What To Use for Dog Training Treats for a Puppy with Food Allergies?

28 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Training

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Using morsels of food is a surefire way to get your puppy to do just about anything you want. If he has allergies, the typical selection of doggie treats isn’t going to do you any good. You still have plenty of things you can feed your young pooch to encourage good behavior. From fresh meat to certain processed dog treats, find something that fits the special needs of your puppy.

Fresh Meat

Some of the most common meat allergens are beef, chicken, lamb and fish. While these are some of the primary types of protein available at the market, you still have plenty of other options available. Pick up pork loin, duck, turkey or venison — the leanest cuts possible. Boil the meat until it’s fully cooked. This cooking method keeps it moist, giving it the ultimate meaty aroma. Dice up the cooked meat into small bite-size pieces and store it in your refrigerator. When it comes time for some hard-core training, take out those meaty morsels and make your pint-size canine work for them.

Pieces of Kibble

When your vet determines which types of allergies your four-legged comrade has, he can write you an allergen-friendly prescription for food. These prescription dog foods are only sold at veterinarian offices or pet stores with an on-site veterinarian. Rather than pouring a bowl of kibble at meal times, make your puppy work for his food. For instance, if you have puppy training in the evenings, pack up his supper in a plastic bag and take it to school with you. He’ll be famished at that point and likely will do whatever you say, just to get a piece of kibble.

Canned Food

Most prescription dog foods have corresponding wet canned foods. Don’t worry, you don’t have to feed your pup handfuls of wet food. Instead, scoop it out onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Each scoop should only be about the size of a piece of kibble. Freeze the wet food overnight and use it for the next day’s training session. Frozen wet allergen-friendly dog treats are super smelly, making them highly desirable for even the pickiest of puppies. These frozen treats soften quickly though. Use them only for short training sessions, so they don’t thaw and make a mess.

Hypoallergenic Treats

Processed dog treats often have fillers such as soy, wheat or corn. While these ingredients generally are safe for a healthy canine, they’re not safe if your fur ball is allergic to any of them. Once your vet narrows down the allergy, pick out a treat that’s made specifically for dogs with allergies that doesn’t contain the problem ingredient — a prescription isn’t always required. These types of treats are made with meats and carbohydrate-containing ingredients that aren’t usually the culprit of allergies, such as duck and potatoes.

How to Tell If Your Pregnant Dog Is Having Problems Giving Birth?

25 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Problems

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When your sweet pregnant dog goes into labor, it’s extremely important for you to be available to help her, should she need you to notify a veterinarian for any reason. Although many canine deliveries go smoothly and successfully, some complications can occasionally arise. The easier you can recognize a tough whelping experience, or “dystocia,” the better.

Discharge

Your pregnant dog might be experiencing birthing difficulties if you notice any conspicuous genital discharge prior to any of the youngsters emerging. If her body is giving off a substance that is black, green or brown, contact a veterinarian immediately. Extended vaginal bleeding during birthing also points to a problem, so do the same in that situation, too.

Lack of Moving Forward

A lack of development and moving forward in labor also usually signifies a problem. If a mama-to-be has been trying hard to birth her puppies for around 40 minutes with no sign of any of them, there could be an issue. Excessively long amounts of time between puppies also often indicates a problem. If her previous newborn came out between two and three hours ago and she’s still making a serious effort to get the rest out, immediately contact your veterinarian.

Relaxation Time

If your dog decides to take a break between birthing her puppies, pay close attention to the amount of time she spends taking it easy. If you observe that she’s been relaxing for more than four hours, it’s time to get a helping hand and let your veterinarian know what’s going on. If it’s clear to you that your dog is suffering with discomfort in any way, don’t ignore it.

Unusual Signs

Any unusual physical signs also can denote whelping issues. If the pregnant doggie is breathing with her mouth hanging open, there could be a problem. Shivering is another key sign of a problem. Be alert to any and all indications of malaise.

