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Showing posts with label water. Show all posts
Showing posts with label water. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2017

How To Stop Dog Diarrhea

How To Stop Dog Diarrhea
  Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog.
  Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs, often because they will put almost anything in their mouth. But it can also be caused by more serious health problems, some of which require close attention, especially if the diarrhea is severe or occurs frequently.
  For the most part, diarrhea and vomiting are nature’s way of allowing the body to cleanse and remove a toxin. A small amount of blood or mucus can sometimes be seen in the stool when the intestinal bacteria are out of balance but this isn’t necessarily cause for alarm.
  A great many cases are mild and, with your vet’s advice, may be treated without a trip to the office.But if your dog is an otherwise healthy adult and, it is reasonable to try some home treatment.

An Important First Step
  The most important thing to remember when it comes to treating the diarrhea is that your primary goal should be to let the body do what it must while preventing any further damage.
Most animals will fast themselves when they have digestive disease and it’s a good idea to stop feeding your dog if he doesn’t fast himself. You can start with 6 to 12 hours of no food or water with most dogs. If your dog is very small and prone to hypoglycemia, you should give him tiny licks of honey or karo syrup each hour, or as needed, if he appears weak and trembly.
  After the fast, if there is no further vomiting and the diarrhea has stopped or slowed, offer small sips of water  every few hours.After six hours of water only, you may start some broth or small amounts of food. Gradually increase the amounts of food over the next four to five days.
  Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so make sure to give your dog access to water at all times. 

Prevent The Recurrence Of Dog Diarrhea
  After a fast, food is usually introduced slowly and many people start with binders, which can normalize stool consistency. Once your dog is reintroduced to food, a bland diet will help prevent a recurrence of diarrhea. Starting with soup is a gentle way to smooth your dog’s transition back to his regular diet.

  Other bland diets include:
  • White rice
  • Rice water: Boil high-quality rice in a lot of water, remove the grains, and offer the dog the creamy white soup that’s left. A splash of broth or a bit baby food will make it more palatable.
  • Herbs, such as fennel, have gut-soothing properties
  • Canned pumpkin has the odd distinction of being effective for diarrhea and constipation.
  • Plain protein sources such as egg (prepared with no butter or oil) or chicken (without skin)
  • Probiotics, live bacteria that aid digestion- these are also found in yogurt
  • Yogurt, which has beneficial bacteria, can help in dogs who can tolerate milk and milk products.
  • Cottage cheese
  • Boiled potatoes, without skin
  • Specially-formulated dog foods: Some manufacturers offer foods that can sooth stomach problems. You may need to obtain these from your vet.
  • Over-the-counter medications for humans may also be effective for doggie diarrhea, but should be given with caution and you should talk to your vet before using them.
  If the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours or your dog’s condition worsens at any time, call your vet immediately.
  If your dog’s digestive disease is severe or persistent, your veterinarian’s suggestions may include: fecal exams to rule out parasites; blood work to rule out liver, kidney, endocrine or other problems; x-rays or abdominal ultrasound to rule out foreign objects, obstructions, and cancer; and endoscopy to visualize the stomach and intestinal mucosa.
Prevention of Dog Diarrhea
  The best thing that you can do to prevent diarrhea in your dog is to treat it as you would a human. Keep your dog away from stray dogs as much as possible and administer vaccines as scheduled. Be sure to take your dog to the vet for a wellness visit to stave off any issues as soon as possible.
  And be sure to stay with food your dog and stick with it. Change brands if your pet develops allergies, but try to stick with a quality dog food and do not feed your dog table scraps.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everything about your American Water Spaniel

Everything about your American Water Spaniel
  The American Water Spaniel was bred to be an all-around hunting dog. Specializing in waterfowl, he’s a skilled swimmer who will retrieve from small boats and has a water-resistant double coat. The dog breed has the high energy of a dog born to chase and retrieve game, but given enough exercise, he can also make an great family companion.

Overview
  Known as the "little brown dog,” the curly-coated American Water Spaniel is the classic “big dog in a small package.” With a weight range of 25 to 45 pounds, he looks small and cute, but he’s a tough hunting dog who’s known for having a stubborn streak. Although he’s called a spaniel, the AWS is primarily a water retriever and has a fine reputation as a hunting dog among those in the know. His claim to fame is that he is the state dog of Wisconsin, where he was developed in the mid-19th century in the Wolf and Fox River Valley region.
  Like any retriever, he’s tireless and needs daily exercise. A long walk will do, but you can also channel his energy into dog sports such as agility and flyball. He’ll love anything that involves getting wet and is an excellent choice for boaters, including canoers and kayakers, seeing as how he was developed to hunt from a boat.

