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Archive for the ‘Dog Treats’ Category

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Saturday, January 15, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-brushedDogs of all ages are subject to Hip Dysplasia.  Hip Dysplasia is abnormal joint structure and a laxity of  the muscles, connective tissue  and ligaments that support the joint. Larger and medium breed dogs are more prone to the disease.  This disease can be found in dogs, cats and humans. In some severe cases, puppies as young as five months could begin to show signs of discomfort and pain after exercise.  As the dog ages, the condition worsens and discomfort is detected  even after your dog performs normal activities such as walking up steps. Without treatment, these dogs may eventually not be able to walk at all.  In most cases, symptoms do not begin to develop until middle  or old age.  The disease is diagnosed by your vet who assesses the case and determines  whether or not arthritis is causing the problem. A complete exam including a x rays is used to make the diagnosis.

One of the main causes of hip dysplasia is diet. The amount of calories a dog consumes and when most of those calories have been consumed have the biggest impact in determining if a dog that is prone to hip displasia will actually develop the disease.  If the the dog is obese and is at high risk, there is a great probability that he will develop hip dysplasia.

Surgery in addition to therapy is the most common way to treat the disease. Sometimes, pet medication is added to the treatment procedure.  This disease is very painful and if you suspect that your dog may have it, then get him to your vet and follow the procedures to insure that he gets the best treatment possible.

When your dog goes for a “scoot” or two

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-scootYou’re in the process of making dinner and your guests are about to arrive. Your dog comes into the kitchen and goes for a “scoot.”  She sits on her behind and drags her rear across the floor. What does this mean? It means that she’s probably itchy. One of two things may be going on.  The most common cause of itchy bottoms in dogs is clogged anal glands.  When you dog defecates, her anal glands deposit secretions on the stool.  These secretions will help other dogs recognize who your dog is, her age and her gender. Sometimes these glands get clogged and need to be treated by a veterinarian. There is another possible reason for bottom scooting. It could be tape worm. If you notice worm segments that look like long grains of rice in your dog’s feces,  bring a stool sample to your veterinarian for testing. There is some pet medication that could help. So don’t ignore that scoot.

How Well Can Your Dog Hear?

Monday, October 4, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-big-earsYou may wonder whether or not your dog’s hearing is better than ours. The truth is that dogs hear low pitched sounds about the same as we do however their hearing of higher pitched sounds is far superior than ours.  When we are very young, our upper end hearing range is about 30,000 cycles per second.  By the time that we are young adults, our upper range slips to about 20,000 cycles per second.  By the time we are in our mid sixties, our upper range is about 12,000 cycles per second. Dogs have an upper range of about 35,000 to 40,000 cycles per second. There was some research done on this in Russia and they found that a dogs upper range could be as high as 100,000 cycles per second.

If your dog suddenly lifts his ears and becomes alert, he may be hearing a high pitched squealing of a mouse which is totally inaudible to us. They have the ability to hear sounds which to us are ultrasonic. When your dog suddenly becomes very attentive and runs to the door, he is hearing someone coming long before a human would be able to detect it. When you are walking your dog and he suddenly breaks away from his dog leash and runs to what seems to be nowhere, he is actually hearing a bird, squirrel or other animal so far away that we would never be able to hear it!

Stopping a dog from eating his stool

Sunday, September 19, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-lickingThis is an unpleasant topic but if you have a dog, you can relate.  Dogs will eat just about anything including their own feces or the feces of other animals.  I know that this sounds disgusting but it’s  common enough to be given a medical name: Coprophagy.  This is a natural act. Newborn puppies haven’t learned to urinate or defecate on their own so their mother licks them to stimulate elimination.  When an adult dog eats it’s own stool, it is usually a sign of loneliness or boredom. This is not usually a problem for the dog but poses an aesthetic problem for the dog owner.  You know what I mean when you’ve witnessed this and then your sweet dog tries to lick you face!!

You can try to break the habit but relieving your dogs boredom. Take him for longer walks, give him plenty of exercise and make sure that he has a wide variety of dog toys to play with.  Feed him more than once a day and give him treats every now and then so he has something to look forward to.

To prevent this problem, make sure that you pick up after your dog right away or if he is in a public place, you may want to consider a muzzle. If you own a cat, keep him away from the cat litter.  Good luck!

Cats and allergies

Friday, September 3, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cats-in-bed-2If your eyes get red and your nose runs when you’re around your cat, you’re not alone. Many cat owners like myself are allergic to their pets. There are some things you can do to minimize the effects.  Allergies shots may help you tolerate your cat better but they’re not your only option. You can also minimize the cat’s dander.  For starters, put your pillows and mattress in air tight covers and keep your house well vacuumed. Each day, ask someone else in the family to brush the cat and wipe her with a damp sponge. Your cat can also be bathe every two weeks with a mild shampoo.  If this is not enough, your vet may be able to recommend products that reduce the amount of dander and saliva.  You can find special wipes for your cat in the cat accessories area of your pet store.

cute-cat-2It was a very uncomfortable day today here in the northeast. High heat and humidity made it miserable!  When heat and humidity reached the levels that it did today, any strenuous physical activity for your cat or travel in his pet carrier should be avoided.  The high humidity will prevent your cats body from cooling down because cats do not sweat like we do.  High humidity can cause strokes, cramps and exhaustion.  All of these conditions can be very dangerous for your pet.  Body fluids in your cat are lost in these conditions and the body temperature can rise to a very high level.

