Archive for September, 2017

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Epilepsy in dogs can be traumatic for both dog and owner. While it’s uncertain why this condition occurs, it’s thought to be a genetic trait. An epileptic pooch will be a happy, bubbly pup the majority of the time. But, when seizures strike, the may take you both by surprise. The extreme physical exertion on your dog’s body can be tough for them. Not to mention that seeing your beloved pet have a seizure can be traumatic.

The good news is, an epileptic dog can live a long and healthy life. This may be an extra worry which you didn’t bank on when you brought your pup home. But, there’s no reason you can’t get a decent handle on this long-term condition. To help you get off on the right footing, we’re going to look at how you can ensure your dog suffers as little as possible.

Manage Medication

Though no tablets can cure the condition as such, they at least offer a chance to control it. The most common drugs prescribed are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Both attempt to prevent seizures. The chances are, your dog will need to take one of these throughout their life. So, you need to learn how to manage their medication.

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Getting dogs to take tablets is never an easy task. That doesn’t change when their medication is long-term. To make matters worse, phenobarbital causes weight gain, which worsens if given with food. So, try your hardest to get your dog to take their pills as they are. There are many methods to try, including massaging their throat or putting the pill far back If all else fails, you could turn to something like these pill treats for dogs. Though your dog will still be eating, this is better than crushing their medication into a whole meal.

 

Know The Warning Signs

 

Even when they’re on medication, your dog may have seizures. As an epileptic dog owner, it’s your responsibility to recognize the signs so that you can protect your pooch. Over time, you’ll come to know your dog’s distinct warning signs, but for the most part, pre-seizure dogs enter what’s called an ‘aura.’. During this time, they may become distressed, dazed, or have an accident. As soon as you spot these signs, make sure to keep a close eye out.

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Secure Your Dog During Seizures

When people have seizures, we clear the way and make sure they don’t hurt themselves. Your dog is no different. Acting the right way during their seizure is sure to lessen their distress. Though your first instinct may be to call them out of it, it’s important to let a seizure run its course. All you need to do is place down some towels to protect your pup, and also soak any accidents they have. Give them time, and they’ll come round when they’re ready.

When leaving the dog home alone, remove their collar, and cover anything hard so that you know they’ll be okay if a seizure strikes.

 

Our pooches are important, they are loyal, faithful, and loving, and our part of the bargain is that we love them back and look after and care for them to the best of our abilities. A part of this is ensuring their diet is in the best it can be. So to find out what this looks like for your pupper, read on.

 

Chocolate can be fatal

 

One thing that every dog owner needs to know is that feeding their pup chocolate isn’t a treat, in fact, it can be fatal. This is because chocolate has methylxanthines in it. Specifically theobromine and caffeine, which is a big no-no for our doggie pals.

 

So no matter how much they look at you with those big brown eyes, make sure that the only chocolate treats you give them are ones that are designated safe for dogs that you buy from the pet store.

 

Yes to cold pressed foods

 

Something else that is important for dog owners to know is that a lot of mass produced kibble isn’t as healthy as you would think. Yes,  kibble is great because it’s easy to serve, as it takes no preparation and it claims to have all the nutrients your dog’s need for a balanced diet. However, what you probably don’t know is that most of it is mass produced at high temperatures. Something that makes it difficult for your dog to digest and prevents them from getting the nutrients that they need.

 

That is why it’s better to pick healthy dog food that is cold pressed. As these can be broken down by your dog’s digestive system way better. Reducing stomach issues and giving them access to the nutrients the need for a long and healthy life.

 

Scraps are a bad idea

 

The next thing you need to sort is you want to get your dog’s diet in order are table scraps. Table scraps are probably one of the most tempting things for your pooch. After all, you’re eating them, so they must be good right?

 

However, feeding the dog from the table is bad for their behavior and bad for their health. Behaviorally, it can cause issues because the dog will continue to bother you until they get the food that they are looking for. This can seem cute the first few times, but when it continues at every meal for the rest of their life, it can become a real pain.

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Healthwise, table scraps are bad for dogs for a number of reasons. The first is that it’s very easy for them to go over their recommended calorie allowance every day, making weight gain a problem.

 

The second is that it’s harder to monitor what your dog is consuming and being given by guests and other members of the family. Something that can put your dog’s life and well-being in danger with things like small bones that can cause choking, or if the dishes they are being fed from coat things such as nuts. As these can cause seizures in dogs.

 

Whether you have recently become a dog owner for the first time or you’ve had mutts all your life, it never gets easier to leave your beloved hound behind when you are venturing off on vacation. Your dog may get separation anxiety, and you’re positive that you are afflicted by it too. Every day while you are away, you are worrying yourself silly about how your faithful friend is getting on back home. However, there are ways in which you can mitigate missing your pal.

