Dog Health

Low Cost Vaccinations Through March, West Asheville

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 11.16.06 AMA new affordable veterinary clinic, Open Door Veterinary Clinic, is offering an introductory price of $10 off all vaccination packages through March, in addition to $10 microchips and $5 nail trims.

According to the clinic's website, Open Door offers quality care to dogs and cats at reasonable rates. In addition, "Just by choosing us as your veterinarian you are helping pets in need because we donate a portion of our revenue to our Stay Together Fund. This fund decreases the chance of pets not receiving care, being surrendered to an animal shelter or euthanized when families experience unexpected veterinary medical costs and can’t afford care. All funds are used at Open Door Veterinary Care Clinic."

Open Door Veterinary Clinic is located at 1419 Patton Avenue in West Asheville. For more information, including a list of services, visit: https://opendoorveterinarycare.com/


Low Cost Vaccinations in Henderson County, NC - Feb. 18

Praisaeng-freedigIn an effort to make vaccinations accessible and affordable to the animal and residents of Henderson County, we offer low cost vaccines the third Monday of every month from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the Blue Ridge Humane Society Adoption Center, 88 Centipede Lane, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Before administering vaccinations, pets receive an examination from a licensed veterinarian, and are educated about the importance of preventive care when it comes to their pets health.

To receive vaccinations at a Blue Ridge Humane Society clinic, pet owners must meet ONE of the below required criteria:

Vaccinations are on a first come first served basis. The day of the vaccinations, pet owners must bring with them the following items:

  • Please bring proof of prior vaccinations including a Rabies Certificate (a rabies tag will not count).
  • All animals should be in good health and have not shown previous signs of aggression.
  • All cats should be in carriers and all dogs should be leashed upon arrival.
  • Owner must bring proof of how they meet the required criteria for vaccination at a Blue Ridge Humane Society.
Vaccine Prices
  • Rabies 1 year (Dogs or cats over 3 months) – $10.00
  • Rabies 3 year (Dogs or cats with rabies certificate, a tag will not count as proof of previous vaccination) – $10.00
  • Bordetella  (Dogs over 2 months) – $10.00
  • DA2PPV (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks) – $10.00
  • FVRCP (Cats over 2 months) – $10.00
  • Microchip (Dogs or cats over 2 months) – $15.00

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact community@blueridgehumane.org.

Image: Praisaeng, freeditialphotos.net


Preventing Fleas, Ticks, and Worms: A Comparison Chart

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 12.59.46 PM
Fleas, ticks and worms are more than a nuisance to your dog -- they can also adversely affect your dog's health if they are not treated properly. Thankfully, treatments are available for all three of these parasites. Some are topical and others are taken internally.

The problem is there are many treatments on the market to choose from -- and that's where a handy chart from PetBucket.com, an online seller of pet products, comes in. This comparison chart offers a quick overview of the most popular treatments, the active ingredients, how they're administered and how often, and which parasites they treat. Take a look at this chart and it will quickly demystify treatments for fleas, ticks and worms. You'll find it here:

https://www.petbucket.com/c/4585062/1/comparing-flea-tick-worming-treatment-for-dogs-and-cats.html


Low Cost Vaccinations - Candler, Jan. 26

Praisaeng-freedigOn the last Saturday of every month, veterinarian Dr. James Boatwright offers low-cost vaccinations at Candler Feed & Seed, 1275 Smoky Park Highway, Candler, NC. Vaccinations are administered from noon to 3 PM. Proof of previous rabies vaccine, if any, should be brought along, and cats should be in carriers. The next vaccination clinic will be on Saturday, January 26. For additional details call (828) 553-5792.

Image: Praisaeng, Freedigitalphotos.net


Five Winter Safety Tips for Your Dog

Guest Post by Jennifer Scott

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 12.56.18 PMWinter is a magical time, but it can produce quite a few potential dangers for our dogs. From exposure to the cold to toxic chocolate treats, there is much to be vigilant against. Here are five tips to keep your pooch safe during the winter months.

1. Warning Signs

 Even in winter, your dog needs to be taken outside. One way to protect them is by being attentive to any physical and behavioral warning signs. Are they shivering or showing that they’re upset by barking or whimpering? Behaviors like these could be interpreted differently during the warmer months, but they can be indicators of distress in winter. Check their ears to see if they are cold, and watch out for lethargy. Your dog may just be discouraged by the cold, but reduced energy could suggest more serious issues. This is a time to be observant, as your dog will let you know if they are in trouble.

2. Paws

The cold takes a toll on our dog's paws. There are hazards concealed by snow, and ice can form between their toes, especially when nails are long. While you could avoid snowy areas, even sidewalks and roads have their own dangers due to increased chemical use. Salt and other deicers are toxic to dogs, and your neighbors may be unaware of that. Take precautions after each outing by wiping your pup's paws with warm water to remove salt and ice buildup. Your best option may be to buy booties, as they are comfortable and can keep them safe from harm and dry skin. This alone can keep their winter fun and free of ill-health.

