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In this article, Dr Tina Huynh from Pawssum Vet to Home Services explores Canine Hip Dysplasia. Whether you live in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, or any other Australian city, Pawssum can meet your vet needs. For more info, check Pawssum out on Facebook and Instagram!
Canine Hip Dysplasia in a nutshell
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a disorder that is more common than we presume. When we hear of hip dysplasia, breeds like Rottweilers; Golden or Labrador Retrievers; and German Shepherds typically come to mind first. Certainly large breed dogs are overrepresented as an affected population. However, smaller dogs and cats could also suffer from hip dysplasia!
The hip joint is a “ball and socket” joint. As such, the femoral head of the thigh bone acts like the “ball” that rotates within the “socket” or acetabulum. This is all held together by the joint capsule and ligaments. Hip dysplasia refers to an altered or abnormal development of the hip joint and surrounding tissues during the growing process.
What causes hip dysplasia in dogs?
Many factors can cause hip dysplasia. These include genetic and hereditary links, diet, exercise, and other influences on growth. The imperfections of the hip joint create laxity and is not fluid with movement, causing microfractures and localised inflammation. Over time this results in permanent changes to the affected joint with scarring, bone deposition, and ‘wear and tear’. This process is better known as osteoarthritis.
In the instance of sudden lameness, dogs show signs of musculoskeletal injury, which can cause varying degrees of discomfort or pain. Symptoms can include:
pain after exercise
swaying or swaggering gait
difficulties rising or lying down
What can a Dog Owner do about it?
Your vet will take a history, perform a physical, and manipulate the affected regions if pain levels permits. If your vet confirms hip dysplasia, they will immediately aim to quell pain, and to minimise further injury with rest. In some cases, they may also suggest joint protectants.
For this reason, your vet may prescribe your pet a set of radiographs with pain relief and sedation. This will let them assess the lower back and hip area, if not the knees too. Due to the chronic nature of the condition, there may be permanent structural changes of the hip joint and tissues.
It is ideal to take action early to minimise or slow down osteoarthritis and provide pain relief. Largely what is known of CHD suggests hereditary traits as the most important factor.
With this in mind, if you’re able to, ask questions about the parents. It will be helpful to learn whether their Owners screened them hip dysplasia with OFA or PennHip X-rays. If your vet can learn this, they may attempt orthopaedic manoeuvres during a puppy exam to check for laxity or pain. However, they may use an anaesthetic to carry out the Ortolani Test, as it can be distressing and painful.
Are there any more means by which to treat it?
Based on clinical signs, response to treatment, and X-rays, your veterinary team will discuss with you if your pet is a good surgical candidate. Luckily, a few surgical options exist (some akin to humans) to either correct the deformity or provide relief. The most common procedures are:
Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis for puppies around 16 weeks old. Ideally, this process fuses the pubis and alters pelvic growth to minimise laxity and joint degeneration later in life.
Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy for older puppies up to 10-12 months of age. This can improve the “socket” of the hip joint through well-placed cuts and rotation of the pelvic bone.
Total Hip Replacement is a similar procedure as in humans and of greater surgical complexity. Vets view this as the most effective surgical option to eliminate pain and restore hip function.
Femoral Head Ostectomy is a procedure to reduce pain by surgical excision of the femoral head, a constant source of inflammation and pain. As the hip joint is eliminated and replaced by scar tissue, this is more a salvage procedure to treat pain for smaller pets.
If you are concerned about CHD in your furry friend, contact your vet to explore different assessment or treatment options. With each pet’s lifestyle being different, your furbaby will benefit from a tailored plan to keep them happier and comfortable.
Vet Guest Spot: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs was last modified: May 14th, 2019 by Dr Tina
Many Dog Owners are familiar with the ways that their doggos show love. There’s the happy-to-see-you tail-chasing. There’s the higher-than-humanly-possible excited whine. And, of course, there’s the slobber-all-over-your-face doggy kisses when they lick your face.
