Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Our Top 5 Dog Constipation Remedies

Being constipated is not a pleasant experience for anyone. The same can be said for canines. Can you imagine how your furry friend feels when they’re having difficulty passing regular stool?

Your dog will get sick, and anxiety will kick in when they become constipated. This is why it’s important for you to be proactive when signs of constipated surface.

You can give your canine a daily dog supplement. This will keep them healthy and regular. You can find some good daily dog supplements at your grocery market, a pet store, and on the internet.

With so many brands of dog supplements being marketed these days, it’s easy for anyone to select the wrong brand. Make certain you choose a brand that has a solid reputation in the pet industry. Your choice of quality supplements will help sustain your dog’s health.

It’s not strange for devoted dog owners to ask, “What can I give my dog for constipation?” Fortunately, you have many options to choose from.

In this article, we’ll go over five dog constipation remedies that work extremely well. First, you should know more about constipation.

What is Constipation?

Constipation occurs when you’re having difficulty with passing a sufficient amount of stool. It’s vital to mention that constipation does not automatically mean there’s a build-up of stool. According to PetMD, you will have the sensation to go, but you’re unable to relieve yourself.

As a dog owner, it can be challenging to recognize the symptoms of constipation. However, you will be able to see that your dog is having a hard time going to the bathroom.

Here are three types of canine constipation:

Intrinsic Constipation – Hormone imbalances or neurological disorders are the culprits behind constipation

Intraluminal Constipation – This takes place when a blockage in the colon does not allow stool to pass

Extraluminal Constipation – An exterior source is causing a blockage in the colon

How did my dog become constipated?

The causes of constipation fall into the three categories above. Intraluminal constipation is the most common form of constipation. In this instance, a swallowed object or tumor is causing the blockage in the colon.

When something becomes lodged in a dog’s throat, intraluminal constipation can take place. This could be hair, grass, or string. These items will eventually make their way through your dog’s system. Only on rare occasions is surgery needed to remove these objects.

Please note the exterior blockage referred to in the description of extra-luminal constipation may not be visible. In some instances, clumped hair can cause the blockage in the anus. There are situations where a broken bone or arthritis is hindering the dog’s ability to pass stool comfortably.

It can be difficult for veterinarians to see an exterior blockage. There’s a possibility that a clump of hair is causing the obstruction. In many other cases, arthritis or a broken bone is hindering regularity outside the colon.

Intrinsic constipation is not common. It’s typically a side effect of medication given to your dog. In rare cases, neurological disorders will show up as constipation. However, intrinsic constipation will take place after a medical procedure.

According to AvoDerm’s research, the following can cause constipation in your pooch:

• A change in diet

• Lack of exercise

• Neurological Disease

• Stress and anxiety

• Intestinal obstructions

• Dehydration

• Matted fur

• Arthritis and other physical problems

• Side effects of supplements and medicine

• Damage to the exterior of the anal cavity or anus

The veterinarian must detect constipation before they can treat it. If you believe your pup is showing symptoms of constipation, keep a close eye on them.

Here are the warning signs of constipation:

• Vomiting

• Small, dry, and hard stools

• Constant biting or knowing at the tail

• Strange objects in the stool like grass or hair

• Loss of appetite

• Difficulty urinating

• Licking the anus

Your dog may also drag their hindquarters along the floor. This is known as “scooting”. Your dog will scoot to reduce the pressure they feel in their anus.

You can help lower the pressure by carefully rubbing the area where their lower abdomen meets the hip joints. Please call your vet if your dog whines after touching this area. Their whining means they’re in serious pain.

A sensitive abdomen could indicate that there is a blockage or another serious medical issue. In either case, take your dog to the vet immediately. You don’t want your dog to suffer in pain.

A soft abdomen massage may help loosen stool. If that doesn’t work, you can try the 5 dog constipation remedies below. We’re sure they’ll get the job done.

1. Take a Close Look

This is not a pleasant option, but it’s effective. If your dog sheds a lot, there’s a possibility that a mass of hair needs to be removed from their anus.

So you need to take a look. If you see any hair in the anus, you must remove it.

Professional tip: Use clippers to remove hair in this area. Never use scissors because you could injure your beloved canine.

If the offending object is visible, give your dog a chance to pass it through. If they’re unable to eliminate it naturally, you should consider taking them to the vet. They have the equipment and experience for the job.

2. Make Them Move Around

If your dog fails to get adequate exercise, their digestive system will suffer. It will not be able to function properly. Your dog will not be able to process and digest their food.

An out-of-shape dog will normally slide into survival mode. When this happens, their food will be stored in their stomach and intestines. Fecal matter will build up and your pooch’s health will decline.

Vigorous exercise outside can break up hard fecal matter. It may take several attempts for your dog to pass their stool. Eventually, they’ll have a good bowel movement.

If exercise doesn’t work, take your dog to the vet. The fecal matter may be too hard and large for your dog to pass. Your vet may need to give your dog an enema to soften the stool.