3. Accessories

Even when they grow a heavier coat for winter, dogs can still feel the cold. This can make heading out onerous for them, yet they need to remain active for their own well-being. You can help keep your canines stay warm in dropping temperatures by adding a sweater to their natural buffer. What materials you choose will depend on the size of your pet and the thickness of their fur. Dog clothing can also be modified to deal with darker days. Your walks may happen in poor visibility, so consider attachable safety lights and high-visibility gear to give you peace of mind.

4. Hazards

Winter is a festive time, but cold weather foods can be harmful to dogs. Many wintery foods contain chocolate, but these treats can cause severe toxic reactions when ingested by our canines. Rich “people foods” can also cause problems, so avoid indulging your furry friends, as their health is more important than allowing occasional tableside begging. Especially dangerous in the garage is antifreeze which can poison pooches. Dogs are curious, but it's essential that you stop them from investigating anything that could be dangerous.

5. Keep Dogs Indoors

Bring your pooch inside during cold weather. Outdoor kennels are not safe places in winter, so don't rely on them. Your pooch may already have a special place to sleep when indoors. If not, choose an area for their bed away from cold flooring, like hardwood or tile, or anywhere that is drafty. Ideally, it should be well-heated, but you can supplement this with a hot water bottle or electric bed. However, take care that they do not become overheated, as this could cause restlessness. Aside from walks, keep your dog's outings to a minimum. That includes washing them indoors. It may sound messy, but a wet coat can be a recipe for hypothermia.

Our dogs deserve nothing but safety. Plan out how you can protect your canine from outdoor hazards and cooler temperatures, and be aware of physical warning signs. Winter should be a time to frolic, so make this season a happy one for your pooch.

Jennifer Scott has experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. She shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at http://spiritfinder.org/

Image courtesy of Pexels


Annual Checklist for Your Dog's Health

ID-10018659Here is an annual checklist for your dog's health from PetPlace.com that should be helpful in planning for the entire year.

Dog Owner’s Annual Health Checklist

  • Annual Physical — Just like you, your dog should have an annual health exam where your veterinarian will check your dog from nose to tail. This is good preventative healthcare and it’s the best way to catch any problems early on. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your veterinarian.
  • Vaccinations — Vaccines help to protect your dog from a variety of diseases, so it’s important to make sure that all your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. The core vaccines that are recommended for all dogs include rabies, distemper, canine adenovirus-2 and canine parvovirus-2. Your dog may also need noncore vaccines if he is at high risk for a certain disease. Your veterinarian will determine what vaccines are right for your dog.

  • Heartworm — If a dog has heartworm disease, his heart and pulmonary vessels are infected with parasites called heartworms. All dogs should be tested annually for heartworm infection. This can help to identify the condition and treat it early.

  • Intestinal Parasite Control — Using a year-round heartworm preventative/intestinal parasite combination product reduces your pet’s risk of parasites. If your dog is on a year-round preventative, have a fecal test performed once or twice a year. If your dog is not on a year-round preventative, have a fecal test performed 2 to 4 times per year.  You should also treat for fleas and ticks.

  • Dental Care — Don’t forget about your dog’s teeth. Good dental care is important for your dog, just as it is for you. Regular dental cleanings can help to prevent tooth loss and gum disease in dogs.

Be sure to visit PetPlace.com for lots more helpful information.

Image: Maggie Smith, Freedigitalphotos.net


Petco Pet Vaccination Clinics

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 4.42.55 PMDid you know local Petco stores offer vaccination clinics? Services include: 

  • Comprehensive vaccine packages or individual vaccines such as; rabies, Bordetella, distemper, parvo, and lepto for dogs and FVRCP and FeLv for cats
  • Heartworm testing and medication
  • Lyme disease testing and vaccines
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Kitten and puppy vaccination packages
  • Microchip ID placement
  • Deworming services
  • Convenient evening and weekend hours

Check with your local Petco store for schedules. Some select dates and times in this area:

Petco Wellness Center, 964 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville: Vaccination Clinic on Sat., Dec. 29, 12 - 3 PM

Petco, 825 Brevard Road, Asheville: Vaccination Clinic on Sat., Jan. 5, 2019, 10 - 11:30 AM

 

 


Controlling Allergies in Your Dog

Guest Post by William Hill

ID-10032366Dоgѕ suffer from different kіndѕ of аllеrgіеѕ and have dіffеrеnt rеасtіоnѕ аnd symptoms tо еасh оf thеm. Wаtсhіng your pet ѕuffеr іѕ one thіng, but being unable to dо аnуthіng tо alleviate thеіr ѕuffеrіng саn bе vеrу раіnful for уоu.

