Tuesday, September 20, 2011


A fellow doggie lover shared this with us:
Bing is 1 1/2 year old male pit bull terrier mix with a great brown brindle mask over his eyes and sweet hazel eyes. He is already neutered, and medium-sized with a good amount of energy. Bing is a very smart boy, so he already knows his basic commands; sit, down, wait and paw!  He would do great in a beginners obedience class! He responds well to correction when he gets jumpy or too excited. Bing can live in a house with other dogs but might be better off the only one because he is a hog for attention! He gets a little too excited when he meets other dogs. Bing would be better off in a home with older children and no cats. This big headed goofy boy is house-trained and crate-trained. 
He is looking for a wonderful new home so if you or someone you know is interested just shoot us an email at doggiediaries4u@gmail.com.  Thanks!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011


we are sorry to find out that buddy was found and he didn't make it.  we offer our thoughts and condolences to the family.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buddy is a Lost Dog

Buddy is lost and has been seen around Upper Darby and Secane. 

Buddy is a brown and white sheltie/collie that ran away on Thursday, August 25th at 11a.m. (Very scared of thunder.)

He is super friendly, amazing dog and just turned 13.

If you see him or have found him contact:

336 Spring Road, Havertown, PA  19083

215.495.3227 or 610.291.9329

Or you can call Haverford Township Animal Services at 610.446.1000 or the Police at 610.853.1298.

Please keep on the look out.  Thanks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

McKenzie Update

     Great news!  McKenzie has been adopted.  I just put the article up a few days ago and yesterday I was informed that McKenzie found a home.  I am always extreemly happy to hear when a dog finds a happy home.

Nick Carreno

Saturday, August 6, 2011

McKenzie is Looking For a Home

     I took a trip to my local SPCA this past week and was introduced to a beautiful dog named McKenzie.  She is friendly, loving and having a hard time finding a home.  She came to the SPCA as a lost pet and she is well behaved. 

     She is dog friendly, and can live very happily with other dogs.  She also loves children and is very easy going.  McKenzie seems to be the perfect match for a family out there looking for a dog.

     McKenzie is a young American Staffordshire somewhere between 2 and 4 years old. is house trained and she knows several commands.  How often are your going to find a dog that is already housebroken that knows commands?  If you are interested in her you can call the Delaware County SPCA at 610-566-1370 and set up a day to go meet this wonderful dog and even get some play time with her.  Her ID  is 42433, and the staff there will be glad to help set things up for you.  Will you be the one to give this deserving dog a home and keep her healthy, happy and safe?

Nick Carreno

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Girls Biscuits

2 cups flour (whole or white)
1 c. cornmeal
2/3 c. Brewers yeast
2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
3 beef or chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 1/2 c. boiling water

Mix well and roll out dough to a 3/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Turn oven off but leave biscuits in oven until crunchy.

Makes about 1 pound of biscuits.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Phillies Fans are Everywhere!

     This pic comes to us from a friend who has rescued a dog or two.  The cute little Phillies fan below is Colie and she is named for none other than one of the Phillies 3 aces Cole Hamels!  How cute is she?!?!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stolen Puppies

          I recently got an email from someone who reads my blog.  She informed me that there are two men stealing pit bull puppies in Eddystone PA.  I don't want to guess what their motives must be, but the fact that they are stealing pit bull puppies, I can only think the worst.  So if you are in the area keep your eyes out, and if have a pit bull, keep your eyes out and make sure you don't let your dog out of sight.  If anyone has any further information, please feel free to e-mail me.  Sometimes its up to all of us to make sure dogs in our area stay happy and healthy.