3. Stool Softeners for Dogs

Your pooch may need a little help, so giving them a stool softener could yield positive results. Dogs are mammals, but this doesn’t mean you should give them one of your laxatives. A dog-specific stool softener will do a better job.

If you want to expedite your dog’s recovery, you can add more fiber to their diet. For example, you can give them canned pumpkin. It has a solid reputation for alleviating constipation in canines.

Pumpkin’s high fiber content is more than capable of pushing the hardened waste through your pooch’s digestive tract and out their anus.

Please give your dog small quantities of canned pumpkin and stood softener. You don’t want to overdo it!

4. Hydrate

As we mentioned above, dehydration is a huge contributing factor for constipation in dogs. You may not be able to detect that your dog is dehydrated.

Here are some signs of dehydration:

• Loss of appetite

• Lethargy

• Panting

• Foamy drool

• Vomiting

• Lack of balance

• Heavy breathing

How can you tell if your dog is dehydrated? According to the American Kennel Club, you can pull the excess skin behind their neck gently. If the skin snaps back fast, your dog is hydrated. If the skin fails to snap back fact, your best friend is dehydrated.

Contrary to popular belief, water alone will not help hydrate your dog. You must give them Pedialyte and bone broth. The electrolytes and salts from these products will help re-establish the right pH balance.

When you give your dog bone broth and Pedialyte, make sure you them a small amount. Giving them too much can cause more stomach problems. Administer the beverage with a syringe if your dog is too weak to drink on their own.

When your dog becomes hydrated, their regular bowel movement should return within 24 hours. Start pouring a small amount of water in their dog bowl. This will help them make a full recovery.

You may want to think about getting dog-specific hydration supplements if dehydration becomes a recurring issue.

5. Treat Your Dog to Better Food

A change in diet may be the reason why your dog is constipated. The new dog food may not be suitable for their nutritional needs. Most vets will not hesitate to tell you processed foods are not good for your pooch so you should read the label carefully.

There’s an old saying, “You are what you eat.” This old adage also applies to dogs. If your dog is on a poor diet, their health will suffer dramatically.

Making homemade dog food can do wonders for your dog’s health. However, it’s time-consuming and expensive.

If you decide to go this route, make certain you add supplements, vitamins, and probiotics to their food. This will help them reach optimum health.

Final Summary

It may be time to make a trip to the veterinarian if your dog hasn’t had a bowel movement in two to three days. The 5 dog constipation remedies in this article can help, but there may come a time when you must take your dog to the vet for professional medical attention. Your dog’s constipation problem should not be taken lightly. Having a full understanding of constipation will put you in position to assist your dog while they’re having a hard time passing their stool.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Best Dog-Friendly Summer Festivals

Enjoy a great summer festival with your dog

Summertime is a great season to get our beloved dogs to enjoy the great outdoors but in some cities, they have awesome dog-themed festivals where your furry friend can have a blast, if you’re lucky to be in one of these towns, check them out!

Make sure to plan ahead and pay close attention to your pet, during these events with so many people and distractions, we can omit something that can affect their wellbeing.

According to the American Kennel Club, the following tips can help you keep your pooch safe:

Avoid exercising your dog strenuously on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.

Avoid exposing your dog to hot asphalt or sand for any prolonged period; it can burn his paws.

Be mindful of your dog’s breed. Dogs that are brachycephalic (have a short head and snout), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chin, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-nosed dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning. “

Popular Summer Festivals That Are Dog-Friendly

food at summer dog festival

Sommerville Dog Festival – Sommerville, MA

Typically happens in mid-September just outside of Boston, bring your dog to enjoy great activities and participate in contests. Don’t forget to let your pooch to make some new friends too!

According to the Sommerville official site:

The Somerville Dog Festival is organized by the Somerville Foundation for Animals, which works to make sure no one ever has to choose between feeding themselves and their pets. Through your activity donations and through our sponsors’ generosity, the Festival raises money for the Foundation’s Somerville Pet Food Bank, providing pet food to food banks and outreach programs throughout Eastern Massachusetts. The Foundation also purchases one K9 protective vest for local law enforcement K9 officers each year through Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog.

Bark In The Park – San Jose, CA

Save the date: September 19th, 2020 is when you can come to this great event and let your dog have a blast 🙂

As per their official website, these are some of the awesome activities offered:

Low Cost Vaccines and $5 Microchipping, provided by PAWS 4 SJACS (Pet Awareness and Welfare Society for San Jose Animal Care Services)

Kids’ Zone Dog-themed bounce house, face painting, Doga, DIY dog toy making, storytime, dog owners in training resource tent, and kid’s agility course.

Contests, including the popular Dog Costume ContestDog/Owner Look-Alike Contest and Tail Wagging Contest

Demonstrations of dog agility and specialized dog training

More than 75 vendors with dog-specific goods and services.