These allergies could be:

  • Sеаѕоnаl аllеrgіеѕ
  • Food allergies
  • Environmental аllеrgіеѕ
  • Allеrgіс rеасtіоnѕ to ѕnаkе bіtеѕ
  • Allеrgіс rеасtіоnѕ tо іnѕесt bites

In mоѕt cases thе symptoms ѕhоw оn thе ѕurfасе оf thе skin. Wе see ѕуmрtоmѕ like rеd, itchy еуеѕ, a runnу nоѕе, sneezing, constant ѕсrаtсhіng or bіtіng, еtс. Fіndіng out thе bеѕt wауѕ tо control thеѕе allergies is іmроrtаnt in оrdеr to kеер уоur dog healthy аll thе tіmе.

Antіhіѕtаmіnеѕ Control Allergies

Antіhіѕtаmіnеѕ are сhеmісаlѕ nаturаllу rеlеаѕеd bу the bоdу durіng allergic reactions іn order to fight, reduce аnd tоtаllу rеmоvе all symptoms that mіght mаkе уоu feel unсоmfоrtаblе during an allergic аttасk. Uѕіng thіѕ nаturаl сhеmісаl as a guіdе, ѕсіеntіѕts created and реrfесtеd the best drugs thаt саn do thіѕ same thіng and bring rеlіef tо your pet.

One оf the most popular brands оf this mеdісіnе іѕ Bеnаdrуl (diphenhydramine).

Bеnаdrуl fоr Dоgѕ

Bеnаdrуl for dogs іѕ a vet-approved readily аvаіlаblе gо-tо trеаtmеnt for allergies, mоtіоn ѕісknеѕѕ аnd anxiety in pets.

With dірhеnhуdrаmіnе as an асtіvе іngrеdіеnt, Bеnаdrуl саn bе аррlіеd tорісаllу for trеаtіng pain аnd іtсhіng саuѕеd bу things ѕuсh аѕ poison ivy, poison oak, mіnоr сutѕ and burnѕ, аnd іnѕесt bіtеѕ. It саn аlѕо be tаkеn оrаllу tо treat аllеrgіеѕ, hау fever, соld ѕуmрtоmѕ, аnd іnѕоmnіа.

Bеnаdrуl can аlѕо bе a uѕеful trеаtmеnt іf уоur dоg suffers from аnу оf the following ѕуmрtоmѕ of other mеdісаl/рhуѕісаl соndіtіоnѕ:

  • Anxіеtу
  • Aѕthmа
  • Cаr Sickness
  • Insomnia
  • Mоtіоn sickness
  • Reactions tо Vассіnеѕ

Sіdе effects

Bеfоrе аdmіnіѕtеrіng any tуре of medication tо your pup, іnсludіng Bеnаdrуl, іt іѕ hіghlу recommended thаt you talk to уоur vеt to get аn еxреrt оріnіоn. They’ll be able tо tell уоu whеthеr it’s ѕаfе оr whеthеr thе mеdісіnе mіght саuѕе a bаd rеасtіоn.

Whіlе many vеtеrіnаrіаnѕ соnѕіdеr Bеnаdrуl to bе rеаllу ѕаfе, thеrе аrе ѕtіll dаngеrѕ and adverse rеасtіоnѕ аѕѕосіаtеd wіth thе drug thаt реt оwnеrѕ should bе aware оf.

COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF BENADRYL

  • Dry mоuth
  • Urinary retention
  • Increased hеаrt rate
  • Sеdаtіоn
  • Hyper salivation
  • Rapid breathing

Bеnаdrуl Dоѕаgе fоr Dogs

No twо dogs аrе the ѕаmе. All dоgѕ rеѕроnd differently tо nеw mеdісаtіоnѕ іn thеіr lіvеѕ. Thеrеfоrе, іt іѕ іnсrеdіblу іmроrtаnt tо tаlk tо уоur vеtеrіnаrіаn about the dоѕе thаt іѕ right for уоur раrtісulаr dog.

Thе Bеnаdrуl dоѕе is bаѕеd оn thе dоg'ѕ bоdу wеіght. Experts say thаt 1 mg оf Bеnаdrуl x 1 lb. оf bоdу wеіght іѕ the way tо calculate thе аmоunt оf Bеnаdrуl that wіll be safe and effective. It usually takes 30 minutes to tаkе еffесt.

Wе wаnt to nоtе thаt Benadryl is tурісаllу аdmіnіѕtеrеd іn thе tablet fоrm whеn рrеѕсrіbеd fоr dogs. If аnd оnlу if уоur vet dееmѕ іt ѕаfе, lіquіd Bеnаdrуl can bе mіxеd іn with уоur dоg'ѕ fооd. If given іn lіquіd fоrm, thе dye-free children’s vеrѕіоn іѕ rесоmmеndеd аѕ it does nоt contain аlсоhоl. Hоwеvеr, dog оwnеrѕ ѕhоuld соnѕult wіth their vеt fіrѕt.

The amount оf tіmеѕ уоu саn gіvе the mеdісаtіоn tо уоur pet іѕ typically аrоund 2 to 3 times a dау, 8 hоurѕ араrt.

