It has always been a great quest for me to take my dog along with me when I travel. But along with this dream there has always been a fear lingering around – how well would I be able to travel taking care of my lovable companion. Last month few of my friends have camper down from Wisconsin and joined us for some warm, sunny weather in Arizona. It has been the first time that I am spending so much time with my buddies after I had completed and moved out of my college and that too taking my pooch along.

It was really interesting for all of us and the most beautiful part was that for the first time we have been able to disclose our hearts and let our strengths and fears flow out making that camp fire blaze more deeply.

My only concern whenever I travel out is about Hector – my lovable bulldog. I was always scared to drive him with me out to the unknown situations that we may face during our journey.

 

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Travel Safely with Your Pet

Though I was smart, capable and strong, what has troubled me was taking care of Hector. I usually thought that at home I am a very good pet parent. But, when it comes to travelling with him, I may be the worst and would fail in taking best care of hector as he is really a lifeline for me. Many times because of this fear, I missed many of the interesting journeys and would later undergo a hurtful repentance about not capable of taking hector out on an adventure.

However, my friends have pushed me along the edge and helped me overcome my inner weakness. They have planned out everything for me and more interestingly knowing my weak point about Hector, they have amazingly worked out everything for the safety of my furry pal. On the other hand, I would rather say that it was definitely a pet-friendly campervan travel with lot of things to enjoy with hector. The moments I have cherished with hector and my friends, has made a new person, rather I would say that I have evolved to be a much better pet parent for my furry pal.

 

What Are Some Safety Tips for Traveling With A Dog?

 

So, if you are doddering on the edge out of the fear of travelling with your pooch and bout the health of your lovable companion when on the campervan then these simple tips are of great use.

  • Always have a car harness and a leash with you that may hold your dog when you people are tramping on the legs.
  • Take ample of dog food with you never to run of it until you finish your journey. You can even get some local food that is specially meant for doggies only.
  • There are a lot of people out there who love dogs, so there is no fear to be afraid about the harsh behavior of the people around you towards your pet when travelling with him.
  • Don’t forget to pack dog bed in case you may require when camping at outer regions.
  • If you are going for a long camp holidays, take flea and tick medications along with you. As during warm weathers flea and tick infestation is at peak. Moreover, you may not be aware whether the places you are going to visit are heavily infested with fleas and ticks or not. As the proverb goes – “Prevention is better than Cure.”
  • For instant relief of fleas and ticks, stock capstar along with you. This controls heavy flea and tick infestation.
  • If you are planning to camp near river fronts or have a plan to go swimming in ponds or lakes, take dog floating vest along with you. This ensures your pet’s safety in case you are taking him in unknown waters.

 

Looking back to my journey with Hector along with my friends has really helped me to overcome my fear of travelling along with my lovable companion.
With the journey being a teaching lesson to me, I have really come over my inner weakness and it has deeply instigated inert strength in me. Always having a memoir of this travel, I am moving ahead of planning some of the adventurous campervan travel with Hector in the near future.

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According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, around 45% of all dogs in the United States are overweight. Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Weakened immune system
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing Problems
  • High Blood Pressure

The following tips will help you learn how to help your dog lose weight.

 

  1. Feed Your Dog Correctly

You should feed your dog a small portion of food two to four times a day. It is important to measure the food as well. Use an 8 ounce measuring cup when you feed your pet. It’s too easy to accidentally give your dog too much food when you use a coffee cup or a scoop.

  1. Choose the Correct Type of Food

If you’d like your dog to lose weight, you will want to choose quality dog foods that contain above-average amounts of protein and below-average amounts of fat. Make sure you choose ones that have been approved by food and drug administration, and be mindful of harsh chemical and preservatives from the package. You may also mix high-quality dog food from the store with low-calorie dog food you make at home. Homemade dog food for weight loss is easy to prepare and store.

  1. Choose the Correct Types of Treats

Healthy dog treats will reward your pet for good behavior and keep him or her healthy at the same time. Choose organic dog treat that do not contain sugar. Sweet potato, salmon bites, or kangaroo treats for dogs are great alternatives to healthy snacks. Another tip is to break larger store-bought treats in half to lower the calorie count.

  1. Offer Chews

Bones and chews support a dog’s need to chew without adding extra calories. However, avoid chews such as pig ears since they can be high in fat content. Chews can also help keep the most avid food-beggar too busy to worry about eating extra food.

