Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pets & Weddings – A Good Combination?

Everyone knows that dog is man’s best friend, but does that mean they should be included in your wedding. Here we examine the pros and cons of including your furry friend in your wedding. 


  • You don’t need a ring bear when you have a dog. Your previous pup can walk the rings down the aisle instead. In my opinion, the chances of a dog losing the rings is less likely than a little boy losing the ring!
  • Skip the wedding flowers and carry your (little) dog down the aisle. (Yes, this may be a little bit of a stretch, but I’m not a flower person so go with me on it.) Dogs are better than flowers. Period. Therefore, you should walk down the aisle with your pet in tow instead of flowers. I wouldn’t suggest this is if you are the type of bride that wants all the attention on them during the wedding though.
  • Think about it, just about any photo of a dog is pretty darn cute. With that being said, just imagine how amazing your wedding pictures would be with an adorable dog and the love of your life. They are special to you, some would even call them family, so you will be happy when you look back on pictures and see your precious pooch.


  • Not all dogs are great with people and they might get annoyed easily, especially by young kids who think the dog is a horsey! Keep this in mind before deciding if you want to include your pet as part of your ceremony. Another thing to consider before including your dog is people with allergies. You don’t want your ceremony to be ruined by the sniffing and sneezing of guests due to your dog.
  • A dog might not sit well through a whole ceremony. Consider your dog’s personality before you decide if they will be part of your wedding and what role you are expecting them to do. The weather should be taken into account if you are having an outdoor wedding. Some dogs will not be able to stand the heat for an extended period of time.
  • You need a dog sitter or someone to watch after them during the ceremony as well as the reception if they will be accompanying you there as well. DO NOT expect family to be in charge of this; they will likely be busy talking to guests. If you don’t have someone watching the dog, this may happen –

Bottom line, would you not invite your best friend to your wedding? Well like I said, dog is man’s best friend so they should be on the guest list too. Not having your dog at your wedding is like not having a part of you there too, which basically means that you should have your dog there, no questions asked.
About the Author: Allison is a pet lover and guest contributor from The Perfect Card Box, providing brides and party planners with the best locking card boxes for any special event!

Monday, April 14, 2014

How To Detect Hydrocephalus In Your Dog

Chihuahua (Photo credit: almass1981)
Not familiar with the term hydrocephalus? It's a condition in humans and animals that's also known as "water on the brain". In reality it's not water at all, rather cerebrospinal fluid - the fluid that fills in the ventricles in the brain. When a person or a pet suffers from this condition, the fluid levels fail to regulate which causes pressure and swelling.

While all types of dogs are theoretically susceptible to hydrocephalus, a few breeds in particular seem more prone to it than others. This list includes:

  • Maltese
  • Pomeranians
  • Chihuahuas
  • Yorkshire Terriers
A key difference between human and canine hydrocephalus is that dogs aren't born with hydrocephalus. While humans can develop it later in life, dogs exclusively develop it later in life most often from anatomical problems. Most commonly, the areas that allow the passing of the fluid (technically known as rostral colliculi) begin to narrow from brain swelling or natural fusing together of bones.

If you begin to notice the following symptoms, it's possible your dog could be suffering from hydrocephalus and you should mention the behavior to your veterinarian:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems
  • Enlarged skull
  • Vision/hearing issues
  • Unusual gait
Unfortunately, even when symptoms are present it can take a bit of work before a positive diagnosis is made. Your vet will likely run your pet through a batter of tests including a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or even a spinal tap before getting enough evidence that the symptoms are indeed caused by hydrocephalus.

Treatment can range from changes in diet and hydration to medication to reduce the production of cerebrospinal fluids to mild steroids to reduce brain swelling. Ultimately, though, your pet will be happier and more comfortable once the appropriate treatment is identified. First, though, you must be able to spot the signs, and hopefull this article helped.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dog Days

Wishbone's Dog Days of the West
It's the Dog Days people. Let me tell you, i'm feeling it.

Looking over my mood charts (detailed logs I've kept for about 2 years now, documenting my mood swings, medications, sleeping habits, etc.), i'm noticing that just about this time every year i hit a funk. i get lazy during the days and end up living curiously similar to a vampire. i sleep until the early afternoon, laze about until sunset and then suddenly come to life, accomplishing a fair amount. But then it comes 10 pm rather quickly (that's when i'm supposed to take my medications) and i'm wide awake. Then i don't take my meds until 3 am, when i'm finally feeling sleepy. Then i doze off at 4 or 5 only to start the whole damn cycle again.

i was beginning to really beat myself up about it, especially since i had trained myself to be an early riser (though returning to the night shift at the CafĂ© sabotaged that quite nicely). Now, after reviewing my mood charts, i'm realizing that it's simply my freaky-deaky brain reacting to the hottest part of the year.

It's 4 am as i'm writing this. Oh yes, people, i'm feeling the dog days. But the question, is what kind of dog breed am I?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Balsam Fir Essential Oil

English: A "Golden False Acacia" in ...

While some people question the efficacy of herbal supplements for pets, I'm a firm believer. Balsam Fir (Idaho) is a conifer oil distilled in northern Idaho that has a refreshing and uplifting scent. Used in massage, it has a soothing effect on muscle and body discomfort associated with exercise. It has anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties and is useful for sinus infections, fatigue, arthritis and muscular pain. Balsam's fragrant influence is grounding, stimulating to the mind and relaxing to the body.

Balsam is great for massage when diluted 50/50 with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil. It is very relaxing and helps to take away the aches and pains. My horse, Cassie, normally shows lots of interest in the Balsam when I offer it to her after a training session.

I make sure all of the oils I use are 100% therapeutic grade - so you know they are pure and without any additives. I won't use any other brand on myself, my family or my horses.

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