Archives for March, 2009

Anesthesia and Dogs

 My dog “Palette”  is my first dog that I ever have.So,everything I do with her is new to me.

Since I have never had a dog in my life before her,all what vet suggests to us was what I thought will be good idea to follow.After all,I thought that they are the ones who learned a lot about animal health at school.

 However,after switching my dog’s diet to raw diet,and started paying more attention to many things not just diet,I started thinking we should do our own research as well on everything regarding health of our dogs and it is important to understand what will be done and how it will be done and pros and cons on each choices that are laid before us.

 Anesthesia is used very often in animal care;spay/neuter,x-ray,surgeries,teeth cleaning .. but have you ever thought pro and con on Anesthesia?

 Teeth cleaning is one of those things that are considered to be a regular practice in animal care but is it necessary?

In Palette’s case,teeth is always the one of those things that our current vet wowed about and she has nice white teeth.

Old vet also amazed about Palette’s white teeth,but the old vet  kept sending us reminder of teeth cleaning even though I declined with the reason that our dog teeth is in good shape and,  white and I do not need the service.I had to think then that why dog with white teeth needs teeth cleaning??

Palette teeth 2012

 You can read secret behind Palette’s white teeth here.

Anyway, let’s look about Anesthesia.

As you already know,Anesthesia is used to make your dogs sedated and feel no pain during surgery or used for X-ray or teeth cleaning so that dogs can stay still.

So,sometimes,Anesthesia is inevitable thing. However, for old dogs,it could be something better for you to look into type of Anesthesia or drug that are less possibility of complication during the practice or look into other possibility to fix the problems without the use of Anesthesia if available.

It is because senior dog tend to have more problems in health than younger dogs. Dogs with liver  problem, diabetic problems, heart problems etc have higher risk with Anesthesia usage.

 According to DVM Ron Hines, if your dogs (especially old dogs) were to go under surgery or something that require Anesthesia,vet should be doing blood test to make sure your dogs are healthy.

If not healthy organs,then,they can think what other option they can do to treat the problems or what type of Anesthesia they can use with less possibility of complication to go under the surgery.

Doing the blood work before getting Anesthesia in body especially for old dogs is good idea because if you do blood work on your dog,the vet can tell you that if the dogs have liver problem or kidney problems.

Liver and kidney are 2 organs that metabolize the anesthesia drug so,it is important to check those 2 organs are in good health.(To read more,please click here.)

With Anesthesia, according to site, there are2 kinds: Injectable Anesthesia or inhaled Anesthesia. The site shows pro and cons on each anesthesia so,you can read here.

 While googling on Anesthesia,I came across Anesthesia free teeth cleaning site. It is interesting.

 This one seems like located in CA and FL

To visit their site,please click here.

 This one seem to have location in 7 states;MD,NC,TN,MA,CT,NY,OH plus Australia.To visit their site,please click here.

 For Palette,teeth cleaning is really no need because she has white teeth but if your dogs need teeth cleaning, you can try switching diet (I feed raw diet to my dog and it seems working.Our dog crunch bone and gets fed big hunk of meat now and then which require her teeth sink into meet or rip and tear.It  seems like silver skin is working like dental floss if you will. And food does not stick to her teeth so,it is a plus.) or try using good tooth paste (my favorite is CET toothpaste.Palette loves seafood toothpaste.The toothpaste is double enzyme and it costs about 5 dollars per paste tube.),and if both were not doing any good for your dogs’ teeth,it maybe good to try with Anesthesia free teeth cleaning. 

 Do you do something special for dental care for your dogs?

** I am not a vet,and please consult to your vet if you had any questions or concern with use  of Anesthesia on your dog**

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Mar 31, 2009 | Comments are off | Dog Health

What’s hot in Japan? American Enka singer “Jero White”

  When I first heard of his name:Jero White,I was not sure who he was.Obviously,he is quite famous in Japan right now. He has achieved Japan records awards,which is the level of Grammys awards if you will.He is quite busy singing or appearing in TV shows or doing other stuff with almost no day-off. Here is his quick background.

Jero is PA born American,26 years old. His grandmother is Japanese and grandfather is American and they lived in Japan.

Now,his mother was born in Japan and spend 13 years there,then,moved to America and spent in USA after that.Then,Jero was born in PA, USA.

He visited his grandparents now and then and liked Enka that is kind of like country songs in America’s sense that was played background all the time at his grandmother’s house.

He then taught himself Japanese and started singing Enka songs in Japanese.

According to CNN, he was an exchange student in Osaka prefecture which is located in western Japan in main land.Then,after he graduated from University,he backed to Japan as English teacher and did some work as computer related job after the teaching job.

