Obese Dog? 7 Tips to Loose the Fat

August 14, 2014 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

See all types of dogsPhoto Wiki Commons, courtesy Jonasz

Canine Obesity: Tips to Get Your Dog Fit and Trim!

There is sometimes a fine line between spoiling our much-loved family dog and actually contributing to their health problems if they become obese.

Canine obesity is on the rise, and according to the PDSA, as many as 50% of our nation’s dogs could die early as a result of obesity.

Obese dogs have a much higher likelihood of suffering from related medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, as well as putting an extra strain on their immune system and causing high blood pressure.

7 Tips to for a fit and trim dog:

  1. Warning signs
    The overriding message that needs to be considered here for all dog owners, is that a dog that manages to maintain an ideal body weight will, on average, live 15% longer than an overweight dog, and reduce their odds of suffering from diseases too.

    It can sometimes be difficult for a dog owner to accept or even believe that their canine friend is carrying as much as 20lb more than they should be, and the reason for this is primarily that because we have become rather immune to the sight of an overweight or fat dog, we seem not recognise this rather obvious visual warning sign.

  2. Quick test
    Different breeds have different traits and characteristics and in very general terms you would not expect to see a Greyhound carrying as much weight as a Labrador, but whatever breed of dog you have there is a relatively simple quick test that you could carry out to see if your dog is overweight or even obese.

    Run your hands along the side of your dog’s body all the way from the head to the tail and check if you can feel their ribs. You should be able to just feel the ribs in a dog that is carrying a healthy weight and once you have done this, take a look at your dog from the side.

    Most dogs should be able to achieve a relatively tucked-in profile, but if all you see and feel are some rolls of fat and their side profile is more rotund than sleek and slender, there is a good chance that they are carrying more weight than they should be.

  3. Health check
    If you have any concerns about your pet’s weight then it would be a good idea to make an appointment with your vet and get a professional opinion and advice on their current and ideal body weight, so that you know what you have to do to get your dog back into good shape.

    Once they have assessed their current weight and general health, your vet should be able to advise how many calories should be consumed each day in order to reach an ideal body weight.

  4. Feeding for health
    Dogs can have a tendency to eat when they are bored rather than when they are actually hungry, which is not dissimilar to the way some of us tend to behave, either.

    The best way to tackle their eating routine is to avoid giving them free choice and making food constantly available. Instead, operate portion-control with properly measured portions provided at regular intervals of between two and four times per day. It is important to feed your dog in concurrence with their ideal bodyweight and not their current weight. Feeding them according to their current weight rather than their target weight will result in continued weight gains, so be sure to take this into consideration as part of your efforts to get your do back into shape.

  5. A Diet for the Modern Dog
    We are constantly being informed that processed food that has a high sugar content and contains artificial preservatives and flavourings is bad for us. You should apply the same and caution and logic when it comes to following a diet that meets their needs but heeds our current understanding of what is considered bad food.

    Feeding your dog the right level of nutrients and helping them to overcome or avoid allergies is not as complicated as it may seem. Dogs have the metabolism to cope with raw meat and bacteria which humans do not, but they also have their list of bad foods which are chocolates and raisins or grapes, all of which are highly toxic to their system.

    If you aim to take the same level of dietary care that you would for yourself and introduce healthier and fresh ingredients like lean meat and a selection of fruit and vegetables in their bowl, this will help them to be leaner and fitter. It will also be much more beneficial to their long-term weight and health than relying on processed canned food all the time.

  6. Exercise
    As we all know, diet is one way to get rid of those extra pounds but exercise is just as important if your dog is going to be able to return to their ideal bodyweight as efficiently and healthily as possible.

    Regular walks and exercise are a key part of keeping a dog fit, healthy and happy. There is a growing trend amongst some dog owners to regard a walk with their dog as a bit of a treat on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    Even if a dog has access to a reasonably large garden, they are much more likely to develop sedentary tendencies unless they get the stimulation of regular exercise with their owner. Injury and obesity are definitely risk factors if the exercise is sporadic and features only occasional bursts of running.

    It is also a chance for the owner to enjoy some fresh air and get a bit of healthy exercise, so do try and work a daily walk with your dog into your timetable.