Delicious food and drink at the Gordon Biersch Refreshment Garden

Misting Tent, courtesy of San Jose Water

West Fest Chicago

Although not only for dogs, this great summer festival packs a ton of entertainment, be mindful that this event is very popular so expect a lot of people but also a lot of fun!

This is what they say in their website:

West Fest Chicago is an annual street festival in Chicago’s West Town Community on Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street (1800W – 2000W Chicago Ave. Chicago IL 60622) presented by the West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce.

What makes West Fest Chicago so unique? Since 2004 West Fest Chicago stands out from the rest because it is locally planned and managed by the West Town Chamber of Commerce, thus the emphasis is on local offerings and local talent. West Fest Chicago features neighborhood retailers and restaurants, fine artists, crafters, and more. The event reflects the eclectic and hip West Town community and is also known for cutting edge live music and Chicago House DJs.

Do you have a dog friendly festival that we should know about? – send us a note!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not unusual for dogs to have allergies. Some popular breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Boxers, and Dalmatians battle allergies throughout their entire life.

Before you get a dog, you should take out the time to study the breed’s history. However, it’s important to point out that any dog breed can come down with an allergic reaction. As the owner, you must know how to treat your beloved canine’s allergies with Benadryl.

It may seem like a weird idea, but giving your dog Benadryl is probably one of your best options. Dogs are mammals, and they suffer from the same allergies that plague humans. The key lies in keeping track of the amount you give your beloved canine.

We’ve read plenty of disaster stories about owners giving their dog too much Benadryl. Unfortunately, some of them lost their extended family member to complications from an overdose.

In this article, we will teach you how to calculate the amount of Benadryl to give your dog. We will also look at some side effects that could surface later.

Once you’re done reading this article, you will be familiar with some natural alternatives that can help your dog overcome a runny nose, sneezing, and many other aggravating allergy symptoms.

Benadryl: A Well-Known Solution for Allergies

Benadryl has managed to maintain its popularity over the years. It’s an over-the-counter antihistamine that can help reduce allergy symptoms in humans and in canines. Research shows that Benadryl does a fantastic job at fighting the following: food allergies, seasonal allergies, insect bites, and environmental allergies.

According to Dr. Catherine Barnette’s research, itching of the skin is the most common sign of a dog with an allergy. Respiratory symptoms can also take place while your dog scratches away. In some instances, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing takes place.

You don’t need a prescription to purchase Benadryl. One box contains tablets of 25 milligrams. Fortunately, determining the proper Benadryl dosage for canines is easy.

How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?

According to Plumb’s Drug Handbook, you can give a 25-pound dog a standard dosage of 25 milligrams two to three times a day. If you exceed this recommended dosage, you’ll be pushing the limit.

To keep things simple, stick with using 1 milligram per pound of your canine’s body weight. Let’s say your dog weighs 50 pounds. You can give him or her 25 milligram tablets. Dogs weighing less than 25 pounds can take children’s liquid Benadryl.

Before you give Benadryl to your dog, it would be wise for you to get in touch with your veterinarian. This will help you avoid giving your pooch too much.

Your vet knows your dog’s medical history, and they’ll be more than happy to help.

In some instances, your dog may need immediate medical treatment if they have a severe allergic reaction from an overdose.The doctor will give your furry friend a shot to clear the symptoms. The shot will be uncomfortable for your dog, but it will save their life.

Make sure you’re careful while giving your dog Benadryl. Giving them too much can cause serious health issues. Call the Pet Poison Helpline if you believe your dog is showing signs of an overdose.

What are the Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Benadryl?

Many dog owners wonder if Benadryl will make their dog sleepy. There’s a possibility that it can cause drowsiness and produce the following side effects:

• High blood pressure

• Difficulty with breathing

• An increased heart rate

• Dry Mouth

• Loss of Appetite

• Urinary Retention

Giving the correct dosage to your canine can help you avoid causing serious health problems for your beloved pet.

Benadryl and Dog Anxiety

How much Benadryl can I give my dog? You will see this question plastered in many online dog forums. Giving your dog diphenhydramine HCL will work like a charm in some cases. Let’s take a close look at some things you need to know.

Benadryl can be used as a mild sedative. It can help them remain calm. This is why some dog owners give their canines Benadryl before a car ride, during thunderstorms, and before trips to the vet’s office.

If your furry friend has anxiety problems, you should think about giving them a natural calming supplement. Hemp-based chews work extremely well at helping dogs calm down. Look for a dog supplement that has calming active ingredients like hemp oil, passion flower, and ginger root. These ingredients are well known for producing a calming effect in dogs.

Are There any Natural Alternatives to Benadryl?

This is an excellent question. Yes, there are natural alternatives to Benadryl. Let’s take a close look at them.

Colostrum

Many natural allergy support supplements can strengthen your dog’s immune system. They can also support their skin, food, and seasonal allergies.

