Animal Shelters: The Different Types

Not all animal shelters are alike. Some shelters are operated by cities or counties and are supported by resident’s tax dollars. Animal Control Officers are usually the ones responsible for bringing abandoned or stray animals to these shelters. Some shelters are independently run and rely on charitable contributions to pay expenses. There are even shelters associated with national groups such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) which provides guidelines on operating the shelter.

Shelters also differ in the kinds of services they provide, which are usually dependent on their operating budgets. Unfortunately, many shelters supported by local taxes have small budgets. Other shelters supported by animal rights groups and ones that receive private donations, have bigger budgets and are able to provide more services to a larger number of dogs.

But no matter where the financial support for a shelter is coming from or the size of its budget, there are dedicated staff members and volunteers in every shelter who truly care about the welfare of the animals in their care.

There are many reasons animals end up in a shelter. Some pets are there simply because their owners can no longer care for them. Owners will bring their dog to a shelter for a variety of reasons. They may be moving and can’t take their dog with them; the dog may have serious health problems and an owner cannot afford to pay the costs; a family no longer has time for the dog because they have a new baby; or the family member who was the pet’s owner has gone away to college, or perhaps has died.

Some unfortunate dogs are brought to animal shelters because they are homeless or they were rescued from an abusive owner.

The extent of care an animal receives after being surrendered to a shelter depends on the shelter staff and the financial status of the shelter. Some shelters will do an in-depth evaluation which includes obtaining a history of the dogs health and its behavior in its former home, if it had a home. Most shelters have a part-time veterinarian on staff, or if they cannot afford it, will have vets who volunteer their time to help these defenseless animals. Dogs will be screened for different diseases and an assessment will be made of the animal’s temperament and behavior in the shelter. Shelters with budget constraints are able to provide only a minimal evaluation.

If you want to adopt a dog from a shelter, there are several steps you must take. These usually include filling out an application, choosing the right dog for you, signing a contract for adoption, and paying a fee. Some shelters have a waiting period of 24 hours before a dog can be picked up by its new parent or parents. The purpose of this “waiting period” is to give the adoptive parent or parents time to think about their decision and voice any concerns they may have about the dog they chose. During the waiting period, the shelter will put a ‘hold’ on the dog you have selected so no one else can adopt it while you are waiting for the 24 hour time frame to end.

If you do adopt from a shelter, it can be overwhelming to see the number of dogs you have to choose from. A dog’s size, temperament, age and sex are important traits to be considered when deciding on the “right” dog. Be aware that a caged dog does not always display the same behavior it would if in a home. Don’t do yourself a disfavor by overlooking the dogs that are quiet, scared, or very excited. Once a dog is in the loving environment of your home, the chances are excellent that you will have adopted the best friend you’ve ever had. The shelter staff should be able to tell you about each dog’s temperament and personality.

Many shelters will neuter and spay all dogs before they can be adopted. Smaller, less well-financed shelters may only be able to provide you with a certificate that will pay for a portion of the surgery. Most of the dogs will have been wormed and vaccinated before being put up for adoption.

In most cases there will be an adoption fee that has to be paid to the shelter and you will be required to spay or neuter the dog if it has not already been done. If the dog has had any health problems while at the shelter, you may be asked to help pay some of those costs. This will be different at every shelter.

Some shelters will offer a trial period or “trying out” period to let you take your chosen dog home and see how it behaves in the new environment. It’s very rare that you’ll take home a dog with serious behavioral or medical problems. These things are usually discovered while the dog is still in the shelter.

Adopting a dog from an animal shelter can be incredibly rewarding. Most adoptive dog parents say they are happy that they were able to save the life of a wonderful animal by giving it a new and loving home. The sad fact is that between 4 and 6 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters every year. Every shelter is filled with dogs who were wonderful, loving pets and will continue to be great pets once they become a beloved member of its new family.