Highlights
  • American Water Spaniels are active dogs and require daily exercise. Give him one to two hours a day of walks, runs, or games of fetch. You can break up exercise periods throughout the day — an hour here, a half hour there. Without it they may express their pent-up energy with recreational barking and excessive chewing.
  • The American Water Spaniel is a highly versatile hunting dog on land and in water. His job is to hunt, flush and retrieve all kinds of game.
  • The American Water Spaniel stands out for his solid liver or dark chocolate-colored coat.
  • American Water Spaniels can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them that you mean what you say by establishing rules and being consistent in enforcing them.
  • American Water Spaniels like to roam and may leave your yard or your side to go hunting on their own if they're not confined by a fence or restrained by a leash.
  • Some American Water Spaniels are territorial and aggressive with strange dogs, although they get along with other family dogs and pets.
  • They have a natural tendency for chewing, digging, and jumping, but you can overcome these behaviors with training.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 10–15 years
Average size: 25 to 45 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coated, curly exterior layer
Coloration: Shades of brown
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards, hunters, rural/farm areas
Temperament: Energetic, sensitive, willing to please, alert
Comparable Breeds: Curly-Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel

History
  The history of the American Water Spaniel is somewhat of a mystery. The breed supposedly was “created” sometime in the late 1860s, when it accompanied settlers to remote but developing areas of the Midwestern United States.
American Water Spaniels, pictured in 1913
  They were bred as hunting dogs that would be capable of flushing and retrieving game in all conditions and terrain, including water. The early American Water Spaniel was primarily a duck and waterfowl retriever, but it actually became a unique combination between the true hunting spaniels and the hunting retrievers. The breed works equally well in water and on land. He has an excellent nose and is a sound swimmer. According to an American Kennel Club publication: “As a retriever the American Water Spaniel leaves little to be desired. He will watch the huntsman drop perhaps four or five birds, then work swiftly and merrily until every one is brought in. Rabbits, chickens, grouse, quail, pheasant, ducks – he handles all with unfailing dispatch and tender care. He swims like a seal, hence few wounded waterfowl escape him; his tail serves as a rudder to aid him, especially in turbulent water.” While the actual ancestors of the American Water Spaniel are unknown, it is suggested that they descend from crosses of the Irish Water Spaniel, the Old English Water Spaniel, the Curly-Coated Retriever, the Field Spaniel and the Poodle. The breed was well-established by the end of the 19th century and was particularly popular among sportsmen in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The American Water Spaniel Club was founded in 1937. The breed was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club Registry in 1940, as a member of the Sporting Group.

  The American Water Spaniel’s small size still endears him to hunters, especially those using canoes or other small boats to hunt waterfowl on inland lakes. Despite its rarity, this truly American breed also thrives as a family companion and makes an especially good watch dog.


Temperament 
  Friendly and eager to please, the American Water Spaniel is a good-natured dog that will keep your children entertained. It can play all day long, and at the end of the day, curl up on your lap for extra cuddles. It will partake in all kinds of activities, on land or in water. This breed loves to be around people and will want to follow you around no matter where you go.
  The AWS is not a dog for people who spend a lot of time away from their home. This breed develops separation anxiety if let alone for alone periods of time, and will bark or howl. This dog needs plenty of companionship, exercise and play time to combat boredom.
  A vocal breed, it’s an understatement to say that the American Water Spaniel likes to bark. When they are happy, need attention or left alone, the breed will bark… just to hear the sound of its own voice. Start training to avoid this behavior when your dog is a puppy.

Health
  The lifespan of an AWS is between 10 and 15 years, and they do have a higher risk for developing some health conditions than do other dogs in their size range. Breed health concerns include diabetes; epilepsy; eye problems; heart problems; hip dysplasia; and hypothyroidism. They have a medium length curly coat which requires regular grooming.   They do well in both cold and in warm climates. Other breed health concerns include pattern baldness, cataracts, focal retinal dysplasia and adult-onset growth-hormone responsive dermatosis.

Care
  If he gets lots of exercise and playtime, the American Water Spaniel can do well in smaller living situations such as an apartment or condominium, but he's a country dog at heart, and is happiest when he's got plenty of open space to run off his natural energy.
  Smart and trainable, the AWS responds best to short, motivational training sessions. Avoid heavy-handed techniques that use punishments for getting it wrong instead of rewards for getting it right — they could make him sulky or withdrawn. And train him yourself rather than sending him off to be tutored by a stranger. He'll work much better for someone he knows and loves.
  He may chew when his people aren't home, so crate training is a must to keep your possessions safe and your AWS out of the doghouse.

