Cerebra Innovation Centre, with help from ATiC – the University’s integrated research centre – developed the tennis ball shooter for Harry Flynn, 11, to help him bond with his dog Addi.
Eleven-year-old Harry has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, which sadly means he has poor gross motor skills and is reliant on his wheelchair just to get around. Harry faces difficult challenges everyday but he’s able to live a happy life. He’s a budding musician and enjoys going to the cinema but when someone special came into his life two years ago, Harry soon had a new love. That someone was Addi, Harry’s assistance dog and best friend!
Addi, who came from the charity Dogs for Good, has been with Harry for two years. “He helps Harry by doing things like opening doors, opening drawers, turning light switches on and helping to remove socks and coats,” said Harry’s mum Hilary. “Most importantly he’s a constant friend and he encourages him to go outside, which, prior to having Addi, he never liked doing.
Addi’s a remarkable dog and a big part of Harry’s life. When he isn’t assisting, it’s important for Addi to have play time and they both love being outside together. Each time they were out on walks though, there was just something missing and Harry’s parents tried but couldn’t find the answer.
Harry’s mum, Hilary told us, “Harry so wanted to play fetch with Addi, who just loves to run after a ball. Sadly, though, Harry doesn’t have the strength or coordination to be able to throw. He loved being outside with Addi but you could see the disappointment on his face each time we went for a walk. I was so pleased, though, when I came across Cerebra and their wonderful Innovation Centre.”
The Cerebra Innovation Centre is home to a team of product designers and is based within UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art. The teams designs and builds innovative, bespoke products to help disabled children to discover the world around them. The products the team designs are desirable and exciting as well as functional, promoting social inclusion and peer acceptance for the children they help.
The team designed a bracket that could support the launcher and sit nicely on Harry’s wheelchair frame – not only that but the launcher’s firing mechanism had to be altered, so that all Harry had to do was lightly press it to release the ball.
Once the bracket was in place there was just one more surprise in store … putting Harry at the controls! While he could fire the launcher with no problem, Harry had to move his wheelchair each time he wanted to aim. The wheelchair had joystick controls so the team also added joystick controls to the launcher. Harry is now able to enjoy play time with Addi, repaying him for the assistance he gives on a daily basis. “He’s been a real help in my life;· said Harry.
The Innovation Centre is part of Cerebra, a charity supporting families who have a child with a brain condition, worked with ATiC, an integrated research centre at the university, to design and 3D print parts that make it possible for Harry to fire the shooter, and a joystick that enables him to point and aim the shooter.
Living with a dog brings so many pleasures to our lives that it shouldn’t be surprising that so many of us share our homes with at least one canine member of the family. But we also speak different languages, and we display our worries and concerns in different ways. So, that means that there can be times when there is a misunderstanding, resulting in conflict.
When our dogs show what looks like protective behaviour, there can actually be many different reasons for us seeing that response. That’s when we need to take on a detective role to work out what’s going on. Once we know that, then we can help our dogs respond in new ways, if that protective behaviour is not what we want to see
What Does Protective Behavior Look Like? Imagine for a moment what protective behavior looks like in a person. The chances are they will step forward to be between you and the threat to your safety, and their whole body language will be confident and assertive. A dog demonstrating protective behavior will be the same. That means your dog will:
Be by your side, or they may step in front Ears will be pricked There might be some growling Tense body language A still tail or it will be wagging very slowly
Which Breeds of Dog Tend to Be the Most Protective? Many types of dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to display particular traits. Just think of the gundog breeds, who love to hunt and carry things in the mouths. Then there are the herding breeds such as collies, who, in the absence of sheep, will round up the children for you instead! Well, we also have some breeds that have been bred to demonstrate guarding and protective-type behaviors.
That means that they are less likely to go up to new people to say hello, and they may naturally guard their home and the people that live there. These breeds can include the Belgian Malinois, the Doberman Pinscher, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the Akita. Now, we should say that protective tendencies vary hugely from dog to dog, and some breeders work hard at reducing the protective instinct in their pups by only breeding from very sociable parents.
What Isn’t Protective Behavior? At first glance, a dog that’s barking at another person can look as if they are protective of their owner. But take another look at that canine body language. Is the dog barking but backing away at the same time? Is their tail tucked under their body? How about the ears? Are they flat on their head when they would normally be standing upright? All of these are signs that your dog is actually quite worried about the situation rather than being protective.
