Understanding The Nutrition Needs Of An Older Dog

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding The Nutrition Needs Of An Older Dog

When man’s best friend transitions from an adult to a senior, their nutritional needs begin to change. Just like a puppy who needs more or less of somethings, an older dog has specific needs of their own. Caring for them and making sure they are healthy and in good shape may mean making some changes to their diet. Whether they get dry food from a well-known name brand or their owner makes it from scratch, there are a few things to be sure they get every day. Calorie Intake As dogs approach their senior years, their bodies are less capable of holding on to a certain weight. Obesity is a dangerous thing for older dogs. Pet owners should closely monitor their pet’s food intake and watch the amount of calories being consumed each day. Since the dog’s metabolism is slowing down, they will need less fuel throughout the day. Before cutting the quantity of food given each day a vet should be consulted for precise calorie needs. High Fiber When a dog ages, their body begins to change. They become more susceptible to things like gastrointestinal issues. Senior canines become constipated more easily, so feeding them foods with high fiber content goes a long way to keep their bodies healthy. Another great benefit to giving aging pets’ meals which feature a large amount of fiber is how it fills them up. This way it keeps their calorie count down while still helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adding canned pumpkin to wet food is an easy way to ensure dogs get more fiber daily. Antioxidants The key to fighting off sickness and diseases is a strong immune system. When it’s time to look for a new diet for an older dog, look for food which features a large amount of antioxidants and vitamin E. The aging body needs help to prevent illness from invading it and this is especially true when it comes to things like free radicals. These harmful items occur naturally in the body, and as the canine gets older, it has a harder time fighting them. Antioxidants found in things like green tea, raspberries, and milk thistle are all safe for dogs to consume. Like humans, animals find they need different things as they age. Whether it means careful exercise, controlled calorie intake, or even increasing certain foods, older dogs have new requirements as they age. Always speak to a vet before making any drastic changes in a pet’s lifestyle. For more information, contact local professionals like Bayshore Animal Hospital & Bird...

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Stinky Ears: A Look At Ear Odors In Dogs

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stinky Ears: A Look At Ear Odors In Dogs

Do you detect a foul odor whenever you put your nose near your dog’s ears? Stinky ears are pretty common in dogs, and while they’re not indicative of an emergency situation, they are a marker of an outer or middle ear infection. If your dog has stinky ears, you’ll want to take him to the vet for treatment. In the meantime, here’s a closer look at what’s going on and what to expect when your dog receives treatment. What causes stinky ears? Stinky ears are either caused by a bacterial infection or a fungal infection. If your dog has discharge coming from his ears or the ears feel warm to the touch, there’s a good chance a bacterial infection is to blame. If the ears look dry and crusty and your dog wants to itch them a lot, then the infection is likely fungal. Both bacteria and fungi thrive in warm, moist environments. So, dogs with floppy ears are more prone to these infections since their ears trap warmth and moisture inside of them. Dogs may contract an infection when they rub up against another dog with an infection, or they may introduce the bacteria or fungi to their ears when scratching with dirty paws. How will your vet diagnose your dog’s ear problem? Since there are numerous bacteria and fungi that can cause ear infections, your vet will take a swab of your dog’s ear and then examine the contents of the swab under a microscope to determine what organisms are responsible. He or she will also look deeper into your dog’s ears to ensure the infection has not spread to the inner ear, where it can cause more serious issues with balance and hearing. How are ear infections treated? Your vet will probably flush your dog’s ear with an antiseptic solution. If the infection has spread to the inner ear, your dog will be prescribed an oral antibiotic or antifungal medication to help cure it. You’ll need to administer this once or twice per day, depending on your vet’s instructions. You’ll also need to rinse your dog’s ears out and apply either an antifungal or antibiotic cream to them. Your vet will show you how to do this. Make sure you use the prescribed rinse and cream for as long as is recommended, or the infection may come back even worse. How can you prevent future ear infections? Dogs who have suffered from one ear infection are more likely to develop subsequent ones. You can protect your dog by wiping the ears out after your dog spends time in a moist environment. Your vet, such as Covington Veterinary Hospital PC, may also recommend continuing to use an antiseptic rinse once a week or so as a preventative...