Living Conditions
  American Water Spaniels will do okay in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. Like to roam in search of quarry.

Trainability
  Intelligent and eager to please, the American Water Spaniel is easy to train. Harsh discipline can cause them to distrust people, so a confident, but gentle positive-reinforcement strategy works best.
  There is no need to train the American Water Spaniel to fetch. They are born with the innate desire to chase, hunt, and retrieve, and can spend hours engaged in this activity. Once basic obedience training is completed, this breed should be enrolled in advanced training, or agility training to keep them challenged and mentally stimulated.
  Unlike other breeds of spaniels, the American Water Spaniel is wary of strangers. They will bark to alert a stranger's arrival, but can can grow to be distrusting of strangers, if not properly socialized. The earlier this breed is exposed to new people and new situations, the more easy-going they will be in adulthood.

Exercise Requirements
  Because this is a hunting breed, the American Water Spaniel needs plenty of exercise. Running, hunting, swimming, hiking and bike rides – these are just a few of the ways you can tire your dog out. The AWS needs room to run, so you’ll need to have a fenced in yard. If you have a swimming pool, even better! And even though this is a smaller breed, the American Water Spaniel doesn’t do well in apartments. Because of the lack of space to run around, this dog may become destructive.
  Great with children, the American Water Spaniels are patient and will put up with boisterous kids. However, the AWS will snap if startled, so children need to be taught to never sneak up on a sleeping dog or approach from the rear.

Grooming
  Expect to comb and brush this breed’s curly double coat two or three times a week.  Comb it first to prevent or remove mats and tangles. Do this every time your dog has been outside and picked up burrs or other debris. Use a slicker brush to remove dead hair. You may need to trim the coat every once in a while to give it a neat appearance. The AWS rarely needs a bath, but be sure to give him a thorough freshwater rinse after he has been in saltwater or a lake or pond with algae.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every couple of weeks. Clean the foot pads, and keep the ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial or yeast infections. More tips on grooming are available from the American Water Spaniel Club.

Children And Other Pets
  The American Water Spaniel is gentle with children. Nonetheless, as with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Some American Water Spaniels are territorial and aggressive with strange dogs, but they generally get along well with family dogs and cats.

Is the American Water Spaniel the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Professional trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The American Water Spaniel is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
 The American Water Spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin, where he was developed in the mid-19th century in the Wolf and Fox River Valley region.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What to Feed a Sick Dog

What to Feed a Sick Dog
  Everyone gets sick at one time or another and having someone to look after you, look after you, and guide you in the correct direction in this time of need can make all the difference in getting you back to your normal health and strength. Dogs are no exception to this rule and looking after and caring for your dog can make all the difference to their recovery.
  When your dog's tummy is upset, he can't tell us what's wrong. When lethargy and "accidents" tell us there's an upset, there are general rules to follow when feeding a sick dog. Just like children, they have systems that are smaller than those of adult humans, tend to recover quickly and need to start eating again to replace lost water and nutrients. However, if the upsets are violent or last more than a few days, it's time to take your friend to the doctor.
  But what happens if your dog has lost their appetite and you know they need some sort of food inside them before they run into more illness? Well this is a very common situation to be in with an ill dog so there are a few ideas that you might want to try and they might shorten your dogs suffering and help keep it bearable for the time being. 

Let your dog eat grass
  Let them eat cake! And by cake, we mean grass! Grass is one of those instinctual remedies dogs may go for when they’re feeling unwell. Grass may cause a dog to vomit.  Let your dog’s instincts lead you both. If they want to eat grass when they’re not feeling well, if they want to vomit a bit, that may be just what they need to do to feel better. Just make sure to keep them well hydrated. If they vomit more than twice, or persistently eat grass and vomit every time they take a trip outside, call a vet.



  Give your dog bland food (food with little or no strong flavours, smells, and tastes) to start with, bland food will help them keep their food down with not too much in it to upset the stomach and cause more illness. Anything that makes it easier for your dog to eat without too much strain is best; if they have to put a lot of effort into eating when ill they will probably not bother in fear of causing more illness and sick feeling, try blending food up finely so they can lick it up instead of chewing and swallowing, as this often works well for a lot of pets.


Simple foods
Your dog’s kibble may be a bit too rich for them when they have an upset stomach. Try some simple boiled shredded chicken with a bit of white rice, or try some mashed pumpkin. Offer small amounts at a time, rather than a full meal. If they appear eager for more, it’s a good sign. Their tummy might be on the mend. If they’re still dubious, consider a no-salt chicken broth to entice them to eat a bit. Add water to whatever you offer them, as dehydration is the real danger of your average run of the mill upset tummy.