Nick Carreno

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bouncy Jacks

                 I have to admit, I had no idea what this article was going to be about.  I was at the beach, totally relaxed, with not a care in the world.  I sat down to write this article several times and I was drawing a complete blank.  I sat and looked at the empty screen and try as I might there was nothing.  I put this down to being at the beach house with all of the beach visits and relaxing why should I think of anything.  That is when it happened.  I was outside charging the AC for my truck when out of nowhere this little Jack Russell dashed over to me, tail wagging, happily bouncing in place.  Those that own a Jack Russell can attest to the bouncing in place.  My dogs were in the back yard at the time and as soon as they saw this little guy they went nuts.  Jasmine (my black lab), to my amazement, forced her large frame under the fence and came running over to meet my new found friend.  The Jack Russell didn’t run, or even flinch at the sight of this big dog bounding his way.  He just turned toward her and continued to bounce in place.  Jasmine and the Jack Russell took turns sniffing and they hit it off, it looked like Jasmine made a new friend.   Frankie (our husky) remained in the back yard with little interest in anything happening on the other side of the fence.
                The little Jack Russell was friendly, obviously well fed, yet he had no collar.  I stooped down to pet him and he began to bounce higher, I didn’t think it possible, in place eating up all the attention.  I picked him up and was greeted with a barrage of licks.  At this point my wife, Nicole, came out to see what all the fuss was about.  She saw me holding my new friend who was now going out of his mind to meet the new human on the scene.  Nicole looked at me and said, what do we do now?  She gathered up a very happy and excited Jasmine and put her in the back yard.  I took our new friend to meet Frankie in the back yard.  Frankie sniffed the much smaller dog looked at me and wandered to another part of the yard with a very happy Jack Russell in tow.  Frankie was being her usual aloof self.  I swear Frankie is more cat than dog sometimes.  With all three of the dogs out of harm’s way in the back yard, I began to formulate a plan of action.
                For those of you who are regular readers of my blog you will know that I wrote an article on what to do if you find a stray dog.  I thought this the perfect opportunity to put that article to the test.  The fact that the little guy didn’t have a collar was going to make things difficult.  I knew he must have been recently lost because he was well fed and groomed, he was obviously not a vicious dog, he was however very bouncy, but that was kind of endearing.  I figured his owners were frantically searching for their lost bundle of bounce.  I got in my truck and slowly went up and down the streets expanding my search outward from where I first encountered the Jack Russell.  I asked everyone I saw.  I asked the man up the street who was watering his garden, he said the dog wasn’t his but he would ask around.  I pointed him in the direction of my house.  I asked a couple out for a stroll and they gave me a similar response.  I saw an old man in a truck, and he seemed to be looking for something.  I pulled alongside and asked him if he lost his dog.  He said no, he was just out for a drive.  He had a poodle mix in the front seat with him yipping away.  He said he would keep his eyes out.  I continued my search for another 10 minutes, I doubled back to retrace my route thinking I may have missed the searching owners.  I again passed the man who was watering his garden when my phone rang.  I answered it and it was my wife.  She was frantic and dogs were barking.  She said come home ASAP.  I sped off before I noticed that the man watering his garden was trying to get my attention.  I felt bad just leaving but my wife sounded like she was in some kind of trouble.  That’s when I passed the old man in the red truck.  He beeped at me and I slowed.  He said those people lost a dog and I sent them to your house.  I couldn’t believe it.  My wife was frantically trying to control our two dogs while greeting the couple at our back gate.  As it turns out, they were neighbors from up the street.  I have known them for a very long time.  I did not know they had recently gotten a Jack Russell named Mickey.  I thanked the man in the red truck for his help then it dawned on me, the more people I told about a lost dog, the more people were out there looking.  It gave me such a sense of community to know that neighbors still help each other in this day and age.  I am sure the man that had been watering his garden was trying to get my attention because he knew the owners had been found.
                I pulled up and greeted our neighbors and helped my wife settle our two dogs who were obviously very upset that Mickey was leaving.  I chatted with the neighbors and they thanked me for keeping Mickey safe.  Later that evening our neighbors showed up with a thank you treat for our dogs.  All was right with the world and I had my article.  Thanks for reading and remember to keep your furry family members healthy and happy, and on occasion help your neighbor to keep their dog healthy and happy if they need a hand.
Nick Carreno

Monday, July 4, 2011

Our Top 10 Dog Movies

This was a difficult list to make.  There were so many good movies to chose from and we found ourselves in disagreement quite a few times.  The list below probably contains movies you may be familiar with and maybe some that you are not, if so check out the ones you haven't seen and let us know what you think.

1.  Lady and the Tramp
2.  Old Yeller
3.  Eight Below
4.  Rin Tin Tin
5.  Marley and Me
6.  101 Dalmations
7.  Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
8.  Lassie
9.  Benji
10.  The Doberman Gang

Nick & Nicole Carreno

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nicole's Homemade Peanut Butter Treats

We like to make our own peanut butter but feel free to purchase creamy or chunky for this recipe.

Homemade Peanut Butter:
15 ounces of unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 teaspoons honey
1.5 teaspoons peanut oil
Place peanuts, salt and honey in food processor.  Process while drizzling in all of the oil slowly. Scrape down the sides and pulse to mix.  Store in an air tight container.

Peanut Butter Treats:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix the flour and oatmal together then add the peanut butter and hot water. You might need to add flour if its too sticky.  Knead the dough well and make into balls, big or small depending the size you want.  We like to do ours golf ball size.  I place them on a greased cookie sheet, flatten with a fork and bake for 40 minutes.

Nicole Carreno

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review – The Huck

                    I have always intended to make reviews an integral part of this blog.  I did a couple of reviews and found myself having to put the reviews on the back burner.  The time constraints along with the rigors of everyday life have made it difficult.  I am going to try once again to start a reviews page.  I hope you will check back often to see what is being reviewed.  

