The Importance Of The Dog’s Anal Gland

In the movie The Fisher King there is a rather humorous scene in which Robin Williams’ character is scooting himself along the ground by digging his heels in and dragging his bare bottom across the grass. In a jubilant voice he calls out, “Do you know why dogs do this? It feels GREAT!!”

Actually, that’s not the only reason. Dogs will exhibit this behavior if the anus or hind quarters are itchy, but it can be a sign of an impacted anal gland which can be a problem for some dogs.

The anal glands are located on either side of a dog’s anus and, in the wild, serve as a method of marking the dog’s territory. When a dog defecates the glands are naturally compressed and secrete a dark, foul smelling liquid along with the bowel movement. When the sacs are functioning normally they empty whenever the animal has a bowel movement.

Sometimes, for various reasons, the dog’s anal sacs may become blocked. When this happens a number of problems can develop. Some are benign as a foul smell but the can lead to serious problems like diarrhea and infection. To intervene before a blocked anal gland becomes an issue, the glands must be expressed.

Expression of the anal glands is a simple medical procedure that can be performed at home or by a veterinarian. Some people prefer to let the vet take care of this task because they find it to be an unattractive duty. To save the expense of a vet, however, it is perfectly acceptable to express the anal glands yourself.

Expressing the Dog’s Anal Glands:

Expressing the anal glands is a simple matter. You’ll want to hold the tail up and pull it gently toward the dog’s head. In the other hand hold a tissue or paper towel and place your thumb on the left side of the left gland and your forefinger on the right side of the right gland. Squeeze firmly but not roughly and the glands should empty a brown or yellowish liquid onto the tissue or towel. Impacted glands will not empty as easily and may require an internal draining technique. You can do the internal technique at home as well, but you’ll need surgical gloves and a tube of KY jelly.

Internal anal gland expression requires that the sacs on either side of the anus be expressed individually and will require that you place your thumb on one side of the gland and your forefinger inside the dog’s rectum in order to squeeze and express the gland. Impacted glands will be harder to drain and the fluid may be thick and pasty with a foul odor and a dark brown, grey, or black color.

Infected anal glands may produce a discharge of bloody pus and can be an indication of a more serious problem. The infection should be fought with antibiotics so a vet should be contacted immediately if the dog seems to have such an infection.

5 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea: Ways to Fix It

If you are reading this, then there is a chance that your dog has been experiencing diarrhea. This can happen for many reasons and may be hard to diagnose. It is important to know the signs of dog diarrhea so that you can quickly find out what might be wrong and fix it before it becomes an even bigger problem! This blog post will discuss 5 common reasons why dogs get diarrhea as well as steps on how to treat them at home.Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

What is diarrhea and why does it happen?

The normal bowel transit time in a dog is usually 12-24 hours. Diarrhea happens when there has been fecal retention for less than 24 hours and the colon contents are then released into the rectum, leading to soft or watery feces that may contain mucus and/or blood. These symptoms can be caused by many different things such as: food intolerance, intestinal infection (such as with parasites), pancreatitis, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus or chronic gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease.

This blog post will discuss five common reasons why dogs get diarrhea as well as fixing it.

Diarrhea often occurs because of one of these causes: dietary indiscretion; intestinal infection (such as with parasites); pancreatitis; kidney disease; cancer; diabetes mellitus or chronic gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease.

5 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea


Diarrhea can also be caused by dietary indiscretion (eating things he shouldn’t). This includes eating table food, garbage or other unsafe items. If your pup eats something that is not safe for him, it could lead to diarrhea and vomiting within hours of ingestion.

Intestinal infection

Many types of intestinal infections are zoonotic which means they can infect people too! Your dog may get an intestinal infection because his immune system isn’t working at its full potential due to conditions such as diabetes mellitus or chronic gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease. Parasites can cause a variety of problems including poor growth rates in puppies, vomiting and even death if left untreated. The most common type of parasites that affect dogs are roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.


