Archive for the ‘Dogs Health’ Category

Help pet live a healthy life

Monday, October 5th, 2015

While pet owners often think they are providing a healthy and happy life for their furry friends, it is important to know there is much more to raising a dog than feeding it quality pet food and scratching Rover behind the ears.

Dr. Elisabeth Giedt, director of Continuing Education, Extension and Community Engagement at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University, said while a pet owner’s intentions may be good, some practices they are doing may not be in the best interest of their dog.

“Our busy lifestyles can cause us to overlook some simple measures that will help ensure you are taking the best care possible of man’s best friend,” Giedt said. “Just as it’s unhealthy for people to gain too much weight, the same is true for dogs. It’s currently estimated about 53 percent of dogs are overweight. Dogs don’t process foods the way humans do. Closely monitor the amount of pet food and don’t overdo it on the treats. Think of treats the same way you do candy bars. Parents probably aren’t letting their child eat four or five candy bars a day, so don’t give your pet multiple treats each day.”

Alternatively choose some low-calorie treats such as green beans or carrots. Some dogs enjoy fruits such as banana slices, berries, watermelon or apple slices. Be sure to remove the seeds. Plain rice cakes broken into pieces also can provide a low calorie treat.

Gum disease is common in dogs and it is estimated about 85 percent of canines over 5 years of age suffer from gum disease. This condition develops after food and bacteria collect along the gum line and form plaque in a dog’s mouth. If left untreated, this can lead to other health problems. The solution is to brush your dog’s teeth as often as possible. There also are chew toys and bones that help to reduce plaque. Your veterinarian can assess gum and teeth health during an annual exam. Your dog may benefit from a professional cleaning by your veterinarian.

Just as most people get regular health checkups, dogs also need a health exam, even if they act completely healthy. This exam could very likely diagnose a health problem before any symptoms arise.

“Depending on the illness, it’s sometimes too late to do much to help by the time some symptoms become noticeable,” she said. “Getting treatment started early is one way to improve your pet’s quality and quantity of life.”

Regular heartworm medication, along with flea and tick control, is vital for your pet’s optimum health. Fleas and ticks spread several diseases, some of which can be life threatening. Consult with your veterinarian for the best way to control these pests.

Daily exercise is important for both people and pets. Exercise not only helps keep the weight off, it also provides mental stimulation for your furry family member. It also is a great way for your pet to expel energy.

“You don’t have to load up your dog and go to the dog park. Walk around your neighborhood or toss the ball in your yard,” she said. “Everyone’s schedule is busy, but exercising with your pet is beneficial for both of you. Be aware, however, small and toy dog breeds, along with short-nosed breeds, have different exercise requirements than other types of dogs.”

Second-hand smoke can be detrimental to your pet and cause various ailments. The best option is to quit smoking altogether, but for those dog owners who cannot do this, keep your pet inside while you step outside to light up.

Although it can be cute for Fido or Rover to beg as you are eating your meals, fatty table foods can increase the risk of pancreatitis. Pet owners who have a hard time saying no to those big, pleading eyes may want to consider feeding the dog in another room while the family eats.

“Some foods, such as garlic and chocolate, can be toxic for pets. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of foods that are dangerous for dogs to consume,” Giedt said.

Good parents do not let their children run around unsupervised, and the same holds true for responsible dog owners. Do not let your pet roam free, even if they are tagged or microchipped. When your pet needs to be outside, make sure to enclose them in a fenced yard. Always keep your pet on a leash when out for a stroll.

Giedt said forgoing spaying and neutering can be a danger to your dog’s health. This is still one of the best ways to reduce the risk of various cancers. Each heat cycle a female dog goes through makes her more prone to the development of mammary cancer. In addition, intact males are more likely to develop prostatic diseases and testicular cancer than neutered dogs.

“Keeping these things in mind is the first step to ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life,” she said.

Article reposted from:
By Trisha Gedon

7 Signs Your Dog Definitely Needs More Exercise

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Sufficient exercise is important for all dogs, but some require more than others. Toy breeds are fine with a regular daily walk, while working breeds might need an hour or so of running. Regardless of your dog’s breed, their individual needs will vary as well. If you think your dog is getting enough exercise but you’re seeing some of the telltale signs of inadequate activity we’ve listed here, your dog probably needs to get out a little bit more.

