If the animal’s diet is variable, especially for cats that live outdoors and have access to mice, birds or other food, it may be more of a challenge to select ingredients for the elimination diet trial that are not likely to have
been consumed previously.

Any elimination diet must be adhered to strictly in order to diagnose the presence or absence of a cutaneous adverse food reaction in the animal. The animal must not be allowed to have treats such as raw hide chews, pig’s ear treats, other chew toys of animal origin or flavored medications and vitamin products—only the prescribed diet and water.

Once the offending food item is removed from the pet’s diet, it may take weeks until the animal has relief from the clinical signs. The testing period usually lasts 8–10 weeks.

If the signs improve, and food allergy is suspected as a result of the elimination diet, a “diet re-challenge” is then performed. The animal is returned to the original diet plus treats. If that animal is food allergic, the clinical signs should worsen within hours or days, confirming food allergy.

“But that doesn’t mean,” says Dr. Outerbridge, “that the animal doesn’t also have flea or environmental allergies.”

It is not yet known why some animals develop allergies to foods. Theories involve individual variability in absorption of protein breakdown products during digestion, or that in the gut of an allergic patient larger molecular weight proteins trigger allergic reactions or intolerance when they are detected by the immune system. That is why commercial hydrolyzed diets are sometimes prescribed to help diagnose food allergy. In hydrolyzed diets, common protein ingredients are altered to have a molecular weight below the presumed allergic threshold.

The good news is that if the pet is food allergic, veterinarian and client can then work together to discover exactly which foods are the culprits and eliminate those foods from the animal’s life.

Dr. Catherine Outerbridge is assistant professor of clinical dermatology at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and a diplomate ofthe American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in small animal internal medicine.

Food “allergy” or “hypersensitivity” results from an immunological (antibody-mediated) reaction to certain glycoprotein molecules generated during digestion. Immunological reactions likely involve genetic predisposition.

Food “intolerance” is a negative physiological response that can be induced by proteins, food additives, toxins or bacterial contamination.(2) Even if cutaneous adverse food reaction is caused by a true allergy, there are no reliable skin or blood tests currently available to make the distinction. In the case of either allergy or intolerance, an elimination diet is used to determine that an animal is reactive to certain foods.


Origination of the Shih-Tzu

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy
Origin of the Shih Tzu Dog

Where did the Shih Tzu come from and who were this dog’s ancestors? The Shih Tzu breed originated in Tibet.  This dog was deemed to be of royalty and lived in incredible temples.  Occasionally, the ancestor of the dog we know of today,  would be given to an emperor of China.  As time went by, China became known as the creators of this breed, more so than the original Tibet.

The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.  Scientists have found fossils from more than 10,000 years ago, showing that the dogs of that day were closely related to the breed that is now recognized.

This breed moved from Tibet into China most likely around the time of the Qing Dynasty between 1644 and 1662.   the Shih Tzu was referred to as the Lion Dog. The Lion symbol played a large role in Buddhism.  Because the actual lion was not indigenous to China, the Chinese bred their dogs to look as much like a lion as possible.

It was the Chinese empress Cixi who bred dogs very carefully to arrive with the breed that we know of today.   However, after the Communist Revolution, her large breeding facilities were destroyed, along with most of the dogs.  Only a few Shih Tzu dogs were saved and imported into England.  It was there that they were bred with the Pekingese.  The breed was perfected from 1930 to 1950.

Only then, did the Shih Tzu breed move into the United States.  In the year 1955, the American Kennel club accepted the dog, but only as a Miscellaneous class.  This was because there were so few Shih Tzu dogs.  Unless a breed becomes popular, the AKC can decide to disallow it from the Miscellaneous class; therefore a group of people decided to form the Shih Tzu Club of America in 1957.

Other clubs started to follow suit, in Texas and Florida.  Still, by 1961 there were only 100 dogs registered in the USA.  Attempting to keep the breed recognized, in 1963 the Texas Shih Tzu Society merged with the Shih Tzu Club of America.  This move proved successful.  One year later, the number of registered dogs tripled to over 300.  By 1965 there were almost 700!

In 1969, the AKC recognized the Shih Tzu as an official breed in the Toy dog class, a huge victory for Shih Tzu owners!  Once this dog was recognized as being its own breed, fully recognized and official, there were over 3,000 dogs registered.