When it comes to this last one, you might be asking yourself whether you really want that kind of affection. After all, dogs can get into some questionable business.
If you’ve been too embarrassed to ask your vet about it, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to turn to the experts to learn about whether it’s healthy to let your dog lick your face.
The bad news first
We’re just going to come out and say it: science says that getting kisses on the mouth from your dog is a health risk. In particular, a study published in the Journal of Medicine and Life showed that the biggest risk of a dog smooch is Zoonoses – diseases caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses that can travel between animals and humans.
The most common Zoonoses in dogs include rabies, salmonella, leptospira, and e.coli. However, there are many others as well. And those are just the viral, bacterial Zoonoses. There are parasitic ones too, like giardia and hookworm.
But it’s not just the risk of disease that should deter you from letting your dog lick your face. When you start to think about everything that doggos put their noses into, from rubbish to dead animals, the idea of a cute little lick on the nose becomes less desirable.
So, unfortunately, getting kisses from your dog is overall pretty unhealthy. Now, a kiss every once in a while is probably not going to affect you that much. And if your dog does manage to get a few good licks in on your cheek or neck, don’t panic. You can simply wash your face with soap without worrying too much.
However, try as much as possible to limit the kisses. And you definitely want to discourage dogs licking children and babies, who may not have strong immune systems yet.
But not all hope is lost
There are a few ways that you to make sure that your dog’s mouth is less of a health risk.
Firstly, let’s talk about canine dental hygiene. Just like people, dogs can benefit from daily brushing. In fact, you should set up a routine in which you clean those chompers once per day. In addition to these daily brushing sessions, make sure to schedule regular cleanings with the vet. Generally, your vet will use anaesthesia so that they can clean your dog’s mouth safely and thoroughly.
Also, try as much as possible to keep an eye on your dog when they’re outside. It just takes a few moments for your dog to put their nose in that big pile of who-knows-what. You might even be able to recognise the proud look on their face when they trot back to you as if to say: “You’ll never believe what I just found! It’s disgusting!” To avoid the mess, keep that pooch in your radar when you’re outdoors. If you’d like to make the process easier, book a Dog Walker to keep an eye on your pup.
Not only are these steps going to make your furry friend’s kisses less of a risk for you, they’ll also contribute to your pup’s overall health.
You don’t need to let your dog lick your face to show love
At first, it may be difficult to cut the doggy kisses out of your life. However, there are a range of other ways you can share your love with your dog. When they try to lick your face, for instance, you might distract them with their favourite toy. Once they’ve backed away from licking you, reward them with a tasty treat.
If they keep trying to lick your face, you might need to give them the cold shoulder for a while. Eventually, they’ll learn that you don’t want to be licked and will show their love in different ways.
In short, it’s unfortunate that smooches from your pooch can pose health problems. Even so, that doesn’t have to mean the end of your loving connection with your dog. Your furry friend will still love you, even when you don’t want those slobbery kisses anymore.
Whether you live in Melbourne, Cairns, Perth, or anywhere in between, you can book a Dog Walker to keep your pooch’s nose out of trouble!
Should You Allow Your Dog to Lick Your Face? was last modified: May 9th, 2019 by Sarah
Having a stash of homemade dog treats on hand at all times is a great idea for Dog Owners. It can help with training. It can deepen the bond between you and your pooch. And, of course, it makes your dog just plain happy. May this chicken jerky recipe leave your dog happy and their Owner loved!
Chicken Jerky Ingredients
Coconut oil to grease the wire rack
2 large boneless chicken breasts or 4 boneless chicken thighs
Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
Grease a wire rack with the coconut oil and place on top of a cookie sheet to catch the chicken drippings.
Slice the chicken into strips, lengthwise. You want them to be about 2/3rds of a centimetre.
Cook for about 2 and a half to 3 hours in total, flipping halfway through.
Allow the jerky to cool completely.
