Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yes, Your Dog Will Be Happier If You Use These Dog Grooming Tips

By Niall Cinneide
Most dogs handle their own grooming needs. But, you can offer a helping hand as necessary. If you do this, you will have many benefits to it. For example, it helps the two of you to bond. And, it allows for you to catch diseases or other health problems that can affect your pet. Can't get your dog to sit still long enough? Then, do a small portion of her each day. Eventually she will enjoy it and allow you to do it easily.

Dogs use licking, shaking and scratching to stay clean. If you brush them, you can help the fur to stay clean and unmated. Some dogs that have longer hair will require this attention daily. Others who have shorter hair can be brushed just once a week. Most dogs will enjoy the brushing. Others will not right off the bat. In order to help this process, use the brush in a small amount while talking soothingly to her. Afterwards, give her a treat for being good. Add a little more time on each time.

Dark specs on the skin can be fleas. In order to check for these types of problems, run your hands down here coat as you brush her. If you see quite a bit of black flecks, which are flea dropping, then you need to seek help for your animal right away. You may also notice rice like debris near her tail. These are a sign that the dog has worms. Again, you need to take your pet to the vet in this case as they will need treatment.

Just like you, your pet needs her teeth brushed daily. You can do this using a child sized toothbrush or just a finger toothbrush that is designed for your pet. The paste that you use should be one designed for dogs only. Your toothpaste can seriously make your dog ill. To help keep dog's teeth in tip top shape, give them rawhide chews to gnaw on. This helps keep teeth as well as gums healthy.

You'll need to do other types of grooming as well, but not as frequently. You should check ears and nails weekly or monthly. Look into your dog's ears. If you see small, black/brown specks, this can be ear mites. For nails, walks that are given on sidewalks as well as in the driveway can help to wear them down. Make sure, though, that the nails are not too long. You can learn from your vet the proper way to trim them to help the dog to stay healthy and to walk correctly. You should not trim them without getting some training though.

Best Pet Health Information brings you tips, news, recommendations and reviews of dog grooming and health products to keep you and your dog happy and healthy. Dog News Center publishes news and articles about dogs and puppies.

http://www.best-pet-health.info . This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and live links are included intact.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dog Worms: Understand Dog Worms Symptoms and Infestation

By Moses Chia
Until a very recent period, dog worms were thought to be of a spontaneous origin, brought about by the influence of heat upon decaying vegetable matter, and it was and still is freely asserted that puppies are born with dog worms inherited from the mother in some mysterious manner while still in uterus. This has been conclusively proven an error and in the minds of all scientists there is no question about dog worms springing from individual eggs and having a complete life history of their own.

The principal worm species with which dog owners have to contend are round worms and tape worms. The first named commonly infest puppies and consequently are most dreaded by breeders. In shape and size these worms resemble common angle worms, but in color are lighter, being almost white or only a pale pink.

In adult dogs these worms, when full grown, are from three to seven inches long. In puppies they are about half that length, and as thick as common white string. Round worms live in the small intestines, sometimes coiled in such masses as to obstruct the passage, and occasionally they wander into the stomach or are passed by the bowels.

It is easy to understand that when one dog in a kennel is infected with worms, millions of eggs will be passed with the feces. These are scattered all over the floors, bedding, feeding and drinking pans. They get on the dog's coat, are licked off and swallowed and in numbers of ways gain entrance to the digestive tracts of other dogs, where they soon hatch out and in ten days are fully developed.

This rapid development account for the popular belief that puppies are born with worms, for breeders who have held post-mortems on puppies scarcely ten days old and have found in their stomachs fully developed round worms could account for their presence in no other way. They overlooked the fact that the prospective mother, confined in a kennel infested with worms, would get these eggs attached to her coat, belly and breasts, and the young, as soon as born, would take these eggs into their stomachs with the first mouthfuls of milk.

Symptoms Of Dog Worms Attack

Dog worms are responsible for so much sickness and so many symptoms that it is practically impossible to mention all of them, but their presence can safely be suspected in all dogs which have not been recently treated for them, as well as in cases where the patient is run down, unthrifty and out of sorts.

