Ready To Go Swimming With Your Dogs?

Summertime means barbeques, trips to the pool or lake, and plenty of family and friend time.  As summer temperatures begin to soar, there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool or lake. Because your dogs go most of the places you probably go, it’s important for you to know whether they can swim or not.

Some dogs LOVE to swim, for others it’s a learned behavior, and still others will NEVER want to swim. Just because their breed is identified as one that loves to swim, never assume your dog knows how to swim. Never toss a puppy or newly adopted dog into a lake or pool unless you are there to save him in case he panics or gets tired. This could traumatize the dog and lead to a quick end to your water sports!

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Do Your Dogs Display Sibling Rivalry?

When you were a kid did you have siblings? Inevitably you probably fought with them. Maybe you both fought for your parent’s attention. Or possibly one of you was bigger and beat up on the littler one.

In both humans and dogs this is caused sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry occurs when two dogs living in the same household fight repeatedly and aggressively. It may start with snarls or growls, but can then progress to vicious, prolonged fights. We are not talking here about short arguments. Sibling rivalry that is disruptive to your household or to the lives of your dogs is when the problem needs to be addressed.

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How to Prevent Dog Bites

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year with one in five requiring medical attention. We’ve all read stories where people are disfigured or even killed by a dog attack which is tragic.

In fact, more than 6,500 mailmen are bitten by dogs each year! No wonder they are afraid to get out of their trucks.

Children are the most likely victims, often bitten by a dog in their own home or a friend’s home. Children (particularly boys ages 5 – 9) are three times more likely than adults to be seriously bitten (mainly in the face or neck), because kids are around the same height as a dog and because they can crawl into small, low places where dogs can reach. Unfortunately, 50% of children will be bitten by a dog before their 12th birthday. Men are also more prone to dog bites than women.

In addition to being physically and emotionally scarring, dog bites can be costly as well. State Farm Insurance, paid nearly $1 billion in accident-related claims involving a dog over the last decade.

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Mutt Vs. Pure Bred?

erent breeds of unknown ancestry. Mutts are also known as “mixed breeds” or “Heinz 57” (mongrel is such a derogatory term).

A “pure bred” is a dog whose mother and father derive over many generations from a recognized breed. Newer hybrids, or designer dogs, don’t qualify as pure breds. A Goldendoodle mating with a pure bred Golden Retriever would not be considered a pure bred. The puppies resulting from two Goldendoodles would also not be considered pure breds, since their parents are considered mixed-breed dogs, even though both were mixes of the same two breeds.

It can get very confusing.

Is it true that mutts are healthier than pure breds? Are puppy mill dogs a health disaster? Let’s separate fact from fiction.

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Fun Facts About Dogs

Think you know everything there is to know about dogs? Here are some fun facts about dogs that may come as a surprise!

Puppies

  • Both wolves and dogs are essentially blind until they are about a month old. Even so, wolf puppies begin to walk and explore when they are about two weeks old while dog pups don’t show these behaviors until they are four weeks old.
  • Even as puppies, breeds show large differences in behavior. For example, beagles and cocker spaniel puppies almost never argue over food, while shelties fight like crazy for five weeks and then suddenly quit. Basenji litter mates are aggressive and continue to fight with each other for a year.
  • Dalmation puppies are born all white and they develop their spots as they get older.
  • One female dog and her female children could produce 4,372 puppies in seven years.

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Helping Your Senior Dog Recover

Is your dog recovering from an illness, surgery or an injury? It can be an anxious time for pet parents as we feel sorry for our dogs. The veterinarian will give you a list of instructions but it can be difficult to process the overload of information at this stressful time. From knowing what exercise your dog can handle to possible complications, the details can make the difference between a speedy recovery and lingering side effects.

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Physical Therapy For Senior Dogs

If you have ever had a hip or knee replacement, you know that physical therapy is in your future. It is an integral component of the rehabilitation process, one that will help restore your mobility and strength.

What is Canine Rehabilitation?
Actually canine rehabilitation often mirrors that of humans. According to the Whole Dog Journal: “Veterinary rehabilitation uses many of the same modalities and techniques for animals as physical therapy does for humans.”

The onset of Flyball, Frisbee golf and agility trials have made canine therapy more popular than ever before. Introduced in Europe in the 1980s, it is known as Animal Assisted Therapy or AAT here in the United States. It is not exclusively for senior dogs, because younger dogs may be facing an injury or recovering from an accident. And it’s not just for dogs but horses, cats, rabbits and even birds as well.

Physical therapy is often advised for pets suffering from joint, spinal cord, and soft tissue injuries, osteoarthritis and pain, inflammation, hip and elbow dysplasia, and other conditions from old age. It combines physics, biomechanics, anatomy, physiology and psychology.

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Does Your Senior Dog Eat Poop?

Did you know it is a myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s?  Think about all the things they eat during the day both outside and inside. Dogs are known to raid garbage cans, drink water out of the toilet, and lick themselves. They will chew their way through the day.

However, a not-so-pleasant thing to us humans is dogs who eat their own poop. There is even a scientific name for this habit—coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh)—and also both behavioral and physiologic reasons why some dogs view poop as a delicacy.

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Does Your Older Dog Sleep A Lot?

As humans age, we often sleep less deeply and wake up more during the night, causing many of us to take naps during the day (if we can get away with it). According to the Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep nightly.

Many of our dogs sleep more than we do. Adult dogs generally sleep 12 – 14 hours/day, whereas puppies and older dogs require more, ranging from 15 – 18 hours/day. Unlike humans who generally receive eight hours of consecutive sleep, dogs sleep on and off throughout the day. In fact, 30% of a dog’s day is resting, while 20% is consumed with activity.

Does your dog sleep more than this? Are you worried? Don’t be unless your dog’s habits suddenly change. Dogs sleep different amounts depending on their breed, age, sex, and environment.

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How to Recognize If Your Older Dog Is In Pain

When children are hurt, you can often tell by their screams or the expression on their faces. When dogs are in pain or hurting it can be hard to tell.

If you step on their paw accidentally, they may respond with a loud help. However, it is part of the animal instinct not to show they are hurting as the pack may see it as a sign of weakness.

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