Acupuncture for dogs

Acupuncture for dogs

Benefits of Veterinary Acupuncture for Dogs

·      It triggers the release of pain relieving and anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body.

·      It relaxes the muscles at the needle insertion site as well as on other remote locations on the body, which creates local and general body pain relief.

·      It enhances the function of circulatory system thus improving blood flow to tissues, oxygenation and getting rid of the body’s accumulated toxins and wastes.

·      As opposed to prescription and OTC pain relievers, it does not have any adverse side effects on the internal organs of your pet.

·      It does not have any drug interactions with any of your pet’s supplements or medications – making it very safe as treatment for various ailments.

How does acupuncture work for dogs?

acupuncture for dogs

Acupuncture aims to enhance the body’s ability to heal on its own. In a TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine’s perspective, veterinary acupuncture promotes healing by keeping the balance of energy within the body. It improves blood circulation, triggers the release of pain relieving and anti-inflammatory chemicals and stimulates the nervous system.

The procedure involves needle insertion to areas where blood vessels and nerves bundles gather, which are called acupuncture points. These points are located throughout the body’s surface particularly on energy channels – otherwise known as meridians. This allows an energy cycle within the entire body on a day to day basis.

Other acupuncture methods apart from needle insertion

Acupressure: Instead of needle insertion, pressure is applied to energy channels to achieve the same effect. This is ideal for locations that are hard to reach, difficult pets and conditions where needle insertion is not available.

Aquapuncture: This involves liquid injection composed of – homeopathic substances, chondro-protectant medications such as Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycans or PSGAG and diluted vitamin B12, just to name a few. The liquid promotes a change in energy by moving tissues out of the way.

Moxibustion: The procedure involves applying heated Chinese herbal components to needles. Pets benefit from heat especially those that are older and are experiencing some joint pains or stiffness and muscle aches.

Electrostimulation (Estim): Electric current is applied to the body through needles that are inserted on acupuncture points. It relaxes muscle spasm and can help the body reestablish nerve impulses that were thrown out of balance through nerve damage such as in the case of spinal cord damage or nerve root damage resulting from a ruptured intervertebral disc.

Conditions Treated by Veterinary Acupuncture

There are various conditions that veterinary acupuncture can treat especially those that have pain and inflammation as symptoms.

Arthritis: This is a joint inflammation that can happen at any stage of life – juvenile, adult and senior. This creates physiological changes that result in pain.

Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD): This is the end result of arthritis, which leads to deformity of joint surfaces thus decreasing the joint’s ROM or range of motion and increasing pain.

Trauma: This can cause pain and inflammation that resulted from vehicular accidents, surgery, falling and animal fights.

Cancer: This results to swelling of tissue or organ enlargement, which leads to nausea, lethargy, decreased appetite and pain.

Metabolic Disease: Nausea, energy changes and changes in appetite resulting from Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, kidney and liver failure, Addison’s disease etc.

Best Environment for Veterinary Acupuncture Procedure

House call is best for veterinary acupuncture to decrease physical and behavioral stress related to transporting the pet to and from the acupuncture facility. Even if your Puggle is normally over the moon to  meet new people, a home visit can make the experience more relaxing. It also reduces your pet’s exposure to infectious disease coming from other animals within the veterinary hospital.

Frequency of Veterinary Acupuncture Procedure

If your pet receives more frequent treatments, these will be tapered to lesser intervals for the purpose of maintenance. A lot of pets gain the benefits of acupuncture with one to three sessions every week within the first few weeks. The primary goal is to obtain the longest duration where the pet’s condition has improved or resolved.

The beneficial results of veterinary acupuncture are cumulative therefore consistency in treatment is recommended over intermittent treatment.

Why buy a dog?

Why own a dog?

Cavoodle puppy with white blaze

Most people know the answer to this question without even asking, especially if they grew up with dogs during their childhood. But apart from the obvious reason of just being a “dog person” what other benefits can dog ownership provide? Well, as it turns out, our furry companions have quite a lot of benefits that can make it a joy to share our lives with them.

Companionship is a major reason, and perhaps the most obvious, to own a dog for dog lovers around the world. If you want a companion who is always going to be overjoyed at seeing you then a dog is the best candidate. As dogs are almost always in a good mood they are excellent company to have for lifting your spirits when you’ve had a tough day at work, or are just feeling a little down.

You’ve always got an excellent excuse to stay active if you own a dog. Whether it be a game of catch, running the obstacle course at the dog park, going for a jog, or even just a walk around the park your dog will love every minute of it right alongside you. If you would otherwise struggle at finding a gym buddy then a dog could certainly help you out in that regard.

Dogs are also a great first line of defence for the family home. Sure, we can have our high tech alarm systems, but they can fail or be circumvented by crafty thieves. Dogs add an extra layer of challenge to would be intruders. Even smaller breeds such as Cavoodles and Pugaliers can make a racket when it comes to illegal entry into your home, alerting neighbours so they will at least look over the fence to see what all the fuss is about. Of course, some thieves will not be perturbed by dogs if they think the prize is worth it, but the vast majority will settle for an easier target if they notice a dog or two on the property.

Studies are now coming out indicating that children growing up with dogs do better at school and are more confident on average. You can also teach your children about responsibility and caring for something other than themselves. While a goldfish could teach your children these things they just aren’t as much fun as a Groodle, and a fish certainly isn’t happy to see you when you get home from work (at least it doesn’t show it).

While there are plenty of great reasons and benefits to owning a dog it’s not for everybody. Always consider carefully whether a dog should be in your life as you don’t want to get one only to have to find a home for it later on; this is challenging to do for older dogs and can potentially put their lives at risk if they end up at the pound. It’s quite the commitment to have a dog in your life as they live 10 – 15 years, but if you’re the type of person who can make that commitment then the payoff is definitely worth it.

Dogs know the look on your face

It has taken a while for scientists to find out what dog owners the world over already know : Dogs can read the emotions of people by the looks on their faces.

Chevromist Kennels Cavoodle puppy (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel X Poodle)While we know that some breeds including Cavoodles and Poochons have a better innate ability to read their owner’s emotional state that other breeds, dogs in general are great at reading body language. This study focused solely on different facial expressions.

A recent study published in Current Biology has found that dogs can tell the difference between happy and angry human faces. We were long thought to be the only species that can tell what the emotions of another species are based on the expression on their face. The researchers believe dogs also have this capability.

“We think the dogs in our study could have solved the task only by applying their knowledge of emotional expressions in humans to the unfamiliar pictures we presented to them,” says Corsin Müller of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.

Previous studies testing the ability of dogs to discriminate between the different human emotional expressions have been less than convincing. In this study the dogs were trained to recognise happy or angry expressions in the same person. Then they tested whether the dogs could apply this to new faces.

The dogs picked the right expression significantly more than what would be expected by guesswork or by chance.

 “Our study demonstrates that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions in humans, they can tell that these two expressions have different meanings, and they can do this not only for people they know well, but even for faces they have never seen before,” says Ludwig Huber, senior author and head of the group at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna’s Messerli Research Institute.

What the exact understanding of the different expressions mean to the dogs is hard to tell by they do link the happy faces to positive feeling and the angry faces with negative ones.  When researchers tried to train angry faces with a reward, they found this very difficult. This suggests that the dogs already had a good idea from previous experience as to what an angry human face means for them. Probably that an angry face meant a good time to keep away from the angry person!

The researchers expect to gain important insights into the famous bond between humans and dogs, as well as into the emotional lives of animals in general according to Dr Müller.

5 tips to care for your Pugalier in winter

5 Simple Ways to take Care of Your Pugalier during winter

Cute Pugalier puppy on pink blanket

Do you live in a place where there is a winter season?

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has pleasant weather all year round, you and your dogs will experience the chill when winter comes. For most of us, we consider cold weather as bothersome and annoying. However, there are those that consider it as fun-filled season when they can go snowboarding, skiing and participate in other winter joys. There are also those that consider this season a nightmare.

Regardless of your point of view regarding this season, one of our main concerns in winter are our pets. Fortunately, there are simple ways to take care of your Pugalier during the cold days of winter. Here are some of these ways –

Keep Your Pugalier Inside

Even if your pet spends most of his time outside of the home, you might want to keep him inside the home during winter days especially if you live in excruciatingly cold places.

