Washing your dog is a necessary activity, especially in the warmer months. Here’s how you can make this task an easy process, for you and your dog.

By Animal Wellness magazine

Summer is upon us, and that probably means you and your pup are spending more time outside. Most dogs would much rather skip bath time, but after spending hours running around outdoors, washing your dog is a great way to keep him free of dirt, bugs, and parasites. Washing your dog doesn’t have to be difficult, so here are a few simple steps to make bath time a breeze.

1. Brush out the coat

Get the coat ready with an all over brush. This helps get rid of loose hair, tangles, and debris. Plus, it starts the bath time process with quality time between you and your dog.

2. Use a towel in the bottom of the bath

Tubs can be slippery, especially when using soapy products! Putting a towel down gives your pup’s paws something to grip on, making sure he remains stable throughout the bath.

3. Check the water temperature

Always test the water temperature with your hand prior to setting your dog in the bath. Warm, body temperature water is best – not too hot or too cold. Ease your dog into the bath, wetting the body slowly from the legs up and leaving the head for last.

4. Get soapy!

Use a shampoo that is designed for dogs. WashBar® Original Soap for Dogs or the ManukaBar for sensitive skin are a perfect option. Made with 100% natural ingredients like manuka oil and neem oil, WashBar® soaps are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates and parabens! Use them like you would a regular shampoo by lathering it up, then slowly rubbing it into your dog’s fur for a nice deep clean.

5. Rinse thoroughly

Be sure to rinse your dog and make sure there is no more product on the fur, just to avoid any potential skin irritation. When rinsing his head, tip it up and use a bowl or handheld hose to avoid getting water or soap in his eyes.

6. Towel-dry at the end

Your dog knows how to dry off, but you can help too! After a good shake, towel-dry the rest of the water off as best you can – the finishing touch after an enjoyable bath time.

Washing your dog doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these tips, bathing your dog will be far less stressful than you thought it might be. And not only will you have a dog that smells and looks fresh – but you’ll also have spent some quality time together.

 

Why Do Some Dogs Bark More Than Others?

As seen in PetMD

Why do some dogs bark more than others? Maybe your neighbor’s dog barks nonstop when he’s gone, or maybe your dog barks at every breeze, shadow or whisper. And then there are dogs that hardly ever make a peep.

You might love your dog unconditionally, but a dog that barks at everything and anything can get a bit exhausting. No one enjoys being jarred out of sleep to the cacophonous sound of dog barking in the middle of the night—especially when there seems to be no reason for it.

So, what causes one dog to bark more than the others? Here are three factors that could contribute to a noisy household.

Genetics and Breed-Specific Characteristics

Genetics and breeding for specific traits can play a big role in a dog’s proclivity for barking.

According to Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist based in Orange County, California, the frequency of a dog’s bark can vary from breed to breed, and it all depends on how their ancestors were bred.

“Barking was emphasized in some breeds more than others,” says Dr. Schwartz. She explains that this trait was likely “selected by our ancestors to help guard human settlements.”

Not all breeds known for barking will necessary be noisy, however. For instance, terriers tend to be more vocal. But not all terriers will bark excessively, says Dr. Schwartz. Huskies and Nordic breeds are also known to howl more than others, while most Basenjis don’t bark at all, says Dr. Schwartz.

Environmental Factors

Dogs get used to their environments, and they will react to sounds that are unexpected (like a knock at the door) and those that they don’t hear often. 

If a dog was raised in a bustling city where they’re used to hearing constant noise, they’ll probably be less apt to bark in a noisy urban environment. But a dog who was raised in a quiet, rural area may bark at any sound.

“A city dog wouldn’t react to a siren (cops, ambulance) because it becomes part of the background noise, compared to a country dog [who lives] where things are quieter and less chaotic,” says Dr. Schwartz.

Unintentional Rewarding of Dog Barking

“Some dogs learn to bark for attention regardless of breed,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Barking is a response to not getting their needs met.” She also says that, “Barking can be a learned behavior where the dog signals to the owner, ‘I need something.’”

“It goes back to that basic of rewarding behavior,” says Dr. Katie Malehorn, DVM a staff veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. She explains that dogs will keep doing something if they are getting rewarded for it.

Many owners may pay more attention to the dog when he’s barking—accidentally rewarding him for the behavior, says Khara Schuetzner, a certified professional dog trainer and owner of The Doggie Spot based in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Dr. Schwartz gave the example of one woman who gave her dog a treat every time he barked—giving him attention and fulfilling his need for food—and inadvertently training him to bark.

What You Can Do to Stop Dogs From Barking So Much

To help lessen your dog’s barking, figure out the root cause of the behavior.

Dr. Schwartz explains that you need to find out what the triggers are for dog barking. Once you figure out the triggering behavior, the best approach is to work with a dog trainer and veterinarian (or a veterinary behaviorist) to find the best ways to help your dog find alternative, more productive behaviors.

Dr. Malehorn says that you will need to be patient. Many dog owners won’t seek help or try to work on excessive barking until it becomes a serious issue. At this point, it is going to take time, consistency and a good training plan to break the habit.

By: Teresa K. Traverse

IS YOUR DOG WHEEZING? HERE ARE 5 HOME REMEDIES TO GO FOR

As seen in Homeoanimal

Dog wheezing is a health issue that you should never brush aside.