  7. Treatments to consider

    There is also a growing trend in the use of canine hydrotherapy pools for getting overweight dogs back into shape and improving their overall heath profile.

    Hydrotherapy for dogs can be an ideal solution as swimming and exercising in a hydro pool designed for canine use offers the opportunity for non-load bearing exercise, which is particularly helpful for dogs who want to avoid strain being placed on injured or recovering joints and muscles, but need the exercise to control their weight.

    Many dogs derive a great deal of pleasure from their visit to the pool and ball exercises make it a fun activity that many enjoy, especially as even nervous dogs are catered for with flotation devices if they are unsure about the water at first.

Canine obesity is a growing trend, so make sure that your dog does not become another statistic by employing a healthy eating and exercise routine.

Jack Wilkes is a canine hydrotherapist with a passion for all animals. When not seeing patients or walking his own dogs, he enjoys writing about basic pet health concerns and training challenges. Connect with DoggySwim on Facebook or Google+.

Fenced In: How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Free

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Fenced In: How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Free

Guest Post by Drew Kobb

The Norwich Terrier

Is your dog feeling trapped inside because he or she isn’t allowed outside? Or maybe your canine feels a little too free, jumping fences with no regard to boundaries or rules. There is a solution for both situations. Choosing the right fence for your dog is almost a science—you must take into account the dog’s size, temperament, needs, and your own desires and abilities. Here are some common options that you might want to consider to contain your canine.

Kennels

A kennel is a great option for smaller, mostly indoor dogs that need a little more fresh air. It is a safe, contained outdoor area for your dog. The size of the kennel will greatly depend on the size and number of dogs you own. It can be portable (like wire or metal cage), or it can be a permanent run (a gated enclosure set over a concrete slab or run area). Outdoor kennels are especially helpful if it is directly connected to an entry to the house, such as a doggie door.

Traditional Fences

Either a property fence or a smaller fence to block off a certain area of your yard are popular and traditional choices for dog owners. Many dog owners are mostly concerned about dogs leaving the property, so a boundary fence is usually sufficient. These traditional fences are available in many different materials: chain link, wood, wire, or a combination of materials.

However, some people don’t like this option because of the visual aspect—fences can block views, or simply lack visual aesthetic. There can also be problems with dogs digging under the fence to get out, but some Calgary fencing companies just suggest burying a few feet of chicken wire underneath the fence to create a barrier. Other downsides could include problems with dogs jumping over the fence, and the fences need upkeep to make sure there are no escape routes.

In-Ground Fences

In-ground fences are a great option for those who don’t want to build a fence on their property, for financial or aesthetic reasons. To install, you simply bury the transmitting wires a few inches
underground where you want the boundary to be. This is a really good option for abnormally shaped yards or for homes with pools because it easily follows curves and is very customizable. You can even use this system to prevent fence digging and jumping—simply attach the wire to an existing fence.

The system includes a radio transmitter, with a receiver on the dog collar. A warning tone sounds when the dog is getting close to boundary, a static correction is transmitted if the boundary is
reached. Many people are concerned with the humaneness of the static collar, but it is similar to a static shock a human might receive on a dry, static day when touching a doorknob.

Wireless Fences

Wireless fences are similar to the in-ground fences, except for… you guessed it, no wire to install! Wireless fences are great for smaller yards or areas. The fence is set up with a wireless transmitter that creates a circular boundary around itself. It is very easy to install and adjust the area when needed. You can even take it with you when you travel, go camping, or spend a day
on the lake! As long as you have access to an AC outlet, you can set up your circular boundary.

These fences can be customized even more if you choose the system with programmable flags. The flags allow you to create a non-circular boundary, so you can tailor it to your yard area. The downside is that you have to keep a bunch of little flags all around your yard to keep the fence in place.

All of these options can help keep your furry friend safer. Choosing the right fence means the difference between anxiety every time a car passes your home, and comfort in having a pet that knows its safe boundaries. Sometimes, set boundaries can be a good thing.

Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running with his dog and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch. He also urges you to check out Calgary Fencing for your dog!

