Dog Shots: The Truth About Vaccinations For Dogs

Dog Shots: The Truth About Vaccinations For Dogs

Dog shots are something that every responsible owner considers from a puppy vaccination schedule through to an adult dog vaccination schedule.

If you’re anything like most dog owners, you think of your dog as a family member, and of course you would only want the best of care for your four-legged friend.

You might be tempted, then, to leave all your dog’s medical decisions up to your veterinarian, thinking that they’re the ones with all the expertise, right?

Well, hang on a minute – you might want to rethink that idea when it comes to vaccinating your dog.

The traditional veterinary dog vaccination schedule is slowly being replaced by new recommendations. If your veterinarian is advising a yearly set of injections for your canine companion, you may be surprised to learn that it could increase the risks to your dog’s well-being.

Recent research has shown that giving our dogs too many vaccinations can potentially produce a variety of negative health effects.

Since the goal of most dog owners, is the opposite of this, let’s talk about how you can protect them in an effective way without overburdening their immune system and increasing the risk of a number of additional health issues.

How Do Dog Vaccines Work?

There are two different categories of vaccinations used in veterinary medicine – modified live (MLV), and killed vaccines.

Modified live vaccines use a changed, weakened form of the infectious virus or other microorganism, while a killed vaccine uses an inactivated (dead) form of the virus.

When the vaccine is injected into your dog, it stimulates their immune system to produce antibodies, protecting them against any future contact they might have with that particular disease.

What’s the Problem With Too Many Dog Shots?

Well, besides being unnecessary in many cases, over vaccinating a dog can overwhelm their immune system, potentially causing negative side effects. For dogs who are already ill, or who suffer from a disease that involves their immune system, giving unnecessary vaccinations can place extra stress on their bodies, causing further health problems.

Vaccine reactions in dogs can happen anywhere from minutes to weeks or even months after the vaccine is given.

This is according to Dr. Jean Dodds, a pre-eminent veterinary researcher in the field of pet health as related to vaccination, hematology and endocrine disorders.

The type and severity of the reactions can range from mild ones like fever, hives, swelling, soreness, vomiting and lack of appetite.

More serious and sometimes fatal problems have also been linked to over-vaccination, such as an increased tendency to develop infections, bone marrow suppression, brain inflammation, behavioral changes, and diseases where the immune system goes ‘haywire’, like autoimmune hemolytic anemia (a condition where the body destroys its own blood cells).

For dogs specifically, their breed can play a part in their response to vaccination as well, as some are more susceptible to diseases that affect their immune system like chronic allergies, and therefore are also more likely to develop negative reactions from unnecessary or excessive dog shots:

• Akita
• American Cocker Spaniel
• German Shepherd
• Golden Retriever
• Irish Setter
• Great Dane
• Kerry Blue Terrier
• Dachshunds (all varieties, but especially the long-haired)
• Poodles (all varieties, but especially the Standard Poodle
• Old English Sheepdog
• Scottish Terrier
• Shetland Sheepdog
• Shih Tzu
• Vizsla
• Weimaraner

Dog Farts: Why It Happens And How To Prevent It

Dog Farts: Why It Happens And How To Prevent It

It used to be thought that dog farts were the norm and nothing could be done – it was just a dog being a dog.

Many people even thought that it was an indication of good digestion. Today we know that excessive gas in dogs is really indicative of an imbalanced digestive tract. When there is a great deal of undigested material in the digestive tract, excessive fermentation takes place. This is what causes flatulence in dogs. Plus while occasionally it’s not something that should bother us as dog lovers, a dog farting continuously can be far from pleasant.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why proper digestion may not take place, and we will offer solutions to address the distressing problem of flatulence in dogs. Read on to learn more.

Good Health Depends On Good Diet

What is the best dog food for gassy dogs? Feeding the wrong kind of food is the usual culprit when it comes to excessive gas in dogs. Commercial dog food is the canine equivalent of processed food for humans. It is a food-like substance made primarily of grain and meat byproducts (e.g, ground bones, feathers, talons, beaks and other slaughterhouse throwaways). Grain is not a natural food for dogs, and low-quality, discarded meat products are not a desirable food.

The healthiest diet for a dog consists of raw foods (both meat and vegetables) and raw bones. It may take a bit of experimenting to find exactly the right meats and veggies for your dog Some dogs are sensitive to meats that are high in arachidonic acid, such as bison and Buffalo. For these dogs, chicken, turkey and/or lamb may be good choices.

Make Changes Gradually And One At A Time

As you strive to devise the perfect diet and a dog flatulence remedy, pay close attention to his or her reaction to various types of foods. If you notice that a certain type of food seems to cause flatulence or other negative results, eliminate it from the diet for a while. After a couple of weeks have passed, experiment with reintroducing a small amount of the food. If your dog reacts again, you will know that this food should be eliminated.