               This past weekend my wife and I were in Cape May, NJ for a little relaxation.  As we wandered the outdoor mall we came across a great little store called Dog Days of Cape May.  It was full of all kinds of doggie goodies.  I started to think about the reviews page of this blog and decided to give it another try.  We looked around the store and found a couple of great things.  We ultimately decided on a ball called Huck.  At $12.99 we thought it a bit on the expensive side for a ball of this size.  The package said Huck was made with tough material and it had a guarantee that said the ball would be replaced if there was any dog damage.  This is what got my attention.  My dogs have been destroying every toy I have ever gotten them with in a 3 day period.  So I figured what the heck, it wasn’t so expensive that I would forgo a challenge like that.  So we got the ball and off we went.
                I decided to wait until we were home to give the ball to the dogs.  I took the ball out of the wrapper and that got all the attention.  As soon as I started to remove the ball from its packaging I had three very attentive doges staring at me.  Once I got the ball out of its wrapper Jasmine (the lab) went bonkers.  No surprise there, she loves any kind of ball.  The husky on the other hand didn’t react much.  No surprise there either.  I don’t think huskies have the ability to fetch, or at least mine doesn’t.  I have tried throwing a stick for Frankie (the husky) and all she does is watch it fly through the air and then look at me as if to say… Are you going to get that?  Then there was Scarlet (the pit), she may have been excited, but I can’t be sure because she was blocked from my sight by an enormous bouncing black lab. I tossed the ball in the air and you would have thought it was the tip off for the doggie basketball league.  Jasmine and Scarlet both went for it, although Jasmine is twice Scarlet’s size so there really was no contest, Jasmine caught it and played with it.  What I found interesting was when Jasmine would drop the ball it would bounce in a totally random direction and she loved it.  She kept tossing it and chasing it.  That is right my lab was playing fetch… with no one.  Strange dog but very amusing.   After about an hour of this, Frankie chased after the ball.  I could not believe my eyes.  She was actually chasing a ball.  When she got it the chewing began.  This is how the destruction of all toys begins… in Frankie’s jaws. She will nibble and chew until whatever she is nibbling and chewing deteriorates into many little pieces that I inevitably find myself picking up by hand for the next couple of days because Frankie will spread tiny toy parts all over the house.   After about two hours of her gnawing on this ball I decided to take a look, it still looked brand new, aside from the dog slobber and fur of course.
                We have now had the ball for about three days and as you can see below there is a little damage, but the ball is still in one piece.  I must say I am impressed.  All three dogs love it, Frankie still will not fetch the ball, but she does still pick it up and chew on it for hours on end.  Scarlett has gotten into the habit of bringing me the ball when she wants to play.  And Jasmine is Jasmine, the big lovable oaf that LOVES to fetch, even if she is all by herself.  We give the Huck 4 wags out of 5, and that is pretty darn good.  I would recommend Huck to anyone who has a dog that loves to chew or fetch or both.  Huck floats so it’s great at the beach or the pool if you are lucky enough to have one.  Huck does take a beating and holds its own.  This toy will surely keep your dog’s happy!

Nick Carreno

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Dog Two Dog Three Dog More

      I have just recently added a new dog to my household.  That has taken the dog count up from two to three.  I have always known that dogs have their own rules when it comes to ranking among the pack as well as a whole separate set of rules for socializing among themselves and with other dogs outside the pack.  Now that I have introduced a new dog to the pack it has been fascinating to watch how they each play their roll.

     There has been some tension between the new dog and the lab over who is going to be the number two dog in the pack.  I let them go at first, seeing if things would work themselves out. What I found was not only tension but a separation was beginning to happen.  I was unsure what to do at first, then i remembered what an old friend and dog enthusiast had once told me.  He said when you get a new dog, be sure to include them in all activities that involve the dogs and be sure to herd them once a day.  What he meant by herd them was to force them together.  I began doing this when I came home. I would call the dogs and force them to sit in the same spot, all of them together.  It was tough at first because of the rivalry going on, but after a few days they actually began to come together with no problems at all.  Now they all sleep together and whatever tensions there may be now, they are not to the exclusion of any dog.

     It took me a while to get accustomed to the differences that come with having three dogs as opposed to two, and let me assure you there are differences.  Now that I have been able to witness the amazing interaction that takes place, I have been able to come up with different ways of managing the three dogs.  It's not as difficult as I thought it would be in all actuality the alpha, Frankie does most of the work.  If things even hint at becoming a problem I am there to nip it in the bud.

     I have noticed as the days and weeks go by the dogs have become more accustomed to the change.  It has helped in ways I did not expect.  I have a very anxious lab, now that there are two other dogs that are more mellow, they don't allow the lab to be anxious.  She still is, but as time moves forward she is becoming less so.  I believe that is the pack doing its thing to help one of its own.  It has been a wonderful thing to witness.

     So if any of you out there are thinking of breaking the two dog barrier, let me give you some assurance.  Things will be different, but in the most unexpected ways.  If it is something you have the time and room for I would highly recommend it.  There are a lot of dogs that need someone to keep them healthy and happy.  Maybe that someone is you.

Nick Carreno

Thursday, May 26, 2011


          Let me introduce you all to Mailman.  He is this months featured dog from the Delaware county SPCA.  

         I met Mailman in the reception are of the Delco SPCA.  He was a very happy dog.  he was nothing but wags and licks from the first second I saw him.  I am writing about this wonderful pit bull because he is currently the longest resident of the SPCA having been there since February.  He came to them in very sad shape.  His collar was so tight that his skin had grown into it, and he was covered in tar.  He was not in very good shape, but as you can see by the pictures he has bounced back incredibly.  Now he just needs to find a loving home.

          Mailman is very people friendly,I should know, as I said he was all wags and licks when I first met him.  He has been showing some aggression toward other dogs. So I would recommend Mailman to a home that does not have other dogs.  They are working hard on helping him overcome this issue, and they are doing a wonderful job.  I have been told he has befriended another dog, and that is a big step for mailman.    If you are interested in adopting Mailman you can visit the Delaware County SPCA and ask for him by name or you can give his ID number which is 40465. If you have any questions feel free to call the Delaware County SPCA at 610-566-1370.  You can also check out their web site http://delcospca.org/.  I really hope one of you out there can find it in your heart to give this truly deserving dog a home.  He is in real need of someone who can keep him healthy and happy in a loving home.