Then,he appeared in one of those talent show for singing and caught talent agency’s eye.

 Traditionally,Enka singers wear kimono and sing songs,but his way to sing Enka is different.

Hip hop look and sometimes include hip hop moves into Enka singing.Pretty new to Japanese entertainment culture.

 After I heard about him,I listened to his singing and,let me tell you if you were closing your eyes,I would think that Japanese singer is singing songs.”HE” really is good singer with no accent in Japanese and he seems to carry conversation in Japanese with no problems and,I was impressed.

 Actually,he came to Washington DC for National cherry blossom  festivals yesterday:March 28th.

Here is appearance from National cherry blossom festival in Washington DC

I am very impressed with his Japanese skill and singing skill. What do you think about him?



Mar 30, 2009 | Comments are off | Japan

Subway VS Underground

 When I was a college student, I used summer vacation or winter vacation to visit some of my friends living overseas. One of the places I visited was England. I visited London,and small city near Manchester,and city was filled with very nice looking castle-like building even regular Post office and,you see 2 storied red colored bus,policeman riding nice looking horse, and nice cobble stone road.. it was really new and exciting experience there.

 At college,I majored in English and, got license to teach English to Junior high and high school student. So,I was not too worry about not being able to communicate with people in England, but when I actually experienced conversations or signs in England,some of the words and phrases were quite new to me.

Therefore,I thought for this entry,I will write on difference between British English and American English.

 In Japan, when I was at school,we started learning English from junior high school years. I think Japan is now changed its rule and start teaching English much younger age from elementary school years. The textbook is using American English.

 Anyway, one of the thing I encountered was sign of transportation. In England,people call “Tube” or “underground” for what American people call “Subway”. Then,in England, “subway” means roads that you go under the road and come out to other side of the road.

 Some of the stations have signs that say “subway””underground” both next each other. I first thought that it is for American people to understand what they think subway as is there.

 Turned out it is not that way but rather, such station has long road that goes under the road and some people can use tubes(subway in American English) and some people can keep walking, then you come out to the other side.So, it is “subway” because of this road under the road,and underground because you can also go under the road to hop on to train as well.

 It seems people call the train “tube” because train shape is roundish and just like tube.

 Have you been to somewhere and found strange sign or phrases??

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Mar 29, 2009 | Comments are off | Travel

Ms Carina with 3 dog crews,March 27th, 2009

 I’ve never bought antlers for the dogs before…but have been interested in them for a while, having power-chewer dogs who can go through a $20 giant bully stick in about half an hour (times three dogs, that’s some expensive entertainment!)

 So I ordered some from Yassy, and I have three very happy dogs here! They love them, and it looks like they’ll last a long time too.

Also I have got some sample dog biscuits, and dried rabbit ears to try out. I almost thought they were dead mice in a baggie and I was like WTF….oh,they’re rabbit ears.


* *Feedback is used with permission**



Mar 27, 2009 | Comments are off | Paw up?Paw down? Treats from Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Traveling with dog

 When you first welcome your dog to your family, bringing them to home would be the very first time for them to ride a car with you. They maybe experiencing life in this world just about 10 weeks or so by then and, car ride could be quite a big thing for them.

 If you look the world through their eyes, car is not natural thing to them. You stay at one place in funky thing (car) and view passing by in front of you and you feel motion constantly.. What would you feel if you were your dogs.If you have not experienced car ride,you maybe scared,nervous,and so much stressed out.

 Our dog “Palette” does good for car ride most part. When she is not good,she tends to whine for patting,and put her head under my hands asking for patting and start barking loud when she feels/sense the car was about to stop. It is excitement barking. She is ready to out to explore the world and when we take her to Petsmart for example, she runs as first as she can and she does not need any guide which way to go.She goes straight to the automatic door and busting in

 I know she loves car ride.I can tell because when she senses she can come with us,she dash towards car door ready to hop in and so excited. I don’t think she is stressed out. For her, mostly,whiny for attention seeking plus excitement barking when she knows she is about to get off from car.

 For her,it strange but when we put Queltic music we have some quiet moment without attention seeking whine. I know there are CD  out there that supposedly calm the dogs mind for car ride,but I have not tried the CD so,I do not know if it works or not.Did anybody tried the Calming CD for your dog to ride the car?

 Other thing that seems helping is keep the crate door open and she can come out when she wants to look outside and smell the Air by stepping on my lap,nose sticking out a little. She goes back to crate when she thinks she saw enough,and lay down.