Provide a Warm Shelter for your Pugalier

If it is necessary for you to keep your Pugalier outside the home during winter, you should understand that his short fur coat may not be enough to protect him from cold elements. It is definitely not enough especially during winter days in climates where it snows. A warm, dry and comfortable shelter outside the home must be provided. The shelter must also comply with any state or local laws that may apply such as a limit on the height or size of dog house.

Offer Adequate Food

In order for the body to stay warm during cold days, it takes a lot of energy and fuel. Therefore, your pet would need to eat more during winter days. In addition to adequate food, a fresh and constant water supply is critical to keep your pet’s health in check. You should keep his water bowl filled and make sure that it has not turned into ice.

Adjust your Pugalier’s Diet Accordingly

If your Pugalier puppy is used to indoor life, he may have different dietary needs. He will conserve energy through sleeping more during winter, which means they will have less exercise time. Therefore, it is important that you adjust your Pugalier’s diet accordingly if you don’t want him to get overweight.

Prevent Frostbite

Frostbite is one of the serious problems your Pugalier can have during winter, which can be seen on the ears, tips of tails and paws. This makes keeping your pet warm and comfortable even more important especially when they are outdoor pets. You can find them clothing accessories such as coats, hats and booties when you’re taking him for a walk and always keep an eye out on frostbite warning signs such as blistering and firm and waxy skin.

Preparing for winter with your pet only takes common sense. If you get cold during winter, so does your pet. So, make sure that your pet is warm, dry and comfortable so the both of you can stay safe and healthy during winter.

Do you have any tips for caring for your dog in winter?

Let us all know by leaving a comment below

Care of Puggle puppies after minor surgery

I will give a basic guideline of the care you will be required to give for your puppy after they have had minor surgery such as a repair of a cherry eye or small hernia repair. It is always best to consult your veterinarian once the surgery has been carried out on your Puggle puppy as they are the ones who have performed the operation and know the particulars of your pet.

Chevromist fawn Puggle puppy on the baby blanket

Surgery requiring sutures

If your pet has sutures present after surgery then there are 2 options. If they are dissolvable stitches then there is usually no need for you to return to your veterinarian to have them removed as they will breakdown on their own and either fall out by themselves if they are external or be absorbed by your pet if they are internal. Sutures that are not dissolvable will need to be taken out after about 10 to 14 days after your puppy’s procedure. Your vet or their nurse will usually make an appointment for you when you collect your puppy, but ensure that you do have an appointment before you leave the clinic.

Feeding your puppy after they have had minor surgery

Usually your puppy will be able to have a small meal about 6 to 7 hours after you pick them up from the vet clinic. As tempting as it is to give your puppy lots of treats to make them feel better after their surgery as we do with a human friend or relative that has minor surgery, your puppy should be fed a small meal of its normal diet.

Monitoring your puppy after minor surgery

It is extremely important to closely monitor your puppy for the next 24 hours after you get them home to watch for signs that they are not recovering from their surgery. It is common for puppies to vomit after surgery as many of the medications used in surgical procedures can make them feel sick. If your puppy continues to vomit, continues to look unwell or seems to look worse than when you collected them from the vet clinic, you need to call the vet to ask their advice on what you need to do. This is why you should keep your vet’s number in a handy location at home or in your phone.

Looking after your puppy’s wound after minor surgery

Whether or not your puppy has stitches that you can see, it is very important that you keep the wound and the area surrounding the wound clean and dry. Do not bath your puppy or take them swimming for 10 to 14 days after their procedure or until the sutures are removed (if they are non-dissolvable). It is extremely important to monitor your puppy’s actions toward their wound because if they continually lick, chew, or rub at the stitches, the wound can break down and/or get infected. Call your vet if your puppy is doing any of these things as they may need to have an Elizabethan collar put on to stop them aggravating their wound. An Elizabethan Collar looks like a bucket has been placed over your puppy’s head.

Exercise for your puppy after minor surgery

It is best not to walk your puppy for the first week after their procedure and then short gentle walks for the next week after that unless advised otherwise by your vet. You can then gradually build up the length and intensity of your puppies exercise gradually to the point that they were up to before their operation.

Tips to Keep Your older Dog Healthy

The health requirements of a senior dog are different from those of younger dogs. The following tips should help you ensure your pet is healthy. Although Cavoodles are generally healthy dogs, they will still need extra care as they become senior citizens.

Chevromist chocolate Cavoodle puppy

Don’t Forget the Health Check-ups

Be sure to take your senior dog for regular visits with your veterinarian. It is highly recommended by most veterinarians that your dog gets examined twice yearly or more if your dog has any health issues that are serious. Serious health issues like kidney disease, heart disease, arthritis, dental disease can impact your pets comfort level and quality of life, and can be revealed as your vet thoroughly examines your pet.

Note Any Behavior Changes in Your Dog

Carefully monitoring your dog’s behavior is doubly important for your senior dog. Any observed change in the behaviour of your older dog can be a sign of or a symptom of a disease. You should carefully monitor changes in habits like water consumption and appetite, alterations in sleep habits, bowel and urinary habits etc. Sudden irritation without cause may be the result of pain your dog is going through, or visual or hearing difficulties. Consult your vet whenever there are any changes in your senior pet’s behaviours or routines.

Make it Easier for Your Dog to Get Around

Due to health issues including arthritis, your senior dog may find it quite difficult to get around as he/she did when he/she was a lot younger. You should therefore provide ramps on stairs to enable your dog to gain access to beds or furniture, but also to go up and down stairs with ease. Put carpeting on floors that are slippery to allow your dog to gain its footing. Your dog may also require some assistance getting in and out of the car too.

Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet for Your Dog

Offer your senior dog pet foods that are appropriate for its age, since its dietary requirements will likely change as it ages. Older pets that tend to gain weight may require pet foods for dogs that are less active. There are those dogs that tend to lose weight easily and will require diets with better palatability or a higher calorie content. Through diets, some of the diseases that older pets have may be controlled, or at least manipulated, so, based on your dog’s nutritional requirements, your vet can aid you in choosing a proper diet for your dog.

Modify Your Dog’s Bed

Our senior dogs will get better rest and sleep with soft blankets and towels provided for his bed or with orthopaedic beds designed for senior dogs. These beds provide a denser form that will cushion the senior dog’s aging joints and some can also be outfitted with a vibration and/or heat source to reduce stiffness and increase circulation, making them great for dogs experiencing arthritis.

The photo of this Chocolate Cavoodle puppy was provided by Chevromist Kennels.

5 tips for bath time fun with your Beaglier puppy

How to make a bath fun for your Beaglier

Regardless of whether you’re bathing a puppy or adult dog, it is always important to start positive new experiences as early as possible.

Chevormist tricolour Beaglier puppy on a sunny day

However, even if they are adults or still babies, it is not right to just toss them right into the tub full of water. You need to develop a strategy and create a plan so your pet will enjoy bath time for life. Regardless of whether your designer dog is a Beaglier with a short coat or a Cavoodle with a longer coat, you will still need to bath your dog from time to time.

Associate Bath Time with Playtime

You can give toys and play with your pet so he will associate bath time with play time. Bring in his favorite toys into the bathroom and teach them that they don’t need to be scared of the bathroom.

Remember, pets are like kids and they would want to have fun while taking their bath. You can try toys where treats can be hidden and put them on the tub. It would be great if you have treats that can sweeten the pet’s breath and clean their teeth while they are in the bath.

The right water temperature for puppy bath

Puppies are extremely sensitive to extreme temperatures (hot or cold). Therefore, it is imperative that you use lukewarm water so that their sensitive skin won’t get burned. For first time bathing, cold water can come as a surprise and hot water is outright dangerous. The water should be a comfortable temperature for you to keep your wrist in the water.

Have something for them to cling to

It is not necessary for you to use floating devices that are famous when teaching youngsters how to swim. For puppies who are going to bath for the first time, they will slide and scrabble off the porcelain tub, which can make bathing traumatic.