Currently the Shih Tzu is among the top 10 most popular toy breed dogs in the world.  Known for their elegance, amazing personality and unique beauty, we can thank early Tibet for the long but rewarding journey that this breed survived.


How to pick a good breeder

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy
Look for a breeder who at a minimum:
Keeps her dogs in the home and as part of the family–not outside in kennel runs.
Has dogs who appear happy and healthy, are excited to meet new people, and don’t shy away from visitors.
Shows you where the dogs spend most of their time–an area that is clean and well maintained.
Encourages you to spend time with the puppy’s parents–at a minimum, the pup’s mother–when you visit.
Breeds only one or two types of dogs, and is knowledgeable about what is called “breed standards” (the desired characteristics of the breed in areas such as size, proportion, coat, color and temperament).
Has a strong relationship with a local veterinarian and shows you the records of veterinary visits for the puppies. Explains the puppies’ medical history and what vaccinations your new puppy will need.
Is well versed in the potential genetic problems inherent in the breed–there are specific genteic concerns for every breed–and explains to you what those concerns are. The breeder should have had the puppy’s parents tested (and should have the results from the parents’ parents) to ensure they are free of those defects, and she should be able to provide you with the documentation for all testing she has done through organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals(OFA).
Gives you guidance on caring and training for your puppy and is available for your assistance after you take your puppy home.
Provides references of other families who have purchased puppies from her.
Feeds high quality “premium” brand food.
Doesn’t always have puppies available but rather will keep a list of interested people for the next available litter.
Actively competes with her dogs in conformation trials (which judge how closely dogs match their “breed standard”), obedience trials (which judge how well dogs perform specific sets of tasks on command), or tracking and agility trials. Good breeders will also work with local, state, and national clubs that specialize in their specific breeds.
Encourages multiple visits and wants your entire family to meet the puppy before you take your puppy home.
Provides you with a written contract and health guarantee and allows plenty of time for you to read it thoroughly. The breeder should not require that you use a specific veterinarian.
In addition to the above criteria, you’ll want a breeder who requires some things of you, too. A reputable breeder doesn’t just sell her puppies to the first interested buyer!

The Shih-Tzu breed

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Shih Tzu Breed

Toy Group

General Appearance
The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert toy dog with long flowing double coat. Befitting his noble Chinese ancestry as a highly valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu is proud of bearing, has a distinctively arrogant carriage with head well up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation, the Shih Tzu must be compact, solid, carrying good weight and substance.

Even though a toy dog, the Shih Tzu must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Shih Tzu as in any other breed, regardless of whether or not such faults are specifically mentioned in the standard.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Size – Ideally, height at withers is 9 to 10½ inches; but, not less than 8 inches nor more than 11 inches. Ideally, weight of mature dogs, 9 to 16 pounds. Proportion – Length between withers and root of tail is slightly longer than height at withers. The Shih Tzu must never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. Substance – Regardless of size, the Shih Tzu is always compact, solid and carries good weight and substance.

Head – Round, broad, wide between eyes, its size in balance with the overall size of dog being neither too large nor too small. Fault: Narrow head, close-set eyes. Expression – Warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting. An overall well-balanced and pleasant expression supersedes the importance of individual parts. Care should be taken to look and examine well beyond the hair to determine if what is seen is the actual head and expression rather than an image created by grooming technique. Eyes – Large, round, not prominent, placed well apart, looking straight ahead. Very dark. Lighter on liver pigmented dogs and blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Small, close-set or light eyes; excessive eye white. Ears – Large, set slightly below crown of skull; heavily coated. Skull – Domed. Stop – There is a definite stop. Muzzle – Square, short, unwrinkled, with good cushioning, set no lower than bottom eye rim; never downturned. Ideally, no longer than 1 inch from tip of nose to stop, although length may vary slightly in relation to overall size of dog. Front of muzzle should be flat; lower lip and chin not protruding and definitely never receding. Fault: Snipiness, lack of definite stop. Nose – Nostrils are broad, wide, and open. Pigmentation – Nose, lips, eye rims are black on all colors, except liver on liver pigmented dogs and blue on blue pigmented dogs. Fault: Pink on nose, lips, or eye rims. Bite – Undershot. Jaw is broad and wide. A missing tooth or slightly misaligned teeth should not be too severely penalized. Teeth and tongue should not show when mouth is closed. Fault: Overshot bite.