A few tips on making chicken jerky (and any doggy treats) even more delicious
If you have picky pooch, here are some dog-friendly spices that can make these treats more appealing:
Coriander and parsley
These spices are all completely safe for your dog, and they have some great health benefits, as well. Similar to humans, ginger and turmeric are especially effective in lowering inflammation and promoting healthy digestion. Leafy ingredients like parsley and coriander add much-needed fibre to your dog’s diet.
While the above list of ingredients are safe and tasty, there are a few others that you should never add to your dog’s treats. These include: garlic, onion, onion powder, black pepper, and nutmeg. It’s also important not to substitute peanut butter for other nut butters like almond butter. And, you probably already know not to add chocolate to any of your dog’s treats.
Would you like to give your pooch a day to match the tasty treat you just made them? Find them a local Doggy Daycare Pet Sitter for the next time you’re at work! Whether you live on the Gold Coast, in Newcastle, around Perth, or anywhere in between, we have a Daycare option for your furry friend.
Chicken Jerky Recipe was last modified: April 24th, 2019 by Sarah
In this article, Dr Kathy Cornack from Frontier Pets explores the ways in which diet can affect your dog’s mood. To learn more about Frontier Pets, visit their website!
If your dog is cranky, old, or just looks like it’s fed up with its lot in life, taking a look at their diet may be a good idea.
Understanding the workings of the gut biome of dogs is an area still in its infancy. However, we know the health of the digestive tract and micro-organisms in the gut affect the moods of people. Given all we know about dogs, we can assume to same will be true for them.
Doesn’t this face just scream “good mood” to you?
“What should my dog avoid to improve their mood?”
The most obvious things to avoid are sugars and preservatives. These can have the same effect as adding them to a child’s diet – bloating, ‘come-downs’ and irritation. In other words, you should avoid them at all costs.
For a sweet and crunchy treat, it is quite suitable to feed pups some fruit as part of their diet. Fruit contains complex carbohydrates and fibre, which add a healthy gut microbiome.
For that same reason, ground vegetables are also a healthy addition to the diet.
Most people don’t realise this – they think that dogs are straight carnivores, but they’re not. In fact, dogs need plant matter in their diet. Not as much as meat, but definitely some.
My dogs love whole carrots and sliced apple and just devour a slice of watermelon on a hot day!
“What else should I add to their diet?”
Just as avoiding heavily processed and preserved foods is a good first step, there are also some foods that could make your pup feel better and certainly less grumpy.
Much like for us when we are sick or ageing, eating fresh, whole foods will supply maximum nutrition. Anything fresh is good. It really is that simple.
“Will their weight affect their mood?”
Having an optimal body weight helps to contribute to a positive mood. This is because a normal-sized pooch can move about more easily, with less stress on the body. Having a healthy daily routine of activities helps your dog be happier whilst contributing to overall positive mental health.
“Okay, I’m ready to get technical. Let’s talk vitamins.”
If your dog is skittish or nervous, then feeding some turkey, chicken or eggs could assist in calming. This is due to levels of the calming amino acid tryptophan.
Foods containing adequate levels of B vitamins and magnesium are also helpful. Nuts, seeds, fish, and green leafy vegetables are all high in magnesium. Leafy greens, offal, eggs, and meats are all high in B vitamins.
In traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners believe that feeding certain types of foods can help to calm or cool the emotions. White fish is an excellent example of such a cooling food.
Chewing on bones and hard objects helps to relieve stress for dogs. It does this through the chewing action itself, and also by keeping their minds occupied in a positive way. I recommend that you consider adding these items into your pups’ feeding regime, if it is safe to do so.
If your pup is old or seems to be sick, it is very important to make sure they are checked by a vet to make sure they are not in pain. Needless to say, pain is a major contributor to grumpiness in old or sick dogs.
While you’re there, check with the vet as to the optimum weight for your pet. You may actually be killing them with kindness and a new diet may be in order.
Like always, just be sensible. Feed fresh and avoid preservative rich food and treats.
For the month of April 2019, Frontier Pets are giving Mad Paws clients a 5% off their total range. This is an exclusive offer for us, so get in quick.