Animal shelters provide an invaluable service by providing safe havens for pets and matching them up with new, loving owners. Adopting an animal from a shelter can be a wonderful experience. If you’re looking for a new “best friend”, a shelter is a great place to find the right dog for you.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Animal Shelter Adoptions

There are some important questions you need to ask about the health of any dog you’re considering adopting from an animal shelter. Most dogs available for people to adopt from city or county operated animal shelters are mentally stable and physically healthy.

Unfortunately, some dogs being offered for animal shelter adoptions have been abused or neglected by their former owners. Sometimes they have suffered from an illness or disease that might create problems for someone who wants to adopt a dog that will be with them for as long as possible and also won’t require a lot of expensive medical treatments.

To be fair to both yourself and the dog you’re considering for adoption, the questions you should ask the animal shelter staff are:

(1) Has the dog been spayed or neutered? It’s important to know the answer if you don’t want to breed the dog or bear the expense of having the procedure done;

(2) Are all the dog’s vaccinations up to date? Most dogs offered by shelters have had their vaccinations brought up to date, but ask if the dog has just arrived and whether the shelter has had time to give the dog any needed vaccinations;

(3) Has the dog needed any medical treatments since it arrived at the shelter? If it has, what treatments were given and what were they for? This will help you determine whether the dog may acquire certain illnesses in the future;

(4) Does the dog currently require any medications?

(5) Is the dog’s breed or breeds known to the staff? This will help you in understanding what types of health conditions the dog is predisposed to due to its breed, or mixture of breeds;

(6) Does the dog have any behavioral issues? Was the dog given up because it was dangerous or had serious behavior issues? This could definitely become a problem for anyone with small children or who has other dogs or cats in the home;

(7) How long has the dog been at the shelter? If the dog has been there for more than six months there’s a good chance that it may be suffering from mental distress after being cooped up and abandoned for such a long length of time;

(8) What kind of personality does the dog have? If it’s boisterous or overly active, it may not be appropriate for a family or even for a single person who has many time commitments in their life;

(9) Does the dog play well with the other dogs in the shelter or is it aggressive towards them?

If you’re considering an animal shelter adoption, you need to find out the answers to these questions before committing yourself to adopting your first, or next “best friend.”

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

When A Dog Is Ready To Whelp

 

Is your dog about to give birth? 

The first thing to do is talk to your vet. It is important to understand the potential risks and be able to identify signs of complications. Ideally, your vet has been checking on your dog throughout the pregnancy. The vet will talk to you about preparation and may also be able to help you find the right supplies.

Knowing When Your Dog Is Ready to Give Birth

Within about 48 hours of delivery, a pregnant dog typically shows signs of nesting. These signs may include scratching at her bed and looking for a safe place to have the puppies. You should begin to take your dog’s rectal temperature once or twice a day as her due date approaches. When the rectal temperature drops below 100°F (normal body temperature is 100-102°F) this is a good sign that labor will begin within about 24 hours.

During the first stage of labor, your dog will begin to experience uterine contractions. She may also start pacing or digging. Many dogs will pant or shake. Some dogs even vomit. All of this is considered normal behavior and typically lasts for six to 12 hours until the cervix dilates and she is ready to deliver her pups.

What You Can Do to Help

In the beginning, the best thing you can do is keep your distance while quietly observing your dog whelp. It may surprise you to learn that dogs don’t usually need much help giving birth. In fact, it is fascinating to watch a dog’s instincts take over as they whelp and nurse.

When the dog is ready to deliver a puppy, she will typically strain, or push, for about 10-30 minutes before the puppy emerges. Each newborn puppy is covered with a membrane that must be removed in order for the puppy to breathe. Most mothers instinctively do this by biting at the membrane and licking the puppy clean. If the mother does not do this within about two minutes, you will need to assist. Remove the membrane and rub the puppy clean with a towel. Clamp the umbilical cord with a hemostat and tie it with the umbilical tape or string (or, you can tie the actual cord in a knot). Cut the cord with surgical scissors on the side away from the puppy. Note: Never pull on the umbilical cord as it could cause injury.