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Doggy Spending Time Outside This Summer? Helpful Tips To Keep It Cool

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doggy Spending Time Outside This Summer? Helpful Tips To Keep It Cool

Summer is here. If you have a dog that spends time outside during the day, you need to make sure that it has everything it will need to stay cool and hydrated. That includes taking extra precautions to accommodate emergency situations. Here are two steps you can take to keep your dog safe from the heat this summer. Provide Extra Water You never know when the temperatures are going to rise and your dog is going to go through all the water you left out for it. With the temperatures rising, be sure you leave at least two full bowls of water out for your dog. If you have a doggy door, be sure to leave one bowl of water inside the house and another bowl of water outside the house. Having a bowl of water outside will prevent a disaster if your dog happens to get locked out of the doggy door – which could happen if your dog knocks something over that blocks the door. Without water inside and out, your dog could be left without water until you return. Create a Cool Spot Your dog is going to need a cool place to relax while it’s outside this summer. Here are three ways to create the perfect resting spot. Leave the Spigot On To make sure your dog has a cool place to rest while it’s outside during the summer, leave an outside water spigot on to a slight drip. The drizzle of water will cool the area and provide a comfortable place for your pet to rest. The spigot will also provide your dog with an additional supply of water. For best results, make sure the spigot is located near a grassy area so that you don’t turn your backyard into a muddy mess while you’re gone. Install a Mister To create an oasis for your dog, you can attach a backyard mister to your spigot. This will provide a cool mist for your dog to relax in while you’re gone. One of the benefits of a mister is that you can place it in any area of your yard. Set Up a Pool If your dog enjoys the water, you can provide a cool place to take a dip by placing a rigid plastic kiddie pool in the backyard. Fill it with water and your dog will be able to take a dip whenever it gets too hot. Now that summer is here, you need to make sure that your four-legged family members are safe from the heat. The tips provided here will help you provide a cool place for your dog to relax this summer. If your dog should become lethargic after being outdoors, be sure to get them to the vet, like Parkview Animal Hospital, as soon as possible. It might be suffering from...

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Planning To Breed Your Pet Mare? Care Tips For You

Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Planning To Breed Your Pet Mare? Care Tips For You

When you have a pet horse that you purchased (or were given) as a companion or to learn to ride, you may one day find yourself wanting to breed your beloved horse. If you have no experience breeding a mare, this may seem like a confusing and difficult prospect. However, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your mare is well taken care of before, during, and after birthing a foal. Get to know some of the steps that you should take to properly care for your mare during the breeding process so that your pet horse is healthy at all times. Take Your Mare To A Horse Vet For A Breeding Soundness Exam One of the first steps that you will want to take when you are considering breeding your mare is to take it to the horse veterinarian for what is known as a breeding soundness exam. Because your pet horse has never been pregnant or birthed a foal in while in your care, you cannot be sure that she is able to safely do so without an exam. This is a comprehensive exam that simply lets you know that all of the reproductive organs are intact and healthy and that your mare is healthy enough overall to carry a foal to term. This includes ultrasonography (an ultrasound) and manual palpation and exams of both the internal and external sex organs and genitalia. Your vet will then be able to tell you if your mare is healthy enough to breed or if further testing and examinations are needed. Plan On Lots Of Ultrasounds Once you have bred your mare, either through artificial insemination or live cover, you can plan on taking your mare in to see the horse veterinarian for several ultrasounds. Alternatively, if your vet has a portable ultrasound machine, they could also come to you. Regardless of where you have the ultrasounds performed, there will be several in the early weeks and months of their pregnancy. The first ultrasound will be at about two weeks (14 days) after your mare has been bred. This is simply to determine if your mare is indeed pregnant and can also indicate whether she is pregnant with twins. If she is indeed pregnant, within about a week you will want to have another ultrasound for your mare. Early miscarriages can occur and the three week check can help determine whether or not the pregnancy is viable. And then the next week, the ultrasound should show a more recognizable fetus and surrounding membrane. After these initial ultrasounds, there are usually two more ultrasounds about two weeks or a little more apart and then possible every 30 days after that for a few months. Later ultrasounds will be at your and your horse veterinarian’s discretion and will depend on any health issues your mare may be experiencing. As the gestational period for a mare is between 11 and 12 months, you will likely not have an ultrasound every month once the pregnancy is established and your mare seems healthy. Now that you know a bit more about caring for your mare when you plan to breed her, you can be sure that you are providing your pet horse with the best possible care through the whole breeding process....