While this condition can be triggered by your canine family member simply being exposed to everyday allergens and will disappear just after a few minutes, dog wheezing can also result in potentially life-threatening situations in some cases.

Apart from walking you through the possible factors that could set off wheezing in dogs, this blog post will also give you a rundown of the proper home remedies for dog wheezing you should use when this problem strikes.

Let’s start the discussion by touching on the likely reasons why your dog is wheezing…

WHY IS MY DOG WHEEZING?

Wheezing in dogs occurs when something partially impedes the flow of air in or out of your canine family member’s airway. The source of this blockage could either be in the bronchi—the main tubes of the lungs—or the windpipe.

The high-pitched “wheezing” sound is basically created when the air moving from the lungs to the windpipe brushes against the said blockage during exhalation.

However, it is crucial to take note that there are several possible reasons why this wheezing sound is created, which can be anywhere from mild irritation to an underlying health issue.

Now we’ve got that out of the bag, let’s touch on the causes of dog wheezing that you need to keep in mind…

WHAT CAUSES WHEEZING IN DOGS?

There are eight (8) common causes of dog wheezing, namely genetics, foreign bodies, cardiovascular ailments, allergies, bronchitis, infections and inflammations, as well as kennel cough and collapsed windpipe. We’ll go through each one of these in detail below:

GENETICS

Interestingly, genetics play a key role in dog wheezing. Should either of both of your canine family member’s parents—the biological ones, in this case—be predisposed or have actually suffered from wheezing in dogs due to some underlying condition, then it’s also likely that he will be susceptible to this health issue as well.

FOREIGN BODIES

If your precious pet is anything like most dogs, chances are he loves to chew on anything that he finds fascinating like toys, sticks, various foodstuffs, plastic lids, and even chunks of wood. It is not uncommon that some of these things may splinter or break into pieces, which can get lodged inside his airway, leading to coughing and wheezing.

CARDIOVASCULAR AILMENTS

Canine cardiovascular illnesses such as mitral valve disease, congestive heart failure, as well as cardiomyopathy, can cause the accumulation of fluid inside the lungs. This fluid can eventually spread out in and around a dog’s airway, which results in wheezing.

Just to emphasize, while this factor is mostly observed among senior dogs, it can also occasionally be noted in younger pooches that are suffering from a heart condition.

ALLERGIES

Akin to human beings, your canine family member can also be prone to allergy attacks. These can be triggered by dust, mold, certain types of food, pollen, industrial chemicals, as well as cigarette smoke and vapors from vapes, resulting in dog wheezing.

As these allergens make their way inside your dog’s respiratory system, they tend to set off an immune response that causes his airway to constrict, which can make breathing a bit difficult. Moreover, insect bites and stings can also lead to similar consequences.

BRONCHITIS

Bronchitis is a respiratory illness that is characterized by the irritation of the main tubes of the lungs called “bronchi.” As this disease progresses, the lining of the bronchi gets inflamed and eventually swells, hindering the air to freely flow from the windpipe to the lungs and vice versa.

The more pronounced this swelling becomes, the harder it is for the air to move to and fro the lungs and windpipe, causing the high-pitched wheezing sound.

INFECTIONS AND INFLAMMATIONS

When your dog is suffering from an infection and or inflammation affecting the respiratory system, the most prominent immune responses that his body sets off are nasal discharge, bouts of coughing and sneezing, as well as a constricted airway.

This can also be accompanied by the buildup of phlegm in your canine family member’s sinuses and throat, which can hamper the flow of air in his windpipe and lungs, causing dog wheezing sooner or later.

KENNEL COUGH

Characterized by persistent bouts of dry coughing, kennel cough is a type of respiratory infection that irritates the lining of a dog’s airway making it difficult for him to breathe. This illness also causes parts of the throat and windpipe to swell, which can lead to dog wheezing.

COLLAPSED WINDPIPE

A collapsed windpipe, also referred to as tracheal collapse, involves the unexpected falling in of cartilage that hold the trachea together. Depending on the severity of the collapse, a dog may experience bouts of coughing that have a distinctive honking sound as well as intermittent wheezing spells.

Next, let’s find out if dog wheezing can be deemed as an emergency situation or not…

IS DOG WHEEZING AN EMERGENCY?

More often than not, dog wheezing is not to be deemed as an emergency situation. This condition can be simply your dog’s body’s response to everyday allergens like dust and pollen, as well as contact with blades of grass and twigs that could give him quite a ticklish sensation.

But the thing is this doesn’t mean that wheezing in dogs should be just shrugged off altogether. Here are the crucial indicators that you need to keep an eye on to determine if this condition is potentially life-threatening for your pet already:

  • He is visibly having a difficult time inhaling and exhaling
  • His breathing is really shallow yet at a very fast pace
  • His heart rate is significantly (and abnormally) high
  • His gums and tongue have a noticeable bluish or purplish tinge
  • He breathes with his mouth open with intermittent gagging and coughing
  • He will exhibit signs of severe anxiety like aimless movement and prolonged whining

Make sure you immediately seek medical attention or provide emergency care for your canine family member as soon as you notice these signs. Paying no heed to the same could lead to extremely serious or even fatal consequences for your animal companion.

