Today, domesticated dogs spend most of their time sleeping, laying around and anxiously awaiting your arrival from work. Their ancestors used to live busy lives of hunting, protecting livestock, and herding. The lifestyle they lead now can lead to depression or obesity. Don’t let this happen to your dog, consider visiting your local dog park. Dog parks are a great way for dogs to:
Expend Pent-up Energy – Your dog can chill off-leash, investigate new smells, wrestle with other dogs and fetch balls. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards
Develop and Maintain Social Skills – Dogs are highly social animals. At the dog park, your dog can practice interacting variety of other dogs’ (breeds and sizes) and using communication skills, and becomes comfortable meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.
Fun for You Dogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do, too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs
With warmer summer weather and longer days you might find yourself outdoors more often with your pup — going for hikes, walks in the park, or if you are lucky to be near a dog beach. All this out door play might have you wondering how often you can wash your dog so your don’t bring all the germs and urine they walk through into your home. Most veterinarians would recommend once a month for normal healthy dogs but if that is not enough for you then here are some ideas to keep your pup smelling fresh between washes.
- Towel with warm water/vinegar solution – keep a spray bottle with ¼ cup vinegar, 2 cups water, and a squirt of liquid Castile soap spray on to towel and wipe down puppy.
- Pet wipes - wipe his paws and face before entering the house with a baby wipe. This is less desirable because of the waste and environmental impact.
- Baby pool or basin - if you fill only knee high and clean paws and face with soap-free or moisturizing shampoo. Avoid fully immersing to keep skin from drying out.
Note if you live in a state (like California) where there is a water shortage always use a water basin so you can recycle the water by watering your plants with the used puppy water.
Older dogs and certain dog breeds are prone to bad breath, gingivitis and gum infections. Many pet owners are even to starting to brush their dog’s teeth from puppy, just as in a human preventative care is some times the best care. If you have considered brushing your dogs teeth but don’t know where to start here is a quick how to:
• First get your dog used to the idea of having her teeth brushed. Massage her lips with your finger in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds once or twice a day for a few weeks. Then move on to her teeth and gums.
• Transition to Dog formulated tooth paste (ours likes chicken flavor) once your pooch seems comfortable being touched this way, or try a paste of baking soda and water on her lips to get her used to the taste.
• Next, introduce a toothbrush designed especially for dogs—it should be smaller than a human toothbrush and have softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger (or a clean piece of gauze) are also available and allow you to give a nice massage to your dog’s gums.
• Finally, apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a gentle brushing.
• A veterinary exam beforehand may be helpful to find out if your dog’s gums are inflamed. If your dog has mild gingivitis, brushing too hard can hurt her gums.
Congratulations you’re expecting a new baby soon. Some dog owners have anxiety about bringing home a baby to a house with a pet in it. And wonder how the pet will react or if he will hurt the baby. Before you bring the baby home here are some basic ideas that will help ease the transition:
Introduce the baby’s scent. While the baby is at the hospital it is a good idea to first bring an item that contains your baby’s scent, such as a burp cloth or blanket. You’ll want to set boundaries when introducing the article. Challenge the dog to sniff from a distance, while you are holding the item, “This new item belongs to me, and you will need to follow my rules when around it.” Make sure your dog knows his place. Before the baby arrives, start containing your dog to an area instead of let him have rein of the house. Make sure that he has his own space to play with toys and make the nursery off-limits. Condition your dog to understand that there is an invisible barrier that he may not cross without your permission Control the introduction. Before the baby arrives be sure to exercise your dog and drain him of his energy. While he is out bring the baby in, have the wait at the door step; make sure your dog is in a calm-submissive state before inviting her in. Calmly allow the dog to sniff the baby, but at a respectful distance. Don’t push the first meeting; do not bring the baby too close. Don’t forget the dog. The most important thing to your dog is that you maintain the routine, providing daily walks, feeding time and consistent leadership. If you plan on changing your dog’s routine, start the transition before the baby arrives. This will help your dog feel secure and allow her to relax about the new addition to the family. Your child’s safety comes first. If, after working with a professional and on your own, you are still not 100% confident about the safety of your baby with your dog, then finding your dog another home to protect the well-being of your child and pet is a step you may have to take.