Gradual Feeding
  After fasting for 24 hours, your pup could probably down an entire bowl of food within a few minutes. Feeding him a small amount at first and then increasing that amount each day prevents him from stuffing himself to the brim and vomiting again. Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine suggests feeding your dog his bland diet three to six times a day. The amount of food you should give your dog depends mostly on his size. Feeding an adult German shepherd 2 cups of bland food on the first day will be fine, but feeding that same amount to a Yorkshire terrier is too much. After about two days, begin mixing in your dog’s regular food with the bland food diet until he’s off the bland meals completely.

Check for dehydration
  Lift your dog’s lips and look at their gums. Gums should be pink and slick. That is, wet in appearance instead of dry. If you’re not sure, press on your dog’s gums until you see the color change. Remove your finger, and note how long it takes for color to come back. Color should come back immediately. If it takes a couple of moments, your dog could be dehydrated. 
  You can also pull at the scruff of their neck, the way a mother animal may lift their young. If the skin snaps back, they should be fine. If it takes a long time for the skin to retract, they could be dehydrated.

How to prevent and treat dehydration
  If your dog is showing the above signs of dehydration, it’s time to take their condition seriously. Many people offer their dehydrated dogs unflavored Pedialyte, which is a child’s electrolyte drink. Even if your dog is drinking water, it sometimes isn’t enough, and Pedialyte will help replace electrolytes they may have lost from vomiting. Other dog-friendly products like Rebound may also help.
  If they won’t drink it on their own, you may wish to use a feeding syringe (needle-less) to feed them the Pedialyte. Put the syringe into the side of the mouth, between the cheek and gums, and go slowly to prevent your dog from choking or breathing in the liquid. Be careful, take it slowly, and keep them calm. Really sick dogs sometimes don't have the greatest gag reflex, and aspiraton of these liquids can be dangerous.
  How much should you give? A dose to help a dog maintain hydration should be at least 15 mL per pound of body weight per day. This can turn out to be quite a bit of fluid to deliver with a syringe, so you may want to divide the dose into 4 a day.

You can also simply take your dog to the vet, where they'll be able to treat dehydrated dogs by delivering fluids under the skin.

 If this works then you should build the tastes up slowly from bland food to normal stronger tasting foods but always keeping to what your dog is comfortable with, if you do too much too soon then your dog will become ill again so take it slowly.


If this doesn't work then try to feed them sufficient amounts of water if nothing else. When a dog is unwell they may have other symptoms like diarrhea which will cause them to become dehydrated easily and set them up for more misery so try to maintain good hydration levels, which in turn will maintain your dog's happiness.


If all else fails and nothing seems to be working then you should contact your vet and seek advice there, if you do not then you risk your dogs health and bodyweight deteriorating and there may be other difficulties to overcome before your dog will start to become better.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why Water Is Key?

Why Water Is Key?
  When it comes to your dog's nutrition, water is even more important than protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
  Your dog's body will naturally lose water all day. He loses water as he sweats through his paws and when he pants. And he loses water when he pees and poops.
  A dog that loses too much water - just 10% to 15% of the water in his body - can get very sick and even die. So that water he's losing needs to be replaced.

Have you replenished your dog’s water bowl today?
  A good rule of thumb: Make sure your dog gets at least 1 ounce of water daily for each pound he weighs. That means a 20-pound dog needs at least 20 ounces of water every day. That's more than 2 cups, or as much as in some bottles of water or soda.
  To help you keep track of how much water your dog drinks, make a note of how high you fill his water bowl and how far the level has dropped the next day.

Why Does My Dog Drink a Lot of Water?
  A balanced diet is not the only necessary part  of keeping your dog healthy. Water for drinking is also a very important part of your dog’s daily requirements and overall nutrition. Water is the main component of healthy, living cells of the body. Without water, your dog’s body will not be able to function properly. More specifically, your dog will dehydrate. In order for your dog to get enough water daily, you need to provide water along with a healthy, balanced diet .

Keep Plenty of Water Available
  Leave the water bowl where your dog can get to it easily. Since dogs can knock over the bowl while they're drinking, use one that's made to not tip and spill.
  Clean the bowl daily. Refill often so the water supply stays fresh.
Whenever you and your dog are playing outdoors - especially when it's hot - bring cool water with you for him to drink. If your dog stays outside on hot days, add ice to the water bowl.

  Some dogs are happy to drink from the toilet. But that isn't a clean source of water! Keep the toilet lid closed so your dog stays out.