Dystocia

Any female dog can undergo complications during pregnancy, whether younger or older, small breed or large breed. However, canines of certain breeds are often more susceptible to dystocia and its associated dilemmas. These breeds include shih tzus, Boston terriers and French bulldogs. Brachycephalic pooches such as these are particularly vulnerable. Brachycephalic dogs are those with somewhat wide and “flattened”-looking visages.

The Life Threatening Situations for a Pregnant Dog

23 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Life Style

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Regardless of species, all beings enter the world through the miracle of birth. The dog is no different, and tiny puppies emerge from their mother’s womb, wriggling, adorable and needy. Birth, while miraculous, poses many dangers, and the canine faces these both during and after the birthing process.

Inguinal Hernia

A hernia occurs when a tear forms in the abdominal wall, allowing organ or fat tissue to push through the opening. The inguinal hernia may form during pregnancy, as the presence of estrogen can cause changes in the tissues, prompting the formation of a hernia. In the case of the inguinal hernia, a tear forms in the inguinal ring, and the contents of the abdominal cavity may become trapped in the ring, push through the ring or become strangulated. This hernia poses danger to both the mother and her unborn pups, especially if the uterus becomes entrapped in the hernia opening. Hernias require surgical repair, during which any entrapped organs are restored to the abdominal cavity, and the hernia sac is closed.

Dystocia

Dystocia is defined as difficult birth, and in some cases, the mother dog may be unable to deliver her puppies. Dystocia has numerous causes, one of which may be a problem with the pelvis. An abnormally narrow pelvis, or a pelvis damaged by previous injury, may not allow for the passage of puppies through the birth canal. This can pose a life-threatening situation unless a veterinarian intervenes. Additional causes of dystocia include uterine exhaustion, and issues unrelated to the mother herself, such as the size or position of the puppies in utero. Puppies are normally born feet or head first. When their position is such that they cannot pass through the birth canal, a cesarean section may become necessary.

Pyometra

Pyometra is an infection of the uterus, which may occur during pregnancy. It poses great risk to the pregnant mother and her unborn puppies, especially if the cervix is closed, which traps the pus within the uterus. In addition to a bloody discharge, signs of pyometra include depression, loss of appetite and vomiting or diarrhea. Treatment includes antibiotics, and extreme cases may require emergency surgical intervention.

A Mother in Need

It may be difficult to spot signs of danger in a pregnant dog. After all, she’s pregnant, and her behavior is bound to be different. Watch her carefully. Any drastic changes in your dog’s behavior are cause for concern. Your dog should see her veterinarian during her pregnancy. Proper veterinary care not only ensures your dog of a healthy pregnancy, but it protects the lives of her unborn puppies as well.

German Spitz Health Problems

17 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Health

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If you’re thinking about welcoming a German spitz into your household, it’s a smart idea to soak up as much knowledge as possible about the ebullient and animated breed. The German spitz is a jovial pooch that, while generally robust, does indeed have several typical health problems.

German Spitz Longevity and Exercise

Dogs of the German spitz breed, for the most part, tend to be healthy. They also tend to have longevity on their side, according to the German Spitz Club of Great Britain. With proper diet, care and attention from their owners, these bright dogs often live to be anywhere from 10 to 15 years in age. Regular exercise is vital for these dogs, although their physical activity needs are comparatively minimal. They usually do well with daily walks.

Eye Issues

As far as medical issues go, these spirited pooches sometimes have eye issues, including persistent pupillary membranes, multifocal retinal dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. If you acquire a German spitz and ever notice any hints of eye irregularities, whether loss of eyesight, widening of the pupils or anything else, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention regarding the matter.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, in which the kneecap isn’t situated in its proper position, also occasionally appears in dogs of this breed. This orthopedic disorder is seen frequently in the canine world, not only in the German spitz breed, but also in Pomeranians, Boston terriers and Chihuahuas. If a dog has patellar luxation, he’ll display issues with straightening his limbs, which in turn results in problems walking normally. Many dogs with luxating patellas also hobble conspicuously.

