Dog Agility: How Beneficial is Fitness for Dog Health?

Dog Agility Dog agility sounds like a structured form of canine competition which forces your dog to perform under stress like a professional athlete as she goes through weave poles as fast as she can, and that could make you wonder if your dog is at risk for a heart attack or injury based on the amount of perfection and hard work required to complete her routine at warp speed just to earn a simple prize that she swallows in 2 seconds.

This news brief gives you 6 clear-cut reasons why agility and fitness may be more fundamental to your dog’s health than you think so you can help your dog enjoy her life to the fullest.

6 Major Benefits of Dog Agility

  1. Focus – When you need your dog to pay attention and listen to your commands for her safety, to control a situation or maintain balance in a social setting, your dog’s focus is critical.  If your dog Dog Agilitypractices an activity and gets rewards for being focused, you help your dog think and respond quickly on her own without commands.  You also teach your dog to respond to your body language instead of the spoken word.
  2. Mental stimulation – Your dog often requires simple challenges, variety and continuous entertainment to keep her busy and happy.  A new trick or repeated exercise routines with rewards like agility training will encourage and stimulate your dog which will help prevent boredom, obesity and dementia as your dog ages.
  3. Physical workout – One of the most important aspects of dog health is exercise. Dog agility training fits the bill perfectly because it requires speed and repetition which will help your dog burn off calories, strengthen her muscles and keep her trim.  In addition, like pro athletes, there are pre-competition workouts and practice to increase your dog’s focus and energy level.
  4. Confidence – The excitement of applause for a job well done builds confidence and makes your dog feel significant. Fear or shyness can make your dog act like a wimp even if she’s simply nervous about the unknown.  Agility training helps your dog work harder at a task she may not be familiar with like balancing on a see-saw which can inspire your dog to be more confident and less anxious with dogs and humans.
  5. Bonding – What could be better than time spent with your dog so you can bond?  In the sport of dog agility, your dog must watch you like a hawk.  You are your dog’s guide with hand signals and encouragement so she can successfully reach her goal, get a reward and be acknowledged.  Since you and your dog are in the ring for agility training competition, you both will stay Dog Agilityin shape as a result of stretches and warm ups to prepare for competition and prevent injuries.
  6. Positive reinforcement – Agility training, like any sport, allows you to reinforce your dog’s good behavior with love and affection as well as a few dog treats for a job well done.  Dog agility competition might have a positive effect on your dog’s Dog Agilityoverall fitness and contribute her well being and health.

Thanks to Jesse, pictured in this article, who loves to balance on objects like hydrants and narrow posts.  These photos were taken in the Boston area with his proud owner, Rodney, who works with Jesse on agility training routines to help his sweet, smart and talented dog stay trim, happy and healthy.

This article gives you important fitness benefits of agility training for your dog as well as reasons to add this type of activity to your dog’s health and exercise routine.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can learn about the benefits of their dog’s fitness through agility training.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Social Anxiety in Dogs: Can Dog Parents Be The Cause?

AnxietySocial anxiety observed in dogs could be rooted in specific breed characteristics, illnesses or abusive treatment which triggers fear or aggression, however your dog’s physical and emotional environment can have the most profound consequential effect on your dog’s behavior, and at the same time it leads you to wonder if dog parents who suffer from day to day stress play a prominent part in the upswing of nervousness in dogs. 

This news brief gives you tips to reduce your dog’s angst which may help you change your own behavior and result in a lower level of anxious behavior in your dog, your life and your household.

Social Anxiety in Dogs: 3 Simple Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm

  1. Energy – Your dog might pick up agitated energy in your home when he’s faced with too much commotion, raised voices, and electronic devices that beep, buzz or vibrate.  If your dog seems hyperactive or can’t stay still for very long, you may want to monitor noises and activity levels in your home for an hour.  You can turn off your phone, slow down your pace and put on some quiet music to see if your dog’s behavior changes.  Because your dog hears extremely well, you may want to use a softer voice and cut back on loud commands to see if your dog’s behavior becomes more relaxed.
  2. Exercise – Lack of exercise can have an impact on your dog’s social anxiety.  Dogs need to release stress and burn off calories Anxietyjust like you do, so your dog’s tension could be the result of pent up zest that needs to be released.  You can increase the number of times you walk your dog and find ways to add activities indoors to allow your dog to move around as much as possible.  This change of pace might help loosen up your dog and quiet him down.
  3. Food – Your dog may be hyperactive because there’s too much sugar in his diet.  Some manufactured dog foods are high in carbohydrates which turn to sugar in your dog’s body.  Check with your veterinarian and be sure your dog gets a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet that won’t contribute to a sugar high.

