How to Keep Your Pet From Distracting You While Driving

These days are rife with different ways that people can be distracted as they drive. There are classic distractions like eating a burger, drinking a coffee, or changing the radio dial. However, on top of that, our driving experience has become complicated by new technologies like using a GPS to navigate or making a phone call. And then, of course, the most nefarious one of all is the use of our smartphones to check texts and social media while driving.

However, one cause of distracted driving that often goes under the radar comes in the form of animals — and we’re not talking about deer crossing the road, either. It’s perfectly common for us to travel with our pets. In fact, many people do so on a regular basis. It’s important to understand, though, just how risky it can be to hit the open road with a dog or cat loose by our side. Let’s break down the issue of driving with pets in the car and how the problem can be safely addressed.

happy dog in car mirror

The Issue: How Pets Can Be a Distraction

In a 2011 survey by Kurgo and AAA, a staggering 84 percent of drivers reported that they allow their pets to ride with them unrestrained. While having a pet roaming about the car with you or perched in the back of a truck bed may be an iconic image to most of us, the actual situation is quite a bit more dangerous than it sounds. From dogs sticking their heads out of the windows to cats perching up on the back seat to both of them trying to sit on your lap, there are many risks you run every time your pet joins you for a drive.

Risks from the Animals Themselves

Some of these risks can involve animals getting in the way of the pedals or blocking the view through the windows. But things can get much more dangerous than that. Dogs are famous for their inquisitiveness and the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” didn’t come out of thin air. If an animal sees something interesting as you drive by, they’re liable to jump from one seat to the next and even right into the driver in their excitement.

They may also get into trouble sniffing under the seats, causing drivers to take their eyes off the road in an attempt to contain them. It goes without saying that the fact that many smaller dogs and cats also try to sit on drivers laps is extremely dangerous.

Risks from the Animals’ Owners

dog head outside of car window

The issue of pets distracting us while we drive can run quite a bit deeper than risks caused by the animals themselves, though. In the same survey referenced above, many of those interviewed responded that they had petted their animals, given them treats, and even played with them while they were driving.

Three percent even admitted that they had taken photos of their dogs while they were still driving. There are both pros and cons to social media and its connections to well-being. One of those is an increased inability to focus on one task. Now combine this with a desire to snap a picture of you and dog as your co-pilot while you’re also distracted by the dangers of the road.

Understanding the Consequences

It’s important to really take the time to understand the gravity of what is at stake here. While there are superficial things like the increasing number of laws that penalize people for driving with their pets unrestrained or in their laps, much more severe ramifications can come than just tickets and fines. The fact that a driver who has allowed themselves to be distracted by their pet is putting their pet, themselves and everyone else on the road in imminent danger should be at the forefront of people’s minds.

While the effects of a car accident on our frail human bodies are well documented and don’t need to be brought up in detail here, it’s important to realize that an unrestrained pet is in the same situation as yourself and can be at risk of even worse harm, as they have nothing keeping them from becoming a projectile upon impact. For example, an 80-pound dog that is flung from the seat in a 30 mile per hour car crash will exert approximately 2,400 pounds of force upon impact. That is enough to both kill the animal and severely damage whatever it hits.

The point is, the dangers of allowing pets to distract you while driving is very real, and the situation should be addressed with just as much care as we take with all other matters that could distract us while we’re behind the wheel of a car.

The question is, what can we do about it? Let’s take a look at some ways to help keep our pets (as well as ourselves) safe and sound as they travel with us.

dog face resting on car door

Ways to Keep Your Pets from Distracting You While Driving

While having a pet in the car can clearly be a hazard to driving on the road, there come times when you simply must bring them with you. Whether it’s a trip to the vet, a training session, a park, or the pet store, here are some suggestions for how to control your pet while it’s in the car with you in order to make sure that both you and the animal are safe, relaxed, and comfortable as you travel.

Keep them in the Back Seat

While it may be tempting to keep your pet up front where you can keep tabs on them, the best place for an animal in a moving vehicle is in the back seat. While you may not be able to stop them from chewing on the carpet, it is generally more difficult for a cat or a dog located in the back seat to cause a more serious distraction that could lead to an accident.

Use a Barrier

Whether you are going on a long trip with your pet in an RV or just heading down the road to the park in your sedan, it’s important that you create a space for your pet to stay in. Block any opening they could use to move around the vehicle and make sure that they are comfortable so that they’re less likely to escape. A common method is to use a net or metal barrier to keep your pets from making their way to the front of the car.

Use a Carrier

Another option is to purchase a pet carrier. This literally contains the animal while in the car, keeping them out of sight and out of mind while you keep your eyes on the road ahead. While many dogs are simply too large for a carrier, it can be a good choice for smaller pups as well as cats.

Keep the Windows Closed

funny bulldog hanging out truck window

This one goes back to that classic idea of your dog hanging her head out of the car window with her eyes squinting and her tongue lolling out in the wind. It’s a pretty picture to imagine, but in reality, it can be fraught with peril. Not only will a dog have much less of an awareness of when to pull their head back into the car if something is too close, but the speed of the wind can hurt their eyes as well. Whether it’s smarting eyes or something worse, the distractions associated with pets and car windows are clear. No matter how tempting it is, your best bet is to keep those windows closed.

Use a Harness

Many different forms of harnesses can be obtained to literally seatbelt your animal to the car as you’re driving. This keeps them safe and incapacitates their ability to distract you while you focus on the road.

The Future Solution: How Driverless Cars Can Help

While there are many different ways to address the current risks associated with traveling with animals in the car, it may not be much of an issue in the not-too-distant future, thanks to self-driving cars. It’s currently estimated that by the year 2035, an impressive 30 million either fully or partially self-driving vehicles will be sold every year. To put it another way, one in every four cars on the road will be driven by a computer.

While there are many different potential benefits that the era of self-driving cars will bring with it, one of them is sure to be a massive reduction in car accidents. In fact, driverless cars are predicted to reduce accidents by 90 percent. Much of that is going to be a result of the elimination of distracted driving.

This promises a future where we can take all of the time we want to hold our dogs on our laps, play with them, give them treats, and take pictures and post them online to your heart’s desire.

bulldog looking out car window

Empowering Owners to Travel With Confidence

Remember, the point of all of this isn’t to scare you out of traveling with your pet in the car. Rather, it is meant to empower you to bring your animal along with you in a vehicle with confidence that you’re not causing any major risks when they’re present in the vehicle. Knowing the dangers as well as the solutions is a great way to make sure that the next time you pack up for a road trip with your pet or even just head to the vet, you do so in a way that keeps everyone and every animal involved safe and sound.

 Related Products

Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort - Copper

Pet Gear -Pet Rolling Carrier

PETMATE-THE-ULTIMATE-TRAVEL-HARNESS-BLACK-LARGE

Petmate the Ultimate Travel Harness

CATIT-STYLE-PINK-VOYAGEUR-SMALL-WHITE

CatIt – Cat Carrier

How to Protect Your Dog from a Heart Attack?

Not only humans but also dogs can suffer from a heart attack. Their risk factors of it, however, are not related to smoking and a poor lifestyle. The most common form in dogs is called valvular disease, affecting 5+ years old small breed dogs. This disease makes up for up to 75% of heart disease in dogs.

On the other hand, 13% of heart disease cases are associated with heartworm disease in dogs. Finally, myocardial disease, including dilated cardiomyopathy, is accounted for 8% of all heart disease cases affecting large dog breeds. Let’s get to know more about heart attack in dogs in the following section.

What Is Myocardial Infarction In Dogs?

white and black dog with clouds in the background

Myocardial infarction or a heart attack happens when there is a blockage in the blood flow to a section of a heart’s muscular wall (myocardium), disabling the blood from reaching the heart muscles.

If it occurs, what follows is the premature death of that myocardium portion. It happens when there is a thrombus or a blood clot within the heart or the blood vessels.

A heart attack happens because the heart suffers from blood deprivation, not allowing it to receive nutrients and oxygen. When this happens, the heart muscle will die affecting the functions of the heart. In this case, the heart won’t be able to pump blood throughout the canine’s body.

Symptoms

While canine heart attacks are rare, they can occur. For this reason, it will help if you would know what its signs and symptoms are. Take note: Some symptoms can be subtle, but they play a role in the occurrence of a heart attack.

husky with head on table

Some symptoms to watch out for myocardial infarction in dogs include,

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Painting or collapsing due to lack of oxygen in the dog’s brain
  • Seizure
  • Problems in breathing and increased heart rate and respiratory rate as the body’s response to the lack of oxygen supply
  • Fever
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety
  • Front leg pain
  • Immobility
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty standing and weakness due to lack of nutrients supplied throughout his body
  • Altered consciousness level due to lack of nutrient and oxygen supply in the brain

These are only some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for that tells your dog is likely to suffer from a heart attack. Your dog might be at a greater risk of it if he’s obese, contracts a bacterial infection or has diabetes.

