Archive for Dog Health

We all love our fur babies and include them in our holiday festivities. To keep our babies safe, we need to take the time to do some Petproofing, including decoration checks, setting up quiet retreat spaces, and helping them get used to new people.

A significant part of Petproofing for spending the holidays at home (or someone else’s home) means focusing on your dog’s nutritional safety. You probably know to make sure you have enough of your dog’s regular food and snacks, and to keep them on the same feeding routine. Most importantly you need to review the foods and items your dog should not have. Many pet parents already know what is on the no-no food and ingredient list, but it is necessary that others in the house know what is on the list too. Also, new items are added each year. Please use this list to share with friends and relatives who will be around your fur baby!

Alcohol – Never let your dog have access to alcohol. During the holidays, fancy concoctions are everywhere, and it can be easy for your canine friend to sneak a couple of laps before you even realize it. Depending on how much they drink, dogs can become intoxicated, uncoordinated, have vomiting and diarrhea, and trouble breathing. If a larger amount is consumed, dogs can potentially get severe alcohol poisoning that can cause coma or even death. Even if your dog has only had a few laps, you should watch him carefully. If your dog has consumed more than that, or if you are unsure of the amount, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Apple Seeds the apple seed casing is a chemical called amygdlin. When digested, amygdlin releases cyanide. It would take many seeds to reach a toxic amount, but better safe than sorry of course. Apples are still a great snack for dogs if you make sure to get rid of the core and seeds.

Avocados – Contained within the avocado skin and leaves is a toxin called persin. If enough persin is ingested, your dog can have vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing and even heart problems. The good news is that persin is limited to the skin, stem, and leaves. The bad news is that your dog could still get choked on the avocado pit. However, the edible part of the avocado is good for dogs and is now often an ingredient in dog foods.

Bacon – While not toxic, bacon contains too much salt and fat for your dog, and you should really refrain giving it at all. Too much fat in any food can cause a dog to get pancreatitis.

Baby Food – Although baby food seems harmless, certain varieties can be toxic to dogs. Some foods contain onion powder which is toxic to dogs.

Bread Dough – The yeast in bread dough can rise and expand blocking the airway and cause your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by-product causing your dog to become intoxicated. You should seek medical attention if your dog ingests bread dough.

Caffeine – Caffeine is toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA, caffeine is a powerful stimulant. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate” in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin is found in many spices such as paprika, chili powder and most peppers. It can cause your dog sever stomach irritation.

Cat Food – Many dogs love to chow down on a bowl of cat food if given the chance. However, cat food contains too much protein and fat for your dog. Though not toxic, it is not healthy for your dog to eat any food that is really meant for a cat.

Cherry Pits – Like many other fruits, the danger of cherries is in the, stems, leaves, and pits. They contain cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. The pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.

Chewing Gum and other candy – Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be fatal to dogs. Never give your dog candy or gum, and beware of chewed gum on the ground when you are walking your dog.

Chocolate (and cocoa powder) – You’ve heard this before, but chocolate is one of the single most toxic foods for your dog. It’s not just about the caffeine content. It contains two substances, theobromine and theophylline, that are toxic to your dog. If chocolate is ingested, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, damage to your dog’s heart and nervous systems, and death can occur.

Citrus Fruits – The fruit, seeds, peels, stems, and leaves of any citrus fruit contain citric acid. When small amounts are ingested, your dog may experience vomiting and diarrhea. However, a large amount can serious problems with the central nervous system. So, if you catch your dog eating part of an orange, there is no need to panic – but you may have a mess to clean up later.

Coconut – The coconut and its milk can cause your dog to have stomach irritation, including vomiting and diarrhea. Also, coconut water has too much potassium for dogs, so do not give it to yours.

Coffee – Coffee can be very toxic to dogs, due to the caffeine content. As mentioned above, ingestion of caffeine can cause diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Cooked Bones – Contrary to what many people believe, you should never give your dog cooked bones. The bone can easily break apart and splinter when your dog begins to chew, causing serious and sometimes fatal stomach and intestinal problems.

Corn – Corn is hard on your dog’s digestive system, so do not feed them too much. However, corn on the cob can be hazardous. If your dog ingests a corncob, his intestines can become blocked, and it can even become fatal if it is not removed.

Dairy Products – Dogs are naturally lactose intolerant and don’t digest dairy products well. Although not toxic, dairy products can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. There’s no need to give them cheese knowing it will make them miserable later.

Energy Drinks – Letting your dog have access to an energy drink is a certain dangerous situation, especially due to the amount of caffeine found in most of them. If you think your dog has ingested even part of an energy drink, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Egg Whites – Raw egg can deplete your dog of biotin. This can lead to hair loss, general weakness, and growth issues.

