UGODOG's Blog:

UGODOG's Blog offers articles, animal news, pet care tips and photos. You can search for related topics, browse by cateogry, recent posts, or view our blog archives. You'll find all of that just below our getting started kit!

Benefits of 3 Oils for your Dog

July 28th, 2014

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
- Anti-inflammatory
- Prevents scarring and promotes healing
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

Popularity: 1% [?]

Hip Dysplasia – Risks, Symptoms and Control

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

Popularity: 1% [?]

Adding a 2nd Dog to Your Home

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.

Popularity: 2% [?]

When is the right time to Spade or Neuter your dog?

July 1st, 2014

Given that approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters each year, due to lack of willing adopters, most Americans agree it is best to spade or neuter any pet that is not intended for breading. There are now laws and regulations mandating that all cats and dogs adopted from public or private animal care and control facilities be sterilized. If you have decided to adopt from a dog shelter your dog will mandated the procedure. Not only does having your pet spayed or neutered ensure that you will not be adding to this tremendous burden of over population of dogs it also eliminates behaviors and physical changes related to presence of reproductive hormones that dog owners find objectionable. If that is not enough of a reason it also helps to prevent various forms of dog cancers.
spade or neuter your pet
But if you are wondering when the best time or if you will spade or neuter then we have some information for you.
To date no scientist has performed a large-scale study in which female and male dogs underwent gonadectomy (spay or neatured) at various ages and were tracked throughout life to determine what abnormalities developed relative to age at gonadectomy.

The standard age (6-9 months), is when most veterinarians in the United States recommend females and males spayed or castrated. However, this is not based in science; it is based on anathesia procedures during World War II, when increasing pets were becoming popular, therefore, more interested in controlling manifestations of reproductive hormone secretion and very interested in making sure the animal survived surgery. Anesthetic and surgical techniques available at that time necessitated the animal be at least 6 months of age.

Early neutering before 14 months of age has also become popular by some modern vets. Mainly due to a few uncontrolled studies that have shown a link with early neuters and some forms of cancer and joint problems. Both the joint problems and the cancers that they have linked are relatively common in large-boned dogs, so the challenge is to prove whether the early neuter actually caused an increase in the incidence. There have been no studies that prove this.

Pro-early neutering as early as 6 weeks of age has been supported by several good studies to look at different potential complications from early neutering that have found no adverse effects other than slightly longer legs and less “masculine” muscle development. These pro-early neuter studies, however, were not carried out long enough to evaluate the risk of cancer.

Early adult neutering as late as 18 months, has been shown by studies that growth is influenced by the development of re-productive hormones. Taking away the internal re-productive organs at a young age, before the dog is fully grown, was shown to extend bone-growth period, making the bones longer and thinner, with as a result an increased chance on skeleton problems.

In conclusion there is not one answer for all dogs. Work with your vet to determine the best time for your dog breed and size to determine the best course of action for your dog.

Popularity: 1% [?]

Teaching Your Dogs New Tricks

June 26th, 2014

Your dog probably already knows – come, sit, stay, and lay down. So you’re done with the basics and are ready for something interesting, something new to show off at the dog park or to your friends when they come over.
Tricks are not only that are a great way to offer your dog some mental stimulation, many of them build from the basic commands your dog already knows.