NOTE: If you think your dog is having a myocardial infarction, you should take him to a vet’s clinic where he might be given a CPR for dogs.

puppy looking up at owners face

Causes

After the symptoms, let’s talk about myocardial infarction causes that include the following.

  • Vasculitis: This disease is characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels following an infection, endothelial lining injury or immune-mediated disease. Any of these can lead to narrowed vasculature.
  • Tumor: There can be tumors growing around or on his heart vasculature. When this happens, they can clog the blood flowing to the heart muscle.
  • Bacterial Infection: An infection can cause blockage to blood flow as well as inflammation.
  • Nephrotic Syndrome: This disease characterized by kidney damage can lead to protein loss. When there is a loss of protein, blood clot, which is also one of the contributors of heart attacks in humans, may occur.
  • Coronary Artery Disease: While it is uncommon in dogs, it still can occur due to high-serum cholesterol levels and hypothyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism: It occurs when the dog’s thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroxine, which works by converting food to fuel for his body.
  • Atherosclerosis: While rare in dogs, it does occur. It has been reported in some breeds. This condition is characterized by the plaque buildup in the heart’s arteries, leading to restricted blood flow or ruptured arteries.

Diagnosis

During the diagnosis with a vet, you’d be asked to provide your pet’s thorough history. It will include the nature and onset of the symptoms. Following, the vet will assess your dog’s condition by conducting physical examination focusing on your pet’s cardiovascular system.

A few laboratory tests, such as urinalysis, complete blood count and blood culture biochemistry profile. These exams can help the vet in identifying the root cause of the heart attack.

For example, a blood test can reveal an increase in the number of leukocytes, or white blood cells, which are pretty common during a contracted infection.

On the other hand, a biochemistry profile may reveal low levels of T3 and T4 hormones or high levels of liver enzymes.

german shepard lying face down

Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) is another useful tool in determining red and white blood cell count and detecting for any possible infection.

Echocardiography can also be used in detecting any cardiac abnormalities.

Urinalysis is also used in diagnosing a heart attack in dogs. It works by examining metabolic and kidney function.

All these tools and tests are useful in diagnosing if your dog has the disease or not. But again, you can save your furry friend by being observant and proactive enough to watch out for the symptoms and taking him to the vet immediately if you notice any of them.

Treatment

What are the available treatment options of a heart attack in dogs? At the very least, the initial treatment is resuscitation as well as supportive care based on the severity of his case.

The main goal of supportive care and resuscitation are to restore his normal heart rate and activity.

And for ease of circulation, the vet may also give a blood-thinning medication. But depending on the cause of the heart attack, other medications may also be given.

To continue with the heart monitoring, the vet will also recommend hospitalization, which is needed until your dog becomes stable.

If your dog collapsed or fainted, he might have to stay in the hospital for continued monitoring as well.

black dog sitting with both ears upOther treatment options

Different diets and medications may also be advised for supportive or preventive care for any renal disease present, but it is only if the damage isn’t severe.

  • Thyroid replacement medications may also be given.
  • Also, the vet may give antibiotics to prevent more damage to the heart lining and blood vessels due to inflammation and infection.
  • To correct arrhythmias, anti-arrhythmic medications may also be given.
  • There are also pacemaker implants, which can also be given to dogs predisposed to a heart problem.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove any tumor mass blocking blood flow.

Again, treatment may involve any of these depending on the cause of the heart attack.

But even if your dog has stabilized, there is still a possibility of recurrence based on its cause and severity. For this reason, vets give medications or perform surgery to lengthen his lifespan but only if the issue has been diagnosed and treated early. During the dog’s life, medication should be given for maintenance.

Prevention

One of the best ways to prevent heart attack in dogs is to ensure his wellness, which must come from a combination of regular exercise and quality diet.

To add to this, he must have a nurturing environment filled with affection. His overall well-being can tell about his life quality. For example, you can just imagine how a healthy pet is having a higher life quality than a stressed out and overweight dog.

You can also proactively protect his heart health by asking his veterinarian about a proBNP blood test if you’re worrying he might be having a heart issue. This test can offer you peace of mind when it shows that your dog has no signs of heart disease. This test can be repeated as often as needed to monitor your progress in terms of meeting your dog’s heart health requirements.

You must be sure that you’re meeting his CoQ10 needs. CoQ10 is abundant among younger dogs, but its level declines as they age. Ask your vet about its supplement form. CoQ10 is essential for a healthy heart.

dog running in the park

You can also ask your vet about omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce negative inflammatory hormone production and improve appetite. Other supplements that can help keep his heart healthy including antioxidants and vitamin E.

Another way to prevent heart disease in dogs is to prevent obesity, which is one of the risk factors of developing a heart attack. To ensure he can prevent being overweight, feed him with a highly nutritious diet and give him daily exercise. Overall, you should maintain your pet’s ideal body weight to prevent not just obesity but also heart disease.

He should also have access to soft bedding, safe housing, weather protection, and fresh water. All these can contribute to him living a less stressful life.

Conclusion

Dogs can also suffer from a heart attack just as humans can. However, you help your beloved furry friend prevent it with early diagnosis and treatment. You can also help him prevent it with proper diet, regular exercise, and heart supplements. Nevertheless, you and your vet can work hand in hand to extend your dog’s life without heart disease.

 

Author Bio:
Mark Bray has profound experience in the veterinary field with years of experience. He spends his time volunteering and writing informative articles for Pet Health Animal Hospital. In fact, Mark pays close attention to sharing vital information about pets to most pet parents across the United States. Certainly, Mark loves and cherishes animals, and owns two dogs Marty and Lou.

 Related Products

Adaptil (DAP) Collar

Cardio Max Heart Support for Dogs

HomeoPet Anxiety Relief

A Guide To Fitness Trackers For Dogs

white dog running in snow

Over half of Americans wear an activity tracker like a Fitbit at least daily. It’s common knowledge that people love their dogs and treat them as part of the family, so it’s no surprise that owners are getting their dogs involved in the trend. Activity trackers for dogs are becoming more popular, tracking how much time they spend walking, running, sleeping and playing, and even include GPS in case they become separated from their owner. Splashing out more on a pet activity tracker can include features like high-quality video recording, and monitor how much they eat and drink, all of which syncs up to an app on the owner’s smartphones via Bluetooth. Activity trackers can help owners and vets to monitor a dog’s overall health, noticing small changes that could be significant.

What the Apps Include

The corresponding apps for different activity trackers vary, so owners should pick one based on their preferences, their dog and their budget. The FitBark app gives information like total distance walked, but doesn’t include how long they’ve walked for, which other apps do. Increasing a dog’s endurance and fitness is easier to monitor with how long they’ve been active for, so this isn’t for everyone. However, FitBark does include a lot of useful features, such as sleep scores and comparing dogs to others that are of a similar age and the same breed. Other apps will charge people to use them, so this additional cost should be factored in. WonderWoof has even created a social network for users to meet up with each other, arranging doggy play dates and walks.

A Healthy Dog is a Happy Dog

happy brown dog with red bandanna

Many owners shower their dog with toys and treats as a way of showing them how much they love them, but it’s important to keep them fit and healthy through diet, as this will benefit them in the long run. Most activity trackers will use the data gathered to give recommended feeding guidelines, based on their breed, activity level, age, weight and a whole range of other variables. This can help owners to feed them the right amount to suit them, reducing the chance of them being overweight and keeping them healthy. It’s easy to forget that the treats given to dogs throughout the day contain lots of calories and sugar that need to be factored into their daily allowance.

Get Fit With Your Furry Friend

According to a 2017 clinical survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 56% of American dogs are classified as overweight. Of course, it’s well known that obesity is also a problem with the general population, affecting 39.8% of America adults, according to the CDC. A lot of people will get a pet dog in the hope that they will motivate them to exercise more. Unfortunately, this often lasts for a few weeks, and then both owner and pooch sit at home, not getting the exercise they need. Both owners and dogs having an activity tracker can help to motivate owners to get off the couch. Many owners are surprised by their data when it shows just how little they’re currently doing and setting reminders for additional encouragement to go for a walk or play in the garden with their dog can make a big difference.

dog walking away with owner

Built-in GPS Trackers

Every year, 10 million cats and dogs go missing, and 1 in 3 dogs will get lost at some point in their life, so a doggy activity tracker with a built-in GPS tracker is a great idea to keep dogs safe. All dogs should wear an ID tag and have a microchip in case they ever get lost, making it easier to reunite them with their owner, but this relies on other people finding your dog and helping to return them. A GPS tracker will give a live location of where a lost dog is, helping to keep them safe. This is also a good help feature for parents whose children take the dog out for a walk, as they know where they are based on the dog’s location, plus parents know that children have actually taken them for a walk and not gone and sat down on the grass at the end of the street. Some trackers even have a helpful ‘lost dog mode,’ building on this feature.