The puppies are generally born about 45-60 minutes apart. In between pups, the mother may or may not pass the placenta from the previous pup. You might want to prevent your dog from eating the placenta because it often causes vomiting later.

About halfway through delivering the pups, the mother may need to take a break. Up to four hours may pass before she begins straining again. There is no cause for concern unless she goes longer than four hours before beginning to deliver the next pup. Hopefully, you have an idea of the number of pups and their sizes. Your vet may take x-rays around day 45 to determine the number of puppies.

Some puppies may be born tail first. This is not abnormal and is not usually a problem unless the pup seems stuck.

Signs of Complications

Call your veterinarian right away if any of the following occurs:

She does not go into labor within 24 hours of her temperature dropping below 100°F

Your dog is straining/having contractions for more than 30-60 minutes and no puppy is born

A puppy appears to be stuck in the birth canal, or the puppy is halfway out, and the mother cannot push the puppy anymore.

It has been more than four hours since the last pup, and you know there are more inside

She appears to be in extreme pain

The gestation period has reached 70 days

You have other concerns about the mother or her puppies

When in doubt, contact a veterinarian with questions. Ideally, you will already have a relationship with a vet experienced in canine reproduction.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Don’t be fooled – older dogs can still romp and play like puppies; proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Don’t feel that you have to give up exercising your older dog or stop playing games together because of your dog’s age. A program of regular exercise will keep your older dog fit and healthy. Here are four great ways to exercise your older dog.

Take short walks together
Walking is always a good choice for exercise, for both you and your dog. Even arthritic dogs can usually walk for a fairly long distance. Be aware of how far you do walk so you don’t overtire your dog on the way back home. If there are grassy areas nearby, let your dog walk on uneven grassy stretches which provide a lower-impact walk and can help improve your dog’s balance. If your dog begins to limp or show signs of being in pain, stop and rest. Don”t force your dog to walk if it’s in obvious pain.

For dogs suffering from paralysis or severe hip dysplasia, a dog cart can restore some mobility. Properly fitted, many dogs are able to continue their daily walks with the help of these carts. There are many styles of carts to fit all sizes of dogs and they can be ordered online from several retailers. If your dog suffers from severe hip dysplasia or arthritis and requires the aid of a cart. Carts can be customized beyond the normal size at no extra charge.

Play Tug-O-War
A game of Tug-O-War is not recommended for young or aggressive dogs, but in a gentle, older dog, the game can instill confidence and strengthen your dog’s teeth, gums and jaw. Protect your dog’s teeth by not yanking or tugging on the rope with a lot of force.

Swimming Lessens Pressure On The Joints
If your dog takes to the water like a Golden or Labrador Retriever does, swimming can be very helpful in lessening the pain of arthritis and hip dysplasia. Water reduces painful pressure on the joints and allows freedom of movement impossible on hard surfaces. If your dog is not used to swimming, try easing it into a shallow area of a lake or pond. This is more desirable than a swimming pool because the slippery surface of pools can frighten some dogs. It’s even better if you can go in the water with your dog. Most dogs can swim except for some chest-heavy dogs like Dobermans who may not be able to swim safely.

Give Your Older Dog Something To Retrieve
Fetching does not have to involve long distances or fast running. You can gently roll a ball to an older dog and the game can be played outdoors or indoors. Be sure to use a ball large enough to prevent choking. In dogs the size of a Golden or Labrador, a tennis ball might be too small and you’ll need to find the right size at a pet supply store.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

A Dog’s Lifespan

A dog’s lifespan varies widely by the type of breed, and also its size. All dog breeds belong to the same species, evolved from the wolf, yet they age at very different rates and no one understands why there is such a variance. Some dog breeds live to be 16 to 20 years old, whereas breeds like the Irish Wolfhound have a life expectancy of only 6 to 8 years.


If you’re considering adopting an adult dog or a puppy, and you’re concerned about the dog’s lifespan, the best advice is – think small.

