dog vitamins

Dogs can benefit from taking health supplements in addition to their normal food. You as the owner need to make an evaluation of your dog’s needs. This evaluation must consider a number of factorsincluding age, level of conditioning, level of training, time of year and competition plans.

Vitamins are required for bone growth, good vision and for the body’s metabolism. Minerals are essential for strong bones and teeth. Supplements cannot make up for poor quality of foods, improper or inadequate training and conditioning. Yet, they are necessary for your dog to be healthy and strong.

Supplements are just that, supplements or additions to help get the most out of the food, to help minimize the stressful effects of the hard work of good training and to allow the dogs to reach their personal best potential in health and fitness. There are many of these supplements and some of them are discussed below.
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Dog Parvo Virus Symptoms

Dog Parvo Virus Symptoms

If you own a dog, then the symptoms of dog parvo should be of great concern to you. If you or the vet had detected this problem in your pet, it is a must that you follow all the medication guidelines necessary in order to lead your dog to safety.

Dogs, when they’re infected with the parvo virus, would show symptoms like diarrhea, high fever, lethargy, eating problems, and vomiting. Check the stool of your dog. If it’s watery, yellowish, and has a strong scent, then your dog is likely to have acquired the problem. Oftentimes, the stool would contain blood too.

The parvo virus in canines divides into multitudes of cells inside the dog’s body. They would attack the organs, more particularly the digestive system. When this happens, the dog would have difficulty absorbing water and nutrients. A disruption in its body processes is expected.

The parvo virus is known to mostly infect adult dogs. However, it is also possible for small puppies to acquire the disease due to their weak immune system. Once infected, the dog parvo symptoms would show. You can expect instances of heart failure, shock, and in worse cases, sudden death. The dog parvo disease is a time sensitive disease. The moment you see any of these symptoms, be sure to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

The dog parvo virus can be found on infected soil or dog wastes. If your pet smells or gets in contact with them, they would travel into the lymphatic system. From there, they would divide into great proportions and invade the bloodstream. They would start to mutilate the cells inside the body, until they reach their main destination – the intestinal tract. Once there, they would start deteriorating the walls of the intestines.

The moment the intestinal walls are damaged, the dog parvo symptoms would show. These are lack of appetite, bad-smelling discharges, bloody diarrhea, and foamy vomits. If left ignored, the entire wall of the intestine would breakdown, causing major infection a host of complications. It would eventually lead to dehydration and worse, death for your pet.

To prevent the dog parvo symptoms to show on your pet, the best way to do is to get it some vaccines. For puppies, they should be injected during their 6th to 8th week of age. Depending on the vet, the vaccines have to be boosted or repeated until the dog reaches 4 months. Then a yearly shot has to be given to make sure that your pet has strong defenses from the ill effects of dog parvo disease.

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Health Issues of Shih Tzus

shih tzu puppy

Shih tzus can live for up to 10 to 18 years but the range can vary depending on their health condition, activities and how they are being cared for. Some factors that can contribute to their health’s deterioration are health issues. These health issues include:

Stenotic Nares. This diease is common among dogs considered to be brachycephalic such as Shih Tzus. Brachycephalic dogs, also called snub-nosed dogs are dogs with short wide head and narrow nostrils. This physical attribute causes increased resistance to airflow through the mouth, nose and larynx and can later lead to respiratory difficulty and enlargement of the heart.

Luxating Patella. Smaller breed of dogs such as shih tzus are at risk of having this health problem. Luxating patella occurs when the kneecap, which is usually located at the center of the knee point, slides out of its grove. Although luxating patella is a congenital disease, the disease is sometimes acquired through trauma. Signs of this disease include lameness in the affected legs (rear), walking on three legs, holding affected leg up or extending it backward.
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How To Keep Your Dog Tick-Free

How To Keep Your Dog Tick-Free

Dogs and in general all pets tend to spend more of their summer time outdoors. In case of dogs, it is very important to be careful about parasites, bugs and micro organisms that can harm them while they get their whiff of fresh air. Precautions are necessary to keep these dangers away. One of these pests that can cause a lot of nuisance and damage are the ticks since they carry diseases. Avoiding the ticks is of prime importance than curing at a later stage.