Fancy a Swim?

For dogs that love to go for a swim or dive into big puddles, it’s important to have a waterproof activity tracker. FitBark, which can be linked to a Fitbit, Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, comes in a waterproof design, as well as PitPat, PoochPlay, WonderWoof, and Mishiko. Some dogs can do a lot of swimming, such as ones that live near a beach, so a waterproof design is essential for accurate activity tracking. Other dogs may need physiotherapy that can involve swimming, so it’s another good way to track their progress.

dog relaxing on the beach

Track Changes

One of the best advantages of using an activity tracker for dogs is tracking any changes in their movements and fitness levels over time, particularly as they age or if they become ill. Small, progressive changes that happen over time can easily be missed, but a tracker will help to spot these. Regularly checking data can help to pick up changes that indicate a change in behavior or health, which owners may miss, particularly for pet parents who don’t spend the majority of the day with their dog.

Veterinary Involvement

pug with concerned faceMany activity trackers for dogs have had veterinary input, such as the FitBark, which was developed by vets. Many of the apps have options for adding vet-related information, such as when they last had vaccinations or flea, worm and tick treatment and when the next doses are due. This helps owners to take control of their dog’s health more thoroughly, giving a second pair of eyes to keep track of everything. Vets can use the information that trackers gather to help pinpoint any changes in behavior or fitness levels that could relate to illnesses that may go undetected otherwise. Vets can also use trackers as a tool for monitoring weight loss and fitness progress for over or underweight dogs.

The Cost of Activity Trackers for Dogs

There aren’t many cons to having a doggy fitness tracker, as they are, overall, a useful bit of tech. However, they are an additional cost, some selling for up to several hundreds of dollars for top-end ones with lots of features, such as high-definition recording. Some will also require people to pay for the app needed to see the tracker’s data, and batteries need replacing or charging regularly, depending on the tracker, so there are some ongoing costs involved. Of course, people will also need an internet connection, smartphone or computer to view the data. While the majority of people now have this kind of tech, not everyone does so there may be some bigger investments involved too.

happy golden dog

The Cons of Dog Activity Trackers

Another potential problem to trackers is that they can make owners complacent. Until recently, dogs have never needed an activity tracker, and many owners have managed to keep their pets healthy. For these dogs, there’s little need for an activity tracker, and they’re more for the owner’s amusement and peace of mind. Some other things to consider are that young dogs and puppies like to chew, and may be able to get to the tracker, wasting your investment. It also means that they’ll need to wear a collar for the tracker to attach to all the time. Many dogs will only wear a collar or harness when they’re outside of the home, so this could be uncomfortable for them.

Just How Reliable Are They?

The data these trackers gather can be hugely valuable, especially when used over time, but that’s based on the assumption that they’re reliable. Unless there’s obviously incorrect data, such as showing that a dog hasn’t moved all day when the owners know they took them for a run around at the park, then most people will just assume that the data is correct and reliable. However, slight changes caused by small inaccuracies could be enough to get owners worried about the health of their dog and result in an expensive trip to the vets for further testing. There is currently one large study being conducted, looking to enroll thousands of animals, known as the Pet Insight Project. However, this is sponsored by Whistle FIT, who make trackers, so this should be taken into account when results are published. Smaller studies have been done, but none have been validated in clinical trials. One of the biggest potential problems is making a reliable tracker that works for black happy dog on cliffevery dog’s shape and movement, as each breed is different.

Overall, activity trackers for dogs have a lot of positives to offer when it comes to caring for a pooch. They can help to locate them, indicate changes in health, and help owners to keep their weight under control. The main downside is the cost involved and lack of research into their reliability. As the technology behind them becomes cheaper, it’s likely that the trackers will become cheaper too, and research will soon be available into how reliable they are. However, technology for dogs isn’t for everyone, so these are certainly a luxury item and not a necessity.

Written by: Jacinda Molloy

Why is My Dog Eating Poop?

No one likes to talk about it, but it happens ALL the time. One of the most popular questions on the internet from concerned (and possibly grossed out) dog owners: Why do dogs eat poop?

Dogs can and will eat poop. Some dogs may do it only on rare occasions. Other dogs may go after their poop, cat poop, and even the poop of their fellow canine housemates and other animals like it is a complete delicacy—Ugh! Even though eating stool is completely disturbing to humans, coprophagia (Yes, there’s a word for poop eating) is something that is quite common as part of canine behavior.

As confusing as this behavior may be to talk about, it’s important to understand your pet’s reasoning for his actions.

Why Is Your Dog Eating Poop?

Believe it or not, there are potentially numerous possible reasons why your dog is eating poop, and sometimes, it can be hard to pin down just one. The reason your four-legged family member has an odd fascination with poo as food could come down to everything from behavioral, genetic, and medical factors.

Behavioral Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Poop

Behavioral factors behind canine feces-eating are possibly the simplest to explain. It’s the easiest factor to tackle when you decide to try to change the behavior. After all, most dog breeds are fairly receptive to behavioral training.

Puppy Behavior

Puppies are a little like small children. They want to explore and learn as much as possible about everything, including how things taste. Therefore, it’s quite common for young dogs to eat poop just out of curiosity. Some puppies also relate the scent of stool to their mother because mom probably spent so much of her time cleaning up after her pups that she naturally had a telltale odor on her breath.

Boredom

Dogs who don’t have a lot to do to keep themselves entertained may make a meal out of poop sheerly because they’re bored. It is not uncommon for dogs who are left alone all day to eat their own droppings, get into the cat’s litter pan, or otherwise find a tempting treat they really shouldn’t eat.

Likewise, dogs who want attention may go and gobble up a treat from the litter box because it will definitely get your attention. Albeit poo-eating is negative attention, but attention just the same if your dog’s feeling slighted.

Stress or Anxiety

Dogs who are feeling stressed or anxious can portray some fairly peculiar behaviors, right down to consuming poop. This stress or anxiety could stem from a medical issue, so it’s important to pay attention to other signs of stress in your dog, such as hair pulling, whining, and pacing. You can try to combat stress and anxiety with an herbal remedy as well, such as anxiety and stress supplements for dogs.

Fearing Punishment

If you reprimand your dog because he has pooped on the floor, it is entirely possible that they’ll eat poop because they fear being punished for what they’ve done. Instead of getting caught for this, they’re smart enough to figure out that this would prevent them from getting into trouble with you.

Following the Crowd

According to Psychology Today, dogs who live in a household or environment with other dogs or other animals are more likely to be offenders. There could be a few reasons behind this. Something as basic as mimicking behavior or something more serious like being a greedy eater and not wanting other dogs to have anything that closely resembles food.

Medical Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Poop

If your pooch is still lunging after no-no treats like there’s no tomorrow, consider medical reasons as the explanation for their actions.

Intestinal Parasites

Dogs who have intestinal parasites in their bodies may be more prone to go after feces as a common meal. Parasites inside his body are eating away the nutrients they should be getting from their food, this makes Fido feel hungry all the time. Therefore, if you catch him in the unspeakable act, it could be a reason to start checking his stool for signs of parasites or visit a vet.

Diabetes

A lot of dogs don’t need a lot of physical encouragement from their body to go after poop as a meal. If a condition is making them feel more hungry than usual, it is possible that accessible stool will be on the menu. Diabetes is an example of an underlying condition that can cause your canine to feel more hungry than usual. A few other examples are thyroid problems or taking certain medications like steroids.

System Enzyme Deficiencies

System enzyme deficiency is an umbrella term that covers things like pancreatic insufficiency. This is a condition that prevents the proper digestive enzymes from being provided in the pancreas. With little or no enzymes in their system, Fido will react physically. They are essentially starving no matter what they eat because nutrients pass through the digestive tract without being absorbed as they should be. Stool eating can be a sign of pancreatic insufficiency and other relative conditions.

Deficiency of Essential Nutrients & Minerals

Dogs may eat stool if they feel the effects of having a nutrient or mineral deficiency. For example, dogs who have a mineral deficiency may go seeking out their stool to get that mineral into their system. If your pet is eating good nutritious food, these deficiencies should not be an issue as long as your canine is otherwise healthy.

Genetic Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Poop

Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific size or age of dog that eats poop. Meaning, that issue is not reserved for dogs that are of mixed-breed bloodlines either. However, there certainly are genetic factors that can cause a dog to eat poop or be more likely to find feces appealing.

