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  1. Valentine’s Day isn’t just for exchanging candy hearts and cards with people you love. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your dog. Give them a special toy or treat, take them for a long walk, or cuddle on the couch. However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, be aware that many of the holiday’s traditions can pose a hazard to your pet. From toxic sweets to choking hazards, the following list will help keep your dog safe as you celebrate with your loved ones. Chocolate It may be a traditional Valentine’s Day gift to exchange with other people, but chocolate is absolutely off-limits for dogs. Although harmless to humans, chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine which can cause serious and potentially fatal health issues in dogs. These substances affect a dog’s heart and central nervous system, and the more they ingest, the more serious the consequences. Certain types of chocolate contain a higher percentage of caffeine and theobromine than others which makes them more harmful. For example, ounce for ounce, unsweetened baker’s chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. Plus, the heavier the dog, the more they can tolerate. As a general rule, serious side effects can occur with around one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight. So, if your dog licks the wrapper of your bon bon box, it’s probably not a problem. But if they consume a few of those bon bons, it might be time for the emergency vet. It can take over six hours before symptoms start, but always play it safe and immediately contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for advice. Cakes and Cookies Baked goods like cake or cookies can be a source of chocolate too, like chocolate chip muffins or cakes iced with chocolate frosting. They might also contain other dangerous foods like cinnamon, which can irritate the lining of the mouth and lower blood sugar, or macadamia nuts, which are one of the most dangerous foods for dogs. Especially if you don’t know the exact ingredients, keep all baked goods out of your dog’s reach. Candy Candy, particularly the sugar-free kind, can contain xylitol. This sugar substitute is also found in gum, mints, peanut butter, baked goods, and many surprising household products. Xylitol is toxic for dogs and can cause severe hypoglycemia (lower than normal blood sugar levels) or even liver failure if they eat it. Symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, and seizures can occur as soon as 30 minutes after your dog ingests this dangerous substance, although it can take more than 12 hours depending on the speed of absorption. Flowers and Plants Flowers are another traditional Valentine’s gift and decoration. But not all plants are safe for your dog. Many common bouquet varieties, like lilies, chrysanthemums, or tulips can make your dog ill if they eat them, irritating their mouth or intestines and causing vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. Flowers such as roses can also have thorns which can get stuck in your dog’s paw or nose if they decide to investigate too closely. Gift Wrap, Ribbons, and Balloons Dogs love to explore anything you’ve touched, and discarded gift wrap and trimmings are no exception. Especially if they’ve been wrapped around food or other smelly items like candles or cologne. But ribbons, strips of paper, and tape can all pose a choking hazard if your dog tries to eat them. Watch out for balloons as well. They can frighten your dog when they pop, and the pieces of remaining rubber or latex pose a choking or obstruction risk if ingested. Candles and Alcohol Nothing says Valentine’s Day romance like candles and a bottle of wine but keep both away from your dog. Open flames are dangerous because your dog could accidentally cause a fire if they knock the candle over or bump it with their tail. And alcohol is harmful if your dog drinks it. Just as with chocolate, the percentage of alcohol in the beverage and the weight of the dog are factors. But to be safe, a no-alcohol policy is best. Pet Proof the House To truly enjoy Valentine’s Day, familiarize yourself with the common dangers to your dog and pet-proof your house. For example, keep hazardous items out of reach, don’t leave food unattended, and clean up any gift wrap or chocolate wrappers. It’s also helpful to teach your dog a solid leave it cue to prevent them from getting into anything dangerous in the first place. Finally, know the phone number and location of your emergency vet and post the Pet Poison Helpline in an obvious place so you can reach help immediately if you need it. Then you can relax and celebrate the holiday with your friends, family, and most of all, your dog. The post Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Your Dog appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  2. Rss Bot

    How to Show Your Dog You Love Them

    When it comes to love, dogs offer all of the devotion with none of the guile. They won’t sign up for a secret account on Match.com, or see another owner behind your back. And that flirtation with the pet sitter … well, it’s harmless. After all, there’s a reason dogs have a reputation for being faithful friends. Reciprocating, though, can sometimes be a challenge. Dogs, after all, approached our hearth; it has been in many ways a rather lopsided arrangement in the love department since the dawn of time. And with our busy lives and competing priorities, we humans have altogether too few opportunities to return that cupidity in kind – although, given how utterly and completely most of our dogs rely on us, that’s a tall order under even the best of circumstances. But we can at least try. Here are some thoughts about how to share the love with the dogs in your life. Food is Love As any Italian grandmother will tell you (after she pinches your cheeks until they’re blue), the act of providing a meal is about far more than just calories. It engages every psychologist-beckoning motivation you can think of, from a sense of worthiness to a need to nurture. When some people set out a meal, they’re not just saying, “I care about you,” but rather, “Here’s exactly how much I care about you …” But what you feed your dog – while certainly important – is not the ultimate barometer of how much you care about her. Don’t get sucked into the politics of dog food – and, yes, they exist. Really study your dog and see what food she thrives on: What makes her eyes sparkle, her coat shine, her breath smell fresh? Experiment a bit (of course, if you know your dog has a sensitive stomach or a medical condition that requires a specialized food, don’t start offering a buffet.) Once you know what works for your dog, feed it. If your budget can’t support the very best, then feed as high a quality food as you can afford. Don’t feel guilty, and don’t get behind on the mortgage so your dog can eat organic chicken necks. Dogs are generally hardy souls; what’s most important is that you stay healthy, stable and positive so you can continue to provide the loving home that your dog needs most of all. Don’t Make Goodbyes a Big Deal I don’t agree with everything that Cesar Millan says or writes, by any stretch, but I do see wisdom in his observation that we anthropomorphize way too much. Dogs are dogs, not humans in fursuits. Sure, what does it hurt to bake your dog a carob-and-oatmeal birthday cake, or dress her up for Halloween? (Though there are a few Dachshunds I know who would argue, if they could, that those hot-dog costumes officially cross the line.) In fact, many of the rituals we share with our fellow two-leggers aren’t appropriate for dogs. Consider, for example, the Hollywood goodbye. I never make a big deal when I leave the house, whether it’s for a snappy errand or an afternoon-long meeting. I crate the puppy, with just one word – logically, “Crate” – dispensing a Milkbone when she complies. As I ready my keys and check that I have my iPhone, the adult dogs just sigh, hop up the couch and settle in with a grunt. Amping up arrivals and departures as if you are dropping off or picking up from the first day of kindergarten isn’t a display of love to your dog. For many, it’s a great way to seed and feed separation anxiety. If you love your dog, save your displays of affection for another time – one that’s more spontaneous, sporadic and less likely to become a trigger for a behavioral consult. Know and Accept Your Dog Dogs are like fuzzy snowflakes – no two are alike. And while the dogs that came before helped shape you into the competent, caring owner that you are today, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that what works for one will work for the other. I come out of the dog-showing world, where the mark of a great handler is being able to adapt your style to the dog at the other end of the leash. This dog lives for liver, but that one would much prefer a squeaky toy. This dog can handle a little tug on the leash to indicate a change of direction, that one will throw herself on the ground in a fit of apoplexy. (Saluki, anyone?) And of course, even within breeds, all dogs are individuals. You might acquire a purposefully bred dog because of a certain physical or temperament trait, but that’s no guarantee, and you need to be OK with that. The greatest act of love you can offer your dog is to accept him for who he is. He certainly does that for you. Don’t get caught up in preconceived, and often romanticized, notions about who he should be. If you always wanted a dog you could take to the dog park, and wind up with one who is intensely dog aggressive, despite having done everything “right,” just accept it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try some training and counter-conditioning with a qualified behaviorist, but if the process makes you both miserable and uptight, then consider what’s best for the dog – not for your idealized version of who he is. Some people have loved a now-gone dog so deeply and thoroughly that any subsequent one is always held up for comparison, oftentimes in unhealthy ways. If your grief or unresolved mourning makes even the idea of a new dog a piercing reminder of the one who is no longer, do yourself a favor and wait until the wound has healed a bit. Oftentimes, opting for a dog of the opposite gender, or a very different physical appearance, can give the distance your heart needs to open just a sliver. That’s all a dog needs to wiggle his way in. Let Them Interact With the World We love our dogs so much that there’s a temptation to keep them from anything that might hurt them – to cover them in cotton batting, away from any sharp edges. But dogs are hard-wired to want to interact with the world – sniffing, poking, running, jumping, dodging and otherwise shaking it up in the biosphere. Suburban dogs, in particular, often live their lives behind a picket fence and on a comfy couch. Enrich their lives as much as possible with car rides, visits to the dog-friendly teller at the bank, walks around the neighborhood, romps in a fenced field and play dates with other friendly, well-adjusted dogs. Let her indulge any of her ancestral instincts: While most Borzoi no longer course hare, and a good number of terriers have never gone to ground for a rat, there are organized sports – such as lure-coursing and barn hunt trials, respectively – that can simulate it for them. Dock diving, AKC Scent Work, Agility, Rally – there is an ever-growing list of dog sports and activities that you and your dog can do together. After all, what do dogs love – besides us, that is? They love life, and it’s our charge to give them access to it. And if we can strengthen our bond with them in the process, that’s the champagne truffle in the chocolate sampler. Must Love Dogs If you’re really a “dog person,” then your love for the counter-surfing, Frito-foot-scented mush at home represents something bigger – a love of the species as a whole. Perhaps you are devoted to a particular breed. Or maybe your heart belongs to a certain – and you’ll pardon the pun – underdog. (Black-colored dogs are as much in need of boosters as their feline friends. So are three-legged dogs, and blind dogs, and deaf dogs … the list goes on and on). But the point is that your stewardship of your dog, how you teach her to behave in public, with strangers who may not be as understanding of canine rituals such as the nose bonk or submarine crotch sniff, makes an impact on how the species as a whole is perceived. Whether that impression is a positive or a negative one is entirely up to you. Never before have we had such a progressive and welcoming attitude toward dogs: From puppy kindergarten classes to therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes, our culture has come to regard dogs as social partners, as a source of comfort and solace like no other. But at the same time, through the seamlessness and immediacy of technology, our society has come to expect a degree of unparalleled perfection in everyday interactions. Being animals, dogs come with a degree of unpredictability: Sometimes, when we don’t want them to, they pee, they poop, they pull, they bark, and, yes, they sometimes bite. If you truly love your dog – and dogs in general – you’ll never knowingly put your dog in a situation that makes him feels insecure, or that he’s unprepared for. You’ll work hard to ensure that he’s properly socialized, calm, and well trained. In short, you’ll give him the tools and the confidence to be a model canine citizen. Because when it comes to those who are just looking for reasons to limit what our dogs can do and where we can take them, that’s the kind of dog they love the most. The post How to Show Your Dog You Love Them appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  3. Just ask any senior dog and they’ll tell you they make wonderful pets. They’re loving companions – content to curl up at your feet for a nap or take a leisurely stroll around the block. And they have fewer of the high-energy problem behaviors of younger pups. They won’t bounce around demanding attention like in their youth, but they still want you to know they have specific age-related needs. Here are some easy ways to keep your senior dog happy and repay all their years of friendship Provide Appropriate Exercise If you were to give older dogs a choice, they would likely skip jogging marathons and mountain hikes. But increasing age doesn’t have to mean decreasing activity. Senior dogs still want to play games, get exercise, and go out to sniff the world every day. Even if they need a little encouragement, it’s important to keep up their strength and muscle tone. Stiff joints need all the support they can get. The trick is moderation. Your senior dog would like you to keep them limber, prevent weight gain, encourage their appetite, and maintain fitness all while being aware of their limitations. Find the right activity for your senior dog. Consider slower strolls, low impact activities like swimming, age-appropriate canine calisthenics like platform work, or gentle games of fetch or hide-and-seek. Keep Your Dog’s Mind Sharp Senior dogs can suffer from age-related cognitive decline, including cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is all the more reason to provide lots of enrichment opportunities. In fact, mental stimulation is a surefire way to prevent boredom, encourage engagement with you and the environment, and keep your dog happy. Thankfully, many types of physical exercise provide mental exercise as well. For example, most senior dogs love sniff walks where you let them explore at their own pace and track every scent. They also love puzzle toys that challenge them to solve a problem to obtain a toy or treat. And what dog isn’t yearning for a snuffle mat? Trick training is fun enrichment too. Kisa_Markiza/Getty Images Plus Make Your Home Accessible Senior dogs want you to know it can be hard for them to navigate their environment. Mobility issues like arthritis, stiff joints, or other painful conditions mean the things they once did with ease, like jumping into the back of the car, are challenging now. Stairways and slippery surfaces, like hardwood floors, can be particularly tricky. The struggle can even erode your dog’s confidence. Your older dog would truly appreciate it if you made your home more accessible for them. What about adding carpets for better grip? Or providing traction with a yoga mat or anti-slip rug pad on slippery floors or in front of food and water dishes. Pet stairs will help your dog get on and off furniture safely, and a ramp is wonderful for getting in and out of the car. Provide the Right Dog Bed Unlike in their younger days, older dogs can’t get comfy curled up on the floor. Hard surfaces are unforgiving, and the couch might be too far of a jump. Your senior dog would love it if you provided thick, high-quality dog beds around the house. Then they can snooze in comfort and get some restorative sleep while staying nearby. If your dog has joint issues like arthritis, consider an orthopedic bed or one made of memory foam for joint support. Or what about a heated bed or a heating pad on top of the bed? They’re great for soothing stiffness and aches. Dogs who feel the cold love them too. Watch Out for Weather Extremes Speaking of feeling the cold, senior dogs can’t tolerate the same temperatures as younger dogs. They want you to know their bodies are more sensitive to hot and cold conditions, so they would love it if you would help them stay comfortable. That could mean a coat or sweater in the winter, even inside the house. And for the summer, consider air conditioning or a fan indoors, and provide constant access to shade and cool, fresh drinking water outdoors. No matter the season, watch how long you spend outside with your dog on days with extreme weather. Adjust Your Dog’s Diet Senior dogs have different nutritional requirements than other life stages. For example, older dogs are less active so need fewer calories. Overfeeding leads to obesity which burdens aging joints and can lead to other health concerns. Your senior pet might benefit from easier-to-digest ingredients as well. Or consider switching to wet food. The higher water content is good for the kidneys and its softer texture is easier on aging teeth. Medical conditions can also impact diet choice and the use of supplements like fish oil for joint inflammation. Talk to your veterinarian about the best nutrition options for your dog. Provide Extra Grooming Sessions Senior dogs want you to know they would appreciate a bit of extra grooming. As they stiffen with age, it can be hard for them to reach every area of their body, so help prevent matting with regular brushing and hair cuts. Don’t forget about increasing the frequency of nail trims too. As your senior dog is likely less active, their nails won’t naturally wear down the same. Grooming sessions are also the perfect time to examine your dog for any health changes like lumps or bumps which become more common with age. These could simply be fat deposits, but they may also be cancer, so it’s important to catch them as soon as possible. And finally, grooming is wonderful bonding time. Keep grooming positive and pleasant and your senior dog will soak up the pampering. After all, every dog adores love and attention, especially seniors. The post 7 Easy Ways to Keep Your Senior Dog Happy appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  4. Rss Bot

    Can You Get Sick From a Dog?