Neck, Topline, Body
Of utmost importance is an overall well-balanced dog with no exaggerated features. Neck – Well set-on flowing smoothly into shoulders; of sufficient length to permit natural high head carriage and in balance with height and length of dog. Topline – Level. Body -Short-coupled and sturdy with no waist or tuck-up. The Shih Tzu is slightly longer than tall. Fault: Legginess. Chest -Broad and deep with good spring-of-rib, however, not barrel-chested. Depth of ribcage should extend to just below elbow. Distance from elbow to withers is a little greater than from elbow to ground. Croup – Flat. Tail – Set on high, heavily plumed, carried in curve well over back. Too loose, too tight, too flat, or too low set a tail is undesirable and should be penalized to extent of deviation.

Shoulders – Well-angulated, well laid-back, well laid-in, fitting smoothly into body. Legs – Straight, well-boned, muscular, set well-apart and under chest, with elbows set close to body. Pasterns – Strong, perpendicular. Dewclaws – May be removed. Feet – Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.

Angulation of hindquarters should be in balance with forequarters. Legs – Well-boned, muscular, and straight when viewed from rear with well-bent stifles, not close set but in line with forequarters. Hocks – Well let down, perpendicular. Fault: Hyperextension of hocks. Dewclaws – May be removed. Feet – Firm, well-padded, point straight ahead.

Coat – Luxurious, double-coated, dense, long, and flowing. Slight wave permissible. Hair on top of head is tied up. Fault: Sparse coat, single coat, curly coat. Trimming – Feet, bottom of coat, and anus may be done for neatness and to facilitate movement. Fault: Excessive trimming.

Color and Markings
All are permissible and to be considered equally.

The Shih Tzu moves straight and must be shown at its own natural speed, neither raced nor strung-up, to evaluate its smooth, flowing, effortless movement with good front reach and equally strong rear drive, level topline, naturally high head carriage, and tail carried in gentle curve over back.

As the sole purpose of the Shih Tzu is that of a companion and house pet, it is essential that its temperament be outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting towards all.


Tips for new puppy owners

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

1. Good management skills: Puppies can get into trouble very quickly. A new puppy owner needs watch her puppy all of the time. When you can not keep an eye on your puppy, it is a good idea to use some type of confinement. I like to use crates. A crate is a great way to manage your puppy’s behavior when you are not home. As a former animal control officer,

I have seen many young dogs that have been injured when left on their own. Almost all dogs at some point in their lives will be exposed to a crate. An overnight stay at the Vet’s office, a grooming appointment, or if you have to travel will all require your dog to go into a crate. It is much better to teach your new puppy to love her crate than it is an adult dog.

2. Start training early: For many years dog owners have been told that they could not start training their puppies until they were six months old. This is just simply untrue. A good reward based puppy class is the most important thing that you can do for your young puppy. Your puppy will become well socialized and many behavior problems can be prevented before they ever start.

3. Socialization: You can never over-socialize your puppy. The first four months of your puppy’s life are the most impressionable. To become a confident and stable dog, a young puppy needs to be exposed to many different people, dogs, places, sounds and scents. Bringing your puppy in for grooming is a great way to introduce him/her to new environments, sounds, smells and people.

4. Puppy proof the house: Anything that you value should be put away until after the puppy stage. Also, keep a close eye on you puppy around electrical wires. Puppies love to chew on wires. A crate is a great way to keep your puppy safe when you can’t be right there to watch her.

5. Going to the vet’s office: Drop by the vet’s office when you don’t have an appointment. Most veterinarians will allow this but give them a quick call before you come by. When you get to the vets, give your puppy some treats and have the office staff give some treats also. For the rest of your dog’s life going to the vet will not be a chore. You can also do this at a grooming shop.

6. Consistency: Have a game plan for everyone in the house to follow. Bad habits develop and many dogs become confused when half the family allows the puppy onto the furniture and the other half scolds the puppy for being on the furniture. Consistency is very important in training your young puppy or dog.

7. Take lots of pictures: You will be amazed at how fast your puppy grows and changes. You will be thankful down the road for those pictures.

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