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  • Hip Dysplasia
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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 ‘Puppy Tips and Tricks’

Dog Vaccination Costs

Monday, February 1st, 2016


Whether you have a new puppy to care for or an older dog that needs regular shots, dog vaccination costs are an important consideration in today’s economy. Vaccinations are essential to preventing a wide array of health problems, diseases and other harmful or fatal conditions that can affect a dog.

Veterinarians usually recommend beginning vaccinations for a puppy when it’s just a few weeks old, and some vaccinations have to be renewed every so often in order for them to be effective.

Vaccinations are commonly given against several different diseases, including distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. Your dog’s vaccination schedule will depend on factors such as where you live and your dog’s exposure to other dogs or animals.

Parvovirus is contagious and often fatal for most puppies. But if your puppy or dog doesn’t come into contact with other dogs, this vaccine may not be needed.

The best way to determine a dog’s vaccination costs long-term is to research the types of vaccinations that are vital to your dog’s health based on its age, breed, gender and where you live.

Most dog vaccinations cost around $20 each; additional booster shots add to the total costs. You also have to figure in the cost of a visit for the vet to administer the vaccines. You’ll probably be charged an additional $40 to $50 for the vet’s office visit.

Dog vaccination costs often vary considerably depending on what part of the country you live in and whether you live in an urban or suburban area rather than rural.

If you do not already have a regular veterinarian it would be wise to call different veterinarian’s offices and ask what the charges will be for an office visit and the dog vaccinations your pet requires.

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.

Training Dogs to Obey

Monday, January 4th, 2016


Training a dog to obey can be fun or frustrating, depending on how you go about it. Probably the most effective and important thing you can do during training is to be consistent in your actions and words so your dog knows what to expect each time it obeys your commands.

Training for an adult dog is handled differently than training a puppy. Dog obedience training for adult dogs covers all aspects of dog training whether your dog is disobedient, overly aggressive, begins biting people, starts chewing on your shoes or furniture, starts attacking small children, or is not properly house trained.

There are many books available on training an adult dog and you can find easily find exactly what you need with a quick scan of the dog sections in Barnes and Noble, Borders, or even your public library which usually carries a wide choice of books on training dogs.

If your dog jumps on you or someone else and you want the behavior to stop, don’t yell at it, push it or kick it. Your dog won’t understand these actions because all it sees is that you’re paying attention to it, talking and touching it, which is exactly what it wants from you.

Instead, shake your head and keep repeating “No!” each time the dog exhibits this behavior. If your dog is barking non-stop, get up and leave the room but don’t yell at your dog because this just reinforces the bad behavior.

Dog owners feel that their dogs “know they’ve done something wrong” because they “act guilty.” The reality is dogs don’t realize what they’ve done wrong unless you catch them in the act. Punishing a dog minutes after an unwanted behavior does not work. Your dog is “acting guilty” because your body language is interpreted as being angry, and dogs are very perceptive of a human’s body language.

Even if you are able to catch your dog at the time bad behavior is being demonstrated, it may not understand why you are punishing it.

Training a dog to obey you requires good communication from you. Dogs do not understand situations the way humans do, so it’s important to relate to a dog on its own level. Always be sure you’re not unintentionally rewarding bad behavior. Instead, teach your dog what you want it do and reward that behavior.

Dog Medications During Pregnancy

Monday, October 12th, 2015


Giving your dog medications during pregnancy may not be a good idea for her unborn puppies. A few medications are considered safe during pregnancy, but any drug not recommended or prescribed by a veterinarian should be avoided as it could result in birth defects to the puppies or harm to the mother.

Your vet may also recommend vaccinations during your dog’s pregnancy to protect the unborn puppies from diseases like canine distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. A pregnant dog exposed to any of these diseases who hasn’t been vaccinated, is risking her life and the lives of her puppies.

The most common drugs considered safe for a female dog during pregnancy are Thryoxine which is used to treat hypothyroidism; Revolution which is a flea, tick and worm preventative; Psyllium; and insulin. Antibiotics and pain medications are sometimes given to a pregnant dog during a difficult delivery but giving a dog antibiotics during pregnancy can be unsafe.

Some antibiotics can be administered during pregnancy but carry the possibility of putting the puppies at risk by causing deformation or death of the puppies. However, allowing your pregnant dog to suffer from bacterial infection without any treatment may be just as dangerous to both puppies and the mother.

Newborn puppies are immunologically suppressed and should not be exposed to bacterial infections. Treating your pregnant dog with safe antibiotics before she delivers removes any risk that the puppies will contract a bacterial infection from her.

A dog’s pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days and for the duration of that time your dog’s diet has to be carefully monitored and so does any medication given her. Monitoring your dog’s diet and medication during pregnancy will ensure that the puppies get the nutrients they need. Being careful that your dog receives only the correct medications during pregnancy is just as important as her diet.

A high-quality, dog food is essential for the health of both the mother and her puppies. Vitamin and calcium supplements aren’t absolutely needed and should not be given without first consulting your vet.

Proper care of the mother during her pregnancy will increase the chances of her giving birth to a litter of healthy puppies.

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.

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