Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A DOG'S DIET Influences Oral Health

English: Charcoal dog biscuit, marketed as Win...
Charcoal dog biscuit, marketed as Winalot Shapes (a mixture of biscuits). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Your dog is your very best friend.  Every single time you walk through the door your dog is so happy to see you that he wags his tail and practically smiles at you.  How can you show your pet how much they mean to you?  Well, one way is to take care of that smile for your pet.  Did you know that your dog's diet can influence their oral health?

Humans need to brush and floss their teeth regularly to keep their teeth, tongue, and gums in good condition.  Research has recently shown a link between good oral health in humans and a lower risk of heart disease.  If good oral health can have such a profound affect on people, then it only makes sense to consider the impact it can have on man's best friend.

It is important to brush your dog's teeth frequently to keep plaque and tartar from becoming an issue.  Even wiping his gums with a clean, damp cloth can be beneficial.

Your dog's diet also plays a role in your pet's oral health.  Do you typically feed your dog canned or dry dog food?  What kind of treats and toys do you provide for your pet?  All of these things can affect the likelihood of trouble with your pet's teeth.

When your dog's diet is nutritionally sound, containing essential vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes, your pet's oral health will be at its very best.  Feeding dry dog food rather than a moist canned variety is best for your dog.  The tiny kibbles' hard surface rubs against the teeth to remove and reduce plaque.  The simple act of moistening the dry dog food with water or gravy eliminates this property from dry dog food.

The treats you give your pet are part of your dog's diet just like snacks are part of a person's diet.  As humans, we tend to want to overlook our snacking habits, so it can be easy to overlook the treats you give your dog.  This is not a good idea.  Carefully consider any and all items your dog will consume.

Do you give your dog bones, rawhides, jerky treats, or dog biscuits?  Maybe your pet prefers greenies or corn starch chews.  You may not have considered it, but tossing Spot a rawhide chew is like giving him a candy bar.  The rawhide, for example, contains calories and is often provided between meals.

Many of the treats and snacks you provide in your dog's diet can be just empty wasted calories.  Some treats, alternatively, provide excellent opportunity to improve oral health.  Greenies, rawhides, bones, and hard dog biscuits all help to keep tartar at bay.  The softer snacks, such as jerky treats, do not provide much relief from plaque.  The healthy treat, on occasion, will also prevent your dog from having bad breath.

Your dog's diet must be healthy to ensure excellent oral health.  Dry dog food is best whenever possible.  Don't forget to select treats for your pet that will enhance your dog's diet.  Consciously monitoring your dog's diet will positively influence your  best friend's oral health.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Could Your Dog Have WHIPWORM? How To Detect And Treat Whipworm In Your Dog

Egg from Trichuris vulpis (canine whipworm) se...
Egg from Trichuris vulpis (canine whipworm) seen through a microscope at 400x. The egg is operculated at both ends. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When it comes to keeping your canine companion healthy both inside and out, it's important for owners to know which parasites see your dog as the perfect host.

One of the lesser-known parasites that pose a danger to dogs is the whipworm. Whipworms, like most parasites, are resilient. In egg form, their hard shells allow them to survive outdoors in the soil for years in the time. In many ways, whipworms are like hookworms, but instead of ending in a hook shape, one end of this worm tapers to a narrow, whip-like point.

Unlike hookworms, whipworms can't enter the body through the skin. The only way for your dog to contract them is by eating the eggs. Whipworms exist throughout North America, and transmission is easy if your dog has any contact with other dogs. The long-lived eggs can show up in the soil, dog toys, discarded bones and water dishes. Once eaten, whipworms then grow to maturity inside your dog's digestive system.

When they reach maturity, the adult worms fasten themselves to the large intestine and the cecum, a transitional pouch between the large and small intestine. Here, these nasty little parasites slash and puncture the intestinal walls in order to feed. The female starts to lay her eggs, which the dog excretes through the feces.

Symptoms for whipworm resemble those for other worms, such as hookworm. Many dogs can carry a certain number of whipworms without showing distress, but past a certain point, your dog may begin to exhibit signs such as a dull coat, anemia, rapid weight loss, and a loose and bloody stool. He may also begin vomiting up a yellow-green substance. In very severe cases, the worms may begin to puncture the intestinal wall, to the degree that the intestine begins to stick to the body wall. In this case, you might see your dog licking and worrying his right flank.

When you take your dog to the vet, it may take some time to diagnose him with whipworm. Whipworms lay eggs only intermittently, and even when they’re actively releasing eggs, any diarrhea in your dog can make the eggs hard to find. Typically, vets will perform four stool samples over four days before ruling out whipworm.

If your vet finds whipworm eggs, she'll administer a potent dewormer. But all whipworm dewormers on the market are only effective against worms in their adult form. As a result, you'll probably need to re-treat your dog.