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Changing Your Home Address? Prepare Your Cat For The Big Move

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Changing Your Home Address? Prepare Your Cat For The Big Move

Cats are creatures of habit, and they do not appreciate changes in their routines. A stressful event or upheaval, such as a move to a new residence, can spike up their anxiety levels and lead to unhealthy and unwanted behaviors. If a change of address is in your plans, take the time to address your cat’s stress and make a few simple efforts to help your cat through the move and transition period.  She Knows That Something Is Up When cats experience stress and anxiety, they may engage in the following behaviors: Eliminating outside of the litter box Hunger strikes Hiding Attempting to escape from the home Becoming more vocal Grooming excessively A move can impose stress on all family members. Children fret about changing schools and leaving their friends behind. You may feel apprehensive about the new position that you accepted that is prompting this move. There is a lot to do, from house hunting and packing to jumping through mortgage lender hoops and overseeing the arrival of your belongings to your new home. Your cat will pick up on those feelings from the very beginning, so you need to take steps to keep her happy and safe long before the actual moving day. Do You Know Where Your Cat Is? Some cats respond to stress by fleeing. Prevent your cat from becoming a runaway by sequestering her indoors if she is not already an indoor cat. Make being indoors enjoyable for your cat by providing a window perch from where she can watch the birds, and provide plenty of toys and interactive playtime with your cat. Whether or not she has been an indoor cat already, take extra precautions to ensure that she cannot dart outside and take off when the door opens. Have every household member ring the doorbell when they return home, and instruct them to wait for you to let them in. Do not do so until you have located your cat and are confident that she is not going to bolt for the open door. If you are selling your home, be sure to enclose your cat in a carrier when the realtor comes to show the home, and keep the carrier at your side. Ask a veterinarian (such as one from Berlin Township Animal Hospital) about a microchip for your cat for identification, and be sure to enter your current cell phone number when you register the microchip with your contact information. Reinventing the Carrier Many cats strongly dislike being stuffed into a carrier, especially when their only outing in a carrier includes a stop at the veterinarian’s clinic. Between packing your cat up every time your house is being shown and the prospect of driving to a new location with a protesting kitty along, take steps from the very beginning to change your cat’s opinion about the carrier. Leave the carrier out in the open, place a cozy blanket or an article of clothing with your scent on it inside and keep its door ajar so that she can approach and sniff it at her will. Play an interactive game of tossing her favorite toys into it or projecting the laser dot toy toward the opening. Give her a treat reward every time she braves its open door. Cats Love Boxes,...

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Four Pet Ownership Costs Not To Overlook

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Pet Ownership Costs Not To Overlook

Making the decision to adopt a pet isn’t just a life-changing situation for the pet, but also for you, as an owner. In order to provide your pet with the best possible experience, it’s important that you be prepared – even when it comes to your finances. If you are about to adopt a new furry family member, there are a number of important costs you should be factoring into your budget ahead of time. Here are just four you don’t want to overlook. Nutritional Food When it comes to the food you put in your body, you don’t simply look for the cheapest options. While price is important, you are more concerned with getting quality, nutritional food selections. Keep the same train of thought for your pet. Given the importance of nutritional food selections, you can expect to spend somewhere between $120 and $500 a year on quality pet food. The smaller your pet, the lower end of the spectrum your cost will be on and the opposite end for a larger dog. Chew-Toys You might not even think chew-toys would be considered a real expense, but depending on the breed you have, you could learn otherwise. Certain breeds, including the Labrador retriever and Shetland sheepdog, seem to be on a never ending quest to chew whatever they can. If you don’t have a stock of chew-toys on hand, they will seek out your shoes, furniture or whatever else they can find. Additionally, since they like to chew so much, they often go through chew-toys quickly, causing you to purchase these toys quite regularly. Rental Pet Deposit If you don’t own your home, don’t forget to factor in the rental pet deposit fee you might have to pay the property manager. This fee is generally designed to cover the cost of any upgrades or damages that need to be repaired once you move out, such as soiled carpet. Pet fees vary from a single, one-time deposit to a deposit and monthly fee. Your lease agreement can provide you with the details. Preventive Veterinary Care It’s not only important to take your pet to the veterinarian when they are sick, but also for preventive care, such as a yearly exam. The cost of this care can vary widely depending on the size and breed of your dog and the area that you live in. However, you can expect to spend somewhere between $45 and $200 with the first year and $20 to $100 each year thereafter for an annual exam, which doesn’t include the cost of any necessary treatments. The adoption fee, at a place like Pilot Knob Animal Hospital, is only the beginning when it comes to caring for your pet. Make sure you are financially prepared to provide your pet with the most comfortable and safe...