These dogs have learned that they can often make the scary thing go away if they bark. Think about it from the dog’s perspective; a person they don’t know is heading towards them when they’re out on a walk. So, they bark because they’re a bit worried, and the ‘scary’ person crosses the road to keep out of the way of the dog. Success! Now the dog has learned that to make scary things go away, you just have to bark.
Now you can see why many dogs who might be labeled as being protective are actually dogs who lack confidence but who have found a way to keep scary things away from them.
What Can You Do to Stop Your Protective Dog Being Too Protective? So, let’s now look at how you can live with one of the instinctively protective breeds without running into problems.
Choose Carefully If you’re looking for a pup to join your family and it’s from a breed known for being protective, then it’s essential to do your homework. You must meet the pups’ mum and, ideally, other relatives so that you can get a sense of what you might be getting yourself into.
Protective adult dogs may not come rushing up to say hello, and they may be a little wary of you, but they shouldn’t be aggressive. You should see that they are affectionate towards their owners and that they are responsive to them.
Socialization is Essential Socialization is the process of your dog getting to meet lots of people in different environments when they are younger. Anything that your pup doesn’t get to see or experience when they are young is likely to cause them to startle and be afraid of when they are older. So, this might mean taking your pup to parks, markets, dog-friendly cafes, and bars to take in these new experiences. It’s important not to overwhelm your youngster; you don’t want them to feel that they need to be protective. This is time to watch the world go by and for your pup to develop their confidence.
Train, Train, and More Training Are you getting the hint that training is going to be important? For the protective breeds of dogs, obedience is essential, and it’s going to be an ongoing feature of their life. Forget the saying that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ because you absolutely can. It may take an older dog a little longer to learn new ways of doing things, but with patience, they will get there.
For all dogs, learning with rewards will get you better results than relying on punishment. When training is fun, your dog’s learning will be quicker, and they’ll love being around you. This doesn’t always have to be about rewarding with food; your dog may enjoy a game with a toy or fetching ball instead.
Has Your Dog Suddenly Become Protective? Whenever there’s a sudden or dramatic change in your dog’s behaviour, and you can’t work out why then a trip to the vets should be first on your to-do list. That’s because there are several conditions, such as hypothyroidism which can cause aggression and be seen as protective behaviours.
If the vet has given the all-clear, then this might be a good time to get professional behavioural help. A qualified and experienced canine behaviourist will be able to help identify why the behaviour is happening. Then, they’ll devise a program to help your dog to become less protective.
If you think that your dog may be suffering from anxiety, it is important to look for signs in their behaviour. If they bark or howl when no one is home, pant or pace a lot, shiver or shake, hide in corners and under furniture, or destroy furniture like your chesterfield, they likely have anxiety.
It is important to seek professional help from your V.E.T. to improve their quality of life. They can determine if their anxiety-behaviour is due to medical factors, but can also recommend ways to lower their stress. You can also see a pet behaviour counsellor for advice, to train them in ways that can reduce anxiety when they are facing their triggers. Here are three common ideas that V.E.T.s and pet behaviour counsellors recommend for reducing anxiety in dogs.
Anxiety Wrap Anxiety wraps uses a similar principle as is used on humans. When applying gentle but firm and consistent pressure to the torso, it can have a calming effect. It’s similar to how infants feel calmer when swaddled in blankets, or weighted blankets help people calm down when trying to sleep. ThunderShirt is the most well-known anxiety vest for pets that you can find. You can get them for dogs and cats in different sizes. When worn properly, in the right size, these wraps distribute pressure along the back and torso of your pet like a constant hug. This pressure releases endorphin hormones, which has a calming and happy effect.
Noise Distraction You can use noise to distract your pet from their source of anxiety. This is more effective for anxiety caused by sudden loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, or when you’re watching a game of footy and suddenly cheer or cry out loud in front of them. Noise distraction can also be used to distract them from separation anxiety when you leave for work for the day.
It either drowns out the sound causing their anxiety or just gives them something else more calming that they can focus on instead. You can do something as simple as playing music or sounds that are pleasing to animals, like birds chirping or running water, or you can get special sound devices that use white noise machines to drown out other external sounds.
The sound frequencies emitted by white noise machines are specifically made to drown out other noise, including fireworks and thunder. They are even more effective if you have them somewhere more insulated from other noise, like an enclosed crate or bedroom.
