Chubby Dogs: 7 Ways Your Plump Pooch May Cost You More

Chubby DogsChubby dogs may be the cutest canines on your street, get lots of love and make everyone smile, however their extra pounds can be the cause of dozens of health issues that will make these overweight dogs suffer and rack up expensive medical bills at your vet.  It’s hard to say no when your dog begs for treats until one day you notice he’s twice the size he was last year and your veterinarian tells you to cut back on his food because your dog could develop diabetes or a heart condition that will add lifelong dog health expenses and potentially shorten your dog’s life.

This news brief gives you 7 ways your pudgy dog could cost you more in health expenses so you’ll understand the consequences of canine obesity.

7 Ways Chubby Dogs are in Danger of Expensive Health Risks

  1. Knees  – Extra weight can put your dog at risk for knee and leg injuries and your dog may need cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery.  The average cost for CCL surgery is $3,500 without dog health insurance coverage.  Additional costs are for physical therapy that can run as high as $100 per visit as needed.
  2. Arthritis – Inflammation around your dog’s joints builds up with more pounds to carry around and your dog may develop a limp or become lame from the pain he suffers with arthritis.  You may need to spend $1,000 or more to treat your dog’s arthritis, provide a dog wheelchair and pay for medicine to reduce your dog’s pain and arthritic symptoms.
  3. Hygiene – Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) increase when chubby dogs can’t reach areas to clean because of their body weight.  The cost to treat UTI’s can be more than $500 each time your dog gets an infection.
  4. Back – If your dog carries 5-10 pounds over his healthy weight Chubby Dogsthere’s a good chance he’ll have back problems sooner or later.  Corgis, Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are prone to intervertebral disc disease (IDD) which can result in surgery that can be more than $2,000.  However, back problems are common in all breeds when your dog is overweight.
  5. Cancer – Obesity in dogs can often be one cause of cancerous tumors.  The cost for tests and treatment for your dog with cancer is over $2,000.  Medical expenses can be a minor point for your family compared to what your dog must endure with this disease.
  6. Stomach – Too many treats, large portions of food and reduced exercise can contribute to your dog’s weight gain. The consequences for chubby dogs can be things like an upset tummy, gas, diarrhea, liver disease, vomiting and dehydration.  The cost for vet visits to solve these health problems add up over the years.  Stomach-related health issues are one of the most common reason for vet visits and thousands of dog owners are unpleasantly surprised with average bills of $500 – $1,000.
  7. Diabetes – Table scraps, pieces of pizza, bites of cookies and treats loaded with carbohydrates and fat could be the catalyst for your dog to develop diabetes.  If your dog suffers from diabetes, you are faced with daily responsibility for his health and additional dog health expenses throughout your dog’s life.  The estimated annual cost starts at $1,000 to cover vet visits and blood sugar maintenance.

Tips to Prevent Canine Obesity

  • Exercise – Light to moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a Chubby Dogsday helps keep your healthy dog from growing into the obese weight category of chubby dogs.
  • Diet – Work with your vet so you feed your dog a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet with limited treats for being a good dog.
  • Habits – Bad habits are hard to break, however your dog depends on your help to keep him at his healthy weight.  It’s never too late to change your habits like limiting treats to once a day.  Obesity can shorten your dog’s life, reduce his quality of life and even worse, you may face tough decisions when presented with a big bill to pay because your dog is overweight.

This article gives you reasons to keep your dog at his healthy weight to prevent him from the risks of obesity including extra expenses to care for a chubby dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have information on the dangers faced by overweight dogs and the costs to cover their health expenses.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Small High Energy Dogs: Who’s in Control of Your Leash?

High Energy DogsHigh energy dogs could knock you over, push you down or even worse, your darling dog could drag you down the street and land you in your local hospital emergency room.  Like thousands of dog owners, you could end up with a rotator cuff injury, a twisted ankle and multiple bruises unless you know how to handle your dog’s energy without putting both of you at risk when you’re out on your daily walks.

This news brief gives you 5 essential tips to manage your dog’s power in ways that will keep you on your feet and give your dog her freedom.