Diet Tips that will Improve Your Dog’s Mood was last modified: April 18th, 2019 by Dr Kathy Cornack
Dogs, just like humans, need a good amount of physical exercise to stay healthy. Whether you have a super speedy Greyhound or more of a lounge-around Maltese, every pooch needs some outdoor exercise. But, the question of the day is always: how much should you walk your dog? You can probably guess that not all dogs need the same amount of exercise. Factors like age and breed type dictate just how much time you should set aside for your dog’s physical training.
In this article, we’ll help you conclude just how much walking time your dog needs to be their best.
Just as Snoop Dogg walks the line between gangsta rap and pop music, so must your dog walk regularly for health and wellbeing purposes
Let’s start with the basics
All dogs need some time to stretch their legs outside, every day. The University of Sydney suggests that elderly or sick dogs can benefit from 20 minutes of daily light outdoor exercise. By contrast, they argue that doggos in tip-top shape should take two 30-minute (or more!) every day. Some breeds need even more exercise than that, and we’ll talk about that in a bit.
So, right off the bat, you can see that your pooch needs daily outdoor activity. And this doesn’t just mean opening the door to the backyard and letting your dog sniff around for an hour. Exploring the world beyond your property is crucial for a dog’s physical and emotional health. It gives them the opportunity to be mentally stimulated, increase their circulation, and bond with you. You’ll notice that a well-exercised dog is well-behaved, calm, and content.
A big consideration is breed
Dogs and humans have had a mutual relationship for thousands of years. Over the course of our shared history, we’ve bred dogs for a number of specific jobs, from shepherding to retrieving to pest control. Only a few breeds were created with the sole purpose of being comfortable lap- or show-dogs. That means that, although there are a few dogs that were not bred for activity, the vast majority were carefully selected to perform some kind of athletic task. These factors will shape how much you should walk your dog.
Let’s start with the hyper-athletic breeds. Border Collies, Australian Shepherd, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Huskies, Dalmatians, Dobermans, and Pointers all need pretty constant activity and stimulation. And you can probably guess why. These dogs were all bred to do constantly active tasks – take care of other animals, hunt, transport people and goods, protect their Owners’ homes. These doggos need as much exercise as you can give them per day, but no fewer than two hours.
Now, how about the moderate category? Pitbulls, Beagles, Bloodhounds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Great Danes are a few examples of the dogs that need about one hour of exercise per day. Most of the breeds in this category weren’t bred for constant exercise, but rather were called upon in specific situations.
And then you have the dogs that need just a bit of exercise daily. These are going to be French Bulldogs, Maltese, Newfoundlands, Chow Chows, and Shih Tzus. These dogs were either bred to be watchdogs, lap dogs, or even water rescue dogs. As such, high amounts of activity were rarely necessary. Still, these guys need at least 30 minutes of outdoor time a day, even if they’d rather curl up on the couch.
It’s important to look into the exercise needs of your specific breed. Some dogs, for instance, have breathing problems that make vigorous exercise dangerous. Others, because of their barrel-chest, shouldn’t be exercised right after eating. You can check our our Breed Corner to find out more information on your dog’s unique breeding history and health concerns.
And how about age?
Age is a major factor when it comes to knowing how much to walk your dog.
On the one hand, puppies should be getting a good amount – but not too much – exercise. According to the Kennel Club, a puppy should receive about five minutes of play twice per day per month of age. If they’re four months old, then, a 20-minute walk twice a day is perfect. You want to take special care with larger breeds that are at risk for bone and joint problems.
And, how about about the elderly pups? This is really going to depend on the advice of your veterinarian. Most likely, the suggestion will be some form of very light exercise, but the length will really depend on your dog.
Some additional considerations
Obviously, every dog home is unique and may affect the amount of exercise your dog needs. If you have a whole pack of dogs and extensive property where the pack can run around and keep each other active all day long, you probably don’t need to worry so much about designated walking.