Other symptoms are a hot, dry nose, weak, watery eyes, pale lips and gums, foul breath, mean hacking cough and a red, scurfy, pimply or irritated condition of the skin and harsh, dry, staring coat that is constantly being shed.

Wormy dogs sometimes have a depraved appetite and will eat dirt and rubbish. Some days they are ravenously hungry, the next day they will not eat at all; their sleep is disturbed by dreams and intestinal rumbling, the urine is high colored and frequently passed, bowels irregular, stomach easily unsettled, watery mucus is frequently vomited and the mouth is hot, sticky and full of ropy saliva.

Puppies which are full of worms bloat easily and are pot-bellied. After feeding their stomachs distend disproportionately to the amount of food consumed. Their bodies are also subject to scaly eruptions and their bowels to colicky pains; they do not grow as rapidly as healthy puppies should and instead of playing with each other they curl up and sleep hour after hour; they get thinner, weaker and more lifeless from day to day and if they do not waste away or die in fits and convulsions with frothing at the mouth and champing of the jaws, grow up coarse-jointed, rickety and misshapen. Puppies with worms are also liable to paralysis of their rear limbs and on removal of the worms the puppies regain control of the affected parts.

A wormy dog is usually an unhealthy and unhappy dog who leads a miserable life. It could even be deadly, especially so for young puppies. Bring your dog to a veterinarian if you are unsure. Your dog will certainly thank you for that.

Moses Chia is the webmaster of DogsObedienceTraining.com. He provides more helpful information on dog obedience training, dog training book reviews and dog illness symptoms interpretation that you can learn in the comfort of your home on his website.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tips for Solving Dog Behavior Problems: Ditch the Tantrums

By Tim Lee
Dogs can sometimes be very unfriendly with the other dogs. They snap in the air, growl and bark a lot. These may sometimes indicate normal acts of defense to protect their owners and territory. Hence, one can surmise that they do not mean any harm.

However, there are times when such behavior becomes excessive and uncontrollable. At this point, your dogs can be very unruly and may even do more harm than good. What was once a pet may become a growling monster if not examined for any behavioural problems immediately.

Here is a list of some tips for solving your dog's behavior problems and make them live a normal, happy life.

1) Following the leader
Show the dog that you are the leader. Try not to confuse your dog. Teach him that you are the master and he has to obey.

When dog behavior problems take place, the dog becomes the master instead. The dog tends to project itself as the main boss of its environment. This has to stop, and your dog should know where he stands.

2) Go out and socialize
Expose your dogs and let them mingle with other dogs and people as this help them get rid of their insecurities, nervousness and make them learn how to socialize.

Like in humans, dog behavior problems indicate some psychological problems. There are some instances that dogs are just bored that is why they are behaving that way.

3) Too many puppy problems
As much as possible raise not more than 3 puppies at a time. They can be jealous. Imagine having a couple of siblings of same age, fighting over the same toy and getting the mother dog's and the owner's attention.

4) Abundant food equals healthy mind and body
This is common with stray dogs. Not having ample water, food and even sex in their environment affect their brains and way of thinking. They might also be eating dirty food and develop rabies. It is best to stay away from street dogs or better report it to the dog pound.

5) Training school
If your dogs are really stubborn and uncontrollable or you just want them professionally trained, you could enroll your dog in training schools.

6) Play and prepare
They should learn to play such as to run, jump, wrestle, chase, nip, be brave, use their mouth, and paw. A canine should learn all these because those are part of their normal behavior and in order to get them ready for the real world battle and hunting if ever they need to. Playing should also be done in moderation because too much of it could also add in the progress of aggression.

7) Fear me not
Dog's life experiences such as being attacked as a puppy or if they have seen two dogs fight also affects their behavior because dogs may develop anger, fear, and even imbalances in their hormones.

Their nerves could also be weak. A program called "slow desensitisation" or systematic reduction of their sensitivity is best performed with these dogs.

Since with this type of behavior the dog is not violent, it would help if they will be given reward and disregard the bad manners instead.

Dogs are always known as man best friend but sometimes, their behavior changes and become violent. In some ways, they are like humans too. They need love and care. Such bad behavior only becomes serious when they reach the age of more than 1 year up to 3 years. Therefore, before it starts to become serious, help them now

For the fastest and healthiest methods that transform your dog's behavior problems, please visit http://www.1st-in-dog-training.info/

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Is Your Dog Ready for Summer?