What is Colostrum? It’s an antibody-rich fluid that can be found in the mammary glands.

Dr. Cheryl Yill, Dr. Shawn Messonnier, and Dr. Steve Marsden discovered that Colostrum also helps with dental problems and food intolerances. Their intensive research also proves that Colostrum can help fight viruses, fungi, and dangerous bacteria.

Besides having Colostrum, some allergy support supplements for canines have turmeric. This spice does a tremendous job at reducing inflammation. This is one of the main reasons why many dog parents add this spice to their beloved pet’s diet.

It’s also worthy to mention that fish oil is great for itchy and dry skin. Fish oil can also be found in allergy support chews.

It may be a good idea to add a good Colostrum and turmeric-based allergy support chew to your dog’s diet. This can help keep their immune system sharp, and their allergies will be kept in check.

CBD for Dogs

CBD is a cannabidiol. It’s another natural product for dog allergies. CBD comes from agricultural hemp. It doesn’t come from cannabis.

Some researchers note that CBD can help support dry and itchy skin. Before you grab the Benadryl, you can give your dog CBD if they’re experiencing motion sickness.

CBD comes in the following forms: tablets, balms, lotions, and oils. The lotions, oils, and balms should be applied to the troubled area.

Which form of CBD should your purchase? It really depends on your preference. Some dog parents like giving their beloved canines tablets while others prefer rubbing the CBD product onto their dog’s affected area.

Final Summary

It’s a pleasure to own a dog, but you must be remember that they’ll experience health ailments during their lifetime. In this case, your canine may have battles with allergies at some point. Luckily, you can give your cherished pet Benedryl when allergy symptoms appear.

How much Benadryl can I give my dog? It’s normal for any dog owner to ask this question. Fortunately, there are many alternatives for dogs with allergies. Benadryl is effective at treating allergies, but you should check out the other options. It’s important for you have an open dialogue with your veterinarian before giving Benadryl to your pet. This safeguard will protect your pet’s health.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?

As a canine owner, it’s imperative for you to accept the fact that your dog may throw up at some point in the future. Dogs are prone to throwing up when they’re experiencing a problem. So make certain you’re prepared to handle it.

One episode of vomiting may not be a big deal, but you should be concerned if your dog vomits repeatedly.

Why is my dog throwing up undigested food? One explanation will not suffice. There are many reasons why your dog is throwing up his meal.

We know that you’re not interested in becoming a veterinarian, but we thought you should know that vomiting and regurgitation are not the same thing.

What’s the underlying reason why dogs vomit? Can you do anything about it?

Let’s take a close look at one of the most unpleasant aspects of owning your furry friend. We want you to be ready when this messy event happens.

Regurgitation vs. Vomiting

It’s not unusual for dog owners to believe regurgitation and vomiting are the same thing. However, it’s imperative to point out they have different meanings.

What is regurgitation?

This is when your dog’s food is sent to the oral cavity after it’s swallowed. The food was not digested. Your dog’s abdominal muscles did not play a role in delivering the stomach contents back into their throat and mouth. Gravity and the esophageal muscles are the culprits.

Vomiting requires the abdominal muscles to push the stomach contents back into your dog’s throat and mouth. It may sound weird, but those stomach contents are moderately digested.

Regurgitation can take place without any effort coming from your dog while vomiting requires active participation from your beloved pet.

Here are several reasons why does regurgitation take place:

• Your dog ate too much food

• Your dog ate his or her food too fast

• Your dog is excited

• Your dog is stressed out

• Your dog is suffering from a dilated esophagus. This is a medical condition forces your canine’s throat to swell. The throat will not be able to send the food into the stomach properly.

When your dog regurgitates their food, this does not automatically mean they are dealing with a medical issue. However, the exception is megaesophasus. You should contact the vet if your canine buddy regurgitates repeatedly. Vomiting should not be taken lightly.

What are the Causes of Vomiting?

Dogs are well known for pacing around before vomiting. They will begin to gag before releasing the stomach contents. You will see fluid and partially digested food.

If the fluid is clear, there’s no need for you to be concerned. However, you should be concerned if the stomach fluid is yellow or green. These colors are an indication that the fluid came from their small intestine. Your dog’s food is partially digested.

Should you get upset if your dog’s stomach fluid is yellow or green? This is not normal, but there’s no need for you to get upset.

Make sure you keep a close eye on your dog. If you don’t see an improvement, you should call your vet immediately.

Why is my dog throwing up undigested food? There are many reasons why your dog is going through this dilemma.

Here are several possibilities:

Food allergies

• Viruses

• Too much buttery, fatty, or rich food in your dog’s system

• An ailing kidney or liver

• A toxic agent like antifreeze, a cleaning product, etc.

• Motion sickness

• Your dog consumed garbage

Warning Signs to Look Out For

You shouldn’t be alarmed if your dog vomits occasionally. Watch your canine friend closely, and call your vet if your dog continues to vomit.