Nick Carreno

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sit, Stay, Love

          I had a friend tell me about an adoption event going on in Santa Barbara in the coming week.  I would encourage any of my readers in California, living in or around Santa Barbara, to check it out

          Anthropologie has partnered with the Dog Adoption and Welfare Group (DAWG) for an adoption event.  So stop by and see if you can find it in your heart to open your home to a homeless dog.

          The event is being held on May 22nd 2011 from 11am to 1pm.  The event will be located at the address below.

1123 State Street
Santa Barbara, California

          So go check it out, you may just find a new furry friend to share your time with. 

Nick Carreno

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dogs Talk While They Walk

Spring is here, the weather is warm and people are once again out and about with their dogs.  It is a wonderful thing to see people caring for their dogs.  Most people don’t understand what they are doing when they walk their dogs.  Sure you are taking the dog out to go to the bathroom and to get exercise, which is great, but that is not all that is going on.  Have you ever sat in an area where a lot of people will walk their dogs?  I am lucky, all I have to do is go sit on the porch and people walk their dogs right by my house.  If you watch the interaction you will see much more than a potty call and some exercise going on.  Some people are being pulled along by their dog, some are walking with friends without a clue as to what their dogs are doing, and some are walking in a very symbiotic way with their dogs.  Those that are walking with their dogs, as opposed to just walking their dog,  are so much more at ease and their dogs are comfortable, not pulling or darting off a the slightest movement.  It is really a remarkable thing to watch if you know what to look for.  The communication is all there as well.  The dog is part of a pack and at ease instead of nervous and jittery with no direction.
What most people don’t seem to understand is that a walk is a very social activity for a dog.  They meet other dogs, smell other dogs markings, and they see the outside world much differently while on a walk then they do if they are in the yard.  Walking creates an environment where you and your dog can bond.  Whether or not you know it, when walk your dog, you are communicating a lot of very important things.  You are discussing authority, caring, assertiveness, rules, and much more.  In your dog’s eyes, a whole other world is opened to them while on a walk, and a lot of communicating is going on without one sound being uttered.
A walk is a great time to take advantage of your dog’s natural instincts, and use them to your benefit.  It may not seem like your dog is paying attention to you while on a walk, but I can assure you nothing is further from the truth.  Just because your dog seems to be sniffing at everything and distracted by the slightest movement of a squirrel or a leaf, doesn’t mean the dog is not paying attention to you.  Your dog is always paying attention to you and your body language.  Once you understand that, you will find communicating with your dog not only simple, but a very rewarding experience.  If your dog is pulling, just stop; don’t say anything, just stop.  Wait for your dog to understand that you have stopped and they need to stop.  Calm your dog down standing in front of him; don’t let your dog walk until they are calm.  Once calm you can begin to walk again, and as soon as your dog pulls, do the same thing.  You will find yourself stopping every three feet, and it will be difficult to calm your dog down at first.  After a while you will see that your dog will understand that you are in charge.  This is one simple way to communicate with your dog without having to say anything.  Just stay calm, and don’t speak to your dog, let your actions do the talking for you.
Once you get the hang of it you will see that walking your dog is more like having a chat with your dog.  How the silent chat will go is all up to you.  If you are calm and you put yourself in the leadership role on the walk, you will see that it will translate to all other aspects of your life with your dog.  You may even notice your dog calming down and doing what you want, without you ever having to say a word.   That is a great feeling.  It will help to keep your dog calm and happy, and a calm happy dog is a great way to ensure your dog stays healthy and happy for many years to come.

Nick Carreno

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scarlet Has a Home

          As some of you may know, I have been working with the Delaware County SPCA.  I have been trying to help them find dogs a home, particularly dogs that are having a hard time being adopted.  A few months back I did an article on Scarlet, entitled Scarlet Needs a Home.  I got a great response for her, I had people tell me they were interested in giving her a home, but it just didn't happen.  I usually don't speak about my personal life on this blog.  This blog is meant to be an informative blog concerning dogs.  I am breaking that rule today.

          I could not believe Scarlet was having such a hard time getting adopted, she was friendly, playful, young, and house broken.  What more could you ask for in a dog you want to adopt.  Scarlet was just having no luck.  She was placed in a foster home with really great people to look after her.  I had asked how she was doing a few times, and the answer was always the same, Scarlet is doing great but still has no "forever" home.  I decided that enough was enough.  If no one else would adopt this great dog then I would.  I took my family over to meet Scarlet and they loved her at first sight.  Scarlet put on a show, hamming it up for everyone in the room.  We spoke with her foster family for a little while, and they just loved Scarlet.  They had other dogs and Scarlet was doing well being around them.  We decided to have Scarlet meet our two dogs.  I have mentioned them several times in other articles.  We have a black lab and a siberian husky.  So we set a date for the dogs to get together.  Scarlet met Frankie (the husky) first.  Frankie has got to be the most mellow dog I have ever had, so she was the logical choice to be the first to meet Scarlet.  They hit it off right away, there were no problems at all.  They seemed to become friends very quickly.  Now it was Jasmines turn.  Jasmine is a very uptight dog, I know labs are meant to be mellow, but Jasmine has a really bad case of separation anxiety and gets very nervous when meeting new dogs and people. I was a bit worried how this would turn out.  Jasmine met Scarlet, and it went well.  There were a few growls that came from Jasmine when Scarlet tried to play, but other than that it went very well.

