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Pawz Ink Blog

Welcome to the Pawz Ink Blog. Here you will find articles of interest to pet owners.

Flatulence in your Dog…..

Kylie Tatti - Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flatulence in your Dog….. Flatulence occurs when gas accumulates in your dog’s intestinal tract and colon. This is a normal process that occurs when bacteria break down certain types of food. While it can be disruptive and disconcerting, it is rarely indication of a severe health problem.

What Are Some Causes of Flatulence in Dogs?

Dietary causes are the main source of flatulence in dogs. Low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas. So do random table scraps and foods containing lactose. Some animals may also have food sensitivities and allergies, too, so it’s important to find out what your dog’s stomach can and cannot handle.

Flatulence can also occur when a dog eats too rapidly and may swallow air.

Which Dogs Are Most at Risk?

All dogs can develop flatulence, especially if they’re fed a low-quality food with fillers and artificial preservatives, random table scraps, too many snacks or foods they’re allergic to.

Could Flatulence Be A Symptom of Another Health Issue?

Persistent canine flatulence can be a side effect of certain medications and can also be a symptom of other medical problems.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Dog’s Flatulence?

Feeding a consistent and healthy diet is the best way to reduce your dog’s flatulence. Here are a couple of rules to follow:

  • Feed your dog a nutritious, highly digestible food. Do a little research to find the brands that are appropriate for his age, breed and lifestyle. Watch out for ingredients like ash, low-quality proteins and corn products that make your dog feel full, but aren’t rich in nutrition. And do ask your vet for advice about pet food.
  • Don’t feed your dog random table scraps. Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods are common.
  • If your adult canine is a fast eater, you might divide his portion in half and let him eat two small meals a day.
  • Know your dog’s allergies and food sensitivities, and steer clear of foods that will irritate her stomach.
  • Some dogs are also lactose intolerant. Avoid dairy products.
  • You’ll know you’re feeding your dog a healthy, highly digestible food when he no longer has gas and begins to excrete firm, well-formed feces.

New laws for mongrels who operate puppy farms.

Kylie Tatti - Monday, February 23, 2015

New laws for mongrels who operate puppy farms. Fantastic news for everyone who is behind strict new laws for people who breed dogs for money in terrible conditions.

Puppy farms and intensive breeding of domestic animals will be banned under new legislation to be introduced to the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. 

The new protections for animals forced to breed for the pet market is designed to stop abuses similar to those seen in New South Wales and Victoria in recent years and follows ACT laws enacted in October 2013 which established fines of as much as $11,000 for breaches of a code of practice. 

Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said his bill was the second element of animal protections included in the governance agreement he signed with Labor to form government after the 2012 election. 

Mr Rattenbury said intensive pet breeding operations saw dogs and cats treated as “money-making machines, placing the operator’s profit above their animal’s health and welfare.”

“Life for a female dog or cat in an intensive breeding facility is unimaginable. Animals are often permanently housed in empty pens, deprived of social interaction, exercise and responsible health care for their entire lives.

In an effort to increase profits for the operators, female dogs and cats are continually impregnated and bred as often as possible, sometimes every time that they go into heat.” 

The intensive breeding of female dogs and cats will become a criminal offence in the territory with tough new penalties for anyone convicted of exploiting animals for the pet market. 

New offences, including recklessly allowing a dog or cat to breed contrary to declared standards including on frequency, are expected to be declared following advice from an expert committee. 

Mr Rattenbury said a higher offence of intentionally allowing breeding for profit or commercial gain against standards will be created. A code of practice on the breeding and selling of dogs or cats with hereditary defects will also be declared.

A new licensing scheme for dog and cat breeders will established 

“The scheme has been through extensive industry consultation to ensure that it is simple and resource-effective for breeders,” Mr Rattenbury said. 

The proposed law has the backing of the ACT RSPCA and campaigners involved in the anti-puppy farm movement Oscar’s Law. Campaigners have sought political action on intensive breeding of dogs and cats in a number of Australian jurisdictions. 

Oscar’s Law campaign founder Debra Tranter welcomed the moves. 

“It’s a great step forward for the ACT. The tougher legislation in Victoria means a lot of puppy farms are looking to relocate which is why its so good the ACT has been quick off the mark in introducing this before parliament,” she said. 

“Any new legislation is keeping the spotlight on this issue, keeping the pressure on puppy farms and making a difference.” 

After campaigning since 1993,  Ms Tranter said Australian jurisdictions were moving more quickly. She is currently lobbying the New South Wales government to ban puppy and kitten farming. 