Fat – Any amount of fat pieces can cause your dog intestinal and digestive problems, and can even lead to pancreatitis.

Fish – Certain fish can be especially fatal to dogs if eaten raw. Salmon, for instance can be infected with a parasite. The parasite isn’t dangerous to dogs, but it is often infected with bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal to them. Also, Thiamine deficiency can result if too much raw fish is consumed on a regular basis. This can cause loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.

Garlic – Garlic is in the onion family, which is toxic for dogs. Just avoid it.

Grapes and Raisins – Grapes contain a toxin that is especially harmful to dogs. Although the exact toxin has not been pinpointed, even a small amount can cause severe liver damage, kidney failure, and death.

Liver – In small amounts liver is harmless and even thought to be beneficial to dogs. However, eating too much liver can result in too much Vitamin A. Too much Vitamin A can cause your dog to have bone and muscle issues.

Marijuana – Like other drugs, marijuana can prove harmful to dogs. It can affect your dog’s heart rate, nervous system, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should seek medical attention if you think your dog has ingested marijuana.

Meat and Eggs – This is currently a controversial issue. However, the ASPCA still says that raw or undercooked meat can be dangerous to your dog. Both can contain bacteria including Salmonella and E.coli that is harmful to your dog. Raw eggs also contain avidin which is an enzyme that decreases absorption of biotin. This can lead problems with your dog’s coat and skin.

Mold – Never give your dog moldy or spoiled food. Moldy food can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause muscle tremors, convulsions, and worse. Beware of fruit that has fallen off trees and become moldy.

Mushrooms – Never give you dog food with mushrooms. Also, watch for wild mushrooms when outside with your dog. Certain mushrooms contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, liver and kidney damage, coma, and death.

Mustard Seeds – Though not toxic, your dog will certainly have an upset stomach if he has eaten mustard seeds.

Nuts – Never give nuts of any kind to your dog. Certain varieties of nuts, like macadamia and walnuts, contain an unknown toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and nervous and digestive system issues. Even nuts that do not contain this toxin still contain a high concentration of fat that can lead to pancreatitis.

Oils – In addition to cooking oils, there are also natural oils many people keep around the house for allergies, massage, and to make other homeopathic remedies. These oils are extremely concentrated and can be fatal to your dog. Seek medical attention immediately if your dog has come in contact with these.

Onions – Onions, leeks, and chives are very toxic for dogs, regardless of what form – raw, cooked, dried, powdered, or as an ingredient in other foods. Onions contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause dogs to have stomach irritation, anemia, and damage red blood cells which can cause organ damage and even death.

Peach, Persimmon, and Plum Pits –  Like many other fruits, the danger of the peach pit contains cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. These pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.
Potatoes – Unripe potatoes as well as their plant contain a toxin called solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems, weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Rhubarb – Rhubarb contains oxalates. When consumed, dogs can have digestive and nervous system problems.

Salt – Excessive salt intake can cause sodium ion poisoning which may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Just skip sharing your salty snacks with your dog.

Sugar – It seems that sugar is in most of the food we eat. Too much sugar for your dog on a regular basis can cause obesity, dental problems, and eventually diabetes. This includes corn syrup too.

Tea – Just as coffee, teas that contain caffeine can be very toxic for your dog. Diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate may occur. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Tobacco– Tobacco contains nicotine, which is a major toxin for dogs. Nicotine can increase a dog’s heart rate, affect the nervous and respiratory system, and even result in death. Seek proper medical attention.
Tomatoes – Only green, unripe tomatoes as well as the leaves and stems are the problem. Like unripe potatoes, they contain solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems including weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Xylitol – Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in candy, gum, baked treats, now some peanut butters, and many other foods. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, lethargy, seizures, liver failure, and even death.

Yeast – Yeast can cause several problems for your dog. The yeast can rise and expand causing your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by- product, causing your dog to become intoxicated.

Again, please share this list or even post it on the refrigerator for all to see!

Be on the lookout for parts two and three about Petproofing the entire house for the holidays, and foods and tasty treats you can give your dog during the Holiday Season!

Excess food, cold temperatures outside, and central heating inside call all lead to problems with our health, and it’s no different for our canine friends either. That is why you need to know how to keep your pooch as a healthy as possible during the colder months. Luckily, below you will find some winter wonder tips to help you do just that, so read on to find out more.