  1. Up Your Dog’s Exercise Level

Exercise is a great way to help your dog if you’re asking yourself how to get your dog to lose weight. Commit to taking your dog on a daily walk no matter the weather. Exercise will help your beloved pet lose weight and live longer.

 

How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

As little as 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking or playing is all it takes to aid your dog’s weight loss. However; if your dog has been sedentary for a long period of time, you may want to ease into a higher activity level to avoid injury.

 

  1. Use Supplements

Check with your veterinarian to see if an omega-3 supplement can help your dog lose weight. Additionally, use of an L-carnitine supplement has been shown to increase lean muscle mass and aid in weight loss.

 

  1. Monitor Your Dog’s Progress

Weigh your dog every one to two weeks while you are engaging in a weight-loss program. This will help you determine if calories need to be further restricted. If your dog has lost too much weight, you will know that you can increase calorie intake.

 

Helping your dog lose weight is very possible if you stick with a proper diet and exercise regimen. Contact your veterinarian to determine the healthiest way for your dog to lose weight.

 

Alicia Hill

Alicia is a full-time freelancer. She writes for several companies and sites, including Zoe’s Doggy Treats. Alicia is very simple, plain, and chill most of the time. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with loved ones.

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Finding a great outfit used to be tough, but the internet has exploded with dog-friendly garments in recent years. One of the very best places to purchase attire for your companion is Top Dog Apparel, which stocks dog clothes, accessories, and many other canine related items. By shopping there, you can get your dog ready for any occasion, and you’ll find a few ideas listed below…

Christmas

It’s Christmas day, and everyone is sitting around the tree wearing their novelty Christmas jumpers, excited about what’s to come. But spare a thought for little Fido, who has exactly the same collar on as usual, and isn’t sharing any of your Christmas joy. There’s no need to worry though, as there are plenty of festive ways to give your dog some Christmas spirit, with perhaps the best being a jumper all of their own!

There are loads of different designs you can choose from, ranging from traditional knitted patterns through to ones with humorous slogans, guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of everyone who sees them. Add to the dog jumper a bandana, or perhaps a festive collar, and your dog will look perfect on Christmas day. Why not even wrap them up, and let your dog tear the wrapping paper away?

Weddings

Dogs are part of your family, so they should definitely be involved in your big day. After all, they’re around you all the time, so why should they be sidelined on the most important day of your life? They can’t simply turn up looking scruffy though, so get them nicely groomed and styled, before then selecting from one of the many dog wedding outfits found online.

These wedding outfits come in many shapes and sizes, from smart tuxedos through to elegant flowing wedding dresses. Just don’t expect the dress to stay white for too long though, as they’ll definitely find a patch of mud to roll in at some point! Remember: these smart outfits can also be used for many other important events, such as birthdays and christenings, so keep them packed up safe after you’ve used them.

Bedtime

It might not be a particularly special occasion, however your dog should feel comfortable when it heads off to bed, ready to dream of chasing birds and eating piles of dog treats. This is why so many people invest in a great set of doggie pyjamas for their pooch, which are warm, comfortable, and really set your dog up for a great night of sleep.

It isn’t just pyjamas you can find for your dog though, as there are also loads of other pieces of clothing and accessories as well. For example, why not get a dog robe for your pet, so that it can unwind before heading to bed? Or maybe you could grab a brand new dog duvet or pillow, so your dog has the most comfortable sleep possible?

Out On the Town

If you like taking your dog into town with you, perhaps when you go for coffee with friends, then you really need to make sure they look the part. You don’t have to go as far as a complete outfit (although they do look great), but you should certainly grab yourself a sparkling new lead, and a collar they can be proud of. You can even find matching collar and lead sets, to make sure your dog is looking stunning!

For those really special days out, you can also add some bling to your dog’s look, simply by getting them some beautiful dog jewellery! You’ll find everything from tiaras through to hair clips, all of which are guaranteed to add a certain style to any canine companion. For the boys, you’ll also find adorable clip on bowties, so that they can look as smart as possible!

 

So, there you have it: loads of great ways you can make your dog look its absolute best. Your dog will love all the attention lavished on it when sporting such stunning attire, and you’ll also love the admiring looks you get when with your dog as well!

Ear mites are very contagious spider-like parasites that are most frequently seen infection the inner ears of both dogs and cats. Ear mites are most often seen living inside the ear canals of dogs; however, they can also be located on other parts of the dog’s body. If your dog is demonstrating the symptoms of ear irritation then it is very likely that he has an ear infection caused by ear mites. Your veterinarian will be able to confirm the diagnosis for you.

