Archive for the ‘Dog Tips’ Category

Hip Dysplasia – Risks, Symptoms and Control

Monday, July 14th, 2014

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
• Bloodhound
• Boxer
• Chesapeake Bay Retriever
• English Setter
• English Springer Spaniel
• Golden Retriever
• Gordon Setter
• German Shepherd Dog
• Labrador Retriever
• Old English Sheepdog
• Standard Poodle
• Rottweiler
• St. Bernard
• Welsh Springer Spaniel
• Welsh Corgi
While less common in large dogs such as:
• Borzoi
• Doberman Pinscher
• Great Dane
• Greyhound
• 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

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Adding a 2nd Dog to Your Home

Monday, July 7th, 2014

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.

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Occupied Dog = Happy Dog

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Keeping your pup occupied during working days


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.

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UGODOG Tip: Understanding Dog Anxiety

Monday, June 9th, 2014

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.

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UGODOG Tip: Detecting Bladder Stones in Dogs

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

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.

Dog Bladder Stones

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:
infrequent urination
poor water consumption
high levels of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium in food
bladder infections

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.

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How much water is enough?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014


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!

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UGODOG Tip: Prepare for Summer Sun

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Summer is approaching are your prepared? Did you know that white animals and those that have a haircut short or have naturally thin coats are particularly sensitive to the sun? Like humans dogs can suffer the same negative affects of the sun: sunburn and skin cancers. This UGODOG Tip offers some ideas and cautions for protecting your pet on those sunny days. The two most important tips to prevent sunburn: provide shade and sunblock.
Shade
Heat stroke can be a problem in the summer, so make sure you have plenty of shade and fresh water available at all times to keep your pet comfortable. This is obvious, but for outdoor pets, if their quarters can be fully shaded (such as a kennel), risks of sun damage are greatly reduced.
Sunblock
To be certain you pet is fully protect UGODOG recommends applying sunblock to sun-sensitive areas
• tips of ears
• nose
• the belly and groin areas that typically have sparse hair coverage and thinner skin
• scars or cuts
• Pet sunscreen tips:

When choosing a sunscreens if possible use a pet-safe sunscreen that has FDA approval, and that is Epi-Pet Sun Protector. With an SPF of 30 or above.
Short Hair Cuts
Getting your pet groomed and shorter cuts can help reduce over heating try:
• Puppy cut
• Lion Cut
• Teddy bear cut

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UGODOG Tip: Checking for Obesity

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

PET OBESITY: A GROWING CONCERN FOR PET OWNERS

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 your dog is overweight, 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!

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UGODOG Health Tip of the Week: Detecting Polyuria

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Does your Dog eliminate an excessively large amount of urine which is very light or clear in color and almost odorless?
This is called POLYURIA.

Polyuria occurs when the body’s normal ability to conserve water for itself does not work properly. Conditions causing Polyuria include subtle and long-term changes in hormone balance as well as more serious problems, such as kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infection, certain cancers, etc.

The UGODOG system enables dog owners to monitor their pet’s urination habits easily. In addition, the PawCheck urine home-tests offer valuable information to pet owners about their dog’s health conditions. An early detection will improve both the cost and the outcome of treatment options.

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Dog Myths – So True or So False?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Think you’ve got your pup all figured out? Not so fast, sometimes we hear things so many times we think it is true but is it? UGODOG investigates to uncover common assumptions about dogs and if they are..

So True or So False?

“A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s”
So False! Not even close. Just think about where that mouth has been all day. Since dogs and humans have similar enzymes for breaking down food, so there is no real big difference there.
Many people think since they see a dog licking it’s wound and will notice that the wound heals very fast that the dog’s what that tongue does is it gets rid of the dead tissue,” said Becker. He compares that tongue lashing to the work of a surgeon who cleans out a wound, and said the licking also stimulates circulation.

“A dog’s mouth contains a lot of bacteria,” states Dr. Gary Clemons, a veterinarian in Milford, Ohio. “Remember, a dog’s tongue is not only his wash cloth but also his toilet paper.”
However since most of the bacteria in the mouth of a dog are species specific, it won’t harm its owner. In fact, you are more likely to get a serious illness from kissing a person than kissing a dog. Since dogs do transmit some germs it is important to “Keep the vaccines current. Good external parasite control, good internal parasite control. You’re going to be good to go.” Says veterinarian and fellow dog lover Marty Becker, author of “Chicken Soup for the Dog Owner’s Soul.”

“Don’t Stare a Dog in the Eyes.”
So True! In the canine world, prolonged eye contact rarely occurs in friendly contexts; it is more commonly seen as a threat or challenge to another dog. Direct eye contact may occur in play, but outside of specific situations, prolonged eye should be avoided.
Cesar Millan, dog behaviorist and star of the TV series Dog Whisperer. Says:
“When you meet a new dog, especially one that may be dangerous, you must project calm assertiveness. A lot of people who meet a new dog want to go over to him, touch him, and talk to him. In the language of dogs, this is very aggressive and confusing. Instead, wait for the dog to come over and smell you and check you out. While he does this, act like you’re ignoring him. Don’t make eye contact. Once he analyzes and evaluates you, he’ll tell you how he feels about you.”

“Wet nose = healthy dog”.
So False! The temperature and moistness of your dog’s nose has nothing to do with his health, says veterinarian Suzanne Hunter, DVM. A dog’s nose will run hot and cold, wet and dry all day long. A moment of dryness is no reason for alarm. As is always the case with your pet, all we’ve got to go on in any situation is behavior. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if all our four legged, two winged, swimming or slithering pets could speak? But they can’t, so we observe. And periodic moments of dryness alone are probably not signs of illness. But if that snout is more dry than normal, more frequently than usual, the color or texture changes or it is accompanied by other uncommon symptoms, there could be a problem.
Dry nose accompanied by a decrease in energy level, lack of appetite, is always reason to consult your vet. Other signs of illness:
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Urinating more or less often than normal
• Coughing and sneezing
• Discharge from eyes, ears, or nose

“Chocolate is poisonous for dogs”
So True! Chocolate can sicken and even kill dogs, and it is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning, say veterinarians at WebMD. Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain a chemical compound called theobromine, which is the real danger. This chemical compound can cause severe reactions when truly toxic amounts are ingested including induced hyperactivity, tremors, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, seizures, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest while even very small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

“An excited dog is happy to see you.”
So False! “It’s very easy to come home to a dog that is jumping, running around, or spinning in circles, and interpret that as the dog being glad you’re home. But that’s not what’s really happening,” says Cesar Millan, dog behaviorist and star of the TV series Dog Whisperer.
It’s a sign that your dog has more energy than he can handle in that moment.
Millan’s advice: Ignore him when he’s overexcited, then reward him with attention when he calms down.

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