CBD Treats and Supplements CBD, or cannabidiol, is a health supplement that is becoming increasingly popular, both for humans and pets. It’s relatively new, so while research has confirmed that CBD can help relieve anxiety, it isn’t fully clear how it achieves this, and there is even less research on how it works on animals.
Despite this, CBD is a safe supplement to take for pets. It has a relatively low risk of side effects, and the side effects are minor. There is added risk if you have CBD that includes THC, which can be toxic to animals, so make sure you get good quality CBD treats from places like Joy Organics that are made specifically for pets. You can also look into other supplements, like calming treats, which may be available at your local Tesco in the same aisle with pet food.
With these three tips, you have new ways to help your anxious pet. The good thing about them is that you can try them individually, or use them all together. If you have an extremely anxious pet, you may find that putting them in a thunder shirt, giving them a CBD treat, and keeping them in an enclosed bedroom with a white noise machine running can have dramatic results.
One of the things to consider when you have a four-legged member in the family is finding a dog-friendly retreat. Sure, you can find a dog-sitter or take them to a dog-sitting animal clinic, but most dog-lovers and those who treat their dogs as part of the family would love to bring their dogs on holiday trips. You can even go on a dog adventure as part of your retreat. Holidays are opportunities for you to give your dog, which is often left at home when you go to work or school, the best time.
However, it’s no piece of cake to bring your dog on a getaway; you have to plan for it. You don’t want to regret making reservations for holiday accommodation that, later on, would reject you because pets are not allowed. Considering whether they’re allowed or not, there are other factors you should put some thought into before you choose a place. Finding the most suitable dog-friendly accommodation will help you have that perfect getaway you’ve been looking forward to.
In finding the best dog-friendly retreat cottages in the UK, you’ll need to consider these factors:
Location What does your dog most enjoy? Does it love running around and rolling over the grass? There are locations with the most attractive landscapes, like in the countryside locations. Suppose your dog loves playing in the snow. You never know when it’ll start snowing, so it’s best that you know which places are most likely to experience snow. You should decide on the location you want first before you start researching for the perfect retreat cottages. You can check various dog-friendly accommodation websites for more information on which areas you can enjoy most with your furry best friend.
Accessibility One of the considerations in choosing a retreat cottage is its accessibility. Accessibility in terms of accommodation means the capacity to cater to special needs, also keeping in mind the need to avoid anything that can induce stress and protect the clients. Most commonly, when people say their cottage is accessible, it means it’s wheelchair-friendly. Pet-friendly accommodation also defines accessibility as pet-proofing the place. Things that pets can break or choke on are the things you won’t find in accessible dog-friendly cottages.
Size Small and cosy places are ideal for getaways, especially for the Christmas holidays. However, these are suitable for couples or small families. When you bring your dog with you, you’ll need to have a roomier choice where your dog can play around or find its spot to sleep in.
Amenities Some retreat houses or cottages have rooms mostly made for dogs. More so, not only must you consider the dog, but you should also keep in mind whether you can enjoy the amenities of the dog-friendly accommodation of your choice or not. You only want the best for you, your family, and your dog.
Costs Your budget is one of the most crucial aspects in finding the best dog-friendly retreat cottages. It’s what provides you with the range of the places you can only avail. Although, you don’t have to worry if you don’t have that big of a budget. There are affordable pet-friendly places you can book. Nonetheless, it’s best to do your research since not all that’s affordable to accept pets.
Without a doubt, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. But, it’s essential that you carefully consider your lifestyle and whether you can offer the best possible home to an English Bulldog. Just like all breeds of dogs, these guys have their own unique requirements, and when they’re not met, then you could be in for a whole heap of trouble. Specialist sites such as https://bulldogpapa.com can be invaluable in those early days of research.
To help your decision-making process, here’s our guide to help you consider if you’re ready for an English Bulldog to join your home.
The English Bulldog Temperament The well-bred Bulldog will have a kind temperament. They don’t go looking for trouble, but should it turn up, then they are courageous and tenacious. This is the type of dog who should be able to socialize with other dogs and people without a problem.
When you visit your puppy’s breeder, make sure that you get to meet Mum and, ideally, other relatives before your commit to taking on one of the litter. Think about how easy-going and friendly they are because this will tell you a lot about the likely temperament of your pup.
