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Joint Issues

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

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 ‘Dog Training’ Category

Shih Tzu Care Tips

Monday, July 25th, 2016


Shih tzu’s are good-natured and easy to train, making them great family pets. But caring for a Shih tzu can be time consuming because they require a lot of grooming.

A major part of Shih tzu care is proper grooming which will begin as soon as you bring your new dog home. Their thick, double-coated hair can be grown long, or for easier care, kept in a short cut.

As soon as you bring your Shih tzu home it’s a good idea to start desensitizing your pet to brushing since it will need to be brushed daily. Start with a quick brushing, being careful not to get too forceful with the first few brushings.

During grooming sessions you’ll need to lift the top coat of its hair and brush the undercoat thoroughly. Be sure to brush its stomach, under the ears and between its legs where hair mats are particularly likely to collect.

Good Shih tzu care includes keeping the hair trimmed from their eyes, or in lieu of trimming you can use a special dog rubber band to place the hair in a ponytail on top of the dog’s head. These ribbons are available from almost every pet store.

Since shih tzus have floppy ears, you will need to clean their ears regularly using a special ear cleaner or mild soap. Use a cotton ball or something equally as soft to clean the ear flaps; then use a Q-Tip to clean the part of its ear canal that you can easily see. Take special care not to clean too far inside the ear canal or you can easily damage its ear drum.

Because they have flat faces, Shih tzus often have difficulty eating and drinking. It’s a good idea to supervise your dog when it’s eating or drinking water from its bowls. It helps if you put their food and water in wide, flat pans to make it easier for them to get their whole face in the bowl. Some owners prefer to hand feed their pet to make it easier for the dog to eat.

Shih tzus need regular exercise but usually can’t handle long walks. Shorter exercise periods once or twice a day is better for these little dogs. In the summer you should keep the walks shorter as Shih tzus don’t tolerate heat very well.

Shih tzus are very playful dogs and they enjoy short stretches of play. If you teach your Shih tzu to fetch a toy or play hide and seek, it will provide enough exercise for your pet and also allow it to rest when tired.

Although Shih tzu care can involve high maintenance, these dogs make a great addition to a family as long as you’re prepared for the effort it takes to keep them safe and well-groomed.

Living with a Blind Dog

Monday, July 18th, 2016


Living with a blind dog can be a challenging undertaking, both for the dog and for its owner who now must be the eyes for both of them.

A dog who suddenly develops blindness is usually able to adjust to living life without its vision which has been an important and indispensable sense all its life.

More than likely your dog has a good appetite which will not be affected by the loss of sight. Just help guide your pet to its food and water bowls until it gets used to locating them itself. Some owners whose dogs have lost their sight find that adding a little lemon to the water bowl gives the water a scent the dog can detect from a distance.

To properly care for your dog and to be sure that you are helping it all you can, you may need to make some adjustments to your living space. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that your pet will bump into furniture and other objects around the house that it used to avoid without a second thought. It can take a while before your dog gets re-accustomed to the layout of your house and learns how to get around without bumping into furniture. To quickly illustrate how much of a problem this can be for your dog, close your own eyes and try maneuvering around your rooms without bumping into things.

If you have furniture with sharp corners, place foam pads on the corners to prevent serious injuries if your pet should bump into the sharp edges.

Don’t change the layout of your rooms in the early stages of your dog’s blindness. Keeping your furniture in the same positions allows your blind dog to familiarize itself with its suddenly “new” surroundings. Be extra careful not to leave large or sharp objects lying around on the floor if your dog is not used to encountering them in the room. Leaving something lying around that you wouldn’t even think could be a problem may end up injuring your dog.

If you have stairs in your home, don’t let your dog climb up and down them unless you are sure it can easily and safely maneuver them.

Your dog is probably used to going outside to play or simply relieve itself. Look carefully around your yard to check for rakes, mowers, or any other large objects that could cause injury to your pet.

If you have a swimming pool you’ll need to watch your dog carefully when it’s outside because it’s very easy for the dog to accidentally fall into your pool and possibly drown if you’re not there to help. If it’s not feasible to place a fence around your pool you’ll need to be aware of the dog’s whereabouts the entire time it’s outside.

After your dog has lost its sight it will take some time before it can begin to rely solely on its sense of smell and hearing rather than using its eyesight also. Helping your dog find objects when it’s having trouble adjusting will speed the process of it adapting to the blindness as long as you don’t do everything for your pet, making it completely dependent on your assistance.

Living with a blind dog does not mean you’re now charged with the responsibility of caring for an animal that will require your constant attention. The quicker you can help your pet adjust to this new way of life, the easier it will be for both of you and the sooner you’ll regain the full attention of your loving pet again.

Best Dog Breeds For Families With Kids

Monday, May 16th, 2016


Almost 75 million dogs have been adopted into homes that already owned at least one dog. Multi-dog homes are often good for families with kids. There are other dogs to play with so a dog is not expecting constant attention from your children, or you, all the time, and there is always another dog to play with when the family is away from home.

If you’re considering adopting your very first dog or you want to replace a cherished pet that is no longer with you, it can sometimes be difficult finding the right dog for your family. All dogs are not created equal and each breed has specific traits that may or may not fit into your family situation.

Deciding which dog will make the best pet for your children depends on several things. One being whether someone in the family will have the time to give the dog plenty of exercise. You also need to consider whether a small, quiet dog or a larger, active dog fits the lifestyle of you and your children. Do you have a large home or a home with a yard? Will there be someone at home most of the time?

Answering these questions can help you decide on which breed of dog is best suited to your family’s lifestyle.

