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Showing posts from June, 2018

Giving Your Dog Meds While Pregnant, Lactating: What's Safe and Unsafe

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Dog pregnancy is a delicate time for your dog and her unborn puppies. While some medicationsare safe and even recommended during dog pregnancy, most should be avoided, as they can harm your dog and her unborn puppies.

DOG PREGNANCY BASICS
If you think your dog might be pregnant, the first thing you should do is see your vet for a check-up. Share your suspicions, and your vet can confirm whether or not they are true. If your dog was left outside or otherwise accessible to other dogs during her last heat, she may very well be pregnant.

Dog gestation lasts about 63 days. Your dog's diet will need to be carefully monitored during pregnancy, as well as her intake of medication. Carefully monitoring your dog's diet and medication ensures that her puppies have the nutrients they need to grow and begin healthy lives.

CARING FOR YOUR PREGNANT DOG
Your pregnant dog will need to continue exercise during pregnancy, though it shouldn't be too strenuous. Feed a high-quality, premium dog food…

Flea and Tick Sprays and Powders

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WHAT IT IS
Once the mainstay of flea prevention, flea sprays and powders have fallen out of favor once spot-ons came on the market. Now used primarily for environmental control, an essential component of treating flea infestation. For every 5 adult fleas you see on a pet, there are 95 out there in the environment in different stages of growth!

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
Varies. Common ingredients are: etofenprox, pyrethrins, tetrachlorvinphos. Product may also contain s-methoprene, which prevents larvae from developing. Fipronil, an active ingredient in many spot-on treatments, is also available as a spray.

HOW IT WORKS
The active ingredients in flea and ticks sprays and powders are neurotoxins. S-methoprene containing products also prevent flea larvae from developing.

HOW TO ADMINISTER
Sprays and powders labeled for use on pets can be applied directly to the animal. Other products are designated for use in their environment, especially carpeting, upholstery, and bedding.


HOW OFTEN TO ADMINISTER
May l…

Flea and Tick Preventatives and How to Switch Products

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It may be hard to believe, but getting flea and tick products to work on dogs and cats used to be a long, messy, even smelly process. Today there are so many better options to get these pesky parasites off of your pet and out of your home.

“There are literally a gazillion products out on the market now,” says Keith Niesenbaum, DVM and veterinarian at Great Neck Dog & Cat Hospital.

How do you tell which are the best products for your pet? Niesenbaum recommends consulting with your veterinarian before using any product and if possible, purchasing the product there.

Here is a list of some of the more popular and effective flea and tick products available today and how you can switch your pet from one to another:

FLEA AND TICK SHAMPOOS, DIPS, COLLARS
"Flea collars use a concentrated chemical to repel fleas (and sometimes ticks) from a dog or cat," says Jennifer Kvamme, DVM."The chemical will disperse all over the animal’s coat and can last for several months." This migh…

How to Build a Homeopathic and Herbal First Aid Kit for Pets

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Having a pet first aid kit handy is a smart idea for all pet parents and can help save our furry friends during unexpected injuries. For those that want to take a natural approach, there are homeopathic and herbal remedies to consider adding to your kit that can help with everything from cuts and burns to nausea and stress.

“Homeopathy embraces the notion that the body can heal itself and that symptoms are a sign that the body is in a state of repair attempting to restore its own health,” explains Denise Fleck, a certified pet first-aid and CPR speaker and the current Career Technical Education Animal Care Instructor for the Burbank Unified School District. “Homeopathic remedies can even be administered along with other traditional treatments for better results.”

Homeopathic remedies for pets are often administered in the form of tinctures, a liquid extract made from herbs, and sugar pills, where just a drop of the remedy is placed on the pill and then given to a dog or cat, according t…

How to Best Treat Arthritis in Dogs

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Arthritis is one of the most common ailments affecting dogs, especially middle aged to senior dogs. Whether the dog is large or small, arthritis can be a source of chronic pain and negatively affect quality of life. Also known as degenerative joint disease, arthritis occurs when a joint is unstable and causes the bones to move abnormally within the joint. Cartilage lines the joints, acting as a barrier between bones. Over time this abnormal movement erodes the cartilage and bone begins rubbing against bone, creating chronic inflammation and pain.

