Archive for the ‘Dogs Health’ Category

February is Pet Dental Health Month

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month, it is again timely to remind ourselves what we can do to treat and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

First, get a whiff of your pet’s breath! Imagine how your mouth would feel, taste, look and smell if you never brushed your teeth. Stinky breath is the first sign of a problem.

Dr. Darren Woodson and his dog, Lune. (Photo: The Daily Times)

Next, lift the lip and look at the teeth and gums. Are the gums red and are the teeth becoming covered with tartar at the gum line?

The cause of dental disease in pets is basically the same as in people. The difference is that people take care of their own teeth, usually several times daily. Bacteria in the mouth combine with saliva and food debris to form plaque. As layers of plaque accumulate, dental tartar is formed. Over time, more layers of plaque combine and mineralize, resulting in calculus. While plaque is soft and can be brushed away, calculus is hard and must be scraped off or removed with a special instrument called a dental scaler.

Tartar and calculus trap bacteria in and under the gum line, which leads to irritation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) and then periodontal disease. Periodontal disease means sickness of the supporting tissues of the teeth: the ligaments that attach gum to tooth and jaw bone. The American Veterinary Dental Society estimates 75 percent of cats and dogs have gingivitis by age 4.

There is a pretty good chance your pet is in that 75 percent, unless you are practicing home care and having your pet’s teeth cleaned by your veterinarian. I also tell our clients that three out of 10 patients have oral pain, and since dogs and cats still appear to eat normally despite their discomfort — an evolutionary survival trait — it goes unrecognized. Beyond these problems in the mouth, periodontal disease can lead to systemic problems. Bacterial infection can spread from the mouth to the heart valves, kidney and liver. Without regular veterinary exams, much of our pet’s dental disease isn’t detected until it’s really bad.

Home brushing programs are the cornerstone to a lifetime of dental health. Though it may sound complicated, it is actually something that most dogs and cats will readily accept given the proper technique and some patience and persistence. Since most owners do not have the time or inclination to attempt this, other home dental care options have been developed. Special diets and treats are made that will help minimize plaque build-up and oral rinses or water additives can help control bacteria. None of these replace brushing and having regular dental exams with your veterinarian.

A full dental prophylaxis or professional cleaning is the best way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy and comfortable. We are now routinely using a sealant called Sanos, which is applied after the teeth are cleaned at the gum line to seal the sub-gingival gum line, thus preventing tartar accumulation for up to six months. Dental prophylaxis is a bit more involved in pets than in people since they won’t voluntarily open wide and general anesthesia is required to allow a complete dental exam and thorough cleaning.  Without full sedation, it is impossible to truly address all problem areas, especially the areas under the gum line. As with people, intra-oral radiographs of teeth are becoming a common standard of care as well. Research shows that 30 to 40 percent of normal looking teeth have root issues under the gums.

In summary, you cannot neglect the oral health of your pet. Assess their mouths now. Many veterinarians have incentives for National Pet Dental Health Month, so call yours today.

Article reposted from:
By Dr. Darren Woodson

Dog Flu Virus Spreading Across The United States

Monday, February 1st, 2016

When Elizabeth Estes’s dog, Ollie, started coughing last year, she didn’t think he was seriously ill at first. But then the 3-year-old Jack Russell-chihuahua mix got much worse.

“All of a sudden, he couldn’t breathe and he was coughing. It was so brutal,” says Estes, who lives in Chicago. “The dog couldn’t breathe. I mean, could not breathe – just kept coughing and coughing and coughing and gasping for air.”

Ollie, it turned out, had caught a strain of dog flu that’s relatively new to the U.S – canine influenza H3N2. The virus arrived from Korea last spring and has since caused flu outbreaks among dogs in 26 states throughout the nation.

No cases of human infections with the virus have ever been recorded, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And H3N2 causes no symptoms or only mild illness in most dogs. But it is triggering some severe cases of canine pneumonia.

The night Ollie got so sick, Estes spent the night on the floor of her steam shower with the dog, and rushed him to a veterinarian as soon as she could the next morning.

“They said, ‘When you get to the front of the building, call us because you can’t bring the dog in through the lobby. You have to come in through the back door. It’s that contagious,’ ” she says. “So I realized at that point: ‘Wait a minute. This is something a little bit more serious than I thought it was.’ ”

The vet rushed the dog into intensive care. “I was petrified we were going to lose him, and pretty upset,” Estes says.

