July 2014 - LUV My dogs

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Most Important Commands Your Dog Needs To Learn

Most Important Commands Your Dog Needs To Learn
  When training your dog you're going to be teaching him commands. These are special words that you repeat over and over to condition him to obey. Although there are certain command words that most trainers teach, in theory you could use any word you want to designate a command. 
  We all love to teach our dogs tricks. Some are frivolous like "play dead" and some are important, like going potty only when outdoors. But there are other tricks to teach our furry friends that could save their lives.
  But what is most important is consistency. You must always use the same word for the same command. Mixing command words up will only confuse your dog and make training him more difficult if not outright impossible.
  Some dogs are smart enough to learn 165 words or even more. Just how smart they can be largely depends on the breed and how much time you spend with them.
  No dog, however, is smart enough to realize every single danger he can get himself into. There are poisonous snake bites, open wells, automobiles, medication, antifreeze and getting trapped in places where he cannot get out. 
No- As the word implies, no is used whenever your dog is doing what he should not be doing. For instance if he urinates on the floor instead of going to his crate to pee saying no in a stern tone of voice gives him the message that what he did is not okay.
  The key thing to remember with dogs is that your tone of voice is extremely important. With conditioning commands like “no” it's as if not more important than just the word itself. This is because dogs are very influenced by body language and voice tone.


Sit-  is one of the most basic tricks we can teach our dogs. When a dog is in a "sit" position, he knows he is meant to stay sitting until you say otherwise. If you need your dog to just chill out while you take care of something, you can put him in a sit position, knowing he won't run off and get into trouble while you're distracted. It's a perfect command for situations like standing in a crowded place or if you're loading the car for a trip and need Fido to hang out before getting in. Or on the flip side, telling your dog to "sit" before opening the door of the car to let him out gives you time to open the door, leash him up, and make sure no other cars are coming in the street or parking lot before allowing him to exit the vehicle.Sit is an important command because it puts your dog in a semi-submissive position and helps to calm his brain. A dog that goes from being excited to sitting has had to change gears mentally and refocus. This can be useful when putting on his leash or when someone wants to greet him. Sit can also be a primer for other commands such as stay and lie down. You can also use the sit command after other commands, such as "off" or "quiet", to reinforce the change of focus.


Good Dog- On the flipside saying “good dog” lets your dog know that they're doing what they should be doing. When you say this you should combine it with a physical gesture praising your dog for a job well done. This one should come naturally to most of us but what's important is knowing how to use it in combination with other commands we're going to talk about so you can positively condition your dog so he wants to follow your commands.

Lie down- The "lie down" trick is another way to have your dog stay in one place and out of trouble. Teaching your dog to lie down — especially if you teach him to drop to a down position when you signal from far away — can go a long way in keeping him out of trouble. A down position is one of increased vulnerability, so if your dog is getting too rambunctious around other dogs or is too wound up in a certain situation and simply needs to mellow out, a "lie down" command gives him an opportunity to calm down and remember his human is the one who is in control. Like the "sit" command, this is an active command, meaning your dog isn't just lounging — he should be purposefully staying in one spot, keeping focus on you and waiting for his next command. Both the sit and lie down commands are excellent for bringing a boisterous dog back down to earth before a situation escalates out of control — such as when other dogs are around that might spark a fight, small children might get hurt, or other attention-grabbers pull your dog's focus away from you.
Stay- What dog owner hasn't had a dog that you loved with all your heart but for the life of you could get to stay in one place? That's where this command fits in. 
Sit your dog down and with a stern tone, tell your dog to “stay”. If he doesn't listen, say “no” and start again. The key is repetition and consistency. If you start while he's a puppy it shouldn't take too long.

Come- This trick is rather obvious. After all, knowing that your dog will return to your side without fail in any situation is a big part of ensuring he will be safe. But getting that "rocket recall" can be tough. When a dog is distracted, or knows that you are much more boring than whatever trouble he is getting into, then getting him to come when called is a challenge. There are different ways to approach it, depending on a dog's personality, but the best way to make sure your dog beelines back to you when you call is to give him the most amazing treat he can possibly imagine every time he comes back to your side. Whether it is rotisserie chicken, or liver baby food, or tripe, make sure he only gets that treat when he hears, and obeys, the recall command. Then he knows that when he hears the word "come" he'll get a jackpot of a reward. Here's a great video about getting a rocket recall with an example of exactly why it is so important for your dog to come back to you no matter what else is happening.

Down- This command should be used when requesting your dog to lie down with his belly to the ground. This puts a dog in a submissive position, helps you gain control, and helps his mind relax. It is very useful if he is in an excited or stressful situation such as at the vet's office or if he needs to maintain a "stay" position for a long period of time. Be consistent with how this word is used and do not interchange it with other commands such as "off" or "lie down".