In соnсluѕіоn

Yеѕ, Benadryl іѕ аn еffесtіvе antihistamine for mіld to mоdеrаtе аllеrgіс reactions. Hоwеvеr, if уоur рuр is hаvіng аn асutе allergic rеасtіоn with facial swelling оr difficulty breathing, іt is іmреrаtіvе thаt уоu go ѕtrаіght tо thе vеt. Bеnаdrуl іѕ not еffесtіvе in ѕеrіоuѕ саѕеѕ оf аllеrgіс reactions аnd ѕееkіng medical intervention іn a timely manner іѕ еxtrеmеlу іmроrtаnt for уоur dоg'ѕ life.

William Hill is a dog lover and professional trainer from Kansas.

Image: Anankkml, freedigitalphotos.net


Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

The following information from the ASPCA is valuable for all pet owners during the holidays. It is provided as a public service.

ID-100116673The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

  • Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
  • Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
  • That Holiday Glow: Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
  • Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

  • Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
  • Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
  • Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
  • Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.

Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.

Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

  • House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
  • Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
  • A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
  • New Year's Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

Image: Theeradech Sanin, freedigitalphotos.net


Do Dogs Need Clothes in Winter? Myths and Facts

Guest Post by Rachel Burns

Do dogs really need clothes in winter? We did some digging on this, taking note of all the myths and as well as the facts. Read on to find out why you should get some coats for small dogs such as Chihuahuas during cold seasons, and much more!

Duffy-brook-471893-unsplashIt's that time of the year again when the weather is cold and even dogs will need some warm clothes. It is not uncommon to visit a store during winter and see greyhounds in big dog sweatshirts and puppies in cute little coats trudging behind their owners. And that got us wondering, do dogs really need clothes in winter? We did some digging on this, taking note of all the myths and misconceptions as well as the facts.

Different Dogs, Different Needs

When we asked a couple of our vet friends and several pet parents whether they recommend dressing up our furry friends during winter, the answers we got were mixed. One vet suggested that dogs have innate protection from the cold in the form of their fur coats. As a matter of fact, we found out that dogs are actually better suited to cold weather than the summer heat.

But then again, just like humans, different dogs process cold in different ways. Generally, dogs with thicker fur coats, such as Terriers, Maltese, Afghan Hound, and Huskies, don't need clothes in winter. However, it makes sense to provide coats for small dogs, such as Chihuahuas and Poodles, during the winter months or else they will fall ill. Also, some bigger dog breeds, including some Pit Bulls and Greyhounds, have relatively thin coats and hence would appreciate the extra protection from clothes. Other types of dogs, such as Labradors and German Shepherds, don't necessarily need to be covered up, but it won't hurt if you do.

Not Every Dog is Comfortable with Clothes

There is a misconception, especially among first-time pet parents, that all they have to do is throw on some warm coat with fur hood and their pet will be alright. Well, that's not exactly a myth, but it is somewhat untrue. Dogs are highly curious animals (puppies especially) and are just as naturally reluctant to accept change as human beings. The first time you put a piece of clothing on your dog's back, chances are he won't be responsive, and he will most likely "freeze" in place. As such, it may makes sense to gradually introduce your dog to clothes by making him wear something for a minute or so every day.

Type Does Matter

Another misconception about winter dog wear is that all types of clothes will work fine in keeping your pet warm. But really, a knitted dog sweater with buttons can't protect your dog from the dew on the grass at the park. For the wet season, invest in waterproof attire, preferably with fur or fleece internal lining to not only keep your pet dry but also maintain a level of comfort.

Buying Coats for Small Dogs

When it comes to buying winter clothes for dogs, it is important to buy those that perfectly fit your dog's size. Buy clothes that are too loose, and they won't guarantee warmth and comfort, or worse still, they could get torn as he plays.

Best Winter Jacket Brands

Your pet is your best friend, and you should aspire to dress him up nicely, not just to keep warm, but to also look great. As far as warmth, comfort and class go, the best winter jacket brands for dogs are:    

  • Ruffwear        
  • Alpine 
  • EzyDog, and
  • Hurrta.

All of these brands are available in major pet shops as well as Amazon.

One of the guys in the office wore a brown dog costume for Halloween and ironically, his dog had on a plaid jacket, usually the type worn by humans. It was a funny scene, but in hindsight, a clear depiction of the historically great relationship between man and dog. Hopefully, you have better fashion plans for your dogs this winter!

Thanks for reading. We’d love to know what you think about winter clothes for dogs, so feel free to comment on this post.

Rachel Burns is a creative writer of https://allpetsexpert.com/. She knows that there are millions of pet owners looking for the right kind of information online. And here is her expertise lies. Rachel writes about pet care health.  

