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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
  • Ligament Tears
  • Growing Pains
  • Mobility Problems
  • Joint Pain
  • Back/Spinal Problems
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Symptoms

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 ‘Dogs Digestion’ Category

Raw Dog Food Diet

Monday, August 10th, 2015


Many people believe that a raw dog food diet is unhealthy for their pet. What you choose to feed your pet is entirely up to you, so we’ll just list of few of the many benefits of a raw dog food diet and you can make up your own mind.

When dogs are fed a diet of raw foods, they usually build up a stronger immune system which allows them to recover more quickly from ailments and illnesses. Owners who have had their dogs on raw food diets for a while notice that their pets now have more energy when playing or exercising and their overall health and appearance improved in a very short time.

Changing to a raw dog food diet also means there is less risk of the dog being exposed to unhealthy ingredients in most manufactured dog foods. Raw food diets don’t contain artificial colorings, flavorings, meat “by-products”, or chemical preservatives.

A raw food diet is often considered healthier and safer than commercial dog foods which often lack the necessary vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to be healthy.

Most veterinarians we have spoken with agree that a raw food diet is good for a dog but they advise against completely changing your dog’s diet in one fell swoop. You should start by gradually introducing raw foods to your dog. In the beginning start by feeding your dog a smaller amount of commercially manufactured dog food, adding a little raw food mixed with it. Continue adding more raw food and less manufactured food every couple of days until the dog’s food is entirely comprised of the raw foods. This allows your dog to get used to the new diet without upsetting its system.

Don’t be frightened if you notice some changes in your dog’s appearance after switching to a raw dog food diet. This is normal and as your dog becomes adjusted to its new diet, it will begin to look and act healthier. In the beginning weeks you may see more shedding of hair, more wax buildup in the ears, possibly a slight skin rash, and often the dog will have loose, soft stools.

If these changes become extreme and continue for some time, you should consult your vet in case your dog has an allergy to something in its new food diet.

The key to changing to any raw dog food diet is balance. Your dog’s diet should include a tasty and healthy combination of meat along with fruits and vegetables. It isn’t wise to feed your dog only one type of food like raw beef.

We also recommend that you consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet. If you’re not knowledgeable about what constitutes a healthy raw dog food diet, call your vet or ask friends who have changed their pet’s diets to all raw, natural foods.

Why Do Dogs Shake When Sleeping?

Monday, August 3rd, 2015


Does your dog shake when sleeping? Does it worry you? There can be several reasons for this shaking but they’re usually not indicative of something seriously wrong with your dog just because it shakes when asleep.

When a dog shakes while it’s sleeping it can be alarming because you can’t be sure what’s causing the shaking and whether it’s a natural occurrence, or if the dog may be in pain. When your dog is deep in REM sleep you may notice it shaking, crying, kicking, or moving its legs like it’s running.

Rapid eye movement (REM) is the sleep stage in which dreams happen. During REM a dog’s mind is fully active and aware, even though its body is in a completely calm state. The dog’s mind will replay images from events that happened that day or even past events, and its body will react to those images, causing involuntary movement during sleep. There have been many studies proving that dogs do experience REM sleep stage.

It is interesting that larger dog breeds don’t have dreams as frequently as do smaller dog breeds. If dreams are the reason for your dog’s actions, then you have nothing to be worried about.

If you notice these same movements occurring frequently when your dog is simply resting, it’s possible that your dog is having an epileptic seizure. Epileptic seizures stem from a disorder of the nerve cells in the dog’s brain and generally occur during consciousness but result in the dog losing consciousness. Nerve structures in the brain produce electrochemical signals and carry them to the brain where instructions to perform the various functions of the body are regulated. When these signals become scrambled, the result is an epileptic seizure.

During an epileptic seizure a dog may bite, snap or jerk, hurting its owner or itself. Since epileptic seizures cause unconsciousness, the dog will have no recollection of this behavior. Epileptic seizures do not seem to be controllable and tend to recur over the life of a dog.

There are other causes for seizures in dogs such as tumors, kidney and liver disorders, infections, brain damage and toxins. A low oxygen level in the blood or blood glucose levels that are too high can also cause seizures. A dog might have a partial seizure affecting only parts of its body or a generalized seizure called a grand mal that affects the entire body. Grand mal is the most severe type of seizure.

Although not very common, tremors in dogs can also be caused by abnormal cardiac contractions and restricted blood flow within the heart. This results in erratic involuntary movements. If this occurs while the dog is sleeping or awake, you should ask your veterinarian to give your dog a complete medical examination.

Dog Food Allergies

Monday, July 27th, 2015


Dog food allergies are common in dogs. These allergies are often due to a dog being allergic to certain ingredients in its food. If you can identify what ingredient in the dog’s food is causing the allergy, you can then remove that allergen from your dog’s diet. This should effectively reduce or eliminate any allergic reaction.

Dogs with allergies to their food may develop respiratory problems soon after eating. This often results in excessive coughing and sneezing. If the dog is having a hard time eating and swallowing food, or if it coughs the food up shortly after ingesting it, you’ll need to keep a close watch on your pet to see if this condition continues for any length of time or if it becomes worse.

You’ll need to see your veterinarian immediately if your dog can’t stop choking or is to unable to breathe as a result of an allergic reaction.