#1 – Obesity

Probably the easiest sign that your dog isn’t getting enough exercise is their weight. Overweight dogs need more exercise (and probably less food intake), because maintaining a healthy weight is very important. Just like people, obesity in dogs causes a wide range of health problems.

#2 – Destructive Behavior

Most destructive behavior happens when dogs are bored. A tired dog is a good dog, as the saying goes, and a bored dog that needs to burn energy will likely take it out on your furniture, walls, gardens and precious belongings. If you have an overly destructive dog, consider that a lack of adequate exercise might be the sole cause.

#3 – Excessive Barking

Many dogs will begin barking when they are bored, especially if you aren’t home. Dogs only have so many ways to communicate their feelings with us and constant barking is a great way to get our attention. Often, all they want to tell us is that they want to go outside and play! Bottled up energy almost always comes out in the form of vocalization.

#4 – Constant Rough Play

Do you have a dog that just can’t play nice? While some owners enjoy wrestling with their dogs, a dog that can’t play without being overly active is often a sign of a dog that has extra energy to burn. If they have too much cooped up energy, they’ll likely have too little self control to play softly.

#5 – Restlessness & Anxiety

Many owners note that their dogs never sleep through the night or constantly keep everyone awake as they wander around the house. Any dog that doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to be restless and if they aren’t given the opportunity to burn their energy, they will get overly anxious and begin pacing. A lack of exercise is just as bad for your dogs mind as it is their body.

#6 – Pulling On Leash

You might have a nice, obedient dog inside the house, but if their overly excited and out of control outside you might not be taking them out enough. Pulling on leash isn’t always bad behavior, it could mean that your dog just really has a lot of energy to burn and needs a nice run rather than a slow stroll. While dogs can and should be trained to behave themselves outside, it’s often not fair to ask them to be controlled when they aren’t given the opportunity to burn their energy elsewhere.

#7 – Attention Seeking

While most dogs will bother their owners from time to time, some dogs are overly obnoxious and are constantly bugging their owners. Whether they’re pushing their nose into you, dropping toys in your lap, whining and barking or just wandering around aimlessly, a dog that is actively seeking attention all day long is likely a dog that isn’t getting enough exercise.

Article reposted from:
By Katie Finlay

UW researchers testing drug as 'fountain of youth' for pet dogs

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Merlin is a black lab who works wonders as Leila Jones’ service dog. If there was a pill that could magically make Merlin live longer, Jones is buying.

“If I could extend his life a couple more years that would be great,” said Jones, who considers Merlin her only child.

Merlin may be in luck. Researchers at the University of Washington Medical Center are looking for the fountain of youth for dogs, trying to increase their lifespan by 1 to 4 years.

“We’re not turning back time, what we’re really trying to do is slow the aging process,” said Professor of Pathology, Matt Kaeberlein who is heading up the Dog Aging Project.

Bella is an 8-year-old rescue dog, a mix of Australian Shepard and Border Collie. She is among 32 older dogs participating in clinical trials, receiving doses of a drug called Rapamycin.

The pets will be monitored to see if the drug delays diseases that come with age. “Dogs also get a lot of the same diseases as people do when they get older, dogs get cancer, they get heart disease, they get dementia,” said Kaeberlein.

Researchers have studied Rapamycin’s impact on worms, yeast, fruit flies, and mice and say it’s extended the lifespan in several organisms with few side effects.

What would take 30 years to test in humans, takes 3 years to identify in dogs.

“What we’ll learn from this study will be important in applying these discoveries to human aging, but the primary goal for me personally is to improve the quality of life for pet dogs,” said Kaeberlein, who has two dogs of her own.

Bella’s owner says she signed up for clinical trials out of selfish reasons. A pet’s quality of life has a direct impact on the owner’s quality of life.

“If she didn’t greet me at the door saying it’s time to play, I probably wouldn’t go out running every night,” said Lynn Gemmell.

Article reposted from:
By Elisa Jaffe

The Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Another natural remedy that’s crossed over from humans to canines, apple cider vinegar for dogs offers a number of health benefits. Not only can this liquid be used to improve your dog’s digestion and to clear skin infections, but it can also help to repel fleas and other biting insects. There are many ways to use apple cider vinegar for your dog and his health.