The Top 3 Guard Dogs

October 3, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

The Top 3 Guard Dogs

Guest Post by Drew Kobb

With several recent advancements in home security technology, more and more people are resting easy knowing that if their homes are broken into, help is on the way. However, even the smartest technology has its flaws. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts to reduce response time, not all homes are in a convenient location for an immediate response. Additionally, while a home security system will alert the authorities of an intruder, your family isn’t necessarily safe until police arrive.

Adopting a reliable guard dog can be an effective way to protect your home and family. However, some dogs are better at the job than others.

The German Shepherd

German shepherd

German shepherds are known for their intelligence, strength, and protective nature. It’s for these reasons German shepherds are the most popular choice among law enforcement agencies’ K-9 units. German shepherds can learn simple commands after only 5 repetitions or so. They are also very obedient, responding to a first command 95% of the time.

German shepherds are also very strong, which is why they are often employed in search and rescue efforts. Larger shepherds can weigh up to 100 pounds or more, which is not a bad attribute to have in the case of a home intrusion. On average, German shepherds bite with around 236 pounds of force (that’s in comparison to a human male’s 80 pounds). They also rank high on speed and agility tests.

This breed is very good around children. As dogs are pack animals, German shepherds in particular have a keen sense of family; they can easily pick out who is not welcome. The one drawback is that modern German shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia, a genetic condition which can lead to arthritis in later years.

The Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinscher

An intimidating figure, the Doberman pinscher is another intelligent breed that can be easily trained. One advantage to owning a Doberman is that they are very easily identified—stopping potential crooks in their tracks before they even start.

Dobermans are similar to German shepherds in a lot of ways, including their aptitude for companionship and their relative size and strength. And while they can be very aggressive toward unwanted guests, they also have the potential to act more hostile around any stranger—friend or foe. However, Dobermans tend to rank lower on overall aggression and are great household pets when properly trained.

The Rottweiler

Rottweiler

If you want a big, mean dog standing guard, a Rottweiler might be the best choice. Rottweilers easily weigh in around 130 pounds or more. As opposed to the German shepherd, a Rottweiler’s bite force is somewhere in the neighborhood of 328 pounds of force.

In addition to being larger and stronger than most domestic breeds, Rottweilers are also known for their persistence and toughness. In other words, not only will Rottweilers ward off intruders, but they’re also more likely to chase after them, even if they are somehow injured in the process.

The average lifespan of a Rottweiler is around 9 to 10 years—a bit lower than the other two breeds. This may be due in part to their proneness to obesity. If you decide to adopt a Rottweiler, make sure it is not over-fed and receives plenty of exercise.

A Final Word

One advantage guard dogs have over automated security systems is that they provide companionship as well as security. They are pack animals and will be loyal to your pack if they are properly cared for. However, just like your parents have probably told you, dogs are a big responsibility. Your duty to your dog extends far beyond feeding and walking. There is a right way to train your guard dog—neglect, abuse, and starvation are the wrong ways. Before getting a guard dog, consult trainers, breeders, and veterinarians to help you know what to expect and how to keep your dog disciplined in a controlled and healthy way.

Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves animals, and keeps himself up-to-date on training tips, new aquarium supplies and animal rights news. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch.

Dog Breeds: The Chow Chow

September 18, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

The Chow Chow

Want a dog that reminds you of your favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal? Then a Chow Chow may be the right breed for you. Here is some information you might find helpful before you buy your next pet companion.

Origin

Chow Chows are an old breed of dog. It is believed that they originated in Asia millions of years ago. Many fossils from that time show bone structures similar to the modern species. One thing that makes them distinctive is their blue or black mouth. This is a quality that is shared with the Chinese Shar-Pei, leading to the conclusion that they are somehow related.

Originally, this dog was put to work in many areas. They made great hunting dogs, finding sables, wolves and pheasants. Because of their muscular build, they were also used to pull carts and sleds. It was also not unusual to find them herding other animals or protecting an owner’s property and family.

Temperament

In a good environment, a Chow Chow displays obedience and manners. They get along well with other animals in the household as long as they are socialized from pups.

This dog can have behavior issues if he sees that his or her master is not behaving as an alpha in the family. In order for the dog to know his place, he has to recognize that all humans in the pack are higher up than he.

