LUV My dogs: myths

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label myths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label myths. Show all posts

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

Hypoallergenic dog breeds
  You wouldn’t disown a family member over allergies, but many families forego their puppy parenting dreams to keep the family allergy free. Not all dog breeds trigger watery eyes and sneezes, however: Some shed less, have less dander or don’t have any fur at all!
   In truth, no dog is completely hypoallergenic. All dogs produce dander (microscopic skin flakes that can be inhaled and potentially irritate the nose and eyes or cause sneezing) and of course saliva. Dander and saliva are the main causes of allergic reactions in some people. However, because the breeds in this list are low shedding it's thought they may also produce less dander and are better for people with allergies to dander. If you have allergies you should spend some time around the breed you are considering, before you buy, to see if the breed causes you to have an allergic reaction.

The myth
  Though some studies suggest the possible existence of hypoallergenic dog breeds, there is too much variability to conclude that such a breed exists. According to researchers, claims about the existence of hypoallergenic dog breeds may have been fueled by unsubstantiated articles on the internet.
  The significant allergens are proteins found in the dog's saliva and dander. Some studies have suggested that the production of the allergen, and therefore human allergenic reaction, varies by breed, yet more recent scientific findings indicate that there are no significant differences between breeds in the generation of these allergens.One study found hypoallergenic breeds to have significantly more allergen in their coats than non-hypoallergenic breeds although there was no differences in the allergen levels in the air or on the floor.

Effect of size
Size may be a factor in determining hypoallergenicity. It is possible that the total body surface area of the dog is more indicative of reduced production of allergens than its breed.
 Smaller dogs will also leave fewer environmental pollutants containing dog dander and dog allergens (reduced fecal matter, urine and saliva). Small hairless dogs may be less likely to cause allergic reactions "because it's so easy to bathe them and the dander falls off them." Dogs may leave behind urine, saliva and fecal matter as allergen sources. Dogs with access to the outdoors may introduce outdoor allergens such as mold and pollen with larger animals tracking in more of these allergens. It is well established that most individuals with dog allergy also suffer with additional environmental allergies. Individuals with dog allergy may also be at increased risk for human protein hypersensitivity with cross-reactivity of dog dander allergen and human seminal fluid.

Dog Breeds for People with Allergies
  These “hypoallergenic” dog breeds are popular among people allergic to dogs because they tend to shed less, and thus, disperse less dander. As important as these characteristics are for allergy sufferers, it’s equally important though to make informed choices by keeping into consideration other traits such as the breed’s personality and energy levels.

1.Bichon Frise
  As long as this pampered pooch is well groomed, he will shower his dog owners with love and affection rather than dander. The secret resides in this breed’s double coat: the top coat gives the bichon its signature powder-puff look, while the undercoat traps dead hairs preventing them from falling to the floor. This often means less sneezing and less sweeping, but it also means more grooming as the coat needs to be groomed to prevent the dead hair from getting tangled within the undercoat creating mats.

2. Schnauzer
  These shed-less pups are great for the owner who loves to be the center of attention -- or the kid who loves playing "Follow the Leader." The schnauzer loves his owners so much that he won't let them out of his sight, so expect to have a buddy by your side at all times. He does need a firm hand, though, to balance his stubborn, energetic and protective temper. Schnauzers come in three sizes: Standard, giant and miniature.

3 .Yorkshire Terrier
  What makes this breed a favorite among allergy sufferers? The fact that it grows hair, not fur. Hair has a longer growth cycle in this breed which means that it is shed less frequently. The drawback though is that these cute fellows require constant grooming to prevent their hair from becoming a matted mass. Having a groomer shave them in a “puppy cut” can provide a temporary low-maintenance solution.

4. Bedlington Terrier
  Although at first glance, he looks more like a lamb than a dog, the Bedlington terrier could be the perfect canine addition to a laid-back family. These do not shed and are very mild-mannered.