Monitor Your Dog’s Diet Closely

Be sure that everyone is on the same page regarding your dogs diet. Don’t let relatives or well-meaning strangers sneak off limits treats such as chips, cheese, bread and other grain, milk or junk containing foods to your dog.

Encourage Natural Digestive Enzyme Production

Even with the best diet, there are dogs who are not able to produce an adequate amount of enzymes and digestive acids. The digestive process begins in the mouth and goes through a number of steps throughout the stomach and intestines.
The pancreas plays a very important role in proper digestion, as does the stomach. If there are problems with the pancreas and/or stomach, the production of gastric acid and pancreatic enzymes will be decreased. This may cause your dog to experience diarrhea and/or dog farts.

As a home remedy you can try giving a tonic of apple cider vinegar. Mix a very small amount into your dog’s food. Half a teaspoon may be enough. Begin with a small amount and increase it to as much as one and a half teaspoons if needed. If you don’t see improvement within a few days, see your vet.

Occasional Digestive Enzyme Supplements May Help

Used temporarily, digestive enzyme supplements may be helpful. It’s not a good idea to feed your dog digestive enzymes on a regular basis because this will cause your dog’s natural digestive enzyme production to decrease. As occasional support, however, high quality digestive enzymes that contain bromelain and papain may be helpful.

Avoid Using Antacids

Some people believe it’s a good idea give dogs who have poor digestion antacids. This is not really necessary, though. Antacids are effective when dogs have ulcers; however, this is very rare. Ulcers are usually the result of a highly processed diet or excessive use of anti-inflammatory drugs. For this reason, it’s better not to give your dog antacids and less specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian.

10 Great Tips To Help Deal With Dog Allergies

10 Great Tips To Help Deal With Dog Allergies

Specific Dog allergies can be difficult to identify. All animals can suffer from allergies, including your dog.

Allergies may be genetic, or they may develop over time. Allergy symptoms result when the immune system of the sufferer reacts to a substance (i.e. an allergen) as if it were dangerous.

Allergy symptoms can affect the respiratory system, the skin, the eyes, digestion and other systems of the body. In this article, we’ll explain a little bit about allergies in dogs and share some good information to help you keep your best friend comfortable and allergy symptom-free. Read on to learn more.

Recognizing Allergy Symptoms in Dogs

If your dog has allergies, the symptoms may manifest in a number of ways. This depends upon what type of substance your dog is allergic to and what aspects of his or her biological makeup may be weakened. When your dog has allergies, you may notice runny eyes, sneezing and coughing. Your dog may also begin to snore when it sleeps. This is common with springtime pollen allergies just as it is in humans.

Your dog may also exhibit allergy symptoms in the skin. You may notice your dog scratching, and licking his skin. You may see patches of skin that are moist, red and itchy. Sometimes scabbed areas of skin will appear. This can be an allergy to an environmental toxin, or it may be a flea allergy. If you see and itchy and inflamed spot near the base of your dogs tail, you can be pretty sure that this is caused by fleas.

Dogs that are allergic to something in their food may also exhibit these symptoms. Other symptoms that indicate problems with food include diarrhea and vomiting and swollen paws. It’s important to note that these symptoms may also indicate poisoning or serious illness. It’s important to see your vet right away if your dog exhibits these acute symptoms.

1. Avoid Selecting A Dog Breed That Is Prone to Allergies

Bulldogs and Terriers do tend to get allergies more often than other types of dogs. Other dogs that tend to be flat faced, such as Pugs also tend to suffer from allergies more frequently than most dogs.

Retrievers and Setters have also been known to have more allergic reactions than is common in dogs. Generally speaking, dogs that have unusual skin characteristics, such as the excessive folds of the Shar-Pei are prone to allergic reactions.

Generally speaking, if a dog is going to develop an allergy problem it will do so after the age of two years. For this reason, adopting an older dog could be a very smart choice. Additionally, crossbred dogs or “mutts” tend to have fewer health problems than many purebred type dogs.

This is a result of natural selection choosing the strongest features from both parents and combining to create better offspring.

2. Avoid These Common Culprits in Dog Allergies

Just as with people, dog allergies may be kept entirely under control by simply avoiding the allergens. It’s smart to keep your dog away from, common irritants such as weed and grass pollen and even some tree pollens. All beings are better off when kept away from cigarette smoke and mold spores as these are highly toxic substances.

Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to fleas, so it’s important to select a good and effective way of dealing with fleas on your dog and in your home environment. Also be aware that some dogs are allergic to some types of flea products.

Choose your products carefully, and always go for high quality products that do not contain unnecessary chemicals, artificial ingredients and so on. Consult your vet for a good match for your dog.
You should also choose high quality foods that do not contain common food allergens such as soy, wheat or corn meal. Also avoid pork, chicken and beef byproducts.