There are no simple and effective ways of removing whipworm eggs from the soil around your house. However, a contaminated environment can infect your dog over and over again. The best way to combat reinfestation is to make sure your dog's quarters are sunny and dry, since whipworm eggs require moisture. Try to place him in an area of fresh new gravel, pavement or soil.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

DOBERMAN - A Guide To The Breed

Originally called the Doberman Pinscher, the Doberman breed was created from several breeds by a German, Karl Louis Dobermann in around 1890. Dobermann was a Tax collector, night watchman and dog catcher and needed a protection dog to guard him as he travelled around the dangerous bandit-infested areas around Thueringen, South Central Germany. He spent 60 years perfecting the ultimate loyal, intelligent, ferocious protection dog before the first Doberman was registered in 1893.

Two Doberman Pinschers
Two Doberman Pinschers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many breeds are thought to have been used in the creation on the Doberman including Rottweillers and Great Danes for size and strength, greyhounds for speed and Manchester Terriers for there sleek coat. Other breeds that are thought to have been used are the German Shepherd Dog, the Pinscher, the Beauceron, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Dobermann died shortly after the first registration of the Doberman breed and Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening took up cultivation of the breed in Germany.

During World war one the Doberman suffered along with the rest of the country and the few remaining dogs were going to be put down as no one could afford to keep them. They were saved however by American servicemen who grew fond of them and took them home, thus initiating the American breeding program. During World War II Dobermans were used by the US Marines to flush out the enemy which gave them the name 'Devil Dogs'. 25 Dobermans died in the Battle of Guam in 1944 and there is a memorial in Guam in honour of these dogs.

After the war the Doberman breed became known in England and a Doberman club formed in 1948. A couple called the Curnows, using the kennel name of Tavey, dedicated themselves to establishing the Doberman in England. They began with European stock but then decided that the American Doberman was more elegant and larger and started their breeding program again.

Doberman can have a fiery temper and can become excitable but they are intelligent and bond very closely with owners and family. Those training a Doberman need to teach plenty of socialisation skills and training from an early age. A well-bred Dobie trained by an experienced handler is an excellent pets and companion and is suitable for families with other dog breeds and children.

The most common colour for a Doberman is black but there are two different colour genes. The first is Black and the second is a colour dilution gene which provides four different colours, black, red, blue and fawn. This means that there are various colour of Doberman depending on how the genes are mixed.

In 1976 a white Doberman bitch was born and was subsequently bred to her son, continued tight breeding meant that the mutation became fixed and has now become widely marketed. These albino Doberman though have increased risk of disease and abnormal development of the retina so must avoid too much sun exposure. These problems have made the albino breed unpopular as many people perceive this breeding of a mutant dog to be cruelty.

Traditionally Doberman have they tails and ears cropped. The ears cropped for reasons related to traditional guard duty and effective sound localisation. This is normally done between 7 and 9 weeks of age but some owner do not have this procedure done as it is painful for the dog. The process involved trimming off part of the ear and propping up with posts, tape and bandages with encourages the cartilage to grow in an upright position.

    By Steve Batchelor
    Steve Batchelor is a dog lover and the webmaster at where you can find some great information on many different dog breeds.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

DOG CLOTHES - Fad, Fun Or Functional??

Your dog is not just a pet. Your dog is not just an animal. Your dog is a bona FIDO member of the family!! So of course your dog needs to dress the part – right?

Well thanks to the internet and the many online boutiques you can dress your dog for every occasion from the comfort of your own home. No more “granny’ knitted sweaters for your sophisticated canine!! But is dressing up your dog just something that you like to do? Is there any benefit to your dog? It all depends on why you bought the clothes!!

Photo  by annrkiszt 

A Dog Coat can be a very useful item of clothing for your dog. It can keep him warm in the cold weather, dry in the wet weather and can protect him from infections in the same way that our clothes protect us. It can also keep him clean which may be especially useful after a romp in the park on a wet winter’s day. Just take the coat off after it’s dirty and keep most of the dirt contained. Then you can let your clean(ish) dog into the car which helps keep the car cleaner. Dog coats come in many different styles and colors so pick the coat that's most appropriate for its use. And of course what dog would be seen out without the matching doggie hat??

Just like people wear, you can get ‘designer’ labels for your dog to make him feel like a million dollars, (and it probably costs that too). Many celebrities always have their dogs dressed in the latest doggie fashion. A practice that Paris Hilton with Tinkerbell has raised to an art form, or so it seems!

Apart from coats and sweaters other useful dog clothing items include dog t-shirts and dog sunglasses. These can look cute but they do also serve to help protect your pet. The sunglasses can protect him from UVA and UVB rays and the t-shirt helps protect his skin. Dogs can develop skin cancer the same way that people can and this is one of the main cancers in dogs. And you thought it was just to make Fido look cute!!