Around 40% of small breed dogs live longer than 10 years. In contrast, only 13% of giant breed dogs will live that long. The average 50-pound dog has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while a giant breed like the Great Dane is considered senior or elderly at 6 to 8 years of age. Dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds live the longest.

In a study involving more than 700 dogs and 77 different breeds, researchers found that a dog’s weight and size are the chief determining factors in a dog’s lifespan. It’s not unusual for a miniature poodle to live for 16 or 17 years, while a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever is considered an old dog. Giant breeds that weigh more than 100 pounds are considered geriatric when they reach 6 to 7 years of age.

A good rule of thumb is the larger the dog, the fewer years it will live. If you want a dog that will live for a long time you may want to consider adopting a mixed breed rather than a purebred, which on the whole usually have shorter lifespans than most mixed breeds.

When deciding between a male or female dog, remember that females tend to live a little longer than males, mimicking the human condition in this respect.

If you’re considering a purebred dog, it’s a good idea to research the types of ailments and diseases specific to the breed before deciding. Many large-breed dogs like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers will develop hip dysplasia and the condition can become so serious that the dog will have to be euthanized.

Cancer is a common disease that can significantly shorten a dog’s lifespan, and some breeds like Boxers, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers have unusually high rates of cancer. Cancer is the most common cause of death in older dogs and nearly 42% of those dogs die from some form of cancer.

Flat-faced dogs such as Pugs and Shih Tzus, are predisposed to breathing problems that can cause overheating and even death. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are likely to develop a heart condition called mitral valve disease. Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to recurring ear and eye infections.

Being a responsible pet owner means seeing that your dog has the correct type and amount of nourishment, and proper exercise. Very important for a dog’s lifespan is the prevention of obesity which will help your dog live a longer, healthier life.

The American Kennel Club has published a list of the most popular dog breeds and their average life span:

Beagles — 12 to 14 years
Boston terriers — about 15 years
Boxers — 11 to 14 years
Bulldogs — 10 to 12 years
Chihuahuas — 15 years or more
Dachshunds — 12 to 14 years
Doberman Pinschers — 10 to 12 years
German Shepherd dog — 10 to 14 years
German shorthaired pointers — 12 to 15 years
Golden retriever — 10 to 12 years
Labrador retriever — 10 to 14 years
Miniature Schnauzers — 15 years or more
Pomeranians — 13 to 15 years
Poodles — 10 to 15 years
Pugs — 12 to 15 years
Rottweilers — 10 to 12 years
Shetland Sheepdogs — 12 to 14 years
Shih Tzu — 11 to 15 years
Yorkshire terrier — 12 to 15 years

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Older Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is one of the most common behavior problems seen in older dogs. Although younger dogs often display separation anxiety after their owner leaves the house, an older dog with separation anxiety will become very anxious when it senses its owner is about to leave the house.

When the owner does leave, the dog may become destructive, bark or howl, and possibly even urinate or defecate in the house. An older dog suffering from separation anxiety will often become overly excited when its owner returns home.

Older dogs often have a decreased ability to cope with changes in daily routines. Their vision and/or hearing loss may make them more anxious than normal, especially when they find themselves separated from their owner. Many veterinarians believe that neurological changes also limit an older dog’s ability to adjust to any changes in household routines.

    Treating separation anxiety in an older dog can be handled in several ways:

Don’t make a big deal when you do have to leave home – this only serves to reinforce the behavior.

Determine the length of time you can leave your dog alone before it becomes overly anxious. Start by leaving your home for short periods of time and then gradually increase the time you are gone, always returning before your dog becomes anxious. This may take several departures by you, or possibly as long as a couple weeks, so patience is the key.

Connect leaving the house with something good. When you’re ready to leave, give your dog a small treat. This may take its mind off your leaving. Anxiety can feed on itself, so if you prevent the anxiety from occurring when you leave, your dog may remain calm after you leave.
Make your dog’s environment as cozy as possible during the time you’ll be gone. A comfortable temperature, a soft bed, tuning your TV to Animal Planet, or playing soft, easy-listening music on the radio can have a soothing affect on your dog. Some dogs will be more relaxed if they can see outside, while others may become more anxious if left by a screen door or large window – especially if there happens to be small animals like cats or squirrels cavorting around outside. Only you can discover what’s best for your dog.

