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Archive for the ‘Dog Housebreaking’ Category

Potty Training a Puppy

Monday, August 24th, 2015


Potty training a puppy or housebreaking a puppy can be an easy task if you know how to do it properly. It can be easy, but also requires a lot of patience, constant monitoring of the puppy, and dedication to getting the job done while remaining loving and supportive of your new puppy.

Puppies don’t have complete control of their bladder until they reach at least 6 months of age. The more time you can spend with your new puppy, the faster your puppy will be housebroken.

Here are some things to consider when you start potty training a puppy:

Most puppies will let you know when they need to go. Obviously they can’t talk and are not mature enough to understand that they need to give you a “distinctive signal” when it’s time to take care of business, but if you pay close attention to your puppy you’ll learn to recognize the warning signs.

When you see your puppy repeatedly making the signs it uses when it has to go outside, act fast and immediately take your puppy to wherever you’ve chosen as the place to “do it.” When your puppy does eliminate itself, praise it and reward it with a doggy treat. The puppy will then learn to expect praise and a treat when it eliminates outside at its “toilet”.

When you’re not available to supervise your puppy, you can limit it to a specific area of your house by installing childproof “gates” to keep it confined to that area.

Try to keep your new puppy on a regular bathroom schedule. Take the puppy outside as soon as it awakens every morning and do the same every night before putting it down to bed.

Most puppies, since they still have small bladders, will have to relieve themselves about 15-20 minutes after eating and drinking water. Puppies will usually have to go potty immediately after playing or walking for exercise, and almost always after waking up from a nap. If you set a routine schedule for exercise, walks, and mealtimes, the potty training will become embedded in the puppy’s brain, and as each day passes, your potty training job becomes easier.

If your puppy doesn’t relieve itself within 10 minutes or so after going to its designated “potty spot”, take the puppy back in the house and watch it closely for 10 to 15 minutes. When you feel it’s ready to go, then take it to the “potty spot” again. Your puppy should take care of its business the second time around.

Potty training a puppy doesn’t mean you’ll never have to clean up its mess inside your house. Should this happen, immediately pick up the puppy and take it to its designated spot. Never punish your puppy for going potty in your house, and never, never yell or rub its nose in the soiled spot, or the puppy will be afraid of going potty whenever you’re around.

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.

Should You Adopt a Rescued Dog

Monday, April 27th, 2015


Too many people feel that if you adopt a rescued dog you’re just settling for a pet no one else wanted. You might think there must be something wrong with the dog or it wouldn’t be in a shelter. Or maybe you feel that if you can adopt a cute little puppy, why would you want to take someone else’s “used” dog?

Not all dogs in animal shelters or dog rescue organizations are animals that nobody wanted. A more common scenario is that the dog had a loving home and was well cared for by its owner but ran away or was picked up by an animal control officer and the dog had no ID tag to identify its owner.

Another reason a good dog can end up in a shelter is because its owner was no longer able to care for it due to illness or death, and sometimes due to financial hardship. Some wonderful dogs are surrendered to a shelter by their owners simply because there is a new baby in the family and the owners are afraid of keeping the dog in the same house as a newborn. If you spend some time visiting an animal shelter you will hear many heartbreaking stories about adorable and devoted dogs being given up by their owners for many different reasons.

It’s also true that some dogs are surrendered to shelters because their owners could not afford the medical costs to treat a curable disease the dog has developed, or in some cases they were just disappointed that the dog was not behaving exactly as they expected it to.

A rescued dog may have survived anything from mistreatment to sheer cruelty and it deserves a new life in a home where it will be loved and properly cared for. Rescue means to “save something from a dangerous or harmful situation or to prevent something from being discarded or rejected.” Whatever the reason a dog ends up in a shelter, it has in some way been discarded or rejected.

There are many advantages if you adopt a rescued dog. The previous owner may have had the dog vaccinated already which saves you money. There’s a good chance that most of the dog’s basic training may have been completed, making it much easier to acclimate a new dog to your home and lifestyle. Rescued dogs usually make perfect pets and companions as they are so happy to be out of the confines of a shelter and find someone new to be devoted to.

Today’s society is a disposable one. Everything we buy seems to be disposable at some point in its existence. If so much of what a person owns is deemed to be disposable, why not a pet that’s no longer needed? Unfortunately this way of thinking is more common than most people realize. When you adopt a rescued dog you’re really adopting something previously thought of as disposable, and making it useful again.

All dogs, and especially rescued dogs, deserve another chance to be man’s best friend and indispensable companion. When you adopt a rescued dog it will love you for its entire lifetime.