 

No outside living

 

Keeping your dogs outside can be something of a controversial topic as dogster.com states, but in the winter it can be a real issue of contention. After all, dogs will feel the cold, even if they have thick coats and keeping them outside where the temperature can drop below zero really is not on.

 

That means it’s vital that you bring your pooches inside for the winter season. To do this, it can be useful to create a bedding area for them in a section of the house that is a little quieter. A place like the utility room can work well, as then they will be at relaxed and home even if they aren’t used to being around people all the time.

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You will also need to provide some warm and conformable winter bedding to keep them at the right temperature, as well as freshwater too. If you don’t want them roaming the rest of the house all the time you can use a baby gate in the doorway so they can still see what everyone is doing and yet be limited to their special space.

 

Use vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy

 

Next, it’s a good idea to up your dog’s vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy during the colder weather, just like you do with the rest of the family. Luckily, you can go to sites like topdogvitamins.com now and get the lowdown on which types of supplements are best for you dog. There you can find advice about what more senior dogs need, as well as some info on the advantage of probiotics and fish oil supplements. The latter being something that can really help with itchy skin that is often the result of going from the warm indoors to the cold outdoors and back again, during the winter months.

 

Avoid Christmas tidbits

 

Anyone that has seen their dogs long, sad face when their owner is eating a delicious Christmas treat will know how hard it is to resists giving them just a bite. However, it can actually be in their interest to not give them a tidbit, even if they are desperately begging for it.

Even if they make this face, don’t feed them Christmas human treats. Picture source

 

This is because many items of human food are delicious to dogs but can cause them serious health problems. Unfortunately, these types of food seem to be around in abundance over the Christmas period, making it harder to keep them away from Fido.

 

To help you stand firm in this, it can help to know what awful reaction common Holiday foods can cause in your pet. Chocolate, for example, is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. While cheese, another Christmas favorite is known to contain high levels of lactose, something that many canines cannot stomach. Nuts also popular during the holidays can also be dangerous, with some dogs having allergies similar to humans, so are best avoided. Find out more about this at mom.me. Although there are some items such as cooked and deboned turkey with a little gravy that they can eat in small amounts.

 

It can also be helpful to remember to get your pup some specially made dog treats for the Christmas period. Then when they are after what you are snacking on you can give them one of those instead of caving in and feeding them something you know they shouldn’t have.

 

Extra precautions when walking

Taking extra precautions while walking your dog in the winter. Picture source

 

Even though it’s cold outside Fido still needs to be walked twice a day, and that means taking some extra precautions when you do take them outside. In particular, be careful about the weather when you take them out. Try and walk them when it’s sunny so the ice and frost is melted from the paths and it doesn’t hurt their pads. Although dog shoes can also help create a protective barrier for this issue.

 

Also, watch out for deep snow, although your dog will probably love it, it can be dangerous as it covers things over and you have no idea what hazards lay underneath. Be very careful of exposing your dog to long walks in very low temperatures as well, as they are just as susceptible to frostbite as us humans are. That means keep outings short and sweet if the thermometer reads low and educate yourself in the subtle sign of frostbite, just in case the worse does happen.

 

Increase meals

 

Something that can help your pup cope with the colder temperature in the winter is as petmd.com suggests to increase their food allowance. This is because dogs gain their energy to move about and stay warm from their food, and by giving them more you make it easier for them to keep their body at a constant temperature, no matter what the weather outside.

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Of course, it is a delicate balance between increasing what they have on a normal day and overfeeding. That means it is a good idea to check the packets of dog food for advice on portions or even ask your vet if you have a dog with a medical issue that could be affected by increasing their meals.

 

It’s also a good idea to offer your dog more meals through the day rather than just making their two normal feeding times bigger. This is because it can help them to digest their food better and ensure their energy levels stay constantly topped up. Something that will make it easier for them to keep warm no matter what time of day it is.

 

Doggy clothes

 

Lastly, whatever your feelings on doggy fashions, providing a jumper or jacket for your pooch, as barkpost.com suggests can make a massive difference in keeping them warm. Something especially relevant if they are a short-haired breed.

 

There are even dog goggles on the market now that you can buy too, that act as sunglasses. Something that can be very useful if you are taking them out in the snow to prevent the glare getting in their eyes.

 

Image via Pixabay

 

 

Everyone wants to pamper their dog and show them the love and respect they deserve for their faithful companionship.

 

Alas, not all forms of pampering are created equal, and it’s even possible that you could do your canine companion an injury by choosing the wrong way to show your affection.

 

Here’s a look at some healthy ways to pamper your dog.

