We hope we are able to address your question(s) with the information below. If not please submit your question to us by scrolling to the bottom of the page.  If you would like to contribute by submitting a question and/or answer please do so as well.

Q: What are the adoption fees?
A: Adoption fees are based on the age of the dog, not monetary investment in the care.  They range from $400 to $150 on purebreds.  Puppies between 8 weeks and 11 months are $400-300.  Then it goes down from there as they get older. The adoption fee for each dog is noted on their profile.  Mixes are $175-150
*Note that adoption fees are NOT tax deductible

Q: How does it work when I live in a different state than the dog I am interested in?
A: 75% of our adoptions are out of state adoptions.  MABTR has a transport program that allows us to get a dog as close as possible to their forever home. There is a $25 transport fee added on top of the adoption fee in these cases.  Depending on where you are located you may be required to do some driving.  You have the option of driving to where the dog is located in but not required.

Q: What are known health issues with Bostons?
A: Click here to view these items

Q: My boston has a bad rap because of his farting. What can I do to help him?
A: It is not normal for your dog to be passing gas on a regular basis even though it is a trait bostons are known for.

Ask yourself why you fart? You may read in books that Bostons pass gas because they take in air differently because of their pushed in face. That is only one part of it, but the whole answer!!!! You need to change your dog’s diet. Bostons have a sensitive stomach already so add in the wrong diet and you have family and visitors wearing gas masks. It does not need to be so. Keep in mind that even the most expensive food may not be the right food for your Boston.

Start a new diet now.  MABTR strongly recommends the following brands.  Note that there are many good brands out there but just because they are good does not mean they are the right one for your dog.

Try: Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice (non-shredded), Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach and Skin (non-shredded), Natural Balance, Nature’s Receipt, Beneful, Taste of the Wild, or Royal Canine
*Canned food and table scraps are NOT recommended.  Vegetables however are.

Remember that when you do a diet change you need to give the food two weeks before seeing the results.  Keep in mind too that as our dogs get older their body changes and their diet may need to be changed too. Just like us. We use to eat certain things as kids but no longer as an adult.

I ask if you have a farting dog just try a diet change. It should only make the situation better.

Q: My dog has loose stools, never have had formed.  I do not know how to help him as fecal tests are negative for bacteria or worms.
A: Bostons are a breed that are known for ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ (IBS).  It is not always known what causes irritable bowel syndrome, but some of the suspected factors are thought to be related to diet intolerance, dietary fiber deficiency, and/or stress.  It is associated with chronic inflammation and discomfort of an animal’s bowels. When things irritate the lining of your pet’s intestine, they cause food to move through it faster. With time, this irritation causes the lining to thicken and become inflamed.

Symptoms: Persistent loose stools, straining and diarrhea leading to accidents in the house.  Sometimes there is blood as well as mucus.
Cases that go untreated will lead to weight loss, vomiting, gurgling tummies, etc.

Diagnosis:  It is recommended to start with bloodwork and a fecal to ensure organs are functioning properly, no worms or bacterial infection.  If all tests are negative our recommendation is a diet change to address the symptoms as IBS.

Treatment: MABTR feeds our IBS dog with Science Diet Light small bites DRY.  We remove all table food and dog treats.  We also add Metronidazole 250mg twice a day for two weeks (this is a pill you need to get from your vet). If is truly IBS you should see improvement in the stools within five days. If this is the cure then this is the diet your dog will need to be on for the rest of his life. Pepcid AC also helps calm down the stomach with such trauma

Q: What is the life expectancy for Bostons?
A: The Boston Terrier is endowed with a long life expectancy of an average of 14 years.  Most of its health problems are associated are not as serious and complicated with the ability to be corrected (cataracts, luxating patellas, allergies).  However the most common cause for health decline is kidney and heart disease, cancer, and seizures.  Other health issues that Bostons face, however again can be addressed, are tumors and low thyroid.  To learn more about bostons and their health visit our page.

Like all breeds one cannot predict how long our four legged friend will so we will make every day a special one.

Q: Do Bostons shed
A: Bostons do shed but not heavy as they are a single coat dog unlike Pugs, Huskys, Labs, etc.  Using fleece blankets in their bedding and on furniture will capture the hair and is easy to wash.

Q: Bostons and Allergies?
A: Allergies are quite common in dogs of all breeds and backgrounds and need to be addressed. Ignoring such condition is discomforting and sometimes painful to our four legged friends. For a dog the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body).

In some cases, the symptoms involve the respiratory system, with coughing, sneezing, and/or wheezing. Sometimes, there may be runny discharge from eyes or nose, hair loss, ear and skin infections. In other cases, the allergic symptoms affect the digestive system resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

You should not wait to see a vet til your dog is miserable because it him back to comfort will cost you more money and take longer for resolution.

CLICK HERE to learn of the three types of allergies (your dog can have one of the following or a combination)

Q: Is my dog overweight (obesity)?
A: It is important to know if your dog’s weight issue is a symptom of a disease or his life style. Click here for full article
Q: My dog has a thin coat (little hair). Should I be concerned?
A: Low thyroid is very common in the boston breed and many times is overlooked by both the owner and the vet.
 The most common signs of low thyroid in dogs include
  • A lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Mental dullness
  • Weight gain without a change in appetite
  • Obesity, difficulty losing weight
  • Cold intolerance
  • Loss and thinning of fur, increased shedding
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Slow / difficulty recovering from an injury or surgery
How to diagnosis – the only way to know what your dog’s thyroid levels are is through bloodwork.  The recommended test is a T4. Some vets will include a TSH level test as well.
The first thing MABTR looks at is the coat and hair along the back of the legs.  A thin coat and bald back legs is a key sign for us to test the thyroid.
Normal range starts at 1.0. Many vet will see test results between 1.0 and 1.4 and state that the thyroid is fine.  It is important to note that thyroid levels vary throughout the day and when the blood is drawn.  MABTR rule, especially when presented with the above symptoms, is if we have a test result of 1.4 or lower we automatically place the dog on medication because more likely there are points in the day that it drops below 1.0.
For bostons with juvenile cataracts we always test the thyroid event when symptoms do not present themselves as low thyroid and juvenile cataracts are usually paired up.
Treatment: Levothyroxine, the same medication humans take for low thyroid, is used.  Given either once or twice a day. Strongly recommended that once the medication is started that you retest in 30 days to ensure proper dose. If thyroid is in the normal range then retesting is only required once a year.
This medication can be purchased through your vet or at a human pharmacy with a prescription from your vet. It is a very inexpensive drug to give your dog and some pharmacy have a discount program that will include this drug
If not treated: There is no excuse not to treat low thyroid.  The drug cost on avg $10 a month.  Low thyroid impacts your dog’s body to heal in a timely manner after an injury or surgery.  If not treated your dog will eventually face mental decline, heart disease, decreased lung function, and abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Q: My dog has a growth on him and it may be cancer.
A: Click here to read an article written by MABTR
Q: My dog will not potty out in the cold weather – help?
1. Go outside with your dog.
2. Get your dog a sweater and booties if he will wear them.
3. If your dog does not go potty on the first break and wants in, bring him back in the house but stand by the door to allow him to warm up for two minutes and then return back outside to finish. This will let him know what the required routine is at that time.
4. Do not force your dog to pee and poop on the same trip outside. He may need to make multiple trips in order not to freeze.
5. Praise your dog when he potties outside for you.
6. Make the experience being outside in the cold fun. (i.e. you run around the yard, throw a stick or snowball).
7. When your dog comes back inside wipe down their feet of any moisture or snow.
8. Create a fun experience inside when he potties outside for you (i.e. cuddle time in a warm blanket with mom)
Thinking out of the box options:
1. If you have snow on the ground shovel a trail for your dog. Why should they have to walk on snow?
2. Place tarp around your deck creating a barrier for the wind.
3. A garage is considered a space outside of the living area. This can be considered an option other than outside. Poop is easy to pick up. Wipe up the pee and then place hot water over the area. You can power wash the garage in the summer. Other options is laying down newspaper or puppy pads in the garage.
*Owners with outdoor pets: please reconsider finding a space in your home to allow these pets indoors when temperatures are freezing.

