When we speak about the overall health and well-being of a dog we speak about nutrition, hygiene and grooming. One of the main indicators of good health in a dog is its coat. A dull coat is never a good sign. It could be the result of a poor diet or improper grooming. A shiny clean coat, on the other hand, indicates a healthy well-nurtured dog. Having a clean, shiny, well-kept coat is a major part of dog health and grooming. Therefore, we as pet parents should do everything in our power to maintain a healthy coat.
It is a misconception that the more you bathe your dog the better, but that is not the case. Animals with fur do not require to be bathed as much, daily bathing could actually do more harm than good. For a coat to be shiny it has to be healthy both from outside as well as inside. Often, people tend to focus more on external care but nutrition plays a very important role as well. Here are a few ways to help you maintain a healthy coat for your little one:
Maintaining a healthy, shiny coat starts on the inside. Diet and nutrition play a huge role in this, there are some foods that are needed for dogs to stay healthy. Make sure your little one has a balanced diet in place according to their size and age. Food or supplements rich in omega-3 fish oils help in decreasing shedding, drying and flaking. Raw eggs are a great source of nutrition for dogs as they provide ample amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals. Coconut oil is another great supplement to feed your dogs as it helps hydrate your dog’s skin. Apart from these, a proper balanced nutritious diet is necessary to have a healthy, nourished coat. Always consult your veterinarian before you make any drastic changes in your dog’s diet.
2- Consider using oils
Application of some oils such as coconut oil can help keep your pup’s skin well-moisturised and also help reduce skin irritation. You can use olive, coconut or vitamin E grooming oils formulated especially for pets. These can be very helpful if your little one has a rash or dry spots on their body.
Regular physical exercise will not only keep your furry baby in shape but also their coat. A daily exercise routine should be maintained for any dog. This is important for the overall development of dogs. It does not necessarily have to be a heavy exercise routine, you can create your own little routine. Just try to play games with your dog, anything that involves physical activity every day would also work.
4- Regular Brushing
Brushing is a must for any dog, even if their fur hair length is very small. Not only does it help in removing tangles but also helps with circulating their body’s natural oils everywhere. A good brushing session also acts as a massage for them, helping with blood flow and overall relaxation. Keep in mind the kind of brushes you use; use a comb appropriate for the kind of fur your dog has. Never use a very sharp comb as it might hurt them.
5- Don’t over or under bathe your dogs
Dogs don’t need to be bathed as often as humans, once every two months is sufficient to keep a dog clean. Active dogs, dogs who play in the mud and those with long hair can be bathed more often, say once every 2-3 weeks. Frequent washing can irritate their skin and cause issues like a dull coat, flaky skin etc. Establish a bathing routine for your dog and follow it religiously, it will help in maintaining your dog’s hygiene a great deal.
6- Choose the correct products
Choose very mild shampoos or other cleansing products for your dog. Avoid using anything too harsh or something that can hurt their skin. Also, try to make a choice based on their skin type, for example, if your dog has dry skin then use a shampoo that has oatmeal or aloe vera in it. A hypoallergenic shampoo would be ideal.
A neat, clean and healthy coat not only shows how well kept and healthy your dog is. It is very important to not over wash or under wash a dogs fur, both can cause more damage than good. Apart from this, research about all the products that you use on your dog before application. Make sure they are compatible with your dog. At the end of the day, we try to do what is best for our little ones. A good healthy coat just makes them even better cuddle partners!
Have you always wanted a little furry companion with you, but were not ready to take up the responsibility of a big dog? You might feel that getting a small dog would be better as they take up little space, can be carried around everywhere and make great companions. However, a small dog does not necessarily mean that they are easier than medium or large sized dogs. They come with their own unique set of challenges and responsibilities. Their diet, exercise, training etc have to be considered and adapted according to their size.
Here are a few must-knows for you before you welcome your first little furry baby home.
1- Small dog come with big nutritional needs.
