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Dog Q&A

Questions about Dog/Puppy Care..this will be an in progress page as I add more and more. Some things have also been covered on the Puppy/Dog Care Page and are recapped here.

Is your Corgi Overweight?


How to Avoid Teething Mishaps

It's a risk all puppy owners take: having a favorite pair of shoes -- or even a sofa -- fall victim to a pooch's teething. Protect your pumps, loafers, clogs, or couch from Fido's developing chompers with these simple tips.
  • Give her chew toys. Most puppies chew to ease tooth and gum pain, not to intentionally destroy. So your pup will likely enjoy gnawing on a few good chew toys as much, if not more, than your Jimmy Choo slingbacks. But if she keeps sinking her teeth into one, take it away, firmly tell her "no," and replace the shoe with one of her toys. When she chews on the toy, reinforce the behavior with, "You're a good girl."
  • Keep it interesting. Switch out your pup's chew toys every couple of months so she doesn't get bored and seek out alternatives. Avoid confusion by steering clear of toys that resemble household items -- like those squeaky rubber shoes -- until she gets older.
  • Puppy-proof as needed. When you're out and about, put your pooch in her crate or an area of the house that's been stripped of all potentially chewable items, except her toys. Move plants and electrical cords out of reach, too.
  • Run her around. Give your pup plenty of opportunities to be active and get some exercise. This will help prevent two of the leading causes of destructive chewing: boredom and restlessness.
Destructive chewing can be a very difficult behavior to deal with, but here are some more tips that may help:

1.  Give your dog a good quality chew toy. Make sure he has plenty of toys and that he knows what is acceptable to chew on and what is not.

2.  Rotate your dog's toys so he doesn't get bored with the same toy.

3.  If your dog chews up toys, choose durable toys that are nearly indestructible, such as Kong® brand toys. 

4.  Make sure there are no removable parts that can be easily torn off and ingested.

5.  Avoid toys that are small enough for your dog to swallow or too large for him to play with comfortably.

6.  When you first give your dog a new toy, supervise his play to make sure that he plays with it appropriately.

7.  Choose washable toys. Between the dirt and drool, your dog's chew toys can become pretty disgusting ... not to mention a natural breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria.

A good chew toy will satisfy your dog's natural urge to chew, help keep his life interesting and keep him contentedly entertained for hours on end. It can also help break your dog of those destructive chewing behaviors.

Are Bones Dangerous or Good for Your Dog?
A Vet's Opinion...Dr. Jon
Well, many people believe that since dogs' primitive relatives chewed bones that they must be good for dogs. Others believe that bones also promote healthy teeth and gums.
Well, the answer is ... bones are not good for all dogs. 
Some dogs may never develop a problem associated with chewing bones, but some may. And this occurs often enough that most veterinarians you ask will NOT recommend bones.
Bones do not break down easily, which means the dog may have to pass the bones through the stool. Which could be very painful. Or they can get them stuck in their mouths. Just best to stick with safe dog chews.

Exercising Your Dog...things to avoid

Exercise is one of the best ways to spend time with your dog. Not only is it fun, it helps keep you and your pet healthy. Exercise can help both of you to sleep better, it can also give you more energy and help build good, strong bones and muscles. 

What you do to exercise with your dog depends on what kind of dog you have. Large dogs need more exercise than small dogs - at least two walks a day. Puppies love to wrestle and chase; they never seem to run out of energy. Some dogs like to play Frisbee in the park. But if your dog is older, he may just want to take walks in the neighborhood.

Whatever you do, exercising with your dog should be fun.

It should also be SAFE.

6 things you should NOT do when exercising your dog. By avoiding these 6 things you will eliminate the risk of injury to you and your dog.

  1. Don't ride a bike with your dog on a leash.
  2. Don't skateboard with your dog on a leash.
  3. Don't rollerblade with your dog on a leash.
  4. Don't exercise when it is very hot or very cold outside.
  5. Don't let your dog run loose near traffic.
  6. Don't exercise your dog right before or after he eats.

How Much so I feed my dog?


How much should your dog eat? Well ... it depends. It's not as simple as saying your dog should eat one cup.

The reason is this. Every food has different caloric densities and every dog has different caloric needs based on his innate make-up and exercise level (just like our food...and us).

So... how do you know how much to feed?

1. First, you need to determine if your dog is an ideal weight, too thin or too fat.

2. Second, weigh him and determine a baseline weight.

3. Third, start feeding.

Then... this is what you do:

• If your dog is at an ideal weight - I'd recommend feeding the mid-range recommendations posted on the bag.

• If he is under-weight - then feed the high-end range on the bag based on his weight.

• If he is overweight - then feed him the low range on the bag based on his weight.

Lastly, reevaluate. After you feed for 2 weeks, weigh and reevaluate your dog. Determine if his weight went up or down relative to his goal and how much you should feed now.

