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Archive for the ‘Dog Training’ Category

Dominant Dogs

Monday, September 14th, 2015


Dominant dog behavior usually develops over a period of time. Dominant dogs will often growl or bark at their owners when the dog’s demands aren’t being met.

If there are two or more dogs living in the same household, the dominant dog will be considered by the other dogs as the alpha dog, or leader of the pack. Such dominating dogs often try to gain leadership over their owners also.

To prevent this type of unwanted behavior you must learn how to recognize dominant dog behaviors and take steps to change those behaviors if you want to have an obedient and loving companion rather than a terrorizing monster running around your house.

Some of the symptoms of dominant behavior in dogs are similar to the symptoms of separation anxiety so it is important to distinguish between the two. To determine if your dog is really showing signs of dominating behavior you’ll have to find a way to monitor its behavior to see if it behaves in a dominating manner around other dogs or only when left alone.

If you notice any of the following symptoms of dominating dog behavior you may want to seek the assistance of a professional trainer who can train your dog to be more obedient. If you find that your dog’s disobedience and dominant behavior is resulting in biting and aggression, most trainers won’t work with your dog.

Some of the signs of dominant dogs are:
Always acting stubborn, barking loudly, consistently ignoring your commands, pushing ahead of you whenever you open a door in the house or to the outside, resistance to being walked with a leash, growling and barking when it doesn’t get its way or when corrected for doing something wrong.

It isn’t easy dealing with dominant dogs. If your dog disobeys you and growls at you when you try to correct it, don’t shout or express frustration. You have to remain calm and speak to it in a firm commanding tone.

Although it can be a daunting and challenging task to permanently change the behavior of a dominant dog, it is possible to successfully change your pet’s behavior if you remain calm and persistent at all times during any training sessions.

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.

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.

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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