By Randy Jones and Brent Jones
Summer is almost here and if you haven't already done so, you should make sure your dog is ready for another season out of doors. Most pet owners spend a good deal of time outside during the Spring and Summer months, taking their pets along to share in the fun, but also exposing them to fleas, ticks, and other animals that can be carriers of rabies and other diseases.

Every dog should be permanently protected from distemper, infectious hepatitis, and leptospirosis. These vaccines are now generally combined in one single inoculation. From the age of 6 months, all dogs should also be protected from rabies. Most vaccines are effective for one year, although the latest rabies shot is good for four. They are almost 100 percent effective when administered on schedule, but worthless if exposure to risk is maintained after the protection has expired.

After your initial visit, you will normally need to take your dog to the vet only once a year to keep his immunization up to date. During this annual visit, ask him to give your dog a through examination, including checkup of his:

-teeth (removing tartar if necessary)
-anal glands (emptying them if necessary)
-nails (clipping them if necessary)
-stool (if you think he may have worms)

Females need more regular attention than males, especially if they are bred. When you wish to travel with your dog, you will be prepared for any state, federal, or international requirement if you ask your vet for a certificate of good health, and make sure that his vaccinations are in order before you leave. Normally, a sound dog needs no more veterinary attention than this. However, you may take him to the vet on other occasions due to accidents or illness.

As you get to know your dog, you will be able to distinguish between passing symptoms of no importance, chronic minor disorders, and the indications of disease and infection. Among the symptoms that warrant a visit to the vet are:

-A temperature over 102 degrees, or under 100 that lasts for more than 24 hours, or a temperature as high as 104, or as low as 99
-Acute pain for which there is no logical explanation.
-Bloody urine
-Blood in the stool more than once
-A discharge of yellow mucus from the eyes or nose
-Persistent vomiting, coughing, or refusal to ear for more than 24 hours
-If your dog simply looks and acts really sick

A visit to the vet will at least ease your anxiety, if only because the vet can judge better than you whether or not there are allied symptoms that would indicate a more serious illness. Have a great summer!

Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed Joncopets.com On the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest dog clothes, dog collars, dog carriers and more for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at http://www.joncopets.com.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

How To Administer Ear Medication for Your Dog - Painlessly

By Aidan Bindoff
Has your dog ever had an ear infection? Likely your vet will have prescribed ear medications for treatment or prevention of future ear infections.

The problem with ear medications is that they can be quite uncomfortable for your dog, the medication often needs to be administered in liquid form directly into the ear canal.

Your dog may find this uncomfortable and start avoiding you, or even becoming aggressive towards you.

If your dog becomes aggressive, consult with your vet and seek help from a competent behavioral trainer knowledgeable in desensitisation and counter-conditioning. Avoid anyone who suggests punishing your dog for this behavior.

If the problem is only mild, then you can begin this simple and effective desensitisation procedure yourself.

Have some small, yummy treats ready. Do this exercise before a meal, not after. The exercise involves forming a positive association with the ear medication and having the ear touched by pairing with yummy treats (for more information, Google "Pavlov").

The first step is to have your dog used to having his ears handled - without medication. Touch the outside of his ear and give a treat, do this a few times. Then touch the inside of the ear and give a treat. Don't stick your finger into the ear canal, just touch the actual ear and give a treat. Do this a few times, as many times a day as you can. Gently massage your dogs ears if he likes it, tell him how good he is!

When your dog seems to enjoy having his ears touched, show him the medicine bottle and give a treat. You can do this a number of times.

Next, leave the lid on the medicine bottle and touch the inside of his ear with it, then give a treat. This step is probably the most critical, particularly if your dog has already had ear medication and doesn't like it.

Now we get to the point where we need to administer some medication. I would suggest you administer just a small amount unless your vet insists upon a full dosage all in one go. Feed treats while you administer the medication, and after. Now tell your dog how proud you are while you gently massage the outside of his ears (if he enjoys having his ears massaged, of course, we are building positive associations!)

Remember to keep it positive, don't move ahead too fast, and give plenty of treats and praise as you go!