Heel- is the first command that should be taught when training your dog to walk on the lead, and is the first stage towards teaching heelwork and enabling your dog to walk beside you safely even when off the lead. The “heel” command should be used when in close quarters to call your dog to your side, and to indicate to them that they should walk beside you, matching your pace and staying close. “Heel” is an important command to keep your dog safe when walking on the roads, and to safeguard your dog and other people and animals when passing each other in close quarters.
Your name is the most exciting word in the world- To humans, names are really important. It is embedded in us to use someone's name to get their attention. Why bother fighting against that compulsion to say a name when needing your dog's attention? But if it works for us to say the name, we need to make sure it works for the dog to hear his name. Teaching a dog to love his name sets the foundation for everything else in your relationship as it creates a level of trust as well as willingness to learn more tricks. And it can also be a lifesaver when out and about. For instance, if a dog is reactive to other dogs while on leash and his attention begins to zero in on a dog walking toward you on the street, you can say your dog's name to bring his attention back to you. You can give him other commands or treats until the other dog has passed. You avoid conflict, and you etch away at that reactivity since your dog will realize that keeping his attention on you is much more rewarding than getting freaked out by that strange dog ahead. You now have an invaluable tool that can be used in situations from busy streets to chaotic dog parks to finding a dog that has wandered off out of sight.

Drop It-  is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. You are requesting from your dog that he release something from his mouth, that at least for the moment, he highly values. It can be something as simple as a shoe, as dangerous as a medicine bottle, or as delicate as a bird. It is best to teach this command long before you need to use it. Practice with lures that are just slightly more valuable than the item he currently has and he will naturally want to trade.

Stand- This command requires a dog to stand with all feet on the grand and to distribute his weight evenly. This is especially helpful at the vet's office when a nervous dog would rather sit or lie down. It is also useful when trying to trim your dog's nails or give him a bath. This command will be bring your dog to attention and can be a precursor for the command "come".

Leave It- This is an especially good command for dogs who will not hesitate to grab a snake, a kitten or a dropped pill with their teeth. Some dogs will not discriminate in what they swallow.
Have your dog on a leash and drop a toy onto the ground. Walk your dog past the toy just short of where he could get it. As soon as you notice him pulling toward the toy, sharply say, “Leave it” and pull him away. When he walks away without your having to pull him, reward him with a snack and tell him what a good dog he is. Repeat this with a longer leash and later without a leash, until he listens to you and ignores the toy. Never forget to reward and praise.

Wait- The command “Wait” will help you tremendously when you have to take your dog for a checkup. In the time you open the car door and the crate door, your dog can be out and running into the street before you get the chance to put the leash on him.
  Teaching him to wait lets him know that he has to stand still for a short time until you are finished with some task. Teach him to wait until you give him permission to go through a door, for instance.
  Open your door and give him enough leash that he could walk through the door. When he is at the front of the door, pull the leash tight and say, “Wait.” Have him sit if he already knows that command. If he doesn’t listen, pull the leash and release a little in quick succession. Praise him and give him a snack when he finally gets it. Practice until he waits until you are through the door and then allow him to follow.
  Remember that training is an ongoing endeavour, and not something that takes a few weeks to teach when your dog is a puppy and that then takes care of itself!



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Things You MUST Know About Car Travel with Your Dog

Things You MUST Know About Car Travel with Your Dog
  Vacations are a lot more fun if you share them with your best friend! If you plan to take your dog with you, careful planning and safety precautions will make travel more enjoyable for both of you.
   With the summer around the corner, you may have the face the choice between boarding your dog at a kennel or taking him along. If you are traveling by car, bringing your dog with you may be an option. Rest assured that given the choice, if your dog enjoys car travel, he would much prefer coming with you than being left behind. The great news is that nowadays, there are more and more pet friendly hotels along the way that accept dogs. To make your car travel with Fido a breeze, you want to make sure that you bring along some essentials and that you plan your trip in advance so to prevent any major hassles along the way.

Bring Your Doggy Documents
  It’s always a good idea to bring along some dog documents with you just in case. Your dog’s medical records are always good to take with you just in case your dog would have a medical emergency. Make sure you also bring your dog’s vaccination records. Depending on where you travel, your dog’s vaccination status and a recent health certificate may be required across State lines and international borders. Make sure your dog is always wearing his updated ID tags and that you have his microchip information.


Safety First!
  It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal can be distracting and dangerous—and should you have an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about the cab. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you use a seat belt, be sure to put your dog in the backseat. When riding in the front, dogs can be injured or even killed if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
Don’t forget to microchip your dog before leaving home, and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to his collar. If you’re traveling to multiple places during your trip and you don’t have a cell phone, you can buy inexpensive temporary ID tags to use along the way.
  Never leave your dog in a hot or cold car unattended. Doing so isn’t just uncomfortable for your dog—it can be life threatening.
  Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit during your trip. This is an especially important precaution if your dog is enjoying his golden years.

Always Book in Advance
  Hotels that accept pets are growing greatly in numbers, but it’s always a good practice to book your room in advance. Better be safe than sorry. While there are more and more pet friendly hotels, consider that many have restrictions on size, therefore, you don’t want to be stuck on the road with no hotels accepting your pooch just because he’s a big fellow. Also, don’t forget to check the hotel’s policies on leaving your dog alone in the room.


Crating your dog for travel
  It’s natural to feel bad about crating your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be crated. But don’t project your feelings onto your dog. They don’t mind the crate and some even feel safer in one.
  The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog has been well exercised before he goes in the crate. If he’s burned off his excess energy, he’ll be more inclined to rest.
  Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog. Leashes and loose collars are especially dangerous items that could present a strangling hazard.
  Keep your energy positive. Don’t present the crate like it’s a prison. Show the dog the crate and open the door. Don’t shove the dog in the crate. Let him go into the crate on his own. When he’s inside and comfortable, you can close the door. Walk away with good energy and body language. If you affect a sad voice and say things like “Don’t be sad. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon,” your dog is going to think something’s wrong and get anxious.
  Come back in 15 minutes. This will ease the dog’s separation anxiety next time you crate him. But don’t take him out of the crate. Remember that you’re not projecting that the crate is a bad thing. Just open the door and he can come out when he’s ready.


