Tag: Susan Combs

Living and Learning

I regret the need to refine my approach to accepting guest posts!

On May 18th, I published a guest post that had been sent to me by Susan Combs. Her article was called: Four Essential Tips to Make Your Dog Healthy and Active Round the Year.

What you won’t know is that there was a fair degree of re-writing required by me, primarily to correct grammatical errors. Something that I had not noticed in Susan’s previous submissions.

In addition, Susan had included links back to websites, one of which was a commercial site that sold Pet Meds and Supplies.

I overlooked including the links because of the time I had spent in getting the article ready for publication. Subsequently, I was ‘instructed’ to edit the post and include the links. I chose not to do so simply because I took the view that this is my blog and I will never accept a guest post on condition that it is an ‘advertisement’ for a supplier. Now sometimes that boundary is blurred but if the guest author wants to include a link and it is not a condition of acceptance then that’s fine.

Susan has now insisted that her guest article is removed from the blog, something that I have done, and my guess is that there will be no further guest articles from her.

But it has prompted me to refine the wording under my Get Involved link on the home page. It presently reads:

Want to submit a Post? – just email us the content directly to learningfromdogs@gmail.com Clearly, we reserve the right to edit your contribution or, perhaps, decide that the content is not appropriate to our Vision.

It has now been modified to read:

Want to submit a Post?– just email us the content directly to learningfromdogs@gmail.comClearly, we reserve the right to edit your contribution or, perhaps, decide that the content is not appropriate to our Vision. Please note that guest articles that link to a commercial supplier are likely not to be accepted. Simply because I do not wish to be seen to be favouring a particular supplier about whom I have no personal knowledge.

Let me remind one and all that this blog works very hard to observe and support The Vision. That, in part, proposes:

Our children require a world that understands the importance of faith, integrity and honesty

Learning from Dogs will  serve as a reminder of the values of life and the power of unconditional love – as so many, many dogs prove each and every day

Best wishes to all.

More tips for healthy dogs

Another interesting article from Susan Combs.

It’s self-explanatory and needs no further introduction from me save to say that this is the third guest post from Susan.


Four Essential Tips to Make Your Dog Healthy and Active Round the Year

(Susan asked me to remove her article. The background to that decision may be read in my post of the 25th May, 2018: Living and Learning.)


Susan also included the following graphic that I will leave you with.

We all love our dogs too much to take any risks with them!

Let us always remember them.

Another wonderful guest post from Susan Combs

Some eighteen months ago I published a guest post from Susan entitled: How To Meet The Nutritional Needs Of Pregnant Dogs

I am delighted to offer another guest post from Susan.


7 Wonderful Ways to Cherish and Honor the Memories of Your Beloved Dog

by Susan Combs.

Our relationship with our dogs is arguably the most genuine and pious one. The shear nature of dogs to shower unconditional love to their owners makes them no less a family member. Their honesty, faithfulness and a deep sense of belonging to their families is the reason as to why they are so adored across all the cultures, communities and societies.

Since it is also the hard truth that dogs tend to live much shorter lives than their owners; which renders the relationship end abruptly in their passing away. This is certainly not a happy stage for any pet owner either.

Therefore, losing a beloved pet, especially a dog is one of the most painful situations for owners. Their affection towards owners in the times of adversity is the most nostalgic part of their memories long after they have gone. By being together through thick and thin with relentless love their owners’ lives are impacted in many ways, and their absence is deeply felt.

If you are also mourning the loss of your dog, it must be difficult for you to cope with this undesirable situation. However, we have some wonderful ways with which you can cherish and honor the memories of your beloved dog.

Here are they:

  1. Plant a tree in his honor

Planting a tree in the honor of your dog is an excellent way to let his legacy live on for a long time to come. Choose a nice spot in your garden or backyard and plant a young tree, preferably an eternity plant. As the day will pass, it will grow up signifying a new life form from the previous one. Eventually, you will witness a sapling grow into a beautiful and strong tree. Till the time you live, this tree will remind you about that special bond with your canine friend.

  1. Make jewelry with his ashes

If you want to keep your furry pal all the time with you, creating jewelry with his remains would be a perfect idea. You can turn his ashes into diamond and wear it in the form of a ring. So there cannot be a better way to pacify his soul than this. Whether you make a ring or wear it as a locket, the shine of the diamond will keep on reflecting his memories. Your friends will also see in awe that the sparkle of the diamond was once your dog himself.

  1. Donate in the name of your dog

You dog meant everything to you, he still does. So, what else would be more heart-felt gesture than to donate for a good cause in the name of your dog? It is also a great way to give back what your dog gave you unflinchingly. You can give money to animal shelters because donating to these organizations is the best possible way to support the lives of other pets. In the situation of cash crunch, you can still donate another valuable asset: time. You can be there, spend some time with them and take care of them. Helping an animal in need is the best chance to remember your beloved dog.

  1. Create a picture book

Since you spent a lot of time with your dog, you must also have taken plenty of pictures of his. So collect all the past photos of your dog at one place; you can also ask your friends and family members if in case they had also taken his pictures. With these photographs you can either create a photo album or a picture book by forming a large collage. It would be better if you take printouts of these pictures and cut & paste them on the wall.

  1. Write an obituary

Didn’t you ever think to pen down the journey of your dog since he was cute little puppy? Now is the time since he is not there with you anymore. So document an insightful journey from the moment when you took him in your hands for the first time to his final moments. Write down how you used to spend time with him, how you used to play with him, what activities did he do at home, and whose life did he touch besides yours. You can post this personal obituary online.

  1. Bury him with honor

From giving him a memorable funeral to making his cemetery, your dog deserves honor in his last rites. Gather all your friends and family in order to say final goodbye to him.

