Hip Dysplasia And Golden Retrievers

Hip dysplasia is a poor formation of the hip joints, which is a common growing disease with younger dogs of virtually every breed.  With larger breeds, unsteady hip joints are common, although hip dysplasia can be a serious problem that will limit the physical activity of your Golden.  Although many Golden Retriever owners don’t realize it, hip dysplasia is something that dogs inherit from their parents, and gets worse with age.

The signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia is nearly impossible to detect with Golden puppies, although it will start to show once the pup has reached the age of nine months.  Even though you may take your Golden to the vet to have him looked at, your vet will tell you that you need to wait to see if the symptoms are there, once the Golden Retriever has reached a certain age.

The symptoms and signs of hip dysplasia vary, although the most common include crippling or the inability to walk properly.  This disease can get better once the dog gets older though, due to the joints stabilizing, the inflammation going down, and the muscles in the hips getting stronger and more mature.  Keep in mind however, that Golden’s who have hip dysplasia when they are younger will more than likely develop arthritis when they get older.

Golden Retrievers that suffer from hip dysplasia aren’t fit for breeding, although they can still live a long and healthy life.  There are certain drugs that your vet can prescribe to your dog, which will help him control his weight and help control the disease.  These drugs can also cut down on the pain as well, helping your Golden enjoy himself as much as possible.

Some Golden Retrievers that have hip dysplasia won’t begin to show any signs at all until they get a few years old, once the muscles start to wear down and the damage to the hip muscles start to become more noticeable.  Although your dog may be active and healthy for most of his puppy years, dysplasia can slow everything down and make your dog look as if he is old and is suffering from the physical attributes of arthritis.

To eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia, there are surgery options available.  Golden Retrievers have a high threshold for pain, and won’t normally show any signs of being in pain, even though you know they are.  X-rays won’t show any signs of pain, although the limping or slow walking will tell you that your dog is hurting.  Golden Retriever’s who have this disease won’t know it – which is why you should help as much as possible.  If you do your part and help your dog seek relief – he will feel better than ever before – although he won’t let you know he hurt any at all.

Hip Dysplasia And Golden Retrievers courtesy Dog Articles.

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Ten Tips for Effective Great Dane Training

Great Danes are a giant breed of dog. Due to their size and strength, it is very important to train them starting at a young age. 8 to 12 weeks old is appropriate to begin with the basics that any dog should know; come, sit, stay and no. Your Great Dane may need to know a few commands that your average sized or small dog might not need, like heel, down and gentle as well as socialization training and perhaps crate training. Your Great Dane training should contain these 10 tips.

1. Great Danes (as well as any dog with a deep chest) are prone to a medical condition called bloat or gastric torsion. This can become deadly and it is therefore very important NOT to teach your Great Dane to roll over.

2. Do NOT punish your Great Dane (or any dog for that matter). A simple stern “no” is all it should take if they do something wrong. Yelling, hitting or other negative actions can create what is termed as a “fear biter,” and the ones that usually get bitten are the owners or innocent bystanders.

3. The heel command is necessary for Great Dane training. Your Great Dane will need mild exercise at least once a day and the best way to do that is to go for a walk. To teach your new best friend to heel, begin with the sit command and when they are still and calm, begin to walk, give a gentle tug on the leash and say “heel.” If your Great Dane pulls or gets too rough, come to a dead stop and get them to sit again. Lather, rinse and repeat.

4. Counters and tables are the perfect height for most Great Danes. Commands like off, no and down are important to include in your Great Dane training.

5. Your Great Dane training should account for their sensitive nature. Great Danes can suffer from separation anxiety perhaps a bit greater than other more independent dogs. You can desensitize them by leaving the room and coming back when they are calm. Slowly increase the time that you are gone.

6. Crate training is another good form of Great Dane training that may be useful to keep them from getting into trouble or suffering from separation anxiety. Be sure to get a crate that allows them to stand and turn around in.