One of the most important things to remember with dogs and nutrition is that one size does not fit all. A large dog breed puppy has different nutritional needs to stay healthy as compared to a small dog breed puppy. Smaller dog breeds have a higher rate of metabolism, thus they burn through their meals quicker. If their caloric needs are not met throughout the day, they may develop hypoglycemia leading to weakness and muscle tremors. Thus a great deal of research and consideration has to go into their diet, treats and overall nourishment.
2- Little dogs need exercise too.
Don’t get mislead by their size, even though they may be small, their energy levels are very high. Dogs tend to divert their energy to more destructive activities if they don’t get enough exercise. If your little one starts getting restless and wanders around a lot, it might be time for exercise. Keep an eye out for your pooch and find out what times and what kind of exercise would suit them.
3- Small dog means small accessories.
All things from food to accessories need to be bought with their size kept in mind. The leash and collar need to be appropriately sized and should not weigh them down. Toys to keep them engaged also need to be given consideration as they need to be appropriately sized for their moth and body weight. Any type of clothing such as jackets, sweaters or costumes also needs to be adjusted to their size.
4- Small dogs are more susceptible to certain health hazards.
Small dogs come with their own unique vulnerabilities, they are more susceptible to certain diseases and issues as compared to other breeds. An example of this could be the brachycephalic breeds i.e the ‘smashed face’ breeds such as pugs or pekingese, are much more susceptible to breathing problems as compared to other dog breeds. Apart from this, small dog breeds are also more vulnerable to joint and bone issues, they are also much more sensitive to rapid temperature and climate changes.
5- Don’t carry them all the time.
Though it might seem like a much more convenient way of going about daily activities, do not carry your little one all the time. It is best to let them walk around, wander and do their own thing. Not only is it better for their physical health it also gives them more independence, they will not feel restricted. Do pick them up when you feel it is necessary though.
6- Small dogs are mobility-challenged.
Due to their size small dogs are not able to move around places as easily as a medium sized or large sized dog might. Though they can easily squeeze into smaller places, getting onto a sofa or climbing the stairs can be much more difficult for them. Small dogs also tend to get into a lot of accidental injuries due to their size. Training and a tad bit more attention will help them and you cope up with this better.
7- They live longer.
Yes you heard that right, small dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs. Though scientists have not been able to give an exact reason, larger dogs age faster than smaller dogs. This does not mean that they are free from illnesses and diseases, different breeds age at different rates. You could find the exact age using dog age calculators online to find the exact age of your dog breed.
Please remember that they are not toys, despite looking as adorable as one. They are living beings that need to be loved, cared and looked after. Before getting any dog into our lives it is very important to educate oneself. No breed is better than the other, but you could choose one based on your situation, so as to provide for them in the best way possible. Not only will they be able to light up your lives, you would be able to provide them with a life that they deserve.
Maintaining your dog’s hygiene is of utmost priority as proper hygiene will ensure his as well as the entire family’s health and wellbeing. While there is a big laundry list of jobs that need to be checked in order to ensure your dog’s hygiene and grooming, like bathing, nail-filing, paw-cleaning, teeth cleaning, cleaning his/ her ears and eyes and cleaning their bedding and collar; bathing is the biggest and most demanding tasks of the lot.
Dogs have a lot of great qualities and bring a lot of positivity in our lives but being hygienic isn’t one of them. Therefore, bathing your dog is very important as it helps them avoid skin diseases and rashes. It also acts as the first line of defence against ticks and fleas. In addition to that, bathing regularly with a good dog shampoo will help them maintain a shiny and healthy coat and will keep them smelling pleasant.
While you don’t want a dirty dog around the house, around your bed and kitchen, it doesn’t mean that you over-bathe your dogs. Dogs don’t need to be bathed as often as humans, of course, once every two months is sufficient to keep a dog clean. Active dogs, dogs who play in the mud and those with long hair can be bathed more often, say once every 1-2 weeks. Frequent washing can irritate their skin and cause issues like a dull coat, flaky skin etc.
While bathing your dog is a huge exercise, it is inevitable. Therefore, if you are resenting the impending bath, here are a few ways to make the experience smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
Brush your dog’s fur first to get the mats out. This will make washing easier later. It will also help get out other debris. However, do this gently, don’t pull on the knots or attempt to yank it.
