Does your dog’s breath knock you out? When he tries to plant sloppy kisses on your face do you cringe from the odor? Most dogs suffer from terrible breath at one time or another, and it is quite common among senior dogs. Some struggle with horrible halitosis throughout their entire lives.
Do dogs get stinkier in the summer because they perspire more in the heat! Does your dog like baths or does he fight you?
Dog baths can be messy, particularly if your dog is bigger. Just like humans, dogs can get stinky too. A swim in the lake or river may be your dog’s idea of fun, but it’s not the best cleaning method for your dog’s fur.
Although a general rule of thumb is to bathe your dog once/month, the real answer depends on your dog’s breed, the environment, level of activity and any skin issues. Remember, the only sweat glands on a dog are between their paws. There are some dog owners who never bathe their dog (not advised), but their dogs do not have an unpleasant odor. If you find dog cleaning to be too difficult, make your life easy and take your dog to a dog groomer – they even have mobile dog groomers that will come to your home!
Your dog will probably visit the veterinarian many times during his life. There are the annual wellness checks and the routine shots and vaccines. Going to the vet can be very costly, particularly if it is on an emergency basis.
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent an estimated $15.92 billion on veterinary care in 2016. If your pet suddenly ingests something he shouldn’t or breaks a bone, a trip to the vet is necessary. However, there are some precautions you can take to make these emergency trips as far, and few in between, as possible.
Last month we discussed the therapeutic effects of CBD (cannabidiol, the medical component) for dogs. Although not much long-term research has been conducted, it has shown promising results in fighting the effects of cancer, pain, joint swelling, arthritis and more.
However, this is not true of marijuana itself.
The cannabis oil recommended for dogs does not contain (THC – tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the hallucinogenic component of marijuana. However, the marijuana we are talking about today is the marijuana that humans smoke.
We all know that adopting a senior dog is a good thing to do. You would be saving a life doomed to languish in a shelter. You would know exactly what you are getting because he/she is all grown up. Chances are he will already be housetrained and responsive to commands.
That’s not to say there won’t be some bumps along the way. Moving is always stressful whether you are a dog or person. Chances are your dog will be used to living in a kennel with other dogs surrounding him. All of a sudden, he is thrust into your world and it feels, well, alien.
Don’t give up. #HelpEmUp would like to offer a few pointers to make the process a little less stressful.
There has been much controversy over the last couple of years regarding the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes. It’s hard to keep track of the numbers – cu,rrently 8 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes (California, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington) and 29 states for medicinal purposes.
There has been much discussion about medicinal marijuana and its uses in curbing anxiety, treating epilepsy, cancer and more illnesses and symptoms. However, it is important to note the difference between marijuana and cannabis versus hemp.
Like many other products, although marijuana was originally consumed by humans, it quickly spread to the pet industry. The sale of pet-related hemp products has skyrocketed, particularly for senior dogs.
This begs the question: are dogs going to pot?
>We all know how we show our dogs affection. If your dogs are like mine, they love belly rubs. The mere mention of a “treat” sends them jumping for joy (even if it’s only a carrot!) All I have to do is pull the leash out and they know we are going for a walk and get very excited. They love, love their walks and all the scents that come along with it. When I’m settling down to watch a movie, they instantly transform into couch potatoes (and in some cases a lap dog) and I pull them close for a cozy snuggle.
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from mental decline as they age. It’s often uppermost in our minds that dogs need physical exercise to stay healthy. What we often forget is that dogs – particularly senior dogs – need mental stimulation as well.
As dogs age, they can experience mental deterioration which is referred to as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). Think of it as “pet dementia”. It is so prevalent that signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome are found in 50 percent of dogs over the age of 11, and by the age of 15, 68 percent of dogs display at least one sign. The signs may include:
- Excessive licking
- Lack of desire to play
- Loss of appetite
We have all heard the adage: “with age comes wisdom.” If you already have an older dog and are introducing a new pack member, much can be learned from the senior dog. Just like older siblings teach the younger kids both good and bad habits, so too do dogs.
Dogs often mimic the behavior of other dogs. According to Psychology Today, this is called allelomimetic behaviors by the scientific community. In other words, when you bring a puppy into your home with an older dog present, this can greatly reduce the training time. It is a well-known fact that dogs watch the behaviors of other dogs and try to gather useful information from their observations. Dogs will often model the behaviors of other dogs when there seems to be advantage to be gained.
Remember when we were young we had to call everyone Mr. or Mrs? We were never allowed to use the first name of anyone older than us out of respect. When we received a present? We had to write a hand-written thank-you note.
As our parents would say: “we taught you manners”.