Exercise for Dogs

by David the Dogman

Most veterinarians will caution pet owners not to exercise a dog right after feeding him. This is certainly true of strenuous exercise, which can make a dog throw up and can lead to gastric torsion. A recent study by the Divisions of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University proved that exercise after eating seems to burn up more calories by raising the body's rate of metabolism.

After eating, many dogs will lie down to digest their food. While sleeping a pet will burn up a few calories in just keeping his heart and lungs going. This sluggish behaviour can only encourage the animal to put on weight and to put on fat. It now makes sense to take your dog for a walk not more than a half-hour after his big meal of the day. This very gentle exercise will also stimulate his digestion. Then after a few hours have gone by, you can put him through a more demanding regimen of activity.

For smaller breeds, simply taking a dog outdoors to relieve himself constitutes a certain amount of exercise. Exercise assists but does not cause defecation and a dog does not need exercise to loosen his bowels unless he is ill.


The cheetah is the fastest land animal known and has been clocked in short bursts up to sixty miles an hour. Dogs in the wild do a lot of running but mostly when they are hunting or chasing prey. Taking a dog on a daily run is not necessarily in its best interest. Dogs should never be run on hard surfaces like pavements or paved roads but on earth. If you insist on having your dog jog then make certain that the pace is a fast walk or trot rather than a run, of course this should never be allowed in hot weather. Always check the dog's feet after a run for cuts and rawness.


A dog can sweat through his feet pads, and tongue. He does not have the heat releasing mechanisms of many other animals. Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke and other related problems. Dogs that were bred for cold climates such as Huskies, Akita's have been transplanted by people to warm climates this is not natural and one can expect behavioural and health problems.

Dogs react to heat by panting or digging holes in the earth under shady trees or bushes. Locking dogs in closed cars can be because a car heats up and so do dogs. Exercise raises your dog's metabolism and boosts his temperature, which in turn can turn to heatstroke. For obese dogs the problem is worse. Never exercise a dog in the heat of the day and keep his weight under control. It also a good idea to give your dog his water dish to enable him to drink before a walk.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

Exercise for Dogs
by David the Dogman

David is a Canine Behaviourist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345) 2883388. His web site is located at: www.thedogman.net. David has his own radio and TV shows, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. David has been working with dogs for many years and started his career in Israel, working on the Border Police. He has been involved in all forms of training, including air sea rescue, air scent work, and has trained dogs for finding drugs. David has devoted the past 10 years to studying behaviour and the very passive approach. He does not use choke chains, check chains, or any form of aggression.

Basic First Aid

by David the Dogman

As an ardent reader of the Collins Dog Photoguide I came across this article, which I feel, might be of interest to readers.

Traffic Accidents
A traffic accident is probably the most common cause of serious injury to a cat or dog. Always approach the animal with caution, it may react aggressively because of the pain.

Move the dog as little as possible, but if you must move it, it is probably best to use a blanket, sliding it underneath the dog. Seek the assistance of another person and lift the dog gently to safety. Check for heartbeat and any haemorrhaging. Attempt to stem excessive bleeding by holding a clean pad or clean handkerchief over the wound, binding it tightly with a makeshift bandage. Call the nearest vet's surgery to warn of your arrival.

The only recommended first aid is to clean off the offending substance and immerse the body part under cold running water for as long as possible. Seek professional advice immediately.

Heat Stroke
This occurs most commonly when a dog has been left alone on a hot day without ventilation. If your dog has not already collapsed it may be panting, vomiting or frothing at the mouth.

Remove froth and lower the dog's temperature as soon as possible by placing or dousing the animal in cold water. Take the dog to the vet immediately where it will be treated with drugs and more cold water.

Signs of poisoning may include collapse, muscular twitching, vomiting, bleeding or convulsion. Do not hesitate to contact the vet. Take some of the noxious substance to the vet with you if you know what it is. If the dog has recently swallowed the poison, try to make it vomit. Salt and mustard in water will usually work quickly, or a small piece of washing soda (sodium carbonate0 pushed down the throat.

It is a popular misconception that all dogs can swim, but this is not always the case. You must attempt to empty the dog's lungs of water as soon as possible. Place the dog's head lower than its body, open its mouth and begin to pump the chest by pressing down on the ribs and releasing the pressure immediately. Repeat at five-second intervals.

Sometimes a piece of stick, bone or small rubber ball may get stuck in a dog's throat. Your dog may be unable to breath as a result and swift action is necessary.

Open the dog's mouth carefully and see if you can see the object. Pumping the chest, as in the case of drowning (see above) may dislodge the foreign body, get your dog to the vet as soon as possible where the object can be removed under anaesthetic.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

Chillin' Out: Keeping Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather

by Andi Wize

Sunny summer days seem to incite all sorts of fun activities with your dog: from playing fetch in the park to frisbee on the beach. Unfortunately, as temperatures soar, the hot weather also brings with it some very specific hazards such as sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Good news, these threats to your pooch are preventable.

Protecting Your Dog from Sunburn

Just like humans, dogs can be burned by the sun, especially the nose, tips of the ears and around the lip area. Commonsense dictates that you keep your dog in the shade during the hours when the sun's rays are most intense - usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. However, if you need to be outside during these times, it's okay to apply sun-block to your dog's nose and the exposed skin on the ears. It's a little risky to apply sun-block around the lips so instead just keep a close watch and make sure that the area doesn't get too pink. If you notice that any portion of your dog's skin is reddened or blistered, contact your veterinarian right away.

Protecting Your Dog from Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke

Leaving a dog in a parked car during summer weather is the leading cause of heat stroke. Dogs can also suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke if they exercise too heavily on a hot, humid day or, if they live outdoors and don't have shelter from the sun. Dogs are also susceptible if they are overweight or suffer from lung or heart ailments. Older dogs are less tolerant of heat and may succumb to heat strokes more readily than younger dogs.

A few simple actions on your part can help protect your dog from heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

Don't take your dog with you on errands if you need to leave her in the car. However, if you're traveling with your dog and must make a stop, even for the shortest period of time, consider leaving the air conditioner on.

If you're accustomed to taking your dog with you when power-walking, jogging or cycling, don't push her on exceptionally hot days. If she falls behind, let her take a break.

For dogs who live outside, make sure to provide "all-day shade" such as a ventilated doghouse, large beach umbrella or overhang that will remain shaded even when the sun shifts throughout the day.

Keep older dogs and those with lung or heart conditions inside your home on hot days. If you don't have air conditioning, keep a fan running.

Avoid any situations that force your dog to stand on sun-baked surfaces such as cement sidewalks, a truck bed or beach sand. The extreme heat can cause blisters on her pads. If you simply must walk your dog in the heat of the day, tread on grassy areas as much as possible.

Water, Water, Water!

And last but not least...like you, your dog needs to hydrate frequently so be sure to provide unlimited access to cool, clean refreshing drinking water.