High Energy Dogs – What To Watch Out For

  • Leash – Your 35 pound leashed dog could take you for a walk and might actually pull so hard that you can’t keep your balance. If you have limited strength in your arms and legs, you may want to hire a stronger individual to walk your dog.  The cost for someone to walk your dog will be far less than the expense, pain and inconvenience of being injured in a fall.
  • People – Your lively dog may be a bit too much for other people to handle unless they have experience with sprightly dogs. One way to prevent accidents is to keep your dog on a leash and have her sit when other people approach to encourage good dog behavior.
  • DogsHigh energy dogs tend to be social with other dogs which means they often want to run towards other dogs to sniff them out.  A quick jolt on a leash can catch you by surprise, so the best strategy is to stay focused and have the proper type of collar and harness for your dog.

5 Tips to Harness Your Dog’s Power

  1. Speed – Keep your pace slow and train your dog to walk without pulling at her leash.  Your dog may be in jeopardy when she’s allowed to go too fast if she causes you to lose your balance and fall in the street.
  2. Location – Walk high energy dogs on streets and paths that are flat so you’re not in danger of bumpy surfaces, holes or hills.  Choose a route to walk your dog that keeps you close to your home in case of an emergency.
  3. Weather – Wind, ice and snow can add more challenges with your lively dog.  If your dog’s been cooped up indoors and suddenly has the freedom to be outdoors, she might want to leap out the door and jump for joy, pulling you down the stairs at the High Energy Dogssame time.  Weather challenges like gusts of wind, slippery surfaces and deep snow could mean trouble if high energy dogs move too quickly and you take a spin.  You can set up a place for your dog to relieve herself in your home or backyard in bad weather or hire someone to walk your dog in inclement weather.
  4. Health – You and your dog’s health are important.  That’s why it’s critical to understand your physical limitations as a dog owner with a small perky dog who needs more exercise than some of the larger dog breeds.  People who have heart conditions, arthritis and poor balance need to evaluate their physical strength before taking on an active dog with high energy.
  5. Help – When you realize your little dog isn’t enjoying the outdoors enough because you’re nervous about the risks of her high energy level, the best choice is to hire a dog walker you can trust with your dog.

Small High Energy Dogs

  • Breeds – Australian Terrier, Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Fox Terrier, & Jack Russell Terrier.  Farmers used many of these dog breeds to hunt snakes and rodents and assist in fox hunts
  • Characteristics –  Terriers are full of spunk and tenacious, independent, courageous and clever.  These lively dogs thrive on High Energy Dogsmental and physical stimulation for relaxation. Activities like playing frisbee, running and hiking are perfect to help slow down your overactive dog.
  • Personality – Terriers are smart, good-natured and affectionate which makes them a very popular breed.

Special Note:  Sasha, the Cairn Terrier dog, featured in this article is one of the top 10 small high energy dogs and comes from The Isle of Skye in Scotland.  I’ve been fortunate enough to take Sasha for a few walks and it’s exhilarating to feel like we could take flight if only I could run like the wind with this precious dog.

This article gives you tips on how to deal with small dog breeds with extraordinary energy levels so you can enjoy your relationship with your dog safely.

Share this news brief with your friends and family with small active dogs so they have the information they need for their safety.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Can Dogs Get High on Hemp Seed? Health Facts & Cautions

Can Dogs Get HighCan dogs get high on organic hemp seed, one of the most nutritious gifts of nature, and could this variety of cannabis cause your dog to have an increased appetite for sweets, or even worse, what if your dog became addicted to hemp seed and began to have hallucinations that result in chronic behavior problems that pose serious health risks.

This news brief gives you the health facts and cautions about hemp seed and hemp seed oil so you can use these superfoods safely for your dog.

Can Dogs Get High on Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil?   The Facts

  • Hemp is not marijuana – Although there’s a very small quantity of tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC) in hemp, there’s not enough to cause your dog to get high.  The amount of THC in hemp seed or hemp oil is less than 1.5%. 
  • Marijuana contains 5-10% or more of THC.  The method of getting high on marijuana is usually by smoking it, so that cuts down on the possible side effects for your dog who doesn’t smoke.

