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
Introducing any new member to a family can be tricky. As of now each member of the family unit has a role and has been acting accordingly. When a new member comes in he can offer competition which can lead to frustration and acting out. Before adding a new member here are some things to consider:
• Consider your dog’s obedience, play style, energy and socialization level, and playmate preferences. Make sure your dog is in control enough to introduce a new dog.
• Personality type – aggressive, passive, hyper, mellow? Look for a dog that will compliment the personality of your current dog.
• Some breeds mesh together better than others, consider an internet search for compatible breeds
• Let your current dog pick the new dog. Bring your BF to the adoption center or dog clinic to help choose the dog they best get along with
If you already have picked your new pal, then keep in mind initial meeting is the most important, so you’ll need to prepare to improve your chances of success. Lindsay Wood, MA, CTC, director of animal training and behavior at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, in Boulder, Colo recommends walking your dog and the potential new dog together. Called parallel walks or proximity walks, these low-key activities allow dogs to get used to each other while doing something fun in a neutral space.
Here are some DO’s
• Do introduce your new dog outside the home on neutral ground
• Do have a second person to help with the introduction
• Do gradually remove all personal items that current dog maybe attached to before introducing new dog this includes bed, bowl, bones, – slowly reintroduce them providing each dog their own set
• Do designate feeding bowls for each dog and be sure to feed at the same time And here are some DON’Ts
Avoid doing these things when introducing your new dog:
• Don’t throw two dogs together in a car, house, or yard and assume they will work it out. Even social dogs that seem to get along need supervision or separation (via baby gates or crates) at home for a few weeks.
• Don’t keep the leashes tight when dogs first meet. The pressure from pulling only increases tension between dogs.
• Don’t let the dogs rush up to one another.
• Don’t use a stern voice, telling the dogs to “Be good!” or “Be nice!”
• Don’t immediately introduce competition or conflict over popular toys, food, or bones.
A long day at work for you often means your puppy is alone for several hours. While you’re away the dog will play, exercising normal dog activities such as chewing, scratching, digging, jumping, running, hunting or tearing things apart. The trick is to appropriate these activities in constructive ways that we as humans can live with and keep your dog comfortable while you’re gone.
You’ll want to start by giving your dog several different textures ie. something that can be torn apart (rope, stuffed toy), something that has “give” to the power of his jaw (ball, rubber toy), and something that is very hard to scrape teeth against (knee bone, marrow bone, knuckle bone, hard Nylabone!”) to occupy his time.
Provide activities that use the dog’s sense of smell will help to occupy his time for longer period of time. Since a very large portion of a dog’s brain controls their olfactory function, the more we create activities where they get to use their nose, the more stimulated and tired they will get.
Ideas for Time Passers
While you are gone you’ll want to keep your dog busy so that he doesn’t get into trouble and mess up your lovely home.
- Soak a rope toy in chicken broth and freeze, give it to the dog when you are leaving for a few hours
- Hide treats inside old socks or rags and tie them tight, so the dog has to work to get them out
- Purchase raw knuckle bones or marrow bones from your butcher. Give them to your dog frozen to make them last longer (and stay neater) and refreeze between use.
- Kiddie Pool, if you have a backyard, deck or balcony put a plastic kiddie pool with water and fill with objects, such as apples, balls and plastic
- Try hide-and-seek – hide treats around the house before leaving so your dog will seek them out while you are gone.
- Peanut butter Kong – fill a Kong toy with peanut butter usually it will take hours for the dog to lick it clean
Keeping him Comfortable
Providing a dog with his basic essentials will ease his longer stays without you.
- Plenty o’ water, you might even want to give him a bucket, and to keep it cool add some ice.
- A cool place to lay, if he is staying inside make sure there is air or a fan running, if outside shade is essential. A slab of tile or granite in a shaded cool place is helpful; dogs like to press their belly against cool surfaces.
- A place to go potty, if you don’t want your house, yard, deck or balcony to smell from frequent urination in the same place try the UGODOG. It is easy to train your dog and easy to clean –perfect for protecting surfaces from funky odors.