5. Shih Tzu

  Dog lovers with allergies shouldn’t be fooled by this breed’s long, silky locks; in reality, the shih tzu sheds very little. When it comes to coat care, dog owners have two different options: keeping the coat short into a cute “puppy” cut or keeping it naturally long. Keeping it long though comes at a price: the coat requires daily maintenance and frequent brushing.

6. Poodle
  For a good reason, many allergy sufferers cherish the poodle. This breed is blessed with a non-shedding coat. In this case, dog owners need to thank this breed’s tight, curly locks that shed very little and retain dander rather than dispersing it in the air and on the floor. The bad news is that since the dead hair doesn’t make it to the ground, it remains trapped within the curls causing a need for frequent grooming to prevent matting.

7. Italian Greyhound
  Perfecto! This little Italian has a thin coat, so he barely sheds, and it's easy to keep him clean of allergens. The breed is very playful and loyal, and does not need a big yard. They're extremely sensitive to cold, though, so this isn't a good breed for a family living in a chilly climate.

8. Portuguese Water Dog
  For a good reason the Portuguese water dog made its way to the White House. After extensive research the Obamas had to find a breed that wouldn’t trigger Malia’s allergies. Like the poodle, this pooch has a low shedding rate because of his “curly hair-do, which prevents dander from collecting on the floor, clothes, upholstery and furniture.

9. Chinese Crested
  Going bald at times is the best way to prevent hair problems. This breed comes in two varieties: the hairless, which is virtually hairless unless you count the tufts of hair found on its head, feet and tail, and the Powder-puff, which has a complete coat with soft hair. While Chinese crested obviously shed less and have less dander, as with other “hypoallergenic” dog breeds, there will be allergy sufferers doing fine with this breed, and others having problems.

10. Basenji
  No, not Benji from the movies, but even better. These pups don't shed or bark, they have very little dander and they're darling, so they're a great choice. They do sometimes make an odd yodelling noise, and they can be hard to train, like most hounds). But this stubborn demeanor comes packed with a lot of lovable personality.

11. Samoyed
  The Samoyed is a sneezing owner's dream come true. This breed does shed, but you'll find no doggie odor or dander, making these dogs the perfect option for people with allergies. They're known for being laid back, gentle and "smiley," so they're great around kids.

12. Airedale Terrier
  Also known as the “king of terriers” because it’s one of the largest specimens within the terrier category, the Airedale has also the potential to be allergy friendly. Like several other breeds, the wiry coat in this breed reduces the amount of shedding which minimizes the release of dander. The coat though needs careful grooming because the hard, wiry hair doesn’t make room for the undercoat to grow through. There are two ways to solve the problem: pulling out the top coat though a method known as ”stripping,” or opting for twice-a-year clippings.

13. American Hairless Terrier
  This breed seems to have been purposely created with allergy sufferers in mind. It all started in 1972 when among a litter of rat terriers, a hairless puppy was born. The owners liked this puppy so much that once mature, they decided to breed her in hopes of passing down the hairless trait. They were lucky and the breed was recognized in 1998 by the American Rare Breeds Association. According to Woman’s Day, allergy sufferers who had reactions to dogs known for being allergy friendly did just fine with the American hairless terrier.

14. Maltese
  At a first glance, this breed may not look like a dog recommended for allergy sufferers. It has a long, silky coat that may make an allergic person’s nose tickle just at the mere sight. However, as mentioned, it’s not the length of a dog’s coat to make allergy sufferers people sneeze. The Maltese breed sheds very little, and because this breed requires loads of grooming, the number of allergens is often kept to a bare minimum.

15. Bouvier des Flanders
  The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerfully built, compact, short-coupled, rough-coated dog of notably rugged appearance. He gives the impression of great strength without any sign of heaviness or clumsiness in his overall makeup. He is agile, spirited and bold, yet his serene, well behaved disposition denotes his steady, resolute and fearless character. His gaze is alert and brilliant, depicting his intelligence, vigor and daring. By nature he is an equable dog. His origin is that of a cattle herder and general farmer's helper, including cart pulling.