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4 Things Potbellied Pig Owners Need To Know About Rectal Prolapses

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things Potbellied Pig Owners Need To Know About Rectal Prolapses

Potbellied pigs can suffer from a number of serious health problems, including rectal prolapses. Rectal prolapses occur when the rectum—the last section of the large intestine—falls out of position and protrudes through the anus. Here are four things potbellied pig owners need to know about rectal prolapses. Why do potbellied pigs get rectal prolapses? Your potbellied pig can develop a rectal prolapse if they strain themselves while defecating. This can happen if they have severe diarrhea or if they are constipated. Essentially, they push so hard that they expel their own rectum. What are the signs of rectal prolapses? If your potbellied pig has a rectal prolapse, you’ll notice a red ring of tissue sticking out of their anus after they defecate. This tissue may slip back inside their anus, but it may remain outside of their body. If you notice this happening to your pig, take them to a vet right away. What complications can they cause? Rectal prolapses can cause multiple complications. Your pig may develop bladder retroversion, meaning that their bladder gets trapped within the prolapsed tissue. Eventration of the small intestine can also occur. This means that the small intestine bulges out of place. Finally, they can develop rectal stricture. Stricture is a medical term that means narrowing, so in simple terms, a rectal stricture is a narrowed anal opening. All of these complications can cause serious pain and distress for your pet, so seek treatment for rectal prolapses right away. How do vets treat rectal prolapses? Your vet may be able to treat your pig’s condition by injecting iodine into the lip of their bowel. Multiple injections will be given in this region. Iodine is a caustic substance, so when it’s injected into the bowel tissue, it forces the body to create scar tissue. This creates a ring of scar tissue around the lip of the bowel and holds the tissue in place. Rectal prolapses can also be treated surgically. Your pig will first be sedated to help it relax, then your vet will give it gas anesthesia to make it sleep through the procedure. While your pig is sleeping, your vet will pull your pig’s rectum back into place and then secure it with stitches. This is a routine procedure, so as long as you choose an experienced vet, you have nothing to worry about. After the surgery, your pig will be sent home to recover. Painkillers or antibiotics may be given to ensure that their recovery goes smoothly. Your vet may also prescribe a stool softener to keep your pig from needing to strain their bowels while they heal. If you think your potbellied pig is experiencing a rectal prolapse, take them to a vet, like those at the Edinburgh Animal Hospital,...

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3 Ways Your Pet’s Health Problems Can Transfer To You

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways Your Pet’s Health Problems Can Transfer To You

As you already know, there are many benefits of owning a pet, but you also know that pets can have health issues that can affect you as well. Most of these problems are manageable, but some can potentially cause serious health issues to you or your pet if they’re not caught early. Here are three ways that your pet’s health problems can transfer to you. Parasites: As a pet owner, you’re well aware that your pet can get parasites such as fleas and ticks, but there is a myriad of other, more dangerous parasites that can affect your pets. Roundworm, ringworm and giardia are three of the more common parasites that can be transmitted from pets to humans. All of these can cause serious health issues including vision and organ damage with roundworm and intestinal and skin problems with ringworm and giardia. The symptoms are the same for pets and humans. Most cases are contracted through the handling of pet feces and are easy to prevent with good hygiene and proper waste disposal. Bacteria: Your pet can transfer bacteria without showing symptoms of being infected themselves. One of these types of transferable bacteria is salmonella. Though most people associate salmonella with birds and eggs, mammals and reptiles can also carry the bacteria. Another commonly known bacteria that affects humans is the Bartonela henselae bacteria which causes “cat scratch fever.” Like the name suggests, this bacterial infection is transferred by cat scratches. Leptospirosis is another common bacteria in the environment that can be transferred from pet to humans and cause rash and intestinal issues. Viruses: The type of viruses you can catch from an animal vary from species to species. Influenza can sometimes jump from poultry and pigs to humans, for example. The most serious virus that humans can catch from their pets is the easily preventable rabies. A recent study has shown that dogs are capable of contracting the highly contagious norovirus, or stomach flu, but the study didn’t go as far to say that they are able to spread it to their owners. In general, most of the common viruses that pets get will not make humans sick. Fortunately, most of these health issues are preventable through good hygiene, vaccinations and pest control. Take precautions when handling pet waste and bodily fluids. Have your pet examined at your veterinary hospital regularly and get treatment if your pet gets ill and both your pet and you should have many healthy years to...

