Fred. Chocolate and tan cocker spaniel puppy. 4 months old.

Oh, boy… it’s been a while

Finally, oh, finally, I am reunited with my journal. My every intention was to keep going no matter what, but since Fred’s arrival most plants were either forgotten or postponed until further notice. It really was a challenging time raising him and making sure Cooper is happy, too.

But somehow I did it. We went through the snow storms, rain falls, upset tummies, tears (mine, not his!), teething (his, not mine!), seasons of insects and heatwaves, logistics of feeding and walking two dogs, training lessons and hours of utter bliss also known as puppy cuddles. Whenever I felt totally rubbish, my darling husband would say “you’ve done it so many times and you can do it again” and somehow his faith in my skills kept me going… No matter how many sleepless weeks it took, and no matter how many times I cried because I was so very tired, frustrated or plainly scared, I got my boys to the point when we can happily live every day as it comes.

To be fair, Fred has been a wonderful puppy. In fact, he reminds me of Oscar a lot and it is yet another trait that makes him rather special. I love the boy with all my heart. He is just lovely, absolutely lovely. Always happy, always smiling and, how should I put it, “self-sufficient”… From day one he not only proved to be incredibly intelligent and resourceful, but also very calm. Provided that he was done with the toilet, had his food and playtime, Fred really does enjoy his personal moments and space and looks utterly adorable wondering off to yet another undisclosed location (usually his favourite sofa, my bed or the corner of a chair) with a chew.

He also turned out to be a real kamikaze! From his first days Fred showed real interest in climbing stairs, jumping on and off everything regardless of height, squeezing into every corner and hunting every bug and fly he came across. The levels of puppy proofing went beyond imaginable! We blocked the stairs, door ways, put up puppy fences around the garden to somehow stop the little adventurer pulling down the twigs of the bushes (he still figured it out, though)

Basically, life has been a mad circus… and flew by before I had a chance to take a breath and memorise it.

Then it became better and easier, more fun and less stressful. These days we get up at 6 for breakfast and toilet (mainly led by Cooper who would never ever miss his breakfast), have a little nap (again, according to Cooper’s schedule – Coop is napping, Fred is chewing and I am supervising) and go for a walk an hour later. Once back, the boys enjoy their morning biscuits and have a good old run around the garden until they collapse, happy and satisfied. Comes afternoon, they have training lessons, more naps and a wonderful walk in the countryside.

And I finally get time to work on my most special project, exercise and maintain the house the way it deserves.

It would be misleading to say that the moments of madness and puppy days are gone. Of course, Fred still requires plenty of attention and most definitely – entertainment and training. Soon I will be hand striping him, too. Still, I am pleased with what we have achieved so far. And I am grateful for this little guy. He is LOVE.


What to do if dog stung by bee, wasp, first aid help tips, advice / how to remove tick from dog / haemolytic anaemia, lyme disease / slugs and snails dangerous for dogs / first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / dog advice / photo by Dominic Alberts from Pixabay

The bugging issue

Hot days followed by showers bring out a lot of creepy crawlies. Be prepared – cockers are explorers and can get stung during their adventures. Here is a quick first aid guide to refer to.

Wasp string dogs, first aid help, what to do / published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / Image by jmarti20 from Pixabay (C)

Wasps sting several times & can cause nasty allergic reaction. Try to keep your spaniel away from them (use “come” or “leave” cues). Should the worst happen apply ice to sooth, follow with solution of vinegar + water . You can use original Benadryl / Piriton but ONLY AFTER CONSULTING A VET.

Bee sting dogs, first aid help, what to do / published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / Image by Michael Siebert from Pixabay (C)

Bees leave a stinger which must never be pulled out but rather “scraped” out with a credit card or similar object. Apply ice, follow with solution of baking soda + water. Prevent the dog from scratching or liking it. If the bite becomes irritated, take the pup to the vet.

Mosquito stings, bites in dogs, first aid advice, help / published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

Mosquitos are not as offensive but can cause irritation in hairless spots or if the cocker is shaved thus his skin is easier to reach. Too many bites can cause redness and even raised temperature. Mosquitos are known to spread heartworm – make sure your spaniel is protected by monthly preventatives.

Slugs and snails dangerous for dogs, first aid advice, help / published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / Image by Capri23Auto from Pixabay

Slugs & snails carry lungworm that can be fatal. Use preventative treatments to reduce risk. Set traps in your garden to catch the unwanted visitors. Never leave water bowl or toys in the garden. Do not let your dog drink from public bowls.

Ticks dangerous for dogs, how to remove, haemolytic anaemia, babesia virus, lyme disease symptoms, first aid advice, help / published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / Image by Meli1970 from Pixabay

Ticks are the worst bugs as some carry Babesia parasites that cause haemolytic anaemia. Make sure to remove the tick with his head still attached using a special tick removing stick and twisting it anti clockwise. Follow with antiseptic solution. Never squeeze or pull the bug! Never apply oil on tick either. Save the tick in a small jar for up to a month. There may be a red spot or pimple on the location of the bite – if it becomes irritated or enlarged, take your dog to the vet immediately. If your cocker looks unwell, quiet, uninterested in food, run to the vet. Symptoms may take up to 3 weeks to appear.

Photo source: images by Dominic Albertsjmarti20Michael SiebertMyriam ZillesCapri23auto,  Meli1670 from Pixabay

Avocado toxic or not for dogs and why, avocado in dog diet safety concerns / First published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog / Image by sandid from Pixabay

Q&A | Avocado: yes or no?

I receive so many questions about avocado in dog’s diet, so I thought I’d share it here since yesterday was a #nationalavocadoday.

Lately avocado was said to be safe for dogs. However before you go head think of the following…

… avocado contains persin, a toxic substance found in the skin, right under the skin, in the stone and the bark of avocado;
… the LIGHT green flesh of the fruit is low in persin, however it is difficult to ensure that the light green won’t be mixed with the DARK green flesh found under the skin of the fruit, thus increasing the risk of poisoning;
… if a dog has avocado he’s likely to have upset stomach or vomiting;
… in addition the stone can not only be more toxic if crushed by a dog, but also get stuck in the throat or digestive tract, which can be fatal;
…high fat content of avocado can increase risk of pancreatitis.

Personally, I would not risk it. I also do not believe that something that was once deemed very toxic for pooched was suddenly given a green light. It feels more like a trend, not something supported by research.

Photo source: image by sandid from Pixabay