Archives for February, 2012

Protect Your Family Dog’s Eyes and Sight

By Sarah L Falkner

Your dog’s senses are different form humans, but extremely important to his quality of life. One of the main differences in the ‘mechanics’ of the eye involves the rods and cones which detect light. This is why your dog can see better, even in relative darkness. As his master, it is your job to maintain and monitor any possible problems that may arise which would risk your dog’s sight. Your should examine your dog’s eyes daily. Maybe examine is the wrong word, but rather look for any changes that may have occurred. Your dog’s eyes should be bright, shiny and relatively free of tears. Some breeds have inherited reasons for tearing which will be covered a bit later. When you look at your dog’s eyes, simply check for tearing, whiteness of the eye, cloudiness of the iris, lumps or cyst-like protrusions, and possible corneal wounds that may have occurred due to accidents.

Let us first cover basic cleaning tips. These may vary depending on the breed of your family dog. Light colored and single coated or long haired dogs sometimes get tear stains or ‘Poodle Eye’. This is when tears are produced normally because of an irritant in the eye, for example, hair. The tear travels from the corner of your dog’s eye down towards his mussel. The acidity of the tear causes a dark brown ‘gunky’ stuff which is very unsightly on a white dog. If left to dry, these tear stains may become hard and crusty. These are many products available in pet stores to combat these stains. What you can do is:

Use a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide with water to clean the hair and remove the staining. Important…Use extra care to protect your dog’s eyes from coming in contact with any product used to cleanse tear stains. Also depending on the breed of dog, you may just want to clip away the stained hair, again being extra careful close to the eyes.

In a pinch, like when company is coming, cornstarch or face cream/powder will lighten the stain. Just be sure to brush the remnants away from your dog’s coat.

  • If crusty, soften with a cloth, cotton ball, or makeup removal pad soaked with warm water. Once softened, remove with fingers or wipe with cloth.

INHERITED DISEASES that affect your dog’s eyes:

Entropion is the inward rotation of the eyelid tissues causing an irritation and possible ulceration of the eye. Although this condition is usually inherited, it is sometimes caused by scarring injuries to the skin around the eyes.

Ectropian is the outward rotation of the eyelid that causes conjunctivitis. Specific breeds that are prone to this disease are hunting dog’s like Bloodhounds, Basset hounds, and spaniels.

Distichiasis is caused by eye lash hours that arise from the edges of the eyelids and have turned inward rather than away. The hairs make contact with the eye which causes constant irritation and the risks of conjuntivites and/or corneal damage increases tremendously.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or KCS is the inflammation of the cornea and conjunctivia. It is caused by a deficiency of tears. Eyes become dry and dull looking. As the eyes become dry and stay dry, it leads to the risk of cornea damage. A sticky discharge of mucus replaces tears and a secondary bacterial infection develops including puss pockets. Be aware that dry eyes can also be a warning sign to a viral infection such as distemper.

Cataracts (HC) are formed when the proteins in a lens become cloudy. the lens loses part or all of it’s transparency. Cataracts are mostly passed through heredity as a recessive gene trait. a complete cataract results in a white crystalline lens with a slightly yellow hue.

Glaucoma is the increasing pressure of the fluid inside the eyeball which causes a great deal of pain. Signs of Glaucoma include a clouding of the eye and a fixed stare. As the pressure increases, the eye will begin to bulge, blood vessels expand and tears begin to stream.

The bottom line for all of the dog owners and dog lovers in the world is that if you see any of the following symptoms Immediately Call Your Veterinarian for a Check Up!!:

He is squinting, avoiding light, rubbing or pawing at his eyes

You see eyelashes lying in the film of tears

Red eyes where they are supposed to be white

The lens of your dog’s eye becomes cloudy or even mildly foggy

You notice a fixed stare in one eye

Your dog’s eyes are not bright and shiny

Your dog’s eyes are tearing profusely with a lot of brown ‘gunky’ stuff.

As I stated in the beginning, your dog’s sight is very important in terms of quality of life, family protection, and his own safety. There are many more conditions that affect your dog’s eyesight. Follow me if you want to learn more.

http://www.familydogadvice.com

Sarah L. Falkner has a passion for dogs. Inspired by the adoption of my own dog, Daisy Mae, I hope to share the knowledge I have learn. If you want to learn more about dog adoption, training, how to choose the right dog for your lifestyle, or just read funny little stories of Daisy’s antics, visit http://www.familydogadvice.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sarah_L_Falkner

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Feb 29, 2012 | 0 | Dog health

Do You Understand Your Intelligent Dog?

