Author: top-dog-tips

Dog Training and Health Advice – Kevin the Collie

Welcome to Kevin the Collie’s Dog Training and Health Tips. This site was created for Kevin, a handsome Rescue Dog who was found straying in London aged 9+.  Happily we found him at the Mayhew Animal Home and he came to live out his old age with us until he reached the end of  his life nearly four years later.  Kevin loved going for walks with his adopted Mum and Dad and finding dog friendly places for us to go.  In spite of his earlier experiences he was a friendly dog, who won the heart of everyone he met.  He loved socialising with all the other dogs and people that he met in the street, at the park and especially in the pub! We are pretty certain that Kev’s former owner spent a lot of time in the bookie’s, as he seemed to make himself at home there – or maybe they played cards, who knows?

His health was not good and Kevin suffered from painful and chronic ear infections which eventually caused his end.  As a result we have lost of information for other dog owners whose pets have similar illnesses.

We have lots of tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy so please have a look around.

Dog Health – Tips for Minor Ailments

When you adopt or buy a dog or puppy you need to have a veterinary surgeon to turn to in an emergency. They do a wonderful job, and you should never ignore an animal’s illness. However, it is a waste of money to attend the Vet’s surgery for minor ailments when the problem is one you can solve at home.
If your dog or puppy’s symptoms persist you can still contact the vet. Dog health need not always be a costly worry to the wise pet owner, and you can now buy pet medications online.

Allergies are an increasing problem for dogs and their owners, causing distress and discomfort. Read about steps you can take to relieve your dog’s allergy symptoms.

Some dog breeds do not like being handled: pitbull dogs and bull terriers for example. This should be a key behavior that is taught in dog training so that the dog understands you are entitled to treat him for his own good. After a country walk it is a good idea to give your dog a quick grooming or rub down, and check for any lumps or bumps that he may have picked up along the way. Kevin gets twigs and sticks caught round his rear and his bushy tail. Left unchecked, these can cause the fur to mat around them. The dog will worry at it and probably lick the area bare, leaving it open to infection. You can avoid this with a few minutes’ attention.

Ticks are nasty. They have a one-piece body and the harpoon-like mouth barbs attach to a host (your dog) for feeding. The tick’s Crablike legs and a sticky secretion help the tick to hold on. Long-haired dogs often suffer badly from ticks. When attempting to remove a tick, the aim is to prevent the mouth section from coming off and remaining embedded in the skin. The home remedy is simple and cheap – petroleum jelly, which is what you would get if you went to a pet shop and paid for a proprietary tick remover! The most effective way to remove a tick is to put a big lump of petroleum jelly over the area where it has attached itself. Leave this for at least ten minutes. Once the tick’s grip loosens, you can wipe it away with a tissue.

Ear mites – if your pet has ear mites, then place two drops of corn oil into its ears (you can use an eye dropper), massage the ear gently then clean with a cotton ball. This will suffocate the mites. Repeat for 3 days. Regular ear bathing with oil is recommended by vets, to avoid a buildup of wax and irritants. Never use cotton buds to clean a dog’s ear – in fact do not use cotton buds on other pets’ ears either.

Constipation – when a dog or puppy is constipated try this home remedy first. For a large dog, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of mineral oil to its food. For a small dog reduce the dose to 1 to 2 teaspoons. Do this for two days and the problem should clear up.

Diarrhoea – if your dog has diarrhoea mix one heaped teaspoon of carob powder with a little water and mix into your dog’s dinner. Use half a teaspoon for a puppy or miniature breed.

Urinary tract infections – mix 30-40ml of cranberry juice into your pet’s food. This will boost the acidity of its urine, reduce bacteria and help relieve the discomfort.

And if you’re not sure what’s wrong – say your dog seems ‘off colour’ – then here’s a tip we use all the time. Add half a dissolved aspirin or children’s liquid analgesic to your pet’s food. It can perk up a Collie in minutes.…

Hot cars kill dogs

I have already written about the dangers to dogs in cars in Summer.  Here is a bullet-point checklist from the Dogs Trust:

1. Never leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes- even if it seems cool outside , the inside of a car can become very hot very quickly. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe.  You would find it uncomfortable to sit in a parked car yourself with the engine off, and it is the same for your dog! When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down – leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens will not keep your car cool enough.

2. If you see a dog in distress in a parked car call the Police Service (101) or the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999. (SSPCA in Scotland)

3. Make sure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows when travelling, and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle during the journey.

4. When you drive with your dog, make sure you have a supply of water and know where you can stop off en route for water breaks. Dogs cannot cool down as effectively as humans so they can suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly

5. If you are present at the rescue of a dog from a hot car that is clearly in distress, seek immediate veterinary advice. The very first priority is to prevent the dog from getting any hotter, attempt to provide shade from the sun and move to a cooler area. Offer them a large deep bowl of water to drink. Dampening the dog down with cool (but not freezing) water will help start to bring the body temperature down. Wet towels can be used to cool a dog but these must be changed regularly. You can also spray them down with water and place them in front of the air conditioning vent to enhance evaporation on the way to the emergency appointment.…

Dogs Die in Hot Cars

I have been shocked this summer to find how many dog owners are unaware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a parked car on a warm day. As the DogsTrust rightly says,  You May as Well Leave Your Dog in an Oven.  They have found that more than one in 10 people know of a dog that has come to harm left in a parked car in hot weather.  What’s even more shocking is that almost half of us (48%) mistakenly believe it is OK to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken (window open or parked in shade). It is NEVER safe to leave a dog in a car on a warm day.