The pancreas produces enzymes to digest food and regulate blood sugar levels in the dog’s body. When it becomes inflamed or infected with bacteria or viruses like parvovirus, pancreatitis can result which has many terrible complications including death if not treated soon enough! Signs include vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain; increased thirst or appetite (even though they have no interest in eating); depression and a fever over 103F degrees. If your pup is displaying any of these signs don’t wait – get them into a vet clinic right away!

Kidney disease

Canine kidney failure usually occurs from chronic renal insufficiency and if left untreated can lead to death. The kidney is responsible for removing waste from the body which includes urea, creatinine, uric acid and other metabolic byproducts we don’t want in our bodies! When a dog’s kidneys stop working properly he will start showing signs such as increased thirst (even though they have no interest in drinking); vomiting; diarrhea; depression or lethargy; decreased appetite; itchy skin with hair loss on his back end that appears similar to ringworm infections – this condition is called pyotraumatic dermatitis.


If your pup displays any of these symptoms you should take them into see their veterinarian ASAP because cancer has many terrible side effects including eventually leading to death without treatment. The most common types of cancer that affect dogs are mammary (breast) and skin cancers. If your pup is displaying any of these symptoms: lumps in the breast, red bumps on his skin or an open sore with a black crusty scab – take them to see their vet ASAP!

4 ways to fix Dogs Diarrhea

Change their diet

The first thing you should do when your pup has diarrhea is to change his diet. This includes feeding him bland, high quality food with more fiber and fewer carbohydrates such as boiled white rice or ground turkey without the skin (not breaded or fried). You may also want to add some probiotics into his new diet in order to help replenish good bacteria that he’s lost due to vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Provide Fluids Orally

If your dog refuses water despite being thirsty they can be given small amounts of it by mouth which will provide them with needed fluid replacement for hydration purposes only! It doesn’t matter if breast milk, plain yogurt, canned pumpkin puree whatever works best for your dog.

Take them for a walk

Exercise is important to both mental and physical health! If your pup has diarrhea, it’s always best to take him on walks in order to help his intestinal tract recover faster from vomiting or diarrhea by stimulating the digestive process through movement of food and fluids. When you’re ready, try increasing exercise time gradually until he can go back to normal activity levels which will strengthen his immune system as well. This includes rigorous playtime with other dogs that doesn’t involve wrestling around (which may cause more pain).

Give probiotics orally

Many vets recommend giving small amounts of probiotics by mouth each day when there are signs of vomiting or diarrhea in order to replenish good bacteria lost due to sickness.


Diarrhea is a common problem for dogs that can be caused by numerous reasons. If you think your dog has diarrhea, it’s important to take them in to see their veterinarian right away. Your vet will likely diagnose the cause of the diarrhea and prescribe treatment accordingly. To find out more about this condition or how we can help you with any other pet-related issues, contact us today!

The Greyhound – Graceful, Sweet And Docile

The Greyhound is a medium to medium/large dog breed that is graceful and gentle. They weigh between 60-70 pounds and reach 26 inches to 30 inches in height. They are a breed that enjoys family companionship and loves routine. They love to eat at the same time each day, sleep at the same time and walk/exercise at the same time.

Recognized by the AKC, the greyhound is accepted in any coat color or color combination. Their coat is smooth, short, firm and straight. They are very easy groom, only requiring an occasional brushing and only needing a dry shampoo when necessary.

They are sensitive to cold weather and need to wear a sweater when they are outside in the winter to help keep them warm.

Calm inside and fairly high energy outside, the Greyhound can make a good apartment dog provided that they get regular outside exercise and walks. They are sweet and docile in nature and often display a bit of a timid side. Because of their timid side, they do best with older or well behaved children. Early socialization is best for other dogs and small pets. Even with socialization they might chase small, non-canine pets, particularly cats. Consistent training is important, but Greyhounds are fairly easy to train. They are not good watch dogs because of their calm, docile nature.