Expert recommendations
  Researchers have shown that frequently bathing dogs reduces the amount of allergen related protein on the fur or hair of the dog and the amount of airborne allergen. Bathing a dog at least twice a week will minimize or even eliminate the reaction of an allergic person to a dog.
  Frequent cleaning and vacuuming of the home, using air filters, restricting the dog to certain rooms, and adopting a small dog that can easily be given frequent baths are all recommended by the Humane Society of the United States to control allergens. Scientific research has repeatedly shown that good cleaning practices in the home remove allergens from the environment.
  Many allergists suggest that a dog not be introduced to the environment of a dog allergic individual. While "allergy shots" can reduce many individuals' dog-allergic reactions, the most common approach remains avoidance.
  There have been recent studies suggesting early introduction of pets to home may reduce the likelihood of developing sensitization. There are reports of individuals who will become less sensitive with continued exposure to a pet in the environment. But allergists warn that pet owners cannot rely on a breed being non-allergenic just because a particular allergic pet owner can tolerate a specific dog of that breed.

The Bottom Line
   Too many dogs are abandoned each year because of allergies. It is estimated that about 14 percent of dogs are relinquished because of allergies. This could have been avoided by conducting more research prior to adopting the pet and taking steps to better manage the allergies.
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top Myths About your Dog!

Top  Myths About your Dog!
A dog's mouth is clean and sterile.
  Not even close. Just think about where that mouth has been.
  Most dogs are willing to lick their own and other dogs nether regions, steal cat feces from the litter box for a late night treat, and eat anything they can find on the ground.

Raw meat is the best diet for dogs.
This may sound good in theory. But the reality is it's an unbalanced diet that can also be dangerous.
A raw-meat diet can leave dogs short on calcium and other nutrients.
Raw meat is also risky because it can carry harmful bacteria, disease, and parasites.

Photo by Rarnie McCudden from Pexels
Dogs alpha roll each other
A study of captive wolves gave rise to this myth. Dogs roll onto their backs to expose their bellies to other animals and people to signal non threat.  Even alpha dogs show their tummies to invite puppies and subordinate dogs to play. Dogs do not force other dogs onto their backs to prove leadership.

Dogs destroy furniture and other items in the house because they are angry
There may be many possible reasons for this, whether they are physical, emotional, or instinctual but none have to do with anger. Items that smell like you are often targeted because your scent comforts them.

When my dog looks guilty, it’s because he feels bad for doing something wrong
When your pooch puts on that doleful look, he must be guilty of something, right? Wrong! Your dog knows you are angry or upset and is using that body posture to try in dog language to get you to calm down and avoid punishment.

My dog understands me when I talk to him
While dogs can understand about 500 words and a very talented Border Collie named Chaser can understand thousands, when we talk to our dogs they focus in on a few words, our tone of voice, facial expressions, and our body language.

Dogs should have a litter before they are spayed
This is a myth that actually causes harm. In addition to contributing to overpopulation, allowing your dog to have a litter before spaying can make her susceptible to cancer later in life.

Table scraps are good for dogs

Although some table scraps are okay, seasonings like onions and garlic can be toxic for dogs.

A warm, dry nose signals a fever.
The temperature and moistness of your dog's nose has nothing to do with his health.
The only way to know if he has a fever is to take his temperature (usually with a rectal thermometer). It should be 100-102.5 degrees.
A better way to tell if your dog is sick is if he's not as hungry or active as usual.
Other signs of illness:
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Urinating more or less often than normal
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Discharge from eyes, ears, or nose.
Dogs can't digest grains.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs' digestive systems are quite robust.
Corn, rice, and beets aren't just filler. They enhance a dog's diet with essential nutrients and protein when pre-cooked, which is typically the case with commercially-prepared dog foods.
Dogs are omnivores and grains are a healthy part of their diet.