Herbal Solutions to Increase Calmness in Dogs

Since most people probably won’t change their behavior, even if they may be the cause of their dog’s social anxiety, here’s 2 herbal solutions you can try:

  • Essential Oils – Lavender or lemon essential oil can be placed in the room where your dog sleeps using a diffuser that is out of your dog’s reach.  Allow the calming aroma to work and keep track of your dog’s behavior.
  • Chamomile – Add a cool cup of chamomile tea to your dog’s food or water.  Chamomile has a soothing effect and may quiet down your anxious dog.

AnxietyYou can comment on the blog after you try these herbs so people can benefit from the efficacy of herbal remedies for social anxiety in dogs.  If you’d like to know more about how herbal solutions can help your dog’s apprehension, feel free to ask your question on the blog.

This news brief gives you tips to help reduce your dog’s anxious behavior which may positively affect your dog and your entire family.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can use these tips to keep their dog from uneasiness in social settings.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

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Dog Sitting: Dogs I’ve Loved and Left Around the World

Dog SittingDog sitting services require experienced people who take over responsibility for your dog along with an understanding that with someone else’s dog, sooner or later they have to wave goodbye to their new four legged friend even if it breaks their heart and your dog, who doesn’t know why they’ve been deserted, may go through an extended period of separation anxiety after your dog sitter is long gone.

Thanks to guest blogger, world traveler and author, Gabrielle Yetter, this news brief gives you a description of what its like to care for other people’s dogs when you know you have to leave them at some point.

A Dog Sitting Journey told by Gabi Yetter

Our first was Noisette, the chocolate Labrador who loved to hike in France. Then came Bengy, a feisty spaniel who leaped four feet onto stone walls in the Italian countryside. Lulu was a nervous little terrier who wanted Parmesan cheese sprinkled on her food and Fritz was an enormous Belgian Malinois who guarded the ecolodge in Nicaragua with a ferocious attitude, sprinting after anything that threatened his space.

House-sitting for other people’s dogs is rather like having grand-children – or so they say. You love every minute you spend with them then hand them back when you’re done. Thing is, with most of the dogs we’ve had on our dog sitting travels, we don’t want to hand them back at all.

Our house-sitting adventures began after we quit our jobs, sold our home and moved to Cambodia in 2010. After almost four years, we decided to spread our wings and spend time in new parts of the world. Staying in other people’s homes. Taking care of other people’s pets.

Dog SittingI’d grown up in a houseful of dogs and cats, Skip is an avid animal-lover and in Cambodia our landlord didn’t allow pets. So, for us, living with other people’s animals was a special treat.

We signed up with a house-sitting site, contacted places that appealed to us and jumped in.

As to be expected, along with the pleasure of animal companionship and dog sitting comes responsibility. In France, we had to take Noisette to the vet when she got a stick in her eye, and in England we hauled Rufus, a 120 pound Golden Retriever into a taxi to go to the animal hospital when he seemed unwell. While out running in the countryside in Italy, I needed to carry Betty (a Maltese poodle) when she was being pursued by another dog and, in Florence, during a dramatic Easter firework display, I had to huddle in a corner of the street to console a terrified Lulu. Fritz scared the daylights out of us one day when he sprinted down a path on the volcano in pursuit of a creature in the jungle. We never learned what he found but he returned to the lodge with blood on his paw and a victorious look on his face.

Dog SittingDog sitting in France, we cared for two skittish rescue dogs whose owners roasted and froze 72 chicken legs for us to feed them while they were away. In England, Brownie the Springer Spaniel chewed up a doctor’s receipt, making it impossible for us to get reimbursed by insurance. And last Christmas, one of the five Chihuahuas we were tending nipped Skip on the leg when we first met.

Although once was enough for the Chihuahuas and the French rescue dogs, we often fall in love with our surrogate dogs and it’s always hard to say goodbye.

We have our list of dog sitting favourites and it’s getting longer: Rufus, the soppy slobbery Golden, who leaps enthusiastically into ponds and rivers, dragging five feet-long tree trunks in his jaw then shaking himself all over us; Bolle the enormous Mastiff who weighs more than I do and is a huge soppy bundle of love; Betty the Maltese who is a powder puff of fluffy happiness; Bengy the spaniel who ran with us in the countryside then slept on our bed; Alli the Ridgeback in Nicaragua who was as loving as she was large; Meg and Nelly, the elderly Labradors in Portugal who slowly meandered along dirt roads as they were losing their eyesight.

And while we’ve now been dog sitting and house-sitting for more than three years and have doggy pals scattered all over the world, I’m pretty confident there are many more Bettys, Allis, Nellys and Bengys in our future.

Dog SittingGabi Yetter, guest blogger, is a lover of dogs and all animals, an author, a foodie and a traveler.  Photos in this article feature Gabi and Skip Yetter with their doggy pals.