Here are some things to look out for:

Constant vomiting – You should be worried if your puppy doesn’t stop vomiting. If the vomiting doesn’t cease, please call your vet.

A sudden change in their behavior – Is your dog acting strange after vomiting? Here are some signs of odd behavior: sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness, and discomfort when you touch their abdomen.

More symptoms – Something is wrong if you see drooling, nasal discharge, and diarrhea. Your dog needs prompt medical attention if you see dried blood in their vomit.

Bloating – This is a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It more common in larger dog breeds. Bloating is where your dog’s stomach twists. This blocks the stomach contents from escaping. The stomach will begin to swell.

How to Deal With Your Dog’s Vomiting

Get in touch with your veterinarian if your dog vomits frequently. You should also contact your vet if you think your dog has ingested something that’s irritating them.

Your vet will give your pooch a physical. They may want to do an x-ray or ultrasound scan, a blood test, and a stool sample.

When the vet stabilizes your dog, they will focus on dealing with the issue causing the illness.

Your vet may ask you to withhold food and water from your dog for half-a-day or a full day after vomiting. This will give your canine’s stomach lining a chance to heal.

It’s important for you to comfort your dog while they’re healing. This emotional support lets them know that everything will be fine.

Put your canine on a diet of cooked chicken and white rice for several days before pouring their normal food in their dog bowl.

There’s an old saying, “It’s the little things that count.” Adopting this old adage can help your dog have a speedy recovery, so give your dog a probiotic. This can help their digestive system function better.

Why is My Dog Throwing up Undigested Food?

There are many reasons why your dog is throwing up undigested or partially digested food. In some cases, they will regurgitate food that didn’t make it through the digestion process.

Gastritis may be the culprit for the irritation taking place in your dog’s stomach. This typically happens when your dog eats something that doesn’t agree with their system.

Watching your dog closely is the best course of action to take after they vomit. If things don’t improve, you should call the vet. Your dog’s health lies in your hands.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The German Shepherd Training Guide That Will Transform Your Dog…For Good

 

What if you could use your German Shepherd’s natural instincts in your favor?

If you’re thinking about adding a German Shepherd to your family, you’re about to make a great decision! German Shepherds are wonderful family dogs, highly intelligent, and easily trainable. But even if you already have a GS, this guide will change your perspective.

How soon should you start training?

Puppies can start training as soon as they arrive at your home and will benefit from regular training and refresher courses throughout their life.

You’ll need some basic know-how to ensure a smooth transition from puppy to a socialized, well-trained dog, but with adequate time and consistency, you’ll have a dog that is incredibly loyal, devoted, and eager to please.

If you have an older German Shepherd that is not behaving the way you want, we highly encourage you to try our professional guide, it’s risk-free anyways!

You Will Benefit From The Professional Guide If You Are:

Or…

If you want to help your German Shepherd develop into the trustworthy, protective, loyal, smart, and obedient dogs their instincts want them to be, the German Shepherd Owners Guide; From Pup, To Pal is written specifically with you in mind.

Start training the perfect pup or correct unwanted behavior easily 

Training 101: Basics

It’s vital to start training your puppy as soon as you bring them home. For German Shepherd puppies, it’s never too early to start training. If you put it off, the longer you delay, the harder the training will be.

German Shepherd pups are known for developing bad habits if left on their own for too long. The older they get, the harder it will be to retrain their habits.

Expectations

When you start out training your pup, you need to have a clear set of expectations in mind and remember that puppies will need time and consistency for training to cement. A seven to ten-week-old pup probably won’t be fully housetrained or instantly obey your every command.

In general, set your expectations for the following age markers:

3 Months – Come, sit, walk on a leash, wait for a potty break 2-3 hours

6 Months – Shake, food and treat eating by command, wait for a potty break 4-4 ½ hours

12 Months – Basic commands, walk on a leash in crowded areas, come despite distractions, wait for a potty break 5 hours

Be the Leader

German Shepherds¹ are highly intelligent, loyal, and protective. These traits are wonderful as long as you know how to work with them. You must teach your dog that you are the leader of the pack.

Otherwise, their dominant tendency might evidence itself, and they might try and take over. Teaching your dog that you are the leader ensures that they will take their commands from you, rather than deciding what to do on their own.

Teaching your dog that you are the one in charge happens through training, as well as through more subtle hints including:

  • Only let your dog each after you have.
  • Always proceed with your dog through doorways.
  • Set boundaries, including rooms to not enter.
  • Speak to them in a firm tone.
  • Never accept disobedience during their training. Refocus your pooch and repeat the command until they respond properly and can be rewarded accordingly.

 

What if you could use your German Shepherd’s natural instincts in your favor?

Training 201: Training Methods

german-shepherd-and-man

There are two predominant methods to use for successfully coaching a trained German Shepherd –  the rewards system and a clicker.