Teach your dog to relax. If you can teach your dog to relax by commanding it to “stay” for extended periods while you’re home, learning how to relax while you are gone will become much easier for your dog.

Change your departure signals. Many dogs understand that when the alarm goes off, it means today is a work day and you are going to leave the house. If your dog starts getting anxious as soon as it hears the alarm then it would be wise to introduce some small changes in your workday routine so your dog doesn’t know you’ll be leaving. For instance, pick up the car keys and then go sit on the couch. If it’s a Saturday, try getting up and dressing as if you’re going to work, but stay home. This may confuse your dog at first but should help break its association of the alarm going off with your leaving home.

If you are gone for extended periods during the day, leaving your dog all alone, you might want to have a friend or neighbor come in during the day to let your dog out and give it some exercise. Older dogs often need to go outside more often to urinate and defecate. By letting your dog outside more often, you may decrease its anxiety.

Some older dogs who have been house-trained for years, may start having “accidents” in the house. As with other behavior problems in older dogs, there can be several causes for this change in behavior. Medical conditions like colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, infections of the bladder or prostate, Cushing’s disease, and kidney or liver disease can result in an increased frequency of urination or defecation and could be the cause for these types of “accidents”. Also, degenerative joint diseases like hip dysplasia and arthritis can cause severe pain and make it difficult for the dog to get up and go outside to take care of its bodily functions. Treatment of these degenerative joint diseases with Winston’s Joint System will not only help heal your dog, but also allow it to regain mobility and can resolve any behavioral problems related to these diseases.

If degenerative joint diseases are contributing to the house soiling problem and arthritis or hip dysplasia is the cause, you may want to build a ramp to the outside so your dog won’t have to struggle going up and down stairs. Slick floor surfaces should be covered with non-slip area rugs or other material. If your dog urinates or defecates inside the house, thoroughly clean the area with an enzyme cleaner. And if your dog develops a need to urinate or defecate frequently, you may need to change your daily schedule or else find a friend or pet sitter who can take the dog outside when needed.

Some older dogs will become restless at night and stay awake, pacing through the house, and barking or issuing low, throaty howls. Pain from joint diseases, an increased need to urinate or defecate more often, a loss of vision or hearing, and neurological conditions can contribute to this behavior.

Older dogs need more love and attention than young puppies or young adult dogs. Give your beloved aging companion the love and care it deserves. You will be rewarded with more genuine love than you’ll receive from younger dogs.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

 

Removing Pet Odors From Your House

Removing pet odors from your house can be easy and you’ll create a healthy environment for you and your family or guests. The key to removing these odors is to first remove the source if you expect the smell to completely disappear and not have it return shortly after you’ve cleaned.

If you have a pet dog (or maybe two) you know exactly what it’s like to live with gobs of hair, a sofa and chairs that smell strange, and the ever so popular urine on your rugs and carpets.

Living with your pet day in and day out, it’s easy to get used to these odors and not even notice that sometimes your house smells like a kennel.

The first thing you’ll need to do is give your dog a bath on a regular basis. This will depend on factors like how long your dog’s coat is, whether it’s strictly an inside dog or whether it always runs around your yard, and whether you let your dog roll about in the dirt or whatever it feels like romping around in. If a dog is dirty it will spread mud or filth all over your house.

You’ll also need to be vigilant in removing excess hair from your dog and not wait until it’s all over your furniture.

Once a week remove any dog hair from your furniture using a standard vacuum cleaner with the side attachment. Just vacuum the furniture until all the hair is gone. You can also use a lint roller to pick up the loose hair.

Your floors should be cleaned at least once a week. Rugs and carpets vacuumed, and wood or tile floors swept clean before mopping. On tile or linoleum floors you can use bleach to be sure all the bacteria is killed.

