Dogs are good sleepers and they have the ability to be asleep in a snap whenever an opportunity is given. Breeds of dogs that are often seen sleeping in front of the fire are lovingly nicknamed fireplace rugs by their owners. A dog would either lay in the middle of the bed and take the flying fox position or lay on its back on the side of the bed. Curled up or lying with the four legs up in the air are other sleeping positions of dogs. Dogs take different positions when sleeping but what these animals have in common is the fact that they spend more than half of their lives sleeping.

Psychologist have different interpretations for the way people sleep. Have you ever wondered why a majority of dogs sleep all curled up? The expertise of dog behaviorist may not be necessary to know the reasons why dogs sleep this way. Before domestication, dogs have to survive in the wild on their own.

Life on the wild is hard as these animals would have to hunt to survive and in doing so would sleep wherever the need to rest strikes them. Unlike modern day dogs, there will be no comfortable beds for these animals that would sleep in places open to the elements. Dogs in the wild don’t have blankets to keep them warm thus to conserve heat they would sleep all curled up. Curled up, the dog can basically protect the body from the elements.

Being pack oriented, dogs in the wild would stay together. It is necessary for dogs in the wild to stay in a place that would be safe from predator attacks. A safe place may be small for all the pack members thus dogs have to sleep curled up to make room for other dogs. This manner of sleeping is done for protection. A sleeping dog all curled up is protecting the vital organs from the attack of predators.

The hard life of dogs ended after domestication. Every thing the dog needs are provided by the owner. Pet owners make sure that dogs have comfortable beds. Some pets even sleep with the master. Dogs are still seen sleeping all curled up. Dogs sleeping this way will not have a restful sleep as the muscles cannot be relaxed if the dog has to maintain the curled up position. To make the dog comfortable you can try to encourage the dog to take other positions when sleeping.

Learn more about why dogs sleep curled up as well as first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dog First Aid – Heat burns

Dogs too like humans can sustain injuries from accidents. Humans would instantly complain about their aches and pains but dogs do not have the ability to voice out what they feel . Getting the pet to a vet is not the only responsibility of a dog owner. A dog owner has to notice anything unusual in the behavior or in the appearance of the pet as oftentimes, the change is caused by a health concern.

Dogs can get heat burns although this kind of injury is not really common in dogs given the fact that these animals usually stay away from fires. Dogs though often get into tight spots because of their energetic and inquisitive nature. A dog trying to get the cooling steak beside the grill can get burned by the smoldering coals. A dog being groomed can be burned by the hair dryer. The dog’s tough leathery paw pads are no match to hot pavement or hot coals.

Because of the fur, the dog’s injuries as well as the extent of the damage may not be easily apparent to a dog owner. Skin that was superficially burned will redden and swell. Partial thickness burn is similar to second degree burn where the dog’s skin will redden, swell and have blisters. The two types of burns will cause the dog immense pain. Full thickness burn is similar to third degree burns in humans where the dog’s skin will peel off and there will be swelling under the skin. Dogs with deep burns will not be in pain because the nerves were destroyed. Deeply burned skin will turn either white or black and because of destroyed hair follicles, the hair can be easily pulled out.

Superficial and second degree burns can be treated at home but deep burns are serious cases that would need professional medical attention. Hospitalization is necessary for a dog that has sustained deep burns especially if more than 15 % of the skin was affected. Nevertheless, first aid treatment would still be necessary to stabilize the condition before the pet is transported to the hospital.

The dog’s burn has to be cooled immediately to stop the heat from causing further damage to the tissues. To arrest the damage cause by the heat to the tissues, burned body part has to be immersed in cool water. The burned skin can be covered with a wash cloth soaked in cool water. Pat dry the affected skin. Butter, grease or any ointment must not be applied on the burned skin as it will trap the heat and cause further damage.

More information on heat burns and first aid for dogs can be found at Sarah’s Dogs.

