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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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Archive for the ‘Dog Housebreaking’ Category

Best Dog Breeds For Families With Kids

Monday, May 16th, 2016


Almost 75 million dogs have been adopted into homes that already owned at least one dog. Multi-dog homes are often good for families with kids. There are other dogs to play with so a dog is not expecting constant attention from your children, or you, all the time, and there is always another dog to play with when the family is away from home.

If you’re considering adopting your very first dog or you want to replace a cherished pet that is no longer with you, it can sometimes be difficult finding the right dog for your family. All dogs are not created equal and each breed has specific traits that may or may not fit into your family situation.

Deciding which dog will make the best pet for your children depends on several things. One being whether someone in the family will have the time to give the dog plenty of exercise. You also need to consider whether a small, quiet dog or a larger, active dog fits the lifestyle of you and your children. Do you have a large home or a home with a yard? Will there be someone at home most of the time?

Answering these questions can help you decide on which breed of dog is best suited to your family’s lifestyle.

Where to find your pet is also an important consideration. Some people prefer to buy a dog from a breeder if they are searching for a purebred. But if you just want the best companion dog you can find for your family, an animal shelter or pet adoption center is probably your best choice. Pet adoption agencies and animal shelters help find homes for loving animals that have, for any number of reasons, ended up neglected, unloved, or unwanted.

The dog of your dreams may right now be living an unhappy, solitary life in the confines of an animal shelter cage. These dogs are so happy to be rescued and given a second chance at life, that they will heap loads of love on your children. Ask the staff at an animal shelter or pet adoption center to help you determine which breed of dog is right for your family.

The following breeds of dogs will provide excellent companionship, loyalty and love:

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed of all. Labrador Retrievers are friendly, lovable, smart and great with kids. They are the most popular family dog according to breeder surveys.

Golden Retrievers make great family dogs. These large dogs are extremely kind and gentle by nature and they love to play with people of any age. They can also entertain themselves with their toys so they’re not always bothering a member of the household. Just make sure you have enough space in your home as Golden Retrievers can grow to be as large as 90 pounds.

Yorkshire Terriers, also called “Yorkies” for short, are the smallest terriers of all. These tiny dogs are energetic and very protective of their owners, both adults and children. As a result, they don’t always get along well with strangers and they’re not afraid to let a visitor know. Expect a lot of “yapping” if you adopt one of these dogs.

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent and loyal dog breeds in the world. Because of their high intelligence and great strength they make a great family pet as long as you have room for a large, lovable dog.

The Beagle has been a popular breed for over a century. These cute, lovable dogs were originally raised as hunting dogs and are known for being kind and gentle. They make great family pets.

Dachshunds are also called “wiener dogs’ and have always been a favorite with adults and children because of their cute, sausage-shaped bodies. With long bodies and short legs they look like they couldn’t move very fast but they love to run and play with their owners and each other. They can be very protective and may nip at strangers and other dogs.

Boxers play well with children, are extremely loyal and are low maintenance. They aren’t the most intelligent dogs, but they make up for it by being energetic, headstrong, and fun-loving. They require strong obedience training while they’re young or they may turn out to be unmanageable when they grow into adults.

Poodles come in both standard and miniature sizes. They are popular dogs and are beautiful, loyal and extremely intelligent.

Miniature Schnauzers are smart, obedient and enjoy non-aggressive play with children and adults. They make great pets if you’re looking for a small, lovable dog.

The best dog breed for families with kids is ultimately a personal decision that you as a parent must make. If possible, help save the life of a dog confined to a shelter or pet adoption facility. You’ll never regret the love and devotion a rescued animal will give you and your children.

Overactive Bladder in Dogs

Monday, February 8th, 2016


An overactive bladder in a dog causes frequent urination because the dog is not able to hold the urine in its bladder for long periods of time. A dog with overactive bladder may also urinate in unacceptable places.

There are many reasons why a dog may suddenly start urinating frequently. A dog with diabetes will show signs of excessive thirst and hunger along with frequent urination. Frequent urination can also be a sign of a severe urinary tract infection that has spread to the dog’s bladder. Bladder stones or an enlarged prostate gland that exerts pressure on the bladder can also be the cause of an overactive bladder.

