Top 3 Treatments for Itchy Dog Ears

Itchy, sore, and smelly ears aren’t fun for you or your dog. There are several reasons your dog could have overly itchy ears but the most common ones include season allergies and ear infections. Give your pup some relief by using one of the three itchy ear treatments below.

  1. Otomax
    Otomax can be used to treat outer ear infections in your dog. This treatment is particularly useful for treating bacterial infections by combating bacteria while also soothing inflammation. This product should not be used if your pet is experiencing a fungal or viral infection. Otomax is administered by applying several drops of the antibiotic ointment into each ear.
  2. Amoxicillin
    Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that can be used to treat your dog’s ear infection. In addition to ear infection, Amoxicillin can also treat a skin infection, urinary tract infection, and dental infections. Typically, Amoxicillin is administered by oral pill, but drops are also available if your pup has a hard time taking medication.
    If your pup has seasonal allergies that result in frequent scratching or even cause ear discharge or odor, ask your vet about APOQUEL. APOQUEL works fast to provide itch relief to your dog and is administered through a small pill. This medication is not a steroid or antihistamine, so side effects are less severe.

Itchy and sore ears can make your dog miserable so don’t wait to treat allergy symptoms or infections. Ask your vet about prescription medication treatments so you can give your dog quick relief.

Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet

We’ve seen them on street-side mailboxes and taped to utility poles; the infamous Lost Dog or Lost Cat poster. A runaway or missing pet can be an incredibly difficult time for any pet owner and their family. The primary method of reuniting separated pets and their owners is through microchipping. This inexpensive and universally recognized method of linking pets with their people has proven effective.

Low or Reduced Cost Microchip Implant

While there is most often an initial cost to having a microchip implanted in your pet, there are several organizations who will periodically offer free or reduced cost procedures. The Arizona Humane Society, Washoe County Regional Animal Services, and El Paso Animal Services, are all organizations that have established programs to provide free microchips for pet owners. Search Google for “free pet microchip” and include your home town to see if any ongoing or limited time programs are available near you.

Safe Procedure For Your Pet

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the process to implant a microchip is no more painful than a regular injection. The procedure does not require anesthesia or surgery. The chip sits just beneath the skin surface around the scruff of the neck. This is a universally known location, that veterinarians, animal control authorities, and pet shelters locate to scan for a chip.

No Personal Information Stored on the Chip

The only information stored on the chip is a unique string. It can be a 9-15 numeric or alphanumeric (containing letters and numbers). Each chip manufacturer sets their own length, but no two numbers are duplicated among manufacturers. In order for the information string on the chip to be linked to the owners address, this ‘link’ needs to be established in a Registry. HomeAgain is one such registry. Once an account is created and the chip string (ID) is linked to the owners address. Any time when the chip is scanned, the veterinarian (shelter, or animal control authority) will ask the registry for the contact information linked to that ID.

Linking the chip string (ID) to contact information with most registries is free. Often, the company operating the registry will offer additional services (like dog tags, certificates, magnets, or enhanced account services) for an additional fee. Be sure to read the process carefully as you create an account to ensure you don’t sign up for unneeded subscription services.

Chips Are Easy To Maintain

Thankfully, the chip itself is maintenance-free after being implanted. It does not have a power-source, so no batteries to replace. The chip does not need to be ‘updated’ when new technology comes out. It is dangerous to remove a chip which usually requires a surgical procedure.

The Registry information requires the most maintenance. If the owner moves, or the dog changes owners, the information in the registry must be updated to ensure proper unification.

There are discussions about the evolution of chip technology and manufacturers using different radio frequencies to transmit chip information. This may cause concern for some owners worried that old chips may not be read by new scanners. This is a valid concern. Veterinary offices, animal control agencies, and other groups who regularly scan animals are increasingly using forward- and backward-looking scanners that can read multiple frequencies.

If a pet were to move to a different region in the world, the technological standard may be completely different and a second chip implant may be required.