7. Don’t forget to praise your Great Dane when they get it right. Positive reinforcement works well with Great Danes.

8. Be patient and consistent when you work your way through Great Dane training. Great Danes are smart and learn things well. They want to please their owners and they will understand what you want them to do, eventually.

9. Give them the proper medical attention that they need. Unhealthy dogs are more prone to behavior problems and it’s not their fault. If your Great Dane is urinating in the house unexpectedly, you may want to take them to the vet.

10. Finally, the Great Dane is an awesome pet for the family or the individual. Your dog training should include socialization as they can be protective and territorial. They need to know how to behave around strangers and other dogs as this breed can be a little aggressive towards them. Your behavior and attitude toward them is the best way to instill good Great Dane training behaviors. By following these basic instructions your Great Danes true personality will begin to unfold and you will see a marked improvement in your companionship. As your puppy grows, so will your bond. When trained properly, these gentle giants can leave a lasting impression on anyone they encounter.

Ten Tips for Effective Great Dane Training courtesy Dog Articles.

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Important Information On Dog Breeding

Some dog owners extend their love for animals into an interest in breeding their dog. Breeding is more of a responsibility than a passing interest, and as such, there are a few things to consider before immersing yourself and your dog in the process. This short checklist identifies some helpful pointers which will increase the odds of a successful breeding experience.

Consider your dog’s age, breed, and health status. To begin with, veterinarians recommend not breeding dogs that are less than eighteen months old. This allows you as an owner the opportunity to schedule tests that rule out any genetic defects or conditions they could pass on to their offspring. It also makes sure that your female is physically mature enough to carry a litter of puppies.

There are also health issues which can affect your decision to breed your dog.

These health concerns can be general, as in the case of brucellosis (a bacterial infection spread among breeding dogs that can contribute to infertility, abortion, or stillborn puppies), or a male dog may simply not be fertile.

Alternatively, they can be specific to certain breeds. Dachshunds and Basset Hounds have long spines and short legs, for instance, making them prone to back problems as they age. Retrievers, Shepherds, and Great Danes frequently develop hip dysplasia, easily confirmed by x-rays. Collies are predisposed to two eye disorders, Collie Eye Anomaly and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

Testing your dog before breeding will let you know if he is carrying any of these conditions. If he is, then he’s not a good candidate for parenthood.

Regular treatment for heartworm, intestinal worms and fleas, as well as standard vaccinations to protect against the most common viruses (parvovirus, parainfluenza, distemper, hepatitis, and leptospirosis) are essential to keep your animal in good health for breeding. In addition, good nutrition and regular exercise are important in increasing the chances of  producing healthy puppies.

Pay a visit to your veterinarian to make sure there aren’t any potential problems that need to be addressed before deciding to breed your dog.

Finally, you should carefully consider the reasons behind your decision to breed a dog. If money from the sale of purebred puppies is the sole source of inspiration, consider the expenses involved from beginning to end.

Stud fees, genetic testing, veterinary care, a possible cesarean delivery, and the cost of feeding, worming, and vaccinating puppies will quickly eat into any profits you may earn. Unless you’ve spent considerable time and effort researching such a venture, you must be prepared for these costs, and be prepared to make a financial loss from a litter.

Another poor reason for breeding is to obtain a dog just like the one you already have. This isn’t likely to happen, because your pups are just as likely to resemble the other parent, or have characteristics that are a mixture of both parents.

A more sensible approach to dog breeding relies on selecting characteristics that you hope to pass on to future generations of the breed. Each breeding should be carefully planned to result in puppies that are an improvement on the generation before. This is how dog breeds are continually improved.

Breeding dogs is a rewarding pastime, but make sure your motives are honorable, and you have the health and well being of your dog and its breed foremost in your mind.

Important Information On Dog Breeding courtesy Dog Articles.

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Caring For Your Geriatric Dog

Growing older is something that happens to all of us, and that includes our dogs.  It may seem like it was just yesterday that you brought home a bouncing ball of fur who was trying to chew your shoes but today that puppy is a senior dog.  It’s important to provide some extra love and care for your older dog to make him comfortable and happy.