Where to find your pet is also an important consideration. Some people prefer to buy a dog from a breeder if they are searching for a purebred. But if you just want the best companion dog you can find for your family, an animal shelter or pet adoption center is probably your best choice. Pet adoption agencies and animal shelters help find homes for loving animals that have, for any number of reasons, ended up neglected, unloved, or unwanted.

The dog of your dreams may right now be living an unhappy, solitary life in the confines of an animal shelter cage. These dogs are so happy to be rescued and given a second chance at life, that they will heap loads of love on your children. Ask the staff at an animal shelter or pet adoption center to help you determine which breed of dog is right for your family.

The following breeds of dogs will provide excellent companionship, loyalty and love:

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed of all. Labrador Retrievers are friendly, lovable, smart and great with kids. They are the most popular family dog according to breeder surveys.

Golden Retrievers make great family dogs. These large dogs are extremely kind and gentle by nature and they love to play with people of any age. They can also entertain themselves with their toys so they’re not always bothering a member of the household. Just make sure you have enough space in your home as Golden Retrievers can grow to be as large as 90 pounds.

Yorkshire Terriers, also called “Yorkies” for short, are the smallest terriers of all. These tiny dogs are energetic and very protective of their owners, both adults and children. As a result, they don’t always get along well with strangers and they’re not afraid to let a visitor know. Expect a lot of “yapping” if you adopt one of these dogs.

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent and loyal dog breeds in the world. Because of their high intelligence and great strength they make a great family pet as long as you have room for a large, lovable dog.

The Beagle has been a popular breed for over a century. These cute, lovable dogs were originally raised as hunting dogs and are known for being kind and gentle. They make great family pets.

Dachshunds are also called “wiener dogs’ and have always been a favorite with adults and children because of their cute, sausage-shaped bodies. With long bodies and short legs they look like they couldn’t move very fast but they love to run and play with their owners and each other. They can be very protective and may nip at strangers and other dogs.

Boxers play well with children, are extremely loyal and are low maintenance. They aren’t the most intelligent dogs, but they make up for it by being energetic, headstrong, and fun-loving. They require strong obedience training while they’re young or they may turn out to be unmanageable when they grow into adults.

Poodles come in both standard and miniature sizes. They are popular dogs and are beautiful, loyal and extremely intelligent.

Miniature Schnauzers are smart, obedient and enjoy non-aggressive play with children and adults. They make great pets if you’re looking for a small, lovable dog.

The best dog breed for families with kids is ultimately a personal decision that you as a parent must make. If possible, help save the life of a dog confined to a shelter or pet adoption facility. You’ll never regret the love and devotion a rescued animal will give you and your children.

How to Stop A Puppy From Barking

Monday, May 9th, 2016


Stopping a puppy from barking can be a difficult task, simply because barking is a natural form of communication for puppies. Puppies bark for many reasons: attention seeking, anxiety, boredom or just playing. Puppies and barking are a natural combination.

If you can establish the reasons why a puppy is barking so much, it will be easier to find a solution to the problem.

To figure out why your puppy is barking uncontrollably you first need to determine the situations or conditions that precede an episode of barking. If your puppy is barking at you, it’s usually trying to get your attention. If this is the case, just ignore it and avoid eye contact. When the puppy stops barking you can shower it with all the attention you want.

Don’t talk to your puppy while it’s barking at you and don’t relent and give in if the barking continues. If you do give in, the undesirable behavior will be implanted in the puppy’s brain as the best way to get your attention whenever it wants something.

If a puppy continues to bark while standing over its food bowl it’s just letting you know that it’s guarding its food. Puppies who bark for no discernible reason may simply be frustrated or bored.

If left alone, a puppy often becomes anxious and will bark continuously until its human returns. If you find out that your puppy barks a lot while you’re gone from the house it could be anxious about being alone, it could be bored, or there may be something disturbing it like dogs barking outside or noisy cars and trucks.

If you make your puppy’s surroundings more interesting the unwelcome barking may end. You can also give your puppy different toys to play with every few days, and be sure it gets a lot of exercise. If the puppy barks a lot and seems bored when you’re home try spending a little more time playing with it and giving it the attention it craves.

Stopping a puppy from barking too much will help calm shattered nerves, whether they’re yours or the next door neighbor’s.

Raising Dogs and Cats in the Same House

Monday, March 7th, 2016


Dogs and cats are not sworn enemies. They often live together in the same house without problems. If you are raising both dogs and cats in the same house, there are some rules that should be followed so the animals can coexist in peace.

If you adopt a cat and dog at the same time when they are young, they can easily adapt to living together and even become good friends, or at the very worst, learn to tolerate each other.

Each pet will need its own space in order to feel comfortable and safe. You’ll also need to be sure each pet is fed enough food or one of them will attempt to steal the other’s food.

If you have a dog or a cat that’s used to being the only animal in the house, adopting a new pet is not always an agreeable event for the pet who has established your house as their sole domain You’ll need to make sure you introduce the new pet gradually so there won’t be fights and the pets will be able to adjust to one another.

When you bring a new pet into your house, you should keep it isolated from the other for a short period of time, allowing it to interact with your existing pet for just a few minutes each day until you are convinced that there will be no problems between them; or if there is, the problems will be minor.

As the pets become better acquainted you can increase the length of time they spend together. This will allow both pets to feel more comfortable. The old pet won’t feel threatened by the new one and the new pet won’t tend to be aggressive toward the other in an attempt to establish its territory.

Dogs are usually more likely to accept a new cat. However, some cats may never accept a new dog and will always be hostile towards it.

If you are going to raise both dogs and cats in the same house and don’t want to make the old pet jealous of the new one, don’t show more affection towards the new pet, even if the new pet is a puppy or a kitten. The old pet may feel neglected and may develop an attitude towards the new pet.

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