The Symptoms of Ear Mites

Symptoms of ear mites in dogs are very easy to spot. Your dog may start shaking his head a lot more frequently; keep in mind that excessive head shaking can actually damage your dog’s ears to the point where the tips of floppy ears start to bleed. If your dog is obsessively scratching or rubbing at his ears then you should consider that he does have an ear mite infection.

The Diagnosis of Canine Ear Mites

While your veterinarian is the most qualified person to give you the diagnosis of ear mites, you may be able to see symptoms of it yourself when you look inside your dog’s ears. When you look into your dog’s ears you will be able to see debris inside of his ear canal; it will have the appearance of coffee grounds and may range in color from dark red, to brown, and even to black. Ear mites in dogs are actually visible to the naked eye so you may be able to see them moving inside of your dog’s ears.

When your vet looks into your dog’s ears he may also take a sample of the debris from the ear canal and inspect it under a microscope in order to get a more affirmative diagnosis.

Treatment for Ear Mites

The treatment for ear mites in dogs will depend on the severity of the infestation. In severe cases, where your dog’s hearing has already been affected, your vet may prescribe a round of antibiotics. Your dog’s hearing may be restored once the infection and associated swelling has decreased.

Your vet may do a thorough wash and cleaning of your dog’s ears while he is in the office; if your vet doesn’t offer this option right away then you may want to consider requesting it as it is often best to let the professionals handle deep ear cleanings. Once the ears have both been thoroughly cleaned out of debris then an insecticide medication will be applied directly into the ears.

At-home care for ear mites in dogs will include additional ear cleanings and applications of the prescription medications. Treatment could extend for as long as two weeks in order to ensure that all of the ear mites have been destroyed. Be sure that you treat all of your animals for ear mites, even if just one of them is currently displaying symptoms of these little pests.

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Author Bio

Julie Page first grew to love writing about pets and the pet industry in 2012 while writing a dog travel journal for a Canadian based company. Julie then discovered a lack of informative dog name websites when researching cute puppy names which fuelled her passion even more. Julie founded two quality sites www.femaledognames.net and www.maledognames.net .When Julie isn’t writing she is on an adventure, or at the very least plotting her next one.

The Rainforest Can Help Your Dog

Modern medicine with all its scientific and technological improvements stills achieves as in the past significant advances from nature. Five out of the ten leading U.S. prescription drugs and 75% of all cancer drugs were developed based on animal and plant research. Our overall health and life expectancies have improved substantially due to medicines developed from nature.

Quinine, cortisone, Novocain, leukemia drugs for children, and Captopril the first orally taken high blood pressure drug are but a few examples.

The global rainforests are the eco-friendliest and most varied environments on earth. They represent a enormous reservoir of knowledge and contain a wealth of ecosystems and wildlife, with many species both plant and animal still undiscovered.

The rainforests have and will continue to source many of these nature-based medications to benefit mankind. Our best friend, the canine, will also benefit from these discoveries. One emerging plant from the rainforests of the Amazon and South and Central America is cat’s claw.

Cat’s claw is a wide-ranging woody climbing vine that gains its name from the thorns growing along the stalk that resemble the claws of a cat. In the moist warm environment of the rainforest the plants can grow a 100 feet high into the tops of the trees.
Like many herbal and natural remedies cat’s claw has been in use for thousands of years. The aboriginal tribes of the rainforests still use it for many medicinal needs. Peru especially has a strong history of using and producing it for commercial use.
But unlike many of these remedies that come from the folklore cat’s claw has had significant studies and trials performed to verify its claims and has caught the attention of many notable researchers in the field of medical pharmacology.
The aboriginal populations of the vast Amazon rainforests that span Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana for centuries have been using cat’s claw for medicinal remedies and preventions for countless conditions including deep wounds, arthritis asthma, inflammations, internal cleanser to neutralize free radicals, dysentery, rheumatism, cancer, gonorrhea, and diabetes.
Cat’s claw received it first significant attention in the 1920s when Germans migrated to Peru and started using it to successfully treat rheumatism and cancer. So after studies started in Europe and England raising its popularity. Since, credible studies and clinical trials have been conducted worldwide in such countries as Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, England, Germany, Italy, Peru, Sweden, and the United States. These studies and trials have documented positive results against a wide range of maladies such as Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, DNA damage, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Leukemia, lymphoma, and Osteoarthritis. In addition which also speaks highly of its possibilities multiple patents have been filed in the United States concerning Cat’s Claw and it was ranked as one of the top 10 most popular herbs.
Cat’s claw contains numerous active compounds that are phytochemicals with powerful therapeutic qualities. These all have pronounced physiological actions and include alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, sterol fractions, plant sterols, and antioxidant chemicals.
Because cat’s claw contains such diverse and extensive biologically active compounds it has positive therapeutic cures and preventions for likewise diverse and extensive medical issues including arthritis, diverticulitis, colitis, gastritis, hemorrhoids, cold sores, herpes, hay fever, high blood pressure and even birth control. It has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of vaccines. In addition by cleansing the intestinal walls, it facilitates the body to better absorb minerals, vitamins, and proteins essential for growth and the maintenance of good health.