This news story gives you Gabi’s account of taking care of other people’s dogs while traveling around the world.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the information needed about dog sitting.  You can always depend of the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dogs Help Depression: 3 Easy Ways to Avoid The Blues

Dogs Help Depression Dogs help depression in very simple ways, like whenever your dog opens her eyes and gives you her paw which makes you forget all your troubles; but how does your dog manage to change your mood and why do you simply feel better if you see a dog in the street?… The scientific answer may be a raised level of dopamine that stimulates your feeling of pleasure, however the heartfelt answer must be the spiritual bond between humans and dogs.

This news brief gives you 3 easy ways to avoid getting the blues every day so you can reduce your stress and take advantage of a little unconditional love from your dog.

How Dogs Help Depression – 3 Ways You Can Shake Off a Bad Mood

  1. Sounding board – There may be times when your life becomes difficult or you have to deal with things beyond your control and you don’t really want to share your thoughts with anyone.  This is a perfect opportunity to have a face to face with your dog.  Think of her as your private therapist.  Your dog won’t tell a soul what you said and often, you’ll get the advice you need through the reflection in your dog’s eyes.  You can take your dog for a long walk and air out all your ideas without verbal interruption.  Dogs help depression because they are excellent listeners and sometimes all you need is a sounding board with a wagging tail to lift your spirits.
  2. Innocence – Have you ever noticed that a sleeping dog makes people smile?  Or, how about when your dog runs after a ball and brings it back to you for another chance to chase the ball and do Dogs Help Depressionthis over and over?  How does that make you feel?  Certainly not depressed.  It’s the innocence of play, the peace of mind, and yet another way to get rid of your negativity.  It’s ok to act like a kid again and maybe just take a nap with your dog because dogs help depression.
  3. Companionship – You don’t need to talk to your dog to lift your spirits.  And, if you don’t own a dog, you can have a silent conversation with a willing dog in the street or at someone’s home.  One of the best ways to release sadness is to focus on someone else, which makes your dog the perfect cure for a case of the blues.  Companionship is why 50% of the world share their home with a dog.  If you want to find a happy friend, you have a Dogs Help Depressiongood chance if they own a dog.  The act of caring for someone else’s needs, like your dog’s, doesn’t leave room for sadness.  Dogs help depression mainly because of their personalities and their unconditional love which is really hard to resist even when you’re in a bad mood.

This news brief gives you 3 reasons to be grateful for your dog because she really does keep you healthier by making you smile.

Share this article with your friends and family as a reminder so they can take better care of their dog and avoid the blues at the same time.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dementia in Dogs: What If Your Dog Forgets Who You Are?

Dog Health News™ - Dementia in DogsSigns of dementia in dogs, also diagnosed as canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), appear in ways that might go unnoticed or could be misdiagnosed when your dog has accidents in your house or she doesn’t respond to your commands until you repeat yourself several times, and even worse, your dog may wander aimlessly and not recognize you any more, which could frustrate you enough to wonder if your dog should be put down to save her from further decline and reduced quality of life.

This news brief gives you facts about canine dementia including symptoms, possible causes and treatment so you can take better care of your senior dog who actually needs more love and understanding than when she was a puppy.

Dementia in Dogs: 10 Potential Symptoms

  1. Confused – Your dog may seem disoriented and she could also wander around aimlessly in your home or outdoors.  When you look in your dog’s eyes, you may not feel she’s connecting with you the way she did when she was younger.
  2. Anxious  – Your dog’s behavior could change and she might seem nervous, shaky or ill at ease.  You may also notice your dog barks and whimpers at the smallest distractions or changes in her environment.
  3. Lack of appetite  – Your dog may not be interested in her meals and walk away from her food.  If you offer your dog treats, she may ignore them or seem confused.
  4. Sleeplessness – Symptoms of dementia in dogs can also cause your dog to have difficulty sleeping, wander around, whine and seem uncomfortable during the night.
  5. Forgetful – You may need to guide your dog on walks because she Dementia in Dogsmight not remember the route and seem anxious.  Your dog may also require your help to find toys, her water bowl and her favorite place to take a nap.
  6. Less self-grooming – Watch for a decline in self-grooming like licking private parts and paws.  This lack of personal care could be a sign of dementia in dogs.
  7. Incontinence – Senior dogs with dementia may develop incontinence because the messages sent by their brain no longer work well and they can’t control when they urinate or move their bowels.
  8. Less playful – A decline in energy along with a lack of playfulness may be yet another sign of dementia in your dog as she ages.
  9. Irritable – Your dog may have signs of dementia if she’s easily disturbed, nervous or jumpy.
  10. Slow learner – Another subtle sign of dementia could be if your dog doesn’t pick up new clues when you show her how to do something like getting into your car or fetching a toy.

Possible Causes of Cognitive Disfunction and Dementia in Dogs

  • Genetic predisposition to cognitive disfunction.
  • Oxidative stress related to free radical damage to your dog’s brain.
  • Nerve damage from protein build up that blocks signals from your dog’s brain.