Now we’ve got that covered, let’s check out the dog wheezing natural remedies that you need to include in your home pet care kit to deal with this health issue the right way…

DOG WHEEZING HOME REMEDIES

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, over-the-counter bronchodilators and antibiotics are not just your only options when it comes to properly supporting your canine family member during wheezing in dogs.

The next time your beloved pet goes through this condition, make sure you give him these all-natural dog wheezing home remedies. What’s really interesting is that the following natural remedies can also be used as a preventive measure for this health issue:

BREW UP SOME ELECAMPANE TEA.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), elecampane—also known as elf wort, elfdock, and horse-heal—contains ample amounts of the organic compound alantolactone, which has been seen to help relax constricted airways in cases of respiratory inflammation.

Moreover, follow up studies on elecampane reveal that alantolactone has a noticeable therapeutic effect to airways that were suppressed or impeded by cigarette smoke exposure.

To use elecampane as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this dried root herb in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely. You can either give this elecampane tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.

INFUSE YOUR DOG’S WATER WITH A BIT OF ECHINACEA.

Another study published in the NCBI reveals that echinacea is abundant in a starch-like chemical called arabinogalactan, which showed noticeable therapeutic effects when used to deal with upper respiratory tract infections and inflammations.

Arabinogalactan has also been seen to help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by health issues like otitis media and pharyngotonsillitis that are often set off by infections and inflammations in the upper respiratory tract.

To use echinacea as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of dried echinacea flowers in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Stir it gently with a spoon to make sure that all of the bits are really soaked.

Once the mixture has cooled down completely, you can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of echinacea tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of echinacea tea to his water.

KEEP RESPIRATORY INFLAMMATIONS AT BAY WITH LICORICE ROOT.

The NCBI highlights another study where licorice root has been seen to inhibit the accumulation of 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which staves off the onset of allergic responses, particularly in the respiratory system.

To use licorice root as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water for at least fifteen (15) minutes. Let the mixture linger for a few minutes after it has cooled down completely.

You can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of licorice root tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of the same to his water.

Since licorice root is naturally slightly bitter, you can add a bit of honey to this concoction to make the whole thing sweeter and easier for your pet to consume.

MULLEIN LEAVES CAN HOLD BACK RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS.

Another study published in the NCBI stresses that extracts derived from mullein leaves show the ability to “inhibit the growth of bacteria involved in respiratory infections,” which can trigger dog wheezing.

To use mullein leaves as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this herb—you can go for either the fresh or dried variety—in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely.

You can either give this mullein tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.

QUERCETIN CAN HELP STABILIZE YOUR DOG’S RESPIRATORY RATE.

According to MDPI, foods rich in quercetin such as dark cherries, unpeeled apples, and blueberries have been seen to help promote stabilized respiratory rates when consumed on a regular basis.

Additional studies note that animals previously often exposed to cigarette smoke have a higher chance of normalizing their respiratory rates as compared to those that did not.

To use quercetin as a home remedy for dog wheezing, integrate foods rich in this antioxidant into your canine family member’s regular diet.

In the next part of our discussion, I’d like to share a natural and high-quality product you can go for if your dog is going through a bout of wheezing…

A HIGH-QUALITY NATURAL PRODUCT YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT

HomeoAnimal’s BRONCHIAL CLEAR is designed to support respiratory capacity and promote better lung health.

Besides being made with natural homeopathic ingredients, my team and I at HomeoAnimal have also ensured that each of the components that make up BRONCHIAL CLEAR are also first-rate to only give your pet the best like you would have also wanted.

To use BRONCHIAL CLEAR to support your canine family member during dog wheezing, you only need to give him a single spray of this product in his mouth once a day. You can also mix it with his water as an alternative application.

Moreover, make sure you stop administering BRONCHIAL CLEAR once the symptoms have disappeared. It is also important to take note that this product is not to be used as a preventive measure.

CONCLUSION

This brings our walkthrough on the home remedies you can use for dog wheezing to a close.

I hope that you learned a lot from our discussion, especially the part where I emphasized that wheezing in dogs should not be left to chance. Rather it should be given immediate and proper care and attention like having BRONCHIAL CLEAR in your dog home care checklist.

In case you’re looking to learn more about keeping your canine family member happy and healthy using natural means, make sure you sign up for our FREE HEALTH ADVISOR GUIDANCE right now to get the lowdown on the products and treatment options that best fit your animal’s health needs.

Naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way!

Can Dogs Get Heat Stroke?

By Jessica Peralta -Dogs Naturally

You’re walking along with your 80-pound, long-haired German Shepherd one warm, sunny afternoon. You’re breaking a bit of a sweat, but you feel fine in your shorts and tank. But then you look over at Thor, and he’s not looking too good. His eyes are glassy, he’s panting a lot and he’s starting to pull back on the leash. “But, it’s not that hot,” you say to yourself. “What’s up with Thor?”

Thor is probably on his way to heat stroke. Heat stroke in dogs can be dangerous.

What Is Heat Stroke In Dogs?

Your dog gets heat stroke when he’s having trouble regulating his body temperature.

Your dog doesn’t sweat the way you do. He only has sweat glands in his nose and in the pads of his feet. And his only real recourse when he’s overheating is to pant, which sometimes isn’t enough.