Take Along Doggy Essentials
  On travel day, it’s easy to feel rushed and overwhelmed and you risk forgetting some important essentials. Prepare a checklist of the important things that your dog needs and check them off the list as you get ready on travel date. Food, treats, toys, food bowl, a spill-proof water bowl, leash, brushes, a doggy first aid kit, your dog’s crate, bed, blanket, medications and your dog’s documents are some important doggy essentials you definitively do not want to leave behind.

Driving with your dog
  It’s usually a good idea to crate your dog when riding in the car. You’ll be less distracted while driving which is safer for both of you. It also prevents your dog from becoming a projectile if you have to stop fast, also reducing the chance of injury for both of you. Speaking of projectiles, don’t feed your dog a lot before the trip as they are prone to motion sickness. Don’t feed your dog while you’re moving either. Wait until there’s a break and you can give her a small snack, preferably high in protein. It’s also good to spend a little time playing or walking during the break to get rid of some pent-up energy. And of course, don’t leave your dog in a parked car, especially when it’s warm out. Even with the window cracked open, the car can quickly turn into an oven, and your dog will get dehydrated.


Plan Frequent Stops
  It’s a good idea to have a planned itinerary so you can make frequent stops as you travel. Your dog will need to stop every few hours to relieve himself and stretch his legs. Many highways are equipped with rest areas and some of them have a relief zone just for dogs. It’s a good idea to be aware of how many of these areas are on your route. Sometimes, there may be several miles in between a rest area and another and you do not want to miss one if the next won’ be available for the next several hours of travel.


Keep Fido Busy
  A long car drive may get boring for your dog and he may become restless. Boredom can transform into nuisance behaviors such as barking, pacing and whining. Stock on some durable chew toys or strategically stuff a Kong or some hollow bones with some goodies. This should keep your dog entertained enough for a while. It’s always a good idea walking your dog for some time or taking him for a romp in the dog park before traveling. A tired dog is a good dog.


To medicate or not to medicate your dog

  With almost as large a selection of pharmaceuticals as humans, it may be tempting to medicate your dog with a sedative or calmative for the trip. I don’t recommend medicating your dog. You don’t want to start a pattern that ends with a reliance on pills for you or your pet. You possess all the tools to keep your pet calm with your voice, attitude, and body language.

Have your Car Inspected
  As if breaking down during car travel isn’t annoying enough, it can be substantially problematic when you have Fido along for the ride. What if your car will need to be towed? Where are you going to keep him while they fix the car? You’re better off doing everything you can to keep your car in good working order before you leave. A thorough inspection is a must and don’t forget to have the mechanics ensure that your AC is in good working order.

Protect your Car
  A long trip in the car with Fido may cause some damage to your backseats. His long nails may scratch the surface, or he may drool or get car sick. Not to mention muddy paws, if you happen to stop in an area when it’s raining. It’s helpful to protect your car’s backseats with a well-fitting cover that you can utilize for the entire length of the trip.

Dogs Who Dislike Car Rides
  Although some dogs gleefully bound into the car, others seem to hate car rides. If you have a dog who seems afraid, anxious or uncomfortable during car trips, you’ll need to help him get over his fear or discomfort long before you take a road trip.
  The first thing to do is speak with your dog’s veterinarian. Your dog may suffer from carsickness. Even if he doesn’t vomit in the car, he might still feel nauseated. Watch for drooling, trembling or a hunched posture. A vet can tell you about medications that may remedy this problem.
  If your dog is fearful of car rides, you’ll have to do some exercises to change the way he feels. The key is to start small. Feed at least one meal a day in the car. At first, keep the car turned off for the whole meal. Over a period of a few weeks, work up to short rides. If the rides end at a fun destination, like a hiking trail or dog park, your dog may get over his fear quickly! 

Nights on the Road
  Make sure the hotel, bed-and-breakfast or campsite where you plan to stay allows dogs. You can search for places that allow dogs online.  When making reservations, ask about specific pet policies. Some hotels don’t allow guests to leave their dogs in hotel rooms, even if they’re kept in crates. Others ask for a pet deposit or charge a non-refundable pet fee.
  At the end of a long day, it’s great to relax with a calm dog in your hotel room or at your campsite. If you and your dog have been hiking all day, he should quiet down naturally. If you’ve been driving, take time to let your dog stretch his legs before settling in for the night. A nice jog, game of fetch or a visit to a local dog park will help expend pent-up energy.
If your dog barks at sounds outside your hotel room, he may disturb other guests—and you may be asked to leave. Try some white noise. Leaving a fan on may help muffle the sounds of footsteps in the hallway.
  Give your dog something to chew before bedtime. Offer him a bully stick or a Kong toy stuffed with something delicious. Chewing and licking are very soothing to dogs and may help yours get to sleep.

Traveling with a dog can be a fun experience for both of you. Just remember to be as prepared as possible wherever you go. The more homework you do on dog travel, the fewer surprises there will be. Don’t forget to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and above all, of course, be calm and assertive. A balanced dog makes the best travel companion.
Happy travels!



