5 Reasons Having Two Dogs is Better Than Having Just One

WHy having two dogs makes a happy household of fur companions

Kya and Rain 2Our fearless leader at the Doggie Diva Dog Boutique introduced a new puppy to her already well-trained and loving Australian Shepherd. Little Kya is a girl, like Rain, so they are like big and little sister in the household canine status. I have two dogs also, the second that was introduced to our mature 7-year-old male mixed Golden Lab. Sophie is a Labrador Retriever and she really had to work her way into Shiloh’s world!  The result of having two dogs rather than just one is a benefit that both of our families appreciate! Why? Here are 5 main reasons.

 1. Companionship

The advantage of an older dog paired with a new pup means they have each other to prevent loneliness or Cropped shiloh and Sophie on Porchseparation anxiety. Since the lone fur partner has had the family all to him or herself, the introduction of a new fur buddy can cause some initial jealousy. As long as we, the masters, continue to show equal affection and attention to our “first-born” the older dog will respond quickly to the newer one out of simple curiosity. Early encouragement of having the two eat together, get treats at the same time and sleeping near each other will soon have them bonding as a pair.

2. Training

The elder of the two companions will have a perfect chance to show off their superiority when it comes to obeying commands and performing any tricks they know. The younger pup will be fascinated with the older one’s talent, and naturally start to imitate their behavior. Of course, your time spent training your new family member will be just as important as it was for your first dog, the time may be greatly reduced, since you have a four-pawed training assistant to demonstrate the desired behavior. On the “Lucky Dog” CBS show, Brandon McMillan, often links a new rescue at the Lucky Dog Ranch by leash to a more experienced resident not only for training in the commands, but also for trust and socialization behaviors.

3. Entertainment

Kya 1Have you ever taken your dog to friends’ homes where there is another dog? When they play together, you often find they want to show off right in front of you! Since K9’s are pack animals, their play and getting to know each other’s characteristics can be a huge source of entertainment for their humans! More than that, observing animal behaviors between two dogs is a lesson in itself. Two dogs will not only sniff, nose bump and wag their tails at each other. They will also eventually have their own form of face to face or laying side by side means of communications. Sophie and Shiloh have regular conversations by one walking up to the other, staring him down then both approaching me to look up together for a bone or a trip outside. We have even found that when Sophie cannot get us to do something she wants, she will go to Shiloh and he will be the one to approach us to do the asking!Shiloh and sophie begging

4. Protection

If you have one quiet pooch and the other is barky, then you have a built-in alarm system! When you walk both fur BFF’s together, you will be less likely to experience harassment or unwanted attention. This can be important in an urban area. Two dogs who belong in the same household will also tend to look after each other. So, when a strange dog enters your yard or the pair’s territory, they will look out for each other. One protection behavior we have noticed over the years, is that Shiloh, the more laid back of the two, will go up to a more aggressive dog if they show attention to Sophie, and Shiloh will lay his head over the stranger dog’s neck. The assertive one will calm down instantly and leave the yard.

5. Lifespan

When our older dogs start to age, we tend to be so in love with that fuzzy family member, that we declare we could never have another canine companion when the first-born is gone. So, if you introduce a new pup into the household, you will soon find out that the younger one will become just as loved and adored, so that when your old boy or girl’s life runs out, you will have your younger one to soften the blow! Another advantage of two woofers approximately 7 years apart in age, is that the younger one will keep the older one spry and young much longer!

The joy of two dogs, no matter what their age, size, mix or breed is almost always worth the additional time, pet care and loving attention. Just think, when you leave the two of them to go to work or even travel, they have each other to rely on either at home or at the kennel. Then when you return home with them, you have double the unconditional love and licks from two precious tail wagging kiddos!

New Puppy in the House

We Have a New Puppy in the House!

