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Ask Zena - Zena answersz your dog questionz

Ask Zena your dog-related questions

When Zena and her dog Zippy aren't going for walks, they're hard at work answering your dog-related questions.

Go ahead and submit your question today, and who knows - when Zena comes back from her walk she might just answer your question.

* The most recent questions are listed first *


Dear Zena,

I have a 2 yr. old Tibetan dog named Pandy and she scared me to death today... She looked like she was going to vomit and poop at the same time. Her back legs were like those of a rag doll, she was shaking and looking pretty bad. Pandy vomited three times and after that she seemed to be better.

She eats everything in sight. Could this have been the reason or should I take her in to the vet tomorrow? What kind of illnesses can a Tibetan Spaniel have?

Jaklinebt (Originally from Spain, Living in USA)


Dear Jaklinebt,

The Tibetan Spaniel is considered to be a very healthy breed, often living to the ripe old age of 16. Some Tibetan Spaniels are prone to generalized progressive retinal atrophy, but a responsible, ethical breeder would have screened for this. There have been some cases of juvenile kidney disease.

Like humans, dogs can suffer from gastrointestinal problems which often result in diarrhoea and vomiting. Sometimes this is all that is necessary and then they are fine. It is always a good idea to let your vet know if your dog appears to be suffering. In other cases, they may have gotten into something that wasn't good for their tummy. It is for this reason that dog owners should take the time to "dog proof" their home to ensure that dangerous or harmful products are out of reach.

Sincerely Zena & Zippy



Dear Zena,

I am planning on getting an Akita puppy. This is my favorite dog breed and I believe I am well suited to have this dog as a pet. The only problem is, I live in Florida. We have an extremely hot climate with lots of humidity here in Florida and I am worried that an Akita would not be able to adapt to such a climate. Of course he will live in the house with me, not outdoors. So do you think I would be able to have an Akita in Florida? I'd appreciate it if you can help me out, thank you.

Sanad (Florida)


Dear Sanad,

The Akita originated in northern Japan and as a result it has a very luxurious, thick double coat. In a warm climate or in your case, a hot climate, the coat will shed profusely, but the dog may still be uncomfortable even indoors. You may want to consider this when choosing an Akita.

Remember that some breeds are more suitable than others depending on your lifestyle and your climate. There are a number of breeds that I would love to live with, but my allergies limit me, so I have to enjoy them from a distance.

If a move to a cooler climate is in your future, maybe that would be a time to have an Akita in your life.

Be sure to check out our own Breed Directory for suitable hot weather breeds. The breeds that are good in hot climates will have a picture of a sun.

Sincerely Zena & Zippy



Dear Zena,

My Siberian Husky often runs away from home. He will usually get tired and try to find his way home, but by that time he is usually too far away. When we get in the car to bring him home he keeps on running and thinks it's a game.

How can we train him to stay in the yard and not run away? How about using the electric fence or bark collars with the lemon spray. I don't want to hurt him but are these methods bad for him?

Tyler C. (Utah)


Dear Tyler,

Some breeds of dogs are more likely to stay home near their family. These breeds tend to be the more co-dependent types; the dogs that follow their parents everywhere, right behind them all the time. Zippy, my Giant Schnauzer doesn't like it when she can't see me, so she will follow me from room to room. Whenever we go to the dog park, she stays close by while the other dogs run and frolic freely with the others.

Siberian Huskies are very energetic dogs who love to work, and as a result, they require a large amount of exercise. Sometimes, when they don't get enough exercise, they can take on a destructive nature, or in your case, run away. They can be difficult to train as well so they present a challenge. I am not surprised that your Husky thinks it is a game when you track him down with the car. He doesn't understand what the problem is, because he is having a great time running about exploring, and he probably thinks you have come to join his game.

With respect to the fences and collars, if you are uncomfortable with the idea you could try ensuring that your dog gets enough exercise to see if this changes his behaviour. If that fails, talk to a few local dog trainers to get their perspective. You could also talk to your vet and see if they have any feedback, or if they can pass along names of some people who have tried these methods.

Sincerely Zena & Zippy



Dear Zena,

I never had a dog and am looking for someone to help me choose the right breed for my small apartment life.

Adil (USA)


Dear Adil,

When choosing a breed of dog, it is very important that you take an honest look at your lifestyle. Are you an active person who would be willing to walk your dog everyday? How many times a day? How far or how long could you walk everyday? Are you a runner? Are you a busy person, how much time will your dog be spending alone? Do you have allergies? Do close friends or family members have allergies? Does dog hair bother you? What about grooming? Are you willing to learn how to groom your dog, or will you want to pay a groomer to do that job?

There are many breeds that are suitable for first time dog owners who don't have the experience to deal with some of the more dominant breeds. Some breeds are more likely to act as guard dogs, and with that attitude comes responsibility on the part of the owner.

Since you are living in an apartment it may be more appropriate to have a smaller dog, although some of the large breeds can adapt to apartment life as well. As an apartment dweller you may want to consider the breeds that are not identified as problem barkers. Some breeds tend to bark more than others.

Once you have decided on a few breeds, try to talk to some people who live with these breeds. You can get in touch with breed clubs to see if they can suggest some people to talk to. Be a critical thinker though and remember that people will always say their breed is the best. Look for honest answers to your questions. Researching a breed is always the best way to go about introducing a dog into your life.

Zena and Zippy


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