5 Benefits of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil

  1. Omega-6 and Omega-3:  The Linoleum acid and alpha linolenic acid are balanced perfectly in the Omega-6 and Omega-3 in hemp seed oil and can boost your dog’s essential fatty acids (EFAs) your dog can’t produce by herself. Good news, the answer to can dogs get high on hemp seed is ‘no’, and your dog may benefit from the additional EFAs.
  2. Inflammation: Your dog may experience a reduction in inflammation and a revitalized immune system as a result of the Omega-3 fats.
  3. Joint Pain: Your dog may have relief from arthritis pain as a possible benefit of Hemp Seed Oil.
  4. Skin and Coat: Hemp seed oil can be used on your dog’s skin to Can Dogs Get Highhelp with skin irritations, dermatitis and hemp seed oil might even increase cellular growth for healing because this oil penetrates your dog’s skin layers.
  5. Nutrition: Organic hemp seed (raw shelled) can be sprinkled on your dog’s food to add protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.  You’ll be happy to know that the answer is also ‘no’ to can dogs get high on hemp seeds.

Cautions About the Use of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil

  • Quantity:  Use 1/4 teaspoon of hemp seed oil or hemp seed in your dog’s meal.  You can use a tablespoon of hemp seed oil if you apply it on your dog’s skin for each application.
  • Cooking:  Hemp seed oil contains polyunsaturated fat which makes it unstable.  When you add hemp seed oil to home made cooked dog food that’s heated, the hemp seed oil could cause your dog’s food to become rancid and make your dog sick. 
  • Fat: As long as your dog eats a nutritionally balanced diet with meat, you add Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil.  If you dog eats Can Dogs Get Highchicken which is already high in polyunsaturated fat, you don’t want to add more fat and may be better off using flaxseed oil for your dog instead.

Note: Check with your veterinarian before you add hemp seed or hemp seed oil to your dog’s diet.  If your dog has health challenges that may be eased by medical marijuana, make sure that you talk to your veterinarian or dog health professional about the right dosage for your dog.

This news brief gives you the 5 benefits of hemp seed and hemp seed oil for your dog and answers the question, can dogs get high on hemp. 

Share this article with your friends and family so they can take better care of their dog and add a little more nutritional value to their dog’s diet.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News. 

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What Not To Feed Dogs: Does Your Dog Really Need Carbs?

What Not to Feed DogsYour list of what not to feed dogs gets longer every day because certain foods may give your dog indigestion, result in obesity and lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease, which could make you wonder whether your dog really needs those extra carbohydrates in pizza crust when he already gets plenty of protein in his diet, is fed a species-specific nutrient balanced diet or if you make your dog healthy food in your kitchen.

This news brief gives you information you need to understand carbohydrates so you can make an educated decision about what not to feed your dog to keep him healthy.

What Not To Feed Dogs:  Take These 6 Groups of Carbohydrates Out of Your Dog’s Diet

  1. Sugars – There is truly no reason to add sugar to your dog’s food What Not to Feed Dogsbecause your dog doesn’t have the same taste buds as you do.  When you add sugar, honey, molasses or even ice cream that’s loaded with sugar to your dog’s diet, you put your dog at risk for health issues like cancer, diabetes and obesity.
  2. Cereals – If you have children in your household, take care to keep any cereals your kids may eat out of your dog’s reach and off the floor where your dog will lick up those little treats before you blink your eye. Packaged cereals of any kind are on the list of what not to feed dogs.  There is no nutritional value for your dog in any brand of cereal.
  3. Cookies – Even the smallest cookie like animal crackers are loaded with carbs.  When you’re munching on butter cookies, fortune cookies, graham crackers or any type of cookie, make sure you don’t share them with your dog.  Find a healthy dog treat from your kitchen like a small piece of carrot or a slice of apple that will be a much safer choice with fewer carbs.
  4. What Not to Feed DogsCakes and flour – Your dog may beg you to share your birthday cake and any pastry you have on your plate, however,  you might discover that these sweet foods on the list of what not to feed dogs contain flour and fat that can harm your dog’s health.   
  5. Bread and pizza – Those little table scraps you think are fun for your dog to eat could be the worst thing you feed your dog because they may result in extra pounds and digestive issues, not to mention extra visits to your vet.
  6. Potatoes – This category includes potato chips and french fries What Not to Feed Dogsthat are so easy to toss in your dog’s ever ready open mouth.  The oil and salt in these potato foods can lead to clogged arteries and possible heart conditions in your dog. 