If there are too many knots, let go of some of the knots. You don’t want to upset your dog even before the bathing has begun, especially if he isn’t too fond of it.
Always test the temperature of the water before letting your dog into the tub or washing area. Ensure that it is lukewarm so very cool water can give them chills and hot water can burn them.
Don’t try tough love when it comes to getting them into the water. Rather, ease them into it with small amounts of water, starting with the toes and gradually moving on to the rest of the body. You don’t want them to hate the experience and resist more strongly to bathing in the future.
As mentioned, it is better to ease him into the water, so use a shower head or jug to slowly cover him in water. Also, watch out, as he will try to shake it off, and shower you too in return.
Be very gentle, with both the water you put on him and the reassuring words of encouragement you offer to him. Keep praising him when he does something good like allowing you to clean him without resistance.
Once he looks comfortable with the water, begin to apply the dog shampoo, starting with the neck, ending the tail. Work your way down and massage deeply into his fur to ensure deep cleansing. Then you can wash the head, avoiding his eyes, mouth and ears. You can also them give small treats during the process, if the shampoo is making him/ her restless.
Once you have thoroughly massaged the shampoo, rinse it off well. Ensure that you don’t leave any of it, as it may later cause irritation and harm the coat.
Next, you can apply a dog conditioner. This can be ignored if your dogs are short-haired. Conditioners help avoid matting and knotting in the future and make the coat shiny and smooth.
Rinse off the conditioner thoroughly and you are done with the arduous process of bathing, although your job as a pet parent is still not complete.
Use an absorbent towel to pat your dog dry as soon as you get your little one out, and ensure that you are gentle.
You can also use a hair dryer if your dog is comfortable with it, but ensure that it isn’t set on a temperature too hot and isn’t taken too close to your dog’s body.
Ensure that you shower him with praise and a reward so as to keep him motivated to bathe the next time as well.
Don’t take him outdoors till he is completely dry. Firstly, you want to ensure that he/ she is in a warm, cosy environment. Also, you don’t want all the mud and dirt outside to stick to him/ her and throw away all your hard work.
You would also want to keep him in a room which you wouldn’t mind getting damp, as your dog will definitely want to shake and get rid of the water on him.
Bathing your dog can be difficult, however, a little strategy can always help make it bearable, and maybe even fun. Here are some other tips and tricks that you can use to make the experience more enjoyable.
Bathe after he/ she is done with his morning walk or preferred form of exercise. This way they will be less restless or hyper during the bath.
Bathe him/ her before the meal, so that you can use the meal as a reward to keep him motivated.
You don’t want water to get into your dog’s ears, so it would to better to place a large cotton ball in each ear.
Always be patient and keep your cool. Yelling or punishing will just make them hate the experience more.
Never use shampoos or conditioners meant for humans. Human skin is acidic and needs shampoo to be under pH 5, while canine skin needs shampoo to be close to pH. Therefore, human shampoos and conditioners can cause allergies in dogs.
Though this seems like a long and arduous process, you don’t have to do it frequently and in return, you get a clean and good selling dog. Hygiene is as important for dogs as it is for humans.
Is your dog an obsessive paw licker? Do they scratch themselves aggressively a lot? Or do they scoot over the carpet or floor much more than usual? All of these can be an indication that your little one is suffering from some sort of allergy. When dogs suffer from an allergic reaction, they get distressed even more as they do not understand the cause of their pain. According to VCA (Veterinary Center of America), an allergy can be defined as a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen.
Allergic symptoms show up in dogs when their immune system begins to recognize certain everyday substances as allergens. Even though these substances may be harmless to other animals and humans, dogs with allergies will have an extreme reaction to these. Some breeds like Boxers, Bulldogs, Retrievers and Beagles are more susceptible to getting allergies than others. However, this does not mean that other breeds are not affected by allergies. As pet parents, it is important that we know the substances that our pets are allergic to and how we can avoid their exposure to these substances.