Q: My Boston vomits daily.
A: A couple of things to consider when it comes to the Boston breed

  • Elongated Palate – The collapse of the flap of mucousal tissue which closes off the animal’s airway during swallowing to prevent food and liquids from going into their lungs.  Another symptom of this disorder is snorting, breathing problems and snorting.
    • Some dogs require surgery. Consult with your vet to determine what is best for your dog. Surgery can make a world of difference for your dog
    • Recommend watering down the dog food.  Soak in water overnight
    • Elevate the food and water dish. Consider placing the bowls on a step stool or cat litter box
    • Feed small amounts multiple times a day instead of two full meals
  • Megaesophagus – is when the muscles of the esophagus fail and it cannot propel food or water into the stomach
    • Surgery is not available to correct this
    • A low-fat or low residue softened food to be fed either in a milkshake consistency or in “meatballs” works best
    • Feed small amounts multiple times a day instead of two full meals
    • Elevate the food and water dish. Consider placing the bowls on a step stool or cat litter box
    • Medications may include an acid reducer like Pepcid-AC 1 or 2 times per day (consult your vet for the dosage)

Q: Does MABTR have a non-profit status and if so what is deductible?
A: MABTR is a 501c3 organization. All donations of any size are tax deductible.  This includes miles driven during transporting, items (used or new) donated to be used in foster care (harness, leash, towels, medication, etc) or for raffle/auction items, and monetary donations of any amount.
What is NOT tax deductible are listed below. Simple rule of thumb is if you are getting something in return it is not tax deductible.

  • adoption fees
  • purchase of chances for raffle items
  • purchase of an auction item
  • event entrance fee
  • purchase amount of items on Boston Bay

Q: My dog fights me when trying to place eye drops in his eye that he needs. It takes two people to get it done.
A: It is important not to fight with your dog as it will just lead to him hating the situation even more. One thing we have found to be successful that requires just one person is placing the dog on the counter. You are bringing the dog to your level. He is also out of his element so he will now have more security in you handling him. You can also place peanut butter on his lips or your arm to keep him occupied with this special treat he gets only when he is getting eye drops.

Q: My dog has seizures.  What should I know?
A: Watching your pet have a seizure is a terrifying thing to witness.  One minute your dog seems perfectly normal, then next he’s on his side, eyes glazed, muscles twitching frenetically. He may even lose control of his bladder or bowels. A result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain, this episode may last only seconds, but when it happens, time seems to move in slow motion.
Did you know that an animal is allowed to have one seizure every 30 days without concern from the medical field, HOWEVER two or more within a 30 day period you need to see your veterinarian and discussion for medication needs to started along with tests.  With each seizure, more nerve cells within the brain will begin to fire randomly. Per Dr. Podell, “The brain’s threshold for seizure may lower on a constant basis.” In other words, each seizure makes it more likely that another one will occur. This in turn can make the seizures progressively more difficult to manage.”
What to do if my dog is having a seizure
1. DO NOT PICK UP AND HOLD YOUR DOG. Leave them alone
2. keep calm your dog needs you
2. ensure that the surroundings are safe.
    -if he is on a couch or bed (off the floor) stand in front of the dog to ensure he does not fall off
    -if his head is hitting the floor lay your hand between the head and the floor for cushion
    -ensure nothing is restraining the dog such as a collar or leash
3. look at the clock and track what time the seizure starts and ends
ALERT: when no one is home to supervise your dog it is important that he be crated for safety reasons.  A plastic crate is preferred as his limbs cannot get stuck between the wire and break his bones if he seizes while crate. It is better to be crated than fall off the couch or bed during a seizure.
What to do once the seizure is over
1. what day and time the seizure happened
2. how long did the seizure last.  if you remembered to look at the clock (unfortunately we are so horrified by what is happening we do not look at the clock but this part is critical because what may only be 30 seconds to us feels like minutes)
3. what did the body do during the seizure (legs tightened, facial twitches, loss of bladder, foam at the month, etc) Be as detailed as possible.
4. what side effects did the seizure leave once over (could not walk, went blind for 15 mins, acted normal as if nothing happened, drank a bowl of water, etc) Be as detailed as possible.
5. what activities did the dog experience within the 24 hours leading up to the seizure
6. call your vet and report the seizure so they too have documentation
What to expect when my dog has had two or more seizures in a 30 day period
1. schedule a visit with the vet, sooner than later
2. basic bloodwork will be required prior to starting any medication.  At this point medication needs to be started (Phenobarbital is the most common drug in these cases)
3. once your dog is placed on seizure medication he will remain on the medication for the rest of his life.
    -at some point you will find that phenobarbital is not enough and this is when potassium bromide will be added
    -sad note: unfortunately, it will be seizures that will ultimately take your pet’s life.  The meds will no longer work and you will not be able to control the seizures.
Because there are so many potential underlying causes of seizures, the workup must be step-wise and thorough, a comprehensive attempt to parse the possible culprits: disorders originating within the brain (tumors; viral, bacterial or parasitic infections; strokes; head trauma) from those originating outside the brain. For instance, nutritional deficiencies as well as toxins like lead, insecticides, moldy foods and some human supplements can provoke brain changes that lead to seizures. Additionally, metabolic abnormalities such as liver or kidney disease can cause seizures, and some anesthetic agents and medications may also trigger them in sensitive animals.
Bostons and seizures
Unfortunately, seizures are very common in the bred. A majority fall under the category of idiopathic (cause unknown) epilepsy. If the dog is less than one year of age, he is more likely to have a congenital abnormality, and if he’s older than five, specific disorders of the brain are more common. For bostons the most common is brain tumor.
Q: What can I do to get my dog from eating her poop?
A: Poop-eating has got to be one of the most disgusting habits of dogs. Unfortunately the act of eating feces is relatively common in dogs.
The reasons behind why some dogs eat feces are not entirely known, but there are a few theories:
  • Natural Behavior: Mother dogs instinctively lick their pups clean, ingesting their feces. This is a normal behavior that keeps the pups and their environment clean. Many puppies will begin to eat feces at a young age. Some pups grow out of this normal behavior, while others continue this into adulthood.
  • Hunger and Food Obsession: A dog suffering from starvation or severe malnutrition might eat anything it can find. This is what we see most with dogs released from puppy mills. Some dogs, though well-nourished, are hungry all the time (this may be a sign of illness or the wrong diet). Many dogs are completely obsessed with food and will ingest anything that tastes good to them. Unfortunately, many dogs seem to like the taste of feces.
  • Illness: Certain diseases and illnesses can cause a dog to eat feces. A symptom of some diseases is increased appetite or ingestion of inappropriate items. An illness that changes the consistency or smell of the stool might make a dog want to eat his own stool. Sudden onset of this behavior is cause for a veterinary exam.
  • Anxiety, Fear and Stress: A dog under a great deal of stress may eat his own stool. This may be a kind of self-soothing mechanism in some cases. However, if a dog is punished for inappropriate defecation or other action related to feces, he may associate the punishment with the presence of feces. By eating the feces, he is removing the “evidence” to avoid punishment.