By Teresa Ray

Are you enjoying your relationship with your dog? Have you thanked your pet for all that your pet means to you? Are the two of you spending enough time together? You should be aware that your dog will enjoy life more with an opportunity for learning and the discipline that accompanies learning. If you allow your dog to use its intelligence and love of play in interaction with you, its best friend, then teaching and entertaining your dog will be easy for you. Improve your relationship and the quality of your life by setting goals for your pet and for yourself. Your pet will be rewarded for the company it provides for you, and you will enjoy the learning experience.

Controlling Your Dog’s Behavior

Don’t think that you simply have to tolerate your dog’s undesirable behavior or bad habits. You can find proven techniques that will create a shared understanding for you and your dog and rebuild your relationship. You should take pleasure in your dog’s company, and you cannot do it if you spend your time trying to control behavior without having any success. If you take the time to learn to effectively manage your dog’s behavior, your dog will show a happy and positive response to handling and training. You have to allow the dog to understand what you want from it, and your teaching methods have to make it possible for the dog to achieve understanding.

How To Teach Your Dog

In order to teach your dog how to share training and constructive play with you, you need to take advantage of the experience and techniques familiar to other people. Learn to use their training methods. A good training program will make it possible for you to teach yourself how to encourage your dog to accept new ideas and learn new things, and you will add an important new dimension to your dog’s life and to your own. If you want to make it possible for your dog to help you reach your goals as a dog owner and trainer, you will need your own learning experience.

You And Your Pet

Your pet deserves your time and attention. You deserve the pleasure of having your pet become more disciplined and cooperative. Make life more fun and rewarding for you and your pet and learn something new. Learning is fun, so try it for the fun of it. A few minutes a day will be enough to make your relationship with your pet a more important part of your life. Your dog will be a better pet and you will be a better companion.

Appreciate and enjoy your dog. For a good training program, visit this site.

Teresa Ray

http://ADogToTrain.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Teresa_Ray

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Feb 27, 2012 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

Adjusting To Older Dogs

By Ron Ayalon

Marty is having a hard time keeping up these days. Once your most motivating companion on a long run, now he hobbles behind, slowing you to a walk instead of sprinting ahead the way he used to. After your hikes, he comes home and sleeps all afternoon. Your best friend has reached old age and you might have to learn some new tricks to keep him healthy and happy in his golden years.

Signs of Aging
Not unlike humans, old dogs become less active. Maybe he seems stiff when we walks and he may even forget his way around the neighborhood he once knew so well. When people come over, he’s not barking at the door anymore because he can’t hear the doorbell due to the natural hearing loss that comes with old age. Gastrointestinal discomfort is another symptom that may make Marty less socially adept, as he can clear a room as he sleeps! Bad breath due to tooth and gum decay accompany what sounds like wheezing. He may develop coarser hair, oily to the touch and prone to falling out. But you love his graying mug all the same.

A Dog’s Life
Dogs age more quickly than we do. Depending on the breed, a dog can be considered senior as young as seven years old. Giant breeds, such as Great Danes, will reach their pique earlier than smaller ones. That’s not to say that small dogs will necessarily outlive their larger counterparts. The oldest dog on record is a mid-sized breed – an Australian cattle dog that lived to be 29 years old and died in 1939. The mean life expectancy of a mutt is about thirteen years.

How to adjust
Although they show less interest in walks and games, it is important to keep your senior active and entertained to ensure his physical and mental health.

If your pal can’t walk very far, consider driving him to the most interesting part of the walk or to a new location to avoid doing the same loop around the block everyday. The diversity will help keep your dog stimulated and happy. Even taking your old boy in the car to run errands with you lets him take in the world from the window and breaks up the monotony of his day. You may have to lift him into and out of the car though.

You can also try and find ways to keep your dog amused at home. Though he can’t travel very far with his stiffening joints, Marty might enjoy a little treasure hunt in the back yard. Try scattering some of his kibble around the lawn and see how he enjoys the challenge of finding the pieces. This satisfies the ‘seeking’ tendency innate in all animals, an impulse which must have an outlet to maintain their mental and emotional well-being.

