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Bone Broth, Goat Milk, and Your Pet's Nutrition

Bone Broth, Goat Milk, and Your Pet's Nutrition

Did you know that the majority of cats and dogs don't get enough moisture in their diet? Compared to your pet's natural diet, processed pet food is low in moisture and tough on kidneys, skin, fur, and overall health.
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Removing Ticks From Your Pets

Removing Ticks From Your Pets

Ticks are disgusting little insects that survive by sucking blood from their hosts, often times from your four-legged friend. Here are some tips to get that pestering tick out:

You should check your animal pretty regularly to see if it has ticks on it. Ticks especially like to nest in the head and neck area. When feeling around your pet, you may encounter an area where you feel a small round lump. If you spread the hair and see a tick, here are the steps you need to take to remove it:

- First of all, you should have latex gloves over your hands to protect yourself from anything that the tick might have.

-Use a pair of tweezers and get them as close to the skin as possible without actually pinching it. Do not pull fast or you may break off the tick’s head in your pet’s skin, causing an infection.

-After you get rid of it by putting in a tissue and disposing of it down the toilet, put antiseptic ointment on your pet where you removed the tick. Be sure to clean the tweezers thoroughly when you’re through.

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Detecting Allergies in Dogs

Detecting Allergies in Dogs

Man’s best friend can suffer from allergies in the same way many humans are affected by them. In fact, a wide variety of things may cause allergic reactions in dogs, and it may be difficult to pin down the exact cause in your dog. Dander is often the culprit for allergies in dogs; it is the flakes of dead skin that gets lodged in the fur coat of the animal. Fleas can also spark an allergic reaction in dogs, as well as other inhalants and even certain food products. Inhalants that may cause allergies are pollen, dust, or mold. Some dogs may also have allergic reactions from contacting toxic plants and chemicals, or fabrics such as nylon. The symptoms of allergic reactions can also vary widely from dog to dog. If you notice rashes or hives appearing on the skin of your dog, chances are that allergens are the cause. If a dog is suffering from food allergies, it will likely be scratching itself more than usual due to the skin irritation caused by an allergic food reaction. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing, or vomiting. If your dog is showing any symptoms or even simply behaving differently or unusually, then it will be a good idea to ask your vet about possible allergy concerns.

If you and your vet determine that allergies are a likely cause of your dog’s suffering, it will be a good idea to run a test to determine the exact cause of the allergic reaction in the dog. A blood test is taken and sent to a lab that specializes in allergies. The lab will search the blood for specific allergens that are causing the symptoms your dog is displaying. Skin patch tests are another way to determine the specific allergens that are causing symptoms in your dog. In skin patch testing, also called intradermal testing, the vet injects a small amount of a specific allergen then observes the animal for any allergic reaction on the skin where the injection took place. An allergic reaction usually appears in approximately five or six hours. This test however, may not be the best choice because it is time intensive and costly. If you do use the skin patch test however, it is important to tell your vet of possible allergens that your pet has come into contact with. This way, your vet can test these allergens first to see if they are the cause of your dog’s allergic reactions.

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How to Housetrain an Adult Dog

How to Housetrain an Adult Dog

Housetraining a puppy can be a challenge, but what about an adult dog? No matter what the age of your canine companion, there are ways to housetrain an adult dog and help improve their potty habits.

Why an Older Dog May Need Housetraining

An adult dog may need housetraining for many reasons. If the dog has been adopted, it may never have been housetrained previously, or it may have spent a long period in a kennel or shelter and lost its housetraining habits. Dogs that have always lived outdoors may not have been formally housetrained, or older dogs may need refresher training as they develop health conditions that make previous housetraining less suitable. If you move to a new home, your dog may need help shifting its housetraining routine to a new location, or a dog that suffers from anxiety or other behavioral complications might need housetraining reminders.

Whatever the reason, it is always possible to housetrain an older dog. While some dogs may need just basic reminders about the proper potty time, other dogs may need several weeks of diligent training to establish a comfortable routine.

Tips to Housetrain an Adult Dog

Housetraining an adult dog isn’t altogether different from housetraining a puppy. While an older dog may be more set in its ways, it also has a larger bladder and better muscle control to hold its elimination until the proper time. To help your adult dog be successful with housetraining…

  • Establish Regular Potty Times – Any adult dog will need to eliminate urine and/or feces several times throughout the day. Bathroom breaks first thing in the morning, shortly after each meal, right before bedtime, and at least 1-2 other times during the day are best. Keep this routine even on weekends or holidays to help your dog always know when it is time to potty.

  • Watch for Behavioral Clues – Note how the dog behaves before it eliminates, and use those clues to judge how often it needs a potty break. Most dogs will start to get anxious if they feel an elimination urge, and may circle, sniff, or otherwise be looking for an acceptable spot to urinate or defecate. The dog may also whine or scratch at the door to indicate its need.

  • Provide a Potty Place – If you prefer your dog to do its business in a designated location, be sure the animal clearly knows where. Choose a spot away from a garden, flowerbeds, or children’s play areas. The potty spot should be large enough for the dog to sniff, turn, and find just the right place to feel comfortable. If desired, you could outline the space with a border so everyone in the family knows where to take the dog for a potty break.

  • Be Patient – It may take several minutes of sniffing and seeking for your dog to find the spot it prefers to squat or raise its leg. Be patient and allow your dog to feel at ease, without scolding or hurrying the dog along. Rushing a potty break can lead to anxiety and fear and may cause the dog to try and hide its behavior, which could disrupt housetraining and create more accidents.

  • Use a Command – As your dog starts to eliminate, use a command like “go potty!” or “do your business!” as a verbal clue. Speak loud and clearly enough so the dog can hear, but do not yell or startle your dog, which could interrupt its potty break. As the dog becomes housetrained, this command can then be used to remind it to potty when let out at the appropriate times.

  • Offer a Reward – Immediately after your dog eliminates in the potty area or on command, offer a small treat or other reward such as praise or a friendly pat. This will reinforce the behavior in a positive way so the dog understands it has done well and will strive to repeat the behavior.

  • Use a Crate – If the adult dog has trouble with housetraining, confine the dog to a crate before potty times. Dogs will be unwilling to eliminate in a small, confined area where its bedding and water bowl are kept, and this will help the dog develop more regular bathroom habits. As soon as the dog is removed from the crate, take it to the potty spot for proper training.

Accidents Will Happen

Even adult dogs will occasionally have bathroom accidents. If these accidents are frequent or become a sudden problem, consult your veterinarian, because it could be a sign of health problems, a change in dietary needs, anxiety, or other concerns. These issues will need to be resolved before the dog can be effectively housetrained.

When an accident happens, clean it up quickly, and take any rags or paper towels to the designated potty spot to help encourage your dog to use the proper space. Then use an enzymatic cleaner, vinegar, or ammonia to remove scent markers and odor from the accident area that might encourage the dog to reuse the same spot.

If you happen to catch your dog while eliminating in an improper area, clap your hands loudly or use a sharp “STOP!” command to interrupt the potty if possible, then immediately take your dog to its potty spot. If it finishes the deed in the correct area, offer the appropriate praise. Do not, however, punish your dog for an accident, as the dog will not understand and any harsh behavior, including chasing, yelling, or rubbing its nose in the mess, will only create fear and anxiety, which can lead to even worse bathroom habits.

Always be patient with your dog while housetraining, whether the dog is a young puppy, a mature adult, or an aging senior. Gentle but firm guidance can help your dog develop the best potty habits, and soon it will adapt to housetraining with ease.

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