Why Foster a Senior Dog

Monday, March 16th, 2015


There are good reasons to foster a senior dog. Senior dogs are usually scheduled for euthanasia shortly after arrival at an animal shelter. This is truly unfortunate and is by no means discriminatory just because of their age. The reality is that most animal shelters are full on a regular basis and since senior dogs are usually the last to be adopted, they are the first to be scheduled for euthanasia.

A typical animal shelter is a stressful environment for any dog but is especially hard on senior dogs who are less able to deal with this type of stress and they often become disoriented. Also, older dogs find it more difficult to fight diseases at their advanced age and animal shelters often harbor contagious diseases like kennel cough that are very easy to contract.

Senior dogs have a tendency to be less hopeful than younger dogs when they find themselves confined to a shelter and they may become depressed. A depressed dog does not look like a happy dog and most people searching for a dog to adopt won’t consider any dog that doesn’t look and act like it would be happy to have a new home. Most people who visit animal shelters are hoping to find a beautiful puppy or a young dog.

If you choose to foster a senior dog it will be important to help the dog maintain good emotional and physical health. This will make the dog more appealing to someone looking to adopt a dog. By providing a pleasant and supportive home environment while a dog is waiting for adoption increases the odds of finding a new home.

If you decide to foster a senior dog, you should be patient, compassionate, and committed to the dog’s well-being. You’ll need to be flexible and have a practical attitude if you really want to help a senior dog recover from the traumatic experience of being placed in a shelter. Your goal should be to prepare the dog for adjustment to a new home.

You shouldn’t foster a senior dog if you don’t have the time to care for it because you’re often away from home. Plan on caring and exercising the dog at least an hour every day. A senior dog will also want to spend significant time with you each day; time to play and time for you to show it love.

It shouldn’t be an important consideration if you’ve never fostered a dog. If this is the first time you’ve fostered a dog, the shelter will help you choose the right dog that will make the best companion for you during the fostering period.

Remember that during this fostering period you will be responsible for the dog’s food and other needs. Some animal shelters and most dog rescue organizations will pay for any needed medical care.

A leash and collar is often provided by the shelter or rescue organization. If you already have or can buy a comfortable dog bed, your senior dog will be quite happy. You can also use old blankets and towels to make a comfortable place for the dog to sleep.

A reasonable question to ask if you’ve never fostered a dog is, “How long will it take for a senior dog to be adopted?”

Since a lot of senior dogs are adopted by people who are seniors themselves, smaller dogs tend to be adopted more quickly than larger dogs.

Housebreaking a Dog

Monday, February 16th, 2015


Housebreaking a dog, especially an adult dog, is not as difficult or intimidating as it may seem. You would probably assume that an adult dog would already have been housebroken, but if it has been adopted from a shelter and had not been housetrained before, the burden is on you.

House breaking an adult dog requires a lot of patience and heaps of praise whenever the dog learns where it’s okay to go and where it’s not. For the first few weeks after bringing your adult dog home, assume that it isn’t house trained and start housetraining it as if you were teaching a new puppy.

Dogs usually want to go outside to do their duty when you wake in the morning and again before you go to bed at night. Walk your dog before you leave for work in the morning and again at night after you get home. Try to keep mealtimes consistent and this will help your dog understand when it needs to head for the door.

The use of treats and lots of praise motivates dogs while they’re being trained. In the early stages of the training, your dog will be listening to the sounds and words you use, as well as any movement of your hands or arms. Lavish praise upon your dog whenever it goes to the bathroom outside or whatever location you’ve chosen. Try to praise your dog when it is going to the bathroom so it begins to associate your praise with an action.

Positive training with appreciation and love always works much better than punishments and vocal disapproval.
If your dog has already dirtied your house, you’ll need to watch it at all times in order to understand the cues it gives when it needs to eliminate. The dog may start circling or sniffing loudly if it needs to go outside, so if you see these signs, immediately head for the door. Watchful supervision will accelerate your adult dog’s training and reduce further problems of household soiling.

If you are going out or are too busy to deal with your dog, it’s a good idea to confine it to a small area with enough room to sit, stretch out and turn around in. You can use a sufficiently large dog crate or childproof gates to section off a room the dog will be comfortable in. The lack of space will discourage most dogs from making a mess of their immediate area.

Housebreaking a dog is never easy, but once you see the results of your efforts it can be very satisfying. An adult dog can learn quickly and once it has bonded with you, it will prove to be an ideal companion.

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