Who is Rooney?

Hi, my name is Rooney. I was named after some English footballer, I think his name was Wayne. Anyways, my mom works at this place called TLC Animal Hospital and when I visit there, I notice that some of the dogs have questions that seem weird and sometimes don’t get fully explained. I am here to help you out. From my muzzle to yours, ask me any questions that make you wonder and I’ll give you answers based on my experience at this place called an animal hospital. My goal is to keep it short, sweet, and simple.

While my advice is short, I won’t be able to cover EVERYTHING in this large book of life! If you do think that there is something wrong, please call my mom and her friends at  the clinic for faster and more direct answers.

Send me an email anytime – TLCBoarding@gmail.com.



That evil toothbrush

Dear Rooney,
My dad constantly comes at me… even once a day… with this long plastic thing he calls a toothbrush and shoves it in my mouth! What good is this going to do for me? He expects me to stay still and allow this torture to happen! Any advice why I should let him do this to me?

-The cleanest mouth ever.


Dear Cleanest Mouth Ever,

Unfortunately, I suggest you let your dad attack you with the toothbrush. He’s doing it for your own good. He’s trying to clean off the tarter build up on your teeth to not only keep them shiny, but also to keep your gums happy (that’s the red stuff holding your teeth in). There are so many problems that can stem from having bad teeth INCLUDING heart disease! A bad tooth can also stop you from enjoying your favorite toy, bone or even your own food. He really should be brushing your teeth once a day and luckily there is dog specific toothpaste that tastes like chicken… YUM. Human toothpaste is bad for dogs and that mint is gross. 

The more he takes care of your teeth, the less likely you’ll have to visit my mom at the clinic. You’ll take a long nap, which is nice, but wake up missing your teeth! Sometimes they won’t take any teeth. Sometimes they will take one or two and sometimes they’ll take ten or more! 

I do have some advice for your dad, if you want to pass the information along…

First, he should start with just a paper towel on his finger and graze your teeth every other day or so. This will help you get use to the feeling and realize that nothing bad is going to happen. I think he should also give you treats to make it a positive experience.

Second, he can add doggy toothpaste to the paper towel to get you used to the taste. It’s actually really good and you may not need treats with it!

Third, he can move up to what the humans call a “finger brush”. There’s no actual bristles but there are rubber nodules on the finger brush to clean. He can either stick with the finger brush or move up to a dog tooth brush. 

I think once you go over these steps with your dad, you will both hopefully have a good experience and I hope you understand why he needs to clean your teeth.


Picking up my poop

Dear Rooney,
Why does my mom have to keep following me around for my poop? I feel like she’s constantly picking it up and bringing it inside the house. Gross! Is my  mom crazy?

-Constantly Pooping….

Dear Constantly Pooping…,

Wow Constantly Pooping….it sounds like you have a great dedicated mommy who wants to care for you as much as possible!

Your mom picks up your poop because it’s a health concern. Poop can contain parasite eggs in it, and she does not want it to spread. Most parasites are transferred by mouth. Some of my friends are poop eaters, but you dont have to be a poop eater to get a worm in your body. Sometimes something as simple as walking in the grass, stepping on the parasites or eggs (which are microscopic) and then licking your paws later on can cause an infection.

At my mom’s clinic, we check a doggie’s poop every 6 months for any parasites. In most of the United States, a fecal test is only done once a year like your vaccines. However here in South Florida, the parasites and worms live longer in our moist soil. It only takes anywhere between 2 days and 4 weeks to become infected with an intestinal parasite when you first make contact. If your fecal test comes back positive or even as an annual preventative, my mom’s clinic will even give you a dewormer to help combat anything you’ve been exposed to. However the best way for prevention (besides cleaning up poop) is the monthly heartworm medication that your mom (or dad) give you since it also has a parasite preventive to kill those nasty things.

It’s ok that your mom keeps your poop. She’s just finding a creative way to bring it to your doctor to send it off to a lab….can you imagine that job? Reading poop slides all day?!


I like to go exploring a lot...

Dear Rooney,

I like to go exploring a lot and my dad keeps talking about putting a tracking device in me. Do you know anything about this? Will it hurt? Sounds a bit scary to me.

~ Constant Wonderer

Dear Constant Wonderer,

It’s not as bad as it seems and it is totally worth it! Trust me! I’ve been out wandering around myself and my mom gets super mad at me, but luckily if I ever venture too far someone can bring me home. There are a couple options though. There are GPS devices that can connect to your collar so your dad will always know where you are. I’m really good at slipping out of a collar so that doesn’t work too well for me. My mom did get a microchip in me. It was placed between my shoulder blades. It’s not a GPS though. It only works if someone picks me up and brings me to a shelter or vet and they can scan my body. That number will tell them where my mom lives and how to get a hold of her. My mom has seen dogs come in to her work with a microchip, but the address and phone numbers were wrong or disconnected, so make sure your dad keeps the information up to date. As far as the pain goes, the doctors at my clinic will give a local numbing agent on the area so I hardly felt anything other than the butt rubs. That yummy Nutrical on my nose really distracted me. Have your dad call my mom’s work at TLC if there was any more questions. It’s totally worth having for at least the peace of mind for my mom.


My Pomeranian bites his nails...

Hi Rooney!