To determine the cause of an overactive bladder in a dog, the veterinarian needs to perform several examinations like urine analysis, blood tests, and X-rays.

If the cause of frequent urination is associated with diabetes, the dog may be prescribed insulin therapy to lower its blood glucose levels. If the diabetes is severe, the dog may require insulin shots for the rest of its life.

If the cause of the overactive bladder is a urinary tract infection, the dog will be prescribed antibiotics for the condition. If the cause is internal inflammation, corticosteroid drugs will be administered. These are only short term solutions and the vet will need to establish a proper treatment plan to control the dog’s urinary tract infections. Once the infection is cured the symptoms of overactive bladder will decrease.

If the dog has bladder stones, the vet will recommend a specific prescription diet and medication to help dissolve the stones.

If the dog is suffering from an enlarged prostate gland, the vet will have to perform a biopsy to determine if the cells are malignant. If malignancy is present, the vet may recommend chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

For dog owners who are not willing to submit their pet to these procedures, there are some natural remedies that promote stronger and healthier bladders in dogs. A vet should still be consulted before administering any of these remedies.

Some commercially available natural remedies include:
* Only Natural Pet Canine Bladder Control
* VS Bladder Strength for Dogs
* Simple Medicinals Bladder Control for Pets
* Only Natural Pet Cranberry Wellness
* Newton Homoeopathics Bladder Kidney

It’s important that the dog have follow up checks with a veterinarian to verify the success of any natural treatment option.

An overactive bladder in a dog can cause suffering and uncontrolled urination. Please be aware that although this may be distressing and problematic to a dog owner, the problem is far more serious and critical to the dog’s health and well-being.

Jack Russell Terrier Training Tips

Monday, January 11th, 2016


Jack Russell terrier training is essential, especially if you adopt a Jack Russell when it’s a puppy. Like most terriers, Jack Russells were bred to hunt and kill rodents and they have a lot of energy. Because of that energy, they require a lot of exercise, training and mental stimulation to live peacefully in a family situation without driving everyone crazy with their antics.

During adolescence Jack Russells have loads of energy, and it’s almost impossible to train one unless it’s getting the proper amount of exercise; this means up to an hour and a half of active running each and every day.

If not allowed to run full bore and burn up excess energy, Jack Russells will find things to do – things like tearing up cushions on sofas and chairs, ripping up plants in the garden, and chewing on every shoe in the house. It’s easy to understand why an owner needs to be sure that a Jack Russell terrier gets a lot of outdoor exercise.

Jack Russell terriers are easily distracted, and without exercise, those distractions can result in non-stop barking, in the house and outdoors as well.

Jack Russell terriers were bred to be diggers as most rodents live underground. If you don’t want your garden or yard dug up every week, you might want to put a sand box in your back yard and let the dog’s natural instincts for digging take over. You may need to put some of the dog’s toys and bones in the sandbox to spur it’s digging activities.

To stop a Jack Russell from chewing on everything in your house, you’ll have to limit the dog’s access to certain areas of the house during the day when no one is home. When family members are home they can guide the dog away from items you don’t want it to chew on and redirect it to things that are okay to chew on.

The most effective way to accomplish this is to teach the dog a “Leave it” command by holding several treats. Give the dog a couple of treats while saying “Take it.” Then close your fist and say, “Leave it.” Wait for the barking to stop, then give praise and reward with a treat.

Once the Jack Russell learns to obey these commands, you can start practicing with objects the dog likes to chew but should not be messing with. These could be shoes, remote TV controls, or anything lying around the house that seems to be irresistible to the dog’s attention. When the dog obeys your command to leave the object alone, reward it with a treat or one of its chewing toys.

These dogs make great pets, but instituting Jack Russell terrier training and seeing that it has plenty of exercise, will make them a welcome addition to almost any family.

Urinary Incontinence in Older Dogs

Monday, July 6th, 2015


It is not uncommon for older dogs to have incontinence problems; even younger dogs can have this disorder if they have a congenital deformity or have experienced an injury to the nerves that control the bladder muscles. However, urinary incontinence in older dogs is a far more common problem for anyone who owns an aging dog.

