Author: Orla O'Keefe

Most of my day is spent playing with dogs. When they nap, I'm here working on my blog. You're welcome to reach out and connect with me.

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?

When you sit down to dinner (or lunch, or breakfast, or even when you think about food), do you have a set or two of doggie eyes fixed on you?

Does your dog stare at you intently at certain times of day?

Do they give you a look that says, Hey, I need something, why are you not getting it for me?

Why Your Dog Stares at You

Hoping that your pup is staring at you lovingly? Contemplating how great you are for giving them so many delicious treats?

Unfortunately, dogs don’t think this way. They’re holding your gaze because it leads to a reward. 

Feed Me!

When does your dog start staring?

Is it a little before dinner time? Were you caught up in a book, TV show or finishing up some work and you noticed your pooch giving you the eye?

They were communicating that it’s time to eat. 

If they do this while you’re eating, they are communicating (begging) for some of what’s on your plate. You may notice that in these situations, your dog is amazingly skilled at looking extra sad. Dogs know which looks get them the most food. Ears forward, softened eyes, head slightly down? You can’t resist… and they know it!

Walks, Play Time, and Rides

Staring isn’t always about food. 

You dog can communicate other needs with a prolonged look. They may be telling you that it’s time to:

  • Go for a walk
  • Go outside to use the bathroom
  • Play with their favorite toy
  • Go outside to play
  • Refill the water dish

No Food? Ok, Just Tell Me How Great I Am

Your dog may also stare at you simply because they want to catch your attention to remind you to give them attention. 

They will look at you for praise and petting. 

They will look at you simply to have you look at them. 

Your Dog Depends on You

Your pup depends on you for all of their needs: food, exercise, play, affection, and care. 

Keep them safe, healthy, and protected: get them and always know where they are.

Also, make sure they’re covered by pet health insurance for those unannounced trips to the doggie ER, or for expensive, prolonged medical care. 

Shelter Dog Flips Out After Being Adopted

For some shelter dogs, their second chance at life never comes. They spend days, weeks, months in a shelter without anyone choosing them or giving them a chance to be loved. But luckily for one shelter dog, that wasn’t the case.

Every good story should have a hero and this story has a sweet but shy dog called Benny as our hero. He had no idea what his future was going to be or how long he would be in the shelter for.

Unfortunately for Benny, the shelter he was in was Carson Animal Care Center, which is a high-kill shelter in Gardena, California. This mean’t that Benny was literally between a wonderful life and possibly being put down if someone didn’t save him. Well someone did.

Earlier this month, Benny was rescued and adopted by a loving family. Well Benny shows us all what that mean’t to him. This is a fantastic reaction.

This is why rescuing a shelter dog is wonderful. It is a great thing to do for both you and the dog. We have discussed it before and while we can articulate much through our words, we can articulate much more through adoption videos like this.

Pit Bulls Waiting To Be Adopted Get Tiny Cottage Sanctuaries

Go to any local shelter and there’s likely at least one Pit Bull waiting to be adopted. It can take many weeks, even months to place a Bully in the right home. That’s why Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene, Oregon has taken it upon themselves to make light of a few lucky bully’s living arrangements.

At $10,000 – $20,000 a pop, the rescue has built six tiny cottages that mimic the look, feel, and style of a modern cottage home…albeit a bit smaller. They’re built with two fully loaded individual “bedrooms” to house two dogs.

Equipped with dog beds, televisions, art work, music, even heating and air-conditioning, these cottages are no joking matter.

Form And Function (And Fun!)

As you can see in the photos, these cottages aren’t just stylish buildings that replace drab kennels. The cottages are genuine replicas of a home, which provides a homelike, peaceful environment for the Pit Bulls to partake in activities that prevent depression and boredom (two traits common among the breed).

Comfort aside, the tiny dog houses are also built for function. Liesl Wilhardt, the founder and executive director of Luvable Dog Rescue, spent years raising funds for the project and researching a logical design.

