5 Issues for an Overweight Pet and How to Help Fido Get Fit It’s no secret that being overweight has serious consequences for your own health. What you might not realize is that dogs also suffer when their waistline is wider than their hips and shoulders. Keep reading for insight on the five most common health problems dogs experience due to chronic obesity and what you can do to help your dogget fitstarting today. 1. Breathing problems Dogs who are forced to carry around excess weight put additional strain on their heart and lungs. 2. Systemic inflammation Systemic inflammation can cause detrimental health effects and make it difficult for your dog to ward off other health conditions, including reproductive and urinary disorders. TheJournal of Nutritionlinks systemic inflammation to metabolic syndrome. 3. Intervertebral disc disease Smaller dog breeds, especially those with a long midsection and elongated body such as dachshunds and corgis, are at a higher risk of severe disc extrusion that can lead to long-term mobility issues and may require surgical intervention. 4. Arthritis and hip dysplasia Joint issues are common in overweight dogs. Large breeds, such as the labrador and boxer, are especially vulnerable. Hip dysplasia and arthritis are painful conditions that can lead to lameness. Boneo offers more aboutcanine obesityand its effects on your dog’s mobility. 5. Lifespan Not only do added pounds alter your dog’s quality of life, but they also may reduce their longevity by two years or more, according to theCummings Veterinary Medicine Centerat Tufts University. While these health problems are dire, the vast majority of dogs will see a significant improvement in symptoms simply by losing a few pounds. But, unlike us, your dog can’t do it on his own. There are many things you can do to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle that will benefit both you and your pet.
Measure your dog’s food to ensure they are being fed the proper amount.It is very common for dogs to be given open access to food. However, just 10extra biteseach day can increase your dog’s weight by one pound each year.
Walk your dog regularly.If it isn’t already, walking your dog should be part of your daily routine. The amount of exercise they need is dependent upon age, breed, and overall temperament. The most active breeds require at least 30 minutes ofintense aerobic exerciseevery 24 hours, so make sure to play with your pet after a stroll through the neighborhood. If you’re going to the dog park for exercise, make sure to bring a portable dog bowl along to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. Always keep your dog on aleashor lead when in public. Choose a leash and collar that’s comfortable for your dog and easy for you to use. Picking the right set will make your walks that much more rewarding.
Create a designated activity space for your dog.If you don’t have a fenced backyard and can’t dedicate time each evening for exercise, give your dog a space where he can run and play. Adog run, which HomeAdvisor notes should be at least 10 feet wide and cover the entire length of your yard, is preferable over a cable run, since an enclosed area allows for freedom of movement.
Talk to your veterinarian to create a weight-loss program.While losing weight seems like a relatively simple process, it isn’t. Dropping pounds is not simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in. Work with your veterinarian to come up with a plan that works for your dog. He or she may suggest a physical exam and blood tests to rule out underlying medical conditions. If your dog is significantly overweight, they may be prescribed nutritional supplements or put on a special diet.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog remains healthy and happy. Managing his weight is one of the most important things you can do to ensure just that. Image viaPixabay Aurora James
Advice for First-Time Pet Owners Jessica Brody Ourbestfriends.pet
According to a 2017-2018 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68 percent of U.S. households — that’s about 85 million families — have pets. Over 244 million critters give comfort, make people smile, and provide unconditional love to their people.
How exciting that you’re preparing to join this world!
Picking the Right Pet
Think about the following considerations as you decide which pet will be the perfect addition to your family.
Your family’s lifestyle. Is your family constantly on the go and super active? You’ll want a pet that can keep up. Do you prefer to cuddle on the couch with a cup of tea, a good book, or your favorite Netflix show? You’ll probably welcome a critter with similar couch potato tendencies.
Kids. Age often determines the best type of pet. Younger children do well with animals that don’t require a lot of care or aren’t as hands-on, like a fish, rabbit, or guinea pig. Older children who can help with pet care might welcome a dog or cat.
Your home. A giant St. Bernard might not feel comfortable in a small, one-bedroom apartment. Greyhounds need zoom room. You’ll want a critter that fits your space.
Time commitment. Some pets require much more time than others. A puppy needs obedience training. Younger animals need more hands-on time than older animals.
Cost for care, upkeep, and supplies. Shaggy dogs (and even some cats) need regular grooming. Horses eat a lot of hay and grain. Cats love scratching posts. Certain reptiles are prone to illnesses that require frequent vet visits. After you’ve narrowed down the type of pet you’d like, research the average annual costs for their care.