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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Your Dog is Your Best Friend

Your Dog is Your Best Friend
  Dogs have been our constant companions for thousands of years. The history of dogs is closely tied to our own history, and no other animal on Earth shares as close a relationship with humans as dogs do. Dogs and humans understand each other, and it’s because of the undying love they show us that we keep them by our sides.
  It’s not that having a human BFF is a bad thing. It’s just that your dog makes it clear, every second, that you matter more than anyone else in the world.
  And we’re not saying you’re needy, either. But your dog is in awe of you. You feed his soul with food, walks, sleep, and play. If he could build you a shrine, he would.
  In case you’re still on the fence about whether your dog, or that friend you’ve had since you were five, is your true bestie.



He Never, Ever, Leaves Me Alone

  Buddy’s friendship means I never have to feel alone again. He makes it clear I will never have to take even one step without him. Whether I walk to the computer or across the living room, he is closer than a shadow. So close I have to be careful not to step on his paws.

 You don’t mind doing even the most mundane of activities together.



He Is My Bathroom Hero

  He watches over my safety in the bathroom. He has taught me not to close the door tightly or he’ll throw his body against it and begin frantically scratching. He knows he can’t save me if I’m not in his line of vision. My hero has made it clear to leave the door open a crack. That way he can use his nose to push the door all the way open, smile at me, and wag his tail like a metronome on speed.

You don’t even need anyone but each other to have fun.


Just having each other around brings a smile to your face.

He Loves Sharing Meals

  He shares food. My food. When I’m seated at the table the Budster comes over and rests his chin on my lap. If that doesn’t work in one millisecond, his head burrows through and pops up in the space under my arm when I’m about to bite into a sandwich. And, no matter how many people look at me disapprovingly he scoffs at them and lets me feed him bites. I’ve learned to make the food bits small because he never chews, only gulps. When the meal is over he lazily lets his head flop back in my lap with a snorty sigh of approval.


You do everything together.

Time Means Nothing to Him

  I can’t wait to run home for one of his dopamine filled hugs even if it’s only been 20 minutes since I saw him last. He can’t wait either. When he hears my keys he runs up to wait at the door. When I open it he stands up on his hind legs, and reaches his front paws towards me for a hug. He does that even if it’s only been five minutes.

You’re there for each other, even when no one else is.


He Isn’t Afraid of Feet

  He takes excellent care of my feet. After a long walk in the morning I get in the bathtub and he trots in after me (You know, in case I slip or something). I dangle my foot over the side of the tub and he rushes to lick it. And lick it. And lick it.

I Can Read Him With a Look

  He has taught me a secret language. If he gnashes his teeth together like a snapping turtle it means he’d like me to look up so he can gaze into my eyes. If he sits perched at my feet and lets out a long, slow whimper he is merely looking out for me. He’s saying I’ve been working too many hours and will feel much better if I take a break and scratch behind his ears.

You always go everywhere together (as long as it’s not the vet).

He Is Never too Shy to Make a Fuss

  He whips his tail in circles like a propeller when he sees me. If Buddy is walking my husband Steve, and then spots me approaching on the street he stands at alert, and thrashes his tail as he bursts into song. People look at us because they think he is in pain. They don’t understand that caterwauling is the Bud’s happy voice.

You can only get to sleep when you’re together.


He Respects My Sleep

  Buddy doesn’t wake me up. He waits until I stir from sleep before he pounces on my chest, leans into my face, and smothers me with slobbery kisses because he knows it’s good for me.

You help make each other’s dreams come true.

He Keeps Me Warm

  He keeps Steve and me warm in the winter. By plastering his body against us he saves us from having to buy a heating pad. When Steve gets up to make coffee Buddy moves over to Steve’s spot on the bed and curls up like a pill worm. When Steve comes back with our mugs of java Buddy slides closer to me thus presenting Steve with his gift – a warm spot on the bed.

You’ll always make time to listen to each other’s feelings.

He Wears a Cape

Buddy sacrifices to make my Halloweens joyful. He consents to wearing a Superman cape because he knows it makes me happy. Of course, I understand that he cannot tolerate booties, coats, hats, or sweaters, and because I respect his boundaries, he indulges me.

You can’t hide anything from each other.




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Monday, July 28, 2014

Everything about Canine Diabetes

Everything about Canine Diabetes
    For years public health officials have reported a diabetes epidemic among America’s children and adults. At the same time, the rate of diabetes in America’s pets has more than tripled since 1970, so that today it affects about 1 in every 160 dogs. But while many human cases are caused and can be treated by diet, canine diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections.

 What Is Diabetes?
   The medical term for the illness is diabetes mellitus (mellitus is a Latin term that means “honey sweet,” reflecting the elevated sugar levels the condition produces in urine and blood). The mechanism of diabetes is relatively simple to describe. Just as cars use gas for fuel, body cells run on a sugar called glucose. The body obtains glucose by breaking down carbohydrates in the diet. Cells then extract glucose from the blood with the help of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas in specialized cells called beta cells. (The pancreas, an organ situated behind the stomach, produces several hormones.) In diabetes mellitus, cells don’t take in enough glucose, which then builds up in the blood. As a result, cells starve and organs bathed in sugary blood are damaged. Diabetes is not curable, but it is treatable; a dog with diabetes may live many happy years after diagnosis.