Older dogs can start to show signs of age as early as six or seven years old.  When you visit the vet you should ask about having a senior health check-up for your dog.  Your vet can do a blood panel and run some other tests to check your dog’s kidney function and make sure he’s in good health for his age.  You should have an annual senior check-up for your older dog past the age of seven.  Be sure that your vet also checks out any lumps or bumps on your older dog.  As dogs get older they can be more prone to tumors.  These tumors may be benign, but your vet may want to do a small biopsy just to make sure.  It’s always best to catch potential problems early.

As your dog gets older some of his senses will probably start to dull a bit.  His hearing may not be as sharp as it once way.  His eyesight may dim a little.  Even senses of taste and smell won’t be as good as they used to be.  These changes mean that your dog may need a little extra help.

Many older dogs begin having problems negotiating steps and stairs.  This can be due to arthritis but it’s also possible that it’s because your dog doesn’t see as well as he once did.  If your dog is having problems with stairs try walking down with him.  He may be able to do fine if you are there to guide him.  He may also have problems seeing at night which can make him reluctant to go outside to use the bathroom at night.  Try walking outside with him in the evenings and see if this improves things.

If your dog can’t smell and taste things as well as he once did he may not be as interested in his food anymore.  Go ahead and doctor up his food a little to make it smell and taste more appealing to him.  If you feed kibble then you may need to add canned food to make it smell and taste better to your dog.  Add some home cooked food to his meals to get him more interested in eating.

If your dog refuses to eat don’t assume that he has lost his appetite.  Many older dogs have dental problems that keep them from eating no matter how hungry they are.  Check your dog’s breath.  If it’s very bad then he may have some serious tooth decay or a tooth that needs to be removed.  Look at his teeth.  Does he have any brown or green-looking teeth?  Take your dog to the vet and have him or her do a dental check to see if dental problems are keeping your dog from eating.  Your dog may need to have a bad tooth pulled or some other problem fixed.

Many older dogs have some problems with arthritis.  If your dog has severe problems you should check with your vet to see if your dog needs some pain medication.  You can also look for supplements that have helped many dogs, such as glucosamine-chondroitin and MSM.  There are also products that contain shark cartilage and other ingredients said to help arthritis that may benefit your dog.

Older dogs can also benefit from sleeping on good bed.  Orthopedic dog beds can make your dog feel better.  Look for beds that have an egg-crate type mattress or which distribute the dog’s weight evenly across the whole mattress.  This makes it much easier for your dog to get up without any pain.  A heated bed will also help your dog.

There are many things you can do to help your geriatric dog feel better and live a more comfortable life.  If he seems to be having difficulties you should always check with your vet.  Otherwise, do what it takes to make him comfortable and happy.

Caring For Your Geriatric Dog courtesy Dog Articles.

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What Do I Do If My Dog Has Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a complicated disease that affects both cats and dogs.  It is considered to be an inherited disease but it is polygenic — that means that it is not a case of simply breeding parents together who don’t have hip dysplasia and producing puppies that don’t have the disease.  There are many factors that can affect whether or not a dog develops the disease, even if he has parents with or without hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia results when the cartilage around a dog’s hips shows signs of breaking down.  This can happen for several reasons.  There may be bony projections in the hip joints.  There could be shallow hip sockets.  There can be evidence of bone changes called “remodeling.”  All of these indications are bad because they lead to the breakdown of cartilage in the hip area.  Cartilage is necessary to cushion the hips when a dog walks or moves.  Without proper cartilage the dog begins experiencing some degree of pain.

The breakdown of cartilage leads to various stages of arthritis in the dog’s hips.  This arthritis can be diagnosed by a veterinarian as degenerative joint disease, arthrosis, osteoarthrosis.  These are all painful conditions and can eventually lead to a dog being debilitated and unable to walk.