What are the risks of dogs eating feces?
If a dog eats his own stool, it poses little danger to that dog. However, bacteria and parasites from that stool can be transmitted if they exist.

When a dog eats the feces of another animal (especially another dog or a cat), he is at risk for ingesting the eggs of intestinal parasites and potentially harmful bacteria that can easily lead to illness.

How can I stop my dog from eating feces?
Once you have ruled out medical problems as a cause for your dog eating feces, you are left with addressing the behavior. Because this is generally a self-rewarding behavior, it will take time and patience to stop the normal behavior.

  • First and foremost, make sure your yard is kept free of animal waste, and pick up your dog’s stool as soon as possible after defecation.
  • For dogs that try to eat their own feces during or immediately after defecation, you must be on high alert. Keep your dog on the leash when defecating. If his attention goes to the feces, immediately turn his attention to you (try teaching the ‘look command’ or ‘leave it’)
  • For dogs that cannot poop when you are standing around watching them consider using a water bottle.  If they turn to smell or even look at it spray them.
  • Add something to the dog’s diet that makes the stool unpalatable. These products will not work for all dogs, but it will not harm your dog to try (as long as your dog is not allergic to any to the ingredients). Suggestions are adding crushed pineapple to the diet, meat tenderizer, sprinkling MSG over the food, or giving them “Deter” which is found at pet stores.

Q: My dog has a thin coat?
A: Low thyroid is very common in the boston breed and many times is overlooked by both the owner and the vet.

The most common signs of low thyroid in dogs include

  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Mental dullness
  • Weight gain without a change in appetite
  • Obesity, difficulty losing weight
  • Cold intolerance
  • Loss and thinning of fur, increased shedding
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Slow / difficulty recovering from an injury or surgery

How to diagnosis – the only way to know what your dog’s thyroid levels are is through bloodwork. The recommended test is a T4. Some vets will include a TSH level test as well.
The first thing MABTR looks at is the coat and hair along the back of the legs. A thin coat and bald back legs is a key sign for us to test the thyroid.
Normal range starts at 1.0. Many vet will see test results between 1.0 and 1.4 and state that the thyroid is fine. It is important to note that thyroid levels vary throughout the day and when the blood is drawn. MABTR’s rule, especially when presented with the above symptoms, is if test result is 1.4 or lower we automatically place the dog on medication because more likely there are points in the day that it drops below 1.0.
For bostons with juvenile cataracts we always test the thyroid event when symptoms do not present themselves as low thyroid and juvenile cataracts are usually paired up.

Treatment: Levothyroxine, the same medication humans take for low thyroid, is used. Given either once or twice a day. Strongly recommended that once the medication is started that you retest in 30 days to ensure proper dose. If thyroid is in the normal range then retesting is only required once a year.
This medication can be purchased through your vet or at a human pharmacy with a prescription from your vet. It is a very inexpensive drug to give your dog and some pharmacy have a discount program that will include this drug

If not treated:
There is no excuse not to treat low thyroid. The drug cost on avg $10 a month. Low thyroid impacts your dog’s body to heal in a timely manner after an injury or surgery. If not treated your dog will eventually face mental decline, heart disease, decreased lung function, and abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Q: Does your pet have a dry, dull, course, and/or flaky coat/skin? 
A: MABTR has found flax seed oil or coconut oil replenish the oils the coat/skin are missing for a nice shiny, soft coat and no more flakes.

You will see a difference in just a week and having your dog on flax seed oil or coconut oil for 30 days will make a big difference, along with a good diet.

You can find flax seed oil with omega 3 (key is it has to be ‘oil’, no seed or powder) at most stores.  We purchase via the Internet at http://www.puritan.com/.  Coconut Oil can be found pretty much anywhere but we purchase at Sam’s Club in bulk.  You do not need the expensive stuff.  For flax Seed Oil make sure once you open the bottle it goes in the fridge.  Bostons get one tablespoon a day. Most will eat it right off the plate or place it over their food.

One more tip.  Wipe baby oil on your dog’s coat to control the flakes until the skin has completed treatment.

Q: What can I do for my dog with cataracts?
A: A dog’s nose often guides his actions and movements, but his eyes are just as important. Maintaining dog eye health is critical to having a happy and healthy pet.
Cataracts, therefore, are something dog owners should be able to spot and understand.
Click here for education on the varieties of cataracts in dogs and treatment recommendations.

Q: What is a dog auction?  I adopted my dog from MABTR and was told she was a puppy mill breeder picked up at an auction.  How does MABTR go about getting these dogs?

A: A dog auction consist of breeders of all sizes that are looking to sell or purchase breeding dogs.  Why is asked a lot.  There are many reasons.  To list a few:

  • The breeder is recycling his stock
  • The breeder is changing outs breeds
  • The breeder is downsizing
  • The breeder needs money
  • The dog is too old to breed however to another breeder the dog still has a few years left
  • The dog was part of a bulk purchase and was not really of interest to begin with but was part of the package
  • The breeder is closing down
  • The dog is not producing as expected

auctMABTR works with volunteer bidders who attend auctions at which time MABTR will place a max bid on each Boston head present at the auction.  We are not in the market of buying dogs however when we are able to get a dog out of the inhumane cycle of over breeding for a reasonable price it is worth every penny. It is a fact, that MABTR has paid as little as $1 for a Boston out of an auction and as high as $450.

If these dogs do not land in the hands of a rescue group the fact is that they are moving into another breeding farm where they end back in a wire cage placed outside and  scheduled for the next breeding cycle to fill the pet stores with puppies.

The conditions of the puppy mills of those attending an auction compared to those that just release dogs to rescue are no different. The only difference is those breeders at an auction make it clear that money matters more than life.  This is my personal opinion.  There are however breeders, that at the end of an auction, if their dogs did not sell that they will start giving them out for free or literally for pennies.  We know we cannot save them all but will try within reason.

Breeder dogs do make wonderful pets with time and patience. Get advice on how to help your puppy mill survivor adjust in your home at “Info on X-breeding Dogs”

Learn more about puppy mills by clicking here

Q: My dog licks his paws excessively. Should I be concerned?
A: First thing I suggest is giving him a bath in case he walked into something that is causing his feet to itch or be irritated.  If continues it could be one or more of the following items.

Do not just assume behavior.  Always weed out medical concerns.