What Type of Diabetes Do Most Dogs Get?
  Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 (lack of insulin production) or Type II (impaired insulin production along with an inadequate response to the hormone.)
  The most common form of the disease in dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin.   Dogs who have Type I require insulin therapy to survive. Type II diabetes is found in cats and is a lack of normal response to insulin.

Risk Factors
  Several factors raise a dog’s risk of developing diabetes. These include breed, age, gender, weight, diet, virus infections, an inflamed pancreas, chronic inflammation of the small bowel, Cushing’s disease (excess production of the hormone cortisol) and long-term use of progesterone-like drugs or steroid drugs.
  • Breed. A study published in the Veterinary Journal in 2003 examined diabetes rates in thousands of American dogs and found that overall, mixed-breed dogs were more prone to diabetes than purebreds. Among purebreds, breeds varied greatly in their susceptibility.
  • Age. Dogs most often develop diabetes during middle or old age.
  • Gender. Female dogs and neutered male dogs are more likely than intact males to get diabetes.
  • Weight. Obesity can make cells resistant to insulin, but it’s unclear whether it actually causes diabetes in dogs.
  • Diet. A diet high in fat may contribute to pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas), a risk factor for diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?
Diabetes can be a silent disease. Your veterinarian may discover your dog’s diabetes through routine bloodwork, but before that, you are likely to notice some of its symptoms: greater than normal hunger and/or thirst, weight loss, and frequent or copious urination . The following symptoms should be investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes:
  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections  
  A blood test that measures your dog’s blood glucose level is the most common diagnostic tool, but a high glucose level does not always mean diabetes. Because other diseases sometimes raise these levels, your vet may run additional tests to rule out such causes.
  Once your dog is diagnosed, her veterinarian will obtain a “serial blood glucose–concentration curve” by measuring her glucose level repeatedly over many hours. The results will help the vet choose an appropriate insulin, dose and dosing schedule.
  After treatment starts, your dog will need to be routinely tested to see how well the protocol is working. Most commonly, either a fructosamine test or a glycated hemoglobin test, which reveal average control over the previous one to three weeks (fructosamine) or two to four months (glycated hemoglobin) is used. In contrast, the daily blood glucose measurement is a snapshot, an indication of your dog’s glucose level at one specific moment.

How Is Diabetes Treated? 

  Diabetes treatment is based on how severe the symptoms and lab work are and whether there are any other health issues that could complicate therapy. Each dog will respond a little bit differently to treatment, and therapy must be tailored to the individual dog throughout his life.

Some dogs may be seriously ill when first diagnosed and will require intensive hospital care for several days to regulate their blood sugar.
  Dogs who are more stable when first diagnosed may respond to oral medication or a high-fiber diet that helps to normalize glucose levels in the blood.
  For most dogs, insulin injections are necessary for adequate regulation of blood glucose. Once your pet’s individual insulin treatment is established, typically based on weight, you’ll be shown how to give him insulin injections at home.
  Spaying your dog is recommended, as female sex hormones can have an effect on blood sugar levels.
  Your vet may also show you how to perform glucose tests at home.

Management
  You are not alone. You can manage diabetes just like thousands of other pet owners. Diabetes can usually be controlled by simply learning to give your dog daily insulin injections. Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) is the only veterinary insulin approved by the FDA for dogs and is a good insulin choice for your dog. If your dog has other problems as well, your veterinarian will suggest the appropriate management.
  Along with insulin therapy, your veterinarian will set up a management program that will include recommendations for feeding your dog (type of food, quantity, and timing of meals) and regular exercise.
  Daily insulin injections are essential to control the blood glucose level in your dog. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the right dose of Vetsulin. This process may take a few weeks, but the end result is very manageable. Some diabetic dogs may require only one injection per day, while others may require twice-daily injections.
It is very important that injections be given at the same time every day. Once you and your dog have established a routine, things will be easier and your dog will be healthier. The key to success is patience with the learning process. The payoff will be a noticeable improvement of your dog’s condition and quality of life over time.

About insulin administration
  Because diabetes is caused by a lack or shortage of insulin, your dog will need management with insulin such as Vetsulin. Your veterinarian will help you find your dog's correct dose and tailor your dog's insulin dose accordingly. You may also have the chance to choose whether to administer Vetsulin to your dog using syringes or the VetPen® insulin pen. Once you have the correct insulin dose, it is extremely important that you administer your dog's therapy at the same time every day. Just like any routine, getting used to this will take a little time. Once you and your dog acclimate, however, you'll both find the process fairly simple, painless, and quick.

What Should I Know About Treating My Diabetic Dog at Home? 

  As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed him regular meals in conjunction with his medication. This allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels, and will lessen the chance that his sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar.

  Please also consult your vet about a consistent, daily exercise program and proper nutrition for your dog to help keep his weight in check.
How Can Diabetes Be Prevented? 
 Although a certain form of diabetes, the type found in dogs less than a year of age, is inherited, proper diet and regular exercise can be very effective in helping to prevent onset of diabetes in older dogs. Aside from other negative health effects, obesity is known to contribute to an ability to respond normally to insulin.
Complications
  Concurrent disorders that can make diabetes more difficult to control include hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease), infections, hypothyroidism, renal insufficiency, liver insufficiency, cardiac insufficiency, chronic inflammation (especially pancreatitis), EPI, severe obesity, hyperlipidemia, and cancer.