    Zoonotic diseases, which can be spread between animals and people, are increasingly making the news. With reports about bird flu and swine flu on the rise, it makes sense that many of us worry about catching illnesses from our pets. When it comes to canine colds, however, we don’t need to worry. Can I Catch a Cold From My Dog? Dog colds are not contagious to humans. You can’t catch a cold from your dog, any more than your dog can pick up a human strain of a cold virus from you. However, dog colds and influenza are highly contagious between dogs, which means we have to be careful not to help transmit the germs. Colds spread through saliva and aerosol droplets. If you’ve been in contact with a sick dog, you could bring those germs home to your own pups on your hands or clothing. Letting your dog drink out of an infected dog’s water bowl or play with infected toys also increases the risk of contagion. While colds are rarely life-threatening, they can pose risks for very young and very old dogs, as well as canines with suppressed immune systems. ©Igor Normann – stock.adobe.com Are Dog Colds Serious? The biggest risk associated with dog colds is misdiagnosis. Some of the symptoms of dog colds, such as sneezing, runny eyes and nose, congestion, and coughing, are also signs of more serious illnesses, for example canine influenza, kennel cough, bacterial infections, and parasites. Coughing can also be due to other serious medical issues, such as heart disease, upper-airway disease, or a foreign body that is causing obstruction. Talk to your veterinarian if your dog has cold-like symptoms to make sure it is not something more severe. Mild dog colds typically resolve on their own. Once your veterinarian has ruled out other causes, he may suggest that your dog rest and be kept away from other animals to avoid spreading the cold or contracting a more serious disease while his defenses are lowered. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, and fever all indicate a more serious condition. If your dog has any of these signs, don’t wait. Contact your veterinarian immediately to ensure your dog gets the help he needs. The post Can You Get Sick From a Dog? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  5. Dogs, like humans, do not tolerate significant variation of body temperature. On average, a dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees F. Small dogs may have a slightly lower temperatures and large dogs slightly higher. Because of this inability to handle wide swings in their body temperatures, dogs have wonderful internal mechanisms that keep their body at the correct temperature at all times, regardless of the air temperature. Dogs don’t use their skin to perspire, like humans, because of their insulating coat. Their coat keeps them both cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather. Dogs do have sweat glands, located in the pads of their feet and in their ear canals, but sweating plays a minor role in regulating body temperature. The dog uses the panting mechanism to rid his body of excess heat. And like your observation of your clients’ dogs, when they are panting they are getting hot. Julie Henthorne/Shutterstock Keeping the Body Regulated To put panting in simple terms, a dog breathes in air through his nose, where it picks up moisture from tissue (i.e. a wet nose). The moisture then captures the heat generated from the body and it is exhaled through the mouth. This rids the body of the excess heat, thereby, keeping the body at a normal temperature. The faster and more shallow the panting, the more heat the dog is trying to release from his body. In the reverse, if the dog wishes not to lose body heat, like in cold weather, he breathes in air through his nose and also exhales through his nose to hold the body heat in. “Winter” coats play a small role in the comfort level of the dog indoors. Less coat means less insulation, so smooth-coated breeds can lose more body heat but I would be more concerned about brachiocephalic breeds, (i.e. Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers) that don’t have as efficient breathing to keep cool through panting, their primary cooling mechanism. An ideal temperature doesn’t exist for all dogs, since their normal body temperature will vary according to size. Most dogs begin to show signs of overheating when the air temperature is between 81 and 85 degrees F. Perhaps that is why the airlines won’t ship dogs above that temperature. But even if a dog is panting, it doesn’t mean they are uncomfortable, it just means his internal mechanism has kicked in to keep him cool. You may want to play with the thermostat and when you see that the dog is no longer panting, that may be the correct temperature for his optimum comfort. The post Is Your Home’s Heat Too Warm For Your Dogs? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  6. There are so many new experiences and things to think about when you bring home your puppy that you may forget one of the most important parts of puppy homecoming: establishing a routine. Structure will help your new canine family member feel secure and know what’s expected of him. The best way to do this is to create a schedule and stick to it. The first few weeks with your new puppy is the time to start establishing good behaviors. By the way, the puppy is not the only one who benefits from a schedule; it also makes life easier for the human members of the family. You won’t have to plan out every moment of your pup’s day, but there are a few important areas where a schedule can make the difference between a well-adjusted dog and chaos. Your Puppy’s Feeding Schedule Unlike mature dogs that eat once or twice a day, most puppies need to eat puppy food three times a day. Make it easier to remember by planning his mealtimes around your own breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Wash out his water bowl and make sure it’s always filled with clean water, too. Schedule Potty Breaks Keep to a regular routine of taking your puppy outside at least every two-to-four hours and after every change of activity. This is especially important during house training and will keep accidents to a minimum. Several short play sessions during the day are better for a puppy than one long one. Playtime Is Important! Your puppy needs exercise and interaction with you. A word of caution: sustained, strenuous exercise (long runs, jumping) is not good for puppies, but playing, mental stimulation, and running around in the yard are good. Some experts recommend waiting until a dog is about one year old before starting with serious exercise and this can vary by breed. Different dog breeds have different energy levels and rates of growth; the growth plates in their joints close at different ages. But do schedule play and exercise time into your puppy’s day: a walk around the neighborhood, playing with toys, and time spent bonding go a long way toward expending energy. Several shorter sessions are better for a puppy than one long one. Naps and Bedtime Young puppies sleep a great deal of the time; in fact, some will sleep as much as 16-to-18 hours a day. Plan on quiet nap times for him several times during the day. Family members, especially young children, should learn not to disturb him when he’s sleeping. He needs his rest! You may need to put a crate in a quiet part of the house so he won’t be distracted by the hustle and bustle that may be going on during naptime. When it comes to bedtime, some owners set a specific time to settle their puppy down for the night. Others just want him to sleep when they sleep. It may be easier to set a puppy bedtime and help him get used to the routine. Do I Have to Make a Schedule for My Puppy? The sooner you set a schedule, the sooner he’ll adjust to his new family and you to him. Routine makes it easier for everyone, humans included, to know what’s acceptable behavior and what’s expected. Keep in mind that high jinks from an adorable puppy or little “accidents” will not seem so adorable when he’s a full-grown dog. The sample schedule below is a good place to start; you may need to tailor it to suit your puppy. Puppies need sleep — they may even sleep up to 18 hours a day! A Sample Puppy Schedule First thing in the morning: Take the puppy out to relieve himself. Make time to play and interact with him after he’s taken care of business. Breakfast time: Feed the puppy. Leave the food down for no longer than 15 minutes. After that, pick up the bowl and give no more food until the next meal (except for small treats used for training). Wash the water bowl and provide clean water. After puppy’s breakfast: Puppies usually need to relieve themselves again, within a few minutes of eating, so give another potty opportunity. After this, spend some time playing and/or doing a little training with your puppy. And though everyone is busy in the morning getting ready for work or school, make time for a quick walk to give him a chance to do his business one more time. Mid-morning: The rest of the morning might be devoted to nap time, ideally in a dog crate or pen. Even if you’re home during the day, your puppy should spend time in a crate or pen; this will help him learn how to be alone when necessary. It’s also impossible to know what a puppy will get into when you turn away for a moment and there needs to be a place to put him when you can’t supervise directly. If he will be home alone for more hours than he can control his bladder or bowels, you need to set up a pen with an area for him to relieve himself – or consider having a pet sitter come to take him out. Noon: A repeat of the early morning routine – as soon as he wakes up, a trip outside. Then lunch, and another trip outside should follow the meal. Spend some time playing with and training him, so he can burn some energy. And don’t forget one more potty break before the afternoon nap! Mid-afternoon: When he wakes up, it’s time to go out — again. And time to play and train, again. Then a chance to potty. If you’re home, he can hang out with you for a while before dinner. Dinner: If you arrange his mealtimes around yours, it will become natural to feed him either while you’re preparing dinner or while the household is eating. But pay attention so you can take him outside as soon as he’s finished. Before the family sits down to dinner, it’s a good idea to give the puppy a chew toy to enjoy in his crate. This way he won’t get underfoot, and nobody will be tempted to give him tidbits from the table. Evening: Another potty break! The early evening is a good time for lots of interaction. For many puppies this is the “witching hour,” and if you anticipate it by initiating play, he may settle down. If he doesn’t, even after plenty of exercise, give him a treat and let him settle in the crate for a while. Later, an evening stroll gives him exercise and a chance to take a potty break. And make sure he potties right before bed. Bedtime: A set bedtime makes his adjustment and house training easier for everyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s 8 p.m. or midnight, as long as it becomes a routine. Take him to his crate and help him settle down for the night. Night: If your puppy is not yet able to make it through the night, set an alarm so you can get up and take him out for a quick, boring potty break. It’s better to wake up a little before you think he will, so that you are not responding to whining and barking. Then back to bed so you’ll be ready for the next wonderful day with your puppy! By establishing the routine from the very beginning, you’ll be on your way to a happy, well-adjusted dog. It’s worth putting in the time and effort right now so that undesirable habits and behaviors won’t stand a chance. http://cdn.akc.org/akccontentimages/Illustrations/PuppyRoutineInfographic.jpg The post Setting Schedules and Developing a Routine for Your New Puppy appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Why Does My Puppy Go Wild at Night?

