Winter Walk and Dog Safety – What You Need to Know

For most dogs and their owners, daily walks are one of the biggest perks of the special dog/human relationship. However, when the fall chill turns into serious winter weather, daily walks can turn into an unpleasant chore. It’s never a good idea to mess with your dog’s routine. If your pup is consistently missing out on their daily exercise, they can react with destructive or hyperactive behavior or could experience symptoms of depression or loss of appetite.

So what do you do when your dog desperately needs outside time to release some pent-up energy, but you’re facing subzero temperatures or blizzard conditions?

With a little prior preparation, you can keep yourself and your dog safe and comfortable during winter walks. Read on to find out the most important factors to consider when embarking on a winter walk with your dog. Also, you’ll learn about winter precautions every pet parent should remember.

Look for the Signs of A Cold Dog

Before we look at ways of keeping your pet safe and comfortable for a winter walk, it’s important that you learn to recognize the signs of a cold dog. Just like humans, some pups handle colder weather better than others. You need to understand the behaviors your dog might exhibit if they’re trying to let you know that they’re still feeling too cold.

Shivering

The most obvious sign of a cold dog, if your dog is shivering uncontrollably. This clear message helps you determine what further actions need to be taken. That may mean you need doggie boots or a warmer jacket, abandon the walk for that day until you can get the products that you need.

Body language

A cold dog could appear hunched over, with its tail tucked under and shoulders braced. A consistently closed mouth is another sign that your dog is trying to conserve their body heat.

Paw messages

Your pet may be holding their paws off the ground for short periods and alternating from one paw to another. This could mean the ground is too icy for your dog to be comfortable walking.

Slowing down

If your dog is walking or running much slower than usual in cold weather, that’s a sure sign that they’re struggling.

Heading home. Pulling back towards home shortly after you’ve left for your walk is a sign that your dog isn’t comfortable and wants to return back to the warmth. Similarly, if your dog is pulling towards the side of cars, buildings, fences, or other wind barriers, you know they’re attempting to seek shelter.

Staying Warm and Dry

Just as you bundle up before heading outdoors in cold weather, it’s essential to give your dog similar levels of protection. Sure, some doggos have a thick fur coat that allows a degree of natural defense against winter weather. It is unreasonable to expect that a dog can spend all day snug and warm inside a climate-controlled home and then feel comfortable outside in the ice and snow with just their coat for protection. Puppies, older dogs, and medically frail dogs, in particular, will need to stay warm and dry when outdoors.

An icy winter walk will require a coat or jacket for your dog: preferably one that is waterproof. The specific type you choose will largely depend on the size and breed of your dog and how used they are to wearing clothes. Experiment with a few different styles to see which best suits your dog and is most comfortable for them.

Paw Protection

You wouldn’t go for a walk outdoors with bare feet, so you shouldn’t expect that your dog will be comfortable doing so either. If your dog is happy to wear boots, they are a must-have for winter walks. Not only will boots protect your dog’s sensitive paws from ice and snow, but provide adequate protection from salt and ice melts that may not be dog-friendly as well.

Unfortunately, some dogs just can’t get comfortable with the idea of having boots on their feet. For those dogs, there are a variety of waxy creams that you can rub onto the sensitive pads on the bottom of your dog’s paws to protect them from snow, ice, and salt. This method, while effective, can be messy because you’ll need to wash your dog’s paws in warm water at the end of the walk. Otherwise, they’ll be tracking wax throughout your house, but at least it’s an alternative solution for dogs who can’t stand the idea of boots.

Gloves and Leash: Your Connection to Your Dog

You don’t need us telling you how to dress for cold weather, but we will mention the importance of good gloves when walking your dog. Your gloves and leash combination are your connection to your dog. You need to wear high-quality gloves with a good grip to ensure that you don’t inadvertently lose hold of the leash. Mittens may keep you snugly warm, but they’re not much use if your dog starts pulling. The mittens also won’t work at all if you need to drag them away from a potential hazard.

On that note, choose a good quality leash at all times, but particularly in wet or cold weather. A solid leash rather than a retractable alternative is a better choice when conditions are slick. If you’re concerned that you may not adequately be able to hold on to the leash, look into a jogger’s leash. They stay affixed to your waist, leaving you hands-free. This set up is particularly useful if you need to hold a flashlight, or just to keep your hands free in case you trip and fall.

Night Safety

After-work or evening walks may usually occur in full sunshine. Nevertheless, once the winter months are in full swing, you may find that you’re heading out for a walk in the dark. Adding darkness to the winter chill creates a new level of safety concerns around visibility and the potential for you or your dog to run into a hazard.

First, make sure you and your pet are visible to passing cars. Reflective strips on your dog’s collar and coat are a must have. Otherwise, you could upgrade to LED lights or safety light. Keep yourself safe in the same way, with reflective strips on your shoes or your coat. At the very least, wearing white or other brightly-colored accessories will keep you visible for other people.

Next, keep the both of you safe from dangers like low-lying fences, potholes, and trip hazards by bringing a flashlight with you or confining your route to brightly lit areas.

Wrap Up

Which of the above tips will you implement on your next winter walk? What other tips can you share with fellow dog enthusiasts to help keep our companions safe and comfortable on a winter walk? Comment below, and please share this article to spread the message about winter walks and dog safety.

About the Author
James Woller is a long-time dog enthusiast and owner of Release the Hounds, a professional dog walking and boarding company in Vancouver, Canada. On his days off from running his company, he enjoys learning and writing about topics that are of interest to caring pet owners.

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How to Take Care Of Your Bunny

The right way to care for your pet rabbit

Everyone loves bunnies because they are soft, fluffy, cute, cuddly and super friendly! Sadly, these intelligent, little animals are often purchased on a whim. Many people don’t realize the responsibilities that go with caring for these cute little furballs. So, when they get tired of the chores associated with pet rabbit care, they end up abandoning their pet rabbits either in the street or in shelters.

Caring for your pet rabbit doesn’t have to be a tedious task if you know how to do it right. Here’s a pet rabbit care guide that will help you get the most enjoyment out of your everyday pet rabbit care.

Things to Know Before You Bring Home a Pet Rabbit

Before you get a pet rabbit, the first question to ask yourself is, “Am I ready for a pet rabbit?” They have a long lifespan (approx. 10 years) so bring them home only if you are prepared to take on their responsibility, long term. Rabbits are beautiful creatures, brimming with personalities but owning them is not all huggles and snuggles. They have some quirks you should know about:

Bunnies chew through everything. From computer cables to smartphones to slightly frayed rugs, they’ll find a way to chew through it. So, if you’re thinking of giving your pet free reign in the house, make sure it’s bunny proof!

They poop a lot. Bunnies can leave trails of round pebble-sized droppings in their wake but, it’s not messy. And they also eat their own poop. Thankfully, just like cats, rabbits can be litter trained.

Similar to dogs, these little furballs like to mark their territory. To avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to get your pet spayed/neutered.