Here are some dog tricks that are fun and fairly easy to train a dog to do:
1. Wave
Training a dog to wave hello or good-bye is a fun and fairly simple dog trick. Start by training your dog to shake paws. You will use the same action your dog uses to shake to train him to lift his paw to wave. You will do it the first few time for him then he will catch on with some treat incentives.
a. Give your dog the command to “shake”. When he lifts his paw to shake your hand, move your hand up slightly so he has to move his paw up a bit to get to your hand.
b. When your dog moves his paw up farther than he would to shake, or tell him “good ” and give him a treat.
c. Repeat this action a few times, each time moving your hand up a little higher until your dog is raising his paw above his head.
d. Once your dog has been putting his paw up several times in a row, give the command “shake,” and as soon as your dog starts reaching his paw out to you, give the command “wave” (or you can use the command “say hello” or “wave bye”) and again follow steps 2-4.
e. Repeat this several times until your dog is consistently raising his paw to wave position. After a number of repetitions, stop using the shake command, and only give the command “wave.”
f. Practice the wave command for a few minutes at time, two or three times each day. Your dog will quickly impress your friends as he greets them with a wave hello!
2. Back it Up
Back it up is a fun dog trick that can be turned into a dance move later on (if you teach him to wiggle his butt) and it can come in handy in a variety of situations. Once your dog knows how to back up on command, you can use it to keep him from rushing out the door, crowding you at the refrigerator, or just to entertain your friends.
Back up is fairly simple to teach a dog.
a. Start by holding the leash very loose and give your dog the command to stand and stay.
b. Walk a few steps away from your dog then turn and face him
c. Start walking toward your dog and say “back it up”
d. If he naturally backs up as you are saying it reward him
e. If your dog doesn’t start stepping back as you move toward him, keep going forward, and try to lean your body forward slightly.
3. Take a Bow or Downward Dog
Your dog might do this naturally in the morning when he first wakes up. If you watch two dogs playing together, you will frequently see them bow. Trainers refer to this behavior as a play bow, and it is a dog’s way of asking another dog to come play. He will put his chest to the ground while keeping his rear end up in the air. To teach this:
a. Start with standing position. It is helpful if your dog know stand or stay command.
b. Hold a treat at the tip of your dog’s nose, and slowly move it down, holding it close to your dog’s body. In this way, you will use the treat to lure your dog down until his elbows are on the floor with his rear end remaining up.
c. Hold your dog in the bow for a few seconds, and then use the treat to lure him back into a standing position.
d. As soon as your dog completes the bow and is standing up, tell him “good” or click your clicker, and give him the treat.
e. Practice the bow command with your dog several times a day for no more than 5 minutes each time. Before you know it, your dog will be taking a bow on command.
4. Go Potty
Teaching your dog to go potty on command can relieve you from the stress of wondering when your dog will have to potty again. It makes leaving your dog at home, traveling in a car and taking your dog friend homes much easier.
a. Pick the word you’re going to use that will mean “go pee” to your dog. You could use the classic “go potty”, and then say it consistently.
b. Figure out when your dog most predictably goes to the bathroom. The three big pee motivators are: waking from a nap or sleep, playing, and drinking. What goes in must come out and by setting a schedule for your dog you can predict when he/she will need to go. Knowing that your dog needs to go to the bathroom is key in capturing the behavior.
c. When your dog needs to eliminate, leash him/her up and relocate to your designated UGODOG potty spot. If you have any fear that your dog might go before you get the UGODOG, pick him up and carry him there (if you can)
d. Wait for your dog to go. Give him no attention as you pace quietly back and forth by the pee spot. When he squats or lifts his leg wait, for him to finish. As he’s finishing happily say your cue word “GO POTTY!” When he is done, give a marker (a verbal “Yes!” or the click of a clicker), then lavish him with praise and something really yummy.
e. After a week or two give the cue “go potty!” just before the pee happens but still wait to “Yes” or click until after he’s completely finished. (Otherwise, your marker might distract him from finishing his business midway.)

Popularity: 1% [?]

Occupied Dog = Happy Dog

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.

Popularity: 1% [?]

UGODOG Tip: Understanding Dog Anxiety

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.

Popularity: 1% [?]

UGODOG Tip: Detecting Bladder Stones in Dogs

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.

Popularity: 1% [?]

How much water is enough?

May 14th, 2014

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!

Popularity: 1% [?]

UGODOG Tip: Prepare for Summer Sun

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.
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.
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

Popularity: 2% [?]