The final word on how much you should walk your dog
All dogs need daily exercise. They’re no way around it. In certain situations, that might mean as little as 20 minutes of outdoor play per day. For others, it could mean up to two hours to make sure your pooch is actually tired at bedtime.
And don’t forget, getting outside with your pooch is good for you too! So get out there, and enjoy some outdoor play time!
You’ve probably heard the term dog years to human years. The idea is that each year of your dog’s life are worth seven of your own. But how accurate is this comparison? Does a small dog age the same as a big dog? How about breed and lifestyle?
In this article, we’re going explore the many factors that go into a dog’s “true” age. Because whether your dog is an old soul or a puppy at heart, it’s a good idea to know at what life stage your furry friend is in.
Puppy: “So how old are you?” Dog: “That…is a RUDE question.”
First of all, what’s wrong with the classic “dog years to human years” system?
Although the seven-to-one rule is convenient, it doesn’t really work when we talk about how dogs age. That’s because puppies mature at a much faster rate than us. In fact, by around 18 months, your dog has developed by leaps and bounds: they can take care of themselves, they can start a little doggy family, and they have a fully-developed brain.
When compared to the rapid development of those first two years, ageing slows significantly after that 18 month mark. Although your pooch will likely stay active and energetic for quite a few years, the ageing process doesn’t happen on the same trajectory as when they were puppies.
That’s why it doesn’t really make sense to add another seven years at each of your dog’s birthdays. And when you add in factors like breed and lifestyle, the equation gets tricker still. At this point, the “dog years to human years” adage becomes a bit messy.
Let’s take a look.
What does size have to do with it?
Larger breeds tend to age at a faster rate than smaller ones. In fact, dogs weighing over 22kgs are considered to be senior at around five years old. Smaller dogs, on the other hand, may be considered senior at 7.
Let’s break down the math a bit. According to American Kennel Club’s dog age chart, the first year of a dog’s life accounts for roughly 15 human years. The second year accounts for another nine. For three years after that, each year is worth about four human years. That goes for all dog sizes. At this point, then, all 5-year-old dogs can be considered 36 years old.
After five years, though, ageing will pick up speed again for larger dogs. The next year will account for nine human years. The years after that will translate to between five and six human years.
For small dogs under 9 kg, this increase in the speed of ageing isn’t so rapid. A small breed dog can add another four years each additional year after they turn five. And if your dog is in the middle, you can add between four and five human years onto each year of life.
Alright, pause. What does that all mean for average lifespans? Well, for a large dog, like a Saint Bernard, you can expect a lifespan of between eight to 10 years. For a tiny Papillon or a Yorkshire Terrier, it’s more like 10 to 16 years. Again, this throws a spanner in the works of the “dog years to human years” idea.
What are the other ageing factors?
Good health and hygiene are two of the biggest factors for extending your dog’s happy life. Beyond anything else, they can shape a dog’s age median more than any “dog years to human years” ratio.
Obesity, in particular, threatens the length of your doggo’s life. Even studies including different breeds showed that obesity can shorten a dog’s lifespan by up to 2 to 2.5 years. Similar to humans, obese or overweight dogs can develop serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, orthopaedic problems, and more.
Dental health is another important part of a dog’s longevity. Since we don’t often pay much attention to our dogs’ teeth, diseases like periodontal disease can take hold and create problems in other parts of the body, including the heart.
Another surprising way to lengthen the life of your furry friend is to get them fixed. Neutering and spaying prevents certain types of cancer and can help to quash some problematic behaviours that could threaten the safety of your pet.
And finally, anxiety. Dogs living with anxiety-related disorders, especially fear of people or other dogs, tend to live shorter lives than their relaxed counterparts. If you have a stressed out doggo, it’s not a good idea to isolate them. Instead, look into your options for safe socialisation and exposure.
What are some considerations when you’re adopting a new furry friend?
No matter what doggo you choose, bringing a pet into your life is going to be a huge commitment and a wonderful joy. And now that you know a bit more about life expectancies, you can make a more informed decision about the kind of dog you might adopt.