Canines Were Once All Scavengers

Nutrients that were not available in available food sources could be reaped by eating the feces of another animal or even the feces of relatives. All dogs were once scavengers, which basically meant they were opportunist eaters who gobbled up whatever they could find because they didn’t know when their next meal would be. Because this scavenging for food is so deeply ingrained in the genetic makeup of a dog, the behavior can still pop up, even if you feed your dog quite well.

Some Breeds Eat Poop More Than Others

There have been few studies done on why dogs eat poop, but there is one study, in particular, that may be of some explanation for certain dog breed owners. Hounds and terriers are more likely to eat feces than other breeds. An even closer examination of specific breeds showed that the Shetland sheepdog is most likely to seek out excrement. Whereas, poodles are less likely to be offenders.

Mother Dogs Naturally Eat Poop

Dogs who are good mothers practice coprophagia, but this is something that they are genetically inclined to do. Right after a new litter is born, the mother dog will stimulate her young’s anal glands to excrete feces with her tongue, and she will eat this excrement. As the puppies grow and get older, she may still continue to eat their droppings for a little while to keep the living quarters clean. According to the AKC, this behavior may go on for at least three weeks after the birth of the litter, and sometimes longer.

How Can You Make Your Dog Stop Eating Poop?

Determining the cause behind why your dog is eating this unsavory snack is going to go a long way toward combating the behavior. A few other things to keep in mind to help your dog break the nasty habit include:

  • Feed your dog a well-rounded diet on a good schedule with quality food choices
  • Give your playful pooch healthy treats to make their diet more diverse and interesting
  • Get regular vet checkups to check your dog for things like malnutrition or parasites
  • Keep your pet entertained and give it ample attention—even if you have to hire a walker or sitter
  • Make sure poop is as inaccessible as possible by keeping things cleaned up and investing in covered litter pans for cats

As much as it turns your stomach to think about your dog’s odd poo-as-food outlook, it is also important to understand that some dogs simply can’t help it. If you’ve researched medical factors and there are seemingly none, if you’ve tried behavior training to no avail, or if you’ve had no luck with other preventive measures, this may be something you’ll have to deal with for the long term. One out of every six dogs eats some kind of feces on a regular basis with or without cause. The best you can do is keep poop out of reach and do your best to love your canine in spite of his weird snacking habits—and invest in some good canine dental cleaning supplies.

About the Author
Curt Gebers is a widely recognized Cane Corso breeder based in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. He has been breeding and enjoying the lives of Corsos since 2003. Gebers is an Approved Breed Mentor by the Cane CorsoAssociation of America (CCAA), and an appointed member of the CCAA 2018 Election Oversight Committee. Corsos owned and bred by Gebers have obtained numerous awards, including 2018 CCAA Western Regional Best Of Breed, 2017 CCAA Puppy Of The Year, and the esteemed award for 2014 #1 AKC CANE CORSO. Find out more about Curt and his champion Corsos at the Red Rock Canyon Cane Corso website.

 

 Related Products

Solid Gold S.E.P. Stop Eating Poop (3.5 oz)

Solid Gold S.E.P. Stop Eating Poop (3.5 oz)

Poop-D-Zolver – Lime Coconut Scented (32 oz)

Four Paws Sanitary Pooper Scooper

How to Detect, Prevent, and Treat GERD in Pets

The health of pets is a topic that has been trending for a few years. From natural diets for dogs to alternative therapies for cats, we’re beginning to take their health just as seriously as we do our own.

This includes being more aware of our pets’ physical wellbeing and recognizing possible symptoms. Symptoms are the body’s way of expressing a problem. The problem is that we don’t ever really know how our pets are feeling, especially those pets who aren’t very vocal in general. This means we simply have to pay better attention to how they’re acting.

In this article, we’re going to do a deep-dive into all things GERD-related in pets of all shapes and sizes. We’ll specifically be looking at what GERD is, what causes it, what the symptoms and treatments are like, and how you can help prevent GERD in your pets.

What is GERD?

According to Dr. Karen Becker, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is “a condition in which there is an uncontrolled backflow of gastric or intestinal fluids into the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.”

Gastrointestinal fluids can cause damage to the mucosal lining of the esophagus. GERD is common in both cats and dogs. Animals who have been born with hiatal hernias have an increased risk of getting GERD.

PetMD.com adds that GERD can affect dogs of any age, but that younger dogs are more at risk. They say that gastrointestinal juices like stomach acid, pepsin, and bile salts can cause inflammation of the esophagus, which over time causes permanent damage.

What Causes GERD in Pets?

Dr. Becker says there are a number of things that could cause GERD in pets, but added that there are a few causes that are most likely.

  • Problems during anesthesia
    Any time a pet is given anesthesia that causes the esophageal sphincter to relax, thereby creating an opening between the stomach and the esophagus, you increase the risk for GERD. This can happen if the animal is improperly positioned on the surgery table while anesthetized, or if the animal hasn’t fasted properly before the surgery.
  • If the pet has a congenital condition
    When an animal is born with a hiatal hernia, this means there is a protrusion of abdominal content into the chest cavity. Younger pets are at greater risk, because their esophageal sphincters are still developing.
  • Chronic vomiting
    Chronic vomiting also increases the risk of your animals getting GERD, but it also increases the chance of them getting cancer of the esophagus.

One of the causes of GERD in both people and dogs is obesity. The obesity epidemic in America has reached epic proportions. Like humans, dogs need to have a regulated and healthy diet that keeps their weight under control. If a dog is already overweight, there are ways to help it lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

What are GERD Symptoms in Pets?

Nadia Ali noticed something wasn’t right with her cat one day that eventually led to a GERD diagnosis. Ali said this of her cat, Cici, “she seemed to be pawing at her mouth rather than licking at her foot.”

Cici then swung her head back and forth leaving a trail of saliva with each shift in direction. She followed this up with an intense coughing fit. This back and forth sequence repeat itself several times.

Ali said she thought of several possible reasons for her cat’s behavior ― a stuck hairball, she’d eaten something poisonous, she was choking, or had teeth pain ― but nothing truly made sense. So, Ali made an appointment with her vet to have an x-ray taken. The vet determined that Cici was suffering from GERD.

Typical symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Regurgitation
  • Gas and bloating
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Intolerance of certain foods and liquids
  • Bad breath

A physical exam won’t always reveal what the problem is, but it’s a good place to start when trying to determine if your pet has GERD or is suffering from another ailment.

What are GERD Treatments for Pets?

PetMD.com says that most treatments can be done at home.

Fasting

Have your pet fast for one or two days.  After that, you’ll need to instigate some dietary changes, namely in the amounts of fat and protein the animal consumes.

Change their Diet

Fat decreases the strength of the muscles between the esophagus and the stomach, and protein stimulates gastric acid secretion, both of which contribute to GERD. PetMD.com also recommends small, frequent feedings.

Dr. Becker adds that GERD doesn’t usually require hospitalization unless it’s a severe case, which often requires a feeding tube or IV feeding to help administer nutrients. She also recommends a low-fat and low-protein diet and small, frequent meals.

After the healing process, Dr. Becker recommends cooking bland veggies and meats for your pet. Since many GERD pets also have food sensitivities, you may want to eliminate gluten, rice, soy, and all genetically-modified foods, along with preservatives, additives, and colorings.

Medicine

If a change in diet doesn’t do the trick, medications can be considered an option, particularly prokinetic agents that help to improve the movement of stomach contents through the digestive process.

If diet alone doesn’t fix the problem, Dr. Becker says gastric acid inhibitors ― medications designed to soothe the esophageal lining ― might help significantly. She also recommends GI motility drugs that help improve digestion, and antibiotics if infections are present. Though, to keep a pet’s microbiome in tip-top shape, probiotics should always accompany antibiotics.

What happened with Ali and Cici?

However, for Cici, a change in diet was all it took. Ali focused on “a fresh, organic, nutritionally-balanced, whole food species-appropriate diet supplemented with organic herbs and nutraceuticals specifically selected to treat and remedy the symptoms of GERD.”

She also combined that special diet with better awareness on her part for Cici’s health, including noticing any signs of discomfort.

Dr. Becker advocates for using alternative therapies like chiropractic care and acupuncture for animals suffering from GERD. From what she’s seen, the results have been consistently positive for reducing the intensity and frequency of GERD symptoms. If you can help limit the symptoms, you can greatly improve the quality of life for your pet.

Costs Associated With GERD

As with any chronic illness, your pet getting a GERD diagnosis can be costly. To start, just getting the diagnosis can take several vet appointments and various tests to finally come to that conclusion.