Here are the cold hard facts:

Less than 20 minutes in a hot parked car can prove fatal to a dog if its body temperature goes above 41°C. ( A dog’s normal temperature is  between 38°C  & 39.2°C As the temperature inside the car rises, in just a matter of minutes, the dog’s suffering will become evident through excessive panting, whimpering or barking. This will develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately the kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become irreversibly damaged and the heart will stop.

Here are some more shocking facts that show how our dogs are put in danger every day: Britons are far more likely to leave their dog in a car alone for a few minutes (28%) than their phone (10%). More than a quarter of UK dog owners admit to leaving their dog alone in parked cars. AA call outs to rescue dogs locked in parked cars have increased by 50% in past six years. AA Patrol of the Year, Mark Spowage comments:“The dangers are obvious; you just have to touch the dashboard or seats to know how hot the inside of a car can get. But it’s not just on warm days when dogs are at risk – vehicles can be death-traps even in cooler temperatures.

If you leave your dog in a parked car, this is what can happen: the Police or RSPCA will be called. Before they arrive, your car windows may be smashed by a member of the public to ensure your dog’s welfare. When the Police or RSPCA reach the scene you may be fined or summoned to appear in court for cruelty to your dog.  The choice is yours – leave your dog at home, or take him with you when you park the car. If you decide to leave a dog in a car, you now know the risks and the consequences.…

Stop the Dog Meat Trade in Yulin

Social Media like Twitter and Facebook are great for dog and animal lovers – places where we can look proudly at photos of our pets.  And that’s exactly how I want to use them.  It was lovely this week to share pix of our lovely Welsh Terrier walk in the the New Forest, for example.  By publishing on Twitter I have come into contact with like-minded individuals who also care about animal welfare.


Using the 140 character limit on Twitter, these people, all around the world, publish messages about issues of concern as well.  This has been a revelation to me, showing the disgusting and vile practices that torture and kill animals in nearly every country in the world.  Realistically, barbaric acts of cruelty take place here in the UK as well, but not usually with government sanction or glorification.  The event – if you can call it that – which has upset me recently is the so-called Yulin Dog Meat Festival which happened on midsummer’s day. What should be one of the most wondrous days of the year was turned into a frenzy of wickedness in Yulin.  These people do not simply eat meat that has been butchered conventionally.  They chase, beat and torture these poor creatures before eating them.  Some dogs are also cooked alive.  I do not want to tarnish this website with the images, nor do I want to shock any unprepared readers.

If you also care about dogs and want to stop them being ill-treated for amusement in this way, then please sign the Petition to stop the 2015 Yulin Dog Meat Festival

I have also pasted some links to the Tweets that have been published to stop this shocking trade, so you can follow the story there.

#YulinGetDogsOffTheMenu #YulinDogMeatFestival #Yulin #boycottchina#dogmeattrade my beautiful dog out 4 walk with Dad, Dogs R pets not food— Flora Earl (@sussexblogger) June 25, 2014

#BOYCOTTChina #saynotodogmeat #Stop2015YuLinDogMeatFestival Terrible pic but we have to see it to act   — Flora Earl (@sussexblogger) June 29, 2014

YULIN This Brutal And Cruel Dogs Treatment Is A Societal Mental Disorder Of The Highest Order — Thenyc Dogwalker (@thenycdogwalker) June 29, 2014

There’s hope :) read story then sign to stop Yulin in 2015 — Zayden The Belgian (@loridowney3) June 30, 2014…

Fox Terrier Walk in Brighton

Our second experience of the Brighton Fox Terrier Walk, on 26th April, was just as much fun as the first, and the weather was even kinder to us this time.  We were now prepared for the noise that guides the participants to the meeting point, thanks to 60+ Fox Terriers, ten Welsh Terriers and several other assorted breeds, in full voice.  The starting point is outside a McDonald’s at Brighton Marina: anyone who hoped for a quiet coffee on the terrace on that day was now regretting their choice!  A great turnout of happy dogs from all corners of the country, plus a couple who had even crossed the channel from France to join the event.  The car park is a multi-storey, making it quite difficult to keep Lula calm as she was desperate to join the others.  She would happily have jumped off from the top floor if we hadn’t held her back.  Her first encounter was with an Airedale, as you can see. Little and Large, not an optical illusion!

Lula wore a gorgeous new Cath Kidston cravat for the walk as we wanted her to look her best.  She was soon circulating among the crowd and meeting he new friends.

We were also accompanied by Teddy the Fox Terrier and his family, who live just a couple of streets away from us.  Teddy is just a year old so this was his first meetup with his cousins and he had a lovely time!  He is shown in this photo, leading his Mum (in the Leopard print coat).

This walk passes along the Marina past the bars and restaurants to the east of Brighton along a wide path above the beach.  At the end there is a welcome tea stop and, of course, the photo opportunity. Lula seemed to remember that there was a nice stretch of sandy beach on the route back, and she dragged us quietly but insistently on to the beach for a great game of tug.  I am always impressed by a dog’s memory for anywhere they have visited previously and she certainly remembered this spot.…