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  1. Rss Bot

    6 Tips for Giving Your Dog Pills

    A spoonful of sugar might help our medicine go down, but dogs typically pose a bit more of a challenge. While some canine companions dutifully eat their pills with dinner, most tend to need a little encouragement. These tips for giving your dog a pill will make the process more pleasant for everyone involved. Pill Pockets Not all medication can be given with food. But if it can, putting the pill in a pill pocket or wrapping it in a piece of cheese makes it easy to slip into your dog’s system. Keep in mind that this approach works best for dogs that wolf down treats without chewing. Dogs that chew soft treats may bite into the unpleasant-tasting medicine, making them harder to trick next time. It should be noted that dogs with food sensitivities or allergies might have issues with the ingredients in pill pockets, so consult your veterinarian if your canine companion has had problems with food in the past. Compounded and Liquid Medications Sometimes you can opt for a flavored compounded medication or a chewable “treat” tablet. This works well for dogs that don’t like to swallow their pills. However, these medications can be more expensive — depending on the drug — and your veterinarian may caution against compounding certain drugs because it could impact their effectiveness. Also, medications are not always compounded at every pharmacy. Ask your veterinarian to guide you to pharmacies that are noted for compounding medications. Pill Device Administering pills to your dog can pose certain risks. For instance, in order to get the pill far enough back on your dog’s tongue for him to swallow, you need to put your fingers in his mouth. This can lead to accidental bites. Pill devices place the medication in your dog’s mouth, so that you don’t have to expose your fingers to danger. A dog’s tongue has a hump, and in order to succeed in getting him to swallow the pill, you need to place it behind the hump. Once you’ve done that, close his jaws and gently stroke his throat in a downward motion to encourage him to swallow the pill. Get Help Restraining a dog while also trying to give him medication is difficult. If possible, ask a friend or family member to hold your dog for you, so that you can concentrate fully on the task at hand. Reward Your Dog The last thing you want is to make this process stressful. Reward your dog with a small treat after every pill, and do your best to keep both of you calm, no matter how frustrated you get. Ask Your Veterinarian for a Demonstration Successful administration of pills is an art form. When in doubt, request a demonstration on proper technique from your veterinarian. The post 6 Tips for Giving Your Dog Pills appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  2. When wildfires ravage an area, both humans and pets are at risk of being displaced and inhaling dangerous amounts of smoke. Remember — if you feel the effects of smoke, your pets probably do, too. And if you ever have to evacuate your home, your pets should always go with you. If you’re in an area impacted by wildfires or smoke, don’t panic. Here’s how to prepare for an emergency, protect your pup from dangerous air quality, and evacuate safely. What To Do With Your Pets When the Air Is Smoky During wildfires, the air quality is often dangerous and hazardous to breathe. Some studies estimate that breathing the smoke-filled air is equivalent to smoking more than eight cigarettes a day — and that’s for a human! Brachycephalic breeds (such as Pugs and Bulldogs), puppies, and senior dogs may be especially at risk of inhaling too much smoke. Here’s what to do if you experience poor air quality due to smoke: Keep your pets inside as much as possible, with your windows shut If your dog needs to go to the bathroom, only let them out for short periods of time Avoid long walks and activities outdoors Watch for signs of smoke inhalation (see below) There are many ways to keep your pets busy and active while indoors! Signs Your Pet May Have Inhaled Too Much Smoke Call your veterinarian right away if your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms: Coughing Trouble breathing Wheezing or loud breathing Fatigue or disorientation Reduced appetite Reduced thirst Red eyes, excessive tearing or blinking, or pawing at eyes (indicate cornea trauma) Do Facemasks Protect Dogs Against Smoke? While most people have gotten used to wearing facemasks to combat COVID-19, they can also be a tool for protecting humans against poor air quality. However, no evidence has been seen that masks protect against carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and cyanide, which are some of the most dangerous aspects of smoke inhalation. Not enough research has been done to support any effectiveness on masks to protect animals. The best plan is to keep both you and your animals indoors as much as possible. Preparing Your Pets For Fire Evacuation It’s important to remember that your pets are a part of your family, so if you have to evacuate, your animals should go with you. This is why you should have an evacuation plan ready before you even think you may need it. Make sure your dog is microchipped. A microchip allows veterinarians and shelter workers to scan your pet and access your contact information. It could be essential to being reunited with your dog if you get separated. Keep your dog’s microchip registration up to date with your most recent phone number and address. But don’t forget the low-tech option too. Your dog should be wearing a collar with up-to-date identification tags. Finally, have copies of all your dog’s important documents. Consider including: Vaccination certificates and most recent heartworm test results. Information about any health concerns, medications, or behavior problems. Contact information for your veterinarian. Identification information including proof of ownership and a current photo of you with your dog in case your dog gets lost. Pack a Fire Evacuation Kit A pet disaster preparedness kit should include everything your dog will need in an emergency evacuation. Consider your dog’s basic needs, safety, and any medical issues. Keep it in an easy-to-carry waterproof container and store it where you can easily get to it. Your dog’s go-bag should include items such as: Bottled drinking water (during an emergency, tap water can be contaminated). Food in waterproof containers or cans. (Choose pop-top tins or pack a can opener.) Bring enough for at least two weeks. Food and water bowls. Prescription medications and other required health supplies such as tick medication and heartworm preventative. A dog first aid kit. Poop bags and other clean-up supplies. Familiar items like toys, bedding, and blankets to comfort your dog. Stress-relieving items like an anxiety vest or calming sprays if your dog is prone to anxiety. How to Evacuate With a Dog Always bring your pets with you when evacuating your home. Pack your pet’s emergency kit and documents and make sure you have a pet-friendly place to stay. Whether you’re staying with family, at a shelter, or a pet-friendly hotel, there are several options for traveling with your pets. In the unfortunate event that you are separated from your pet or lose your pet, contact AKC Reunite. Above all, stay vigilant, stay indoors if you can, and call your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your dog. The post How Do Wildfires and Smoke Affect Dogs? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  3. So, your dog just had an encounter with a skunk and got sprayed for his troubles. Although your first instinct may be to let him in the house to wash him off, don’t. Keep him outside. The skunk oil on his coat lingers in the air until he’s clean, and we all know how noxious that smell is. What is skunk spray? The spray is produced by the anal glands of the skunk to defend against predators and contains sulfurous chemicals called thiols. Since skunks can spray this liquid as far as 15 feet, it’s common for dogs to get a blast directly in the face. Follow These Steps if Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk 1. Check your dog’s eyes If they’re red or irritated, flush them immediately with cool water. There are also veterinary eyewash products that are safe for dogs, and if you live in an area where skunks are common, it may be a good idea to keep some on hand. <?php $js_path = 'assets/js/realtor-in-content.js'; wp_enqueue_script( 'realtor-in-content', get_template_directory_uri() . $js_path, [ 'main', 'jquery' ], \AKC\Release::version(get_template_directory() . $js_path), true ); ?> In Partnership with Find Your Perfect Home Places Buy Rent Search Now *Dog friendly rental filter applied to results 2. Remove the oil from his coat as quickly as possible So, now it’s bath time, either outdoors or in a separate space like a garage or barn. The most common household remedy to get rid of skunk odor used to be a tomato juice bath, although it had limited success. Today, there are effective products on the market, as well as a simple DIY remedy you can make with products commonly at hand: 3. Best way to get rid of skunk smell: 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (found at any pharmacy or supermarket) 1/4 cup of baking soda 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap Wearing rubber gloves, work the solution into your dog’s coat, washing him thoroughly. Don’t leave the solution on his fur for too long since peroxide can bleach his fur. Then rinse completely. You might have to repeat the process more than once. If you don’t have these ingredients on hand, the next best option is one of the old-time remedies, like vinegar diluted with water. While not as effective, it may still help clean your dog and get rid of the smell. 4. Shampoo your dog Use a regular dog shampoo to remove any residual solution and to leave your dog smelling clean. 5. Towel dry Let him finish drying in a warm sunny room. 6. Wash your clothes If any of the skunk smell gets on you during the bathing process, wash your clothes in regular laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of baking soda. A Few Caveats Use the mixture described above immediately after mixing and do not store it. It can explode if kept in a closed container. Be careful not to get the solution in your dog’s eyes. Don’t leave the mixture on your dog’s coat for too long. Peroxide may bleach your dog’s fur. Don’t use a hydrogen peroxide solution stronger than 3%, it can irritate your dog’s skin It may be impossible to get rid of the odor completely, especially if your dog is sprayed in the face. Short of somehow training your dog to stay at least 15 feet away from skunks, your best bet is to have these ingredients on hand. Or you can buy one of several commercial products available, like a skunk odor-removing shampoo or skunk odor-eliminating spray, and hope you never have to use it. The post What to Do When Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  4. So, you want a dog but you seem to have an allergy attack whenever you’re around one? You’re not alone! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the population in the U.S. is allergic to dogs, causing many prospective owners to wonder: which dogs are hypoallergenic? While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find less-allergenic dog breeds that are better suited for allergy-sufferers. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander. Dander, which clings to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in people. Even though dogs that are hypoallergenic don’t truly exist, many breeds make it possible to enjoy the companionship of a dog, even if you suffer from allergies. There are also ways to prepare your home to help keep allergens at bay when you have a dog. Be sure to wash your pet’s bed often, keep up with his grooming, and don’t let him sleep on your bed. It’s also helpful to remove heavy carpets and drapes that can trap dander. Vacuum cleaners for pet hair also help remove allergens, and some can even groom the hair and dander right from your dog. Best Breeds for People With Allergies Afghan Hound Afghan Hounds are known for being aloof and dignified. They require regular exercise and grooming. They should be bathed and brushed twice a week. American Hairless Terrier The American Hairless Terrier is a lively, friendly, and intelligent companion. The breed does well with children and is also good for city dwellers due to their minimal exercise needs — regular walks and indoor playtime will do. They also need regular bathing and nail trimming. Bedlington Terrier The gentle, loveable Bedlington Terrier is known for its curly, wooly coat that resembles a lamb’s. The breed doesn’t need intense exercise — regular playtime and daily walks will do. Bichon Frise The Bichon Frise is a naturally gentle, happy, playful dog that loves activity. The Bichon’s hair continually grows and doesn’t shed, so regular grooming is important to prevent mats. Chinese Crested The Chinese Crested is an alert, playful dog that thrives on human companionship. They are small and do well in families with gentle children. Cresteds shed little to no hair. Coton de Tulear The Coton de Tulear is a small, hardy dog that is happy, eager to please, and loyal. The breed gets along well with other dogs and children. Their long coat requires daily grooming. Giant Schnauzer The Giant Schnauzer is intelligent and can be territorial, naturally feeling protective of its family. The breed needs a lot of exercise and loves having a job to do. They require regular grooming. Irish Water Spaniel This strong, intelligent breed is the clown of the spaniel family. Irish Water Spaniels are active and energetic, needing daily exercise. Their water-repellant double coat requires brushing every few weeks. Kerry Blue Terrier The Kerry Blue Terrier is energetic and fun-loving. The breed enjoys being part of an active family that can provide daily exercise. Their coats need regular brushing and trimming. Lagotto Romagnolo The Lagotto Romagnolo is a happy dog with tons of energy, needing plenty of activity. They are affectionate and devoted to their owners. Their thick curly coat is similar to that of a Poodle. They require trimming and regular brushing to prevent mats. Maltese Though small, the Maltese is known for being brave, playful, and fearless. They have long, silky white hair that needs to be brushed daily to prevent mats. Miniature Schnauzer The Miniature Schnauzer has a natural protective nature that makes it a great watchdog. The breed is smart and cheerful, and adapts well to different living environments. Their double coat requires clipping. Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless) The Peruvian Inca Orchid can be hairless or coated — the hairless variety does well with allergy sufferers. They also come in three different sizes small, medium, and large. The breed is loyal and protective of its family. They also have a great deal of energy, needing regular activity. They have minimal grooming needs. Poodle The Poodle comes in three size varieties — Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The breed is exceptionally smart and active, needing daily exercise. Their trademark coat requires regular professional grooming. Portuguese Water Dog An athletic breed, the Portuguese Water Dog needs vigorous daily exercise and would do best with a very active family. PWDs are intelligent, loyal workers. Their waterproof coat requires regular maintenance. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier This happy dog is active and needs plenty of exercise daily. The breed adapts well to city, country, or suburban living, and does well with children. They have a silky, soft coat that needs regular grooming to prevent mats. Spanish Water Dog The Spanish Water Dog is a lively, hardworking dog with natural protective instincts. They are a high energy breed that does best with an active family. They require little grooming for their curly, wooly coat. No brushing is needed, but at least once a year they should be shaved down. Standard Schnauzer The Standard Schnauzer is a sociable, affectionate breed that has a fondness for kids. They are athletic dogs that need daily exercise. Their beard and leg hair should be brushed often to prevent mats. Xoloitzcuintli The Xoloitzcuintli comes in three sizes — toy, miniature, and standard. They also come in two varieties — hairless and coated. The hairless has a smooth, tough, protective skin and the coated has a short, flat coat. They’re calm, tranquil, and attentive, and can also be aloof. They have moderate exercise and grooming needs. The post Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds: Best Breeds for People With Allergies appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  5. Do you or a member of your family suffer from allergies when around dogs? Perhaps you sneeze, get itchy or watery eyes, hives on your skin, or even more serious respiratory issues. If you are a dog lover, you may have avoided owning one because of this problem, especially if the allergy symptoms are extreme. In recent years, several breeds have gained the “hypoallergenic” label. Given that up to 20% of western country populations are allergic to dogs, it’s no surprise that this label has grown in popularity. But, if you have been pinning all your hopes on one of these dogs being the perfect solution, don’t get too excited—this term is not as accurate as it sounds. True Hypoallergenic Dog Breed Don’t Exist Although some individual dogs may indeed elicit fewer allergy symptoms than others, studies suggest that there is no specific breed that is truly hypoallergenic. Dr. Tania Elliott is an allergist and a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She explains that “somewhere along the line, the fact that a dog didn’t shed became synonymous with the word hypoallergenic. While some people can be allergic to dog hair, others may be allergic to the dander (skin cells) and even their saliva.” In 2011 the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy published a study that found no major differences in the levels of the primary dog allergen, Canis familiaris (Can f 1), in homes with dogs labelled as hypoallergenic compared with those that weren’t. While the study authors state that there is a need for more research to confirm these findings, the results threw a wrench in most allergy sufferers’ plans. The results of a further study in 2012 actually found low-shedding Poodles had some of the highest levels of Can f 1 present in their coat samples. Surprisingly, Labradors Retrievers, often regarded as a breed more likely to trigger allergies because of their excessive shedding, had significantly lower allergen levels. This study also found no major difference in the amount of Can f 1 found in the air of homes with “hypoallergenic” and other dog breeds. Poodles come in three size varieties: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. These Miniature Poodles are sporting one of a variety of haircuts a poodle can be styled in. Dog Breeds Commonly Mislabelled as Hypoallergenic While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find less-allergenic dog breeds that are better suited for allergy-sufferers. Some popular breeds frequently referred to as hypoallergenic include Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Bichon Frise, Maltese, and Schnauzers—all low, no-shedding or hairless dogs. Unlike Labs or Huskies, for example, these dogs do not molt excessively. While these breeds are typically better for allergy sufferers, and can help minimize the amount of vacuuming and clothes brushing you may have to do, there are no guarantees they will result in fewer allergy symptoms in all people. There may be less hair, but you can’t avoid their dander and saliva! What Can You Do to Help Cope if You Are Allergic to Your Dog? For some allergy sufferers, their reaction to the Can f 1 allergen is too severe to consider owning a dog. For others, their desire to share their home with a furry friend could become a reality. You may hear other dog owners referring to how they have built up a tolerance to the allergens. However, as Dr. Elliott says, “many people who report “tolerance” have mainly learned a new normal of everyday congestion and rhinitis.” Encouragingly, though, allergen immunotherapy shots are an option for building up true tolerance against allergens. “By giving you very low levels of what you are allergic to and building up tolerance over time—you essentially train your system to no longer be allergic,” she explains. Good housekeeping habits can also help to keep allergies at bay. Some of these include keeping your pet out of your bedroom, using a HEPA air filter appropriate for the size of the room, and regular vacuuming. Dr. Elliott even suggests wearing a mask while interacting with your pet, and this could also be a good option when vacuuming. It is also possible to get a vacuum cleaner with a certified asthma and allergy-friendly filter. It is worth noting that in the 2012 study mentioned above, homes with carpets had higher levels of the Can f 1 allergen present than those with hardwood floors. If you prefer to keep carpets in your home, opt for one with a low pile and regularly steam clean it. One suggestion for allergy-sufferers looking for a new pet is to spend 15-20 minutes with a breed to see what level of reaction they produce. While someone might have a great reaction to, say, a Schnauzer, their reaction might be less with an American Hairless Terrier or even a Portuguese Water Dog. Allergy sufferers will also be better off with a purebred dog than a mixed-breed dog. Mixed-breed dogs or dogs mixed with Poodles have unpredictable genes and do not result in non-shedding dogs. Some people opt to bathe their dogs more regularly. However, this might not reduce the symptoms, and over frequent bathing could strip the coat of its valuable oils. The post Does a Completely Hypoallergenic Dog Exist? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  6. You’re walking your dog through the neighborhood, and he’s suddenly chewing away on a piece of gum like a teenager. Oh well. No worries, right? Wrong! Most dog owners are aware of how dangerous chocolate can be to our dogs. But you may not know that sugar-free gum, which contains xylitol, is just as dangerous. What Is Xylitol? Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar substitute used to improve the taste of products that don’t contain sugar. You can find it in gum and candy, peanut butter, and sugar-free baked goods. You may be surprised to find out that other products that sometimes contain xylitol include chewable vitamins, dental products, nasal sprays, sunscreen, deodorant, make-up and hair products, some human medications, and even baby wipes. “Xylitol produces a nice cooling sensation, so it can be really soothing on the skin,” Dr. Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT and the Pet Poison Helpline’s director of veterinary services and senior veterinary toxicologist reported to the American Animal Hospital Association. “It’s also a humectant, which means it can help maintain moisture in a product like baby wipes.” According to the Pet Poison Hotline, xylitol pet poisonings have more than doubled in the last 5 years as we’re seeing a substantial increase in the number of products that use xylitol. In 2020, the number of calls to the helpline concerning xylitol poisoning was second only to chocolate poisoning calls. What’s the Danger? Typically, the dose of xylitol needed to cause poisoning is at least 0.05 grams per pound of body weight (0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight). Chewing gum and breath mints contain 0.22-1.0 gram of xylitol per piece of gum or per mint. Thus, to achieve a potentially toxic dose, a 10-pound dog would only have to eat one piece of gum. Xylitol toxicosis occurs in dogs after ingestion of xylitol or xylitol-containing products, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Profound hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is the most common clinical effect, which may result in vomiting, weakness, depression, hypokalemia (extremely low potassium levels), seizures, and/or coma. Some dogs have developed severe liver damage after xylitol ingestion. Signs of poisoning can develop in as little as 30 minutes to one hour. Dogs are the only domestic species where a toxic reaction to xylitol has been seen. Why is xylitol so toxic to dogs? The reason, according to Merck, is that ingestion causes a massive insulin release. The most common effect of xylitol poisoning in dogs is a precipitous drop in blood sugar, which can lead to loss of consciousness and seizures. Symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar in dogs include: Weakness, Stumbling Tremors Collapse Seizures Coma Treatment for Xylitol Poisoning If you suspect that your dog may have consumed sugar-free gum or any other product containing xylitol, immediately call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680). Do not induce vomiting or give anything orally to your dog unless specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian. It is important to get treatment for your dog as quickly as possible. If a dog is already exhibiting signs of hypoglycemia, inducing vomiting could make them worse. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the prognosis for uncomplicated hypoglycemia is good, if prompt treatment is obtained. Mild increases in liver enzyme levels usually resolve within a few days. However, xylitol poisoning can be fatal without early veterinary intervention. At this time, there is no antidote for xylitol toxicity. Your veterinarian will usually monitor your dog for at least 12 hours for blood sugar levels and liver function, and if the dog’s blood sugar remains too low, he may require treatment for one-to-two days with an IV glucose solution. Prevention Dogs certainly have a sweet tooth, and some will gluttonously go for any sweets they can find. That’s why it’s so important to dog-proof your house and ensure that your dog can’t get into potentially harmful foods and products, such as xylitol-containing gum and candy. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for any gum your dog might sneak out of purses, from the trashcan, in the car, or off the ground. Sugar-free gum almost always contains xylitol. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether other products contain this ingredient. The labels may list sugar alcohols, but not whether one of them is xylitol. The other sugar alcohols, sorbitol and maltitol, aren’t toxic to dogs. The safest choice is to be wary of any product that has a label designating it as “sugar-free” or “no sugar added.” Always brush you dog’s teeth with toothpaste specifically designated for dogs, and never with one for people. And even when your dog is staring at you imploringly with those big brown eyes, don’t share your food if there’s a chance it may contain xylitol. The post What to Do If Your Dog Accidentally Eats Gum appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  7. When dentists advertise dental services for people, it’s all about creating pretty smiles. But for dogs, the veterinary reminders prompt a different story, as canine dental problems go deeper than a toothy grin. Small and large dogs experience different types of dental issues—all beginning with the size of their mouths. Adult dogs have 42 teeth—20 on the top, 22 on the bottom. Puppies have 28—14 on the upper jaw, 14 on the lower jaw. While the mouths of large dogs can accommodate all these teeth, the jaws on small dogs do not. Small Dogs, Petite Mugs “The biggest dental problem for little dogs is periodontal disease,” says Jan Bellows, DVM, Past President of the American Veterinary Dental College and a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist in Weston, Florida. Fitting all 42 teeth in a small mouth is a challenge. By the time they’re 12 years old, Toy breeds often have only half of their teeth “Their mouths are crowded, and teeth grow close together and at odd angles,” says Dr. Bellows. As a result, plaque builds up, turns into tartar, and food bits become lodged between the teeth. For example, when people eat popcorn and a kernel gets stuck between their teeth, they can brush or floss to remove it, but dogs can’t.“When the tartar accumulates, infection sets in under the gum line,” says Tony Woodward, DVM, a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist in Bozeman, Montana. “With some brachycephalic dogs, teeth can even grow in sideways. A hard piece of food can stay there for years,” Dr. Woodward says. “Many little dogs don’t chew their food as much—especially if they’re fed a lot of soft food, so more plaque and calculus build up and leads to inflammation of the gums.” Routine dental care guards against periodontal disease, tooth loss, and infection, which can make eating painful and difficult.“Small dogs can have abscessed teeth and hide it so well that their owners never suspect a problem,” says Dr. Woodward. “This ability to not show weakness goes back to their canine ancestors who had to protect themselves from predators.” Bad breath isn’t only about smelling a foul odor. It’s usually a sign of periodontal disease and often accompanies red, inflamed gums that bleed easily. Small dogs with putrid breath need a professional dental cleaning at the veterinarian’s office under anesthesia twice a year. “Non-essential dental cleaning without anesthesia will only remove surface tartar,” says Dr. Bellows. “Without anesthesia, it’s impossible to reach below the gum line.”Although regular tooth brushing is usually recommended to keep tartar from accumulating on teeth, Dr. Bellows recommends wiping the teeth once or twice a day after a meal. The friction can help remove plaque, especially on the lower jaw. If you see yellow or brown stained teeth, the dog has already fallen behind schedule for a professional dental cleaning. Large Dogs, Big Choppers Large dogs are far from immune to dental problems, but the reasons differ significantly from smaller canines. “The primary issues are fractured teeth and trauma,” says Dr. Woodward. Rough and tumble large breeds thrive on going after sticks, playing tug with another dog or their owner, and chewing on hard objects, such as antlers or bones. Unfortunately, these activities lead to breaking the chewable back teeth. If active play wasn’t enough to cause dental damage, grabbing the roots of a tree, chewing rocks in the yard, or bumping heads with another dog after going for the same toy cause tooth trauma. The American Dental College reports research shows that almost a third (20 to 27 percent) of canine patients have fractured teeth. “Another dental issue for Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers is oral cancer,” says Dr. Bellows. “With all large dogs, teeth can fail to erupt, or they can grow in the wrong spot.” Caring for Cuspids Both veterinary dentists recommend a regular professional dental cleaning for large dogs once a year under anesthesia. During this time, the veterinarian should take x-rays of the dog’s mouth for an accurate picture of the dental condition. After this procedure, wipe the teeth once a day with a small washcloth. “Brushing teeth helps, but you can’t always reach every tooth,” says Dr. Woodward. “Give dogs chew toys that bend and avoid any hard bones that can break their back teeth.”Good dental care begins early. When the puppy receives its first or second set of vaccines, the veterinarian should examine the pup and look inside his mouth. “If, for example, there’s an abnormal growth or a bottom tooth is hitting the roof of the mouth, the veterinarian can spot it immediately and take care of it,” says Dr. Bellows. “A healthy mouth is all about prevention.” The post Do Small Dogs Have More Dental Problems Than Large Dogs? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  8. Rss Bot

    How to Get Rid of Stinky Dog Breath