Even though the extensive studies, clinical trials, and folklore that document cat’s claw’s therapeutic benefits is all associated with humans there is no reason to believe it would not be as beneficial for your dog. Many of these medicinal problems and related studies, observations, and personal experiences take significant effort and prolong time periods to effectively determine if cat’s claw performs as asserted. Therefore for dogs there is little or no verified information on its value. The property of cat’s claw needing relatively very high strength and quantity of stomach acid to facilitate the decomposition of the tannins and alkaloids during digestion is significant when developing a thesis for its beneficial use for dogs. A dog’s stomach acid is 10 times stronger than that of humans meaning that cat’s claw in the dog’s digestive tract will be more effective in assimilating the herb into the body’s cellular structure.
The anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to be highly beneficial for dogs for the treatment of joint problems . The medicinal effects for reducing inflammation and pain for damaged joints, muscles, or tendon & ligaments can usually be realized and recognized in a reasonably short period of time, as short as a few hours.
All joint products whether for humans, horses, or canines typically contain Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane (MSM). In addition many also contain the additional beneficial compounds Hyaluronic Acid and Cetyl Myristoleate. These complexes of compounds promote healing of the cartilage, meniscus, tendons, and joint membranes.
Since there is almost always inflammation associated with problem joints a good natural anti-inflammatory compound such as cat’s claw is a very beneficial addition to these compounds. By quickly reducing the inflammation in a damaged joint you promote healing by allowing it to be used without the pain and restrictive movement that the inflammation causes. This then in turn gets more blood flowing through the joint promoting healing.
If your dog has symptoms of joint discomfort you need to start using a joint care product and it should contain cat’s claw. The symptoms are obviously all involved with physical movement. They include difficulty either laying down or raising up, slow and measured when walking, straining to get over objects or up stairs, inflammation and tenderness around joints, excessive breathlessness when moving and exercising, hobbling or repeatedly not using a leg, or simply not wanting to chase that ball that they dropped at your feet.

In conclusion, considerable amounts of information on cat’s claw for this article were acquired from the book “The Saga of the Cat’s Claw by Dr. Cabieses. Dr. Cabieses has very distinguished credentials. Beneficial medicinal properties of many plants, herbs, and natural compounds are based on folklore and promoted by commercial profit interests , not by sufficient testing and trials. From the research cat’s claw is different. To support this thesis; The closing statement from Dr. Cabieses’ book is included below.