Kya 1It is so much fun and exciting to meet and choose a new puppy, that we decided to welcome another Australian Shepherd puppy to our family! We have our precious “Rain” who is 7 years old and she is a smart, sweet, loveable and treasured doggie family member! But we decided that two dogs are even better than one for a lot of reasons.
1. Rain will have a companion with like personality and breed characteristics.
2. We will have a new puppy to train, with Rain’s help, of course!
3. Our young daughter will have the chance to bring up a puppy of her own to train from the beginning!

Introduction to New Home

But, first things first! A new puppy in the house requires some basic preparation. At 10 weeks old, she will need a bed, crate or kennel to identify as her ‘nest” because she will initially miss her mom and litter mates. She will also need a name, so we can train her to respond when her name is called. We chose “Kya” which is a simple two syllable name that has a nice ring to it! She will need her own bowls for water and food, along with soft bedding that lines her designated space. While she will need lots of attention to make her feel welcome, we cannot forget our beloved Rain, in the area of affection and giving her a sense of inclusion in the new puppy welcoming Kya and Rain 1process!
A trip to the veterinarian to establish Kya’s health program is at the top of the list of to-do’s so we can assure she gets started with the right food, shots, thorough physical exam and yes, bloodwork to establish a baseline for her future physicals and checkups.

Basic Training Routine

We will need to establish a routine with Kya quickly, so she understands when it is time for food, potty training, playing and sleeping. Potty training is a number one priority and can be handled in pretty short order, with a few simple habits. Of course, overnight and while we are away, the crate is a handy way to define her space, with papers on the floor outside her kennel. But, beware, this is NOT a permanent solution! The sooner she gets on a schedule of going outside for her pee and poop trips, the better for everyone in the family! So, we will make it a habit to take her outside as soon as we wake up and, on her leash, walk her around while letting her sniff. When she starts circling, we will use a command…some use a praise phrase, like be a good girl” or “do your business (or stuff or thing).” It is up to you which phrase or command to use, but the key is to make it consistent and once your pup relieves him or herself, then give plenty of praise to let them know they have done the right thing. The next time for this walk, is about an hour after they eat (for a new puppy). After playtime is another perfect opportunity, because they have worked up a bathroom trip by exercising. Then again, after dinnertime and before they go to bed at night. Really, the training process, as long as you are consistent should take less than a week. When you do not find overnight accidents and your pup starts whining to let you know they want outside, you have mastered the potty training task! Because training needs to always be a positive experience, we will not use harsh words of punishment for accidents. Most training professionals advise that when a pup does what comes naturally in an emergency, they do not understand punishment and instead need a calm cleanup, then a trip to the outdoor place you have trained them to use. That association will teach your pup to let you know when there is an emergency!

Command Training

Kya 2The first few weeks during playtime and even for short spurts of activity indoors, your pup will respond well to specific command training. “Sit,” “Down,” “Stay” and teaching how to focus on your eyes is an early must in getting a pup to pay attention when it is time to learn new things. The focus training is amazingly easy. Once they have the “Sit” command down, say “Look at me” or “Look up” and hold a treat by your eyes. When they look up, say “Good” and give the treat. Keep this up, but hold the gaze longer as you progress. Soon, when they sit and you say “Look…”, they will instantly give you their full attention! Then you can start with a new training command.

The “Sit” command is the easiest because you just need to hold a treat in front of your standing puppy’s nose to get their attention, then slowly move your hand with the treat up and over their forehead. As they follow the treat with their eyes, their little rump will automatically sit down. When they sit, give them the treat and lots of praise, with a “good” and a head pat.
While we are not exactly new to doggie training, we will be including our daughter in teaching Kya good behavior and habits, so we will also include our readers and customers in the process. Stay tuned, for more training tips, secrets, advice and care instructions as we watch our puppy grow and learn.

Voluntary Pet Food Recall Notice from FDA

Voluntary Pet Food Recall from Smallbatch Pets Inc.

RecallOn March 26, 2016, Smallbatch Pet Foods Inc. and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a voluntary pet food recall of their one lot of frozen dog Duckbatch sliders due to their potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Location and Sales Information:

Between February 23 and March 10, 2016, the 80 possibly affected cases were sold through pet food retailers and distributors in California, Colorado or Washington state.