Chillin' Out: Keeping Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather
by Andi Wize

Article by Dog-and-Cat-Training.com Visit www.dog-and-cat-training.com/dog-training/ for more dog training articles, over 100 dog and cat tips, and more!

Jumping Up 2

by David the Dogman

Teach your dog to sit whenever you ask him to. Sit at the kerb when you cross the road. Sit in front of you. Then when he runs at you, or anyone else, if told sit he will sit.

BUT it has to be practised, and used constantly, not just now and then.

When he sits as you have asked reward him with a titbit...a very tiny one.

Sit while his food is being prepared.

Lying down is another skill that is useful. Lie down, I am busy. Lie down, I want to watch TV. Lie down, while we eat.

If you say DOWN when he jumps up, the word does not mean lie down on the ground and keep still...it means stand on four legs and don't jump up. So you need to use another word, like LIE, or FLAT, for him...

Also QUIET is often the noisiest word in the English language for dog owners ...and all it does is make him think you are helping him bark. So WHISPER "quiet."

When he is excited and jumps at you, turn round and walk away. Pretend you cant see him. Don't speak or shout at him as that is still acknowledging him and he wants your attention. Only speak when he has settled down...it will take time at first but he ought to learn that jumping up is useless as nothing nice happens when he does it...or nasty for that matter. Nothing at all happens.

If he asks to be petted, DON'T. Keep your hands away. Don't sit and stroke him absent mindedly as that gives him too much attention and makes him feel much more important than you are. When he goes away from you, then you can call him and YOU pet him, not because he has forced you to, but because you want to. I have petting times...when I call my dog and make a fuss of her...not too much or she will over excite.

If he asks to play, don't play. Ignore him. Then a few minutes later, IF it is convenient, you call him and start to play.

Pack leaders eat first, and you are the pack leader...he isn't...so he has to learn that...but just eating before him will show him you are boss.

Pack leaders go through doors first...so he must not rush through in front of you.

His change of diet ought to help, but it wont happen overnight...it will take about six weeks, as he will still have the elements of the old food in his system. Many foods on the market have the same effect as those that excite hyperactive children. I had help with this from someone who works with them in the NHS. One Smartie can cause a problem if red is what triggers a child. The same with the dogs. Can be colouring, preservatives or content.

(By the way, red dyes in carpets can cause skin problems.)

If you have been shouting at him, and most people do...dogs can be very annoying...then stop, and WHISPER to him. Their hearing is fifty times more acute than ours...they can hear a beetle walk across the floor.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

Jumping Up

Recently a man wrote to me about his dog jumping up and I produce part of the letter and my reply:

"I have been doing the off command as a dog trainer told me since he was small and kneed him in the chest all to no avail. I have put him on his leash with choke collar and he is still tugging away. I use the sit command and eventually he calms down enough but that initial greeting is a horror story every time. It has become very frustrating and obviously not pleasant for others. I'll just keep trying."

Give up it will not work. The knee in the chest is so outdated and in my opinion bad advice to ask any pet owner to knee his dog. Pet owners have enough emotional problems and like you give up.

If a dog is jumping up,most pet dog owners will have all hell trying to get a dog to sit. Lets get it right, sorry for being blunt but I shoot from the hip! Most people have never bothered to attend a training school, read a book and now expect to train a dog by letter, well I do not think it can be done.

Dogs react to a trigger like a doorbell for excitement, it is an arrival of another member of the pack, I must jump to show I am the host. With jumping dogs I like to consider removing excitable triggers. The front door bell rings, before opening the door I put away the dog. I am the host not the dog, this raises my status and reduces the dogs.

I bring my guests in. To me my dogs are not big, to me my dogs do not smell, to others they are big, they smell. I also advise my pet owners that what is acceptable to me is not always acceptable to my friends. It is a good idea to remove all excitability when entering your own home. Try walking in without looking, touching or talking for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes then talk and love you dog. This has removed the excitability trigger.

For dogs that jump up we have to think that a dog will do what is rewarding, if its good he does it, if it is not good he does not do it. Simple as that.

When a dog jumps up, do not be aggressive and knee, simply hold him up by his front paws and in a loving voice tell him you love him. He has jumped up so you react by holding him up. Do not let him down, keep him up as long as you can. By keeping him up, I mean stretching him up, and up and keep talking. He will then start to mouth your hands, then and only then drop him down. Do not place him, drop him.

When he is on all four legs which God gave him, love him to bits, cuddle and talk. Then encourage him to jump again, he might well try, as soon as he does grab the paws and repeat the whole exercise.

It is important to get the timing right, it is important that the whole family learn. Your dog will learn in a few minutes that to jump will make you react and he will not find this rewarding.

Its easy, simple and kind..

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

Jumping Up
by David the Dogman

David is a Canine Behaviourist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345) 2883388. His web site is located at: www.thedogman.net. David has his own radio and TV shows, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. David has been working with dogs for many years and started his career in Israel, working on the Border Police. He has been involved in all forms of training, including air sea rescue, air scent work, and has trained dogs for finding drugs. David has devoted the past 10 years to studying behaviour and the very passive approach. He does not use choke chains, check chains, or any form of aggression.

Jumping Up 2

Your Dog Can Speak!

by Gareth Heath

Although dog barking can be a serious problem for those owners who live in apartments, teaching your dog to bark on your command is one of the coolest tricks you can teach him. I like to call this "Bark On Command." Here's how you can teach your dog to bark on your command:

Wait for a door bell or anything that may cause your dog to bark. The moment he starts to bark, say: "Speak, Speak ... , Good Boy (or Girl of course) , Good speak..." Repeat this for a couple of days and keep in mind that you will get the best result if this can be practiced a few times per day. You can even stimulate your dog to bark; for example if you know that he barks when the doorbell rings, use that as a stimulator and get him to bark and immediately say your magic sentence: Speak , Speak, ... One thing to remember is whenever your are praising your dog using your voice, the more excitement in your voice the better the results. Try to use a high pitched tone of voice.

After practicing this for a few days, you can start ordering your dog to speak. Tell him to speak and then wait for him to speak. Sometimes it help if you go ahead and mimmic a dog bark yourself even if it may sound like a silly idea to you. You can also hold a cookie in your hand if you usually use a treat when teaching your dog new tricks. This will let your dog know that he is about to receive something good for doing what he's been asked for. This will allow him to be more relaxed and also help him to realize that this is just a playful, positive training session. Use of a treat is specially powerful if you have been punishing your dog before for barking.

After her very first bark on command reduce the frequency of your magic sentence when he barks on her own. But still ask him to bark a few times per day and praise him for that. Eventually you should not say anything or even go back to your "shushig" when he barks on his own. This way, he can distinguish between the two and will realize that even though he will be praised when he barks on your command, he might get punished for barking on his own or joy barking.