Potential Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

Apple cider vinegar can be used in a number of herbal remedies for dogs as well as humans. Some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs include:

  • Improving digestive health
  • Clearing urinary tract infections and preventing kidney/bladder stones
  • Treating bacterial and fungal skin infections
  • Repairing flaky, dry skin
  • Repelling fleas, ticks, and other biting insects
  • Increasing the body’s alkalinity to prevent bacterial and viral diseases
  • Improving ability to tolerate cold temperatures
  • Restoring health skin and coat appearance
  • Cleaning ears and preventing ear infections

Tips for Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Giving your dog apple cider vinegar orally can help to repel insects, to improve digestion, and to restore his body’s pH balance. To start treating your dog with apple cider vinegar, begin by giving him one teaspoon daily mixed with his food. This is the dosage for a 50-60 pound dog – for a smaller dog (10-25 pounds), a half teaspoon is sufficient, while for a larger dog (75 pounds and over), you can double the dosage to two teaspoons.

To use apple cider vinegar to treat skin infections or to improve your dog’s skin and coat, you can apply it directly to your dog’s skin as a spot treatment. For larger areas, mix apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and work it into your dog’s skin and coat by hand during his next bath. To repel fleas and ticks, or to deal with an existing infection, bathe your dog then apply a solution of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar.

Using apple cider vinegar to improve your dog’s health is as easy as adding a teaspoon or so to his food once a day. Apple cider vinegar itself is not particularly rich in nutrients, but it contains compounds that increase the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate other nutrients. For example, acetic acid can help to increase the ability of your dog’s body to absorb calcium. Apple cider vinegar also provides antiseptic benefits – it will help to prevent the growth of pathogenic viruses and bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract which will also boost the immune system.

Apple cider vinegar for dogs is a simple but effective natural remedy for a variety of conditions and health problems. Before you start using it for your dog, however, you should check with your veterinarian to make sure it’s right for your pooch.

Do you already use apple cider vinegar with your dog? Have you seen any changes or improvements? Let us know in the comment section below.

Article reposted from:
By Kate Barrington

How to keep your dog from dying of cancer?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen lots of cancers: lymphoma. Melanoma. Osteosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma. Mast cell tumors. Wait, those are just my own dogs I’m talking about. When I factor in my clients, I think I’ve seen it all.

Dogs get cancer, at very high rates: about 50% of senior dogs die of it, if the statistics are to be believed. Why? Well, if you read overly simplified, graphics-intensive websites by people who really don’t know what they’re talking about, they will tell you that they know why cancer happens: GMOs. Preservatives. Kibble. Microwaves.

I wish it were that simple. It’s not. And the reason that line of thought drives me nuts is that it has sent so many lovely people into spirals of depression when their dog dies and someone on the internet convinced them it was their fault because they, the owner, did something terrible like feed their dog kibble or use a plastic bowl. People end up in therapy because of things like this.

Cancer is not a singular diagnosis; the type and breath of neoplastic disease means there’s often little resemblance from case to case; a transmissible venereal tumor bears very little resemblance to a splenic hemangiosarcoma. If we could pinpoint cancer to one cause, we’d all be rich. And yet, with all this secret knowledge, overall cancer rates aren’t budging.

Because I love a breed known for having one of the highest rates of cancer (is it the fact that Golden Retriever owners feed worse food overall? Or is it genetics?) I watch Brody pretty closely. Knowing that 60% of Goldens get cancer in their lifetime, I spend a lot of time inspecting him for lumps. As we speak, the largest observational study of its kind is currently underway to help us better understand what’s going on. In the meantime, you do the best you can but truthfully, there’s not a whole lot of ability to predict and prevent cancer. Even for the people who home cook organic food (sorry. Do it because you want to, not because it will make your dog live forever.)

You can save money (and life expectancy) by doing some simple things:

Knowing he is an at-risk breed, I do what I can to try and keep Brody healthy. When he gained too much weight on his food, I got the weight off. Obesity is thought to be a risk factor for cancer. Just as importantly, I get his bumps evaluated and when I find one, I don’t mess around.

The dog eats like a king; I give him the good stuff because I care about quality ingredients, though not enough to condemn people who can’t afford it. But even with his high end diets, at age 6, he’s on his second cancer. The first one, a melanoma, was excised two years ago and has yet to recur- because we caught it early. And now we have this: a little teeny ear lump.

I thought it was no big deal, but I got it evaluated anyway. See? We vets do it too. A lump is a lump is a lump. Until you get it microscopically evaluated, you just don’t know. I just got the call last week: it’s a mast cell tumor.