Add in the fur that covers his body and the fact that his paws are usually in direct contact with the hot sidewalk … and It’s easy to see how he can get much hotter than you can, and much faster.

Heatstroke in dogs is dangerous. It can cause permanent brain or organ damage.

A dog’s normal body temperature is somewhere between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. A dog will start to experience heat stroke when he temperature is over 105 degrees. At around 106 to 108 degrees, irreversible organ damage can occur. It can even cause death. Try to keep a thermometer handy and check his temperature if you suspect heat stroke.

Pay close attention any time the weather is warm. The longer your dog suffers, the worse the damage will be.

Signs Of Heat Stroke In Dogs

So how can you tell if your dog’s struggling? Here are some signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed eyes
  • Hyperventilation
  • Increased salivation
  • Dry gums that are pale or grayish
  • Bright or dark red tongue or gums
  • Rapid or erratic pulse
  • Weakness, staggering, confusion, inattention
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Collapse

NOTE: Breeds with flat faces like Pugs and Boxers, elderly dogs and puppies are at higher risk. Dogs with existing health conditions may also overheat faster.

You need to take immediate action. Again, heat stroke can cause permanent organ damage. if your dog doesn’t cool down, his breathing can slow or stop. He may have seizures or fall into a coma.

So, what should you do if you think your dog has heat stroke?

Dog Heat Stroke Treatment At Home

If your dog has heat stroke, his condition can progress quickly, so take action as soon as you suspect a problem.

1. Get Him Into The Shade

Since heat is the obvious problem, you want to get him out of direct sunlight and into a cooler spot as soon as possible. Find a shady spot under a tree, preferably in a grassy area, which will be cooler than asphalt or concrete.

2. Apply Cool Water

Get water on his inner thighs and stomach where there are more large blood vessels, and on the pads of his feet. Use running water from the faucet or hose. If you’re out on a walk, ask a neighbor if you can use theirs!

3. Air Him Out

To help cool your dog, make sure the water you’re putting on him can evaporate. Don’t cover him up with a wet towel or blanket. Covering him will create a sauna effect instead of allowing the water to evaporate. Keep him in the open air and out of enclosed areas like a kennel. If you can get him near a fan or air condition, or in a breezy spot if you’re outside, that will help.

4. Keep Him Moving

Encourage your dog to stand or slowly walk around while he’s cooling down. You want his cooled blood to circulate throughout his body.

5. Give Him Small Amounts Of Cool (Not Cold )Water

If he gulps down too much water too fast, it can cause vomiting or bloating. But he needs to stay hydrated. If he doesn’t want water, give him chicken or beef broth.

Never give human sports or performance drinks.

RELATED: Here’s a quick and easy bone broth recipe …

6. Get Him To The Vet

Once your dog has started to cool down, take him to his vet right away. You don’t want to keep trying to cool down your dog for too long or you’ll risk him getting hypothermia.

Even if your dog seems fine, he’ll need a veterinary exam. There may be underlying damage to his organs that you can’t see. The effects of heat stroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours.

The most common cause of death following heat stroke is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). This happens when the blood coagulates throughout the body. It can occur hours or days after the heat stroke episode. Again, even if your dog seems much better, a vet exam is the best way to make sure.

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Homeopathic Remedies For Heat Stroke In Dogs

Cooling down your overheated dog and getting him to the vet is critical. Homeopathic remedies can help if you have them handy. Use 6C or 30C potency if you have it … but if you have the remedy in a different potency, use whatever you have. Choose the remedy that best fits his symptoms according to the descriptions below. Dose every 5-15 minutes for up to 3 or 4 doses. If he doesn’t seem better, try one of the other remedies listed.

  1. Belladonna – your dog is red, has dilated pupils, bounding pulses, and is burning up, or even comatose use this remedy – and get him to the vet as fast as you can.
  2. Aconitum napellus – This is a good first choice at first sign of heat stroke. If your dog needs this remedy, he may also seem very fearful or anxious.
  3. Gelsemium – If your dog needs this remedy, he may seem very weak and his muscles may be trembling.
  4. Glonoinum – This remedy can help when your dog overheats from too much sun exposure. You may see vomiting and weakness. His heart may pound. His ears and gums may look red, or even alternating from pale to red. HIs eyes may look red and staring, protruding or dry.

For all these remedies, follow the instructions on How To Give A Homeopathic Remedy at the link below. A dose is usually about 3 pellets but the number really doesn’t matter, so you can give more or less.

RELATED: What you need to know about homeopathy for dogs …

How To Prevent Heat Stroke In Dogs

When it comes to heat stroke, . Heatstroke is completely avoidable if you take some precautions

Whether you’re heading out for a hike or your dog’s playing in the backyard, remember these tips:

  • Always be aware of the temperature and the potential for heat stroke.
  • Find spots that offer some shade and a place for your dog to get a break out of direct sunlight.
  • Make sure your dog always has access to cool, clean water and a way to cool himself down. Carry plenty of drinking water and a portable bowl so you can give him a drink if he’s panting.
  • If your dog likes to paddle or swim, on really hot days it’s a great idea to take him for a walk in the woods near a creek or lake.
  • If your dog has a tendency to feel the heat. consider buying a cooling vest or bandana.
  • Don’t ever leave your dog in a parked car on warm days – even with the air conditioning running. AC can fail and make the car hotter by blowing heated air instead of cold.
  • Don’t shave your long haired or double-coated dog in summer. It may seem like he’d be cooler, but it actually makes overheating more likely. Find out why …

Heat stroke is very dangerous for your dog … so be prepared, and don’t let it happen!