Signs of Dehydration
  Hot summer days, play, exercise, illness, infection - all of these can lead to dehydration in dogs and trigger them to seek water. Along with increased thirst, signs that your pet may be dehydrated include: lethargy; dry gums and tongue; and thick rope-like saliva.
  Dehydration can turn life threatening fast, so if you suspect your dog is very dehydrated, seek veterinary care right away. If your dog seems mildly dehydrated but is not vomiting, give your pet small amounts of water - one teaspoon for a little dog, 1-2 tablespoons for larger dogs - every ten minutes for a few hours.
   Don't let your dog have free access to a lot of liquids when he is dehydrated, as drinking too much too fast could cause vomiting.


Illness
  Many conditions can lead to excessive thirst or dehydration in your dog, including liver disease, diabetes, Cushing's disease, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection, and kidney disease.
Sometimes, however, it may not be the condition itself causing your dog's excessive thirst, but the medication used to treat it. Talk to a vet about your dog's medication and its side effects; if drugs are behind your dog's thirst, the vet may be able to lower the dosage.


Medication
  Just as with people, some drugs can lead to excessive thirst in your dog, including:
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone, which may be used to treat many conditions in dogs, including asthma, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  •   Heart failure drugs, such as furosemide, lead to increased urine production and a compensatory increase in thirst.
  •   Seizure medications like phenobarbital may have side effects that include excessive thirst and urination, as well as excessive appetite.
Diet
  A dry food diet - which may be as little as 5%-10% water - can also lead to noticeable thirst in your dog. High sodium foods will also cause your dog to drink more.
  Large amounts of salt can be poisonous to your pet, so avoid sharing highly salty "people" food with your dog. Signs your dog may have eaten too many sodium-rich treats include tremors, diarrhea, depression, and vomiting.


Water is so important because:
  • Water Helps Dogs Function
  • Water Flushes Toxins
  • Water Regulates Body Temperature
  • Water Helps Dogs Scent and Compete
Clean Water For All!
  To help insure that the water supply for both humans and canines is protected, you can do one simple action - clean up after your dog. And by providing a healthy diet and the right amount of clean water to your pooch, you can prevent illness and promote health. For as Mark Twain says, "Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody."


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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Safety for Dogs

Summer Safety for Dogs
  The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It's difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results.
  Summer is a terrific time to be a dog owner. It lets you run, swim, and play with your dog in nicer weather than any other time of the year. However, summer also brings unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. 
  The warm summer months are the perfect time to take your dog with you for outdoor, family fun. But with the rising temperatures, dogs can easily get overheated in the summer, causing them to become dehydrated and sick.  Not only is it important to keep dogs safe in hot weather, it’s also important to keep them clear from hazardous chemicals and certain foods. 


1. Never, ever, EVER leave your pet in a hot car.
  It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car.
  Temperatures in cars can rise quickly so make sure to take your dog with you when you get out of the car. If you must leave your dog in the car, be sure to leave the windows down, which will allow the air to circulate and keep your dog safe.
  Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun! Your best bet is to leave your pet home on warm days. If you’re driving around with your dog or cat in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your pet with you when you leave the car.


2. Outdoor Play
  Steer clear of long walks and strenuous exercise on hot, sunny days. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Not only is there a risk of heat stroke - dogs can get sunburns, too. Consider sunscreen for your dog. If you are planning to spend time outdoors with your dog, find a shady spot and provide plenty of fresh, cool water. Try to take leisurely walks during the cooler times of the day, like the morning or evening hours. Remember to protect your dog's feet from getting scorched by hot pavement. Sunscreen for dogs can help protect your dog as well.

3. Make sure your pet is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
  If not protected, your pet is at risk for heartworm, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people, too!


4. Events
  It might be best to leave your dog at home when going to large outdoor festivals or parties. A large crowd can be overwhelming and it increases the chances of injury, dehydration and exhaustion. Plus, there's bound to be a lot of unhealthy or even toxic food and trash on the ground that your dog might try to eat. Also remember that fireworks and other loud noises can frighten dogs into running away or otherwise injuring themselves. If you do bring your dog to events, keep her close by and watch out for potential hazards.

5. Keep the paws in mind.
  When the sun is cooking, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. Also, it’s not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck – the hot metal can burn paws quickly (and they can fall out or be injured or killed in an accident). 

6. Limit exercise on hot days
  Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

7. Bring extra water
  Bring a bowl and plenty of water to keep your dog well hydrated while away from home. Bring double the amount that you think you may need to ensure that your dog has continual access to fresh water to cool off.

8. Keep up grooming
  Make sure to keep your dog’s fur and nails trimmed during the summer months. Too much fur can make it easier for dogs to overheat, for fur to become matted, and for bugs to stake a claim in the furry confines of your dog’s coat. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will help limit torn nails, which can easily become infected.