The first ingredient in your dog food should be a meat meal.

Grains should make up a small percentage of the dog food formula. Meat ingredient should be in the form of either high quality meat or a high quality meat meal.
Some dogs also exhibit allergic symptoms when exposed to certain cleaning products and perfumes.

Just as with people, allergies may be triggered by exposure to certain materials. Observe your dog carefully to be sure that you will notice if he or she has a negative reaction to something around your household.

3. Use a consistent approach When Determining the Cause of Your Dog’s Allergy

It isn’t always easy to determine exactly what is causing a dog allergy. You may need to eliminate certain foods, change bedding, change flea products, avoid letting your dog be around people who smoke or any number of other changes. How can you keep track?

The key is to keep a written record of the changes you make and to only make one change at a time. Give each change at least a week before making any other changes. So for example, if you suspect a food allergy, you may want to switch from a beef, chicken or pork based food to a lamb based food. Wait at least a week or two before making any other changes.

If the food was the problem, you will have it solved. If not, make another change.

4. Be Sure to Consult Your Veterinarian

It’s always a good idea to have your veterinarian try and diagnose dog allergies. This can save you a lot of trial and error. Furthermore, if your dogs problem is not caused by allergies seeing your vet could save your dogs life.

For example, if your dog has been poisoned or has Parvo no amount of allergy troubleshooting on your part will help him!
If the problem is allergies, your vet will probably perform an intradermal skin test.

This is very similar to the type of allergy testing that is performed on humans. Based on the results of the testing, your vet will be able to provide your dog with just the right treatment. This can save a lot of time, money and discomfort.

For example, if your dog has a food allergy your vet may prescribe exactly the right food to address his needs. This will be helpful to you in that you will not need to try out a variety of different foods, perhaps to no avail.

5. Follow Your Veterinarian’s Instructions Precisely

If your dog does have a food allergy, and your vet prescribes a diet, you will need to feed only that diet. Be sure not to give your dog any treats unless your vet approves. This means no table scraps and no flavored medications unless your vet prescribes them. After an initial period of about three months, your vet will reassess the situation and may allow you to add other foods into the diet.

10 Quick Dog Health Care Tips

10 Quick Dog Health Care Tips

Hopefully these dog health care tips will give you some help, if you feel that you need it. They are only very simple tips and most dog owners will already know them and quite probably using them already. But for anyone that isn’t they might be useful.

Get Rid of Your Dog’s Bad Breath by Making This Simple Change

There are many reasons for your dog’s stinky breath. The main culprit could be his diet. An unbalanced diet with insufficient nutrients can cause bad breath.

Make sure that your dog’s diet includes the right amount of whole grains and fiber.
Wet food can cause bad breath as they stick to dogs’ teeth, while dry foods have abrasive elements that actually help to clean your dog’s teeth.

So, just by switching his wet diet to a dry one you can see a marked change.
Also, don’t forget to clean your dog’s teeth regularly.

This will get rid of any old food and odor causing bacteria, and keep his breath fresh and clean.
In case the bad breath persists then consult your veterinarian as it can be a symptom to a more serious health problem.

Is Your Dog Chewing Its Tail for No Apparent Reason?

If your dog is chewing its tail persistently for no apparent reasons like injury or an irritant then it might be because he is simply BORED!
Some dogs like German shepherds are bred for hard work and can maim themselves if they get bored.

A change in their routine or introducing new activities can help to keep them engaged. New toys specially designed to provide stimulation can do the trick or you can put them to “work”, like making them carry a backpack while walking or you can put them through the rigors of obedience training.
If changing their activity level does not stop their tail chewing habit then you can think about using a cone to prevent chewing. However, the cone is only a temporary solution so consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment to stop this potentially dangerous habit.

Did You Know That Commercial Treats Make your Dog Fat?

Treats work excellently to encourage or reward your dog, especially while house-training.

But did you know that a single store-bought treat like cheese snacks or packaged bacon can pack up to one-fourth of the daily recommended calorie intake of an average sized dog?
Of course, these treats are super yummy and can almost make your dog do whatever you want them to do, but at what price? You might be tempted to indulge your pet with a few treats at a time but soon you will be dealing with a much bigger problem of obesity.
Try to give healthy treats like salmon flakes or liver. In case you have no option but to choose store-bought treats then make sure to buy healthy and low-calorie treats.

Top Three Reasons Why You Should Neuter or Spay Your Dog

#1: Your male and female pets will lead a healthier and longer life
Neutering your male before he is six months old will help prevent testicular cancer, while spaying helps prevent breast cancer and uterine infection in females.