    Just when you think your puppy should be settling down for the night, boom, your puppy jumps up and starts running around the house like there’s a squirrel to chase. But there’s no obvious reason for the behavior. There’s nothing ahead of them to chase and nothing behind chasing them. What’s gotten into your pup? New dog owners are often surprised and even alarmed by this strange dog behavior. But there’s nothing to be worried about. Although it seems like your puppy is hallucinating imaginary playmates, it’s just a case of the zoomies. What Are the Zoomies? Zoomies are also known as “frapping” which comes from the acronym “F.R.A.P.” or “Frenetic Random Activity Period.” And that sums them up perfectly. Your puppy will show intense and random activity for a short burst of time. Your pup might run in circles or start and stop on a dime. Play bows are often included in the display as well. This completely normal behavior is a way for your puppy to get rid of excess energy. Because frapping releases energy, you can expect to see it when your dog is particularly excited or playful. Get that tennis ball out for a game of fetch and your puppy might start zooming all over the backyard. It will look like your puppy can’t contain their glee. At other times, a dog will get the zoomies after a stressful event, like after a bath. It’s as if they’re discharging the nervous tension that had built up. Or perhaps they’re simply delighted the event is over. Zoomies also happen quite often at night. Especially with puppies who have been crated all day or have not been given enough opportunities to exercise. As soon as they get the chance to run around, they take it. Even adult dogs get the zoomies, although the younger the dog the more frequently it seems to occur. Why is this such a common puppy behavior? Although puppies nap a lot, they also have huge bursts of activity each day. In general, they are more energetic than older dogs. As a dog ages and their energy level drops, the frequency of frapping usually drops too. Are the Zoomies Safe? You might be wondering if the zoomies are safe for your dog. There are only two concerns: obstacles and frequency. First, make sure there are no obstacles in your puppy’s path while they zoom. A fenced yard is a great place to let them get their energy out rather than a cluttered living room. Carpeted areas are safer too, so your puppy doesn’t wipe out and take a tumble. Also, make sure you keep any breakable knickknacks or delicate ornaments away from your puppy’s zooming path. If they bump a table leg, your heirlooms might go flying. Second, watch the frequency of your puppy’s zooming. Most of the time it’s a harmless behavior that dogs appear to wholeheartedly enjoy. But if your dog is frapping all the time, you might be looking at something more serious. It could be an obsessive behavior that indicates a bigger problem. Your puppy might be dealing with a compulsive need to zoom or might be experiencing a high amount of stress. If you have any concerns about your puppy’s behavior, consult a behavior professional for help. More likely, frequent zooming is a sign that your puppy isn’t getting enough exercise. Although puppies shouldn’t participate in strenuous exercise or activities like jumping that can damage their growing bones, puppies need physical and mental stimulation. Daily walks, playtime, and training sessions can give puppies a chance to release their energy. The more you meet your puppy’s physical and mental needs, the less they will need to frap. How Do You Deal With the Zoomies? Consider setting a routine for your puppy that includes time for play, time for training, and time for activity, whether that’s playing fetch in the yard or walking around the block. Be sure to get nap time in the routine too. Puppies need lots of rest spread throughout the day. And although crates are an excellent training tool, your puppy shouldn’t be in there from dusk until dawn. If you can’t be home to let your pup out for bathroom breaks and some exercise, consider asking a neighbor or hiring a pet sitter to give your puppy some company and activity in the middle of the day. Then when your puppy goes wild at night, you can relax and enjoy the show knowing there’s nothing to worry about. The post Why Does My Puppy Go Wild at Night? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

    For a lot of new dog owners, it can be difficult to determine how often you should give your dog a bath. The truth is, the answer depends on a lot of things. “How frequently a pet needs a bath greatly varies based upon their breed, lifestyle, length of coat, and how much homework a pet owner is willing to do,” says Beth Cristiano, owner of Pretty Paws LLC, headquartered in Harrison, N.Y. What’s Your Dog’s Coat Type? The type of coat your dog has is a big factor in how often he requires baths. However, it’s not as simple as the shorter the hair, the less bathing required. Hairless breeds, such as the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli, are actually quite care-intensive, according to Cristiano, who says these breeds require weekly baths. At the other end of the spectrum are the long-coated breeds, such as the Maltese and the Collie. “Obviously, the more hair a dog has, the more work is involved, including the frequency of the bath,” says Jorge Bendersky, a celebrity dog groomer, pet expert, and best-selling author of “DIY Dog Grooming, From Puppy Cuts to Best in Show: Everything You Need to Know.” He adds, “For dogs with medium-to-large coats, a bath could be needed from weekly to every 4-to-6 weeks, as long as the coat is properly maintained in-between baths.” But a breed such as the Puli, which is technically long-haired, is not bathed as often when corded. According to the Puli Club of America, “the Puli doesn’t develop that typical doggie odor, and really, a Puli probably doesn’t require as many baths as most other breeds.” So, what about dogs that fall somewhere in the middle? “Thick or double coats on breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, etc., naturally insulate the dogs seasonally,” explains Monica Handy of Woofie’s Mobile Pet Spa. “Over-bathing could strip too much oil from the skin and disrupt this process. Using a product specifically for shedding will help avoid this.” Are There Any Health Conditions? If your dog suffers from certain health conditions, your groomer and/or veterinarian may suggest that you use medicated shampoo while bathing your dog. Even if your canine companion is healthy, a grooming regimen is important to keep him that way. “All pets benefit from monthly ear cleaning and nail trimming,” Cristiano comments. “Thorough coat brushing and combing and conditioning are more integral to the pet’s health than bath time.” Then, there’s the health of the owner. “Sometimes the bath is for the human’s comfort, not the pet’s,” Cristiano continues. “For owners who suffer from allergies, they’ll typically react to their pet’s dander, which can be managed with a weekly bathing routine.” A dander-removing shampoo may also help manage human allergies. What’s Your Dog’s Lifestyle? Bendersky notes that an active lifestyle may be easier with a short-coated breed, given that keeping the dog clean in-between baths typically requires less effort. “You can get away with giving short-haired dogs a good rubdown with a damp washcloth to remove the dirt that was picked up during a busy visit to the dog park,” he says. Of course, dogs that are playing in oceans, hunting in muddy waters, or herding sheep all day may end up needing more baths than pups that spend most of their time indoors — regardless of the breed. At the end of the day, Bendersky offers this advice: “We should wash our dogs when they are no longer huggable.” The post How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Can Dogs See Color?

    Can dogs see color? The popular notion that dogs only see in black and white is false Dogs can make out yellow and blue, and combinations of those colors This means the best toys for your dog may be those in blue and yellow hues Is everything in a dog’s world black and white? That idea that dogs can’t see color was widely accepted for decades, but new research and conclusions about canine anatomy and behavior have shown that while dogs can’t see the same colors humans do, dogs can still see some colors. Technicolor may be beyond their comprehension, but research shows that the dog’s eye can see much more than shades of gray. What Is Color Blindness? English scientist John Dalton (1766–1844) conducted some of the first studies on congenital color blindness in the late 18th century. Dalton became aware of the phenomenon because he and his brother could not recognize some colors. They confused scarlet with green and pink with blue. In humans, the defect in red-green perception is the most common form of color deficiency. As many as 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women with Northern European ancestry have red-green color blindness. It is caused by abnormalities in color-detecting molecules, known as cones, in the retina. The retina is a lining at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical impulses. These signals are then conveyed, through the optic nerve, to the brain, where an image is formed. People missing some of these color-detecting molecules (also known as photoreceptors) won’t recognize certain light wavelengths. This is what makes them color blind, although they actually can make out some hues. Red-green color-blind people can still discern yellow and blue, but items in red will appear gray or brown to them. Left: Human view of a Labrador Retriever sitting in front of a red barn surrounded by plants. Right: The same scene through canine eyes, as interpreted through the Dog Vision Image Processing Tool. Left: Human view of a blue and red tennis ball sitting in the green grass. Right: The same tennis ball through canine eyes, as interpreted through the Dog Vision Image Processing Tool. This helps show dogs are better able to distinguish blues than reds. Myths About Dogs Seeing Colors The notion that dogs see only in shades of black and white has been attributed to Will Judy, a lifelong dog fancier, writer, and past publisher of Dog Week magazine. He claimed to be the first to declare that dogs had poor vision and thought they were able to see single shades and tones and only general outlines and shapes. “It’s likely that all the external world appears to them as varying highlights of black and gray,” Judy wrote in his 1937 manual, “Training the Dog.” In the 1960s, other researchers hypothesized that the only mammals that can discern color are primates. There was little research to back up these assertions, especially the one about dogs. Nevertheless, it soon became apparent that our canine pals are color blind. http://cdn.akc.org/Dog_Vision_Spectrum_1.pngAre Dogs Color Blind or Spectrum Challenged? In the last few decades, examinations of the canine eye structure have revealed some differences in basic design between humans and dogs. Evolution and function have driven these differences. Dogs developed their senses as nocturnal hunters, tracking and catching their food at night. Therefore, their eyes adapted to see well in the dark and to catch movement. “For the purpose of hunting in the dark, canine eyes have a larger lens and corneal surface and a reflective membrane, known as a tapetum, that enhances night vision,” explains AKC’s chief veterinary officer, Dr. Jerry Klein. “They also have more rods, which improves low-light vision, in the retina.” The retina is where scientists have also found the key to the difference in color perception between dogs and people. The retina is composed of millions of light-sensing cells. These include: Rods, which are extremely sensitive cells that catch movement and work in low light. Cones that work in bright light and control color perception. Dogs have more rods than cones in their retina, whereas people have more cones, and this apparently makes the difference in color perception. Humans and a few other primate species are trichromatic, which means they have three kinds of cones. Dogs are dichromatic, and have only two types. Each type of cone registers a different light wavelength. The one for red and green gives humans their appreciation for a red rose or a Granny Smith apple. Dogs, and some color-blind people, are missing red-green cones. Meanwhile, there are some types of fish and birds that can see an even broader range of the color spectrum than people can. There are many types of birds and fish that are tetrachromatic — they have a fourth type of cone receptor to absorb ultraviolet light. Dog Vision, a website devoted to canine color perception, printed this side-by-side comparison of how people and dogs register the color spectrum. Different-Colored Dog Toys Through the Lens of a Dog Human view (left) and dog view (right) of a dog with a pink frisbee. The most popular colors for dog toys today are red or orange despite the fact that these colors are difficult for dogs to see. When you throw a red, pink, or orange toy, it may be difficult for the dog to see compared to the grass. Human view (left) and dog view (right) of a dog with a yellow tennis ball. Dogs are able to distinguish yellow and blue from green, which may explain why they prefer yellow tennis balls over toys of different colors. Human view (left) and dog view (right) of a dog with a blue ball. Dogs are able to distinguish yellow and blue from green, which may explain why they prefer blue and yellow toys over toys of different colors. So, Can Dogs See Colors Like We Can? Scientists now believe that a dog’s color vision is similar to that of a person who has red-green color blindness, according to research conducted by Jay Neitz, who runs the Neitz Color Vision Lab in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington. Dogs can make out yellow and blue, and combinations of those colors. This renders a lot of the world grayish-brown. That lush green lawn? It probably looks like a field of dead hay. That bright red velvet cushion? Still comfy, but it probably comes across as a dark brown blob to the dog. Dog Vision offers an online tool to help you see things as your dog sees them. There are also apps that you can use to see what your dog is seeing at any time. What Does This Mean to You and Your Dog? Now that you know that dogs don’t see certain colors, it would make sense to choose products for them that feature the colors they can see. This knowledge may help explain why some dogs go crazy over yellow tennis balls, but are apathetic about the same ball in pink or red. When you’re throwing a ball or a bumper for your dog to retrieve in the grass or the lake, don’t choose something red, or he’s likely to lose it. And if you’re teaching him to differentiate between two toys or obedience training dumbells, it would be wise to go for one blue and one yellow. AKC Family Dog columnist Stanley Coren offered this observation: “The most popular colors for dog toys today are red or orange. However red and orange are difficult for dogs to see. That means that when your own pet version of Lassie runs right past the toy that you tossed, she may not be stubborn or stupid. It may be your fault for choosing a toy with a color that is hard to discriminate from the green grass of your lawn.” The post Can Dogs See Color? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  10. What do you do if your dog simply won’t sit still or concentrate on tasks? New research shows that owners of hyperactive or inattentive dogs can learn a lot from understanding ADHD in humans. Not Just Disobedient: How Understanding ADHD Can Help Dog Owners Once upon a time, children who struggled to sit still and concentrate were punished and even treated as less intelligent than their peers. Thankfully, society is evolving past those damaging days, as we come to understand more about ADHD. These days, we know that this very common condition, which affects up to 4% of adult Americans, has nothing to do with intelligence or goodness. We understand that it’s highly heritable but also affected by environmental factors, and can be managed through behavioral changes as well as medication. As it turns out, all those things are also true of dogs. Studies show that 12–15% of dogs exhibit hyperactivity and impulsivity, and 20% exhibit inattention — and that those qualities are highly heritable but also influenced by environmental factors, just like they are in humans. Now, a study from researchers at the University of Helsinki has identified some of the most common environmental factors influencing ADHD-like behaviors in dogs — making it easier for dog owners to create the conditions for their dogs to flourish. ADHD in Dogs: What Are the Risk Factors? So what increases a dog’s likelihood of displaying ADHD-like behaviors? The study found that age and gender played a role, with young, male dogs the most likely to display hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention — mirroring the demographic breakdown of ADHD prevalence in humans. Your dog’s breed is also a crucial factor. Certain breeds of working dog, for instance, have been bred to be highly active — which can leave them liable to hyperactivity and impulsivity, particularly if their lifestyles aren’t active enough. The study found that this was true of German Shepherd Dogs and Border Collies, as well as several breeds of terrier, including Russell Terriers and Cairn Terriers. On the other hand, certain dogs that are now bred primarily as companions, such as Chihuahuas and Rough Collies, display less hyperactivity because their breeding has favored calm dispositions — but along with that breeding pattern, inattention has sometimes been enhanced. Curiously, the study also found that if an owner had previously owned a dog (or several dogs), their dog was more likely to display ADHD-like behaviors. More research is needed to understand why this might be, but the researchers speculate that more experienced dog owners might select more challenging or active breeds of dog. ADHD in Dogs: The Risk Factors You Can Control But what about the environmental factors you can actually influence? How can you, as a dog owner, help to make sure your dog feels — and behaves — as calm, focused, and content as possible? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recent study found that activity and company were extremely powerful factors in mitigating dogs’ hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Dogs who spent more time alone and who participated in fewer activities were more likely to display ADHD-like behaviors, and fearful dogs (who are often not as well socialized) were more likely to be hyperactive and/or impulsive, too. Caring for a Hyperactive Dog: What Can You Do? If your dog is showing signs of hyperactivity, the first thing to do is to take them to veterinarian to see if they’re suffering from the relatively rare behavioral disorder hyperkinesis. “Hyperkinetic dogs have a difficult time settling and they appear to be aroused and distracted, oftentimes even in environments that are calm,” notes Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch. Though this disorder is rare, if your dog is suffering from it, there are medications that can help. Whether hyperkinesis is the problem or not, it’s essential to make sure that your dog is getting enough activity. Dr. Burch notes that often, dogs’ apparent behavioral problems are completely resolved with lifestyle changes to incorporate more attention and exercise. So how can you tell if your dog isn’t getting enough exercise? “Some dogs will appear restless and may be ‘hyper’ to release some energy,” Dr. Burch observes — but that’s not the only sign. “Not enough exercise can result in dogs who are depressed or agitated. A dog that lacks exercise, if on a regular diet can gain weight, and lose muscle tone, strength, and cardiovascular ability (e.g., gets out of breath easily).” If any of this sounds familiar, fear not: there’s plenty you can do to give your dog the activity they need. Dog sports are a great way to make sure that your dog is stimulated mentally and physically — and owners of the working-dog breeds most likely to display ADHD-like behaviors can select dog sports that stimulate their breed-specific capacities, such as Herding or Earthdog. But there’s no need to restrict your activities to breed-specific sports. “Active dogs can benefit from training and events of all types,” notes Dr. Burch. “Agility, dock diving, disc dog, and AKC FIT DOG walks will provide active dogs with the exercise they need to be calm.” What if your lifestyle makes it difficult to provide sufficient activity and attention? Don’t underestimate the power of a brisk exercise session before work, which can significantly calm your pup before a day of solitude. Dr. Mary Burch also advises having a neighbor or dog walker drop in during the day or looking into doggy daycare options. As we learn how to adapt modern lifestyles to accommodate and nurture neurodiversity among humans, there’s also an opportunity to attune to our dogs’ varying mental and emotional makeup. With attention and care, dog owners can help pups of all kinds lead the happiest, most stable lives possible. The post Can Dogs Suffer From ADHD-Like Behavior? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  11. Whether it’s time to buy a collar or harness for your puppy or dog for the very first time or replace one that’s wearing out, it’s important to understand that there are a variety of collars and harnesses that work for different dogs in different circumstances. Here are some of the pros and cons of dog collars vs. dog harnesses for you to consider. The Pros and Cons of Dog Collars Pros of dog collars: These are the most basic dog products available and are easy for keeping ID tags and rabies tags around your dog’s neck. There are different types of collars to try — flat collars work for dogs that know how to walk on a leash without pulling; martingale collars (limited slip collars) are great for dogs whose necks are about the same size as their heads and can slip out of flat collars; rolled collars work well to hold your dog’s ID, but won’t flatten or matt the hair underneath them. Collars may give you better control and require less physical strength from you as you’re walking your dog than harnesses, depending on your dog’s size. Many dog trainers recommend that you begin leash training for a puppy with a four-foot leash and flat collar and use positive reinforcement (think praise and treats) to encourage your pup to walk by your side. The variety of styles and materials available makes them easy to put on and take off, comfortable for your dog, attractive, and long-lasting. Cons of dog collars: If the fit is too loose, your dog may be able to wiggle out and escape; this is especially true for dogs like Greyhounds and Whippets, whose heads are often smaller than their necks. If the fit is too tight, it may be painful for your dog. Dog collars may contribute to back pain, throat damage, and other discomfort. Considering buying a collar for your dog? Make sure you select the right size for your dog. You’ll know it fits if you can slip one finger between your dog’s skin and the collar (for small dogs) or if you can fit two fingers between your dog’s skin and the collar (for large-breed dogs). <?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 Warning: Avoid so-called corrective collars, like choke collars and prong collars, which can cause neck injury, pain, and even strangulation. The Pros and Cons of Dog Harnesses Pros of dog harnesses: Considering buying a dog harness instead of a dog collar? Some of the advantages to harnesses include that they may: Be more comfortable for your dog. Help prevent your dog from slipping out. Be helpful for puppies that haven’t learned to walk on a leash. Help avoid injury (such as throat damage) in small dogs who are more likely to pull or tug at the leash. Help prevent your dog’s leash from getting caught under his legs. Help discourage pulling if you use a front-clip harness. Be better for dogs with tracheal collapse (a hacking cough often brought on by excitement, exercise, drinking water, or extreme temperatures). Help alleviate dog back pain. Cons of dog harnesses: Can be harder to put on and take off. May require more physical strength than walking your dog on a traditional dog collar, depending on the size of the dog. If a harness is too big, your dog may be able to wiggle out and escape. Dog harnesses that are too tight can be painful for dogs. Can be uncomfortable in hot weather. Harnesses that hook on the back can actually help train your dog to pull you — the exact opposite of what you want. Considering buying a harness for your dog? Check out our step-by-step guide covering how to put on a dog harness, which walks through the process of putting on three of the main types of dog harnesses (standard, step-in, front clip). As with buying collars, you’ll need to make sure you select the right size harness for your dog. A harness fits if you can slip one finger between your dog’s skin and the harness (for small dogs) or if you can fit two fingers between your dog’s skin and the harness (for large-breed dogs). The post Is a Dog Harness Better Than a Dog Collar? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed

    If you’ve always wanted to own a dog but you cannot deal with tumbleweeds of dog hair around your home, or if allergies have always held you back, worry no more. We’ve compiled this list of the best dog breeds to own that don’t shed. Some dog breeds have nearly-hypoallergenic coats that produce much less dander, which is attached to the hair and causes most allergens in humans. While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, people with allergies can live happily with one of these low-shedding dogs. For more protection, make sure you have a quality vacuum and pet air purifier. Learn which low-shedding breed best fits your lifestyle. <?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 Afghan Hound http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/afghan_hound.jpg Afghan Hounds can be independent, but sweet and loyal. They resemble Greyhounds in terms of body shape and size. They have a high energy level, and therefore require regular exercise. Their coats are long and silky, and although they don’t shed, they should be bathed and brushed at least twice a week to maintain the softness and luxuriousness of their coat. American Hairless Terrier http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/americanhairless.jpg This breed is a lively, friendly companion that displays great affection for their owners and family. They are lightly energetic and will be satisfied with a daily walk. Although their lack of a coat makes them unsuitable for hunting, they do have a strong hunting instinct. Occasional baths will keep this breed’s skin healthy and looking its best. Bedlington Terrier http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/bedlingtonterrier_1_360.jpg The Bedlington Terrier has a unique appearance and coat: from their narrow head to their curly coat of hard and soft hair that resembles that of a lamb. They require little grooming, just an occasional trim. They should also be brushed regularly to prevent any mats in their coat. Their coat is also hypoallergenic. Daily walks and playtime will keep this dog happy. Bichon Frise http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/nac_201503_bichonfrise_img_1312_720.jpg The Bichon Frise resembles a miniature Poodle with its white color and soft, curly coat. This breed is ideal for people with allergies, as the coat is hypoallergenic to most. Grooming is a must for this breed to prevent any mats, since their hair will continually grow but not shed. This is a naturally friendly, playful breed, and a perfect dog for a first-time owner. Chinese Crested http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/chinese_crested(1).jpg These playful little dogs are similar in appearance to the Chihuahua, with their small size and overall body shape. However, they are mostly hairless and have hair only on their head, tail, and feet. This makes grooming easy — baths will keep their skin clean. Their skin should be protected in extreme temperatures and weather with sunblock in the summer and sweaters or coats in the winter. Coton de Tulear http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/cotondetulear2_sit_720.jpg Pronounced “coTAWN day two-LEE are” this dog is also known as the Royal Dog of Madagascar. They have an affectionate temperament and soft, long white coats. Although they do not shed, they should be groomed regularly. Brushing several times a week with a special pin brush will maintain a full, mat-free coat. Giant Schnauzer http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/giant.jpg The largest of the Schnauzer varieties is protective, active, and loves having a job to do. They resemble the Standard Schnauzer more than the Miniature Schnauzer. Their coats are hard, wiry, and dense. Their hair grows continually, and should be clipped and brushed regularly. Irish Water Spaniel http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/irishwaterspaniel_1__1__480.jpg Known as the clown of the spaniel family, Irish Water Spaniels have a water-repellent double coat that should be brushed every couple of weeks. They have a thick, curly coat all over their body. Irish Water Spaniels are very playful and energetic and should get exercise daily. Kerry Blue Terrier http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/mtac_201010_kerryblueterrier_img_0772_720.jpg Kerry Blue Terriers are a people-oriented, intelligent breed. They have a soft, dense coat that should be brushed and trimmed regularly, especially the long hair on their face. Their coats are hypoallergenic, and suitable for those with allergies. Lagotto Romagnolo http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/lagotto.jpg This breed is highly energetic, active, and affectionate. They are loyal and loving to their owners, making them great companions. Their thick, wooly coats are similar to that of a Poodle. Grooming needs include the occasional trimming of their coat. They are hypoallergenic and do not shed. Maltese http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/maltese_1_480.jpg Maltese are tiny, yet fearless. They have a youthful expression, making them look like lifelong puppies. They are gentle and playful and not overly energetic. Their hypoallergenic coats are soft and white and should be brushed daily, especially if kept long. Miniature Schnauzer http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/montgomery_201410_miniatureschnauzer_img_5864_720.jpg Miniature Schnauzers have a protective nature, making them a great watchdog. They adapt well to different living environments and are generally healthy. Their double coat requires occasional trimming, but sheds very little. They are obedient, moderately energetic, and easy to train. Peruvian Inca Orchid http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/PeruvianIncaOrchid.jpg The hairless variety of this breed comes in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. They are affectionate, loyal, and can be very protective. They require daily exercise for their energy needs. It’s important to take care of their skin during their first year, and keep them out of the sun without sunscreen. Poodle http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/poodle_(2).jpg Poodles come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Commonly pictured in their famously fluffy show cut, they have a soft, single coat of curly hair that is virtually hypoallergenic. They won’t shed all over your sofa, but just like humans, Poodles can and will shed a few strands of hair at a time. Brushing at least once a week will greatly reduce shedding, as well as the chance that they will cause an allergic reaction. Portuguese Water Dog http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/portuguesewaterdog_1.jpg These dogs would do best in an active family, as they are highly energetic. They are adventurous and fun-loving dogs. Their coats are profuse, curly or wavy, and waterproof. They are hypoallergenic, but should be groomed regularly. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/softcoatedwheatenterrier_1_480.jpg This breed is playful, active, and needs daily exercise. They adapt well to their living environments and are good with children. They have a soft, single-layer coat of wheaten colored hair that should be maintained regularly to prevent any mats. Spanish Water Dog http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/spanishwaterdog.jpg The Spanish Water Dog is hard-working, affectionate, and loyal, making them great watchdogs. They do have a medium energy level and would do best with an active family. No brushing or combing is needed for their curly coat, but they should be shaved at least once a year. Standard Schnauzer http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/standard.jpg The “medium-sized” member of the Schnauzer family, the standard, is fearless and affectionate. Standards become true members of their families and especially love children. Their beard and leg hair should be brushed regularly to avoid mats. Hand stripping or clipping the hair are common forms of grooming. Xoloitzcuintli http://cdn.akc.org/content/article-body-image/xolo2_stacked_720.jpg This breed comes in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard, as well as two varieties: hairless and coated. The hairless Xolo has smooth, protective skin and the coated has a short, flat coat. They have moderate exercise and grooming needs. Coated Xolos should be brushed occasionally, and like the Chinese Crested, hairless Xolos should always have their skin protected in harsh temperatures: sunblock in the summer and proper covering or dog clothing in the winter. The post Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  13. Losing a pet can bring on intense feelings of emptiness and despair. Because pets can’t speak for themselves, owners might feel guilty, believing they could have done more to prevent the loss or ease their pet’s suffering while they were alive. For advice, we spoke to Jackie Pajan, a TikTok creator known as Rainbow Bridge Raina, to her over 73,000 followers. Pajan, who lost her dog Riley in 2020, creates pet loss content and personalized videos to help grieving pet owners find hope, happiness, and healing. Pajan’s videos draw inspiration from the Rainbow Bridge, a heavenly place where grieving pet owners can reunite with their pets in the afterlife. The Rainbow Bridge originated from a poem that refers to lush meadows where ailing pets can once again be strong, healthy, and content. “The Rainbow Bridge is a good way for our human brains to comprehend what happens after pets leave,” says Pajan. “I hope the videos bring a little peace and comfort in a dark time.” While pet loss is universal, grief is deeply personal and individual, affecting people in different ways over time. Here are some tips and resources that can help you cope. Give Yourself Time to Grieve Take care of yourself and avoid setting limits on how much time you need to grieve. “You will feel the loss for many days to come and you might feel it forever but it doesn’t always feel as heavy as it does in the beginning,” explains Pajan. “That first year is one of those times you have to say to yourself, this isn’t going to feel like a normal year,” says Pajan. “You’re going to experience your first holidays and birthdays without this animal. There is no moving on. It’s just moving forward, moving through, or moving with you. It becomes a part of you.” Connect with Yourself and Nature Pajan recommends mindfulness practices such as yoga, meditation, and going for walks to help you tune into your body. The goal of mindfulness is to notice your feelings without judging or pushing them away. “There’s so many people who feel they would be better off if they just left with their pet,” says Pajan. “I wanted to pass along that we’re still supposed to live these beautiful lives with them. They’re just not physically here.” Develop Soothing Thoughts “One aspect of pet loss that’s different from most human deaths is that we feel responsible,” says Pajan. “We may be the ones who make the call for our pet to leave earth. And that is such a heavy responsibility.” People often tell Pajan, “I feel so guilty that I killed my pet.” Although it’s normal to experience guilt, the associated thought (“I killed my pet”) isn’t conducive to healing. Instead, Pajan suggests thinking about your pet’s physical body and how it’s no longer serving them. Consider that helping them cross is an “act of selfless love for an animal who has loved you more than themselves.” “I hope people get closure when they see their pet being welcomed into the Rainbow Bridge, to understand that this isn’t the end,” says Pajan. “Just because they’ve left their physical body doesn’t mean they’ve left your side.” Reach Out to Others Not everyone understands the pain of losing a pet, even people with pets. Friends or family members might tell you to “get over it” or promise you’ll feel better when you get another pet. Psychologists use the term disenfranchised grief to describe what people experience when others shut down conversations about loss or try to minimize their grief. “This type of grief feels a little taboo,” says Pajan. “You can’t just say to your boss, ‘hey, my dog died so I’m going to need a week off.’ It’s not something we talk about, so it’s important to normalize grief from pet loss.” The isolating nature of grief is part of the reason Pajan started creating videos. “It created this community of people who understood what I was going through and were sharing their stories too,” recalls Pajan. “I wanted people to understand it gets better because, for many of us, pets are our best friends and the only soul that gets us fully.” “The thing I love most about the Rainbow Bridge Raina community is that people comment on each other’s posts with beautiful, heartfelt words of comfort and kindness. Wherever you find it, community is vital to getting through this.” A good place to start is following Instagram accounts dedicated to pet loss and grief support: Raina from the Rainbow Bridge Lauren Ward, Pet Death Doula Dr. Katie Lawlor, Psy.D. In addition, private Facebook groups offer a safe space to share condolences, memories, and coping strategies: AKC Pet Loss Support Group The Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss and Grief Support PVC: Coping With The Loss Of A Pet Support Group Honor Your Pet’s Memory Keeping photos and mementos around is a visible reminder that your pet is still very much a part of your life. “It’s okay to be sad but it’s okay to feel good again,” says Pajan. She suggests doing some of your pet’s favorite things like going for a walk or spending time at the beach. Another way to memorialize your pet is by extending kindness to animals through fostering or volunteering at an animal rescue organization. “For some people, it might take years or they might never open their heart or home to another pet,” explains Pajan. “Some people worry their angel pet is going to feel forgotten.” Pajan reassures people by saying, “you’re always moving forward with them in your heart so you’re not doing them a disservice when you get another pet. Plus, angel pets have a way of bringing you the pets that you need and that need you. It’s okay not to feel the same bond with your new pet. No love will ever be the same.” The post How Social Media Can Help Us Cope With Pet Loss appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  14. The decision to euthanize your dog is never an easy one. Your dog is a beloved family member and it’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye. But it’s even more complicated and distressing when the reason for the euthanasia is based on your dog’s behavior rather than their health. You might feel guilty and wonder how you let your dog down. But in rare situations, behavioral euthanasia is the only responsible and ethical decision. What is Behavioral Euthanasia? Behavioral euthanasia is the term used for humanely ending a dog’s life because of severe behavioral issues. This is not usually related to physical health, and it’s not about nuisance behavior like pulling on leash or jumping on guests. It’s about aggression – a dog who could or has caused harm to people or other animals. Simply put, some dogs are euthanized because they are unsafe for life in our society. These dogs aren’t necessarily snapping and growling all the time. In fact, they might be quite loving with their owners and behave appropriately most of the time. And in fact, any dog is capable of biting given the right circumstances. But the key issue is that these dogs aren’t trustworthy. They might have clear aggression triggers, or they might be completely unpredictable. But they are dangerous. Are There Underlying Health Issues? Aggression has many causes such as fear or stress, but it’s important to rule out physical ones before taking any action. For example, a dog in chronic pain can be irritable, and health conditions like a hormonal imbalance or psychomotor epilepsy can lead to aggression. At the first sign of behavioral issues, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out any health concerns. There might be medical treatment to address your dog’s dangerous behavior. Is the Behavior Predictable? It’s also important to assess how predictable your dog’s behavior is. If you know exactly what triggers your dog’s aggression, you might be able to avoid those situations. This may make your dog’s behavior manageable. For example, if your dog is only aggressive around children, you might be able to always keep your dog away from kids. However, you never know when you might meet a child on the street or at your front door. Or your dog might have more generalized triggers, like other dogs or strangers. That can make it very hard to predict possible incidents. Every time you leave your house or your doorbell rings, you could be facing a dangerous outburst from your dog. The harder it is to predict triggers, the harder it is to control them and therefore prevent aggression. Finally, your dog may not have predictable triggers. Or at least none you can see. That makes it impossible to avoid incidents. Instead, you must always be on the lookout for warning signs such as raised hackles or growling, and then act accordingly to prevent escalation. That’s exhausting and stressful. Plus, you might not always intervene in time. A dog that attacks out of the blue is the most dangerous of all and may simply be too risky to keep in your home. Does Your Dog Have a Bite History? Your dog’s history of aggression may also play a role in your euthanasia decision. Is their behavior getting worse and worse, or has there only been one incident? The more a dog rehearses aggression, the harder it can be to handle. But if you’re able to start behavior modification treatment early on, you might be able to change your dog’s behavior enough to feel safe having them as a pet. Whether your dog has a bite history is also an important consideration. A dog that has snapped at the air is easier to treat than one who has a history of multiple bites or severe bites that have punctured or torn the skin. That’s why it’s important to get professional help as soon as your dog shows any signs of behavioral issues. Unfortunately, a dog with a serious bite history is more likely to be euthanized than one who has yet to cause physical harm. What is Your Dog’s Quality of Life? It’s possible to handle a dog’s aggressive behavior through careful management. For example, walking them with a muzzle or keeping them away from other dogs or whatever their triggers might be. But the more triggers a dog has or the more unpredictable their outbursts, the more you will need to manage their existence. They might spend hours and hours crated. Or you might be unable to walk them, so they’re relegated to the backyard. If this is a temporary situation while you work on behavioral modification, it can be well worth it. But if this is your dog’s permanent living situation, you need to consider their quality of life. Are they ever getting to socialize with people they are comfortable around? Are they getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation? Do they ever get to be a dog? In some situations, the measures you need to enact for safety may be extreme and euthanasia could be the kinder option. What are the Alternatives to Behavioral Euthanasia? As already mentioned, management and behavioral modification can be extremely effective in dealing with aggression. They require vigilance, effort, and patience, but with the help of a professional, like an animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist, you can make great strides with your dog. Treatments like desensitization and counterconditioning can change your dog’s response to triggers. And management techniques, like a gate across your front hall, or tools like a muzzle can allow you to control your dog while you work to reverse underlying motivations. Finally, medication may help your dog cope with the world and be more receptive to your training. However, sometimes it’s unsafe to keep your dog in your home even with management, especially if you have small children. And sometimes you don’t have the time required for behavior modification. In that case, rehoming your dog might be the solution. This may get your dog away from their triggers and in the care of somebody able to do the work to address their issues. For example, if your dog is aggressive with cats, rehoming them in a feline-free home might make all the difference. But never rehome your dog or surrender them to a rescue or shelter without giving a complete and thorough history of the behavioral issues. It’s unfair to put others at risk, and depending on local laws, you might be liable for any damage done by your dog. Be sure the person taking your dog knows exactly what they are in for and is willing to treat and deal with your dog’s aggression. Depending on your dog’s specific issues, this might be an impossible request. Get Help With Your Decision The decision to euthanize your dog for behavioral reasons is not easy. Plus, it can be hard to see the situation clearly when fear, guilt, anger, and other understandable emotions are at play. Don’t decide alone. Consult an animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist to get an objective assessment of your dog’s aggression and your options. They can’t make the decision for you, but they can help guide you toward doing what’s best for you and your dog. The post When to Consider Behavioral Euthanasia appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Ivermectin for Dogs: Is It Safe?

    Dogs of some herding breeds and some mix-breed dogs can have a genetic mutation that makes them dangerously oversensitive to ivermectin, the active ingredient in some commonly used heartworm prevention medicines for dogs. Given at the proper doses and under the supervision of a veterinarian, ivermectin is safe for most dogs and is very effective in treating and preventing a number of parasites. However, a dog with the mutation who ingests the drug can have a severe, life-threatening reaction called ivermectin toxicity. This sensitivity is because of a mutation in what is known as the MDR1 gene. In dogs who have the mutation, the drug crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes neurological damage, which can be lethal. Dogs can ingest ivermectin not only in the form of heartworm preventative, but also if they eat the manure of livestock that were treated with the drug for parasite control. For this reason, owners of vulnerable breeds should be extra vigilant when their dogs are around horses, sheep, or other livestock. Owners of herding breeds or other vulnerable dogs should be careful that their dogs do not eat the manure of sheep or other livestock that may have been treated with ivermectin. Dogs with the mutation are hypersensitive to other medications as well, including loperamide (Imodium), acepromazine, and some chemotherapy drugs. Symptoms of Ivermectin Toxicity The signs of ivermectin toxicity can be acute or mild. Acute symptoms can occur within 4 to 12 hours of ingestion, while milder symptoms may become apparent over 2 or 3 days. Symptoms can include: Lethargy or depression Disorientation Drooling Loss of appetite Slow heartbeat Dilation of pupils Trembling or seizures Inability to stand Difficulty breathing Sudden blindness Which Breeds Can Be Sensitive to Ivermectin? The following types of dogs have been found to be prone to the mutation: Australian Shepherd Border Collie Collie German Shepherd Dog Miniature American Shepherd Old English Sheepdog Shetland Sheepdog Skye Terrier Mixed-breeds that may have herding-breed heritage It’s important to understand that not all individual dogs in the breeds listed above have the mutant gene. Test for Ivermectin Sensitivity Fortunately, a simple genetic test is now available that indicates whether or not a dog has the mutation. Veterinarians recommend that owners of herding-breed dogs have this simple test performed on their pets. The test involves a small brush that is quickly swiped in the dog’s mouth, with the sample then sent to a testing lab at Washington State University. If you are concerned about your dog being vulnerable to ivermectin or other drugs or have questions about the use of heartworm preventative, be sure to speak with your vet. The post Ivermectin for Dogs: Is It Safe? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  16. Looking for a fun new holiday tradition to share with your dog? The Turkey Trot—running/walking a 5K race—has become an increasingly popular way to spend part of Thanksgiving and now it has officially gone to the dogs! My Newfoundland and I did our first Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving and had so much fun that I knew I wanted to make it an annual tradition. I was thrilled to learn I would have an opportunity to do an AKC Turkey Trot to support great canine causes. AKC Turkey Trot This year, the AKC Fit Dog Program is organizing its first annual 5K Turkey Trot for dogs. Proceeds from the AKC Turkey Trot will be donated to the AKC Humane Fund, which provides assistance at domestic violence shelters that accept pets. It also supports the AKC’s Rescue Network, which supports rescued dogs and promotes responsible dog ownership. The Turkey Trot is a virtual event, meaning you and your dog can participate from anywhere. You can register for the Turkey Trot online and purchase a limited-edition commemorative medal for your dog to have once they have completed the 5K. Traditional 5K Turkey Trots involve running and/or walking the entire 5K (3.1 miles) in one go, but the AKC Turkey Trot allows dogs and handlers to set their own schedule for meeting their Turkey Trot goal from now until November 30th. This makes it significantly more accessible to dogs and people of different ages and physical abilities for whom it might not be possible to run or walk a 5K all at one time. Make A Plan Consider how physically active you and your dog already are, and what is likely to feel the most fun and comfortable for both of you. If you’re feeling up for trying to do the whole 5K on Thanksgiving morning, think about what other plans or commitments you have on your schedule that day. Be sure to give you and your dog enough time to comfortably complete the Turkey Trot, including time for resting, water breaks, and, of course, opportunities for your dog to sniff and potty while you’re out. If you’re planning to spread your Turkey Trot out over several days or weeks, plan for how far you want to go each day and how you will track your distance—either on your phone, a map, or through a GPS tracking device if your dog wears one on their collar. It’s completely fine to walk the entire Turkey Trot, but if you and your dog are planning to do some running, it’s a good idea to do some training in advance. This can help prevent your dog from pulling or tripping you and also teach them ways to modulate their speed on cue to keep pace with you. The author’s Newfoundland, Sirius, with his Turkey Trot medal. Supplies to Bring for Your Dog When heading out on your Turkey Trot—regardless of whether you’re doing it all in one day or if you’ll be accumulating distance over several days—you’ll want to be sure to have supplies to keep your dog safe and comfortable. These include: Collapsible water bottle for your dog Water for your dog Dog treats 6-foot leash that’s comfortable for you to hold or a cross-body leash so you can have your hands free for most of the run/walk Comfortable harness Collar lights, or reflective gear if you’ll be out early in the morning or in the evening, so that cars will be able to see you and your dog. Don’t Go Cold Turkey If you’re thinking of doing a Turkey Trot with your dog, it’s important not to go “cold turkey” by trying to go from being sedentary to running a 5K overnight. If you want to do the AKC Turkey Trot, start increasing your dog’s exercise now to slowly build up their endurance for walking and/or running. This will help promote muscle development and prevent injury from doing too much too soon. If at any point on the Turkey Trot, or during your prep, your dog seems tired, sore, or uncomfortable, you should stop, take a break, or even head home and give it a try another day. Your dog’s safety and comfort are more important than finishing the Turkey Trot on the schedule that you planned. Remember, the point of the Turkey Trot is to support a good cause and have fun with your dog. Your dog will “win” regardless of whether you run the whole 5K on Thanksgiving or if you take days, or even weeks, to walk the distance. Go at a pace that is comfortable for you and your dog. We all have different levels of physical fitness and this event is welcoming to everyone and every dog. The Turkey Trot isn’t a race—it’s a self-paced event designed to encourage you to have some fun getting fresh air and exercise with your dog. Vet Check Before increasing your dog’s exercise, or if your dog seems sore during or after exercising, it’s always a good idea to connect with your vet. If you want to do the 5K Turkey Trot all at once, especially if your dog hasn’t been especially active recently, you may want to talk with your vet to determine if that’s going to be appropriate. Similarly, with puppies whose joints are still developing, talk with your vet about the appropriate amounts of high-impact (like running on concrete) exercise, and how many walking sessions you should break the 5K into for your puppy’s orthopedic development and health. Make It a Tradition A fun way to incorporate the activity into your existing plans and make the Turkey Trot a new tradition is to get up on Thanksgiving and either head out to do the entire 5K (this is what I plan to do with my dog) or have organized your distance so you can do the last leg of the Trot together that morning. Then, come home and let your dog wear their Turkey Trot 5K medal while you watch the National Dog Show together. The post How to Do a Turkey Trot 5K with Your Dog appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  17. So your dog ate candy. The first step is to figure out what type and quantity of candy your dog consumed. The biggest concern with candy (that isn’t chocolate) is the risk of the ingredient xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as an artificial sweetener and is toxic to pets. This ingredient is often used in sugar-free items but has been showing up in more and more foods every day even when they aren’t labeled as sugar-free. Most often, xylitol is found in sugar-free gum, sugar-free candy, and sugar-free baked goods. Dogs are increasingly at risk for potential exposure to these products because more and more of them contain xylitol. It damages the dog’s liver, and clinical signs of “intoxication” (poisoning) can develop in as little as 30 minutes to an hour. Ingestion causes a massive insulin release. The blood-sugar drop (hypoglycemia) that results can cause weakness, stumbling, collapse, and even seizures. After this stage, signs of liver disease develop. If detected early enough—within two hours—affected dogs can be made to vomit. If full-blown symptoms of hypoglycemia appear, your dog must be treated by a veterinarian until the animal’s blood glucose is back to normal. For many small breeds, xylitol poisoning can be fatal without early veterinary intervention. There is no know antidote for xylitol intoxication and the only therapy is supportive. Treatment goals are the correction of hypoglycemia and prevention of developing acute liver failure. Dogs certainly have a sweet tooth and some will gluttonously and ravenously go for any sweets they can ferret out. We need to dog-proof the house and ensure that dogs cannot get into potentially harmful things like xylitol-containing gum and candy. Hard candy can also cause harm to dogs. Large quantities of hard candies and gum can clump up in the stomach and cause a risk of stomach obstruction. In addition to the risk of candy itself, the wrappers can also be an issue. Wrappers can become lodged in your pet’s throat or intestinal tract, requiring surgery to remove them. Foil or cellophane wrappers have the potential to result in gastrointestinal irritation. The post Dog Ate Candy: What to Do if Your Dog Got Into Sweets appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate

    Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, it’s important to monitor him for signs of toxicity (see below), and it’s recommended that you contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680, fee applies) for advice. Learn how much is too much, which types of chocolate are the most dangerous, and what signs to look for that may signal your dog needs treatment. Why Chocolate Is Toxic to Dogs Chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine, both of which can speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system of dogs, the Merck/Merial Manual for Veterinary Health explains. The risk of your dog becoming sick from ingesting chocolate depends on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of the dog (calculate your dog’s risk of toxicity with this easy-to-use program). The concentrations of these toxic substances vary among different types of chocolates. Here are a few types of chocolate listed in order of theobromine content: Cocoa powder (most toxic) Unsweetened baker’s chocolate Semisweet chocolate Dark chocolate Milk chocolate Knowing how much and what kind of chocolate your dog ate can help you and your vet determine if you have an emergency. In general, mild symptoms of chocolate toxicity occur when a dog consumes 20 mg of methylxanthines per kilogram of body weight. Cardiac symptoms of chocolate toxicity occur around 40 to 50 mg/kg, and seizures occur at dosages greater than 60 mg/kg. In simpler terms, that means a very concerning dose of chocolate is approximately one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight. Since an average Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar is 1.55 ounces, consuming even one chocolate bar can have serious consequences, especially for small dogs. Eating a crumb of chocolate cake or a very small piece of a chocolate bar, on the other hand, probably won’t kill your dog, especially if it is a larger breed, but chocolate should never be fed as a treat. What are the Signs of Chocolate Poisoning? Signs of chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours after your dog has eaten it, may last up to 72 hours, and include the following: Vomiting Diarrhea Restlessness Increased urination Tremors Elevated or abnormal heart rate Seizures Collapse and death Note: Older dogs and dogs with heart conditions are more at risk of sudden death from chocolate poisoning. What to Do If Your Dog Ate Chocolate If you believe your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately or call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for advice. Based on your dog’s size and the amount and type of chocolate consumed, your veterinarian may recommend that you monitor your dog for the clinical signs listed above and call back if his condition worsens. In other cases, the veterinarian may prefer you bring the dog into the clinic. If your pet consumed the chocolate less than two hours ago, your veterinarian may induce vomiting and give him several doses of activated charcoal, which works to move the toxins out of the body without being absorbed into the bloodstream. For more severe cases, veterinary intervention may be needed to provide supplemental treatment, such as medications or IV fluids, to resolve the effects of the poisoning. Dogs suffering from seizures may need to be monitored at the clinic overnight. How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Chocolate Even though small amounts of milk chocolate may not cause a problem in larger dogs, it’s still not recommended that pet owners offer their dog chocolate as a treat. To prevent your dog from sneaking chocolate, follow these tips: Put it away: Make sure all chocolate items, including cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix, are stored where the dog cannot reach them, such as on a high shelf in a closed-door pantry. Remind your children and guests that chocolate should be kept out of the dog’s reach and not left on countertops, tables, or in purses. Keep this in mind during the holidays, too, making sure to place trick-or-treat bags, Easter baskets, Valentine’s Day candy, Christmas stockings, and Hanukkah coins (gelt), for example, in a place where a dog cannot get to them. Teach “leave it”: The command “leave it” is extremely effective in preventing dogs from eating something that falls onto the ground or is left within reach during a walk. It’s also a very easy command to teach. Crate train your dog: The safest way to ensure your dog doesn’t eat anything harmful while you’re not supervising him is to crate train him. Find a sturdy crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around and make it a comfortable, safe place for him to retreat to when he wants to be alone or when you can’t watch him. Offer toys, a stuffed Kong, a favorite blanket, and treats to help him feel like the crate is his personal den. The post What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  19. After reviewing the laboratory results and examining Bella for the last time, the veterinarian met with the dog’s owners and delivered news the Millers weren’t expecting. Their Golden Retriever‘s liver cancer had progressed and would not improve. The 12-year-old dog would not survive more than a few days. Devastated by the thought of losing their dog, Sara and Ryan Miller knew another painful task loomed ahead. Beckett, their five-year-old son, would need to know that Bella—the buddy he had grown up with, would soon leave the family. How to Say Goodbye Making the difficult decision to euthanize a treasured canine companion is agonizing enough, but finding the right words to explain a dog’s death to a child proves heart-wrenching. For many children, the first experience with the death of a loved one comes from losing a dog. Helping kids comprehend and cope with their dogs’ final days shapes how they will process fatalities later in life. “Children, specifically young children, do not understand death the way we do,” says Pamela Regan, Ph.D., a relationship scientist and research psychologist at California State University, Los Angeles. “Depending upon their age and maturity level, it may take weeks or months for them to accept that their dog is never coming back.” Here are some ways to deal with this sensitive subject: Have the Talk When you learn about your dog’s fatal condition, it’s hard to fathom. Set aside uninterrupted time to explain it to your child in age-appropriate language. “Don’t be afraid to have the conversation,” says Regan. “We think children don’t understand, as they may repeat the same questions over and over, but they’re only trying to process the information. They’re grappling with a new concept, so patience goes a long way.” Give reasons why dogs die—accidents, illness, and old age. If the dog is still alive, share information about the dog’s condition and that a full recovery may not happen. “Kids may ask questions you don’t have the answers to,” says Regan, “and that’s OK.” Honesty is the Best Policy According to Regan, when explaining the dog’s condition to a child, use factual words, like death and dying. Avoid trying to soften the event by using euphemisms. “Saying the dog went to sleep could be terrifying to a three-year-old, especially when it comes time for a nap,” says Regan. “Sugarcoating death with the dog moving to a magical place or living on a farm may sound easier but may cause misunderstanding later. Make it clear to your child that death means the dog will not return.” For older children who want more information, tell them what you know in a way they can understand. Chances are they’ve heard references to death and dying and may have misconceptions. Correct any falsehoods and focus on comforting children. Depending on the age and developmental level, every child deals with the news in its way. Children under six years old will not understand the finality of death. To grasp this meaning, kids will play-act their dog’s demise or pretend it is still alive. “Beckett grappled with the concept and told strangers that Bella had died,” remembers Sara Miller. Regan says that telling anyone who will listen that the family dog died is one way that kids process the concept, Regan says. “They like to share new language, and he’s seeking confirmation that death is a real event.” Avoid the Blame Game Excusing the dog’s absence by saying the dog ran away after someone left the gate open leads to confusion. The child will want to search for the dog and will continually look for it. Don’t blame the veterinarian. The child can feel discouraged and resist taking another dog to a veterinarian or from personally seeing a pediatrician when ill. When Deb Eldredge, DVM, a New-York based veterinarian, meets with parents and children to discuss their dog’s imminent death, she explains that the dog is no longer comfortable or happy. “I tell kids that I will be helping their dog so that it is no longer in pain,” says Dr. Eldredge. “I stay away from mentioning the afterlife because people have so many views.” Support & Grieving Strategies For support, parents can read books to their preschool and primary school-age children about what happens when dogs pass on. Prose and illustrations work wonders to open a dialogue about the beloved family dog that has passed away. Older children may or may not want to know about euthanasia. If they are curious about what happens at the time of death, Dr. Eldredge believes in telling the truth. She reveals the dog may take a big breath as the spirit leaves the body and may pee or poop. “It’s important that children know that their dog doesn’t suffer when this happens,” says Dr. Eldredge. “Hopefully, this fact will comfort them.” When Jody and Scott Berger learned that Tucker, their black Labrador Retriever, would not survive copper storage disease, they shared the information with their teenage sons. The couple relayed how much Tucker’s condition had deteriorated and wouldn’t improve. “It helps to explain that euthanasia is compassion for the dog, not for the owner,” says Dr. Eldredge. “It’s a kind way to end a dog’s life and avoid more suffering.” When the time came to euthanize Tucker, the couple hired a veterinarian to go to their Foothill Ranch, California home. When the doctor arrived, Tucker wobbled over to greet her with a sniff and a wagging tail. Minutes later, he meandered to his favorite spot in the yard and settled on his pillow. “We relayed the details of the procedure—the sedative and the final injection that would stop the heart from beating,” says Jody Berger. “We gave the boys the choice to watch or not.” Sixteen-year-old Jordan and 12-year-old Ethan gave Tucker the last belly rub and chose to watch from the window. Jordan cried while Ethan said he was sad but couldn’t cry. “Let children know it’s OK to express grief in whatever way that feels right to them—crying, apathy, or numbness,” says Regan. “There’s no set time limit, and it’s normal if a child brings up a dog’s death weeks or months later.” A memorial ritual can be helpful to recap the dog’s membership in the family. Young children can draw pictures of the dog, decorate a marker for the dog’s internment, or choose a favorite toy or collar to frame. Giving children a task to express their grief will help them cope. The post How to Explain a Pet’s Death to Children appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    10 Ways to Help Your Dog Live Longer

    Everyone agrees that the worst thing about dogs is that they don’t live long enough. But these easy, common-sense tips can help extend the time we have with our canine pals. 1. Find the Right Breed What’s your perfect dog? Like a spouse, a dog is a partner who will be with you for a long time, for better or for worse, so pick one you can live with. Divorce between humans is devastating, but a canine-human mismatch can have deadly consequences for the dog. If you are honest with yourself upfront, you’ll find someone to make your heart sing every second you are together. 2. Know Your Dog’s Background Find a breeder with a sterling reputation for producing healthy, well-balanced puppies. Ask lots of questions, about pedigree, health screens, and care during the first few weeks. With rescue organizations, ask about the dog’s background, health, vaccine status, and temperament issues that may require additional training. And don’t just take anyone’s word for it. Trust your eyes, ears, and gut. If something seems wrong, say no. 3. Dog-Proof Your Home Examine every inch of the place you call home with one question in mind: How many ways can my puppy hurt himself here? Anything that dangles, sparks, topples, or can be chewed poses a danger. Don’t think you’re in the clear if your new dog is an adult. One 9-year-old dog got a new home in an urban high-rise, instead of the rural area she was used to. She did not realize that the open window led, not to a backyard, but to a 15-story drop. It all ended well and she was pulled to safety, but only after an afternoon perched on an air conditioner. 4. Teach Emergency Cues Young puppies are information sponges so use this period to ingrain life-saving cues—come, leave it, and an automatic sit or down. It’s a little more challenging to teach these to an adult dog, but you’ll be happy you made the extra effort if your dog ever gets loose and makes a beeline toward traffic. 5. Research Your Dog’s Diet For most dogs, a high-quality diet, whether from a can, bag, or your kitchen, is essential. Don’t just read labels and recipes, read your dog. Dull hair, unpleasant odors, and stomach problems may mean that the food doesn’t agree with him. If that’s the case, change the menu. Talk to your vet about the best food for your dog. 6. Know When to Say No “Awww, he’s so cute. Can I kiss his little nose?” “Can I give her a piece of my sandwich?” “Let me toss him in the deep end!” As a dog owner, you will face a constant barrage of requests, opinions, and orders. Protect your dog from all of this unsolicited affection and advice by learning to say one little word: “No!” You live with this dog and you know what’s best for him. Don’t allow anyone to put your or your dog in a dangerous situation. 7. Stay Educated Dog owners have more resources than ever before. Use them. Food recalls, for example, often appear on Facebook and Twitter before they reach the news. Scientific papers on canine health are available online. Watch for new developments. Some can be lifesavers. 8. Prepare for the Worst Accidents happen and knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a dog or how to tie a tourniquet can mean the difference between life and death. Classes, books, and online resources offer the basics. Also, find the nearest 24-hour veterinary emergency room in your area, keep the number handy, and make sure that you have a way to get there no matter what time of day or night. Have an emergency plan for disasters and keep a pet first-aid kit on hand as well. 9. Save Money for Medical Care Medical care costs money, so consider buying a pet insurance policy for your dog or having a credit card reserved for your pet’s care. Some illnesses are one-time big expenses, while others require long-term care and medication. Either way, insurance can ease the financial burden of caring for a sick dog. 12. Preventative Care One of the best ways to extend your dog’s life is to regularly take them to the vet and groomer. Your vet has likely known your dog most of their life and can catch medical problems in routine visits before the issues progress. Groomers also keep dogs comfortable and oftentimes notice when something is off on your dog’s body. There are also many supplements your vet may recommend to improve your dog’s quality of life. 11. Soothe Your Senior There’s nothing like old dogs. They are sweet, soulful, and noble, but, like old people, they can be crabby, achy, and may lose control of their bodily functions, as well as go blind or deaf. These problems, however, don’t have to be the end of the line. There are all kinds of products and techniques—like orthopedic beds, acupuncture, supplements, and water therapy—that can help you keep your dog healthy and comfortable in their golden years. 12. Know When to Say Goodbye As difficult as it may be, part of keeping your dog healthy and comfortable is knowing when it’s time to say goodbye. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s quality of life to make sure your pet isn’t suffering. Pet euthanasia is a difficult choice, but sometimes necessary. The post 10 Ways to Help Your Dog Live Longer appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Can Dogs Get Leptospirosis?