Rabbits get bored easily. If rabbits are not mentally stimulated, they’ll make their own fun chewing your possessions. To avoid this issue, you can provide them with a cardboard box filled with bunny toys, empty toilet paper rolls, and other paper products that you no longer need. Later on this article, we’ll discuss more fun DIY activities for your bunnies.

Rabbits don’t like to travel. This is because they get stressed out in unfamiliar environments. It’s best to have a good pet sitter at home when you are away.

Bunnies are gregarious animals. They love to stay in groups and feel lonely in the absence of other rabbits. So, it’s always good to adopt 2 compatible furry pals instead of one.

Rabbits may be a handful at times, but they can make delightful pets if given a little love and care. So, if you are ready to take the next step, here are some tips you need to know to keep your rabbits healthy, happy and comfortable always:

Preparing Your Home for a Bunny

While most people love to keep their bunnies indoors, they are more than happy being kept outdoors. If they are kept in a safe and secure hutch, your rabbit can call it home.

Here are some important things to keep in mind if you wish to keep your bunnies outdoors:

  • The hutch should be spacious and built from sturdy and good quality weather resistant timber.
  • To make the hutch safe and secure it should be fitted with a fixed galvanized wire mesh, locks, sliding bolts and padlocks.
  • Their home should be in a protected area where they will feel comfortable retreating to. Make sure to place comfortable bunny bedding for your little ball of fur. You can even use a layer of newspaper, with straw, hay or shredded paper on top to keep your bunny comfortable.

If you want to let your bunny roam around the house, here are some tips to make your house “bunny-proof”:

  • Rabbits love to chew, so make sure you cover all the wires and chords with flexible tubing.
  • Use a baby gate to keep your bunnies confined in a safe area in your house.
  • Keep all the houseplants out of your bunny’s reach because some may be poisonous to your furball.

Make sure to empty your bunny’s litter box every day and clean their crate once a week.

Feeding Your Bunnies

A healthy and nutritious diet is important to ensure your bunny is in good health. Vegetables, fresh grass, and hay should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet. You can also feed your bunnies commercial rabbit pellets. However, be careful with them because they contain a high in calorie count, so it’s better to stick to a home-made diet. You can buy hay from local feed or pet stores. Make sure to refresh the hay often in order to avoid unwanted parasites and infection.

2-4 cups of varied veggies should be provided to your rabbits daily. Here are some vegetables rabbits absolutely love:

  • Carrots
  • Turnip Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale

As a rabbit’s digestive system is very sensitive, here are some food items to absolutely avoid:

  • Biscuits
  • Chocolates
  • Crackers
  • Milk
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • Pasta

Grooming Your Bunnies

Rabbits are wonderfully clean and hygienic animals, who groom themselves to perfection. Yet some grooming is required to keep them in good shape. Here is what you need to do:

  • Wipe their ears: Use a soft cloth to gently clean your bun’s ears. If you notice wax or debris, get it cleaned by a vet.
  • Brush their fur: Regular brushing is important to keep your bunny’s fur soft and shiny.
  • Trim their nails: Rabbits’ nails grow continuously so it’s important to trim them with the help of nail clippers.
  • Clean their scent glands: Rabbits have scent glands near their anus that need to be regularly cleaned. If you notice your bunny scooting its bottom on the ground, or if you notice a foul odor, clean the area with a damp cotton swab.
  • Never bathe your rabbit unless necessary: Immersing your rabbit in water may cause him to get upset. So, do not bathe your rabbits. However, if you notice your rabbit with a ‘poopy butt’, you need to clean its genitals and hind quarters.

Training Your Business and Understanding Their Behavior

Just like cats and dogs, rabbits are quite trainable. It may take some time and patience, but it’s totally worth it. Training your pet rabbit and understanding their behavior is a wonderful bonding experience. This helps you understand them better and appreciate their uniqueness. Training your pet includes – litter training and redirecting their natural behaviors like chewing and digging.

Keeping Your Bunnies Mentally Stimulated

As discussed earlier, rabbits tend to get bored very easily. To keep them stimulated and happy, you can make some inexpensive toys at home. Here are some fun ideas to keep your bunnies mentally stimulated:

Cardboard boxes with door holes, where they can play hide and seek with their friends.

You can use an old deep tub and fill it with soil for them to dig in.

You can hide treats in their hay.

The best way to keep your bunny happy is to get them a friend. 2 rabbits are always better as they can keep each other company. Your bunnies can groom each other and flop on the floor next to each other. Awww!!

Spaying and Neutering Your Rabbits

Rabbits are one of the fastest breeding animals and their desire to mate can be really strong. So, unless of course, you want a house full of cute little bunnies, it is important to get your pet rabbits spayed or neutered. It also keeps unwanted behavior at bay, like marking their territory. Additionally, it increases their lifespan and helps avoid many diseases. So, get your bunnies spayed/neutered as soon as they reach the right age.

Signs That Your Bunny Needs To Be Seen By A Vet

It is very important to understand your bunny’s body language in order to detect any problems early. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Their eyes: Your bunny’s eyes should be bright and clear.
  • Teeth: Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously. If you notice your bunny’s teeth long enough to cover its bottom teeth, take your pet to a vet for evaluation. It’s possible that he/she’s not grinding them down enough.
  • Look through their fur: Your bunny’s fur should not be matted. If you notice matted fur, dandruff or lumps on your bunny’s body, it means a visit to the vet is in order.
  • Check their stool: If your bunny has loose feces or not passing stool at all, call the vet immediately.
  • Keep their activity level in check: Your bunny should be active and fairly friendly. If you notice any behavioral changes, call the vet.
  • Signs of illness in rabbits: Cloudy eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, lethargy, and abnormal stools should never be ignored. Also, if your rabbit is tilting its head to one side, it could indicate a dysfunction of its nervous system, which is a serious issue.

Wrap Up

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of getting a cute, fluffy pet rabbit. Knowing how to care for your pet properly is the key to enjoying their wonderful companionship for years.

About the Author
Anoop Nain is a proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer/blogger and an educationist, with more than 6 years experience in the field of content writing.

 

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9 Signs Your Pet Is At Risk for Diabetes

Teddy, my beloved dog, gained a few pounds within a year and became a little … well, fluffy! Because he’s always had a healthy appetite, I didn’t pay too much attention to the extra weight. Lately, I have noticed that it seems like he wants lots of foods. He wants breakfast, second breakfast, pre-lunch, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, and even midnight snacks! Even though this behavior seemed odd, I didn’t put much thought into it. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed that he started to lose weight even though he was eating almost 6/7 times a day. His water intake was a lot more than usual and he urinated frequently. He seemed sleepy and less playful.

What’s wrong with my Teddy? Feeling tense, I contacted my vet ASAP.

Once the doctor learned of all his symptoms, he notified me that Teddy is suffering from diabetes! I thought diabetes is just a human disease. There is no chance that a pet may fall for this deadly disease.

What is Diabetes?