8 Reasons your dog doesn’t listen

By Lynne Fedorick CPDT-KA as seen in animal Wellness Magazine

It can be frustrating when your dog doesn’t listen to you. Sometimes, it’s a command you know the dog knows because he does it perfectly at home, in the backyard, or at dog classes. Just not now, when you need him to do it.

Is it a dominance issue when your dog doesn’t listen? Not according to the world’s leading canine ethologists (scientists who study dog behavior). These experts agree that dogs are never out to dominate their owners. What’s more, attempting to dominate our dogs can be confusing and frightening to them. Such confusion can elicit aggressive-looking behaviors aimed at self-defence.

Why don’t dogs obey our commands?

When dogs don’t listen to us, it has more to do with weaknesses in our training strategies than anything else. So, let’s look at the real reasons dogs don’t listen to us.

1. Your dog has unmet physical needs

If your dog has unmet physical needs, he won’t be able to focus on the behavior you want him to perform. If he seems incapable of listening, he may be:

  • tired
  • hungry or thirsty
  • needing to eliminate
  • full of energy he needs to burn
  • not feeling well
  • anxious or nervous

2. He does not have your full attention

If you are busy fiddling with your phone or taping a TikTok video of your training session, your attention is not fully on your dog. When you’re training, you aren’t present for your dog if you’re thinking about something else. Your dog needs you to be fully there whenever you are training or issuing a command. 

3. You don’t use reward markers

A reward marker tells the dog that he’ll get a food reward every time he does a              particular behavior. Many dog trainers use a clicker or verbal marker to let the dog know a  specific behavior will earn him a “prize.” The reward marker always happens at the  beginning of a behavior and never after the behavior is complete. Dogs always do more  exaggerated forms of the behavior that gets them something they want. When initially  training the dog to perform a behavior, reward markers communicate what you want very  clearly to the dog. Additionally, reward markers cement that behavior in the dog’s mind as  a fun activity that he loves doing.

4. Your dog is not motivated

From a dog’s perspective, any reinforcer loses value when it is always the same or always available whenever he chooses to comply. Ways to build value in your reinforcer’s motivational value:

  • Keep training sessions very short (between 2 and 5 minutes) and frequent (6-10 times per day)
  • Food rewards should be tiny, fragrant, and generously given for successful behavior
  • Food rewards should be varied
  • Food rewards should be dispensed fairly, considering the difficulty of the behavior performed.

5. You are asking too much, too soon

It can be easy to forget that your dog is a member of a foreign species that has no intrinsic way of understanding our language or our ways. Here are some ways we ask too much of our dogs:

  • Increasing the level of distractions too soon
  • You didn’t proof the behavior sufficiently with graduated introduction of distractions.
  • He isn’t entirely clear on the necessary behavior yet
  • He has had many reinforced repetitions of a behavior you are trying to get him to stop doing

6. The dog is worried about discomfort

If your dog has been punished during training, any future training can cause anxiety and make it difficult for him to focus and listen. Also, if the behavior itself will bring discomfort, don’t expect your dog to respond. For example, cueing a short-coated dog to “down” on a cold, wet sidewalk.

7. You didn’t let him get used to a new environment before you cued the behavior  

Let your dog adapt to an environment for a few minutes before cueing the behavior you want.

8. You are telling him NOT to do something

Dogs think proactively – they are doers. They don’t know the meaning of stopping any activity or behavior. They do things because those behaviors have been inadvertently reinforced in the past. When we say “No!” or “Stop that!” it can temporarily interrupt a behavior the dog is doing, but that doesn’t mean he has any idea what you are on about. Instead of telling the dog to stop doing something, consider preventing it from happening for the duration of training so that he can learn a preferable behavior.

11 ways to manage pain in dogs and cats

By Deana Cappucci, BS, LVT, CCRVN, CCMT, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation) as seen in Animal Wellness Magazine

When it comes to managing pain in dogs and cats, these alternative modalities have a lot to offer. Consider trying one of these options before reaching for the pain meds.

Animals experience pain just like we do. But because dogs and cats are so stoic, most people don’t realize their animals are suffering. In nature, animals that show signs of pain or weakness are targets for prey, so they have adapted to hide their pain in order to survive. Learning how to recognize pain in your dog or cat is the first step, along with getting the problem properly diagnosed by your veterinarian. And there are many ways to manage pain besides medication. This article explores some alternative modalities for pain management in dogs and cats.

Recognizing pain in your companion animal

In dogs and cats, pain presents as a change in behavior or mobility (see sidebar). For instance, a dog experiencing pain from arthritis may not want to perform daily activities, such as going for long walks, or may have a hard time getting in and out of the car. Cats in pain may hesitate or avoid jumping onto higher surfaces, may hide more often, or experience a decreased appetite.

If you notice these signs in your own dog or cat, take him to the veterinarian for a checkup. Pain can arise from many different conditions and it’s important to find out which one is bothering your own animal so he can be properly treated.