How to keep ticks away from your pet dog

The best way to avoid ticks is to avoid walking your dog in the midst of vegetation during tick season. Always keep the vegetation around your house trimmed. Certain preventive medication products are also available. More information can be gathered from your veterinarian about suitability of these to your dog in respect to age and area. Do not use medications without consulting and proper instructions must be followed in using this kind of medication. Please remember that these medications are suited for a single class of pets only, meaning that tick prevention medication for dogs is for dogs only and should not be used on cats or any other pets.

Removing Ticks

When your dog comes back from outdoors make sure to check him carefully for ticks. They are normally found in warm areas, under the arms, in the ears, between the toes and in the folds of the skin. If you find any, remove them safely. Do not touch the tick, use a alcohol swab, then pull it up slowly with tweezers. Make sure not to leave any parts of the tick sticking to your dog. If you are unsuccessful contact your vet.

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Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in dogs is a condition that occurs when the joints become inflamed. This can be the result of injury or disease. This condition is most common in older dogs, but can also occur in younger canines. So, what exactly causes it?

Causes

Various things can cause dog arthritis. The most common is a traumatic injury that affects the joints, such as being hit by a car. As mentioned earlier, various diseases can also affect the joints and cause this condition.

Obese dogs have a higher risk for developing arthritis. This is because their excess weight causes more force to be applied to the joints. Young dogs that have improperly developed bones are also at risk.

Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom of arthritis in dogs is limping. Your dog will be much more hesitant to walk, run, or jump around because of the pain caused by this condition. Also, your pet may not like you touching him because of the pain. Arthritis commonly causes the affected joints to swell up also.

Diagnosis

This condition is mainly diagnosed based on symptoms and medical history. The veterinarian may also palpate the joints to see if they’re swollen. Since joint changes can occur because of arthritis, it’s also useful to have an x-ray. Fluid from the affected joints can also be removed and analyzed.

Treatment

Arthritis in dogs is most commonly treated with anti-inflammatory medications. Reducing inflammation will reduce the amount of pain your dog experiences. If a traumatic injury is the underlying cause of arthritis, then surgery may be required to repair the ligaments. Dogs that are overweight will find relief once they lose weight.

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Senior Dog Care

Senior Dog Care

The transition from a young pup to senior canine is a slow transition. Although it is natural, there are certain things you can do to help relieve or slow down some of the problems that come with your aging dog.

These are natural normal signs of elderly dogs, and are inevitable. Depending on the breed and size of your dog, the rate of aging can be quite different. For example at 10 years of age, a dog under 20 pounds is approximately equivalent to 56 human years. Compare the same aged dog (10 years old) that is over 90 pounds, and they are equivalent to approximately 78 human years.

Vets usually consider a small dog to be senior citizens around the 12th year. A large breed dog reaches the same stage around their 7th year. This is according to a report from Tuft’s University.

Using established guidelines to determine when your dog starts entering their golden years will help to understand any changes in behavior and health. Keeping regular checkups with your vet is also most important as your dog ages, as any irregularities can be found early.

Signs of aging and tips to help keep your senior pet as perky as possible are:

Difficulty getting up from lying down, or limping and difficulty moving could indicate arthritis. Your vet can help recommend supplements or proper modified exercise routines to relieve discomfort, and increase mobility. Usually the proper supplements such as glucosamine will relieve mild arthritis symptoms.

Although graying hair and drying skin are quite normal in aging canines, a nice daily massage and a regular grooming routine can help your senior pet’s skin condition improve. Also, because of the slowing down in daily routines for your senior dog, this can be your special bonding time set aside to make him/her feel special and also break up a boring day and give you both something to look forward too.

Certain breeds such a Labrador Retrievers are also known to be genetically predisposed to arthritis and hip problems. Every dog breed seems to have their own specific genetic downfalls that you should make yourself aware of when you adopt your puppy.

Excellent nutrition from puppy hood will help delay or decrease the speed of which the aging process proceeds. Your dog’s life will definitely be shortened if he is overweight because more diseases and illnesses are likely to be caused by obesity.