WAYS TO TREAT (AND PREVENT) ARTHRITIS IN DOGS
The absolute best way to prevent arthritis in dogs is to keep your pet at a healthy weight. This will reduce the stress that the body places on joints and help keep things moving like they should. If you notice that your dog has some “extra padding” around the ribs or belly, you should speak with your veterinarian immediately to see if your pet is overweight. Your veterinarian will also be able to h…

How to Become a Dog or Pet Groomer

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Pet groomers, more than any other group of pet health care professionals, fill a very unique niche in enhancing pet health. In fact, it requires certain attributes not required by veterinarians, trainers, breeders, pet shop owners, kennel operators and pet food retail salespeople.

HOW TO BECOME A DOG OR PET GROOMER
The first step to becoming a dog or pet groomer is to research. You should research the different styles of grooming for different breeds as well as programs in your area that offer certifications in pet grooming. While certification is not always required, these programs can help you learn the basics of pet grooming and will make you stand out when looking for jobs.

The real learning comes from experience, however. Getting an internship with a groomer or working as a groomer's assistant will give you the hands-on experience you need to hone your grooming skills.

To be a successful pet grooming professional you must be hands-on, observant and effective, all while patiently …

Fixing Submissive/Excitement Urination in Dogs

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While dog might be man’s best friend, that puddle on the floor sure isn’t. If your new housebroken puppy or rescued dog occasionally pees on the floor for no fathomable reason, then you might have a dog with submissive/excitement urination issues.

So what should you do if you think you have a dog with an excitement or submissive peeing problem? First off, take your dog to the vet to rule out other reasons for the inappropriate peeing. If you receive the all clear from your vet, how do you know which problem your dog has?

If your pooch doesn’t pee when you’re in a dominant position (i.e., looking your dog directly in the eye, bending from the waist, greeting your dog face on), then chances are your dog is suffering from an excitement issue. If the dog does pee when you arrive home, when you’re in a dominant position, or when it is in trouble, then it’s probably a submissive issue. Either way, the situation can be remedied.

SUBMISSIVE PEEINGSubmissive dogs pee when they are greeted, when s…

Five Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs

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When you have an upset stomach, you probably reach for ginger ale, crackers or Pepto-Bismol to settle your tummy. But what should you do when your dog’s stomach is out of sorts? Learn more about the causes and symptoms of upset stomach and tips for how to make your pup feel better with natural remedies, below.

COMMON CAUSES OF UPSET STOMACHThere are many reasons your dog may have an upset stomach, though there’s one common cause: he ate something he shouldn’t have, said Kathy Backus, DVM at Holistic Veterinary Services in Kaysville, Utah.

“Dogs are curious like kids; they’re always putting things in their mouth,” she said. “Vomiting and diarrhea are signs that a dog’s body is trying to expel something that shouldn’t be in their system. In a healthy dog, it’s a protective mechanism of the body that’s totally normal.”

Stress (like separation anxiety) may also trigger an upset stomach, as can bacteria imbalances in the gut and food sensitivities, which are most likely caused by your dog’s d…

Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your Pet

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HOW TO ADD YEARS TO YOUR PET'S LIFE
Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a healthy and long life. Here are five tips that can help your pet do just that.

1. FEED A HIGH QUALITY DIET.Pets fed a high quality diet have a shiny hair coat, healthy skin, and bright eyes. A good diet can help strengthen your pet’s immune system, help maintain his or her intestinal health, help increase his or her mental acuity, help keep joints and muscles healthy, and much more.

2. KEEP YOUR PET LEAN.Pets that are overweight are at risk for a myriad of health issues. Obesity is the number one nutritional disease seen in pets currently and studies have shown that being overweight or obese can shorten a dog or cat’s life span by as much as two years. Why? Being overweight or obese puts your pet at risk for joint disease, heart disease and diabetes, among other things.

3. TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VETERINARIAN REGULARLY.All pets, including both dogs and cats, require regul…

Why Do Dogs Get Fevers?

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One of the challenges of being a pet parent is dealing with a sick animal. When you notice that your dog is moping around or turning up his nose at treats, he can’t tell you what is wrong. And unlike with a sick child, you can’t put your hand to his forehead to see if he has a fever.

In fact, a dog’s body temperature runs hotter than a human’s—from 99.5-102.5F—so if your dog does feel warm to the touch, that’s no surprise. You also can’t rely on whether your dog’s nose is cold and wet to indicate if he is healthy, says Dr. Susan O’Bell, a general practitioner at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

“A warm or dry nose is a really unreliable indicator (of health), especially this time of year, when we are indoors where it is dry and warm.”

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR DOG HAS A FEVER?That determination is best left to your family vet, says Dr. O’Bell. Families often come in saying that their dog is not acting like himself, but the symptoms are too general to indicate a specific diagnosis.