Pain management – 11 alternative solutions

Fortunately, there are many ways you and your animal’s healthcare team can help manage pain and extend his quality of life.

1. Physical rehabilitation

Physical therapy is a service often used in human medicine to help patients recover from surgery or restore tissue function after an injury. Likewise, many modalities used in animal physical rehabilitation help reduce pain and inflammation to improve an animal’s comfort.

2. Laser therapy

3. Thermal therapy

Thermal therapies such as heat and cryotherapy are often used to improve circulation or decrease inflammation and swelling. Ice is added after surgical procedures to help reduce pain and swelling, whereas heat can be applied to sore muscles or stiff joints to provide circulation to the tissues and joints.

4. Therapeutic ultrasound

Therapeutic ultrasound uses low energy sound waves to warm up the tissue. It improves flexibility and promotes healing while decreasing pain and inflammation. It’s often used for animals with soft tissue trauma, such as muscle and tendon strains or sprains.

5. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy

This device uses high energy sound waves to stimulate the tissue, causing a physiologic response that leads to endorphin release for pain management, and promotes tissue healing. Animals that benefit from shockwave therapy include those suffering from arthritis, muscle and tendon injuries, or bone fractures that are not healing as expected. There are many different types of shockwave therapy, some of which may require light sedation due to the loud sound and intensity of the shocks.

6. Electrotherapy

Also known as E-Stim or TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), electrotherapy uses an electrical current that is applied to a painful area to inhibit the sensory response to pain. Electrical stimulation can help in cases involving arthritis, post-surgical recovery, or soft tissue injuries or trauma.

7. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy

8. Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses small needles inserted into specific points on the body, causing a physiologic response. Acupuncture releases the body’s natural endorphins, which help control pain. It also stimulates nerves, which is beneficial for animals experiencing neurologic dysfunction like IVDD or degenerative myelopathy. Arthritis and soft tissue injuries also benefit from acupuncture.

9. Therapeutic exercise

Therapeutic exercise is used in animal rehabilitation to help strengthen weakened muscles that may be associated with an injury or post-operative recovery. Arthritis causes pain in the joints leading to weakness in the muscles. Therapeutic exercises help improve strength and mobility in arthritic animals, and those recovering from surgery or injury.

10. Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy, such as swimming in warm circulating water, or walking on an underwater treadmill, provides buoyancy while reducing pain on injured joints. The warm water causes vasodilation and increases blood flow to the tissue, which helps decrease pain in the muscles and joints. The hydrostatic pressure of the water provides body awareness that is helpful in older dogs, or those suffering from neurologic disease. The resistance of the water also improves strength as the animal swims or walks against the water.

11. Massage

Last but not least, massage and manual therapies alleviate taut muscles and increase circulation to the tissues. Massage brings blood flow to the tissue, providing oxygen and nutrients to the area. It can reduce pain by decreasing muscle spasms and improving the flexibility of joints. Massage can also decrease stress and anxiety, which can exaggerate pain. Most animals – and their humans – would benefit from a massage!

Ask your veterinarian if he or she offers any of these pain-relieving modalities, or seek out a veterinary rehabilitation center in your area. It is important to understand that although these modalities have therapeutic effects for managing pain and discomfort, other medical interventions may be added to your dog or cat’s regimen to provide the best pain relief and improve overall comfort. It is also important to know that not all animals are candidates for every modality, and that a consultation with a trained veterinary professional is necessary to discuss the best options for your own dog or cat.

Support canine health and aging with astaxanthin (wild Salmon)

By Karen Hecht, PhD As seen in Animal Wellness Magazine

As nature’s most powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin benefits canine endurance, aging, vision health and more.

Daily antioxidants are known to support canine health in a variety of beneficial ways. They promote a healthy immune response, support eye health in aging dogs, and contribute to a normal inflammatory response. Antioxidants also help neutralize potentially harmful free radicals.

Free radicals are reactive molecules produced both as by-products of the body’s natural physiology, and as a result of interaction with the environment. Antioxidants produced naturally by the body work together with dietary antioxidants to control and balance the level of free radicals in the body. When this balance is tipped in favor of free radical accumulation, oxidative stress and damage can occur to healthy cells. Oxidative stress can happen anywhere in the body, including in the muscles, eyes, skin, and brain.

Since all antioxidants work somewhat differently, a varied diet containing many is the most beneficial.

Astaxanthin, a natural antioxidant

Astaxanthin can boost a dog’s antioxidant capacity, helping to control oxidative stress. Natural astaxanthin is a targeted mitochondrial ingredient whose antioxidant activity is reported to be higher than that of beta carotene, lutein and vitamin E.

Natural astaxanthin is red in color and belongs to the family of antioxidants called carotenoids, which are most commonly found in fruits and vegetables. However, unlike carotenoids such as the beta-carotene found in carrots, lycopene found in tomatoes, and lutein found in spinach, natural astaxanthin is found in red-colored seafoods like lobster, crab, shrimp and salmon. For dogs and people, the main dietary source of natural astaxanthin is wild salmon. However, salmon is a rare protein in commercial dog food, and a dog would have to consume four filets of wild king salmon daily to get a beneficial amount of astaxanthin.