Idiopathic Epilepsy

Another health ailment that these dogs sometimes experience is idiopathic epilepsy, with abrupt seizures occurring. When epilepsy is idiopathic, its specific causes are uncertain. If a German spitz, or any other dog, suffers idiopathic epilepsy and the condition remains ignored, it frequently leads to worsening of the seizures, with the seizures typically becoming more intense and occurring more often.

Other Common Medical Problems

Other medical problems that are common for the German spitz breed include autoimmune disorders and joint issues, according to Margaret H. Bonham, author of the book “Northern Breeds.” If you ever notice any symptoms that indicate possible autoimmune or joint issues in your pet, take him to the veterinarian immediately. Regardless of whether your German spitz exhibits signs of health issues, it’s essential to take him to the veterinarian for checkups on a regular basis. Adult canines should go to the vet a minimum of once yearly. Owners of middle-aged and elderly pets should aim to take them to the vet two times a year.

When Do You Take a Puppy for the First Grooming?

16 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Gooming

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Welcoming a puppy into your home involves a lot of getting his ducks into a row, from housebreaking him to taking him in for his initial veterinarian visits. Professional grooming is an important aspect in the care of many dogs, especially those with long coats. The earlier your puppy gets used to grooming appointments the quicker he’ll adjust to them, and that’s not a bad thing.

Early Start

If you get your puppy acquainted with the grooming salon at a tender age, it generally is easier on him in the long run. The strange sights and sounds of new places can be anxiety-inducing in doggies, and the younger they experience something, the better. Being professionally groomed entails a lot of contact with an unfamiliar person, and an early start can make it almost second nature in your pup. Just remember to reward your puppy with a yummy treat immediately after his appointment is through — you want to establish that pleasant association, after all.

Vaccinations

Before your little one ventures out into the world, make sure he’s gotten all of his necessary puppy vaccinations, no exceptions. Consult with your veterinarian to make sure that your pet is A-OK in this department. If your puppy visits a grooming salon without having all of his vaccinations, it puts him at risk for all of the potential infections that could be floating around — not good. Protect your precious pooch by not scheduling that appointment until he’s gotten all of the appropriate shots, as his health is priceless. Puppies generally are through with all of their puppy shots by 6 months in age if not sooner. As soon as your puppy has received his third set of shots, start looking into grooming salons in your area.

The Right Grooming Salon

Since a puppy’s first impression of grooming is so important, call the salons you’re interested in and inquire about possibly getting a quick tour of the place. Do not book an appointment at any salon that doesn’t leave you feeling completely confident and at ease. Glance around the salons, and take a whiff to judge whether they appear and smell fresh and hygienic. Look at the interactions between the groomers and their canine clientele, and note whether the dogs appear to be relaxed. Speak to the specific groomers who may service your dog. If he or she is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about giving you the information you want, you might just have a winner.

DIY

If your young pup isn’t through with his vaccinations, it’s still important for you to do some regular grooming of him by yourself at home — primarily, brushing. This is especially helpful if your pet’s coat looks a little unkempt: Say he got into something messy and now has a little pesky matting. Not only is brushing your puppy’s coat a good way for you to bond with him, it can help set the stage for his later grooming appointments. If you have any questions regarding coat trimming, talk to a professional before you proceed.

Grooming Techniques to Stop Dog Shedding

15 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Gooming

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All dogs, including short-haired pups, shed to some degree. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and keeping him well-hydrated can go a long way toward preventing excess shedding. Careful attention to grooming can also help eliminate excess hair, as well as serve as a good bonding opportunity for you and your dog.

Bathing

Regular bathing with a good quality conditioning shampoo formulated for your particular breed can help reduce shedding. Bathing helps flush out loose, dead hair, as does blow-drying your pup afterward. Some dogs, especially those with oily coats, can get dry skin from overbathing, so ask your vet about how often you should give your pup a trip to the tub. Make sure you use a hair trap when you bathe your dog, or you could end up with a sink or tub with a nasty hair clog.