“T…

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?

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You probably know the feeling of a dog’s cold, wet nose pressing against your skin. And if you’re a pup parent, you have no doubt cleaned countless nose prints from every glass surface in your house. But have you ever wondered why your dog’s nose is wet?

The wetness of a dog’s nose comes from a mixture of saliva and mucus, says Dr. Anita Guo, a veterinarian at the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in London. A dog’s nose secretes its own, thin layer of mucus, and dogs add even more mucus and saliva by licking their noses frequently.

The details may be a little icky, but having a wet nose serves a few vital functions for dogs. First, keeping their noses moist helps dogs regulate their body temperature, says Guo. Dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their bodies like we do, so they rely on sweat glands in their noses and the pads of their feet to help maintain a safe internal temperature.

“The moisture of the nose helps them evaporate heat and helps them cool down their body,” she says.

D…

Why Do Dogs Shred Paper Products?

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Dogs have a way of getting into things they shouldn’t, and one thing many pups seem to love playing with is paper. Used tissues, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper—countless pet parents have come home to find these products shredded all over the floor. 

But why is shredding paper so irresistible to dogs?

It often comes down to odor, says Scott Sheaffer, a certified animal behavior consultant and owner of USA Dog Behavior in Dallas, Texas.

“If you’ve used it to wipe your mouth or even wipe your nose or your hands, there’s a scent on it that’s appealing to them,” he says.

Boredom or anxiety could also drive dogs to rip up paper products, if they don’t have enough other enrichment available. Or, if dogs are actually ingesting the paper, it could be a sign of pica, a medical condition that drives animals to eat non-food items (humans can also suffer from pica).

“It can become a compulsion, where they obsessively and compulsively eat paper products,” Sheaffer says. “That’s much more of a behav…

Why Your Dog Sometimes Forgets His Training, and What You Can Do About It

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Have you ever asked your dog to do something simple—sit, for example—only to have him look at you as if you’re speaking another language?

You know your dog knows how to do it; it was the very first thing you taught him! You ask him to do it several times a day, in fact, and he always complies. So, what gives when he doesn’t? How come it seems like your dog sometimes “forgets” his training?

The first question you should ask yourself in situations where it seems like your dog is blowing you off is, “Did I teach my dog the full behavior, or just a very specific version of the behavior?”

For example, let’s say that you taught your dog to stay before you put his dinner bowl down and he knows how to hold while you fill his bowl and walk it over to his dinner spot. Awesome! But do you ever ask your dog to stay in other situations? Meaning, can he hold a stay when you open the door to get a package? Or when your kids are chasing each other around the dinner table? Asking your dog to stay in thos…

Wild Animals That Can Give Your Dog Fleas and Ticks

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While you may be diligent about preventing fleas and ticks in your home, your dog could pick up parasites from wild or feral animals living nearby. Here are a few creatures that can give your dog fleas and ticks.

DEERDeer ticks get their name because they like to feed on deer as adults. So if there are deer in the neighborhood, deer ticks may be close by.  Ticks can’t jump or fly, but they wait for a deer, or your dog, to pass and then attach and crawl upwards. Deer ticks are generally found in wooded areas and are active year round.

RACCOONS AND OPOSSUMSNot only do raccoons and opossums make a meal out of your garbage, they too can bring fleas into your yard and home. And because they are most active at night, you may not even see these critters.  Keep raccoons and opossums out of your dog’s space by securing all outdoor garbage and trash bins.

FERAL CATSFeral cats left to roam around neighborhoods also carry fleas and ticks. Fleas cannot fly, but they have quite a jumping distance and …

Why Your Veterinarian Doesn’t Recommend Pet Health Insurance

OK, so that’s just a salacious title. Your veterinarian may well recommend pet health insurance. I do, so that makes … um … two of us. 

Okay, maybe I exaggerate. It’s clear that veterinarians increasingly buy into pet health insurance. When faced with very sick patients whose owners hold insurance policies for them, we breathe a sigh of relief. In our experience these clients more readily accept our recommendations to treat their pets. More and more of us see pet health insurance as a positive influence on patient care — not to mention out bottom lines. Yet even those of us who wholeheartedly endorse it tend to tread lightly on the subject, as if we’re well aware that we should be careful what we wish for. Heaven forbid that blue genie in the bottle should turn around and bite us in the butt once he’s freed.

Pet health insurance is something veterinarians have plenty of cause to contemplate; it’s just that the pet health insurance industry wishes we would do so more frequently and with…