If your dog is having difficulty with his hips or is showing any signs of pain you should visit your vet to get a professional opinion.  Your vet can make a preliminary diagnosis.  You can also submit the x-ray to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for evaluation.  The x-ray will be viewed by three veterinarians who are extremely experienced in evaluating hip dysplasia.  They can give you a precise rating for your dog’s hips.  Ratings of Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mildly Dysplastic, Poor and Severe may be given.  For cases where dysplasia is indicated the vets report back with a checklist of where the problems are.  Having the opinion of these specialists can provide your vet with more information if your dog is dysplastic.

Many people have their dog’s hips x-rayed when the dog is two years old to find out the dog’s hip status, especially if they are considering breeding the dog at some point.  As a general rule, dogs with ratings below Fair should not be used for breeding unless there are very important extenuating circumstances.

Hip ratings can depend a great deal on the x-rays submitted so it’s important to use a vet who has some experience with taking x-rays for OFA.  Bad x-rays can make even a dog with wonderful hips look like he is dysplastic.

Other people choose to use Penn Hip to evaluate hips for dysplasia.  Penn Hip stands for the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program.  This radiographic technique measure the level of joint laxity in a dog’s hips rather than the absolute position of the joints and bones, as with OFA.  Both systems have their supporters but OFA seems to attract more people.

If your dog does have hip dysplasia a lot will depend on how much he is affected.  This is a degenerative disease meaning that it will get worse with age.  He will most likely become more arthritic as he ages.  Fortunately, there are a lot of things that people can do to help offset the early stages of hip dysplasia.  Many people give their dogs joint supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin and MSM.  You can buy the same supplements for dogs that you buy for yourself in drugstores or places like Walmart.  Ask your vet about the proper dosage for your dog’s weight.

There are many other supplements sold in pet stores for doggy arthritis, such as Dog Gone Pain.  Some dog owners swear by them.  You will have to try them for yourself and see if you think your dog improves when he takes them.  Most dysplastic and arthritic dogs also do better when you keep them from gaining excess weight.  Watch their diet so they aren’t too chubby.  Carrying a lot of extra weight is bad for their hips.

As your dysplastic dog ages he may experience some degree of pain in his hips.  Your vet may recommend using one of the NSAID medications for pain relief, such as Deramaxx.  There are drawbacks to these medications and your vet should advise you about possible side effects.  It’s also advisable to do a blood panel before starting to use an NSAID with a dog to make sure your dog is a good candidate for taking the drug.

There are plenty of dogs who may have some minor degree of hip dysplasia who never exhibit any symptoms.  If your dog does have some hip dysplasia it’s not the end of the world.  He may run and play for the rest of his life without experiencing pain.  Even if he does develop some arthritis there are many ways to counter the problem.  A diagnosis of hip dysplasia doesn’t have to mean the end of good times for you and your dog.

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Hip Dysplasia courtesy Dog Articles

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Dogs in Heat: The Facts

There are numerous questions that people ask, when learning about dogs in heat. There are practical   answers that help dog owners to understand the estrous cycle.

The proper name for heat is the estrous cycle and during this cycle a dog can become pregnant. The obvious sign is bleeding from the vagina and the vulva might be swollen. The bleeding isn’t profuse, especially in small dogs. She will urinate more often. The biggest clue is the sudden surge of male dogs hanging around your yard. Observe the small dog before her first cycle more carefully, as it can be harder to tell when she first goes into the estrous cycle.

The majority of  female dogs come into heat at between six to twelve months of age, though it can be sooner or later. For some it it as long as fourteen months. Have your vet examine your dog, if she hasn’t cycled in fourteen months. They normally come into heat twice yearly. The smaller dogs are the ones that might come into their cycle earlier and the larger breeds might take longer than the usual time.

The estrous cycle is broken into four parts.

1) Proestrous is the initial stage. Its duration is between four and twenty days. The dog bleeds, is usually shy, her vulva is swollen, and she isn’t receptive to male dogs.
2) The estrous part of being in heat is from five to thirteen days long. The female dog is receptive to males and the blood secretion is a lighter color.
3) Diestrous is the next stage and now her secretions lessen and she begins to lose interest in the male dogs. If she got pregnant, the pregnancy duration would be between sixty and sixty-four days.
4) Anestrus is the period when the dog’s heat cycle finishes and she stays in in his stage for five to eleven months.

