Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CAT CONSTIPATION

A basic litter box and a bag of litter
A basic litter box and a bag of litter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Normally a cat has bowel movements once or twice a day. If the pet does not do it or strain to do it with hard feces, the cat is suffering from Constipation. It is a very common problem with cats and an occasional bout of Constipation is nothing to worry about.

But when a cat is chronically constipated it needs serious attention. As the cat's age, they are more prone to this problem. There are quite a few causes of Cat Constipation. Obstructions like hairballs, tumors and foreign bodies stop the movement of the feces inside the colon, and the fecal matter builds up. This becomes a hard dry mass and distends the colon, which loses its ability to contract and expel feces. This condition is known as megacolon.

When the cats are constipated they behave in a typical manner. They run to their litter box quite often and strain to pass stool. They make noise and start licking the anal area. They lose their appetite and become sluggish. Vomiting and passing a small number of liquid feces is quite common.

If the Constipation is not very severe, an enema will clear the colon. Hard impacted feces may have to be physically removed in a veterinary clinic under anesthesia. The intravenous liquid is also given to prevent dehydration.

After the bout of Constipation is cleared, the underlying problem, like an obstruction in the colon, has to be tackled. For the cats suffering from megacolon or an untreatable or unknown problem, a management regime has to be adopted. A high-fiber diet increases the bulk and assists in bowel movement. Increase the liquid consumption of the cat by feeding canned cat food rather than dry. Milk and soup can also be tried. We have to try and get the cat to consume liquid by a means that the cat likes.

If the megacolon is advanced, no amount of management can make it propel the stool to the exit. The only alternative is surgery. The colon is removed, and most surgeries are successful.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

How to Start Training a Dog for Agility

An Irish Terrier in an agility competition.
An Irish Terrier in an agility competition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a rule, agility training should start while the pet is still a puppy. However, owners could still facilitate training with older dogs. The question "when is the dog considered old for agility training" is central to choosing when to start training the dog. 

Being "old" greatly varies from dog to dog, from the extent of a dog's experience to the innate and natural tendencies it has. In short, there is no specific age at which the dog should be restrained from training.

However, it is always far easier to start training with much younger dogs since their learned behaviors are still not rooted in their habits. 

For choosing old dogs for training, the handler should not create the impression that the dog would no longer learn so there's no need to waste time. The attitude of the dog as much as that of the trainer is both highly essential to faster learning. The more dedicated and patient the owner is the faster the dog learns. 

There are several approaches to starting training for agility. A few of which are discussed here briefly:

Physical exercise

The introduction to agility training should start with physical exercises. If the handler has enough interest to dedicate to training the dog, the age will no longer matter for it is the condition that will rule over. Simple exercises like jumping or hopping may agitate the dog and encourage him to move a little bit. For puppies, these exercises are much easier to do since they have enough energy to use. 

Let him play around

Like teaching little children, the easiest approach to agility training for younger puppies is to turn the exercises into a series of games. The majority of puppies are capable of passing through tunnels and chutes so take advantage of this chance and introduce the tunnels, obstacles and the training area itself as a huge playground.

This approach will create positive impressions on him which will also prepare him for future training. 

Promote his agility

If you don’t have a sufficient area for setting up obstacle courses, it is best to use certain games that also encourage agility. Simple equipment like improvised tunnels or walls could be made to augment training. 

Keep it short

Dogs don’t experience passion when it comes to activities but they have the innate desire to please their owners. This means that they don’t get devoted unless they are rewarded for good actions they have made and that you show your favor for their actions. Their attention span is also very limited so they could not continue training for extended hours.



If you want to start training your dog for agility, establish the rule that you should keep each training session and each lesson as short as possible. You don’t have to finish everything in one sitting. You should divide each exercise into sections that the dog could easily understand. Also never end on a negative note. Always ensure that the dog finishes each exercise with praise.  

Training your dog for agility does not lie on how old or young he is, it lies in the foundation of responsiveness, independence, drive to work alone and to follow the command, and your desire to work with him with enough patience and knowledge of his capacities. 



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Providing Quality Food for your FRENCH BULLDOG

A French Bulldog with a litter of puppies.
A French Bulldog with a litter of puppies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is nothing quite like having a dog at your home. But sometimes, a dog can be a bit of a nuisance too. So if you’re not ready to have a dog just yet, then put your plans off owning one off first. Some people would rather not have a dog just yet even though they are ready for it because they don’t have enough space to spare, but with French bulldogs, with their small stature, even a small home or condo would be sufficient for them.

But aside from providing them with enough space, another consideration and responsibility of owning a dog are providing them with ample nutrients through the food they eat. Like babies, homegrown dogs need to be provided with their food, they tend to lose their hunting instincts and needs to be taken care of. So if you want a healthy dog that would be able to live a long and quality filled life, make sure that you will be able to provide it with top quality food. And remember, quality food doesn’t always mean its expensive, you can be able to provide good food for your French bulldog without having to break your piggy bank.