‘“There are basic guidelines to creating a space for animals that is functional and easy to clean but also pleasant for the animal to live in,”’ she told This Dog’s Life.

In Case A Tiny Cottage Wasn’t Enough…

Settled on 55 acres, Luvable Dog Rescue has more than enough space for the dogs to run, play, hike, and exercise. Each dog gets a 45-minute walk per day, sometimes two!

When they’re not tending to their homes, that is…No cars, no sidewalks, no leashes…55 acres for a dog to run free is every dog lover’s/dog’s dream. 

These Three Huskies Are The Cutest Escape Artists You’ll Ever See

Siberian Huskies are known for their striking multicolored eyes, signature facial markings, and unique “voice”. Something else Huskies are famous for? Their escape abilities.

Often called the “Houdini” of dogs, Siberian Huskies can escape from nearly anywhere and everywhere. No matter how secure the fence, gate, or crate is, Huskies have an innate ability to open them.

Three Huskies from Iowa are no different.

Gracie, Kona, and Crimson live with Callie Gansen in Dubuque, Iowa. The siblings are three peas in a pod and just happen to be the world’s cutest escape artists.

One day, Gensen wanted to share their escape tactics with the world. She decided to film the three of them escaping, which she says they do daily.

Gansen decided to share the video to a Facebook group dedicated to Huskies. Then, she uploaded it on YouTube.

The video begins with all three of them behind a seemingly secure gate. Gracie then takes a few steps back, jumps high in the air, and completely clears the fence.

Kona

“I usually have to put a fence on top of the fence that’s shown in the video to keep that one from jumping it,” Gensen said.

With Gracie free, it was Crimson and Kona’s turn. Rather than exert effort to jump the gate, Crimson decided to use a more tactful approach. He uses his nose and teeth to loosen the lock on the gate door. Mere seconds later, he manages to open it. Kona promptly follows.

Once Crimson reaches Gansen on the couch, he gives a signature Husky “growl” as if to say, “I told you I’d get out.”

50 Greatest Dog Names


The 50 Greatest Dog names. That is a big statement. We have used research form our friends at BarkPost to see what they listed as the classic 50 dog names. They did some research and these are the sure fire names that are always in the top dog name lists. So here you have it:

The 50 greatest dog names:

1. Spot

2. Buddy

3. Bandit

4. Benji

5. Ginger

6. Patches

7. Fido

8. Socks

9. Brownie

10. King


11. Bella

12. Charlie

13. Lucy

14. Rocky

15. Max

16. Lady

17. Lassie

18. Lucky

19. Sparky

20. Beauty


21. Fluffy

22. Daisy

23. Sadie

24. Princess

25. Rex

26. Teddy

27. Bear

28. Shadow

29. Lady


30. Missy

31. Sasha

32. Roxy

33. Coco

34. Cricket

35. Champ

36. Milo

37. Rufus

38. Scout

39. Samson

40. Bailey


41. Jake

42. Toby

43. Duke

44. Winston

45. Hunter

46. Gracie

47. Angel

48. Stella

49. Honey

50. Sugar

Does your dog’s name appear in the all-time Top 50?

Understanding And Treating Cataracts In Dogs

Have you ever seen a dog with a white tint to their eyes? If you’re wondering what it may be from, it could be cataracts. A potentially life-threatening disease, cataracts should be treated as soon as symptoms appear. Read on to help understand and treat them in dogs.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a largely inherited disease and are more frequent in purebred dogs. They are defined as the clouding of the lens of the eye. They can progress slowly or quickly, causing blindness in a few days or a few weeks.

A cataract isn’t a film over the eye, it’s a change to the inside of the clear sack that contains the lens. A minor clouding or fogging that doesn’t interfere with vision is known as an incipient cataract. Immature cataracts tend to cloud the larger portion of the lens and can result in blurred vision.

When the entire lens clouds up and complete vision is lost over time, it’s known as a mature cataract. As it progresses even further, the pupil will turn a bluish to even white color. A cataract doesn’t always mean blindness, though.