 Every Christmas,we do 12 hours car ride to visit our in law family and,constant attention seeking whine is not pleasurable. Last year,I decided to ignore her when I felt too much and,I pretended I was sleeping and,she was whining first but since I am not easy to given in,she gave it up and she too took a nap beside me or at least be quiet laying on side. So, for our dog, car ride is fun excitable thing.

 However,for some dogs,car ride can be fearful,stressful thing. Dogs can get carsick as well.If you see dog panting hard,drooling,vomiting,these can be from stressful situation more than motion sickness.

 According to humane society of WI,car sick/fearful attitude can be overcome by associating car with tasty treats. They suggest click and treat when dog gets approach to car,then if it were okay,let the dog in (no engine running) click and treat,after that was done,dogs inside the car with engine on and click and treat when dogs did not show any stressful sign,then, start car ride around neighborhood(short distance).After that,make the distance longer as you go and give treats when the dog show no stressful sign.As a goal,try take your dog to places where fun awaits,not just places like vet clinic or grooming place where they may not like a lot. To read detail from humane society Wisconsin site,please click here.
With true carsick from motion of the car,I have read in dog magazine that ginger snaps can be helpful for carsick dog but I am not sure if it works or not.

 When we usually take our dog with us,we try to feed at least one hour before the car ride.Our dog has not vomited before inside the car and,maybe she does not get carsick,but we feed one hour before the trip to be sure she is not going to be in the car with full stomach with uncomfortable feeling.Also,we make sure she does potty before car ride. Then,when we do long car ride like 12 hrs,we stops at rest area and,we take Palette for potty and gives her chance to breathe in the air and explore around a little.
And, we normally keep paper towel,poop bags,towels to wipe paws if outside were wet,and bring water bottles (Changing places means changing water too (hard water,soft water etc) and sometimes,it gives digestive upset for our dog. So,bringing water bottles helps.

 My favorite of all is collapsible water bowl. Ours is square,and it is light weight and it can be fold and you can stuck it in top of the crate or somewhere narrow.It is kind of like this.I actually got the collapsible bowl as free gift with magazine subscription and it has no brand name on it so,it maybe custom made for the magazine company but I like this a lot.

 When we visit our in law family,we pack her blush,bathing needs,some toys like Frisbee or balls,treats,and we put her meal and feeding mat into cooler.Then,we put collapsible crate(I-crate).It hold flat and it does not take much space so,it is good.Inside the car,we put travel crate,and use it when we needed to keep her in there when we needed to pick up quick lunch etc. Then,last but not least,we bring her gottago door bell. It is very useful when it comes to travel time.Because she is associating bell with potty already so,even if she goes to new place,she knows bell equal to potty so,we never miss her potty call. Only thing we need to do is to tell her where the bell will be.

 What kind of things do you take when you trip with your dogs? Do you have your favorite thing to take with you for trip with your dogs just like I like bringing collapsible bowl or gottago door bell etc?


Mar 27, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Thunder and dogs

 Have you ever wondered why dogs seem to know long before the Thunder hits the area?Some dogs tend to become restless or go hide under the bed or clingy to you and after awhile, you know the answer why your dogs react that way.

 Before we look into why dogs seem to know the arrival of thunder long before you notice,we maybe better to look into how the thunder occurs.

 According to, thunderstorms occurs usually after hot sticky summer days,and warm moist airs rise quickly to form large clouds.

Inside this clouds,currents create up droughts and water droplets and ice particle rub against each other. This creates static electricity.

Positive charges get gather up,negative charge down,and ground below is positive charge and electricity flows between those 3 points but when the difference in charges gets bigger,it makes lighting.

As for the crash sound,when lightning happen,it heats the air around it.This heat is so hot that air expand a lot and it causes the crash sound.

 To read more,click here

 Our dog “Palette” never be able to concentrate on eating her favorite meal when weather was thunderstorm. She gets so stress out that her only concentration is on going hide under the bed.

 So,what makes her go that stressful state and why dogs know the storm arrival long before we notice?

 According to,dog can sense the drop in barometric pressure (pressure of the  atmosphere). They think dog tend to associate one thing to another, they may associate barometric pressure with thunderstorm.

They may feel the vibration of the thunder sound with good hearing ears than our ears and may feel the static electricity in the Air. Or maybe,like they say,since the lightning ionize the air,dogs could smell “the Air” too.

Their sense of smell is so keen that they could feel the air smell metallic. (To read more,click here)

 I personally try to let her associate the thunder with fun game to distract her.  We do “Find it” game,Tug of war, just simple training,fetch ball game inside the house. It seems helping a little but,when meal time, she concentrate to go hide rather than enjoying her favorite meal.