Basically, diabetes is a disease of the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing a sufficient amount of hormone known as Insulin. The insulin pushes the Glucose (one kind of sugar) into the cells through the bloodstream.

The problem occurs when the insulin level becomes impaired. The cells starve and glucose builds up in the blood. If this situation remains untreated, it leads to life-threatening disease, diabetes.

Diabetes may occur in dogs in 2 different forms. They are:

Insulin-resistance diabetes

It may happen that your dog is producing some insulin but cannot utilize the insulins properly. The cells might not respond to the insulin “message”. That’s why the glucose cannot be pulled out from the blood. This type of diabetes is known as Insulin-resistance diabetes. The obese and older canines have a higher possibility of obtaining this type.

Insulin-deficiency diabetes

Insulin-Deficiency diabetes will occur when your dog’s body fails to produce enough insulin. It happens only if Fido’s pancreas is damaged or not functioning properly. It is the most common type of diabetes among dogs. If your pup is affected with this type of diabetes, they need daily shots of insulin to replace what their body can’t produce.

How common is Pet Diabetes?

According to a 2015 Nationwide Insurance report created from a review of pet insurance claims, diabetes is the 6th most common obesity-related condition in dogs and 3rd most common in dogs.
Research shows that diabetes mellitus affects approximately one in every 300 dogs. Another statistics show that one in every 200 cats is diagnosed with diabetes. Really shocking!

What Makes a Pet More At Risk For Diabetes?

So, do you ever think what can make a pet at risk for diabetes? Well, there are plenty of reasons. Some important ones are listed below –

Age

Diabetes may occur at any age. But if your pooch is anywhere from 4 to 14 years old, they have a higher possibility to develop this disease.

Chronic or repeated pancreatitis

The inflammation of the pancreas can cause excessive damage to the pancreas. Thus, it will affect the production of insulin. As a result, this dog will end up with diabetes.

Gender

Unspayed female dogs are twice more likely than unneutered males to have diabetes. However, female dogs can produce some temporary insulin while they are in heat or pregnant. Statistics show that 30% of dogs with diabetes are male and 70% are female.

Obesity

Pudgy dogs have a huge possibility to end up with diabetes. Obesity causes insulin resistance and it leads to diabetes. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that approximately 59% of cats and 54% of dogs are overweight. So, it’s high time to control that extra fat on your pet’s body.

Steroid medicine

If your pet uses steroid medicine for a long time, he may face diabetes. Furthermore, these medicines make your pet a little plump too.

Cushing disease

If your feline or canine is suffering from Cushing’s disease, they overproduce steroids internally. These overproduced steroids lead your dog to diabetes.

Genetics

Genetics play a vital role to increase or decrease the risk of diabetes. A 2003 study reports that both purebred and mixed breeds have the equal possibility to get affected with diabetes. However, there are a few breeds that have a higher risk of diabetes.

Which Breeds Are More At Risk?

Professors Edward Feldman and Richard Nelson list the most common breeds at risk for diabetes in their novel, Canine and Feline Endocrinology & Reproduction. These breeds include:

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Pomeranians
  • Keeshond
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Terriers
  • Samoyeds
  • Dachshunds
  • Springer Spaniels
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Cairn and Australian Terriers
  • Toy Poodles
  • German Shepherds

If your pet is one of these breeds, there is a higher possibility of getting affected by diabetes.

What Are The Signs Of Diabetes In Pets?

Just like the other diseases, it’s important to be aware of certain symptoms:

Constantly Hungry

Just like my Teddy, your pet also seems very hungry all the time. A year ago, Teddy ate only thrice a day. But, nowadays he eats almost 5 to 6 times in a single day. Sometimes, he wakes up at midnight and starts searching for food. If your pet is suffering from diabetes, you will notice this same symptom on your pet.

Excessive Thirst

Your pet will feel very thirsty always. He will drink noticeably more water than usual.

Weight Loss

Most pet owners aren’t conscious of their pets’ weight. But it is your responsibility as a pet owner to continuously check their weight. If it seems like your pup is losing weight, contact a vet as soon as possible.

Increased Urination

An increasing level of urination is another major factor of diabetes. Actually, this symptom is considered the primary sign.

Weakness

As a result of the increased amount of urination, your pet may feel very week. I witnessed my Teddy laying down on his bed almost all the time. But, he was very energetic only a couple of months ago. So, if you notice any weakness pup, contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Decreased Appetite

While your pet may experience an increased appetite, the opposite may also happen. Your sick pet may not want to eat anything.

Vision Problems

They may lose their incredible visionary power because of diabetes. If you notice that your pet is having difficulty watching where they’re going, he may be suffering from a serious problem.

They may lose their incredible vision because of diabetes. If you notice that your pet is having difficulty watching where they’re going, he may be suffering from a serious problem. Your pet may get lost because of his sight problems. He might be unable to recognize your house. If this ever happens to your pet, don’t panic! Contact your local pet hospital or support center and you can also post on a pet rescue service like PawMaw as soon as possible. They can send alerts in your area where the pet went missing.

Oily skin, dandruff, or poor condition of the skin

Skin and eye color say a lot about physical fitness. A physically fit pet has soft skin and alert eyes. But a pet with diabetes has oily skin, dandruff on his head, and whiteness on the lens of his eye.

Vomiting and dehydration

It is considered the most dangerous symptoms of a diabetic patient. If you notice your pet looks very week and vomits several times a week, then you should contact your vet without wasting any time.

Along with these symptoms, you may also notice kidney failure, bladder infection, muscle wasting, or even Neuropathies too. Whatever the symptoms, you should visit your veterinarian. They have the best resource to ensure a healthy life for your cat or dog.

The earlier you perform the diagnosis, the better chance your pet may have to a healthier and longer life.

Last Words

Diseases are always unexpected. Further, a dangerous disease like diabetes is nothing but a nightmare. If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, don’t panic. With the appropriate veterinary support, you too can live many more happy years together!

Cure diabetes, live healthily!

About the Author
Lauretta Williams is a web-addicted blogger who works with PawMaw. She loves spending her time listening to music, playing with her pets and writing blogs from her computer.

 

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How Can I Determine My Dog’s Breed

So, you’ve become the proud owner of a new dog or pup…
Congratulations on your new addition!
If you bought your furry friend from a breeder, the parents’ health information and breed specifics are easily available to you.

However, not everyone chooses to buy a full pedigree dog. In fact, many people will choose to adopt a rescue pup instead. The question which springs to mind with a rescue dog is: where he came from and who his ancestors are. You would ask the same questions if you were adopting a child or baby. It’s only natural that you want to know about your dog’s past.

There are some tell-tale things that you can look for which will give you a clue about your new dog’s parentage. These days ‘mixed breed’ dogs are not called ‘mutts’ anymore, as they may have very definite ancestry lines.

Head Shape

There are basically only three types of head shape for a dog, namely short, medium, and long faces.
Brachycephalics are short-faced dogs such as Pugs.