9. If your dog loves to swim, give him his very own "kiddy pool."
  Dogs who love the water love it even more in the hot months and getting wet keeps them cool. Providing a small, kid-sized pool will also keep them safe.

10. Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers.
  And if they jump in your swimming pool, they might not be able to get out without help and could easily drown. Make sure your dog can’t get into your swimming pool without you around. And if that’s not possible, make sure he can get out on his own.

11. Leave pets at home for firework displays
  If you’re headed out to watch the fireworks display it’s best to leave your dog at home. The loud noises mixed with the nighttime away from home can cause your dog to become disorientated.

12. Steer clear of fertilizers
  Some fertilizers and lawn care products can cause an allergic reaction in dogs. Speak with your vet about what types of lawn care products are best to use.  Always keep chemical bottles off the ground to keep dogs from accidentally ingesting them and becoming sick.


13. Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats.
  And just like for people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your pet (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).

14. If you can’t trust your dog 100% to come when called, keep him on a leash. Summertime means all sorts of exciting sights, scents, critters running around, and new and exciting places to explore. You never want to lose your pet because he she became distracted in an unfamiliar environment and was lost or harmed in an accident. And remember, not every dog is meant to be off-leash; some dogs just can never be fully trusted to come when called. Make sure you understand your dog’s tendencies and err on the side of being overly-cautious.

15. After a long winter, many dogs put on a few extra pounds
  Summer is the perfect time to increase his level of exercise and get in tip-top shape. A pet that maintains a healthy weight throughout his lifetime will live, on average, 2-3 years longer than an overweight pet! Just make sure not to over-exert your dog – give him or her adequate rest and if  your dog is especially overweight, make sure you ease him or her into physical activity.

  However, summer also brings unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. These summer dangers include:
  Heat stroke occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high. It is most common when dogs are left in a car for too long, or when they exercise in the heat. Never leave your dog in the car in hot weather, and always remember that a cracked window is not enough to cool a car. Your dog always needs access to shade outside. Muzzling interferes with a dog's ability to cool itself by panting and should be avoided.
  Sunburn. Dogs can burn in the sun just like people can. White, light-colored, and thinly coated dogs have an increased risk of sunburn. Sunburn causes pain, itching, peeling, and other problems. To prevent sunburn, apply a waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets. Be sure to cover the tips of your dog’s ears and nose, the skin around its mouth, and its back.
  Burned Foot Pads. Sidewalk, patio, street, sand. and other surfaces can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning and at night when outdoor surfaces are coolest. Press your hand onto surfaces for 30 seconds to test them before allowing your dog to walk on them. If it is painful for you, it will be painful for your dog.
  Dehydration. Prevent dehydration by providing your dog with unrestricted access to fresh and cool water both indoors and outside. Ice cubes and frozen chicken or beef broth encourage your dog to take in more fluids and help keep it cool. You can also feed your dog wet dog food during the summer to increase its fluid intake.

Campfires and Barbecues. Your dog may try to take burning sticks from the fire, which are hard to retrieve since they think that you are playing when you chase them. Food that is stuck to barbecues after cooking can tempt your dog to lick the barbecue and burn its tongue or mouth. Lighter fluid is a poison and should not be left where your dog can reach it. Keep your dog away from barbecues and campfires unless it is on a very short leash.

  Chemicals in the Water. It is no secret that most dogs love to swim. Swimming can be fun for you and your dog and helps prevent heat stroke. However, chlorine can irritate a dog's skin and upset its stomach. Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming in a pool and do not let it drink more than a small amount of pool water. Standing water, such as puddles, can also be dangerous for dogs to drink due to the presence of antifreeze or other chemicals. Provide your dog with fresh water to drink whenever possible.
  Seasonal Allergies. Fleas, mold, flowers, and other potential allergens are common during summer. Allergies cause itching (and with it, excessive scratching), coughing, sneezing, discomfort, and other problems for your dog. Keep your dog away from allergy triggers when possible, especially if you know it has a particular allergy. Ask your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a canine antihistamine or other medication.
  Keeping Your Dog Safe! Bottom line: keep an eye on your dog. Don't leave her unattended. It's important to always exercise common sense and proceed with caution to help keep your dog safe, regardless of the season. Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so make sure you are familiar with the risks. Learn what warning signs mean trouble. When in doubt, call your vet right away. When all is said and done, it will be much easier for you and your dog to enjoy the summer.