The proper design of research protocols for human application in neoplastic diseases and in severe problems of immune deficiency (AIDS) is not child’s play, and the limits between the possible and the desirable are frequently cloudy and diffuse. A link between “in vitro” and “in vivo” is now being designed in Peruvian medical institutions of great prestige like the University Cayetano Heredia and Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas, as well as under the direction of experts in alternative medicines like natural medicine (Father Edmundo Szeliga, Doctor Mirez, Doctor Lida Obregon) and homeopathy (Dr. F. P. Iaccarino). This leads me to believe that it won’t be too long, dear reader, before you and I can sit down together again for a second edition of this monograph.
Meanwhile, what should we do? What should you and I do with all the information invading our homes and our hospitals about cat’s claw in Peru? What do we do, dear aunt of my neighbor? What do we do, dear doctor, respected colleague? Do we resist the tide and abstain from using this interesting plant of our jungle? What do we tell our friend, the desperate father of the young fellow who has AIDS? Do we tell him to ignore this ray of hope? Do we, as doctors, tell our patient suffering from a malignant tumor not to seek refuge in cat’s claw, at least to satisfy his desperate relatives? Or do we tell our patients and our friends to buy a ticket to this lottery and see what happens with cat’s claw? Do we love cat’s claw or not? Do we accept it or prohibit it?
Biology’s dizzying advances have confronted us with hundreds of dilemmas like this one. When you face a true dilemma, you suddenly find that you have no answers. A dilemma is a question without answers. Or, to put it better, a dilemma is a question with two or more answers, whose every answer is at once attractive and defensible and capable of leading us to defeat and frustration. Modern biology has brought us to a vast field paved with dilemmas like this; disoriented, we now seek satisfaction for all our doubts and questions. Such satisfaction does not exist. A road there must be built and found in the labyrinth of biological dilemmas, and the way to do so is called Bio-ethics.
The ethics of Biology: a science that still does not clearly exist. An elusive, slippery, unattainable moral law. A set of rules where it is always difficult to find what is good, what is proper, what is just. A time bomb hidden behind each scientific discovery.
That is why I wrote this book. To shed some light on this difficult path. Here we have a “new” medication which is recommended and praised by many people who have used it. Here we have scientific evidence that it is not toxic. Laboratory tests carried out in serious academic institutions prove that the extracts of this plant have clear anti-inflammatory effects, that it has some action modulating the immune mechanisms, and that, in certain circumstances, it inhibits the crazed growth of cancerous cells. . . .
So we still have not identified the active principal? We have not identified how it works? For two hundred years, quina bark saved more lives annually than those killed by the atomic bomb in 1945. And during all those years, nobody knew that there was an alkaloid which would later be named Quinine. For a hundred years, humankind used aspirin to stop pain and inflammation, though nobody knew until the discovery of prostaglandins why it worked.
Of course, in this dangerous quagmire of official indecision, the indifference of the authorities and the absence of controls acts as an incentive to fraud, to the illegal substitution of products, to falsification, adulteration and deceit. These should lead us, physicians and conscientious citizens, to help our patients and friends help themselves against con artists and quacks and who promote spurious and adulterated products. All physicians who have patients taking this particular medicinal plant should try to document seriously and scientifically all those cases, positive or negative, in order to gather enough scientific information about the medical effects of cats claw.

 

Why are dogs so friendly?

If someone asked you the question why are dogs so friendly? How would you answer them? Yes we all know and love our dogs, and they love as back just as much, but where did this love come from? Where did it all begin? Let’s dip in and discover the answer to this question, which is truly amazing.

Why are dogs so friendly – The domestication Process

 

It’s hard to imagine, as you’re cuddling up to your beloved canine that his/her ancestors were wolves. Scientists have clear DNA evidence that shows our best friends did in fact descend from the gray wolf.

The oldest fossils that have been discovered were from a dog grave which was 14,000 years old. However there is clear DNA evidence that does indeed suggest that dogs originated from wolves a lot sooner than this; with figures going back 15,000 to over 100,000 years ago.

Historians have all agreed that we domesticated our faithful companions long before any other animal. So not only are dogs our best friends they are indeed our oldest best friends. Is it any wonder why we have such an unbreakable bond with them?

We don’t exactly know how dogs and humans first discovered each other, there are many different theories. One theory is that humans began taking in the pups of wolves and that we learned how to tame them. Another theory suggests that the very tamest wolves were always around us searching for food, they were the ones who weren’t afraid to come close to us in the hope for food which would have increased their chances of survival.

One of the Pack

Wolves are pack animals and as they became tamer towards us we were considered by them to be the pack leader, or the “highest ranking wolf” the wolves therefore quickly became obedient towards the new pack leader. The tamer the wolves kept on becoming, the longer they stayed around us, and so either we intentionally bred tamer wolves, or evolution did it for us. The end result was much tamer wolves, until eventually we got our best friends of today, the dog.

Humans and the tamer wolves built up a strong bond and developed great teamwork in regards to hunting, we had the brains for hunting and the wolf had the speed and also the ferocity, which enabled us both to survive. We shared our food that we had caught together, and we depended on each other for survival. This is where the bond between us stems from, we needed each other. This is one answer to the question why are dogs so friendly towards us?

Our little wolves of today

While we may not have been able to cuddle a wolf back in those dayswe can cuddle our best friends that we share our lives with today, they are very special indeed. Although we may not have to go hunting together for each other’s survival, we still share a great bond and it’s a bond that can never be broken. We love our dogs and they love us back, just as much.

