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.
Technology can make all of our lives easier, particularly one that is close at hand – our cell phone. Cell phones are great for taking fun videos and pictures as well as tracking some important information about your dog. Additionally, there are various apps for dog owners that can keep your dog healthier and happier.
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.