German Shepherds thrive when you offer firm training and positive feedback. They are built to work and please, making them highly receptive to training. A clicker can be paired with a rewards-based training system that your dog will quickly associate with good behavior.

Using the Clicker

You can purchase a clicker from any pet supply store or online. These are basic tools that fit into your hand and produce a distinctive “click” noise when pressed. Using this tool effectively can help speed up the training for your German Shepherd pup.

Using a clicker works the same way for any task. You give your dog a command, and the instant they follow through, you click and offer them a treat. They start associating the click with correct behavior and will listen for it when training.

It’s essential that you click as soon as the command is obeyed correctly. It should not be clicked for incorrect tries or poor behavior.

As with any reward system, you can opt to reduce clicking and instead use pats to reward good behavior as commands are learned.

Optionally, if you have sequence commands, using the clicker at the end of a sequence helps your dog attach the entire string of commands into one command.

Training 301: Basic Commands

All dogs need to learn a variety of basic commands to function properly in your family. These basic skills ensure a happy dog and a happy family that can live together in harmony.

Here are five basic commands to teach your dog and the method for training.

Sit

When training your dog to sit, you should gently push down on their hind quarter while saying the word “sit.” As soon as their rear connects with the ground and they’re in a sitting position, give them a treat to reinforce the behavior.

Repeat this process for several days. As they start to learn, move away from offering treats and instead offer a loving pat and affirming words such as “good boy” or “good girl.”

Stay

This is the next command after your dog has learned to sit. Start by telling your dog to sit. When they are seated, tell them to “stay” and hold your hand out with your palm facing them. Walk backward several steps. If your dog stays put, offer a treat for their behavior.

Repeat this process and increase the distance you move away. Do this entire process slowly, so they aren’t tempted to run after you, thinking you’re playing a game of chase.

If your dog tries to follow when you slowly walk away, command them to sit and try again.

Lie Down

When teaching your dog to lie down, start with them in a sitting position. Use a treat to then get them all the way down by placing it in front of them and having them follow the treat to the ground.

Say the words:”lie down” a few times while they are following the treat to a lying down position. As soon as they are down, offer the treat. Repeat this process until they get the hang of it and, similar to training used for “sit,” eventually move away from offering a treat and instead offer a pat and a “good boy.”

Shake

Start with your dog in the sitting position for this next trick. Put your hand out like you’re expecting something, say “shake,” and then use your other hand to put your dog’s paw into your hand.

When their paw is in your hand, offer them a treat. Repeat until they start offering their paw on their own. Finally, transition away from treats to pats for a job well done.

Come

Training for this command is typically a two-person job. While a friend or family member holds your dog in place, you walk away at a distance. When you’re several yards away, you command “come,” and the person with your dog releases it.

As soon as your dog arrives, you offer them a treat. This may take some repetition, and it’s best to start in a place that is distraction-free when first training your young German Shepherd.

Training 401: Command Variations

German Shepherd On Grass

The commands above are basic versions any trained dog should know. Unfortunately, everyone else, including potential intruders, knows this too. Unless your dog is a trained protection dog, they may respond to the command of another person.

There are two ways to make your German Shepherd more impervious to the commands of strangers: hand signals and German commands.

Initially:

Training your dog using English is always a good idea, so you and the dog can get a good handle on the commands.

Once your dog has learned the commands you’ve taught, you both can afford to take another step up the command ladder. If you want to teach your dog to respond to commands in German instead of English, begin using a combination of English commands and hand signals for each command.

Be sure each hand signal is distinct.

After you’ve practiced commands with the English and hand signal hybrid, start switching out English for German. Your German Shepherd will respond to the hand signal and associate the German word with the command.

Here are a few German words you’ll need to know:

Sit = Sitz

Stay = Bleib

Lie Down = Plotz

Come = Hier

Training 501: Obedience School

As much training as you can do with your dog, sometimes additional training is needed for specific tasks, such as capabilities associated with protection dogs. German Shepherds make wonderful family protection dogs and when trained properly, they can learn to:

–          Alert you to an intruder

–          Identify friend from foe

–          Act as your guardian

–          Defend against an intruder

–          Go on the offensive against an intruder

–          Occupy an intruder until police arrive

Protection dog training is far more intensive than the regular commands we’ve discussed in this article but can be well worth the investment depending on how you want your dog to function in your family.

German Shepherds Breed: A Cut Above

Some things to know about the German Shepherd breed is they are loving, loyal, and hardworking dogs. They love to please, are eager to work, and will respond well to consistent, firm training. Over time, you’ll be able to train them to do a variety of tasks and can even transition from English to German.

If desired, you can enroll them for specialist training so they can learn how to protect your family. Do these fantastic K9s sound like a dog you’d like to have around?

 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Hot Spots on Dogs: Prevention and Treatment

Hot Spots on Dogs: Prevention and Treatment

What are Hot Spots?