I’m thrilled we got this diagnosis

Am I thrilled Brody has a mast cell tumor? Of course not. They stink. Despite the fact that the visible mass is only half a centimeter, this type of tumor has tons of microscopic disease and is notorious for requiring huge surgical margins for a complete excision. For that little tiny tic-tac mass on his ear, he is very likely going to need to lose his entire pinna. (I’m getting a surgical consult this week.)

However, losing an ear is minor compared to where these things end up when people wait. You can lose an ear, but you can’t lose an entire head, for example. This is small beans compared to what lots of pets need to go through later in the game when masses grow. If we get a complete excision, this should be a closed case. And guess what? It’s so much cheaper than tons of radiation and chemo and massive surgeries. Win-win for the dog and your wallet. I’m not happy he has it, but I’m happy I know now, early.

Why wait? Aspirate that shizz!!

What one thing can you do to guarantee your pet won’t get cancer? There isn’t one.

What you can do is maximize their chances of survival and recovery: Don’t mess around. Dr. Sue Ettinger, veterinary oncologist and all-around brilliant person, has an initiative called Why Wait Aspirate that is as simple as can be: when a vet tells you that a lump is ok to “just watch”, what does that mean? When do you do more than watch it? Here’s Dr. Sue’s guidelines*:


Easy peasy, no pun intended. Of all the things you can do to help your pet live long and live healthy, none matters more than early detection.

Article reposted from:
By Dr. V
*Photo Credits: Calendar by Michael Hyde, Flickr Creative Commons license; Peas by Isabel Eyre, Flickr Creative Commons License

Beat the heat with pet safety tips

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Sunny, warm days bring the opportunity to change up your routine and spend more time outdoors with your pets. However, soaring temperatures bring risks from heat and sun exposure, making your furry friends rely on you to help keep them healthy and safe.

Make these warm-weather adjustments to keep your pets in top condition and ready to enjoy all the season has to offer with these safety tips from PetSmart experts:

  • Keep them hydrated. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to pets, so access to a clean water bowl both inside and outside is critical in the summertime. While you’re on the go, be sure to bring water for your pet in a suitable drinking container.
  • Serve up healthy meals. Warmer weather invites opportunities, such as enticing picnic spreads, for pets to nab tasty treats. Protect your pet’s health by preventing them from ingesting food intended for humans, and opt instead for food and treats that fit their special needs and preferences.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car. Studies show that on a hot day, the temperature inside a car can reach more than 160 degrees in five minutes. Leaving the windows cracked for fresh air or parking in the shade don’t keep temperatures from soaring in record time, either. Leaving pets in the car “just for a minute” is never a good idea.
  • Groom regularly. One of the best ways to keep a dog’s coat healthy and help prevent matting and summertime skin irritation is regular grooming. The right grooming tool can dramatically reduce shedding by removing the undercoat and loose hair without sacrificing the healthy top coat.
  • Provide skin protection. Just like humans, dogs can experience sunburn and even skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, apply a sunscreen where hair is thin and skin lacks pigment (nose, ears and sensitive areas) every day your dog is outside.
  • Avoid hot surfaces. Dogs’ pads may seem tough, but sidewalks, pavement and sand can get so hot in the summer that dogs’ feet can burn and blister. To prevent this, schedule walks for the morning or evening, when sidewalks are cooler, or purchase protective boots designed just for dogs.
  • Practice smart snacking. After exercising and in between meals, a sensible snack can provide a boost of energy. Treats such as Dental Chews do double duty by giving a little help with oral care between brushing.
  • Provide outdoor relief. The best spot for your pet to cool off in the yard is a shaded grassy area because grass releases moisture and keeps your pet cooler than concrete, dirt or gravel. For added comfort, provide a raised bed that increases the flow of cooler air underneath the bed mat to help your pet beat the heat.
  • Keep water safety top of mind. Even if you consider your dog a good swimmer, a life jacket is very important if you take him with you on the boat or trips to the beach.

Article reposted from:
Source: PetSmart

How long do dogs live and common dog health problems

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Almost a quarter of British households own a dog – man’s best friend indeed. With such variation of types, breeds and sizes, we feel owners should be able to find out how long their dog may live, and what health problems they could encounter in their lifetime.

That’s one of the reasons why we’ve funded an important VetCompass PhD project to collect information on inherited diseases and dog life expectancy.

The following infographics reveal how long our dogs may live, and identify the most common conditions that dogs in England experience today.

How long will your dog live?

The fact is, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will live way beyond the average life expectancy for their breed, whereas sadly, some can fall short. This can be for many reasons, often beyond an owner’s control.

