One mosquito bite 

Mosquitoes are irritating parasites. Not only are they problematic for people, they can be bothersome to dogs also.

One mosquito bite is all it takes for your dog to get heartworm. Heartworm is a parasite that lives in the heart tissue of dogs. Adult worms can become long and tangled like strands of spaghetti.

The jumble of worms in the heart tissue can block arteries, reducing blood flow while making the heart work harder.

In severe cases of heartworm infection, dogs can die from congestive heart failure.

It is possible to treat for heartworm but the best medicine is prevention. There are many options for preventive maintenance in the form of prescription drugs for dogs.

The best part about heartworm medicine is that it usually also treats intestinal parasites.

Veterinarians recommend monthly heartworm pills. However, before your vet can prescribe the medicine, your dog must be tested for heartworms.

A heartworm test is required because administering heartworm medicine to a heartworm positive dog could be deadly. Under ordinary circumstances, you should have your dog tested once annually, provided you maintain strict adherence to giving your dog his monthly medicine. Failure to do so could be dangerous.

All it takes is one bite from a mosquito. A missed dose could mean exposure to heartworm.

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How to clean your dog’s ears

Floppy-eared dogs often face ear infections brought on by yeast or bacteria because their owners don’t know how to care for their dogs ears. As a veterinary technician, I helped pet owners by training them how to clean their dog’s ears in order to help the dogs recover from ear infections and to prevent future infections.

Since I don’t have a dog to demonstrate on, I have found this resource on YouTube that demonstrates clearly the technique to follow to clean your dog’s ears.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Gather your supplies

Collect your ear cleaner and cotton balls and set them aside.

Step 2: Restrain the dog

It would be very difficult to attempt cleaning your dog’s ears alone. Make sure you have an assistant who your dog trusts and that can restain the dog without significant effort.

Step 3: Add ear cleaner to the ear canal

Gently pull back the pinna (ear flap) and squirt some ear cleaner into the ear canal. Fill the ear canal. Place a cotton ball over the opening of the ear canal to prevent the liquid from spilling out and causing a mess.

Step 4: Massage the base of the ear

Briskly massage the base of the ear. This action will break up any debris in the lower part of the ear canal.

Step 5: Tilt the dogs head to the side to empty the cleaning solution

While not shown in the video or in the infographic that follows, an easy way to prevent a messy situation is to drain the dog’s ear by tilting its head to the side. Keep the cotton ball in place and allow the ball to absorb the liquid as it pours out of the dog’s ear.

Step 6: Gently wipe the visible parts of the ear canal and pinna

Use a clean wet cotton ball to gently wipe away dirt from the pinna and the ear canal. Do not force the cotton ball down into the ear canal. When you feel slight resistance, that’s as far as you should go. To avoid causing injury to your dog, do not use cotton tip applicators (Q-Tips).

Step 7: Allow your dog to shake its head

As the dog shakes its head, it will cause some of the debris to fly out of the ear.

Repeat steps 3-7 on the other ear.

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for how often to clean your dog’s ears.

how to clean dog ears

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Dogs of justice: Run to support police dogs

Sometimes, a dog is more than a dog. A dog is an unsung hero of justice serving alongside a professional dog handler striving to protect the citizens of a community.

Some people fail to realize the importance of these cops with paws. Denise Elliott is on a mission to change that so that our communities can be safer for everyone.

Denise is an Army reservist who spent nearly two years deployed in Iraq. There, she became acquainted with military working dogs (MWDs) while conducting convoy operations. It was then that she developed a deep level of respect for these K9 soldiers.

Because of that experience, in 2015, Denise started a national non-profit organization known as Cops with Paws. The purpose of her organization is to help raise money for the placement of police K9s.

She is working with a vendor in Arkansas to place a police dog in service alongside a handler in Meade County, Kentucky. She explained that the initial cost of the dog is about $10,000. However, she said, “Vehicles need to be outfitted and weekly training is necessary, that cost can sometimes go up to $15,000.”

To help raise the necessary funds to acquire a trained police dog, Cops with Paws will host a 5k/8k run/walk at Freeman Lake in Elizabethtown today.

The biggest draw to the event, is the Halloween Dress Up & Dress Your Dogs Costume Contest. Participants can bring their dogs dressed in costume for a chance to win a 1st place medal.

The costume contest starts at 8:30 a.m. At 9 o’clock, the 5k run kicks off. Minutes later, the 8k run begins.

Anyone who wants to participate can sign up to run or walk. Dogs are welcome!

Online registration is closed but runners and walkers can register at the event for $40.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

PetCorps Professional Pet Care is a proud sponsor of this event

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Reading Roundup: September 23

In this week’s reading roundup, I’ve gathered up a few articles that you will find very useful this time of year. Find out if acorns are toxic to dogs, how to help your dog stop eating poop, and discover a lighthearted guide to housebreaking your puppy.