As you can see, getting clothing for your dog is not just vanity on your part, although it is fun dressing up your dog. It can also play a vital role in keeping your dog healthy and happy. And if you do get the urge to step out on the wild side – get your dog some formal wear or a great costume for Halloween – go on have fun and buy your dog some great clothing today!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Importance Of TAURINE For Cats

Gretel Eating Meat
Gretel Eating Meat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By nature, cats are very much carnivores. In order for them to live the healthiest - not to mention happiest - lives imaginable, it's important for them to take in sufficient amounts of meat from day to day. This is where the role of protein comes into play, though it's clear that some cats are not able to process this nutrient as well as others. I believe that this is why taurine is such a crucial talking point and one that Assisi can help to lead.

For those who do not know, taurine is a type of amino acid that pet owners may bring into the diets of their cats. It's not like this type of nutrient is hard to come by, seeing as how it is normally found in various types of fish and other meats. As a result, you can be certain that cats will require it in large amounts as well. You may wonder what can happen if cats are unable to process protein normally. To say that it would be unfortunate probably goes without saying.

Protein deficiency is unfortunate, to say the least, and there are a number of problems it can start as well. For instance, it's been said that the eyesight of cats can be negatively affected by a lack of protein, even to the point of blindness. What about tooth decay, which only hampers the issues related to protein with cats? Pet owners must figure out solutions to this matter and I believe that there are quite a few worth looking into.

If you want to know about the ways in which Assisi can prove to be of help, it's important to look at the medical side of the situation. Veterinarians have been exposed to the issue of protein metabolism, and how many cats cannot go about it well. As a result, they can either tell you about different solutions or prescribe medication. When it comes to the aforementioned solutions, the increase of high-quality protein sources may be focused on. Take your vet's advice; your cat's health will be better for it.

There's no denying the fact that protein is a nutrient that every cat needs. It's one that can come in many forms, be it standard cat food or meat itself. However, it's not enough for the products themselves to be consumed, as nutrients have to process in the body. Cats go about this at different paces, which means that specific diets may be required for them. For this reason, you - as well as your cat - will be best served if your consult your vet.

Affectionate Houdini - The SIBERIAN HUSKY

Siberian Huskies were originally a working dog, bread to withstand very cold (-50 degrees F) temperatures and to pull sleds. They were also bred to find their own food and to have very low food requirements. Also, the dog was developed as a pack animal - the pack primarily being the other dogs in the dog sled team. Consider carefully your selection of a Siberian Husky. This bred is not recommended for a new dog owner or even an experienced dog owner that does not have the time or will not take the effort to train the dog. Best training efforts are to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day, every day to train the dog. The Siberian Husky is independent and intelligent and expects to have a pack leader. As the owner you must be the pack leader, however, that leadership cannot involve corporal punishment of the dog. 

They will respond much better to a consistent and controlled environment. The breed is very affectionate with pack members, does well around children and other pets. They even enjoy strangers - so they do not make a great watch dog.

A "sable"-coloured Siberian Husky.
A "sable"-coloured Siberian Husky.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another consideration for the Siberian Husky is that they are escape artists. Typically, a fence at least 6 feet tall and buried a couple feet in the ground are needed. They have been known to clear fences as tall as 8 feet. This is remarkable, as the dog is typically about 20 to 24 inches tall and weighs about 40 to 60 pounds. Siberians Huskies are capable of breaking tie out chains, chewing through collars and leads, and jumping over or digging under fences. Electronic dog collar systems do not work due to the thickness of the fur (more on that later). The breed can be destructive to flower beds and yards, so they should have a designated digging spot, as they will dig, it is just a matter of where.

The coat of a Siberian Husky is a double coat and very thick and requires weekly brushing. In warm climates, the dog will shed heavily for about 3 weeks a couple times a year. This is referred to as "blowing the coat". This is very descriptive of what happens and the fur will come off in hands full. Brushing is required during this time of the year, as well as weekly throughout the year. Grooming requirements for this breed are very high and require a time investment on a regular basis. The thick fur will insulate the dog from hot temperature as well as cold, but the Siberian Husky is more comfortable in a colder climate. They also shed less in cooler climates. Toenails should be trimmed frequently, at least monthly. The good news is that the breed does not emit the "dog smell" we detect in other breeds.

A healthy dog, the Siberian Husky, will live for about 12 to 15 years. There are very few health problems with the breed. They are a high energy dog and do not adapt well to apartment living. The bred does not bark, but it does howl, much to the dismay of owners and neighbors! Care should be taken to socialize the dog to other pets and children. While the Siberian Husky is affectionate and not typically aggressive, they can try to establish pack dominance over other animals and children. They also have a high prey drive and wanderlust potential. Remember they were bred to find their own food and they are great escape artists! They will try to get out of any enclosure just to see what is on the other side and run if given the chance.