  1. has a bad tooth – make sure to check mouth and smell of bad breath
  2. yeast infection between the toes.  Check between the toes for what I describe as slime.  The medication you use for ear infections you can use to clear up yeast between toes
  3. has allergies – may need to look at the diet and if environmental allergies make sure his feet are washed down every night
  4. side affect to medication – consult with your vet in lowering the dose and gradually working up to the full dose
  5. comforting motion

Q: Do most Bostons smack their lips together when they are comfortable & about to fall asleep.  My dog does this & it is one of my favorite sounds.
A: This is not considered odd behavior. Many dogs, like children, find something that provides them comfort.  This is one of them. Another example is a dog sucking his blanket or plush toy or licking their paw.

Q: My dog has clean teeth per the vet, yet his breathe is horrid?
bad teethA: First, make sure that the teeth are looked at by a vet as there could be a rotten tooth, exposed roots which you personally cannot see or diagnose or the teeth are in need of a cleaning.  If all is good then more likely the smell is coming from his stomach. Enzymes are then needed. A great product is Purina FortiFlora. You can find it online or at your local vet. Once packet of powder each day with food.  You can buy this product at your vet or online.

Another thing to make a dog’s breath smell bad is if he is eating his own poop. Very common practice for puppy mill dogs or dogs not feed properly.  Watch your dog when going outside to confirm if this is happening. If he is eating his poop here are a few things to try:

  • Be outside with your dog and pick up after him, deterring them from eating it.
  • May need to go as far as walking him outside on a leash and pulling him a away when he goes for it.
  • Change your dog’s diet.  A dog’s digestive system is dependent on a specific mix of enzymes to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Sometimes they aren’t getting enough of certain nutrients their body needs.
  • Some people have found that adding a small amount of pineapple from a can or sprinkled MSG to the dog food help.  This creates the output of the poop to not taste as good as it use too.

Q: How often should a Boston have a dental?
A: As for the frequency of a professional dental cleaning at the vet office it depends on the dog.  We see most dogs from puppy mills needing dentals as young as 2 years of age.  We have seen some 7 year old with great teeth.  Many pooches show signs of gum disease by the time they’re four years old because they aren’t provided with proper mouth care—and bad breath is often the first sign of a problem.

We have experienced dogs that need a dental every 6 months to every couple of years. The key is to have the teeth looked at by your vet during their annual visit.  When I say looked at that means not just the front teeth but also the back molars. Follow through when a dental is recommended.  Remember that for humans the rule of them is a cleaning every six months.

Dogs that do not like to chew on bones and/or eat canned food or table food tend to need dentals early in life and more frequent.  We encourage dogs to only be feed dry dog food, given milk bones and chew bones (avoid giving your dog objects to chew that are harder than her teeth. High-impact rubber balls and rawhide chew toys are less likely to split or break teeth than knuckle bones.)

Q: Are Boston’s tails cropped?
uncropped tailA: Overtime, due to bad breeding, the Boston tail has grown longer in length. The picture present is of a tail not cropped.  If you are a Boston owner you can see this unattractive crooked tail (sometimes with a bald spot). Note that a Boston’s tail cannot bend.  Most Boston tails are not cropped.   What you see is what he was born with.  Cropping of the tail needs to take place within 4 days of birth otherwise considered major surgery.

Q: My dog still has his dew claws. Should I look into having them removed?
A: It is not necessary. The dew claw should be removed within 4 days of birth otherwise considered major surgery.  Reputable breeders will have the dew claws removed.  The only time I would recommend a dew claw to be removed is when it is injured.

Q: Last night my dog broke out in red bumps? We ended up at the emergency room costing us a nice penny. Anything I could have done at home first?
A: There are many reasons for a dog to break out.

  • Immunization – did your dog just get his annual shots?
  • Environment – did you take a walk recently, did he go into some bushes, roll on the grass, walk in PetCo/PetSmart?
  • Food – did you recently change his diet, give him a new treat, or something off your table?

First and foremost give the dog a cool bath.  Then give your dog Benadryl, 25mg (adult strength, generic works as well).  Repeat every two hours over a six hour period (three total pills will be given in the time frame of six hours).  If no improvement or the dog is struggling breathing you need to go to the vet clinic.

Q: Some of the dogs listed for adoption on your site say they have been released by a breeder, others say they were released by puppy mills. What’s the difference?
A: MABTR receives dogs from puppy mills and some from small breeders.  A small breeder is one that still breeds as often and in the same condition as a puppy mill however they only have one or two breeds of dogs and usually their numbers are less than 50 breeding dogs.

On the other hand we also get dogs from puppy mills. However, the breeder monitors our site, as they know we received their dog, and are adamant they are not a mill.  They ask that we list them as just ‘a breeder’, and in order to remain in good standing with them, we do.    Learn more by reading “Info on X-breeding Dogs”

Q: Some of the breeder dogs seem very young — are they suffering from health problems? Why would a breeder let a dog go when there are potentially more dollars to be made off it?
A: Good question.  Even when releasing dogs or selling them for cheap the breeder still makes money somehow.

The breeder could be in a situation where they have to reduce their number of stock forcing the release of good dogs you would think they would keep.

There is also the situation where the puppy is too old for the pet stores and the broker or breeders do not want to hold the additional dog in their stock/inventory.

Sometimes the middle man (undercover rescue person) makes a deal with the breeder stating they will take two adults off their hand but require another dog be thrown in the mix to make it a deal.

There are also deals made between breeders.  Breeder A wants dog one and two but Breeder B will only sell of Breeder A also takes dog three and four.  Breeder A may not have room or any intention of keeping the unexpected additional dogs so they will take them because they really want dog one and two and release the other two to rescue.

Q: How do I know my dog is in pain
A: When people are in pain, it’s pretty hard to miss most of the time. Dogs, unfortunately, aren’t always quite so easy to read. First off, to start with the obvious, they can’t tell us if something hurts because of that whole not-talking thing. Plus they have a higher tolerance for pain than humans.

Many times dogs will hide their pain, if possible, as a natural survival mechanism. Remember these are pack animals. The weak is left behind or killed so just because your dog is not showing you the signs you expect to see stating they are in pain. If you would be in pain then they are.

1.excessive grooming, licking
2. heavy panting
3. lack of appetite
4. avoidance behaviors – not wanting to participate / being a loner
5. aggression – all of a sudden snapping/biting and not wanting to be touched
6. excessive vocalization
7. mobility issues
8. changes in posture
9. restlessness

Q: What is good to use when cleaning up the carpet from accidents and vomit?
A: What I recommend for vomit and poop is Spot Shot or Oxyclean powder diluted in water.  What I recommend for urine is Spot Shot followed up by straight white vinegar.  You can poor the vinegar right on it and let it sit for a while. Then wipe up any excess.

When using Spot Shot make sure to collect as much of the urine first. Spray and then place pressure with a white wash cloth or towel.

Q: I noticed my dog is leaking urine, has submission urination, or all of a sudden having pee accidents.
A: There is always a root cause to any change in our dog’s normal routine.

The first thing you should always do when you have any issue associated to urine is a UA, urine analysis. No exam by a doctor, bloodwork, etc can tell you what a urine test can.
We get turned over to us because they cannot get them potty trained, have submission urination, cannot hold it any longer, pees inside after just being outside and/or leaking.

The first thing we do is a UA and in more than 50% of the cases we have a UTI, urinary tract infection, and/or crystals in the urine. This can happen with either gender.
Both are treatable and nothing a dog can control without our help and diagnosis. So many people get frustrated with the dog and blame them, yet til a UA is done to confirm 100% behavior our response to their behavior is unwarranted.

