Skin allergies are quite common in dogs. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to a range of things, from products (shampoos, carpets, insecticides) to environmental factors (pollen, mold) to parasites (ticks and fleas). Anxiety, dry skin and hormonal imbalances can also contribute to your dog’s scratching. Dogs itch and scratch normally, but when it becomes compulsive, it means your dog is extremely uncomfortable. Let’s explore some of the signs and treatments to help your pooch.
Brrr. Even if you live in balmier states such as Florida and California, the temperatures in the winter months dip. In some parts of the country, they can be downright freezing! Here are some health hazards for your dog in winter.
If the temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog could be susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite occurs when blood vessels near the skin constrict, reduce blood flow to certain areas of the body, causing those tissues to freeze. Some signs of frostbite in dogs include:
- Discoloration of the skin – becomes bluish, pale or gray
- Brittleness to the area when touched
- Pain when you touch the body part
- Blisters or skin ulcers
- Blackened or dead skin
Does the hair on your arm, neck or head ever go up involuntarily when you are stressed or overexcited? In humans it is called “goosebumps” but in dogs it’s called “hackles”. The medical term in dogs is piloerection, with pilo meaning hair. Hair doesn’t talk yet it does tell the emotional state of a dog. It is a dog’s way of communicating his feelings. Cats, rats, birds and humans all share the same reaction. Porcupines use this for protection to scare off predators.
A dog’s hackles run down its neck, backbone, shoulder and to the base of its tail. All dogs have hackles, but it is more obvious in certain breeds than others. You can’t see hackling as easily in breeds with longer and fluffier hair, while breeds with short hair tend to show their piloerection more clearly.
Adopting a senior dog will give you a special feeling … it’s almost as if he can sense you have saved him! Too many senior dogs are left to spend the rest of their days confined to a kennel or shelter, abandoned through no fault of their own. Many older dogs have been abandoned because their owner passed away.
However, it can also be quite a commitment (as is any dog). Ask yourself these questions before you consider adopting a dog in his golden years:
If you live in an apartment or condo, you know that your neighbor’s barking dogs can be unnerving. As a good neighbor and responsible dog owner, there are some doggie and pet parent manners that are especially important when living in smaller, shared spaces.
For instance, do your neighbors complain that your dog howls all day when you are gone. It may be experiencing separation anxiety due to boredom. Many condos have even hired professional dog trainers to discuss with building managers and pet parents what constitutes normal dog behavior.
If you have a small dog, he/she is probably a gorgeous dog you love with all your heart. A cute little lap dog that keeps you company and has the sweetest kisses. A canine companion that is the center of your world.
However, many small dogs have a reputation for being yappy and demanding. Some are even described as “tiny terrors” and “prima donnas”.
So, tell the truth: is your dog spoiled? Does he have some quirky behaviors you cater to? My friend has a dog who doesn’t like concrete so she carries her across sidewalks.
Is your dog a social dog? Does he/she like to schmooze with other dogs? Not all dogs do. In fact, many dogs are afraid to go to the dog park because of the personalities of the dogs at the park. That’s okay because the dog park is not necessarily the safest place for dogs.
Looking for a great guard dog? Someone to protect your home, family or property and watch for unfamiliar people or animals? Please do not confuse a guard dog with an attack dog, because a guard dog knows not to attack familiar people. He/she is not vicious.
Certain breeds are prone to be better guard dogs than others as a result of their genetics, training and socialization. The purpose of a guard dog is to bark loudly to get their pet parents’ attention and scare away the intruder or predator. According to the American Kennel Club, guard dogs tend to be “loyal, fearless strong and watchful.”
With September being AKC Responsible Dog Owner Month, we thought we would reiterate what being a good dog owner is all about. Most of us had our first pet as a child, when our parents were trying to teach us responsibility. Chances are, you tried to get out of cleaning up after the dog and quickly realized that having a dog was not all about fun and games. You learned that responsibility is so much more than the basics of food and shelter.
When I get a stomach ache, I reach for Saltine crackers and 7up. Maybe even some Pepto Bismol. However, when your senior dog gets an upset tummy, the remedies are not the same.
Why do dogs get stomach aches? Usually because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. Dogs love to eat dirt, bugs and more… they are virtual garbage cans! Their natural instinct is to forage. You can usually tell when your dog has an upset stomach because he will experience vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or loss of appetite.