Photo by Duffy Brook on Unsplash


Natural Nutritional Supplements for Your Dog

Guest Post by Jeffrey Lewis

Golden-retriever-puppy-2706672_1920Healthy eating is not just limited to humans. Your dogs also need a well-balanced diet to ensure their good health and longevity. A nutritious diet steers the way for their overall well-being.

Just imagine how much joy your dog brings to you. In return, you should give him all the care that he deserves.

In order to make sure that your dogs are healthy in every way, you need to give them a diet that is full of essential nutrients that are much needed for their overall growth and development.

Commercially available pet foods claim to contain all the nutrients required by your dog. But in reality, such dog food lacks nutrients that are necessary to improve your dog’s health. In order to make up for this, you need to give them extra supplementation. There are so many natural supplements available that improve your dog's body functions and are helpful in maintaining their overall health.

Here are some of the most important natural supplements for your dog's growth and development.

  • Good Fatty Acids

In order to make sure that your dog’s skin is healthy enough, you need to add beneficial fatty acids in their diet. The most important fatty acids include Omega-3 and Omega-6. These fatty acids are good for the nourishment for a dog’s skin and coat and can be really useful to relieve inflammation and itching. You just need to give these fatty acid supplements to your dogs for a few months and you’ll see good results. Apart from that, these fatty acids also help in reliving arthritis and seasonal allergies.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for dogs. It is commonly available. Give it orally to your dog or topically apply it on the skin for better results. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties so it is very effective in curing and preventing bacterial and fungal infections in your dog. It is also very good for the immune system.

  • Mineral Salt

Salt is an essential ingredient in our diet. But did you know that it is also required by your dogs in a very small quantity, due to all the minerals it provides. The best salt for this purpose is Himalayan pink salt which is one of the purest salts available. It is free from contamination and other additives and chemicals. It has about 84 minerals and trace elements that are essential to fulfill the mineral requirement in your dog.

This salt has many benefits for your dog such as maintaining blood pressure, improving digestion, balancing pH and reducing water retention in body. Put it into the food or use in the form of salt licks for your dog’s health. These salt lick are a fun and convenient way to get most of the benefits of this salt.

  • Vitamins

As in humans, vitamins are very important for the dogs as well. Many dog foods contain vitamins in trace quantity. Some of the most important vitamins are vitamin A, B complex, C, D, E, and K. Dogs of different ages require them in different amounts. Some vitamins act as antioxidants and some help in digestion, and promoting healthy skin and hair.

  • Coconut Oil

You can give this oil orally as a supplement to your dog or can apply it topically on the skin. It is effective in both ways. It is an amazing moisturizer and provides relief from many skin conditions such as itchiness, ringworm, dandruff, and dryness. It is also very helpful in improving cognitive functions and gut health.

  • Glucosamine

Glucosamine naturally occurs in the joints and maintain the flexibility and mobility in dogs. With age, its production decreases due to which older dogs suffer from joint pain and difficult mobility. Giving a glucosamine supplement to your dog will maintain the healthy joints and regenerate cartilage to prevent joint problems.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_lick

Jeffrey Lewis is a blogger at Ittefaq Salt. His aim is to create a beautiful, thriving life and help others to do the same. He is a crazy animal lover who enjoys writing about pets, animals, health and nutrition-related topics.

Editor's note: Dog owners should always consult their veterinarian about the nutritional supplements recommended for their particular dog.


Health Alert for the Holiday Season

StuartMiles-fdpGetting into the holiday spirit often means imbibing alcoholic drinks and baking holiday goodies. Well it turns out that both of those human actions have largely unknown risks to your pet.

Read this important health alert from the ASPCA. While it is written for animal care professionals, it has valuable information for dog owners. Use the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center as a resource for questions about any substances your pet may ingest.

Alcoholic drinks and yeast dough both have the potential to cause toxicity in pets, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center notes that pets seem to find both quite palatable.

Even though signs you’ll see from the ethanol are the same for both exposures, there can be some differences in the onset of clinical signs as well as some additional concerns.

Palatable Poison

Many dogs (and some cats) will happily lap up a cocktail that is left on the table. Parties are a very common time for pets to get into alcohol as drinks are often left unattended. The onset of action with alcoholic beverages is typically fast (within 30 minutes, potentially faster with higher dosages).

The opportunity for emesis with alcohol is often very short and is not recommended in symptomatic pets. 

Rising yeast dough (such as bread, roll, and pizza dough) is often seen as a tasty snack by pets. The yeast ferments the carbohydrates in the dough, producing carbon dioxide and ethanol. Unfortunately, this process continues in the warm, damp environment of a dog or cat’s stomach as well.

Treatment for Dough Ingestion

There are a couple of special considerations for bread dough that you won’t see when pets get into alcoholic drinks. The amount of dough ingested can be an issue. You can potentially see food bloat or even GDV, especially considering that the stomach can be distended with carbon dioxide.

With bread dough, you may see excellent emesis results (often the 1 pound dough will come up in a single lump, (though there are some cases with little to no recovery of the dough with emesis). When good emesis results are obtained, there will be a much faster resolution of clinical signs.