How They Develop

Cataracts can develop at any age. The Cocker Spaniel, Siberian Husky, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, and Golden Retriever are all more prone to the disease. Diabetes can also cause them. Nearly 75% off dogs with diabetes will become blind from cataracts within a year. In fact, they can develop overnight in dogs with diabetes – one night they go to bed with normal eyes and the next morning they wake up with white eyes!

If this happens, take your dog to the vet immediately.

Cataracts can also be caused by the toxicity from drugs such as heartworm preventatives, vaccines, and flea and tick medicine. Underlying eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, or uveitis can also cause this disease. Eye trauma can also lead to cataracts. Lastly, senior dogs can develop this disease due to aging but they are mostly slow to develop and don’t cause serious eyesight issues.

Treatment

If you spot some clouding in your dog’s eyes, take your pup to the veterinarian immediately. From there, they might recommend a visit to a veterinary ophthalmologist. If the cataracts aren’t major, they will be monitored and rechecked often. Anti-inflammatory eye drops may also be prescribed.

If the cataracts are major, surgery may be recommended. Surgery is more effective if it is done sooner rather than later as mature ones are harder to treat. Surgery is usually successful and most dogs have near-perfect vision post-surgery.

Prevention

One way to prevent cataracts is to prevent diabetes. You can prevent diabetes by keeping your dog at a healthy weight. Since diabetes almost always end in this disease and involves surgery, the best way to prevent them is to prevent diabetes!

There are many other holistic approaches to preventing cataracts like not over-vaccinating your pet, feeding a high quality diet, and adding supplements to their food.

5 Hairless Dogs Breeds You Didn’t Know Existed

When you think of cute dog breeds, you probably don’t think of hairless dogs. But we’re here to change your mind. Hairless dog breeds are often overlooked for those with thick, full coats – but these furless pups are just as cute as their furry counterparts. Here are five hairless dog breeds you didn’t know existed – or needed.

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

This dog breed may be one of the toughest to pronounce (its “show-low-eats-queent-lee”), but they are an interesting one. Xolo (or “show-low”) for short, the Mexican Hairless Dog is native to Mexico and descended from a few breeds of Old World dogs. They existed in Mexico for more than 3,000 years.

This breed was considered sacred by the Aztecs. They believed Xolo’s helped their masters souls safely pass through the underworld. Aztec legend has it that the god Xolotl made this breed from a small sliver from the Bone of Life – where all mankind came from. Xolotl provided this gift with instructions to guard mankind and provide safety from the dangers of Mictlan, world of Death. Some people in Mexico still believe this to be true! (www.featuredcreature.com).

Today, the Xolo is a loving, intelligent breed with protective qualities.

Chinese Crested

Despite its name, the Chinese Crested did not come from China. They are actually descendants of Africa or Mexico, but were reduced in size by the Chinese. The Chinese Crested comes in two varieties: the Powderpuff and the Hairless. The Powderpuff is the hairier of the two, but the amount of fur can vary on both breeds. They were bred to be companions and the Chinese believe this breed had healing powers.

This is a breed unlike any other dog in that they hardly have any desire to go outside and play. They will lie with you for hours and have an innate ability to know what you’re thinking. Chinese Cresteds are a social breed and will bond quickly. They are, however, weary of strangers.

Argentine Pila Dog

Dating back to more than 3,000 years, the Argentine Pila Dog is native to Argentina. During the Spanish colonial times and into the 20th century, this breed was popular among the aboriginal middle class as well as peasant families. It was during that time they were given the name, which is the colloquial Spanish term for “naked” or “hairless”.

Their warm skin acted as bed warmers for the older crowd, especially those suffering from rheumatism. Pila’s were also highly regarded as watchdogs. Though they are rare today, breeders are trying to reestablish the breed.