 

Why pampering your dog the wrong way is dangerous

 

You might think that the very idea of pampering your dog “wrong” is silly. After all, if you’re showing affection, and Fido’s enjoying himself, what’s the harm, right?

 

Unfortunately, many of the ways that people commonly pamper their animals can be extremely detrimental to the health of the pet. Feeding a dog human snacks like chocolate can result in toxicity and lead to conditions such as diabetes, making the dog sick and frail over time.

 

In some cases, things which please humans can even prove fatal to dogs.

 

While pet insurance via a company like petsinsurance.co is a good policy for dealing with potential health issues, it should always be seen as a last resort.

 

 

Feed your dog meat and veg

 

Dogs evolved from carnivorous wolves, and despite whatever the pet food industry might want you to believe, kibble is generally a poor substitute for a dog’s naturally evolved ancestral diet.

 

If you want to make your dog bark with sheer joy and get the twinkle back in their eye and the shine in their coat, start feeding them meat mixed some green veg in place of kibble. This will ensure they’re getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals and digesting them properly.

 

Yep, it’s more expensive. And sure, it may take more preparation time. But if you’re serious about your dog’s health, it’s the only way to go.

 

 

Give your dog an approved dental bone to chew

 

Everyone knows the old cliché that dogs love to chew on bones, and we all have memories of seeing someone scraping the bones off their plate for their dog to pounce on.

 

This is a bad idea, and all pet health experts would advise against it. Cooked bones are more brittle than raw ones, and also smaller to begin with. This creates a recipe for disaster where your dog can easily damage their mouth or insides due to splintered bone shards. At worst, the results can be fatal.

 

But Rover still loves chewing, so why not invest in a vet-approved dental “bone” for your dog to chew? His gums will improve and he’ll be a very happy pup to boot.

 

 

Take your dog on long walks or runs

 

Exercise may not seem like much of a treat to the average human, but things tend to work differently for our canine companions.

 

A walk is when a dog truly gets to explore the world, mark their territory, stretch their legs, meet other dogs, and feel the primal pangs of their wolf ancestors tugging at their heartstrings.

 

For the more athletic breeds, a walk by itself won’t cut it. If you want to treat them right, keep them happy, and maintain their fitness, they’ll need to go on regular long runs.

 

It should come as no surprise that breeds like huskies — which were bred to run across vast distances on a daily basis — thrive on intense physical activity.

5 Tips For Taking Care Of A Blind Dog

A dog can become blind at any age for a variety of reasons. A genetic defect can cause a dog to be born blind. Injuries or accidents can cause blindness in dogs of all ages. Senior dogs commonly lose partial or full eyesight in their late life years. Blindness for dogs doesn’t mean they can’t live a quality life. It just means you should be knowledgeable and equipped to handle taking care of a blind dog.

When taking care of a blind dog there are a few things to keep in mind to best help your blind dog adapt. The dog may not be able to see but his other senses can be used to their advantage. Their sense may even be heightened or appear that way.

Give Your Blind Dog Space

This can be a corner of the living room or under the kitchen table. Have a safe place for your blind dog to retreat and rest. Keep its food and bedding in the same area and the dog will start to understand this is its personal area.

Create Noise for Your Blind Dog

Your voice and the tone you use will give the blind dog information on what you want it to do. It gives the blind dog a general direction your voice is coming from. You can also teach blind dog directional commands by voice and redirection. Teach the dog “left”, “right”, “wait” and it can quickly navigate with your direction. Using a whistle, clicker or clapping could also be used to teach the blind dog to map out its living area.

Block Hazards

Blind dogs can’t see the danger of a flight of stairs, walking out the front door or wandering around an unattended pool. Keep your blind dog safe by fencing in pool areas, entryways or stairways that it could exit through or tumble down.

Encourage Your Blind Dog to Explore

Using treats, sounds and smells can help coax a blind dog to explore past its normal comfort zone. Rewarding him and cheering it on can boost the blind dogs self-esteem. Squeaky toys are a great way to get a blind dogs attention. A ball with a bell inside allows a blind dog to follow the sound and fetch the balls.

Keep a Great Attitude

The more “normal” you keep things while taking care of a blind dog the better. If you are sad for the dog it will become sad and depressed. Continue the dogs normal routine of regular walks and trips to the dog park. Speak to the dog lovingly and taking care of a blind dog becomes a breeze.

 

Many dogs go blind at some point in their lifetime. Stay prepared for taking care of a blind dog by following these 5 tips.

Ensuring The Safety Of An Epileptic Dog

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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.

 

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.

Image: Pexels

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.

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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.

Is Pet Insurance Right For You?