Can acorns make my dog sick?

acorns

In the northern hemisphere, autumn has just begun and with it, acorns are falling from trees. Should you be concerned if your dog eats one? How many acorns would a dog have to eat to experience adverse affects?

How to get your dog to STOP eating poop

In this short video, Dr. Andy Roark answers the question that has been bothering pet owners the longest: how do I get my dog to stop eating poop? It’s a very common question veterinarians and vet techs field when working with clients – so common, in fact, that we have become well rehearsed in answering it. Dr. Andy explains three reasons why dogs exhibit this disgusting behavior and also offers simple tips to help owners intervene.

How to (house) train your puppy

Training your puppy not to pee and poop inside your house can be a challenge. This simple infographic uses a lighter approach to this frustrating growth stage. Training your dog to go potty outside only takes a few weeks compared with raising a baby that takes maybe three years to potty train. You can do this!

house training a puppy

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Review: Cloud-based phone system RingCentral

Several years ago, a marketer infiltrated the pooper-scooper.com discussion forum promoting a vanity number known as 1-800-DOG-POOP. The chatter in the forums echoed of skepticism. Because those I considered mentors showed disinterest in the vanity number, I decided not to opt-in to the program when it originally released. I couldn’t have made a bigger mistake.

Fast forward a few years, and I had decided it was time to expand my service into the Louisville market. Louisville had a different area code than Radcliff, so I knew that anyone calling from that area would be calling long distance to reach my cell number. At this time, I finally saw the need to have a toll-free number.

I went to 1-800-DOG-POOP only to discover a competitor in the 502 area code had already secured the rights to use the vanity number for their business. I approached AT&T to find out if they could help me get a toll-free number. They said they could but only if I agreed to sign up for a home phone number. Because my wife and I had cell phones through them, we didn’t have a need for a landline phone.

Dissatisfied with the options available to me through AT&T, I searched for toll-free number services on Google. That search led me to a company called RingCentral.

empower-advocate

Within minutes of speaking to a RingCentral representative, I secured an 877 number for my business. The best part is that I did not have to have a landline or a desk phone to get the number. RingCentral offers a cloud-based phone service with voice over IP (VoIP) technology. I secured my phone number for less than $30 per month.

Calls to my toll-free number dial directly into my cell phone via the RingCentral app. The desktop features allow you to set up call forwarding, add extensions, add custom on-hold music, add custom greetings, call screening, and fax capabilities.

RingCentral has had occasional outages but none that had impacted my business negatively. I am completely satisfied with RingCentral’s services and recommend them to anyone running a business.

Click here to find out more about RingCentral’s services

Overall Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5 stars

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The first marketing campaign

dog-clipart-firstflierReALife LLC was formed and the PetCorps service brand was ready to get started.

But first, I decided to become a member of the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (aPaws), a national trade association of professional pooper-scoopers. To become a member, I had to adhere to the association’s Code of Conduct and have general liability insurance on the business.

I obtained an insurance quote from Kentucky Farm Bureau, who wanted a lump sum payment of over $700 to insure the business. That was money I didn’t have and I needed insurance so I could become a member of aPaws and use their logo in my marketing campaign.

I inquired on pooper-scooper.com about insurance and someone suggested Pet Sitters Associates, LLC. I went to their website and found that PSA’s specialized insurance policy was significantly less expensive than Kentucky Farm Bureau’s. Since I had the cash, I purchased the policy.

Immediately after obtaining proof of insurance, I went over to aPaws’ website and completed my membership application by paying $85.

Now that I had successfully finished setting up my business it was time to start my first marketing campaign.

I immediately went to God in prayer.

“Lord, this business is yours. I am merely its manager. So tell me how you want me to advertise and I will do it.”

As I sat in silence, I listened carefully. I heard God say, “Make fliers out of brightly colored paper. Roll them up like scrolls and wrap a ribbon around them. Distribute the fliers door to door in the neighborhoods where you want to get customers.”

I obeyed. I printed up more than 200 fliers. The message was simple:

Too pooped to scoop?

For as low as $12/week, the professional pooper scoopers at petCorps will collect and dispose of all the unwanted pet waste in your yard.

We do the dirty work so you don’t have to!

I printed these on bright orange paper, with two copies per page in landscape orientation. After cutting the two fliers apart, I rolled them each into scrolls and tied a red ribbon around them.

When the fliers were ready, I hit the streets in a nearby neighborhood and distributed them door-to-door.

At the same time, I published a classified ad in the local newspaper.

It was the end of January and the phone had yet to ring. I decided to take a trip home to Toledo to visit my mom.

My grandmother was living with my mom because it was no longer safe for her to live on her own. She developed Alzheimer’s. Since I had become a Christian, God laid it upon my heart to go home to make sure my grandma was saved.