Do be aware, though, that having a well-mannered Bulldog isn’t just about their genes. It’s also about the time and effort that the breeder and the owner put into socializing and training the young dog, but more about that later!
History of the English Bulldog If you know anything about this breed’s background, you might be wondering just what type of dog you end up living with! That’s because the English Bulldog was initially bred for the gruesome sport of bull-baiting. A pack of dogs would be set on the bull while those watching would bet on the outcome.
Thankfully the sport was banned in the 1800s, and then dedicated breeders started the task of re-establishing the breed with the sweet temperament that the English Bulldog is now well known for.
How Healthy Are English Bulldogs? Few breeds are without the potential for some health problems, a bit like us humans! But you can reduce the possibility of your Bulldog having genetic health problems by ensuring that the parents are health tested before the breeding takes place.
For Bulldogs in the US, there are a number of tests that the breed club recommends, and these include:
Hip Dysplasia Assessment This condition prevents the ball of the hip joint from sitting correctly in the socket. It can mean that your Bulldog experiences pain when walking and may become lame.
Cardiac Exam Bulldogs can be prone to several different diseases of the heart. The cardiac exam involves the vet listening for heart murmurs or an irregular heart rhythm, which may then need an ECG or X-ray to investigate any problems.
Eye Problems Sadly, Bulldogs can inherit a number of different eye conditions, so it’s essential that the parents have regular eye exams to ensure that these are not passed down to their pups.
How Long Do Bulldogs Live? On average, an English Bulldog will be with you for between 8-10 years. Now, other bull breeds do live longer. The life expectancy of a French Bulldog, for example, is 10-12 years, and it’s 12-14 years for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
So, if the length of time that your Bull breed is with you is a deciding factor, then you might want to widen your search.
Raising an English Bulldog Puppy Those first few months of your Bulldog’s life are critical in them becoming well-behaved pets that can accompany you anywhere. Just as with all dog breeds, it’s essential that they get out and see the world at a young age.
However, care is needed to ensure that interactions with people, dogs, and other animals are positive. So, remember to be your Bulldog’s advocate and remove him from any situations which they might find to be overwhelming.
Training an English Bulldog Puppy Now while this may not seem to be the obvious breed to go for if you have aspirations in dog sports, the English Bulldog is very capable of learning a whole range of behaviours. Make it fun, train in short sessions, and use tempting treats and toys to encourage that learning to take place.
All dogs should know how to walk nicely on the leash and come when called. With the Bulldogs’ strength, walks are going to be no fun at all if they’re pulling on the leash. When your dog can walk nicely when out and about, then going out for exercise will be a much more pleasurable experience.
Exercise Requirements All dogs need the opportunity to get out and about every day. Exercise helps to ensure that your Bulldog doesn’t become overweight, which can be a problem within the breed.
The other key benefit of daily walks is the opportunity for enrichment. This means that your Bulldog gets the chance to sniff new smells, meet new people and see the outside world. All of these things will also help to tire him out, meaning that he will settle down for a snooze once you get home.
Ear infections among dogs are quite common. Since they’re always outdoors and love playing around, they could get easily infected. It can happen while they dip their bodies in the pool or spend the entire day in a park. Therefore, it’s important to look for the signs of ear infection.
Some of them are simple issues that might go away soon. Others are more severe and could damage the dog’s central nervous system. These are the signs of an ear infection that require immediate action.
Redness and inflammation. Check if there’s a sudden difference in the ear colour of your dog. If there’s redness or inflammation, it’s a sign of an infection. It might be somewhat challenging for hairy dogs, though. Therefore, you always need to check the ears to see if there’s inflammation.
A sweet or pungent smell. You usually groom your dogs to prevent them from smelling bad. If you still smell a foul odour while playing with your dog, it could be due to an ear infection. It’s a natural reaction to the problem. Ear canal discharge. Ear infections may also manifest through a discharge. It’s often waxy and rust-like in colour. It helps to observe these changes more often.
Difficulty in chewing. Your dog shouldn’t have a problem chewing foods, especially if they’re soft enough. If you notice that there are issues when chewing, it could be due to an ear infection. If the bowl is no longer empty after eating, and it happens regularly, you have to take action.
Constant rubbing of the head. It’s natural for dogs to keep scratching their heads. It’s their way of removing an irritant. However, if it happens constantly, there could be something wrong. It’s even worse when you see your dog scratching its head on furniture and other rough surfaces. It means that the ear infection is getting worse.