You may have a cheeky mini chihuahua or a large soppy St Bernard. It doesn’t matter. The love you feel for your pooch is strong no matter what their size. When finding a carer or a place to accommodate your dog when you go away, it’s vital that you consider all of the options.

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Boarding Kennels

 

Some kennels are notorious for being cheap for a reason. Their facilities are poor, hygiene can be shambolic, and the dogs that stay there have a horrendous time. With the advent of review sites on the Internet, it’s easy to check out feedback for the accommodation you’re thinking of sending your mutt to while you’re off on your travels.

Recently, doggy hotels have emerged that give dog owners peace of mind when they are away. Yes, they may cost a little more, but your little pal will be catered for in the same way as a human client at a regular hotel. Pooch pads like the one seen at www.fondren5starpetresort.com will have facilities like a private dog park so that your hound gets plenty of exercise, top quality food with optimum nutrition and a doggy grooming salon. You can head off on your journey knowing that your dog will be pampered and well cared for in a true five-star environment.

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Dog Sitter

 

If you have a particularly nervous pooch, you may not want him to have the stress of moving to an unfamiliar place with other dogs and strange people even if it is just for a couple of weeks. An alternative is to vet some professional dog sitters using a site like www.trustedhousesitters.com. An individual will move into your home and spend most of their days with your dog. They’ll be able to stick to your regular routines, lessening the anxiety for your mutt. You could invite your dog sitter over to your home a few times before your holiday so that your four-legged friend can get to know his temporary housemate.

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Contact

 

When you go on holiday, it’s common to receive pupdates from your dog sitter or doggy hotel just to let you know how your mutt is getting on. One text a day, maybe with a photo, showing your dog enjoying a game of fetch or munching on some nutritious treats can put your mind at rest and lessen your worries.

 

As a responsible and loving dog owner, you want your hound to be well cared for while you are away. Opting for a top quality dog sitter or a spa-like doggy hotel can see your hound enjoying his vacation as much as you end up enjoying yours!

Dogs can be a human’s best friend, so you know how your dog is going to act on most days because each one has their own distinct personality. That’s why it can be scary when they start acting strangely, and you don’t know how to help them. To keep this from happening in your future, read up on common dog skin allergies so you can take a deep breath. Knowing what the problem is will be half your battle.

Alopecia in Dogs

Alopecia is the technical way to say hair loss, and while it’s more widely known for being something humans deal with, dogs can also be affected. Sometimes it just appears as a thinning of your dog’s hair in places you might not think of as concerning, like the tip of their nose or their ears. However, it can quickly turn into hair loss in giant chunks all over the body.

This skin condition, as well as others, are most often first accompanied by symptoms such as rubbing their face and constant scratching, as well as chewing on their feet or even ear infections. The best way to determine the course of treatment for alopecia is to talk with your vet. Your dog could need just a good bath with the right shampoo, or even medication.

The Common Menace: Pruritus

If you notice your dog constantly scratching without hair loss, they’re probably struggling with Pruritus. This just means that their skin has been irritated and they feel the need to scratch, and it can happen for any number of reasons. Allergies can inflame the skin or even a change in diet. This good news is that this doesn’t require a vet trip to get your dog some help.

The best thing you can do for your furry best friend is go to the pet store and get a calming, restorative shampoo. Instead of grabbing what you usually do, look for a shampoo based in oatmeal, since it’s a neutral formula that will soothe the skin. Use this until you notice the itching go away, and then opt for a permanent sensitive-skin shampoo instead.

Flea Allergy Hotspots

Fleas are a nuisance to dogs, not only because of the risks that they pose, but also because dogs can be allergic to them as well. If your dog is allergic to fleas and gets bitten by one, they’ll start itching, losing hair and showing red skin. The most noticeable symptom will be the “hotspots,” which are red spots with no hair that appear above the hind legs and the tail head.

To get rid of the fleas, put a flea collar on your dog or take them to a vet for medication. In addition, it’d be smart to use some oatmeal shampoo to calm their irritation spots and give them some peace of mind. If your vet gives your dog medication that is applied to the coat and not taken orally, take care not to bathe your dog too quickly and wash the medication away.

Protein Intolerance

Some dogs are actually allergic to certain amounts of protein, which can cause them to experience symptoms like itchy skin. To tell this apart from other diagnoses, your dog would also have an upset stomach or swollen tongue.

Sound like what your dog is experiencing? Your vet will have to run tests on your dog’s bloodwork to determine the specific allergy, and they may even do a skin test. If it truly is an issue with diet, your vet will be able to point you to the right food, and may advise that you dog skip certain treats and bones.