The onset of clinical signs is much more variable with yeast dough than alcoholic drinks – it can potentially take hours to see signs of intoxication.   

Results of Ethanol Ingestion

Ethanol intoxication from either dough or drinks can cause ataxia, depression, recumbency, hypothermia, disorientation, vocalization, acidosis, tachycardia, dyspnea, aspiration pneumonia, tremors, coma and seizures.

Treatment is largely supportive and symptomatic. Aspiration is common, so antiemetics are indicated. Airway protection may also be indicated in some cases. Monitor acid base status and correct acidosis, fluid therapy for support, monitor for hypoglycemia and supplement dextrose as needed. Diazepam can be given for seizures – and some comatose pets will need ventilatory support.

Image: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net


What Nutrients Control Shedding in Your Dog

Guest Post by Mark Young

ID-10032366Shedding is a natural process that just seems to come with the territory when you're a dog owner. In some cases, excessive shedding can be a sign of an underlying nutrient deficiency.  When this happens your dog's hair and skin might be more dry and brittle than usual.  This can cause their hair to fall out more easily, and brittle hair is also prone to splitting and breaking.  Continue reading on if you want to learn more about some key nutrients that can help alleviate this problem.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are some of the most important nutrients when it comes to a dog's overall skin and hair health.  The two main fats your dog will need to keep hair loss under control are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. 

Most dogs already get enough Omega-6 fats in their regular diet, but in most cases, they won't be getting enough Omega-3 fats from a regular commercial dog food. 

You can either supplement your dog's diet with fish oil or flax seed oil since they are both great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.  There are also some dog foods out there that have been specially formulated to control shedding. Alternatively, if you really want to spoil your dog you can feed them grass-fed beef which tends to have a higher Omega-3 content.

When you feed your dog enough of these healthy fats their skin will retain moisture better.  In addition, their hair will look more lustrous since a thin layer of natural oil will protect their hair from drying out and becoming brittle.

Biotin

Sometimes excessive shedding can be caused by a biotin deficiency.  The signs of biotin deficiency include dry flaky skin,  excessive shedding, and a lot of itching and scratching.  Your dog's nails may also become brittle, and they can suffer joint problems if the biotin deficiency is not corrected.

Luckily biotin is produced in small quantities in your dog's intestines by beneficial bacteria.  If your dog has intestinal problems, though, then the bacteria in their gut might not be producing enough biotin.  Also, if your dog has recently been on a course of antibiotics the beneficial bacteria might have been killed off.

To play it safe you can feed your dog foods that are rich in biotin so you can be sure they are getting enough of this vital nutrient.  Some foods that are excellent sources of biotin include egg yolks, liver, meat, and some leafy green vegetables.

Protein

When most people think of hair loss they don't tend to think about protein.  In reality, a dogs hair is made of keratin which is actually 60 to 90 percent protein.   Since dogs have a lot of hair a good percentage of the protein they consume is used to produce all of that keratin. 

Most dogs tend to eat a high protein diet, so we often think that our dog is at least getting enough of this nutrient.  There are cases where a dog might have problems digesting protein, so even if it seems like they are eating enough protein they still might not be absorbing it. 

If your dog has problems digesting protein you can add digestive enzymes to their food.  The digestive enzymes will break down the protein into amino acids, which will be much easier for your dog's intestines to absorb.

If your dog is a picky eater that might also lead to a protein deficiency.  In that case, you will have to figure out a way to get them to eat enough protein by offering them treats, or giving them supplements. 

An average adult dog needs to consume at least 18 percent of their calories in the form of protein.  While puppies will need to eat a diet made up of at least 22 percent protein to fuel their rapid development.   As long as you hit these targets you can be sure a protein deficiency is not at the root of your dog's hair loss problem.

Mark Young is an avid pet lover and writer on ThePetSupplyGuy.com. When he is not writing he spends his time taking care of his wide assortment of pets, and he also volunteers his time at local animal shelters.

Image: Anankkml, Freedigitalphotos.net


Vaccine Clinic - Greenville, SC, Nov. 3

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 4.16.20 PMGreenville Humane Society holds a monthly vaccine clinic the first Saturday of the month. In February, the clinic will be held on Saturday, November 3 from 9 AM to 12 PM. All dogs must be leashed and all cats must be in carriers.

No appointment is necessary. Get all of your animal's shots starting at just $9, with no additional fees. All fees go directly back to care for the animals they serve. They also offer heartworm testing, rabies vaccines, ear cleaning, microchipping and much more. Be sure to get your pet's flea/tick/heartworm preventative while you're at the clinic!

Greenville Humane Society's facility is located at 305 Airport Road in Greenville, SC. For more information, including a detailed list of vaccination prices, go to: https://www.greenvillehumane.com/vaccine-clinic/


Halloween and Your Dog

Dog-714861_1920Halloween may be a fun holiday for humans, but it can be pretty scary, and sometimes dangerous, for dogs. Here are some valuable Halloween safety tips from the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center:

Lock Candy Away
Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.