If his weight was ideal and it increased, then decrease the amount you are feeding by 20 percent. Feed for 2 weeks and weigh him again. If his weight is the same, you believe his weight is ideal, then you are probably feeding the proper amount.  If his weight decreased, then increase the amount by 20 percent, etc.

I hope this gives you some guidelines on how much to feed your dog. Remember, every dog is different.  The most important thing to do is to feed a good quality food.

You must also remember I feed for the growing puppy or for breeding/gestation or the lactating female, so I feed different than you would. Follow the directions on the bag of food you have chosen. Weigh your puppy every couple weeks to make sure they are growing properly. Again, The most important thing to do is to feed a good quality food.

Heartworm disease is a common condition, especially here in Florida. It is caused by the filarial (threadlike) worm Dirofilaria immitis that lives in the infected dog's pulmonary arteries (the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs). D. immitis is injected into the dog by infected mosquitoes. The name "heartworm" is a bit misleading because only in very heavy infections do the worms actually reside inside the heart itself. Nonetheless, the presence of these worms causes strain to the heart and an intense reaction in the blood vessels, resulting in major problems for the dog.
There is a relatively inexpensive 6 month shot out which is called Pro-Heart. Ask you vet. Much easier than remembering monthly pills.

What makes a dog itch?
Itching is a common issue in dogs.  This can be caused by many underlying problems that include parasites, allergies, skin irritations as well as skin infections. Increased scratching or licking may also indicate the presence of fleas. Or actually boredom.

For dog allergies and such Click Here

The biggest reason is fleas. Inspect your dog and see if fleas are present.
I use Advantage on my puppies. Advantage is relatively safe for puppies. But Advantage is becoming resistant so I am recommending once the puppy is 4 months old to use the new product called Comfortis. Comfortis does work but will not kill ticks so you may need to use Frontline Plus if ticks are a problem in your area. Your vet may also have other solutions.

If fleas are not the problem then refer to your vet for his help in diagnosing the itching problem. Many dogs are allergic to the grass. or just plain bored so start licking their paws. Your vet can help you figure out the problem.

How do dogs sweat?
Dogs don't have skin like we do and they can't perspire. (Have you ever seen a dog with soaking wet underarms?) A dog's body can be easily overwhelmed by heat, often causing them to suffer from heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke.

People have sweat glands all over their bodies, so we can cool ourselves down much quicker. Dogs don't have the luxury of overall cooling because their bodies have very few sweat glands, and most of these are in the footpads.

The main way dogs cool themselves is by panting and breathing, so the moist lining of their lungs serves as the evaporative surface (much like our skin). Many people believe that a dog's tongue contains sweat glands, but this is not true.

Dogs also dissipate heat by dilating (expanding) blood vessels in their face and ears.

This helps to cool the dogs' blood by causing it to flow closer to the surface of the skin.
Excessive play on a hot day can lead to overheating (hyperthermia) and eventually to heat stroke. A dog that is overheated will seem sluggish or perhaps confused. His gums and tongue may appear bright red, and he will be panting hard. The dog may vomit, collapse, have a seizure or go into a coma.

When a dog becomes overheated, it is a real emergency situation. If this happens to your dog, get him to a veterinarian immediately.

What is heat stroke? Heat stroke is a serious condition resulting from extremely high body temperature (rectal temperature of 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit). It leads to nervous system abnormalities that may include lethargy, weakness, collapse or coma.

Abnormally high body temperature (also called hyperthermia) develops after increased muscular activity with impaired ability to give off heat, due to high heat and humidity or respiratory obstruction.

Allowing a dog to remain in a car with closed windows on a hot summer day is probably the most common cause of heat stroke.

PLEASE, Remember we live in Florida and always keep your dog with fresh cool water and shade.

Toxic items dogs like to eat

Chewing on things is a normal part of "puppyhood", and many times the things our dogs eat are not dangerous. Still, you can expect to see some vomiting and maybe even a little diarrhea when your dog eats something that is not "food".

So, before you rush your pooch to the vet, check out this list of non-toxic items that dogs often eat. If your dog chews or eats small amounts of any of the items on this list, you do NOT have to worry unless the object becomes lodged in the stomach or intestines, causing an obstruction.

Acrylic paint
Ballpoint pens
Bath oil
Birth control pills
Bubble bath soaps
Citronella candles
Elmer's glue
Fabric softeners
Glow jewelry
Hair conditioner
Hand lotion
Indelible markers
Magic markers
Mineral oil
Modeling clay
Newspaper - non-colored
Pencils (no longer made of lead)
Petroleum jelly
Rubber cement
Shaving cream
Silica gel packets
Suntan lotion
Teething rings
Water colors

If you have any doubt, always call your vet or local emergency clinic.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
1-888-4-ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435)

Loud Noises
Is your dog afraid of loud noises? Many dogs are. The loud noise of fireworks can send these dogs into a state of panic. Some dogs have even had seizures during fireworks.