Another way you keep Marty entertained is by providing him with more age-appropriate toys. Some pet stores carry chew toys with a louder squeak that is more audible for geriatric ears and softer for weaker teeth and gums.

When to Seek Veterinary Care
While arthritis is a natural consequence of aging, it can also be painful and there are medications available that can make Marty more comfortable. Never give Marty Ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), both can kill him. Allow the vet to give him an anti-inflammatory that is ‘dog-safe’. While old dogs tend to drink more water, it is important to remember that at increase in water consumption may also be a sign of diabetes and kidney problems. With Marty’s metabolism slowing down and his activity decreasing, you may need to cut his caloric intake by 30 to 40% in order to maintain a healthy weight. Though it is tempting to spoil your old buddy who seems to be harder to please these days, remember that excessive weight can add to joint discomfort and make activity even more difficult.

While you may have lost your workout buddy, you still have your best friend. Find ways to keep him healthy and happy in his golden years. He would surely do the same for you!

Ivan’s Puppies has been breeding and training puppies for over 30 years. Our hard work has been paying off, as now we are proud to be breeding Bulldog litters with excellent quality, with little to no health problems and good temperaments. For English Bulldog Puppies, visit our website at http://www.BulldogsNewYork.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ron_Ayalon

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Feb 25, 2012 | 1 | Older dogs

Your Dog’s Food May Be Causing His Skin Condition

by Ron AyaloB

You love your dog like a member of the family, so when King’s skin starts to look odd, finding out what is wrong with him becomes a top priority. In your quest to find out what is wrong with King, you call the veterinarian’s office in a panic. You try your best to describe the dry, red, itchy spots to the veterinarian. The veterinarian says to just bring King in for a checkup to try to determine what is going on.

At the veterinarian, King goes through a battery of tests, which rule out various types of mange, hot spots and other skin conditions. After you spend all that money, the veterinarian tells you that King is suffering from a food allergy. You sit down with the veterinarian and discuss what you have been feeding King. It turns out that the food you thought was good for King isn’t so good after all.

What in Dog Food Can Cause Skin Irritation?
Many dog foods contain a lot of filler ingredients that don’t actually provide King with nutrition. Some of these filler ingredients are known allergens for dogs. Wheat is the most common food allergen for dogs. Soy is another common allergen for dogs. That is really a shame because most of the least expensive dog foods contain large amounts of wheat or soy, so these aren’t an option for King.

Since you now know about King’s food allergy, you have to find him a food that won’t make his skin irritation worse. Even if you find a food that doesn’t contain soy or wheat, there is a chance that the commercial food may contain other substances that will make King’s skin allergy manifest again. Low-quality dog foods are out because they are unsafe and don’t give King the nutrition he needs. Mid-quality foods are out because they also contain wheat or soy.

You decide to check out the premium dog foods that are marketed as skin-and-coat varieties. Much to your dismay, you find that wheat or soy is in most of those. Corn and preservatives are also listed, and since those may cause skin irritation, the premium foods are out of the question.

Next on your list is the top-of-the-line super-premium dog food. As you start to check those out, you find the same problem. Sure, the ingredients are some of the best available. King will get the nutrition he needs from these foods, but still, you see potential allergens. You decide to try King on one of these foods only to discover that he still breaks out in spots. You go through duck and potato, salmon and potato, and venison and potato varieties all with the same result.

So, What Type of Commercial Food is Best?
In a moment of frustration, you wonder if you can find anything suitable for King to eat. Luckily, there is another option: holistic dog food. Holistic dog food doesn’t contain fillers. It only contains natural ingredients. Most holistic dog food doesn’t contain any type of wheat, soy or corn. Most of them contain brown rice, which isn’t likely to cause King’s allergies to flare up. Other ingredients, such as carrots, real meat, pumpkin, tomato, herring, apples, and a host of other natural ingredients are listed on the label.

After choosing a holistic food for King based on his age and breed, you take it home and feed it to him. As time goes by, you discover that King’s allergy spots are fading. More time passes and you notice that King seems much healthier. His skin looks great, his coat is starting to shine and he seems much happier.

