Dog Health

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


Low-cost Shot Clinic - Candler, July 28

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


Can Your Dog Get Water Intoxication?

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 1.38.49 PM
You're probably familiar with the concept of intoxication when it applies to humans who have to much to drink. Interestingly enough, intoxication is possible in dogs as well -- but it happens when they drink too much water.

Water intoxication is not common, but it is more possible during the summer months. This is when dogs tend to drink a lot of water to keep cool. They also could ingest large quantities of water when they are swimming or playing in streams, ponds and lakes. It is even possible to ingest water when playing with a garden hose.

TopDogTips.com has a handy infographic about water intoxication that details the risks, symptoms, and consequences of water intoxication. It also contains tips for prevention and home treatment, and it includes other water-related dangers for dogs.

You'll find the Water Intoxication infographic here: https://topdogtips.com/water-intoxication-in-dogs/


Top Four Toxic Items Dogs Ingest on July 4

Dog-2723108_640According to the ASPCA, there are four items that lead the list of toxic items ingested by dogs on July 4:

  1. Fireworks
  2. Certain foods
  3. Lawn products
  4. Pool chemicals

We often give our dogs credit for being intelligent in so many ways -- but when it comes to substances, most dogs will eat just about anything if they are curious or hungry. They can also be exposed to toxic substances unwittingly; for example, many products that you commonly apply to your lawn may be harmful to your pets.

For more information about the top four July 4 dangerous items, download the ASPCA flyer at the link below.

Download ASPCATop4July4

 

 


How Much Sleep Does Your Dog Need?

Guest post by Brian Morgan

Dog-848390_1280It is no secret that dogs love sleeping. In fact, they spend most of the day laying on the sofa and snoozing. Therefore, we often blame them of being lazy. However, this statement cannot be further from the truth. Because of their biological clocks and sleeping patterns, dogs have higher sleeping requirements.

Generally speaking dogs spend about 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Since dogs tend to adjust their sleeping patterns according to the owners’ patterns, their sleeps are not continuous nor equally divided. Usually dogs sleep 8 hours during the night and the remaining 4 to 6 hours occur during the day in the form of naps.

How dogs spend their days

Humans follow a binary sleeping pattern that consists of 12 hours awake during the day and about 8 hours of sleep during the night. Dogs do not have strict and preconceived sleeping patterns.

On average, most adult dogs spend around 50 percent of the day sleeping, around 30 percent of the day resting, and around 20 percent of the day being physically active.

The sleeping portion includes the long night sleep and the short naps during the day. While resting, dogs are awake but physically inactive. The physically active portion of the day includes all physical activities from walking and running to playing fetch and tug-of-wars.  

The dog’s sleeping pattern

The dog’s sleeping pattern is similar to ours. The first phase of sleeping is the slow one and it manifests with slower breathing, blood pressure dropping and heart rate decrease. This phase lasts for 10 minutes. After that, dogs enter the second, rapid eye movement (REM) phase. As the name suggests this phase manifests with fast rolling of the eyes under the closed eyelids.          

The only difference between the human and the canine sleeping pattern is the time spent in REM phase. REM is also the phase in which active dreaming occurs. While humans spend up to 25 percent of sleep in REM, due to their inconsistent sleeping schedules, dogs are in the REM phase for only 10 percent of the total sleep time. Because of the shorter REM phase, dogs need more total sleep make up for the shorter REM.

Simply put, although dogs sleep longer than we do, they do not sleep as soundly and they need to compensate for the lost REM’s.

Factors influencing the dog’s sleeping pattern

Adult dogs spend around 12-14 hours per day on sleeping, while young puppies tend to sleep for more than 18 hours per day. However, the exact time a dog spends on sleeping depends on several factors such as:

  • Breed – large dog breeds sleep longer than small dog breeds. Additionally, how much the dog will sleep depends on what it is bred for. For example, working dogs have lower sleeping needs than dogs bred to be companions.
  • Age – young puppies and senior dogs have higher sleeping requirements
  • Exercise regimen – as contradictory as it may sound, active dogs need less sleep than dogs with sedentary lifestyles
  • Environment – dogs that live in environments with extensive mental stimulations tend to sleep longer.