For French bulldog puppies, it is always best to provide them with dry dog food. They don’t only dispel the nutrients better, but they are also good for the developing teeth of your puppy. And like humans, French bulldog puppies can be picky at times, so it’s also a matter of trial and error which would be able to help you find which dog food your Frenchie will actually eat. No matter how nutritious the dog food is, if your dog won’t eat it, then it’s useless.

When you are picking out dog food, read first the labels, there should not be excessive fillers. The ingredients should always contain protein as French bulldogs have muscular bodies that need protein to maintain its healthy body. If you’re able to, try to mix in your dog’s diet some homemade food, this will ensure that there are no chemicals are included in their dinner. A raw diet containing vegetables would also be good for them. This will help prevent the many different health conditions that plague this particular breed.



If you can afford it, try to get the premium brands of dog food. There are fewer fillers in them, but, if you want to save some money, find a dog food that you can afford and compare their labels. See if there is not much of a difference. And when transferring one dog food to another, make sure that you do it gradually. Try to mix in the new with the old bit by bit. This will help your dog to get accustomed to the new taste.

You can try to ask your breeder as well to help you out mixing homemade dog food. They have the proper knowledge in mixing dog food as this is more cost-effective than purchasing canned dog food, and healthier too.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Disorders your DOG May Inherit

English: Bitsy - A blue basset hound
Bitsy - A blue basset hound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A vital part of good prevention is to know the common types of illnesses and disorders associated with particular dog breeds. For dogs, the parts of their body that are most frequently affected by congenital problems are the central nervous system, the eyes, the muscles, and the bones. For instance, the Beagle, Collie, miniature Poodle, German Shepherd, and Keeshond are more likely to inherit epilepsy.

Different types of nervous system disorders are often passed on within certain breeds. Examples are paralysis of the front and back legs, which is common in the Irish Setter, a failure of muscle coordination common in Fox Terrier, and abnormal swelling of the brain is common in the Chihuahua, English Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel.

A great number of common breeds suffer from congenital eye abnormalities including glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness.

Breeds such as Basenji, Basset Hound, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, and Cairn Terrier have a high risk for inguinal hernias (gut protrudes into the groin). Umbilical hernias (gut protrudes through the navel) are inherited defects in breeds like Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Basenji, Collie, Weimaraner, Airedale Terrier, and Pointer.

In order to keep health problems in your dog from getting serious, you need to detect them early. Therefore, it is necessary to give your dog a basic check-up about once a week. This check-up takes no more than a few minutes, and it can help prevent problems as well as expenses down the road.
Start with a body rub. This makes your pet comfortable. While giving him his rub, check for any signs of flaking or scabs which can be a sign of parasites, a skin disorder, or allergies.

Also, check for any lumps and bumps. Although they are a normal part of aging in dogs, they can also be a symptom that there is something wrong. Check for any swelling that could indicate parasites, heart trouble, or cancer.

His breathing should be smooth and quiet unless he is panting. If his breathing is raspy or rattling, he could have a respiratory problem.

Your dog's heartbeat should be regular and strong. To check for his pulse, place your hand against his chest by his left elbow. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply it by four. The rate should range between 60 and 160.

Lastly, examine his ears, eyes, and mouth and check for any signs of abnormalities




Thursday, May 17, 2018

3 easy to teach DOG TRICKS

Best Trick contest
Photo  by wantmorepuppies 
To teach your dog tricks even easy ones you need to have some small reward treats, be in a quiet suitable place and keep the training sessions to 10 - 15 minutes or your dog will start to get bored, remember when he gets something right lots of praise and a reward treat, just be careful not to get him overexcited or he will lose concentration.

Getting your dog to give you his paw, first get your dog to sit, then as you say the word 'paw' take your dogs paw in your hand, give the dog a treat, repeat this, after a few times do not take his paw so quickly, say the word, count to one then take it, you should notice he is bringing his paw up as you say the word if he does not go back to saying it at the same time, do it a few more times then slow your response again. After 2 or 3 sessions most dogs pick this one up quite happily.

The high five, like a lot of tricks the high five, is a progression of an earlier trick, in this cast the paw trick. Hold a treat in your fingers and raise your hand slightly higher than you would for the paw trick. Your dog will think you want to do the paw trick and will reach for the treat with his paw as we taught him earlier, as he reaches up you say “high five” and give him the treat. Once your dog has mastered the paw trick this one should be very easy to learn and with just a few sessions he will be doing it on hand signal rather than voice control.

Getting your dog to jump through a hoop before you start this one I would just like to ask you to be a little sensible and not hold the hoop too high as you do not want your dog to heart himself while doing the trick. Sit your dog on one side of a hoola hoop, get the dogs attention on your hand on the other side of the hoop take a treat in your hand and give the dog the command to release him from the sit, at first he may attempt to go around or under the hoop, if this happens to start again, your dog wants the treat and will soon learn that going around or under does not get it so he will soon start going through it, when he does say hoopla and give him the treat. 

He will soon be jumping through the hoop on the command of hoopla. When I started doing this trick I had a medium sized dog (a Labrador) so I started with the hoop 6 inches from the ground and slowly raised it to waist height, if you have a smaller dog you might want to start with the hoop touching the ground so the dog just goes through the hoop and then slowly raise it as he gets used to the trick.