1. Signs that your dog has an allergy
A dog’s body, like that of a human, will almost always show visible symptoms when it comes in contact with an allergen. These symptoms show up when the body tries to rid itself of these allergens. You may observe that a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms tend to appear. Some of the symptoms that may appear are:
Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
Itchy back or the base of their tail
Itchy or red ears
Excessive or loud snoring
Swollen paws or a tendency to chew paws
Scabs on their skin
It is important that we identify these symptoms in our pet at an earlier stage and help them as soon as possible.
2. Types of Allergies in Dogs.
Dog allergies can be categorised into four main types. They are:
Atopy- Atopy is also termed as ‘Inhalant Allergy’. It basically refers to environmental allergies that can affect a dog. Things like pollen, dander, dust, feathers, smoke etc are a few allergens present in the environment that can trigger allergies in your dog.
Food Allergy- Dogs can also be allergic to various kinds of food. It takes some detective work to find out what exactly they are allergic to. Once found, avoid giving your dog any food that may contain even small amounts of that substance.
Flea- Some dogs are highly sensitive to flea bites, even one or two flea bites a week can cause a reaction. This condition is medically termed as Pruritus. This can cause severe itching, scratching, hair loss and scabs on your pet’s skin.
Contact- This is the least common type of dog allergy. It occurs when the dog comes in direct contact with the allergen such as pyrethrins, pesticides, chemicals in certain shampoos and soaps, certain antibiotics and metals.
3. How to Help
If your dog has started showing symptoms of an allergic reaction, visiting a veterinarian should be the immediate next step. The veterinarian might suggest doing an allergy test to find what caused the allergy in your dog. If there is a scab or redness present on your dog’s skin, don’t allow them to continuously scratch or lick that area. Avoid using any sort of medication unless recommended by a veterinarian. Trying to discipline them into not scratching themselves will not work well as they cannot control it. Try to distract them from the pain with their favourite toy or by giving them treats. Stick to the prescription and dosage given by the doctor rather than listening to the internet or other sources. If it is a food allergy, a proper diet has to be followed. Their food intake has to be strictly monitored so that they don’t consume unwanted substances. We as pet parents should try preventing the allergies as this process can be very painful and irritating for our pets.
4. How To Prevent
Prevention is always better than cure and a little effort could save you and your little one a lot of distress later. Here are a few ways you can help your pet prevent these allergies:
Hypoallergenic shampoo– Chemicals present in shampoos can also cause allergies in dogs. The use of a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo is the safer option rather than harsher ones with chemicals that might harm your pet.
Wipe your dog- After every walk or run outside, wipe your dog from head to toe so that you remove any sort of allergen from their body. You could use a simple towel or pet grooming wipes for this.
Increase Immunity- Provide them with a nutritious diet to help them stay healthy and add ingredients that are rich in omega-3 and biotin to help build their immune system. Increasing immunity is a long-term process, it will take some time but preventive cure is always better in the long-run.
Clean bed and house- Keep a clean and hygienic house so that both you and your pet stay away from allergies. Dust their bedding every other day so that dust and other substances don’t cause allergies later.
Weekly bathing- Give them a bath at least once a week. Not only should their surroundings be clean, but their bodies as well.
These are a few things you can do at home to prevent allergies, but if you notice any of the symptoms in your dog, then consulting a veterinarian is the best option. Once the allergen is identified, it is important that we understand the right way to take care of our pets. Different allergies will require a different kind of medical treatment. Sometimes a patch test is required to identify the allergen. If the allergy was triggered by food, extra care has to be taken regarding their diet. In general, it is better to avoid gluten in dogs food. An all natural, grain-free diet would be a good option as there won’t be added chemicals that might trigger a reaction.
The affect allergies can have on a dog can distress them a lot. We, as pet parents, need to make smart decisions for them because a happy dog makes a happy home.
Your little furry one’s wagging tail and cheerful little face might lead you to believe that they are forever happy. It might come as a surprise, but this may not always be the case because just like pet parents, depression can also affect dogs. The main reason for dogs being affected by depression is that they are intelligent creatures that are capable of feeling and experiencing a wide range of emotions, people who have a pet or have had a pet can attest to this fact.