Survival Statistics
  With proper treatment, dogs with diabetes have survival rates very similar to those of non-diabetic dogs of the same age and gender, though their risk is greatest during the first six months of treatment, when insulin therapy is introduced and glucose levels are being regulated. Diabetic dogs are more likely to die of kidney disease, infections, or liver/pancreatic disorders than of diabetes itself. But once their condition stabilizes, diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives.

My dog is regulated—what's next?
  Regulation or stabilization of clinical signs of diabetes often goes very well for years. It is recommended to see your veterinarian on a regular basis (2–4 times a year). On these occasions, a general examination will be performed and rechecking the blood glucose level may be advised. Unfortunately, your dog may suffer occasionally from stress, infections, dental problems, or other situations that can alter his or her diabetes. At that time, your dog will again show typical signs of diabetes (drinking and urinating more, for example), indicating you should consult your veterinarian.

What Can Happen If Diabetes Goes Untreated? 
  If diabetes progresses without being treated, dogs can develop secondary health problems like cataracts and severe urinary tract problems. Ultimately, untreated diabetes can cause coma and death.

Day to Day With Your Diabetic Dog
  Keeping a logbook can help you monitor your diabetic dog’s progress. Every day, record blood glucose test results; any ketone test results; changes in your dog’s appetite, weight, appearance, water intake, urination frequency or mood; and any treatment changes your veterinarian makes. A simple notebook, calendar or computer spreadsheet works well.
  Among the things to watch for on a day-to-day basis are hyperglycemia, when blood glucose levels rise above the top end of the recommended normal level (ask your vet what this is for your dog; since perfect control isn’t always attainable with current methods, vets generally try to keep most dogs below 200 mg/dl), and hypoglycemia, when the level drops to 60 mg/dl or less.
  Hyperglycemia can lead to ketoacidosis (harmful levels of ketones in the blood), which qualifies as an emergency, and you should call your vet right away. Symptoms include drinking lots of water, urinating frequently or copiously, loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, lethargy, ketones in the urine, or—in the most serious situation—coma. Test strips are available to detect ketones in your dog’s urine, and you should report the presence of ketones to your veterinarian immediately, even if your dog has no other symptoms.
  In hypoglycemia, a range of symptoms may be present, including restlessness, lethargy, confusion, weakness, wobbliness, lack of coordination, shivering, sweaty paws, seizures or coma. Test your dog’s blood glucose level if these symptoms appear. If it is below the recommended level, rub maple syrup, Karo syrup or tube cake frosting—high-sugar foods that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream—on your dog’s gums and the inside of her cheek, then call your vet to report the episode and get further instructions.

  Modern medicine has made caring for a diabetic dog quite doable and certainly worthwhile. Although daily care can seem burdensome at first, once you get used to it, it becomes a routine part of the day, like feeding her or taking her for walks. Owners do not need to worry that shots and blood tests will take over their lives. Nor do they need to fear that their dog will not be happy. Almost all diabetic dogs can be treated at home and can enjoy a good life. A diagnosis of diabetes offers a challenge, but it’s a challenge that can be successfully met.


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Everything about your Saluki

Everything about your Saluki
  This sighthound is a living antiquity. Known as one of the first domesticated breeds, the Saluki hails from Egypt. Highly respected, they were actually mummified like the Pharaohs! Later brought to the Middle East to hunt down gazelles, these graceful-looking dogs have a lot of power built into them. Referred to as a reserved and quiet breed, the Saluki is sensitive and gentle.
  One of the oldest of dog breeds, Salukis were once considered a gift from Allah. They're fast as the wind, skinny as a supermodel, and quietly devoted to their people. A Saluki is easy to groom, challenging to train, and not to be trusted off leash.
  The Saluki is an elegant hunter with strong instincts to chase anything moving. He is a medium-size sighthound and can live happily in any environment, as long as he gets daily walks, maybe an opportunity to run a few times a week, and access to the sofa. His coat requires weekly brushing and sheds little. The Saluki is the world's oldest dog breed.