Do something before it’s too late Dogs with ear infections might manifest more terrible symptoms in the future. They might have difficulty walking due to the loss of balance. They might also find it difficult to eat their food, and it leads to drastic weight loss. The point is that you have to do something before it’s too late. When the ear infection already starts to affect the central nervous system, death might be inevitable.
The problem is that you might not have a local veterinarian to run to. The good thing is that there are home remedies that you can apply to stop the infection. Green tea and oregano are among the natural options to solve an ear infection. Apply them to the affected area until the problem is over. You can also check out https://careyourdog.com/best-home-remedy-for-dog-ear-infection for more information about treating ear infections. If the problem persists, it might be time to look for a veterinarian.
You can’t ignore this problem even if you think it’s natural. Try to be more observant with the changes in your dog. Find a way to deal with it before it’s too late.
By the time this Sunday the 24th of January comes around, many of us will be feeling tired of 2021 already. Those “new year, new you” resolutions are quickly wearing thin and the government’s latest lockdown laws are leaving us all lonelier than ever at this time of year. But what if there was something you could do that really would transform your life for the better? And what if that action could turn another life around too? That’s why this Sunday, on National Change A Pet’s Life Day, you should consider adopting your next dog and we’re here to explain why.
Every year, over six hundred million strays are reported across the world, and while we might see ourselves as a nation of dog-lovers, the UK still contributes heavily to that number. Some rescue centers in the UK such as London’s Battersea Dog’s Home rescue as many as thirteen dogs a day, three hundred and sixty five days of the year. It’s an unlucky number, but for those thirteen dogs, getting rescued that day is the luckiest thing that will ever happen to them. Without the constant work that such animal shelters put in with the help of thousands of volunteers, many of these innocent animals would not survive. And yet, these millions of unwanted dogs have so much to offer us!
Much like us humans, our canine friends love to feel loved and without a partner in crime to share life’s ups and downs with, they naturally suffer from loneliness like we do. It’s a beautiful thing to witness a depressed dog without a home flourish into such a joyous bundle of affection once they are given a chance to give their love to somebody.
ilst giving one of these lonely dogs a home is obviously a huge commitment that should never be undertaken lightly, adoption is a two way street. We know that from personal experience with many of our clients, in saving a dog, they have saved themselves and now more than ever, we all do need a little bit of saving.
That dogs have helped so many humans through depression, turmoil and grief when traditional techniques such as anti-depressants and cognitive therapy have all failed, is not surprising. It is no secret that owning a dog is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, and there are scientific studies to prove it. The unconditional love and companionship that dogs offer means that most of our owners regard their pooch as their best friend. This is a best friend whose constant enthusiasm for cuddles and play, for a healthy exercise routine and for social interaction makes it almost impossible to be sad. However, making the choice to adopt a rescue dog rather than buy a “new” dog from a breeder is what really counts in making this kind of relationship truly rewarding. When you offer a dog a second chance, you embark on a healing journey together, providing each other with a daily purpose to keep on smiling and wagging through the darkest of times.
Though people often worry that developing a bond with a rescue dog will be difficult, it is precisely this process that makes that bond so much more meaningful. It may take a little patience, but seeing your dog’s confidence go from strength to strength as they put their trust in you is an unforgettable feeling that will make every second of work you put in worthwhile. Rescue centers will do their utmost to smooth this journey for you. One of the best things about taking on an older dog is that their personality is already developed and they are often also already very well trained. This makes it so much easier for staff to help you find the right dog for you. Time will be invested by the handlers who know the dog best considering your lifestyle and your character which will then be carefully matched to the dog who would be best suited to you. When you do find your perfect furry companion, those same handlers will ensure that your transition is gentle and that you are furnished with as much advice and support as you need.
Contrary to popular belief, adopted dogs are also usually much healthier than pedigree or farmed puppies can be, which can arrive with underlying conditions caused by inbreeding or poor care. Comparatively, rescue centers (as charities rather than businesses out to make profits from their dogs) make sure that all their strays are thoroughly vetted on arrival and where necessary are nursed back to full health before being re-homed. Any unwanted puppies that they take in will always be kept until they are old enough to be weaned and they also make sure that each pet gets neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas before leaving. This is all done in an effort to ensure that re-homed dogs are re-homed for life, and the sad cycle of abandonment and stray animals being born on the streets is broken for good.