As we mentioned, small dog breeds tend to live the longest, and some require less exercise than medium- to large-sized breeds. What that means is that any puppy you bring into your life could be with you for 15 to 16 years. On the other hand, larger dog breeds may require more exercise and have a tendency to have shorter lifespans. These are important factors when you consider your lifestyle and what you may have in mind over the next decade.
If, for instance, you want a companion for the long-term, you might consider a Poodle or a Boston Terrier. If you worry about your life changing dramatically within the next ten years, then a Great Dane or a Newfoundland might be more appropriate for you. Remember, lifespan is only one part of finding your furry match. You should also consider things like temperament, health needs, and grooming.
And, adopting a puppy is the option that many people choose, but you might consider adopting a senior dog instead. Of course, based on the breed and health history, you need to make sure that you’re ready to take on the responsibility that might come with an older dog. Senior dogs will win your love pretty much immediately, but you have to be ready to give them a peaceful few years. Unfortunately, you’ll also need to say goodbye sooner than you would with a younger pup. On the plus side, in many respects, older dogs can be easier to train than puppies.
To sum it up
As you can see, there are many different factors that go into a dog’s life expectancy. Indeed, while the “dog years to human years” comparison can be handy, it has its limits. Whether you already have a pooch or are looking to adopt one, the best thing you can do is give your dog plenty of love and care so that they’re as happy and as healthy as can be!
Dog Years to Human Years: What You Need to Know was last modified: March 28th, 2019 by Thomas
As you probably know, a healthy diet is absolutely essential for a happy, youthful pup. But it sometimes feels like a struggle to convince your dog to eat anything that even resembles a healthy diet. How do those Pet Owners on YouTube convince their dogs to eat carrots, anyway? It’s a mystery.
If you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, it will probably be a relief to know that it is possible to teach your dog to eat, and even enjoy, healthy food. But, as with any change you’d like to see with your furry friend, it will require some patience and consistency.
Here are some simple tricks to get your dog to switch to a healthier diet!
Tip One: slow down the transition
When first introducing a new diet to your doggo, it’s a good idea to do it over the course of about a week. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it will prevent the stomach fussiness that may come with a diet change. The second is that your dog will associate the new food with the food that they love. That’s going to make the change much easier, even for a picky dog.
Start out with about one part new food to three parts of the old food (or 25% new to 75% old). If that goes well, you’ll feed 40% new and 60% old the next day. The third day will be 50/50. And on the fourth, you’ll feed 60% of the new and 40% of the old. Day five will be 75% new, 25% old. And finally, on day six, you’ll feed completely new food.
If, however, your dog is picky from day one, you can slow the process down a bit. Feed the same portion for another day. But, try to keep it moving so that your dog can start eating the completely healthy diet as soon as possible.
Tip Two: pull back on the treats
You may be thinking, I use treats for training. I can’t just stop using them. But don’t worry, it’s not permanent. It’s just to make sure that your dog doesn’t decide to skip the healthy meals you’ve prepared because they feel slightly satisfied from the treats.
Also, it’s important to note: steer clear of human food. Of course, you may decide to incorporate some natural ingredients like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or unseasoned white meats into your dog’s healthy diet, but it should always appear in their bowl as opposed to from your hand or plate. This will discourage begging at the table or snooping in the trash for table scraps.
Tip Three: keep to a schedule
This is where consistency is really going to help the transition process. Because, while dog’s can’t read a clock, they do have a pretty accurate way of keeping track of time and anticipating when they’re next meal will be – if you’ve gotten them on a reliable schedule, that is.
Without this schedule, food becomes unpredictable to your pooch. Instead of thinking, I have two meals per day at the same time, they might think, I get fed at random times so maybe this bad-tasting meal was just a fluke until the real meal arrives.
If you didn’t have a set schedule before, that’s okay. Just make sure to implement the schedule now that you’ve switched the food.