They consider us as one of their pack, just like the wolves did all those years ago, some characteristics will never change, and we wouldn’t want them to. It’s hard to imagine our faithful companions being related to a gray wolf, but indeed it is true, take a close look at your dog, the features are all there to see.

The loyalty of dogs

Dogs are such loyal companions to us humans, is there any wonder they are considered to be man’s best friend? You only have to look at stories in the newspapers to see stories of such loyalty, when their owners have been away for a long time and suddenly come home, the pictures of the dog’s reaction is beautiful, and shows just how much they love us, unconditionally. Some people might say they are loyal because we feed them this however, definitely isn’t the truth. They love us for much more than this.

Dogs are pack animals, they think that their owners are one of their pack. Dogs don’t want to be on their own, they need numbers, as they thrive in a pack. When something happens to one of their pack, they miss that member considerably.

Dogs are affectionate animals they have a strong instinct in them that craves bonds either with other dogs or indeed us humans. Dogs don’t want to fight they want to be loved and they want to protect all the members in their pack, no matter what.

Final thoughts

Dogs are our most loyal, trusting friends to whom we have developed such a strong bond. They love us no matter what, and we love them for this.The friendship we have with our beloved canines goes back thousands of years, so it shouldn’t be too hard to see why they quickly became “man’s best friend.”

The unconditional love they give us means everything, and they ask for nothing back, just food, shelter and lots of love .They want us to be a member of their pack, and we are more than happy to be, we will always have a strong bond with dogs, we have taken them into our hearts, and surely that’s where they’ll stay. Hopefully this has answered your question, why are dogs so friendly?

 

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Author Bio

Julie Page first grew to love writing about pets and the pet industry in 2012 while writing a dog travel journal for a Canadian based company. Julie then discovered a lack of informative dog name websites when researching puppy names for boys which fuelled her passion even more. Julie founded two quality sites www.femaledognames.net and www.maledognames.net .When Julie isn’t writing she is on an adventure, or at the very least plotting her next one.

Should We Dress Our Dogs Up?

If you’ve ever spent any significant time on the Internet, chances are you’ve come across pictures of dogs dressed up as something adorable/terrifying.

The owners will often be the first to tell you that their dogs absolutely love being dressed up, but is it ever ok to parade your pooch around in one of these costumes?

Upon considering this question, I find myself torn. As a dog walker, I have a passion for pooches of all shapes and sizes, and some of them genuinely need an extra layer when we go out for walks. But it’s not an Elvis costume or Santa suit that I choose – it’s a dog jacket. Apart from a few smaller dogs that aren’t quite built to deal with the cold effectively, I generally find that very few dogs need a jacket, even in extreme weather. Dogs have evolved to regulate their body temperature in these conditions, and making them wear a jacket interferes with this regulatory system. Man’s best friend is tough as nails, and making them wear unnecessary layers of clothing can be detrimental to their survivalist instincts.

And it’s not just mild discomfort that a dressed up dog might experience; some experts have warned that it can have a similar effect to leaving them locked in a car without an open window, something that kills thousands of dogs every year. The RSPCA have further clarified the severity of unnecessarily giving dogs an extra layer of clothing by warning that owners who do so could be prosecuted for neglect, making it serious business.

But even if you’re taking care to only dress up your dog when you feel that they absolutely need the extra layer, there is another aspect to this argument that is rarely discussed – embarrassment.

 

There are claims that dressing dogs in extra clothing, even if it’s just a simple jacket, can actually be quite demeaning. I wasn’t totally convinced by this argument until I saw a huge Lurcher being paraded around in a fluffy poncho – his face definitely suggested embarrassment and discomfort.

The main argument that I hear from pet owners who dress their dogs up is that their pets ‘enjoy’ wearing the extra clothing. But in many ways, this could be even worse for the dog’s behaviour and development. Loving your dog is understandable, but ultimately they are pets and should be treated as so. Dogs that are dressed up by their owners tend to behave poorly because they aren’t treated like animals; they’re treated like spoilt kids. So don’t be surprised when they behave like a spoilt kid.

But despite my arguments, there are times when dressing up dogs is entirely appropriate. Family photos just aren’t the same without a dog in a bad sweater, and every dog should have at least one bad Halloween costume. Just make sure you take it off straight after they’re done posing in it, you don’t want them to overheat.

Dog clothing has become a huge industry in recent years, and an increasing number of owners have started dressing their dogs up on a regular basis. But whether you’re doing this for a laugh or you’re doing it because you genuinely believe they need the extra warmth, always consider their safety and feelings first.