Brushing

Brushing your pup daily can significantly cut down on shedding. The stimulation will help with circulation and keep fur healthy while eliminating loose hair. Select a brush appropriate for your breed. For example, a short-haired dog may do well with a soft bristle brush, whereas a long-haired dog or a pup with an undercoat may need a pin brush or curry brush.

Combing

A fine-tooth comb can be helpful for ferreting out minute hairs that result in shedding. A comb can also help you keep an eye out for ticks and fleas, as well as help you get a feel for the contours of your dog’s body. This can be beneficial in identifying lumps, scabs from mites, bites, infections or skin conditions before they get too advanced.

Supplements

Your vet may recommend essential oil supplements to help you keep your pup’s coat in good, low-shed condition. Some oils are applied topically, while others are given orally. Never give your dog any supplements intended for humans, and always consult your veterinary medical provider before using natural remedies or products not specifically prescribed for your pet.

Hair Cut

Taking your pup to the groomer for a trim can help keep shedding down, particularly if you have a dog breed with long hair that is challenging to maintain through home grooming alone. Groomers can supplement your at-home efforts with deep conditioning baths and specialized grooming tools. Regular professional care is much like a haircut at your favorite salon — you eliminate dead ends and reduce the chance for hair breakage.

Homemade Fish & Sweet Potato Dog Food

12 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Food

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Homemade fish and sweet potato dog food is good for dogs showing signs of food allergies. The fish and sweet potato food is a very limited-ingredient diet made up of foods that are generally hypoallergenic for dogs. The limited-ingredient diet is maintained until allergy symptoms subside. Then other food items are added to the diet, one by one, until the food that is the source of the allergies is discovered. Homemade fish and sweet potato dog food also makes a tasty occasional treat for dogs not suffering from allergies.

Purchase Ingredients

Purchase fresh fish and sweet potatoes from your local grocer. Stay away from tuna and swordfish, which can have high mercury levels. Trout, salmon and mackerel are good choices for dogs. Include only one type of fish in the recipe to reduce the chance of allergies. Choose certified organic sweet potatoes if available, for a healthier choice. This recipe calls for twice as much fish as it does sweet potatoes, so keep this in mind when purchasing the ingredients.

Cook Fish

Steam or bake the fish until it is cooked throughout. Do not add any spices or other ingredients. Allow the fish to cool and remove the bones, which could be a choking hazard or cause intestinal damage. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces.

Cook Sweet Potatoes

Peel and boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender enough for a fork to easily pierce. Once tender, remove the sweet potatoes from the water and mash them with a fork.

Prepare Dog Food

Combine the fish and sweet potatoes in a bowl, remembering to use twice as much fish as sweet potatoes–e.g., 1 cup of fish and 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes. If desired, stir in 1 tbsp. of olive oil per 1 cup of food to add healthy fats to the recipe.

Add Supplements

Stir a canine vitamin and mineral supplement into the food if you intend to serve it as the only source of food in your dog’s diet. This food is not completely balanced by itself and must be supplemented if served as a sole food source. Ask your veterinarian from the proper supplements and dosages to add to your dog’s food.

Feeding Directions

As a general rule, feed your dog the same amount of the fish and sweet potato food as you normally feed it in other foods. For example, if you normally feed your dog 1 cup of kibble, feed your dog 1 cup of the fish and sweet potato food. Adjust feeding amounts as necessary to match your dog’s appetite and to maintain ideal weight.

Storage

The finished fish and sweet potato food can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you make extra food, store it in the freezer for up to three months. It is most convenient to freeze the food in single serving containers, which allows you to defrost only what you need. To defrost the food, place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Veterinary Care

The Cold River Veterinary Center recommends feeding a hypoallergenic dog food solely to your dog for 60 to 90 days before adding other foods to the diet. Mar Vista Animal Medical Center lists fish and sweet potato as a good hypoallergenic diet for dogs. If the diet does not eliminate your dog’s allergic symptoms after two weeks, non-food-related substances in the environment should be suspected. Take your dog to a veterinarian for allergy testing.

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