You can prepare a non-slip mat that the pet can cling onto to prevent them from sliding and scrambling around the tub. This way, bathing will not become traumatic and scary for them.

Use High Quality Bath Products

Fortunately, there are many high quality pet bath products available in the market today. Get your pet high quality essentials like conditioners, shampoos and spritzers, which are organically made using quality ingredients.

It doesn’t have to cost you much because you can still find high quality products at reasonable prices.

Give Your Pet Treats

You should always give your pets a healthy treat before, during and after bath time. You can give him homemade, organic, deliciously healthy treats. It doesn’t have to be too expensive since you can find treats that are affordable and just a few here and there is all that is needed.

So, there are five useful tips in having fun with your pets during bath time. Remember, always find whatever works both for you and your pet to avoid getting any headaches during bath time.

How to groom a Poochon

Grooming a Poochon

Poochons are a hybrid breed that combines the Poodle (usually toy but sometimes can be a miniature and a Bichon Frise. They are small dogs that resemble the Bichon with much more colour in their coat depending on the colour of the Poodle parent. The important thing to remember when grooming is that the Poochon’s coat is versatile and can be clipped like a Poodle or can be made frizzy and fluffy like a Bichon Frise. It’s all up to the owner as there are no set rules for this breed.

The more often the Poochon’s coat is brushed the less tangles and knots will build up in the coat. Clipping is the usual way to keep the coat tangle-free and lowers the amount of maintenance required significantly. A coat that is clipped short will not require much more regular maintenance than any other breed. How often you clip your dog’s coat is up to you and many owners find a length that they like the look of but is still very manageable.

Bathing is another part of the grooming requirements of a Poochon as with all other dogs, and this  non-shedding breed does not require any more baths than other breeds. In fact bathing a Poochon too often will strip all of the dog’s natural oils out of it’s coat and can leave the dkin dry and even itchy. Oat meal and emu oil shampoos work very well with non-shedding dogs and this breed is no exception. Once a month is the recommended frequency of baths but a dog living mainly indoors can be left for longer without bathing.

Steps to groom a Poochon

  1. Place the dog on a bench or other stable surface that is covered with a non-slip mat to minimise the chance of your dog accidentally falling off.
  2. You can reduce the static on your dog’s coat during brushing by spaying a bit of conditioner on the coat.
  3. Gently brush through the entire coat with a pin brush. It is important to brush all the way down to the skin with  Poochons as their wavy coat can have tangles close to the skin that can be missed with just a light surface brushing. This is the reason why pin brushed work so much better than slicker brushes for dogs with this type of coat.
  4. To ensure that the whole dog is groomed properly, it is important to work systematically. Start with the legs and work your way to the chest then up to the head and then down the body until you finish at the dog’s tail.
  5. The style you choose is up to you but if you want the classic pom pom look of the Poodle or even if you just want to clip the coat to a shorter length, you should use a set of electric clippers to make the job faster as well as safer for your dog. One tip is to start at the head (unless this is the first time the dog is being clipped) and work your way to the tail so that your dog is likely to be more tolerant of the grooming process in the beginning of the session.
  6. After all the clipping is done, use a warm wet cloth to wipe away as much excess tear staining as possible.
  7. You can now bathe your Poochon as normal and towel dry at the end to remove as much excess water before blow drying the coat to both completely dry it and to remove any remaining hair that was clipped off but remained in the coat.

How to train a Shihpoo puppy to not chew furniture

Training your Shihpoo puppy

Well behaved Shihpoo puppy

There is more involved in training your puppy and making it a compatible and friendly member of the household than simply housebreaking, which is usually the focus of most puppy training. Chewing is part of the developmental stage that helps strengthen both teeth and jaw, so puppies love chewing. Not only do they love it, they need to do it as a healthy part of growing up. We just don’t want them chewing on our stuff!

It is useless to try to prevent a puppy from chewing altogether but you can make sure he’s not chewing on items like furniture and shoes instead of on her toys and other appropriate things. Luckily for small dog breeds such as the Shihpoo, their chewing is not very destructive! But larger breeds can destroy items in a short period of time.

The following are a few instructions on training a puppy not to chew your furniture.

Step 1:

Monitor your pup closely to figure out how and when he’s drawn towards your furniture. Is it when he’s playing and exploring? Bored? When there are no toys around or when he’s feeling ignored or neglected? You can correct this bad habit easily if you observe your dog’s behaviour and take steps to alleviate the underlying issue causing her to chew your furniture.

Step 2:

Before your puppy gets close to your furniture, or if you find him already chewing on your furniture, distract him by making a noise or throwing a toy to him to chase. Use the short attention span of puppies to your advantage in this case! Always give them a more interesting option.

Step 3:

Pups do not chew to be deliberately destructive and have little sense of looking after their things to make them last. Dogs live for the moment and right then they need to chew! They also chew to hone chewing and bitting skills – an instinctive behaviour they once needed to survive. So give him lots of quality toys particularly meant for chewing and when it has enough of these, it won’t have any interest in chewing any “forbidden” things.

Step 4:

When the pup cannot be supervised or no one’s home, keep him in a kennel or confined to a small space in the house so he doesn’t have the option of roaming freely in the house and chewing on thousands of objects, or discovering any new spot in which to have “accidents” and leave a mess.

Step 5:

Positive reinforcements usually encourage good behavior so when your puppy, is going for your furniture, but instead picks up a chew toy to play and chew, excessively praise it.

Step 6:

If your puppy just cannot stop chewing on your furniture, take note of the places he’s normally drawn to. Get a bitter spray from a pet store and apply on the legs, arms and fabric of your furniture. The smell and taste of the spray should disinterest and repel your pet from further chewing on your furniture.

Puggle Puppy Training

Puggle Puppy Training

Puggle puppy learning to sit

The Beagle’s intrinsic sense of hunt and natural urge to pursue any moving thing makes training a big challenge. It was picked and bred because of its exceptional sense of smell and congenial personality because it descends from a long line of English hunting hounds. Pugs on the other hand are just about the complete opposite of this and have been bred to be little companions. Your Puggle puppy will be a very good companion and form a loyal bond with your family, and though it may be a little challenging at the start to get their attention, training will be quite rewarding. The key is to be persistent and use positive rewards such as food treats where possible.

Walking your Puggle

Many breeds easily adapt to a walking lead and Puggles are no exception. However they may walk with their nose so close to the pavement, it’ll be distracted by almost every strange smell along the sidewalk as it takes an interest in every scent. So it is wise to begin leash training your puppy immediately. This will usually fade over time but this behaviour does add to the mental stimulation of the walk for your Puggle.

You may be able to stop your puppy from sniffing the ground constantly by keeping a rapid walking pace without having to pull him along. You can either hold a treat in a closed hand for rewards or carry it in your pocket to make the reluctant puppy walk along.

Housebreaking a Puggle

Until your Puggle puppy gets to about 4 months old, it may be difficult for it to control its bladder for more than a few hours per time so you should begin housebreaking your puppy the minute you bring him home. Keep him in a particular spot frequently in the yard outdoors.

You should include preventing “accidents” that leave behind odours into your house training due to its acute sense of smell, signalling to your puppy that he should do his business in the same designated spot. This can be done more easily by restricting your puppy to a small area of the house, such as a laundry, that has a floor that can be washed. In cases of accidents, transfer the faeces or a paper towel soaked with urine to his potty spot, outdoor. What he’s meant to do will be reinforced by his sense of smell.

Puggle Obedience

Continuous daily reinforcement and constancy in training is a necessity in the reduction of your puppy’s inherent desire to ignore you and do his own thing. At every point where it is not distracted, your puppy will do all it can to please and obey you as you are it’s primary focus. Instead of punishing and scolding your Puggle for being distracted, make use of positive reinforcement with food to keep his attention on you during training sessions.

Barking Puggles

When putting a Puggle in a kennel or yard outside, Puggle noise may be a disturbance that you want to reduce and preferably eliminate altogether. Your Puggle may like to bay (that’s natural for Beagles) together with its ability to bark. This can be very annoying to neighbours. The main reason for barking in any breed though is boredom, so ensure your puppy has plenty of stimulation to keep him busy when you are not around. To further discourage your Puggle from baying or barking, make use of a citronella collar. This collar releases a small squirt of citronella that’s harmless every time he barks. The collar should be taken off when indoors, on walks, close to a noisy playground or in a loud street traffic (so you don’t punish your dog without cause when the noise inadvertently set the collar off).