King’s follow up with the veterinarian is wonderful. By choosing a holistic food for him, you not only helped him get rid of those bothersome spots, you also gave him the best shot at living a long and healthy life by providing him with a quality holistic food.

Ivan’s Puppies has been breeding and training puppies for over 30 years. Our hard work has been paying off, as now we are proud to be breeding Bulldog litters with excellent quality, with little to no health problems and good temperaments. For English Bulldog Puppies, visit our website at http://www.BulldogsNewYork.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ron_Ayalon

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Feb 20, 2012 | 0 | Dog health, Uncategorized

How Talented Is Your Dog?

By Ron Ayalon

Maybe you have seen them on the television or on YouTube: dogs who act, paint, sing and do other tricks that a dog shouldn’t know how to do. The latest of these incredible canines is Uggie, a dog who is said to know how to act. Well, if you are one of those people who just isn’t buying that dogs are actually talented, consider yourself to be pretty darn smart! But if just can’t let go of the idea of your dog’s name on the marquee, read on.

The Truth About Talented Dogs
Dogs aren’t actors. They certainly aren’t painters and they cannot sing. That is just the bottom line. Dogs are animals who must be trained to perform specific jobs. Just like you train a dog to sit and roll over, you have to train a dog to play a specific part in a movie or to paint a masterpiece. While it is possible for a dog to pick up certain skills on his own, it is highly unlikely without considerable training.

Training a Dog to Show Off a Talent
When Uggie was training to become an actor, he spent upwards of 15 hours a day working on his skills. The skill that took him the longest to learn was the one that got him the Golden Globe. Learning how to play dead and stay dead was the last skill Uggie mastered before his audition. The training he needed was so intense that Uggie left his humans and moved in with his trainer to get the job done.

Teaching a dog how to paint isn’t really all that difficult, especially when comparing it to playing dead. Of course this depends on how you want Picasso to paint. If you want him to paint with a paintbrush in his mouth, you will have to teach him how to hold the paintbrush and how to dip it into paint. The way to do this is through repetition. You have to place the paintbrush in Picasso’s mouth, move it to the paint and then onto the canvas. The easier alternative is to place thick socks on Picasso’s two front paws. Have him walk into some paint and then walk around the canvas. You can even teach him to drag his paws to make lines.

Dogs who sing, well, that is just plain old silly. Many dogs will howl and make noise when a song is played. If you play the song enough, the dog will start to pick up on the melody of the music and over time, his howling and noise will start to sync up to the music. There really isn’t anything else to this masterful display of ‘talent’.

When Talent and Natural Instinct Meet
There are some dogs who have ‘talents’ that fall in line with their natural instincts. Sasha, a Labrador mix competed in a talent show by leaping over a moving obstacle. Sure, it was cute, but that wasn’t really talent. Sasha’s natural instinct is to jump over obstacles. Dogs who are roaming the wild have to jump over obstacles frequently to avoid getting injured while on the move.

Using Your Dog’s Talent for Good
There are two upsides to teaching your dog a talent. The first is that using his talent gives your dog a purpose. Dogs like to stay busy and they like attention. As long as you are showing Pascal your approval when he performs, he will be glad to do so and will enjoy showing off. If you keep praising him, Pascal will do it over and over again.

The second way to use Pascal’s talent for good is to train him to be obedient so that he can be a Canine Good Citizen. When he becomes a Canine Good Citizen, he can participate in programs in your area to help people benefit from his love. He may be able to go to nursing homes, hospitals or hospice as part of a companion therapy program or he may be able to work with organizations as part of an effort to show that not all dogs are wild or mean. If this interests you, simply Google Canine Good Citizen and see how you can Pacsal involved. Now that’s putting a talent to good use!

Ivan’s Puppies has been breeding and training puppies for over 30 years. Our hard work has been paying off, as now we are proud to be breeding Bulldog litters with excellent quality, with little to no health problems and good temperaments. For English Bulldog Puppies, visit our website at http://www.BulldogsNewYork.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ron_Ayalon

Randa

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Feb 19, 2012 | 0 | Dog tricks, Understanding Your Dog

Allowing A New Pet To Get Used To Its Owner

By Leah Williams

Going to a pet store to purchase a pet is something that should only be done with a great deal of research in advance.