         I went to the SPCA last Tuesday (May 3rd 2011) and filled out the paper work to adopt Scarlet.  I picked her up that night from her foster home.  The adjustment has gone much better than I anticipated.  Jasmine warmed up to Scarlet with in the first few hours.  It seems Scarlet is very good at making friends.  It has been a couple of days now, and though I swore i would never have more than 2 dogs at a time, I know this was the right thing to do.  Scarlet is fitting in wonderfully, I have even caught all three dogs sleeping together at night.  I think I was very lucky to be able to give Scarlet a good home.  I intend to keep her healthy and happy for as long as she is with us.

Nick Carreno

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Housebreak a Dog

          Most people think one of the hardest things to do with a new dog or puppy is housebreaking them.  I have heard people say "if they go in the house, rub their noses in it and they won’t go in the house anymore."  This could not be further from the truth.  If your dog goes in the house and you get angry and rub their nose in the mess, all you are going to accomplish is to confuse the dog.  If you look at it from the dog’s point of view, they are going to know you’re mad, but will not be sure why you are mad.  Then you rub their nose in an area where they have just gone, your dog is going to think you are mad at the way they smell.  After all, marking is one way dogs communicate, and all you will be saying is I don't like you.  This is not a good message to send to your new dog or puppy.  Dogs are creatures of habit, and they also live by instinct.  If you take advantage of these things, housebreaking your new dog or puppy will be a breeze.  I am not going to tell you there won’t be a mess or two to clean up.  New puppies and dogs will mess in the house for all kinds of reasons.  Don't forget you are taking a dog and putting it in a new environment.  This could cause the dog to be scared and insecure, which will lead to a mess or two.
          I have covered this subject in another article of mine, "Puppies Need Care", however I felt this topic needed more than just a paragraphs worth of attention. If you have any questions feel free to make a comment or email me.  I will do my best to help you get your new puppy or dog housebroken

          The best way to housebreak a new dog or puppy is to confine them to a small space for the first few days you have them.  I know that may sound cruel, it is not.  What it does is take advantage of the basic instinct of a dog not to go to the bathroom where it sleeps.  Now you cannot just put your puppy or dog in a kennel and leave it there to mess in the area where it is confined.  You will need to take advantage of the fact that dogs are creatures of habit.  You will need to let your dog out at the same time every day, whether to go for a walk, or to play in the yard. When your dog does go to the bathroom outside, give it praises.  Let the dog know you are happy with what it just did.  The next time you take your dog outside bring it to the same spot where it went to the bathroom before.  The dog will smell the area and go there again.  Once the dog knows this is a good spot to go it will start to want to go there.   Be careful of the times you choose because this will set up a habit your dog will have for a very long time.  Once it knows it is to go outside at a certain time, it will want to go to out at that time for the rest of its life.   So if you decide 4 AM is the time it is to go out, you can expect to be putting the dog out a 4 AM for the duration of its time with you, and if you don't the dog will more than likely bug and harass you until you do let it out.

          If you already own a dog that is house broken, it will be much easier to housebreak a new dog.  As for having the new dog and your current dog meet and form a good relationship, that will be another article in and of itself.  Using the area where your current dog goes to the bathroom will make it that much easier for you to house break a new dog.  The same rules apply, confine the new dog to a small space for the first few days, but when it is time to go outside, take your new puppy or dog to an area where your current dog goes, the new dog will start to go there as well.  This will help you to housebreak the new dog much faster, and it will also help the new dog become equated with your current dog through all the scents your dog has left for the new one to find.  It is much like a greeting in dog language.  

          The sooner your dog is house broken, the sooner you will be able to let them explore your entire home.  Do not stop letting them out at the designated times however, if you do the puppy will start to go in the house.  You need to make the habit of going outside stick with the new dog.  Once the habit is truly formed your dog will start to remind you it’s time to go out if you forget.  Housebreaking a new dog is not that hard, it just takes patience and determination.  Housebreaking your new dog will help to ensure your dog is healthy and happy for a long time to come.  Thanks for reading, and once again, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.  I will do my best to help you with whatever doggie problem you may have.

Nick Carreno

Friday, April 15, 2011

Food Aggression, a Serious Problem

            If you have a dog that is food aggressive, it is no laughing matter.  This is one of the most common ways people find themselves on the receiving end of a very nasty bite.  When a dog is near food, or even a toy, and it exhibits aggressive behavior, such as bearing its teeth, growling, lunging, it is a dangerous situation.  If you back off, your dog will take that as a sign that he has intimidated you and will continue to do so in the future, if you stand your ground or try to correct the behavior you may end up being bitten.  I know this seems like a lose lose situation.  I am not going to sugar coat this and say the problem is not a bad one, but I am also not going to say there is no hope.  There is always hope if we understand the dogs way of thinking along with its instincts.   Solving this problem is going to take time and patience as it would with any other type of training; the difference here is this is not an option.  If you have a food aggressive dog, you must fix this problem. If you don’t fix the problem someone is going to get bitten, and that is never a good thing.