Mesocephalics are the medium length faces that you see on Labradors, Retrievers, and Setters.
Dolichocephalics are dogs with long, pointy faces, such as Whippets, Collies and Greyhounds. These traits are easily recognizable because of their narrow eyes and elongated faces.

Tail Form

These days docking a pup’s tail is no longer acceptable, even banned in some countries. Every once in a while, you may still find a pup with no tail. Breeds with cut tails include Dobermans, Pointers, Spaniels, and Boxers.

A ringtail shape is found on Pugs and Chows mostly.
Labradors and Retrievers have otter style tails because it acts as a rudder as they swim. No wonder they love water so much! Spaniels also fall into this group – try to keep your Spaniel dry in the rain!

Dogs that are running breeds have tails with smooth, short hair. Whippets, Greyhounds, Lurchers all fall into this category.

Eye Shape

Dogs with prominent eyes are better suited for runner and hunter breeds, like Whippets and Lurchers, to help them see all around them. A pup with deep-set eyes comes from less active breeds. Non-hunter type dogs that are more ‘companion’ animals may have fur around or covering their eyes.

Ear Shapes

Sharp and upright ears on are found on Huskies and other kinds of similar nature. Dog types like Basset Hounds have rounded and hanging ears. Cocked or semi-cocked may indicate a parentage of Pit bull breeds, while French Bulldogs have erect ears with a smooth curve.

Coat Types

This may give you the most obvious clue. A mutt can have any of the three different lengths:
short – normally straight and smooth
medium- naturally grows to about an inch
long- can grow to floor length

Medium and long-haired dogs will require daily grooming in a strain of Retrievers, Labradors, Collies, and Spaniels. Tight curls indicate the Poodle family while wavy hair shows Retriever, Spaniel, Labrador, or similar background.
Running dogs have smooth hair or even wire type curls. This makes it easy for them to run, like in the terrier family.
Water dogs have fur that is easily shaken dry, even though it may be long, found in Retrievers and Setters.

Body Type

Weight usually gives you a good insight into your dog’s breed. Once your pup reaches a year old, he’ll be fully developed. Certain specifics in his body such as: short and stocky or tall and long-legged, deep-chested, or muscular and athletic can indicate a lot into what breed your pooch is.

Dogs that come from a running background are lean and agile, while short active dogs may come from a fox chasing ancestry. Swimmers have flatter tails and lithe bodies, while some dogs are simply cuddly and not used to intense work.

Other Aspects to Look Out For

Once you have had a look at all the obvious ways to find out where your pooch has come from you may want to look a little deeper. Behavior patterns are traits that identify specific breeds. Depending on the type, some dogs want to guard you and your family to excess, and others want to sit on your lap and be cuddled.

Short legged dogs are most definitely not sprinters, while dogs with hair that grow over their eyes are not descended from runners and hunters.

Barkers are constantly alert and have ancestry in the Beagles and Terriers family, while guard dogs stem from German Shepherds. Water dogs come from Newfoundlands, Retrievers, Poodles, and Spaniels. Border Collies, Bouviers and Australian Cattle are known as herding dogs. Tracking types originate from Beagles or Pointers. Dogs who prefer packs and have a need for physical activity may be from Huskies.

Take the quiz

If you want to know a little more about where your dog came from and cannot work it out from his body signs, then you may want to opt for a quiz. The quiz has questions which you answer as honestly as you can, and then the results are computed to give you an educated guess at what your dog’s parentage is.

Common breeds such as Doberman and retriever will be easier to identify than other mixed breeds.

Of course, this may not be too accurate, but at least you have the computer giving you it’s an unbiased view about where your dog came from. It’s an easy way and also free. It’s worth giving it a try!

Another good way to give you an idea of your dog’s past is to look at the many pictures of dogs. You then get rid of the obvious ones and stick with the pictures that resemble your pooch. You may never find one exact match for your dog, But, it doesn’t hurt to look for one where the ears look similar or the feet are the same. Once you have a collection of pictures, you can start to narrow them down. Eventually, you’ll be left with a small selection of photos that resemble parts of your dog.

Designer dog breeds are typically a breed of 50/50 split of two chosen breeds. Once you add another mixed breed with one of these, it gets a lot harder to identify what your pup really is. You may only see some of your dog’s traits in pictures.

While it is nice to try to match pictures and see where your pooch comes from, it is not that accurate and leaves a lot down to guess-work.

DNA Tests

One simple way to confirm your dog’s ancestry is to have a DNA test done. You can buy a test kit from most vets and the test is easily carried out. If you choose to go this way, it’s important to keep in mind that, like any test, it may not be 100% accurate and there is always room for error.

Allisson, a writer for our dog blog, recently used a DNA test kit with her friends, to find out what breed their dog is. The results were rather surprising, her pooch, Eddie, wasn’t exactly what breed they thought he was!

Allisson’s friends thought that Eddie was primarily a Siberian Husky. As it turns out, her lovable buddy is only 12.5% Siberian Husky. The other breed groups consisted of American Staffordshire Terrier, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Beagle, and Collie. We never would’ve guessed all those breeds from just from his pictures.

Even though they weren’t “that far” off, Eddie can’t really be pinned down to a single breed. He’s a rather remarkable mix from a variety of breeds.

Wrap Up

Your dog may not come from two pedigreed parents, but instead be of mixed ancestry going back several generations, which may not be obvious at first. Whichever way you choose to find out the ancestry of your pet, the critical part is that you love him with all your heart, no matter where he comes from!

If you really want to know for “sure” check out the DNA kits. Eddie used the Wisdom Panel 3.0.

Thanks for reading and be sure to share your discoveries are in the comments below!

About the Author

My name is Valerie. I am the proud owner of Bentley, who is a Clumberdoodle. That’s a mix of Clumber Spaniel and Standard Poodle. Writing is my passion and writing about dogs gives me a chance to share our experiences with Bentley. I write about him in articles for petsalike.com!

9 Tips for Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Whether you have had dogs your whole life or you are a new pet owner, you have probably become well acquainted with the feelings associated with “puppy eyes.”

The look that your dog gives you when you leave the house is enough to make you feel like a terrible pet owner and bad dog friend. However, being comfortable with leaving your pet at home alone is a necessity for you to attend to your daily needs.

 

This can be a stressful time for them, and they may also get into danger if left unsupervised. Protecting your pet, as well as your home, will allow you to leave the house worry-free.

Start Smart

To ensure that Fido knows that you will always return for them, leave often for shorter amounts of times when first bringing them home. Note any behaviors that you need to address upon your return. If your dog is unhappy, destructive, barking or having other issues, it may be time to consider crate training. Not every dog owner is comfortable crate training their pet. However, if you notice any early indicators that your animal is prone to separation anxiety or destructive behaviors, it may be wise to start crate training at a young age.