Peruvian Inca Orchid

This unique-looking breed dates back to pre-Incan times. Pottery from that area shows the Peruvian Inca Orchid in full detail. The Spanish conquest of Peru actually almost caused this breed to become extinct. Thankfully they survived thanks to some rural citizens believing this hairless pup had mystical powers.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid can be either completely hairless or have a small patch of hair on the top of their head. They are known to be affectionate, loyal, playful, and charming.

American Hairless Terrier

Deriving from the Rat Terrier, the American Hairless Terrier is quite a rare breed. The breeds history starts with Feists, mixed breed terriers brought from Europe to North America around the 18th century. From there, the Rat Terrier was born by breeding Feists with Italian Greyhounds, Beagles, and Miniature Pinschers. One litter of Rat Terriers produced a completely hairless pup, later named Josephine. She was the first known American Hairless Terrier.

This breed is known for their intelligence, playful nature, and alertness. They are affectionate and good with children, too. American Hairless Terriers are protective of their families and can will actually break into a sweat if scared or hot.

If you’re looking to add a new member to your family, don’t count out the hairless ones! Not only are they uniquely cute, they also make wonderful companions. Just be ready for some confused stares while out on the town.

Best Dog Breeds For Runners

Are you a runner? Do you want a furry, four-legged running partner keeping up with you as you two stride gracefully down the city streets, or though winding paths in the woods?

The good news is most dogs love to run. And, most dogs thrive on the increased exercise. 

But, some dog breeds are better runners than others

Not all dogs are built to jog. Some love long distance running. Others thrive on sprinting. Others like nothing more strenuous than a stroll in the park. 

How do you know which to choose? 

First, what type of runner are you? Jogger? Beach sprinter? Love high-speed running?

Here are the 5 Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Weimaraners 

These dogs love to jog because they are built to run long distances. They are well muscled, energetic, and thrive mentally and physically on lots of exercise. 

Greyhounds

Sprinters. These dogs were bred to race. You may find one that likes jogging, but most will love to accompany you on short, intense burst sprinting. 

Pit Bulls 

Sprinters and short distance runners. Because they are heavily muscled and built low to the ground, Pitfalls excel at sprinting and fast jogging for short distances. If you want to run the 50, 100, or 200, a Pit bull will love every step of the race. Longer distances can be tough on their joints. They’re built like shot-putters, and you don’t see many shot-putters running marathons.

Golden, Yellow, and Black Labradors 

These breeds like both long, slow jogs, and shorter, more intense sprint-type runs. Labs are always one of the most popular breeds because they’re very affectionate, well-behaved, and loyal. But, they can be destructive if not exercised enough. They are a working breed, so they need lots of exercise. This makes them the perfect running companion!

German Shepard

This powerful breed loves exercise. Because they love sprinting, jogging, and everything in-between, the German Shepard is one of the best dog breeds for runners of all kinds. But, make sure you intend to exercise a lot. The GSD is a working breed, so they require much more exercise than many anticipate. If you are doing near-daily road work, the GSD is for you!

Beagles

Sprinting, agility training. Beagles tend to have short legs and are built low to the ground. Many associate this hound breed with laziness. But, they are actually very high energy, and one of the most agile dog breeds in the world. If you are a sprinter, the beagle is your kind of dog.

If you are an athlete that likes to do agility training, your Beagle will train right along side of you. But, make sure you do all running in an enclosed area. The Beagle’s nose can get him in trouble because they are natural wanderers, and run surprisingly fast. 

What Makes Your Dog Become Overweight?

One of the easiest ways to keep your dog healthy is to make sure they don’t gain too much weight. Obviously, we don’t want a dog that’s too thin, nor do we want to resist their cute begging faces when it’s time for treats.

But, when a dog gains too much weight, it puts a lot of stress on their system – both inside and out. 

What Factors Can Make a Dog Become Overweight?

The most common cause of obesity in dogs is overeating. Some breeds like Beagles and hounds are classic, well-known over-eaters. 