The majority of the cycle is around three weeks and doesn’t include the most of the anestrous period.

When your dog is in heat, she will be more excitable and can use some extra attention. Brushing,  petting, and talking to her will soothe her nerves. You can control the mess made through bleeding by putting a doggy pad on her or keeping her in her “den” area when inside. The space normally set aside as her place to sleep is her den. Visit her often, if she is confined to this space.

Breeders of dogs usually test for progesterone  levels, which signifies the dogs most fertile days. Normally those days are the 11th through the 15th day of heat. She can become pregnant during her first heat. The majority of breeders don’t breed their dogs that soon. They usually have genetic testing done prior to breeding. Some serious hip problems aren’t apparent until the dog is about two years old.

Spaying her is advisable, if you don’t want her to have puppies. The traditional advice has been to allow her to experience one cycle or  have puppies once before spaying. But vets now spay earlier. Ask your vet how soon you can have your dog spayed.

Dogs in Heat: The Facts courtesy Dog Articles.

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How Old Should My Puppy Be When I Bring Him Home?

Puppies come from many different places.  You may be getting a puppy from a shelter or from a breeder.  Wherever your puppy is coming from he needs to learn a lot of things from his mother and siblings before he comes home with you.  Ideally, your puppy should remain with his mother and littermates until he is at least eight weeks old.  Unfortunately, there are people who are separating puppies from their mothers and littermates much earlier than this and sending them home with people at five-six weeks old.  There are a number of reasons this is a bad idea and why you should never take a puppy this young.

At the age of five-six weeks puppies have barely been weaned from their mothers.  They have not yet learned how to be dogs.  When you bring a puppy this young to your home he has not learned any rules.  He doesn’t know that he is not supposed to play too rough.  He has not learned “bite inhibition,” which means that he is more likely to bite you and have a hard time learning that he isn’t supposed to do it.  He has not learned the kind of manners that his mother would teach him.  Your puppy has not learned that there is a pack leader and that he can’t do what he wants all the time.  Your puppy has not learned any dog socialization or social skills.  You are bringing home a cute puppy who is much more likely to grow up to be a brat and develop behavioral problems as an adult.

At the age of five-six weeks your puppy may not have even received his first set of shots.  He is far more likely to develop a deadly disease like Parvo if you bring him home at this age than if you bring home a puppy at the age of eight weeks or later.  Your puppy’s immunity from his mother is virtually gone and he has not been properly immunized by vaccinations yet.  Bringing home a puppy this young is unhealthy for the puppy and for any other dogs in your household.

At the age of five-six weeks a puppy has not received any socialization from the person who brought him into this world.  A good breeder will make sure that a puppy becomes used to things in a house, such as televisions, radios, vacuum cleaners, and scary things like cats, umbrellas, and kids.  When you bring home a puppy who has not met these things they have no human socialization.  They are more likely to grow up to be fearful adults and develop problems like separation anxiety later in life.  A good breeder will also make sure that a puppy receives his first set of shots (at least) before you bring him home.

Good breeders do not release puppies at five-six weeks of age.  They may allow you to meet puppies at this age.  They may make arrangements with you.  But they will not allow puppies to leave their home at such a young age.  It’s too young.

If you are getting a puppy from an animal shelter you may  have to take a puppy at this age because it could be dangerous to leave them in the shelter longer since shelters can house diseases.  Be sure to get your puppy vaccinated against diseases as quickly as possible and take extra care in socializing your puppy in the coming months to try to make up for the socialization he missed with his mother and littermates.

How Old Should My Puppy Be When I Bring Him Home courtesy Dog Articles.

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Is There a Difference in a Senior Dog Diet?