After four days of intravenous fluids, help breathing and antibiotics to prevent complications, Ollie recovered. “He’s perfectly fine now. But it was a scary and expensive endeavor — but mostly scary,” she says.

Two different strains of dog flu are known to be circulating in the United States; canine influenza H3N2 is believed to have first arrived about a year ago, where it triggered an outbreak of illness among pets in Chicago. The virus apparently was brought into the country through O’Hare International Airport by an infected dog from South Korea.

“Dogs, like people, move all around the world.” says Joseph Kinnarney, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

H3N2 has since spread to probably thousands of dogs in a number of areas throughout the U.S, Kinnarney says. Most have no symptoms. There have been reports of cats also getting sick from the infection in Korea, but so far that hasn’t been reported in the United States.

The virus seems to be spreading much more easily than H3N8, a canine flu strain that has been in the U.S. longer. One reason is that dogs infected with H3N2 remain contagious for about three weeks, even if they have no symptoms; that’s about a week longer than usual. Also, Kinnarney says, because the strain is new to the continent, U.S. dogs lack immunity to it.

Mild symptoms of the illness include a cough, loss of appetite and fatigue — these dogs recover on their own. Symptoms of severe illness — more likely in very old or very young dogs, or in dogs with other health problems — include high fevers, breathing problems and complications such as pneumonia.

Dogs that spend time around other dogs are the most likely to catch it, Kinnarney says, so pets that spend most of their time at home and rarely interact with other dogs are at low risk. He recommends that dogs that frequently come in contact with other dogs get immunized — two vaccines against H3N2 became available late last fall.

“If your dog goes to doggy day care, if your dog goes to a dog park, if your dog is traveling with you, you should get the vaccine,” he says. “It’s just not worth the risk.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association gets funding for its educational meetings from companies that make the vaccines, but no specific products are promoted at those meetings, an association spokesperson says.

Other virologists and veterinarians say many dogs probably don’t need the vaccine, especially animals that live where the virus is not circulating widely. You can check with your vet to see if there have been outbreaks in your area.

“You shouldn’t be any more worried [about this strain of dog flu] than any other upper respiratory infection,” says Ashley Gallagher, a veterinarian at the Friendship Heights Animal Hospital in Washington, D.C. “It’s essentially just another kennel-cough disease.”

Though there’s no evidence so far that people can catch the virus from the dogs, there’s always a chance the virus could mutate and become even more of a threat to dogs, says Edward Dubovi, a veterinary virologist at Cornell University who is tracking the virus. Like any flu virus, “it keeps changing,” Dubovi says.

News reposted from:
By Rob Stein

7 Tips to Feed Your Dog with Canine Cancer

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

With the improvements in veterinary health care, many dogs are living to advanced ages. Cancer has become a common disease in older pets.

Many dogs with cancer present loss of appetite. The first step to increase the intake of food is to provide a quiet setting for eating. Meals should be given on a regular schedule. Most homemade diets are highly palatable. Slight warming of the can increase the aroma and stimulate food intake.

The diet of a dog with cancer should include ingredients that help the body fight cancer and ingredients that help the body prevent cancer.

It is vital to fulfill your dog’s nutritional necessities at every mealtime. So you should include the following ingredients at every meal:

1. High Quality Lean Protein

Protein is a very important element. Dogs love the taste of most proteins, and that encourages them to eat. The following are good choices for protein:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Pork
  • Goat
  • Lamb

2. Fats and Oils

Omega 3 fatty acids are well known as “good fats” and they are essential for fighting cancer in your dog. Krill oil and fish oil are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

Krill oil comes from krill, the tiny shrimp that are the major source of food for whales. So krill is low on the food chain and it normally doesn’t have high levels of heavy metals. There is also proof that krill oil aids with depression, which can accompany cancer in dogs.

The abrupt introduction of fatty acids can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, so please introduce fatty acids into your dog’s diet slowly.

Fish oils (menhaden, mackerel, salmon, etc.) are similar to krill oil and they are more readily available and are usually cheaper. However, they have less impact on depression, and are more likely to hold heavy metals.