Tip Four: give them some space to become healthy
Dogs can’t politely tell you that they would rather not start eating healthy. Instead, they may sniff at the food in their bowl and then walk away.
Point taken, pooch.
But what happens when you leave them alone with the food? Most likely, your dog will go back to the bowl and give it another shot. They may even nibble a bit just to see if it was really worth rejecting.
Another reason why it’s a good idea to leave your dog alone when they eat is so that they relax. In a pack setting, the alpha dog eats first and then leaves the area so that the others can finish up. So, when something new appears in your dog’s bowl, they may be trying to give you first dibs.
Plus, if you get frustrated with them for not eating, they might interpret that as something wrong with the food. You’re not eating it, and you’re upset, so therefore, that healthy food must be no good.
Tip Five: avoid free eating
This one may seem counter-intuitive, but don’t leave the food out for your dog for longer than 30 minutes. Even if they didn’t touch the food and won’t see it again until nighttime or the next morning. Your dog is not going to starve, but they will learn that if they don’t eat their food, it will disappear.
That said, if your dog doesn’t eat for more than two or three cycles, it’s a good idea to get advice from your veterinarian so that you can rule out any other dietary issues.
Tip Six: give your doggo plenty of love and patience
Your dog isn’t refusing the healthy food to spite you or because they’re “spoiled.” Food triggers survival instincts in our pets so that they may have more trouble adjusting to a new diet. The best way that you can help them throughout the process is by showing them that they’re safe and loved.
Give your dog plenty of verbal encouragement after meals, and never punish your pooch for not eating. They’ll get on board eventually, and you’ll have a much happier and healthier pet!
Train Your Dog to Enjoy Healthy Food was last modified: March 25th, 2019 by Sarah
In this article, Frontier Pets’ resident vet Dr Kathy Cornack examines treatments for skin problems that cause scratching in dogs. You can learn more about Frontier Pets and their nutritious dog food options at their website!
If your dog has itchy or smelly skin, they could have skin problems. Skin issues range from mild and occasional through to intermittent hot spots and chronic on going, constant irritation. None of these should be ignored. Skin conditions – scratching, hair loss, and hot-spots make up a large percentage of the time you spend at the vet. They also make up most of the money you spend there as well! Skin problems are becoming more and more common, but they practically didn’t exist just a few decades ago.
There are whole array of skin conditions that could be affecting your pup. The majority are some kind of dermatitis, or inflamed skin. Frequent culprits include:
flea allergy dermatitis;
acute moist dermatitis (hot spot);
pemphigus (bacterial skin infection);
atopy (hay fever).
Ear conditions, like ear infections, are also linked to allergic skin conditions. Ear infections may be a sign that your dog will progress to having skin infections later in life. It isn’t known exactly why these types of conditions are more common these days. However, a variety of factors are thought to contribute. Some possible reasons include genetic damage and weakness, more allergens in the environment, poor feeding practices, and early desexing.
Could the scratching be due to food allergies?
Dogs can certainly suffer food allergies and food sensitivities. This usually results in being itchy all over, especially after eating certain types of foods containing the offending ingredient. Wheat and corn are common allergens and should have no place in dog food. Grains also take a long time to be digested and contribute to inflammation. For this reasons grain-based diets can be pro-inflammatory. Itching is due to inflamed skin so it makes sense to feed a diet that reduces, not contributes, to inflammation.
In what other ways is food important when to comes to skin conditions?
To have healthy skin, dogs should consume a balanced diet of whole, fresh foods. Fresh foods are very nourishing to the skin because they have not been processed. Most processed food are cooked and cooking destroys about 70% of any of the good nutrients in meat. Feeding raw is therefore better than feeding cooked for most dogs.
Ground green vegetables are especially important as they help to cleanse the liver and contribute to healthy skin. Meat and small amounts of liver are important too to nourish the skin.
How can I find healthy, raw, unprocessed whole food option?
Preparing your own raw, whole food diet can be a pain in the butt, difficult to do, and very confusing. If you don’t have the time, or don’t really know what a raw diet should contain, then Frontier Pets could have just what you’re looking for.