One more thing that can be useful here: if you're using a treat, try to give him the treat after asking him to do one more thing for you. For example, after you asked him to speak and he barked praise him with your voice, then ask him to sit and only then give him the treat. This way he won't get the idea that if he barks he will get a cookie, this is a very bad habit and unfortunately very common.

Another use of the "Speak" command is to see where you are standing in your dog's hierarchy of status, i.e. to figure out who is the alpha there, you or your dog. When you ask your dog to speak, if he just looks into your eyes and barks, it will probably means that he considers you as his equal or even worse, he thinks that he's the alpha dog and your leader; but if he is not comfortable looking into your eyes when he barks and looks in other directions, it means that he has a lot of respect for you as the leader of the pack and the alpha. congratulations!

Your Dog Can Speak!
by Gareth Heath

Gareth heath writes about humane, nonviolent approaches to dog training. You can read more about this or other subjects such as health and grooming, dealing with dog problems, and many more on his website at www.thehappydogsclub.com.

Dog Sports for every Breed

by Jack Russell

Engaging in sports is not only for humans. It is also well-loved by our best friend, the dog. Dog sports do not only make a dog's life fun, but healthy, as well. Here is a list of dog sports that you may want your dog to get involved into depending on his breed, of course.

This is when a dog moves through an obstacle course, i.e., contact obstacles, tunnels, jump, etc., as guided by his or her handler. What controls the dog is only its handler's voice and body language. Without a leash, obedience training is the major requirement for a dog to enjoy this sport. Speed and accuracy are the names of this game.

Large breeds usually participate in this dog sport. It mainly involves the dog pulling a cart filled with supplies like firewood or other farm goods, sometimes even pulling people. It is also known as dry land mushing and sulky driving and is well-known and practiced all over the world.

Frisbee Dog
Commonly known as disc dog, Frisbee dog competition is about a dog and a human disc thrower competing in events such as a choreographed freestyle catching and distance catching. The division of events on this kind of dog sport depends on the handler's skill and experience. What makes this one of the most popular dog sports is that any kind of dog can participate.

This dog sport is a relay wherein teams of dogs race against each other leaving their handlers. These teams need to surmount four hurdles that are placed 3 meters apart from each other. Then, they have to reach a box that will release a tennis ball that needs to be caught when the dog presses the pad which is spring-loaded. Then, they have to go back to their respective handlers while carrying the ball.

It is a sport where one or more dogs pull an unmotorized scooter in which a human is riding. It is similar to another dog sport done in the winter known as mushing, only dog scooter involves fewer dogs and instead of a dogsled used in mushing, a scooter is used. Like sled dogs, dogs that are doing scootering wear harnesses and are hooked to the scooter using a gangline.

Sheepdog Trial
Also known as "dog trial", this is one of the competitive dog sports in which breeds that are into herding move sheep around a field, gates, fences or enclosures as directed by their handlers. Think of "babe" the movie about a pig. This is more popular in UK, Canada, Ireland, the USA, New Zealand, Australia and other farming nations.

Dog Sports for every Breed
by Jack Russell

Jack Russell is a a long time dog fancier, visit his Dog Resources Blog and download his Free Dog Owners Handbook - it's Dog Gone Good! www.daveshealthbuzz.com/dogcare

Dog Hygiene Basics

by Eric Shannon

Giving your dog a bath is important, but not as critical as most people seem to believe. If your dog is healthy, he really doesn't need to be bathed more that once every few months, but most of us put them in the tub or under the hose more often to get rid of that doggie smell and look shinier. Although most dogs do not enjoy getting a bath, it is a good bonding experience. They will appreciate the contact and attention they get from their owner. This is also an excellent time to do some other required "maintenance" tasks that we often forget about, such as ear cleaning, brushing their teeth, and checking for fleas and ticks. It is much easier to do all these things at once since most dogs don't enjoy sitting through these activities for very long.

Let's go into further detail about these maintenance tasks to make sure your dog stays healthy and happy for a long time.

To clean your dog's ears, check your local pet store for special solutions designed specifically for this purpose. It is common for dogs to attract ear mites, which are small insects that live in the waxy secretions. As time goes by, the mite gets larger and you will start to notice a dirty black substance in your dog's ear. Take a q-tip, dip it in the ear cleaning solution, and gently swab the entire ear. Your dog might squirm, but hold him down, because it won't take long. And when you're done, he'll have clean ears and be much less likely to get earaches or infections.

One of the most overlooked maintenance tasks is brushing your dog's teeth. Many dog owners only do this once or twice per year. Can you imagine how gross your mouth would feel if you didn't brush for six months? Your dog feels the same way. It's never too late to start doing this. You will need a special toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. These are easily found in any pet store for under ten dollars. Be certain to brush the back teeth, and use small circular motions like your dentist used to tell you to do. This task will be easier than the ear cleaning, because the dog toothpaste is made to taste good. Your dog should enjoy the treat.

The last thing to check for is fleas and ticks. Ticks are nasty little bugs that dig themselves into your dog's skin and live by sucking their blood. Be especially careful if you live near wooded areas where ticks are most common. However, no matter where you live, check for ticks often, because they carry several harmful diseases. Ticks are the transport method of Lyme Disease, which will slowly destroy your dog's joints and suck out all his energy. Many dogs with Lyme Disease are in such pain that they need to be put down. So check often! Pay special attention to the most common hiding areas, which are under the collar or along the underbelly. If you find one, simply pull it off with tweezers.

Fleas aren't as potentially harmful as ticks, but they are much more of a nuisance. If you don't catch them quickly enough, your other pets can catch them, your kids can catch them, and you might have to get your home fumigated. You can find them under the fur, in the same places where ticks hang out. If you see little things that look like specks of pepper, those are flea droppings. The actual flea will be dark in color and about the size of a grain of rice. If you do find one, call your local vet's office and ask about flea treatments.

Dog Hygiene Basics
by Eric Shannon

Eric Shannon is a freelance author who also publishes the Dog Lovers Report, which is a biweekly newsletter with a very large readership. He also runs Beds For Doggies, which carries a large selection of Dog Beds, Dog Couches, and Dog Furniture.

Grooming Man's Best Friend

by David Riewe

Proper grooming for your dog does not only have aesthetic purposes but also adds to your pet's holistic growth - physical and psychological. Since dog hair can interlace due to dirt and grime in the coat forming mats and tangles, they would need to be groomed to keep proper hygiene. Plus grooming generates more bonding time with your pet, creating a stronger relationship.

It is best to train your dog to be groomed at an early age. But, an untrained dog can still be taught to accept all the attention. Train your pet to get used to his body parts being handled and brushed. You need not go to a professional groomer, but if you don't have the time or the interest to groom your dog, be sure to select a groomer that handles the animals gently.

