Archive for December, 2007

Dogs have allergies??? Um, duh…..

December 15, 2007

Note: Always check with a vet before administering any drugs to your dog 

So there is this dog in my neighborhood. He looks like a mix between a havanese and a maltese. He’s white, probably around 15 lbs and very friendly.

But, I won’t let my dog go anywhere near him.

Why, you may ask. Because the dog has yeast on his feet.

How do I know this, you wonder. Because his feet are red. Red with yeast. It’s kinda gross because it goes up his foot to his ankle.

Is this contagious, I don’t think so. But looking at it makes me sad for the dog, considering the owners says he licks his feet all the time.

Aside from yeast, which yes Ranger did have a little of it but was treated for, dogs are just like humans. As a result, they’re allergic to everything we are. From food to dust to grass.

My friends dog, who had massive health issues, was tested for allergies and was found to be allergic to everything in the book. So today, her little fur baby is on man’s favorite medicine, Claritin, in addition to a dog antihistamine.

Now Ranger does have allergies too. He used to scratch himself so much that he would cause scabs to form. So, as a concerned parent I took him to a dermatologist after my vet said it could be allergies.

Dr. Heather Peikes, VMD is a board-certified dermatologist located in Manhattan. She was amazing. She got on the floor with him, and tested his feet, skin, ears, everything.

Also, she looked at his skin allergy and suggested changing his diet. Diet allergies don’t usually show up until the dog is around 2 – which is basically what happened with him. While we didn’t do the full allergy testing or food trials, Ranger now is on a combination of hypoallergenic food and Nutro and hasn’t had any issues in almost a year.

When should you dog see a dermatologist? When your dog suffers from:

  • Increased itching, licking or rubbing
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Hair loss
  • An odor of the skin
  • Nail or paw problems
  • Has been diagnosed with an auto-immune skin disease
  • Has a poor hair coat
  • If your veterinarian refers you
  • Possible treatments:

    • food trials to see which protein your dog is allergic too…get ready to try kangaroo, duck, venison and rabbit
    • allergy shots
    • special shampoos for baths
    • antihistamines – like Claritin and Benadryl

    Animal Allergy & Dermatology, PLLC
    Heather Peikes, VMD
    164 West 25th St
    Suite 7R


    Andrea Arden: YES! She is that good

    December 6, 2007

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    On Wednesday, Dec. 6th, renowned dog trainer Andrea Arden held a free Q + A at The Salty Paw in the Financial District. Let me tell you, she knows her stuff. It was great to meet with someone so knowledgable about dog behavior, and she offered some great tips.

    Oh, and guess what New York, there is dog agility in the city! For those of you, like me, who thought their dog would love to run around and do agility, but thought there wasn’t a place to do it. Oh, silly us. Animal Haven on Centre Street (2 blocks south of Spring) is the place to be for agility.

    Andrea Arden offers all kinds of cool classes. From agility to obedience to trick classes. Classes run six weeks, for an hour a time, and cost $350. She also offers therapy dog evaluations ($40)and AKC good citizen tests every month (1st Wednesday) for $20. Tuesday and Wednesday’s are puppy play groups, and Saturday’s and Monday’s are small dog socializations. For more info check out her website –

    Anyway, for those of you who missed it…which you shouldn’t have…here’s her suggestions…

    Your dog doesn’t have to be friends with other dogs
    Just because your dog may want to say hi to another dog, it doesn’t mean it should. Andrea said its probably not best to greet other dogs on the street to avoid conflicts.

    If your dog likes to bite, make sure their on the leash even in your apartment. When they do something bad, step on the leash and make a big deal about it. The dog should learn that in order to have free reign, they can’t bite.

    To keep your dog occupied, and not obsessed with kids, another dog in the house, birds, or boredom when your not home, give them something 1,000x better. Fill a kong with peanut butter and freeze it, so its a challenge for them to get the goods out. Take any toy that is hollowed out and use some turkey, cheese, or whatever your dog likes to stuff it.

    Yes, your dog may cry if he goes in the crate. To get them used to the crate, make sure you fill it with their stuff like food, water, favorite toy. Next, sit down next to the crate and spend some time with your dog while he chills in the crate. As he gets used to it, move further and further away. Hopefully, in some time, your dog will love the crate.

    A big issue a lot of dog owners have is playing chase with their dog. Sure, its cute and fun. But playing chase leads to a dangerous situation. If by chance your dog gets off leash, instead of staying or coming to you, the dog will think its a game. Teach your dog that “come” is a good word and doesn’t mean something bad will happen, like leaving the dog run.

    If you are working with your dog on something, like not jumping on people, make sure your friends and family don’t set them back. Other people can be a negative when it comes to training your dog. Make sure whoever is dog-sitting, or dog-walking, for you knows what is good and what is bad.

    Christmas/Chanukah presents

    December 5, 2007

    Its that time of year again to open your hearts, and your wallets, and make Christmas and Chanukah special for your “furry kids”. Sure, you can go the boring route and get the basic sweater, food, treats, etc. But this holiday season, go crazy! Here’s a few out-of-the-box ideas to make your pooch’s holiday merry and bright:

    • THREE DOG BAKERY’S GIFT BOXER – $19.95 – $49.95
    • This dog-only bakery is jammed-packed with yummy treats for our 4-legged friends. My own pooch absolutely loves their truffles and beagle bagels. Their gift “boxers” are a perfect thing to keep your pups happy, and stuffed, for the next 364-days.

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    • If your like me, and give your dog a weekly bath, the microfiber drying towel is a must-get. Especially if your dog, like mine, likes to dry off by rubbing himself all over your clean bedsheets. Ultrasoft, absorbent and durable and dries your pet without getting you all wet. Pick this up at Trixie + Peanut. 23 E. 20th between Broadway and Park

    • COMFORT PALS PUPPY – approx. $18.99
    • I was surfing the web recently and came across this thing called a Snuggle Puppy or Comfort Pals Puppy. Man, I wish I had this when my dog was a puppy and he had massive separation anxiety. Instead I tried everything else, from a clock in a sock to a warm soda bottle in a t-shirt. Let’s just say….nothing worked. This is a fantastic invention, especially for young dogs, thanks to an internal heartbeat. So, if you get a new puppy for Christmas, I suggest you snag this too.

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    • L.L. BEAN DOG BED – $49 – $99 depending on size
    • What dog doesn’t want a warm, comfy bed to lay on?! Even before I got a dog, I wanted one of these. They are cute, comfortable, soft, durable and come in different colors. Sure, there are some awesome beds out there. But can you get those beds monogrammed? For just $6 you can get your dog’s name on it. Perfect to pull up to a warm fire.

    Baby its cold outside

    December 1, 2007

    Are you cold? Do you wear a jacket when you go outside now? Well guess what people, your dog deserves to be warm too.Yes, there are some breeds that are cold-weather dogs like huskies and saint bernards, but other pups need something to keep them warm. I recommend a cute sweater or jacket to keep them warm.

    Also, BIG, BIG, BIG thing – your dog needs booties for the winter. This isn’t a fashion accessory, this is a neccessity. The salt used by buildings and the DOT burns the paws of dogs. You have no idea how you feel when your pup scream in pain – because you lived in another state before that used sand not salt and had no idea.

    Anyway, so, here’s a few shops that have some cute stuff to keep our babies warm

  • Trixie and Peanut: 20th between Broadway and Park
  • Petland Discounts/Petco: cute stuff for cheap
  • Salty Paw: South Street Seaport on Peck Slip
  • GAP: they have really cute sweaters and shirts
  • check out this cute outfit we came acrossshoes.jpg