Anyone looking to purchase a new pet should first ask himself or herself if it is really the right thing to do. A pet should not simply be purchased based on the way it looks. Yes, there are numerous great looking dogs, cats, hamsters or rabbits in a pet store, but purchasing one without knowing anything about it is a mistake.

Prospective owners need to know how large a pet grows after it reaches maturity, what accessories it needs, how much food costs, and more. Even a small hamster requires much more than a hamster cage, and even reptiles need more than vivariums in which to live.

After purchasing a pet, finding accessories and purchasing them from a regular pet shop or from an online pet shop is not a problem.

Arriving home with their pet is usually the moment when new pet owners realise if they have made a mistake or not. It is the first couple of days that are the most important time, as these are the days when a connection between pet and owner is formed.

The pet, regardless of its type, starts to understand that there is nothing to fear from the owner, and that he or she is also feeding and caring for it, while the owner starts to understand exactly what his or her new pet is like and what it likes doing.

This accommodation period, as it is called, can last much more than a couple of days though. Suspicious pets such as hamsters and rabbits will require much more time with their new owner to get to know him or her. This can take as long as six months, and this is a period in which there will be little to no contact between pet and owner, except for the regular feeding.

Dogs and cats have a much smaller accommodation period, and it is not unusual for cats to start bonding with their new owner after only a day. Dogs can do the same, but there will be a difficult period with puppies crying after their mother at night. New pet owners will sometimes feel scared, especially if they spot something wrong with their pet. Panic is the first reaction, but that should be avoided, as it does not help the owner or the pet.

A trip to the local vet is mandatory after getting the pet, and whenever a problem is spotted or suspected. Only the vet can tell for sure if the pet is actually ill, or simply sad and depressed. Pet owners who do not spend a lot of time with their new pet may discover exactly how much this hurts it, as depression sets in and causes the pet to become lethargic.

Pet owners may think that buying a lot of toys for their new pet is enough to keep it occupied and that it will not notice the large amount of time it spends alone. This is not true, and all pets will notice it, but each will react differently. Cats may be pleased to be left alone for long periods of time, as they will simply sleep or watch out the window, but dogs on the other hand will severely dislike being left all alone for longer periods of time, and will either start barking or will start breaking and chewing things in the house.

Toys purchased from an online pet shop may keep a pet happy for a short period of time, but what keeps it happy for long periods of time is constant interaction with its owner. A pet needs to play with its owner regularly, and feel cared for and loved. Even a small hamster, locked in its hamster cage will be happy to see its owner, not only because it knows it is feeding time, but also because he is hoping for a pat or to be left outside to wander a little. Reptiles in vivariums will likewise be happy to see their owner, but this is generally strictly because they know it is feeding time, and not because they are keen on too much interaction.

Leah Williams writes articles for Supapet, an online pet shop offering an extensive range of pet food, accessories, healthcare treatments and more, suitable for animals of all types and sizes. When it comes to reptiles, Supapet have a variety of different vivariums for both climbing and terrestrial lizards, as well as a selection of terrariums. Supapet also caters for traditional childrens pets, including goldfish tanks, guinea pig hutches and a wide hamster cage range.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leah_Williams

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Feb 18, 2012 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

How To Share Custody Of Your Apartment Pet

By Andrew Reichek

Trying to share custody of a pet during the middle of a divorce, separation, or breakup can certainly add to the stress of the situation. However, it doesn’t have to be another problem that remains unsolved. Sharing a pet has become more commonplace among those whom are in the middle of splitting up.

Although you may have purchased your pet and have taken care of it more than the other person in the relationship, the law may view it differently. Read on to find out how both of you might want to share your bet so you don’t have to get the law involved and spend more money on attorneys fees.

The Law and Pet Custody

Many lawyers suggest that one efficient method is to sit down and work on agreement between both of you. Try and work out a visitation schedule and who will have the pet the majority of the time. Try to keep your pet out of the divorce process. The law won’t see sharing a pet the same way as it views your kids. Remember that child custody laws are different for live human beings.

Pets may be regarded as personal property. That means that someone will be awarded the pet. The other party will not have any rights and may never see the pet again. It’s very possible the court will not dictate shared custody.

How To Share Custody of A Pet In Your Apartment

The first step is making sure that all parties in the process are ok with some sort of shared custody. Remember that your pet is a living creature. Here are some topics you will want to consider.