A Chow Chow will readily challenge and usurp power in the pack if they see that their master is faltering. These dogs are strong willed and will become stubborn to a fault in these situations. Their actions will come off as mean to their owners but is their way of showing that they decide what to do and not the humans.

Care

A Chow Chow is a large thick dog. Their most common colors are black, cream, blue, red, and cinnamon. It is also not uncommon to see them in tan or gray coats. Their telltale feature is that they have a blue-black tongue in a black mouth.

They maintain a dense coat that can either be coarse or smooth. Regular brushing is important to maintain the coat, especially in the seasons when they shed heavily.

This dog is also prone to a few health issues. They have eye irritation due to entropion, a condition where their eyelids roll inward and their eyelashes end up scratching the surface of the eye. You will also find that they deal with hip dysplasia, cancer, and ear infections.

Training

A Chow Chow needs a firm hand in order to be trainable. They can be difficult and require a strong dominant owner. For this reason, many people give up this breed, because they were not able to handle him in that regard.

When properly trained, these dogs are quite intelligent. Given a task, they will continue to perform it until they have pleased their owners. It is not unheard of for Chow Chows to learn to “shake hands” with people, jump around on their hind legs, and perform other tricks.

These gentle lion-like dogs are playful and obedient when trained well. If you have a firm strong personality, a Chow Chow may find a home in your household.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Dalmation

July 1, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Dogs

The Dalmatian

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Dalmatian!

Have you ever seen the movie or heard the story of 101 Dalmatians? Most likely, the answer is yes! Almost everyone is familiar with it. The every day person probably has a love for Dalmatians simply because of the popularity of the story – I mean who couldn’t love a hyper and super cute white and black-spotted dog!

Dalmatians are actually a very old breed and are also known as a symbol for firemen. They have traditionally helped firemen fight fires and are very good at it due to their nature. These dogs have tons of energy, love people, are very playful, and are extremely intelligent. Because of this they can make very good companions for a variety of different people. As well as good fire dogs, they can also often make good guard dogs, hound dogs, carriage dogs, and war dogs! Other names the Dalmatian goes by include Firehouse Dog, Dalmatiner, Carriage Dog, and many others.

As for the history of this dog, it is not known for sure exactly where it originated. It is definitely a very old breed of dog, but whether or not the Dalmatian started out in Dalmatia, a section of Croatia, is debated. It has made appearances in ancient Egyptian art as well. They are a non-sporting dog breed with a very unique spotted coat. When they are born they are completely white, but as they grow they develop spots. These spots are often black, but can also be brindle, blue, or lemon colored. There are also several Dalmatian hybrids. Two popular ones are the Sharmatian (Dalmatian and Shar-Pei mix) and the Chimation (Dalmatian and Chihuahua mix).

The care and feeding of these dogs is what is expected of any dog, but should be taken seriously. Taking them to their regular annual check-ups and giving them their shots is a must in order to keep them at their best health-wise. Their diet should actually not be too heavy on protein because they are prone to urinary problems and too much protein can facilitate these. Dog foods that are mostly rice, poultry, and lamb are the best choice. Dalmatians can be kept both indoors and outdoors. However, if they are kept indoors they should be allowed out regularly to play and taken on walks because they are very energetic dogs. Also, they shed heavily twice a year, and so must be regularly brushed and the house should be vacuumed frequently. Baths should be infrequent.

Socially, these dogs make pretty good companions overall. They get along with most people, including children, as well as with other pets. Males (especially if not neutered) may be more aggressive towards other male dogs, so take caution if you have more than one male dog. Very small children may also not be the best companions for them because these dogs are so hyper.

The Dalmatian is quite intelligent, which makes them an ideal dog for obedience training, housebreaking, and learning tricks. This is why they are used for many important jobs such as firehouse dogs and guard dogs.

The two main health problems for these dogs are urinary problems and skin allergies. As I mentioned before, limiting protein and watching their diet can generally help with their urinary problems. They may still need medication however. If your Dalmatian develops skin problems, check out their living conditions and consult your veterinarian. Sometimes indoor carpet and furniture can contribute to skin allergies, so it is important to determine what is causing them. Deafness can also run in the family, so check for a family history of deafness before purchasing a particular dog.