First Aid for Dog Bite Wounds

Dogs eat dogs. Owners would take precautionary measures to prevent dog fights from happening. It is an owner’s responsibility to socialize and to train the pet to lessen its aggression. Apart from being territorial, dogs are pack animals thus dog fights have the tendency to erupt every time dogs congregate in one place. The dogs’ rambunctious play fights often turn into real fights that as dogs have a natural inclination to fight.

A dog can sustain mild to serious injuries from fighting with other dogs. The fur that covers the dog’s skin cannot protect the body from the 200 to 400 pounds of pressure that a dog bite can inflict. The injuries sustained by the dog may appear minor because only small puncture marks can be seen on the dog’s skin. However, the dog bite can cause extensive damage underneath the dog’s skin. Because of the strength of the jaws, a dog’s bite that punctures the skin can also damage tendons and tissues. The bite could have severed blood vessels and pierced vital organs. Many dogs have died from fatal wounds on the throat and abdomen resulting from dog fights.

Dog bite wounds on the face, ears, neck and legs would be easily noticed especially if they are heavily bleeding. Locating puncture wound on the body part thickly covered with fur can be tricky as puncture wounds are not heavy bleeders. A dog’s mouth has large amounts of bacteria thus the risk that the dog bite will get infected is high. The dog may have sustained bite wounds underneath the fur thus the body has to be checked thoroughly.

Dogs fight all the time and being hardy animals most dogs can weather the injuries they have sustained. However, dogs with serious dog bite injuries must have immediate medical attention. Just after the dog was injured, first aid care must be given to save the dog from pain and more importantly, to stabilize the condition of the pet.

Injured dogs are in pain and the owners have to be aware that the dog has the tendency to bite. Thus the dog has to be muzzled for the protection of the person that will administer the first aid treatments. Dog bite wounds must be thoroughly wash with hydrogen peroxide or with warm water to ward off infection. Puncture wounds would heal very fast and bacteria trapped between the skin and the tissues would cause infection. To stem profuse bleeding, direct pressure has to be applied to the wound. Cloth or towel directly applied on the wound would control the bleeding. The condition of the pet can be stabilized with first aid methods but professional medical care would still be necessary especially for serious bite wounds.

Read more about dog bites and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dogs are really lucky pet as most owners show their affection by kissing the pet. Why then do many dog owners overlook the need to clean the dog’s teeth? Dog owners ensure that the pet is regularly groomed but taking care of the dog’s teeth is a task that is often forgotten. Dogs are indiscriminate eaters that would feast on feces and spoiled food whenever given a chance. To the consternation of owners; dogs have an unaccountable liking for toilet bowl water too. Gross! It is certainly yucky to smell the disgusting breath of the dog.

Apparently, healthy dogs are pets that eat the right amount of nutritious food. This is the reason why dogs must have healthy teeth as unlike toothless humans that depend on dentures, a toothless dog’s eating ability will be impaired. Imagine how hard it would be for toothless dogs to eat. Strong sharp teeth are one of the dog’s most useful asset used in hunting prey. Dog nowadays don’t have to hunt to eat as bowls of food are regularly provided by the owners. Nevertheless, healthy teeth would still be needed to eat the food easily.

A dog’s teeth must be brushed to ensure oral hygiene. Poor dental hygiene that result to plaque and tartar build up, tooth and gum problems as well as other periodontal diseases can affect the quality of the dog’s life. As mentioned, dogs have the unexplainable at least to us humans habit of eating rotting animals, spoiled food and feces. With the dog’s unhygienic eating habits it is for certain that dog have lots of germs in their mouth.

Apart from giving the dog an abhorrent breath, the dirt and the germs that were not removed will be health hazards that can cause gum problems and the deterioration of the teeth. Infections from these dental concerns can worsen and spread throughout the dog’s body. For instance, the infection from a gum disease can result to the development of a heart ailment.