My new dog of the same breed will be just like my last one
Just like two children from the same family will be alike in some ways, they can be completely different in others. So while Johnny and Susie both have blue eyes, one might be easy going and the other very stubborn. Two dogs from the same breed can be very different too.

My dog should tolerate anything my children do

The reality is that young children often do not know how to interact with dogs in a caring considerate manner. Allowing children to sit on dogs, pull on their body, hit them with toys, disturb them while they eat may actually teach children the wrong lessons. Dogs are living, breathing, emotional beings that need to be treated kindly and with respect.

Dogs catch on to house training more quickly when you rub their noses in their accidents
Absolutely not. Punishing a dog for normal behavior like going to the bathroom encourages dogs to hide it better next time. Instead of punishing your dog when they do the wrong thing, reward them with praise or treats when they go in the right spot. This will be a more effective lesson.

Dogs learn only if you punish them
Absolutely not. Punishment can interfere with learning, can make behaviors worse and even cause fear aggression. Instead, you need to teach an alternative to bad behavior.

You should feed your dog according to the label instructions.
The label is just a starting point.
An extremely active dog or one with a high metabolism may require more. A less active dog would need less food to avoid becoming overweight.
Ask your vet what's right for your dog. If your dog is at a healthy body weight, you should be able to feel his ribs easily beneath the skin.

An excited dog is happy to see you
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. It's a sign that your dog has more energy than he can handle in that moment.
Ignore him when he's overexcited, then reward him with attention when he calms down.

A fenced yard should be entertaining enough
Our canine friends live in a very rich world of smells and visual input. The back yard is the same day in and day out. What dogs long for is the smell of a new scent, the chance to check out that next bush or tree and see the world. And when out in the yard all alone they can make bad decisions, become extremely territorial and threatening to others, or even become destructive or attempt to escape.

All dogs who are afraid of people have been abused
While it is unfortunate that many dogs are abused, many dogs that show signs of fear or anxiety around people and places suffer from another problem: limited socialization. If a dog lives in a very restricted environment during their sensitive time of emotional growth (from 8 weeks to 9 months) they may not have the tools to process, interact, and enjoy new experiences as they come along.

Dogs wag their tails when they are happy
Interestingly, not always. Dogs wag their tails when they are excited, happy, or to signal an imminent attack. A better indicator of happiness would be position of the tail and frequency of the wag. Slow, loose wags of the tail is usually a sign that a dog wants to be friends.

Dogs are jealous of the phone
The phone rings and all of a sudden your pet wants your attention. This can appear as annoying behavior but from your pets perspective, you are talking, no one else is around so you must be talking to them!

Dogs that are aggressive are showing dominance
On the contrary, it is often fearful dogs that act aggressively to help make a scary situation go away. A top dog will rarely show aggression because other dogs know he is the boss. However, you will sometimes see dogs using snarls to get their way or adolescent dogs acting up because they want to challenge the real boss.

Dogs that destroy the house when home alone are being spiteful
Dogs that go to the bathroom indoors bark and are destructive when home alone are most likely suffering from separation anxiety. They are unable to relax and be calm when separated from their human family. They need a behavior modification plan, treatment and perhaps medication to learn how to be home alone.

Dogs that growl and bite are mean
Dogs that growl are trying to tell people that they are uncomfortable and afraid. What they really want is for the threatening thing to go away or stop. By understanding and respecting the message we can teach dogs the proper responses and diminish the need for aggressive responses.

 Dogs enjoy being hugged
Dogs and cats sometimes hug during mating or fighting. Although pets may enjoy nuzzling and getting affection from you, it is good to remember that your pet may confuse a hug with aggression.

Dogs and wolves are the same
While dogs and wolves share a common genetic connection, that is where it ends. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to be partners with humans and interact with naturally in ways that wolves do not even with extensive training. Two great examples: dogs can follow a human’s pointing gesture and often “ask” people for help; wolves do not without specific training.

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