Sold as frozen three-pound bags and identified with the manufacturing codes: LOT #        Best By Date UPC

CO27     01/27/17             713757339001

You will find the “Best By” date on the back of the package below the seal.

This voluntary pet food recall was issued after an FDA routine test at a distributor on a 3 lbs. bag of dog Duckbatch sliders, that showed the presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Symptoms of Exposure:

Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can be harmful to pets that have consumed this product and to humans who have handled the product without properly washing their hands and surfaces after having touched the contents of the package.

Human symptoms include, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can result in more serious symptoms that are included in the Food & Drug Administration notice. If anyone who has handled the affected product exhibits these symptoms, they should contact their physician immediately.

Pets that have consumed the affected product will be easily tired, have diarrhea, bloody stools, fever and vomiting, if they have contracted an infection from the Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Some pets that have the infection may show only loss of appetite, fever and abdominal pain. A healthy, yet infected pet can become a carrier that infects other pets and humans. If you observe any of these symptoms after using the affected product, contact your pet’s veterinarian immediately.

No reports of pet or human symptoms as a result of using this product were reported as of March 26, 2016. However, since Smallbatch Pets company has issued a voluntary recall, you should dispose of any unused product you may still have, using the disposal instructions on the package.

What You Should Do:

If you have opened but unused portions of this product still on hand, return the product to The place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of them immediately. Contact Smallbatch Pets at at 888-507-2712, Monday – Friday, 9:00AM – 4:00PM PST or email us at info@smallbatchpets.com to get answers to your questions and concerns.

FDA Definitions of Food Recall Notices:

Here are two definitions directly from the FDA website on what constitutes a food recall. Please see links at the end of this article, to get complete and up to date information.

“When a company announces a recall, market withdrawal, or safety alert, the FDA posts the company’s announcement as a public service. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.
Recall”

“Recalls are almost always voluntary. Sometimes a company discovers a problem and recalls a product on its own. Other times a company recalls a product after FDA raises concerns. Only in rare cases will FDA request a recall.”

Smallbatch Pets Inc.

Food and Drug Administration’s Notice for Smallbatch Inc. recall

FDA Definitions of Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts

Read about Dog Facts and Dog Breeds Information

Be sure to check out additions to the Dog Breeds Pages with information and facts about popular breeds that we have researched for you!

Family of Dogs photo by phphoto2010 on Flickr

Family of Dogs photo by phphoto2010 on Flickr

On the right of each Dog Breeds and More website page, we list the breeds we have researched so far. We are adding more weekly, so be sure to check back for even more information and dog breed facts as we expand our list.     ⇒  ⇒   ⇒

Our goal is to provide you with general information about AKC registered dog breeds and refer you to expert resources. When you do the research on the right dog for you, we find that information on how the dog will fit your life style and your family’s habits is the most important part of your search!

Dog Friends Meet photo by Steve Guttman on Flickr

Dog Friends Meet photo by Steve Guttman on Flickr

Happy purchasing, adopting and rescuing these wonderful best friends,

The Doggie-Diva Dog Boutique

Is Organic Food for Dogs the Right Choice?

Take a close look at what natural and organic food for dogs really means…

MLB Dog BandanaResearch and personal habits certainly prove that we consider our dogs part of our family. Therefore, we spend billions per year in the United States alone, to provide the best of everything for those beloved fur family members! You may have seen an increase in advertising for specific pet foods that are either “organic” or “natural” that ranges from dry food to refrigerated foods found in the pet, grocery or super stores. Here is insight on what you get that is good and bad from all the marketing claims.

Dog Food Preparation Definitions

What does Natural Really Mean?
Natural foods equal animal, plant or mined sources that have NOT been injected, treated or processed with chemical additives during normal food manufacturing, according to the Association of American Food Control Officials (AAFCO) Guidelines.