Understanding how a dog’s bladder works will shed some light on the problem. Dogs store urine in their bladder and when they need to urinate, the urine passes out of the body through the urethra. Normally, a dog is able to control the passage of urine, but if it loses control over the bladder the result is incontinence.

A band of muscles at the base of a dog’s bladder creates a valve that keeps urine from leaking out of the bladder. Dogs produce hormones that help them control these muscles consciously. Estrogen helps strengthen the bladder muscles in female dogs, and testosterone strengthens the same muscles in male dogs.

But as dogs age their bodies produce fewer of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. A dog that has been spayed or neutered is more likely to suffer hormone deficiencies. When this happens, urinary incontinence causes small amounts of urine to leak out of the dog’s bladder while it’s resting or sleeping.

Older dogs are most prone to urinary incontinence though younger animals can develop the condition due to congenital abnormalities or injury. Urinary incontinence in an older dog will usually begin to manifest itself when a dog is about eight or nine years old. Spayed females can develop urinary incontinence as early as three to five years of age.

Treatment for urinary incontinence in older dogs usually includes an oral medication prescribed by your vet. Phenylpropanolamine is the most common, non-hormonal drug used for both male and female dogs. Sometimes a vet will recommend hormone replacement therapy to treat urinary incontinence in an older dog. In these cases, daily doses of hormone substitutes need to be administered when treatment is begun, and once the dog begins to respond to treatment, the dosage schedule is reduced to once a week.

Side effects from hormone replacement drugs are rare in dogs. In some cases the medication doesn’t completely clear up the incontinence symptoms. If that happens, your dog will probably need to wear a dog diaper during the day and night.

Older dogs with urinary incontinence are also more susceptible to bladder infections because the muscles at the base of the bladder become looser, making it easier for bacteria to enter the dog’s organ. If this happens to your dog, antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian can be helpful in treating any bladder infections.

Should You Adopt a Rescued Dog

Monday, April 27th, 2015


Too many people feel that if you adopt a rescued dog you’re just settling for a pet no one else wanted. You might think there must be something wrong with the dog or it wouldn’t be in a shelter. Or maybe you feel that if you can adopt a cute little puppy, why would you want to take someone else’s “used” dog?

Not all dogs in animal shelters or dog rescue organizations are animals that nobody wanted. A more common scenario is that the dog had a loving home and was well cared for by its owner but ran away or was picked up by an animal control officer and the dog had no ID tag to identify its owner.

Another reason a good dog can end up in a shelter is because its owner was no longer able to care for it due to illness or death, and sometimes due to financial hardship. Some wonderful dogs are surrendered to a shelter by their owners simply because there is a new baby in the family and the owners are afraid of keeping the dog in the same house as a newborn. If you spend some time visiting an animal shelter you will hear many heartbreaking stories about adorable and devoted dogs being given up by their owners for many different reasons.

It’s also true that some dogs are surrendered to shelters because their owners could not afford the medical costs to treat a curable disease the dog has developed, or in some cases they were just disappointed that the dog was not behaving exactly as they expected it to.

A rescued dog may have survived anything from mistreatment to sheer cruelty and it deserves a new life in a home where it will be loved and properly cared for. Rescue means to “save something from a dangerous or harmful situation or to prevent something from being discarded or rejected.” Whatever the reason a dog ends up in a shelter, it has in some way been discarded or rejected.

There are many advantages if you adopt a rescued dog. The previous owner may have had the dog vaccinated already which saves you money. There’s a good chance that most of the dog’s basic training may have been completed, making it much easier to acclimate a new dog to your home and lifestyle. Rescued dogs usually make perfect pets and companions as they are so happy to be out of the confines of a shelter and find someone new to be devoted to.

Today’s society is a disposable one. Everything we buy seems to be disposable at some point in its existence. If so much of what a person owns is deemed to be disposable, why not a pet that’s no longer needed? Unfortunately this way of thinking is more common than most people realize. When you adopt a rescued dog you’re really adopting something previously thought of as disposable, and making it useful again.

All dogs, and especially rescued dogs, deserve another chance to be man’s best friend and indispensable companion. When you adopt a rescued dog it will love you for its entire lifetime.

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