Prevention and Treatment

  • Diet – Feed your dog a balanced breed-appropriate diet and keep treats to a minimum so your dog maintains a healthy weight.  Overweight dogs are at higher risk for diseases including dementia.
  • Exercise – Keep your dog active and useful with toys and long walks every day.  The more your dog uses her brain, the better Jesse - Dog Health News - Dementia in Dogschance she will retain her memory and live a longer, healthier life.  Stimulating toys that challenge your dog to think are the best ones to use for your dog at any age.
  • Remedies – Add alpha lipoic acid and grape seed extract as remedies to prevent and treat dementia in dogs.
  • Unconditional love – Be sure to spend time with your senior dog and give her extra care, attention and company.  Your dog is affected by her environment, so positive energy can go a long way to help your senior dog have a better quality of life.
  • Vet visits – Bring your dog to your local vet twice a year for checkups to monitor her progression of symptoms.

This short article covered symptoms causes, prevention and treatment for dogs with dementia so you have the tools you need to keep your dog healthy. 

Share this news brief with your friends and family so they have information on dementia in dogs to help them with their senior dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dog Head Tilt: What’s Right or Wrong About This Habit?

Dog Head TiltDog head tilt normally looks like your dog wants to express herself or she wants to get your attention, however when your dog tilts her head too often, loses her balance and has strange eye movements, you need to bring your dog to your veterinarian immediately for a checkup to see if your dog has underlying health problems that could affect her central nervous system.

This news brief gives you signs to watch for when your dog tilts her head so you know when to take action before your dog’s health is at risk from Ataxia which results in loss of coordination of your dog’s limbs, trunk and head.

Dog Head Tilt: 7 Signs of Ataxia

  1. Tilting head – Your dog may start to have abnormal behavior and tilt her head to one side.  She might have a loss of balance or have vertigo and feel dizzy.  Unusual head movements could indicate nerve damage and discomfort in your dog’s head and neck area.
  2. Hearing loss – Your dog may not react to your vocal commands as quickly as usual and you might realize you have to raise your voice higher to get her attention.
  3. Weak limbs – Your dog may start to favor one leg more than another or have noticeable weakness in one or more limbs.  Even without signs of dog head tilt, your dog might have difficulty on stairs, walking or jumping because her limbs are not strong enough to hold her weight.  In the worst cases, your dog won’t be able to hold her legs up at all.
  4. Stumbling – Although puppies fall over easily, your healthy adult dog should stand up straight on all four legs and have excellent balance.  Bring your dog to your vet if your dog continuously falls over, sways or stumbles.
  5. Drowsiness – If your dog is excessively tired or seems unfocused, she may have health issues related to her head, nerves and brain area with no instances of dog head tilt.  An active dog may get tired, however it’s not normal for your dog to have a low energy level and act like she’s in a stupor.
  6. Appetite loss – Your dog may suffer from motion sickness if she has vertigo or balance problems which can result in nausea and a lack of appetite.
  7. Behavior change – Take your dog to your local veterinarian if your dog’s energy level changes or she shows abnormal behavior.

Cricket Ditty – Challenges and Solutions for Dogs with Ataxia

Dog Head TiltMargaret Ditty discovered her dog Cricket had Ataxia when her 7 year old Chihuahua started losing her balance, falling over and exhibiting moments of exaggerated dog head tilt.  Cricket has Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) as a result of a vaccination at age 7.  You can learn more about GME from Margaret’s stories on her site, Pet Parents Fighting GME.

These 2 videos show Cricket struggling to stand up on a wood floor and Cricket walking down the hall with her custom designed wheelchair.

3 Types of Ataxia

  1. Sensory – Your dog’s spinal cord becomes compressed gradually.  Symptoms to watch for are when your dog misplaces her feet and her limbs become weak.  This condition can start with cerebral lesions in your dog’s brain near her neck.
  2. Vestibulocochlear – Damage to this nerve in your dog’s inner ear can cause hearing problems, dog head tilt and change your dog’s head and neck position.  Your dog may tend to lean over, tip over and even roll over.
  3. Cerebellar – Your dog may have uncoordinated movement, head tremors and swaying of her body. 

Causes of Ataxia

  • Spinal cord – Your dog’s ataxia may be caused by things like degeneration of nerves, loss of blood from a blood clot, malformation, cancer, as spinal cyst, infections or a trauma to her spinal cord.
  • Metabolic – Your dog may be anemic or have low blood sugar and low potassium levels.
  • Neurologic – Your dog may contract an inflammatory anti-immune disease to her central nervous system.
  • Vestibular – Your dog may get a fungal infection in her middle ear which can affect her peripheral nervous system and lead to dog head tilt.