What Are the Causes of Dogs Vomiting?

Fawn Puggle puppy enjoying the day

What Are the Causes of Dogs Vomiting?

Discovering the actual cause of vomiting, which is a common occurrence in dogs, can be quite tricky. The reasons or causes may range from the potentially fatal to the relatively harmless and factors to be considered include the severity, frequency and the presence of other added symptoms.

Isolated Cases

Your dog’s case of vomiting may be an isolated incident e.g. it’s possible your Puggle had too much food at once or perhaps ate too fast. You do not have any need for concern if your dog’s energy levels, bowel movements and appetite remain normal after it vomits. To prevent this problem, you may only need to reduce the amount of food you give your dog at once.

Severe Cases

The cause of your dog’s vomiting, if it is frequent and severe, could be a foreign object that was swallowed when digging through the garbage. It’s also possible that this object causing its intestinal obstruction may have been digested mistakenly, especially if your dog is an ardent chewer of random objects. You’ll be able to confirm if there’s a blockage through x-rays conducted by your vet. To prevent this kind of occurrences, carefully choose your dog’s toys leaving out any item that can be broken into bits and place your garbage cans in areas your dog can’t easily access and securely closed.

Chronic Cases

In cases of recurring or chronic vomiting, though infrequent, it may be that your dog is suffering from grave medical conditions like liver disease, stomach cancer or kidney failure. You should inform your vet of any histories or occurrences of dehydration, diarrhoea and lethargy, and any changes in frequencies of urination, thirst and appetite to enable the vet to make more accurate diagnoses.

Treatment

The cause of vomiting determines the form of treatment. Home remedies can cater for mild upsets. Your dog may require antibiotics treatment in cases of viral or bacterial infections. Bland, starchy foods like boiled potatoes or rice can help relieve nausea. Cancer would require chemotherapy or surgery which would also be required if it’s a foreign object causing an obstruction. Treatment of pancreatitis and kidney failure can be aided by dietary changes.

Warning

Your dog may be experiencing a life-threatening emergency when it has dry heaves, which is characterized by continual retching and there’s either very little or no food coming up at all. Unsuccessful vomiting, weakness, distended abdomen, pale gums are symptoms of bloat. This occurs on occasions where the stomach swells as a result of too much air, food and in some cases, fluid. This results in the stomach twisting, cutting off the supply of blood to vital organs leading to extreme pain. This can be very fatal in only a few hours and so requires immediate medical attention.

What Causes Hair Loss in Dogs?

Fawn Pugalier on a sunny day

What Causes Hair Loss in Dogs?

Allergies

Allergic dermatitis can easily result from just a single bite from a flea. This severe reaction to the flea’s saliva results in hot spots, infections, itching, and redness. One flea medication most vets recommend is Frontline. Hot spots, which can also be triggered by insect bites, can occur in breeds of dogs that have thick long hair with long, oily coats. These raw areas become itchy and inflamed. The breeds in question include Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Chows, and Akitas. Short coated breeds such as the Pugalier and Puggle are far less susceptible to hot spots. Hair loss, rough hair, and itching can be caused by lice and can be treated using Permethin. Itching all over can also be caused by food allergies. You should put your dog on a prescription trial for about 2 to 3 months if your dog has food allergies. These should include smaller protein molecules that won’t trigger the immune system. Anine atopy is another type of allergy that causes itching and hair loss due to some allergens including pollen. Another type of allergy that is common in shelties and collies is solar dermatitis, a reaction to sunlight resulting in scales on the nose and ears, hair loss and redness.

Infections and Fungus

Grooming a dog with clippers or combs that were used on an infected animal or mere contact can make a dog get infected with the fungus, ringworm, which weakens hair shafts and makes them begin to break off. It can be treated using topical iodine applications or Fluconozole. A parasite living in the hair and oil glands of a dog’s skin causes Mange and it is treated using ivermectin. Another infection, Folliculitis, is a bacterial infection of hair follicles (like staph). You should give your dog antibiotics for a minimum of four weeks to effectively treat it.

Conditions and Diseases

The most common hormonal disease that results in hair loss in dogs is the decrease in the thyroid hormone known as hypothyroidism. Their hair become brittle and dry, there’s a possibility of seborrhea, and also obesity. The dog will require thyroid medication throughout its lifetime. Diabetic dogs that develop skin infections resulting in hair loss will require dietary change and insulin. Dermatitis induced by boredom, stress of nervousness is a common thing when dogs are left alone at home while owners are away, often at work. It’s hard to cure when it occurs in older and obese pets. Use behaviour modifying medication where the underlying cause of it cannot be resolved to prevent dogs from biting and licking until all of their hair’s gone. An increase of corticosteroids in a dog’s body can result in Cushing’s disease and this can either be treated using Mitotane or by removing tumors through surgery.

Why do puppies get constipated?

Constipation in Puppies

A new puppy owner can often think that constipation is the last thing that will affect their new puppy who seems to always need to relieve themselves, constipation in puppies will happen from time to time. Usually though this is an issue for the older dog more than it is for a young puppy and smaller breeds such as the Poochon seem to be affected a bit more than larger breeds. It is important to be able to recognise the symptoms early and treat it or constipation can become a real problem for your dog. Understanding the causes will help you prevent this uncomfortable condition from occurring.

Apricot Poochon Puppy in the sun

Recognizing Constipation in puppies

It’s uncommon to find constipation in young dogs but it happens, and it’s vital that when it does, you are able to recognize the signs. Your puppy will need your help if it doesn’t have bowel movements. What you should be on the lookout for should include having small, dry and hard bowel movements at very irregular periods or a straining to the bathroom but having no success at all. A constipated puppy will usually have a hard abdomen due to the build up of faeces it it’s bowels.

What causes constipation in puppies?

A diet low in fibre is the most common cause of constipation in puppies but hairballs are also another common cause of constipation in puppies. Ingestion of hairballs, which then balls up inside the intestinal tracts causing the occurrence of a blockage, is a constant thing for pups that constantly lick themselves. This is more likely in breeds with longer hair due to the increased amount of hair the dog may ingest while grooming themselves.

Also, since puppies are known to eat a lot of weird things with the inclusion of plastic bags and plastic toys, constipation can result from anything that causes a blockage of their bowels. This is the most serious form, as often your puppy will need veterinary treatment to remove what is causing the blockage. Some of the medications the puppies take, such as pain relievers after desexing can also add to the causes of constipation. He hair around the anus of puppies with long hair may cause difficulties in passing bowel movements if the hair gets matted it blocks the anus and constipation may be the result.

An often overlooked, cause of constipation in puppies is dehydration. Our bowels, as well as our puppies bowels, need large amounts of water to keep everything moving along as it should and is a bit like the lubrication for the bowels.

Prevention

As the owner of the puppy, it is vital that you take control at the first indication of trouble. Ensure that non-food materials aren’t digested, and this includes their toys and any packaging around the house. Monitoring everything your puppy gets in contact with will go a long way in preventing your puppy from eating anything they shouldn’t. Keep your dog’s hair trimmed around it’s bottom if it’s a long-hair breed to prevent a blockage at that end. Constipation should not be a problem if you your puppy gets a steady, good quality diet that is high in fibre, is well hydrated, and gets the appropriate daily exercise.

The Easiest Way to Potty Train a Puppy

Cream Moodle puppy having a cuddle

Pay Attention.

Yes! Paying attention and watching for signals are some of the easiest ways to potty train your puppy. Ensure your Moodle puppy is in places around the house where you can always see him even if that means closing doors or using baby gates to prevent your puppy from wandering off and going potty in the house. You should quickly scoop up your puppy and move him outside the moment you observe he’s starting to squat or sniffing in circles inside the house.

Puppies will always need to go potty soon after they’ve eaten or drunk something so you should take him out within about ten minutes of eating or drinking. Consult with your breeder or vet on the amount and frequency of your puppy’s feeding habit and be in control of it. You don’t need to give him a full bowl all the time. And when your puppy is outside after eating, just wait and allow him to do what he needs to do.