#2: You May Well End up with better Behaved Dog
This means you don’t have to deal with a howling pet that urinates all over your house or roams away from the house in desperate efforts to attract mates. Instead, a spayed or neutered pet will be content to be with its human family.
#3: You can save a lot of money!
Spaying or neutering will cost you, but it is negligible when compared to taking care of a litter or the medical expenses when your unneutered pet runs off and gets into a brawl with a stray!

How To Check If Your Dog is Dehydrated

Dogs get dehydrated when they don’t drink sufficient quantities of water or when they lose excess amounts of water. Symptoms include loss of appetite, dry mouth, sunken eyes and low energy.
The following two methods can be used to check if your dog is suffering from dehydration.
#1: Gently pinch and lift the skin on the backside of your dog’s neck. The skin should return back to its original place immediately after you release it.
#2: Apply pressure on your dog’s gums gently with your finger until a light spot appears on the gums. This spot should retain its normal color the instant you stop applying the pressure.
If you believe your pet may be suffering from dehydration then get medical help immediately.

Microchip Your Dog

Are you worried that your pet might wander off and cannot find its way back home?
A simple way to make sure that your dog will return to you is to insert an ID microchip in his body.
The microchip is very small, not bigger than a grain of rice. It needs to be inserted under the skin of your pet and it can be done in less than a second.
The microchip does not need any battery and it only takes a few seconds for the animal control officer or a vet to scan the information on the chip.
Make sure that you register the ID microchip with the maker of the product as a current registration is very important to ensure that your pet can find its way back home.

Your Dog Too Needs Dental Care

Like humans, dogs too suffer from various dental problems like gum disease, tooth ache and tooth loss.
And like humans, regular cleaning and brushing helps to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Studies show that about 80% of dogs exhibit symptoms of dental problems by the time they are three years old. This results in pain, abscesses and weak teeth.

17 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dogs

17 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dogs

Animals – dogs and cats especially – are extremely curious. And, when it comes to food, they are that much more curious.  They love to beg for food, whatever food you may be cooking. While they are cute when begging, there are some foods that their little tummies just cannot handle. And, there are some foods that are downright toxic and fatal to them.

If you have a canine or feline friend you want to keep in good health, here is a list of foods you should avoid giving them.

alcohol-to-dogs

1. Alcohol

Alcohol will quickly absorb into the bloodstream. When you ingest alcohol, it can lead to a serious decline in an animal’s blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and drop their body temperature as well. Animals who are intoxicated may suffer from seizures and/or respiratory failure. Many unsuspecting, well-intentioned owners don’t know that desserts with yeast-containing dough or alcohol are huge culprits.

Picked chicken bones on white plate

2.Bones and Fat Trimmings

Dogs do not need to eat the table scraps you don’t eat. Fat from these meats – whether cooked or uncooked – can lead to pancreatitis. While bones may appear natural for dogs, they can actually choke on them. Bones may become splintered, causing lacerations in the digestive system.

no caffeine for dogs

3.Caffeine

Your pet should never have anything contains caffeine – tea, coffee, chocolate, and dietary pills – since they can affect their nervous system, heart, intestines and stomach. Caffeine-ingested symptoms include:

  • Increase of blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increase in urination
  • Muscle twitching
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Extreme panting
Organic Dark Chocolate Candy Bar in a Wrapper

Organic Dark Chocolate Candy Bar in a Wrapper

4.Chocolate

Chocolate comes in all kinds, and each type has its own level of caffeine, fat and other substances. The darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity level. Based on the kind and the amount of chocolate your dog consumes, they could suffer from hyperactivity, vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, seizures, tremors and arrhythmias.

Hear This! How To Keep Your Dog’s Ears Beautifully Clean

Hear This! How To Keep Your Dog’s Ears Beautifully Clean

Pedigree Dachshund

Dog ears can come in many shapes and sizes! Whatever their appearance, though, our dog’s ears are important body parts that need regular care too.

One of the greatest ways to help prevent ear problems for your pooch is a simple weekly ear check, and many of our furry family members also need regular ear cleaning too.

Because of the curved shape and moist environment of the ear canal, parasites, bacteria and yeast find our dog’s ears to be a pretty welcoming environment.

Chronic ear infections, which can affect allergic dogs and breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds and Poodles more often, are painful, and can easily lead to other health problems too.

Here’s a brief guide to routine care for your dog’s ears.

Get Prepared
Gather all the supplies you’ll need first – a handful of cotton balls or clean gauze, a partner to help hold your pup, and a safe liquid ear cleaner for dogs. (NEVER use water, oil-based substances, or human products to clean your pet’s ears)

Check with your vet about the safest products to use for your pooch, since some over the counter ones can contain alcohol or fragrances that can really irritate your dog’s ears.

Take a Peek
Gently lift your dog’s ear flap and look inside. The inside of your furry friend’s ear should look pale or light pink with no odor, though some mild to moderate wax buildup is normal.

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