Local laws. Check with your landlord, if you rent, to make sure you’re allowed to have pets. Some cities and townships restrict the type of dog breeds allowed. Others frown on less traditional pets like potbelly pigs or guinea fowl.
Health and safety risks. Reptiles, like turtles, can carry and spread salmonella, which is dangerous to young children and people with compromised immune systems. Certain dog breeds have reputations as nippers.
Should I get a cat? Dog? Fish? Guinea pig? Bird? Hamster? Rabbit? Reptile? The American Veterinary Medical Association offers sage advice and links to these and more exotic critters that make good pets.
Words of Wisdom
The amount of time spent planning and researching your pet adoption is time well spent. Before you bring the critter home, make sure you pet-proof (it’s kind of like toddler-proofing) your home. Get down on your hands and knees (encourage your kids to help) to see things from a pet’s eye view. Find and remove or hide wires and other easily chewed and swallowed items. Move poisonous plants out of reach.
Once you’ve brought your new pet home and introduced him to the family:
Begin training your pet (and children) immediately. Dogs and cats appreciate routine — beginning it on day one immediately removes some of the uncertainty and helps them acclimate faster.
Plan to spend plenty of time with your pet. Make accommodations for when you’re out of the house — crate training puppies and dogs prevent bored, scared canines from destroying furniture and possessions, for example.
Create an emergency plan for your pet. In a disaster, what’s good for you is good for your pet.
Stay alert for unusual behavior. The sooner you and your family can learn your pet’s habits, the easier it is to identify when something’s wrong. Female cats are prone to UTIs, but if you notice her straining in the litter box, you can get her to the vet faster for treatment and eliminate the possibility she’ll look for other (forbidden) places to pee.
Don’t start bad habits. Human food is bad for animals, so don’t feed them at the table. If you’d prefer not to encourage a bed and cover hog, establish the “no dogs on the bed” rule from day one.
Friends with Benefits
Our four-footed friends because make us happy and feel good. They love us unconditionally. They’re our wingmen and provide hours of entertainment. So, good luck finding your perfect match!
Yorkie Tails, to Dock or not to Dock? Photo pixaby People have asked, ‘if we dock our puppies tails’? Personally we have done both. Yorkie tail Docking came into effect with AKC (American Kennel Club) show dogs. Their breeding standard is that “A Yorkies tail bedocked to a medium length”. If it's not? The dog will be disqualified at shows.
In many other countries tail docking is illegal and considered cruel. I’ve experienced extreme verbal confrontations amongst yorky breeder clubs over tail docking.
In my opinion with any unnecessary surgery there is always a chance of infection. We had one case after having a puppy's tail docked at the Vet, where the puppy's tail got infected. This failure prompted us to abandon even the thought of any future tail docking trips. Of course, after medicating the infection from our pup, she healed well and was still beautiful as ever but the entire ordeal really wasn't necessary.
Personally they look cute both ways but it's a personal choice. Just know, a dogs tail is also where they get their balance from.
Pros and Cons of tail docking
*AKC show dog standard to qualify.
*Just like the way it looks.
Cons: *When cut there is a chance of infection and nerve damage. *Dogs use their tails to communicate with other dogs and for swimming.
*Yorkies were born with GOD given cute tails that curl up.