Aidan Bindoff is intensely interested in dog behaviour and training and works to remediate fearful, anxious and aggressive dogs in Australia. He also runs the Training Levels list providing a step-by-step program for people training their own dog. For more information visit http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/traininglevels/

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dog Ear Infections - Prevention, Symptoms, Causes

By Rebecca Prescott
Brian Kilcommons relates a terrible story about a beautiful golden retriever dog who was usually very gentle and kind with children. It's owners had a girl aged 3 1/2, and they normally got along very well. Then one day the little girl grabbed the dog's ear. It snarled and bit her face. She needed 47 stitches in her face, and they put the dog down. The parents had the dog euthanized without bothering to find out what had caused this sudden change in their dog's behaviour. The vet, however, did an autopsy, and found our that this dog was suffering not one but two severe ear infections that were incredibly painful.

Ear infections usually start out mild, and in the outer ear. This dog's health was effectively neglected by it's owners. And when their toddler grabbed the infected ear, the dog, already in constant pain anyway, reacted out of instinct. By not taking the time to properly care for their pet, these owners were in fact responsible for what happened to their child. And then blamed the dog. And probably out of ignorance or anger, or both, they had it killed. Their emotional response to what happened to their child as a result of their own neglect aside, I find this absolutely reprehensible. And the tragedy that happened to their dog when they chose to kill it instead of investigating further, as well as the tragedy to their child, was totally avoidable.

Unlike these owners, show your dog the same level of care and love you'd show your children. Become aware of the signs of ear infections, what causes them, and how to avoid them, taking dogs to get treatment when it seems like they have one.

Ear infections can be caused by any number of things. Wet ears not dried after swimming or bathing, a build up of ear wax, grass seeds and fox tails, untreated ear mites, using cotton tips to clean ears (which pushes things further into the ear), and growths in the ear canal, can all lead to ear infections. If your dog is scratching at his ears, rubbing them, holding his head to one side, or down, shaking his head, or if they look bloody or waxy or swollen, they should be checked out. And if he cries when his ears are touched, this is another sign of a potential ear infection.

When untreated ear infections progress deeper into the ear, the pain the dog is in increases sharply. The dog may hold his head as still as possible, and to one side. And opening his mouth, or touching his head, will cause him pain. Dogs can also become dizzy, with poor balance and coordination, when the infection progresses to the inner ear. Dogs may walk around in circles, and vomit.

Ear infections are also related to skin allergies, especially food hypersensitivity dermatitis and canine atopy. Dogs with these conditions often develop inflamed ears. The dog's ears become very itchy, which creates an 'itch-scratch-itch' cycle that in turn creates scabs around the ear, hair loss, crustiness, and raw skin. The ear canals become filled with a brown wax.

Some dogs are also allergic to some ear medications. A common one is an antibiotic called neomycin, but can be any ear treatment products including cortisone, nystatin, chloramphenicol, thiabendazole, gentamicin, miconazole, and clortrimazole.

One thing of concern in dogs that are professionally groomed is the practice of plucking the hairs out of the dog's ear. The serum which then comes out of their pores is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, which is a common cause of ear infection. Vets generally don't recommend you allow your dog's ears to be plucked unless their is a good medical reason to do so. An example of a good medical reason is if there is a large mat of hair that is blocking air flow.

If the mats of hair are in the ear canal, they should be removed by a vet only. If they're not, first soak the hair in a coat conditioner for a few minutes to soften it. Then, with your fingers, separate as much of the mat as possible. You may be able to untangle the rest of the mat with a comb, but more likely you'll need scissors or a mat splitter. Be very careful if you're using scissors. Using a comb, position it under the mat to protect the skin. Hold the scissors at right angles to the comb, and cut into the matted fur in narrow strips. Very gently, tease the mat out, and then comb out any snarls that are left. Regular grooming, with the right tools, will avoid mats forming in the first place.

Always check your dog's ears after he's been playing in long grasses. If you think there is a foxtail in his ear, take him to the vet's and don't try and get it out yourself. Fox tails can really damage the ear. If when you press gently on the ear canal he cries out in pain, there's a good chance there's a fox tail in there.