Dogs with high amounts of energy, such as cattle dogs and pointers, have a tendency to act out when not exercised regularly. If you know that you cannot get them the proper amount of exercise before heading off to work, crate training may be the best option for both of you. It will keep them safe from any potential items that they may decide to chew or swallow, and it ensures some peace of mind for you throughout your workday.

Food and Water

Timing your dog’s food and water consumption may be important depending on how long you plan to be gone and whether or not they have access to a doggy door. If your fur baby has access outside and is house trained, give them open access to their daily allotment of food and fresh water shouldn’t provide you with any issues. A smaller pet with a small bladder or an animal with frequent urination issues, restricting their access to water will enable you to be gone for longer periods of time without coming home to a puddle to clean up. When using a crate while you are gone, be sure to purchase one that is large enough to hold a water bowl to not overcrowd them while in their crate.

Smart Home, Smart Owner

Home automation technologies are set to expand rapidly over the next few years, giving homeowners much more control over things like security and the thermostat, even when you are away from home. Sensors and cameras in smart homes can also allow you to keep an eye on your dog’s activity throughout the day. If you have been wondering what has been setting off the barking that your neighbors mentioned, this will help you get to the bottom of it.

If you are finding that your dog is having separation anxiety that results in them getting into the garbage or tearing things up, having a camera may help to discover their trigger points and aid in finding some relief for them. Understanding our pets’ behaviors can help us to find solutions to any issues that may arise from them being left home alone.

Hot or Cold

While you may want to adjust the thermostat to save money on heating or cooling costs when you’re out of the home, it’s important to set your indoor temperature to a comfortable range for your dog. Setting your gas fireplace too high in the colder months can result in your pet becoming overheated or dehydrated if left inside for too long. Your pets also run the risk of being too cold if you completely turn off the heat or air conditioning while you’re away. Dogs are well equipped to regulate their own body temperature and comfort levels, but you can offer them additional comfort by setting your thermostat to a moderate setting, depending on the season.

Organization

Your dog may take extra liberties with your furniture when left home alone. It’s important to encourage positive habits and pet-proof your furniture when possible. Gate off certain areas of your house when you are away to prevent your pet from causing harm. Give them routine and a space to play lets them stay comfortable in your absence.

Minimizing the amount of clutter and other objects in your home can free up space for your dog to move around and may help minimize the amount of trouble they could get into when left to their own devices alone with all your belongings.
Try some of the following organizational tips:

Assign an area of the house such as a corner of the living room, reserved just for your dog. Store their toys, treats and dog bed there.
Place furniture, crates or dog beds in front of the windows that they can relax on while enjoying a view of the outdoors.

Keep items that may be mistaken as toys in storage areas or out of reach of your pet.

Consider investing in a thundershirt: the constant pressure on your dog’s chest creates a calming effect in times of stress

Treat Time

Your pet should know that leaving them at home alone is not a punishment. Giving them words of praise before you leave the house can help put them at ease. Some animals fair better with the help of an anxiety blanket or jacket that helps them feel cuddled and nurtured, even when you’re away. If your pet needs something to distract them, try stuffing an indestructible toy, such as a Kong, with nut butter and treats and then freezing the toy. Giving it to your pet when you walk out the door will leave your pet happily at home alone. You can also buy them a puzzle feeding dish that will slow them down and have them playfully work for their meal. Another option is a treat dispenser that is set on a timer that will give them a mid-day treat for being a good dog.

Stimulation

By reassessing their routine walk schedule and exercise habits, your pup’s bad behavior might change. If you typically give your dog a long walk at the end of your workday, it might work better to do morning walks instead. This allows your pup to expel some energy before being left alone for the day. Much like humans, we are more prone to napping and resting once our energy is drained. It may also just be that your pet needs a bit more stimulation. Try opening the blinds to allow them to look outside — this provides mental stimulation that will help pass the time for them until you return.

Get a Dog Walker

If you find that your dog is not getting enough exercise due to your being gone frequently, consider hiring a dog walker. A dog of any age shouldn’t be left at home for more than six hours at a time. Even if your furry friend has access to the outdoors, they could still benefit from the interaction with another human or animal. If you routinely work more than eight hours per day, getting a second pet may settle Fido’s nerves while you’re away. You can test out the waters of bringing home another pet by volunteering to be a foster parent or by taking your animal to meet the other in a neutral area, such as a dog park.

Sound Therapy

It is common practice to turn on music or television for your pet when you are away. This helps your pooch know that they are not alone by hearing other sounds in the house. If you are going to leave music playing, choose a soothing radio station that won’t be upsetting to them. Avoid intense sounds such as heavy metal music — it has varying frequencies that can be irritating to dogs’ sensitive ears. Get to know your dog better by creating a playlist for them and see how they react to it on your doggie cam.

Wrap Up

Not many of us are lucky enough to work from home or be able to bring our pet to work. Initiating routines and procedures when you leave your dog at home alone will ensure the safety and sanity of both you and your pet. Some dogs don’t ever have an issue being left at home alone and are happy with access to fresh water and a doggy door. However, you never know until you try. Start will small amounts of time away and reward them when you get home for any good behavior. Through trial and error, you will learn what works well for you and your animal.

About the Author

Frankie Wallace writes about a wide variety of different topics, from environmental issues to politics. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho.

 

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What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Anxiety

Just as humans struggle with anxiety, your pets can too.

It is important to continue to open the conversation around anxiety and how it can affect a range of species.

Have you ever noticed that your dog starts to shake when around other animals? Or that your cat seems more timid than your neighbors’ friendly felines? Or maybe you’ve noticed a definite change in behavior during car rides with your pet?

These could be the subtle signs your pet is struggling with anxiety. Just as humans can, pets can deal with anxiety on both a daily and situational basis.

Thankfully, there are resources available to help ease both you and your pet’s anxiety, allowing you both to live a happier and stress-free life.

1.Pet anxiety is real and can be life-threatening.

It is imperative for pet owners to understand the severe long-term effects that anxiety can have on our fur-babies. Our pets are part of the family. Your pet’s health affects the health of your family as a whole, so why not treat their illnesses as you’d treat your own.

2. Signs and symptoms to look out for, some more subtle than others.

The first step: diagnosis

You may start to notice your pet acting more shy or afraid when dealing with certain situations, this could be your first sign in realizing that your pet may be having anxiety issues. Be sure to do your resources and educate yourself on the symptoms to look out for in both cats and dogs.

As soon as you start to think your pet is struggling with anxiety, you’ll want to determine what is causing your pet’s behavior to change. Before trying to treat your pets’ unusual behaviors, it is important to look at what the basic issues may be causing your pet to feel stress or fear. Often these issues are anxiety-related. This can be due to their environment, previous owners, or even breed traits. Determining what is causing your pet to be anxious, is a quick way to ensure you are then finding the right resources to help.

3. Prescription medicines may not be the best choice, especially for long-term treatment.

Veterinarians often jump to the conclusion that you should try prescription medication to ease their symptoms. Just as we are often skeptical about putting ourselves on daily medication, we should consider other options for our pets as well. There are tons of natural remedies available over-the-counter and around your home to try before agreeing to put your pet on prescription meds.