3. Vegetables

Vegetables interact with cancer in your dog’s body. Including vegetables in your dog’s diet is fundamental. The following vegetables represent good choices:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Mung beans (cooked)
  • Red or yellow bell peppers

To prepare them, simply steam or boil them. Cook them until they are very soft to make them easy for your dog with cancer to digest.

4. Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for normal body functions. Muscle strength, appropriate blood clotting, regular heartbeats, inter-cell communication, and transmission of signals from one nerve to another are vital processes that also need calcium.

So making sure that your dog with cancer gets a proper amount of calcium is essential. Oyster shell calcium tablets are a good choice.

5. Nutritious Whole Grains

Most grains are not good for your dog with cancer. However, brown rice and oatmeal are both healthy and filling foods for your dog. The polysaccharides found in the bran in these grains may help to fight cancer.

6. Optional Healthy Additions

The following ingredients add flavor to your dog’s meal, but they also are full in cancer-fighting elements and have immune-boosting properties:

  • Fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)
  • Fresh minced leafy herbs (parsley, basil and oregano)
  • Sardines packed in oil (minced)
  • Goji berries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Fresh blackberries

7. Do not overfeed your dog

There is always a temptation to feed table scraps or to give extra food as a special treat. Overfeeding is not healthy for dogs. It shortens life expectancy. Additionally obesity is also connected to cancer in dogs.

Research has shown that fat cells secrete adiponectin, which lessens the development of cancer cells. Fat cells secrete more adiponectin when they are being burned for fuel, which occurs in leaner dogs.

Diet is important but it is not everything. Cancer grows and spreads, destroys the immune system, causes weight loss and weakness, steals the body resources for normal functioning and induces poor life quality. A therapeutic plan defined by your veterinary assistant is also crucial for your dog to fight cancer.

Article reposted from:
Dora Mancha

Experimental Canine Tumor Vaccine Tested

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The Yale School of Medicine and The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, are working together to test and evaluate a cancer vaccine for dogs with certain types of cancerous tumors. If the clinical trial is successful, researchers believe the vaccine will change the way cancer treatment is delivered to animals and people. The Veterinary Cancer Center is accepting dogs for the study.

The EGFT/HER2 Tumor Vaccine is the culmination of years of work by cancer researchers at Yale University. This stage of the project will determine whether or not anti-tumor antibodies are produced in vaccinated dogs. The vaccine ingredients are combined with a patient’s own white blood cells and then injected into a dog at two different intervals during the study. Blood samples are taken at the time of the first injection, then again on day 21, day 28 and day 56.

Yale researchers found that in a laboratory setting, the white blood cells worked with the vaccine to target malignant tumors and start to kill, reducing their size.

One patient in the clinical trial is a Pit bull mix named Valo. His owner reported the dog hasn’t experienced any side effects from the vaccine and is doing all of the regular activities he enjoys.

The ultimate goal of the vaccine study is to develop a new technology for treating cancer in people, as well as animals. This goal is somewhat rare because the majority of clinical trials for pets do not produce the same results when they are tested on people, but the Yale researchers are optimistic this study will benefit all of us.

Here are the eligibility requirements for dogs to enter the study:

  • Dogs must have confirmed mammary cancer or osteosarcoma.
  • Dogs with other types of cancer may be eligible depending on enrollment opening.
  • Dogs must weigh more than 6 pounds.
  • Dogs must not have been on prior steroid use. (ie: prednisone)

For more information about the EGFR/HER2 Canine Tumor Vaccine clinical trial, contact Gillian Rothchild at:

Story reposted from:
By Sharon Seltzer

Quit smoking to save your pet from cancer

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

As if we needed another reason to put out those cigarettes for good, Scottish researchers say that, along with causing other health woes, smoking may be making your dog fat.

In a release from the University of Glasgow, scientists reported on observations from their ongoing study of the health effects of cigarette smoke on dogs and cats. The study has not yet been published, but the university released some findings before the end of the year, perhaps to encourage smokers to give up this dangerous habit as a New Year’s resolution.

“Our findings show that exposure to smoke in the home is having a direct impact on pets. It risks ongoing cell damage, increasing weight gain after castration and has previously been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers,” Clare Knottenbelt, professor of Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at the university’s Small Animal Hospital, said in a statement.