Things to Remember in Grooming your Dog

Make a daily examination of your pet's body parts. Look out for bumps, hot spots, inflammation, irritation, vegetative matter, and parasites like fleas and ticks in his coat. Get rid of fleas by using a fine-toothed comb while ticks can be tweezed off. Ears should be checked - droop ears are inclined to infection which can lead to permanent hearing loss. Examine your companion's pads - dirt, grime, pebbles, chemicals can get caught that can infect his paws.

Brushing doesn't only remove mats, it also takes away dead hair, thus eliminating animal odor. Tangles can also be very painful for your dog that may lead to skin inflammation. Grooming during shedding encourages growth of new coat, so brush especially after physical exercise. Nails should be trimmed every month, especially if your dog has a hard time walking. Dental hygiene is maintained by using dog toothpaste and toothbrush with soft bristles twice a week. A damp cotton cloth is used to remove mucus from your dog's eyes. While a coarse rug is appropriate in cleaning your pet's face.

When bathing your pet, make sure that you brush away dead hairs first to clear all the mats in his coat. Soak your pet in warm water. Apply a pet shampoo in small amounts. Target areas are the eyes, ears, rectum, toes and under the chin. Avoid getting soap water into his eyes and ears. You also have an option to apply coat conditioner after bathing. Different breeds require varying bath frequency; consult the local pet grooming shop if you're not sure how many times you should bath your dog.

It is recommended that a dog owner has his own home grooming kit. It includes a grooming brush, clippers for dog toenails, combs with varying teeth (fine, medium coarse), dog shampoo, coat conditioner, and a coarse rug.

Grooming Man's Best Friend
by David Riewe

David Riewe is a long time dog fancier, visit his Dog Resources Blog and download his Free Dog Owners Handbook - it's Dog Gone Good! www.daveshealthbuzz.com/dogcare

Dog Grooming - Maintaining a Posh Pup

by Paolo Basauri

Dog Grooming - It's Not Just for Poodles Anymore

Dog grooming is not simply an aesthetic bonus for our canine friends. Maintaining a regular grooming schedule will help to keep your dog both happy and healthy. Routine dog grooming will ensure that your dog is free of parasites, has healthy skin and a shiny coat, and has good dental health. Of course, the aesthetic benefits are also a plus. Only a true dog lover wants to be around a dirty, stinky dog with bad breath. Proper dog grooming will bring out the best in man's best friend.

What's Involved in Dog Grooming?

While dog grooming can be performed at home, the best results can be achieved via a professional dog groomer. A thorough dog grooming session takes care of all the hygienic needs of your dog. The grooming process generally takes a hour or two to accomplish, but the results are well worth the time spent. A typical dog grooming session consists of the following treatments for your dog:

- A thorough bath including flea dip (if applicable)
- A complete coat brushing to eliminate tangles and matted hair
- Styling as requested (can include accessories such as bows, rhinestones and bandannas)
- Nail trimming
- Ear cleaning and examination for parasites
- Teeth cleaning

How Often Should Dog Grooming Take Place?

The frequency with which your should groom your dog is dependent on the breed and coat quality of your dog. Some breeds are considered high maintenance in terms of dog grooming, while others need only periodic care. Before you purchase or adopt a dog, it's a good idea to find out how much grooming it will require. A basic guide to dog grooming by coat type is as follows:

- Curly-Coated - Dogs such as Poodles have a dense and curly coat that is fairly resistant to water. These dogs will require dog grooming at least once every two months, or six times a year. - Short-Coated - Dogs with short dense coats, such as Corgis and Boxers need a weekly brushing, but do not need to be bathed more than once or twice a year unless a problem arises.
Long-Coated - Long coated dogs, such as Collies and Sheepdogs, require a daily brushing to keep their coats in good condition. Additional dog grooming including regular bathing, should be administered once every other month.
- Silky-Coated - Afghans, Cocker Spaniels and Pekingese dogs belong to the silky coated dog group. These dogs require daily brushing and a thorough dog grooming session four times a year.
- Wire-Coated - Wire coated dogs require considerable dog grooming. Dogs such as Terriers and Schnauzers should be bathed every three months and have their coat clipped every six to eight weeks.
- Smooth-Coated - The smooth-coated class of dogs includes Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers and Dachshunds. These are very low maintenance dogs and require only weekly brushing and bathing as necessary.

Whatever type of dog you own, it's important to see that proper grooming is maintained for the health and happiness of your canine companion.

Dog Grooming - Maintaining a Posh Pup
by Paolo Basauri

Paolo Parodi is an expert author who writes for Dog Grooming.

Veggies For Your Pets?

by Sylvia Riley

Vegetables in your dog's diet, and minor amounts in your cat's diet, can enhance their health and provide a rich and diverse supply of nutrients, enzymes, healthy fibre and antioxidants. In the wild, dogs and cats would have acquired plant foods through the semi-digested remnants in the stomachs of their prey; vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Canines possess a greater ability to break down plant matter and synthesize relevant nutrients therein. Because of this, although classified as carnivores, they are in fact omnivorous and are not solely reliant on animal meat for sustenance. Wolves can be observed eating fallen fruit and berries, and first consume the stomach and intestines of their prey where plant foods can be found.

Felines on the other hand are obligate carnivores and are unable to manufacture essential nutrients from plant matter. These include the amino acids taurine and arginine, and the fatty acid arachidonic acid. Unlike omnivores cats also cannot convert vitamin A from beta-carotene in plants and need animal-derived sources of vitamin A such as liver. Accept for smaller prey which cats eat whole, in the wild the stomach and intestines tend to be avoided, yet organs such as heart, liver and lungs are enjoyed.

Cats require a lot more protein in their diet than dogs and are in no way adapted to digesting carbohydrates. In the wild vegetable matter in their diet is minimal and in a semi-digested state in the guts of their prey. Cats can rely pretty much entirely on protein and fat for energy conversion, both being converted into glucose by the liver, and other essential nutrients can be gained through meat, soft tissue and bones.

Thankfully pet owners are beginning to move away from toxic, poor grade and species-inappropriate commercial pet food. Natural, holistic, homemade and raw diets are being favored, which can include healthy plant-based ingredients (not grains however, which are used as cheap fillers in commercial products and ill-suited the physiology of cats and dogs). The beauty with homemade meals is that you can ensure fresh quality ingredients and easily incorporate vegetables and fruit.

Where dogs can eat around 30% plant foods in their daily diet, cats only require around 5-10%. With both, ensure veggies are blended well as they do not easily digest cellulose. This also makes it easy to mix the vegetables with the rest of the homemade meal. As cats only require a very small proportion of veggies in their meal, you can blend veggies and freeze the mix in an ice-cube tray, defrosting one cube a day for their meals.

