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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
  • Ligament Tears
  • Growing Pains
  • Mobility Problems
  • Joint Pain
  • Back/Spinal Problems
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

Symptoms

Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘Dogs and Cold Weather’

Should I Give My Dog Bottled Water?

Monday, September 29th, 2014


There are many sources of water safe for a dog to drink from and bottled water is just one of them. However, the only time I give my dog bottled water is if we go hiking for more than 15 minutes or if we’re on a long walk and the weather is very hot. He’s partial to Evian so I go easy on giving him too much of that water else he ruin my food budget.

Clean, fresh water is a vital part of a dog’s diet. In addition to moist food, fresh water is the primary source of hydration for a dog. Bottled water is safe and so is water from your tap or refrigerator dispenser.

There are water sources unsafe for any dog to drink from. For example, you shouldn’t let your dog drink water from a swimming pool. Swimming pool water contains a high level of chemicals like chlorine. If a dog drinks water from your pool it will consume too much chlorine in addition to the other chemicals used to sanitize and restore the proper PH level to pools. There could also be algae or bacterial growth in the pool.

You shouldn’t let your dog drink water from puddles and ponds either because the water can easily contain bacteria, parasites, and viruses that could be deadly to a dog. An organism called Pythium insidiosum thrives and reproduces in stagnant water and can cause a relatively uncommon, but serious illness in dogs.

Ice water or snow may seem like a good source of water for your dog if you live where cold weather and snowfall are common in the winter, but these are not really suitable water sources for a dog. Giving your dog cool water in the summer and room temperature water in the winter is good, whereas snow or ice from the outdoors can have an unpleasant effect on a dog and may cause an upset stomach.

Salt water should definitely be avoided by dogs. The salt content in the water is unsafe for a dog’s system. Salt water doesn’t provide the proper hydration for a dog and can actually lead to increased thirst.

Water from your faucet is generally a good source of water for dogs. However, if your water is unusually hard you may want to have the water tested for high levels of iron, magnesium or nitrates, both for your sake and your dog’s. Concentrations above the recommended level for these minerals is dangerous for anyone drinking your water.

I still give my dog bottled water on certain occasions like a road trip lasting more than an hour. Don’t make the mistake of pouring the bottled water in a dirty dog dish. Unwashed water bowls can contain harmful organisms and bacteria, and for that reason, I bought a stainless steel water bowl for my dog and clean it daily and disinfect it once a month.

And last but not the least important – don’t let your dog drink out of your toilet. A toilet bowl can contain trace chemicals left over from cleaning and even a small amount can prove harmful to a dog.

If your dog is very particular, you can feel safe giving it bottled water as long as it doesn’t break your budget.

How to Keep Your Dog Warm in Winter Weather

Monday, December 17th, 2012


Just like us, dogs need to stay warm in winter weather. If your dog stays inside most of the winter, you can add extra bedding material like a couple of old blankets to its sleeping area to keep it cozy and warm in cold weather.

If you live where the winter climate is frigid, your dog should be kept indoors during the entire season. If this is not possible or reasonable, there are a few ways you can protect your dog from icy cold weather and keep it comfortable during cold spells.

Arrange to shelter your dog in a warm dry place if it has to be outdoors in the winter. Be sure your dog has access to a warm garage or enclosed porch to stay in when winter temperatures drop too low for comfort.

Another alternative is an insulated dog house enclosed on three sides with a swinging door just large enough to allow easy entry and exit. The door can be made of wood or by using the vinyl flap reclaimed from an old doggy door. Place the dog house where the doorway faces away from the wind. The best protection for your dog is to place the doghouse next to a sheltered side of your home so at least one side of the doghouse has added weather protection from the outside wall of your house.

Straw makes a perfect bedding material to keep your dog warm and can easily be replaced when the bedding needs to be cleaned.

If your dog spends a considerable amount of time outside during cold winter weather, it will need additional food because its body will burn more calories just to keep it warm and to create a layer of fat insulation. Just add a little more food to the daily meals or supplement the meals with more canned dog food or other protein sources.

Jackets and sweaters to keep a dog warm are often considered nothing more than cute fashion statements. But if your dog spends most of its time indoors, its body will not have adjusted to a sudden cold climate change. Dogs with short coats and little body fat will be more comfortable wearing a coat or sweater when they go outdoors. If you live in a part of the country where it’s wet and icy during the winter months, rain jackets or boots can provide additional protection from nasty weather.

If you live where the winter weather is extremely cold, and you have access to a Petco or PetSmart store, you can find items ranging from clothing to comfy beds in just the right size for your canine companion. When you bundle up for the winter, be sure to bundle up your best friend too and keep him or her warm in winter weather.

 
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