If diagnosed with a UTI it takes 10 days of clavamox to clear it. Repeat the UA when medication is done to ensure the UTI is no longer. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE UA REPEATED. If the UTI does not get cleared up or comes back it is recommend to have the urine cultured as it may have a bacteria that only certain antibiotics treat.

If diagnosed with crystals in the urine it is critical that the dog’s diet be changed immediately as that is the root cause of the formation of crystals. Medication or current diet is not the cure. The number one recommended diet is Royal Canine SO dry (does require a prescription from your vet). This particular diet manages of all types of crystals that can be produced in the body. Prescription Hills on the other hand is crystal specific. So unless you know what type of crystal your dog is producing I do not recommend it. Plus the body can form one type of crystal and later another type.

Q: What can I do about the stained fur under my dog’s eyes
plugged eyeA: First you need to understand the source.  Excessive tearing is what is causing the staining under your dog’s eyes.  Staining is easier to detect on dogs with light color fur (white or cream) and/or longer hair.  However this does not mean that a dog with a dark coat does not have excessive tearing
Excessive tearing can occur as a result of irritation to your dog’s eyes or because your dog’s tears are not draining properly.

  1. Just as your eye waters if a speck of dust blows into it, dogs’ eyes will make tears when irritated to flush away anything harmful. When the eyes are continually irritated, this can lead to chronic tearing that produces stains. Conditions that might irritate the eye include dog eye infections, glaucoma, and eyelash or eyelid problems. Strongly recommend you see a vet to ensure none of these are occurring which can be properly treated
  1. Then there are drainage or plugged tear glands. There are small holes that drain tears away from the eye and down the throat. A variety of dog eye problems can affect this drainage, causing excessively watery eyes. These conditions include:
  • Shallow eye sockets. If the eye sockets aren’t big or deep enough, tears can spill out onto the fur around the eyes.
  • Eyelids that are turned inward. If the eyelids roll in toward the eyeball, the drainage holes for tears (called puncta) may become blocked.  There are surgical options to correct this
  • Hair growth around the eye. If hair grows too close to the eye, it can wick tears away from the eye and onto the face.  You or your groomer can keep the hard around the eyes trimmed
  • Blocked tear drainage holes (puncta). Previous dog eye infections or eye damage can cause scar tissue to form that blocks some of the drainage passages for tears.  There is medication to try first otherwise surgery may be required

In any case should you find your dog squinting or rubbing their eye(s) get him to a veterinarian immediately

Q: Can my dog get dry eye?
A: Dry eye comes about two ways. If he does not have dry eye now he more likely never will.

dry eyeIncidents resulting in dry eye:
1. Cherry eye removal. The proper procedure to repair a cherry eye is to insert it back where it belongs as it is part of the tear gland. Old school, which some vets still do, is to remove it. This results in dry eye.
2. Some dogs are born with underdeveloped tear gland resulting in dry eye.  Normally this is an issue for both eyes and not just one.

Symptoms: You can tell a dog has dry eye because the eye is normally dark in color and will have no shine to it.  If not treated the dog will rub it.  You may also see a lot of gunk or eye boogers as well.

Testing: Tear test that is preformed at your vet office showing the amount of tear production if any.

Treatment: You treat dry eye with daily eye drops.  The most common drop prescribed, and can only be purchased from a vet, is Cyclosporine. This is not cheap but required. Cyclosporine is given two to three times a day. Most dogs need more than that so I recommend the following in between cyclosporine treatment.  Optixcare eye Lubricant +Hyaluron (Amazon.com has great prices) during the day and at night GenTeal PM Ointment Lubricant (Walmart or local pharmacy).  Medication is a must in order to keep your dog comfortable.

Q: What is cherry eye and does it need to be treated?
cherry eyeA: Cherry eye, otherwise known as prolapsed tear gland appears as a red swelling in the corner of the eyeball of an affected dog, about the size of a cherry, hence the name cherry eye.  The tear gland normally attaches to the undersurface of the eyeball by a ligament, which holds this gland in place, and out of sight. In affected breeds, this ligament is either weak or nonexistent, which then results in the gland “popping out” and appearing in the corner of the eyeball.

Aside from appearance, the prolapsed tear gland can actually rub against the surface of the eye known as the cornea, and cause irritation, and sometimes ulceration of the cornea. Excessive drainage from the affected eye is sometimes seen.  This gland also belongs inside and not exposed.

The required treatment is having the gland sutured, stitched or “tacked” back into place.  Years ago, and some veterinarians still, are removing this gland as a form of treatment. If the gland is removed and the patient develops dry eye, long term medication is required then to keep the eyeball moist as this gland is responsible for the tear production in the eyeball. Thus, this procedure should never be considered as an option even though it is cheaper.

Q: My dog has displayed some behavior issues which I feel are inappropriate and want to know what the best way is to correct it?
A: It is important that you correct your dog’s bad behavior before it gets worse.  Remember what you might find to be cute or funny may not be appreciated by others.  You do not want a bad behavior to become an accepted habit in your home or worse trigger a fight or injury.

Techniques to correct behaviors, without physically touching your dog with your hands, exist.  Spanking your dog is not going work but instead will make your dog afraid of your hands especially when you only want to pet him.

Try these techniques:  Remember that the key to disciplining your dog is consistency.
-Bitter apple/Lime juice/Lemon juice: great to address barking, nipping, biting, and growling.  Bitter apple is sold at stores and instructed to spray on furniture that you do not want your dog to chew on. Honestly I do not find that to work, however by spraying one quirk of this nasty, all-natural, liquid directly into your dog’s mouth you have now created a negative consequence to his actions.

Place some bitter apple in a small trial size spray bottle. One that fits comfortably in your hand which can be found in trial size container section or salons.  When your dog behaves incorrectly, for example growling at another dog, tell him “NO GROWL” with a firm voice. Give him the chance to correct the behavior on his own. If he acts immediately after the command or does not stop then repeat your command, but while telling him “NO GROWL” you are going to lift of his lip with the pointy finger that is on the spray bottle and spray once directly in his mouth.  Again just one spray.  Some dogs will hate it so bad that they will create a foam out from their mouth. They are fine.

Monitor your dog’s behavior. If he goes at it again, growling, repeat the above.  The key is consistency. If you let him get away with it once he will remember.

-Water bottle: This is great for dogs that are difficult to catch in order to discipline, marking their territory in your house or mounting.  Water bottles are cheap.  Place water only in the bottle and turn it to mist. Make sure to mark it so that the wrong bottle is not used which  can be harmful to your dog.  Also get more than one bottle. You do not have time to catch your dog in the act while in the living room and the water bottle is in your bedroom.

For example you catch your dog lifting his leg or even smelling a corner he has peed on before.  Give him the command of “NO PEE” in a firm voice and spray him with the water bottle.  You have now created a consequence. You lift, you get wet.  Most dogs do not like to get wet.