“Check The Chip” Day

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day” which is set for August 15th each year.

On this day pet owners are reminded of two things:

  1. Make an appointment to have your pet microchipped, if they are not.
  2. Check your Registry information to ensure it is up to date.
    Phone numbers and addresses change over time, so it is important to ensure the Registry is up to date!

Check out this information for more information about microchipping:

American Animal Hospital Association

American Humane

ASPCA Microchip Position Statement

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals

The Humane Society of the United States

Central California SPCA

Canines Bring Comfort During Stressful Times

The adage goes that dogs are “man’s best friend”. This is true on a number of levels. Not only are everyone’s best friend in the best and worst of times, but they are always there. If there is nobody else around to talk to, confer with, or bounce ideas off of, dogs (and pets in general) will always be there.

With so many people cautious to leave their homes these days, even being in proximity to another person can be difficult. The basic instinct of being human needs to be with or around other humans. While the exposure time varies greatly, we need to have time with people or even know that it is an option.

In the middle of this global time where travel is discouraged and even restricted, this feeling of isolation and separation isn’t unique. Dogs have been used in many situations to comfort and relax humans. For example, dogs who stay with people (especially children) during court proceedings, children reading to dogs in libraries, dogs visiting patients in hospital, and dogs visiting colleges to calm student’s nerves during exam preparation. The outcome is the same; dogs have a calming effect in stressful situations.

Research shows that when dogs and humans interact, oxytocin is released into the body. This hormone is known to have a calming effect and was shown to be present in people who interacted with dogs. Dogs can also provide a sense of emotional security by physical touch (laying next to you on the couch), or may also increase physical security depending on the breed, size, and situation.

In a national survey by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Mars Petcare, 85 percent of respondents agreed that interaction with pets can help reduce loneliness, and 76 percent agreed that human-pet interactions can help address social isolation.

That statistic reinforces what pet owners already know, that through thick and thin, dogs really do make man’s best friend.

Modern Dog Beds Flourish With Options

Gone are the days when pet beds were rectangular pillows with a solid color cover. Today’s modern offerings include beds of all filling, shape, and even functional purpose.

Pet beds quickly adopt technology from the human bed manufacturers.

BuddyRest offers many different options in their beds including pressure mapping and proper weight distribution. Their offerings include solutions to help with mobility issues with lift-assist technology to make it easier for dogs to get in and out of their bed.


Fillings in modern dog beds include visco-elastic memory foam, recycled polyester strand fill, cotton, coconut husk, orthopedic foam, and some now incorporate moisture barriers to address the needs of senior dogs.


Shape is another area of radical innovation. Crate pads are sized to fit standard wire kennels, over-sized rectangular puffy cushions come in all sizes and fill levels. Orthopedic beds address pressure points. Beds with low or high side walls allow dogs to nestle in. Some like sleeping with their head propped up or elevated, and such beds allow them to do so. Beds are now offered in ‘bean’ shapes and circles.


Beds are more functional now. Rather than sitting in a corner as an afterthought, modern dog beds feature soft, fleece-like coverings; durable weather resistant outer coverings for travel or RV adventures, or traditional cloth. Some feature velvet-like coverings or even shag-length fibers for dogs who like to snuggle in.


While the industry standard seems to be solid colors, manufacturers like Carolina Pet Company in Prosperity, South Carolina have started to incorporate vibrant colors. Their Pendleton Pet Collection features colors inspired by United States National Parks.

So, no matter what type, size, or breed of dog, there is a bed that is the perfect fit, size, texture, and color to suit them, and whatever location the bed will stay.

What are the effects of COVID-19 on pet stores?

To say these times is ‘unprecedented’ is an understatement. Never in the history of retailing has such an event occurred. There have been events similar, say the Great Recession, but the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic is at a scale never seen before.

Of the primary concern, especially early into the outbreak, were questions over the availability of pet food. Given that there were severe shortages of paper products, staple food, and cleaning supplies in grocery stores, it was logical to question if the same scarcity would be seen in the pet department and pet retailers.