*What partner has the most space and the right kind of space for the pet?
*Who has the most money to care for the pet. Food and veterinarian visits can surely add up.
*Who has taken care of the pet the majority of time in the past?
*Did someone have ownership of the pet before the relationship began?
*Who has the most free time to care for the pet?

Some of the more successful arrangements include one person getting the pet during the week and the other on the weekends. Also how will you give the pet to the other person? Will you drop it off at their home or will both of you meet somewhere else where you can exchange the pet.

This will be an emotional time. Everyone needs to keep the interest of the pet above each other.

Looking to get great deals on apartments in the Woodlands and Spring apartments.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Reichek

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Feb 15, 2012 | 0 | Tips, Uncategorized

4 Enjoyable Activities You Can Do With Chuckit! Balls

By Eva Edwards

Sometimes it can be a drag coming up with ideas on how to spend time with your dog and his Chuckit! balls. We all want to bring out the most of playing with our dogs, especially for a more relaxing and enjoyable outdoor or indoor pet games to relieve stress from a long week’s work at the office. Even if it’s just a short time walking in the park, barbecuing in the back yard, or relaxing after dinner on the porch, pet enthusiasts always find valuable time for their dogs.

I will share with you some enjoyable activities that I normally do with my pets’ Chuckit! balls. It would be best to have all the various types, since each of them have their own distinctive functions. Another thing, if it’s more outdoor plays, then do not stay in one location each day you go out with your dog. Make sure the same activity has a different location than the previous time. This will give the dog a more knowledgeable idea to different environments he lives in. Most of all, these activities you can do at any moment of your spare time.

The following are my favorite various activities for each particular ball:

  • Swimming

This is the activity that involves a lot of work out, training discipline, and endurance for both the dog and the owner. This definitely teaches your dog how to swim for exercise and survival purposes. You can have this activity anywhere where there is water around deep and safe enough for him to swim.

  • Play fetch at night

One of my favorite past time after dinner, when I would just sit outside on the porch and enjoy the beauty of my front yard, is play fetch with my dog. Chuckit’s Max Glow ball definitely offers an easier way to fetch ball during nighttime. Toss this out into the front yard, and your dog would just go for the fetch. If the glow runs out, you can just simply leave it under a bright and you can go play fetching again.

  • Play fetch with whistling balls

If you are having trouble trying to get your dog to play fetch, then try throwing a couple of dogs balls that make funny whistling sounds as they go off the air. They normally find the sounds very unusual and would catch their very attention.

Chuckit! has a very decent product called The Whistler Ball. This is made of natural rubber and definitely will have every pup fetching for it once it starts whistling.

  • Colorful fetch

Bring in the gang of adorable dog balls each with different bright colors. Toss them all simultaneously in every direction and this will keep your dog busy chasing one after another for a fair amount of time. For better interactive activities throw each in different directions in a park, and watch your dog exert its effort in finding them.

Chuckit! has them in small sizes and comes in two pieces with different bright colors. They are environmentally friendly and made of recycled rubbers and are called Chuckit! Rebounced ball.

Basically these activities can provide fun and exciting interaction especially for dogs. This is mainly because they involve interesting products that keep them entertained the whole time.

Eva Edwards is a writer who specializes in dog toys and dog play. You can check out her website at http://DogBalls.org, where she provides a review on a range of dog balls, like Chuckit Balls and much more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eva_Edwards

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Feb 14, 2012 | 0 | Dog toys

Dog Pancreatitis

By Sonia Manning

Dog pancreatitis can either be acute or chronic, and both varieties can be mild or severe. Although there are a few different causes for it, sometimes it is idiopathic so no solid causation factor is able to be found. While treatment is available, it is certainly not cut-and-dry. It needs to be tailored to each dog, depending on severity, cause (if known), age, and weight in order for it to be effective.

What the Pancreas Does

The pancreas is located underneath the intestine and stomach. It is a glandular organ that has two very important functions. These include:

  • Endocrine – Produce hormones, especially insulin, which is responsible for facilitating the storage and usage of proteins (amino acids) and sugar (glucose).
  • Exocrine – Produce essential enzymes that are needed to properly digest consumed food.