Facts About Carbohydrates for Your Dog

  • Nutrition – Your dog does not need additional carbohydrates when you feed your dog a species-specific nutritionally balanced diet.  The list of what not to feed dogs above is a great source of information for you to use and take better care of your dog’s health.
  • Training – Your dog’s diet depends on your control of what you feed your dog.  If you allow your dog to munch on table food, you are training your dog to beg for foods that are not healthy. 
  • Energy – Your dog will store extra carbohydrates in his liver and muscles as fat.  If you feed your dog more carbohydrates than he can burn off, you may be putting your dog at risk for health problems down the road.
  • Good Carbs – Read the labels on your dog’s manufactured food so you can eliminate what not to feed dogs including grains like corn, rice and wheat.  You can add pureed vegetables and fruits to your dog’s diet for good carbohydrates if needed.  Quantity is the key factor.  Less is best when it comes to carbohydrates.

What Not to Feed Dogs

Note: A healthy diet for your dog may seem boring to you without some sweet or tasty treats, however, your dog’s tastebuds are not like yours and your dog will live a longer, healthier life without sugar and carbohydrates.  If it’s not good for your dog, it may not be good for you.

This news brief gives you facts about carbohydrates for dogs, what not to feed dogs, and reasons why you may want to take carbs out of your dog’s diet to keep your dog healthier longer and save on dog health expenses.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the information they need about carbohydrates for their dogs.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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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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Dog Anatomy: 9 Key Differences Between You and Your Dog

Dog AnatomyDog anatomy quizzes for dog owners could sound like a fun game or a good test of your knowledge, however you may be surprised when you discover how much you don’t know about your dog’s body and the way your dog metabolizes her food, so you might want to brush up on your dog’s physiology before you put your dog at risk in case you think your dog is built just like you.

This news brief gives you 9 main contrasts that separate you from your dog so you can take better care of your dog.

Dog Anatomy 101: 9 Ways Your Dog Differs from You

  1. Body, Skin and Fur – This characteristic may be obvious, however your dog’s size and shape makes her quite different than you.  Your dog’s weight can go from a tiny toy poodle at 5 pounds to a Great Dane that stands as high as 4 feet and hits the scale at 200 pounds.  Even if you and your dog match in weight, your dog’s other body characteristics are strictly canine. Your dog’s skin is layered and much thinner than yours.  Shedding is another big difference in dog anatomy and is common to most dogs.  Fur helps insulate your dog in cold weather.  If your dog has hair, she’s better suited for warmer climates because her hair acts as a sunshade.
  2. Mobility – Your dog is more like a horse because she can change her pace from a walk to a full gallop on all four legs.  If your dog loves to swim like a Golden Retriever, you can see the difference in the dog paddle technique she uses to move through the water.
  3. Life Span – Your dog’s metabolism runs much faster than yours which shortens her life span.  This means that your dog breathes faster at 20 – 30 breaths per minute, her blood pumps faster at 65 – 120 beats per minute, and her body temperature is higher at an average of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  Your dog sweats by panting and through her paw pads, but not through her skin. It’s important for you to understand the dangers of dehydration and heat stroke based on dog anatomy and the high rate of your dog’s metabolism.
  4. Sight – Your dog has better night vision, and sees motion much better than you because of a reflective layer in your dog’s eyes.  You can see this layer, called the Tapetum Lucidum, at night Dog Anatomywhen car headlights shine into your dog’s eyes and show a greenish glimmer.  Your dog has fewer cones in her retina which cuts down on her ability to see detail and colors as well as you.  For protection in dog anatomy, your dog also has a third eyelid called the nicitating membrane.
  5. Hearing – Your dog’s sense of hearing is 4 times better than yours because of her extra long ear canal.  Some of the health challenges are ear infections, wax buildup and lack of ventilation to your dog’s ear canal if your dog has long floppy ears.
  6. Taste and Smell – Believe it or not, your dog’s taste buds are much weaker than yours, so you don’t really have to worry about variety in her food.  Your dog’s sense of smell is about a million times better than yours and that’s why your dog’s nose is so sensitive.  Take care to remember dog anatomy characteristics for your dog when you cook, clean your home and use fragrances of any kind.
  7. Teeth – Your dog has 42 teeth compared to your 32 teeth.  The front teeth are incisors and canines used to grasp and tear food.  The back molars and premolars are used to grind your dog’s food.
  8. Urinary Tract and Digestion – Because your dog is less Dog Anatomydiscriminating about what she eats, it can affect her digestion and elimination process and be hard for you to detect.  Watch for straining, vomiting, diarrhea and discolored urine.  Bring your dog to your veterinarian if you see blood in your dog’s urine or feces. 
  9. Anal Gland – Your dog has 2 anal glands that often fill up and put pressure on your dog’s body and may become infected.  You may notice your dog scoot along the ground from time to time.  Be sure to have your veterinarian look at these glands on your dog to see if they need to be emptied.