Consistency and Praise

In situations where you are unavailable for extended periods and can’t watch him as a result, you should think about crate training him. Crate-trained puppies finally begin appreciating the security and safety of their crate like the dens of their ancestors though it may initially feel like imprisonment.

The crate you pick shouldn’t be for punishing your puppy or as a “time out” corner; it should be large enough for him to turn around and stand in. The safety and comfort of your puppy should be on the top of your mind when getting one and because puppies rarely use their crate to potty, they can be left in the crate for 3 to 4 hours because they’ll learn to hold it in while they’re in their crate. Make him potty outside before putting him in the crate and the minute you return, take out to potty again as you’re letting him out of the crate.

Crate Training a puppy

To key factor that’ll enable your puppy to learn to alert you to his need to go potty are consistency and repetition. Taking him through the same door to the same area of your backyard each time you take him out to go potty will help teach him to go through that door anytime he wants to potty.

Potty pads (which are lined pads which carry a scent that puppies are attracted to when they want to go potty) can be a good inclusion in potty training your puppy. Drop a clean potty pad close to the door you want your puppy to use in alerting you to his need to potty.

You should use the word you desire your puppy to associate with going to potty every time he goes out to potty or when you’re expecting him to go potty. For instance, if “You’re a great puppy! Go potty there!” is the phrase you want, repeat that every time. He’ll quickly be trained to know what’s expected of him, which in this case, is to go to the appropriate spot to potty.

Lastly, since dogs have a desire to please their owners, he’ll be bound to repeat the very action that caused him to be loved and praised so whenever he goes to potty in the right area, praise him. Even in cases where he began going inside but you brought him out to potty, when he’s done, praise him for a great potty training session.

Are dogs colourblind?

Are Dogs Colour-blind?

 

Sable Maltese X ShihTzu puppy in the patio

It is a common assumption by many dog owners that their pups are blind to colours or colour-blind. This is not an entirely correct notion because these pets do not view the world in black and white though their colour vision differs from that of humans. The science behind our dogs’ vision and what we can do to help their eyesight are as follows:

 

Colours Dogs Can See

 

According to the Optics and Physiology of Vision the richness of vision is dependent on the amount colour cones (where colour vision is based- specifically the amount of pigment found in the retina), and the degree of their overlap. Humans have three classes of cones and are therefore trichromatic. Dogs on the other hand, are dichromatic because their eyes contain just two classes of cones containing a photo pigment that allows them to see colour.

Dogs and horses, like most colour blind people are missing either their green or red photo pigment according to the Optics and Physiology of Vision.  Documenting dogs’ capabilities of seeing can be challenging though we know they do have those capabilities. Their capacity to differentiate between colours is not like ours because their greens are muted, but they’re able to select toys based off of colours says Fahrer Christin, Diplomate ACVO, MS, DVM.

Despite the fact that dogs do not perceive colours like humans do, they do not appear to be affected negatively by this apparent lack in colour perception. According to William Miller Diplomate ACVO, MS, DVM, dogs are able to see longer light wavelengths in low conditions of light. And this is something that carries great benefits for any predator hunting in conditions like that.

Do Dogs Really Require Colour Vision?

“A dog’s retina is built to focus on movement for survival so for as long as they can focus on a prey running, they don’t care what they colour of the prey is – brown or blue or green. Therefore dogs’ colour vision is good enough for them. It’s like a gift – we don’t know if they’re really in need of colour vision to function.” says Dr Fahrer.

Also, according to Dr Fahrer, a dog’s sense of smell is powerful enough that visual cues are often superseded by it. When we offer foods or intend to give a treat to our dogs, we know how to use this to our favour. We can also learn to use this – visual cues – to enhance playtime with our dogs. High colour contrast balls and toys – orange and neon – are superb options to use when you play with your dog.

Good healthcare –

Feeding your dog a balanced, healthy diet and giving your dog proper exercise are among the best things you can do for your dog’s vision and wellbeing, according to Dr Miller who also said that there is some anecdotal evidence to support retinal boosting by feeding antioxidants. But his major recommendation in looking after your dog’s eyesight is a good diet and good veterinary care.

3 Diseases You Need to Watch Out for in Puppies

Chocolate wool coat Labradoodle puppy

3 Diseases You Need to Watch Out for in Puppies

Your puppy is young and seems defenseless, which makes you want to protect him. The first way to protect his health is feeding him a healthy and balanced diet. This way, you allow him to build a good immune system to fight off common diseases that he is likely to get. It also allows for faster recovery.

Nonetheless, it is helpful to know that you can’t possibly protect him from everything. Here are three common diseases you should watch out for in the puppy’s first years of life –

Parvovirus (Parvo)

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that infects puppies of all ages. It can be transmitted through bodily secretions and most puppies are vaccinated at the age of six to eight weeks of age then every four weeks until they are 16 weeks old or until recommended by vets. Vaccination and isolation from areas where other dogs have been is the only way to protect your puppy from this horrible disease.

Signs and Symptoms: Parvo starts with fever followed by a drop of temperature. This is the time when the puppies are highly contagious to other dogs. Vomiting and large amounts of bloody diarrhea will ensue, where the dog will become weak and dehydrated.

Treatment and Management: If you haven’t already, and your dog is healthy, take your puppy for vaccination against parvovirus. This saves you from the expenses of the puppy’s hospitalization, where IV fluids and drugs are given. The disease is fatal if not treated immediately.

Recovery Period: The recovery period takes at least three days to one week. The puppy will be hospitalized for three to four days and allowed to go home to complete medications.

Kennel Cough

Airborne organisms like bacteria and parainfluenza viruses can cause kennel cough otherwise known as infectious tracheobronchitis. The term is a misnomer because even when your puppy or dog is not in kennel they can still be infected with it. Vaccination against kennel cough is available and is given at the age of ten to twelve weeks followed by once a year (every 12 months). Even though the vaccine cannot protect your puppy from every strain of organism that can cause kennel cough, it can reduce the likelihood of catching the more common varieties significantly.

Signs and Symptoms: The disease begins with lethargy, fever and reduced appetite. The puppies will then develop deep and productive cough. If this remains untreated, it can result in pneumonia but usually the disease is of low severity and dogs will make a full recovery.

Treatment and Management: If your puppy develops unusual and persistent coughing, take him to your vet immediately to get him checked out.

Recovery Period: The disease can last 10-14 days.

Leptospirosis

This is a bacterial disease that can damage the kidneys and liver. It is transmitted through the infected urine of rodents and water contaminated by this urine. There is a vaccination available, which is given at 6-12 weeks of age followed by another a few weeks later. Always remember that not all vet clinics will vaccinate against leptospirosis so make sure you ask your vet if it is necessary for your puppy.

Signs and Symptoms: The symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to flu, which includes vomiting, lethargy and fever but can include other symptoms. If you suspect your puppy may have Leptospirosis, take them to a vet to get checked out.

Treatment and Management: Antibiotic treatment is available.

Recovery Period: The antibiotic regimen is given for four weeks or more depending on how severe the disease is.

4 Ways to tell if your dog food is worth the price

Young Groodle puppy after breakfast

4 ways to tell if your dog food is worth the price

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for the Right Price

We all want to save money by spending less on many things but is it alright to compromise on your dog’s food? Compromising on the dog’s food is one of the most unfair things to do to your loyal pet. Your dog is a good friend and member of your family, who deserves healthy meals so that he remains healthy for years. The question is – how do you know that the dog food you’re feeding him is worth the price?

High Quality and Balanced Nutrients

According to Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD – a Professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the OSUVMC (OhioStateUniversityVeterinaryMedicalCenter) – all animals need water as well as energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein sources. As long as it provides enough and balanced nutrients for absorption, whatever the brand of dog food it is becomes irrelevant for your pet’s health.

Balanced nutrients are essential because they improve metabolism, according to Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD – The University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine Professor. In dog foods without enough carbohydrates but high levels of protein will result in some of the protein stores being used as source of energy. It is important that a balance of nutrients is achieved in your dog’s diet. This is why manufacturers of good quality pet foods hire experienced and knowledgeable veterinary nutritionists so that ingredients are selected to provide a complete food for your dog.