The study hasn’t only uncovered the average life expectancy of breeds such as labrador retrievers, collies, jack russells and chihuahuas, but it reveals the main causes of death in elderly dogs, and also reasons for death in young dogs under three years old.

We’ve also revealed the answer to the age-old question: do crossbreeds tend to live longer than purebred dogs? Take a look at the infographic for the answer and tips to help your dog live longer:

(Click image for larger view)

Common dog illnesses

Understanding common dog health problems is important for pet owners. Essentially, knowing what dog illnesses could lie ahead will help you take preventative action, or spot the symptoms sooner, so that your dog can live a longer, happier and healthier life with you.

Of a sample of almost 4,000 dogs, over 75 per cent had at least one disorder diagnosed. What’s more, although it varied between individual breeds, three of the top 20 disorders were more common in purebred dogs .

The huge variation of health concerns for our beloved family pets makes it even more apparent how vital it is to protect our dogs with pet insurance – because frankly, we never know what might happen to them.

To see the most common diagnoses for our dogs and some health care tips, check out the infographic:

(Click image for larger view)

These new infographics were created as a result of working alongside the Royal Veterinary College, and the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Medivet Veterinary Partnership.

Article reposted from:
Posted by RSPCA Official

Four common types of pet cancer

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
  1. Mammary gland cancer. Mammary gland or breast cancer is common in both dogs and cats. It is the most common tumor found in female dogs and the third most common in cats. One of the presumed and much-touted benefits of early spaying of female pets is a decreased risk of mammary gland cancer. However, a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Small Animal Practice found that insufficient evidence exists that spaying at any age reduces the risk of mammary cancer.
  2. Lymphoma. Lymphoma is an incurable cancer of the lymph system, which is part of the immune system. In cats, one in three cancer diagnoses is lymphoma, most often of the GI tract. Dogs also develop lymphoma. To avoid contributing to your dog’s or cat’s lymphoma risk, make sure your pet isn’t exposed to cigarette smoke or lawn pesticides, especially those applied by professional lawn care companies.
  3. Mast cell tumors. The most common type of skin cancer in pets is mast cell tumor (MCT). MCT is much more prevalent in dogs than in cats. In cats, mast cell tumors are most often seen in the skin of the head or neck, but they can occur anywhere in the body. Cats with these tumors are usually middle-age or older. Unfortunately, kitties with mast cell tumors on the inside of their bodies — typically in the GI tract or the spleen — carry a much poorer prognosis than tumors occurring on the skin. In dogs, mast cell tumors are most often found on the trunk, limbs, and in between the toes. Prognosis depends on the tumor location, the extent of the tumor, the grade, and the type of treatment given. Mast cell tumors of the skin are very different in dogs than cats. Surgery to remove the tumor is less invasive in cats, and the prognosis for a full recovery is much better in cats than in dogs. Mast cell tumors with generally poor prognosis are those on the muscle, around the mouth or in internal organs, in the bloodstream or bone marrow, and ulcerated tumors. Mast cell tumors that cause GI ulceration or are large, fast-growing, or recurring also carry a much poorer prognosis.
  4. Bone cancer (osteosarcoma).Osteosarcoma is a common and aggressive bone cancer that invades the long bones of large and giant breed dogs. Even with amputation of the affected limb and chemotherapy, which is the current standard of treatment, the average survival rate is only about a year.

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Pets

According to the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, the top 10 warning signs of cancer in pets are:

  1. Unusual swellings that don’t go away or that grow. The best way to discover lumps, bumps, or swelling on your dog or cat is to pet him.
  2. Sores that won’t heal. Non-healing sores can be a sign of infection or cancer and should be evaluated by your veterinarian.
  3. Weight loss. Illness could be the reason your pet is losing weight but isn’t on a diet.
  4. Loss of appetite. Reluctance or refusal to eat is another sign of possible illness.
  5. Bleeding or discharge. Bleeding can occur for a number of reasons, most of which signal a problem. Unexplained vomiting and diarrhea are considered abnormal discharges, as well.
  6. Offensive smell. An unpleasant odor is a common sign of tumors of the anus, mouth, or nose.
  7. Difficulty eating or swallowing. This is a common sign of cancers of the mouth or neck.
  8. Reluctance to exercise or low energy level. This is often one of the first signs that a pet is not feeling well.
  9. Persistent lameness. There can be many causes of lameness, including nerve, muscle, or bone cancer.
  10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating. These symptoms should be evaluated by your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tips for Reducing Your Pet’s Cancer Risk