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Secrets To A Happy Dog

The Secrets To A Happy Dog
   A happy dog is a friendly and more lovable member of your family. Your dog brings you joy. Do you ever look over at her while she is sleeping and wonder if you make her as happy as she makes you? Is she as glad to be yours as you are to be hers? How do you know if your dog is content? All social species have the same basic needs, just different ways those needs are fulfilled. 

Steps
1. First and foremost treat your dog with a lot of love and care. Treat him like a friend / family member. Dogs are not toys that you just play with them for a second and throw them away the next.

2. Don't keep him locked up in the house all day long. Don't put on choke chains n tie him up in a corner. Dogs love to run around and play. It's the way they are.

3. Take some time out of your schedule and play with him. Maybe a game of catch. This will help in keeping your dog active and energetic.

4. Take him out frequently for walks in the park. Let him sniff around and play with the other dogs.

5. Go swimming. Many breeds of dogs love to swim. Its also healthy for them. If you have a clean and safe river or lake near by, that's perfect. Your dog and even you if you want can go swimming. But make sure he or she likes the water.

6. Simply give him a nice scratch behind the ears or some loving pats on the head maybe a relaxing belly rub. Dogs, especially old dogs, love to just sit around and have their favorite person give them a rub or pat.

7. Bring your dog with you for a car ride. They love these, especially with open windows.

8. Give them treats. Anything which they like.

9. Find out what your dog likes to play. E.g. try tug-o-war, fetch, chase, etc. and play it often. Always give your dog attention whenever possible. Scratch and rub their bellies when they want it.

10. Above all just treat your dog with whole loads of love and affection. They are man's best friend after all!

Physiological Needs
  Clean water - The most basic and most vital need for dogs is fresh clean water. Give your dog virtually unlimited access to water. The only exception is limiting a few hours before bedtime when house training. Keep water bowls clean and free of debris. Make sure outside water does not freeze in winter or overheat in summer. Change water in outdoor containers often. Stagnant water can lead to disease. It doesn't have to be Evian, but it should be fresh! If your dog has a habit of knocking over her water bowl, it's not because she doesn't want water. It's because dogs live in the right now, and right now it's fun. It doesn't occur to her that later, she won't have any water to drink. Weighted water bowls will solve this problem.


  Good Nutrition - Ask a dozen people what dog food is the best, you will get a dozen answers. The elusive Absolute Best Brand has not yet revealed itself. However, there are better and worse choices. Feeding a quality dog food means your dog will be healthier from the inside out - from a stronger heart and bones to a shinier coat with less shedding and itching. The little extra money spent on a better food is more than made up for in fewer Vet visits. Nutritionally balanced dogs get sick much less often, fewer ear infections, fewer outbreaks of worms, fewer UT Is, and even fewer injuries. There is even evidence that better food makes for a better behaved dog, as well! A quality dog food will have meat as at least the first 2 ingredients and little or no corn as a filler. Dogs are primarily meat eaters. If your dog has a dull coat and flaky skin, it could be her food!

  Exercise - In addition to proper nutrition, exercise is vital for good health. Not only will it increase your dog's longevity, it will also decrease her unwanted behaviors. A dog's energy has to go somewhere. If she doesn't get enough exercise, she may find undesirable ways to expend that extra energy or even develop neuroses such as obsessive spinning. Just as you should see your doctor before starting an exercise program, so should your dog see hers! Some breeds need more exercise than others, and some cannot tolerate intense activity. Be sure your dog's exercise program is right for her breed. more...

  Good Hygiene - It's true, dogs love to roll around in the stinkiest thing they can find. They don't seem to mind being dirty or smelly. However, for a dog's overall happiness, cleanliness is next to dog liness! Dogs may not care how they smell, but people sure do. A smelly dog does not get petted by people and generally isn't allowed in the house, and a dog shunned to the back yard with little or no human contact is not a happy dog. Filthiness can also lead to health problems. For example, dirty ears can lead to ear mites which are itchy and can cause ear infections. Being too dirty can also be painful, especially for a long-haired dog. Mats in a dog's fur pull on the skin and are extremely uncomfortable. Nails that grow too long can cause a dog to walk awkwardly and lead to problems in their joints and muscles. Keeping coats brushed, ears cleaned, and nails trimmed is essential for a happy dog. Bathing too often can lead to dry itchy skin. Dogs need a bath only when they start to smell bad. If your dog is on a quality food, this won't be very often. 

  Chew Toys - Dogs have a physiological need to chew. This is especially true for teething puppies. Providing them with safe chew toys will help them satisfy this urge without having to gnaw on your coffee table. Thick rubber toys like Kongs are a good option because they will not break apart and become a choking or obstruction hazard. 