Include a range of vegetables and always aim to include something green. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which is cleansing and detoxifying. Chlorophyll is a great liver ally, assisting in the removal of toxins and heavy metals from the body and also shows anti-carcinogenic potential. Human studies in China have found that chlorophyll may help delay the onset of symptoms of liver cancer caused by mycotoxic grains as are sometimes found in commercial pet foods.

You can use throw away vegetable parts such as outer leaves, ends and stems or left over cooked vegetables that you don't consume. Raw is always preferable however as nutrient and enzyme content is maximum.

You can supplement your dog or cat's diet with superfoods such as kelp or alfalfa (the latter more suited for dogs) and algae such as chlorella and spirulina. These are very alkalizing however and as dogs and cats in particular require an acidic diet, only very small amounts are advisable. Always research dosage amounts before giving any kind of supplements.

Vegetable Choices

You can experiment with most vegetables. Try any of the following: carrots, celery, chard, spinach, avocados, kale, squash, watercress, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, peas, green beans, cauliflower and asparagus.

Some below-ground vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes are included here. These are higher in sugar content however and as such should be used in smaller proportion to any above-ground vegetable choices. You can add some occasional fruit also such as blueberries, bananas, apples, papaya or pear.

As a note, raw onions are not friendly on your pet's digestive system and can be dangerous to their health so should be avoided. Garlic is also a health risk for cats, though minor amounts occasionally in your dog's diet may serve as a natural flea repellent, be sparing however as the sulphides in garlic can be detrimental to the blood cells of animals. I also avoid tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and potato.

Nuts and seeds can also be a valuable addition to your pet's diet, containing healthy oils (walnuts and flaxseeds are particularly high in omega-3 oils), as well as vitamin E and minerals such as selenium (a powerful antioxidant particularly high in Brazil nuts).

You can grind your nuts and seeds before adding to your pet's meal. Only small amounts are needed; for larger dogs aim for one nut or a few seeds a day, smaller dogs and cats every few days.

If you would like to change your pet's diet to a healthy, holistic, species-appropriate diet or are embarking on a natural homemade or raw food diet research the area first as nutritional balance is essential.

Veggies For Your Pets?
by Sylvia Riley

Natural Nutrition Guide for Dogs and Cats: www.pet-nutrition-guide.com. Miracle SuperFoods: www.miracle-superfoods.com.

Tips For Making Your Own Homemade Dog Meals and Treats

by Rose Smith

Dog meals and snacks don't have to hard to make or take a lot of time. Many snacks can be grabbed straight out of your refrigerator and are much healthier than baked goods.

However, there are a few things that I have noticed regarding many homemade dog food recipes that you should avoid doing.

1. Don't microwave your dog's food. Microwaving kills vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The radiation also alters the cell structure of the food. Scientific studies have shown that humans that eat microwaved foods have significant and disturbing changes in their blood cells. Microwaving has many serious side-effects, including altering the minerals in vegetables into cancerous free radicals. It's bad enough that we humans continue to use microwaves to cook our food... let's not subject our animals to it as well.

2. Many recipes that I've seen promote using beef/chicken bouillon cubes and/or canned beef/chicken broth. These products have very high and unhealthy sodium levels. Either use sodium reduced broths or better yet make your own.

3. Obviously, some sort of flour is needed to bind together baked dog biscuits. However, instead of using white flour, whole wheat flour and/or cornmeal in your recipes, substitute spelt flour instead. It's much more easily digestible for both humans and animals. Flour and cornmeal are hard for animals to digest and many are or can become allergic to these grains.

4. Don't feed your dog too many "baked" treats that contain flour and cornmeal. Opt for more natural, healthy, and uncooked treats (some recipes are listed below).

Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes

You can make up several days worth of dog food at one time or cook them up while you prepare your own supper. Here are a few recipes to try out:

***** Shepherd Pie *****

6 oz beef or chicken broth (low sodium or make your own) 1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey 1 cup mashed potatoes 1/2 cup mixed vegetables (no onions or mushrooms)

Mix broth, meat and vegetables together. Grease casserole dish and pat mixture into dish. Top with potatoes. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

***** Sometimes your dog may have a slightly upset stomach with possibly some diarrhea involved. The following recipe is a nice bland mixture that still tastes good and should help to solve your pup's tummy problems.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up (either raw or cooked) 1 cup cooked brown rice 1 cup cooked carrots 1 cup non or low-fat cottage cheese

Mix together and serve according to you're dog's size, weight and activity level. This recipe should be good for one large dog for 1 main meal or 2 smaller meals. If you desire, you can also add 1 tbsp of flax seed oil for added essential fatty acids.

***** Quick Dog Treats *****

Dogs, like humans, like to have their snacks. The following two snacks are healthy and quick to prepare:

***** Frosty Cube Treats *****

1 large container plain yogurt (make sure it contains live acidophilus cultures and no sugar or artificial sweeteners) 1 cup ground carrots OR ground apples OR lightly cooked ground liver

Mix together and fill ice-cube trays. Freeze. Pop one out for a treat when frozen.

***** Banana Mash *****

1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese 1 ripe banana, mashed 1 tbsp flax seed oil

Mix together and serve for a nice, quick, healthy snack.

Tips For Making Your Own Homemade Dog Meals and Treats
by Rose Smith

Rose Smith owns www.CaringForCanines.com Where dog owners can explore the benefits of holistic dog medicines and remedies. Find information on topics such as: dog nutrition, dog health problems, herbal &vitamin supplements, dog grooming, and more.

Dog Treat Ingredients to Avoid

by Todd Jones

There are many websites on the Internet that provide access to dog treat recipes. Many of these recipes are excellent resources for providing your dogs with healthy treats that are affordable and nutritious. As with any information that you find on the Internet, however, you should do quite a bit of your own research before using any of the dog treat recipes. This research should include ensuring that each of the ingredients is not harmful to your dog. This is necessary because many ingredients that we would not consider harmful could cause irreversible health problems and even fatalities in dogs.

Raisins are one example of an ingredient that should be avoided in dog treat recipes. Both grapes and raisins have been known to cause renal failure in dogs. Although one or two grapes may not be cause for concern, these products should be avoided in dog treat recipes and you should seek veterinary intervention if your dog ingests either grapes or raisins.

Onions are another such ingredient that should never be included in dog treat recipes. Many people make the mistake of thinking that onion is a great flavor for dog treats but ingesting onions even in small doses can make dogs susceptible to a certain type of anemia. Smaller dogs are especially prone to this anemia after ingesting onions.

Before following dog treat recipes, it is important to review the ingredients to ensure that each one is safe for consumption by dogs. It is important to note that seemingly harmless ingredients can be toxic when consumed by dogs.

Dog Treat Ingredients to Avoid
by Todd Jones

Todd runs a website where you can find all sorts of homemade dog treat recipes. Sign up for a free ecourse on the benefits of incorporating homemade dog treats into your dog's diet today at: www.homemade-dog-treat-recipes.com.