The bills can pile up and quickly get out of hand, and not paying them promptly can have many consequences. To help mitigate this, be sure to seek out a vet who is willing to work with you on financing options. Allow monthly payments rather than upfront payment. This will also help with future vet visits as you manage your pet’s lifetime chronic condition.

Other costs will include all of the diet changes and medications your pet will need. Specialty foods for pets typically come with a hefty price, and there are not many options to choose from.

In addition, your pet may need extra supplements that will help manage symptoms or make up for lost vitamins not found in some limited-ingredient pet foods. Your pet with GERD will also likely require daily medication. Filling their medication every month is an extra cost to account for in your budget.

How to Prevent GERD in Pets?

The first step to preventing GERD in your pets is to eliminate unhealthy foods from your dog’s diet.

However, it also pays to understand how certain foods affect your pets. A saliva test is a good idea for helping to eliminate any allergenic foods from your pet’s diet. Dr. Becker says that beyond maintaining a low-fat diet, adding probiotics, bentonite clay, and colostrum to your pet’s diet may also help.

Colostrum is milk produced from mammary glands during the final stage of pregnancy. It has numerous gut-healing benefits, high nutrient content, and helps to prevent GERD by reducing inflammation and promoting muscle healing.

It could also be beneficial to use bentonite clay for sick pets. If your pet is vomiting, add a little clay to your their water for them to drink. It could help stop the vomiting, as well as relieve symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, and gas.

Dr. Becker also points out how important it is to know exactly what’s affecting your pet’s physical condition. Since both a lack of stomach acid and overproduction of stomach acid can cause GERD, you’ll want to know which is affecting your pet. If you supplement to increase acid production in an animal that’s already producing too much, it’s going to make matters worse.

Checking your pet’s source of water is also a good idea, according to Dr. Becker. It’s important for your pet to get fluoride-free water, but it’s even more important for animals with GERD.

For all pets whose root cause of GERD is a hiatal hernia, Dr. Becker says repairing that condition can help prevent and eliminate symptoms of GERD. She also advocates to reduce late-night feedings as it can contribute to worsening symptoms in the morning.

Older pets especially are going to have more health challenges that younger pets. If you have an older dog, you’ll want to know what the most common health issues are and keep an eye on your dog for any signs of these. Early detection works equally well for people and dogs.

Wrap Up

GERD has almost as many causes as it does symptoms, which is why it’s such a difficult condition to diagnose. It doesn’t help that your pets cannot speak up and tell you how they’re feeling. For this reason, it’s vitally important to become more aware of how your pet is feeling in general. Keep an eye out for any signs of GERD or any other disease or condition.

If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from GERD, it’s important to take your pet to the vet immediately. There are a number of different natural treatments available to pets, as well as specific medications that may also help. Just make sure you understand the totality of the problem, including food allergies, before settling on a specific course of action. Also, remember that prevention is always easier than treatment.

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

 Related Products

Purina Pro Plan Focus – Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Adult Dog Food (33 lb)

ProBioraPet Probiotic Oral Care 30 Day Supply (30 gram)

Proviable-DC - 80 capsules for Cats and Dogs

Proviable-DC – 80 capsules for Cats and Dogs

10 Ways to Prevent Fleas from Entering Your Home

If you’re a pet owner, you’re probably aware that fleas are a pretty common issue in both cats and dogs. Not only are they extremely annoying, but they can also cause plenty of health issues your pet would rather avoid.

Depending on your pet’s overall health conditions, flea bites might result in a wide range of conditions. Some dogs and cats might be allergic to flea saliva, which will result in skin problems that won’t go away so quickly. Actually, flea allergy dermatitis is among the most common causes of visits to veterinarians in dogs. Also, there are some diseases and bacterial infections that are spread via flea bites, such as Tapeworms or Bartonella bacteria.

On the other hand, risks from flea bites could also affect you or your family members. Fleas can live in your carpets, furniture or rugs, and disinfestation can sometimes take weeks or months. Also, while they’re present and living in your home, these yucky pests are a constant source of flea-borne diseases.

So, it is more than clear that, as a pet owner, you would want to do everything to make your home flea-free! We have to mention that in order to be completely pest free you need to prepare your home before spring. The fleas start attacking when the weather gets warm. Make sure you are ready to prevent these annoying pests from infesting your home before it is too late.

Let’s see what are the 10 best ways to prevent fleas from entering your home.

1. Trim Grass and Trees In Your Yard

If you have a yard or a garden, make sure they are not too inviting to fleas. Your grass, trees, and shrubs should be regularly trimmed and mowed. This will guarantee your outdoor area doesn’t look too appealing to fleas and ticks.

By trimming the grass, you’re not leaving a lot of space for fleas to hide. On the other hand, trimming trees and high shrubs will discourage wild animals from crawling in your yard and bringing fleas with them.

Also, don’t leave your pet’s food bowls outside because feral pets and wildlife might visit your yard because of food.

2. Spray Your Yard

If you want to feel extra safe and make sure pests will have no chances of coming even near your home, then buy a good yard flea spray.

This is a great way of making sure that all fleas that might be on your shoes or clothes are destroyed before you enter your home. By doing so, your yard will be both kid-friendly and pet-friendly.

Spray treatment for lawns, trees, shrubs or flowers has proven to be a great way to eliminate pests and repel not only fleas and ticks, but mosquitoes, ants and many other insects too.

3. Provide Your Pet With Regular Flea and Tick Prevention

As a pet owner, you are probably aware that there are plenty of forms to prevents fleas and tick forms. Your veterinarian has probably warned you about the best ways to prevent flea infestation in your pet.

You might want to consider applying topical protection such as K9 Advantix II Flea & Tick Control, especially if you have a long-haired dog.

However, there are other prevention options, i.e powders Petzlife Herbal Defense Powder that repels fleas and ticks from the inside out. What these powders do is make your pet’s skin undesirable to fleas and other biting insects.

4. Vacuum Your Home And Change Your Vacuum Bags Frequently

Your house doesn’t have to be dirty in order to have pests. Sometimes, a simple walk in the park might catch you some fleas on your shoes. And as soon as you step on your carpet, there you go, infestation risk is there.

So, to make sure annoying insects are not living in your rugs, carpeting, cushions, and furniture, make sure to vacuum at least once a week. But not only, but fleas can also live inside your vacuum cleaner. That’s why changing your vacuum bags on a regular basis is essential when you are trying to protect your home from fleas and other biting insects.

5. Treat Infestations

This is often taken for granted, but when you already found fleas on your pet, you should make sure that there are no traces of pests left in your home. That means that you have to destroy fleas in all stages. As they invade, a certain amount of eggs develop in larvae, eventually turning into adult fleas.

You’ll have to clean and wash your entire home to decrease chances of fleas reproducing in your carpets or pillows. If the problem is too big or is taking too long to resolve, contact an “exterminator” that will save you and your family members finally from these annoying pests.

6. Make Sure Your Pet Is Getting Enough Baths

If your pet caught fleas, look into shampoos that are designed to remove fleas. Also, there are plenty of natural repellents that you can use such as spraying your dog with lemon water.

Also, if you don’t have a flea treatment shampoo at hand, some pet owners claim that baby shampoo also works perfectly in removing fleas.

However, just one shampooing or spraying won’t solve the flea problem. You have to be persistent and continue using all the necessary tools to be sure your pet and your home are completely free from fleas. If there are eggs left somewhere, they will recur. You will have to go through the entire process once again.

7. Use Carpet Spray

Carpet sprays are a great way to make sure those fleas never want to live in your furniture, carpets and generally in your upholstery. So, maybe it would be a good idea to buy one either for prevention or for treating your home after a flea infection.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to carpet and home sprays, but you can, however, find the one that fits you best. Bio Spot Active Care Flea & Tick Carpet Spray is one of the best ones, as it destroys fleas in all stages – eggs, larvae, and adult.

8. Fog Your House

There are foggers specially designed to control flea infestations in your home. This method might be the most aggressive one, but it will protect your home for up to 7 months. Make sure that the life cycle of the flea is broken.

Not only will a fogger be a great way to protect your home from fleas, but it will also kill ticks, cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, mosquitoes, wasps, and many other insects.

9. Wash Bedding in Hot Water

No matter if your dog or cat has caught fleas or not, make sure that the risk of catching them is at zero. It’ll help you sleep better at night.

Furthermore, wash your cat or dog’s bedding, just like you would wash your bedding too. This means washing in hot, soapy water that will kill all potential or remaining flea eggs and larvae. By doing this, you will make sure your dog is not crying in their crate in the middle of the night from all the itching and scratching.

10. Use A Flea Comb

Although it might seem as minimal protection, a flea comb does a great job in removing fleas from your pet. When you comb your pet, make sure you do it outside so that they don’t land anywhere in your home.

