How Pets Are Grieving the Loss of a Dog

I lost my GSD, Logan, on April 22, 2013.  After much grieving and anguish, I have finally returned to the world of the “normal”.

I have 2 Abyssinian cats, Isabel and Abigail.  I already had Logan when Isabel arrived in my home at 3 months of age.  After she got over her fear of her new surroundings, she settled in and imprinted {I believe} on Logan.  He was not that interested in her…..yawn, a cat!…boring; but she was interested in him.  She would display her hiney to Logan and he would lick it.  [Now, this is animal behavior, so don’t get upset.]  She would also cuddle next to him when he was snoozing in the living room or  in my bedroom.

I also board an adorable Maltese named Gabe.  When Logan was here, Gabe used to steal his bones and run up onto the sofa and chew away.  Logan would go to sofa and take his bone back.  Gabe would steal the bone again and chewed all day long!

Since Logan is gone, Isabel has become a “velcro” cat!  She is almost constantly on my lap as I work on my computer.  She sat on my lap before, but never this much.  I think she misses Logan and is looking for me to comfort her and give her love.

I board Gabe a couple weeks a month.  He’s been here for the past week and has not touched the bone once!!  He just sleeps.  I guess it was such fun to steal the bones from Logan; and since he’s gone so is the thrill. 😉

Diana Davidson,





Is Your Dog At Risk? Dangerous Dog Treats

I bought rawhide bones for my GSD.  I didn’t know that they were so potentially dangerous!  After reading this very informative article, I am buying bully sticks instead.-Diana Davidson,

Sometimes even the best intentions can have dangerous or tragic results. 

As a good pet parent, you want your dog to have the very best life possible. That includes giving them everything you can to make them happy. One easy way that many owners show how much they love their animal companions is to treat them with a delicious snack. Our pets appreciate the treats and we get joy from giving them, so what could be wrong with a little extra goodie now and again? 

The problem is that all treats are not created equal, and what you may not know about some treats could put your dog in grave danger.

Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of my colleagues in veterinary medicine about treats. That includes my dear friend Dr. Debra at, who has spent years and years studying the treats on the market. Together she and I have learned a lot about products including what dogs like and what is safe, and some of what we’ve found out is shocking.

As you may recall, in 2007 news broke of the horrific canine deaths and illnesses related to contaminated dog treats imported from China. The terrible situation came about because production standards in other countries are often less strict as they are in the United States. Most dog owners didn’t know this, and didn’t realize that their dogs’ treats were made in a country with lax regulations (such as China). The treats in question were packaged and sold under U.S. brand names but produced elsewhere.

Thousands of animals became sick as a result of consuming contaminated treats, and many others lost their lives. When owners became aware of the issue it led to greater attention to the dangers associated with imported treats. As a result, it also fed into a growing demand for natural treats that are made in the U.S.A. with U.S.-sourced ingredients. Two types of treats became much more popular during this time: rawhide chews and “bully sticks.” Today I’d like to talk a little bit about them and help you understand which is better for your pet. 

Rawhide Treats: Are They Safe?

It seems like rawhide treats have been around forever. These familiar chews come in lots of fun shapes and flavors, and dogs generally enjoy them. They’re also very affordable and they last for a long time. But there are also some health dangers associated with rawhide treats, so make sure you understand the risks before giving your dog this kind of item.

Rawhide is made from animal hide, which is not digestible. If your dog swallows a piece of rawhide whole, it can become a choking hazard. Swallowed rawhide cannot be digested. That means it must travel through your dog’s digestive tract where the sharp edges of the undigested rawhide can cause internal damage. It is not uncommon for veterinarians like myself to examine an x-ray only to find obstructions from rawhide. In some cases they even require a surgery.

Many owners find that rawhide treats don’t fit into their lifestyle of reduced chemicals. Rawhide goes through a lot of processing before it is ready for sale, including a chemical process where it is washed with degreasers and detergents then sterilized in hydrogen peroxide. With these things in mind, you might want to reconsider the use of rawhide as treats.

Bully Sticks: The Healthier Alternative

These strange-looking snacks might look a little unusual at first but trust me: dogs go crazy for them. Unlike rawhide, bully sticks are made with the meat of the cow – not the hide – so bully sticks are more easily digestible. This eliminates the potential choking hazards and intestinal obstructions associated with rawhide chews. Bully sticks are a little more expensive than rawhide, but they are long-lasting and much safer for your dog. Plus bully sticks are natural and do not contain chemicals.

After the dog treat contamination issues began in 2007, there was a growing demand for all-natural dog treats, including bully sticks that were American made. But did you know that most bully sticks are not made in the U.S.A.?

Today I’d like to tell you about a new kind of bully stick that is safe, tasty, long lasting, made in the U.S.A. of all-natural U.S. sourced ingredients… and it cleans your dogs’ teeth as they chew. Merrick Flossies Spiral Chews are a great choice for a high-protein, digestible, long-lasting bully stick. Their unique textured spiral shape cleans the tartar from your dogs’ teeth as they chew. Not only will your dogs get a tasty savory treat, every time they chew they’ll be improving their breath and cleaning their teeth and gums.                 Dr. Jon

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372



Lately we have been talking a lot about summer activities which has of course included TRAVEL

What to take, where to stay, activities, food, and dog family attractions are all important and yet there is one especially important topic we should discuss..