  • Don’t allow your pet to become overweight. Studies show that restricting the amount of calories an animal eats prevents and/or delays the progression of tumor development across species.Fewer calories cause the cells of the body to block tumor growth, whereas too many calories can lead to obesity, and obesity is closely linked to increased cancer risk in humans. There is a connection between too much glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and oxidative stress – all factors in obesity – and cancer.It’s important to remember that fat doesn’t just sit on your pet’s body harmlessly. It produces inflammation that can promote tumor development.
  • Feed an anti-inflammatory diet. Anything that creates or promotes inflammation in the body increases the risk for cancer. Current research suggests cancer is actually a chronic inflammatory disease. The inflammatory process creates an environment in which abnormal cells proliferate. Cancer cells require the glucose in carbohydrates to grow and multiply, so you want to limit or eliminate that cancer energy source. Carbs to remove from your pet’s diet include processed grains, fruits with fructose, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Keep in mind that all dry pet food contains some form of starch. It may be grain-free, but it can’t be starch-free because it’s not possible to manufacture kibble without using some type of starch. Cancer cells generally can’t use dietary fats for energy, so appropriate amounts of good-quality fats are nutritionally healthy. Another major contributor to inflammatory conditions is a diet too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3s. Omega-6s increase inflammation while the omega-3s do the reverse. Processed pet food is typically loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3s. A healthy diet for your pet – one that is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer – consists of real, whole foods, preferably raw. It should be high in high-quality protein, including muscle meat, organs, and bone. It should include moderate amounts of animal fat and high levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids, such as krill oil), a few fresh cut veggies and a bit of fruit. This species-appropriate diet is high in moisture content and contains no grains or starches. I also recommend adding a vitamin/mineral supplement and a few beneficial supplements like pro-biotic, digestive enzymes, and super green foods.
  • Reduce or eliminate your pet’s exposure to toxins. These include chemical pesticides like flea and tick preventives, lawn chemicals (weed killers, herbicides, etc.), tobacco smoke, flame retardants, and household cleaners (detergents, soaps, cleansers, dryer sheets, and room deodorizers). Because we live in a toxic world and avoiding all chemical exposure is nearly impossible, offer a periodic detoxification protocol to your pets.
  • Allow your dog to remain intact (not neutered or spayed), at least until the age of 18 months to two years. Studies have linked spaying and neutering to increasing cancer rates in dogs. A 2002 study established an increased risk of osteosarcoma in both male and female Rottweiler’s neutered or spayed before the age of one year. Another study showed the risk of bone cancer in neutered or spayed large purebred dogs was twice that of intact dogs.
  • Refuse unnecessary vaccinations. Vaccine protocols should be tailored to minimize risk and maximize protection, taking into account the species, breed, background, nutritional status, and overall vitality of your pet.

Article reposted from:
by Lawrence

Ten Healthy Fruits That Are Suitable For Dogs

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The natural diet of the dog is generally composed of mainly protein from meat, but many complete dog foods also contain a range of fruits and vegetables too. Even in the wild, dogs can and do eat fruit and veg as part of their diets, which can provide a wide range of health benefits and ensure that all of their nutritional needs are met.

However, not all fruit is suitable for dogs, and some fruit including grapes and raisins are actually toxic to dogs. Other fruits may not be toxic per se, but can be too rich for many dogs, leading to stomach upsets and diarrhea. If you are wondering what fruits your dog can eat and what might be good for them, look no further than this list of ten healthy fruits that are suitable for dogs, and which dogs will often enjoy. Read on to learn more!


Blueberries are a superfruit, which are packed with healthy antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins. Making up cookies or biscuits that are suitable for your dog and throwing in a few blueberries can give them a real boost, and frozen blueberries can be added to your dog’s water bowl for a cool summer treat.


Apples are a good treat or supplement for dogs, and should be ripe and soft rather than hard and green. Apples are rich in potassium and vitamin C among other things, and can really boost your dog’s diet. Spreading a little peanut butter on a slice of apple can help to encourage your dog to give it a go! It is important to note that dogs should not eat the seeds or core of apples.


Soft, ripe pear is a lovely treat for your dog, and provides a whole range of health benefits too. Vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and E are all checked off the list, as are fiber, potassium, pectin and folic acid. Pears are slightly softer and sweeter than apples, and so can prove to be more appealing to your dog!