-Time outs/Ignoring the dog: You hear about parents who use this on their kids so why not on your dog.  I find, especially with the Boston Terriers, that placing them into a situation where they cannot get to you on their terms is devastating.  I use time outs after a dog fight or a behavior that is extreme.  It gives me a break and the dogs. After disciplining the dog with a water bottle or bitter apple I tell him “TIMEOUT” and walk him to his crate.  He is placed in the crate for 5-15 minutes.  I do not look at him, speak to him or address his behavior while in the crate. For example if your dog throws a fit by crying and barking you have to ignore him.  He is in a Time Out.

Another situation that requires you to separate yourself from your dog is when jealousy is in the picture. You are sitting on the couch with Buster.  Abby comes and jumps up to join you.  Buster growls, or in some cases snaps at Abby.  In this case you tell Buster “NO GROWL” in a firm voice and walk him off the couch leaving Abby on the couch. He lost the privilege to share the space due to his bad behavior.   Ignore him while on the ground for a few minutes. Once he has calmed down then invite him back up on the couch to ‘share’.

Q: Is there a product that helps prevent burn patches on my lawn from dog urine?
A: I found the answer.  A ‘rock’.  Yes it sounds crazy but I use it now with 6 dogs and it truly works.  It is a rock you can purchase at specialty stores. For example in Omaha, NE you can find it at Green Spot or Long Dog Fat Cat.  It is in a brown paper bag and it is called ‘Dog Rocks’  100% Natural.

My backyard was a war zone of yellow/burned grass and no longer.  We noticed new burn spots a few days ago and realized it was from our new foster dog.   After drinking the water with the rock in it for a few days no longer.  My dogs have never tried to remove the rock from their drinking water.

Note: If you have dogs that pees on your landscaping rocks or on your deck with rocks underneath I am sure you have urine smells in the hot summer months.  I know of a cheap and fast way to fix that.  I spray white vinegar over the rocks every month.  No more smell.

Q: Why do some Boston’s snore?
naresA: Multiple reasons exist however the most common is the narrow and short muzzle.  The construction of their nasal passages also largely contribute to the difficulty of breathing.

Other reasons for snoring are being

Stenotic Nares are narrowed nostrils. This narrowing causes a restriction in the amount of air that can flow into the nostrils.  Surgery is required to enlarged the nares to allow improved airflow. Click here for article
Elongated soft palate is a condition where the soft palate is too long so that the tip of it protrudes into the airway and interferes with movement of air into the lungs. Surgery is required in many cases where the palate is stretched and the excess tissue is removed. Click here for article
-Overweight: Obesity is an extremely common problem in pets and, as with humans, is detrimental to the health of a dog.  Exercise and weight management diet is highly recommended.
-Nasal congestion: Canine sinus congestion could be caused by a number of things, including sinus and viral infections, colds, allergies or even tumors.  Main treatment is antibiotics.  Consult your vet for necessary tests and treatment.
-Sleep position: If your dog sleeps now with his head flat on the floor try giving him a pillow.  If he sleeps on his side adjust him to sleep on his stomach

Q: Is there anything you can do to make your dog less of a bunny and squirrel chaser?  
A: Chasing behavior is part of the inherited predatory hunting sequence. The sequence is genetically “hard wired” and prepares wild canines to catch prey in order to survive, for example, by searching for or stalking it. Plus they enjoy it.

One technique to try is changing your dog’s neural connections. Imagine a little part of your dog’s brain that is labeled, “Got to chase” and another part that has a picture of a rabbit as a label. Every time your dog chases a rabbit, there is an extra connection between the two brain centers. The more connections, the more difficult it is to prevent.  The following is a great link on how to go about this technique. http://www.dog-secrets.co.uk/how-do-i-stop-my-dog-chasing/

Q: Why do many bostons bunch up their fleece blankets and/or suck on them like they are nursing?
A: Per Gwen Bailey: The image of a human infant clutching their comforter and sucking their thumb is a familiar one. Blanket, bed or toy sucking in canines seems to be the doggy equivalent, and the behavior seems to occur at a time when they are getting ready to sleep as in human infants.

Some just hold their favorite object in their mouths, while others actively suck on it.
A few dogs will even knead with their paws while they do this. This continues until they fall asleep.  Once they start this habit, it seems to continue throughout their adult life. There seems to be nothing wrong with allowing dogs to carry out this behavior. The object used may need to be washed occasionally to prevent it becoming unhygienic, but no long term damage is done no is it disruptive and if the dog is comforted by the action, why not?

Q: What is the best way to clean facial wrinkles?
A: It is important to clean all skin wrinkles on every breed of dog to remove dirt and dead skin to ensure no bacteria is accumulated. This is not limited to just the faces but extends to the body and tail area.  Start with a warm washcloth or baby wipe (a brand that is hypo-allergenic) when cleaning in the wrinkles.  Use your fingers to spread the skin. If you find it to be a tight place convert to a Q-tip.  Regardless of what you use to wipe away dirt, moisture and debris from the wrinkles, you always want to be sure that the areas you cleaned are dried thoroughly.  This method should be repeated once to three times a week depending on how much time your dog spends outside.

If you are facing an infection between the wrinkles seek a vet for an ointment.  Yeast and bacteria are not fun for your dog to have.

Q: Is same sex dog compatible or do I need to adopt a dog of the opposite sex?
A: The answer varies per breed.  With bostons they tend to do fine either way; two males, two female or one of each.   However I have been informed by other Breed specific groups, for example Boxer rescue, that they only place with the opposite sex.

With MABTR it is more of matching up personalities as gender is not a concern for the breed. However not to say we do not get a few in that we find are not friendly towards a certain sex.  If you are looking at a breed other than a Boston this is a question you need to ask the rescue organization about before you start your search.

Q: Should I feed my dog once a day or twice a day?
A: I ask myself the question; could I go a whole day with just one or two meals?  The answer is NO, so personally I do not expect my dog to.

One thing to note about bostons is they have a high metabolism rate and they are an active breed so they are burning calories.  You may need to adjust the amount of food you are feeding from what is stated on the back of the food bag based on your dog’s activity level.  Manufactures are giving a general estimate. This does not take in all factors.

Spread out your dog’s daily food amount over a few meals.  Like with us, it can be more satisfying to a dog to have smaller, more frequent meals.  Your dog is less likely to scarf down their food too fast if they are not approaching their meal on an empty stomach.  If your schedule permits three small meals a day instead of two regular size meals it will be more satisfying to your dog as they will feel content throughout the day.
Keep in mind that vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog and can be used between meals to keep them content.  This is better than a dog treat/biscuit.  Fruits consist of pears, bananas, strawberries, and apples without the peal.  Vegetables to consider are green beans, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, yams, pumpkin, and zucchini.

There is also a list of fruits and vegetables your dog needs to stay away from as they are harmful to their health.  Foods like onions, avocado, grapes, pits of peaches and plums. Click here for list of human foods that are good and bad for your dog

It is also important to not exercise for at least an hour (longer if possible) before and especially after eating, especially large breed dogs, due to stomach bloat and twisting of the gut.