 Being a human, in reality,we really cannot feel how they feel during the thunderstorm or feeling how they sense the thunder with nose,ear,etc but it is interesting to imagine what the evil thunderstorm will be like for them to feel.

When I think about the fact that lots of things can change when thunderstorm occur; pressure,smell,static electricity etc,I can’t help thinking that it must be really scary thing for the dogs.

 Does your dog behavior changes when thunderstorms? What would you do when thunderstorm?



Mar 25, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Chuuken Dog “Hachi-kou” (Loyal Dog Hachi-kou)

 When I was a kid, I went to movies titled ” Story of Loyal Dog: Hachi-kou” with my father. It was really sad story but I really liked it.

Hachi-kou is Akita dog. Breed from Northern Japan prefecture called “Akita prefecture”.  The dog weigh about 75-110lb in average, 24″- 28″ tall.

 This true story touched many people’s heart,and Hachi-kou statue is seen in front of busy Shibuya station in Tokyo area. It is one of the popular place to be used as meeting spot.

 So what’s the story behind “Hachi-kou”?

 According to Hiragana times, Hachi-kou (Male Akita dog) was born in 1920’s in Akita prefecture,Japan.Then, Dr. Ueno who then was working at agricultural department at Imperial University took care of Hachi-kou.

 Dr. Ueno lived near Shibuya station and,Hachi-kou,and Dr’s other dogs “John” and “Etsu” and Dr himself walked to station everyday.

 Then dog crews waited for his arrival in the evening at the shibuya station.They sometime walked to University gate and Dr gave biscuits to them and patted them.

 May 1925,Hachi-ko alone walked to Dr Ueno’s working University gate,waited for Dr Ueno coming out to go home,but no matter how long he waited at the gate, Dr did not come out.

 Dr Ueno suddenly passed away at the meeting on the day.Hachi-kou went home without Dr Ueno and stayed at his study room and did not eat anything for 3 days.

 Then,4th day from Dr’s death,Hachi-kou and John,Estu went to Shibuya station together,waited for Dr Ueno.

 This continued rainy days,sunny days,windy days.

 The clerks thought that dogs were obstacles at busy station so,Dr Ueno’s friends tried keeping the dogs from going to station but,they kept going for next 10 years.

 To read the full article,please click here.

 People started noticing the dogs and thought highly of them.

 Hachi-kou lived 12 years,but his loyal attitude story lived long and the story became movies or books and,now we can find statue in front of Shibuya station,where Hachi-kou visited every single day no matter how severe the weather was,to meet Dr Ueno.

Hachi-kou (Loyal dogs Hachi-kou)

In USA,Richard Gere played as Dr Ueno in re-make of Hachi-ko story movie,and film was taken in RI.

Hachi-kou movie will be out in 2009 in USA.In Japan,it is scheduled to be out in August,2009.


Mar 21, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

What’s the dinner for today?? JRT Rudy and Elvis Menu

 Sometimes,I wonder what other dogs’ menu is like,and I like watching how other dogs eat their meal.
 Under the title of “What’s the dinner for today?”,we will show you how other dogs are eating their fresh food.

Below is from crews with Cristine,Canada.

JRT elvis Cristine 1

Elvis is a 6 year old male Jack Russell Terrier. He has been Raw fed for about 8 months.
In these picture he is enjoying a Bison rib for a snack.

Ruby JRT

Ruby is a 4 year old female Jack Russell Terrier. She has been raw fed for about 8 months.In these picture she is enjoying a Bison rib for a snack.

Cristine says, “Typical menu is a chicken heart, smelt or chicken egg for breakfast and either chicken parts, venison, pork, or lamb for dinner. We hope to try rabbit soon

Our dog Palette gets Buffalo ribs too and,it is always look cute when she put her paws onto ribs,trying to rip the silver skin on the rib by stretching back.

Thank you for the picture submission of cute JRT Rudy and Elvis,Cristine.I hope your crews will live longer and healthier.

**Pictures and text has been published with permission**


Mar 19, 2009 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Exercise,Palette’s way

 When I have an empty cereal box,I sometime use it for fun play with Palette.

 I put 1 bit of treat inside the empty cereal box,and close it (No tape or staple,please). Then,I shake a little so that she knows something in there.Then,I put it on the floor,let her wait and she tries to get to the treat on cue.

  When I tried with her first time,she was nosing it around,dig with one paw gently,stared at me as if to say “I need help”, and took her a bit long time to figure out how to open it by herself.

 Now,she is like a pro.She jumps on it,let the air inside push it open and then shake/tear and she gets the treat inside.After treat is gone,she plays with it.