            As I said before this is not a hopeless situation, I am going to offer a few tips in this article that might help, if they don’t you will need to seek the help of a trainer.  There are dog training classes everywhere and one should not be too hard to find.    All you need do is look.  Before you go spending your hard earned money on a professional, you may want to try some of these tips.  The first thing you must realize is why your dog is behaving this way.  There are all kinds of reasons for this type of behavior, but the most common is trust.  If your dog thinks you may take away its food or toy it will go into a protection mode.  That is to say the dog’s brain kicks in to a protective state and no longer views you as a provider, it views you as a threat.  If you know anything about dogs it is never good to be thought of as a threat.  It really doesn’t matter how this situation evolved, or if it’s a trust issue, what matters as that you understand your dog thinks you are going to take something it needs away from it, and therefore you are a threat.  Once you realize this you can start to formulate a plan as to how to become the trusted provider in your dog’s eyes.

            This method should be a good way to abruptly halt the snarling and growling at feeding time.  You will need to keep the food bowl up off the floor.  Keep it on a shelf out of the reach of your dog, but not out of sight.  When it is feeding time take the bowl, make sure your dog sees you do all of this, pour the food into the bowl but do not put it on the ground for your dog to eat as you normally would.  Instead, hold the bowl.  Lower the bowl low enough for your dog to eat, but do not put it on the floor.  If your dog does not eat, be patient, try feeding your dog from your hand with one or two bits of food.  Once your dog has started to eat slowly lift the bowl away from them.  Make the dog understand you are the one giving the food, and without you, there is no food.  If you do this at every feeding time you should be able to lower the bowl a little further each time until you are able to put the food on the floor.  If your dog starts to growl, put the food away, and try again in an hour or so.  Eventually it should click that you are the one providing the food, and the aggression should stop.  Along with this method you can try to hand feed your dog treats, put the treat in the bowl, lower the bowl and let your dog have its treat that way.  This is the best way I know of to break a dog from food aggression.  If you do this right, you should be able to put your hand in the dog’s food bowl while it is eating with no reaction.  If you don’t get this result it may be time to bring in a trainer.  Food aggression is not good for you or your dog, so break them of this bad habit; it will ensure your dog stays healthy and happy for many years to come.

Nick Carreno

Saturday, April 9, 2011


          It is once again time to feature a dog that is in need of a home.  The dog we have chosen is one of our Most Wanted Flower Pets in the month of April; this is a program the Delco SPCA has to help find homes for a few special dogs that have been there for a while, during the month of April.  From the moment I met Lola I was taken by her good nature.  As you can see from the pictures she is a young dog that enjoys lots of affection.
           If you are interested in adopting Lola you can visit the Delaware County SPCA and ask for her by name or you can give her ID number which is 40826. If you have any questions feel free to call them at 610-566-1370.  You can also check out their web site http://delcospca.org/.  I really hope one of you out there can find it in your heart to give this truly deserving dog a home.  Since Lola is one of the Most Wanted Flower Pets, the fee for adoption is dramatically reduced to $20.11 through the month of April.

          I got the chance to have a little play time with Lola and she was so willing to please, and such a lovable dog it is hard for me to understand why she has been there so long.  Lola has been without a loving home for far too long.  I hope someone out there can find it in their hearts to adopt Lola and give her a home, where she can be given the chance she deserves.  Can you be the one to help this loving dog stay healthy and happy for many years to come?
Nick Carreno