 

When your dog starts to experience skin issues, you may feel panicked because you’re not sure how to handle the situation. Is it something temporary and easy to fix with a bath, or should you go to your vet? While you might not be able to afford a vet visit, you should always call and ask for advice before deciding what to do on your own.

 

Bio:

Emily is an avid dog lover and conservation writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To read more of her work, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, and go follow her on Twitter!

When you or a member of your family are ill, you can usually express what’s wrong. With your dog, it’s not so simple. A dog may be able to show some signs that it’s sick or injured through limping or through a change in their diet, but sometimes the signs aren’t so obvious. Keep an eye out for these not-so-obvious signs that your dog is sick and get them to the vet immediately if you’re concerned.

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1. They’re not behaving like their usual self

Just like when you’re not feeling at your best, you might find that your dog is irritable or isn’t as energetic as they would normally be. Changes in behavior can be a clear indicator that something is wrong with your dog. It might just last a day or several days, but if you notice a change that doesn’t resolve itself, book an appointment with your vet.

2. Changes in their coat

You will be used to knowing the condition your dog’s coat should be in. Longer haired dogs will have coats that are usually full and glossy, while short haired dogs might be coarser. If you notice that your dog’s coat is starting to dull or you notice a rash or skin condition, especially if they’ve not shown similar symptoms in the past – you should keep a close eye and seek help if things don’t improve. Grooming your dog regularly is important for bonding, but it will also to help keep their coat in good condition and alert you to any changes.

3. Their sleeping habits have changed

Once a dog settles into a home, they will usually develop a sleeping routine. You might find that your dog goes to bed when you do, and may have naps during the day as well. If you notice that your dog sleeps longer than usual and that it’s you waking them up rather than the other way around, there might be something wrong. It never hurts to take your dog to the vet for a check over if something’s up, and sussing out a good insurance provider through petinsurance.review can help you out if treatment is needed. Dogs’ sleeping habits will change as they get older, but any sudden changes should be monitored closely.

4. They’re drinking a lot of water

Like us, dogs will drink more water when they’re dehydrated, it’s hot out, or they’ve been for exercise. If your dog seems to be drinking more than you’d expect, it could be a sign that something’s up. Dogs can suffer from a range of different health conditions, including kidney damage and diabetes. Any changes in your dog’s drinking habits should be monitored closely. If your home is too warm or they sleep next to a heating source, try making the area cooler to see if that has any effect.

 

Dogs are usually good communicators when something isn’t right, but you shouldn’t always take this for granted. Keep an eye on any behavior that is out of the ordinary and see your vet straight away if you think your pet is unwell. It’s better to be safe than sorry and could help you diagnose a problem early to get your pooch on the mend.

When it comes to taking a holiday, if you have a pet you’re less likely to go away. And if you do decide to go away, whether out of want or necessity, you have to find someone to look after them. However, dogs should be able to see as much of the world as you! We want man’s best friend to be alongside us in a lot of our special moments, so why not choose a pet friendly holiday for your next trip away? Here’s a few considerations for you and your dog.

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Places You Can Take Your Four Legged Friend

 

England’s National Parks are picturesque and animal friendly, as long as dogs are kept on leashes. A good walking holiday through these areas means you’ll both be in the best of shape and doing something you both love. Dogs always get excited at the prospect of a walk, and basking in nature is plenty relaxing.

 

The US’ National Forests also allow dogs and are a great place to hit up at any time of the year. The leash cannot be any longer than 6 feet however, and dogs aren’t allowed in any swimming areas if you were looking to take a dip.

 

A camping trip always works well for a dog, as they’re unlikely to disturb other people or create messes that are uncleanable. If you have a dog, make sure they’re well behaved around others, and that your tent isn’t too close to anyone else’s.

 

Make sure you check all regulations of your chosen spot before going away however. Rules and guidelines can change quickly, and turning up when you’re not permitted with a dog can be extremely impractical.

 

If You’re Worried About Transporting Your Dog Securely…

 

Dog safety when you’re on holiday is a massive concern. However, there are some steps we can take to make sure they’re as safe as can be. Going on holiday with your pooch isn’t necessarily any more dangerous than taking them for a walk, it’s just a bigger area. So try not to be extra paranoid from the beginning, as you want to relax on your vacation!

 

First of all, make sure your dog has had a rabies shot, as this solves your first peace of mind query. If you’re worried about the initial logistics of going on holiday with your pet, there’s no need to worry! You can travel safely with your dog in one of these, with all sorts of dogs being able to fit inside carriers which come in different styles and sizes. If your dog isn’t microchipped, now would be a good time to invest in that option, as your dog will be a lot easier to find if anything goes awry.

 

Travelling with your pooch is easy and fun to experience, just make sure you’re off to a pet friendly area with all necessary precautions taken. You’ll come home with some great photos and friendly memories, and you won’t feel guilty about leaving your puppy behind.