Apart from depression, dogs can suffer from other mental issues as well such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviour, possession aggression etc. Mental health for dogs is as important as it is for humans. In fact, the symptoms and causes of depression in humans and dogs are very similar. Pet parents should understand that mental health plays a major role in maintaining overall health. If your dog is struggling with mental health issues, then they may even start losing their physical health . Thus mental health should also be given the same importance as physical health.
Causes of Depression
There may be a various set of reasons that can bring about depression in dogs, but a few of the main reasons are-
A major change in their life, like moving to a new house or a sudden change in the dogs daily routine can cause a lot of stress to dogs. This stress may lead to depression.
A traumatic or distressing event can also bring about depression in a dog. This trauma can be physical in case of a major injury or surgery or even emotional in nature.
Loss of an owner or companion is one of the main reasons a dog goes into depression. Just like humans, dealing with the loss of a fellow companion is a very difficult process for a dog. The loneliness and heartache caused by this loss may lead to depression.
Addition of a baby or a new pet into the family can also stress a dog out. A decrease in the amount of attention that they were used to can cause the dog to feel neglected and alone.
In some cases, depression is a secondary symptom of an underlying disease or ailment that may be distressing your dog. It is also possible that this medical condition isn’t visible at first.
The symptoms of depression in dogs are very similar to those shown by humans. However, since dogs can’t communicate, you will have to be more vigilant to identify signs at the right time, just as you are to identify any warning signs of any physical illnesses in your dog. Although you might not be able to make out whether your little one is going through depression or not at the first sight, you can always be aware of the warning signs. Some very common warning signs seen in dogs are –
Appetite changes- Dogs tend to eat much more or way lesser than usual when they are depressed. They eat more as food becomes a source of comfort to them, some dogs may even stop eating altogether as they lose interest in food. You can also become aware of this change by being watchful of any behavioural changes or sudden change in weight.
Changes in Sleeping Habits– If a dog is depressed, then they tend to sleep a lot. Humans tend to do the same when they are depressed. Excessive sleeping is a major sign of depression.
Loss of Interest- A lot of dogs going through depression start to lose interest in things that they used to love doing. Going for walks, playing with their favourite toy or even being around people may lose its spark.
Avoidance or Hiding- A strong indication that something might be bothering your dog is when they starts hiding and wanting to be left alone more often. Sometimes dogs find dark and enclosed spaces and stay there for hours when suffering from mental health troubles.
Excessive Licking- Dogs lick themselves to soothe and relieve themselves from pain. If you see your dog excessively licking or biting their paws or other body parts, it might be a sign that they are depressed.
Again, symptoms shown by dogs during depression are remarkably similar to those shown by humans. Thus if you see or notice any such behaviour in your dog, it is advisable that you take them to a veterinary doctor and have them checked.
How to Help
The good news is that dogs can overcome depression on their own, though this may take a long time. Some dogs are able to deal with it better than others and get back to normal within a few weeks, but for some it may even take months. Most of the time the love and care provided by the owners is enough to surpass this, but sometimes extra help may be required. Here are a few things that you can do to help your gloomy fluff ball –
Spend some quality time with your dog by offering more love and attention. But remember to do this at the right time, avoid over pampering your dog. If you see some signs of happiness in your dog, try rewarding them for that behaviour.
Try to keep your dog active and entertained. For example, if they like to play a particular game, start doing it more and offer praise when you see them having a good time. Being physically active can do a lot of good.
If your dog is depressed due to the loss of an animal companion, you can think of getting another pet. But do so only if your situation permits. There are various things to keep in mind while getting a second dog in any case, but in this situation, with a depressed dog, it is even more complicated. If you are not confident that this is the best idea for your pet and family, an alternative to this can be visiting parks and other places, so that it allows your dog to socialise with other dogs and people.
Sometimes all the love and care you give may not be enough to help your dog battle depression. In such cases there are some medicines that can help. Consult your vet and do some research to understand the best remedial actions.
An important thing not do is assume that your dog is in depression right off the bat. As stated above, depression in a dog may arise due to some other underlying ailment such as an injury or pain within the body, this might not be visible to us, thus consulting a veterinarian before taking any steps is important. No matter what the underlying cause, any questionable change in behaviour is worth checking out and investigating. Whatever we can do to ease our pet’s stress and depression is worth the effort. The amount of joy and happiness that dogs bring into our lives is incomparable, and it is our duty to nurture them and protect them from any harm.