Dating back over 2000 years, the Greyhound originated in the Middle East. Most sources state that Egypt is their country of origin. Their strength, speed and agility made them excellent hunters and they were originally used mainly to hunt. Today they are mainly used in dog racing. When they can no longer race, they are often destroyed. Fortunately, Greyhound rescue organizations have been working hard to protect retired racing Greyhounds and they have had success with their adoption programs.

If you are looking for a calm, affectionate breed that will enjoy some outdoor exercise but will equally enjoy relaxing indoors with you, the Greyhound might be just what you are looking for. Predictable, calm family environments that will provide them with the companionship that they need are ideal for this breed.


How to Pick the Best and Safest Dog Toys

Dogs are a man’s best friend. They’re loyal, loving and have unconditional love for their owner. It is only natural that when we get a dog the first thing we do is buy them toys to play with; but which ones should you be buying? There are many types of dog toys out there on the market today, from traditional tennis balls and squeaky plushies to interactive games on your phone or even laser pointers! This blog post will discuss how to pick the safest and best toy for your pup – so read on!

Types of Dog Toys

There are three types of dog toys: plush, rubber and rope. Plush toys are soft and cuddly but may contain scraps that could be harmful for your pup to swallow; rubber based ones can sometimes have too much give in them which might cause an injury with teeth if the dog bites down on it wrong; while ropes often have knots or fringe which can get caught around their mouth (or any other part they want) causing a choking hazard! The best type is usually considered to be something hard like plastic-based so long as there’s no sharp edges. Get the best dog toys at

How to Pick the Best and Safest Dog Toys

Picking out a toy is an important decision! Before purchasing one for your pup, examine it closely.

  • If there are any parts on the toy that look sharp or can break off easily, don’t buy it.
  • Choose toys made from hard plastic so long as they have no edges; if you’re looking at something else like rubber based ones see if they can be punctured by a needle. Which means that in case of chewing, this too will pop with ease!
  • Try not to get anything stuffed unless it’s durable enough to withstand being bitten (or when appropriate) washed after every playtime. It doesn’t matter how cute it might be, if it’s not safe for your pup to play with then don’t get it!
  • Plush toys can also cause a choking hazard if they have any small parts that could come off and be swallowed.
  • If you’re going the traditional route of getting them a tennis ball or two in their stocking, make sure they are made from hard rubber (the ones used at dog parks) as these tend to last longer.
  • Avoid plastic balls which often break or crack when squeezed too much.

You should always read over the packaging before purchasing anything new for your furry friend! Always remember: safety first! The best way to keep our dogs healthy is by playing responsibly.

When is it Time for a New Toy?

Just like us, our pets get bored with their toys over time. If they’re the type of dog that has a favorite toy and plays with it all the time – then you might not need to replace it every few months; but if your pup is playing less than usual or seems to be spending more time chewing on something else instead (like furniture) then this may be an indication! Keeping them entertained can help lessen some of these destructive behaviors so consider trying a new chewable toy as well.

Most importantly: don’t buy your pet anything unsafe just because “it looks cool!” You’ll only end up being frustrated in the long run when they have swallowed dangerous parts or hurt themselves from ingesting bits at playtime!

What are some Safe Materials to Use in your Dog’s Toy?

Some safe materials to use in dog toys are-

  • Hard Plastic
  • Rubber
  • Nylon Rope
  • Polyester and Cotton Fabric (for stuffing)
  • Soft Plush Toys with no small parts or loose threads. These are often perfect for cuddling!


Picking the best and safest dog toys for your pup is a must. You need to pick out something that they will enjoy playing with, but also be sure to take into account their safety! When picking which toy would be right for them, just remember these tips: make sure it isn’t too small or big; look at reviews of what other owners have said about the quality (and if any dogs have managed to chew through it); don’t give them anything that’s been recalled by the manufacturer- no matter how much they beg you!