This news brief on dog anatomy highlights the differences between you and your dog so you can better understand your dog’s behavior and physiology.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the information they need to take better care of their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dog Walking Alternatives: 3 Handy Ways to Walk Your Dog

Dog WalkingDog walking creativity creeps into your life when things happen like you break a leg, get the flu or you don’t want to go out in a blizzard or a heatwave so you might want to have a few simple ideas up your sleeve to exercise your dog that will allow you to take it easy, avoid all types of bad weather and make you look like a hero to your dog.

This news brief gives you 3 clever ways to get your dog out for a walk if you’d much rather stay in bed.

Dog Walking: 3 Backup Plans to Walk Your Dog

  1. Take your dog for a ride – This is an ingenious plan to lure your dog into your car or truck with all the gear you need for a walk.  Your dog knows this routine and will be happy to play along.  Drive to the safe place you selected that has a secure gated area and release your dog out of the car.  You can stay inside your car until your dog has had a good run.  There’s a chance you’ll have Dog Walkingto get out of the car to clean up after your dog, however, you can enjoy the protection of your vehicle.  Use this dog walking strategy when you don’t feel well, you’re in a cast or you really just want your dog to have the freedom to run around without his leash.
  2. Let your dog out your back door – This is a convenient system if your backyard is enclosed so your dog can be outdoors and stretch his legs. You can relax in the comfort of your home and wait for your dog to ask to be let back in.  If you have a broken leg or the flu, the convenience of giving your dog some exercise in your backyard saves you from having to struggle through a walk that might risk your own health.  Use this dog walking strategy as a daily routine for your dog or just when you aren’t physically fit to walk your dog.
  3. Hire a dog walker – This is a brilliant choice to make sure your dog gets out for a safe walk with a professional dog walker.  You may even be find a volunteer in your neighborhood who would Dog Walkinglove the chance to walk your dog for free.  Make sure you can trust your substitute dog walker and always review all the rules for your dog’s safety. You can arrange for a dog walker for senior dog owners with limited mobility so their dog gets enough exercise.

This news brief gives you 3 excellent dog walking fallback plans for your dog when you can’t be sure that your dog will get the exercise he needs.   

Share this article with your friends and family so they can find alternative ways to walk their dog when the need arises.  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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Doggy Doo: 3 Vital Dog Poop Health Tips for Our Times

Doggy DooDoggy doo might not seem important when you fall in love with your cuddly pup, however your dog owner tasks always include daily dog poop management in all kinds of weather even if you’re as sick as dog, in a mad rush to get to an appointment or even worse, you just had fight with your best friend, so you may want to have a foolproof system to pick up your dog’s poop that won’t allow you to shirk your responsibility and suffer the guilt of leaving your dog’s poop where it landed.

This news brief gives you 3 rules of conduct to guide you in your daily dog waste removal routine for your dog’s welfare, community health and common courtesy.

Doggy Doo: 3 Powerful Points about Dog Poop Disposal

  1. Bag It – There are no exceptions when it comes to dog poop pick up unless your dog poops when you’re not looking.  Your dog usually needs to relieve himself after he eats, so you may want to walk your dog about 30 minutes after every meal.  You can choose any method you like from plastic bags to pooper scoopers Doggie Dooto pick up your dog’s waste.  Your dog’s feces could contain parasites and diseases like roundworm, salmonella and E.coli.  Watch for these symptoms in dogs and people: high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes.  The bacteria in doggy doo can infect anyone in your household including children and pets.
  2. Dispose It – You want to find the closest trash can and deposit your dog’s waste after pick up or bring it home with you and toss it in your trash.  Dog poop pollutes your city or town’s sewer system which leads to streams, rivers and creeks.  Rats are attracted to your dog’s feces if left out in your yard, streets, parks and beaches.  Flies lay their eggs in dog poop and can easily spread diseases after contact with infected feces.
  3. Respect It – Your community and your neighbor’s property deserve your respect when it comes to your doggy doo.  The best strategy would be to train your dog to poop in an area that’s easy to monitor and does not jeopardize your neighbor’s lawn or Doggy Doopublic properties.  Dog ownership definitely includes responsibility for your dog’s health and his behavior outdoors in your community. 