Is pet insurance right for you? Is it right for your pet? How much will it cost and what does it cover? If you are thinking about purchasing a pet insurance policy but are not sure what you should buy or what type of coverage your pet should have – read the below to find out. Everyone’s situation is unique and there are many options available for you to choose from.

Fever Dog Teddy Ill Stuffed Animal Injured

Three Types of Pet Insurance

In general, there are three types of pet insurance; accident, wellness and comprehensive. Many factors will determine what type of coverage you choose such as breed (some are more prone to certain types of illness), age (older dogs have more health problems and are more susceptible to accidents) and cost (what you can afford). Learn what is available then decide what would be best for you and your pet.

1. Accident Coverage – What if your pet was hit by a car and had to be rushed to the nearest veterinary hospital? Could you afford a potential $15,000 bill for care? Accidents covered in this type of policy also include: broken bones, toxic exposures, swallowed objects and burns

2.Wellness Coverage – Routine care such as vaccinations, worming, dental cleanings and checkups. According to ConsumerAdvocate.org 82% of companies do not include this coverage. It increases the overall policy rate when it is more cost-effective to pay these expenses yourself.

3.Comprehensive Coverage – Pays for accidents and illnesses plus routine care. There may be a cap on the total amount you can claim in a year. You may have to pay the vet or hospital bill yourself, then get reimbursed by the carrier.

It is important to point out that each policy will be different – you need to know what the carrier will cover and what it will not. As the saying goes, ‘read the fine print’.

Some things to think about are: Is an exam by a veterinarian needed? What is the co-pay? How much of the bill will the carrier pay after the deductible? Are pre-existing conditions covered? What about a chronic illness? Is your pet covered while traveling? Does your veterinarian or vet hospital need to be pre-approved by the company?  Are medications covered in the policy?

Some companies will not cover congenital (present at birth) or hereditary (genetic, passed to offspring from parents) conditions. If you are curious what these may entail, read this article to learn about genetic disorders in dogs: The 6 Most Common Genetic Disorders in Dogs. Examples are: hip dysplasia, bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease and degenerative myelopathy.

Does your short-snouted dog snore or have trouble breathing? He or she may have Brachycephalic Syndrome. This refers to problems with the upper airways and can require extensive care during their lifespan.

This article describes common genetic disorders in cats and the cat breeds (or mixed breeds) that may have them: 7 Common Genetic Disorders in Cats. Examples are: urinary tract disease, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and blindness.

What Does a Pet Insurance Policy Cost?

If the thought of purchasing yet more insurance and having a monthly premium to pay makes your skin crawl or break out in hives… you are not alone. Many Americans feel nickeled and dimed to death and lowering their living expenses is a main priority. Can I afford it, may be the primary concern when considering pet insurance.

For those who are not independently wealthy and would not be able to afford a $5000-$10,000 vet hospital bill out-of-pocket, having an insurance policy at an approximate cost of $30-$70 per month may be worth the cost. Others may want to roll the dice and bet on the possibility their dog or cat will never be seriously ill or injured during their lifetime. The choice is yours.

To get an idea of how much it would cost to insure your pet for the type of coverage you want use this online tool: PetInsurer.com – America’s Pet Insurance Comparison Site. Quoted from the Pet Insurer website: “Every six minutes a pet parent pays over $4,200 on vet bills.” Something to think about when deciding whether to buy a policy or not.

Pet Insurance Companies in the U.S.

According to ConsumerAdvocate.org the top three U.S. insurance companies in 2017 that provide coverage for pets are: HealthyPaws, PetPlan and Embrace. Trupanion is another pet insurance company and they do provide some coverage for genetic and hereditary conditions. Each company is different as to what they offer and what they will and will not cover.

You Want the Best For Your Pet

Most pet owners are as devoted to their four-legged family member as parents are to a beloved child. “He or she is part of the family” is how these owners think and feel. Their pet isn’t just an animal, it is a cherished member of the family.

These owners choose to invest in an insurance policy for their dog or cat as they don’t want to ever have to face the heart-wrenching decision of whether to pay for quality medical care or have to euthanize the animal because they can’t afford the treatment. Purchasing a policy is not only responsibly preparing for any situation that may occur during the animal’s lifetime  – it gives peace of mind.

If that sounds like you, research your options, find a policy for your pet that you can afford and then leave your worries behind. Enjoy your time with Fido or Garfield as long as he or she is a part of your life.

Jayson is a writer from Phoenix, Arizona who loves pets!  He is a proud owner of a beautiful puppy and wants to share the joy of pet ownership with others.  He hopes to encourage people to keep their pets happy and healthy year-round.