Canine owners discuss hot spots on dogs daily in online forums. Contrary to popular belief, hot spots have been around for a very long time. Unfortunately, they have a notorious reputation for causing severe discomfort, this is the main reason why dog owners must pay close attention to their dog’s skin. Recognizing the symptoms is the key to keeping things under control.

A hot spot is a common skin infection that occurs in canines. When skin bacteria overwhelm the skin’s defenses, damage normally occurs on the surface. Intensive studies show that the skin damage takes place when the dog begins licking, gnawing, and scratching itself.

Table of Contents

doctor-treats-affected-area-of-the-skin

What happens to the dog’s skin during the early stages of the formation of the hot spots?

It becomes moist, red, and infected. It’s also important to point out that pus begins to run from the infected area. When this happens, crust will begin to develop over the hot spot.

There’s a strong possibility that your furry friend will lose hair in the infected area. Your dog may bark and pull away when you touch their irritated skin.

Dogs do not take the right approach when a hot spot develops. They get the impression that licking and gnawing helps relieve the pain associated with hot spots. However, this type of behavior causes more irritation and pain.

There’s an old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Hot spots are not as bad as they look. In most instances, they can be treated with topical treatment.

Why do dogs begin to lick and chew on themselves in the first place? This is an excellent question. The dog will instinctively scratch, gnaw, and lick on an area that is causing discomfort.

Here are several things that cause canine skin irritation: skin allergies, matted hair, flies, ticks, fleas, excessive skin moisture, skin scrapes, and humidity.

This may be hard to believe, but some dogs are driven by boredom. When boredom sets in, they may scratch and gnaw for entertainment.

Your veterinarian will make an earnest effort to diagnose the problem. The location of the hot spots may provide helpful clues.

Let’s say your dog has a hot spot on their hip area. This may be a sign of an anal gland infection, hip arthritis, or fleas.

What if your dog has a hot spot near their ear? They could have a nerve irritation, an allergy, or an ear infection.

Home Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs

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If you catch the early stage of a hot spot, you may be able to treat it with over-the-counter products. At this point, the medication should be able to deal with a small and non-painful hot spot.

What kind of over-the-counter product should you use? You can go with a medicated shampoo, a topical spray, or herbal therapy. You have several options at your disposal.

However, you should make certain that the product is safe for your beloved pet. If you’re in doubt, you can get in touch with your veterinarian.

It’s vital for you to avoid using human products for hot spots on dogs. This may seem like a good idea, but this can have an adverse effect on your dog’s health.

Human topical products contain zinc oxide. If your dog ingests this powerful ingredient, it could make them sick.

Here are the fundamentals of home hot spot treatment for canines:

  • If the infected area is small, carefully clip the fur covering the hot spot. This will make it easier for medication and air to penetrate the wound.
  • I know that may be a huge challenge, but you should discourage your canine from licking the hot spot.
  • Do not cover the infected area with bandages.
  • Do not use over-the-counter products that are not approved by your veterinarian. Check with your vet before starting the home treatment process.
  • Place a warm compress on the area three times daily for five to ten minutes. This will help keep the area clean and speed up the recovery process.
  • Go to the source to stop the irritation. If you don’t, you will be fighting an uphill battle.

Preventing hot spots:

  • Flea control should be your top priority. A flea collar or flea shampoo will help fight off fleas.
  • Dry your canine thoroughly during the warmest months of the year.
  • Regular grooming will help keep your dog’s skin in tip-top condition.
  • If your dog gets bored, give them mental stimulation. Take them for a walk, or introduce them to a new exercise routine.
  • Buy dog food that has essential fatty acids. This will help maintain a healthy coat.

What should you do when hot spots get out of control?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 30% of canines who develop hot spots typically have another kind of skin disease. This could be a bite wound, a serious immune-mediated disease, or a severe skin infection. If you think things are serious, you should contact your veterinarian. They will access the condition and take appropriate action.

If the infection begins to spread, you should take your dog to the vet. They will sedate your dog. This will make it easier for them to clip and clean the hot spot.

Your vet may recommend oral anti-inflammatory medications, oral antibiotics, and oral pain medications. They may also use strong topical treatments.

The severity of the situation will determine your vet’s approach. For example, the vet will take massive action if your dog is in severe pain.

Some dogs may get one or two hot spots during their lifetime, while others may battle them throughout their life.

Final Word

Hot spots on dogs can lead to serious medical issues if they are ignored. Your veterinarian will not hesitate to tell you this is a serious subject that dog owners cannot afford to ignore.

If you notice the symptoms early, you may be able to use over-the-counter products to eliminate the hot spot. If you wait too late, you will have to take your dog to the vet. Luckily, hot spots are treatable. They cause discomfort, but they will not put your canine’s life in jeopardy.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Why Are German Shepherds So Prone To Hip Dysplasia?

German shepherds are well-known for being intelligent, loyal, and physically strong. This is why they have been a favorite among canine lovers over the years. It’s also imperative to mention that German shepherds are active members in police departments, rescue units, and military units around the globe.