    There are many reasons your dog may have bad breath, including diet and disease Talk to your vet to see if your dog is a candidate for a dental cleaning Get rid of bad dog breath with our top product picks Few smells are as unpleasant as a dog with bad breath. Your dog might think that you appreciate his kisses, but if he has bad breath, then getting up close and personal is the last thing that you want to do. Bad dog breath isn’t just gross – it could also be a sign of a health problem. Before you pop your dog a doggy breath mint, take a moment to do a little research into the possible causes of bad breath and what you can do to treat and prevent it. Causes of Bad Dog Breath Dog owners tend to dismiss bad dog breath as just “dog breath,” but there is usually a very good reason behind the odor. Oral Hygiene and Periodontal Disease The most common causes of bad breath in dogs are bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Just like in humans, the build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to the development of the bacteria that cause bad breath. If your dog is not a chewer and you do not regularly brush his teeth or have his teeth cleaned, then the most likely cause of his bad breath is plaque build-up.Over time, poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease. Too much plaque and tartar build-up can push the gums away from the teeth, exposing new areas for bacteria to develop. This not only inflames the dog’s gums, but it can lead to cavities, infection, tissue destruction, tooth loss, and even pus formation. Needless to say, it also leads to very, very bad breath. Unpleasant Dietary Habits Dogs can be gross. Sometimes their habits translate directly into bad breath. If your dog regularly gets into the garbage, or has access to decomposing animal remains, then his bad breath could be the result of unsupervised snacking. Dogs also universally seem to love cat poop, and a household with cats can offer too much temptation for your dog to resist. Not only is this smelly, it is also unhygienic. As if cat poop wasn’t bad enough, some dogs eat their own poop or the poop of other dogs, a condition called coprophagia that causes bad breath in dogs and occasionally mild nausea in their horrified owners. Diabetes If your dog’s bad breath has a sweet or fruity smell to it, you need to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Sweet, fruity breath is a symptom of diabetes, a serious but treatable condition. Talk with your veterinarian about the other symptoms of diabetes to look out for, like more frequent drinking and urination, and set up an appointment to get your dog examined. Kidney Disease A dog that eats poop might have breath that smells like poop, but if your dog’s breath smells like urine, it is most likely not because she has been drinking pee. A urine odor to your dog’s breath is a warning sign of kidney disease, and warrants a visit to your veterinarian. Kidney disease is serious and could be a symptom of a larger medical problem. Liver Disease If your dog’s breath is truly foul and she is also vomiting, exhibiting a lack of appetite, and has a yellow tinge to her gums, she may have a liver problem. Like kidney disease, liver problems can be a sign of a serious condition, and it is vital that you get your dog into the veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible. Treating Bad Dog Breath As important as it is to understand the underlying issues behind malodorous doggie breath, what we really want to know is how to get rid of it. Curing bad dog breath depends on the cause, but luckily there are quite a few treatment options out there. If plaque, tartar, and periodontal disease are behind your dog’s bad breath, then the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to see if your dog is a candidate for a dental cleaning. Your veterinarian will run bloodwork to make sure your dog can handle anesthesia, and this appointment is also a great time to rule out any other potential causes for your dog’s bad breath. During the cleaning, your veterinarian may have to remove loose or damaged teeth, depending on the scope of the periodontal disease. When it comes to unsupervised snacking, securing the trash and limiting your dog’s access to unpleasant outdoor finds, like roadkill, will resolve this issue. Placing the litter box outside of his reach is a simple solution that eliminates cat feces consumption, unless the cats are also pooping outside, and cleaning up directly after your dog can help prevent coprophagia. Diabetes, kidney, and liver disease are all conditions that require treatment from a veterinarian. Once the underlying issue is resolved, your dog’s bad breath should go away, too. Preventing Bad Breath in Dogs The simplest way to prevent bad dog breath is to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Teeth brushing reduces plaque and promotes better oral hygiene, much as it does in humans, and with a little training, most dogs learn to enjoy having their teeth brushed. Dog toothpaste is formulated for dogs. Never brush your dog’s teeth with toothpaste meant for people, as it may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like xylitol. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys and dental treats helps them take care of their teeth naturally. Chewing prevents plaque and tartar build-up and relieves boredom, keeping your dog healthy and happy. Just make sure you pick dog chew toys appropriate for your dog’s size and age. Small breeds may require more dental care than large breeds as they are more prone to periodontal disease, according to the AKC Health Foundation. Smaller breeds tend to have teeth that are closer together, which promotes plaque and tartar build-up, so make sure you provide them with plenty of chew toys from a young age and brush their teeth regularly. Feeding your dog a quality, balanced diet, providing them with plenty of exercise and taking them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups can help prevent systemic disorders like diabetes. Plus, keeping your dog healthy helps avoid a host of other health problems, and can help your veterinarian pick up on the underlying cause of your dog’s bad breath before it gets too bad. There are other oral health products aside from canine toothpaste on the market, including special oral health diets, dental chews, and water additives. Talk to your veterinarian about the products they recommend. Say goodbye to your dog’s bad breath today by making an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the possible causes for your dog’s bad breath and your treatment options. As with most health problems, prevention is the best cure, so pick up a tube of dog toothpaste and start brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day to prevent oral decay. Top Products for Bad Dog Breath Dog Toothpaste and Toothbrush Set Dental Chews Dog Chew Teeth Cleaning Toy Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs The post How to Get Rid of Stinky Dog Breath appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  9. Rss Bot

    12 Dog-Friendly Summer Activities

    Summertime is perfect for outdoor fun. And it’s even better if your dog can join in. There are oodles of activities to try, from old standbys like fetch to more adventurous pursuits like hitting the trail for a hike. Consider your dog’s personality, activity level, and interests to be certain you find the perfect match. If you’re looking for some inspiration, the following list is sure to contain some ideas both you and your dog will enjoy. Have a Pet Portrait Session Summer makes a beautiful backdrop for a pet portrait session. You can even enlist the help of a friend and get in the picture with your pooch. Avoid the harsh shadows of midday and set your camera or phone on burst so you don’t miss a thing. The trick to capturing your dog’s best expression is to ensure they’re enjoying the experience. Go somewhere familiar and use treats and toys to hold their interest. Make Frozen Dog Treats Help your dog cool off on hot days with frozen goodies. A simple trick is to take a food-stuffable toy, like a classic Kong, and freeze it after filling. Another easy treat is frozen fruit chunks like watermelon cubes. You can also make ice cubes using no-salt added chicken broth. Finally, get more adventurous and try a recipe for pupsicles or soft serve treats. Try Scent Work Scent work is all about letting your dog do what they do best – sniff. All you need is a DIY beginner’s kit with some essential oils, jars, and cotton swabs. Then, with a few simple lessons, you can start playing in the backyard or park. For an informal version of the game, hide treats around your yard or sprinkle kibble in the lawn and let your dog sniff for the goodies. Enjoy a Picnic If you can’t find a restaurant that welcomes dogs on the patio, try a picnic instead. Bring a blanket big enough for you and your dog, and don’t forget to pack some dog-safe foods your pup can share. If you take a long walk ahead of time or otherwise exercise your dog, they will be far more likely to relax while you eat. Have a Puppy Party If your dog has some friends in the neighborhood, try throwing a puppy party. It’s a chance for the dogs to play and the owners to socialize. Make sure there are enough toys to go around, and if you BBQ or provide food for the owners, make sure unsafe items like chicken bones or onion slices are out of reach of the dogs. To add an extra dimension, include a used toy exchange. Each owner can bring a toy their dog no longer uses. Take a Dog Training Class Some training schools provide outdoor obedience classes in the summer. Not only do you get to enjoy the weather, but there are plenty of distractions you can incorporate into your training. Or if you’re looking for an entirely new way to play with your dog, consider trying a dog sport like agility, dock diving, or disc dog. You and your dog will build your bond as you learn to work together as a team. Build a Backyard Agility Course Build your own backyard obstacle course just for fun or to build agility skills at home. There are kits you can buy or you can DIY some simple obstacles with PVC pipe and some wood. Just be sure to keep the obstacles low for safety and let your dog go at their own pace. Head to the Dog Park Many dogs love the excitement of the dog park. If you want to guarantee there are some appropriate playmates for your pup, schedule dates with owners and dogs you already know. If you’re there on your own, watch the interactions between the other dogs before you let your dog off leash. It’s important the experience is positive and not overwhelming. Play Bobbing for Kibble Playing in the water is a great way for your dog to keep cool. You can play fetch through the sprinkler, hose them down, or let them paddle at the beach. Another fun game is bobbing for kibble. Fill a kiddie pool with a few inches of water and toss in a handful of kibble or other treats like apple slices. Let your dog jump in and retrieve the treats. Go For a Swim Take your dog to a lake, river, or beach and let them swim. Play together in the water or toss a floating toy for them to retrieve. Just be sure to always supervise your dog and provide plenty of fresh water to discourage drinking while they swim. Not all dogs are naturals in the water, so teach your dog to swim and provide a life jacket to boost their confidence. Take a Boat Ride Consider taking your dog for a boat ride. They can join you on a motorboat, canoe, kayak, or even a stand-up paddleboard. Be sure to put your dog in a life jacket and do some simple training beforehand in shallow water. For everyone’s safety, you want to be sure your dog is calm and comfortable in the boat. Create Some Paw Art Let your dog express their inner artist with some paw painting. All you need for your dog’s masterpiece are some nontoxic washable paints and a large piece of paper. Dip your dog’s paws in the paint and then encourage them to walk across the papermaking art as they go. And when you’re satisfied with the results, finish off by giving your dog an outdoor bath. No matter which of these activities you decide to try, remember that dogs can easily overheat in the summer. Stick to cooler days or early morning/evening when the sun isn’t as strong. And provide plenty of opportunities for a drink and a rest. The post 12 Dog-Friendly Summer Activities appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  10. Every dog suffers from diarrhea at least once in his lifetime. And every dog owner knows how messy, smelly, and uncomfortable it is — for the dog and for everyone. Here is the scoop on the health benefits of feeding pumpkin to dogs with diarrhea, so that you can help get your dog back on track. What Causes Dog Diarrhea? Before you reach for that can of pumpkin, you first need to figure out the cause of your dog’s diarrhea. Diarrhea is one of those symptoms that pops up for all kinds of diseases and infections, from parasites to parvo. Your dog’s diarrhea could be a sign of serious, even fatal illness, or it could be something as simple as a mild upset stomach. Just like us, dogs can get diarrhea from stress or a change in their diets. These mild cases of diarrhea normally resolve on their own, and you can help by adding a dietary supplement like pumpkin or feeding a mild diet designed for upset, canine tummies, such as a homemade bland diet made of three parts white rice to one part protein, such as boiled skinless or boneless chicken, or a prescription bland diet. If your dog is suffering from consistent diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, you should take him to see your veterinarian. Puppy diarrhea is especially concerning and should always be treated as a potential emergency, just in case it is a serious illness. Once your veterinarian has diagnosed your dog and suggested a treatment plan for the cause, however, pumpkin can be a helpful supplement to get your dog’s diarrhea under control. Find out more about the common causes of diarrhea in dogs Can Pumpkin Help With Dog Diarrhea? Pumpkin is a fiber-rich food that also contains important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, E, and C, and potassium and iron. Plain, canned pumpkin is available year-round and can be a great addition to your canine first aid kit. Pumpkin can ease digestion in several ways. The soluble fiber content in pumpkin adds bulk to your dog’s stool by absorbing water, and fiber fermentation produces beneficial fatty acids that supply energy to cells, stimulate intestinal sodium and water absorption, and lower the pH level of the large intestines. Fiber also acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are different from probiotics. They stimulate the growth or activity of these beneficial bacteria in the intestines and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Fiber does this by lowering the pH level and providing the necessary nutrients these bacteria need. These traits can all help with some cases of dog diarrhea. Depending on the cause of your dog’s diarrhea, veterinarians might recommend feeding either a highly digestible diet or a diet full of prebiotics (fiber). In some cases, they may also recommend adding probiotics, which are supplements that contain live beneficial bacteria. Pumpkin acts as a prebiotic booster for these probiotics. What Kind of Pumpkin Should I Feed My Dog? Plain canned pumpkin is the healthiest choice for your dog. Both fresh and canned pumpkin are good sources of nutrients and fiber, but canned pumpkin contains a higher concentration of fiber and nutrients compared to fresh pumpkin. This is because fresh pumpkin has higher water content than canned pumpkin. However, canned pumpkin with added salt, spices, sugar, or other additives can irritate your dog’s stomach further, counteracting the beneficial effects of the pumpkin. If you can’t get canned pumpkin, a good alternative is pumpkin powder, made specifically for pets. Note that you should NEVER use canned pumpkin pie, as it may contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. How Much Pumpkin Should I Give My Dog? To help abate your dog’s diarrhea, add 1-to-4 tablespoons of pumpkin or pumpkin powder to your dog’s meal. It is a good idea to start out with smaller quantities to avoid adding too much fiber to your dog’s diet, and if you have any questions about exactly how much pumpkin to feed your dog, consult your veterinarian. Can Pumpkin Help With Dog Constipation? On the opposite end of the spectrum, pumpkin can also help with constipation in dogs. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that adding 1-to-4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to the diet of a dog suffering from constipation can help ease mild constipation. It is important to make sure that dogs are well hydrated any time you increase the fiber content of their food, as dehydration can make constipation worse. It is also imperative to find out why your dog is constipated. Consult with your veterinarian to make sure your dog doesn’t have an enlarged prostate, foreign material or bones in the colon, or another issue that could be an emergency if it isn’t dealt with properly. Pumpkin is a useful and affordable way to help battle your dog’s diarrhea. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, a tablespoon of pumpkin can ease his distress. Talk to your veterinarian if pumpkin does not help resolve your dog’s diarrhea and see if there are other supplements or medications you can try instead. The post ​Can Pumpkin Help With Dog Diarrhea? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  11. One of the most dangerous rooms of the house with regard to accidental poisonings is the bedroom, on account of the nightstand next to the bed. Many adult dogs and teething puppies sleep in the bed with their humans, and thus have easy access to the drugs on that nightstand. Medications left on counters in kitchens and bathrooms find their way into the stomachs of bored dogs, too. If your dog ever does happen to ingest human medication, bring the original container to the veterinarian. The original bottle or package can tell you which drug is involved, what strength, how many pills or tablets were in the container, and possibly the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning poisoning. Dangerous Drugs for Dogs The most common human medications to cause poisoning in dogs include: http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/meds-dangerous.jpg NSAIDS The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used and readily available — many of these can be purchased over the counter. These drugs are used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever in people. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin. In dogs, orally ingested NSAIDs are rapidly absorbed. Most achieve peak concentrations in the blood within three hours. The most commonly seen side effects of these medications are gastrointestinal irritation and damage to the GI tract. At recommended dosages, NSAIDs have little effect on the kidneys, but in cases of overdose (and also with chronic usage) renal damage has occurred. The simultaneous use of two NSAIDs can lead to kidney dysfunction. Additionally, NSAID overdose has caused clotting problems and liver disease. These drugs can also react with other drugs. Acetaminophen/Tylenol Another readily available human medication often used to treat pain and inflammation in dogs is acetaminophen. This drug, sold as Tylenol and other brand names, can be obtained both over the counter and in some prescription preparations. Exposure to dogs usually occurs through administration of acetaminophen by uninformed but well-meaning owners intending to treat fever, pain, or inflammation in their animal. Poisoning can occur from a single exposure to a large dose or from chronic exposure to a low dose. Acetaminophen poisoning in dogs causes injury to the liver and, in high enough dosages, even liver failure. Clinical signs can include lethargy, loss of appetite, belly pain, and jaundice. Swelling of the face and paws is also commonly seen. Cats are even more sensitive than dogs to acetaminophen — clinical signs can result from ingesting a single tablet. ADHD Medications Medications used for attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity contain amphetamine, a potent stimulant. Ingestion of these medications by dogs can lead to life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperature, and even cardiac and respiratory arrest. Blood Pressure Medications Blood pressure medications, like ACE inhibitors and beta blockers, can cause weakness, stumbling, and dangerously low blood pressure. Sleep Medications Medications designed to aid with sleep, like Xanax, Ambien, and Valium, can cause dogs to become lethargic, seem intoxicated and, in some cases, have dangerously slowed breathing rates. Some dogs become severely agitated after ingesting these drugs. Treatment for Accidental Medication Intoxication The vast majority of these accidental intoxications can be successfully managed with early treatment. For poisonings, the best outcomes involve seeking immediate advice from your veterinarian followed by aggressive, proactive treatment, if necessary. Your vet may suggest making the animal vomit if ingestion just occurred, but your pet may also need intravenous fluid support or treatment with specific medications and antidotes to combat the toxin. Always check with your veterinarian before starting any treatments to neutralize the poison. It’s important to note that time is of the essence for many of these poisonings, and most treatments are best done at a veterinary hospital. The post My Dog Ate My Pills! 10 Most Dangerous Human Medications for Pets appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  12. One of the most dangerous rooms of the house with regard to accidental poisonings is the bedroom, on account of the nightstand next to the bed. Many adult dogs and teething puppies sleep in the bed with their humans, and thus have easy access to the drugs on that nightstand. Medications left on counters in kitchens and bathrooms find their way into the stomachs of bored dogs, too. If your dog ever does happen to ingest human medication, bring the original container to the veterinarian. The original bottle or package can tell you which drug is involved, what strength, how many pills or tablets were in the container, and possibly the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning poisoning. Dangerous Drugs for Dogs The most common human medications to cause poisoning in dogs include: http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/meds-dangerous.jpg NSAIDS The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used and readily available — many of these can be purchased over the counter. These drugs are used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever in people. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin. In dogs, orally ingested NSAIDs are rapidly absorbed. Most achieve peak concentrations in the blood within three hours. The most commonly seen side effects of these medications are gastrointestinal irritation and damage to the GI tract. At recommended dosages, NSAIDs have little effect on the kidneys, but in cases of overdose (and also with chronic usage) renal damage has occurred. The simultaneous use of two NSAIDs can lead to kidney dysfunction. Additionally, NSAID overdose has caused clotting problems and liver disease. These drugs can also react with other drugs. Acetaminophen/Tylenol Another readily available human medication often used to treat pain and inflammation in dogs is acetaminophen. This drug, sold as Tylenol and other brand names, can be obtained both over the counter and in some prescription preparations. Exposure to dogs usually occurs through administration of acetaminophen by uninformed but well-meaning owners intending to treat fever, pain, or inflammation in their animal. Poisoning can occur from a single exposure to a large dose or from chronic exposure to a low dose. Acetaminophen poisoning in dogs causes injury to the liver and, in high enough dosages, even liver failure. Clinical signs can include lethargy, loss of appetite, belly pain, and jaundice. Swelling of the face and paws is also commonly seen. Cats are even more sensitive than dogs to acetaminophen — clinical signs can result from ingesting a single tablet. ADHD Medications Medications used for attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity contain amphetamine, a potent stimulant. Ingestion of these medications by dogs can lead to life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperature, and even cardiac and respiratory arrest. Blood Pressure Medications Blood pressure medications, like ACE inhibitors and beta blockers, can cause weakness, stumbling, and dangerously low blood pressure. Sleep Medications Medications designed to aid with sleep, like Xanax, Ambien, and Valium, can cause dogs to become lethargic, seem intoxicated and, in some cases, have dangerously slowed breathing rates. Some dogs become severely agitated after ingesting these drugs. Treatment for Accidental Medication Intoxication The vast majority of these accidental intoxications can be successfully managed with early treatment. For poisonings, the best outcomes involve seeking immediate advice from your veterinarian followed by aggressive, proactive treatment, if necessary. Your vet may suggest making the animal vomit if ingestion just occurred, but your pet may also need intravenous fluid support or treatment with specific medications and antidotes to combat the toxin. Always check with your veterinarian before starting any treatments to neutralize the poison. It’s important to note that time is of the essence for many of these poisonings, and most treatments are best done at a veterinary hospital. The post My Dog Ate My Pills! 10 Most Dangerous Human Medications for Pets appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  13. Taking your dog along can make the family vacation more fun for everyone, if you plan carefully. Here are some trip tips to make traveling with your dog enjoyable. Health And Safety Health Checks. Bring your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup before going on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are up-to-date; take shot records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is in proper mental and physical shape to travel. Remember that not all dogs will enjoy going on a trip. To keep your dog healthy as you travel, bring along a supply of his regular food. Don’t forget bottled water and be sure to bring any medications he needs. Be prepared for an emergency. Find the number of the nearest 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital and program it into your cell phone, along with the office and emergency number for your regular veterinarian (in case the veterinarians need to speak with each other). That way, if there’s a situation where your dog needs medical attention, you are prepared with the necessary information on hand. Crates A crate is an excellent way to keep your dog safe in the car and is required for airline travel. It can also keep your pet from getting into trouble in a hotel or at your host’s home. Crates are available from most pet supply stores. Look for these features when purchasing: Large enough to allow the dog to stand, turn, and lie down. Strong, with handles and grips, and free of interior protrusions. Leak-proof bottom covered with absorbent material. Ventilation on opposing sides, with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow. “Live Animal” label, arrows showing upright position, with owner’s name, address, and phone number. Stock the crate with a comfortable mat, your dog’s favorite toy, and a water bottle, and your dog is ready to go. Our Guide to the Best Dog Crates <?php $js_path = 'assets/js/realtor-in-content.js'; wp_enqueue_script( 'realtor-in-content', get_template_directory_uri() . $js_path, [ 'main', 'jquery' ], \AKC\Release::version(get_template_directory() . $js_path), true ); ?> In Partnership with Find Your Perfect Home Places Buy Rent Search Now *Dog friendly rental filter applied to results Identification In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified: Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. If you plan on being away for more than a few days, consider purchasing a second identification tag giving the location and phone number of your vacation spot. Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip (see AKC Reunite). Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you, as well as a copy of his health records listing all of his recent vaccinations. Traveling By Car Get your dog used to the car by letting them sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides. Avoid carsickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times. Keep the car well ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate. Consider a dog seat belt or dog car seat to keep your dog safe. Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries. Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death. Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog. Car rides are boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or annoy the dog in the car. Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. See our summer safety tips for more information. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog Flying When traveling by plane, plan to visit your veterinarian before your trip. Certification of health must be provided to the airline no more than 10 days before travel. Rabies and vaccination certificates are also required. Your dog should be at least 8 weeks old and weaned. Airlines make it clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to verify the dog’s health and ability to fly. Ask your veterinarian if it would be best for your dog to be tranquilized for the trip. Also, be sure to check the temperature of the flight’s starting point and destination; it may be too hot or too cold to be safe for your dog. Federal regulations prohibit shipping live animals as excess baggage or cargo if an animal will be exposed to temperatures that are below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours during departure, arrival, or while making connections. Remember that each airline has its own variations on regulations and services. For example, if your crate doesn’t meet its requirements, the airline may not allow you to use it. They may, however, allow your dog in the passenger cabin if your crate or carrier fits under the seat in front of you. When making your reservations, you must make reservations for your dog. There are restrictions on the number of animals permitted on each flight. They are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Airline Pet Policies: A Guide to Dog Travel Requirements for Flying Traveling by Train, Bus Or Boat If you plan to travel by train or bus, you may be disappointed. Only dogs under 20 pounds are permitted on Amtrak trains (There is also a $25 fee). Dogs are not allowed on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. (Service dogs are permitted.) Local rail and bus companies have their own policies. You may fare better if you’re taking a cruise. However, you should check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your dog on a cruise with you. International Dog Travel: How to Travel Abroad With Pets Best Practices When Traveling With Your Dog Plan bathroom breaks. Before you leave home, teach your dog to relieve himself on multiple surfaces — not just grass! Having the ability to potty on different terrains, such as concrete, mulch, and gravel, will alleviate his discomfort as well as the possibility of accidents while you’re on the road or otherwise. Bring a supply of bags to clean up afterward and a leash. Bring games and toys. To make sure your dog doesn’t get bored, provide him with a few new toys — and a couple of old favorites. You might want to include a puzzle-type toy to keep him occupied. Pack food and water. Check with your veterinarian about giving your dog only bottled water while away from home to ensure that he doesn’t get an upset stomach. And instead of taking his usual bulky bowls, buy collapsible ones and let him get used to using them one week or so before you travel. Lodging Find out in advance which hotels or motels at your destination or on your route allow dogs. Many do not, or have size restrictions. If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff, and the property. Keep your dog as quiet as possible. Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place. Ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him. Do not leave any mess behind. Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition. Puppy-proof the vacation home (or room). Before you let your dog have free run of his home away from home, make certain it’s safe for your dog to explore. Be sure that electrical cords are out of reach and that previous occupants didn’t leave anything on the floor or under furniture that could be potentially harmful to your dog. A Guide to Dog-Friendly Hotel Chains in the United States Remember, it’s a vacation. Traveling can be stressful, but a calm owner usually has a calm pet. Our animals pick up on our stress, so if you’re nervous and uptight, your dog may show stress and anxiety, too. Don’t forget that some dogs don’t enjoy traveling, and your dog may prefer to stay home with a dog sitter. The post The Complete Guide to Traveling With Your Dog appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  14. The summer heat can be stifling for both dogs and humans! And when we lose power, it is not only stressful on our own bodies but on our dogs’ as well. There are a few steps you can take to keep both you and your dog cool in extreme heat. Most Dogs Aren’t Built for Heat Most breeds are built to conserve rather than dissipate heat. They don’t have sweat glands, and most of their body is wrapped in fur with little or no exposed skin; they lose heat through the pads of their feet and through their mouths by panting. Some breeds need special consideration For example, white or fine-coated breeds, like Bull Terriers and Greyhounds are especially vulnerable to sunburn, while the black coat of dogs like the Schipperke absorbs heat, adding to the danger of overheating and heat stroke. Keep Water Available Let your dog drink as much water as possible If you have a working freezer, make cold treats, like frozen chew toys or dog-safe ice pops How to Help a Dog Cool Down Along with plenty of cool water, the most important thing to do to keep a dog cool is to stay indoors or in the shade. If your air conditioning turns off an extra-hot day, go to the coolest area of the house you can, such as the basement. If possible, stay at a friend’s house until your air conditioning is restored. There are other ways you can relieve your dog from the heat by having supplies on hand in advance: Battery-operated fan. Cool cloths, which are made of chamois material, like those used to dry cars at a car wash. Put a moist chamois on your dog’s back without getting him too wet, take it off, and present him to the judge, who probably will only feel a tiny bit of dampness when going over the dog. If you keep your cool cloth in a cooler, don’t put it directly into the ice. You don’t want to put anything ice-cold onto a dog, because that shrinks the blood vessels and actually generates more internal heat. Cooling vest, which deflects the heat and cools the dog through evaporation. Cooling crate pad or a cold, wet towel that you can spread out for your dog to lie on. You can also have him stand on a damp towel to help the footpads release heat. Rubbing alcohol which you can dab behind your dog’s ears, on his stomach, or on his paws. Rubbing alcohol cools faster than water and can draw out heat. Spray bottle filled with cool water. Spray his underside that’s not exposed to the hot sun (such as the groin area, where the hair is less dense), the bottoms of his feet, and inside his mouth. Rectal thermometer with lubricant. Your dog’s temperature shouldn’t rise above 102.5, which is the high end of normal. Unflavored pediatric electrolyte solution for the dog to drink if he gets dehydrated. The Signs of Heatstroke In spite of your best efforts, your dog could develop heatstroke. Here are the symptoms: Unusual breathing (rapid and loud). High rectal temperature (103 or higher). Extreme thirst. Weakness and/or fatigue. Frequent vomiting. Disorientation. Dark or bright red tongue and gums (https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-cool-summer#1). Skin around the muzzle or neck doesn’t snap back when pinched (dehydration). Difficulty breathing. Thick saliva. Rapid heartbeat Heavy drooling Agitation If you suspect that your dog is overheated, immediately take him to a cooler area or to the vet. Once in a cool room, separate his fur with your fingers so the cool air can penetrate to the skin. To cool your dog down as quickly as possible, pour cool water over his head and body, or gently hose a very gentle stream of cool water over him, or, where possible, submerge him in a tub of cool water. Even if your dog seems stable, it’s a good idea to take him to the nearest vet for evaluation and treatment if necessary. The post How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Extreme Heat Without Air Conditioning appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  15. As with all “brachycephalic” breeds, precautions must be taken to ensure flat-faced dogs such as Pugs don’t become overheated. But first, let’s define what brachycephalic means, and which breeds fit this description. In layman’s terms, it refers to those breeds with a flat and wide skull shape, giving the dog a flat-faced appearance. Other breeds in this category include Boston Terriers, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Boxers. All dogs must be kept well-hydrated and cool when the temperature rises, especially if they spend time outdoors during the heat of the day, or are kept in an area without air-conditioning. But flat-faced breeds can be especially prone to overheating. According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, heat-related canine conditions are serious if left untreated, and can lead to organ failure and even death from cardiac arrhythmias. Unfortunately, it can happen quickly, so it’s important to recognize the warning signs early. Signs of Flat-Faced Dog Overheating Dry mouth, nose, and gums Poor skin elasticity (this can be tested by gently pulling up on the skin at the back of the dog’s neck. It should spring back immediately. If it doesn’t, he may be dehydrated) Fast, noisy breathing Excessive panting or drooling Sunken eyes Disorientation or staggering Preventing Overheating Luckily, preventing overheating is not complicated. But these simple precautions are vital. The biggest rule: Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle in hot (or even warm) weather. Repeat: Never. Temperatures inside a car can shoot up to life-threatening levels very quickly. The situation is so serious that it is a criminal offense in some states. If you see a dog left in a parked car in the heat, alert nearby security or call 911 or animal control. Always provide access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water. When outside, make sure there is an area of complete shade. Encourage your dog to take breaks from exercise. Set up a sprinkler or have a hose available for periodic cool-downs. Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. Choose morning or after sunset to walk or exercise with your dog. Stay off of hot pavement. A dog’s paw pads more sensitive than you think and can suffer burns. Consider purchasing a cooling vest or cooling mat to help your dog cool down. What to Do If Your Dog is Overheating If you think your dog is overheating, act quickly. And as always, seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect dehydration, heat exhaustion, or other heat-related conditions. Here are steps you can take: Get the dog to a cool area, particularly one with air-conditioning. Offer small amounts of water at intervals. Too much at once can lead to vomiting, which exacerbates dehydration. Soak towels in cool—not cold—water and apply to his body. A hose will work, too (as long as the water isn’t ice cold). If possible, take your dog’s temperature. If it’s lower than 104 degrees, you can continue to watch him, but call your vet for her input—based on the information you provide, she will advise you about what to do next. If the temperature is 104 degrees or higher, you must get him to a vet immediately. Call ahead so they can prepare. Lastly: You know your dog better than anyone. Some dogs will not stop chasing that ball or tearing around the yard no matter how hot they are. It’s your responsibility to diligently watch for any of the warning signs above and take action quickly. The post How to Keep Pugs, Frenchies, & Other Flat-Faced Breeds From Overheating appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

    What Is Canine Dehydration? Dehydration in dogs occurs when the body loses more fluid than it’s taking in. All mammals rely on water to keep their bodies functioning properly, and dogs are no exception. In fact, water is necessary to virtually every important body function, including lubricating joints, cushioning internal organs, aiding digestion, and regulating body temperature. When we think of nutrition, we generally think of food. But water is a critically necessary ingredient that allows the cells in your dog’s body to absorb nutrients. It is normal for a dog’s body to gain and lose water throughout the day. Panting, breathing, urinating, defecating, and evaporation through the paws all contribute to normal water loss, which your dog compensates for by eating and drinking. When a dog’s body gets to the point where normal fluid intake fails to make up for water loss, the blood flow and the volume of fluids is reduced, which reduces the delivery of oxygen to organs and tissue. Dehydration in dogs also results in a loss of electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. These minerals have important functions in the body: Balancing the body’s pH Moving nutrients into cells Facilitating muscle function Regulating nerve function In the most serious cases of canine dehydration, the severe shortage of fluids can even lead to kidney and other organ failure and to death. Causes of Dehydration in Dogs Lack of water intake can cause dehydration, which can occur if a dog doesn’t have proper access to water or won’t drink enough. Whether you’re at home or gone for part of the day, be sure to leave enough water so your dog will not run out. Acute attacks of vomiting and diarrhea, heat stroke, or illnesses and a fever may also cause a dog to become dehydrated. Puppies, senior dogs, nursing mothers, and toy dog breeds may have an increased risk of dehydration. Sometimes dehydration in dogs is a symptom of an underlying cause, including these diseases or conditions: kidney disease, diabetes, or some types of cancer. There are some dogs who just won’t drink much water unless they are encouraged to do so. Or they are exercising outside to the point where they are panting and therefore losing fluids. What Are the Symptoms of Canine Dehydration? So, how can you tell if your dog is dehydrated? Unfortunately, our dogs can’t tell us they’re thirsty, but knowing the signs of dehydration can help dog owners respond quickly and also catch potential serious medical conditions before they become life-and-death emergencies. According to Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s chief veterinary officer and an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care, symptoms of canine dehydration include: Loss of skin elasticity Loss of appetite Vomiting with or without diarrhea Reduced energy levels and lethargy Panting Sunken, dry-looking eyes Dry nose Dry, sticky gums Thick saliva Loss of skin elasticity is the easiest signs to test for dehydration. To test for it, Dr. Klein suggests that you gently hold some of the dog’s skin near his shoulder blades, raise it up, and then let it go. Watch carefully as it falls back into place. In well-hydrated dogs, the skin instantly will spring back to its original position. The skin of dehydrated dogs, on the other hand, will take longer to fall back into place. “It’s a good idea to first test your dog’s skin when you are sure he’s well hydrated, so that you have a base for what normal skin elasticity feels like. This is especially important for owners of wrinkly breeds, such as Bulldogs or Neapolitan Mastiffs, because their skin may not be as elastic, even under normal conditions,” says Dr. Klein. Another test is to check your dog’s gums to feel whether they’re sticky and dry, and while you’re doing that, test for capillary refill time. Press your finger gently against your dog’s gums and then remove your finger. In a well-hydrated dog, the area where you pressed will appear white for a second, and then return to its normal pink color almost immediately. In dehydrated dogs, the capillary refill time takes much longer. Treating Canine Dehydration If you suspect your pet is dehydrated, first make sure he drinks plenty of fresh, cool water, especially in hot weather. In a vicious cycle, dehydrated dogs can lose their appetites, which causes them to eat less, and therefore eliminates the water content they would normally get from their food. He also may need to have his electrolytes replaced because when his body isn’t getting enough water, fluids containing electrolytes are drawn out of the cells, causing an imbalance that affects his organs. If your dog is not vomiting, you can try giving him an electrolyte-enhanced fluid like Pedialyte. It’s best to check with your veterinarian for dosage recommendations. “If your dog has any of the symptoms of dehydration listed above, persistent vomiting or you suspect heatstroke, take him to the vet immediately; this is considered a medical emergency,” says Dr. Klein. “The vet can administer subcutaneous or intravenous fluids to most quickly replace the fluids that were lost and prevent further loss.” Since dehydration is often a symptom of a larger problem, your veterinarian will want to diagnose and treat the underlying condition. This process will depend on your dog’s other symptoms and could involve anything from blood work to x-rays or other tests. How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs The best way to protect your dog from dehydration is to make sure he doesn’t get in that condition in the first place: provide him with a constant supply of clean, clear water at all times, including when you take him outside. Some dogs drink more than others; so you may need to take extra care to make sure that picky drinkers get enough water. Some dog owners try flavoring water with bone broth or giving their dogs ice cubes to chew on. Depending on the weather and temperature, and the activity level and exercise of your dog, he will probably need more water on some days than others. As a general rule, dogs require at least one ounce of water per day for each pound of body weight. Your veterinarian can offer advice about how best to ensure your dog consumes enough fluids, based on his age, weight, and condition. We can’t always prevent our dogs from getting sick, beyond keeping them up-to-date on their vaccines, and providing them with a healthy diet, exercise, and regularly scheduled examinations by a veterinarian. Make sure to put away items that can be eaten like socks and other inedible objects and garbage like corn cobs that can cause blockages put away and close all garbage lids. But understanding the importance of providing our dogs with ready access to fresh water and knowing the signs of dehydration can help us prevent dehydration and catch it before it becomes dangerous. The post Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows?