Overview
  The Saluki's origins are shrouded in the sands of time, but his history is believed to go back to antiquity. He is the very definition of grace and speed, well deserving of the name bestowed on him by his Arab breeders — The Noble. The Saluki is bred for speed, strength, and endurance, qualities that are evident in his long, narrow head and sleek yet muscular body.
  Beautiful but reserved, the Saluki is affectionate without being overly demonstrative. He's happy to prove his loyalty through quiet companionship. Not everyone is offered the gift of a Saluki's devoted friendship, but those happy few who receive it are appreciative of the honor.
Salukis are widely admired for their exotic appearance, but not everyone is well suited to live with this spirited and independent hunter. Any movement, be it a squirrel, cat, or radio-controlled car, will activate the Saluki's instinct to chase, and his speed has been clocked at 30 to 35 miles per hour.
  Unless he's protected by a strong human on the other end of the leash or a securely fenced yard, he's likely to meet his end beneath the wheels of a car. You might think that Salukis living in the country would have fewer issues, but they've been known to chase down and tangle with or kill goats, otters, foxes, raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and deer.
  To keep a Saluki safe and well exercised, provide him with 300 to 400 lateral feet of fenced area where he can run full out. If your yard isn't that large, you should have easy access to a fenced park, an enclosed sports field at a school, or a beach with no nearby road. On leash, the Saluki makes an excellent jogging companion — if you can keep up with him. He's also a good competitor in agility and lure coursing. Some Salukis participate in obedience and tracking as well.
  Indoors, the Saluki will make himself at home on your soft sofa or bed. He likes his comforts and needs cushioning for his somewhat bony body. Using his long, skinny muzzle, he'll surf your kitchen counters in search of anything edible.
  The calm and gentle Saluki can become timid and shy without early socialization and regular reinforcement through new experiences and introductions to many different people throughout his life. Generally quiet but alert, he's a good watchdog, but not a guard dog. Salukis are fearless in the hunt but otherwise unaggressive.
  Training a Saluki is possible, but don't expect the perfect obedience you might have from a Golden Retriever. Salukis think for themselves, and if something else is more interesting than what you're asking them to do, they're perfectly happy to ignore you. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as food rewards and praise, never harsh verbal or physical corrections.
  Salukis can make excellent companions for older children, but they aren't recommended for homes with young children. They're tolerant, but young Salukis can be too active for children younger than 8 years of age, and their thin skin and knobby bones make them vulnerable to injury if children aren't careful.
  While Salukis aren't overly demonstrative, they do become strongly attached to their people and dislike being left alone for long periods. Consider a Saluki if you have time to give to a devoted, graceful friend who can run like the wind.

Breed standards
AKC group: Hound
UKC group: Sighthound
Average lifespan: 11-12 years
Average size: 35-65 pounds
Coat appearance: Smooth or feathered
Coloration: White, cream, red, golden, tan, black and tan, tricolor
Hypoallergenic: No
Comparable Breeds: Borzoi, Greyhound
Other Quick Facts
  A Saluki is built of lines and curves, the very picture of grace and strength. He has a long, narrow head; long hanging ears covered in long silky hair; bright eyes that range from dark to hazel, with a far-seeing gaze; a long, supple, well-muscled neck; a deep but moderately narrow chest; long, straight legs; a broad back; strong hindquarters to power his ability to gallop and jump; moderately long feet with long, well-arched toes adorned with feathering; and a long tail feathered with silky hair and carried curved.

  Salukis have a smooth coat with a soft, silky texture and a slight amount of feathering on the legs, the back of the thighs and sometimes on the shoulder. Some Salukis have a smooth coat with no feathering. They come in the colors of the desert: white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, tricolor (white, black and tan), and black and tan.

Highlights
  • Salukis love to run and need regular daily exercise.
  • They must be kept on leash whenever they're not in a securely fenced area. They have a strong prey drive and will pursue anything furry and in motion, heedless of their owner's commands.
  • Salukis are a reserved breed although they're devoted to their people.
  • Early and ongoing socialization is important for this breed to prevent shyness and skittishness.
  • Salukis are not recommended for apartments. They require a large fenced yard where they can run safely. Underground electronic fencing is not recommended; their prey drive is so strong they'll push past it.
  • It is important to provide comfortable bedding for a Saluki since he doesn't have enough body fat to provide padding.
  • Salukis should not live outdoors. They thrive on human companionship and will become depressed if left alone for long periods.
  • Although these dogs can make gentle and calm companions for older children, they are not recommended for homes with small children.
  • Salukis are generally quiet dogs.
  • When training a Saluki, be consistent, and use only positive reinforcement techniques such as food rewards and praise, since the breed is so sensitive.
  • Salukis are fastidious and like to be clean. They shed little and require only weekly brushing.
  • Salukis should not reside in homes that have small pets. Even with the best training, a Saluki will view small pets as prey and will try to hunt them.
  • Salukis prefer the companionship of other Salukis, but they can get along with other dogs that do not have dominant natures.
  • Salukis can be picky eaters.
  • Never buy a Saluki from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn't provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.
History
  Once known as the Persian Greyhound or the gazelle hound, the Saluki has long been considered one of the most ancient of breeds. Recent genetic evidence confirms this to be the case.
  Scientists speculate that Salukis and other ancient breeds descend from the first dogs and made their way through the world with their nomadic owners. Depictions of dogs resembling Salukis — with a Greyhoundlike body and feathering on the ears, tail, and legs — appear on Egyptian tombs dating to 2100 B.C.E., some 4,000 years ago. Even older are carvings from the Sumerian empire (7,000-6,000 B.C.E.) that show dogs with a striking resemblance to the Saluki.
  Pharaohs hunted gazelles and hares with Salukis, which often worked in partnership with falcons. The dogs were frequently honored with mummification after death. Nomadic Muslims, who generally despised dogs as unclean animals, considered Salukis a gift from Allah and referred to the dogs by the honorific El Hor, meaning The Noble.
Salukis were the only dogs permitted to sleep inside the tents. The breed may take its name from the ancient city of Saluk, in Yemen, or perhaps from the city of Seleukia in Syria. Another theory suggests that the name is a transliteration of the Arabic word for hound.
Salukis were widespread in the Middle East and could be found in Persia (modern-day Iran), Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Arabia. The first documented case of Salukis arriving in Britain was in 1840, but it wasn't until after World War I, when many British officers returned with them from the Middle East, that the breed became established in Great Britain.
  Interest in the Saluki was slower to take hold in the United States. The Saluki Club of America was founded in 1927, the same year the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The first Saluki registered by the AKC was Jinniyat of Grevel in 1929. Today the Saluki is a rare treasure, ranking 116th among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC.