Another very common food allergy in dogs is itchiness of the skin. This can affect every part of its body, but is most common anywhere the allergic ingredient makes direct contact with the dog’s skin, including the face, nose, eyes and mouth, as well as the rectal area.

If your pet continually scratches its itchy skin, the skin will become inflamed and tender. In extreme cases, the dog’s constant scratching may cause open sores and lesions on its body.

Dog food allergies can also lead to serious problems because the dog’s body is not able to fight off any bacterial infections. These include ear infections and skin infections as well.

If you notice any symptoms of dog food allergies in your dog, you should consult with your vet who can help you determine exactly which ingredients in your dog’s food is causing the allergic reaction.

Should Dogs Eat Cat Food?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015


The question “Should dogs eat cat food?” is often asked by owners who have both dogs and cats living together because it’s often difficult to keep a dog from eating the cat’s food.

Cat food usually has higher levels of protein and fat than dog food and many dogs find that combination very appetizing. Cat food is also more likely to be left out all day long allowing a cat to eat when it wants, whereas dog food tends to be served only at mealtimes. Dogs have a tendency to eat whatever they find tasty, regardless of whether they’re hungry or not.

Cat food and dog food have different formulations because cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. Cats are carnivores and must eat meat in order to maintain their health. Dogs eat cat food because they are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat-based foods and plant-based foods. Cats usually don’t bother eating a dog’s food because cats need certain B-complex vitamins that dog food doesn’t contain.

Will your dog get sick if it eats cat food? Usually only if it overindulges on cat food. If this happens the dog is likely to suffer digestive discomfort, including diarrhea and vomiting due to higher fat levels in cat food.

If your dog sneaks an occasional small amount of cat food it won’t harm its health, but if allowed to eat cat food over an extended period of time, it will probably become overweight and will lack some of the vital nutrients in dog food that are lacking in cat food.

Over time, a dog could also develop kidney problems if its excretory system is unable to remove the extra protein found in cat food. This extra protein becomes urea which is a nitrogenous compound found in the urine of an animal and is produced by the breakdown of protein.

Keeping your dog out of the cat’s food requires some rearranging. Try putting the dog and cat food bowls in different parts of the house. You could put the dog’s food in the kitchen and the cat’s food in the laundry room. If that doesn’t work, try giving the cat its food on something higher than you feed the dog on, like a countertop which cats will find easy to climb up on but a dog won’t.

Hopefully one of those tricks will work. If not you may want to install a cat door on the laundry room door that’s too small for your dog to get through. Dogs eat cat food simply because it’s food and it’s accessible. If a dog can’t get to it, the problem will end.

Healthy Dog Food Ingredients

Monday, June 15th, 2015


It is an axiom (a generally accepted idea or proposition assumed to be true) that using healthy dog food ingredients will result in healthy dog foods. It is also true that feeding dogs healthy food enhances their quality of life by reducing illnesses, improving the coat and teeth, and providing healthy energy for their bodies.

But no matter how healthy the ingredients are in a specific dog food, if a dog’s health doesn’t improve with a particular type of food, then it is not the right diet for that dog. Many dogs are allergic to certain types of protein or other ingredients used in the manufacture of dog food, and if your dog seems to have more health issues after changing to what you believe to be a healthier dog food, you’ll need to experiment with a few other dog food brands or recipes.

Luckily, most quality dog foods also come in smaller packages, negating the need to buy large bags and waste money if your dog can’t or won’t eat the new food.

Some signs that your dog needs to change its diet are excessive flatulence, frequent ear infections, licking the top of its paws too much, and frequent vomiting or diarrhea. If this is happening to your dog, try changing the type of protein used in its food and see if the symptoms disappear or at least improve.

A dog’s stomach will often attack unfamiliar ingredients, so a new food may not be accepted right away and often can cause diarrhea. Don’t buy a new brand or type of dog food at the first sign of these problems. Continue feeding your dog the same food for a least a week or two before deciding to try something new.

Dogs can also develop allergies to foods they eat too often, so it’s a good idea to feed your pet several foods that contain different protein sources to help it maintain a balanced diet.

Dogs are omnivores, and like humans their bodies were designed to obtain nutrients from both meat and vegetables. The reality is that pet dogs receive most of their nutrients from protein sources, so when choosing a dog food, the quality of the protein is the most important ingredient. As a general rule. three of the first five ingredients listed on the label should be protein sources.

Don’t choose dog foods containing “meat byproducts” or any with labels listing “animal protein” as a principal ingredient. These two ingredients usually don’t include muscle meat from which dogs receive most of their protein. Look for dog foods with labels listing specific ingredients like chicken and turkey. If your dog has food allergies you can choose a food containing proteins like duck, venison or rabbit.

Dogs are not able to efficiently digest corn, wheat, white rice or soy. Instead choose dog foods with whole vegetable ingredients like carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes. There are some dog foods that also include fruits like apples, and grains like oats and barley. Grain-free foods are also available that substitute potatoes in place of the grains.

Other healthy dog food ingredients include pumpkin (which helps soothe a dog’s upset stomach), cottage cheese which provides healthy bacteria, and eggs which are a healthy protein source.

There is no one dog food that’s right for every single dog, but some foods are definitely higher in quality than others. Compare labels on the dog food you now feed your pet with other brands available wherever you shop for dog food.

Depending on where you live and where you shop, you may need to visit Petco or PetSmart, or your local pet store to find a healthy dog food.

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