Replace the air conditioning and furnace filters once a month. Loose dog hair tends to stick to filters.

Disinfecting hard surfaces that your dog comes in daily contact with will help remove any lingering odors, and by using a sanitizer you can kill more than 99% of all germs, including cold and flu viruses that may be clinging to surfaces in your home.

Standard spray air fresheners will only mask the scents in your house and you’ll end up with a dog that smells like a pet covered with flowers. Buy a spray that removes odors instead of covering them up.

You’re going to need a pet stain and odor remover if you want to get rid of all urine odors. An inexpensive and just as effective method for removing these odors is to spray the urine stained areas with a mixture of half vinegar and half water.

You should wash your pet’s bedding at least two times a month, then spray it for a fresh, clean scent.

Removing pet odors from your house doesn’t need to be a time consuming chore that you hate to face every week. Just follow the instructions above and soon your house will be free of unpleasant dog odors.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Common Infections in Dogs

Some common infections in dogs can result in minimal problems for the health of the animal, but infections can also cause major illnesses that can be fatal. As a responsible pet owner you should be aware of these common infections and their symptoms in order to determine whether your dog is having a bout with an illness that will cure itself, or whether the symptoms are indicative of a serious disease. Early recognition and treatment of infections are your best protection against a severe illness or the death of your pet.

Rabies is one of the most common infections in dogs. The symptoms of rabies may not become noticeable for days or even months after a dog has been infected with the disease. The symptoms include refusing to eat or drink water, a high fever, seizures, and foaming at the mouth. Some dogs will exhibit what is called “mad dog syndrome.” A dog with this syndrome can become extremely aggressive and will attack humans or other dogs. Vaccination is not only your safest protection against a dog contracting rabies, but also is mandatory in almost every city and town in the U.S.

Parvovirus is another extremely contagious disease commonly found in dogs, and also requires vaccination with a follow-up shot every year. It is usually contracted through exposure to the infected feces of a dog or other animal. The symptoms of parvovirus include lethargy, vomiting blood, or diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Ear infections in dogs are more common in floppy eared dogs and dogs who spend most of their time outdoors. The symptoms include excess wax build up in the ear canals, a foul smelling odor from the dog’s ears, and pawing or scratching the ears. Ear infections can be treated with a drying cream from a pet store. Insert the cream into the dog’s ear and rub it in well. The cream will act as a drying agent and soak up the excess moisture in the dog’s ears. Serious ear infections require treatment by a veterinarian.

Distemper is a highly contagious infection that affects the respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal systems in a dog. Like parvovirus, the infection is transmitted when an animal is exposed to feces that contain the virus. All dogs are at risk of contracting distemper, but puppies under four months of age are especially at risk. There is no cure for distemper but there are medications to help control the disease and keep it from worsening. Distemper vaccinations are also required annually for puppies and dogs.

The common cold in dogs is most commonly caused by kennel cough when an upper respiratory infection affects a dog’s lungs and sinuses. The symptoms include nasal discharge and sneezing, continual coughing spells, and great difficulty in breathing. Dogs who have strong immune systems are usually able fight off the infection before it becomes serious. Kennel cough is extremely infectious but can be treated and eradicated if caught in the early stage.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Adopting a Shelter Dog

Adopting a shelter dog and saving it from a possible early death can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience for you, your family and especially the dog.

In most cities the cost to adopt a shelter dog is relatively cheap. Most shelters only charge a modest fee for adopting a dog but that fee actually covers only a small part of the shelter’s costs for food, healthcare, facilities and care giving. Dogs housed in animal shelters will have been examined to make sure they’re in good health before being put up for adoption. The dogs are usually vaccinated, wormed and neutered or spayed. In well-run shelters, a dog’s behavior has been assessed so a prospective new owner can be better matched to the type of dog they want.