References:
1. Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson, Good Owners, Great Dogs
2. Richard Pitcairn, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
3. James Griffin and Liisa Carlson, Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Learn more about dog health and dog care at The Dogs Bone. There are sections on training, puppies, and breed information. For more information on ear mites, check out this article here: http://www.thedogsbone.com/articles/3/1/Dog-Health-Question---Getting-Rid-Of-Ear-Mites

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dog Canine Bloat

By Ron Swerdfiger
What is Canine Bloat?

Bloat refers to the bloating of the stomach. Essentially it is a build up of gas in the stomach which is unable to be released. Bloat with Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists 180 to 360 degrees on it's axis between the esophagus and duodenum or the entrance and exit parts of the stomach. Bloat is a very serious problem in large breed dogs. When combined with the complications of GDV, bloat is a leading cause of death of dogs, second only to cancer.

The exact cause of bloat is still unknown. Generally, it is believed that excessive eating and drinking of water followed by exercise can cause bloat. It is thought that exercise causes food or fluid in the stomach to cause a build up of gas. The severity of the conditions is more serious when the stomach twists upon itself within the abdomen in a clockwise rotation causing the inlet and outlet of the stomach as well as blood vessels which supply the stomach to become constricted at both ends. As a result, the constriction will cause the stomach tissue to die. In a very short time, the stomach becomes restricted of nutrients and oxygen. If not treated, the dog can die.

What Are the Symptoms of Canine Bloat?

- Anxious, restless

- Distended abdomen

- Attempting to vomit

- Excessive drooling

- Whining

- Pale gums

- Increase in heart rate.

- Difficult breathing

What Causes Bloat?

The stomach becomes filled with gas and because of several possible factors; the dog is unable to relieve the pressure. Bloat, with GDV, is when the stomach goes in to a Atwist.@ This closes both the esophagus and pylorus, preventing the dog from relieving the gas pressure which can quickly build up after a large meal. This condition is extremely fatal, causing shock, coma and eventually death. Like many other conditions which affect our dogs, the actual cause of bloat is still unknown. Several factor seem to contribute to a dogs chances of getting bloat

- Stress

- Eating or drinking too fast.

- Exercise before and immediately after eating

- Having a large deep chest

- Elevated food bowls

- Hereditary

- Disposition

Are All Dogs At Risk Cannine Bloat?

Canine bloat and GDV usually only effects large breed dogs, but smaller dogs are still susceptible.. It is thought that some lines of breeds are genetically at a higher risk. Though bloat can occur in puppies, it is a condition which usually occurs in adult dogs. Furthermore, male dogs are more likely to suffer from bloat than female dogs. Here is a list of some breeds that have a higher chance of being effected by bloat and GDV.

- German Shepherd

- Great Dane

- Standard Poodle

- Rottweiler

- Akita

- Bloodhound

- Great Pyrenees

- Irish Setter

- Old English Sheepdog

- Boxer

- Golden Retriever

- Irish Wolfhound

- St. Bernards

- Labrador Retriever

- Newfoundland

- Doberman

What Is the Treatment of Dog Bloat?

Canine bloat is a very serious problem. If you suspect your dog of having bloat, contact your vet immediately. Every second counts! If caught and diagnosed quick enough, initial treatment will involve inserting a tube or tochar in to the stomach wall to remove the gas. If necessary, the vet will then operate, attempting to untwist the stomach. Secondary treatment will involve treating shock, dehydration, fatigue, and other complications resulting from the distension of the stomach.

Is There Any Way To Prevent Dog Bloat?

Prevention of bloat can be difficult. Because there are so many possible causes for this condition, prevention must be examined on an individual basis. If you have a dog that is at risk there are a couple of things that you can do to decrease the chances of this fatal condition. Since bloat is believed to be connected with genetics and hereditary, these preventive measures can only decrease the chances of bloat.

- Do not overfeed. Feed 2-3 small meals a day.

- Do not use elevated food bowls

- Do not allow your dog to drink large amounts of water after eating.

- Add an enzyme product to your dogs food

- Keep emergency veterinary contact handy

- Gastropexy surgery

This website only provides BASIC information about canine bloat. Your veterinarian is always your best source of health information. Consult your veterinarian for more information about Canine Bloat and GDV and its prevention.

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