The best way of combing your pet is by keeping a cup of soapy water beside you and dipping the comb inside to drown the potential fleas. Focus on the neck area and the base of the tail. Also, the tinier the teeth of the comb the better the pest control will be.

About the Author
Kristina Lalovic is the editor of Barking Royalty, the website where you can find plenty of useful and reliable information about canines. She has always been a dog person and had dogs in her early childhood. She’s constantly researching and learning about the ways to make dogs healthier and happier. Kristina and her Havanese Paco are inseparable pals and enjoy spending time outdoors.

 

 Related Products

Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Large Dogs

TickEase – Tick Removal Tweezers

Bayer Resultix Tick Spray (0.65 oz)

How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell

Cats are wonderful cuddly companions, but unfortunately, some have the habit of urinating in places other than the litter box. That urine can soak into furniture, clothing and other materials and make an awful smell.

Worse still, it’s a smell that lingers and isn’t likely to go away on its own, due to the fact it’s super concentrated.

Luckily, there are things you can do to get cat urine smell out – which we’ve listed below. We’ve also explained the reasons why Kitty “goes” outside the litter box, and how you can help combat the problem.

How to treat for cat urine smells

When cats do their business in unexpected places, the problem needs to be treated as quickly as possible. After all, the longer the urine is allowed to stay there untreated, the worse it can smell and the more damage it can do. For example, acidic urine can soak into items and even cause corrosion over time.

Follow these steps to get cat urine smell out quickly and efficiently:

1. Wipe it up and remove as much urine as possible

Start by wiping up as much of the urine as possible. Drying it with a cloth or paper towel works fairly well, but a wet wipe or wet cloth works even better. Clean lightly but thoroughly in the affected area to try to remove as much urine as possible. This is a crucial step, as doing a thorough job here can mean less work later on. Cat urine should never be scrubbed or rubbed, as that can cause it to soak in further and make it harder to remove.

If the urine has been sitting there a while, move onto the next step. Drying or wiping up the urine at that point won’t do much good.

2. Use an enzymatic cleaning product or a home-made solution

The next step is to use some sort of cleaning solution. Baking soda is the old standby, and most people have that on hand. It can be applied to the spot and allowed to settle in before being wiped away. Vinegar works well too, and even though it has a strong smell like cat urine does, it will eventually dissipate with some ventilation.

What you should never do is use anything with ammonia in it to clean the cat urine up. That’s because ammonia is actually one of the components in cat urine, and if Kitty gets a whiff of it, she’s likely to urinate in the same spot.

It’s also important to know that some cleaners will actually cause the stain to set, and ammonia is one of them, so you need to be careful about what you’re using and ensure that it will get rid of the stain and the smell and not make it worse. Cat urine is a tricky problem to deal with, as some conventional cleaners simply don’t do the job very well. Enzyme-based cleaners are some of the best treatment methods to use because they can break up the acid in cat urine. That makes it easy to clean up and gets rid of the smell very effectively.

Enzyme cleaners work well on carpets, mattresses and cushions, and they can help to eliminate the smell and the stain before it sets. These cleaners can also do a pretty good job of cleaning up urine that has had time to soak in.

3. Dry it up!

Dry up the cleaning solution and any water used to clean the affected area. A wet vac will do an excellent job of getting rid of any water residue and liquid from the cleaner that was used; be careful about using steam vacuums however as they can actually seal in the stain and make it harder to get out properly.

4. Freshen the air with a pet odor neutralizer or air freshener

If the affected area has been cleaned properly, then there should be no lingering smell from the urine. However, there can be an unpleasant scent from the cleaning solution used, especially if vinegar was applied to the urine.

An air freshener and some ventilation can help clear the air. Baking soda air freshener does a great job of getting rid of any lingering urine odors. It can eliminate even those scents that humans cannot perceive but that cats may be able to notice.

So why do cats urinate where they shouldn’t?

While the house smelling like a litter box is incredibly frustrating, it’s important to recognize that your cat isn’t being bad when they “go” outside the box and it’s usually beyond their control. More likely, the issue is due to frustration, stress, anxiety, urinary issues, or other medical problems:

Emotional issues like depression and anxiety
Has your cat recently experience a change in routine, a new person in the house, or a new home? All these factors can cause anxiety for a cat (especially an older moggy), so it’s important to be understanding and make them as comfortable as possible in their environment

Age
Senior cats can often lose control of their bladder, and other age-related health issues can also cause older cats to spray or soil outside their litter box

Behavioral problems
Is your cat stressed or acting up because they’ve been left alone too long? Are they scared of loud noises? Try to put them at ease and keep their litter box in a familiar place

Urinary issues
Cats experience feline urinary stress or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) when they are extremely stressed, or if they have an underlying medical issue. If you suspect your cat has a urinary issue, you should consult your veterinarian for an expert analysis

If you don’t think the issue is due to any of the reasons mentioned above, it could be a behavior known as spraying, where cats urinate somewhere they know they shouldn’t on purpose. It’s very important you don’t shout at or get angry with your cat if you suspect this, and instead follow the steps below:

How to keep cats from urinating in the wrong places

Diffusers

There are a few ways to stop smelly behavior in its tracks, but one of the most effective is by using a cat diffuser. Simply plug it in and it will release cat pheromones that help Kitty feel calm, de-stressed, and much less likely to pee where she or he shouldn’t.

Calming supplements

Again, helping kitty feel calm or less stressed usually stops the problem at the source. Another way you can help Kitty relax is by supplementing their diet with products designed to aid relaxation. Pet Naturals makes a supplement that does just that, using wholesome ingredients that work with the cat’s body to create a calmer feline. In many cases, that’s all that is needed to keep cats from urinating in places they shouldn’t.

Contact the vet

Keep in mind that you may not be able to solve your cat’s urination problem on your own. It’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian and ensure that your cat is receiving the proper treatment. At-home treatment can often deal with the symptoms while ignoring the root cause.

Litter boxes

1. Using the correct cat litter box can also make a huge difference. Some cats simply don’t like certain kinds of litter or litter boxes. They make think they smell funny, have an odd texture, or they simply irritate them, so it usually takes some trial and error to find one that your cat likes.

2. Invest in a high-quality cat litter box that has been well reviewed. Simply switching your litter or litter box to another can be enough to get a cat to use the litter box properly.

3. You may also need to add more litter boxes around the house – especially if you have more than one cat. Sometimes, felines don’t like to share litter boxes and will simply urinate wherever they please rather than buddy up on a single box.

4. Changing out the litter more regularly can help too. Cats will not want to use litter boxes that have a strong smell of feces. Cats tend to be clean creatures so they won’t urinate in places they deem to be dirty.

Wrap Up

Of course, you love your cat, but you don’t have to tolerate improper urination habits. There is a solution to the problem, and though may involve some trial and error, if you use the information provided here, you will be able to get your fluffy friend to urine where you want them to.

About the Author
Emma is a popular pet-blogger and a pet-parent to two four-legged friends. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of pet-health, pet behavior, and pet training.

 Related Products

Arm & Hammer Cat Deodorizer Dispenser

NuCat Senior Multivitamin for Cats (30 Bite-Sized Chews)

Vet’s Best Urinary Tract Support For Cats (60 chewable tablets)

 

Controlling Aggression in Dogs

As much as we care for and adore them, sometimes our beloved furry companions end up seated with a lot of aggression — and there can be some serious consequences for both you and your pup if it’s not addressed.

Dog attacks are a serious matter and as much love as you have for your dog, those aggressive tendencies can become too much. Everyday tasks like comfortably enjoying walks around the block, trips to the park, and family visits.

In order to ensure the safety of your friends, family, and even your postman, making the investment to get a grip on your dog’s aggression is imperative. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Aggression 101: Training is a Necessity

It’s important to remember that your dog is born with certain instincts and traits. To be fair, a lot of dogs were initially bred to be protective. While you can’t remove these traits, you can control them. This, of course, includes aggression.

The key is to start training before disaster strikes. Starting as soon as possible to tame your dog’s aggression means you will have the right tools in place before an attack occurs. In regards to dog-attack prevention, it’s important that “When your dog is being playful with you and shows signs of aggression you need to reinforce words like ‘no’ and ‘off’ and make sure you cross your arms away from the canine’s reach to show them what is acceptable behavior and does not warrant participation.” It’s also suggested to socialize your dog as a means of controlling aggression (if you have a puppy). “Most dogs are aggressive towards strangers. Puppy parties that help dogs and children intermingle and familiarize themselves are helpful for your canine friend when meeting people outside the household.”

