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.
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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Our eyes are our windows to the world, but for dogs, being able to clearly view the world around them has been about more than just an intake of information – our dog’s eyes are essential tools for survival and communication.
For this reason, it’s important for us to get up close and personal with our own furry friend’s eyes once in a while; regular home eye exams help you to notice problems like redness, discharge, and cloudiness, alerting you to a potential health issue.
Let’s look at some ways to keep your pup’s bright eyes healthy and his sight sharp.
At First Glance
At a time when your dog is calm and relaxed, bring your dog to a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. Both eyes should be clear, pupils should be the same size, and your dog should be able to keep both eyes open comfortably.
Excessive blinking, crustiness, discharge, or redness of the sclera (white of the eye) might indicate a problem.
Take a Closer Look
With clean hands, use your thumb or finger to gently roll down your pup’s lower eyelid and look at the conjunctiva (the inner lining of the eyelid). It should be a healthy pink, not red or white.
With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white, and eyelashes shouldn’t be rubbing against the surface of the eye.
Inspect for Issues
All pup-parents should be aware of the following signs that could mean their canine companion has a peeper problem:
Green or yellow discharge
Crusting around the eye
Excessive Tearing or tear-stained hair
Red, inflamed inner eyelid
Constant blinking or holding eye closed
Cloudiness or change in color
Visible third eyelid
Different pupil sizes
If your dog’s eyes need a cleaning, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water only. Using a fresh cotton ball for each eye, start at the corner of the eye and wipe outward to gently remove any crusting or discharge, being careful not to touch the surface of the eye.
IF discharge is a constant problem, it’s a good idea to bring your furry family member in for a veterinary check-up.
Could you have a toxin in your home and not even know it?
It can be a terrifying experience when your dog has decided to eat something poisonous, but also a fairly common one for dog owners – in fact, there are over 10,000 cases of pet poisoning every year in the U.S, and the substances that are usually responsible for making our canine companions so sick are usually common household items that seem completely harmless to us.
In fact, many of these poisons include food or pharmaceuticals that we, as humans, use every single day.
It can be difficult for owners to tell just how a poison may affect their pet – every dog reacts differently to toxin ingestion, depending on the substance they ate or inhaled and how much of the poison actually entered their body.
Symptoms of poisoning in our furry canine friends can range from digestive symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, to neurological problems, tremors, heart abnormalities, breathing difficulties, coma, and even death.
Here’s a guide to the most common poisons ingested by dogs, and their effects.
Products that kill the tiniest types of pests can also be highly dangerous for our pups in some cases. Over the counter flea and tick products can be potentially poisonous for your dog if they accidentally eat them, or if they’re given the wrong dosage.
Insecticides applied to lawns or around the house can be highly toxic for your pets as well.
Why don’t you spice up your dog’s taste buds once in a while with some juicy, tasty fruit and vegetables.
The added bonus is that not only do they taste good, but these fruits and veggies are packed with important nutrients as well.
Don’t forget that much of the mass produced dog food is highly processed grained-based with synthetic nutrients that do not have the minerals and vitamins required to keep your dog in good health.
You and I eat fruit and veg because we know it’s necessary for our continued good health and the same is true for our dogs.
Also the antioxidants can help reduce the risk of cancers.
Some fruits and veggies are not good for your dog, so here is a list of 10 that you can happily feed them and should feed them, in their meals or as treats.
We grow up with our parents telling us to eat our carrots because they are good for our eyes. Well the same can be said for your dog’s eyes.
They are also a rich source of beta carotene, this is a nutrient that can be turned into Vitamin A.
Carrots are also a good source of Vitamin C, a nutrient that helps to produce collagen in muscle, cartilage and bones, making it easier for the body to absorb iron.
The carrot really is a powerhouse of a vegetable, because not only does it contain Vitamin A and C but it’s also a source of Vitamins D,E and K.
Plus magnesium, iron, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and sodium, all important vitamins and nutrients.
Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense foods. It is dense in vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid, calcium and fiber.
It is also a good source of chromium. Like other members of the cabbage family, broccoli has demonstrated remarkable anticancer effects.
Broccoli contains several important phytochemicals: beta carotene, indoles, and isothiocyanates and over thirty-three cancer preventative compounds.
Research suggests that phytochemicals prevent carcinogens from forming, stop carcinogens from getting to target cells and boost enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.
Broccoli is also a low glycemic vegetable and that’s good because it will not increase blood glucose levels.
Just a slight word of caution, even though this is a great veg to feed to your dog, don’t overdo it, large amounts can reduce the thyroid function. (The barf diet)source Tony Alter @flickr
Apples with the peel left on are best, because they are high in non-pro-vitamin A carotenes and pectin.
Pectin is a type of fiber that is quite amazing and is known to have some pretty beneficial effects.
Because it’s a gel forming fiber it can help the intestines push body waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Pectin also helps to eliminate toxins from the gut.
Apples also contain other vitamins and minerals such as, vitamin C, several B complex vitamins including B6, lots of potassium and folic acid.
De-core the apples before you feed them to your dog, they shouldn’t eat the seeds.
This is an article about Gateway Pet Guardians a non profit animal shelter in East St. Louis and the fantastic work they do.
As you will read below, we rescue most of our dogs from the streets of East Saint Louis in very poor health condition. We have volunteers who go out every morning and feed the strays on the streets of East St. Louis and they have a priority list of dogs needing rescued. We would love to rescue them all, but unfortunately have to prioritize them on health because we do not always have the funds or space for the hundreds of dogs living on the streets. Last year was are biggest year yet, where we rescued 422 dogs…which is pretty impressive considering we only have 13 kennels in our emergency shelter and most of our rescued dogs go straight into foster homes! You can learn more about us on out website at gatewaypets.com.
The 10 wonderful dogs listed below are just a small sample of the work being done by Gateway Pet Guardians….
Like many rescues, Trendley was initially named after the street she was found on. She was in pitiful shape, with a terribly embedded collar, emaciated, and mangy. She was rescued right then, and given the much needed veterinary care.
She lived a few months in a loving foster home where she first experienced the wonders of a warm couch to snuggle with your family on! She has since found her forever family and rename Bella Blue!
Happy was a regular on our morning stray feeding route and eventually learned to be excited to see our volunteers coming! He lived on the streets of East Saint Louis for over a year. After awhile, he would run up to the car of volunteers and stick his head in the window asking for some treats (he always got them of course!).
Once we saw that he needed medical attention for an abscess on his neck he was rescued and taken to the vet. He was treated for the abscess and heart worms and is now fully recovered.
He has been with Gateway Pet Guardians for over 6 months living with his foster family. He particularly loves his little human sister and snuggles with her all day! He is still looking for his forever family.
While it might be fine to feed our dogs some “people” foods, there are some foods that can be hazardous if eaten by dogs.
This is not just about putting on too much weight, some things will make a dog suffer mild symptoms , but other things can make a dog seriously ill.
There are many sugar free foods on the market, but to maintain some taste they can have a non-calorific sweetener added.
One such sweetener is called xylitol. In actual fact xylitol is a ‘sugar alcohol’ but they are not alcoholic because they do not contain ethanol.
The FDA regulates the use of sugar alcohol, but they are not considered intense sweeteners, because they are not sweeter than sugar.
They are mostly found in processed foods and other products such as chocolate, candy,frozen desserts, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, baked goods and fruit spreads. Generally they replace the sugar on an equal basis.
If a dog ingests xylitol it might lead to a severe and fast reduction in blood sugar levels.
It has been known for some dogs to become disoriented and develop seizures within 30 minutes of eating products that have contained xylitol.
If you stock goods at home that do contain xylitol it’s best to keep them out of reach of your dogs.
If you know that your dog has eaten any of those products you should contact your vet immediately.