Can Chocolate Really Kill Your Dog

by Gregg Hall

Most of us love chocolate and love the taste, so do our dogs but the problem is that the same chocolate we love to indulge in is not good for our best friend. In this article we will explain why the consumption of chocolate is so detrimental for our dogs.

We have all heard this all of our lives but how big a threat is it really? Is it life threatening or will it just make him sick? How much chocolate does the animal have to eat for it to cause a negative reaction?

The ingredient in chocolate that makes it toxic to dogs is theobromine that is toxic to dogs in too much quantity. Theobromine is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline.

Thankfully, it takes a lot of chocolate to make a dog sick though the exact amount will differ according to the dog's individual sensitivity, its size, and the concentration of the chocolate consumed.

Different types of chocolate have varying amounts of theobromine with milk chocolate having about 44 mg of the substance per ounce, semisweet chocolate 150 mg, and Baker'S chocolate 390 mg per ounce making it the most dangerous to your pet.

With this in mind, here are some guidelines to consider:

1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate 1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate 1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker's chocolate.

So, for example, 2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems.

Because Xanthines affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves, consumption will result in visible effects on your dog. It has a diuretic effect as well. Some of the signs include hyper excitability, hyper irritability, increased heart rate, restlessness, increased urination, muscle tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea.

There is no specific antidote for this poisoning. Administering activated charcoal may inhibit absorption of the toxin. An anticonvulsant might be indicated if neurological signs are present and needs to be controlled. Oxygen therapy, intravenous medications, and fluids might be needed to protect the heart.

Milk chocolate will often cause diarrhea 12-24 hours after ingestion. This should be treated symptomatically (fluids, etc..) to prevent dehydration.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately! They can help you determine the the proper treatment for your pet.

Can Chocolate Really Kill Your Dog
by Gregg Hall

Gregg Hall is a business consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Get more info on chocolate for you at www.chocolates-plus.com.

Adding Essential Fatty Acids To Your Pet's Diet

by Rose Smith

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are a requirement in everyone's diet, for both human and animal. However, the body cannot produce EFAs on its own, so it must be added to the diet each day. The two most commonly known fatty acids are omega 3 (linoleic acid) and omega 6 (alpha-linoleic acid). The diets of our pets, like people, tend to include more omega 6 fatty acids rather than omega 3. This is an imbalance that needs to be improved upon.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential as they help with the proper formation of cell membranes, cardiovascular functions, nourish the lining of the digestive tract, and work to keep your pet's skin and coat smooth, soft and shiny. Another essential function of omega 3 fatty acids is that they work to reduce inflammatory problems in the body. If you find your pet's coat is dull and brittle or if he/she tends to have dry skin and scratch a lot, it may be due to a lack of this particular fatty acid.

There are different types of essential fatty acid supplements that are available, however which kind you choose to supplement your dog or cat's diet can be a bit of a dilemma.

Pure plant oils such as flax oil, evening primrose oil, safflower oil or a blend of plant oils is a good alternative to fish omega-3 fats. These should be "cold-pressed" oils, as opposed to oils that are typically extracted with chemical solvents. The problem with plant oils is that animals have a harder time converting the fatty acids to a form best used by the animal's system.

Fish oils, such as salmon oil, halibut liver oil, or cod liver oil are more easily converted and used by an animal's body. The downside is that fish oils often contain deadly toxins, including high levels of dangerous PCBs, dioxins and detectable levels of mercury. Farmed salmon is the worst for contamination and contains less omega 3 acids than wild salmon. At present nearly 30% of all fish are farmed, with salmon being in the 90% farmed range. As well, farmed salmon are often carriers of disease and parasites. When supplementing your pet's diet with fish oils, choose oils that come from wild sources, not farmed.

There are also blended fish and plant oil supplements available. These often include a mixture of salmon or cod liver oil and flax, safflower or other such oils that provide a mixture of 3 to 4 parts omega 3 oils to 1 part omega 6 oils. Giving your animal a combination fish/plant supplement may be a good alternative to consider, as they should contain fewer toxins since they are not strictly fish oils, yet still should be better assimilated by the animal's body than straight plant oils.

Adding Essential Fatty Acids To Your Pet's Diet
by Rose Smith

Rose Smith operates several sites featuring natural and organic relief solutions for everyday health problems - both in humans and animals. If you would like to know more about natural dog health care visit www.caringforcanines.com.

New Baby and the Family Dog

by David the Dogman
I always advise that as soon as you are aware that there will be a new baby in the house, begin to prepare your family dog. Do not leave it until the new baby arrives. It is important that your dog associates the new baby with as few disruptions as possible.

It is essential to ensure that your dog has a basic understanding of good behaviour. The dog should be able to lie quietly for short periods, not jumping up, walking on a lead without pulling and coming when called are all essential.

Most dogs are used to being the "baby" in the family and may find it difficult losing this position. Get your dog used to being ignored and left alone for short periods of time every day. If it is your intention to exclude your dog from certain areas of the house after the baby arrives, establish these rules well in advance to the baby's arrival. Ideally, the dog should be excluded from the baby's bedroom.

It is a good idea to teach your dog to walk gently next to the pram, but never tying the leash to the pram, and never when unattended. The dog should also be accustomed to new items of furniture such as playpens, carry cots and high chairs before baby arrives. If possible get a tape recording of baby noises and play it in a tape recorder placed where the baby will normally be so the dog becomes socialized to these sounds. Also teach the dog the difference between his/her toys and the baby's toys.

Make sure that you develop a routine and stick to it when the baby arrives. It is important that the dog receives sufficient mental and physical stimulation. Try not to make a big deal with the dog about the arrival of the baby. Teach the dog how to approach the baby properly and gently. Allow the dog to make initial investigations and approaches.

Associate the baby's presence with positive things. Give the dog tidbits and lavish praise for desired behaviour around the baby. Do not place the baby on the floor with the dog and never shout at or hit your dog for approaching the baby incorrectly. Gently show the dog what you wish him/her to do and offer a reward for responding.

Due to the fact that a baby's immune system is not strong, ensure that your dog is healthy and is up to date with worming and vaccinations before baby arrives.

If your dog has any behavioural problems, make sure that you resolve these before baby arrives or if you are in doubt about your dogs behaviour after your baby arrives, consult your vet who can refer you to a local animal behaviour counselor.

NEVER leave any baby or child unattended with any dog.

Of course all the above rules must also apply when Grandchildren or visitors come over here for a few weeks, where dogs are not used to being or living with children.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

Kids, Pets and Moving

by Hayden Lilienthal
In the movie business, they say you should never work with children or animals, but if the children and animals are yours, what choice do you have? Come moving day, it is important to remember that any stress you are feeling may be multiplied many times by minds that don't understand what's going on. After all, moving usually means new friends, a new school, and a new set of worries for your children, and a complete change of territory for your pet.