    New York City is dealing with an outbreak of a rare, sometimes fatal disease spread by rat urine known as Leptospirosis. Many dog owners are wondering: does leptospirosis affect dogs? Can dogs get leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is a disease that affects dogs, as well as many other kinds of animals. The organism that causes leptospirosis is a spirochete bacteria and is found throughout the world. There are a very large number of Leptospira; about 230 of them have been identified. In the United States, Leptospirosis is in the environment because it is carried in rats, wildlife, as well as domestic livestock. More cases are seen in late summer and fall and often after heavy rainfalls. Leptospira is known to exist in standing water, dampness, and mud. Winter conditions tend to lower the risk because Leptospira do not tolerate freezing temperatures. <?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 Pets can become infected through contact with the urine of infected animals such as raccoons, skunks, rats, feral cats, dogs, and other animals. Often, dogs contract the disease by swimming in stagnant water or drinking contaminated water in puddles. Should Dog Owners Be Concerned About Leptospirosis? Not all dogs that are exposed to Leptospirosis become visibly ill. In a 2007 study, 25 percent of unvaccinated healthy dogs had antibodies to Leptospirosis. This indicated to researchers that they had been previously exposed to Leptospirosis without their owners noticing a problem. When Leptospirosis does cause disease in dogs, it tends to be most severe in unvaccinated dogs that are younger than 6 months of age. It takes about 4-12 days after exposure for a dog to start to feel ill. Signs of illness vary, but usually include lethargy, poor appetite, fever, vomiting, increased thirst or urine production. Jaundice may also be seen. Blood tests will show changes in kidney values or liver and kidney values. Diagnosis is made through blood and urine tests that look specifically for Leptospirosis. Antibiotics are typically used to treat Leptospirosis; not only can they treat the active infection, but also may prevent dogs from becoming carriers of the organism. How Can Dog Owners Prevent Leptospirosis? Prevention is best accomplished by stopping your dog’s access to contaminated water. Also, try to sanitize your dog’s environment by eliminating food and garbage to reduce the attraction of rats, raccoons, or feral cats. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease. In other words, it is contagious to humans. The most likely way humans contract Leptospirosis is via exposure to dog or rat urine. However, any bodily fluid, including vomit and saliva, can transmit the disease. If your dog is infected with Leptospirosis, it is very important to observe proper hygiene even after he has recovered (wearing protective gloves when cleaning up after your dog, preventing face-licking, etc.) Vaccination for leptospirosis is an option to consider if your dog is at high risk of contracting the disease. The American Animal Hospital Association considers Leptospirosis a “non-core” vaccine for dogs. That is, they do not recommend it unless there is a good chance your dog will be exposed to Leptospirosis. The efficacy of the vaccine is variable: short-lasting or limited. There have been reports of reactions to the vaccine that vary from minor to severe. Vaccination does not always prevent infection, but it tends to make the disease much milder if infection occurs. There is the potential for vaccinated dogs that do become infected to become long-term carriers of Leptospirosis. Some long-term carriers have more frequent incidence of reproductive failure and stillbirths. As with all vaccinations, you should discuss the vaccine for Leptospirosis with your veterinarian. This decision will be based on you and your dog’s lifestyle, if your community is experiencing cases of Leptospirosis, and the other pros and cons your veterinarian has experienced with the vaccine. The post Can Dogs Get Leptospirosis? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    How to Groom a Yorkshire Terrier

    Yorkies are famous for their human-like hair and show-worthy coats, and that’s why learning how to groom your Yorkshire Terrier puppy will be an important part of welcoming your new dog into your home. “Grooming is a critical part of owning a Yorkshire Terrier,” says Daron Newcomb, a professional groomer with 21 years of experience. “It’s a perfect bonding time for an owner and a pet.” Newcomb, who also has 16 years of exhibiting Yorkshire Terriers in the conformation ring and who has campaigned for top-ranked yorkies, including a BIS and BISS national winner, shares these top tips for caring for your Yorkie’s coat, nails, teeth, ears, and more during the first year of life and beyond. Coat Care 101: Grooming a Yorkie Yorkies stand out for their minimal shedding and silky hair that keeps growing (like our human hair). And while owners can benefit from the nearly-hypoallergenic breed, particularly if they suffer from allergies, there is some extra care involved in terms of trimming, washing, and brushing. Show Coat vs. Pet Trim How often your dog will need to be bathed depends on the trim you’ve opted for: a show coat or a pet trim. While owners who opt for a pet trim for their Yorkies will certainly need to invest time and energy into caring for the coat of their pets, “grooming and growing the show coat of the Yorkshire Terrier is certainly a labor of love,” says Newcomb. “The coat of a show Yorkie should only be trimmed to neaten the coat or to keep it level with the floor,” Newcomb adds. “The top third of Yorkie’s ear should be shaved and trimmed around the edge, the pads of the feet should be trimmed, and the sanitary area should be trimmed for cleanliness.” This is the case for Newcomb’s dog, pictured above. It takes work to ensure the coat remains clean and tangle-free, and some owners may realize they don’t have the time to devote to this level of maintenance. A pet trim is recommended if you don’t have the time for the upkeep and to keep your dog’s hair styled on a regular basis. “A Yorkie in a pet trim can easily be maintained with a biweekly bath with regular brushing, however a Yorkie in show coat requires a weekly bath,” he says. “Keeping the coat clean is key to growing a healthy, long coat.” Yorkies should be trimmed every four to six weeks, either by a professional groomer or this can be taken care of by owners themselves. For a healthy, shiny coat, be prepared to brush your Yorkshire Terrier’s coat “several times a week, if not daily, to prevent tangling and matting,” according Newcomb, who shares the following pointers for combing. Do… Get the right tools—including a pin brush, metal toothed comb, and a slicker brush. Wash using only high-quality pet shampoos and conditioners, specifically made for a drop silky coat. Be sure to have a conditioning spray for use while brushing to protect the coat from damage and breakage during the process of grooming. Remember if tangling or matting does occur, gently work out the tangle or mat by starting to brush from the end of the coat slowly working your way to the skin. Check your pet’s skin and coat for parasites or health issues. Don’t… Brush Yorkies when their coats are dirty. During adolescence—between the first 6 and 18 months of life—your Yorkshire Terrier’s coat will change from a “fluffy puppy coat to the luxurious silky coat of an adult” and during this stage you should brush your dog’s hair on a daily basis as it will be more susceptible to matting, explains Newcomb. “Preventing mats and tangles make grooming not only easier for your Yorkie, but also easier for you.” Yorkie Nail Care Basics Check in on your Yorkie’s toenails as part of your regular grooming and bathing routine and trim them as needed. This should be done at least every two weeks, says Newcomb. “Toenail trimming is something easily learned and can be done at home,” he adds. “I recommend first-timers to ask for guidance from a vet or professional groomer until they get the hang of it.” Keeping Your Yorkie’s Teeth Healthy Just as we humans brush our teeth on a daily basis, you should aim to brush your dog’s teeth once a day, too. Newcomb recommends using a finger brush, the “easiest and most useful tool for the job,” a toothbrush that, as the name suggests, you can wear on your finger to reach the back of your pet’s mouth. Beyond daily brushings, it’s important to schedule routine dental checkups for your Yorkie, to ensure overall dental and gum health. “Oral care is essential for the overall health of your dog,” he adds. “Red and irritated gums, bad breath, missing or loose teeth, and plaque buildup are signs your dog needs to have a dental checkup.” Yorkshire Terrier Ear, Eye, and Skin Care: What You Need to Know To care for your Yorkshire Terrier’s “prick ears”—ears that stand straight up—get into a good habit of cleaning them during bathtime with a simple dog ear cleaner and a cotton ball to remove any debris at the surface of your dog’s ears. “This will help prevent wax buildup and infections, and dry any water that may have entered the ear during bathing,” Newcomb explains. Be sure not to use cotton swabs, which can damage your pet’s ears. Some Yorkshire Terriers are more likely to develop tear stains than others and teething is a stage that can cause this problem to flare up. Establishing a daily routine of cleaning your Yorkie’s eyes with an eye wash pad formulated for dogs can help lessen tearing as well as clean up any debris from your pet’s eyes. Dry skin is rare but can “occasionally occur in Yorkies,” according to Newcomb. When this does happen, it’s usually linked to the dog’s diet or environment, he adds. “I recommend feeding a high-quality pet food targeted towards the Yorkie,” he says. “Quality pet food will have the essential nutrition needed to support a healthy coat, skin, and overall well-being of your dog.” The post How to Groom a Yorkshire Terrier appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  23. Our pets provide so much happiness, love, retreat, and even peace in our lives. So, when we see our dog, cat, or any other animal friend suffering — be it from anxiety, old age, or illness — we’re willing to do anything to provide that comfort and relief to them. Reiki has provided a path to healing for many people who are coping with mental, physical, and spiritual difficulties. It’s an energy-based Japanese holistic method applied through noninvasive, nonmanipulative gentle touch that dates back to the 1900s. Today Reiki is practiced all over the world and seems to be gaining popularity by the minute. So naturally, if it’s good enough for people, we can’t help but wonder if it could also benefit our pets? But before we get to that… What Exactly Is Reiki? If you speak to a Reiki expert and simply ask the question, “What is Reiki?“, you will most likely get an answer along the lines of, “What isn’t Reiki?“. According to practicing Reiki Masters, including Kathleen Prasad of Animal Reiki Source, author and the creator of the Let Animals Lead Method, “We are all Reiki, everything is Reiki.” The translation of the word is made up of two Japanese words put together. Rei, which means spirit, and Ki, which means energy, so it directly translates to “spiritual energy”. “That spiritual energy makes up everything in the universe,” says Prasad. “We all have Reiki within us,” says Jeanne Clune, CPDT-KA Behavior Consultant at Behavior Vets NYC, Fear Free Certified Trainer and Let Animals Lead Reiki Teacher. “I’m not going to go to a Reiki master and have them put it in me. We are all born with spiritual energy, it’s the essence, it’s the innocence within us.” The system of Reiki — that being the practice of Reiki to heal and treat — provides hands-on natural healing through touch when applied from one living thing to another. “Different mediation tools including symbols and mantras and breathing and visualization practices help to create the necessary environment,” says Prasad. In practice, Reiki utilizes the meditative space provided by the healer to the individual to connect and offer calm. This transfer of energy has been known to help individuals either better cope with or move past emotional and physical pain. So How Can Reiki Help My Pet? Reiki is steadily gaining popularity in the animal world as a complementary health therapy. In fact the NCBI has even found through studies that, “Reiki is a safe and gentle “complementary” therapy that activates the parasympathetic nervous system to heal body and mind. It has potential for broader use in management of chronic health conditions, and possibly in postoperative recovery.” Specifically, Reiki is being used as a treatment and connection method in a number of ways for pets including: Anxious or Stressed Pets “The number one primary benefit and response to Reiki with animals is stress relief and deep relaxation,” says Prasad”. The calm space created by a Reiki practitioner’s meditation invites the animal to join that relaxed environment. This can make Reiki an effective stress reliever for pets in high anxiety environments, be that a shelter setting or even at home with a new baby in the house. Coping With Illness and Surgery Recovery When we are deeply relaxed, all of our systems relax and can function optimally and our immune system can operate more optimally. “Our bodies can heal themselves when we can allow ourselves to relax,” explains Prasad. Reiki works by inducing that state or creating that relaxation that we need to heal ourselves. “I have seen animals who are sick for a long time and they get better more quickly or heal after surgery quickly with the help of Reiki.” Reiki can also be helpful throughout the medical process. If you have a pet who is anxious at the vet, but requires many visits because of their sickness or needs surgery, Reiki can help prepare them. Clune shares how Reiki can help put a pet more at ease prior to walking into those situations. End of Life Care Reiki is offered in many hospitals and hospices for both family members and patients. When Reiki is used to help an animal pass, we find similar benefits. “Animals handle death better than we do,” says Clune. “They know they are dying, they need time to process this and to know they are leaving.” Reiki can help provide that time so that a pet is not in severe pain as they cope with this impending change. It can also bring pet owners some peace as well, especially knowing that their pet is at peace — maybe eating more and being more playful in their final days — and ready to say goodbye. “Reiki can create this beautiful peacefulness in the dying process, sometimes it’s not about getting better, but it’s about finding peace,” says Prasad. It can be an incredible gift to have in a difficult moment. Bonding and Quality Time Reiki can provide a way to strengthen the human-pet connection. “Animals teach us, they share with us even more than we share with them. They are intuitive beings,” says Clune. Reiki can offer another way to connect with your pet and can be especially helpful if you have rescued a new pet with past trauma or notice significant changes in your pet’s demeanor, but there are no physical signs of illness. The “Let Animals Lead” Philosophy “As a behavior consultant, we have learned that force-free methods and positive reinforcement offer the best ways to work with dogs with past behavior issues,” says Clune. That is why Prasad’s Let Animals Lead method is so useful when practicing Reiki with pets. You can create a space for a pet to join you in peace and calm, but if they are not willing or interested, it is okay. “When an animal says no, if they are aggravated, or don’t feel like it right now it is important to give them the choice and let them decide when,” says Prasad. “I have only had