Qualified Nutritionists’ Formulation

It is not easy to formulate high quality dog food and it takes a qualified nutritionist to make the formulation right. Making sure that the balance of nutritional values is achieved through the proper selection of ingredients is essential. It doesn’t matter whether it will take more than 50 ingredients if that’s what it is necessary to achieve this balance and maintaining the dog’s health should be the priority. Manufacturing companies will also submit their products for feeding trials before releasing their product onto the market.

Manufactured with Strict QC (Quality Control)

For pet food manufacturers, the quality and safety of their pet food are their main concerns and some manufacturing companies have their own facility where they manufacture their products in order to tightly control the quality of their product. On-site manufacturing allows for better QC or quality control since they have complete control of the sources of ingredients and the processes involved in manufacture.

For instance, dog foods manufactured on-site can be stored at the factory until the results of trials confirm that they have met the safety guidelines before releasing to the market. This will lessen the likelihood of recalling the pet food from the market due to contamination of Salmonella or Aflatoxin.

You can read the product label of your dog’s food and look for the term manufactured “by” instead of “for” or “distributed by.” If you think that there is a quality or safety problem with the dog food you are using, stop feeding your dog with it and get in touch immediately with the manufacturer as well as your vet so that the problem can be reported.

Specific and Appropriate

When we talk about specific and appropriate, the dog food must be based on the activity level, age, breed, and weight and health condition of the dog being fed the food. For instance, the “all life stage” food is formulated to meet the nutritional guidelines implemented by AAFCO Pet Food Nutrient Profiles. It may seem appropriate for all dogs in all life stages but there are some older dogs that will receive higher nutrients than necessary, which may result in health issues.

All of this can be overwhelming especially with the many pet foods that you can choose from. If it seems confusing, don’t just guess, seek the opinion of the breeder and/or your veterinarian. Your vet can help you find a dog food that is appropriate for your dog if they have any special nutritional requirements. Getting high quality dog food now will save you a lot of money from health expenses later on.

If you have any tips or advise for the dog community please let us know in the comments below

5 reasons why age specific diets are essential for your dog’s health

Tan and white Beaglier with his best foot forward

5 reasons why age specific diets are essential for your dog’s health

Just like for people, a complete and balanced diet is important for our pets. However, specific nutritional needs will change a lot faster in dogs due to their rapid maturity. For example, a growing puppy will have different nutritional requirements than full grown dogs, and especially those that have an active lifestyle. This means to say that as your pets grow older their nutritional requirements will also change.

Here are reasons why improving your pet’s health will require an age specific diet –

Growth Support:

Puppies are growing fast and hence they require foods that are rich in protein as well as high amounts of calories as opposed to full grown dogs. They have specific nutritional requirements to meet the demands of their growth. When these requirements are not met, the growth of your pet may be interrupted or your pet may become undernourished. This is even more important in larger breeds that have a tremendous growth rate.

Improve Mental Acuity:

Puppies and kittens require DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, which is a form of fatty acid that promotes enhancement of your pet’s mental acuity. According to recent studies, puppies and kittens that eat foods containing DHA tend to be more trainable. Good quality dry foods will contain DHA as part of their ingredient list on the back of the packaging.

Fights Obesity:

Age specific diets can help fight obesity. As seen in humans, obesity is the most common condition suffered by many people and the same is true with our dogs. Incorrect feeding according to age is one of the most common reasons. For instance, full grown dogs, especially those with sedentary lifestyles, may become overweight or obese if fed with foods especially formulated with higher fat levels made for puppies and kittens. Overfeeding will also result in obesity.

Improves Reproductive Health:

Female dogs, which are either nursing or pregnant, have different nutritional needs than pets with no active reproduction. For pregnant and nursing pets, the mother dog eats for itself and her puppies. If her needs are not met, the puppies will suffer because the mother pet won’t have enough milk or a milk without all the essential nutrients to feed her puppies. This may lead to nutritional deficiency, which may potentially cause disease in the youngsters. For instance, calcium deficiency may cause eclampsia – a condition that causes seizures, tremors and death for the mother of the puppies.

Old Age:

Old pets have different nutritional demands, too. For pets that have movement issues, they will especially benefit from foods that are rich in glucosamine or essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These pets can suffer from medical conditions like heart disease as they get older if feed a diet formulated for young animals. The management of many old age diseases will be helped greatly with proper nutrition.

6 ways to keep your dog dandruff-Free

Apricot Cavoodle puppy gazing into the distance

One of the most unwanted but common skin conditions is dandruff and the same is true when we talk about our pet’s skin. It tells us that our pet’s skin is dry, which needs to be corrected if possible. Here are 6 useful ways to keep your pet dandruff-free –

Good Grooming

It is always important to brush your pet’s fur every day not only to maintain a burr-free, shiny and smooth fur but also to equally distribute the natural oil on your pet’s coat as well as keep the skin massaged.
However, be careful on what you use for brushing. It is definitely not recommended to use brushes that are too soft, which will not help – or too stiff – which will aggravate the condition even more. Choose a brush that’s right for your pet’s coat.

Spraying the Coat

Don’t use just any fluid. You can buy special pet oils that come in varying spray bottles. They are available in pet spas or holistic pet stores, which are formulated to treat dry skin and help keep the moisture in the pet’s coat.
Spray the fluid on your dog’s coat away from their eyes to keep dandruff from affecting your pet and pampering him at the same time.

Give Your Pet a Bath

Giving your pet a good bath is extremely useful especially in keeping the dandruff away from your dog’s skin.
Make sure you use shampoos made for dogs that have moisturizing effect and if possible are organic. You can add conditioners to this list, which are formulated specifically to address your pet’s dandruff issues.

Offer Moisturizers

It would be great if you add an organic hand cream to your pet’s grooming products especially one that contains colloidal oatmeal. It can greatly moisturize your pet’s skin thus dealing with dryness. In fact, it can substantially reduce dandruff, as well.
You can just apply the cream directly on the pet’s fur and gently massage it to get it into its skin. Not only will your pet will appreciate the help to relieve the dandruff but also help relax him.

Buy Dandruff Shampoo

There are pet shampoos that are formulated specifically for your pet. Obviously, it is not like the bottle you have in your shower. There are anti-dandruff shampoos for your pet as well especially when the condition is so bad so that the problem can be dealt with quickly. Anti-dandruff shampoos will often contain emu oil and these shampoos are often used as a dandruff preventative.

Give Your Pet a Healthy Diet

Pets need good fat in their diet, which does not mean you should feed him large amounts of bacon. Good fat is necessary to keep his fur and skin supple and smooth all the time. You can either give him high quality, organic pet food or give him vitamin supplements that are formulated just for pets.
These are useful ways that can keep your pet’s skin dandruff-free and keep him healthy and happy all the time.

If you have another way to keep your dog dandruff free please let the rest of the dog owning community know in the comments below

What happens when your dog gets older?

The ageing process in dogs

Just like people, your dog will change as they get older. Some of these changes will be obvious and will show physically and temperamentally, while other changes will be on a physiological level and affect your dog’s biochemistry. This is a natural process that will affect different dogs in different ways and at differing speeds. For some dogs the ageing process will be slow and occur over a long period of time and for others they will go from being fit and energetic to mellowing down in a short period of time. Usually, although no always, larger dogs such as Standard Groodles will have a more rapid progression through the ageing process than their smaller counterparts such as Moodles. While changes to the health of your older dog should be noted and reported to your veterinarian in order to tackle any issues early, there are some classic changes that are likely to take place.

Older Labrador

Older dogs have less energy

Many dogs will be less energetic as they age and this can be a relief to owners with very energetic dogs that notice a significant slow down in their pet. This slow down is a normal part of the process but you should watchout for any signs of arthritis in your older dog such as joint pain when moving and especially so in older dogs as they move up and down. If your older dog is diagnosed with arthritis, there are many different medications and diet changes to help ease the pain and discomfort of this condition.