Benefits of Your Dog Poop Disposal

  • Reduced water pollution
  • Reduced transmission of harmful organisms like Giardia, E.coli and Salmonella
  • Reduction of nitrogen from animal waste in water increases oxygen for fish, wildlife and grasses.
  • Reduction of roundworms and hookworms in your soil that can be transmitted to animals and people.

This news brief gives you the most important reasons for the meticulous job of doggy doo disposal so you can make a difference to prevent pollution and health issues for your dog, your family and your community.

Share this article with your friends and family to spread awareness about the benefits of picking up dog waste.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

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Dog Walker Risks: Are You Distracted by These 4 Things?

Dog WalkerDog walker distractions without warning can cause complicated challenges when you have one or more dogs who pull you from side to side while you try to avoid obstacles like dips in the pavement, people with dogs or friendly pedestrians, so you may want to focus more on your dog’s safety to prevent accidents or injuries from a fall or even worse, you or your dog could get hit by a car because you weren’t paying 100% attention to your environment and your dog.

This news brief gives you 4 simple things you can stop doing when you’re out for a walk with your dog that will help keep you and your dog safer and out of harms way.

4 Dog Walker Distractions That Put Your Dog at Risk

  1. Food and Beverages – Even if you’re good at balancing, it’s really hard to control your dog with one hand on his leash and your other hand on a cup of coffee, sandwich or ice cream cone.  Your dog could easily get burned by a hot drink, grab your sandwich or take a bite off your ice cream before you even blink an eye.  The best solution is to sit with your dog when you have a beverage or food and leave your cups and wrappers in the trash before you resume your walk.
  2. Texting – As a dog walker, you may suffer from separation anxiety if you can’t see your smart phone in your hand, however your dog will be 20 times safer if you put your phone in your pocket, leave it home, or only text when you’re not walking with Dog Walkeryour dog.  In the 5 seconds it takes to send a text message, your eyes are not on your dog and you could easily miss dangers like oncoming traffic or a driver who runs a red light as you’re crossing the street with your dog.
  3. Smoking – Second hand smoke can affect your dog’s lungs or asthma condition and make it hard for your dog to breathe.  Your cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke gets absorbed in your dog’s fur and skin like it does on your clothes.  If you’re a smoker and a dog walker, you might be putting your dog at risk for health issues like cancer and lung disease.  When you hold a lit cigarette in your free hand, it also takes your attention away from your dog.  Consider your dog’s health and avoid smoking inside your home and when you walk your dog.
  4. Detachment – If you’re extremely distraught and preoccupied with something that’s going on in your life, don’t take your dog for a walk until you can really focus on your dog’s safety.  Your thoughts can be a powerful distraction and capture your attention so completely that you won’t hear noises like car horns and you may not notice a red light when you are at a crosswalk.  Detachment means you are not totally present with your senses.  The dangers for you and your dog increase if your reflexes aren’t quick enough to save you and your dog from an accident or injury.

4 Ways to Reduce Dog Walker Distraction

  1. Focus – Keep your eyes on your dog and don’t attempt to multi-task when you walk with your dog. Look straight ahead of you and watch for approaching traffic so you can avoid bumping into people, other dogs, objects and cars that may pull into or out of parking lots.
  2. Crosswalks – Use the buttons that change the traffic light to red before you cross the street with your dog.
  3. Headphones – Lower the volume so you can also hear traffic and voices around you.
  4. Relax – Plan your walks with your dog so you have everything you need to pick up after your dog and enjoy the time you have outdoors. 

Dog WalkerThe information in this short news brief is based on observations of dog walker behavior when people are distracted by their phone, food, beverage, cigarette or they are in deep  thought and unfocused.  These distractions can pose risks for your dog’s well being.

Share this article with your friends and family so they understand the importance of removing distractions when they walk 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 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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Baby Puppies: How Is Motherhood Different for Your Dog?