Organic
The specific definition for organic applies to human food, while there are no specific guidelines for animal food. According to the USDA, organic refers to agricultural products produced with biological, cultural and mechanical methods that support recycling, ecological and conservation practices without the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation or genetic engineering.Recall

Human Grade
Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines the safety and sanitary standards for manufacture of human food ingredients, the same requirements must fit a pet food manufacturer’s processing and production or it cannot be considered “human grade.”

Veterinary Research and Opinion on Natural and Organic Foods

According to “Dogs News – Science Daily,” Kansas State University Veterinary School scientists note that while natural, organic and holistic pet foods include healthy human grade products such as fruits, vegetables and meats, they may be missing vitamins and minerals that fit the needs of canine and feline nutrition. Reputable pet food manufacturers have veterinary nutritionists on staff to assure that the pet diet is complete for different stages of growth. Thus, labelling for Puppy, Adult and Mature ages should contain the nutritional values required by that life stage. The K State research also suggest that testing through food trials is an important part of the production process.

Pet Food Recommendations and Labeling:

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, that sets the guidelines for pet food Shiloh eating 9 weeksproduction, processing and labeling, has one of two AAFCO statements on the label to assure the consumer that the food meets nutritional standards for the life stage recommendation.

The “feeding statement” part of the label is also important to observe, since some foods may be specifically designed for temporary use or for age groups that would be harmful to pets if used on a long term basis.

Be extra observant of pet food labeling that has “organic” or “holistic” since there are no distinct definitions or requirements for those claims documented by AAFCO. When additional vitamins and minerals are added to a natural dog food, the statement “Natural with added vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients.” Must be included on the label as required by the Feed Control Association (AAFCO).

How many times have you thought or said that your doggie cannot possibly enjoy eating the same thing day after day? Are you tempted to slip some of your human food into Fido’s bowl? Or do you let your pups lick your plate after dinner? Veterinarians agree that “people” food is bad for our pets because there are so many ingredients that are not good for their canine systems! Just remember one thing…Animal physiology is not the same as human! When you want to give your tail wagging partner a treat, use one of the many dog biscuit and treat recipes that are available from reputable resources. Bon apetit for your barky buddy!

Peanut Butter Pumpkin biscuitsHere are links to Homemade Recipes for Pet Treats and one new company with Natural Food available in major locations.

Doggie Diva Recipes for Dogs Treats Blogs

HOmemade Dog Food Recipes

Fresh Pet Foods

The Doggie Diva Dog Boutique online would like to thank the following resources:

Association of American Feed Control Officials AAFCO Guidelines

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Pet Food Guidelines

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pet Food Regulations

Dogs News – Science Daily, K State Study
Kansas State University. “Veterinarian says natural foods not always best for pets.” Science Daily. Science Daily, 17 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100917085624.htm>.

Small Dog Breeds are a Joy to Own and Love

Small Dog Breeds Love to Love You!

west_highland_small_dog_breedsIf you now own or have considered buying one of the small dog breeds to join your family, then here is special information about why these little fur friends are different from other sized canines! Dogs that are called Toy, Miniature and Small are those that weigh under 20 lbs., according to the American Kennel Club. So, whether you are purchasing, rescuing or adopting a small dog breed or mix, it is critical to understand the temperament, physical characteristics and healthcare requirements that are unique to their smaller size!

Little Companion vs. Big Buddy

petote_roxy-for-small-dog-breedsWhen a large breed has already been part of your life, either as you grew up or in your adult years of pet ownership, there may be a period of adjustment when you find yourself with a miniature version of your best friend! The first idea that comes to mind about the little pups, is that they seem to always be puppies. They are playful, affectionate, cuddly and prone to want to be near you at all times. While it is true that the Toy breeds were purposely bred for companions, you may need to be careful what you wish for. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time which means their behavior while you are at work and they are at home may seem to be destructive, when they are simply feeling lonely! Exercise is just as important for the little breeds as for larger, just not in the same quantity or duration.
Do the research about the breed you choose (or that chose you) so you can match the way you treat and train this precious creature for a happy, well-adjusted friendship with you!

Do not Sit on the Dog!