The trials of 2020 have forced many of us to re-evaluate our lives and here, we honestly believe that can be turned into a positive. If you have more time at home, and less time with your loved ones, the decision to spend that time getting to know a dog who deserves it can hardly be a choice you will regret. When you save a rescue dog, you not only save yourself, but you are also creating a space at the refuge for another dog to be brought in. Your adoption fee will go towards caring for these abandoned animals while they wait patiently for their forever home to come and find them.
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If you are the owner of a dog, you’ve probably thought more than once – and not having to help my dog get on the bed or get in the car every time. If you are still planning to add a four-legged friend to your family, you will definitely think about it in the future. However, there is a very simple way to solve this problem. You just need a dog ramp that will make your dog’s life easier. And yours as well.
What is a dog ramp? It is a surface that helps your pet to get from one level to another. For example, to get easily from floor to bed, sofa, etc. They can come in a variety of sizes, including ones that can be height-adjusted as needed. They are usually made of plastic or wood, it can be decorated and adapted to the interior of your home.
What is it for? Dog ramps are very useful for those who raise small puppies or have senior dogs. Also for those whose dogs are sick, have joint problems, or are handicapped. The dog ramp allows the dog to be independent as well as risk-free as they do not need to try to jump on a higher surface. Because dogs are underestimating their chances of jumping can get injured very often. And such a situation will cause a lot of discomfort for both you and your dog, after which you will still probably have to buy a dog ramp.
The main benefits of having a dog ramp. It will make the dog’s life easier and protect it from possible injuries. Meanwhile, purchasing a dog ramp will also save you a lot of time, as you will no longer need to help your dog every single time it wants to get on the bed or couch. Also, it is not a short-term investment. This tool will be used by your dog constantly for many years.
The main drawback may be beneficial as well. Reduced space in a room is probably the biggest drawback of having dog ramps. However, if the amount of space is relevant to you, you can choose a functional ramp. For example, the one that is easy to fold. Such a ramp will take up very little space and fit perfectly in the closet or under the bed. Another option is to choose a dog ramp that can be used as a shelf or storage box. In this way, space will be used functionally.
So, are dog ramps worth it? The answer is – definitely yes. Some people doubt purchasing a dog ramp because of financial reasons or they are unsure how it would look in their apartment. However, deciding to postpone getting off a dog ramp often means paying a few times more to the vet after a pet has failed an attempt to jump on the bed. Meanwhile, in terms of design, you can definitely find something to suit your interior and be functional as well.
There are many illnesses that can befall our precious pets, some curable, some not. Sadly, some of the most common diseases are eminently preventable if dog owners would just be more responsible about vaccinating their dogs.
There are too many cases where puppies are given “free to a good home,” but then these puppies are not vaccinated or dewormed, leading to diseases. There are also diseases that are more incidental and that loving, caring pet owners could not have prevented. So, what are the most common diseases in dogs?
Hip Dysplasia Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that, while more prevalent in larger breeds, has been seen in smaller breeds too. It is caused when the ball of the hip joint, or the head of the femur, does not develop at the same pace as the socket. This can lead to the ball being too small, causing the hip to dislocate from time to time and causing pain and lameness in the dog.
Alternatively, the ball can also be too large for the socket, causing the bones to grind together, causing inflammation, pain and, ultimately, arthritis. The disease is not preventable, but you would do well to research the breeder if you are purchasing a breed prone to this condition.
Some indiscriminate breeders exacerbate the problem by inbreeding to get a more “desirable looking” pup, with no regard to the detrimental effect on the pup’s health. There are interventions and treatments to slow the progression of this condition, making your dog more comfortable. Given its seriousness, you certainly need to learn more about hip dysplasia in dogs.
Parvovirus This is a completely preventable disease that is prevented by simply vaccinating your puppy; however, failure to do so can lead to your dog contracting the virus that is, in most cases, fatal. It is spread in an infected dog’s feces and once infected, your dog will develop diarrhea and vomiting, making him weak and lethargic as he becomes more and more dehydrated. Many dogs succumb to this disease, which is prevented by timeous vaccinations.
Rabies Another completely preventable disease, Rabies is always fatal for dogs once they have been bitten by an infected creature (it can infect any species, including squirrels, raccoons, rats etc.). Rabies causes paralysis of the throat and tongue, causing the dog to salivate excessively due to his inability to swallow.
