Balboa Park Animal Rescue Day

Balboa Park Animal Rescue Day

Balboa Park Animal Rescue Day, originally uploaded by Jim Lockwood.

This was St. Patrick’s Day in Balboa Park, San Diego where many rescue clubs and groups were there to educate the public and let their presence be known. While people were not able to adopt pets that day, they could file applications for later.

This booth is for Bichon Furkids Rescue. Alcala Pet Care highly recommends this rescue organization.

Puppy Socialization in Encinitas

When we first moved to Encinitas, to start Alcala Pet Care in 1975, the main reason was to have a place for our Bichon Frises and Poodles. As active exhibitors of Bichons and Miniature Poodles, it was very important to socialize the puppies. It was and still is important to “get your puppy out!”

Often we would just take them to any grass area with lots of people. Because they were white fluffy dogs, people would come over to admire and pet them.
Poodle puppy

Socializing your puppies today

More people, cars, dogs and laws have added a new dimension. With the coming of coffee houses and outside seating  it is easier to find places to go and bring your dog. Still there are guidelines and common sense involved.

  • Be prepared to clean up after your puppy. Small plastic grocery bags and paper towels are a good way to start.
  • Stay away from aggressive dogs and those that are too big for your puppy. This must be a good experience for both of you. Start out slow and work up to more complex situations.
  • Wait until your puppy is at least 3 months old before visiting dog parks. Your puppy’s immune system needs to develop and an early introduction to a wide variety of dogs will encourages the spread of bordatella and other common ailments.

Areas to socialize your puppy in Encinitas

The first two places that come to mind are Critter’s Corner where the Bichon Bash was held. It is located off Requeza at 389 Requeza St. (From Alcala Pet Care, take El Camino Real to Encinitas Blvd. Left on Westpark. Head towards the freeway and immediately before you would go over the freeway go left at the signs.) Critter’s Corner is immediately behind the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

The second place is a park I have heard about but not gone to on Encinitas Blvd. west of the freeway and towards Vulcan Street and Pac. Coast Highway. I have forgotten the name but believe it is on the right hand side as you head west. Maybe someone can help us out here with more places, a good project for an adventurous pair.

Ben and his new puppy

Ben and his new puppy

Ben Hunkins, a friend, an up-and-coming golfer, and real estate person has
just met his new puppy. Ben selected him after making sure the breeder had taken all the
necessary precautions and tests before breeding her bitch. He will pickup the puppy at 8 weeks of age when it
is safe for a knowledgeable dog person to take a puppy home.

Ben’s Mother is a breeder of Bichon Frise and he has been around dogs all his life.

This will be a great home for this puppy. The puppy has no name as of yet.
When the puppy is in need of care Ben will bring him to Alcala Pet Care.

How to deal with “Hot Spots” on your dog’s skin

The first time I crossed paths with “hot spots” was horrible. Here on my show puppy were these huge, wet sores. I immediately called the vet to correct the situation. However, this turned out to be a poor experience. First they shaved the sore and the messy salve they applied did little good.

Alcala’s search for a better cure begins

After many years of experience, we have this problem well under control. As a pet boarding and grooming facility, we needed to understand what was causing these “hotspots” and how to treat them. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned.

First and foremost is to act before you have a full blown mess. When I first expect there might be a hotspot problem, the dog is given a medicated bath and carefully blow-dried.

Now carefully inspect the dog’s skin and pat a medicated powder onto the areas that are suspect.

Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder

Double check the dog’s skin throughout the day and apply medicated powder before going to bed.. Continue this procedure for the next few days. The powder I like is Gold Bond Medicated Powder. I am sure there are others that work well as well, but since I have had success with Gold Bond I will probably stay with it.

If your puppy gets damp or wet, a hand blow dryer will make easy work of getting him dry. Never put your puppy to bed damp or wet. In a well run boarding facility it is a must to check the dogs all the time.

If you live near the ocean (San Diego or Encinitas) or rainy climate, you must constantly be on guard.

The Dog Owner’s Guide has a good article on the science, cause and cure of hotspots:

Dusty has a superficial pyoderma, a skin infection known to veterinarians as pyotraumatic dermatitis and to dog owners as hot spots. Hot spots are surface skin infections caused when populations of normal skin bacteria grow and overwhelm normal resistance. They are generally circular patches that lose hair, can be swollen, may exude a smelly pus, and can be painfully itchy, causing the dog to scratch, lick, or bite to the point of self-mutilation. Untreated hot spots can spread and provoke a normally even-tempered dog to growl or nip when touched.

These troublesome sores can seem to arise in a matter of hours with no warning, but they do tend to follow a pattern that helps in predicting their occurrence.

Dog Owner’s Guide – Hotspots