Diagnosis of Ataxia Symptoms

  • Health history – Whenever your dog shows abnormal behavior, it’s critical to keep a journal so you can give your veterinarian a clear, step by step description of your dog’s illness with actual dates when symptoms were noticed.
  • Tests – Your veterinarian may order tests including blood counts, urinalysis, MRI and X-rays to determine if your dog has cancer.  Your dog may need an ultrasound to check her pancreas, liver and kidney function.
  • Expenses – 
  • If you have dog health insurance, some of your expenses may be covered, however you can expect initial bills to add up to over $3,000 if your dog has Ataxia.

Treatment for Your Dog with Ataxia and Dog Head Tilt

  • Drugs –  Consult with your veterinarian about drugs to treat your dog with Ataxia if your dog experiences pain from inflammation.  Ask your vet about alternative medicines and all potential side effects.
  • Exercise – Your dog’s motor skills may be limited and you might need to make changes in your home to help your dog from sliding on slippery floors. 
  • Products – Look into products that might help your dog grip the floor better or dog wheelchairs that allow your dog more mobility.

This news brief gives you information about symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of Ataxia so you can take better care of your dog.  Much thanks to Margaret Ditty and Cricket for the work they are doing to help dog parents.  Awareness of signs of diseases can make a huge difference because you’ll know when to bring your dog to your local vet or emergency animal hospital if needed.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can watch for signs of abnormal or excessive dog head tilt in their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

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Dog Vaccination Schedule ~ Dosage and Dog Health Risks

Dog Vaccination ScheduleYour dog vaccination schedule is reviewed when you and millions of responsible dog owners bring your dog to your local veterinarian for your dog’s annual wellness visit.  Over the years, most dog owners leave it up to their vet to make the decision on what vaccines are necessary and how often their dog should be vaccinated, however there is not enough attention paid to serious side effects which can permanently harm your dog’s health from over-vaccinating.

This short video with Margaret Ditty and her dog, Cricket, gives you all the information you need to ask more questions about your dog’s next shot so you can keep your dog healthy.

Your Dog Vaccination Schedule: 3 Key Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian

Dog Vaccination ScheduleYou’ll hear Margaret Ditty’s gripping story about her Chihuahua named Cricket in the interview below.  Margaret is the founder of Pet Parents Fighting GME.  If you own a toy breed, your dog is more prone to this disease, however no breed is exempt. 

3 Key Questions to Ask:

  1. Does my dog need this vaccination?
  2. Is the dosage safe for my dog’s breed, size and age?
  3. Can I have a titer test to determine if my dog needs this vaccination?

Cricket’s disease, Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) is an inflammatory auto-immune disease that affects her central nervous system.

Margaret Ditty and Cricket on Dog Health News TV

You can go to Pet Parents Fighting GME for more information and also read Cricket’s story to get further details.

This news brief about your dog vaccination schedule helps you to ask more questions about vaccines and consider alternative ways to care for your dog’s health.  Margaret Ditty’s story about Cricket shows you one dog out of millions who suffer from the results of too many vaccines, incorrect dosage of vaccines and medications, and lack of information about symptoms.  Awareness of symptoms related to dog health illnesses along with fast action might save your dog’s life.

Dog Vaccination ScheduleShare this article and interview with your friends and family or anyone you feel would benefit from Cricket’s story so they can help protect their dog from chronic health diseases like GME.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Can Dogs Eat Lemons? You May Be Surprised By The Answer

IMG_1507Can dogs eat lemons or will your dog scrunch up his face and run the other way after you squeeze tangy lemon juice into his water bowl, because your dog may not like the zesty taste of lemon added to his favorite beverage, and even worse, your dog might avoid his water bowl altogether if he doesn’t like the taste.

This news brief gives you 10 reasons to run out to your grocery store and buy a large bag of lemons to help keep your dog healthy and add lemons to your entire household’s daily diet or skin care treatment.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons?  10 Reasons Lemons Keep Your Dog Healthy