As it advances, he may become aggressive and, if he bites, the infection will be spread – even to humans, who must have a course of shots as soon as possible to prevent their own demise. Rabies shots are easily available and every dog owner should ensure to have their dogs vaccinated.
Lyme Disease This tick-borne disease can be prevented by ensuring your dog is bathed regularly in a tick repellent shampoo. You can also purchase collars that prevent tick infestations for months – they are an excellent way to make sure your best friend does not end up with this awful disease. If your dog suddenly displays lethargy and loss of appetite, you will need to act quickly to get her on antibiotics, which will clear the bacteria from her blood.
Skin Disorders Like humans, some dogs have sensitive skin and can develop itches and rashes on their bodies. Some skin disorders are caused by specific, identifiable allergens, like grain or fish by-products, where the pet owner can change his diet and he will be fine. Some dogs are allergic to grass seeds, which is very sad, as dogs love to bound around in open grasslands. However, as with humans, the trigger for some dogs’ skin disorders is never identified. These doggies will need to be treated symptomatically for their entire lifetime.
Ear Infections and Ear Mites Ear infections are more prevalent in dogs with “droopy” ears, such as Dalmatians, Spaniels, even more so in dogs with very large ears, like Basset Hounds. These closed-up areas offer the ideal breeding ground for both fungal and bacterial infections, being warm and moist all the time.
You will know your pet is battling if he shakes his head constantly or scratches at his ears. These conditions are easily treated, either with antibiotics or antifungals, depending on the type of infection. You can prevent recurrence by cleaning your dog’s ears regularly with a damp cotton ball, ensuring to clean out any visible build-up.
Kidney Disease This is not necessarily preventable and it can seem to sneak up on you as a dog owner. Your dog may drop weight and appear more lethargic. He will drink excessive amounts of water and urinate more frequently. This condition can be insidious as it is usually a slow degeneration.
You will initially notice he loses his shine and somehow, he seems a little less energetic, but all other aspects appear normal. Then he may start to lose more fur than usual and lose weight and general condition. Your key symptoms are weight loss and an increase in water consumption. The disease is degenerative and progressive and, while you can take steps to slow it down, it cannot be cured.
Pet domestication is one of the most critical aspects of society that we have developed over the years. Many people think it all stopped when these animals just followed our commands and requests throughout their lifespan. However, the way we treat them now will also influence future generations, as this type of evolution takes centuries. We never had dogs running around with us before; for example, the process of domestication aided us to have it.
When it comes to canine health, there are still many facets of it that people get confused about all the time. It seems that our familiarity with dogs has been confused with expertise, as with many others around us as you may read here: https://www.thesprucepets.com/biggest-dog-myths-1117469. Some have even stated that they already know what they are doing without consulting experts. It is usually the case for people who think they cannot afford to have their beloved animal to the vet.
Cheaper or Better? Please do not get us wrong; veterinarian costs these days are getting more expensive. Many aspects factor into the increase. It is a trend that we cannot escape since the foundation of the free market. Everything else involved in the process is getting pricier, as the tools and medicines are used.
It is also not easy to deal with creatures that may not be able to understand us correctly. For this reason, there is some premium when it comes to this particular service.
On the other hand, it is also crucial to know what to do even without a doctor’s help. These people are not going to be there all the time so mastering some skills is the key. As we have mentioned before, choosing the best dog food for your furry pal is both an art and a science. Many things can go wrong or right with one’s choice for sustenance. Dogs live a different life than us, even if they stay with us most of the time.
Most people who are just starting to have a pet at home would have some misconceptions regarding their food choices. In some countries, they tend to feed their animals with the same things as their owners. The rule goes: whatever is on the table will be provided from the family to the dogs. However, many animal experts believe that it is harmful to the fur babies in the long run. Depending on the food type or group, it may even harm them in the end.
Premium pet food has been rising in demand due to these claims. These products are considered “premium” for various reasons, as Hungry Bark super-premium dog food may tell us. It may be because of the ingredients, processing, brand, health benefits, or a combination of them. It has been this way for a long time, even with other products like those meant for us humans. However, are all of them made in the same way, or are there still nuances between them?
It is essential to choose your dog’s right choice as their digestive tract is not the same as ours—dogs process food differently than we do since it is needed for their physical prowess. For one, it is crucial for their growth and development, in the long run, so you might want to start early. Below are some aspects that you want to read more about before deciding on anything.