Ditto the Glow Sticks
Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun and often puncture them. While most of the sticks are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and pets who bite into them may begin drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.

Have Pets Identified and Visible
There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.

Keep Pets Calm
Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.

Check Those Costumes
Costumes can be fun for the whole family. However, if you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. And never leave a costumed pet unattended.

 


Low-cost Shot Clinic - Candler, Sept. 29

Praisaeng-freedigOn Saturday, Sept. 29 from  12 - 3pm, there is will be a low-cost rabies and shot clinic with James Boatwright, DVM in Candler, NC. 

This clinic is located at Candler Feed & Seed, 1275 Smokey Park Highway, Candler, NC and will be held the last Saturday of every month. For more information, call 828-553-5792.

Pricing is as follows:

$15 / 1 year rabies

$20 / 3 year rabies  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)

$20 / DHPP combo for dogs

$10 / Lepto

$20 / Bordetella (dogs)

$25 / FVRCP/FELV combo for cats

Image: Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net


How to Trim Your Dog's Nails

Guest Post by Josh S.

Paw-548634_1920No matter how active your furry friend might be outdoors, nail trimming is one of the most vital grooming needs of every dog. Although most dogs will wear down their nails naturally,  they need a little help from you sometimes.

Every dog owner can learn how to properly trim their dog’s nails and every dog can be trained on how to tolerate the process. When the dog gets used to the entire process from a tender age, things get comfortable for both of you after some time.

You can try that big hug, yummy treat or the magical ‘who’s a good boy’ phrase before, during and after trimming his nails. Every pooch will appreciate this kind of attention as it is quite reassuring and sets a happy mood before you get started.

All in all, you may need a little help from the vet or groomer for you to be able to make the trims like a pro. You don’t have to hurt your pooch! Here’s all you need to know for you to do the nail trimming like an expert.

How do you trim the nails?

Before getting started on the nail trimming process, there are a few basics that you need to observe. The first step is to get some treats for your furry friend. The whole idea here is to make the experience positive and your dog will get comfortable in no time.

Also, you need to understand that you’re not obliged to trim all the nails at once. Nail trimming is a crucial thing and it needs some level of patience if you want to do it right.

From a tender age, train your dog to get accustomed to the handling of their ankles and toes. This way, the puppy will be acclimated early hence making her find nail trimming less intrusive later in life.

One technique that helps with nail trimming is holding the clippers against the dog’s toe pad then cutting across the nail. This way there will be lesser chances of cutting the nails too short or rupturing a blood vessel.

Keep these basics in mind:

  1. One of the most common mistakes is not using a sharp, good quality nail trimmer. A dull trimmer can bend and crack the nails and it could hurt your dog.
  2. When cutting nails, be aware of the “quick.” The quick is a blood vessel in the nail. It appears like a thin dark line running through the nail, but it is harder to see on black nails. If you are unsure where the quick ends, cut the nail in small increments and leave it a little longer. If you do cut the quick, the nail will bleed and your dog may yelp. You can stop the bleeding with styptic powder available at most pet stores.
  3. Cutting nails after a bath is not essential, but it is helpful since the water softens the nails and makes them easier to cut.

Reasons why you need to trim your dog’s nails

Just like the human nails, the dog’s nails are constantly growing. Although some of the dogs wear down their nails naturally when they spend a lot of time walking on concrete, gravel and pavements, this is not always the case with dogs that reside in the suburbs and spend most of the time indoors.

The long nails do not always dig into the footpad but the length tends to make it a little hard for the dog to walk on slick surfaces especially. In other cases, the long nails may get caught up on split ends hence exposing them to a higher risk of being torn.

This is a very painful experience for your dog and may even require sedation from the vet for treatment to be administered. Therefore, trim those nails unapologetically. It’s all for the good of your pooch.

How often should you trim your dog’s nails?

The intervals needed between every nail trimming session majorly depends on the dog breed among other factors. This is basically because the rate of nail growth, as well as the natural wear of nails, varies from one dog to another. If you need to know when is the right time, the rule of thumb is to trim your dog’s nails as soon as you see them touching the floor when she is standing.

Final Verdict

Nail trimming is a loving long-term service for your dog. Therefore, you need to remain reassuring and confident about the whole process.

I have a friend, May, who is a die-hard dog lover and lives nearby the Carolina Mountains. To her, nail trimming and clipping is never a favorite shared activity. One day, she went camping with her dog Jack. Due to his long nails, he damaged the tent floor. In the end, both May and Jack didn’t have a good night sleep. That is why it is important to always keep dogs’ nails short and tidy.