Expecting a litter of adorable little puppies is indeed an exciting time for the entire family. However, every discerning pet parent with a pregnant dog must understand some basic facts about dog pregnancies. Dogs undergo different phases during pregnancy and experience a various physical, emotional and behavioral transitions across these phases. A dog’s pregnancy generally lasts for about approximately 63 days or around 9 weeks. This duration is divided into 4 distinct phases. Let’s understand each of these phases in detail so that we can take care of them in a better way.
Phases Of Dog Pregnancy
Phase 1: This phase generally lasts for 3 weeks. In the first phase, your dog won’t undergo a very drastic physical change. However, you can expect a little fatigue or a slight loss of appetite.
Phase 2: The second phase is from the 4th to the 6th week. At this time, she will begin to show slight body changes like weight gain or increased size nipples.
Phase 3: The third phase is when the growth of the dog’s womb becomes very apparent and the production of breast milk begins. This phase lasts till the 8th week of pregnancy.
Phase 4: Finally, the fourth phase is the final stage.The soon-to-be mother in this phase becomes restless and starts to seek a quiet place to give birth.
Understanding Her Changing Needs
The growth of the belly is not noticeable until about 4 weeks in, but those are just obvious outwardly changes. There are a gamut of other pregnancy-related changes that a pet parent and caregiver must be cognizant of, both physical and otherwise.
Some Physical Changes You Can Expect:
Breast enlargement: It is natural for your dog’s breasts to swell during the early days of pregnancy. However, different dogs might undergo this change at different timings. In some dogs, this change may happen at a similar time to their enlarged bellies.
Pink Nipples: If you notice your dog’s nipples are more pink than usual, you can suspect they are pregnant. This, along with swollen breasts is one of the early signs. Dog nipples tend to range from pink to black in colour, so simply look for an intensification of whatever color were.
Vaginal Discharge: Your dog might also have vaginal discharge whether it is clear liquid or light pink. This fluid is designed in a way that it works like a plug and keeps the puppies safe from the outside world, particularly infections.
Some Behavioural Changes:
Dietary Changes: At the beginning of pregnancy, your dog may eat less in comparison to their regular diet. However, this will eventually change as the time goes by. Your dog’s appetite will start getting back to normal two weeks after the conception. In fact, for the second month after conception, the hunger will increase, often drastically, as the dog has to meet the nutritional needs of the puppies inside them.
Seek Security And Comfort: Another major change to be observed during this time is that female dogs during this time want more contact time with their pet parents.They might even look to feel more protected and comfortable. Although, in some cases your dog might not want to be touched and it may be more sensitive than usual.
Apathy And Lethargy: Your dog might also become physically inactive during this time.This happens mainly for two reasons. Firstly, exercise can harm their babies and secondly, they also need to conserve energy.They may be apathetic or lethargic at this time, but you need to understand that they are just dealing with the changes in their body.
They Shy Away From Other Pets: Pregnant dogs generally stay away from other dogs during this time. They exhibit such behaviour typically due to development of a strong maternal instinct. They become very aware conscious of their surroundings and want protect themselves from attack as well as to avoid getting any diseases passed on.
They Look For Nesting Spots: Pregnant dogs will always need a secured place to give birth and therefore will seek out secure and comfortable places to take rest. They may either scratch at the ground or drag their bed into somewhere they want to rest.
Potential Pregnancy-Related Complications
Although dogs often enjoy a hassle-free pregnancy, there are a few signs that might suggest complications. You must contact your vet if:
Your dog goes off her food during pregnancy or feels sick every now and then. It is, in fact, fairly common for their appetites to drop after 30 days of pregnancy or just prior to delivery, but if this behaviour continues for a prolonged time, it may be time to visit the vet.
If there are any abnormal vaginal discharge including bleeding or a foul-smelling discharge at any given point during pregnancy.
If she exhibits signs of depression, crying or behaving in a way that might suggest that she is in pain.