I grew up in a household that didn’t worship God. My mom was a Catholic and my dad a Lutheran but my family did not attend services at church or practice any form of religion. It wasn’t until I entered the Army that I finally learned about God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. While that might upset some of my readers who don’t practice any faith, it is a vital part of my story.

Upon arriving at my mom’s, my cell phone rang. It was from a man named Rodney. He was an Army retired chief warrant officer. He said he had received one of my fliers and wanted to establish service. I apologized that I was out of town and set up an appointment to meet with him upon my return.

After getting off the phone with Rodney, I got a call from a woman named Jennifer. Jennifer had seen my ad in the newspaper and wanted to know how much it would cost to have her dog pen cleaned. I also set up an appointment to meet with her upon my return.

When I arrived back home, I had received two more calls. One from a family that lived off Black Jack Road in Radcliff and another from a soldier who lived in Rineyville. I was thrilled that my business was starting to pick up–pun intended.

< Previous Chapter | More to follow next week…

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Why I decided to stop sending and receiving text messages

iphone-1032779_640Text messages can be a nuisance. Sure, they offer a convenient way to transmit ideas to other people but they can often be a distraction to the receiver.

Group Texts

One of my biggest pet peeves is group text messages. For some reason, it seems like when I’m included in a group text message, that other recipients feel the need to “reply all.” The result is that my phone dings or vibrates every ten seconds or so with some unimportant information that distracts me from what I ought to be doing in that exact moment.

Distractions

I think it is safe to say that we all are aware of how distracting text messages can be. Numerous studies have shown that notifications on our phone can interrupt us. That little ding or pulse sends a signal to our brain demanding immediate attention. Soon, it becomes an addiction. Every time the phone beeps, buzzes, or rings, we feel compelled to respond due to the addictive nature of messages.

It became a serious problem in my house. I could be sitting at the dinner table with my wife and kids when suddenly I receive a text notification. It would grab my attention, and I would respond immediately. Meanwhile, I completely zoned out of the room. My wife or children would be talking to me and I wouldn’t even hear them.

We think it’s convenient to send and receive text messages. And it is, without question. But I think it’s dangerous. If my addicted brain automatically responds to a text notification every time I get one, what if I was on the highway driving? And yes, my job does demand a lot of driving. We all know how unsafe it is to text and drive. But what makes addictions so dangerous is that the behavior is on automatic.

For me it was a no brainer. There is enough talk in business space about technology becoming a distraction. Technology is a good thing but it can produce negative results if we are not careful.

I recently heard a podcast by Michael Hyatt and his disdain for text messages. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

No one should have the kind of access to me that text messages allow. That’s why I have decided to stop sending and receiving text messages.

Retraining my contacts

I am currently working on retraining my circle when it comes to contacting me. Since text messages imply an immediate response, I have determined the following protocol for reaching me.

  1. If you require an immediate response, call me.
  2. If you do not require an immediate response, email me.

These are two very simple rules but they are powerful.

First of all, if you have something to say to me and it’s important, why wouldn’t you call me? If the information you want to share is as important as sending a text message but you wouldn’t call me to share it, then is it really that important?

Secondly, if you wouldn’t pick up the phone to call me because the information you desire to relay is not as important as you thought or doesn’t require an immediate response, an email is the best way to get in touch with me. And here is why:

  1. Emails contain a subject line. I can easily categorize my emails based on the subject lines. This makes finding a message very easy. There is no way to categorize text messages on my phone. That means it is very easy for me to lose your message.
  2. Emails are not easily deleted. It is very easy for me to go through my phone and accidentally delete text messages. Granted, you could easily delete an email; however, if you file your emails using folders, you will be less likely to delete an important email.

Inappropriate use of text messages

Text messages are also used inappropriately. Text messages were originally referred to as SMS. That acronym stands for short message system. Text messages replaced instant messaging; however, they were intended for short messages. Too often, I have received long-form text messages that would have been better suited for an email than a text message.

So with all of these thoughts in mind, I decided to stop sending and receiving text messages. Some people are unhappy with this decision but since I have done it, it has been very freeing!

There is no way to stop receiving text messages on AT&T iPhones. However, you can pay a fee to subscribe to an optional service offered by AT&T to stop receiving text messages.

Here’s what I have done to workaround that:

I announced to everyone that usually texts me that I am no longer sending and receiving text messages.

I turned off notifications on most of my iPhone apps.

When I get an unwanted text message, I have set up a shorthand response that I can quickly type in that delivers a message that says:

“This number is no longer receiving text messages. If your message is urgent, please call.”

Since I have implemented this, I am no longer receiving strings of unimportant text messages. I feel free!

What are your thoughts about this? Do you find text messages to be a nuisance?

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