Pets take in “significant amounts of smoke” when living in a home with a puffer, she said. In the team’s most recent findings they discovered that cats take in more cigarette residue than dogs, which may be related to the feline self-grooming instincts.

“As an incidental finding,” Knottenbelt said, “we also observed that dogs living with a smoker gained more weight after neutering.”

Cigarette smoke has at least 40 mutagenic and carcinogenic agents that have been linked to human cancer. Scientists are now trying to pin down the effects on dogs and cats.

In this study, the researchers observed a higher level of a gene that acts as a marker of cell damage in dogs who lived with smokers.

The notion that environmental tobacco smoke, popularly known as “secondhand smoke,” can be deadly to pets is nothing new. Previous research has shown that it boosts the risk of nasal cancer in dogs, specifically those with long muzzles. Other scientists have reported that dogs who live with smokers have higher rates of atopic dermatitis (eczema) than those who live in smoke-free homes.

For more than two decades, there have been studies and anecdotal reports showing more cancers, including lung, lymphoma, and oral cancers, in dogs living with smokers.

“I recently saw a patient who had smoked over 40 cigarettes a day until she developed bronchial carcinoma,” wrote David Cummings, of the Department of Hematology, Harefield Hospital in Britain. “Two of her pet dogs had died of lung cancer … and her cat had suffered from chronic wheezing that resolved when the patient discontinued smoking.” His comments appeared in a letter to the editor in the British Medical Journal in 1994.

Article reposted from:
By: Mara Bovsun

Give Your Dog a Tbsp. of This Golden Turmeric Paste to Relieve Inflammation And Prevent Cancer

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The turmeric is an extremely beneficial herb, a member of the ginger family, is most commonly known for its deep orange color and is used for cooking, herbal medicine and dyes.

But not many of us know that it can be beneficial for our pets as well. Why? Turmeric’s prime ingredient curcumin is host of health benefits and acts as a spice, but also as a pain reliever. For this reason, it’s a great food additive for pets that suffer from ailments and illnesses which cause pain.

What are the benefits of Turmeric for dogs?

There are a number of recorded benefits of turmeric for dogs, but any new treatment of any kind should be discussed with your dog’s holistic veterinarian. Always err on the side of caution before embarking on any new treatment paths.

Pain: Because all dog breeds are subject to arthritis, turmeric can play an important role due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In dogs that have a little extra weight, turmeric can help with the painful inflammation that comes when arthritis takes hold.

Blood Clots: Curcumin is also a blood thinner, which makes it an essential component when it comes to reducing the risk of blood clots and ridding the body of excess cholesterol.  Although cholesterol doesn’t effect dogs like it does people, clots can lead to a number of problems for dogs, like strokes and heart attacks and turmeric becomes very helpful indeed.

Irritable Bowel Disease: Curcumin also stimulates bile production in the liver, which aids in digesting food properly because it helps break down dietary fats. Active dogs require diets that have at least 20 percent fat, so a little turmeric can go a long way with respect to aiding in overall digestion. Dogs that are pregnant, nursing or underweight require more fat in the diet, which means that, you guessed it, more turmeric could help.

Cancer: There are some reports emerging, albeit somewhat tentatively, that turmeric could play a role in fighting cancer. Animal and test tube studies have revealed the herb’s capability to play a role in preventative medicine as an antioxidant. It has also been proven to shut down the blood vessels that feed cancer cells in some cases, although more research is certainly needed on the subject.

This amazing Golden paste recipe was developed by the Australian veterinarian Dr. Doug English, who claims that it provides extraordinary results.

Golden Paste- Recipe


  • ½ cup organic turmeric powder (use organic turmeric powder as it contains lots of curcumin)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (Grind organic black peppercorns in a coffee grinder or a blender)
  • ¼ cup organic cold pressed virgin olive or coconut oil (it also has great health benefits)
  • 1  to 1 ½ cups filtered water


Mix the turmeric with the water, starting with 1 cup water and adding more only if needed. Stir the liquid on medium/low heat. In about 7 to 10 minutes, a thick paste will be formed.

If the mixture looks watery, you can add a bit more turmeric and heat it for another couple of minutes.

When the paste is ready, add the pepper and oil, and then stir it well. Allow the mixture to cool, place it in a jar with a lid and store it in your fridge. The paste can be kept in the fridge for no more than two weeks, and then you will need to make a fresh new paste.