This is quite an exercise.I found it funny,so I took video to share fun with you.

 I was tough mom so,I did not tell her even a bit how to open the box. She figured it out by herself.Good dog,smart dog,that is my dog Palette

 BUT I think you should not try with heavy corrugated box.It maybe too tough to their teeth.

Exercise!! Palette’s way

What would your dogs would do if I give them the same empty cereal box with treat inside??

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Mar 16, 2009 | Comments are off | Amazing Animals, Miscellaneous (dogs), Uncategorized

Chocolate,caffeine, and cacao

 Do you know how chocolate came to our life to make us smiley as you pop into your mouth?

 Sweet,creamy,very delicate flavor,and if you look around the super market,you find many kinds of flavored chocolate,many kinds of chocolates such as dark chocolate,semi sweet chocolate,white chocolate,baking chocolate,many kinds of % of cacao in chocolates.

 As you may know,the higher the percentage of cacao in the chocolate,the less sweeter. I personally likes dark chocolate,darker the better.My favorite will be probably the dark chocolate with about 80% cacao in the chocolate bar.

According to “Field museum”,the chocolate’s center ingredients “cacao” was discovered 2000 years ago.

 Believe it or not,first people who discovered the secret of cacao was from Maya years. They grew trees in backyard and made it to paste after harvesting them.Then,they made frothy drink out of it by adding some more ingredients to it. So, chocolate drink was first to be discovered before actual chocolate bars/candies you are familiar with. (To read more,click here)

From 1500’s to 1800’s,Spanish people imported this cacao to their home country and started making the chocolate sweetened up by adding cinnamon or sugars. Then,after 1800’s with more machines were invented for manufacturing and,the more familiar chocolate in modern days;the chocolate candies or bars started appearing. (To read more,click here)

 Chocolate is probably one of the kids’ favorite candies to eat but is it good for dogs??

 Answer is “NO”. Reason behind this is with secret  of Chocolate:the cacao bean. Cacao bean has chemical that dog cannot process.It contains “methylxanthine alkaloids ” in the form of theobromine and caffeinea.

 Of course,more smaller the dog body is,the more easy to get reaction with smaller amount of chocolates from toxic chemical.I have heard of dog ate whole bag of “kiss” chocolate with no incident,but chocolate is better out of the reach of your furry friends. Better place to keep is freezer. Your dogs probably cannot open freezer,and you get nice chilly chocolates. I like keeping my chocolate in freezer now and then. My parents love “Lindtz” chocolate,and we bring those chocolate back to home when we go back to Japan,or we send them by mail and they keep the chocolate in freezer and eat it little by little.

 One thing to note is that different kinds of chocolate contains different amount of toxic chemical(methylxanthine alkaloids).

 According to, followings are amount of chemical present in the chocolate.

  • White chocolate 1mg/oz
  • Hot chocolate 12 mg /oz
  • Milk chocolate 44-66 mg/oz
  • Semi-sweet chocolate 260 mg/oz
  • Dark chocolate 450 mg/oz (wow!)
  • Baking/bitter chocolate or cocoa powder varies as much as 150-600 mg/oz.

To 16lb dog,one pound of milk chocolate is enough to be toxic level.It is said to be toxic level if dog ingested methylxanthine alkaloids 100mg-200mg/kg of body weight.

Sign of toxic level are to be told as diarrhea,vomiting,panting hard,exessive thirst or urination,hyper activity etc etc (To read more,click here)

If you were not sure if your dogs were fine or not,I will recommend to call to ASPCA emergency line.The number is at (888) 426-4435. A $60 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.ASPCA home page is here.

 Also,cocoa mulch,tea,coffee are not good as well to be ingested. If you would like to give them something special without cacao bean scare,try something with Carob.

 Carob is similar to chocolate, but it has no toxic chemical for dogs in them. 

 Many dog bakery does Yogurt dipping  but,yogurt dipping is made from Yogurt chip which has “Sugar” in the first ingredients (simply melt them,and dip the biscuits),and many make carob biscuits for dogs but they use sweetened carob chip which has “Sugar” in the first ingredients in the list  or add sugar to sweetened up.

 We,Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen, used to offer Wet Nose biscuits that had unsweetened carob in it. We didn’t put sugar in the biscuits.We ,in fact, offer non sugary, simple,healthy ingredient biscuits without fillers. It is simply because we believe that adding sugar is unnecessary for canine furriends.

You can view variety of dog biscuits we make to order at the link here.


Mar 13, 2009 | Comments are off | Toxic foods for dogs