The ACT’s first enforceable Animal Sales Code came into force in late 2013, applying to pet shops, breeders and anyone selling animals as pets. 

The code requires hygienic accommodation to meet the needs of animals and can be enforced by RSPCA officers, police and TAMS officials. Assembly to consider new ban on puppy farms and intensive animal breeding

Grass seeds & Dogs Beware!

Kylie Tatti - Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Grass seeds & Dogs Beware! Grass seed infections can be a great source of frustration for you and your dog, particularly in late spring and summer. They commonly lodge themselves into dogs’ paws, ears and eyes. It is important to recognise the signs of a possible grass seed problem early, as this can make treatment more straight forward. There are also a number of important preventative measures to put in place to prevent this problem occurring. 

How grass seed infections affect your dog

The shape of grass seeds with their sharp tip means that they can very easily penetrate through your dog’s skin or lodge themselves in your pet’s ears or eyes. Most seeds have an awn that fans out and makes it almost impossible for the grass seed to go backwards – similar to the action of the tip of a fish hook.

Dog in long grass

Grass seeds can lodge themselves into any part of your dog’s body. Grass seeds will generally start their journey when they get caught in your dog’s coat during a walk or play in long grass. From there, they are able to penetrate the skin and if undetected, can travel to various areas of the body. Grass seeds carry infection through the skin and into the body and will generally cause a painful swelling which progresses to cause an abscess in your dog.

Symptoms of grass seed infections

Signs of grass seed related problems depend on where the grass seed is lodged. This will often cause a swelling at the site of lodgement, which you dog will often become very irritated with. Often dogs will try to lick, scratch or chew the affected area.


Symptoms to look out for include:

Infected area

Toes and feet  

• swelling on the foot, often with a ‘weeping’ hole

• excessive licking or chewing


• shaking head or scratching ear

• painful to touch ear


• squinting or rubbing eye

• swollen eye with or without discharge


Diagnosis can often be done based on the history and clinical examination of your animal, and it is confirmed with the findings of a grass seed in an affected area.

Treating grass seed infections in your dog

Treatment depends on the location of the grass seed and how deeply the seed has lodged itself.

If a patient is cooperative the grass seed can sometimes be removed during a consultation, so long as it hasn’t travelled too deeply into the body and the patient is cooperative. Many dogs however, will require sedation or a general anaesthetic to allow probing for the seed, especially if the area is painful.

If the area affected is located in the skin, the affected area can be probed with a special tweezer-like instrument. Grass seeds in the ear can be retrieved with special long tweezers and grass seeds in the eye will often require removal with a cotton tip or tweezers – your dog’s eye will need further examinations and medications if the grass seed has caused damage to the eye.

If a grass seed is highly suspected, but no seed is found with probing, surgical exploration may be required to locate the seed. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication are usually required after removing a grass seed as they usually carry infection into the body where they have lodged and cause inflammation in the surrounding area.

Potential complications

These can include:

Infected area

Toes and feet

The grass seed has the potential to travel up your dog’s leg between tendons and ligaments, even up to the shoulder or the groin!


Grass seeds lodged inside the ear canal can cause chronic infection, and even rupture of the ear drum, causing serious problems with the deeper structures of the ear (the middle or inner ear canal).


Occasionally grass seeds can penetrate through the cornea (outer layer of the eye) and there is a risk that your dog may lose that eye.

Inhalation or ingestion



Grass seeds can be inhaled or swallowed. Grass seeds can get into airways and cause pneumonia, or even a collapsed lung. They can be very difficult to detect and a life threatening condition can quickly ensue. Ingested grass seeds are usually digested by the body, but in rare cases can penetrate through the digestive system into nearby tissues or organs.

Expected outcome

The expected outcome if the grass seed is removed is excellent. Infection and inflammation caused by the grass seed will usually resolve within a week without further problems. If the grass seed is not removed, infections will remainand seeds can travel to other areas or cause more severe complications.


It is important to be vigilant during the late spring and summer months when there is a greater risk of grass seed problems. Important tips to prevent grass seed problems are listed below:

• Keep your grass and weeds under control at home with regular maintenance
• Avoid long grass when on walks
• Keep long haired dogs groomed, particularly around their feet and ears. 
• Inspect your dog all over after each walk, making sure you check in between and under all toes and underneath the ears
• See a vet immediately if you suspect a grass seed problem, the earlier the problem is detected, the better chance you will have of finding the grass seed before it causes further problems or becomes very difficult to locate!