Creating a Gift Basket for Your Dog

Designing the ideal gift basket for your canine friend can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little planning and some great ideas, anyone can do it. You may even find yourself enjoying it so much that you decide to sell your doggy gift baskets!

The first step is to find the right container. A basket isn’t ideal, really, since your dog might chew it and get splinters. Instead, consider using a new metal food bowl with his name engraved on it. Plastic bowls work just as well and many can be personalized as well.

Next you need gifts to put inside the bowl. As a general rule, you should include at least two edible items. A rawhide toy is ideal, but try to find one that your dog has never seen before, something besides the usual bone. There are special rawhide dog ball toys that dogs love, look for something unique.

A bag of doggie treats or even homemade dog biscuits is perfect. You might also try your dog’s favorite brand of canned dog food or another treat that you know he enjoys. The idea is to give him something that he will be happy to receive.

The best gift baskets include some fun toys. These don’t have to be expensive, a trio of tennis balls can be pretty exciting to a puppy! You could also try jingle balls, soft rope toys, and other items that you find in the local pet store. Just be sure that whatever you include is safe for your canine friend. Remove all packaging and tags before you put the toy into the basket so your dog can play with it right away and not have to wait.

Practical items also have a place in your dog’s gift basket. A new collar with a personalized tag, a fancy leash, or an elegant new coat can all make wonderful gifts. You can buy a wide selection of items online or in your local pet shop. These are plenty of options available and hundreds of great pet products out there.

Last, you need to wrap your basket. This can be done with clear cellophane drawn up around the container and tied with a thick cord or even the dog’s new leash. Add a name tag and you are all set for gift-giving fun!

If you enjoy making this gift basket for your pet, why stop with one? Try making them for pets of friends and families. You could even open your own business providing customized pet gift baskets.

Silver Dollars: Part II: Keeping Them

Welcome back, and again, sorry to keep you guys hanging! Well, last time we went through a lot of the textbook type stuff and made sure you didn’t come home with a Pacu or Piranha when you just wanted some Silver Dollars! This time, the fun stuff…my experiences with these fish, and recommendations for keeping them.


You’re going to get at least a group of five Silver Dollars, preferably seven or more. They are a schooling fish, and a nervous fish as well, so they will do much better if kept in the recommended size groups. With this in mind you are going to need at least a thirty gallon long tank for your Silver Dollars, and preferably something a little longer than that since these guys like to swim.

I say they are a nervous fish, but at the same time they are an extremely hardy fish. Like I said, I’ve had my guys for almost three years without one casualty. They will panic when you go to work inside the tank, dashing corner to corner, up to the water surface and into the sad/gravel. Don’t worry they’ll calm down, just try to be a little more careful so as not to unnecessarily stress them. A couple of mine will even come to water’s surface and splash me with their tails when I’m trying to work in the tank. Annoying, but painless and slightly humorous as well!

You might panic when you first bring home your Silver Dollars, or if you move them from tank to tank (which I’ve done about three times with this same reaction each time!). My Silver Dollars upon settling into their new home will sink to the bottom of the tank and keel over on their sides, looking as though they are moments from death. The first time this happened I found myself doing water changes until they righted themselves. It’s behavior that I’m used to now! Again, no need to unnecessarily stress the fish, so don’t move them around for fun or show, but nothing to panic about. Keep some Stress Coat on hand to dose the tank with afterwards, I find this does actually help.

My Silver Dollars will eat flakes, but be sure to buy some spirulina flakes so they get their veggies. They are primarily a herbivorous fish, but will eat just about anything in captivity. Bloodworms are chewed up, and krill is even funny to feed them—they’ll catch onto a bit and start chewing with a bit hanging out of their mouths. As they chew they dart back and forth avoiding the others who want to come steal their Krill away. They chew and chew until the piece of krill disappears. They are more than willing to bite off more than they can handle in this way!