Reduced hearing and vision

Hearing and vision loss are common in the geriatric dog and both conditions can be managed. Hearing loss is considered to be the easiest to manage but care should be taken not to startle dogs that cannot hear you approaching them as well as to protect them from dangers they cannot hear coming such as traffic. Vision loss can take a number of forms in the older dog and you may notice a bluish tinge in the eyes of your dog. This is a normal effect of aging and is called lenticular sclerosis and is different to cataracts which will be noticeable with the pupils of the eye having a white and opaque appearance. With some extra care your older dog will still enjoy life even with reduced hearing and/or vision.

Dental disease in older dogs

Over the course of your dog’s life they will accumulate tartar and tooth decay. By providing your dog with bones to chew on throughout their life, you can reduce the onset of severe dental disease as they get older. However, if your dog does display pain or discomfort in their mouth, they need to be taken to your vet to be checked for dental disease. Severity and cost can be greatly reduced if your dog is treated early.

While ageing is a natural and unavoidable process in your dog, a little extra care and help from you will go a long way to ease the process for your older dog.

Do you have and older dog? Let us and other dog owners know all about them by commenting below!

Tips for exercising your dog

Regular exercise benefits your dog

Many owners view exercising their dog as a benefit to them of dog ownership but this benefit goes both ways. Dogs who receive regular exercise will lead not only physically healthier lives but they will also benefit mentally from the stimulation that this exercise will provide. Many of the frustrations of dog owners with dogs they have deemed as having a temperament issue can be resolved with an increased amount of exercise for the dog. Increasing the amount of exercise time your dog receives will result in a calmer dog that is less likely to engage in the annoying behaviours associated with unstimulated dogs such as barking for no real reason and jumping all over people.

Chevromist red wool coat Labradoodle puppy

Red Labradoodle puppy from Chevromist Kennels

Walking you dog

There are different forms of exercise that you can employ to wear out your dog as well as catering to the needs of your dog at different life stages. The cheapest, easiest often most mentally stimulating form of exercise is to simply take your dog for a walk. It does not matter if your dog is a Labradoodle or a Cavoodle, regular walks are a cherished part of the day for dogs that have a walk as part of their routine. Walks provide both the physical outlet to relieve pent up energy but will also allow them to enjoy the sights and smells of a different environment. Walks will also allow your dog to engage in social activity when they come across other dogs being walked and the smells of dogs that have passed through the area will tell them of the activity of other dogs they may never even meet. Walks are available to all dog owners regardless of the size of their homes from those in rural areas to dog owners living in apartments.

Off lead areas

Allowing your dog to exercise off lead will allow them to burn more energy in a shorter period of time with less energy required of you but care should be taken to ensure that your dog can enjoy this privilege safely. Make sure your dog will reliably return when called in a fenced area before allowing your dog free reign off the leash in an unfenced area. Take along some toys for your dog to make the off lead time even more fun for the both of you.

Dog walking services

If you would like to give your dog more exercise than you have time for, a dog walking service or organised play session may be a good option for you, as well as for days when you get too busy to exercise your dog.

If you have a way of making walks even more fun, let us and other dog owners know by leaving a comment below

Finding the best pet insurance

Which pet insurance is best?

Finding the best pet insurance for the members of your human family can be challenging at the least. Although in Europe and the United States pet insurance has been popular for decades, the concept is relatively new to Australia. Where do you start to find the right insurance policy for you and your pets? Does it make a difference if my dog is a Puggle or a Labradoodle? One of the best ways to tackle this issue is to ask the same sort of questions you would ask about an insurance policy for your family. What types of procedures and illnesses does the policy cover? Does the policy allow for rebates on preventative care? Will any pre-existing conditions or illness be covered or are there particular rules around some illnesses? What is the maximum coverage in critical care situations? What is the monthly premium and is this required for the year or can you pay by the month? What is the percentage of the cost of care that is covered?

Black and tan Puggle

What type cover is needed for my dog?

To find the best pet insurance make a list of all the questions that you can think of relating to the policy as well as the questions already mentioned above. Make a second list that details your dog’s needs as well as their medical history. This type of background work will make it much easier to spot a policy that will work best for you and eliminate any policies that just won’t cover what you and your dog needs. For example, if your dog suffers from canine diabetes, you will know immediately that a policy that has exclusions for this condition is not the policy for you. Attention to detail is the key here to help you get the policy that is best suited to your dog and your budget.

Ask your friends

Listen to the recommendations of your vet and other dog owners when looking for the best pet insurance policy. Your friends that are dog owners with insured dogs will have distinct and honest opinion about their insurance policies. Ask around to your friends or even people at the dog park for testimonials about pet insurance companies they use. Your vet will also have experience dealing with a variety of insurance providers and will have distinct opinions about what they cover and how good they are at paying up when a problem arises. Once you have narrowed your choices down to a couple, speak to your vet about the companies and policies that you are considering and get their opinion before making the final decision.

A little research combined with consultation with your vet will be enough to help you choose the best pet insurance policy for your dog. The rule of thumb is that you want the insurance to slightly more than what you need.  An insurance policy that covers your pet’s health needs, but does not charge you for services and extras that you don’t really need should be your goal.

A Bed For Your Groodle

Bedding For Your Groodle

Bedding for your Groodle puppy is very important, as this is where she will be spending quite a bit of time and especially so at night. The ideal bedding for your Groodle should be a natural fibre such as wool, as wool absorbs most moisture and will keep your puppy warm. You no not need the most expensive woollen bedding you can find as Groodles, like all growing pups will have the need to chew. If their need to chew is not meet with some appropriate chew toys or bones, they can chew or tear the blanket in no time at all, which could make an expensive blanket a waste of money.

Black Groodle puppy

A good way to help your puppy adjust

When bringing your Groodle puppy home, she may be a little upset having to leave her mum and the rest of her littermates. The scents and smells that she has come to know and love are gone and they are now being replaced with totally new ones. You can provide a towel for your Groodle to sleep with to help to ease her adjustment a bit. Rub the towel on your puppy while playing earlier in the day to get her own scent on it and then leave the towel in her bed for her to find and cuddle up to at night. Towels are a great tool for Groodle puppies to snuggle up with, which will help them to sleep and relax.

If you are planning to have your Groodle sleep in the bed with you, you must be prepared to get up in the middle of the night and take her to use the area you have designated as her toilet. You should try keep her food and water near her bedding at all times, so that she can get what she needs if hungry or thirsty. Taking her outside for around an hour or so after she has eaten will help avoid any accidental soiling of her bed.

If you plan to leave your Groodle outdoors at night or during the day, you’ll need to provide bedding that is out of the elements and doghouses are great for Groodles who stay outdoors, as it helps to keep them warm and out of bad weather. Inside the doghouse can be lined with whatever material you would like. Straw is loved by Groodles as they can make a bed out of it but can often be messy in the suburban backyard. If you have a large yard and use straw to mulch your garden, the used straw bedding makes a great ground cover around trees. You can use a woollen blanket or quilt inside the dog house, so that your Groodle can wrap herself up in it or under it if she gets cold. Which ever bedding you choose to use be sure that it is either washed regularly (in the case of blankets and towels) or cleaned out and changed often and that she is up to date with flea treatment to prevent the build up of fleas. Making sure that your Groodle has the proper bedding is a great start to a healthy life for your dog.

Let us know what your dog loves to sleep in by commenting below to help other dog owners

How to Keep Your Dog Safe While Alone at Home

How to Keep Your Dog Safe While Alone at Home

It is absolutely disheartening when we look at our dog’s eyes each time we leave him alone at home. It is a modern reality that dogs will be left at home most of the time during the day as most households have both parents working. Some dogs bark out loud, whimper and whine when left alone, which sometimes give us the feeling that we’re heartless to leave them alone. Whether we have a Beaglier or a Puggle, we do need to make our dogs safe while they’re alone at home.

Beaglier puppy

How to Make Sure Your Dog is Safe while alone at Home?

Safe Toys. Leave him with safe toys so he will feel comfortable and be able to deal with the boredom with you away from him. Some of the safe toys you can buy include the following:

  • Rubber toys, which are safe for chewing
  • Synthetic Nyla bones or Kong toys
  • Interactive treat toys, which help in mental stimulation

These toys not only keep your dog deal with boredom but will also stimulate his imagination and reduce any destructive behaviour as well as promote dental health and give you less to worry about while you are not home.