And, many owners hate to restrict their dog’s food when they notice that there’s been weight gain. But, the reality is that you don’t have to force your dog onto some extreme diet to get them to lose the unwanted pounds. 

Improve the Quality of Dog Food

There are scientists that believe that lack of nutrition in the American diet is a major contributor to the obesity problem among humans. Simply, we are eating more food than necessary because the food we eat lacks the nutrients our bodies need. 

The same goes for dogs. 

Cheap food offend mean cheap ingredients. If you feed your dog a kibble full of fillers, they’ll need to, and want to, eat more to get the nutrition they need. 

If you are on a tight budget, you can increase your pup’s nutrition without spending a lot of money. Making homemade chicken broth and adding it to their food will provide them with a host of healthy vitamins and minerals. And, it costs almost nothing to produce. 

Adding ground pumpkin to their food will help add vitamins and fiber, and will also help your dog feel more full when eating. 

If you can afford the good stuff, look for ingredients that are considered “suitable for humans.” This means that the food in the bag isn’t old, mold, or couldn’t pass the test for people to eat it. Look for ingredients like: beef, fish, chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruits as the first 5 ingredients listed. 

Lack of Exercise and Activity

Just like us, if your dog doesn’t exercise, they’ll gain weight. Puppies and young dogs avoid this problem because they have so much energy to burn, but even young dogs can gain weight. 

And, as your dog passes into adulthood, their need for exercise increases. 

Plus, walking, working out, and playing not only helps control their weight, but it helps their muscles, bones, joints, organs, and mental health. 

Can Medical Problems Make Your Dog Become Overweight?

If you are feeding them great food and exercising with them, but they’re still gaining too much weight, then it’s time to see the vet. 

There are a few medical causes of obesity:

  • Hypothyroidism – suppressed thyroid can lead to serious weight gain. Can be treated with medication combined with better eating and exercise
  • Cushing’s Disease – this disease causes a problem in your pup’s adrenal glands. This leads to a disruption in your dog’s metabolism. Your vet may be able to treat this problem with medication
  • Pituitary Gland Diseases – because the pituitary gland is the “master gland,” problems here can cause the whole system to go out of whack. This includes weight gain. 
  • Diabetes – much like with people, diabetes can cause fat gain. And, it’s tough to tell if weight gain caused the problem or did diabetes cause he weight gain. But, the most important thing is to have your vet help you. Losing fat, especially in the mid section, can help fight diabetes in your pup

Track Their Food and Activity Levels

Feed your dog the best food you can afford, in sensible portions.

How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails Using A Nail Grinder

Just like human’s, dogs nail grow – and grow and grow – until it’s impossible not to cut them. Some dogs are completely fine with the occasional nail trim while others act like you are trying to harm them.

If your dog is terrified of getting their nails trimmed – especially with a nail grinder – you will have to be patient and teach them that it’s not as bad as it seems. If you teach your dog to associate the nail grinder with something positive – like a treat – they’ll start to learn to love it.

The key is to use really good people food – like chicken, pepperoni, or steak – to get them used to the sound.

As soon as you turn on the nail grinder give them a piece of food. That way, they’ll associate the sound with something pleasant. Once your pup gets used to the sound, you can work with them on actually grinding their nails.

If you’re dog isn’t too fond of paw handling, try doing the same treat process as you did with the nail grinder. The dog will begin associating delicious food with their paws being held.

Once your pup is ready to get their nails done, the first thing to do is provide a comfortable space for your dog to sit or lie down. Always make sure you have treats ready, too.

Then, turn the nail grinder on and ask for your dog’s paw. With a firm but gentle grip on their paw, briefly put the grinder directly on the dog’s nail to grind some of the nail.

Let go of your dog’s paw and praise them for a job well done with a tasty treat.

Then, repeat with the rest of their nails!

It may take a few tries, but once your furry friend associates the nail grinder with positive reinforcement – like treats and praise – they’ll be begging you to trim their nails in no time.

Want to Contact Me?