You hate to admit it, but your furry pal is getting a little older.  You want to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy for many years to come.  You have heard all of the hype about the new dog diets for older pets.  Is there really a difference between dog food for adult dogs and kibble recommended specifically for seniors?  How do you know when to switch your pet to a different diet?

The best resource for information about dog diets is your pet’s veterinarian.  Only you and your vet know the specific needs of your pet the best.  Discuss with your vet your concerns and questions.  He or she will be able to advise you on what changes, if any, need to be made to your dog’s diet.

If your older dog does not have any health problems and maintains a healthy weight, there is no need to change your dog’s diet from adult to senior dog food.  On the other hand, if your dog has trouble keeping the weight off or digestive issues, you may need to switch.  If weight is the only issue, consider slightly lowering the amount of dog food you give to your pet.  This may be all the change your dog’s diet requires.

A senior dog is classified as a dog in the last third of their life span.  Larger dogs, for instance a Great Dane, live to be about 9 years old.  Around the sixth year of life, you may want to consider a senior dog’s diet.  A poodle, on the other hand wouldn’t reach senior status until

About age ten due to the longer life expectancy.  Primarily, the decision to change your dog’s diet should be based on health condition rather than actual age in years.  Your vet will help you to determine when the right time is to alter your dog’s diet.

Dog food especially prepared for senior dogs typically has less calories.  This helps to combat any weight issues.  The senior dog food also contains more fiber for the different needs in your dog’s diet.  As dogs age, they tend to suffer from constipation.  This extra fiber will help remedy this problem.

Renal failure can be another medical problem for senior dogs.  How can your dog’s diet help this problem?  Reducing the amount of protein in your dog’s diet will decrease the work load for the kidneys.  For this reason, senior dog food frequently has lower protein content than regular adult formulas.

Whenever possible, allow your dog to eat dry dog food to encourage excellent dental health.  The dry kibble helps to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.  If your older pet refuses to eat the food dry, you may need to moisten it with water or purchase moist, canned varieties.

If your vet recommends, supplements may be helpful as part of your senior dog’s diet.  Some pets are unable to eat properly due to oral issues.  Other older pets are unable to gather all of the nutrients from their food for various health reasons.  Supplements such as daily vitamins and glucosamine can be beneficial to maintaining a healthy diet for your dog.

Glucosamine helps to encourage joint health.  For senior dogs, glucosamine can combat arthritis and hip displasia.

Vitamins C, A, and E may prevent the natural aging process and encourage better health for senior dogs.  Talk to your vet about adding such supplements to your dog’s diet.

You want what is best for your pet.  Your senior dog needs to have a diet that meets their special nutritional requirements.  You and your vet can work together to decide what is the best diet for your senior dog.  Your dog’s diet directly affects his or her health.  Take care of your pet by monitoring your dog’s diet closely with the aid of your veterinarian.

Is There a Difference in a Senior Dog Diet courtesy of Dog Articles.

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Helping Your Elderly Dog

There comes a time with our dogs when we have to start considering some of the effects of age on their diet.  They may need different food.  They may not have the same appetite they had when they were younger.  They may have some dental issues.  Even their eyesight can affect their eating habits.  However, with some care and consideration on your part, you can help your elderly dog through some of these problems and see that she continues to get the very best nutrition possible.

For many years dog food experts maintained that older dogs should have their protein intake limited in the belief that their kidneys could not process protein very well.  We now know this not to be true.  It’s perfectly all right to feed your older dog good quality protein in his diet as long as he doesn’t have any pre-existing kidney problems.  The key is to make sure that you are feeding a good quality food with good quality protein.  Recent research indicates that older dogs may need more protein than younger dogs instead of less.

You should also look for a food that is lower in carbohydrates with moderate amounts of fat.  It’s not necessary to completely eliminate fat from your senior dog’s diet.  Even if your dog is a little overweight, if you completely eliminate fat from his diet you will leave your dog feeling hungry all the time which can lead to other problems.  If your dog is thin (and some older dogs can have trouble keeping their weight), a little additional fat in the diet won’t hurt.