Personality


  The Saluki is an aloof dog, but one who's devoted to his family. He's gentle and thrives on quiet companionship. He has a tendency to bond with a single person, which can lead to separation anxiety.

  With strangers, Salukis are reserved, and they can be shy if they're not socialized at an early age. Socialization should continue throughout their life. They generally get along with other dogs, but prefer other Salukis, or at least other sighthounds. They're sensitive dogs and will pick up on and become stressed by tensions in the home.
  Salukis love comfort and enjoy being pampered with soft bedding and access to furniture. Like cats, they're fastidious about personal cleanliness.
  Like every dog, Salukis need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Saluki puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  Hip dysplasia is uncommon in Salukis, with the breed ranking joint lowest in a survey by the British Veterinary Association in 2003. The breed scored an average of 5 points, with a score of 0 being low, while 106 is high. In a 2006 breed specific survey conducted by The Kennel Club and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee, responses highlighted several health issues. The primary cause of death identified was that of cancer, being responsible for 35.6% of deaths, with the most common forms being that of liver cancer or lymphoma. The secondary cause of death was cardiac related, with forms such as heart failure, or unspecified heart defects. Old age is listed as the third most frequent cause of death.
  Cardiomyopathy, heart murmur and other cardiac issues were present in 17.2% of responses while dermatolic conditions such as dermatitis or alopecia were reported by 10.8% of responses. Salukis have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.


Living Conditions
  The Saluki is not recommended for apartment life. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with acreage. This breed should sleep indoors. They prefer warm temperatures over cold ones.

Exercise
  The Saluki is a natural athlete that needs a lot of exercise, including a daily, long, brisk walk or run. They are happiest when running, however many are lost or killed when they are allowed to get free and they spot a small animal to chase. This very independent dog can never be off its lead except in an isolated, scouted area. These dogs hunt on sight. They will pay no attention to their handler's calls if they are chasing something. In some countries they are not permitted to be left off of their lead at all. Salukis run at top speeds of 55km/h or more with their feet barely touching the ground. These top speeds are reached in short spurts, but they also have exceptional endurance. An excellent way to exercise your Salukis is to let it trot alongside your bike.

Care
  Salukis are not suited for apartment life. They need a home with a large, securely fenced yard where they can run flat out. The ideal running area for a Saluki is 300 to 400 feet in length or width. Fences should be at least five to six feet high or a Saluki will easily jump them. Underground electronic fencing will not contain a Saluki, nor will it protect him from other animals that might enter your yard.
  Keep your Saluki on leash whenever he's not in an enclosed area. A Saluki was bred for hunting and has a strong prey drive. If he sees anything fast and furry, he'll pursuit it for as long as he can, disregarding any commands to come or stop.
  Salukis are indoor dogs and require soft, cushioned bedding to prevent calluses from forming. Place food well out of reach of the Saluki's inquiring nose. That means behind closed doors or up about seven feet.
  Salukis are intelligent and learn quickly, but they're also independent and can be stubborn, which makes training a challenge. To hold your Saluki's attention, keep training sessions short, fun, and interesting. If a Saluki becomes bored, he will choose not to learn. Use positive reinforcement, never harsh verbal or physical corrections.

Grooming
  The Saluki comes in two coat types: smooth and feathered. Brush the smooth coat weekly, but if you have the feathered variety, comb the feathering on the ears, tail, legs and feet at least a couple of times a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles, and bathe him as needed. At mealtime, you’ll probably want to put his ears up in a snood to keep them from dragging in his food dish. A water bowl with sides that slope inward at the top will help prevent the ears from getting wet when he drinks.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Keep the ears clean and dry. Check them weekly for redness or a bad odor that might indicate infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a mild pH-balanced cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Introduce your Saluki puppy to grooming from an early age so that he learns to accept it with little fuss.

Is this breed right for you?
  Loving and extremely loyal, the Saluki can be a family pet; however, he may only attach himself to one owner. Not prone to roughhousing, it's best that the Saluki is paired with families that have older children and someone that he can choose as his human. A great watchdog, the breed does not do well with animals that are not dogs. An athletic breed in need of large amounts of exercise, he's not suited for apartment life and will make a great companion to a runner and biker.

Children and other pets
  Salukis can make excellent companions for older children, but they aren't recommended for homes with young children. They're tolerant, but young Salukis can be too active for children younger than 8 years of age, and their thin skin and knobby bones make them vulnerable to injury if children aren't careful.
  They generally get along with other dogs, but prefer other Salukis, or at least other sighthounds. They won't chase small dogs or cats in their own household, but other animals, such as pet birds, mice, rabbits, or hamsters could prove too much of a temptation.


Did You Know?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records the Saluki is the world's oldest dog breed. They are believed to have originated in Egypt around 329 BC.

A dream day in the life of a Saluki
The Saluki will love to wake up to exercise. After a great run, he's fine with being left alone at home for the day. Guarding the home is his No. 1 priority as he strolls the house and catnaps in his dog bed. After dinner, he's ready to run alongside during a bike ride with his favorite human. He'll enjoy ending his night with a treat and a bit of cuddling with his loving family.

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