A dental care routine is best started while the dog is still a puppy. Specially designed toothbrushes must be used. Toothpaste formulated for dogs must be used as well. These flavored pet toothpastes are appealing to dogs and would make the task easier as it can be used as a lure to entice the dog allow the brushing. Brushing the dog’s teeth once or two times a week would be enough to maintain the dog’s oral hygiene. Taking the pet to the vet’s once in a while to be professionally brushed would be a good idea.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can find out more about why dogs need their teeth brushed as well as if you need to brush your dogs teeth.

Dogs make wonderful pets aside from being wonderful companions that double up as protectors, these pets can be the family’s four legged clowns as well. A dog in the family will certainly draw out laughter as these animals have the tendency to entertain the family with its comic antics. These silly pets would chase their very own tail, sleep like an upended table or cock the head as if wearing a hundred pounder earring. Turning around several times before lying down is another of the comical habits of the pet.

A dog that turns several times before lying down is an amusing sight but dog owners will be puzzled at the odd behavior of the pet. Every time the dog lies down whether inside the home or outdoors it will do its ritual of turning several times. Dog wise people believed that this is a genetic trait as this behavior was manifested by dogs that lived in the wild. Unlike today’s dogs that have comfortable beds, their ancestors have to make do with trampled snow, grasses or the hard ground for a bed. Dogs in the wild have no choice but to sleep in areas open to the elements.

Dogs are intelligent creatures as they have a way of making the sleeping area not only more comfortable but free from snakes or from dangerous insects too. Dogs will be seen circling the sleeping area several times purportedly to flatten grass and snow and to drive away snakes and poisonous insects. Being pack oriented, dogs will be seen living and hunting with the pack.

Wilderness is vast but dogs have to choose a place that is relatively sheltered from the elements and from predators as well. An ideal area may be rather small to comfortably accommodate the pack. A dog that circles the chosen sleeping area is marking its territory. Once a spot is chosen, a dog will circle several times to signal other pack members that the spot is taken.

Modern day dogs no longer need to make the bed comfortable. Dog owners provide comfortable beds for the pets. Pampered pets don’t have to ensure that the bed is free from dangerous animals as these dogs usually sleep with the master. Circling around before lying down to sleep is a deep-rooted habit that was handed down by primitive dogs to present day canines. Nothing much can be done to stop the dog from circling around before lying down as this is an ingrained habit.

Sarah’s Dogs provides more information on why dogs circle before lying down and why dogs walk in circles/a>.

Teaching a dog to sit

A pet owner can establish leadership over the dog with obedience training. To be good canine citizens, dogs have to have a leader. Dogs are pack animals thus they need to know their rank in the pack otherwise they will be confused and develop unwanted behaviors. Lack obedience training is one of the common reasons why they end up in animal shelters.

Most dog owners find training the pet a daunting task but having a dog that can do tricks will certainly be a gratifying achievement. Pet owners should not find training the dog to sit an off-putting task as sitting is one of the natural actions of dogs. What an owner needs to accomplish is to make the dog respond to the sit command

Sitting is a natural action of dogs but unless trained man’s best friends would not know what the word sit means. Your task is to introduce the word to the pet by saying sit every time the dog flops on its rear end. Because the word is constantly heard every time the act is done, the word will then be associated by the dog to the action. Dogs are renowned for their short attention spans thus they get distracted easily. To gain the dog’s attention, short training sessions must be conducted in an area with very few distractions. Use the dog’s favorite treats to entice the dog to obey the command.

Playing with the dog before a training session will make the dog manifests its eagerness to please and make the dog respond well to training. Get the dog’s attention by calling its name in a clear happy voice. Holding a piece of treat, wave your hand to get the dog’s attention. Being food motivated, the dog will be forced to sit to get the treat that is held over its head. Be sure not to hold the treat too high lest it makes the dog jump. Give the sit command before the dog sat to get the treat. Give the treat as soon as the dog sits. Through the reward the dog will learn what must be done if the sit command is heard.

Patience and positive attitude is the key to a successful training. Five to ten minute training sessions conducted two to three times everyday will eventually make the dog obey the command even without seeing a treat.

Sarah’s Dogs provides more information on how to teach a dog to sit as well as dog first aid.