Q: How can I clean my dog’s ears without hurting him and any advice on chronic ear infections
A: There are four things to know when it comes to ears that you need to follow

  • clean ears using rubbing alcohol, NOT ear cleaner (rubbing alcohol evaporates)
  • know how to properly clean ears (see instructions below)
  • ears should be cleaned once every two weeks
  • recognize signs of discomfort or infection to catch any problems early (scratching the ear, shaking of the head, yelping when ear is touched, inside of ear smells and/or red)
    • have a spare tube of ear medication in your refrigerator.
    • Apply medication as soon as you recognize a potential ear infection. Being proactive will reduce treatment to three to four days. Waiting till it becomes a major program will extend treatment out to 10 to 14 days plus possibly the need for a steroid shot and visit at the vet office

Your dog’s ear is more L-shaped than yours, and debris loves to collect at the corner of the L. Dirty ears are common for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors, have allergies, or an ear infection.  Depending on your dog’s ear condition, you may have to start out doing this once a week.  For dogs that have seasonal allergies they are prone to ear infections.

earTo clean ears properly follow these steps.   Remember you can always go to your vet or a groomers because if you are nervous so will the dog be.

  1. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and squeeze excess liquid before placing in your dog’s ear canal. Ear cleaners are NOT recommended
  2. Massage the base of the ear for 15 seconds to soften and release the debris.
  3. Remove the wet dirty cotton ball.
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you see no more debris on the cotton ball.
  5. Place a dry cotton ball into the ear to collect any moisture.
  6. Cotton swabs/Q-tips can be used to clean the inside of the earflap and the part of the ear canal you can see. They should NOT be used farther down in the ear canal since that tends to pack debris in the ear canal, rather than removing it.

Some ear problems are so painful the dog must be anesthetized to do a good job of cleaning the ears. You may find your dog does not like to have his ears cleaned because it is uncomfortable. Talking to him during the process, stopping momentarily to give him a treat if he is doing well (we do not want to reward fussiness!) and doing something fun afterwards will all help.

After the ear is clean, let the dog shake his head and allow some time for the ears to dry. Then you can apply any ear medication that was prescribed should an infection exist.

Q: My dog rubs his bottom on my carpet, yet I see nothing wrong with his back end which would cause him to want to do that?
A: Dogs have anal glands that are located inside the anus.  You cannot see them.  Anal glands are also referred to as the stink glands.  Every dog has a unique smell. Anal glands are in place because they are effectively how dogs recognize each other and why they sniff every new dog they meet at the back end rather than the front.

Anal glands are released every time your dog poops.  However they can get impacted.  This causes discomfort for your dog and as a result he drags his bottom on the floor in hopes to give him some relief, which will not work.

This is not something to ignore as an impacted anal gland can rupture causing more problems for the dog and added expenses for you.

A vet tech or professional groomer can express anal glands.  So call them today for an appointment.  Note that some dogs need assists on a regular basis.

Reasons anal glands can get impacted
1. Stress can cause a dog to have loose stools.  It takes a firm stool to release the glands.
Treatment: Add a tablespoon of canned pumpkin twice a day to your dog’s diet

2. Change in diet can result in soft stools.  Give a diet two weeks and if no improvement the food is not right for them.
If your dog has always had loose stools you should consult your vet about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Other reasons a dog may drag his bottom on the floor
1. Worms, in particular tapeworms, can cause itching around the anus. You may have noticed the small white worm segments that look like rice grains in his stools or around his bottom. They are very itchy indeed and are a common cause of scooting.
Treatment: Drontol, dewormer, prescribed by the vet.

2. Fleas find your dog’s rear end to be a popular spot to gather, and they too will make him itchy around his rump. Some dogs are actually allergic to flea saliva and one bite from a flea will make their skin red and inflamed. To add insult to injury, fleas spread tapeworm so if your dog is itchy from fleas, he’ll soon be itchy from tapeworm too.
Treatment: A bath with flea shampoo followed by Frontline Flea Preventative. The dog needs to be completely dry before applying Frontline.  Once applied a bath cannot be given for 48 hours.

Q: What is the best way to introduce a New Dog to Your Kids
A: Depending on the age of the children, you’ll find that proper introductions will vary. Younger children and babies will need a slower and more careful introduction.
When introducing a new dog to your children, you’ll want to make sure that the children stay as calm as they can be, as if the children are all over the new dog, he may get nervous. Let the dog settle in. Walk the dog around the house (on leash) and yard so that he can see him new home. Let the dog come up to the children and sniff them.
Even though they’re going to be excited about the new dog, the dog really needs to warm up to the children on his own time because a new dog can easily get overwhelmed if he is swarmed as soon as he comes home.
The children may want to have small treats so that the dog knows that they’re not going to hurt him and that they’re friendly and want to be friends. The dog may be used to children in the past, but he may not be used to your children in your home.
It’s best to keep the dog on leash for the first hour or so until you think that the dog is comfortable with the new surroundings and children. You still do not want to leave the dog with the children (no matter what age) unsupervised.

Q: I am struggling with potty training, help?
A: Potty training is one of the top five reasons families rehome their dog.  Potty training takes patient and time.  Not every dog will learn with the same technique. Your may have taught dog #1 one way but there is no guarantee it will work for dog #2.

It is key that you have your non-potty trained dog in your sight at all times. If you need to run outside to the car, jump in the shower or cook then he either needs to join you or be crated.

Click here for one technique: Potty Training by Ringing a Bell

Q: We got a dog and realized after the fact that she is deaf, help?
A: Deaf dogs are just as great as dogs that can hear. Honestly they are easier to train.  Before training can start you need to make sure that your dog is looking to you for direction or the next step.  If your dog is not looking at you she cannot learn.  Here are hand signs that MABTR created that you can start with. Print off a copy and make it available to everyone in the house including visitors so that anyone can speak to your dog. Hand signs for deaf dogs

Q: I try to trim nails but always make him bleed.  My dog hate’s his nails to be cut.
nailsA: People tell me all the time how it is too hard to trim their dog’s nails or their dog struggles because he does not like his paws touched. Dog nails should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks (it depends on how fast they grow and how much walking on cement they do). The rule of thumb for me is I do not want to hear them on the wood floor. Here is how I do it.

My first piece of advice is to get into a routine. This starts with you feeling comfortable with the process and picking a day and time each week to trim one nail until you and the dog are used to the event.  You want to trim the nail as close to the quick as possible.  If he bleeds he is not going to die.  Grab baking powder or baking soda and place a small amount on a spoon. Then take the nail, wipe it and then press it into the baking soda. Then hold the dog for about two minutes creating a clot.

lap trimI agree there are dogs who just do not like their nails trimmed and no matter what you do, they will always struggle. A technique I use is laying the dog across my lap in a lock position. I will sit in this position for about a minute to allow the dog to settle in and then I start trimming. I have full control over the dog’s movement and the dog is unable to bite at me with his teeth if that is his intentions. If he starts to struggle, pause and allow him to settle down.  Stress is not good.  Try it! It works.

Q: My dog is indoors or on a leash with me at all times so I do not know why I should pay for him to be neutered?
A: There are two reasons why you should spay or neuter your pet no matter the age.

1.Shelter euthanasia is the number one killer of companion animals. Spaying and neutering is the only way to eliminate that.
2. Prevent the occurrence of life-threatening health conditions associated with the reproductive system; prostrate problems, cancer, and mammary tumors
3. Helps control negative behavior that some dogs express as they get older.

Dogs for pets should consider spay/neutering at 6 months. Medical evidence suggests a female dog should be spayed before her first heat.  Working dogs that are born with one testicle should be neutered but not until they are 2 years old. If these dogs are not neutered they run the risk of developing testicular cancer at about 5 years of age.