  1. Alkalizer – Lemon juice alkalizes your dog’s pH level and can relieve the pain of arthritis.
  2. Anti-Oxidant – Lemon juice fights against aging, bacteria, cancer and tumors.  You can add lemon peel to your dog’s food to help keep your dog’s brain healthy and make your dog calm.
  3. Bad Breath – You can squeeze 1 or 2 drops of lemon juice in your dog’s water bowl and see how he likes it.  The lemon juice may help to keep your dog’s breath smelling sweeter.  Can dogs eat lemons?  We don’t recommend that your dog eat a whole lemon, of course.  Also, be sure to remove the seeds when you give your dog any fresh lemon juice.
  4. Cleanser – You can add lemon juice to your dog’s shampoo or to give your dog a good cleansing.  Another way to give your dog a rinse is to use a quarter cup of lemon juice and 2 or 3 quarts of homemade room temperature green tea.  If you’re worried about toxic chemicals in your household cleansers, you can use fresh lemon juice and organic apple cider instead. Can dogs eat lemons? Yes they can, and this means they can lick your floor if you washed it with lemon juice.
  5. Ear Infections – You can mix a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with a pint of distilled water and use a soft cloth or cotton ball to wipe out your dog’s ears and keep them clean.  For ear infections, use a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and 3 tablespoons distilled water.  Put 2 or 3 drops of this mixture in your dog’s ears to help heal ear infections or get rid of ear mites.
  6. Eye Wash – You can mix 1/8 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of distilled water and put 2 or 3 drops in your dog’s eyes to treat an eye infection.  Warning:  Don’t use this lemon juice solution for pink eye because your dog may have conjunctivitis which is highly contagious.  Check with your veterinarian before you use lemon juice for your dog’s eye infections.
  7. Flea Repellant – Can dogs eat lemons and will that help with flea prevention?  The jury is out on the internal benefits of lemon juice to keep fleas away from your dog.  However, you can make a homemade spray with fresh lemon juice and water to help your Can Dogs Eat Lemonsdog fight off fleas.  Although lemon juice spray will not kill fleas, it may keep fleas away from your dog because fleas don’t like the smell or taste of lemons.  Rub lemon oil into your dog’s skin to increase the flea repellant strength of lemon as long as your dog doesn’t have any skin irritations or sensitivities.
  8. Frostbite – You can apply lemon oil to the tips of your dog’s ears to help prevent frostbite in cold weather.
  9. Miscellaneous Benefits – Dental health, detoxification, digestion, immunity booster, liver health, parasite prevention, urinary tract infections.
  10. Can dogs eat lemons? – The most important point is that a small amount of lemon juice or any part of a lemon is good for your dog’s health.  If you can add lemon juice or lemon peel to one of your dog’s meals every day, you may help your dog increase his immunity and stay healthier.  

Can Dogs Eat Lemons

Note:  Dog Health News suggests that you use fresh lemons only and does not recommend the use of bottled pasteurized lemon juice because the healthy properties of lemons may be compromised in the processing.  Be sure to keep lemon juice, oil or spray away from your dog’s eyes and any open wounds because lemon juice stings and can irritate your dog’s eyes.

This news brief gives you 10 reasons to add some lemon to your dog’s diet or use lemon juice and lemon oil as a topical treatment to keep your dog healthy or free of fleas. Can dogs eat lemons?  Remember to keep the amounts of lemon juice appropriate for your dog’s size.  With all these benefits for your dog, you can feel free to use the lemons in your kitchen as an inexpensive strategy for dog health.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the benefits of lemons and lemon oil for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Puppy Training Classes: Is Your Dog’s Behavior Healthy?

Puppy Training ClassesPuppy training classes can provide the best environment for your dog to learn how to socialize with dogs and people as long as you choose a professional trainer who uses positive training practices that don’t harm your dog physically and emotionally.

Because of the importance of early puppy training, Dog Health News asked Anne Springer, B.A. PCT-A, CTDI, CAPCT, VA, owner of Paws for Praise to be our guest on our new podcast series, Sit.Stay.Listen.  Anne’s extensive background covers all aspects of dog health including training, grooming, animal welfare.

Puppy Training Classes: Anne Springer’s Methods and Philosophy

This short podcast gives you Anne Springer’s approach to puppy training and how her methods work.  Anne also talks about dog behavioral health, positive training and evidence based training.  You can learn more about Anne Springer on Paws for Praise.

Sit Stay Listen Podcast Anne Springer

You can find Anne Springer’s podcast and more on Sit.Stay.Listen.  Share this article and Anne’s podcast with your friends and family so they can take better care of their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this puppy training classes post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

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Autoimmune Disease in Dogs: Why GME Awareness is Vital

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs Autoimmune disease in dogs may attack different parts of your dog’s body, however, when it strikes your dog’s central nervous system, this condition can be life-threatening and some symptoms of Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) often cause severe suffering like chronic migraines that require high doses of medication to help lower your dog’s threshold of pain.

This article gives you a heart wrenching account of a dog named Cricket Ditty and her challenges with GME told by her pet parent and our guest blogger, Margaret Ditty.  When Dog Health News read about Cricket’s condition, we decided that her story needs to be heard far and wide to spread awareness about this disease.

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs: Cricket Ditty – One Dog’s Fight Against GME & NME

Margaret Ditty has kindly shared Cricket’s story so you can understand all aspects of GME & NME.

Cricket was born in January 2009 and just turned 7 years old.   She’s a  fawn colored, female, Applehead Toy Chihuahua with papers.  One weekend I had wandered into a local pet store when I saw this precious little furbaby in her pet store cage.  She looked at me, wagged her tail and woofed at me.  She had me at “woof”. 