  Elimination - Dogs need reliable and sufficient opportunity to eliminate away from their sleeping area. Normal healthy dogs will not eliminate where they eat and sleep. Dogs who do use the bathroom in their dens do so because they have learned that they will not be given sufficient opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. For optimal happiness, make sure your dog doesn't have to hold it too long. 

  ShelterIn the wild, dogs are able to seek out shelter when they need it to get out of the rain, to shield themselves from the cold, or to find relief from the heat. In a domestic environment, we keep them confined to a limited area. They don't have the option to go out and look for adequate shelter. Therefore, it is up to us to provide it. The ideal place for your dog when it's raining or cold is in the home with you. Most dogs are happiest living inside with you. It's also the easiest way to provide appropriate shelter. However, if your dog is one of the few who prefer living outdoors, or bringing her inside is not an option, you can make sure she is well-sheltered outdoors. Follow these tips to properly prepare her dog house for winter weather.

Security- Huck on the patioHappy dogs feel safe in their environment from threats either real or perceived. Dogs who live confined outdoors but without a physical fence are not secure. Invisible fences and chains may keep the dog in the yard, but they do not keep other animals out. A dog living this way is a sitting duck. She is vulnerable to attacks from coyotes, other dogs, and even mean people, and she has no way to escape. The dog who lives this way is not a happy dog.

Social Needs-  Dogs are social animals who thrive on companionship with others. They are unique in the animal world because they enjoy companionship with people as much as they do with other dogs. A dog who lives in a backyard with only minimal human contact is a lonely dog, like a hermit living on an isolated mountain. The happy dog gets lots of ear scritches and belly rubs. She gets to associate with lots of different people and dogs because she has been well-socialized and trained in basic obedience and manners. She is a dog who can go anywhere, and people are happy to see her.  

Esteem Needs- Do dogs have a sense of self-esteem? If you doubt it, just watch a dog who has accomplished a complicated task. See how she holds her head high and struts! Dogs need to have confidence in themselves and their ability to master tasks. Training a dog builds her self-esteem. It makes them feel good to master the perfect Sit and earn your appreciation! Learning tricks is fun for dogs. There are also all sorts of canine sports available that dogs enjoy. Agility, flyball, ultimate frisbee, and lure coursing are just some of the examples. A dog with a hobby is a fulfilled dog.

Cognitive Needs- Dogs are more than just instincts. They also have the ability to think and problem solve. They need to experience more than just the same old scenery of their own home. Mental stimulation leads to a happy dog. Just walking a different path and letting her smell new smells and see new sights provides mental stimulation. At home, puzzle toys like the Buster Cube let her put her brain to use. You can play games with her like hiding and she has to find you, or hiding a treat that she has to find. Learning new tricks also works her brain. Put her to work. Make her fetch the paper (make sure it's safe first) or bring you a drink from the fridge. Yes, working makes for a happy dog!

The Secret to Happiness
The meaning of life is to live it. The secret to a happy dog is to help her live a fulfilled life. That means she actively participates in it. She plays, goes places, and does things. Basically, the secret to a happy dog is not much different at all from the secret to a happy person.

Tips
  • Whenever you call your dog, make sure it is always in a nice and friendly tone.
  • Give your dog some toys, bones, or kong toys to keep them busy while you're at work or at school.
  • Avoid shouting at your dogs, they may not understand your words but they read emotions.
  • Train your pet all the basics at least... A trained pet is always more enjoyable.
  • Talk to your dog and smile at him/her as you would a human and/or in a cooing voice. Even if your dog doesn't understand your words it helps you and your dog bond.
  • If you are always at work, school, college, or any activity where you are not home often and you have a dog, you should consider getting another dog to keep him/her happy and content, or getting a dog-sitter.
  • Treat your dog with respect, he or she is a family member too that deserves good treatment, love and exercise.
  • Always cuddle with your dog and lay down and just pet them.
  • Always be friendly to dogs so they don't feel upset, they can sense it.
  • Teach your dog new tricks. Put a dog treat on the ground and have your dog sit in front of it but don't let him eat it just yet. Say colors such as red, blue, yellow, basically any color but green. If at any time while your saying the colors, your dog goes for the treat, gently but firmly hold him back and have him sit again. Finally,when your dog knows not to eat the food when you say those words, say green and signal to your dog that he can now eat it. This is just a simple trick to have your dog go on green, like a car! Try the trick again, just to make sure your dog has it down and then your done! You can now feel proud of both yourself and your dog!
  • If your dog likes to play fetch, after you throw the ball or toy, hide somewhere so that your dog will need to find you. This will help his tracking skills.
  • Take your dog out to socialize with other dogs.
  • Get two dogs; they keep each other company and entertain each other.






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