Fortunately, this hasn’t materialized. Manufacturers such as Purina were quick to send out emails notifying pet owners that the supply would remain steady. A quick glance in the pet food aisle of major grocery retailers shows this is true. Even walking the aisles of Pet Supplies Plus, the shelves appear at the usual stock levels.

Curb-Side Pickup Gains Momentum

With quarantine and social distancing orders put into place quickly, retailers were quick to adopt curb-side pickup options for customers. When walking the aisles no longer became feasible due to staffing issues or local regulations, call ahead and online or mobile ordering with curb-side options were quickly put into place across many chains. It is best to call your local pet store to see what contact-free options they are offering.

Online Ordering Increases Dramatically

Several big chains have been offering ‘to your doorstep’ delivery of pet essentials for several years. Pet owners have continually increased the rate at which they order pet supplies on line for home delivery. Staying home, and away from large gatherings is proving to be an effective measure to combat the spread. This has caused even the smallest pet stores to consider moving online if they currently are not. The Wall Street Journal notes on March 15 ” The retailers that are likely to fare better as Americans adjust to the current outbreak are those that invested in online logistics or have the ability to serve shoppers safely if the illness becomes widespread”. I found this interesting product, it’s a clever play on a human treat: Barkaron, a macaron for dogs!

Subscription Boxes Become The Ticket

For years, pet owners have relied on BarkBox and Chewy for a constant supply of new and exciting toys and treats. New entrants into this space include Pet Plate which is a fresh direct-to-consumer pet food subscription which was featured on Shark Tank. Giving people the ability to continue to provide food, toys, and treats during the time when it is safer inside, could revive the subscription box industry. The downside is that you may not know what fun is coming in the box each month, but isn’t that half the fun?

Veterinary Telehealth Increasingly An Option

With restrictions placed on veterinary offices, and pet owners less likely to venture out, just like Teladoc and MDLive offer health advice to humans, so too do Ask.Vet, VetNOW, and DVM360 offer ways to consult a live veterinarian. Royal Canin was offering free access for a limited time to assist pet owners.

To access the service, pet owners can connect at or can text chatnow to 67076. Pet owners will be able to ask any health-related questions ranging from ‘My dog has a wound. How do I know if it is infected?’ to ‘My cat is vomiting, is this an emergency?’

Grooming At Home Becomes An Option

Pet owners are now taking matters into their own hands, literally, as they began to groom pets at home. Several Instagram feeds featured cutely disastrous first attempts at grooming. A word of caution, though. Sharp objects in untrained hands can be dangerous to your pet! Grooming supplies are readily available on Amazon and other retailers. Wahl Corporation has posted videos to YouTube with techniques and methods to keep you and your pet safe, and your pet looking great!

Check out the Barkbath Dual Use which doubles as a portable grooming system and a deep cleaning appliance for carpets.

The effects of the pandemic are only beginning to show. This could be the start of permanent changes in everyone’s lives. From shopping to grooming to healthcare, there will be a ‘new normal’ for it all. Stay safe.

How working from home impacts our pets

With most of the world in lockdown and having to work from home, it is understandable that most pet owners are overjoyed at the prospect of spending more time with their furry friends. But does your dog feel the same way, and how is working from home affecting them?

Well, there is no simple answer to this and pet behavioral experts believe that it is all down to who your dog is and his own, unique personality and individual needs.

The first thing to remember is that we are now encroaching on our dogs’ usual territory during the day and disrupting their normal routine. While some dogs love having their owners around 24/7, others might feel confused by this change and could struggle to adapt to their newfound routine.

Photo by Lum3n on

Some dogs may pick up that something is wrong, especially during this time of high anxiety and worry about the Coronavirus, job losses, economic uncertainty and loved ones who are affected by the virus. This can, in turn, cause them to become anxious and act out in negative ways.