Changes in the sleeping habits

Sudden changes in the dog’s sleeping schedule may be a cause for alarm and can signalize certain health issues. The most common reasons why your dog’s sleeping pattern can be altered include:

  • Low-quality diet – bad diets make dogs sleep longer because they either do not provide enough nutrients or are hard to digest and require more energy for proper digestion
  • Poor health – cardiovascular conditions, inactive thyroid glands, diabetes and canine depression are all linked to altered sleeping patterns and can significantly influence the dog’s sleeping needs.

Changes in the sleeping habits are normal in older, senior dogs. Senior dogs tend to sleep longer during the day and they also tend to get up more frequently during the night simply because life becomes harder with age. This may seem weird at first, but it is a natural part of the ageing process.  

Doggy sleep disorders

The most common doggy sleep disorders include:

  • Narcolepsy – indicates excessive daytime napping manifested with sudden falling in deep sleep and it usually involves partial or complete muscle paralysis.
  • Insomnia – sleeplessness is quite rare in dogs and it is almost always due to health issues.
  • Sleep apnea – loud snoring caused to heavy and temporarily stopped breathing that causes the dog to wake up. If it occurs frequently it can lead to tiredness during the day.

All dog parents are well aware of how much their canine babies enjoy sleeping. To be honest, when it comes to dogs, extensive sleep is physiologically required. To properly function and stay well-rested, dogs need a good night's sleep and frequent day naps. 

Dogs are flexible sleepers capable of falling asleep out of boredom. They are also capable of waking up easily and becoming alert immediately after the waking. Because of this inconsistent and irregular sleeping pattern dogs need a lot of sleep. Additionally dogs do not sleep deeply and tend to wake up a lot.

If your dog does not follow its usual sleeping pattern, do not hesitate to contact the vet.

Brian Morgan is the editor for DogBedZone a website providing tips, guides, and resources for dog owners.

Image: Mathey, Pixabay.com


Monthly Low Cost Vaccines Starting in May in Hendersonville

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 5.15.10 PMIn an effort to make vaccinations accessible and affordable to the animal and residents of Henderson County, Blue Ridge Humane Society now offers low cost vaccines the third Monday of every month from 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM at our Adoption Center beginning May 2018. The Adoption Center is located at 88 Centipede Lane in Hendersonville, NC.

Before administering vaccinations, pets receive an examination from a licensed veterinarian, and owners 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:

  • Receive Public Assistance (SNAP, DSS, SSI, SSDI, unemployment, disability, Medicaid)
  • Fall below HUD Income Guidelines
  • Full-time college student
  • Military Service Member or Veteran

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

For more information, visit: https://www.blueridgehumane.org/community-services/low-cost-vaccines/


Be Aware of Household Poisons

ID-100395000According to the ASPCA, "Toxic chemicals, dangerous plants, as well as products and substances found in our everyday surroundings can be poisonous or even fatal to animals. Unfortunately, a pet can ingest a household chemical, lap up a liquid, or chew on a seemingly harmless plant -- and become sick and even die."

The ASPCA's Poison Control Center has put together a helpful brochure that lists in detail common household hazards, has poison prevention tips, and discusses how to put together a poison safety kit for your dog or cat. The Poison Control Center also provides a hotline staffed by veterinarians who can advise you in case of emergency. You can reach them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 888-426-4435.

Download a free copy of the ASPCA Poison Control Center brochure at the link below (PDF).

Download Aspca household hazards

Image: Alex Ugalek, freedigitalphotos.net


Low Cost Vaccinations - Asheville, March 24

AHS Low Cost VaccinationsAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 24 from 2 to 5 PM at Groce United Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805. No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.


ReTail Scene: NC Company Offers Dog Nutrition and Health App

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 3.51.06 PMPetrics, a Wilmington, NC pet technology company, is now offering a health and nutrition application for pets that "gives you the tools necessary to ensure proper diet and safety for your pet." The application features:

  • A database of over 15,000 pet foods and treats that can be scientifically matched and personalized to your dog's individual needs
  • A comprehensive ingredients analyzer
  • At home delivery and auto-ordering of pet foods
  • Pet food recommendations based on genetic risks and pre-existing medical conditions
  • Schedule reminders for vet visits and medications
  • Recall alerts

The app can be downloaded free. More information is available at: https://www.petrics.com/

This company has also just introduced the world's first connected pet bed, which maintains a comfortable temperature for your dog and also reports on body temperature, heart rate, and other data.