Overall, Dalmatians are considered great pets! You should look for a reputable breeder before purchasing one and keep in mind that prices can vary greatly. Read more about these dogs on Animal-World’s Dalmatian page!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Feeding your Dog Properly

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Feeding your Dog

We may treat our dogs like humans at times but that doesn’t mean that they need to be fed like them. Feeding your dog properly is important to their overall health and well-being. Here are some pointers about feeding them in the right way.

Dogs are not people. They have a different diet and have different nutritional requirements. For instance, dogs are pack animals. They are descended from wolves which are pack animals. In the wild, animals eat what they have in their surroundings and that doesn’t include certain foods that we have at our disposal in the domesticated environment. To understand your dog, take a good look at him or her and learn about their needs versus what we think they should have.

The Puppy Years

It is unwise to take a pup from its mother before it is eight weeks of age. Just like human babies, pups get proper nourishment and immunity from their mother’s milk. Weaning them too soon can lead to health issues.

Puppies need to be fed three or four times a day. After about four weeks this can consist of mother’s milk and also some solid food. After eight weeks, the puppy can eat solid food with very little milk. This begins the weaning period. And, it is safe to take them from their moms when they are more interested in your company than their mother’s.

As the puppy gets older, feed them less frequently, about twice a day. For dogs that are prone to weight problems, you don’t want to start a bad habit at a young age. Also, feeding them at regular intervals makes it easier to housebreak them.

A Few Food Facts

If you have ever looked in a dog’s mouth, you will notice that they have sharp incisors. Humans have a couple of them too but dogs have a whole mouth of them. They are used for ripping and tearing meat.

Dogs need a lot of protein in their diet but very little, if any, grains. Many commercial dog foods contain grain products as filler in their dry foods. Avoid these as much as possible.

Dogs do not have the proper teeth to grind up and digest grains. All they will do is eliminate it from their system. Feeding too much grain can leave your dog hungry and undernourished.

Read the labels. Be sure that the ingredients say “meat meal” (chicken, pork, beef, turkey, etc) as the first ingredient so you know that in the concentrated dry food, you are getting more meat by weight than if it read “meat” alone. Watch out if it names a grain as the second or third ingredient as that means that there are a lot of non-nutritive fillers involved. Mix wet with dry food so that your dog gets that crunch and a lot of needed protein.

Feeding your dog properly leads to a long happy life with very few health and developmental problems.

Dog Breeds: The Cocker Spaniel

March 3, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Cocker Spaniel

Want a medium sized to small dog that has long luxurious hair? You would probably like a Cocker Spaniel. It is good for more than just looking beautiful though.

Origin

The American Cocker Spaniel, which we are talking about here, is originally of the English Spaniel breed. If you looked at an English Spaniel you would notice many differences. For one, the American was bred to be a smaller dog with a shorter muzzle.

Both Spaniels are gun dogs. They are known for flushing out game on a hunt and bringing it back to its owner. It is named after the woodcock, a bird that it was commonly known to flush out. Traditionally they are not only retrievers, but watchdogs and trackers known for their obedience and agility. They were first recognized by the AKC in the 1870s.

Temperament

This dog is great as a gun dog and also a household pet. As long as they are socialized well and trained from an early age they are good with children. They have average intelligence and are very trustworthy and charming to be around.

This dog loves to work. As they are used to being outside, this dog can perform tasks on dry or wet ground with ease. If not socialized well they are likely to become shy.

Some people have problems with Cocker Spaniels. They are thought to be discipline problems. That is usually the case when the pack order has not been established in the family. It is where most owners go wrong.

Avoid the small dog syndrome. This is the belief that small dogs are cute and do not need the same rules as bigger dogs. It is important for all dogs to establish a pack order. The human family is the dog’s new pack. They must know that all humans in the house are higher in the order than they are to avoid any type of discipline problems.

Temperament will stay social and gentle as long as you give your dog what he needs. That includes a daily long walk. This burns off nervous energy and satisfies their mental need to migrate. You don’t need a large yard. A small one will do or access to a park where you can properly exercise your dog each day.