    Marshmallows are one of those treats that can be hard to resist — and it’s nearly impossible to eat just one. But, can dogs eat marshmallows? The answer is no. Though not all marshmallows are toxic to dogs, they certainly aren’t good for your canine companion. Made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, vanilla extract, and coated with either cornstarch or confectioners’ sugar, marshmallows contain very little, if any, nutritional value or health benefits. Xylitol in Marshmallows Dr. Carly Fox, a staff doctor at New York City’s Animal Medical Center, says if the marshmallow has xylitol (an artificial sugar) as an ingredient, it is absolutely toxic to your dog and can be extremely harmful, even if ingested in small quantities. “Xylitol can cause dangerously low blood sugar, leading to seizures and even death if the dog is not treated properly,” says Dr. Fox. “It has also been shown to be toxic to the liver, even days after ingestion.” Marshmallows contain an incredibly high amount of sugar and calories and are especially dangerous for any dog with diabetes or weight problems. Even if your pup is healthy, feeding him sugary treats can contribute to obesity, which can lead to diabetes due to insulin resistance. As for marshmallows that do not contain xylitol, both Dr. Fox and Dr. Lucas White, a veterinarian with Sunset Veterinarian Clinic in Edmond, Okla., agree that eating too many can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Your pup would likely exhibit signs of vomiting, lack of appetite, and diarrhea. If those symptoms persist for more than one-to-two days, your dog could also be at risk for pancreatitis. If he’s ingested marshmallows containing xylitol, your canine companion could exhibit the above symptoms, as well as ataxia (uncoordinated gait) or seizures. What to Do if Your Dog Ate Multiple Marshmallows Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog consumes multiple marshmallows. Your vet will most likely choose to induce vomiting if the dog ate the marshmallows within the last couple of hours to prevent prolonged gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, and GI obstruction. Feeding your dog treats that are high in sugar is never a good idea. While these treats might not be harmful in the moment, that can change over time. Ideally, marshmallows should be avoided. Instead, opt for healthier snacks like carrots, green veggies, blueberries, etc., that will provide better nutritional value for your dog. The post Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    What to Do if Your Dog Eats Ladybugs

    A few years ago, a photo showing what appears to be dozens of ladybugs embedded onto the roof of a dog’s mouth was shared around social media, warning pet owners. But should dog owners be worried about letting their dogs eat ladybugs? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there’s no real reason for concern. The AVMA explained on Facebook that the bugs in question were not ladybugs, but an invasive species called Asian lady beetles, which caused a problem in a dog who consumed about 16 of them. According to the 2008 abstract, after the dog ate the bugs, they secreted a mucous that caused them to become lodged on the top of the dog’s mouth, causing corrosion similar to a chemical burn. The case above is the only one that’s been documented, but a veterinarian from Florida reportedly has seen similar cases in her practice. Still, pet owners would see signs of drowsiness or drooling if their dog was affected with an issue from eating the bugs. In other words, it’s not necessary to obsessively check your dog’s mouth for beetle infestation unless you see symptoms. So how common are the invasive species? The AVMA states the following: “Our info is limited, but it appears that—as with many invasive species—the invasive species is expanding and crowding out the native species. But we don’t know relative numbers.” Are Ladybugs Poisonous to Dogs? While it is rare that ladybugs themselves would poison a dog, it is still possible that they can have a negative impact on your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This is rare, but there are signs to look out for: vomiting inability to poop (dogs can’t digest the hard shells) drooling drowsiness changes in behavior behavioral changes If you’re worried your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, contact your veterinarian. The post What to Do if Your Dog Eats Ladybugs appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  19. Warmer weather typically means spending more time outdoors with your dog. These grooming tips will help keep your dog feeling cool and comfortable. As a bonus, they will also enhance the relationship you have with your pet. “Grooming is one of nature’s strongest ways of bonding,” says Jorge Bendersky, a certified master groomer and best-selling author. “It’s a way to show our love.” Even if you have a designated groomer, there are things you can do at home in-between visits. Brushing Your Dog There are lots of obvious benefits associated with brushing your dog regularly, from reduced shedding to a cleaner coat. But you may not know that it’s a great way to keep a dog cool while also giving you the chance to spot any irregularities on his skin — think infections or allergies or fleas and ticks. Meg Marrs, founder and CEO of K9 of Mine, says, “Regular brushing will work out any mats that may have developed in your dog’s coat. Mats are troublesome in the summer, as they trap moisture from the humidity and irritate your pooch’s skin.” Regular brushing also removes the dead hairs and helps circulation on the outer layer of skin. Time required to brush your dog. The amount of time you’ll spend depends on your dog’s coat. Double-coated dogs, such as the Golden Retriever, Old English Sheepdog, Yorkshire Terrier, and Shih Tzu often require additional time. “The undercoat is softer and usually of a different texture, which requires extra attention,” explains Bendersky. More hair on a bigger dog doesn’t necessarily mean more time. Bendersky points out that an Afghan Hound that is brushed regularly will probably take less time than a Pekingese that hasn’t been brushed in weeks. Teach your dog to like it. Certified behaviorist and Los Angeles-based dog trainer, Russ Hartstein, suggests brushing your dog while he is in all positions — standing, sitting, and lying down — to condition him. If he doesn’t like being touched, especially in sensitive spots, offer a reward as a way to create a positive experience. Young dogs that will need to have their coats clipped may be afraid of the noise and vibrations. Running a child-size electric toothbrush gently through a puppy’s coat can help him get accustomed to those sensations. Start slowly. Hold one of the tools you’re working with in one hand while gently petting him with the other. If your dog is curious, allow him to sniff the tool. You can offer a treat, so he begins to associate the grooming tools with something positive. When brushing, start off with small, gentle strokes in a spot where he likes to be touched. As you begin to brush, praise your pup, keeping him in a relaxed state; from here you can work your way up to longer strokes. If you notice that he’s uncomfortable, allow him to move away. Getting a dog used to being groomed can take time; it is a discipline for both of you. Use the right tools. Different breeds also have different grooming needs. It is a process that must be done properly and with the right tools and methods. Bendersky recommends that owners who have dogs with a double coat use a slicker brush and a wide-tooth comb, while dogs with a single coat can be safely brushed with a pin brush and a comb. Bathing Your Dog Not all dogs enjoy getting a bath, so giving yours one might not be as easy as you hope. Luckily, dogs don’t require the same type of grooming schedule as we do, and a daily bath is not necessary or even good for the dog. But when it comes to washing your pup, there are some important pointers to follow to make bath time a safe and positive experience. Remove the dead hair and mats before you bath. Brush your dog first and/or use a wet-dry brush designed to be used when the shampoo makes his coat easier to brush out. Work from the neck down. Be careful of your dog’s eyes, ears, and mouth. Use a damp cloth to clean your pup’s face, and when it comes to rinsing, use a cup or handheld sprayer to control the direction of the water. Prevent water from getting in the ears. One way to ensure water doesn’t get inside your dog’s ears is to place a dry cotton ball carefully at the top of the ear canal. Bendersky points out that a soaked cotton ball will allow water to get in, so changing them out a few times during a bath is a good idea. He also recommends an ear-cleaning solution be applied before and after bathing — before to clean up any wax and dirt that might have accumulated, and after to change the PH of any humidity left behind, preventing the potential for bacteria to grow. Carefully cleaning and drying your dog’s ears after a bath will prevent a possible infection. Rinse, rinse, and rinse again. This is the most important step and should take as much time as shampooing. A dog’s skin is not as airtight as a human’s; where we have one hair for each follicle, a dog can have multiple hairs growing from each hair follicle. “Any product that is not formulated as a leave-on product could penetrate into a deeper layer of skin, causing an irritation that can range from an itch to a chemical burn,” says Bendersky. Use a dog shampoo. Because a dog’s skin PH is different than a person’s, it’s important to use a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs. Human shampoo is made to remove the oils from our hair, but with dogs, oils help keep their skin and coat healthy and shiny so we don’t want to remove them. And it’s best to use cool or lukewarm water, never hot. Avoid slips and falls. When you give your dog a bath, place a towel or non-slippery mat on the bottom of the tub or sink, so that he won’t slip. Bendersky also suggests keeping a loose leash around your dog in order to give you a little more control if he tries to get away. After the bath, towel dry your dog, especially his paws. “Slippery paws can lead to accidents,” says Bendersky. Don’t bathe your dog too often. Every few weeks or once a month is enough. Frequent bathing can strip away essential oils, making the skin itch and drying out the coat. If you need to clean your dog in-between baths, there are leave-on sprays that condition and clean, and you can use a damp towel to wipe off dirt. Cutting Your Dog’s Hair “Dogs can’t sweat the way people do, so their body heat needs external help to get out,” says Lazhar Ichir, founder of Breeding Business. Especially for dogs with longer or thicker hair, you might want to consider a summer haircut to keep them cooler and their fur more manageable. Your dog’s coat actually acts as an insulator. However, this insulating layer can backfire during continuously hot weather, as it can make it harder for dogs to lower their body temperatures. Without the insulating layer, dogs are susceptible to heat stroke, so don’t shave your dog down to the skin. Besides taking away that insulation, you are making him more susceptible to sunburn. If it is advisable to help your dog stay cool by giving him a haircut, you can invest in a professional pair of clippers or scissors. When cutting, use only the tips of the scissors to trim the feet, face, and tail; that way you will avoid accidentally nipping your dog should he make any sudden movements. Leave at least one inch of hair, and be sure to keep the clippers cool. If you need a bit of guidance in this area, consult a professional groomer. Online video tutorials can also walk you through the process. Clipping Dog Nails Another essential part of a dog’s basic grooming is regular nail trimming. If you plan to give your pooch a pedicure, make sure you have the right tools, along with styptic powder in case you cut down too close to the quick (an incredibly tender part within the nail). Whether you plan on using clippers or a nail grinder, getting your dog used to the noise of the tool can make the experience a little easier. “Always make positive associations with any novel piece of equipment and all accompanying sounds, sights, smells, and surfaces,” advises Hartstein. Most dogs have black nails, making it impossible to see where the quick is from the top of the nail. Trim small bits at a time until you see a solid black dot on the tip; that’s when you know you’ve reached the quick. If you accidentally clip too far down, immediately press the styptic powder against the nail to staunch any bleeding. Cutting white nails is a little easier, because the quick can be seen from the outside of the nail. Once you see a pink dot at the center, you’ll know you’ve reached it. If your dog is panting or trying to lick his paws while you’re clipping, these are indicators he’s feeling stressed; stop right away and give your dog a break. AKC S.A.F.E Grooming Program Grooming safety should always be a top priority whether you’re a professional groomers or a dog owner who perform some of these tasks at home. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has designed the AKC S.A.F.E. (Safety, Assurance, Fundamentals, Education) Grooming Program to support the grooming industry’s self-regulation effort through education. Classes are given to help professionals cultivate a better understanding of safety measures and protocols within the grooming facility. Through the AKC GroomerFinder, dog owners can find professionals in their area. And, they have peace of mind knowing their canine companion is in the hands of a professional who values and upholds pet safety. You can contact AKC Groomer Education at groomer@akc.org for more information on AKC S.A.F.E. The post Summer Grooming Tips to Keep Dogs Cool appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  20. Regular veterinary visits are essential for your pet’s health and wellness, but they can be stressful for dogs. And it’s no wonder. They usually only go a few times a year, and when they do, they get poked, prodded, and stuck with a needle. But vet visits aren’t optional, so try these simple at-home exercises and tips to make your dog’s future vet visits stress free. The Importance of Handling Exercises Hopefully, your puppy has already had at least one positive interaction with a veterinarian before you get them home. Breeders should introduce puppies to vets as part of their socialization program. But no matter how old your dog, your first step is to train them to accept restraint and examination which will greatly reduce their anxiety when they get to the vet. Start with simple handling exercises. For a dog who is comfortable with touch, add massage into your daily interactions, preferably when your dog is tired. Include the paws, ears, mouth, belly, and tail to simulate a vet’s exam. Include lots of praise and treats so your dog learns to associate handling with rewards. In time you can become a bit more invasive, for example squeezing the paws, and even add some gentle restraint to help prepare your dog for the real thing. The areas most dogs and cats have trouble being examined are the mouth (teeth) and paws (nails.) If your dog is touch averse, you need to be more precise. Your goal is to change your dog’s emotional response with desensitization and counterconditioning. In this case, you should pair every touch with a treat. In the beginning, you can feed a treat at the same time as you handle a body part to help distract your dog. But as your dog relaxes, you want to touch first then treat. So, for example, you might reach for your dog’s ear then remove your hand and feed a treat. Next, briefly touch the ear then feed a treat. Next, touch the ear for one second then feed a treat, and so on until your can finally lift and examine under the ear. Training Can Help Smooth Vet Visits Besides handling, there are other training exercises that will come in handy at the vet’s office. The first is to teach your dog a standing position. It’s far easier for a vet to exam a standing dog than one collapsed in a non-cooperative ball. Stand is easy to teach with lure and reward training. With your dog in a sit, place a treat at their nose and slowly pull it away to lure them up into a standing position. Once you’ve taught them to stand