Lots of dogs have phobias, and the most common dog phobia is fear of noises.

Some dogs will exhibit signs of fear that can include pacing, panting, trembling, salivating, trying to escape and/or barking. Many dogs will actually injure themselves when trying to escape.  I had a Golden Retriever, Burt, that was so scared we found him about 4 miles away. His feet we all abraised from running and he was plain worn out.

During loud noise such as fireworks or your neighbor shooting his gun(LOL), Consider what would make your dog most comfortable. Bring your dog indoors. Would he feel safest in a crate? Try turning on the radio, television, fan or air conditioner as "white noise". Make sure you provide a comfortable hiding place or "safe place" for your dog. Many of our Corgis are scared, so we bring them into the dog room. Ruby is the worst and she sticks very close to me.Talk to your dog in a light, cheerful tone that sends a comforting message that the noise is no big deal. Encourage your dog to find a quiet restful place to wait out the noise.

Why do dogs eat grass?
If you've ever seen your dog eat grass, you might be wondering why he would do that. After all, dogs are carnivores (primarily meat eaters), right?

It's actually quite common for a dog to eat grass. And if your dog has done this, then you already know that things can get worse from there. Sometimes after the dog eats the grass he will then start gagging and vomit some of the grass back up. If this has never happened to your dog before, it probably will. This is very common and it happens to millions of dogs.

 Read this article Click Here it will help you to better understand your dog.

Is there anything wrong having a spoiled overweight dog?
Yes, there is.  I am guilty of  having a few really overweight dogs.

I know that obesity is accompanied by a set of physical problems that may contribute to a shorter life span. Overweight dogs have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, liver disease, diabetes, orthopedic problems and even neurological problems.

Obesity is a problem for pets. Carrying around extra weight can make dogs uncomfortable, cause or exacerbate joint and muscle problems, and it can lead to diabetes. And they snore big time!

Here are a few healthier ways to spoil your dog without packing on those extra pounds.

1. Trade up for healthier treats. Fresh baby carrots are a great, low-calorie alternative to fatty biscuits. When you feed your dog healthier treats, you can continue the frequent treat-giving routine that your dog has become accustomed to ... without worrying about his weight.

2. Make your dog work for it. Interactive toys keep pets busy while rewarding them with small treats throughout the play activity. For already obese pets, using pieces of their regular dog food as treats is helpful.

3. Forget the treats and get moving. Increasing playtime with your pet can greatly increase the amount of calories burned in a day. Spoiling your pet doesn't have to involve food. It can also be about play. Playing ball, going for a run or visiting a dog park are fun healthy ways to interact with your pet.

4.  Lastly, and most importantly, start with a quality food that delivers a balanced diet. This is critical to helping to promote and protect your dog's total health.

What to Do if your Dog Vomits?
Vomiting is probably the most common symptom of dogs. And it is also the most obvious. There is no hiding "vomiting" unlike lethargy or a fever.

So what can you do about vomiting? I know you want the best for your dogs...so what do you do if your dog vomits and more importantly... "When do you worry"?

Many dogs vomit occasionally especially when they love to eat cat feces.  If a dog vomits once or twice but is still acting normal, has normal stools and quickly (over a few hours) resumes eating and drinking -then I'm not too worried.  In this case - I'd recommend watching your dog to ensure that it does resolve. Watch for any additional signs such as lethargy, diarrhea, weakness, or no appetite.

If the vomiting continues more than a few times, your pet acts "sick", is lethargic, you see any blood in the vomit or you also see diarrhea - then the safest thing is to call your vet.

There are lots of causes for vomiting that can range from a mild viral or bacterial problems (similar to if you or I didn't feel good for a day or two) to severe life-threatening metabolic problems such as diabetes, pancreatitis, renal failure or even a gastrointestinal obstruction.  If the vomiting continues or your dog is acting sick - see a vet to help determine the underlying problem.

What can you do at home?
The general approach will be to not give any food or water for a few hours. When you begin giving water, start with only small amounts.

Providing that there is no vomiting for two hours after starting the water, then you may begin feeding small amounts of a bland diet.  Feed only a small meatball sized portion at a time.  If there is no vomiting, offer slightly more food a couple hours later.  The key is to feed small amounts frequently. 

Gradually increase the amount per feeding.  If no vomiting occurs, feed this diet for one day then begin mixing in small amounts of the regular food.  Gradually switch your dog to his regular food over the next two days.
To make a bland diet, mix equal parts of a protein source and carbohydrate. The protein source can be boiled hamburger, lean beef, chicken or turkey, meat flavored baby food or cottage cheese. The carbohydrate source can be boiled white rice, boiled potato or pasta. You can also purchase canned bland diet from your veterinarian.

Please call or see your veterinarian as soon as possible if vomiting continues, you notice diarrhea, your pet won't eat, or acts painful or lethargic.

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