The Benefits of Grain-Free Dog Food

Guest Post by Olivia Williams

ID-10049938Dog-lovers everywhere simply want the best for their pooches. And when it comes to providing our four-legged, furry friends optimum nutrition, many of us would rather choose grain-free dog food for a variety of reasons, many of which are tied to the benefits of grain-free dog food. Here are some of them:

  • More nutrients per gram of dog food

 Ancestral dogs always preferred meats over any other type of food. However, today’s dogs aren’t necessarily carnivores; in fact, they are omnivores like you and me.

Sadly, with the commercialization of dog food, companies sometimes minimize production costs. Instead of putting high-quality ingredients in sufficient amounts into dog food, some companies use ‘fillers’ in the form of wheat, corn, and other cereal grains for the simple fact that these are generally ‘cheaper’ than protein like beef or chicken. That is why low-quality dog foods will have a greater proportion of these so-called ‘fillers’ that do not necessarily contain all the right amounts of nutrients needed by your pooch.

But when you give your dog grain-free food, you are almost certain that the ‘fillers’ have been significantly replaced with more nutritious ingredients such as wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits as well as more protein like chicken, beef, turkey, and others. This simply means you are giving your dog more nutrients for exactly the same amount of dog food.

  • Less incidence of food allergies

 Wheat, corn, and soy, as well as other cereal grains, are considered allergenic. Chicken, pork, and beef as well as any other food that has protein in it can also be allergenic. The good news is that the digestive system of a dog is naturally designed to digest proteins from animal sources a lot more efficiently than they do proteins coming from cereal grains. This leads to fewer incidences of food allergies and other forms of allergies in dogs. The reason is simple. Because an allergic reaction is triggered by the exposure of a protein molecule to immune system cells, digesting large proteins into peptides and amino acids eliminates this antigen-recognition capability of immune system cells.

 Since dogs are able to digest animal proteins into amino acids, they experience less stomach upsets and other symptoms of food allergies. On the other hand, since they cannot process cereal grain proteins into amino acids that efficiently, some of the undigested proteins are ‘sensed’ by the immune system of the dog, triggering an allergic response.

  • More energy to support your dog’s lifestyle

 It is important to distinguish the difference between a grain-free and carb-free dog diet. Dogs, like us, rely on carbohydrates for energy. This is especially true if you’re the type of dog-owner who goes on a trek with your pooch on the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains or even the Great Smoky Mountains. They will need energy for the adventure. While cereal grains are a good source of carbohydrates, these are not the only sources. For instance, sweet potatoes and rice, often found in grain-free food, are excellent sources of carbohydrates for your pooch. They’re generally friendly to the tummy, too. This can help support your dog’s active lifestyle.

  • Healthier skin and coat

 Trekking in the Blue Ridge Mountains means exposing your dogs to the elements, not to mention objects and particles that can irritate its skin and make its coat frizzled. Since a grain-free dog diet has more nutrients that come from healthier grains, fruits, and vegetables, you can feel more confident about promoting healthier coat and skin for your pet. This is the function of antioxidants that are mostly found in many fruits and vegetables. As such, dog foods that are rich with these kinds of nutrients can help improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat.

  • Less shedding

 Because your dog’s coat is naturally healthier brought about by the various nutrients that are supplied to every hair root, your pooch will have lesser incidence of shedding. Your dog will still shed its fur, but this will be significantly less than if your pet were on a dog food that contains cereal grains. This can also translate to easier cleaning of your upholstery and carpet at home.

There are many other reasons why pet parents today would want grain-free dog food for their beloved pets. You only want to give your dog the best nutrition possible, just like any responsible parent would give to her kids.

Olivia Williams is mum of 2 and a true animal lover with 3 dogs, 2 cats and a parrot called Charlie. Heading up the content for MyPetNeedsThat.com amongst a busy family schedule, her goal is to try help people all around the world become better pet owners.

Image: Aopsan, Freedigitalphotos.net