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Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

Your pooch may be your best friend, and even double as your closest companion when you hit the trail for a hike. Whether you are going on a short day trip or a multi-day backpacking trip, your pet’s health should be one of your top priorities. The following tip can help you keep your dog both safe and happy on the trail. Tip #1: Avoid Dehydration The addition of a simple collapsible water bowl is a must, even for short hikes. Don’t allow your dog to drink from puddles, ponds, or streams unless you have first processed the water through a backpacking purifier. The same contaminants that upset a human stomach can also upset your dog’s. Bring enough water for both of you, which following the common eight glass of water a day rule, means at least 2 liters of water for each. Stop every half hour or so for a drink. If you feel thirsty, your dog likely to be thirsty too. Heavy panting can also be a sign of impending dehydration. Tip #2: Paw Protection After dehydration, injury to the paws are the next biggest concern. Your dog’s feet may not be toughened up to the trail, especially if they are used to walking n clean, paved roads. Dog booties protect their feet from injury. If there is wet or snow, it can also protect their feet from frostbite. Practice walking around the house with the dog booties on. Some dogs need to adjust to them or they will simply try to pull them off. Tip #3: Pest Concerns Fleas and ticks can be a major problem in the woods. Especially ticks, which can transmit diseases like Lyme. Your vet may recommend the use of a flea or tick collar if the pests are especially bad in your area. Whether you use a collar or not, though, it is important to still give your dog (and yourself) a thorough inspection with a flea comb after a hike. Keep a tick removal tool on hand so you can quickly get rid of any of the blood suckers you come across. Your vet may also recommend a Lyme vaccine, depending on the risk in your area. Tip #4: Be Prepared Finally, be prepared. Get a trail book on pet first aid and carry a first aid kit for dogs. Read through the book before you hike to ensure you know how to deal with the most common trail injuries, like removing bee stings, dressing minor wounds, or wrapping sprains. It’s also a good idea to talk with your veterinarian before you go. They can show you the proper responses for some common trail incidents and give you advice that specifically pertains to your dog and their unique health and fitness condition. For additional info, contact a veterinarian. ...

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The One Tool All Pet Owners Should Have For Emergency Injuries

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The One Tool All Pet Owners Should Have For Emergency Injuries

If your pet were to get cut or suffered an injury that left them bleeding, what would you do? You might first think to reach for bandages or gauze, which are both good ideas. However, there’s one product you may have never even heard of that can potentially save a pet’s life if they’re bleeding. Read on to learn more about this item and how you can use it. Styptic Powder Styptic powder is an antihemorrhagic, or literally a product that stops bleeding. When applied to a bleeding wound, styptic powder makes the surrounding tissues slightly swell, helping to seal the wound shut. This achieves a similar effect to holding pressure down on a wound, but it can perform the same action without you needing to keep a hand on your pet. Since a pet with an open wound may be anxious or frantic, styptic powder is something you can use to quickly slow or stop the bleeding without upsetting them further. It’s also great to have so you can apply it before you drive to an animal hospital to have your pet tended to by a veterinarian. Where To Get It Styptic powder comes in a few different forms, but it’s generally sold at most major pet stores and at veterinarian offices. You can buy it as a loose powder, in the form of a stick, as a gel, or even on pre-soaked pads that you can apply directly to your pet’s wound. How To Use It Before you apply styptic powder, you should try and cleanse the wound as much as you can. Remove any loose debris and wash any obvious dirt away from the area. If your pet’s fur is in the way, either brush it back or clip it with scissors so it doesn’t get in the way of the wound. After that, all you need to do is to apply the styptic powder directly to the wound. The package it comes in will have specific directions that explain how much you need, depending on which type of styptic powder, gel, or liquid you purchase. After you’ve applied the styptic powder, feel free to continue applying pressure to the wound with a bandage or gauze, especially if it’s a deep cut. Once you’ve applied the styptic powder, make sure to get to an animal hospital immediately. Bleeding wounds can fester and become infected, or your pet can potentially become anemic from bleeding too much. Styptic powder isn’t a replacement for proper veterinary care, but it can help to reduce the pain and suffering your pet experiences while you get them to the animal...

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