Do you ever wonder if your dog is missing you when you are not home? Does a perceive time in the same way that humans do? Are wondering if they counting the minutes until you get home?
Research shows that dogs do know the difference between different lapses of time. The evidence to support dogs’ understanding concept of time based on changes in their behavior when left alone for different lengths of time. Dogs who were left alone for 6 hours demonstrated overtly greater displays of affection toward owners than those only left alone for an hour. Any dog owner that has returned after a long trip can attest to the drastic excitement and affection a dog displays when you see him again for the first time.
While dog may not measure time in the exact same way as humans do, a study by Dr. Thomas Zentall of University of Kentucky demonstrates that dogs are capable of being trained based on past events and taught to anticipate future events, supporting the theory that dogs do have an episodic memory. With the major difference that humans are able to pinpoint when something happened in the past by relating it to other events. In other words a dog can tell that he has not had a walk for 6 hours, but the dog is not able attribute emotion or correlations between the episodes.
Despite having episodic memory or the awareness of time most dogs have little trouble dealing with long periods of time alone and will sleep through the boredom. However some dogs do suffer some separation anxiety and the difference between one and five hours can have a huge impact. Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety often express their anxiety through barking, howling, whining, chewing, digging, pacing, scratching and/or urinating in inappropriate places.
There are several things you can do to help with separation anxiety: 1. Establish Routine and Consistency – since dogs understand concepts of time it reduces anxiety if they know what to expect and when to expect it. A regular feeding schedule and walk schedule will help to reduce anxiety.
a. Food should be given at the same time every day (i.e. breakfast at 8 am and dinner at 6pm).
b. Walks should be the same time every day (i.e. morning walk 9am evening walk 3pm) 2. Give them a task – when you have to be gone for longer periods of time (4-6 hours) give your dog something to do. Make sure there are plenty of toys, bones or chew toys for them. Some veterinarians recommend to leaving a television or radio on for company. 3. Train your dog on a UGODOG – if you have to be gone for long periods (4-8+ hours) of time regularly in order to remove your dog’s anxiety about going to the bathroom try training your dog to relieve him/herself on the UGODOG.
Bladder Stones In Dogs
Just like humans, dogs can be affected by bladder stones. And just like humans, there are different types of bladder stones. The most common ones that affect dogs are struvite, calcium oxalate and urate. Treatments and surgery for bladder stones can cost an average of $2000.00 and put your dog’s life at risk.
What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs?
Excess minerals in the urine form these stones. The reasons that these excess minerals accumuate are normally due to:
poor water consumption
high levels of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium in food
Potty Training and Bladder Stones in Dogs
Many dog owners train their dogs to “hold it” while they are away and as a result of this infrequent urination, the chances of forming canine bladder stones increases.
To help your beloved dog (and your pocket book) we recommend you take the following steps to minimize the chances of him/her getting bladder stones.
1) If you cannot take your dog for a walk during the day, get someone to do it for you.
2) If you cannot find someone to take your dog for a walk during the day we recommend the UGODOG indoor dog potty system. It gives your dog a place to go to urinate while you are away.
3) Ensure your dog has access to water at all times. Increasing water consumption is undoubtedly the most important step in preventing canine bladder stones.
4) Avoid give your dog pet foods or supplements that contain excess minerals.
5) At the first sign of bladder infection, take your dog to your veterinarian. Treating the problem at it’s onset will save you time, money and possibly your dog’s life.
REMEMBER TO GIVE WATER TO YOUR DOG!
Monitoring your dog’s water intake is very important for their health. A healthy dog drinks about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.
Too little water intake can cause Dehydration leading to serious health complications; some of the signs are lethargy, sunken eyes and dry mouth.
The most common symptom of Dehydration is the loss of elasticity in the skin, which can be checked by dog owners When the skin on the back of the dog’s neck is pulled gently, if it does not immediately return to its original position, the dog is lacking in fluids.
During summer time, especially while exercising with your dog, make sure to always carry plenty of water for yourself and your furry friend!