When looking for a senior dog food it’s fine to buy a commercial food but make sure you read the label carefully.  Some senior foods are formulated to keep weight off senior dogs.  If your dog is already thin you don’t want a dog food that will cut his calories.  You may need to look for a dog food that is higher in calories.  If your dog is plump you may want to get one of the senior foods that will keep his weight down since too much weight can worsen conditions like arthritis.

Many senior dogs can have some dental problems which leads them to walk away from their food.  They may nibble and be unable to eat much.  If your dog has trouble eating you should examine her mouth.  Ask your vet to look at your dog’s teeth.  It may be necessary to have a tooth pulled or to scale your dog’s teeth.  Pulling a tooth or even having a root canal done can often solve the problem and your dog will be back to eating like a younger dog again.

Most older dogs also begin to experience some dulling of the senses.  They no longer smell and taste things as acutely as they once did.  Food is no longer as appealing to them.  You can make their food more tempting by adding some tasty canned food to their dry food to make it smell and taste better.  You can also do some home cooking for your dog.  Most dogs like to eat whatever you’ve cooked for yourself.  Things like chicken and sweet potatoes, or beef cooked to tenderness are often favorites.  As long as you don’t make this home cooking more than 30 percent of his diet you won’t be upsetting the vitamin balance that he gets from his regular dog food.  It’s also a good idea to wet his regular kibble with something like chicken or beef broth to make it more appealing.

Older dogs can also begin to have some eyesight problems.  They may look at their feed bowls oddly at times and refuse to eat.  Don’t be surprised if you have to resort to hand feeding once in a while.

You should also take your senior dog to the vet for a senior health check periodically.  Your vet will be able to identify possible problems and tell you about any special things you should be doing to take care of your dog.

Just because your dog is getting older doesn’t mean she’s ready to leave you.  Your older dog is merely going through some physical changes.  You can help her with these changes by being watchful and trying to figure out the kind of help she needs.  Let your dog’s actions and appearance guide you.  You can do a lot to help her live many more happy years.

Helping Your Elderly Dog courtesy of Dog Articles.

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Choosing Healthy Foods For Your Dog

Today’s pet food market is larger and more diverse than ever before.  While this offers a large number of choices in various types of pet food, it also presents a dilemma in choosing the healthiest food for your dog.  Are generic or store brands suitable for a dog?  What about familiar name brands like Purina and Alpo?  Are the pricier brands that advertise specially formulated ingredients (Science Diet, Eukanuba) really living up to their claims and worth the extra money?  All of these are valid questions that loving dog owners deserve to have answered.

Dog Food Considerations

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right food for your dog.  Different dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages in their lives.  Some things to consider when selecting the food you’ll give your dog follow.

– The Dog’s Age

Puppies have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs just as human children have different needs than adult people.  Senior dogs also have different requirements than younger adult dogs.  Make sure that you select a food that is appropriate for your dog’s stage in life.

– The Dog’s Health

Does your dog have a specific medical condition?  If so, the food you choose may need to be partially dictated by that condition.  Diabetic dogs need low-glucose foods and dogs with specific allergies (yes dogs can be allergic to all sorts of things, just like people) may require certain foods as well.  Your veterinarian can help you choose foods that are appropriate for a dog with a specific medical condition.

– The Dog’s Size or Body Type

Some dogs are overweight.  Some dogs are underweight.  Some have a natural tendency to get lots of exercise while others tend to prefer to lie around a lot.  There are, of course, small, medium, and large dogs as well as the ultra-tiny “toy” dogs.  All of these different types of dogs will have different requirements for the type of food they need as well as how much of it.

– Your Budget

Dog food can be expensive, there’s no doubt about it.  And where dog food is concerned, the rule really is “you get what you pay for.”  Low cost generics and store brands will lighten the burden on your wallet, but may not be the healthiest choice for your dog as they are made with cheap ingredients and lots of fillers.  You should buy the best dog food you can on your budget to help ensure your dog’s nutrition.

Choosing Healthy Foods For Your Dog courtesy of Dog Articles.

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