Your local pet store will also likely host similar puppies parties if you are unable to host one yourself. These socialization efforts while your dog is still young can help them get used to seeing and meeting new dogs and humans, fostering a healthier reaction to them. Without this kind of regular interaction, other dogs and strangers are seen as a threat to your dog. It can seem counterproductive but if your pup is showing signs of aggression, getting them around others (in a controlled environment) is a great way to reduce those dangerous tendencies.

Types of Aggression

Of course, if your dog is older or socialization doesn’t seem to be the solution, it’s time to ask why your dog might be acting aggressive. According to The Spruce Pets, “The key thing to remember is that you can’t come up with a plan to change your dog’s behavior until you know the reason behind it.” Aggression comes in many shapes and forms. The Spruce Pets goes on to list several types of aggression, including:

  • Territorial
  • Protective
  • Possessive
  • Fear
  • Defensive
  • Redirected
  • Pain-elicited
  • Predatory

Going through the various types of aggression can help pinpoint triggers and situations — and thus avoid them. You can also seek specific training programs for your dog’s aggression, which can save you time and effort.

reward your dog’s good behavior instantly by remote control

The Consequences Can Be Deadly

Another motivation behind helping your dog tame their aggression is the liability that comes with dog attacks. You’d never want to put your furry companion in danger, and the same can be said for your non-furry companions as well.

For example, while it might seem cliche, dog attacks involving postal service workers are rising. Thanks to the popularity of online shopping, dog owners these days are getting more and more deliveries. This also gives your dog more reasons to get aggressive, considering so many strangers are coming and going, which could potentially lead to an attack or bite.

The same can be said for your neighbors. Even if you have a fence, it’s hard to predict when a curious kid will try to pet your dog (without your watchful eyes) or when the neighbor’s cat will want to sunbathe in your backyard.

If your dog does end up biting someone or attacking another owner’s pet, it’s possible that some of the victims might be within their rights to press charges. Depending on the circumstances, the court could order you to pay a hefty fee or worse — for your dog to be put down. With all of that in mind, spending the extra time and money on training and good practices is certainly worth it when you consider the consequences of not nipping your dog’s aggression side in the butt.

Wrap Up

The most important thing you can do for your dog is to invest in their well-being, and that includes taming those aggressive instincts. Even the most stubborn of dogs can be taught how to control their aggression. You’ll both feel better for it. Good luck!

 

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

 

 Related Products

Baskerville Ultra Muzzle

FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY

ADAPTIL On-The-Go Collar for Dogs (Large)

The Best Supplements To Add To Your Dog’s Diet

Every pet owner wants his/her dog to be completely healthy. Proper exercise, a stress-free environment, nutritional food, regular visits to the vet, and a lot of love ensure excellent health. However, what if your dog could use a little something extra to help him have the best health?

It’s important to look for supplements that will give your pup all the vitamins and minerals he needs. There are also supplements that help him feel better even though he has arthritis. Additionally, you can provide him with probiotics to help him be even healthier.

Here are a few supplements you should know about and how to help your dog stay healthy.

Turmeric

stimulate the production of proteoglycans, which help maintain the health and resiliency of joints and connective tissues

Turmeric contains curcumin, a golden yellow chemical used in Asian cooking. It has an earthy character. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal herb that benefits both humans and dogs with arthritis. Benefits to dogs include:

  • Healthy heart and liver
  • Healthy digestive system
  • Antioxidants that help with cancer
  • Helps allergies, liver diseases, and seizures
  • Pain reliever
  • Detoxes the dog’s body

Turmeric truly is worthy of the hoopla it’s receiving in mass media. It is known to shut down the blood supply to cancerous cells, as well as preventing cancerous cells from developing. Turmeric also helps with dental problems, irritable bowels, and allergies.

To add turmeric to your dog’s food:

1. Mix ½ cup of turmeric, 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of either olive or coconut oil, and 1 ½ teaspoon of black pepper in a sauce pot.
2. Heat on low until the mixture makes a paste.
3. Add a little more water if the paste is too thick.
4. Spoon ¼ teaspoon into your dog’s food, placing the remainder in a tightly lidded glass jar. It will keep for a month.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vast numbers of people are turning from chemical remedies to natural ones. They’re extending that to their dogs as well. Apple cider vinegar is nothing more than apples and water. It has some incredible benefits for dogs:

  • Natural flea repellent
  • Half and half ACV and water helps clean ears and prevent ear infections
  • The same mixture of half and half helps heal bruises
  • Putting ACV in your dog’s water helps with digestive upsets like diarrhea and indigestion
  • It also helps battle infections, dental problems, helps with arthritis and joint problems, and urinary tract infections

ACV is acidic, so always dilute the vinegar with water before applying to broken skin or rashes.

Antioxidants

By now, everyone knows that antioxidants battle free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen molecules with only 1 electron. These are produced by body metabolism. The free radicals need 2 electrons in order to be productive, so they take what they need from cells, DNA, and proteins. When they do that, they turn the attacked cells into free radicals themselves.

This causes problems from aging to immune system malfunctions. Free radicals not only come from our own bodies, but from stress, pollution, cigarette smoking, and alcohol, to name a few.

contains many vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and essential fatty acids needed by your pets for optimal health

Antioxidants offer the oxygen molecules an electron without becoming a free radical. This stops the cycle of damage from free radicals. Your dog will age better and not be susceptible to immune system problems. Vitamins A, C, and E are excellent antioxidants in addition to carotenoids and selenium. These are usually found in well -balanced dog foods. However, if the dog is fed less-than-nutritious food, then he will need a supplement. Your vet will know if the food you give your dog is high in antioxidants.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract is an essential oil extracted from the grapefruit plant. Infections in animals and humans including bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasites are literally blasted by grapefruit seed extract. GSE has a broad-spectrum effect on the immune system, battling anything thrown at it, whether accurately diagnosed or not.

The oils are high in Vitamins C and E along with bioflavonoids. These act as antioxidants. GSE also raises the body’s pH by alkalizing the blood. This is important because diseases can’t form in properly alkalized blood.

If your dog needs an antibiotic for whatever reason, then giving him GSE is a viable alternative. It has been shown to outclass the normal antibiotics. Don’t worry about toxicity, either. It would take thousands of doses of GSE to see a small percentage of poisoning.

Use GSE if your dog shows signs of gas, strep throat, ear infections, digestive problems, yeast infections, dental problems, infections of any type be it fungal, viral, or other, and doggie colds or flu, to name a few.

Kelp

Kelp is a type of algae or seaweed, sometimes called sea vegetables, growing in the clean waters off the west coast from Alaska down to southern California. It contains about 25 percent protein and only 2% fat. It is a rich source of iodine, which regulates your dog’s thyroid. The iron in kelp keeps your dog’s blood and circulation healthy.

combines kelp, flaxseed and antioxidants from blueberries to support your dog’s health

Kelp offers 60 vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, 21 amino acids, and is a complex carbohydrate. All this combines to offer your pet the following:

  • a regulated glandular system
  • tissue repair
  • a faster metabolism for weight loss
  • high fiber which has anti-inflammatory
  • anti-tumor properties

Your vet will alert you to treats and dog food containing kelp, and those products that are well-balanced and healthy for your dog to consume.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live cultures of bacteria and yeasts. They are the “good” bacteria and reside in the digestive system. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, and miso.

Proviable-DC - 80 capsules for Cats and Dogs

Natural supplement for reestablishing intestinal health with live microorganisms

Also, they provide a wide range of benefits to dogs such as preventing diarrhea, irritable bowels, and constipation. They promote gut health, battle potential pathogens, and they make nutrients of their own. If your dog gets sick for no immediately apparent reason or has diarrhea, then probiotics would benefit your dog.

Probiotics come in the form of doggie treats and chews, dog food, powders, and doggie yogurt. There is a disadvantage to using them, though. Keep in mind these are live organisms. Exposure to heat and air will destroy their good effects. Keep the organisms at a reasonable temperature, so your dog can enjoy their health benefits.

Glucosamine

As your dog ages, the natural glucosamine in his joints decreases. His body will no longer be able to manufacture its own glucosamine. The result is that he can’t move without pain. The everyday use of his joints combined with this decrease in glucosamine will head right into arthritis in his joints.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar, or a chemical with a sugar base. It contains a hydroxyl group, or a molecule containing oxygen bonded to a hydrogen atom. They are switched with an amine group. Additionally, glucosamine is found naturally in the joints. They help build cartilage.

It is extracted from the shells of shellfish, and eases the pain of arthritis in your dog and helps with mobility. Glucosamine is usually mixed with chondroitin, which is also naturally found in the tissues and cartilage.

Glucosamine comes in the form of supplement pills and treats.

Fish Oil

When the human diet migrated from natural foods found in gardens and on farms, the processed foods they bought were high in Omega-6 fatty acids. That’s not a bad thing; the body needs Omega-6 oils. However, processed foods contain too much -6 and not enough Omega-3 fatty acids. The body needs both to be balanced. So does your dog.