The dog’s environment should be kept clean and free of parasites, fleas, and ticks. This will certainly help increase the chances of a longer life.

Vision and hearing ultimately become diminished in your aging dog. Try not to startle your dog by changing his environment (moving furniture, changing the location of his bed, etc.). If his hearing is bad, using hand signals, and talking to his face so he can see you will help.

Sudden weight loss or loss of appetite needs to be checked out immediately by your vet.

Also a sudden increase in appetite, especially with no weight gain involved may indicate diabetes. Also a sudden increase in thirst is also a sign of diabetes. This also needs immediate attention from your vet.

Excessive panting in your senior dog may indicate heart disease. If this continues for more than a day this is another reason to get to the vet as soon as possible.

As with any dog, diarrhea and vomiting lasting more than a day needs to be checked right away.

And finally, and possibly the worst problems to watch out for in your aging dog are the behavioral changes. Just as when we deal with our elderly family members who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, dealing with a pet with drastic personality changes can be traumatic for both of your. Some symptoms to watch for are: Confusion, lack of attentiveness, disorientation, roaming in circles, barking for no reason, elimination accidents and being withdrawn. Also uncharacteristic aggression may start in old age. Try to keep your old dog’s environment as stable and unchanging as possible as this may help.

It is difficult to watch the deterioration slowly change our robust, vibrant and active puppy into a slow moving, tired and sometimes cranky family member. The transition to the “golden years” do not need to be traumatic if you watch carefully and notice the gradual changes. As they happen, taking care of them will minimize their severity, and your dog can be eased into senior status with minor problems. We can always enjoy our pets at any age, just as long as our expectations change with their needs.

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How To Stop Your Dog From Itching

How To Stop Your Dog From Itching

The best way to stop dog itching is to treat the problem from the inside out. The main reason for dog itchy skin is improper nutrition. Without proper nutrition, your dog’s immune system becomes frazzled and overly sensitive. And the best way to improve nutrition to stop dog itchy skin is to provide your dog with an all-natural diet. This can be achieved in two ways. 1. Make homemade dog food 2. Use an all-natural kibble and add fresh, quality ingredients.

Either option is not all that difficult and well worth the effort to stop dog itching. It will take a little more time than just taking out a scoop of commercial dog food and putting it in a bowl. There is a little more prep time, but the prep work can be done in large batches. Then when it comes time to feed your dog, just add your wholesome, quality ingredients. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this will stop dog itching – within two weeks you’ll start to notice a difference.

Now by quality ingredients I don’t mean go out and buy your dog filet mignon for dinner. By quality ingredients I mean basically human-grade food. Most of the commercial dog foods do not use the human-grade foods, but rather what is left over from what is processed for human-grade food – the stuff we humans either don’t want to eat or is not healthy for us to eat.

For the homemade dog food option to stop dog itching just use fresh meat, fresh veggies, and some grains if you’d like. You have an open recipe to use what you have on hand. There are only a handful of ingredients that you should NOT feed your dog (such as chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, etc) and another handful that should only be fed in moderation, if at all. Veggies need to be put in a blender or food processor and grains need to be cooked, as a dog’s digestive system cannot digest these whole foods. You can also put in things like yogurt, cottage cheese, and cooked eggs.

To stop dog itching with the all-natural kibble option, there are some commercial dog foods that do provide all-natural kibble. You can tell these foods by looking at the ingredient label. You will NOT see words like “corn gluten meal” and “chicken by-product meal”. Instead you will see actual names of real food like “rolled oats”, “ground pecans”, and “sweet potato”. To stop dog itching your best bet is to find an all-natural kibble without any meat added and add your own.

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Dealing With Hip Dysplasia in Your Dog

If you have a larger-sized dog, you may be concerned about hip dysplasia – and rightly so. Although hip dysplasia is most commonly found in larger breeds, it is important to keep in mind that the crippling disease can affect dogs of all sizes. Therefore, it is important to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms, what you can do to prevent it and how it should be treated.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a serious condition that results in a weakened hip. When your pet becomes affected by the disease, the hip actually begins to deteriorate and becomes arthritic. Depending upon the severity of the arthritis, the disease can be only slightly disabling or it can be severely crippling. Regardless, the condition occurs when the ball-and-socket joint of the hip develops and the femur is unable to fit properly into the socket.