Pet Housetraining

Pet housetraining can be done very effectively if you use the natural instincts of your puppy. Let me explain what I mean by this. A puppy will naturally not want to eliminate where he knows he will be sleeping. If he has a place that is all his own, he will recognize that and not want to dirty it in any way. Your job in pet housetraining is to help your puppy establish that space.

You can do this in a few ways. One is to pick an area of your home that is to be for your puppy. This can be the garage, a laundry room or a corner of a big room. Choose somewhere that does not have carpeting, because your puppy will initially eliminate everywhere. This is because he has not yet realized that it is his space. You help him realize this by playing with him there. Put food and water and his bed there.

When pet housetraining, you can use a blanket, bed or even a towel as his bed. In addition, make sure you put his toys there. Your puppy will soon realize that this is his personal space and his natural instinct of not wanting to dirty it will take over. While you are doing this, and you are at home, take your puppy outside about every 45 minutes, especially after eating, drinking or playing.

Steps of Pet Housetraining

Above all, make sure your puppy has constant access to his toilet area as he is learning. If you have designed that outside is the only area he can eliminate, take him there about every 30 minutes. After he eliminates, pour on the praise. He will get the idea. When he eliminates where he is not supposed to, you may yell a quick, “No!” Then, immediately pick him up and carry him to where he is allowed to eliminate.

Hoffman and Swinburne – Bird Isles: Man-made Islands in New York Harbor are Bird Sanctuaries

Hoffman Island and Swinburne Island were created in Lower New York Bay to receive, quarantine, and give medical treatment to immigrants. Now they harbor birds.

In the 1870s, when New Yorkers constructed two islands by piling rock, sand, and timbers into New York Harbor, they had no idea that they were building a National Park. At the time, Swinburne and Hoffman islands merely answered the challenge of finding somewhere to put immigrants who had potentially infectious diseases. New York did not want cholera or yellow fever. They did not want typhoid or smallpox, or any other epidemic disease that might arrive any day with shiploads of poor immigrants from overseas. Anyone who arrived ill went to hospital, usually on Swinburne island. Anyone who had been exposed to someone who was ill went into quarantine on Hoffman Island. No one was thinking of birds then:

  • 1870 – Swinburne Island (originally called Dix Island) was constructed. It served as a hospital for people suffering from infectious diseases.
  • 1872 – Hoffman Island was constructed. Initially, Hoffman Island was an entry point for immigrants arriving by sea. Anyone suspected of having an infectious disease or having been in contact with an infectious disease was quarantined on Hoffman Island.
  • 1892 – Ellis Island opened as the official entry point for immigrants. Hoffman Island was still used as a quarantine station.
  • 1931 to 1937 Hoffman Island was a place for birds for the first time. The island was used to quarantine imported parrots in an attempt to control parrot fever.
  • 1938 to mid 1940s – Hoffman Island became the first Maritime Service Training Station (United States Merchant Marine).
  • WWII – Swinburne Island was used as a control center for the defensive mines placed along the coast.
  • Post WWII – Hoffman and Swinburne islands were abandoned to the waves and the birds. Nature started to make real islands out of them.
  • 1972 – The Clean Water Act was passed, alleviating some of the pollution in the New York Harbor waters, and making the environment there more welcoming to birds.
  • 1972 – The pesticide DDT was banned, resulting in a slow turnaround in the fortunes of raptors such as the Peregrin Falcons, formerly common along the coast.
  • 1974 – Hoffman and Swinburne Islands both came under the control of the US National Parks Service.
  • Today – the islands are part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Hundreds of water birds have found sanctuary on the islands and many nest there. Though Hoffman and Swinburne Islands are not open to the public, harbor tours bring ecotourists close to the shore to enjoy cormorants, egrets, glossy ibis, herons, gulls, and other birds. The islands are a focus of New York City Audubon’s Harbor Heron’s Project.