Mix the paste with water and add it to your dog’s meals. Your dog won’t mind the taste at all.

At first, give it about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the paste, depending on the size of your dog. You can gradually increase the amount, up to about a tablespoon for larger dogs. Moreover, make sure you give your dog smaller amounts, but a few times a day, as turmeric leaves the body quickly.

Article reposted from:

5 Basic Steps to Boost Your Pet's Health This Year

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

It’s the start of a brand new year and if you’re like me, you’ve made a mental list – or maybe even a written one – of changes you plan to make, beginning today.

Most of us with pets tend to include our animal companions in our New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you’d like to help your dog get more exercise this year. Or maybe you’ve made a commitment to brush your cat’s coat more often to prevent hairballs.

With that in mind, and to kick off another great year here at Mercola Healthy Pets, I thought I’d offer a quick refresher on some of the basics of providing a healthy lifestyle for your dog or cat.

Feed a fresh, balanced, and species-appropriate diet:

When it comes to helping your pet have a long, healthy life, there is no single thing more important than providing him with the right nutrition.

To be optimally healthy, dogs and cats need quality protein, fats, and a small amount of vegetables and fruits that provide antioxidants and fiber to animals that no longer hunt whole prey.

Your pet needs unadulterated, fresh, and whole foods that are moisture dense. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, byproducts, or processed or genetically modified (GM) foods.

Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

To gauge the nutritional quality of the diet you’re currently feeding your pet, see “From Best to Worst – My NEW Rankings of 13 Pet Foods.” You can also use this list for guidance on how to improve your dog’s or cat’s diet.

Keep your pet at a healthy weight:

Overweight and obese pets is such a widespread problem that many cat and dog owners don’t even realize their animal companion is too heavy to be healthy. Feeding too much of the wrong kind of food is how the problem usually starts. As a carnivore, the foundation of your dog’s or cat’s diet should be animal muscle meats, organs, and bones.

Unfortunately, the foundation of most popular, affordable commercial pet diets is grains, carbohydrates, and fillers – in other words, exactly the ingredients carnivores are NOT designed to eat. Biologically inappropriate nutrition can contribute not only to obesity, but to a long list of diet-related diseases as well.

Lack of adequate exercise is also a big risk factor in creating a too-heavy cat or dog. Our pets are designed to be physically active for optimal health.

Not only does lack of exercise help to pack on the pounds, it can also cause extreme boredom and lack of mental stimulation, which in a dog in particular, can result in a whole host of behavior-related issues.

Refuse needless vaccinations:

“Needless” vaccinations for most pets who received well-timed puppy or kitten shots include:

  • Yearly boosters of the core vaccines (distemper, parvo, and adenovirus for dogs; panleukopenia, calici, and herpes for cats)
  • Any non-core vaccines your pet doesn’t absolutely need

Over-vaccinating can create serious short and long-term health problems for your cat or dog. Yes, many pets enjoy long lives despite yearly re-vaccinations, but many others have developed vaccine-associated sarcomas, autoimmune disorders, and other life-threatening diseases.

In lieu of automatic re-vaccinations, I recommend antibody titer tests at 3-year intervals to insure your pet remains immune to the diseases she has been vaccinated for.

For a more thorough understanding of the latest canine vaccination guidelines, along with the dog and cat vaccination protocols Dr. Ronald Schultz, a leading authority in the field of veterinary vaccines and I recommend, read “Good News About the Latest Canine Vaccination Guidelines.”

Perform at-home exams and schedule regular wellness visits with your veterinarian:

Our pets can’t tell us when they hurt or feel sick. That’s why it’s so important for pet parents to do routine at-home wellness exams on their companion animals.

This is a great way to detect any changes in your pet’s health as soon as they occur so that you can take immediate action. It’s also a great bonding opportunity for you and your dog or cat.

Often pets aren’t seen by a veterinarian until an illness is in an advanced stage. This usually means the animal has been suffering for some time, and sadly, it often means there’s no way to stop or reverse the progress of the disease.

Not every condition can be detected by a physical exam, of course, but you’d be surprised how many potential health crises are averted by an alert pet owner who detects a problem and makes an appointment with their veterinarian.