Dog-Proofing

Your home must be dog-proofed each time you leave for work or school. Put away hazardous materials in your home, which will include the following:

·     Sharp utensils

·     Cleaning agents

·     Toxic detergents

·     Sharp aluminum cans

·     Plastic bags

·     Scraps of chicken bones that can choke dogs

·     Glass or breakable dishware

Make sure that the cabinets where you store the cleaning agents are locked. Keep dishes and utensils away from the dogs reach and get garbage cans away from his access.

Check for loose blinds, electrical cords and curtains in the dining area, living room and bedroom. Keep medications out of reach as well as bathroom materials such as personal hygiene products and air fresheners. Keep the toilet seat closed to prevent your dog having access to the toilet water.

If your dog is relatively young, you can choose to crate him while you’re gone or confine him in a safe area using dog barriers or baby gates.

Comfortable and satisfied

It is important that you leave the dog not only safe but comfortable and satisfied. Make sure that his surroundings promote such comfort. Your place must not be either too hot or too cold. Ensure that he has enough fresh, clean water to keep him hydrated throughout the day.

Bear in mind that dogs that are physically comfortable can also be mentally content.

Furthermore, you can add something special to the equation through the use of treats while you’ve left home. Apart from these, you can also leave the TV or radio on to give the dog a sense of artificial company. Find music that has a calming effect – not too noisy since this can over-stimulate the dog.

Finally, make sure that when you arrive home, you give him enough attention and love.

If you have any great ways of entertaining your dog while you are not home please leave a comment and share it with other dog owners.

How to stop dogs jumping up on people

Reasons Dogs Jump Up on People

Sniffing faces is dog’s way of saying hello and since people’s faces are higher than dogs they often jump on people to meet their faces. When our dogs are still puppies, we tolerate such behaviour until they get used to it.

As they grow older, we reinforce this behaviour if we give them the attention they wanted. It is like telling the dogs that we will give them our attention if they jump up on us. Dogs are pretty much like children with that form of learning. They easily learn especially when it comes to getting what they want the quickest and easiest way possible.

A lot of people find it comforting when they look at their dogs and see their dog so happy to see them. This make us feel important and loved as dogs greet us by the door.

Cavoodle puppy with white blaze

Why stop dogs from jumping up on people?

Dog owners of smaller breeds such as Cavoodles and Moodles don’t mind this “jumping up” behaviour as a form of greeting. They often believe that their dogs are small enough not to cause any harm but even small breeds can knock over children and frail people.

There are also visitors that generally don’t like this idea of dogs jumping up on them. However, larger dogs such as Standard Groodles and Labradoodles need to keep all paws on the floor when greeting people since size is directly proportional to the potential injury the dog can cause.

How to stop dogs from jumping up on people?

Stopping our dogs from developing this behaviour should start early. In fact, you should start preventing this behaviour right after you’ve brought the furry little pup home. Train them that if they jump up on you – they’ll be totally ignored.

The puppy will quickly learn that all their paws must be on the floor if they want your attention. If your puppy gets his paws on the floor, gently pat his head and use positive reinforcement like calling him “good boy.”

Do not punish the puppy by making him wait for that pat even when he has brought all his paws on the floor. Otherwise, the puppy will miss the entire point of the exercise. Wait until all paws are on the ground before you play with him or give him your attention.

This kind of approach may also be used as the dog gets older even if the behaviour has already been developed. But, in order to break this habit, you need to be consistent in your discipline.

Another important thing to keep in mind is training your puppy to sit. This can also prevent your dog from jumping up especially when you instill it in his mind that they will only receive your attention if he sits in front of you. A good trick would be to make the dog sit before they get what they want such as attention, toys, treats and walks.

Dogs will quickly learn that the only way for them to get their reward is to sit and not by jumping up on people.

If the dog jumps up the moment you walk on the door – even before you can correct the behaviour, slightly open the door and tell your dog to sit before you totally enter the room. Once the dog sits, reward the dog with a treat.

Consistency with this kind of discipline is the key and it will not be for long before you’ll find your dog sitting as you enter the house instead of jumping up as a form of greeting. If the dog jumps up on people even if he already learned not to do that to you, allow your visitors to do the same training that you have already begun to teach him.

Pets and children

Light red Cavoodle puppy

Many реtѕ are vеrу tolerant of ѕmаll сhіldrеn, but іt’ѕ still important tо bе аwаrе of the роtеntіаl dangers to уоur baby. Thеrе аrе precautions that уоu саn take tо kеер your bаbу ѕаfе, еѕресіаllу оnсе hе is crawling and walking.

Whіlе your bаbу іѕ tіnу, you will generally be able to kеер hіm аnd your реtѕ apart for most оf the tіmе. Keep pets оut оf thе room hе sleeps іn, and nеvеr let a реt share a bеd wіth уоur bаbу.

Alwауѕ іntrоduсе уоur pets gеntlу to a nеw bаbу. Dogs may fееl jеаlоuѕ оf a nеw baby whеn you first bring him hоmе. Even very social dogs such as Moodles may feel a little left out so try tо gіvе уоur dоg some ѕресіаl аttеntіоn when уоu can, ѕо іt knоwѕ уоu still care аbоut it.

Dоgѕ are аlѕо likely tо bе сurіоuѕ. Bеаr in mind that уоur dоg may rеасt іn a way thаt уоu don’t еxресt when your bаbу аrrіvеѕ.

Cаtѕ don’t usually get jealous, but thеу аrе аttrасtеd tо thе wаrmth оf a bаbу’ѕ соt. Uѕе a саt net оn the рrаm or рuѕhсhаіr whеn your cat and baby are in the same area if you cannot fully trust your cat or if you have nеіghbоurіng саtѕ that may be curious.

Dogs always nееd supervision whеn babies аnd сhіldrеn аrе around. Nо mаttеr hоw truѕtwоrthу уоur pet mау bе, іf a toddler іѕ рullіng іtѕ tаіl, оr роkіng its eye, it may lоѕе раtіеnсе.

Cаtѕ wіll оftеn escape if a сhіld іѕ tеаѕіng or hurtіng them, but ѕоmе wіll ѕсrаtсh аnd bіtе. It’s fаіrlу соmmоn fоr уоung сhіldrеn tо bе bitten bу their оwn реt. Wіthоut meaning tо, уоur child mау еnсоurаgе уоur dog to chase аnd рlау-bіtе them. Thеѕе dоg bіtеѕ tend to bе mіnоr, but keep аn еуе on hоw уоur сhіldrеn and pets play tоgеthеr.

Rероrtѕ of serious dоg аttасkѕ involving bаbіеѕ аnd уоung сhіldrеn rесеіvе a lоt оf mеdіа coverage, but ѕuсh саѕеѕ аrе not very common.

Yоu mау find іt hеlрful tо use a safety gate tо keep уоur pets and уоur children араrt, at lеаѕt for some of thе tіmе. Stair gаtеѕ can also help keep уоur baby аwау frоm аnіmаl food аnd lіttеr trауѕ.

If you hаvе a gаrdеn, it соuld bе fenced ѕо thаt thеrе is a ѕаfе baby area and a separate pet аrеа. If уоur реt іѕ allowed to use the whole gаrdеn, you may need to check it оvеr аnd use a роореr ѕсоореr bеfоrе letting уоur child outside.

Yоu mау аlѕо nееd tо check уоur baby саn’t gеt through a cat flap, іf уоu hаvе one. Curіоuѕ babies hаvе bееn knоwn tо use a cat flap to escape іntо thе gаrdеn. You mау nееd to lеаvе thе lосk іn іt whіlе уоur bаbу іѕ аrоund.

Also nеvеr lеаvе worming tаblеtѕ or other реt medications where уоur bаbу саn rеасh them.

Most designer breeds such as Cavoodles have been selected for their temperaments and will usually make great companions for children. If you take some simple precautions and lay the ground rules early, your dog can truly become your child’s best friend and fondest memory of growing up.