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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
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  • 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 ‘Nutrition for Dogs’

Low Carb Dog Food

Monday, March 21st, 2016


If your dog is substantially overweight or obese like one fourth of all dogs in the United States, you should begin feeding your pet a low carb dog food which can be beneficial to any overweight or obese pet.

Dogs are able to maintain an appropriate weight consuming almost any dog food on the market as long as they don’t over-indulge at mealtimes, are not fed too many treats and snacks at other times, and are getting enough exercise. But even for dogs who are not overweight or obese, a low-carb diet can help avoid health problems later in life.

Obese dogs are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and metabolic disorders. A low-carb diet is a necessity for dogs that are overweight and for dogs diagnosed with diabetes.

Dogs are omnivores which means they eat meat and vegetables, including fruits and grains. But considering the evolution of dogs who originated from the wolf, it makes sense that over-feeding your dog with grains like wheat and corn is not a good idea.

Dog’s bodies were designed for diets that are low in sugar and refined starches, and the high doses of carbohydrates a dog consumes when eating manufactured dog foods are not healthy. It may shock you to know that most commercial dog foods contain between 30% to 70% carbohydrates.

In addition to the high doses of carbs, many dog foods contain filler ingredients such as corn meal and starches. These ingredients, along with animal by-products which are the leftovers from other food processing, are unfit for human consumption. The reason they are added to dog food is to provide cheaper ingredients for the manufacturer and make a dog feel full faster without providing the nutrients a dog needs; something akin to fast food for humans.

Dog food ingredients you should try to avoid include wheat, corn, cornmeal, yellow corn and whole grain corn, brewer’s rice, cereals, and potatoes. All of these are filler ingredients that are very high in carbs.

There are many good brands of low-carb dog foods. Some come in the form of raw and dehydrated foods which are beneficial to a dog’s health because they are higher in nutrients. Several brands use entirely grain-free recipes as well as hormone-free turkey and meat.

Check for pet foods that are lower in carbs by examining the ingredients. Look for a low carbohydrate and high protein content in the food. Some of the ingredients to look for are beef, chicken, lamb, turkey or pork. Never give your dog any food containing “animal meal” or “animal fat.” This is a red flag for very poor-quality dog food.

Dog foods containing vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog and provide many of the nutrients missing in meat. Many low carb dog foods may also contain apples, bananas, cranberries, spinach, carrots, and celery.

Low carb dog foods with these ingredients are healthy for dogs in all stages of life, from puppies to senior dogs. Just remember to avoid all dog foods containing grains and buy those with real meat, fruits and vegetables.

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.

Best Diet For an Overweight Dog

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


The best diet for an overweight dog is obviously one that causes it to lose unhealthy fat while retaining muscle.

An overweight dog needs a weight loss program just as much as an overweight human does. Besides being fed too much food, the major reason a dog becomes overweight is that it doesn’t get enough exercise for its age and breed. For example, 10 minutes of walking every day isn’t even close to the amount of exercise needed by an active working dog like a Border Collie whose tradition is herding sheep or cattle. In contrast, a smaller dog like a Yorkie or toy poodle requires a lot less exercise.

If your dog is really out of shape it will need to increase its energy level by running or playing games that provide aerobic exercise. Start slowly with any new exercise plan to give your dog time to build its muscles and get used to a more active lifestyle.

An overweight dog is usually the result of feeding it too much food. This is the number one reason why a dog gets fat. To start a program of weight loss for your dog, begin by cutting back at least 25% on the amount of food you feed it each day. Keep track of not only how much food your dog is consuming daily, but also how fast the food is disappearing from its bowl. You do need to be aware that cutting back on the amount of food means you’re also cutting back on nutrients. Supplementing the dog’s diet with a good quality vitamin like Winston’s Senior Complete Multi Vitamin will ensure that your dog is still getting the nutrients it needs.

The best diet plan for an overweight dog is to feed it fewer treats and table scraps. Too much of either of these can contribute to a dog’s weight gain, so stop giving your dog table scraps or extra treats. Reward it instead with healthy foods like green beans, a banana, carrots or specialty dog biscuits from a store that features wholesome snacks.

Substitute giving your overweight dog treats by spending time playing fetch or Frisbee which will engage your pet and offer less motivation to beg for treats. When your dog does play games with you, reward it with love and attention rather than treats. Helping your dog lose weight won’t instantly make your dog slim and fit, but continued adherence to a plan of daily exercise, cutting out extra treats, and feeding it a high-quality dog food in moderate amounts will help your dog live a healthier, longer life.

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Monday, November 9th, 2015


From time to time a friend will ask me if dogs can eat apples without getting sick. One friend called me in a panic on a Saturday morning after her pet Labrador snatched an apple off her kitchen counter and scarfed the whole thing down, including the seeds.

I told her not to worry as an apple is perfectly safe for a dog to eat. You should use caution though if you’re giving your dog whole apples as a treat since the covering of the seeds contains very small amounts of amygdalin, a compound that contains cyanide.

My vet believes that the stems of apples may also contain traces of cyanide, so I’m careful to remove the stem and seeds before giving my dog an apple. Seeds are not really that harmful because the seed coating has to be broken before the amygdalin is released, so if your dog eats the few seeds contained in an average size apple, there is nothing to worry about.

I always slice the apple and give it to my dog piece by piece because it’s safer than tossing him a whole apple to eat. As to how many seeds would be safe for a dog to consume, consider that an adult would need to eat a whole cup of seeds to feel ill.

Apples are tasty treats for dogs and provide the nutritional benefits of vitamin C and fiber, plus they’re low in sodium and saturated fat. They also contain calcium and phosphorus. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in an apple help make the dog’s skin and coat healthier.

All dogs should not be fed apples just because they contain nutrients. If a dog has kidney disease, the added calcium, phosphorus and omega-6 fatty acids may not be a good addition to its diet. Additionally arthritic dogs require monitoring of their omega-6 fatty acid levels. It’s best to check with your vet if your dog has kidney disease or arthritis.

The worst problems a dog would encounter from eating too many apples is an upset stomach or diarrhea. So when my friend asked me the question can dogs eat apples, I told her yes, but “In the future keep your dog out of the kitchen when you’re making pies.”

Why Dogs Vomit Blood

Monday, September 21st, 2015


When a dog vomits blood it is suffering from a condition known as hematemesis. Hematemesis could be a temporary condition or a sign of chronic gastrointestinal illness.

The most common reasons why dogs vomit blood are: (1) a small amount of bright red blood indicating an injury in the mouth or throat, (2) a significant amount of dark, clotted blood indicating a serious gastrointestinal condition.

Some symptoms that may accompany a dog’s vomiting of blood include: rapid weight loss, bloating, excessive thirst (this can also be a symptom of diabetes in a dog), or darkened stools.

There are some acute illnesses a vet will need to test for and exclude before the possibility of a chronic condition can be diagnosed. These include poisoning of the animal, swallowing of a foreign object, parasites in the gastrointestinal tract, or bad reactions to prescribed medications.

There are some serious chronic gastrointestinal illnesses and diseases than can also cause a dog to vomit blood, including kidney disease, tumors, bowel obstructions, or liver disease.

When a dog vomits blood, it should be considered just as serious as if it were a human vomiting blood. A responsible pet owner will call their vet for an emergency visit should their dog begin vomiting blood.

Don’t take a chance that it’s nothing serious or that the problem will go away on its own. Your pet deserves better treatment than that.

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