You can also often visit his burial site whenever you like. You can place a gravestone at this spot and write your message for him or whatever you used to feel about him.

  1. Adopt again

If the pain of separation is not endurable for you or if you do not want to let go off your happy life with him, adopting again is the only option for you. This is also a good way to pay your tribute to him as he would also want to pass on a chance to another dog in need.


As was mentioned in Susan’s previous guest post here again is her background:

Susan works as a Pet Health and Safety Expert and holds expertise in the area of animal/pet care. She has over 6 years of experience in pet healthcare and is a pet parent to a dog named chilly.

Finally, I would like to add a wonderful way of my own to remember our dear dogs. That is write up your own memories of your dog and post them to the special section on this blog: We Shall Not Forget Them.

The needs of pregnant dogs!

As in the nutritional needs of those dear creatures.

Having said in yesterday’s post that this week would be a succession of repeat posts along comes an email from Susan Combs offering a guest post. It seemed a great post to share with you all.

She describes herself as:

Susan works as a Pet Health and Safety Expert and holds expertise in the area of animal/pet care. She has over 6 years of experience in pet healthcare and is a pet parent to a dog named Chilly.
Her post has also been published over on the MyPetZilla blogsite and the following is a copy of that version.

Jul 14, 2016

How to Meet the Nutritional Needs of Pregnant Dogs

As a pet owner you should remain educated about the nutritional requirements of your dog at the time of her pregnancy. A pregnant dog needs precise nutrition and if proper care is not taken then it can lead to serious health issues.

How long does a dog’s pregnancy last?

It lasts for 63 days. The first 3-4 weeks she can be fed a regular diet, however the last weeks are important from nutrition point of view and she requires more calories. During the first 3-4 weeks, it is recommended to feed her green trippet which is made from high quality green tripe. It contains lots of digestive enzymes and ensures good health. You can mix tippet to high-quality kibble and feed to your dog.

What should I change in my dog’s diet during the 2nd half of pregnancy?

During the 2nd half of pregnancy, dog should be fed around 30-40% more calories than what she was being fed in the first half of pregnancy. Your dog’s weight should increase by 15-25% at the time of whelping in order to maintain optimal body weight after parturition, as she needs to produce sufficient quantities of milk and colostrums to support growth in the newborn pups until they are weaned.

By week 8-9, the meal should be a third more than the regular meal. Total food quantity should be divided into four or more servings per day and dog foods with minimum levels of  430 kilocalories/cup should be provided in order to supply adequate quantities of calories. If the dog is experiencing weight issues then it is recommended to consult a vet immediately.

It is absolutely okay if your dog is eating too little in one go. You can break the meal into little portions to be fed entire day. Actually, in the advanced stages of pregnancy, the stomach cannot take large quantities of food in one intake so it is better to allow eating several portions of light meal throughout the day.

How to spot potential problems?

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea then that’s an indication that you are feeding her high volumes of food. If this is the case then shift to energy dense food, preferably dry dog food.

How much should I feed her prior to parturition?

Once the bitch is ready to give birth, you should slowly increase her calorie intake to around 15 to 25 percent. It should be noted here that most bitches refuse to eat food 12 hours prior to whelping. You should keep attention and provide her to drink water in order to prevent dehydration.

How to increase the calorie intake depending on the number of puppies?

For every puppy, your dog will require a 25% increase in her caloric intake, up to 180-200% maximum increase can be done in case she has around 10-12 puppies. Increasing more than 200% is not recommended. For example, a dog eating 2 cups of a high quality dog food each day before breeding will now need about 6 cups of food a day, in order to feed herself and provide for 8-10 puppies.

What preparation do I need to do for the puppies?

Yes, there is certain preparation that you need to as a dog owner prior to the birth of the puppies. You must prepare a room for the birth to occur. Ensure that the floor should be easy to clean and the area should be calm and soothing. You should also prepare a bed for the mother to deliver the babies. Have lots of towels and encourage the mother to sit on them so they become comfortable with them and opt to use them when on labor. This would make the birth easier for both you and the mother. Also as a responsible pet owner, it is your duty to get them insured.

When should I wean the puppies?

Puppies will begin to start eating food once they achieve 3-4 weeks of age. Henceforth, weaning should be completed at 6-7 weeks of age. After 6-7 weeks, you should start giving puppy food to them.

It is important to note here that the energy content level in dog’s milk increases all the time until around day 40. After this, the level of milk drops down and this is the time when you should start feeding the pups with light puppy food.

Is puppy food different than adult food?

Yes, puppy food is different than adult food. It is high in proteins and contains higher amounts of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins, minerals, fats, and other essentials. It also has a controlled amount of calcium and phosphorus that helps in the overall growth and health of the newly born puppies.

Should I exercise my pet regularly?

Obesity is potential danger in pregnant dogs when delivery time comes so exercising should be done regularly during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy but during the later stages, light walk is preferred.

Any other precaution that I need to take?

Treatment for internal and external parasites is necessary. It is better to consult the veterinarian if there is any problem related to external parasites. Another important point to note is that soon after whelping, your dog will actually need to eat twice as much as normal – and three times the normal level during the peak lactation period, which occurs three to four weeks after whelping.

When should I visit my vet?

Visiting a vet should be a regular practice. If possible, take your dog to the vet during each week of her pregnancy. This will ensure that all her nutritional requirements are met. Your vet should also guide you regarding any complications and after pregnancy care tips.
Pregnancy is an important part in the life of your dog and making her comfortable is your duty. You should take complete care of her nutritional and emotional needs so that the pups born are healthy. Apart from healthy and nutritious food, you need to ensure that your dog is getting plenty of clean, fresh water, enough exercise and fresh air.