The Aspects for Choice
Age First, the canine’s age will be one of the primary considerations for food choice. It is something that most manufacturers of this particular product would tell their customers. Some options are meant for puppies as they need more nutrients to grow older. Once they mature to full adults, the diet also changes as well as their metabolism. As they reach old age, some food groups would be more helpful for them in the long run.
Size Another aspect that you need to look into is their size, as it will dictate their diet. We all know that if you are more significant, you also tend to eat more. It is even more apparent with dogs since you can already see it happening without thinking too positively about it. If you have a German Shepherd or Malamute, expect some spikes in dietary needs as they grow bigger. On the other hand, you do not need to worry too much about the smaller ones like Chihuahuas, but they still eat a lot.
Reaction on Food Meanwhile, this aspect readily depends on the dog and the way they have been brought up. It can also be their taste since these animals do have differing personalities. Some may prefer kibble, while others prefer dry options. Always take note of their eating habits as it will be pervasive even later on in life. You can try and let them get used to the ones you give, but it might take time to catch up and even fail at times.
Activity Level Lastly, you need to take into consideration the amount of energy that they expend in a day. You do not have to use mathematics for this as observation will suffice. Most dogs tend to run around and play all day, especially while they are still puppies. As they grow, it will lessen to more focused activities depending on how you train them. Meanwhile, some dogs have more physically demanding responsibilities, so they need to eat more.
Ingredients Do Matter Once you have already considered these aspects, it is time to look into the products themselves. As we have mentioned before, not all of them are created equal when compared to each other. Both wet and dry dog food does have advantages, but they are interchangeable most of the time. It will always come to personal preferences, but the ingredients are the ones that matter the most.
First off, you need to take a look at the contents. One of the indications of well-made pet food is the presence of natural ingredients. If you can find organic options, then it would be the better choice. However, most of them are relatively rare for now, even if there are sightings in typical grocery stores. Meanwhile, there are some specific ingredients that you need to find in their lists that you can check here.
Meat is an integral part of the natural canine diet. It gives them the nutrients they need to survive, like proteins and taurine. However, several pieces of research suggest it might be possible for them to go full vegan. There are already products that claim it on their packaging, and they are trying to go to the mainstream. If you are looking for the standard options, though, it would be best to look for a meat source in the ingredients.
The name of the content should be clear enough for anyone to understand. For example, if there is meat in the product, it should be appropriately labeled. If it says something generic like animal parts, then you might want to ask more questions about it.
What kind of animal are they using for this product? What are the elements that they have mixed in their contents? Some products tend to combine many other animal products in their pet food, but they should be named like beef heart, chicken liver, and others.
Additionally, it would be best if you looked into the carbs in the prepared food source. It is usually mixed in because dogs are omnivores, and they can live off plants, too. The same rule applies to meat; it should be labeled clearly by the manufacturer. The ingredient list should say what kind of carbohydrates they are putting in, like wheat and barley. Some low-quality products tend to use vague terms like coarse meal, and you might want to avoid it.
Most of these dog food products are supposed to be safe for consumption, as long as they have passed the US FDA regulations. It means that it does not have anything that is supposed to be dangerous to the canine species like chocolate, onions, and caffeine. However, it still pays to read the list and search for the terms that might not be clear for you. In this way, you can make sure of their health and well-being.
Make Your Own On the other hand, you can try and make food for your beloved canine. It is something that most people do these days since the world has been plunged into pandemic mode. Going to the market or grocery feels more of a chore since you have to do a lot of preparation before going out. You need to have a mask on and use alcohol as much as possible. Social distancing has also led to lesser people in these areas, so you might end up lining for a long time.
In this instance, it is essential to know that any food you are going to offer your dog should be cooked. It includes the meat, as modern domesticated animals tend to have a weaker digestive system than their wilder counterparts. A wolf can eat raw meat because they need it to survive but feeding one to a domesticated dog can lead to digestive issues. Also, we have mentioned that there are inherently dangerous food items, so watch out for them.
Being a dog owner might not be as simple as it seems, but there are so many reasons why it is a popular way of life. For one, having another animal with you is already proven to be therapeutic, given the circumstances. Dogs were inherently bred to be human’s constant companions, and we cannot see it changing anytime soon. For this reason, you need to feed them properly so that they can perform well even in the direst of situations.