Dogs, are like people, in that they do best with a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Excessive protein consumption is not necessary for dogs and for some dogs with medical conditions can actually be harmful. Proteins are the building blocks of the body and an absolute necessity for daily function. However, too much protein in a meal it cannot all be utilized at one time, nor can it be stored for later. The body will then excrete the excess protein through the kidneys and out of the body via urine. Thus the quality of the protein actually becomes more important than actual amount of protein.
Overweight dogs, dogs with itchy, flaky skin, dogs with coarse and brittle coats, dogs with poor energy levels and low resistance to infection — can be a result of dogs consuming diets with low quality animal origin tissues and high in grain-based products. Inexpensive, corn-based diets are some of the worst.
It recommended that the average dog’s diets contain high quality protein levels around 30 percent or slightly higher on a dry weight basis.
Some important nutrients that can help you choose an appropriate dog food for your dog: Protein: High-quality protein provides the building blocks to repair damaged skin. Feeding unique protein sources, such as venison or duck, can also help reduce reaction in dogs with a food allergy or intolerance to more common ingredients. Essential Fatty Acids: A dog food containing high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found naturally in fish oil, will help nourish and protect your dog’s skin, prevent dryness and help control inflammation. Antioxidants: Vitamin E and other antioxidants are vital in helping to maintain your dog’s healthy immune system, and protect it from cellular oxidation caused by free radicals.
Combining these nutrients in a single dog food provides a convenient way to manage your dog’s skin condition.
Alarming numbers: about 52% of Dogs and 57% of Cats are obese in the US! This problem affects mainly middle-aged pets.
Just like humans, pets with excessive weight lack energy, see their lifespan shortened and carry the following health risks: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Cancer etc.
A quick way to check if your dog is obese:
- Ribs are not easily felt
- Sagging stomach
- No Waist can be seen from above
If you think your dog might be overweight check the Ideal Pet Weight Chart and screen him/her for Diabetes with the PawCheck urine home-test. It’s so easy with the UGODOG system for urine collection. Reliable results in 2 minutes. Take action to save your dog’s life!
Congratulations you are being a responsible parent and helping control the pet population. While very much worth it, the operation your pet is about to undergo is no picnic or walk in the park. It is serious. Here are some tips to get you and your pup through it:
Preparation for the neutering surgery will begin the night before. The dog should not receive food 10-12 hours before the operation. This will ensure that the dog’s stomach has emptied by the time he’s put under general anesthesia and decrease the chances he will vomit and aspirate it into his lungs.
Here are some ideas to prep your house for a less mobile pet:
1. Raise the dog bowls up off the ground so that the dog can easily access while wearing a cone. (a box turned upside down will do)
2. Line your dog’s bed with plastic, most likely he will vomit after the surgery. You can use a gallon trash back opened and duct tape.
3. Make sure your dog’s bed, food and water is in a quiet room, free of stairs or obstacles, away from other animals and children, and off of any carpeting.
4. Give your dog plenty of love and reinforcement. Immediately After
Immediately following the operation your pet will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. When a dog owner picks up the dog from the veterinarian dog may exhibit symptoms like:
• Grogginess, Lethargy and Sleeping (more than usual)
• Clumsiness – Your dog will be unsteady and prone to falling after surgery, do to anesthesia, the cone they are wearing and soreness from the operation. Falling can be very dangerous following the operation, as it can easily reopen the wound. Make sure your dog as easy and free access to water, food and bed free from obstacles (no stairs)
• Little/No Appetite – Try replacing dog’s normal diet with boiled chicken and rice (this will also help with nausea and vomiting)
• Nausea & Vomiting –Provide him with ice chips and electrolytes (i.e. unflavored Pedialyte or Gatorade) to keep hydrated.
• Bathroom Accidents – Your dog will need more frequent walks then usual ideally every 2-3 hours especially the first 24 hours due to loss in sensation from the anesthesia.
• Aggression (usually toward other pets) – Many dogs get aggressive after spaying surgery due to the pain and unusual physical sensations that can result from the anesthesia. Therefore, we’ll need to isolate the dog from other pets and children.
Most of the symptoms following the dog’s surgery will generally disappear by the following morning.
Days Following the Surgery
• Limit activity. The dog’s incision will need time to heal and running and playing can disrupt or even delay healing. Therefore, the dog must be kept quiet with leash walks only for 10 to 14 days after the surgery.