No matter how much a dog owner “guards” the pet, the possibility that it can get pregnant cannot be avoided as long as the pet is not spayed. It would not be possible to watch the dog all the time and a dog in heat and the dog it has bestowed its favors will do anything possible to meet. The dog in heat will break away from the leash, dig tunnels and jump over a high fence just to be with the male dog. Dogs have survived in the wild even without human intervention but pet dogs are well loved pets and a dog owner would make sure that the pet will be safe even if the pregnancy is planned or not. What are the telltale sign that the pet will soon to be a proud momma of cuddly furry puppies?

A vet can best confirm the pet’s pregnancy. Through the use of pregnancy kits, ultra sound and blood tests, a vet can confirm the pregnancy of the pet. Expert dog breeders would know if the dog is pregnant or not simply by recognizing physical and behavioral changes.

Similar to the difference in personalities, dogs would show different pregnancy symptoms. Your pet may or may not show telltale sign of pregnancy. The dog’s disinterest in food is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Dogs are food motivated thus they have huge appetites. Similar to pregnant humans, a pregnant dog may be off food and may have morning sickness as well. As the pregnancy progresses, the dog that had very little interest in food would start to crave food so that the pet would seem to be always ravenous.

We know dogs to be lively and active animals but a considerable decrease in energy will be noticed in pregnant dogs. The once very energetic pet that would jump up and down every time you open the door will appear to be lethargic. Dogs are sweet animals but pregnant pets would be more affectionate to their human family. Due to hormonal change, the dog would constantly crave for the attention of the master.

Pregnant dogs will gain weight not only because the appetite has returned but also because of the puppies growing inside the womb. The nipples will turn pinkish in color and will appear to be enlarged as the pregnant dog prepares to nurse the puppies. The growing puppies will make the belly firmer to the touch. A swelling of the vulva will be noticed as the dog nears the delivery date. Blankets, clothes and papers will be gathered by the dog to prepare the “nest”.

Sarah’s Dogs provides more information on how to tell if the dog is pregnant and dog first aid.

How to help a nervous pet

The nervous nature of cats was aptly acted by Scaredy Cat and the tough personality of dogs was personified by Brutus, the Air Force K-9 hero. These fiction characters epitomize the characters of the cat and the dog. Dogs are viewed as fearless animals – so tough to have the ability to deal with criminals and to fight animals much bigger than its own size. That dogs get scared is a far fetched notion. What can you do to help a scared pet?

Its true dogs get scared too. Shaking, excessive salivation, accelerated heart beat are some of the manifestations of a scared dog. Although potty trained, a nervous dog can have accidents inside the house. Fireworks display, the sound of thunder and even the ringing of the telephone are ordinary sounds that will scare a fearful dog. Scared dogs will react differently to situations that are considered to be scary. Scared dogs can be destructive. Owners of nervous dogs have to be very vigilant as the nervousness can make the dog react irrationally and injure himself. It is the responsibility of the owner to find ways to deal with the pet’s fear.

Dogs are intelligent animals and to some extent can understand what humans say. Although intelligent, dogs does not have the ability to understand the explanation of the master that what was considered as frightening is in fact not dangerous.

Since talking and making explanations is not successful, a pet owner has to find other ways to overcome the dog’s fears. Dogs, aside from being well loved pets are also considered as the baby of the family thus what an owner has to do to calm the nervous pet is to cuddle, kiss and talk to the pet in a reassuring voice. The presence, the touch and the voice will comfort the pet – for a while but when the pet is exposed to the same situation it will tremble in fear again. The dog must be helped to realize on its own that the situation is not really dangerous.

A better way to deal with the fear is to distract the dog or to associate the situation with something pleasant. The sound of the stereo or the TV can cover the sound of the thunderstorm or the firecrackers. To alleviate the dog’s fear it would be a good idea to close the drapes and to provide the dog with a toy. A treat filled Kong toy will make the dog forget the scary situation as dogs are food and toy motivated.