All information is generic and may not apply to your animal specifically. Please consult your veterinarian for advice tailored to you and your pet. Veterinary information has been written by Dr Matt Pascall and Dr Kristie Jennings and edited by Small Animal Internal Medicine Specialist Dr Reuben Fliegner. All information is current as at 01/04/2013.
     Ettinger, S. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Seventh Edition. Saunders, USA, 2010.
     Nelson, R. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Mosby, USA, 2010.
     Silverstein, D. Small Animal Critical Care. Saunders, USA, 2009. 

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Does your dog have bad breath? Get baking today!

Kylie Tatti - Sunday, January 05, 2014

Does your dog have bad breath? Get baking today! Barking Bad Breath Dog Biscuits

You love your dog, but man, his breath could strip paint off a wall! Your dog’s breath is so bad, you don’t know what end smells worse. If you’re sick of being woken up in the morning with the foul stench of bad dog breath, you’ll want to try our Barking Bad Breath Dog Biscuit Recipe. Parsley and mint work together to give him kissably fresh breath. And he won’t get offended when you give him a treat to get rid of that stink breath – personal hygiene complaints always go down better when a treat is involved.

Barking Bad Breath Dog Biscuit Recipe

Make 10-20 Cookies


1 ½ cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour
½ cup of cornmeal
½ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup finely chopped mint (or ½ tsp. mint extract)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk or almond/rice milk
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, until a thick dough forms. It should hold together into a ball when pressed in your hands. If it’s flakey, add a bit more water until it holds together firmly.
  3. Sprinkly counter with flour and roll dough out to ¼ thickness.
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough and place on non-stick cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and let cool.

As always, we’d love to hear and see how Barking Bad Breath Dog Treat Recipe turned out for you. Please leave your comments & pictures of your treats on our Facebook page or  Pawz Ink and, of course, let us know if your dog’s breath is any better after he eats these treats.

Dog Friendly Beaches

Kylie Tatti - Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dog Friendly Beaches Melbourne's Dog Friendly Beaches

Thanks to weekend notes below is a list of dog friendly beaches in Melbourne:

Sitting as it does wrapped around Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne’s dog owners are spoiled for choice when it comes to taking their canine friend for a splash in the sea.  While many beaches have restricted hours for daylight access during the ‘peak’ summer months (usually 1st November and 31st March, but check the signs on each beach or with the local council), there are a number of beaches which are ‘open all year’ for off-leash doggy fun.

Our dog’s favourite by far is West Beach in St Kilda, which not only has extensive wide sand for her to go crazy on, but shallow sandbars to wade out on for reluctant swimmers or puppies having their first paddle.  A bonus for owners is the extremely dog-friendly West Beach Pavillion cafewhich is right on the sand and good parking all along the foreshore (though it is ticketed and not cheap!). Other great all-year round beaches for you and your dog to explore include:

St Kilda Beach (Along Pier Road to the channel at the NW end of the road, and between Brooks Jetty and the northern end of the carpark near St Kilda Marina) Sandridge Beach (between Barak and Cumberland Roads, Port Melbourne) Port Melbourne Beach (between Lagoon Pier and Bay Street) Sandown Street Beach (Brighton) Sandringham Harbour (Hampton) Cyril Curtain Reserve (Williamstown) The east side spit of ‘The Warmies’ (Newport) Werribee South Foreshore (from the jetski ramp to Cunningham Road)

A bit further afield, the Mornington Peninsula is well provided for year-round, off-leash romping grounds: Royal Beach (Mornington) Fosters Beach (Mornington) Hawker Beach (Mt Martha) Safety Beach/Tassells Cove (between Marina and Bruce Road) Flinders Beach Somers Beach.

There are lots and lots of other beaches in Melbourne where dogs are allowed, though it may be for limited hours (usually after 730pm and before 930am) in the peak season, or only on-leash – just check with your local council and comply with any signage.

Do remember, off-leash doesn’t mean out of control – your dog must not behave aggressively towards other dogs or people, and must be under effective voice control at all times when off leash.  Please ensure you clean up after your dog just as you would anywhere else – none of us fancy swimming in the bay with left-behind ‘floaters’! Remember too that not all beach users are dog lovers and can take fright if a dog you know to be friendly (but they don’t) runs up to say ‘hello’! Having said that, there are always lots of very friendly dogs and their owners for them to play with instead.

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