Keeping Your DOG SAFE when TRAVELING

Too often we hear reports that a dog in a vehicle that was involved in a collision is thrown sideways, hurled through windows or windshields sustaining serious or life ending injuries.

It doesn’t have to happen

Seat belts, harnesses and specially designed restraints can save Fido’s life if you are in an accident…  Unfortunately, more than 80% of dog guardians don’t use one.

                                                 Seat Belts/ Harnesses


   Dogs ride happy and safe when properly 

fitted in a seat belt or harness

The  AAA  conducted   a study  which not surprisingly found that dogs can be a distraction. It concluded that :

  • More than 1/2 were distracted if there dog was with them when driving
  • 1/3 were distracted if their dog climbed on  their lap
  • 1/4 held their dog when using  the brake
  • 1/5 allow Fido to sit on their lap in the car
  • 1/5 use one hand to keep Fido from climbing and one hand to drive  

Many dog guardians believe that Fido is safe when unrestrained or lap napping… 

But this is not the case


Here’s why you should never give your dog free reign of the car.

  • Airbags CAN BE FATAL A dog sitting on a driver’s lap can be struck and killed by a from seat airbag
  1. “In an accident, an unrestrained 10-pound  in a car going 50mph will fly forward with an effective weight of 833 pounds. An 80-pound dog in a vehicle going only 30mph will have an effective weight of 2,400 pounds – over a ton”. Cesar Milan 
  • Danger to first responders. Scared or hurt dogs may reflexively bite if a stranger approaches the driver
  • Running away. A scared Fido may run off, get lost or become injured by oncoming trafficMany states already have pet vehicle safety laws and others are following suit. States such as :Arizona, Florida, California, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey hand out fines from $250-$1,000  if you let Fido sit on your lap while driving Hawaii prohibits unrestrained dogs in moving vehicles.
  • Most states have laws prohibiting dogs from riding unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks… It’s a law we wholeheartedly support !

More states are likely to follow suit….but it is really beside the point….

You MUST use a Harness, SEAT BELT or 

Dog Safety Retraint for Fido’s protection…

It just may save his life !

Types of Vehicle Safety Restraints

There are different types of dog seat belts that embrace Fido and keep him safe

Dog Seat Belt (like the ones shown above)

A dog seat belt is made of adjustable straps that fit a variety of shapes and sizes of dogs. Owners can purchase different types of canine seat belt harnesses that wrap around a dog’s body and safely secure them in a seat of the car

If you can’t get one for any reason you can make do with a tether attached to a harness in the back seat. Make sure that it is short enough to restrict activity but long enough for Fido to sit and recline comfortably…. 


What if you don’t want to use a seat belt, harness or tether?

No worries… there are multiple options 

Safety Barriers


Some people use barriers made of steel or other material  that keep Fido in the rear area of the vehicle. You have to decide for your dog what will keep him/her the safest depending on size, typical activity level and length of trip,

Booster Seats  and Crates


Another option is a booster seat designed for dogs, or a seat belt secured around Fido’s crate to prevent jostling.

We’ll be traveling again in a few weeks . About 20 years ago I discovered that seat belts were available for dogs…  

We NEVER leave home without our pack safely harnessed in the back seat.

They are comfortable, safe, happy and enjoy the trip…and we know everyone will get to our destination in one piece.

Doesn’t your best friend deserve the same level of peace and safety? If you already have a seat belt or restraint I congratulate an thank you…           MR Bruno

Adopt a Dog- Buckle Up for SAFETY !

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372


Dog House Training Dos and Don’ts

Brindle and white puppy with red collar on

You’ve brought a new dog into your home—congratulations! Now comes your first dog-training challenge: house training.

House training is not an exact science—there’s no sure-fire formula or timetable that will work for every dog. The important thing is to make it a positive, not a stressful, experience. Beingattentive, patient and consistent are the keys to success, along with the following dos and don’ts:

Do: Closely supervise your dog. Limit the dog’s run of the house to the one or two rooms where you are able to see her at all times. Dogs usually show “pre-pottying” behavior such as sniffing, circling and walking with stiff back legs; all signs that you should get her to the potty area ASAP! As the training begins to take hold, you can slowly enlarge her territory as she learns where the potty area is—and that the house is not a toilet!

Don’t: Yell at or spank a dog for a mess she made earlier. If you catch her in the act, it’s okay to startle her by clapping or making a noise (hopefully this will stop her long enough for you to whisk her outside). But a dog will not learn anything by being scolded for a past accident, even one a few minutes old. Just clean it up and soldier on.

Do: Offer big, enthusiastic praise when she gets it right. Whether your goal is for your dog to eliminate on pee pads indoors or to do it outside, you have to really throw a party for her when she succeeds. Lavish her with praise, affection and some yummy treats!

Don’t: Rub her face in it. Ever!!! In addition to this action making your dog fear you, she’s incapable of making the connection that it’s the act of soiling indoors you object to—to her, you just really hate pee and poop. If she thinks that the waste itself is what you dislike, she’ll only get sneakier about hiding it from you.