• Monitor the incision. The incision will take 10 to 14 days to heal. Dog owners must check the dog’s surgical incision several times a day. Look for swelling, redness or discharge. Often, if a dog’s incision gets infected, the edges of the wound will pull apart, forming a gap – another warning sign. If there are any signs of an infection, return or call your local vet.
• Clean the incision. Daily, clean the incision by applying a bit of betadine (applied to a sterile gauze pad or cotton ball) and dab to disinfect the area. Allow the betadine to air dry.
Most pet owners have experienced an allergic reaction on their dogs skin, ears, feet, or in their respiratory tract. Allergens can come from food, air, grass, dust, cleaning products, molds or pollen, just to name a few. Here are these main classifications of dog allergies and what to do if your dog exhibits symptoms:
Allergens that are inhaled or come into contact with the skin can cause allergies known as atopy. Common sources are pollens, molds, and dust mites. Symptoms:
• Chewing at the feet
• Constant licking of the flank (side) and groin area
• Rubbing of the face
• Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
Treatment: The most effective long-term solution is to change the dog’s living circumstances to avoid the allergen. The atopic dog is usually allergic to many different allergens, however, and often it is not possible to avoid exposure to them all.
Allergies that result from flea-bites are referred to as flea allergy dermatitis. However the flea allergy is actually sensitivity to flea saliva and is a very common condition in dogs. Symptoms:
• Red itchy bumps or blisters areas exposed to the allergen such as the belly, feet, or muzzle
• Intense scratching
• Hair loss (in chronic conditions)
• If you suspect or know fleas are a problem for your dog try combing at least once daily.
• Bathe your dog often. A soothing bath will kill any fleas on your dog, help heal skin irritation.
• Make liberal use of an all-natural pest repellent like coconut oil, during flea season.
• For some dogs with a serious case of flea allergy dermatitis, try an oral drug called Comfortis.
Certain allergies occur from items your pet ingests, and are typically called food allergies.Food allergies account for about 10-15% of all allergies in dogs and cats. Food allergies may show up concurrently with allergies to pollen, dust, etc. Symptoms:
• Itching, especially face, feet, trunk, limbs and anal area
• Ear problems, often yeast-related
• Skin infections that respond to antibiotics, but then recur as soon as the antibiotic therapy ceases Treatment: If you suspect your pet has allergies, visit your veterinarian. The type of allergy and severity of the symptoms will determine how your veterinarian decides to treat them.
Allergy-Fighting Supplements Quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I call it ‘nature’s Benadryl’ because it does a great job suppressing histamine release from mast cells and basophiles.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation throughout the body. Adding them into the diet of all pets — particularly pets struggling with seasonal environmental allergies –
Coconut oil. I also recommend coconut oil for allergic pets. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps decrease the production of yeast. Using a fish body oil with coconut oil before inflammation flares up in your pet’s body can help moderate or even suppress the inflammatory response.
In a world filled with harmful chemicals, sometimes it is better to go back to nature for remedies and prevention when it comes to your pet’s health. Try out these essential oils that can either topically or orally and you won’t believe what they can do:
1. Coconut Oil Description:
Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals. Coconut oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits.
- Helps aid digestion
- When mixed with oregano oil – can treat staph bacteria
- Improves dog’s coat
- Disinfect cuts and helps heal wounds (when applied topically)
- Clears up some rashes (when applied topically)
- Natural Flea and Tick repellent (when applied topically)
For topical application simply add directly to dogs skin or mix with shampoo.
For oral application the recommended dose is coconut oil per 10 pounds of dog, or you can give a table spoon per 30 pounds. Start with about ¼ the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over 3-4 weeks, as sometimes flu-like symptoms can appear if you hurried it right away.
2. Olive Oil Description: Has high level of antioxidants including polyphenols, vitamin E, chlorophyll, and carotenoids –it acts as a natural supplement to defend your canine’s immune system, improve your dog’s cognitive development, improve energy, beautify your dog’s coat and last, but not least, extend their life.
- Helps relieve Dry Skin
- Aids in weight loss
- Provides energy boost
- Prevents the cognitive decline associated with aging
- Fights premature ageing by preventing free radical cell oxidation
- Relieve Constipation
- Prevents diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
For topical application simply add directly to dogs skin or mix with shampoo.
