Diagnosing and Treating Dog Health Problems

When it comes to health problems for your dog, there are many potential issues that can catch you off guard. If not dealt with quickly and effectively the results can be both emotionally devastating and expensive.

If you learn to avoid potential health problems as they occur, you can take the proper steps to avoid them altogether.

Potential Dog Health Problems

Dogs can suffer from any number of health issues. Animals are very good as masking pain and illness and usually by the time the symptoms appear veterinarian care is necessary. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to your dog if he starts acting “off.”

Infections – Dogs can suffer from a number of potential infections. Most common are ear infections and these often occur due to bacteria or a foreign object getting lodged in the ear. Carefully check your dog’s ears for any foreign substances, redness, swelling, sores, etc.

Allergies – Dogs can have many types of allergies. Flea allergies are by far the most common and they can cause hot spots which may lead to infections. For this reason, it is vital you give your dog flea medication every month. Hot spots could be indicative of a food allergy.

Diabetes – To reduce the risk of diabetes, keep your dog on a strict diet of dog food only and no table scraps. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to change his diet, and possibly need to give him insulin injections. This would be something you and your veterinarian would discuss

Arthritis –Pure breeds have a long history of arthritis problems. Make sure your dog receives daily vitamins and minerals and have your veterinarian check for joint degeneration at least once a year.

Obesity – Obesity is a common problem with dogs. In and of itself it does not lead to mortality, but the higher rates of heart failure, tumors, and liver disease can all be very dangerous if not dealt with immediately. Obesity can be treated with a strict diet and an increase in your dog’s activity levels.

If your dog gets plenty of exercise, eats well every day, and is kept clean and well groomed you may not have to deal with the above issues. Still, you should make sure you visit your veterinarian annually (every six months for a senior dog) to check for any potential issues. As with people, early detection is the best prevention!

Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care
Melanie Lovett

How to Deal With a Puppy that Bites

Many dog owners have to deal with the issue of dogs biting, and it can be very stressful trying to determine what is causing the behavior and how to put a stop to it. While initially obnoxious, biting can become dangerous and you need to take action quickly to stop it.

How to Stop Dogs from Biting as Puppies

It is best to put a stop to this behavior when the dog is still a puppy. If the puppy is under six months of age he is very easy to retrain because he is still in the formative years of his life.

Many people mistakenly assume their puppies are merely playing or teething and not really trying to hurt them. Unfortunately, what is really happening is that your puppy is learning how to assert his position in the pack, and by doing so is using teeth to show who is in charge.

There are several ways to stop your puppy from biting. Most of them will mirror how the puppy would be treated with his litter mates and mother. A light tap on the back of the neck, a crying noise when he bites, and handing the dog a toy instead of your hand are all acceptable ways to teach the dog that biting other people will not be tolerated. If you find your methods to stop biting unsuccessful, there are options of obedience school or working with a certified puppy trainer.

How to Stop Dogs from Biting at One Year

If your puppy is allowed to nip and bite and show that he is in charge of the pack, he will then move on to play biting at around one year of age. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this behavior. You should stop playing physical games the instant he begins biting. Also it is important to avoid wrestling, tug of war or other dominance related games.

Additionally, you need to stop allowing your dog the run of the house. Give him boundaries. Crate if necessary.

How to Stop Dogs from Biting as they Age

If given the opportunity to continue biting, eventually it will evolve into a big problem when the puppy becomes an adult. If allowed to bite through his formative years, the behavior will be a part of his permanent personality.

If the biting is still going on after the puppy turns a year old, it is strongly advised that you seek the help of a qualified trainer immediately because the puppy may suddenly choose to assert its dominance at any time with an attack.

With the exception of disease or mental disorder, dogs who bite as adults had issues as puppies that could have been resolved if properly addressed..

Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care
Melanie Lovett

Should You Give Your Dog Rawhide?

While rawhide treats may be popular, here are some points to keep in mind when deciding if they are right for your dog.

imageThe inner layer of cow or horse hides are used to make rawhide. The hides are cleaned and or ground during the manufacturing process. Next they’re made into chewable different shapes and sizes. Some contain flavorings to make them more appealing.

There are some benefits of rawhide. Chewing can help relieve anxiety and can provide stimulation. There is less plaque and tartar build-up on dogs that chew regularly on rawhide.

While the risks are relatively small, they can be serious and for that reason should not be ignored.

Here are some of the most common risks of rawhide:

  • Rawhide chews can contain trace elements of toxic chemicals. Humans can also be at risk when coming into contact with bacteria on rawhide treats.
  • If a dog is sensitive or allergic to rawhide or the substances used in manufacturing, it can cause diarrhea.
  • There is a choking and blockage risk. This risk is bigger than digestive contamination or digestive irritation. A blockage can lead to death if not resolved.

If you decide to offer your dog rawhide, wash your hands thoroughly after handing the treats to minimize your risk of exposure to contaminants.

It is advised that you ask your veterinarian how much is safe to give your dog. Generally the smaller the dog, the fewer the chews. Give one at a time at first, then wait a day to see how your dog responds.

When the chew becomes small enough to swallow whole, take it away from your dog.

Contact your vet if see signs such as:

  • Gagging
  • Regurgitation
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lack of energy
  • Signs of pain
  • Refusal to eat

Not all rawhide treats are safe for your dog to eat. It has been reported that rawhides which have been produced outside the US were made from toxic chemicals. Try to be selective when choosing rawhide.

Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care
Melanie Lovett