on cue, you can add stay to keep them there until released. You can also teach your dog to go to their mat or bed. “Go to your place” isn’t specifically for the vet, but teaching the behavior builds strong positive associations between the mat and rewards. That makes the mat your dog’s happy place. If you take the mat to the vet visit it will provide your dog with a comforting and familiar place to stand or lie down. Teaching your dog to nose target can also help. “Touch” is all about directing your dog’s nose to the palm of your hand, and wherever your dog’s nose goes, their head and body will follow. Therefore, you can use “touch” to position your dog for the vet’s convenience. Additionally, dogs love this behavior because it’s an incredibly easy way to earn a reward. So, you can use nose targeting to distract your dog during exams or procedures. If you have a smaller dog, teach them to be comfortable on elevated surfaces as they will likely be placed on the examining table for their vet visit. Start with something lower like a coffee table, then move to taller objects. Pair the elevation with tasty rewards to build a positive association. You can also place a non-slip surface on top of the table to give your dog stability, and always keep hold of them so they can’t try to jump off. Visiting the Vet Just for Fun Many dogs only see the vet for exams or when they’re already feeling sick, so it doesn’t take long for them to develop a negative view of the office. But what if you took your dog to the vet just for fun? In that case, the office would no longer predict poking and prodding but treats and pats instead. Ask your vet if you can take your dog in just to say hi. Make sure to call ahead to determine the office protocols. Have any available staff stroke your dog and feed a few delicious treats. Sit in the lobby for a few minutes while you feed treats and let your dog pair the food with the sounds and smells of the clinic. It’s also important that car rides don’t predict a trip to the vet, otherwise your dog’s stress will begin as soon as you enter the car. Make sure you take your dog out to other places such as the dog park or even just for a drive. Then, when you are heading to the vet, it will seem like just another fun outing. Taking the Right Tools to the Vet Your dog’s vet visit can be so much easier if you take the right tools. First, pack a pile of your dog’s favorite treats. Feeding your dog during their exam will help distract them as well as build positive associations. Ask the vet and other staff to feed a few as well. It can also help to take a toy to divert your dog’s attention away from a needle or other uncomfortable procedure. For anxious dogs, consider pheromone treatments or calming treats. Pheromones mimic the smell of a nursing mother dog which relaxes even adult dogs. Look for a spray or collar so you can take it to the vet with you. Calming treats can be used before the appointment to provide your dog with relief. You may also try to schedule for a time when the office is not busy so no one feels rushed. Finally, if your dog is really struggling with vet appointments, talk to your vet about other options. It’s important they can carry out a complete examination with the least amount of stress for your dog. The post How to Make Vet Visits (Almost) Stress-Free for Your Dog appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  21. When it comes to the lifespan of dogs, researchers have found that size matters. Owners of small dogs can expect to enjoy several more years with their pets than the owners of large dogs. It doesn’t seem to make much sense: large mammals, like elephants and whales, tend to live longer than small ones, like mice. So why, then, do small dogs have a longer average lifespan than larger breeds? This phenomenon has baffled scientists for years, and although the reason why is still uncertain, there are several theories that researchers have explored. In addition to being important to the health of our canine companions, scientists hope this research will allow them to gain a better understanding of the human aging process because as dogs age, they experience many of the same conditions we have – such as arthritis, cancer, and diabetes. Human Vs. Dog Years It’s important to understand what it really means when we say how old our dogs are. Dogs and people age at very different rates. When dogs reach one year old, veterinarians estimate they have matured as much as people have when they reach 15 years old. The second year in a dog’s life equates to about another 9 years for a human. And after that, the aging process in dogs varies based on their age and size. Size Matters Although large mammals tend to live the longest, small body size within a species is associated with longer life and slower aging. Canis familiaris, aka the domestic dog, is a species with a huge size range when it comes to its breeds. Cornelia Kraus, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Göttingen in Germany, was the lead researcher of a major study of 74 breeds and more than 56,000 dogs seen in North American veterinary teaching hospitals. Kraus reported that large dogs age at an accelerated pace, and “their lives seem to unwind in fast motion.” In the study, large breeds died more often from cancer than small breeds. Why? One possibility Kraus suggests is that large breeds grow faster, so they may be more likely than small dogs to also experience the abnormal cell growth seen in cancer. Or because they age more quickly, large dogs may succumb to age-related illnesses sooner. A researcher at the University of Washington, Dr. Silvan Urfer, conducted a large study, collecting data on 169,000 dogs who died or were euthanized within a three-year period at U.S. veterinary clinics. He found a correlation between the breed of the dogs and their age at death. For example, among giant breeds, Great Pyrenees lived longer (11.55 years) than Great Danes (9.63 years). In Dr. Urfer’s study, small dogs had a longer median lifespan at 14.95 years, medium-size dogs lived an average of 13.86 years, and large dogs lived 13.38 years. The dog’s body size was the most important variable in predicting lifespan, more important than whether or not the dog was purebred. Breeding Another factor researchers have studied is the size of the breeding population, and it’s impact on health and longevity. One study of companion dogs “did not find significant differences in lifespan between purebred and mixed breed dogs; however, breeds with larger effective population sizes and/or lower inbreeding coefficients had median survival times 3-6 months longer than breeds with smaller effective population sizes or higher inbreeding coefficients, indicating that these measures of genetic diversity may be affecting breed lifespans.” Dental Health In the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Dr. Urfer reported when comparing two dogs with all other factors being equal, that he found annual dental cleanings conducted by a veterinarian reducing risk of death by almost 20 percent. Dr. Urfer pointed out that there could be a direct association between good dental health and good general health, but it might also be that dog owners who take good care of their dog’s teeth would also be more likely to provide preventive and veterinary care that contribute to longevity. Weight New research from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and the University of Liverpool revealed overweight and obese dogs are more likely to have shorter lives than those at ideal body weight. Study co-author and Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Liverpool Alex German said, “Owners are often unaware that their dog is overweight, and many may not realize the impact that it can have on health. What they may not know is that, if their beloved pet is too heavy, they are more likely to suffer from other problems such as joint disease, breathing issues, and certain types of cancer, as well as having a poorer quality of life. These health and wellbeing issues can significantly impact how long they live.” One study that focused on 12 specific breeds found the effect on lifespan of extra weight on the smallest dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers, was even greater (overweight: 13.7 years, normal: 16.2 years) than the effect on larger dogs such as German Shepherd Dogs. Cognitive Development Another study asked a very interesting question about dog cognition. Since large dogs have a speedier growth rate and physiological pace of aging than small dogs, do they also have a faster pace of cognitive development? Researchers measured cognitive development and aging in more than 4,000 dogs from 66 breeds using nine memory and decision-making tasks. They found that all breeds, regardless of size or lifespan, tended to follow the same speed of cognitive aging, no matter the size of the dog. The Search Goes On These findings are just the tip of the iceberg in our understanding of canine lifespans and what determines them. A grant from the National Institute on Aging is funding a project, called the Dog Aging Project, to explore the biological and environmental determinants of aging in dogs. The project is based at the University of Washington and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Nearly 30,000 dogs and their owners from across the U.S. are participating. Scientists and research veterinarians from 20 research institutions and veterinary teaching hospitals are following the health and aging process of these dogs for 10 years or more to understand how genes, lifestyle, and environment influence aging. According to the project website, “This information will be used to gain insights that will increase our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat age-related diseases, thereby helping our dogs, and by extension, ourselves, live longer, healthier lives.” How Can I Make My Dog Live longer? Thanks to advances in veterinary science and preventive medicine, the life expectancy of our dogs is increasing. We can help our dogs live longer higher quality lives by: Feeding a healthy diet Helping maintain a healthy weight. Encouraging breed- and age-appropriate physical and mental exercise. Taking our dogs for annual veterinary checkups and vaccinations. Providing preventive dental care. Administering heartworm, flea and tick preventatives. Keeping them safe from accidents. Providing love and affection. The post Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Large Dogs? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  22. The sound of a dog coughing sends alarm bells ringing in most dog owners’ heads. Is your dog sick? Is he choking? Should you call your veterinarian? A dog cough can have many causes, some of which are potentially dangerous. Here is what you need to know about the causes of coughing in dogs and what you can do about it. Why Do Dogs Cough? Dogs explore the world with their nose—and occasionally their mouth. Your dog comes into contact with all kinds of things, including dust, germs, and the occasional grass stem. All of these things can cause coughing, which makes it hard to determine if your dog’s cough is serious or simply the sound of your dog clearing her throat. An occasional cough may be normal dog behavior and is not a cause for concern. Repetitive coughing, on the other hand, could be a sign of a more serious problem, especially if there are changes in breathing sounds or patterns. Types of Dog Cough One of the ways to narrow down the possible causes for your dog’s cough is to identify the type of cough. This is important information for you to gather, as it can help your veterinarian make a more informed decision about your pet’s care. Ask yourself the following questions: Is it a deep, dry, hacking cough? Is it a high-pitched, gagging cough? Is it a wet, phlegmy moist cough? Is it a deep, honking cough? Does your dog cough in his sleep? Each of these types of cough indicates a particular problem. Make sure you describe the sound of your dog’s cough when you call your veterinarian, since this can help determine whether or not it is an emergency or if it could be a contagious disease like kennel cough or canine influenza virus. Common Causes of Dog Cough Kennel Cough A deep, dry, honking canine cough could be a symptom of kennel cough or tracheobronchitis (upper airway, meaning not the lungs). Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease caused by bacterium OR a number of viruses. It normally causes only mild illness and discomfort, but it can descend into the lungs causing serious problems like pneumonia or chronic bronchitis. Dogs can pick up kennel cough in boarding and doggy daycare facilities, and any other places where dogs congregate. It is normally not a serious disease, but your veterinarian may prescribe some medication to help treat the cough and will recommend that you keep your dog away from other dogs until the infectious stage is over. Sore Throat A high-pitched, gagging cough can be suggestive of upper airway irritation, infection or even a partial blockage. Either your dog has a sore throat, which could be secondary to tonsillitis (fairly uncommon in dogs), secondary to infections of the mouth, or sinus, or possibly a foreign body or material stuck in his throat causing discomfort and a sore throat. Foreign objects lodged in the throat are dangerous, and prevent proper ventilation and swallowing. A foreign object that makes its way into your dog’s esophagus can be potentially life threatening and requires immediate veterinary attention. Lung Problems A wet, phlegmy “moist” cough could be a symptom of lower airway or lung (pulmonary) problem. Those wet, gargling sounds indicate that there may be fluid in your dog’s lungs. Unlike with other coughs, the breathing will be labored even when the dog is not coughing. This warrants immediate veterinary attention, which means you need to get on the phone with your veterinarian and get your dog an appointment ASAP. Pneumonia usually affects dogs with undeveloped or weakened immune systems including young puppies and senior dogs. There are many causes of pneumonia in dogs, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, or aspiration secondary to inhalation of foreign material after vomiting or after exposure to toxins, such as petroleum distillates/gasoline, etc. Tracheal Collapse Toy breeds are at an increased risk of tracheal collapse. One of the symptoms of tracheal collapse is a honking cough that sounds like a goose. This sound may become more pronounced when your dog is pulling against his collar, and obese dogs are at an increased risk of developing tracheal collapse. It can also show up in hot, humid weather during exercise. Heart Disease There are many types of heart disease in dogs. When the heart is not functioning properly as a pump, fluid may start to accumulate in the lungs. This is called Congestive Heart Failure. Dog breeds that are prone to heart disease, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, may start coughing as the disease progresses. This type of coughing mainly happens when your dog is sleeping or lying down and means that fluid is building up around your dog’s lungs. This is a serious symptom, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian about treatment options for congestive heart failure. Less Common Causes of Dog Cough The above causes of coughing in dogs are all serious, but there are some additional, less common causes of coughing that your vet may want to rule out. Distemper Heartworm Canine influenza Virus Chronic bronchitis Cancer Treating Dog Cough Coughing in dogs is usually treatable. Before your veterinarian can treat your dog’s cough, however, he or she has to diagnose the underlying cause of the cough. Veterinarians diagnose based on a combination of tests and clinical signs. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam, listening to your dog’s heart and lungs, taking your dog’s temperature, and performing diagnostic tests, as necessary, to determine what is bothering your dog. Once he finds the underlying cause, your vet will discuss a treatment plan catered to your dog’s unique needs that treats both your dog’s coughing and the underlying cause or disease. When Should You Call Your Veterinarian About Your Dog’s Cough? If your dog is coughing, you need to call your veterinarian. Many of the causes of dog cough are treatable, but all require medical attention. The sooner you get your dog in to see your veterinarian, the sooner your dog can be on his way to feeling better. Catching a cough early can also improve the prognosis for your dog, especially with life-threatening illnesses such as heartworm disease, distemper, and heart disease. The post Dog Coughing: Causes and Treatment Options appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  23. What’s that? A few white hairs in your dog’s muzzle? Come to think of it, your BCF (Best Canine Friend) catches more zzz’s than usual, and unlike the puppy years, doesn’t fly into a frenzy every time the doorbell rings. Your senior dog is slowing down. Now might be a good time to make a bucket list of all the things you wanted to do with your dog but kept putting them off. Making Every Day Count On a Friday in 2013, that’s precisely what Heather Stevenson of Thousand Oaks, California, did. After learning Wasabi, her 10-year-old Samoyed, CH. Oakbrook Hot N Spicy, CGC, TDI, WS, TDIA, WSX, THD, was diagnosed with kidney failure, Stevenson cried a lot but vowed to give her dog a grand send-off. “The veterinarian said Wasabi might not survive the weekend,” Stevenson remembers. “Since Wasabi loved the beach and playing with his ball in the waves, I promised him a trip if he made it to Monday.” Three days later, when the big white dog rallied, the veterinarian showed Stevenson how to give Wasabi subcutaneous fluids at home. Since kidney disease causes dehydration, the procedure would help him feel better. “We had a wonderful beach visit, so I decided to make every day—as long as he lasted, as special as he could tolerate,” says Stevenson. “Every day was a gift, and I planned to do as much as I could for my dog.” For this second-generation Samoyed breeder-owner-handler, every dog is priceless, but Wasabi was Stevenson’s heart dog. “He loved people, and everyone loved him right back,” she says. “His characteristic breed Sammie smile grabbed everyone.” For six years, Wasabi, a registered therapy dog, and Stevenson visited cancer patients at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California. “My dog always knew who needed a hug from him and alerted Michael, my ex-husband, to a seizure,” says Stevenson. Popular on social media, Wasabi acted in TV commercials for Eukanuba and Little Caesar’s Pizza, appeared on Animal Planet, and posed for Target print ads.  Sparking Joy After the beach trip, Stevenson didn’t have a list of must-do, must-see, must-have items in mind, but it kicked into gear after a friend and canine holistic practitioner gave Wasabi a Reiki treatment. When the Japanese healing technique perked up the Sammie, the owner began thinking of other ways to make her dog’s life happier. Food treats raised the bar. What dog doesn’t light up when getting what their owner is eating? For the first time, the Working breed tasted bites of chicken noodle soup, ice cream, tacos, and Cheetos. “Depending on Wasabi’s demeanor, I planned his activities one day at a time,” says Stevenson, who continued giving the daily intravenous fluids. “I always said, ‘If he makes it until next week, we’ll do this or that.'” Rather than engaging in over-the-top outings, Wasabi’s bucket list was all about filling the Samoyed’s last days with cheerful experiences. “Knowing I could lose him at any time, I embraced the time we had together and brought him as much joy as possible.” No antic was out of the question. The duo did it all, from riding in a golf cart to dancing in the rain and photobombing prom pictures. They went camping and hiking, dined at an outdoor café, strolled along Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Stars, and attended a San Fernando Kennel Club meeting with Wasabi wearing an honorary club jacket. Friends tossed in innovative ways to please the dog, too. “It was helpful to have so much support, not to mention all the connections,” Stevenson says. When the LA Kings ice hockey team was named the 2014 National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner, Wasabi scored his biggest bucket list coup. When friends arranged a photo op for the Sammie alongside the pure silver Stanley Cup championship trophy, the dog was in seventh heaven. “Although dogs were not welcome to the private viewing, Wasabi’s story won them over,” says Stevenson. The Samoyed was no hockey fan, and the trophy wasn’t a toy he could play with, but the dog loved everyone fawning over him. “He never acted ill, mostly because Sammies are stoic and never let on that something is wrong until it’s too late,” says Stevenson. But on December 2, 2014, 11-year-old Wasabi’s bucket list was filled. A year later, he received a posthumous nomination for the AKC Humane Fund’s Award for Canine Excellence. Senior Dog Fun Although few dogs can score a bucket list photo with the Stanley Cup, consider enjoying some small and big adventures with your senior canine while there’s still time. Here are some tips: Are you having fun? Before making reservations at a dog-friendly inn, think about how your dog might react. If you’re stressed about the trip, your dog will feel it too. Think health and safety. If you plan an outing and your dog doesn’t feel up to it that day, it’s better to reschedule. Add the essentials. Always bring your dog’s medications and water from home or filtered water for your dog, as seniors often become easily dehydrated. Don’t forget clean-up bags, an extra towel for any accidents, and your dog’s sweater or jacket if he usually needs one. Don’t try a new sport. If your dog didn’t like water as a youngster, going out for a canoe ride or trying paddle boarding for the first time won’t please a senior canine. Try different tastes. Consider adding small amounts of healthy food treats to your dog’s regular meals. Check with your veterinarian about the right nutrients. Schedule a spa day. Does your dog need grooming? A therapeutic, soothing bath can work wonders. Don’t neglect regular nail trimming. If your dog puts up a fuss, try one nail at a time and always add treats. Short and savory. Take your dog for a short drive to visit a new walking path—no need to travel far. Seeing new sights and sniffing out new smells is invigorating. Cruise along. Many beach cities offer dog-friendly boat rides. Play dress up. If your dog likes wearing a costume or a funny hat and the sight makes you laugh, your dog will think it’s fun, too. Take pictures. You might take a lot of selfies with your dog, but ask a talented friend or a professional photographer to snap some photos of you and your dog. You’ll treasure them later. Whatever you choose to do with your senior dog, remember to treasure every day for as long as you can. The post How One Senior Samoyed Filled His Bucket List appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Can You Use Neosporin on Dogs?

    Just like their owners, dogs are susceptible to minor injuries and are not immune to getting cuts, scrapes, or burns. But can you use Neosporin® on dogs? The answer isn’t completely straightforward. In some instances, applying the topical, antibiotic ointment can help heal your dog’s wound, but there are situations when it is not advisable or necessary to use it on your canine companion. Since most people immediately reach for some type of ointment when an incident occurs, it’s not unusual that your first instinct might be to do the same for your dog. But before you go ahead and start applying Neosporin, there are a few things to take into consideration. What to Know Before Using Neosporin on Your Dog With abrasions (scrapes and scratches), you should first clean and flush the wound with soap and water, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Your veterinarian should see all puncture or penetrating wounds, including dog bites, as soon as possible. Neosporin is comprised of three different antibiotics: bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B. Together, they work to kill bacteria on the skin and prevent topical infection. Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian, certified in both veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbology with Animal Acupuncture in New York City, points out that Neosporin has been formulated for people and is not necessarily safe for use on dogs. “Bacitracin has been deemed safe for use on animals, as has polymyxin B. However, neomycin has been linked to loss of hearing,” she says. “This was primarily shown with intravenous use, but it is recommended that you do not administer neomycin topically to your dog without first consulting your vet.” Because Neosporin is topical and applied directly onto the skin, there’s always a chance that your dog could have an allergic reaction. It’s a good idea to administer a small patch test first. The best way to do this is by picking a small area of skin and applying a tiny dab of Neosporin, then monitor the area to see if your dog develops a mild rash, redness, or hives. “Typically, small amounts of Neosporin are not harmful,” says Dr. Danel Grimmett, a veterinarian with Sunset Veterinary Clinic in Oklahoma. By performing a patch test in advance, you’ll know for certain whether your dog can tolerate this antibacterial cream before he really needs it. The advantage of using Neosporin is that it kills off any live, existing bacteria, and stops them from growing. When applied to the skin, it helps to create a physical barrier against bacteria to prevent them from entering the wound and offers protection against infection. But there are some instances in which applying it to your dog might do more harm than good. Neosporin on Dogs Precautions If your dog’s wound is located in a spot that’s easily reachable, he might try licking the Neosporin off, which not only defeats the purpose but also might make your pup sick. “The main concern regarding ingestion of Neosporin is the potential impact to the GI flora (normal gut bacteria), resulting in GI upset such as vomiting and diarrhea,” explains Dr. Grimmett. “A second potential cause of GI upset would be the lubricant base, which could also give them diarrhea, etc.” You can try covering the area with a sterile dressing, but Dr. Grimmett points out that not all dogs tolerate bandaging, and the same desire to lick something off their skin will most likely prompt them to chew, as well. “A bandage can act as a tourniquet, reducing adequate blood flow to extremities, if not managed well,” he says. “Great care must be taken to prevent any constriction.” Other instances when Neosporin would not be beneficial to your dog are if he is bleeding heavily, the wound is deep, or appears to be severe. In these circumstances, it’s important to call your veterinarian or nearest animal hospital immediately for assistance. While using Neosporin to treat a minor injury to your dog may be fine at times, there are several products that are designed specifically for canines and completely safe, even if ingested. Whatever type of injury your dog sustains, it’s important to first talk with your veterinarian before administering any new medications, especially if they’re made for humans. “Your veterinarian is better equipped to treat your dog’s potential infections than you are at home,” says Dr. Barrack. The post Can You Use Neosporin on Dogs? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  25. For more than 30 years, I have served as a veterinarian at one of the largest veterinary emergency hospitals in the country. Each year, our hospital treats more than 11,000 cats and dogs in our emergency room. Thousands more see our veterinary specialists. As you might guess, I’ve taken care of a lot of dogs and have likely seen just about every type of canine illness you can imagine. I am also a longtime owner and breeder of Afghan Hounds. One thing I’ve learned through my experience is that when it comes to illness, pretty much any dog can get sick. Despite articles claiming that mixed-breed dogs are healthier than purebred dogs, my extensive first-hand experience, and an important study conducted by the University of California-Davis, tells us otherwise. A Common Misconception The study, titled “Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27,254 cases (1995-2010),” was reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on June 1, 2013. Research utilized more than 27,000 patient cases to determine the likelihood of occurrence of 24 of the most common hereditary diseases in dogs. Despite articles that claim that there is a higher concentration of hereditary disease in purebred dogs, this extensive study proves otherwise. What researchers found was, “Of the 24 disorders assessed, 13 had no significant difference in the mean proportion of purebred and mixed-breed dogs with the disorder when matched for age, sex and body weight.” One disorder was more frequent in mixed-breed dogs and the other 10 were more prevalent in purebred dogs, although no one breed was dominant in suffering from any particular illness. Many of those disorders that are often attributed to a specific breed are just as likely to be found in mixed-breed dogs, including common health problems such as lymphoma, mast cell tumor, specific cardiac issues, hip dysplasia, and lens luxation. This makes sense since most domesticated dogs are believed to be the descendants of just a handful of lines of wolves. As a result, all dogs share strong genetic tendencies, some of them health-related. In purebred dogs, national breed clubs such as the Golden Retriever Club of America and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation have worked together to identify breeds with an increased risk of specific health issues and to take steps to minimize the risk. In fact, the Canine Health Foundation has funded more than $35 million in research to improve the health and well-being of dogs. Purebred Poodle puppy laying down indoors. How Can I Make Sure I Get a Healthy Dog? So, perhaps the most important question is, “How can potential dog owners increase their chances of getting a healthy dog?” The good news is that thanks to the work of the American Kennel Club, their Canine Health Foundation and breed clubs, responsible breeders are able to reduce the risk of some of the more prevalent diseases in dogs. Breed groups recommend specific testing for disease before breeding a dog. Responsible breeders utilize those tests before mating dogs, thus reducing the risk of a specific disease in the puppies they produce. For example, in my beloved Afghan Hounds, responsible breeders generally test potential breeding pairs for hip dysplasia and juvenile cataracts. In breeding nine generations of Afghan Hounds, I have never had a dog with either of these health problems. I have always bred dogs with personality and health as my priorities. As a result, I have no doubt that my Afghan Hounds today are better dogs than my first generation. People select dogs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes appearance plays a role, but certainly is not, and should not be, the only factor. Whether you choose a dog from a breeder, or from a shelter, it’s important to remember that any dog, like any person, can become ill in its life. All dog owners need to be prepared for that possibility because the fact is that dogs, like people, suffer from a number of hereditary diseases. That is true of all dogs – both purebred and mixed-breed. Do Your Homework The best way to minimize the risk of serious illness is to do your homework. If you decide on a purebred dog, be aware of what the breed club recommends in terms of health testing. Work with a responsible breeder who utilizes testing and breeds ethically. If you select a dog from a shelter, learn about the animal and its possible breed mix. Then pick the animal that best suits you and your lifestyle and work with your veterinarian to keep your dog as healthy as possible. Most importantly, select a dog that you love and that you are willing to care for, in sickness and in health, for the rest of its life. Dr. Jerry Klein is an emergency and critical care veterinarian who has been a valued member of the Chicago veterinary community for more than 35 years. In addition to his work as a vet, Dr. Klein is a licensed judge for the AKC and has judged shows both nationally and internationally. The post Are Mixed-Breed Dogs Healthier Than Purebred Dogs? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article


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