Before taking your family to the local animal shelter to choose a new dog, you should understand that the cost of adoption is only a small fraction of the total cost of owning a dog. The average dog owner will spend approximately $2,200 per year on food, medical care, vet visits and other dog related expenses. The actual yearly outlay of expenses will vary depending on the type of dog, and also why it ended up in the animal shelter.

Many dogs are surrendered to shelters because they have serious behavior problems, and a new owner will have to contend with those behaviors as well as fear and abandonment issues a dog may have from being mistreated or abandoned to a shelter.

It’s fairly easy to recognize a shelter dog who has fear issues. The dog may run or hide from strangers, bark a lot, or growl at humans. It can be difficult to reduce a dog’s fear, but if you fall in love with a dog displaying those symptoms, understand that those fears can be overcome with patience on your part.

If you’re thinking of adopting a shelter dog, you should get some background information on any dog you’re seriously considering. There are some dogs in shelters who have been given back several times because new owners couldn’t cope with the dog’s crying, barking or other destructive behavior when left alone. Sometimes this is caused simply by separation anxiety where the dog becomes fearful every time its owner leaves it alone. You can lessen this fear by spending as much time as possible with your new dog, gradually cutting down on the amount of time spent one-on-one.

Unfortunately, many dogs who end up in shelters have never been properly potty trained. If this is the case, you’ll need to treat the dog as it were a puppy. Set a regular schedule of when you take your dog outside to go. When it does its duty, reward it with a treat and praise. It shouldn’t take long for the dog to associate going outside to the bathroom with getting a tasty treat.

Many dogs are surrendered to shelters simply because their owners never taught them how to behave. A dog may display unwanted behavior such as jumping on people, humping people’s legs, or ignoring you when you tug on its leash.

While some people are not bothered by this type of behavior, some are and become very distressed by their inability to correct the behavior. The poor dog then ends up abandoned to a shelter. If the owner had a little more patience and understanding of dog behavior, these unwanted actions could be easily corrected with a little bit of positive training. If you’re adopting a shelter dog be sure it’s the right one for you before taking it home.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Asthma Treatments for Dogs

Pet asthma is a medical condition that’s easy to diagnose in dogs and there are several different asthma treatments for dogs that can control the symptoms of this disease.

Asthma in dogs is defined as the sudden narrowing of a dog’s airways that causes breathing difficulties. Asthma can be triggered when a pet inhales something it’s allergic to. When this happens, the lower parts of the lungs begin to tighten and the dog will begin to wheeze or cough. Its gums may turn blue, and heavy panting ensues.

In extreme cases a dog will collapse from a lack of oxygen. This is why it’s important to consider every asthma attack as a medical emergency. Too much exercise or exertion can also trigger an asthma attack.

Some pets with asthma may have only occasional mild attacks, while others can have repeated attacks ranging from moderate to severe.

Diagnosing Asthma in Your Dog
A veterinarian will use a combination of tests which include x-rays and blood assessments as a way to diagnose asthma. This will help rule out other ailments or illnesses like airway obstructions, infections or heartworms that can cause the same symptoms as asthma.

Your veterinarian may have you keep a record of your dog’s asthma attacks in order to establish what triggers are causing the attacks. If your dog has a problem breathing after an energetic exercise period or when pollen counts are high where you live, keeping track of the attacks can help your veterinarian formulate the best treatment plan for your dog.

Traditional asthma treatments for dogs include administering steroids and antihistamines to help reduce swelling and control the allergic reactions.

In more serious asthma cases, it may be necessary to inject epinephrine during an attack to allow the dog to breathe easier. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give your dog injections of epinephrine if it has a very serious case of asthma.

Asthma treatments for dogs may also include alternative medical treatments, such as dietary supplements, herbal remedies or acupuncture.

Regardless of the type of medical treatment you choose for your dog, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to control the circumstances that trigger the asthma attacks. For example, if dust triggers the asthma attacks, you’ll need to find a way to filter out dust from the air inside your house. If you’re a smoker and your dog’s asthma attacks are triggered by cigarette smoke, you may need to quit smoking or only smoke in areas well away from your dog.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

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