 

 

Barbara owns Dog Walking Dunfermline (http://dogwalkingdunfermline.org.uk) a dog walking company based in Scotland.

Many people made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Did you? Did your dog make one also?

Obesity in humans has become a major health problem in the United States. The Center for Disease Control has estimated that 68% of the population is overweight and 33% are considered obese. Due to the propensity of people to treat their dogs as “their children” or in other terms as humans, this health problem is also emerging as a major problem for dogs. It has been reported that over 50% of dogs that live in the United States are overweight or obese. This is a staggering 44 million dogs.

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This over-weight situation in our canine pets is creating the same health problems, as many modern-day humans are experiencing. These nutritional diseases and health problems are numerous including degenerative joint disease, high blood sugar levels, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, breathing difficulties and pulmonary disease, torn knee tendons, cancer, and early mortality rates.

There are many economic, social, and psychological reasons why a sizeable percentage of the American population has reached this state of unhealthiness. In his most recent book, “The Well-Tuned Brain” Peter Whybrow uses extensive research from neuroscience, economics, philosophy, history, and anthropology to explain human behavior from the 2008 financial crisis to obesity. From his broad knowledge of neuroscience he describes how the intuitive or reflexive parts of the brain control much of our actions instinctively. The central theses of the book are concerned with our ability individually and as a society to survive in today’s tempting commercial consumer driven market culture when our brain often functioning on primeval instincts tells us to do the wrong things as assuming too much debt or eating too much.

With dogs even more of their actions are controlled by instinct. They cannot imagine, will think in the future, or think in the abstract. This is one reason why anthropomorphizing them, meaning we think about them as if they were human, can create problems especially when it comes to eating habits, diet, and obesity.

People have the ability to think about and plan for the future. Eat a light lunch because later you will sit down to a big dinner, your mother counsels you to quit eating snacks or you will not have room for dinner, I have to keep my New Year’s resolution to lose weight…. Etc. Dogs although very intelligent and demonstrate many personality, mental, and human type emotions cannot imagine or think about the future, they do not have the mental capacity, they react to the present. Their instincts inherited from the wolf tell them that when they find food as with a kill of deer they need to eat as much as possible as quickly as possible before bigger predators arrive and there might not be another kill for a long time. When they start to cross the road and a car is coming they many times with disastrous outcomes from instinct just try to run faster because they cannot anticipate that if they just wait the cars will pass and they can cross safely.

As stated it is a well-known and recognized common health problem in our domesticated dogs. It is documented and discussed in academic veterinarian literature, the commercial pet industry, and on the numerous Internet sites associated with our pets and dogs. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) is dedicated to educating dog owners about obesity in their pets. Its site http://www.petobesityprevention.org has comprehensive information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of this critical dog health problem. Much of the information in this article was obtained at this very informative site.

“Fat Pet Gap” is one very interesting concept that APOP identifies, in which 95% of owners of overweight and even obese dogs incorrectly believe their pet is normal weight. This obviously makes confronting the obesity problem difficult. APOP has calculators to compare overweight conditions in dogs to that of humans that help the dog owner to identify and start to work on alleviating the problem. For instance, it shows that a 12-pound Yorkie is the same as an average female weighing 218 pounds.

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The root cause of this problem for dog health is the same as in humans, eating too much, eating the wrong foods, and not enough exercise; calories consumed exceed calories expended. But this article is not meant to lecture dog owners on all the nitty-gritty details of dog obesity, but to try to make them think about problem from a different view; a view from the neuroscience of the dog’s brain.

Bruce Harte is a Partner and Head of the Research Staff at VitaHound.com . He has always been a devoted dog owner with his companions over the last 60+ years ranging from mongrels, to beagles to golden and black labs. They have always been raised naturally not only with diet and dog supplements but also with their environment including their adobe home in the high Sonoran Desert or rustic cabins high in the Pines of the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1968 Bruce has over 50 years experience in technical and scientific research. Bruce’s love of gardening, natural herbs and remedies combined with extensive knowledge of Native American culture has enabled the VitaHound site to become a robust source of dog supplement and nutrition information.