Louie Dog Life Jackets

Louie Dog Life Jackets

Since you and your petite pal are sharing the same space, it is important to understand the limitations of a small dog breeds physical size, strength and stamina. For example, cuddling your fur baby is sweet, but bed covers, your body or objects can easily smother or crush them. Playing tug with their tiny teeth requires that you be gentle with soft toys or rope pulls that are not too large or too small. Since the size of your four-legged friend is conducive to riding, not just walking along wherever you go, the pet carrier you use needs to be safe, ventilated, roomy and cozy enough for his or her comfort! Little legs can run a lot faster than those larger doggie legs, so do not assume that when you put your peewee tail wagger on the floor or ground that they will not get distracted by another critter and take a hike! Collars and leashes are just as important for walks and travel as with any pet! Crate or kennel training for small doggies is also equally important as with larger ones because they may slip away for a nap or out of Curiosity in places you cannot locate or reach, such as the refrigerator, washer and dryer or inside a closet!

Small Dog Breeds, Small Health Issues?

Sad Small Dog BreedsAfter experience with a large breed, it would seem that the smaller the package, the easier it is to feed, treat and handle. Although small breeds have a longer lifespan than their bigger counterparts, the fragility of little bones, organs, coats and senses is greater than when you are caring for a non-speaking critter that is closer to your size! When little legs leap or jump, they are in jeopardy from landing too hard or awkwardly. They WILL strain a muscle or tendon in a jump from the sofa or bed, especially as they age! A ball or disc for playing fetch needs to be just the right size so they will not choke, strangle or crush your playful pet! Caution with the size of food treats is the same as with toys…the size should be right” for their little mouths. The long life expectancy also means you are in it for the long haul…so include your lifelong companion in your will and be sure they have a place to end their days in comfort and security! Annual and emergency trips to the Veterinarian are often more frequent with the wee ones than with the big guys!
Keep the fable “The Three Bears” in mind and ask yourself exactly what is “just right” for your little buddy’s size!

When you see a Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Miniature Poodle, Bichon Frise or any tiny tail wagging, wet-nosed, pointy or floppy eared small dog breeds, it is easy to just melt and want to hold, snuggle and love this bundle of fur. Of course! That is why small breeds of dogs are so popular! Just be sure to know you are going to be the proud parent of the canine world who will be your dependent, attentive and loving baby for a long, long time! But then, isn’t that what we wished for, after all?

The Doggie Diva Dog Boutique would like to thank and acknowledge the folloing resource:

The American Kennel Club, AKC.org

5 Dog Care Resolutions for 2016

Healthy resolutions for dog care will extend your fur pal’s life

Dog Hoodies

Now that you have set your own goals for 2016, it is time to look at your pets’ healthcare and make dog care resolutions. When you consciously plan and budget with annual resolutions for pet care you will help your beloved best friend be healthier through the year, safely avoid accidents or food issues and ultimately have a longer lifespan! Continue reading

Cutest Dog Photo Contest on Facebook – Enter to Win!

Enter your pets’ cutest dog photo contest on our Facebook Page by Jan 3rd to win…

dog photo contestAre all the treats and goodies your doggie got for gifts already gone? We have a solution! Enter our Cutest Dog Photo Contest on Facebook to win your choice of a great prize from the Doggie Diva Dog Boutique Sales and Clearance web page! Continue reading

FDA Dog Food Recall Notice

Doggie Diva Online Boutique tries to keep our customers informed when a pet food recall affects your pet’s health…

RecallThe Food and Drug Administration just released a pet food recall bulletin on December 10, 2015 that warns of a recall from Bravo Pet Foods of Manchester, Connecticut. Continue reading

Peace on Earth Lessons from Dogs

Dog Training is not WHAT you say, it is the WAY you say it…

guide_dogwsf puppy pictureIs a new puppy, a shelter rescue or a dog adoption in your future? If so, you are about to experience the most important lessons from dogs that will make you a better person. First, training your new family member is critical to the success of your pet’s good behavior and safety. Continue reading