Natural astaxanthin has some features that make it unique among antioxidants:

  • It is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, which means it is very good at quenching free radicals. One study revealed that astaxanthin is 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 110 times stronger than vitamin E, and even three to five times stronger than its cousin carotenoids, lutein and beta carotene.
  • Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can access cell membranes, unlike water-soluble antioxidants. This is important because cell membranes are made of lipids, which are especially sensitive to oxidation. Natural astaxanthin has a unique structure that can span the cell membrane from end to end for better membrane coverage and antioxidant protection.
  • Though it favors all membranes, as much as 50% of all membrane-bound astaxanthin has been found in mitochondrial membranes, the energy-producing parts of the cell that also produce free radicals as a by-product of their metabolic activity. This means that natural astaxanthin is poised at the site of free radical production to help neutralize these unstable molecules before they start a chain reaction that can damage healthy mitochondria and tissue.


Flowers and Plants That Are Safe for Dogs

As seen in PetMD

Some plants and cut flowers can actually be toxic to dogs, causing symptoms such as swelling of the mouth, vomiting, trembling, loss of coordination, seizures, difficulty breathing, or even death. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever decorate your place with indoor plants or accept a gift of flowers from a friend. Before you bring home a nice flower arrangement or new houseplant, you just need to make sure it’s on the list of flowers and plants that are safe for dogs. 

Flowers That Are Safe for Dogs

Some safe flowers for dogs include:

  • Alstroemeria
  • Asters
  • Gerber Daisies
  • Orchid
  • Roses
  • Snapdragon
  • Statice
  • Sunflowers

Houseplants That Are Safe for Dogs

Here a few plants that are safe for dogs:

Ferns:

  • Boston Fern

Herbs:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Lemon Balm
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

Perennials:

  • African Violet
  • Aluminum Plant (aka Watermelon plant)
  • Bamboo
  • Friendship Plant
  • Spider Ivy (aka Spider Plant)
  • Swedish Ivy

Succulents:

  • Blue Echeveria (aka Wax Rosette, Painted Lady)
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Haworthia
  • Hens and Chickens

Palms:

  • Areca Palm
  • Dwarf Date Palm
  • Dwarf Palm (aka Good Luck Palm, Bamboo Palm, Parlor Palm)
  • Lady Palm

Why Do Dogs Eat Plants and Flowers?

Pets are curious, so it’s not unlikely that they would try to munch on plants or flowers that you bring into the home.

“Exposure of dogs and cats to household plants occurs commonly, especially with younger animals that tend to be very inquisitive. Some plants are extremely toxic to our pets,” says Dr. David Dorman, DVM and professor of Toxicology at North Carolina State University of Veterinary Medicine. 

Dr. Dorman says, “It’s important to remember that your pet cannot distinguish between safe-to-eat plants and those that are dangerous. The key to preventing poisonings in your pets is to prevent exposure.” Thus, don’t bring poisonous plants into the home with cats and dogs, period.

What to Do If You Suspect That Your Dog Ate a Toxic Plant or Flower 

Plants that are considered dangerous for dogs can cause a range of symptoms—some much more serious than others. 

If you’re concerned that your pet has ingested a poisonous plant or flower, or they’re showing symptoms of poisoning, contact your veterinarian, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435, or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 immediately. 

Before you add eco-friendly décor to your home, do your research to keep your pets safe.

Balancing Your New Business with a New Pet

By Ryan Goodchild

Well, it’s finally happened: the stars have aligned and you’re about to start your own business. But you’re also committed to getting a pet — a desire underscored by the many remarkable benefits of owning a pet as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You worry, however, about being able to supply the time and energy that each requires. Luckily, these tips from HOPE: Helping Our Pets Everyday can put your mind at ease and see to it that both commitments get the attention they deserve.

The Pets that Suit Your Life

Even if you start and run your business from home, a pet is a lifelong commitment. Consider what happens if your business outgrows your home office and you move to a larger space with employees. It may be nice to have the option of taking your pet with you. While most well-trained pets are good office companions, a pet rabbit can be one of few distractions. In addition to being characteristically quiet, their tendencies to take afternoon siestas allow for hours of work productivity. It’s also fairly easy to create a bunny living space within the office.

Cats, fish, and some birds are also good pet options that can transfer well to an office environment. Dogs can also be good choices, although they tend to be more active and demanding, which may be limiting to you in either a home or office workspace.

Be sure to factor in the need for self-care for both you and your pet. Taking care of yourself by getting in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking in a bit of nature will help you stay focused and productive. As for your office companion, there are many resorts that allow pets. Plus, you could treat your furry family member to a spa day of their own while you enjoy one, too.

The Structure that Fits Your Business

You should also carefully consider the proper business structure for your new venture. Simply remaining a sole proprietor has its advantages: it’s easy and inexpensive to set up, can offer certain tax advantages, and allows you to retain 100% control. However, the price you pay for this simplicity is in the liabilities you might also absorb. It can also be more difficult for you to get investment back or other financing, which you may need for startup costs and expansion.

The drawbacks of the sole proprietorship structure are why many entrepreneurs opt for a corporate structure. “C” and “S” corporations are two corporate structures that offer some distinct tax advantages and disadvantages. They can also curtail the flexibility you need to remain nimble. That’s why many in your shoes opt for the limited liability company, or LLC, structure. It retains much of the flexibility of a sole proprietorship, with the limited liability and tax advantages of a corporation. While it’s fairly easy to set up, each state has different laws that govern a business structure, so you’ll need to carefully check your specific requirements and get step-by-step guidelines for your state.