One of the most important things that can help your child during the move is keeping your own stress level down. Kids pick up on parental emotions. If you're apprehensive or nervous, kids will mimic that behavior. Remember that they will have their own concerns about the move, things that would seem inconceivable to an .

Currently Grandma, Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny know where they live and the bogeyman doesn't. By moving you are throwing the whole system out of whack: presents will be misdirected and chocolate eggs may never arrive ever again! So it is important to communicate with your children as much as possible and to maintain a good stress-free vibe around them.

It's best to prepare a child for a move to lessen the shock of all new surroundings, especially if it is a long way away from the previous home. After all, making friends in the playground can be a lot tougher than chatting away over coffee at the new job. At work, people have to pretend to like you, but this is not the case at school.

Some tips to make it easier for children:

- take your child along when you look at houses so they can be involved in the process and can get a full understanding of what exactly is going on
- show them their new school and try to introduce them to their new teacher if possible
- find out about local junior sporting teams and activities; sports clubs are a great way for kids and s to meet like-minded people quickly
- before you move, hold a going-away party for your child; encourage your child to keep contact with his or her old friends while encouraging new friendships
- encourage the children to take part in the moving process as much as possible so they know their things are safe and sound
- once you've selected your new house, show your child where his or her room will be; allow them to personalize the room as well, maybe even a new coat of paint so they will feel at home
- above all else, communicate with your child throughout the process.


The next problem is how to deal with the pets. Attempting to communicate with them on a personal level will generally draw a blank look or a slobbering kiss so it is up to you to make the journey as easy as possible for them. Owners will sometimes notice a change in behaviour in their animal after a move and that is the result of stress. Other symptoms will be much more subtle - just think back to your pet's reaction to new surroundings when you first brought it home.

As the moving date approaches, try to maintain your animal's routine as much as possible, including feeding, exercise and play times. Make sure your pet is wearing updated identification, and that you're carrying some kind of identification for your pet, including recent photos. If your pet escapes at any time during your move, you'll be prepared.

Vets also recommend that if you pack a water supply from the home you're leaving. Changing water sources could cause your pet stomach upset and ultimately dehydration. Keep your pet's food as bland as possible; this isn't the time to experiment with new brands or varieties. Take your pet for a thorough physical exam prior to your move, and make sure you obtain your pet's updated records from your vet.

Obviously, if it is only a short move, the animal can travel with the family in the car (depending on local regulations concerning restraints) and some movers will let dogs travel in trucks. Most vets should be able to help with travel containers which will help calm soothe pets and give them a comfort space, especially if there is a familiar sleeping rug to give it a familiar smell. Make sure they have access to water and food and if the trip is several hours long it will probably be necessary to take them out for a walk at some stage.

If you're planning a cross-country move by air, it will be necessary to check with the airline as to its pet policy. If you're contemplating having your pet travel in the cargo section of the plane, you may want to consider first that because this area is in the belly of the plane, you won't have access to your pet at any time during the flight.

While the cargo area is both heated and pressurized, this area isn't lit, so unless you tranquilize your pet first, the experience is likely to be traumatic. It is best to check with a vet about the effects of air travel on your particular pet and get their advice about what the best tranquilizer may be.


How to Choose a Dog for Children

by Shannon Emmanuel

Since having a dog is such a common thing, do you really need to know anything more than how much it costs?

Well, how did you choose your car, or your home? Did you consider the cost, safety and suitability for your family? Of course you did. If you heard stories of a particular car that was susceptible to causing accidents or that a neighborhood was known for its rough occupants you would find something that was safer.

If the car or home was too expensive to maintain, it would impact your decision, as would the size of the vehicle or how many bedrooms the house had.

However, many people bring home a dog that they have spent no more time in choosing than selecting oranges at the grocery store. Although we hear stories of dogs attacking children and perhaps know of people who got rid of dogs after they grew too large for the apartment or destroyed property, as a group, parents still choose to bring dogs into their families with little instruction or research.

The truth is, most families with a dog will never deal with the terrible situations we hear about on the news. Dogs love people. Most dogs love children. Children and adults love dogs and it is very doubtful that after thousands of years the connection between canine and humankind will be broken.

What does need to be considered is how to make the best possible environment for your children and dog so that you don't need to worry about unexpected tragedy or the sad disappointment of giving your children’s pet away.

There are many experts with various views, but several points can be generally agreed upon when choosing a dog for your family.

Find a dog that is good with children.

Don’t all dogs love children? The answer is simple – NO. Some breeds, and even individuals within a breed, are more or less tolerant of children and the rough handling that usually ensues. Selecting a breed that enjoys the rambunctious atmosphere of a family home will go far in ensuring that the children have a willing playmate and the dog is happy.

Choose a dog that is the right size or energy level.

Do you live in an apartment? Do you have a large, fenced yard? Considering the size of home or yard you have should influence your choice of dog. Some breeds are naturally larger than others. Some smaller breeds (like Jack Russell Terriers) are small but have an enormous amount of energy that can be difficult to control in a small home.

Decide on a trained or untrained dog.

Perhaps you plan to train the dog yourself. You may choose a puppy so the children participate in the training process. But how much do you know about training dogs? Are you ready for the hassles of housebreaking and obedience training? Perhaps selecting an older, trained dog might suit your family better.

The decisions you make before bringing your dog home and selecting the best dog breed for children will help your family enjoy their new pet for a very long time.

Shannon Emmanuel is a freelance writer and the author of 'How to Select the Best Dog or Puppy for Your Children'. Find out more about safely raising a family dog at http://www.best-dog-breed-for-children.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

How to Clean a Dogs Ears

Even though we give them lots of good scratches, when it comes to grooming, the ears of dogs are frequently the most neglected parts of their bodies. But their ears are also one of the most important areas to attend to.
Ear infections can be serious, and can begin easily if an animals ears are not kept clean.

Make sure your to keep their ears in good shape by following these simple steps:

To Clean or Not to Clean
If a dogs ears have an offensive odor, or if he has been scratching them repeatedly, you should not remove the stuff that might have accumulated; whatever is there will be able to help your veterinarian determine the cause of the irritation and how to treat it.
If he's scratching, or if you're tempted to plug your nose while cleaning his ears, you should see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will take a swab of the substance for examination.

Before you start your scrubbing, make sure you've set up your workspace. You should have your all your supplies set out and ready to go:
cotton balls
mineral oil
cleaner — a commercially prepared ear cleaner with a low alcohol content is best.
Wash your hands thoroughly so you don't introduce any infectious particles to your dogs ears.
You may want to work with a another person; your friend can provide a distraction while you clean the ears.

Gently wipe out the ears.
Once you've determined that your dogs ears are just dirty and not full of mites or an infection, you can remove the dirt.