For oral application geed your healthy dog 100 to 150 mg per 10 pounds. If the puppy is having health issues, you can use up to 300 mg mixed with the dog’s food for absorbtion. Olive oil can be fed to your puppy ¼ to ½ teaspoon at a time. A dog should never be fed more than ½ teaspoon of olive oil at once, but you can add the specified amount to your puppy’s food up to twice per day.
3. Lavender Oil Description: Lavender oil is soothing to the central nervous system, and a 2006 study showed that its use reduced dogs’ movement. It is one of the most versatile oils in nature. The fragrance is very relaxing and calming to the body and mind.
- Helps prevent flea and ticks
- Induces relaxation – used for travel or treat anxiety in dogs
- Soothes irritated skin
- Prevents scarring and promotes healing Use:
For topical simply add 5-10 drops of Lavender oil to your dog’s shampoo and shake.
For oral mix in a teaspoon of culinary Lavender buds into your dog’s food to give it a try for your dog.
Remember to introduce any oil slowly as oils can cause diarrhea in dogs if over absorbed. Hope your dog becomes healthier with these tips.
Remember home remedies aren’t just for hippies any more they are often healthier, effective and more cost efficient on your budget.
- Paw Nation: 12 Natural Supplements for Dogs
- Experience Essential Oils: Benefits of Lavender Oil
- Benefits of Coconut oil for Dogs: Dogington Post
- The Whole Dog Journal: The Benefits of Fish Oil to Your Dog’s Health
- Dogster: 8 Reasons to Add Olive Oil to Your Dog’s Food
Hip and joint problems are surprisingly common in many dogs. Most commonly dogs are developing hip dysplasia which is caused by a subluxation in the hip joint. This creates abnormal wear and erosion of the joint and as a result arthritis and pain develop. Researchers attribute hip dyspepsia to 3 factors: Genetic, Exercise and Diet. Obese dog and dogs that are fed a high calorie diet while developing are more prone to the disease. According to a study by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine canine hip dysplasia can occur in 50 percent or more of some of the larger breeds of dogs.
It is particularly common in breeds such as:
• Bernese Mountain Dog
• Chesapeake Bay Retriever
• English Setter
• English Springer Spaniel
• Golden Retriever
• Gordon Setter
• German Shepherd Dog
• Labrador Retriever
• Old English Sheepdog
• Standard Poodle
• St. Bernard
• Welsh Springer Spaniel
• Welsh Corgi While less common in large dogs such as:
• Doberman Pinscher
• Great Dane
• Irish Wolfhound
• Siberian Husky
However all of all ages are subject to hip dysplasia and the resultant osteoarthritis. In severe cases, puppies as young as five months will begin to show pain and discomfort during and after exercise. The condition will worsen until even normal daily activities are painful. Without intervention, these dogs may eventually be unable to walk. Detecting dog pain early can help with intervention and cure. Dog pain can take many forms from mild to severe, dull aches to sharp pain. Dogs cannot tell us with words when they hurt so it is important to look for certain signs:
• Trouble getting up and down
• Slow or stiff when first getting up or after exercise
• Trouble climbing stairs
• Joint swelling
• Limping or favoring a leg by frequently holding it off the ground
• Gait or “bunny hopping”
• Resist movements that require full extension or flexion of the rear legs
• Become less willing to participate in normal daily activities
Here are 6 ways to prevent hip dysplasia in dogs:
1. Healthy diet – feeding natural foods and adding Fish oil to food has helped in experimental studies
2. Visits to Vet – discussing amount of food and having regular check-ups helps early detection
3. Feeding schedule – determining the right amount of food at the right time of day helps manage weight and prevent obesity
4. Water – make sure water is available at all times
5. Exercise routine – exercise helps build muscle, joint and tendons – but beware not to over exercise
6. Careful breeding – if possible check to see if the parents have history of hip dysplasia note pure breed dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia
What to do if your dog already has hip dysplasia?
1. Consult vet and discuss recommend treatment
2. Limit exercise and control diet
3. Try homeopathic treatments such as Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and NSAIDs
4. Consider training your dog on the UGODOG to avoid over exercising