How Does Hip Dysplasia Develop?

Certain breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to developing hip problems, particularly larger breeds such as rottweilers and retrievers. In addition, male dogs are more likely to suffer from the disease than females, but there are other factors that contribute to the development of hip dysplasia as well. These include the rate of your dog’s growth, the speed at which it gains weight and the type of diet you feed your pet.

What are the Signs of Hip Dysplasia?

The initial signs often begin to develop in dogs while they are still young puppies between the ages of 3 and 12 months, but the onset can also occur after your beloved pet becomes older. Signs to watch for include:

• Apparent lameness in one or both hind legs • Staggering or swaying when standing • Signs of discomfort when attempting to stand up or lie down • A general reluctance to jump or run • Problems with getting up • An unusual gait when running, including a bunny-hopping type of gait • Changes in running and jumping behavior

In addition to these visible signs of hip dysplasia, you may notice a clicking sound when your pet walks and gets up. You may also notice a decreased amount of muscle mass in the rear legs of your pet.

How Can Hip Dysplasia Be Avoided?

While genetics play a significant role in whether or not your pet develops hip dysplasia, and ultimately responsible breeding can help to minimize the chances your pet will develop hip problems, there are some steps you can take to help prevent the disease from manifesting in your canine friend. First, take steps to control the growth rate of your puppy by avoiding overfeeding. Follow the feeding guidelines on the food package closely and cut back on the calories if your puppy seems to be getting overweight. You should also provide your dog with plenty of opportunities for exercise throughout its lifetime in order to prevent obesity.

It is also important to keep a close eye on your canine friend and to notify your veterinarian if you notice signs of hip problems. The sooner your pet receives treatment for the disease, the better its chances of recovery and leading a long, healthy and active life.

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How To Control Fleas In Dogs

How To Control Fleas In Dogs

This illness is very painful for your pet. Thus, measures should be taken to alleviate pain such as medication and giving them a warm and comfortable place to rest in, especially for older dogs. Regular walks and physical exercises can reduce weight, which can decrease the dog’s discomfort. For young pups, gradual introduction of adult dog food is recommended for gradual gain weight. Fleas are parasites that feed off your dog’s blood. Flea eggs can be found almost everywhere – in your couch, carpet, etc. so the likelihood of infection is very high. To know if your dog has fleas, look for flea excrement – small, dark, curly dots that are also known as “flea dirt.”

To do this, brush your pet’s coat with a white cloth or sheet and look for these black specks, which contains digested blood that looks reddish brown when wet. If your dog has a darker coat, eggs that resemble dandruff is visible when a magnifying glass is used.

Besides really annoying your dog, fleas can also cause an allergic reaction called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) which leads to hair loss, skin inflammation and irritation. For severe cases, your pet can experience anemia due to blood loss. This can be fatal if your pet is young or debilitated. Also, fleas are carriers of common tapeworms, which can cause cramping and gas.

Putting flea powder on your vacuum cleaner will exterminate all the fleas inside the bag. Monthly topicals is an easy and inexpensive approach to protect your house from fleas. Bio Spot or Frontline Plus are recommended topical brands available. You might also want to build a doghouse or spot for your dog that is elevated since fleas can’t jump higher than a foot. Water is a flea’s top enemy, so wash the areas that a dog might run around – like your backyard. Minimal contact with grasses and woods will lessen the possibility of infection. If you have a garden, trim leaves and clear brushes, as well as grassy and kennel areas.

If you have a home grooming kit for your dog, it is best to include a flea comb. Use it regularly on your pet. Its soft, fine bristles, it will catch the flea. Start combing around the hindquarters and the pet’s head, where flea dirt can also be seen. When you trap a flea, immediately put it in soap-water solution. Fleas thrive in warm conditions, that’s why in warmer climates, it is best to give your dog flea products the whole year. Although pupa stages can become dormant in cold climates, increasing the length of its lifespan composed of egg, larva, pupa and adult.