one animal who didn’t want Reiki,” shares Clune. This dog had been having trouble in playgroups and seemed anxious around other dogs. “We took a walk [to an enclosed area], once inside he was pacing, he was running the perimeter. I sat and I was sharing space, and he wanted to go out of the gate. He was very nervous being contained. He had a reason not to want to be contained. So, I started bringing him off the property and we went on walks in the woods on long-lines. Eventually [in these physically open environments] he loved Reiki, so much so he would fall asleep with me. Today he is dog selective, but he does like other dogs and can be around them. How to Practice Reiki At Home While you can easily find a Reiki Master who professionally works with pets in your area, you may want to give it a go yourself. If you find you enjoy it, you can even train to become a Reiki certified practitioner and work with other pets too. When practicing Reiki at home, you’re learning how to shift into more balance and more peacefulness for both your own benefit and your pet’s. “We are all connected, all one, and how do you tap into that? Reiki is the key that unlocks the door,” says Prasad. Prasad says there are many collections of mediations that you can do with your pets right now. Their purpose is to help you connect heart to heart. “It’s not that difficult, create a space and hold space for your pet.” It can be that simple. Are Virtual Reiki Sessions Worthwhile? In today’s virtual world, it’s a natural question to ask. Can Reiki work in virtual settings? Given Reiki is based on the transfer and sharing of energy, the simple answer is: Yes. “We are all made of energy and while perception tells us we are separate, the philosophy of energy is that we are all connected,” says Prasad. In fact virtual reiki sessions may even be preferred in some circumstances. For instance, if a pet is fearful of new people or places, a virtual Reiki session may be the way to go. And Clune notes that cats, in particular, seem to respond better virtually to Reiki. How Do You Know If Reiki Is Working? Essentially any signs of relaxation or connection can signal that Reiki is positively impacting an animal. An animal may lay down or fall asleep and dream. “Some high-strung animals that are busy, won’t entirely relax. They’ll still do their thing, but come back and check in on you,” notes Prasad. There is ongoing research to help determine whether there is evidence that Reiki provides more than just a placebo effect. Reiki in Animal Shelters Given the power Reiki has to bring peace and calm, it’s no wonder that it is becoming an enrichment offering in shelters across the world. Prasad co-founded the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA) in 2008. This non-profit now has over 200 members and helps dozens of sanctuaries and rescues in the US, Canada, Europe, and India. Clune is a part of a group that visits shelters in person and virtually once a month. “When a shelter closes for the night, all of the dogs typically bark and the cats hide. We sit quietly and start to meditate together in a circle and the dogs start to come up to their gates and fall asleep.” Not only can it bring relaxation to pets in these high anxiety environments, but it can also help rescue animals who experienced past trauma gain more confidence. Which can ultimately help them get rescued. As Prasad puts it, “Reiki touches the spirit and then the spirit ripples out to the mind and body. We are creating a spiritual healing.” So it seems that no matter what goal you hope to achieve, Reiki can offer a harmless path to peace and healing for not only yourself, but your pet too. The post Reiki Healing for Pets: Is It Possible? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  24. I’ll never forget the look my puppy obedience class trainer gave me when I told her proudly that my puppy had gone on a two-mile hike with me. As she explained, puppies, especially large-breed puppies, should not be exercised too much, as over-exercising could cause joint and bone problems, and two miles was definitely too much for my three-month-old dog. While I never made that mistake again, it did leave me with a few questions. Just how much exercise is too much for a puppy, and how do you know when enough is enough? Subject of Debate There is a lot of debate in the dog world about puppies and exercise. Veterinarians, breeders, and trainers all seem to agree that too much exercise is just as bad as not enough, but there is no set formula for calculating your puppy’s progress. While it would be nice if there were a 100-percent-accurate chart you could look at that broke down puppies by breed and age and explained how much exercise they needed each day, complete with mileage and a puppy activity tracker, the reality is more complicated. Veterinarian Dr. Patty Khuly points out that some of this confusion stems from a combination of a lack of scientific studies and a variety of personal opinions. She compares the debate about puppy exercise to the ongoing debate about exercise, sports, and children – there are many different approaches to exercise, and each has its ups and downs. How Much Exercise Does Your Puppy Need? We may not have exact measurements, but there are a few common-sense considerations that can help you come up with a plan to keep your puppy active and healthy. For starters, consider your dog’s breed. A Bulldog puppy and a Border Collie puppy will both love playtime, but a Border Collie will probably have a higher exercise tolerance than a Bulldog, not to mention a higher heat tolerance for outdoor play. Breed size matters, too. There have been studies that show potential links between too much exercise and orthopedic disease in large-breed dogs. Forcing your 8-week-old Great Dane for a two-mile walk every day, for instance, is probably not a great idea, even if he could keep up. Most people would not consider taking a smaller-breed puppy for a hike that long, but with higher energy levels, larger breeds can fool us into thinking they need longer walks than is good for them. Learning as much as you can about your breed is a good place to start. Large and giant breeds grow quickly and mature slowly, which may mean you have to put off certain activities, like jumping in agility, until they are fully grown. Toy breeds, on the other hand, mature more quickly but require small, frequent feedings throughout the day as puppies, which can mean you may need to adjust their exercise accordingly. All breeds require mental stimulation, but high-drive, working breeds, such as Belgian Malinois, Border Collies, and German Shepherd Dogs need more mental stimulation than other breeds. Working training sessions and interactive toys into their exercise routine is just as important as exercise itself. Your puppy’s exercise needs will change as she grows. When your puppy is very young, veterinarians recommend keeping exercise limited to short walks and multiple play sessions throughout the day, with plenty of time for naps. Older puppies will require more exercise. A six-month-old dog might be capable of taking longer walks or even short jogs (if your vet helps you determine he’s in good overall health and up for it), for example, but long hikes over rough terrain or strenuous agility classes are still potentially dangerous. You can slowly build your puppy up to longer walks with time, taking plenty of breaks to keep him from tiring out or hurting himself, but how long is too long? And what about puppies that never seem to get tired, no matter how much they run around? No Easy Answers As with humans, all the recommendations in the world boil down to an inconvenient reality: the amount of exercise your puppy needs depends on your puppy. “On the one hand, we know wolf pups run with their packs for miles. On the other, we know that the risks for a sedentary puppy with a weekend-warrior exercise pattern are worse than for a puppy that gets continuous, self-regulated exercise,” says Dr. Marc Wosar, MSpVM, DACVS, an orthopedic specialist. “Unfortunately, there are no hard-and-fast rules in these cases.” This leaves owners struggling to come up with the answers themselves. Talking with your veterinarian is a great place to start, and Dr. Kuhly cautions against spending too much time focusing on “how much exercise is too much,” and instead advises owners to remember that while there are no fixed rules about what is too much exercise, not getting enough exercise over a lifetime is far more dangerous. Your veterinarian is a great place to start your research. You can also talk to your breeder, contact breed enthusiast groups for advice, or talk to other owners about their experience with puppies of a similar breed. Most importantly, watch your puppy carefully for signs of excessive tiredness or lameness, as this could be more than just a symptom of too much exercise and could be a sign of a more serious problem. Puppy Exercise Safety Tips Regardless of your dog’s age, there are a few safety tips that can help keep your puppy safe during exercise. Teach your puppy how to walk on a leash. Begin with short walks, taking frequent breaks. Increase the length of the walk gradually. Avoid walks during the hottest and coldest parts of the day. Walk on safe footing, avoiding slippery or sharp surfaces. Call your veterinarian if your puppy shows any signs of lameness. Types of Exercise Puppies love to play, whether that involves romping, chasing, wrestling, or tugging. This is good news for owners, because it provides lots of variety in exercise for their pups. Variety may also help reduce some of the risks associated with repetitive exercise, and can help you bond with your new dog. Consistency is important for puppies. Taking long runs on the weekend and short walks during the week can hurt your puppy’s growing body, but consistency doesn’t mean you have to repeat the same activities. Vary the type of your puppy’s activities. If the weather is warm, try taking your puppy swimming to help get her used to water. Go for walks on different surfaces, like grass, wooded trails, and even pavement to help her grow comfortable in new environments. Find puppy playgroups and obedience classes, and introduce her to new toys and games. Above all, make sure she gets at least three exercise sessions a day. Two of these could be short walks around the neighborhood to work on her leash training, while the third could be a rousing game of tug in the yard or hide-and-seek in the house. As you get to know your dog, you may find that she tells you when she is too tired to keep playing, which is your cue to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet while your puppy takes a nap. The post Puppies: How Much Exercise Is Too Much? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  25. There have been reports of recent pockets of outbreaks of canine influenza virus (dog flu) in various parts of the country. As with the human influenza, the dog flu will remain with us. The difference now is that we know what the viruses are that cause two different strains of influenza, and that helps veterinarians diagnose and treat the illness properly. There are now vaccines available for both known strains of canine influenza: H3N8 and the more recent H3N2. In fact, you may be able to obtain one vaccine for both. Dogs most susceptible to the canine influenza are those that frequent communal activities: competitive dog events, dog parks, grooming shops, day care and boarding facilities, but all dogs can contract the virus from other infected dogs or from vectors (inanimate objects such as dog bowls, clothing, etc.) that have recently been exposed to the virus. People do NOT become infected from infected influenza dogs, and dogs do not become infected from infected humans with the flu. So, Do Dogs Need a Flu Shot? As recommended, discussion with your veterinarian regarding vaccination for influenza is warranted, especially in the previously mentioned higher risk groups. Also, owners of boarding and daycare facilities may require vaccination of dogs frequenting their establishments due to the high amount of effort required to properly sanitize and quarantine as well as the possible high economic loss. In general, dogs that participate in events and social activities should be fully vaccinated for core vaccines as well as Bordetella and canine influenza. Just like humans, it’s best to get your dog a flu shot each year. To be fully vaccinated against influenza, dogs should receive two initial sets of vaccinations followed by a yearly booster. Can Dogs Die From the Flu? Though dogs can die of the flu, as in humans, most do not, though many will require veterinary attention. The signs of influenza are usually: lethargy, fever, decrease in appetite, cough, runny eyes/nose, possibly vomiting. Worsening signs are the development of pneumonia. Minimizing the Risk of Canine Influenza Here is some additional information about the canine influenza virus and tips for how to minimize the risk and reduce the spread of the disease: Canine influenza virus is a highly contagious disease that is easily spread through: Close proximity to infected dogs Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing) People moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Almost all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it, and about 80% will show symptoms of the illness. Dogs are contagious 3-4 days prior to showing symptoms and 7-10 days after symptoms subside (this may cover a period of several weeks). Dogs may contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms. Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment, but the disease can be fatal. The most likely victims of canine influenza virus are social dogs – dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather. Symptoms of Canine Influenza Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough) Lack of appetite Lethargy Discharge from the nose or eyes Fever (normal temperature is 101 – 102) Preventing Canine Influenza The best prevention is vaccination. There is now a single vaccination to prevent both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster shot two weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccines take 3-4 weeks to provide immunity. Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 10 days after symptoms subside. Practice good sanitation. Use a bleach and water mixture to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry before exposing dogs to them. Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs. Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate. Dog Flu Treatment Treatment of canine influenza virus requires veterinary assistance. If you believe your dog may have canine influenza virus, contact your veterinarian immediately. Untreated, the illness may progress to pneumonia or other, more serious problems. Although most dogs recover from this illness, some otherwise healthy dogs have died from it. Most dogs take 2-3 weeks to recover from the illness. Any dog suspected of having canine influenza virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, daycare, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious for 7-10 days after they have stopped showing symptoms. Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of canine influenza virus. If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of canine influenza virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog. Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks). Dr. Jerry Klein was personally involved in treating hundreds of dogs sickened by the virus during its initial outbreak in Chicago in the spring of 2015. The post Do Dogs Need a Flu Shot? Facts About the Canine Influenza Vaccine appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article


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