When dog pancreatitis occurs, the pancreas becomes inflamed. This in turn results in a dangerous leakage of digestive enzymes, which means that digestion is starting to take place on the pancreas itself. The condition can come on very slowly over an extended period of time, or it can be acute, which means that it comes on suddenly, out of nowhere. Both forms are life-threatening.

Causes of Pancreatitis

In most cases, an exact cause is unknown, but there is a long list of things that can contribute to the condition. Just a few of the most common causes include:

  • Canine obesity
  • Contaminated water or food, especially common in outside dogs
  • Diet rich in fat
  • High fat content in the dog’s blood
  • Drugs and toxins, such as antibiotics, insecticides and diuretics
  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cushing’s disease

Although all dogs are at risk, middle age to older canines, especially those that are obese, are most susceptible. Females have a higher occurrence than males as well.

Signs and Symptoms

Learning the early warning signs might just save your dog’s life. Keep in mind that symptoms vary from one animal to the next. While one dog may be more obvious, showing several symptoms, another may only show one.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Low body temperature or fever
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Dehydration

Diagnosis

If you suspect that your dog may have pancreatitis, you need to seek treatment right away. The vet will ask a lot of questions about the history of your dog, such as diet, where their food is kept, if they live outside, get into the garbage, etc. It is important that you answer all questions truthfully for a proper diagnosis.

They will also do blood tests, check pancreatic enzyme levels, do a physical exam and some may order a radiogram to rule out the possibility of a foreign object in the intestines.

Treatment

Dehydration is almost inevitable with dog pancreatitis so an IV is usually needed in early stages of treatment to monitor and maintain fluid levels and manage pain. Usually no food or water will be given by mouth for several days so the gastrointestinal system and pancreas can rest and heal.

At this point, a high-fiber, low-fat diet will typically be required. The vet may recommend specific supplements as well.

About this Author

Do you know what causes dog vomiting and when to worry about it? Find out about other dog health problems at Dog Health Conditions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sonia_Manning

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Feb 12, 2012 | 0 | Dog health

Your Dog Doesn’t Like Bathing/Grooming?

By Terry Vaught

Some dogs do not like to be bathed, brushed, combed, have their nails trimmed or grooming.

This almost always has to do with the way they were raised and how they were introduced to a bath, brush, comb, nail trimming or grooming.

An exception to this might be a dog with physical problems, where grooming causes some kind of physical discomfort.

The bad news is this can be a big problem.

A dog that can’t be brushed or groomed because they are so unruly, with barking, biting and overall struggling, is going to develop problems. You won’t be able to trim their nails easily so you will more often than not let it go. The nails will get too long and can even curl around and start growing back into the leg. They can cause the toes to splay, resulting in flat feet and back problems. Walking can become painful because the nails are so long and of course they will easily scratch you. This also increases the risk of a nail getting caught on something and ripping off which may need vet care.

If you can’t comb or brush your dog they will get mats in their hair. These mats also become irritating to the dog which would feel like continuously having your hair pulled. You also cannot bathe the dog because when they get wet it will tighten the mats and become painful for the dog which also makes it much more difficult for the mats to be removed. When this happens you will need to go to a groomer and get the dog de-matted and this can be time-consuming for a groomer and costly for the customer. In many cases the only thing a groomer can do is shave the dog entirely.

The good news is, you can train your dog to accept being groomed, combed or brushed and have its nails trimmed without struggling.

At the earliest age possible introduce your little friend to these items:

- Comb and brush

- Nail clippers or a dremmel

- Electric clippers. If you don’t have professional clippers and don’t plan to use them to groom, you can use an electric shaver.

- A bottle of shampoo

The purpose at this stage is to just get your dog used to them, not actually groom them.

Again, at the earliest age possible, take each foot and gently massage it. You want your dog to allow you to touch and hold his feet without a reaction.

Look in his ears and mouth also so he can get used to someone doing that.

If you have an older dog who is difficult follow the same procedures as if it were a puppy.

At first, just let them smell and get used to what these tools are, but do not ever let them bite these tools.

A dog’s strongest sense is smell. Hold the tools out for your dog to sniff them then place them against the dog so he can feel them.

Turn on the clippers or razor and just let them feel the vibration of it and get used to the sound.

Continue doing this exercise until your dog accepts the tools and products as nothing special and is not bothered by the sound of the clippers or the feel of the vibration.

Also continue touching/holding each foot to keep him used to having them touched and held.