Many dogs are used to getting out more than they do at the moment, with some owners taking them for walks several times a day, car rides and out and about to run errands. When this is taken away, they have a build up of unused energy and can become upset when they cannot used this pent-up energy. Other dogs, who traditionally only get one rushed, short walk during the day, might be delighted at now being walked for a longer period and at their pace.

If you think your dog might be depressed or upset at being cooped up indoors, why not buy or make them some new toys to keep them occupied? If you have a garden, spend some time with them playing with them or teaching tricks.

5 Ways To Memorialize Your Pet

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. If you choose to purchase through the link it doesn’t increase your purchase price, but Amazon will pay a small commission which helps keep this blog going.

The passing of a pet is always a difficult situation. Often, they are a member of our families and, increasingly, are reaching the same status as children in a traditional family.

The process of watching a beloved pet age and go through any number of issues before passing, or if there is a sudden loss; is never easy. While the grieving process can be long and difficult, there are ways to memorialize your pet so that while they aren’t with you as they once were, you can still have a visual and tangible reminder of them. Those items will help those who see relive the good memories of their lives while they were with you.

Some of the ideas below are items that are purchased, while others are DIY. Both have their benefits, but having a hand-crafted memorial is very fitting given the nature of the relationship between you and your pet.

Shadow Box

A shadow box is a small collection of sentimental items arranged in a case to hang on a wall, or place on a table. Often, pictures are included, a small notecard with a poem, you could include a favorite small toy, or other items that your pet had a special connection to. Their collar, or their ID tags can be placed in a prominent place in the shadow box.

You can purchase many shapes and sizes from your favorite local hobby store, Amazon, or build your own.

Check out these plans for DIY shadow boxes from the Rogue Engineer.


While we think of urns as mostly for human ashes, they are also available in smaller sizes, and different ornemenation for pets. Cremation services are widely available across the United States, and can be coordinated with a veterinarian or often you can bring your pet their directly after they have deceased.

After cremation, the ashes will need to be picked up and will be in a plastic bag inside a cloth sachet, typically inside a decorative box.

Engraving is often available and a special quote can be etched into the urn. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”, and “Gone But Not Forgotten” are two perfect phrases. You can also have their date of passing included.

Urns can be set up on a mantle, or ledge at home with a collar or ID tags draped over the top.

Manufactured Diamond

A growing trend for human ashes is exerting a very high amount of pressure on them over an extended period of time, which turns the ashes into a diamond. This can be tinted to finish in many colors and set into any jewelry piece. The same can be done with pet ashes.

The process is typically to request a kit, return the ashes to the diamond company, and wait up to 10 months while the diamonds are grown. After that, the diamond is returned to the sender and can be brought to any jeweler where they can be set into an existing piece (ring, necklance, bracelet, earrings, etc…) or set into a new piece.

This is a highly tangible way to bring the memories of your pet with you whever you go.

Paw Print Imprint

Keeping an imprint of a pets paw print on display can be a great reminder of the individuality of your pet. The shape, size, depth, and contours of the impression can bring back memories of times spent together curled up a home, or how those feet endlessly chased their favorite flying toy.

Several inexpensive kits are available online, or oven-baked clay can be used and is available at most craft stores. Below is a recipe you can craft at home without having to make a purchase. Check out this basic oven baked clay recipe from Allrecipes.

This doesn’t only need to be done after a pets passing. It can be a great reminder today of how special your pet is and how important their companionship and loyalty is while they are with us!

[One more thing]

Given how special the animal-human bond is, it seems appropriate to memorialize a pet in a special way. There are lots of great resources online, this is only a glimpse of some of the most popular ways.

What is important is to savor every moment with your pet while they are here. They bring comfort, warmth, companionship, and a patient ear when we need to get something off our chest. Often, they follow us through many stages of our own lives and are the ‘constant’ that we need to help get us through some of life’s rough patches.

One thing that always comforts me is the Rainbow Bridge poem. It makes a great addition to any memorial to your pet.