Pet store dogs aren’t cheap and her going price was $1,300.00.  I asked the pet store worker if I could visit with her in their visiting area and she brought her to me.  She was a mere 2-½ pounds of sheer cuteness.  She was loaded with personality and spunk and not shaky like most Chihuahuas.  So I called the hubby and begged him to let me purchase her.  She could be every present for the entire year that he would have to purchase for me.  Finally my husband caved in to my pleas, even though we already have a Miniature Pinscher with heart problems at home.  I never purchased pet insurance as I always put away funds in a special pet account for my dogs figuring that my monthly contribution would be enough to cover shots and annual exams myself. Big mistake.

Autoimmune Disease in DogsCricket’s first 7 years of life were wonderful.  No health issues whatsoever.  Then poof, in October of 2015 she started showing some unusual health symptoms that we were concerned about.  She seemed to be having some vision loss and she was walking a bit differently.  We took Cricket to our vet and he thought it might be a middle ear infection, prescribed ear drops and told us to use as needed.  Just two weeks later she received her annual shots, but no rabies vaccination due yet.  Another big mistake. 

From that moment on we saw a decline in Cricket’s health.  Reports say that GME, an autoimmune disease in dogs, is idiopathic in nature which means no known reason it occurs, but they are finding that toy breeds are more susceptible to this disease but not sure why.  In December, Cricket could still walk up and down the stairs, but by January she refused to go up or down the stairs.  She wasn’t as spunky and she was bumping into things that she normally would not bump into before. 

We thought Cricket might have diabetes as she wasn’t seeing very well.  This time I took her to the Animal Hospital that ran a CBC blood panel and specifically checked for diabetes.  They noted that Cricket could not walk very well, definitely could not see very well, and said she was almost blind.  After the blood work came back they found that Cricket had a severe bladder infection and put her on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory medication.  She seemed to be getting better as apparently the anti-inflammatory medication was helping with the inflammation in her brain from the undiagnosed GME, an autoimmune disease in dogs.  Then a week later, after she had finished this medication, Cricket started getting worse. 

We took Cricket back to our local Animal Hospital who determined she indeed was having neurological problems and referred us to a canine neurologist located in Richmond, Virginia, the only one in our entire state.  We made the 2-½ hour trip one way as soon as they could fit us in. 

Cricket was in bad shape by the time we visited the neurologist at as she had been fighting this disease since October of 2015, unbeknownst to us and our educated vets!   Dr. Michael Higginbotham DVM DACVIM, with Bush Veterinary Neurology Service in Richmond, Virginia, examined her and determined she needed an MRI and possibly a spinal tap which cost us $3,200.00 .  After he completed the MRI he determined, due to the Chiari-like malformation in the back of her brain, she could not undergo a spinal tap as it would kill her. 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsThe MRI showed that Cricket had massive necrosis in the brain and Dr. Higginbotham determined she not only had GME but NME, which was due to her delayed diagnosis and treatment of this autoimmune disease in dogs.  Necrosis is when the white cells eat up parts of the brain, leave lesions and empty cavities in the brain that then are filled up with fluids, which in turn cause even more inflammation in the brain.  To save her life he had to hospitalize her overnight with Chemo Treatments via IV.  So that’s exactly what we did.  We hospitalized her to get her better and took her home the next day.

Cricket looked extremely weak and tired, not because of the Chemo as dogs react differently than humans when receiving this treatment, but due to the debilitating migraines which can be the most painful effects of this disease in the brain. 

We came home and gave Cricket the high dose of prednisone they told us to give her every 12 hours.   Although this drug helps bring down the inflammation in your dog’s brain, it has many side effects including weight gain, excessive thirst and a pot belly.  Then about a week later she was reduced to 2.5 mg twice a day and put on Cyclosporine, which is a drug used for humans to keep them from rejecting transplanted organs. Cyclosporine helps reduce your dog’s white blood cells from attacking your dog’s brain any further.  This med costs $156.00 per month! 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsA month later, Cricket did not seem to be getting any better so we had to drive up to Richmond for yet another $175.00 visit.  Dr. Higginbotham wanted to hospitalize Cricket for 4 days that would have run another $2,200.00 which we did not have.  After I broke down and cried in front of the neurologist, he cut us a break.  For an additional $156.00, he sent her home with a two day supply of Chemo that my local vet would have to give to Cricket. 

I just cried all the way home holding that Chemo in my hand like it was gold since it was apparently life saving for my precious Cricket.  My local vet administered the Chemo and Cricket seemed to start getting better.  In about 10 days, we had to bring her back for another CBC to check her white cells. 

Since Cricket was not stable on any type of wood or tile flooring throughout my home; we put down all kinds of throw rugs in the family room and put up gates to the entrance and exits.  My husband also made Cricket a doggy walker out of PVC pipe and I sewed the body support to her walker so she could walk on the kitchen tile floors without falling.  This worked and it gave her greater mobility and security on the floors. 