4. Try Natural Remedies First

The use of natural remedies such as homeopathy and CBD treatments for pets is growing fast. With concerns surrounding the many side effects and harmful chemicals that can come with prescription medicines is causing pet owners to turn to more natural, safer treatments for their pet’s health. Research continues to show us all the benefits you and your pets will reap once you switch over to all-natural products for your pet care.

5. Increased use of CBD as an alternative treatment for pets (and humans).

 

Natur-Hemp contains natural calming supplements

Although still relatively new, CBD is increasingly being linked to positive, long-term health benefits. These benefits are not exclusive to humans, they can be just as beneficial for your pets.

Anxiety is now the second most common reason for administering CBD to pets, the first being joint pain management.

There are several options for administering CBD oil; topical oils, CBD-infused treats, and pills. Recent studies show a strong link between CBD and pet stress and anxiety management. CBD can even help with other medical needs ranging from joint pain to seizures, to malignant tumor growth management.

6. Compare CBD results and side-effects to traditional medications.

Unlike many prescription drugs, CBD comes with much more mild side-effects that are less harmful to your pet’s health in the long run. With antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pain benefits, CBD treatments have an extensive list of positive results compared to prescription medications that may alter your pet’s personality completely.

7. Other things to consider.

Even after you have incorporated natural treatments for your pet’s anxiety, you may want to try other remedies such as exercise, massages, calming music, and other options. Natural, product-free, solutions can go a long way in helping your pet cope with anxiety.

8. Keep an open mind

Take a similar approach in researching and trying several options to suit your pet’s needs, just as you would for yourself or loved ones. Be sure to check all your sources and only buy from credible businesses.

9. Always discuss options with professionals, get a second opinion.

Make use of specialized vet professionals such as board-certified and behavioral specialists. A lot of confusion and resistance comes from questions regarding the safety and/or legality of CBD. A lot of resistance does come from vets who have perceived ideas of CBD and still link it to more recreational uses like with marijuana.

Studies have found that in most cases, CBD provides a more “holistic” alternative for anxiety treatment compared to more traditional prescription medicines. So although CBD may not be the first recommendation you hear from your vet, remember to consider all of the options available. Even if your vet doesn’t recommend CBD, don’t be afraid to bring it up to them. It may be as simple as opening the door for the conversation, or it may make you realize that you need to utilize other veterinarian resources that are more open-minded to the progression of CBD oil and uses.

10. Be patient

It may take several tries before finding the right dosage and administration technique that works for your pet’s wants and needs.

Continuing the discussion, just as society and media have started to spread awareness and resources for humans struggling with anxiety, pet owners’ needs to start doing the same for their pets.

Many pet owners assume their pets are just having an off day or think their pet has always acted this way so that’s just how they are, and they may think there isn’t much they can do to help.

Sharing this article is one of the first steps to starting the conversation with your family and friends about your own pet concerns or exposing them to new ways of looking at their own pets’ behaviors.

About the Author
KC Zabrycki is a Freelance Writer, dedicated to spreading awareness about positivity, mindfulness, and the importance of mental health. KC believes that with a bit of compassion and understanding, our world can become a better place for future generations. In 2018, KC launched her travel and lifestyle blog, Wonder and Wander, which focuses on cultivating self-love, mindfulness, and positivity through her passion for travel. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from the London College of Communications and BA in Mass Media Communications from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

How To Create a Pet-Friendly Backyard

Getting a dog is a great way to round out a family. They’re fun, loveable, and can even improve your health. But before you bring your new little girl or fella home you need to make sure your home is ready. Your backyard can be a wonderful hangout spot for your new pup. Not all backyards are created equal, though; some will need a bit of work to be puppy friendly. So how do you get your yard ready for a dog? How do you ensure your yard is the right place for his safety and happiness?

Safety

The first item on your list when introducing a dog to your yard will always be safety. Dogs have different outdoor safety needs, and it’s important to make sure that nothing is lying around or landscaped that can cause your new pup harm.

First things first: Give your yard a good look over to make sure nothing is lying around that can cause harm. You want to look for anything sharp that could harm your dog’s paws or anything that could hurt them if chewed on or swallowed. If you’ve done any kind of DIY work on your home, watch out for leftover scraps of building materials. If your yard is dense, it might be helpful to use a tool of some kind to search out glass or metal, like a metal detector. Metal detectors can help you find potentially dangerous items you might not be able to see. Check for any potentially toxic plants growing around your yard. Always assume that if it’s growing, your dog might just try and eat it.

Some common plants that are toxic to dogs include:

  • Aloe
  • Branching Ivy
  • Calla Lily
  • Chamomile
  • Carnation
  • Daisy
  • Monkshood
  • Peony
  • Azaleas
  • Gardenias
  • Hydrangea

Your dog needs a fenced area to keep him closed in and safe from any dangers outside your lawn, like cars or other dogs. Some owners have fenced in their entire yard, or a smaller space specifically for their pet called a dog run. Whatever fencing option you choose, you need to make sure your fence is tall enough to prevent your dog from jumping over — at least six feet. Higher, if your dog is particularly bouncy or a climber. Look for any potential escape routes. Screen off crawl spaces under your porch and look for low spots around the fence or spots where your dog might be able to dig or has begun digging. Consider lining your fence with shrubs or sinking wire mesh into the ground under the fence if the breed is prone to digging.

Pools can be a tricky thing for pet owners. While some pets avoid water like the plague, a pool is still an opportunity for accidents or, at worst, death. Make sure to cover or close off all sources of standing water, like pools or hot tubs. If you treat your pool with any chemicals, make sure not to leave them lying around in reach of your dog. And make sure to keep any cleaning devices from lying around where your dog can get them, especially if your dog is a chewer.

Your yard might feature other things that could present a danger to your dog. If you store your trash bins in the yard, make sure they are weighed down and untippable. Keep any kind of temptation out of the mulch pile if you mulch — anything that smells tempting or foods your dog might like. If that’s not an option, consider walling or fencing off your mulch pile. If your pooch doesn’t like strangers, consider posting notices so anyone who might wander into your backyard (repairmen, lawn care, utility workers) are aware.

With all of your careful planning, it’s still possible that an accident might happen. Some pet owners keep pet insurance to help mitigate any costs associated with their medical care, which can be costly.

Landscaping

Even though you’ve stripped every potentially toxic thing out of your yard, there’s still plenty of room to landscape your lawn into the prettiest thing on the block. When landscaping, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you keep it dog-friendly.

Use non-toxic fertilizers to keep everything lush and green. Check ingredient lists, and if needed, do a little investigation to make sure it can’t harm your dog. When in doubt, double check.

When building walkways or flower beds, keep away from metal materials for boundaries or edges. Your dog could harm himself on corners. Use something that won’t harm him if he starts digging around it.