My recommendation for veterinary wellness exams is twice yearly in a healthy pet. Older pets and those with chronic conditions may need to be seen more often. If two visits a year isn’t feasible for you, I strongly urge at least an annual wellness visit to your vet.

I also encourage you to have a holistic practitioner on your pet’s health care team. There is a lot that can be done to improve the health and quality of life of your animal companion beyond what traditional Western medicine is able to offer.

Regularly enrich your pet’s environment:

Environmental enrichment means enhancing your pet’s surroundings and lifestyle so that he is presented with novelty in his environment, opportunities to learn, and encouragement to engage in instinctive, species-specific behaviors.

Ways to enrich your dog’s environment can include:

  • Providing a supply of different types of toys in varying shapes, sizes, textures, colors, and scents
  • Insuring he receives adequate daily exercise/playtime
  • Taking him on different types of walks
  • Providing him with regular opportunities for social enrichment, for example, visits to the dog park, play dates with other dogs, or involvement in activities such as agility and nose work

Enriching a kitty’s environment involves creating minimally stressful living quarters and reducing or eliminating events that cause anxiety. Any change to your cat’s daily routine is experienced (by her) as a stress-inducing event. The goal is to minimize change and maximize the amount of control kitty feels over her situation.

Enrichment may also mean adding or changing things in your pet’s environment that encourage her to perform or mimic natural feline activities, like climbing to a high spot or hunting “prey” (cat toys). For details on the five key areas of your cat’s environment and how to enrich each one, read “Your Cat’s Life in Captivity – How to Simulate Conditions in the Wild.”

If there’s room for improvement in your pet’s lifestyle, today is a really good day to think about what you can do differently to help your four-legged family member enjoy better health and longevity.

Happy New Year to you and your furry family members!

Article reposted from:
By Dr. Becker

Ten New Year's Resolutions for you to share with your dog

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

The time for making resolutions and setting goals for the New Year is upon us. This year, include your dog in your resolutions. You may find it is fun and good for both of you!

  1. Decide to hit a new trail or park at least once a month. There are many dog friendly hiking areas that you and your canine companion can enjoy. Be sure to pack water for both of you and baggies to clean up after your dog. A collar or harness with ID for your dog and a good leash are the other essentials. Most hiking areas have leash laws and you want your dog on leash anyway. The leash keeps him safe from wildlife and unfriendly dogs plus keeps him from bothering other hikers, their dogs and the wildlife. Win/win all round!
  2. Eat healthier. For your dog that means researching his diet to be sure it is balanced and complete. If he is doing well on his current food, don’t change things “just because”. But if he needs to lose some weight, his skin or coat aren’t looking the best, etc, check out other diet options.
  3. Make it part of your daily routine to play with your dog every day. On bad weather or harried days it may be a quick game of fetch with a soft toy down the carpeted hallway. On nice days, maybe fetch or tug out in the sunshine and on grass.
  4. Enrich your dog’s brain with new training. You might want to try a new dog sport or simply try some tricks. Old dogs can and do learn new tricks and have fun doing so!
  5. A yearly physical, or twice a year if your canine has reached senior status of seven years of age or more, is important for his health. Don’t neglect this most important and basic part of health care.
  6. Educate yourself on preventive health care for your dog. Research which vaccines beyond the core recommended vaccines, make sense for your dog and his lifestyle. Not all dogs need all vaccines.
  7. Stay on top of preventive care for your dog when it comes to parasites from heartworm to intestinal to fleas and ticks. These parasites are harmful on their own and may carry even more deadly diseases. There are many options for preventive care but you must faithfully follow the directives.
  8. Educate yourself about appropriate supplements that may keep your dog active and healthy for many more years. Joint and cognitive support can benefit almost every senior dog. Always check with your veterinarian to be sure supplements are compatible and safe with your dog’s current diet and health status.
  9. Stay on top of your dog’s grooming needs. Ears, nails, teeth and coat require consistent attention all year round to help your dog look and feel good. The amount of time and equipment required will vary from breed to breed. You may groom your dog yourself or make appointments with a groomer to help your canine shine.
  10. Take time to simply sit in the sun (or the shade – your preference), watch the birds and enjoy life with your faithful dog by your side. The lives of dogs are way too short so you need to savor your time together while you can.