Dog Etiquette: How to Bring Your Pup Out in Public Your dog is your pal, your best buddy, the companion who gives you unconditional love in exchange for food, water, shelter, and the chance to run around with a tennis ball in his mouth. They’re also our companions outside the home. We take them for walks and spend some quality outdoor time with them and other dogs (and people, too) at the dog park. What’s more, they’re welcome at many pet shops and stores, plus more employers are allowing their staff to bring their dogs to work with them. But don’t think that your dog is immediately ready for some time at the dog park or out shopping with you. Some dogs are shy around people, and some have anxiety to the point that they are skittish even in their own backyard. While some love an afternoon at the local dog park, others will get hostile around other dogs. You may have the most gregarious pooch on the planet who thinks that everyone she sees is her friend and wants a big slurp on the face from her. When taking your dog out in public, keep in mind some basic dog-owner etiquette. 1. Walk Safely With a Good Collar The first way to better socialize your dog is during her walks. How many times have you seen dogs out on a walk with their owners, straining their leashes as the owners try to pull them away from a yard or another person. The dog ends up gagging and coughing, and the owner can’t wait to get home. To prevent this, invest in a good collar that keeps a dog from gagging as she strains. This collar will also keep your dog close by as you walk, whether it’s in the neighborhood, at the dog park, or in a dog-friendly store. The gentle pull on the leash reminds her to stay close to you. 2. “No” Means No, and “Down” Means Down The key to getting your dog to behave around strangers or other dogs, or even scurrying away at the sight of someone, is impulse control, and that also involves your collar, leash, and a handy bag of treats. If you’re out on a walk with your pup and he sees someone, he’ll want to lunge forward to make friends. That may be the best time to pull on his leash and say, “No.” When he relents, give him a little treat. When he looks like he’s going to plant his paws on the other person, say “Down” and pull on the leash. Once he’s down, slip him a treat. When someone visits your home and your dog gets excited, take him by the collar, say “No” (often if you have to), then give him a treat. Get him used to those two words. Adding “That’s a good dog” is helpful, too. 3. Have a Pack of Dog Essentials You may be able to enjoy an afternoon out without something to drink or snack on, but your dog probably won’t. When you go out, be sure you have some essentials, including a small container of food, portable food and water bowls, some bottles of water, and, yes, the dog equivalent of a “diaper bag” containing a roll of waste bags, a cleaner, some paper towels, and, of course, some treats. Having one of these is especially essential if you’re going to take your dog to work with you. And while some of the larger pet stores already have items for cleanup if a pet has an accident, other non-pet stores most likely won’t. As The Washington Post reports, dogs make us feel good, and we make them feel good. But as much as we love our pooches, we need to consider others. So next time you’re out with your pup, make sure to practice dog etiquette. Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Now that you know what to do, you can start planning your next trip. Your dog will love being with you and you’ll enjoy a whole different side of camping. At the end of the day, you can curl together by the campfire and help you enjoy some toasted marshmallows. Happy camping!
Your four-legged pal may be the most awesome dog on the planet. His love and affection for you is all you need to make it through the day. But your neighbors might not love him as much as you do, especially if you and your pup aren’t following dog etiquette. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to change your ways and teach your dog some basic manners.
If your home has a yard but doesn’t have a fence, it’s time to get one. Keeping your dog contained makes your neighbors happy because he isn’t hanging out in their yard, digging, going to the bathroom, or being a general nuisance. It also keeps your pooch safe by preventing him from running off. You also won’t have to go outside in the freezing cold with him whenever he needs to go to the bathroom because you can just open the door and let him in and out. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a wood fence in Sacramento ranges from $1,270 to $2,893, so installing a fence won’t break the bank.
Once you’ve got your fence installed, it’s time to work on his other manners, too. Don’t let him bark a lot. It’s annoying to your neighbors and can frighten nearby children. Your dog’s natural instinct is to protect his home and his family, so some barking is understandable. And some breeds naturally bark more than others. But if your pup is a chronic barker, it’s time to get that under control. Teach him that it’s OK to bark once or twice to alert you to danger, but tell him “no” after that. You can reward him when he stops barking with a treat or praise. Eventually, your dog will come to understand that only an initial bark is acceptable.
Work on your dog’s greetings, too. When people come to the door, he should be able to sit nicely and greet them calmly, not barrel into people and knock them over. Get a friend to help out by knocking on the door, and make your dog sit and stay while you answer it. By training your dog, not only will friends be more likely to visit, but it will keep him safe from bolting out the door onto the street.
When you’re out for a walk, your dog should be able to greet other dogs calmly and nicely. Some dogs are naturally more aggressive, and their owners won’t want your dog to get close. That’s perfectly OK. They know their animals and what works and what doesn’t. If your dog is not friendly to other dogs or people, cross the street to avoid them or stop and make him sit until the other person and dog have passed. If your dog is super friendly, ask first before introducing him and then allow him just enough leash to sniff and say hello. Remain calm because your dogs can sense your stress.
If you’re not confident in your training abilities, there are tons of books on the market that will teach you how to train your pooch. There are YouTube videos created by professional dog trainers, and you can always hire a trainer to work with you and your dog.
Working on some basic doggie manners will not only make your neighbors happier, it will give you better communication skills with your pup. The time you spend working on these skills will also be quality time you spend with your dog, so he’ll enjoy it, too. Your dog wants to please you, so give him the tools to make you happy.