If your dog is wearing paths in your grass, put pathways along those spots. You can turn an eyesore of dead or beaten-down grass into a feature. And it’ll help your dog keep up his patrolling, which keep him occupied.

Plant dog-friendly plants. Now that you’ve gotten all the potentially toxic plants out of the way, your lawn needs plants that won’t harm your pup. Windmill palms, African daisies, creeping rosemary, and snapdragons are all excellent dog-friendly plants.

Water features can bring class and elegance to your lawn. They can also provide fresh running water for your dog. Some dogs enjoy fresh running water over water in a bowl. During warmer days, they might use the water feature to keep cool.

Use landscaping materials that won’t hurt their paws. Any kind of gravel or rocks that are sharp and might lodge in their paws are off limits. Anything that gets really hot in the sun can burn their paws in the hotter months. And no cocoa mulch — it has the same stuff as chocolate, this is toxic for dogs.

Make It Cozy

You want your dog not just to be safe but to be comfortable and happy as well. Consider things to keep your dog cozy. Dog houses are traditional. You definitely want to give your dog a place to rest out of the sun. A dog house not only provides necessary shade, but you can make it as comfortable and extravagant as you like. These homes can have bedding, and even climate control like a fan, air conditioner, or heater (depending on your climate). Without a dog house, it’s still important to make sure Fido has a shaded spot to rest, like a porch or a full tree.

Water features aren’t for every lawn, but every dog needs water. If you leave a bowl out, make sure to check it frequently to ensure your dog has water. Some people leave water faucets dripping to keep a bowl full, though that can be wasteful. For his food source, make sure you keep any food out of reach of ants or other bugs. Be sure to keep his food in a dry place, safe from any inclement weather.

In addition to comfort, your pup will need something to keep him occupied so he’s less likely to dig his way out of your yard or eat your snapdragons. Toys are a classic choice. Balls can give them something to chase, while chew toys provide busy work for dogs. Tunnels can be fun for your furry pal to run through and around — a perfect toy when the zoomies hit. For pups who like to patrol, patrolling paths along their dog run or your yard can keep them occupied. If they’re not big barkers or prone to going crazy at the sight of other people/animals, you can even install fence windows or viewing bubbles so they can watch the neighborhood go about their day. It’s a lot of entertainment for some dogs, and your neighbors might enjoy it, too.

Dog pools are a lot of fun on hot days and can help dogs that run warm or have heavy coats keep cool and happy. It also provides exercise for your pup. If you adopted an older dog, pools are especially beneficial. Letting them splash around in a dog pool offers low impact, so it’s good for elderly dog joints. Make sure to bring home something big enough and durable enough for your dog. If you have a high-energy dog, it might take a beating.

Adapt

Not every plan is perfect, so you might need to adapt as potential problems arise. Your dog digs out of your fence? Line it with river rocks or mesh. Planted flower beds on one of his favorite digging spots and he dug it up? That one might be a lost cause. Whatever happens, your dog will probably keep you on your toes. Part of it, you will be working to overcome your dog’s bad habits, but other times, you are navigating your dog’s needs.

After all, with any pet, half of the time you’re training them, and they’re training you the other half. It might be challenging, but the love of a dog and the happiness pets bring your family are ultimately well worth it.

About the Author

Frankie Wallace writes about a wide variety of different topics, from environmental issues to politics. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho.

 

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Winter Weather Pet Safety Tips

There is one thing that all mammals have in common: poor thermoregulation during the cold season. Cats and dogs with trimmed or short fur are more susceptible to hypothermia during winter.

The nose area, ears, and toes of your pet are more exposed during chilly conditions. Your pet deserves proper care in these conditions. In your home, your pet should have access to dry shed shelters fitted in with heaters, a dog leash, enough food, and plenty of water.

What now?

If your pet has a habit of spending the day outside or even roaming in the backyard, you have to take necessary precaution before winter begins. The onset of winter may be a rude awakening for pets that love the outdoors. You may argue that your pal is covered with fur so he’s safe. Yes, this is true, but for many, they are not even remotely adapted for prolonged periods of exposure to freezing temperature.

This article is all about how you can make sure that your pets are well cared for when the sun rays go for a vacation. Learn about how to protect your pet when they spend time outdoors, and tips on walking during the cold weather.

Specific dog breeds like a Greater Swiss Mountain, Huskies, or German Shepherds have fur specifically for the cold weather. Short-haired cats and dogs, no matter how beautiful or well-kept their mane is, it’s never enough for thermoregulation.
During the cold season, pets can suffer from weather extremes just as mountain climbers get exposed to hypothermia even with their protective gear. Animals with short fur are more at risk as their insulation ability is lacking.

Young and Senior Pet Winter Safety

If you have a pet that loves to spend time outdoors, consider investing in some boots or a sweater. Kitties, pups, and senior dogs and cats should never be outside when the temperature drops. Young and old pets have less fat and reduced metabolism. Vets always advise that when its cold outside, a pet, no matter what their age should remain inside.

What should I do if my pet wears clothes?

Coats, boots, and scarfs always serve humans well when the chilly period arrives. But wearing clothes isn’t a natural thing for pets and need to be supervised whenever they wear something.

Cats, usually, are a little less receptive to clothes, when they have a coat on, you can’t just let it go outside to face winter on its own. It’s essential always to keep a close eye on your furball.

Your pooch might be uncomfortable with the clothing and attempt to take it off. When doing this, he might end up harming himself in the process.

Another thing to look into: ensure that the clothes fit properly and not too tight. If you neglect to check, your dog may risk poor circulation and result into frostbites.

Wild and Abandoned Cats

You probably have tried helping an abandoned feline during the cold season. This is not an easy undertaking, especially because they are used to spending time outdoors. In this case, what you need to do is cleverly lure the cat to be an indoor area.

Transitioning an outdoor cat to an indoor cat

You need to be clever with this exercise, so as not to scare the cat away. You have to start the transition before the cold arrives. Over summer, when the conditions are favorable for you to leave a window open, try and lure in the cat into your house.

You can invite Catto in and feed him while still leaving the window open. Once the cat eats, you should let them leave freely. Repeat this exercise several times until the kitty feels comfortable inside with you. Once the cat consents to staying indoors, maintain them entertained to keep their metabolism active. Indoor cats often need more stimulation than outdoor felines.

Outdoor-only cats

Some cats give the impression of forever loving outdoors, and no matter your efforts to keep them inside, they will only feel safe outside. However, you can still maintain such kitties safe and warm during winter. When the temperatures dip, your outdoor friend should have a safe place to snug. A shelter for an outdoor-only cat should be clean, warm and dry with plenty of fresh water.

If you are situated in an area where water freezes, make sure that you provide a birdbath water heater system to your outdoor cat. Providing shelter for your outdoor cat doesn’t necessarily have to be hard.

You can use already manufactured pet shelters or a DYI cardboard shelter. Insulate the sides with foam, blankets, and plastic, then line the floors with insulation blankets, a sleeping bag and or hay.