The answer is to take fish oil supplements. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat (a good fat) found in fish. Its benefits include balancing the effects of -6 in inflammatory problems, arthritis, and allergies. Omega-3 oil gives your dog a healthy, shiny coat and good skin. It promotes energy and cognitive development in pups and cognitive function in senior dogs.

If your dog’s food is high in grains, meats that are not grass-fed, and with fillers, then he needs fish oil to balance his body. You will find fish oil in gel form, in oils, and in chews and treats.

L-Carnitine

Some nutrients can’t move on their own to the spots in the dog’s body they need to be. They require something to carry them to those spots. Fatty acids, for example, need carnitine to carry them to the heart and skeletal muscles. Lack of this nutrient causes your dog heart and muscle weakness, enlarged heart, and he won’t be able to exercise.

You will find carnitine in softgels, powders, and doggie chews.

When Is Too Much And When Is Enough?

If your dog eats a formulation replete with all the nutrients he’ll need, then supplementation is unnecessary. If the dog got supplements, some would pass harmlessly from his body through urination. Others, though, can’t be eliminated such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. These will harm the dog. Your vet will know if your dog needs supplementation at all and if his food is nutritionally balanced.

About the Author
Paige Jirsa- I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.

 

 Related Products

ProBioraPet Probiotic Oral Care 30 Day Supply (30 gram)

Joint MAX Regular Strength (180 Chewable Tablets)

Simply Wild Salmon Oil (32 fl oz)

Anal Gland Problems & Treatments in Dogs

At times you may notice that your dog is scooting across the floor. Dogs do this when they are itchy and when there is some problem in their rear side. However, if you see them doing it regularly, it may be a concern and may require immediate attention. If your dog scoots on his bottom across the room all the time, there are chances he may be suffering from anal gland problems. Thus, the first thing that you need to do under such situation is to consult a veterinarian and get them examined. Anal gland problems if not treated at the right time may cause severe damages to your dog’s health.

What are anal glands in dogs?

These are the small pouches found between the internal and external anal muscles, located on either side of the anus. Also known as anal sacs, they are lined with apocrine (sweat) and sebaceous (oil) and glands. The anal glands in canines fill with fluid that has a specific scent that differs in each dog. This is the main reason why dogs smell one another when they meet.

Problems in the anal glands in canine

Usually, the liquid inside the anal glands is emptied during the bowel movement of your dog. Problems occur when they are unable to drain the fluid out. When the fluids in the organs do not pass quickly, it thickens inside and may cause a blockage. Thus, clogging up that area. Under this situation, the glands would start swelling and become painful for your dog. There is no direct health challenge adhered to this situation. Yet, your dog may become very uncomfortable and may lead to other infections. Fido may also end up hurting themselves by scooting on the ground.

Inflamed anal glands also make it difficult for the dogs to pass their bowel, and they might end up constipated. The swollen glands, if not treated well, may lead to the formation of an abscess. This causes an infection that may lead to bleeding. Furthermore, causing your pup to lose their appetite, weight and overall health deterioration.

There are three major anal gland problems in dogs.

– Anal gland impact

Here the fluid in the glands fail to pass through the bowel and it thickens while inside. The thickening of the fluid causes blockage inside the tube that empties the sac, which may lead to constipation and discomfort.

– Infection

If the fluid fails to pass out, it will cause swelling of the glands and infection. This situation is harrowing for your dog. The disease causes a build-up of bacteria inside the gland. If the infection is not treated at the right time, it may lead to the formation of an abscess.

– Abscess

The most painful situation your dog would suffer from is an infection in the gland. If not treated immediately, it will lead to an abscess. The abscess has the potential to spread and bleed and formation of pus. Usually, a veterinarian would address this by cutting a small incision and letting the fluid drain out, followed by cleaning of the area with anti-infection ointment.

Though all the breeds of dogs are susceptible to this problem, it is most commonly seen in smaller kind of dogs namely Dachshund, Toy Poodle, Pugs and Chihuahuas. However, irrespective of the breed, you must always be careful and alert when it comes to perineal problems.

promotes healthy anal sac and gland function in dogs

Symptoms of anal gland problems

Mentioned below are few signs or symptoms that may indicate anal gland issues.

Pain in the glands: Your dog would experience excruciating pain while passing bowel or even while sitting down. They will whimper, avoid pooping or sitting straight, and would become restless and anxious all the time. If you notice discomfort, you need to get them checked.

Swelling: You would notice that the anal glands of your pup are swelling and changing color. There may be a formation of hard masses in the bottom, which can be felt externally. So, examine carefully and timely.

Scooting: Your dog will start scooting all the time while dragging their bottom over all kinds of ground. The moment your dog starts to scoot look for infection in their rear area. Be careful, as a lot of dogs tend to get hurt in the process.

Tail biting: This may appear funny at the beginning, but if your dog does this repeatedly, it may be a sign of anal gland infection. As the disease tends to spread, it would also lead to itching and irritation.

Biting or Licking: Any infection leads to itching. Your dog would constantly lick or chew their rear side and may cause more problems. Therefore, if you see your mutt biting their rear, get them examined as soon as possible. Constant itching of the area may lead to other pressing issues.

Anal gland problem diagnosis

The vets diagnose anal gland problems in canines by examining their perineal area. They would wear disposable rubber gloves and massage the gland area to check for swelling, bleeding or any feeling of discomfort in the pet. This gives them an idea about the kind of problem in the gland, and if it is compressible. Once the fluid gets expressed, it gets sent for evaluation. If the anal gland is already infected, the liquid would be a dark brownish color. Chronic infections and abscesses would cause red-browning secretions.

If there is a mass formation in the perineal area, it may lead to cancer. Therefore, your vet would insert a needle to extract some cells. These cells arrive at a lab for examination, giving your vet a clear understanding of the situation and its treatment. It is recommended to consult a vet for any anal gland problem in your dog before it gets too painful.

How are anal gland problems in canines treated?

If you witness any of the signs mentioned above, it will be wise to take your pup to a vet to take fast action. The vet would try to empty the anal glands by pressing with the fingers. They would try to squeeze the fluid out from the gland. If the glands are already infected, he will use saline solution to remove the hardened material and flush the liquid out.

Under situations where there is a formation of abscess, the vet would prescribe a few weeks of antibiotics. During the treatment, they may put your dog under anesthesia or sedation, as the process is comparatively painful. Usually, hot compresses and antibiotics are used to empty the glands. A regular follow-up also is required for the glands to be drained.

If the problem gets worse, the vet may also suggest surgery to remove the glands. Removing the anal glands may be a permanent solution, but it also has its side effects. Once the anal glands are removed, it may become difficult for your dog to control the bowel movement. Therefore, consulting a vet right at the beginning is very crucial, if you do not want the condition to worsen or the infection to spread.

Rear view of a Dalmatian puppy sitting, looking at the camera isolated on white

Post-treatment recovery

After your pup is treated and the vet empties the glands, you need to make sure to take good care, as they would still be under a lot of pain. To make your dog feel comfortable, you can use warm compresses on their real area for at least a week. Repeat it for around 15 to 20 minutes every day. This would also help in soothing the pain and in reducing the swelling. Your dog may also require stool softener in certain situations. However, use it only when prescribed by the vet.

Home remedies to ease anal gland problems in your dog

– Increase fibrous diet

This is one of the convenient and most effective ways to relieve your dog from anal gland distress. All you need is to add fiber and calories to their food. Fibrous diet is helpful in smooth bowel passing, as it softens the stool.

– Increase fluid intake and moisture

If your dog is not very eager to drink water, you can add more liquid to their everyday food. Make drinking sessions interesting by introducing creative drinking bowls or fountains. Also keep a puddle nearby for your dog to take a splash or two whenever they are in a playful mood.

– Keep them fit with exercise

Make sure the dog gets their daily dose of exercise. Keeping them fit would help them with a healthy bowel system and would also enable them to pass their bowel easily.

Wrap Up

Therefore, if you want to keep your dog away from any anal gland problem, you must take care of their health and wellness. Get a healthy dietary plan from the experts and keep your dog fit and healthy. Add fiber to their diet and do not skip their exercise.

About the Author
Adarsh Gupta is a proud father of 2 Pomeranians and French Bulldogs. He always looks forward to sharing his experience in dogs with other dog parents. He also makes the recommendation on all kind of breed and their training in his site: puppywire.com.

 

 Related Products

Zesty Paws Anal Gland Scoot Away Bites (90 Soft Chews)

AOE Animal Odor Eliminator Wipes (80 count)

Proflora Probiotic Soft Chews (60 Count)