References

https://www.petmd.com/dog/grooming/evr_dg_how_to_trim_a_dogs_toenails

https://www.dummies.com/pets/dogs/how-to-trim-your-dogs-toenails/

https://www.vetbabble.com/dogs/grooming-dogs/trimming-dogs-nails/

Josh S. is the blog owner of kyrapets.com. On the site, he will share information helping dog owners.  He has a Staffordshire Bull Terrier whom he loves very dearly.


How Trained Therapy Dogs can Positively Impact Mental Health

Guest Post by Jennifer Scott

JuliaJaneta-unsplash.comDogs are often thought of as “man’s best friend.” This is especially true with individuals who are suffering from decreased mental health. Therapy dogs or “comfort dogs” have the job of supporting a person who is suffering from a mental disorder by providing comfort and attention. Therapy dogs often have very sweet demeanors and are full of love to give. They often live in homes, but they are also available to visit people in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and hospice homes. Because they are patient and unbothered by strangers hugging them, they can improve the mental health of just about anyone.

Read on below to see how therapy dogs can positively impact mental health and give you a better outlook on life.

Improve Moods

Therapy dogs are known to be positive mood boosters for anyone suffering from autism, bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because interacting with dogs can raise levels of oxytocin and dopamine, which are the feel-good hormones in our body. A dog has a way of adding unconditional love to your life, even if you’re suffering from a mental disorder. Dogs fulfill the basic human need of touch. In fact, they love to be pet, which only encourages us. Even when we’re stressed, just petting a dog can rapidly calm us down.

Decrease Stress

A side effect of a lot of different types of mental disorders is anxiety. Anyone with anxiety knows how hard it is to control. Therapy dogs can help with that because they decrease stress. Being around a trained cat or dog can lower your blood pressure, which is a big physical measure of stress. When you own a dog, you also get more exercise than people who don’t own a dog. That’s because you’re constantly taking your dog out for walks or outside to play. Exercise can help you greatly reduce stress and depression. Pets also help you stay in the moment and keep your focus on the now instead of worrying about past or future events.

Ease Loneliness

Low mental health can make you feel lonely. Therapy dogs can change that. Not only do pets provide companionship, but they encourage friendly interactions with others, which can lower your levels of depression. Pets change your perception of others -- and their perception of you. Pets make you appear more approachable, and in turn, you view anyone who has a pet to be more approachable. Dogs provide a great ice breaker when meeting strangers.

Go Outside

Whether you’re taking your dog on a walk or going to play fetch in the park, one thing is for sure: dogs get you outside. This is crucial when you’re suffering from low mental health because sun and fresh air can help elevate your mood, along with vitamin D exposure that you probably need. Vitamin D helps fight mental conditions, including depression. Getting outside also exposes you to nature, which has a way of calming us down. Taking a deep breath outside while taking in the view can help us stay present in the moment and give us a sense of calm.

Don’t Forget to Pet-Proof Your Home and Yard

You want your home to be safe for your therapy dog, so make sure to pet-proof it before you bring them home. This includes cleaning up any clutter around your home, putting any meditations in cabinets, putting away toxic chemicals, and keeping foods and plants out of reach. Pet-proofing your home also means making sure your backyard is safe for your pet. Choose dog-safe flowers and plants for your yard. Also, secure your trash cans and garbage from your pet. If you have a swimming pool, be sure to put a fence around it.

Talk to Your Pet

Above all else, if you ever feel like you have to get something off your chest but don’t want to confide in anyone close to you, your dog or cat can be a great listener. You can talk to your pet about your daily struggles, your hopes, your fears -- anything. And, they won’t judge you. It can be a great option for people who are too afraid to bring up issues to their family or friends.

Jennifer Scott has experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. She shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at http://spiritfinder.org/

Image: Julia Janeta, Unsplash.com

 


Vaccine Clinic - Greenville, SC, Sep. 1

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 11.00.01 AMNo appointment necessary for the monthly Saturday Vaccine Clinic at Greenville Humane Society. Get all of your animal's shots starting at just $9, with no additional fees. Greenville Humane Society also offers heartworm testing, rabies vaccines, ear cleaning, microchipping and much more. Be sure to also get your pet's flea/tick/heartworm preventative while you're there!

The vaccine clinic is held the first Saturday of every month from 9 AM to 12 PM. The September vaccine clinic is September 1.

Greenville Humane Society also offers low-cost spay/neuter at just $20 for dogs under 25 pounds. Visit https://www.greenvillehumane.com/ for further information.


Low-cost Shot Clinic - Candler, Aug. 25

Praisaeng-freedigOn Saturday, July 28 from  12 - 3pm, there is a low-cost rabies and shot clinic with James Boatwright, DVM.

Pricing is as follows:

$15 / 1 year rabies

$20 / 3 year rabies  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)

$20 / DHPP combo for dogs

$10 / Lepto

$20 / Bordetella (dogs)

$25 / FVRCP/FELV combo for cats

This clinic is located at Candler Feed & Seed, 1275 Smokey Park Highway, Candler, NC.

For more information, call 1-828-553-5792

Image: Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net