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Communicating With Your Dog

          There are many reasons to love dogs.  In my opinion one of the most unique things about a dog is the fact that they can communicate with us.  Now I am not talking about the dog that barks out I love you, and no I do not think dogs have the capacity to talk like we humans do.  They do however communicate with us.  It is one of the things that make having a dog such a wonderful experience.  Dogs more so than any other pet have the capacity to let us know what they want.  If you think about it you will realize I am not insane.  How many times has your dog let you know they wanted to go outside, or they wanted to play, or maybe when they needed food?  It is truly amazing when you think about it.  Dogs are one of the only animals that know what it means when a human points.  So not only are they capable of letting us know what they need, and want, as well as what they may be feeling, they have the capacity to understand what we are telling them.
          Dogs use body language more than anything else, we humans use it an awful lot as well.  We can tell how another person is feeling just by the way they hold themselves.  The same is true for dogs.  Many people think that there is some special gift to be able to read a dog, when in reality all you need is a little knowledge and some experience.  There are people who don’t even notice when a dog is trying to communicate, much less what they are trying to say.  At this point I would caution not to project human behavior onto any dog.  Yes they can communicate, but they are still dogs and live in a totally different reality than we do, but that is a subject for another article.  That being said, if you do enough research and you watch your dog closely, you will be able to see more than the standard let’s play or I need food signs that your dog may be tossing your way.
          Most people assume when they see a dogs tail wagging that the dog is happy, but if you look closer at the dog you will find that this is not always the case.  For example, if the head is hung low, and the ears are back, and the tail is wagging, clearly the dog is not happy, it is more nervous or anxious.  This could be due to being in a new situation, or around people the dog is not familiar with, the ears back tend to show nervousness and fear, the head hung low is a submissive posture that lets everyone around the dog know that they are not a threat.  The tail wagging in this case would show nervousness.  Now let’s assume we have an aggressive dog in the same situation.  The dog is in a place he is not familiar with around people he does not know, but instead of a low hanging head and ears back, this dog has his ears straight back, his head is up, his teeth are bared, the hair along his back is up, and his tail is wagging.  If you see a dog like this I would not stick around.  This dog is letting everyone who can see him know that he is fearful to the point of attack if needed.  The ears back and teeth bared are a warning to back off, the hair up along his back is showing extreme nervousness, and the tail wagging is a way to let everyone know he is unsure of what he should do next. 
          The above situations are two examples of how a dog may react to a crowd of strange people.  The signs are all there, one dog is no threat, and the other is.  Thankfully it is easy to spot a dog that is ready to bite, at least it is for most people.  Some of the other things to look for when trying to “read” your dog would be, the dogs posture, is the head up or down, up usually means confidence, head down is a submissive gesture, when a dog lowers its head to you, it usually means they are trying to let you know they are not a threat.  Tail up, down, between the legs, these three are good indicators as to your dog’s mood.  Tail up means confident, dominant. Tail down means calm, submissive.  A tail between the legs means fear and anxiety.  Ears are another good thing to look at when you are looking for clues to what your dog may be trying to say.  Ears up and forward usually mean the dog is curious about something or has heard something that they are trying to get a better read on.  Ears back are usually a bad sign.  Ears back often mean fear or aggression, which makes sense; aggression will often follow fear in almost every living thing on this planet.  A very old small green man once said fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate…  Very wise words for a little green man.   Barks and growls are another, often misread, way a dog will communicate.  When a dog barks or growls it is usually in some kind of context, such as playfulness, an alert to let you know someone is at the door, or a warning.  It depends what the rest of the dogs body is doing as to what the growl or bark means.   I hope some of these things will help you figure out what may be going on in your dog’s head. 
          I have been reading dogs all my life and have gotten pretty good at it.  You will find after a while of trying you will not even need to think about it.  Before long you will be communicating with your dog.  As for how a dog knows what you are saying.  Think body language.   If you are angry a dog will know it, if you are nervous, scared, happy, your dog will know it.  So it is more important that we know how to read our dogs, because they can already read us.  The better you are at knowing what your dog is feeling and needing the better you can take care of them.  This will go a long way to keeping your furry family members healthy and happy.  

Nick Carreno

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Dog Cannot Say I’m Sick

          I have seen many a sick dog, the sad thing is most times their owners do not even realize they are sick until something drastic happens.  Dogs may not be able to say I am sick, but they do have a way of communicating to us.  Whether or not we realize they are trying to communicate with us is another story.  I have two dogs, and I can always tell when one of them is not feeling well.  It does not always require a trip to the vet, but it does prompt me to keep an eye on them to make sure things don’t get any worse.
          So how do you know when your dog is sick?  Your dog will let you know.  You cannot expect your dog to come moping up to you and say I don’t feel so well, but what you can expect to see is a change in behavior.  No matter what kind of dog you have I can assure you they have a pattern.  It is the one thing all dogs have in common, they are ruled by routine.  They go out at the same times every day, they know when you’re getting home, and if your late it throws the routine out of whack and they do not like it too much.  They will lounge in the same spot at the same times, they will sleep in the same area every night.  You see what I am saying.  Dogs truly are creatures of habit, even more so than we humans. 
          If your dog breaks its routine, it may be a signal to look more closely.  Make sure they are eating when you feed them, make sure they are actually going when you let them outside.  If your dog breaks its routine it does not always mean they are sick.  It could just mean you have a bored dog and they want to play.  However if they are not eating, or they are not greeting you at the door as they normally would, or they are not producing anything when the go out, or when you walk them, it could be a sign that your dog is sick.  Especially if they are not eating or going to the bathroom, in that case you should take them to the vet and have them looked at as soon as possible.
          So you think your dog is sick, how do you know when to take them to the vet?  That is not as easy a question to answer as you might think. Everyone has their opinions of when it’s time to take the dog to the vet.   If your dog is sluggish and does not want to play, it could mean you have very sick dog, or it could mean you just came in from a three mile hike and they are tired.  It is really up to you to know your dog.  You will know when your dog is not right.  For me, I take my dogs in at the first sign of illness.  I don’t want to wait around and see if things get worse.  I would rather take them to the vet and find out they are fine, instead of waiting around and realizing I should have taken them sooner.  It is always better to err on the side of caution.
          There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with a dog.  They can come down to anything from a mild cold all the way up to ingesting life threatening parasites.  It is always a good policy to keep an eye on your dog, and know when they are telling you things are not right.   Paying attention to your dog is often the best way to keep your furry family member healthy and happy for all the years to come.

Nick Carreno

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scarlet Needs a Family

          It is once again that time of the month when I make my visit to the Delaware County SPCA in search of a dog that needs help in finding a home.  I walked in and was greeted by Justina, and she informed me that she had a dog that was in need of some help finding a home.  They had her in the back office and I was told her name was Scarlet.