Q: Why should I consider microchipping my dog?
A: Millions of dogs become lost each year. Tragically, few are reunited with their owners. Many lost dogs end up in shelters where they are adopted out to new homes or even euthanized. It is important that your dog has identification at all times. Collars and tags are essential, but they can fall off or become damaged. Technology has made it possible to equip your pet with a microchip for permanent identification which does not hurt them.  It is the law that all stray animals are scanned prior to be rehomed or euthanized.

How it Works
microchipping-dogsA microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is implanted between the dog’s shoulder blades under the skin. The microchip can be detected with a scanner that all rescue groups, shelters and vet clinics have that reads the chip. This device then displays a unique alphanumeric code that is associated to your contact information. You or your vet need to make sure the microchip is registered.

Q: What should I dog if I find a stray dog or my dog goes missing?
If you find a stray please take the following action even if the dog’s conditions are not good as you do not know how long the dog has been missing for.

  1. have the dog scanned for a chip which any vet or shelter can do at no cost
  2. report the dog as found to local animal control and shelter and make sure to leave your name and number so you can be contacted (for towns with no animal control report to your local police)
  3. check Craigslist “lost and found” section
  4. share with your local rescue should they be aware of a missing dog

If your dog goes missing please take the following action

  1. call your microchip company and validate that the phone numbers on the registration are correct
  2. report the dog as MISSING to local animal control and shelter and make sure to leave your name and number so you can be contacted (for towns with no animal control report to your local police)
  3. create a post on Craigslist “lost and found” section. include photo and phone number
  4. share with your local rescue should so they can post to Facebook

Q: My dog’s toes are spread far apart.  Anything I can do about it?
A: Feet of a puppy mill survivor – Sunshine is a new arrival in our rehoming program.  I am sharing her picture with you as I want to educate our readers on one symptom that these dogs endure while living on wire flooring their whole life.

feetAs you can see in the picture Sunshine’s toes are spread far apart. We call these webbed feet.  Dogs learn to walk 24/7 with their toes spread apart to help their feet and legs not to fall through the wire flooring of the crate they are living in.  Wire flooring is very common in puppy mills as it allows urine and feces to fall to the ground below them.  Less clean up for the owners.

Unfortunately it also results in injury to the dogs.  We see dogs come in with scares up and down their legs for the reason they fell through the wire and was pulled back up.   Sunshine’s feet will always be webbed.   DON’T SHOP, ADOPT!!!!

Q: My dogs ear is swollen. My dog’s ear is all wrinkled up. Should I be concerned?
A:  Ear hematomas are common in dogs, cats and people.  Most of the time, aural hematomas are considered a traumatic injury. The ear gets a vigorous shake, and pop goes the vessel. Often, this repetitive head shaking and ear flapping is the result of an ear infection or allergies.  This can also happen when a pet inadvertently smacks an ear against a hard surface, such as a wall or a coffee table.

But there are other causes, too. Less often, an ear hematoma can occur as a result of a blood clotting disorder. In these cases, failure to clot normally means that even an everyday whack to the ear can lead to a pendulous pinna.

If ear hematomas are left untreated, they can take a reasonably long time to resolve on their own but worse the results are not pretty.  When not treated by a vet the ear reabsorbs the blood in a way that’s unevenly accomplished, causing what’s usually referred to as “cauliflower ear.”  See pictures below.


Q: Should I be concerned about my dog’s eye as it is not fully developed?
underdeveloped eyesA:  Congenital abnormalities of the eyeball or its surrounding tissue are generally evident shortly after a puppy’s birth, but may develop within the first six to eights weeks of life. It is basically improper development of the eyes which are genetically inherited.

Since most congenital ocular anomalies are hereditary, the parents of the puppy should not be bred.

They are the result of…

  • Genetics
  • Spontaneous malformations
  • Uterine conditions (e.g., infections and inflammations during pregnancy)
  • Toxicity during pregnancy
  • Nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy

There is no medical treatment for this.  In most cases the dog has limited vision and some are left blind.  It is recommended that you have frequent checkups with a veterinarian to monitor tear production and the status of the external eye structures.

There are a few cases where the structure of the eye is prone to infection or has dry eye that it is recommended to have what exit of the eye be removed.

Q: How can I get my dog to take his medication which he needs to get better?
A: Not every dog owner is blessed with a dog who looks at everything as a tasty treat.  Try not to force pills down your dog’s throat as it will just make the task harder.

Below are a few tips to getting pills/liquid into your dog

  • Wrap the pill up in cheese slices or push them into the end of wieners/hot dogs
  • You can also smash the pill between two spoons to form a powder which can be mixed with gravy or wet food
  • Use pill poppers which are formed pouches
  • Coat the pill in a thin layer of butter
  • Capsules can be broken open and placed in wet food or moist treats, to better hide the taste.
  • Liquids can be dripped into gravy, drizzled over sausages, add to applesauce or even mixed in the water bowl if they are the tasteless type. You can use an eye dropper inserted behind the last tooth in your dog’s closed mouth

Q: When Is It Time to Give Your Pet the Gift of a Peaceful Passing?
A: Euthanasia is often a blessing and gift to a suffering animal.   Making this decision is never an easy one but when the time comes to make the decision for our loved one, we need to think with our heads and put our hearts aside.   Here are some of the best pieces of advice we can offer when faced with a terminally ill companion.

Every pet, illness, and situation is different. There is no single rule that can be followed for when it is time to help your best friend “cross the rainbow bridge.” Getting input from your veterinarian on the specific medical conditions that your loved one may face is vital for doing what is best for your pet. You may also benefit from having a caring friend who is not as emotionally involved in the situation as you are to help you gain perspective and really “see” what is happening with your pet.

Remember that pets live in the moment.  One of the most wonderful things about animals is how they embrace the present. The fact that I have entered the house thousands of times before, or that I will leave again in a few hours, means nothing. All that matters to him is the joy that he feels right now.   When our pets are suffering, they don’t reflect on all the great days they have had before, or ponder what the future will bring.  All they know is how they feel today.  By considering this perspective, we can see the world more clearly through their eyes.  And their eyes are what matter.

Good Days vs. Bad   When pets have “good days and bad days,” it can be difficult to see how their condition is progressing over time. Actually tracking the days when your pet is feeling good as well as the days when he or she is not feeling well can be helpful. A check mark for good days and an X for bad days on your calendar can help you determine when a loved one is having more bad days than good.

Ask yourself important questions.  Sometimes, articulating or writing down your thoughts can make the right path more apparent. Some questions that help pet owners struggling with this decision include:

  • Why do I think it might be time to euthanize?
  • What are my fears and concerns about euthanizing?
  • Whose interests, besides those of my pet, am I taking into account?
  • What are the concerns of the people around me?
  • Am I making this decision because it is best for my pet, or because it is best for me because I’m not ready to let go?

Measure their quality of life.  This is no more than trying to determine how good or bad our pet’s life is at this moment. Trying to assess this can be difficult, but there are some ways you can try and evaluate it. Pick the top five things that your pet loves to do. Write them down. When he or she can no longer do three or more of them, quality of life has been impacted to a level where many veterinarians would recommend euthanasia.

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