Amazon has a beautiful photo frame with the Rainbow Bridege poem printed next to the picture area.

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown

Five of the most important things to look for when finding the perfect dog bed

There are hundreds of dog beds to choose from when looking online and in pet stores, however it is important to very carefully weight the following factors when selecting the correct one for your dog.

While some characteristics may seem obvious at first glance, as you dog start using the bed you will find that other factors may be more important that they initally seem. For example, the look of a bed may seem important, however, if your dog is a breed that is a tough chewer and they begin to attemp to gnaw at the bed, you will find that durability ultimatley is more important than design.

When selecting a dog bed, breed is an important factor to keep in mind. Some dogs are in hearantly curious so they may find pleasure in ‘digging’ at their bed. If you dog is getting up in years and needs more support, an orthopedic bed may be a better option. Should your dog be a large breed, having foam or ‘over stuffed’ plolyfill may be what you should be looking for.

Below, I have listed five of the most important factors when selecting the perfect dog bed. Take into consideration your dog and rank each one to help narrow down the perfect place for your pooch.


The patterns and colors that dog beds come are made is virtually limitless. Whether you are trying to find a bed that will coordinate with the room it will be in, or if you would like the bed to blend in with it’s surroundings, you can find hundreds of options when it comes to colors and prints. Beds mostly come in solid colors, although you can find an increasing availability of prints in muted or bold schemes. For the most part, the bottom and sides of the bed usually are made of coordinating colors to the top, which is the most visible. While the top of the bed may have a pattern or contrasting color, often the sides and bottom are not of the same design.


Beds range from lightweight fabrics all the way to ultra-durable canvas-type cloth. Mostly, beds are made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, however there are some cotton and fleece available. Durability is very important to consider if your dog is a heavy chewer, or has anxiety, or separation issues. If they are left at home alone during the day, they could use the bed as a tool to take out their anxiety, which ultimatey leads to its destruction.


The inner fluff of the bed comes in three categories, PolyFill which is like ‘plastic hay’; long thin strands of plastic that are usually contained in a second, inner pouch, the second filling type is foam and can be in an ‘egg crate’ form, either in one piece or broken up pieces, and the last type is ‘other’ which could be cocoanut husk, cotton scraps, or cedar chips. All types have their pros and cons. The most common filling materials are polyfill and some form of foam. Polyfill tends to compress over time making for a bed that flattens. Foam can be made from many different densities with the most dense foams keeping their shape the longest. Selecting a foam filling may be the best option for large breeds.

A consideration should be made as well if an orthopedic bed is needed to provide extra support, or if the dog using it like to support their chin on a raised side. Also, for dogs that like to curl and sleep in corners (or pressed up against a human), they may like having a U-shaped raised edge along the back and sides of the bed.

Shape and Size

One of the most important factors should always be matching the size of bed to the dog that will be using it. The folks at have a great page on correctly measuring your dog for the prefect fit. I would say it’s never wrong to be liberal with your measuring. Your dog may add a few inches (or pounds) as they age and it is good to give them room to grow into.

Beds also dont’ come in just rectangles. There are many other options including circles (for dogs who like to curl), bone-shaped beds, chaise lounge shaped beds, and even beds that look like rugs – to blend in more naturally.

Ease of Cleaning

Some dogs are prone to drooling while sleeping, others may experience an accident as they age, sometimes they will bring food or other soggy toys to bed which require that the bed is occasionally cleaned. Often beds will have a removable cover which can be washed in the regular machine laundry, while others are made from waterproof materials.

In closing, the ‘perfect dog bed’ is the one that they seek out and use, and that lasts a long time. Using the factors above can help you identify the correct bed your dog will be sure to love.

Roundup of Dogs in the News

This weeks roundup of stories are incredibly inspirational and are a great read!