          Justina lead me back to the office where I saw Scarlet laying on a makeshift doggie bed they had set up for her.  Scarlet saw me come in and immediately bounced over to where I was standing and very cheerfully and not so subtly made it known she wanted some love.  I stooped down and started to pet her, she was such a happy dog.  I still cannot understand why they were having such a hard time adopting her out.  Scarlet is a pit bull, and that may be part of the reason, but anyone who spends more than five seconds with this dog would know what a great find she was.  It is such a shame pit bulls have a bad reputation. 

          Scarlet was a stray as well as pregnant when she was found.  She was brought to the Delco SPCA on December 12th.   She had her pups not to long after she was brought in.  Of course there was no problem finding homes for her pups.  Everyone loves a puppy.  Scarlet remains, still in need of a happy home.  The folks down at the SPCA let me know that Scarlet loves children.  I was told that she gets very happy and playful whenever a child is near.  She would make a great family dog.  I even considered taking her myself, but my hands are full with the two dogs I have.  I have put an extra effort out in trying to find Scarlet a home.  I have asked friends and family to put the word out.  If you are reading this and you are thinking of adopting a dog, you cannot do much better that to adopt Scarlet. 

          Since Scarlet has been there for a while the adoption fee has been reduced quite a bit in order to help her find a home.  She would be great for any family with children.   Children should be over the age of 8.  She is not so good with cats however.  If you have a dog, you can bring your dog there so they can meet and see if Scarlet would be a good fit.   Her ID number is 38841, if you are interested you can feel free to drop by and see this loveable dog for yourself.  If you have any questions feel free to call them at 610-566-1370.  You can also check out their web site http://delcospca.org/.  I really hope one of you out there can find it in your heart to give this truly deserving dog a home, and help to keep her healthy and happy.

Nick C

Monday, February 14, 2011

Home Cooked Food for Your Dog

          I am happy to say that we have been making our own dog food for a few months now.  I have written on this topic before and if you will recall, the last time I wrote about dog food it was because Jasmine (our black lab) got very sick when we transitioned her from the homemade food back to her dry dog food.  Since that time, Jasmine and Frankie (our Siberian husky) have been enjoying a steady diet of homemade food.
          Jasmine has lost a lot of weight.  It’s funny, but we have been trying to get her to lose weight for a few years now, and nothing seemed to be working.  We would exercise her daily, we cut back on the amount of food we would feed her three times until she was eating a cup in the morning and a cup in the evening.  We had no idea her weight loss would be the result of homemade food.  She is now 20lbs lighter.  She lost the weight so fast it gave us pause and we took her to the vet.  The vet was shocked and did a full work up on her, she is in perfect health.  We are now feeding her 2 cups of homemade food in the morning and 2 cups of homemade food in the evening.  She is slim, her coat is so much softer, and she has so much more energy.  She is a completely different dog.  Frankie has lost a few pounds as well, though she was not overweight to begin with.   The big difference with Frankie is her coat.  Huskies have a very thick coat and they tend to shed… a lot.  Since we have been giving her the home made food she has not been shedding nearly as much and her coat feels like incredibly soft.
          You might think making dog food for your dog will be labor intensive.  I won’t lie to you, at first it was.  We now have a routine and we make the food once a week, sometimes we will make a batch that will last 2 weeks.  It is not all that hard to do, it takes about 30 minutes to put together, and a few hours of cooking time, but that is as easy as boiling some chicken.  There is no need to worry about spices or seasonings, dogs don’t need that stuff.  In fact it’s better for the dog if you don’t season the food.  Too much salt is a bad thing for a dog.  The cost is a little more than buying the dry dog food we used to, but honestly the difference is not that much.  The benefits we see from the homemade food outweigh the little extra cost.  I used to think people that feed their dogs homemade food were spoiling their dogs.  It took Jasmine getting sick for me to see how much better homemade food is for my dogs.
          I am giving you the recipe we use for our dogs below.  Try it for a month and see what happens.  It can’t hurt to try; right?

This recipe will feed two medium dogs for about a week.
You will need.
Chicken legs (2 family packs approximately 32 legs)
8 cups of medium or long grain rice
2 big family sized packages of frozen vegetables (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower)

To cook the rice, put 8 cups of rice into a large stock pot add 16 cups of water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the rice has absorbed all the water
For the Chicken legs you can boil them for a few hours or until the meat is easy to remove from the bone.  You can also put them in a crock pot in the morning, when you come home they will be ready.  Place on a cookie sheet to cool.  Once cool remove the meat from the bone, do not forget to get the small bone, it will come off with the meat, do not let that get into the food, it could harm your dog.  Make sure you save the water you cooked the chicken in.
Boil the vegies until done.
Once the chicken is deboned, the rice and veggies are cooked you can combine it all, mix in a little of the chicken stock you saved from cooking those chicken legs until it is a nice consistency.  Store it in the fridge and use that to feed your dogs. 
You should warm the food to just about room temperature before feeding.  You can do this by putting the food in the microwave for a few minutes.  Make sure you test the food before you give it to your dog.  You don’t want to accidently burn them, and microwaves are famous for creating hot and cold spots. 
          I hope the recipe is clear.  If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at doggiediaries4u@gmail.com.  If you try this for a month I am betting your furry family members will love you for it, and it will make the all the more happy and healthy.

Nick C