Find out more about what to do when your dog is scared and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

How to get rid of fleas on pet dogs

Both the dog owner and the pet will be affected by flea infestation. When these pesky bloodsuckers bite, poor Fido will itch all over so that the excessive scratching will result to raw skin that will be an additional concern if secondary bacterial skin infections develop. Measures necessary to eradicate a flea infestation have to be applied as apart from the discomfort the tiny parasites bring to dogs, fleas can also transmit a number of canine diseases to humans.

A dog infested with fleas would scratch incessantly, would have skin inflammation and noticed to suffer from hair loss conditions. A dog infested with fleas will have flea dirt on its skin. As soon as flea dirt on the dog’s skin are noticed, the dog owner should start with the plan to eradicate these external parasites. Not many dog owners are aware of the fact that a severe flea infestation can result to anemia and severe blood loss can result to the death of the dog.

The flea has to be eradicated not only from the pet but also from the environment. These pesky tiny insects are great jumpers thus they can easily jump from one host to another and spread the infestation easily. Start killing the pests by using a flea bath or a flea shampoo on the infested dog. As a double measure you can run a fine toothed comb thoroughly through the dog’s fur to remove the fleas. Flea baths will kill adult fleas but not the eggs thus the process has to be repeated until the entire flea population is eradicated.

The fleas must be removed from the environment as well. After vacuuming all the carpets and the rooms, be sure to carefully discard the vacuum bag. To make sure that the vacuumed fleas will be killed, a strip of flea collar can be placed inside the vacuum bag. The dog’s beddings and crate must be washed with soap and hot water. Vacuuming will not be sufficient to remove all the fleas. Sprays and insecticides are needed to bomb all the rooms giving particular attention to the places where the dog usually hangs out. Bomb the yard with chemicals formulated to kill fleas as well.

Over the counter flea powders, flea baths and shampoos as well as sprays and insecticides make fighting the infestation easier. However, dog owners are cautioned against over usage of these chemicals as the pet can get sick if exposed to these chemicals repeatedly.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can find out more about what to do if your dog has fleas as well as first aid for dogs.

Stray dogs are often seen roaming the streets. If you see an obviously lost dog on the countryside, would you pull over, be a Good Samaritan and try to help the stray or would you drive on and chuck the pitiful sight as one of the facts of life? Some of these dogs are genuinely lost because dogs are one of the animals that have the tendency to roam. Dogs are noted for their good sense of direction but they do get lost anyway because some cruel owner fed up with the task of caring for the dog would just dump the pet.

Dogs are wonderful animals but not all dogs are friendly. You may have good intentions in helping a stray dog but be aware of the fact that you may be helping an aggressive dog. Be cautious if you want to help a stray dog. Approach the dog with caution as a cornered animal can turn aggressive. Bear in mind that the stray dog’s vaccination status is unknown thus the risk of infections is high. Approach the dog only when it has not shown aggression. But if the dog is aggressive, your only recourse would be to notify the animal control authorities.

A naturally friendly stray dog will follow any person. Strays are commonly hungry and the sight of food can make an aloof dog docile. You may be able to capture the dog by speaking gently and offering food. After securing the dog look for identification tags so that you can notify the owner.

If the owners of the stray are not found you can either turn the dog over to an animal shelter or to bring the dog home. It would be a good idea to take the dog to a vet before bringing it home to rule out any parasite infestation and canine diseases. If a vet visit is not possible you need to isolate the stray to protect your other pets from diseases and parasites that the stray can be carrying.

While some stray dogs are really homeless, others were lost and become strays. Strays that are not owned can be easily distinguished because of their gaunt appearance. An owned dog that had been lost for quite a while would have a bedraggled appearance but it would be evident that the dog was once a well groomed pet. The owner of the dog may be doing everything to look for the pet. You can notify the local Animal Control that you have found a dog. It would be a great feeling to be able to help an owner be reunited with the pet.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can learn more about what to do if you find a stray dog as well as first aid for dogs and other common dog behaviors.