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Reducing Pet Allergies in Your Home

Is your dog making it difficult for others to visit your home? Even the best trained dog can be a deterrent if your friends or family have allergic reactions. Allergies might even make you think twice about owning a pet altogether, but by understanding what causes these reactions you’ll be able to take the steps you need to reduce them happening in your home.
Understanding Dander and its Effects
Dogs produce a protein which remains in the glands of dead skin, known as dander. This protein is also found in their saliva, and if your dog licks their fur the allergens may flake off once their fur dries. This is the reason why some of those who suffer from pet allergies can have a reaction without even being in the same room as the pet.
Allergic reactions can have a range of effects, such as asthmatic symptoms or skin rashes. If you have regular allergic reactions and believe that it may be pet related, allergy shots may be available to ease some or all of your symptoms. However, you should always consult allergies with your doctor if they continue to be a problem so that the best medication (if necessary) is prescribed.
The best thing to do is to reduce the chances of dander and similar allergies being spread around your home. This is achievable by utilizing the possibilities each room brings:
Minimizing Allergies Around Your Home
Spare Room
If you have a spare room in your home, particularly a box room, consider transforming it into an area just for your dog, so that they regularly eat, play and sleep in their own space. Containing most of their time spent around your home to one room makes it easier to contain their allergens to a single space, and also means cleaning up after them is much simpler. A baby safety gate is also effective for keeping young pups and medium sized dogs to single areas while allowing you to keep doors open. Allergens remain contained and you can still keep an eye on your pet.
Living Room
With visitors naturally spending a lot of time in your living room, it’s essential to keep sofas and carpets in this room as clean as possible. Keep a lint roller or handheld vacuum cleaner handy so you can pick up shed hair from furniture before it starts to build up. If you are dealing with multiple pets, professional deep cleaning may be needed for your carpets to effectively remove all allergens and prevent them from being ground into your living room.
Bathroom
Your dog should be bathed and brushed regularly, to keep their fur as clean as possible. Brush their fur every day to help prevent any saliva building up on their fur and bathe them once a week to fight dirt and dander build-up. You should also regularly wash any bedding they have, with spares so that potentially allergen-heavy material can be replaced straight away.
Kitchen
If you have an external door in your kitchen, consider placing your dog’s basket and toys closer to it. This will help reduce any dirt they could bring into the home as well as discouraging them from climbing on nearby furniture. If you are renovating your kitchen (or other rooms in your home) you may want to install wooden flooring as this will accumulate far less dirt and is easier to clean than carpet.
Hallways
Dander can spread throughout your home if it is picked up by a ventilation system, meaning rooms your pet doesn’t even visit can house airborne allergens. Keep some air purifiers in your home’s hallways so that they trap and filter out dander before they are tracked into a room. High Efficiency Particulate Air filters and purifiers are made to trap more dust and dander particles than regular air filters, making them perfect for keeping your hallways allergen-free.

There are many solutions to controlling allergen levels in your home, even if your sensitivity to allergens varies. Some dogs are labeled ‘hypoallergenic’ as they shed less hair, but it is important to know that no dog is 100% allergen free, even hairless breeds. By adopting these tips you should see allergens levels dramatically reduce in your home, meaning you, your family and your friends can live with your pet without the worry of allergic reactions.
Author bio: Matthew Foster is from the UK so he is naturally a pet lover, much to the dismay of his allergy suffering mum!

When you place your disabled pet in a wheelchair for the first time it can go very smoothly or it can go very bad. Some pets just pick up on it like they’re so used to it but some will resist it like it’s a living hell. If this happens, don’t panic. As I have discovered from checking wheelchair blogs it is usually because your pet is not yet accustomed to the wheelchair. When faced with something they are not used to some pets freeze, retreat, or get really angry.

So all you need to do is to get your pet accustomed to the wheelchair. It sounds simple enough and it could be that simple or it could take a long time and a lot of patience. This will depend on your pet and your patience.

To get your pet accustomed to the wheelchair put it somewhere they often can see. May be near where they eat or sleep. If you think it is no longer an eyesore to them, show them how it works by moving it around and let them touch it. Once they get used to that, place your pet inside the wheelchair but keep it in place. Do not walk them yet. Just let your pet take it in that he’s in the wheelchair. When he seems comfortable, remove your pet from the wheelchair. Each step can take from a day to several days before your pet will get comfortable so, like I said, be patient. It’s up to you to see if he’s ok or not with each step. But if you are patient and persistent, soon your pet will move little by little on his own when you put him in the wheelchair.

Bio:

Marie Malacaman is the web administrator for Best Friend Mobility. She is a professional dog walker and pet sitter.