Frontier dog food is a freeze-dried raw food. The freeze-drying process extracts the water from the raw ingredients, leaving a dry food that you can just keep in the cupboard. When you’re ready to feed, you just add the water back in, or you can feed as is like a dry kibble.
What you will likely find is that after just a few weeks of feeding raw is that your dog skin will start to look healthier. If they’ve got itchy, smelly skin this will very likely reduce. Hots spots and allergic skin type conditions are also likely to reduce too!
Is Your Dog Constantly Scratching Themselves? was last modified: March 18th, 2019 by Dr Kathy Cornack
In this Vet Guest Spot, Dr Nicholas Tan of Pawssum Vet to Home Services explores Canine Osteoarthritis. The next time your furry friend needs a vet, give Pawssum a ring!
The term osteoarthritis refers to inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Many factors can contribute to the onset and progression of arthritis in dogs. Essentially, though, the process involves the wearing of cartilage over time, which leads to pain, inflammation, and bony changes.
Warning signs of osteoarthritis
Dogs less willing to go for walks, or slowing down on walks
Difficulty climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car
Many vets tentatively diagnose dogs with osteoarthritis after a physical examination. However, the gold standard for confirming arthritis involves radiographs, and sometimes may require more advanced forms of imaging such as CT scans. Your vet will often suggest these to help reach a conclusive diagnosis.
There are also some medical conditions that may mimic the symptoms of arthritis. For these, radiographs can help distinguish between arthritis and these other medical conditions.
Management of Osteoarthritis1) Veterinary treatments
– Anti-inflammatories are highly effective at managing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, and will help prevent further progression. Your vet will usually prescribe them in an oral form, but they can also provide short acting injections
– Cartrophen (pentosan) injections are a chondroprotective (cartilage protecting) injection, given as a course of four injections over four weeks. This course is generally repeated every 6-12 months. These are highly effective at slowing the onslaught of the disease. In fact, Owners can often see a noticeable increase in the comfort of their pets after the course of injections.
– Nutraceuticals: The addition of supplements such as fish oil, green lipped mussel extract, glucosamine, and chondroitin may also help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of osteoarthritis in dogs.
2) Weight management
Many dogs with arthritis are overweight, and this excess weight can exacerbate the condition.
It is imperative that dogs showing symptoms of arthritis maintain a lean, healthy bodyweight. Reduction in food intake is the best way to achieve this, and your veterinarian can assist you in a dietary management plan.
3) Exercise modification and physical therapy
Dogs with arthritis should maintain frequent (up to daily) exercise. However, the duration and intensity of exercise should be moderated. For this reason, we advise short, gentle lead walks of up to 20-30 minutes. Beyond that, we urge you to strictly avoid intense exercise, such as ball-chasing or exuberant play sessions with other dogs.
Arthritic dogs can also benefit from hydrotherapy (swimming). This provides a low impact form of exercise that minimises joint stress, whilst maintaining muscle tone and size.
Physiotherapy (gentle manipulation of affected joints/limbs) may also help with the long term functionality of affected limbs.
Vet Guest Spot: Osteoarthritis in Dogs was last modified: February 27th, 2019 by Dr Nicholas Tan
Who said apple and pumpkin baked goods are only for humans? Not Mad Paws! Thanks to this recipe from Fake Ginger, you can whip up a batch of Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats in your very own home. Not only are these biscuits delicious AND healthy – they also look like bones. Because, you know, dogs.
Image courtesy of Fake Ginger
Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats Ingredients
2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup finely diced apple
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour and baking powder until no lumps remain. Add diced apple, pumpkin, egg, and water and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake about 30 minutes or until Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats are crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack before sharing with your pup.
Would you like to keep your dog active during your foray into baking? Book them in for a stroll with a Dog Walker while you work your magic in the kitchen!
Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats Recipe was last modified: February 21st, 2019 by Thomas