My Pomeranian bites his nails and gnaws on my bed skirt so I gave him rags and he never puts a hole in it. Why does he do this?

Thank you,


Dear Always Chewing Pomeranian,

The best part of being a dog is keeping our owners guessing. It’s so much fun for us. Most of our behavior can’t be explained. The most common reason for nail biting is itchiness. Allergies are pretty common in this beautiful warm Florida weather. (Personally, I like it better than that white snowy stuff up north.) Maybe wiping your paws with a watered wash cloth when you come in from doing your “business” may help you slow down on the pawdicures. As far as your love for your parent’s bed skit… hmm… That could be anything from anxiety to even a comforting behavior. Think about all those human babies who suck on their thumb. I use to chew on my mom’s couch. I loved it. Every time she left the house I had a great time tearing that beast apart. It was more for entertainment. I always was so bored when she left me alone. She bought this stuff and sprayed it all over the bottom of the couch. Luckily, it didn’t stain, but it tasted so gross. It didn’t take more than a week to break my fun habit. Having extra toys around the house that were all mine helped too. I hope this helps your mom figure out what’s really going on inside of our heads. It’s our little secret why we do the things we do.

~ Rooney

My mom gets upset with me every...

Dear Rooney,

My mom gets upset with me every time I scratch my butt on the floor. I can’t help it. It feels really good, especially on the carpet. What advice do you have to help my mom from getting upset with me?

~ Itchy Butt Max

Dear Itchy Butt Max,

This is something I know all too well, mostly because I’m a small dog. We dogs have anal glands in our rectum area that need expressing regularly. This is something that sometimes expresses naturally when we poop, hopefully outside like a good dog. While scooting on the carpet is helping you relieve that darn itchy feeling, it’s also expressing your glands on your mom’s carpet, which is why I’m sure she’s upset. While no one wants to have it done, maybe she should take you to the vet to get your glands expressed. It stinks, literally, to have it done, but feels so much better after. Sometimes dogs need them expressed monthly, bi monthly, or even just randomly. What is also good about having the technicians do it, is now they can alert a doctor if something doesn’t feel right inside. If your mom doesn’t mind you scooting all of the time and doesn’t help you express your glands, they could rupture and cause significant pain and maybe even need surgery to remove them. I hope this advice helps and good luck with that trip to the doctor.

~ Rooney

I have a new habit that really grosses...

Dear Rooney,

I have a new habit that really grosses out my parents. I just can’t help it, I love to eat poop. It doesn’t matter if it’s my poop or my friend’s poop. It is so yummy that I just can’t stop. My parent’s yell every time I enjoy my snack. How can I stop them from yelling at me?

~ Always Hungry George

Dear Always Hungry George,

Gross man. It does happen and is more common than you think. You’re not alone. There’s actually a word for it, “Coprophagia”. Most parent’s think that you love this stinky snack because you’re hungry. This is not always the case. There’s no real proof of why we love to eat poop other than behavioral. Sometimes our parent’s don’t understand that we’re trying to keep the room clean. There is a way to fix your desire. A couple of different things you could do include just adding something to your diet! For-Bid is my favorite. It’s a packet of sprinkles that my mom puts on my food that actually tastes quite good. It, however, doesn’t make my poop taste good, so I tend to leave it alone. It’s not too expensive, around $15, so if it doesn’t work it won’t break your parent’s bank account. Other options include adding meat tenderizer to your dinner or something called Coproban, which is a chewy treat. Good luck with your adventure.

~ Rooney

I’m starting to work on my beach body...

Dear Rooney,

I’m starting to work on my beach body. Summer is right around the corner and I’d like to lose my holiday weight. The issue is that I don’t want to tell my mom to stop giving me treats! I love them so much and she loves to give them to me. Any advice on losing weight while still getting my treats!?

~A Super Fluffy Lab

Dear A Super Fluffy Lab,

There are so many treat options it will make your head spin. Now is the time to start! You don’t want to lose too much weight too fast because that can hurt your insides, like your liver and kidneys. You really want to pay attention to your calorie intake. See one of your favorite doctors to find your exact number, but if you just want to replace your treats with something healthy, I have a few ideas,

  • If you’re on a special diet because you have allergies or urinary problems, convince your mom to buy you canned food. Believe it or not, she can bake you treats! Tell her to use a melon baller or spoon out some drops of wet food on a cookie sheet and bake (350 degrees for 20 minutes) and voila! Homemade dog treats that don’t hurt your specific diet. I believe that Royal Canin is starting to make treats that go with your diet as well!
  • If a special diet isn’t your thing, try people food. Yes, people food! Diced apples are my favorite people-treat but I also love carrots. Some other options are cauliflower, green beans, peas, bananas, & asparagus. Just remember that too much of these treats won’t help you lose weight.

The key to losing weight is moderation. Tell your mom to maybe cut out 1 treat every other day and 10% out of your meals. It sounds scary, but you won’t even notice, I promise. Don’t hesitate to call your favorite doctor and leave a message. They can give you advice on what to eat over the phone and of course you can come in the office anytime, without an appointment, to see how much you weigh. If you want to come in bi-weekly, the technicians can weigh you and see how you’re doing. Good luck fitting into that itty bitty bikini, and remember, summer is only a couple months away.

~ Rooney