Many years of neglect followed many years of intense human occupation. The two islands, created by people, evolved into natural ecosystems left to the birds and whatever other wildlife could make its way there. Slowly, the city around them made slow progress at improving the environment. While no one was really looking, and to just about everyone’s amazement, a bird sanctuary was created right in the middle of New York Harbor. Now New Yorkers find themselves with two natural treasures to enjoy and protect—Hoffman and Swinburne Islands are so much more today than they were in the beginning.

Improve Joint Function And Flexibility

The suffering caused by dog arthritis can be greatly reduced if one can improve joint function and flexibility. Several factors affect joint health. Environmental agents and the stresses caused by a dog’s own metabolism are two of the most common culprits. The goal of arthritis treatment using nutritional supplements is to combat these factors with substances that heal the dog’s body and help it fight disease. In doing so, the dog will be healthier and better able to build and maintain cartilage.

Supplements Can Improve Joint Function And Flexibility

Since arthritis is a disease of the cartilage whereby the body’s ability to produce enough of this vital tissue is reduced, research into dog arthritis has focused on how to maintain a dog’s cartilage. If a dog’s body can maintain its cartilage, then the need for dependency on drugs is eliminated. A way to help the dog’s body do this is to deliver nutrients through the use of supplements. Certain naturally occurring substances have been found to strengthen cartilage and prevent the stresses that are products of metabolism.

If a one can improve joint function and flexibility in this way, then the pain and inflammation of arthritis will no longer be a major factor that prevents your dog from enjoying freedom of movement. The key is to protect the existing cartilage, stimulate the growth of new tissue and reduce swelling that causes pain. Nutritional supplements have proven to be able to accomplish these goals. When taken over the course of several months, they can greatly improve the condition of a dog’s cartilage.

Today, there are alternatives to surgery and drugs and their unwanted side effects. Supplements that target joint health can greatly improve joint function and flexibility by helping a dog’s body heal itself. Freedom of movement and freedom from drugs can give your dog a better quality of life and better overall health, two goals toward which every dog owner strives.

Save Money on Dog Products

Did you know that Americans spend billions a dollars a year alone on dog products? Obsessing over the care of our canine friends is a pastime that just isn’t going away. So, if you’re one of these people, learn how to save money on all that you do for your dog.

1. Check for sales. Save money on dog products by watching for sales at places like Petco and PetSmart. These mega-giants allow you to sign up for automatic alerts on their Websites. Take advantage of them and shop for special items at a discount. Also, don’t to be too proud to purchase items from discount stores like the Dollar Tree. All you’re paying for in regards to some dog products is just a brand name anyway.

2. Shop in bulk. Go big and save a few cents. If you can get the same item at in a larger size for less, do it. Then, store the product properly. Use potato chip clips to seal off bags and prevent food from going stale. Refrigerate wet food in containers to preserve freshness. This way, you can extend the life of your bulk product and make your money stretch over time.

3. Manage toys. Don’t ruin your dog’s personality by giving him too much stuff. Manage the amount of toys you buy him and save money. Buy him a special toy on Christmas and a few times throughout the year (under ten). Remember, your dog wants you, not a box full of junk.

4. Take over grooming. If you spending hundreds of dollars at a groomer, save money on dog products by taking over this chore yourself. You can purchase a pre-packed grooming kit for under $50. When you use the services of a groomer, you’re paying for overhead, over-priced dog products and elbow grease. By taking over your dog’s grooming yourself, you can control all of things including what comes out of your pocket book.

5. Let your dog go au naturale. Forget about celebrity trends involving canines. You don’t need to dress your dog up like Paris Hilton does hers with pricey collars and clothes. Save money on dog products by letting him go au naurale. Get him the basic quality dog leashes & collars with a tag and keep him clean and well feed. These basics are all your dog really needs anyway.

These five tips will have you save money on dog products. Use them and keep your hard earned money where it belongs – in the bank.