I travel to Delaware frequently and many times, I will take the ferry across the Delaware Bay to Cape May, NJ on my way home. The problem in the summer is that my cats travel with me and when I drive the car on to the ferry, I never know where it will end up. If it’s in the sun, my cats will get very hot since I have to turn off the engine and the trip across the bay in one hour and fifteen minutes. This is very dangerous for them so my solution, I never take the ferry in the hot summer months.

How do you know if your cat is overheated?  If your cat has breathing problems, coughing or a dry throat, he is probably dehydrated and get him to a cool, shady spot with plenty of water on hand right away.

During the summer, take precautions when it comes to your pets. You may have to change your plans to keep them safe. Keep them in a cool area and always have their water bowl filled.

38450-000-01_picnikIt seems like anywhere you go, you always see dogs in trendy tee shirts, sweaters etc. Last weekend, I was at the New York Pet Show and even though the temperature was in the 70’s, many people brought their dogs wearing a variety of tee shirts, sweat shirts and even dog coats. I even saw a dog wearing sun glasses. Are dogs uncomfortable wearing clothes?

Many dogs do get cold in winter especially if they have a thin coat. In this case, a coat or sweater will really help to keep them warm. The only time that I think that it’s cruel, is when the clothing or accessories are hurting the dog or if it’s uncomfortably warm  outside. If I were a dog, I probably would not want to wear any clothing except if it’s very very cold outside. Some people dress their dog for fashionable reasons which I disagree with. Some people even have their dog’s  tail docked or ears cropped so that they could be “trendy” looking.  Why put the animal through that? People do things like this for themselves not for their dog.

cats-eating-at-their-bowls1So you have one of those cats. The kind that meows for food then as you place her food down, you hold your breath. Will she eat it? No she doesn’t. She  just walks away with a look of disgust. She has just  rejected another great entree.  You open another kind of food but still you get the same reaction. What do you do when that finiky cat just won’t eat? Cats may enjoy one kind of food for a long time then get tired of it and just won’t eat it anymore. My cat’s get tired of their treats. At one time, they would go crazy for them now, they could care less if they get them or not.  Believe it or not, most cats are not that finiky. If your cat doesn’t eat, it could be a medical problem like a toothache, respiratory infection or even a kidney infection. After you’re vet has ruled out a medical problem, consider her feeding environment. If her bowl is too small, it may make her face uncomfortable when she goes to eat. You must also consider what you are washing her bowl with. One of my cats does not like a particular dish detergent. When I use it, she won’t eat from that bowl.  Try a larger bowl or a different bowl to see if this cures the problem.

A cats appetite is also affected by stress.  Does your cat share her bowl with another cat? If so, the other cat my dominate and inhibit you cat from eating comfortably. Is the room where she is eating noisy? Cats don’t like to eat in noisy environments.  They also don’t like to eat if there is a toddler pulling it’s tail or making loud noises in the room where she’s eating.  Did you recently move? This can be another reason why your cat is not eating. She has to get used to her new environment.  I know you are tired of luring her to her bowl with treats, cat toys, etc. but be patient, she will eat when she’s hungry!

Treat Your Dog to Some Positive Reinforcement

Monday, March 15, 2010
posted by PetsRule

rawhide-bonesPositive reinforcement is the single most popular method for teaching dogs to obey human commands. Harsh punishment and intimidation are more than inhumane – they create a suspicious, fear-based relationship between owner and pet. On the other hand, rewarding a dog with a treat or a scratch on the back provides incentive for him to repeat that behavior in the future.

Bear in mind that most dogs are food-driven, and they will do whatever it takes to chomp on some dog treats. Once you’ve found the type of treat – whether it’s rawhide bones or a chewable bite – that appeals to your dog, use it as the go-to reward. Since dogs don’t have the same ability to associate actions with consequences well after the fact, you should reward good behavior immediately.

dog-sleepingWe all know very well that dogs really like to nap. The time spent napping varies from dog to dog. If your dog gets plenty of exercise everyday and spends lots of time in his dog bed napping, then I wouldn’t worry. This is perfectly normal. If your dog does not get enough exercise and naps all the time, it could just be that he’s gotten lazy just as humans do if they don’t get enough exercise. If your dog is an older dog and has arthritis, it could be that he is most comfortable in his bed resting.  All animals need different amounts of sleep. Horses and cows may sleep only three or four hours a day because they require long hours of grazing to supply their bodies with sufficient amounts of food. Bats and opossums, on the other hand sleep about 20 hours a day! If you have a very large breed such as a St. Bernard, Newfoundland or Mastiff, it is not uncommon if they sleep 16 or 17 hours a day.

Just make sure that your dog is healthy, gets lots of exercise and eats right, then just let him sleep as much as he wants.