Complications During Pregnancy:
Nutritional Imbalances: There is a change in the nutritional needs for pregnant dogs, which we will expand on soon. Often, there might be a mismatch in the diet needed and the diet provided and thus it is important to be very careful of a pregnant dog’s food. Another cause of imbalance could be well-meaning owners trying to enhance their dog’s health by giving vitamins, minerals and other supplements beyond those that are required for a good quality diet. Over-supplementation during pregnancy can create imbalance in her internal nutritional-regulating mechanisms and increase her risk of developing eclampsia and other health issues. In addition, obese pregnant dogs can also develop blood sugar irregularities like low blood sugar.
Risk Of Infection: Pregnant dogs are more vulnerable to a risk of infection. It is important to be careful of her surroundings and exposure to such bacteria as infections can have serious consequences to her and her puppies, if not taken care of. A common infection is Brucella canis, the only bacterial organism known to cause infertility in female dogs. It can also cause resorption of embryos early in gestation and, most commonly, abortion of fetuses late in gestation.
Post Pregnancy Complications:
Diarrhea: If your dog experiences diarrhea while nursing her puppies, it could mean that she has eaten a lot of food in order to get enough nutrients and to feed her puppies properly.
Eclampsia : Eclampsia (hypocalcemia or puerperal tetany) is an emergency medical condition associated with a life-threatening drop in blood calcium levels that occurs in dogs post delivery. It occurs mainly when the puppies are one to five weeks of age and the mother is producing the most milk. Eclampsia is not due to an overall lack of calcium; it merely indicates that the nursing female cannot mobilize sufficient supplies of stored calcium quickly enough to meet her metabolic needs. It is infact a bit difficult to understand and seems to affect smaller dogs more frequently. The signs associated with this problem are usually muscle spasms, seizure-like activity, and stiffness of muscles. If your pregnant dog experiences any such symptoms, it is advisable to visit the vet and get blood tests. Blood tests on dogs with eclampsia are generally low in serum calcium, low in blood glucose, and sometimes low in blood magnesium concentration.
Some basic To-Dos during this time
Take Them Out For Regular Walks:Spending quality time with your dog at this time is very important. If you walked your dog regularly before pregnancy, you should continue with this schedule. If not, start taking your dog on fifteen minute walks once or twice a day. It will keep their muscles toned. However, after the first month of pregnancy, you may need to shorten the length of these walks to prevent overexerting your dog.
Catering To Their Emotional Needs: Due to hormonal changes, your dog may go through some emotional and behavioural changes. This is the time when they will need you the most to cater to their mood swings and be with them.
Getting House Ready For Pup: Apart from drafting a shopping lists of foods, water bowls, bedding, collar, leash and other essentials you must also puppy-proof the area where the youngster will spend most of his/ her time. This also includes taping loose electrical cords to baseboards; storing household chemicals on high shelves; removing plants rugs and other breakables.
Dietary Needs Of Pregnant Dogs
During the first month of her pregnancy, your dog may not need more than her daily consumption of high quality food. But, make sure these are protein rich easily digestible food.
Around the second month, she will start to gain weight and have an increased appetite.You can start with adding about a quarter more than her normal amount to her total daily diet. An adequate diet plan should be sorted out by now.
According to research, pregnant dogs prefer eating food in intervals as the unborn pups press against the internal organs making it hard for the mother to ingest all her food in one sitting. Therefore, it will be a great idea for you to feed her small quantities at regular intervals.You must also ensure that her water is refreshed twice a day and supplements are avoided as much as possible. At this time, it’s very important to feed them with the best dog treatsavailable. You should also check important facts before buying the best dog treats and other food. Also, post delivery, knowing what to feed your puppies is equally important. It would be better to read up on puppy diet as well, they deserve nothing but the best.
Having to take care of a dog requires attention and a lot of care, but taking care of a pregnant dog and her litter of puppies requires more than double the amount of care. It is indeed a new set of responsibilities as an entire dog family is dependent on you, but the end product of this whole process will be more than worth it. Enjoy being a grandparent to all the little ones and try to provide them with the best that you can.