Melons are made virtually entirely of water, making them an excellent way of getting some extra fluids into your dog in hot weather. Steer clear of smaller melons that are very sweet in favor of watermelon and larger melons, and slice them up into sections to give your dog something to gnaw on. Like blueberries, watermelon slices can also be frozen for a cooling summer treat.


Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits for people, and many dog also greatly enjoy them as well. Strawberries are rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium and folic acid, as well as multiple vitamins and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t overdo it with the strawberries however, or you may risk giving your dog the runs; half a handful of smaller strawberries for a medium sized dog is plenty.


Cranberries are another superfruit, which are equally good for dogs and people! They are rich in fiber, manganese and vitamin C, and are an excellent supplement for both perfectly healthy dogs and those that are prone to UTI infections.

Cranberries can have a rather sharp taste to them, and so if your dog is particularly underwhelmed when offered a handful, try baking them into some dog treats instead.


Just four or five raspberries added to your dog’s bowl now and then will provide them with valuable antioxidants, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins C, B and K. Raspberries that are very ripe will tend to be less tart than younger ones, and so these are the most likely to be palatable to your dog. Again, if your dog is having none of it, try baking some into their treats!


Banana is a very versatile fruit that is rich in fibre, carbohydrates and potassium, and most dogs enjoy the taste of them. You can mash a little banana into your dog’s food, or offer slices of banana as a treat. Around 1/3 of a medium sized banana is perfectly adequate for dogs, and feeding more than this can lead to the runs, as well as being rather high in calories.


Cantaloupe is a similar fruit to melon, but tends to be more flavorful and tasty. It is rich in a wide range of vitamins including A, B and C, as well as containing plenty of fiber, potassium and magnesium, and beta-carotene for good eyesight. A small slice of cantaloupe cut into segments is enough for your dog.


Oranges are juicy, tasty and delicious, although when it comes to feeding oranges to your dog, sticking to larger, less sweet oranges is better. Half a segment of orange daily will provide your dog with phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6 and iron, and makes for a tasty and refreshing treat in hot weather. Remember to remove the pips and the skin first!

Article reposted from:

How to help your dog avoid canine influenza

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The American Veterinary Medical Association says canine influenza is spreading through the United States and Columbus veterinarian Hank Hall says owners should consider having their dogs vaccinated.


“More cases have been reported the last three years,” said Hall of Northside Animal Hospital in Columbus.

The flu is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza A subtype H3N8 virus first discovered in 2004.

Hall said a form of the virus originated in horses many years earlier and that the virus can cause “severe distress.”

In the mild form, the most common sign is a cough that persists for two to three weeks. However, some dogs can develop signs of severe pneumonia, such as a high grade fever and faster breathing. Other signs in infected dogs include nasal or ocular discharge, sneezing, fatigue and refusing food.

All dogs are susceptible to infection and the AVMA says virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected.

The virus can be fatal, but those instances are rare. Most dogs recover in two-three weeks.

Hall said dogs already a little weak are at greater risk.

It was in 2009 that the United States Department of Agriculture approved the first vaccine for H3N8 and trials have shown while it may not prevent the infection it can significantly reduce the duration of the illness including the incidence and severity of damage to the lungs. There is no vaccine yet for another strain of the virus H3N2.

The flu can be spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects such as water bowls, collars and leashes. On surfaces, the virus is alive and can infect dogs for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours.

Hall said there is no evidence the virus can be transmitted from dogs to humans, but people who have been around dogs may transfer the virus from what they are wearing to their pet.

According to the AVMA, there is no evidence of the virus being passed from dogs to cats, horses, etc.

Hall said the flu spreads in kennels, grooming salons and day care centers but is not suggesting people keep their dogs away from such places.

The AVMA suggests people who board their dogs at kennels should ask whether respiratory disease has been a problem there and whether the facility has a plan for isolating dogs that develop respiratory disease and for notifying owners if their dog has been exposed to dogs with respiratory disease.

The AVMA says dog owners whose dogs are coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to them.

Treatment for the flu can involve an antibiotic or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. In some cases, intravenous fluids are needed to maintain hydration.

Hall said if a dog shows any signs of a respiratory illness, the owner should not hesitate to take their pet to a veterinarian. “Don’t wait. Sick dogs need to be seen,” he said.

Article reposted from:
By Larry Gierer