German shepherds also excel at being household companions and world-class show dogs. It’s fair to say that this breed is a well-rounded dog.

Despite their impressive physical prowess, these loving dogs can develop health issues. German shepherd hip dysplasia is one health ailment owners need to keep a close eye on.

german-shepherd

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a dog skeletal condition that can be trigger by environmental factors or traumatic fractures. Malformation takes place at the ball and joint socket or both hips.

X-rays help veterinarians diagnose canine hip dysplasia. There’s a serious problem when the ball and hip socket does not connect properly. The loose hip rubs on the socket when the dog walks or run. As a result, burn spurs can develop.

Bone spurs can cause degenerative joint disease, hip joint pain, and lethargy. Fortunately, there are treatment options for canine hip dysplasia.

Symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia

Look at your shepherd’s hind legs closely? Do they appear bent? If so, your beloved canine is the product of hind leg breeding.

What is hind leg breeding?

This is where breeders want their shepherds to have a 90-degree angulation. This may be impressive in the eyes of some shepherd lovers, but this can cause serious health problems. It’s not unusual for German shepherds with angulated legs to have back problems.

Bent legs can be a clear indication of German shepherd hip dysplasia. If your dog struggles with walking up the stairs, you should get in touch with the veterinarian. They will give your beloved canine a full examination.

Unfortunately, canine hip dysplasia is irreversible. However, it can be monitored and treated. This will minimize chronic pain, and extend your dog’s life.

Recent studies conducted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals uncovered that 19.7% of German shepherds born between 2011 and 2015, suffered from hip dysplasia. These studies have helped scientists develop effective treatments for this canine ailment.

CHD has a wide range of signs. The looseness of the joint and severity of the disease plays a role in the diagnosis.

Here are some symptoms of German shepherd hip dysplasia: small range of motion, limping, “bunny hop” gait, lameness in the hind legs, etc.

Is the pain severe?

The pain can range from mild to extreme. In some instances, owners were forced to get a wheelchair for their shepherd.

Surgery for hip dysplasia is an option on the table, but it’s expensive. This includes Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis, Femoral Head Osteotomy, and Triple Pelvic Osteotomy. Please keep in mind that these procedures can run from $1,000 to $3,000 per hip. As you can see, this may not be an affordable option for some shepherd owners.

If the case is severe, Total Hip Replacement is another option that can be taken into consideration. However, this can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000.

Invasive surgery may not be the best choice for your furry friend. You can check out non-surgical medical options. This includes weight management, massage therapy, and physical therapy. You can also try anti-inflammatory medicine and glucosamine supplements.

Some shepherd owners opt to put their dogs in leg braces. They can slow down the progression of this nagging issue.

limping german shepherd

Several Other German Shepherd Hip Problems

When it comes to physical problems, German shepherds normally show clear signs of weakness in their hips and hind legs.

Here are four common problems associated with German shepherd hip dysplasia:

1. Hock Walking

Your canine’s hock is the joint at the back of their leg. It’s located between the hind foot and lower thigh. Some shepherds are accustomed to standing and walking on their hocks. This can put a tremendous amount of pressure on their hips. They will walk around with an irregular gait.

A Hock Holder is probably your best solution for this problem. The Hock Holder is designed to support the hock and relieve stress.

2. Degenerative Myelopathy

There’s a strong possibility that you may have heard of degenerative myelopathy. It is a progressive, chronic, and fatal disease. Sadly, it’s common in this breed.

Degenerative myelopathy typically affects dogs between the ages of five and fourteen. It has a negative impact on the dog’s muscle coordination and spinal column. If it’s not treated, it can cause paralysis within the back legs.

You must contact the veterinarian immediately when you notice something wrong with your dog. You cannot afford to procrastinate. If you do, you are putting your dog’s health in jeopardy.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis normally takes place in older dogs. Cartilage deterioration causes inflammation in the hip joints. When this happens, your beloved canine will begin to walk slower. They will also have difficulty walking on stairs.

With little cartilage between the joints, the bones will grind against each other. This causes a severe case of inflammation.

A good brace is usually recommended for this medical situation. It will not cure arthritis, but it will provide relief for your canine.

4. Canine Myasthenia Gravis

We cover German shepherd hip dysplasia without discussing canine myasthenia gravis. This is where the signal transmission fails to take place between the muscles and nerves. This leads to fatigue and weakness in the muscles.

Unlike CHD, canine myasthenia gravis signs normally surface in the canine’s face. Braces will work fine, but they will not help the canine overcome the dreadful disease.

Final Word

German shepherds are loyal and loving dogs. Their size makes it easy for them to defend their owners with pure ease.

As a German shepherd owner, you must be ready to deal with German shepherd hip dysplasia. Taking heed to the critical information in this article can help you and your canine deal with this problem effectively.