Service Dog Gives Girl Without Arms A Helping Hand

WILX in Lansing, Michigan shares the story and video of a Zeo Bosanic who was born without arms, but thanks to her Golden Doodle, is able to overcome that obstacle.

Mochi, her dog, has been working with Canines for Change to learn the situations where Zoe needs assistance, and how to provide it. For example, if Zoe drops something, Mochi can pick it up and place it where Zoe access it. Thanks Mochi and Canines for Change, and Congratulations Zoe for your strength and courage!

Canine Companions for Independence features Megan Moving Away From Home

Megan, who graduated from law school in Boston, didn’t let her deafness interfere with her independence. Struggling with how to manage daily tasks without her parents, she realized that a service dog would be able to provide what she needed to move away from home.

Canine Companions for Independence worked with Meg to match her with the right dog (his name is Ras). Ras provides her with the confidence and reassurance that she won’t miss vital alerts in the world.

Mutt-i-grees Student Ambassador Program Runs Adoption Event

Mutt-i-grees Student Ambassadors in conjunction with North Shore Animal League host an adoption event in New York’s Prospect Park which ends up with 9 rescue dog adoptions!

Students in the program took the lead in the event, raising awareness, and collecting signatures for a petition, as well as working the adoption event. This great community partnership was a win-win for everyone as the students gained organizational and leadership skills, and several dogs found forever homes!

Mutt-i-grees also has curriculum that teachers can incorporate into any classroom setting. Check out the links on their site.

Saline Memorial Hospital Hires Therapy Dog For Staff, Patience

Recognizing the benefits of therapy dogs, Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton, Arkansas has brought in furry assistants to ease the nerves of anxious and stressed patients and staff.

“Get her in your lap and love her for a little bit. You’ll forget about your troubles,” said Ruth Phillips, a patient.

Often, patients must spend extended periods in hospital as they recover from a procedure or experience reucurring treatments, they must leave their familiar home and pets. Having just a touch of something ‘from home’ or a happy-go-lucky dog can bring a smile and calmness to any heart.

This Is Why Firehouse Dogs Are Dalmatians

MSN did a writeup this week answering the question why dalmatians are associated with firehouse dogs. The article goes into greater detail, but when the firefighters would run into buildings, the dogs would stay with the horses, calming them, and keeping pickpockets away.

Clearly, in today’s age, the mechanized firetruck has replaced the horse-drawn wagon, but the imagery of the dalmatian sitting on the back of the fire truck, or laying at the entrance to a firehouse has remained.

Also, check out this longer article from Live Science with pictures of dalmatian fire dogs in action, riding along to the scene of fires.

The Year Of The Pet Apps

Mark your calendar, folks, 2019 is officially the year of the pet app. This year we have witnessed so many new and revolutionary apps launched for dogs and their people.

Recently, the Puppr app has taken the world by storm. Updating the age-old ‘clicker training’ method, Sara Carson worked with developers to customize videos and chat features into an app which would be accessible to every dog household. Now, everyone has a super-easy way to start training at home with the help of an America’s Got Talent finalist.

Dig is the dating app for dog people. Ever gone on a date where your match didn’t like dogs? Not anymore! Ensure canine compatability and have confidence that your relationship is off to a great start with this app to connect humans, who both love dogs!

My Talking Pet has been around for several years but now gaining some serious traction. Upload a pit of your pet, click on a few points on the picture, then watch as your pet turns into a vocal virtuoso as their mouth follows your words. Use some fun preset phrases use your own!

Furbo is a fun hardware and software combination that lets you watch your dog through the wifi-enabled camera, but also toss treats to them remotely, and interact through the built-in microphone! Great quality settings for high and low bandwith connections, and an integrated LED in the camera to visually show when it is broadcasting. Check the current price on Amazon using the link above.

WoofTrax is a great app to help get and keep you and your dog active, but also donate to a great cause. Fire up the app and grab the leash because all the time and steps you track while walking your dog can add up to a donation to many available dog-centered groups! Read the details in the app to ensure your maximum donation.