Baby PuppiesBaby puppies arrive after a short 63 day pregnancy and are completely dependent on your new mother dog who may be exhausted after giving birth, so don’t expect your proud new dog parent to spend much time with you over the first 3 – 5 weeks of motherhood because your dog will be totally wrapped up with the care and feeding of her new puppies and may not have the same playful personality your dog had before giving birth.

This news brief gives you an idea of what to expect when your dog experiences motherhood so you can take better care of your dog and let her take care of her puppies.

Baby Puppies: 5 Dog Behavior Changes for Your Mother Dog

  1. Restlessness – Your pregnant dog goes through a complete pregnancy in 3 trimesters of 20 days before she gives birth.  Compared to the 9 month term for humans, your dog fast forwards through her pregnancy at lightning speed.  You may notice that your dog seems more anxious and restless as her belly expands and she copes with these changes in her body. 
  2. Impatience – Just before your dog gives birth, she may be snippy and impatient.  Your dog will be experiencing labor pains and contractions that can cause moderate to severe pain.  If your dog gives birth at home, be sure that she has a quiet, protected space to give birth to her baby puppies.  Keep other pets and small children away from your dog at this time so your mother dog isn’t stressed giving birth. 
  3. Anti-Social Behavior – While your dog cares for her newborn puppies, she may only pay attention to her litter and ignore you completely.  As a new mother, your dog will be extremely tired due to her recovery after giving birth and the energy she needs to feed and care for her new puppies, who keep her from getting a good night sleep.  Humans are a bit more tolerant because of their social needs to share their new baby.
  4. Aggressiveness – Watch out for your dog’s behavior while she’s nursing her baby puppies. Your mother dog may be a bit on edge and won’t tolerate people when she’s feeding and cleaning her pups.  You may see your dog start to snarl, or even worse, your dog may be ready to attack if she feels that her litter is in danger.  Humans are similar in this behavior when others want to handle their new baby.
  5. Disciplinary Behavior – After the first 3 weeks, your mother dog may encourage her puppies to play with others and be more independent, however your dog is also using motherly discipline to correct her puppies behavior.  It’s normal if you hear your dog bark at her baby puppies, nip at one of her puppies who wants to nurse, or pick up one of her puppies by the scruff of the puppy’s neck and shake them.  Humans are much more gentle and tolerant with their newborn child.

Baby PuppiesKey Differences of Motherhood for Your Dog

  • Short Pregnancy –  Your pregnant dog can give birth to a litter of 5 or 6 puppies after only 2 months.  This short timeframe may have a huge impact on your dog’s behavior.  The good news is that your dog usually reverts back to her usual behavior once her baby puppies are on their own.
  • Short Weening Period – The first 3 weeks of motherhood are all about your dog’s new litter.  Between feeding, caring and cleaning her puppies, your dog may only have time to sleep.  Your new mother dog will spend the following few weeks teaching her puppies to eat food and explore so they can be independent.
  • Behavior Changes – Your mother dog will go through a series of behavior changes through her pregnancy and weening her puppies.  Be aware that she may not allow you to get close to her litter.  This is quite different from humans who love to share their babies with family and friends.
  • Letting Go –  After about 8 weeks, your mother dog is ready to let her baby puppies go which is the biggest difference between dogs Baby Puppiesand humans.  The amount of work and development that occurs during your dog’s pregnancy and weening period should be acknowledged with respect for your mother dog.

What to Feed Your Dog After She Gives Birth

  • High Quality Food – Your veterinarian can recommend the right food for your new mother dog.  Here are the main types of food to consider:  Puppy Food, Yogurt, Cheese, Protein, Fat, Calcium, and Carbonate.  Although your dog may not want to eat immediately after giving birth, you can tempt her with some of her favorite treats.  Your mother dog needs to continue to produce milk to feed her baby puppies.  The best plan is to feed your dog several small meals every day.
  • Water – Liquids are important for your new mother dog to produce milk and stay hydrated. Be sure to have plenty of clean, fresh water available for your dog.

This news brief gives you a clear picture of motherhood for your dog and how it differs from humans so you can take better care of your dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they will understand the behavior changes for their mother dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

You can also listen to our new Dog Health News podcast series, Sit.Stay.Listen. on iTunes.

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