When pack leadership is not established, your dog may engage in various unsavory behaviors. These include:

- Viciousness brought on by fear and dominant behavior
- Submissive urinating
- Obsessive barking

Care

This dog has a medium length coat that is flat and wavy. It is shorter on the head. The ears, abdomen and legs have feathering. Some will cut the coat short so that it is better managed on a daily basis. He will need regular brushing, being careful not to pull out the silky hairs underneath. For showing, they can have any solid color coat.

Cocker Spaniels are prone to many different health problems. Regular visits to the vet can head off any issues that could be a problem. Regular feedings of highly nutritious foods can avoid weight problems.

Training

These dogs are relatively easy to train but can become a problem when pack order is not established. Housebreaking will be more of a challenge. With a gentle positive feedback system, they will learn and become good dogs for your home and outdoor life.

The Cocker Spaniel is pretty, intelligent, and trustworthy. For the total package, think about bringing home a Cocker Spaniel.

A Dogs Life in Luxury

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

A Dogs Life in Luxury

Author: Liam Condit
Company: dogbeds.co.uk

For us, beds are an important and comforting entity that we just couldn’t live without, and the same goes for dogs. Besides food and water, a dog bed is a necessity for the life and well-being of your pet. Not only do they provide security and private space for the dog, but also a good dog bed can provide elderly dogs with support for their joints and bones, especially those that may have arthritis. Dog beds are also a very useful tool for keeping your house clean, with all the hair being concentrated in one place. What’s important is that although every dog needs a bed, it should also the right bed for your dog.

Danish Design Rambla Bed Nest

This dog bed serves as the king of dog beds, with its classic horseshoe shape, and luxuriously padded cushioning, it is a dog bed fit for royalty. After a hard days walk or a day in the field, the nest offers your pet the maximum possible amount of comfort and relaxation. Available either in a chic lime design for the most fashionable of dog, or a classic beige design for a dog with traditional tastes, this is a dog bed that is not to be missed.

Premium Memory Foam Dog Mattress

Shaped like a regular mattress, the bed offers an unbeatable experience every time your dog goes to sleep. Quite often used for medicinal purposes, memory foam is great for circulation and joints, keeping the body properly supported, prioritizing not one part of the body over another. This means that the Premium Memory Foam Dog Mattress is an excellent choice for elderly dogs and those who suffer from arthritis. The lining of the bed is also waterproof meaning that those occasional accidents aren’t a problem, with the lining being fully machine washable. The bed is also available in light and dark tan, making it a perfect bed for a dog of any breed or age.

Premium Oval Faux Suede Softee Bed

With 360 degrees of cushioning, the oval bed provides your furry friend the perfect armchair experience, all from his own private bed space. Hard-wearing and practical, the bed also offers a luxurious memory foam base, perfect for the dog that is looking for that ultimate nights sleep. Available in a range of different sizes and two different colours, the bed is the perfect product for a dog who takes nothing less than the best.

Rectangular Heavy Duty Basket Weave Softee Bed

With its ultra soft walled covering, the Soft bed is probably the best dog bed available for under £100. The intricately crafted material ensures that the bed is one of the strongest and most durable within its range, whilst at the same time, offering your dog the highest possible comfort and quality that necessitates a good nights sleep. The thick yet superbly soft base offers your dog the cushioning that it needs, whilst being machine washable and offering the long lasting protection that you need. Like all the others, the bed is available in a variety of sizes and two different colours, suiting not only your dog, but also the home in which your dog lives.

Rectangular Faux Suede Softee Bed

Similar to the Basket Weave Softee bed, the Faux Suede Softee Bed is a product designed primarily for making your pet happy and comfortable. With its thickly cushioned walls and brilliantly soft base, the bed is a high quality product that is made to last night after night with your dog. Also, the entirety of the bed can be machine washed, making hygiene a top priority for you and your dog.

Dog Breeds: The Basset Hound

January 30, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Basset Hound

Want a small dog that also has a superior sense of smell? You could be in the market for that dog breed that represents fine shoes everywhere. We are talking about a Basset Hound.