Article reposted from:
By Deb Eldredge

Diet For Dogs With Canine Cancer

Monday, December 14th, 2015

For dog owners whose pets have been diagnosed with canine cancer, you should begin to focus on giving your ailing pet the best quality of life and health possible. A big part of this would be following the proper diet for dogs with canine cancer. Just like humans, dogs diagnosed with cancer will have weak immune systems and will grow even weaker as the cancer progresses. At the same time, aggressive cancer treatments can weaken your pet’s body even further. Therefore, it is essential to build up new tissues and nutrient supply as your dog undergoes treatment sessions that will burn through his or her supply of proteins, fats and other essential nutrients.

Wasted muscles or atrophy, severely weakened internal organs and various complications are what await your pet if he or she doesn’t get the right diet. It also increases the risk of cancer cachexia, a metabolic condition that manifests itself as weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue and a compromised immune system. This disease causes a change in the way a dog’s body metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and proteins resulting in a poor use of energy for the dog and more energy for the cancerous cells. In fact, cancer cachexia can become the cause of death rather than the actual cancer. These cancer side effects can be avoided if you follow the right diet for dogs with canine cancer.

More protein, less carbohydrates is key for dogs with canine cancer. Canines are naturally carnivores and grains can be stressful on their digestive systems. Unfortunately, most dog foods include grains such as wheat, rice or corn. Moreover, cancer cells derive their energy from sugars. Simple carbohydrates are source of glucose that tumor cells can use for nutrients. In order to minimize or cut off the energy being fed to the tumor, you must limit and carefully select the carbohydrates you feed your dog. Foods low in glucose such as oatmeal and rice are safest. Therefore, if you choose to buy dog food from the store or supermarket, check the label and ingredients list. Make sure that the food you’re getting derives 30-50% of its nutrients from protein, 50-60% from fat and the rest can be from carbohydrates listed.

When choosing food for a pet with cancer, pick something that is highly palatable and has plenty of kcal per cup. Apart from having low appetite, a sick pet won’t need to eat as much so it is essential that you give him or her the most amount of good nutrients per serving. There are pre-prepared food available in the market especially catering to dogs with canine cancer, your veterinarian can identify and even order them for you. Supplements can also be added to your dog’s cancer diet, but again, work with your vet on this in order to ensure you won’t be giving your pet anything that could counteract his or her medication or treatment.

These are the general guidelines for the proper diet for dogs with canine cancer. It is up to you as a responsible pet owner to continue learning and updating your knowledge on how to further help your loyal companion. Working with your veterinarian and pet nutritionist would also be highly recommended as they would best be able to give you the benefit of their expertise.

Article reposted from:
By Sarah Fortrell

8 Tips For Caring For Your Pet This Winter

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones living in one of the balmier states, you’ve felt the cold chill of winter arrive. For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; for others, it’s a fun time filled with snowboarding, skiing and other winter joys; and still others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure.

Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains the same for all of us with pets: it’s a time when our beloved babies need a little extra care. Luckily, PetMD has compiled a list of tips to protect your pet from the dangers of winter.

1. In or Out?

Does your pet spend most of the time in the backyard? You might want to keep her indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet — they’re simply not that cuddly.

2. Bare Naked Truth

If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Would a fur coat alone (even if it is faux mink) keep you warm against the elements? No? Well, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection for your pet during winter, either. Be a pal and provide your dog with a warm, dry, and draft free shelter outside; the shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

3. No More Frozen Dinners!

Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it’s cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet’s health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas (boo, fleas!). While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.

4. Latest Fad Diet?

Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet.

5. Frosty the Biting Snowman

We’re not talking about the latest horror movie offering from Hollywood. Frosting is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails, and ears. This makes it even more important in keeping your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. Get special booties, coats, and maybe a hat for your pet during her walks, and look for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.

6. The Deadly Drink

The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car’s radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly — even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting “drunk” or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors’ driveways?

7. Salty Solution

Do you live in an area with cold and icy winters? Then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws — not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet’s paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

8. Joy Ride

Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car … ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car’s hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she’ll thank you in the long run.

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense. If you’re cold, your beloved pet will most likely be cold too. So snuggle up, keep your pet warm and safe, and sooner than you can say “Jack Russell,” we’ll all be hitting the beaches for some summertime fun.

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Image: Hawkins / via Flickr