A flea bath is the first step to a parasite-free pet. Be careful in using a flea shampoo because most products are too harsh on puppies. Consult your veterinarian on what to use if your puppy has fleas. It can also relieve irritation and itching. Don’t stop at shampooing because it doesn’t really protect your dog after getting a bath.

One alternative is using flea dips that keep fleas at bay for some time after dipping, but it is not recommended by most veterinarians. The downside is that your dog might eat or swallow these parasites after licking, since a flea dip stays on the dog’s hair coat. Another option is a flea collar. It will only kill all the fleas in the dog’s neck and face – not the whole body. Some also dogs develop a rash when using flea collars. While flea medallions can contaminate the dog’s drinking water, since it hangs loose from the collar.

A good choice is the use of flea sprays and powders – both for your dog and your house, so be careful in reading the instructions to know which is which. Products intended for your home is too strong to use on your pet. Using two or three different flea products at the same time can be toxic for your dog.

If there are numerous fleas that infested your dog, it is recommended that you treat your home too. Methoprene and fenoxycarb, two active ingredients contained in flea sprays are efficient and safe. It stops the growth of eggs into adult fleas. As mentioned, sprays are too strong for dogs, so take them outside for a walk when you treat your home. Some products are designed to destroy adult fleas – one product is Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) can help kill flea eggs and larvae. Before applying such products, vacuum your carpet or furniture first to rouse eggs and larvae from their cocoons.

Veterinarians recommend these products to for flea control: Pyriproxyfen (Nylor, Archer), Imidacloprid (Advantage), Lufenuron (Program), Fipronil (Frontline Top Spot), Cythioate (Proban), and Fenthion (Pro-Spot).

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Dangerous Foods For Your Dog

Dangerous Foods For Your Dog

1. Alcohol: can cause vomiting, difficulty breathing, as well as other problems including coma and even death.

2. Avocado: can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.

3. Bones: can cause choking; additionally bones can splinter and become lodged in the dog’s digestive tract (chicken bones are particularly problematic).

It is always a good idea to know what are potentially dangerous foods for your dog4. Chocolate: can cause dehydration, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, and potentially death.

5. Coffee/Caffeine: all sources of caffeine can cause the same problems as chocolate.

6. Corn on the Cob: pieces of the cob commonly cause intestinal blockages which can lead to death.

7. Grapes/Raisins: can cause kidney failure.

8. Macadamia Nuts (and associated products): can cause weakness, tremors and swollen limbs.

9. Medications: can cause a host of problems.

10. Milk: can cause digestive problems including, but not limited to, bloating, diarrhea, and gas.

11. Onion/Garlic/Chives: All forms can cause problems in the digestive system and large doses can damage red blood cells.

12. Raw Eggs: can cause problems with the dog’s skin and coat.

13. Raw/Rare Meat: can harbor harmful bacteria.

14. Salmon and Trout: even when cooked, contain a parasite dangerous to dogs.

15. Xylitol: can cause lethargy, loss of coordination, and vomiting which can eventually lead to liver failure.

16. Yeast dough: rising can continue in the dog’s digestive system leading to gas, pain or even rupture of the intestines (baked bread is fine in small amounts).

Keep in mind that many of these dangerous foods for your dog are ingredients in other things. There are even supplements for dogs that boast garlic as flea protection.

Make sure everyone in your household is aware of what not to feed your pets. In fact, the safest route is to avoid feeding table scraps of any sort to your dog.

Accidents do happen, however, and you should watch your dog for changes in behavior that may indicate they have eaten something poisonous, such as lethargy, frothing at the mouth, weakness or loss of coordination.

Prompt medical attention should be sought if you notice any of these problems. However, if you take care to keep these dangerous foods for your dog out of your pet’s mouth, everyone will be better off.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, an operating division of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is the only animal-oriented poison control center in North America. It is a unique emergency hotline providing 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week telephone assistance. The Center’s hotline veterinarians can quickly answer questions about toxic chemicals, dangerous plants, products or substances found in our everyday surroundings that can prove poisonous or fatal to animals.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 1-888-4-ANI-HELP

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