Origin

Though they are short in stature, this dog has been highly prized on the European continent. It is related to the bloodhound which is known for its hunting ability and better than average sniffer. This dog was bred early as a hunting dog. Some wanted it to be used as a companion dog. There was a big argument amongst breeders who wanted one but not all of these traits for their dogs.

When the Basset Hound finally came to America, breeders decided that it could be a show dog, a companion dog and a hunting dog all in one. In fact, as a hunting dog, it was a better retriever for those who were on foot since it was slower than dogs with longer legs. Even President George Washington owned Basset Hounds.

Temperament

This small dog has a sweet disposition and is generally well-behaved. If you ever encounter a Basset Hound that is vicious with you or others, it could be a sign of a problem at home. Basset Hounds are pack dogs like many other breeds. It is important for them to know who the pack leader in the home is. When the pack leader is not clearly defined, this can lead the dog to try and assume the position.

Basset Hounds are stubborn. Housebreaking is often difficult with them. When they latch onto a smell, especially of a small animal, it is hard to refocus them to the task at hand. Early on, teach them the rules of the house. Offer positive reinforcement for good behavior and a proper training environment.

They are quite affectionate when they feel that things are as they should be in the home. Sometimes they do tricks for food.

Care

You have seen these dogs on shoe boxes and in commercials for years. They have a low body that is short and heavy. They are prone to bloat and also weight gain that can lead to problems with their hips and legs.

Their features remind you of a sad puppy dog. Their eyes are large and sunken in a rounded well-proportioned skull. Ears are soft and hang almost to the ground. Skin is loose on their body. They have large paws and a well rounded body. In show, there are no real rules on color. Most Basset Hounds are white, red, white and chestnut, black or tan.

Their coat is dense and shiny. Regular brushing will keep it under control. Only wash the dog if it is warranted. Wipe the ears and trim claws regularly.

Training

Basset Hounds are stubborn. A firm but gentle hand is needed. To satisfy their migratory instinct, take him on long daily walks. You don’t need a big yard or even a yard at all for this. You can use the park so that he can get rid of nervous energy.

Want a loving dog that is both companion and hunter? Think about owning a Basset Hound.

Are You Ready for Dog Ownership?

January 21, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Dog Ownership

Dogs are said to be man’s best friend but they are also good for the rest of the human race. Dogs can raise your spirits, help with health recovery and display a fierce loyalty that can save your life. With these good points can come a downside. Are you really ready for a dog in your life?

Many people are in love with the idea of dog ownership. They see them on television or in another persons home and think that they want the same thing. What they don’t see is what goes on behind the scenes so that the dog is well behaved, well fed, beautiful and an integral part of the family unit.

It is sad but true that many owners buy dogs and then give them back, often to the pound. What are the reasons? Mostly, the owner got in over their head and then couldn’t care for the dog as it needed to be cared for. So, a pet loses their home and then has to endure the threat of being put to sleep. Worse still is putting them on the street where they have to learn to fend for themselves and contribute to pet overpopulation.

You can avoid this issue by evaluating how ready you are for dog ownership. It is not a crime to accept that you won’t ever be a pet owner, or at least not a dog owner. Someone who is better suited will take them home.

What to Know before Buying a Dog

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before making a purchase or commitment.

1. What breed is right for me? – All dogs are not the same. Some need more exercise and instruction than others. Small dogs don’t need as much outdoor room to run, but may crave more play time each day. Try to choose a dog that has a similar temperament to yours for a better match.

2. Do I have the time to care for a dog? – Dogs need structure especially when they are young. Here is when you crate train, housebreak them, teach them discipline and establish a pack order with them. It can take time to get a schedule and deal with issues. If you don’t have this time you could end up with a dog that is nippy and misunderstood.

3. Is my family okay with the dog? – Check to be sure that family members do not have pet dander allergies before committing to dog ownership. It could be that a short-haired dog is better suited because they don’t shed as much if at all.

4. What will I spend on my dog? – Pets count on their owners for everything. It can take a lot of dough to feed, house, groom and take care of the health of your dog. Some dog owners spend upwards of a couple thousand dollars a year. This doesn’t include the cost if you buy a purebred dog or if there are any health problems present.

There is no shame in not owning a dog. Learn here if you are ready and the right person to become man’s best friend.

Next Page »