    By Doug Fabick

    The Siberian Husky can be a great pet for the right owner. This would be someone that has time to establish a pack leadership role, has time to exercise the dog, and has time to groom the animal on a regular basis. Grooming supplies can be obtained at If the owner can consistently provide leadership and grooming, this dog makes a great pet, especially in cooler climates.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Thursday, April 28, 2016

EGYPTIAN MAU - Cats of the World

Egyptian Mau - Cats of the World

ARTHRITIS IN DOGS – What You Can Do To Help Your Dog

Canine Arthritis is a common ailment as dog’s age. It is similar to humans as calcification and inflammation cause joint pain and reduced activity. Some forms of arthritis like Canine Hip Dysplasia can develop early in life due to genetics and diet.  Fortunately, arthritis in dogs can be treated.

English: Bilateral hip dysplasia in a Labrador...
Bilateral hip dysplasia in a Labrador Retriever puppy. The left hip (positioned on the right side in the X-ray) is worse than the right hip, with only slight coverage of the head of the femur by the acetabulum.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Treatments for canine arthritis range from natural supplements using chondroitin and glucosamine, to veterinary prescribed drugs such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Studies and actual results have shown that natural supplements can be extremely effective in fighting the effects of arthritis in dogs without the potentially dangerous side effects of Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Before deciding which treatment option is best for your dog, you should observe the signs of dog arthritis.

Signs of Dog Arthritis

1.  Limping and general reduced activity.

2.  Favoring one or both of the front or back limbs.

3.  Morning activity or cold weather makes the dog less active.

4.  Difficulty rising from a resting position, especially in the morning.

5.  Pain to the touch.

6.  Reluctance to jump.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, you should know the different forms or types of arthritis. The most common disorders are listed below.

Types of Dog Arthritis

1.  Osteoarthritis – Also known as canine arthritis or dog arthritis, it          is the most common form of arthritis and most easily treated.  Develops slowly as the dog ages.

2.  Rheumatoid Arthritis - This is an immune mediated disease and can affect the whole body. Several joints can be affected and the      lameness can come and go without notice. Considered a more serious condition than dog osteoarthritis.

3.  Degenerative Disc Disease - This is where the discs in the      vertebrae develop calcification and become rigid. They become less able to withstand compression. This can lead to a severe injury and paralysis if the discs rupture or become herniated.

4.  Stifle Joint Disorder - This is a condition in which the knee and joint      becomes unstable. This is usually from a stretched or torn ligament. This can also cause the joint cartilage to become damaged and inflamed.

5.  Canine Hip Dysplasia - This is caused by looseness in the socket      connecting the thighbone and hipbone. This development usually      occurs when the dog is young but can develop at any age.  A      common sign is to hear a clicking sound when the dog walks.

Treatment Options

1.  Natural Supplements – Most natural supplements use chondroitin       and/or glucosamine as its primary ingredient.  All of the       glucosamine forms originate and are extracted from shellfish.         Chrondroitin is derived from animal cartilage.  Many products like       Free and Easy for Dogs use glucosamine and chondroitin and       combine additional supplements to provide a synergistic effect.         Besides glucosamine and chondroitin, some of the more popular and effective supplements added are       msm, ester-c, and hyaluronic acid.  Many studies have been done       which have proved the effectiveness of these supplements in       humans.  Dog owners have also reported many positive outcomes for       their dogs using these natural supplements.

2.  Rimadyl & Deramaxx - These drugs are obtained by prescription      only. They are called NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).      Rimadyl was introduced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in January      1997 to help treat dogs with inflammation and pain associated with      surgery or canine arthritis. It is effective but it must be used with      caution. Search Google for  "What Your Vet May Not Tell You About Rimadyl" for more detailed information.      At a minimum, you need to have blood work done to monitor the liver enzymes to      ensure your dog doesn't have a toxic reaction to the drugs.

3.  Surgery - Surgery can be an easy decision or a very difficult      decision. Often, money is a concern and some surgeries like disc      surgery can cost around $3,500. Often, the age of the dog has to      be considered when making this decision. And the outlook and      prognosis is very important.  You do not want the dog to suffer      unnecessarily. At the very least, you should only consider surgery      after ensuring an accurate diagnosis has been made.  This may      involve taking x-rays and a myelogram. A myelogram is done by      injecting dye in the spinal canal to enable your doctor to detect      abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord, or surrounding structures.

Summary - Dog Arthritis can be a very debilitating disease if left untreated. Dog owners should pay close attention to their animals and take prompt action when symptoms are noticed. Often a natural supplement is all that is needed to help your dog.  Sometimes more aggressive treatments are needed such as surgery.  The most important thing is to notice and diagnose the problem and then decide what treatment is best for your dog.

Copyright 2006 William Smith