To help Cricket regain some strength, I bought a doggy life jacket and proceeded to do water therapy in our bathtub which seems to help control her weight gain from the prednisone and gives her more muscle strength.  Our vet thought it was an excellent idea, so I continue doing this to help rehabilitate her with hope that Cricket’s brain can re-channel the neurological damage she’s suffered from this autoimmune disease in dogs and learn to walk on floors without slipping. 

Unfortunately, Cricket didn’t seem like she was getting any better, meaning her old self, and we had to take her back to the neurologist. Dr. Higginbotham gave her 10 mg of Lomustine, a very strong Chemo Therapy in pill form.  This treatment was $456.00.  Needless to say we are hemorrhaging vet bills to save her precious little life!  This does not include the checkups with our local vet and all the additional blood work to check her white blood cell counts and to check for liver problems from the prednisone!    She seems to be doing better since this last treatment, however she still slips on floors and has good and bad days due to the neurological damage to her brain from the delayed diagnosis and treatment of this autoimmune disease in dogs.

During this whole journey I joined a support group on Facebook to learn more about GME, and then I created my own group.  I personally created a GME Awareness Pamphlet that I am passing out to every person I meet at drive-thru windows, inside local pet stores and veterinarian practices, at stores or to dog owners out walking their dog.  Members of my site are passing my GME Awareness Pamphlets out as well, and some members live outside of the US!  I also created a GME & NME Awareness Video that features many dogs on these sites that are going through this horrible disease, and the pet parents who are shelling out thousands and thousands of dollars to help treat and save their pets lives. We are sharing this video with every doggy website on Facebook. 

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs

It’s been an amazing but heart breaking journey.  I’ve learned a lot about autoimmune disease in dogs and made many precious friends on these sites who are going through the same health crisis with their beloved furbabys!  They’re amazing to know and truly an inspiration of commitment and courage towards the love of their precious furbabys. 

I want to spread awareness about GME and NME to other pet parents to help save them the pain that they and their dogs could go through if not treated early.  Some dogs can die within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis because many vets are unfamiliar with this disease to the central nervous system.  Your dog may have some or all of these symptoms.

Symptoms of GME 

•Head Pressing: Dog will press their head against things

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs•Weakness in legs

•Behavior changes

•Circling

•Seizures

•Blindness

•Drowsiness

•Head tilting

•Unsteady walk or gait

I want to bring awareness about GME and NME to pet parents of toy breeds because your dogs are at greater risk of this autoimmune disease.  Annual vaccine shots given to toy breeds at the same dose for a 125 pound dog cause your toy breed’s autoimmune system to “melt down”. This high vaccine dose is like throwing fuel on embers of an already slow burning fire existing in toy breeds!  After your initial puppy shots in the first year of your dog’s life, I recommend you have your local vet administer a titer test prior to any additional annual shots!  A titer test will determine if your dog has sufficient antibodies against current dog diseases and if they do, you DO NOT have to perform an annual shot with the exception of Rabies, which is required every three years per state law.   If you currently have a GME or NME dog, remember that your dog must be healthy enough to receive further vaccinations, which they usually are not and are EXEMPT from further annual shots to include rabies.  Ask your vet to use a big red marker on your pets file that says “NO FURTHER SHOTS REQUIRED.”  A re-vaccination of a GME & NME dog would mean certain death!

My biggest advice to any pet parent today is, “If you own a pet, be sure to sign up for pet insurance immediately!”  You cannot possibly imagine how much you will pay when trying to help your dog with a life threatening autoimmune disease in dogs like GME or NME.  It’s horrific, and you feel like you are at your VET’s mercy because the other option of putting down your beloved furbaby is not an option if they are a member of your family.  Pets, to some people, are just as much a part of your family as your own biological children.  Some of us commit to them for life as they mean that much to us as they truly are man’s best friend, full of love and devotion for you.  Do they deserve any less than the best medical care that anybody else in your family would deserve?  I say “No they don’t” and for loves sake I will fight the fight and bring awareness with every ounce of my being and with all my heart!  Thank you for allowing me to share Cricket’s story and bring awareness! 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsWarmest Regards,

Margaret Ditty

Pet Parent to Cricket Ditty

Remember to always, “Educate, Encourage and Share”

You can find Margaret Ditty on Facebook and at Pet Parents Fighting NME & GME “Educate, Encourage, Share”.  You can also join her group to stay up to date with Cricket’s condition and learn more from other members of her group.  All photos in this article are of Cricket Ditty and were provided by Margaret Ditty.

This article gives you a full disclosure about Cricket Ditty’s fight against GME and NME, an autoimmune disease in dogs, so you can take better care of your dog. Dog Health News is honored to have Margaret Ditty’s trust to share Cricket’s story and acknowledges the incredible strength Cricket has while she deals with the effects of this disease.  Margaret Ditty’s passion to spread awareness about GME and NME is unstoppable.

Share Cricket Ditty’s story with your friends and family so they understand the symptoms and challenges of this potentially deadly disease with no known cause.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

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