You should always keep their shelter clean and remove their waste regularly. Place it in the garage near your vehicle in a place where it can receive additional heat during winter. Additionally, ensure that it is actually your pet that gets the food and not other neighborhood animals.

Winter tips

Check for cats sleeping under the hood – Cats have a tendency of seeking shelter at unusual places during the cold season. Before starting your car, check for any cat sleeping in the engine compartment. You can bang the hood or repeatedly honk to awaken any sleeping cat. By doing this, you will be sure to save the cold cat from the moving engine parts.

Safeguard your pet with a reflector – During the long dark winter days, loitering pets can be hard to make out. What you can do about this hindrance is to cloth your pet with reflective collars and leashes designed with LED for easy prominence.

Safety during the holidays – Keeping your pet safe during winter holidays can be a bit tricky. This is because your dogs and other pets can be exposed to otherwise toxic and poisonous material.

Be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia and frostbite – In winter, dogs and cats can be exposed to extremely cold conditions. When this happens, their body temperature drops to fatal levels. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, you should keep a close eye on the following symptoms.

  • Change in appetite
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Weak pulse rate
  • Violent body shaking
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy

Wrap Up

The best way to manage hypothermia and other conditions associated with cold weather is to avoid the cold. Always ensure that your pet has a dry dump free shelter.

About the Author

Dancun has been working with writing-challenged clients for over five years now. He offers ghostwriting, ghost editing, coaching, and SEO writing for businesses that want to see their sites at the helm of Google SERPs. His education background in communications and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches. His writing skills can be confirmed on upwork.com, where he is a top-rated freelance writer. He especially enjoys writing website and blog content for startups and established businesses.

Link: https://www.authenticdogs.com/best-retractable-dog-leash/

 

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5 Potentially Deadly Dog Diseases You Should Know

Your dog is your best friend and it is only normal to worry about his health. Even though there are times when you’ll notice that something isn’t right, it’s important to look out for what he’s trying to tell you. As his owner, you are responsible to look out for certain red flags and make visits to the vet. Dogs can suffer from a number of diseases, many of which are preventable

An owner might opt for a DNA test and discover any medical conditions your pet might suffer from. With the help of this test, risk factors are identified to take the necessary measures for prevention. This test might also reveal the male and female lineage, as well as the breed purity percentage.

Parvovirosis

Puppies are commonly vaccinated against the parvovirus, but it is possible for them to catch the virus before immunization (or, of course, when the vaccination did not take place). The virus is easily transmitted from one dog to the other, or through their feces. You should always make sure that Fido is vaccinated, as this prevents the spread of such infections.

The initial symptoms include vomit, diarrhea and a state of general malaise, followed by subsequent weight loss. The viral infection presents a higher risk of death and even when supportive care is offered, the puppy might still remain with sequelae. The survival chances depend on the age of the dog, rapidity of treatment and infection severity.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a medical condition which causes seizures, accompanied by foaming around the mouth, muscle tremors, and confusion. It is quite distressing to witness your dog having a seizure, especially since there is nothing you can do. The best thing to do is seek out an accurate diagnosis, identify the underlying condition or the potential genetic inheritance.

A DNA test identifies the risk of congenital disorders, such as epilepsy. Certain breeds, like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Beagles present a higher risk of epilepsy, as modern research shows. The treatment is generally standard, in the form of anticonvulsant medication. However, such dogs present a considerable risk of premature death, so you need to take all necessary measures to keep the seizures under control.

Heart disease

Heart conditions are hereditary – for example, both Spaniels and Dachshunds are at risk for valve disease. This condition leads to coughing, muscular weakness, breathing difficulties, and eventual collapse.

Other breeds, such as Greater Danes, Boxers, and Dobermans, are genetically predisposed to cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). This causes the heart to weaken, with an abnormal function.

Boxers and Bulldogs are prone to other forms of cardiomyopathy, in which the ventricular heart muscle is affected. These changes lead to an irregular heartbeat, with an increased risk of collapse and heart failure. Sudden death is also a potential consequence of genetically-inherited heart conditions in dogs.

Apart from the DNA test, which identify risk factors and genetic predispositions for such problems, it is important to take your dog to the vet for regular checkups. If a heart condition is identified, the doctor will recommend a suitable treatment (arrhythmic drugs, medication for heart failure, etc.).

Kidney disease (renal failure)

While it’s true that kidney disease can occur as a complication of other medical problems, like Lyme’s disease, it’s also hereditary. Pet parents should take advantage of the DNA test to find out whether their pet has any genetic predispositions. Based on the results, they can make lifestyle changes for their pet, especially diet-wise.

It’s essential to stay cautious about the connection between gum and kidney diseases. If dental problems aren’t carefully treated, bacteria will enter the bloodstream and reach the kidneys, causing a lot of damage. So, you need to keep your pet’s teeth clean and go to the vet for a regular examination.

If your furry pal is diagnosed with kidney disease, you need to start treatments with medication that encourage the production of urine. Fluid therapy is recommended, as well as medication for additional problems (gastrointestinal, blood pressure). Dialysis is an option for chronic renal failure, especially for aging dogs. Unfortunately, it might come to a point when it’s too late and your pooch is euthanized.

Cancer

Unfortunately, the number of dogs suffering from cancer has increased staggeringly in the past few years. The age of your pooch is a big factor but genetics play an important part in that as well. It is important to take your dog to the vet for regular checkups, as the early treatment of any form of cancer can guarantee a better survival rate.

Always notice even the slightest changes in your dog’s habits, including the loss of appetite, state of lethargy or weight loss. You can also palpate his skin and identify any lumps, as these are signs of lymphoma, a highly treatable form of cancer. The genetic markers for cancer are identified through DNA testing, so it is worth considering this option as well.

It’s important to take good care of your older dog diagnosed with cancer. You need to offer your pet friend all the supportive care he needs, as well as quality food, water and medical treatment. Listen to the recommendations of the vet and follow his advice accordingly.

In conclusion, these are some of the conditions your pet friend might suffer from, with a high potential for a fatal outcome. Do not hesitate to visit your vet for periodical examinations and also take a DNA test, so that you know what you are up against. And, remember, you are responsible for your dog and you need to make sure that he maintains the best possible state of health.

 

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Canine Periodontal Disease: Bad Breath Guide

Dr. James Anthony insists that all pet parents should ask themselves this question “Should I be Concerned About Doggy Breath?
The answer is:
“Yes. Doggy breath is a sign of poor oral health, the #1 problem pets face. At 3 years old, 80% of dogs have oral health issues, a precursor to periodontal disease. If left untreated, oral health issues become serious and, in some cases, life-threatening. The bacteria and infection in your dog’s mouth spread through his bloodstream. Vets believe oral health issues are a silent killer.”

Doggy breath leads to many other canine dental diseases down the line and it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.

Doctor cleaning dog’s teeth with toothbrush indoors. Pet care

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1-TDC Periodontal & Joint Health for Dogs & Cats (60 softgels) by Elite Vet


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