Next, you will start to use the tools on your puppy but before you do take him for a nice long walk. A tired dog will be more relaxed and easier to work on.

Now, just start with the basics. Get a brush or comb while he is sitting or lying down and just sit with him, gently pet him. This isn’t playtime, its time to be relaxed, so do not show any excitement. When he is calm, slowly brush or comb him. If he starts to bite at the brush or struggle, stop, wait a few moments and try again. If it is a difficult dog don’t try to comb him from head to tail. Instead just pick a smooth part of the body and brush there. As long as your dog is ok with what you are doing keep going. You should try to do it everyday in the beginning and you may need to do this for a few days or a week depending on how often you do it. Reward him when he is good.

You can also just let your grooming tools/products stay near him if he is just laying quietly somewhere so he learns that seeing them doesn’t mean anything is going to happen but never allow him to play with or chew on them.

Gradually increase the amount of time you spend combing him but always do it gently and slowly. Try trimming a toenail and if that goes well do another.

A note about nail trimming. We prefer to use a dremmel, the kind you can get at Home Depot. This allows you to get the nails shorter and you can round them off so they are nice and smooth.

Do not yell at him if he doesn’t get it right away. You need to be calm. When you do an exercise always end on a positive note and be sure you don’t stop this exercise when he is acting up or struggling or you will reinforce in him that acting up gets you to stop.

If you do these things often and calmly you CAN get him to enjoy being groomed and the professional groomers will really appreciate this and have a much easier time. If he is running away put a leash on him before you get any grooming tools to practice these exercises.

How is he when you bathe him?

If that’s a problem follow the same kind of steps and remember don’t yell at him.

Some dogs like to bite at water from a hose which makes it very difficult to give them a bath.

To stop this behavior first introduce your dog to a hose with the water off.

Note: it will probably be mush easier to do this training with your dog on a leash.

Move the hose around, hold it against him and just let him get used to it. Don’t let him get excited or bite at it.

Next, turn the water on and let it run out of the hose with the hose on the ground. Don’t let him play with it or go after the water. When he is to a point where he ignores this, pick up the hose and spray water. If he shows excitement and bites at it stop and correct him. You don’t need to strike or hit your dog, just a firm “no” (that means firm, not loud).

Continue this exercise until your dog is no longer interested in biting the water or water coming out of the hose.

When you get to the point where your dog will ignore water from a hose, while he is on a leash go (for better control) go ahead and spray him with it. He should stand calmly while you do this. Correct him if he bites at the water. If he doesn’t you are moving too fast so go back to the previous exercises until he is more relaxed with water coming out of the hose.

If your dog is afraid of the water from a hose or Fawcett, introduce it to him slowly and gently for short periods of time. Gradually increase the time as he gets used to it and remains calm.

When your dog is good or when you finish an exercise, reward him with a treat.

Don’t forget to exercise him before you start, he will be more relaxed. A walk is better than running around as a high energy session will get his adrenaline going.

This will work but you need to do it often and be calm and consistent.

A long-haired dog will likely need combing once a day. Mats and tangled hair can form very quickly on long-haired breeds so be thorough and comb everywhere including the chest and underarms, the tail and around the butt.

With a long-haired breed you should use a comb, not a brush. The soft bristles of a brush won’t get down to the skin to separate the hair and will just smooth the top. The teeth of a comb will reach down to the skin and when you comb it will pull out the loose hair in the undercoat as well as separate the hair to prevent tangles and mats. Combing often will also alert you to any bugs like fleas or ticks, will help you to quickly identify any skin conditions before they get bad, and keep your dog cleaner.

A well-groomed dog will feel better, look better and keep your house cleaner.

Most all dogs will come to enjoy this time you spend together and it can be a relaxing experience that your dog will enjoy and further strengthen the bond between you. It will also be one more thing that will help to reinforce that you are the leader.

Terry and Debbie are the owners of http://www.partofthefamilykennels.com. This is a pet boarding kennel and grooming business serving the Tampa, FL area. We have extensive experience in pet care, breeding and showing dogs. If you are going to be in the Tampa area and need a kennel or grooming service please contact us.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Terry_Vaught

Randa

P.S. Don’t forget to visit us at dogs and cats

And you can follow us on twitter too

Feb 09, 2012 | 0 | Dog grooming