Get started right away with quality business programs to keep track of your money. You can choose invoicing software online, but look for a program that fits your budget and your needs. Custom invoices and online payment reminders are great features to look for before you commit.

Bringing the Two Together

Now, you have to make the two work. For your business, rather than take the time to hunt down state guidelines and do the filing yourself or take on the burden of additional attorney fees so soon in your business’s life, consider signing up with a formation service. They know how to comply with all of your state’s laws and save you thousands on attorney fees.

The Next Scoop explains that other cost savings can be found in marketing your business. For example, when you need to create business cards, you can use free online templates to design professional-looking and unique cards to hand out to customers, clients, and at networking events. You can also use the digitized version of your business card to post on your website and social media channels.

For your pet, take advantage of the current proliferation of apps — there is one for almost anything. From scheduling to training to co-op pet care with other owners, you can find an app that eases you and your new family member into your life as both an entrepreneur and pet owner.

It may seem like too much at first, starting your own business and introducing a pet into your life. However, with a little research and preparation, it’s possible to realize both dreams at once. In fact, you may even be surprised by how easily your new pet adapts to your routine. And it never hurts to have a friendly furry face around for when you need a much-deserved break.Diane with HOPE believes there is a deep connection between humans and animals. Visit her website for information.

7 fun things to do with your dog this summer

By Jennifer Hinders as seen in Animal Wellness Magazine

 If you’re looking for something to do with your dog this summer, and aren’t sure what to do as the pandemic winds down, check out this list of seven fun and simple ideas.

Even as the pandemic seems to be winding down in some places, it remains important to follow existing restrictions as long as they’re in place. So if you’re looking for some fun things to do with your dog this summer, and aren’t sure what’s available to you, check out this list of seven fun and simple ideas.

1. Enjoy a long walk

You and your dog need regular exercise. Taking a long walk is a great way for you both to stay fit. Fortunately, you can still enjoy walks with your dogs and stay within COVID rules. Be sure to bring along your mask in case you encounter other people.

For a dog, going for a walk is more than just a potty break – it also provides  mental stimulation and socialization. And it’s a great way for the two of you to bond and enjoy the outdoors together this summer.

2. Do a summer photoshoot

Find the perfect location to take pics, while being sure to follow any social distancing rules. Bring lots of treats to motivate your buddy to keep posing, as well as some water in case he gets thirsty. Try one of these locations as a backdrop – just make sure beforehand that they’re dog-friendly, and follow the regulations:

Beach — Water, sand and sun make beautiful settings for a photoshoot. Choose a time of day that gives you the best sunlight without too much shade. Mornings and evenings are great, and won’t be too hot for your dog. Allow your pooch to romp in the surf or run along the beach for awesome action shots.

Favorite park — Parks provide plenty of natural beauty in dog photos. Every season offers a unique backdrop. In the summer, colorful flower beds make a great setting – just don’t let your dog trample the gardens!

Field or wooded area – If safe and permitted, allow your dog to run around in a field or wooded area while you take photos (watch out for ticks, though). For different effects, choose different times of the day to take your pictures.

Backyard – Sometimes, the best place to take photos is in your own backyard. Give your dog a new toy to play with while you take pics of him, or throw a ball for him to get some action shots.

 3. Engage your dog in interactive play

Playing with your dog reinforces communication, strengthens your bond, and improves obedience. Try a variety of toys to see which one he likes best. Once you find his favorite, try to make it even more fun by moving it around or throwing it for your dog to chase. Some of the best-loved dog toys are often those that have been around for years like balls, Frisbees or rope pulls.

4. Practice basic commands

Giving your dog a training refresher doesn’t have to be work! In fact, it’s a fun way to hang out together. It keeps your mentally sharp and physically challenged. Revisit the basic commands you’ve taught your dog — or teach him some new tricks such as high five, or jump through a hoop. When you teach your dog new tricks, it not only improves his health, but boosts your confidence as a dog parent.

5. Go swimming together

Whether you have a pool in your backyard or just bought a kiddie pool, your dog will love splashing and cooling off in the water with you this summer. Afterwards, don’t be surprised if your dog runs around the yard or rolls around in the grass. Called the ”zoomies,” this familiar behavior occurs when a dog gets a rush of energy after a bath or swimming. It’s thought this activity could be a release of nervous energy — or it could be that your dog just feels good after his time in the water!

6. Create an agility course in your backyard

backyard agility course doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate. Use items you have around the house such as two laundry baskets to hold a broom handle for jumping over, a children’s playground slide or cloth tunnel. Agility courses provide many benefits for your dog such as mental stimulation, exercise, better obedience, and an improved relationship with you. They also give your dog a full-body workout since he will need to jump, climb, crawl, and run through the various obstacles. Once your dog has learned the course, challenge him by changing out the obstacles or move the course to a different part of your yard. This is guaranteed to be fun for both of you!

Having fun with your dog this summer doesn’t have to stop because of the ongoing pandemic, and these ideas are just the beginning. Get creative and try new activities with your dog!