 

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Gardens are lovely places for your dog to play and relax in. Having said that, it’s also the perfect place to wreak havoc too, like digging up your strawberry plants!

Some gardens can also be dangerous to dogs because of the plants that are growing, due to harmful chemicals or sharp edges.

There are plenty things you can do to make sure your dog can have a safe sanctuary in your backyard. Here’s a few to get you started.

Make the garden exciting

Make different routes around and through your garden so your pup can have an adventure. If you have the space, create some digging spots too to give your dog a bit of stimulation. The more textures you offer your pup, the more fun it will be because it’s giving them all sorts of different experiences into one.

Dogs wee on lawns

A dogs wee can turn your beautiful green grass into horrible patches of yellow. Try and train your dog not to pee on the lawn, but if there’s nowhere else for them to go in the garden, hose the area down straight after. If that option still doesn’t work for you, think about investing in some pet zen garden grass. This is soft and fluffy just like real grass, but it’s synthetic instead, meaning your dog can pee, and nothing will get ruined. And when they do their business, just clean it up with a doggy bag like you usually would.

Plant robust plants

Playful pups can damage your delicate flowers, so if you don’t want this to happen, either create a fence around them or just take them out and replace them with something a lot more robust, than won’t die if it gets knocked around a little. Lavender is a great option and leaves your garden smelling divine.

Keep dogs away from slugs and snails

Be very wary when it’s damp outside, that your dog doesn’t come into contact with any slugs or snails. If your pup ingests these, they may get lungworm which isn’t pleasant. Symptoms include lethargy, difficulty in breathing, and coughing. If you notice any of these, take them to the vets.

Avoid toxic plants

There are many plants out there that are extremely harmful to your furry friends. Buttercups, daffodils, foxglove, oaks, tomatoes, and yew are just a few examples of what to avoid.

If you notice a change in your dog and think they may have eaten something they shouldn’t have, take them straight to the vets just to be on the safe side.

Secure your compost bin

If you have a compost bin in your garden, your dog may be very interested in it, especially if it contains scraps of old food giving off all sorts of different odours. These may be harmful to your pup though, so make sure they can’t break into it.

Keep your shed secure

If you have a shed in your garden, make sure it’s locked up and your dog has no way of getting in. You don’t want them having access to any sharp tools, electrical equipment, or harmful chemicals.

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I think it’s going to be a bit of an understatement when I say that we all want our dogs to be happy and healthy, but it’s true. When I spoke about desensitizing to thunder, it made me think about stress in dogs in general. Because thunder can cause stress in dogs, or at least invoke it if they mirror my (or your) behavior as I said, but it’s not the only thing. In fact, there are lots of different things that can stress dogs out. And we know what it feels like to be stressed and anxious – it sucks. So for me, trying to stop my dogs from being distressed is highly important.

 

Spot Those Tell All Signs

 

Spotting the signs of stress is going to be the first part of you stopping them. And actually, it’s surprisingly easy. Our dogs are often creatures of habit – you can know their temperament and behaviors like the back of your hand. So noticing when they’re acting strangely can be easy.

 

They can’t tell you, but they can show you. The things that I would look out for the most are any changes in their common behaviors like having accidents or not eating. And although at first you might get stressed yourself and wonder why you have to stop your dog peeing in the house again(!), you should see it as a warning sign. Sometimes, you’ll be able to notice right away.

 

Get A Second Opinion

 

But remember that accidents or changes in temperaments or eating could be a sign of something more serious than stress. I have gotten a second opinion in the past when I’ve been worried. So if you’re not 100% sure that your pups are stressed, go and speak to your veterinarian first just in case.

 

Always Balance Everything – For The Sake Of Their Health

 

So, on to what we all can all try and do to keep that dreaded stress at bay. I would always try and figure out what the trigger is, like thunder, and remove it where possible. Although you can’t help when the weather turns, if it is anything you can control, you need to be able to do that. For me, car trips can sometimes be a trigger, so I try to limit them or at least keep them balanced. Dogs are creatures of habits, so I always try to keep them to their routine and ensure they are balanced – rather than change things up that could set them off.

 

Trying Some TLC

 

With anything, you can’t control, or if you can see that your dog is stressed, I would highly suggest giving them some TLC. Dogs respond so well to touch, and it can really calm them down. I always give my dog a big cuddle and some fuss when stress sets in, or even to try and combat it from setting in in the first place.

 

And If All Else Fails…

 

Music helps dogs to chill out and stay calm.It sounds silly, but it’s true. And I know when I’m stressed out I play some of my favorite songs to chill out too. So when you can see that they’re stressed, put on a song, and cuddle them. Believe me; it can often be the key to keeping your dog away from distress.