Using a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, gently wipe out the inner surface of the animals earflap.
Using another clean and moisten with mineral oil cotton ball, clean out the part of the ear canal that you can see. Stop when you feel resistance — don't try to stick the cotton ball any farther into the ear than it should go.
Repeat this procedure on the other ear.
Be sure you remove any foreign matter, whether it's dirt, bugs, or just waxy buildup.

Praise your pet, give him some love and let him go on his way.
Tips on Q-Tips
While cotton swabs are a natural choice for cleaning human ears, you should not use them on animals. Not only are they less efficient, they can be dangerous. If an animal is startled and jerks his head while you are cleaning his ears, the cotton swab could get jammed into his ear canal, causing all sorts of pain and distress.
Using cotton balls is much safer; they're much softer and less likely to get stuck in the animals ears.

A Note on the Ears of Cats
Since cats are very meticulous about their hygiene, your cat probably won't need to have his ears cleaned.
His ears should be checked regularly and if you notice he is scratching his ears, or if his ears have a bad smell, you should have your veterinarian check it out.
Don't remove any substances because your veterinarian will need to take a swab of the substance to diagnose the cause of the infection.

by www.greytinspirations.com

Bad Breath & Teeth

Tooth and gum problems are the most common medical condition in pets. Because bad breath in dogs and cats go hand in hand with other health problems, it is best to treat this problem on a regular basis.

What causes bad breath in pets?
The most common cause of bad breath is tartar buildup surrounding the teeth.
As in people, small particles off food remain in the mouth after eating. These particles decompose creating conditions where oral bacteria thrive. The bacteria grow to form plaque - a combination of bacteria, mineral and decomposed food. It is the plaque and associated oral infections that give the pets breath an unpleasant odor.
Plaque also clings to the base of teeth causing the gums to become inflamed and recede. Inflamed gums leak blood serum that combines with and increases the amount of plaque. This plaque or calculus is visible as a hard yellowish coating on the outer base of the teeth.
Remarkably, pets with this condition rarely eat less. Early in the disease, the plaque is no more than a thin brownish or yellowish coating on the sides of the teeth. It is most noticeable on the outer surface of the larger molar teeth - the side adjacent to the cheeks and lips. In severe cases the margins where teeth and gums meet become highly inflamed and bleed when they are touched.
For reasons we do not understand, these problems are most severe in toy and smaller breed dogs and in purebred cats. Maltese have the highest rate of tooth and gum disease of all breeds.
This buildup of calculus causes the gum margins to recedes past the tooth enamel exposing the softer dentine material that covers the tooth roots. Dentine is much more porous and rougher than enamel and holds infection in place. Once dentine is exposed periodic tooth care must be done more frequently and the teeth are eventually lost. This is why tooth care and good dental hygiene needs to begin early, before these problems are advanced.

Other causes of bad breath.
Immature pets that are in the process of shedding their "baby" teeth often drool and have bad breath. Some times it is accompanied by fever. Brushing the pets' mouths with diluted baking soda solution gives them relief and minimizes the odor.
In older pets, disease of the kidneys and liver often affect the mouth. These pets are often thin and frail. When I suspect that a pet with halitosis (bad breath) has major organ failure I run diagnostic liver enzyme levels as well as blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels to check kidney function.
Pets with organ damage require extra special care when tending to their teeth. Anesthesia during dental prophylaxis (a measure taken for the prevention of a disease or condition) must be administered lightly and with special care. Often I place these pets on antibiotics after I clean their teeth as well as on special diets engineered to help failing organs.
When young cats have strong breath odor and dental disease, they are screened for feline leukemia as well as feline immunodifficiency disease (feline aids). If they are negative for these diseases, they often have resorptive dental disease in which deep cavities form in many teeth simultaneously for no apparent reason. In resorptive dental disease, the roots of the canine teeth are often exposed. Often incisor teeth in these cats drop out for no apparent reason. It is unclear if these cats are born with soft susceptible teeth or if another undescribed form of dental disease is present. Cleaning the teeth of cats with resorptive dental disease is not very effective. Eventually, these teeth need to be extracted. When this is done these cats go on to lead happy and healthy lives.

Problems associated with tooth and gum disease.
Just as kidney and liver disease can lead to dental disease; dental disease can lead to disease of the kidney and liver.
Tartar accumulation around the teeth allows harmful bacteria to grow. These bacteria occasionally break loose and enter the pets circulation system. Once in the blood stream, they lodge in crevices with the kidneys and liver and on the valves of the heart. Liver inflammation as well as scarred, poorly functioning kidneys are the result of bacteria lodging in these organs. When the heart valves are attacked by bacteria they shrink and scar, causing blood to flow in the wrong direction. This is why it is common for dogs and cats with severe dental disease to have heart murmurs. It is not unusual for these murmurs to go away once the pets dental problems are treated.
Dogs and cats with chronic dental problems often drool. This wetness and the infection associated with tooth infections may cause the lips and the skin folds surrounding the lips to become inflamed. Once the teeth are cleaned these problems go away.
Treatment of Bad Breath

Yearly checkups
Even if you do not give yearly vaccinations, it is wise to take your pet to a veterinarian for an annual checkup that includes a dental exam. The older your pet is the more important early exams become.

To slow the formation of plaque, feed your pet a quality name brand dry commercial pet food. The crunchy biscuits help massage gums and wear away tartar. Some brands market dental diets engineered to minimize plaque and massage the gums. Other brands incorporate enzymes to dissolve plaque.
One of the worst things you can do for your pets teeth is to feed canned diets. The build up of plaque in pets that are fed soft, canned diets is very rapid.

Feeding chewy treats, bones, rawhide, nylon bones and treats impregnated with enzymes minimizes dental plaque. Dog biscuits are of no value in preventing tartar buildup.
If you give your pet real bones, be sure they are heavy shin and shank bones.
Dogs and cats do better chewing on bones if they start when they are puppies and kittens.
Never give your pet cooked chicken bones.

Brushing teeth
Brushing your pets teeth is the most important thing you can to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Use a childs toothbrush and meat or malt favored toothpaste that is designed for animals. Use a very small amount of toothpaste - it is the brushing that is important - and concentrate on the gum margins.
If you start when your pet is a puppy or kitten, the pet will not dislike the procedure. Even older pets learn to accept the toothbrush.

Mouth wash and sprays
Veterinary hospitals and pet supply outlets sell chlorhexidine sprays and mouthwashes that contain enzymes that dissolve plaque and help reduce bacteria. They are not nearly as effective as brushing the teeth but are better than no home care.

Manual tartar removal
If your pet has a placid temperament, it is not difficult to scrap the tartar from the teeth and clean under the margins of the gums at home. Many pet professionals perform excellent tooth cleaning at home eliminating the need to have their pet anesthetized at a veterinary clinic. Your veterinarian or a pet supply catalog is a good source for a tartar-scraping tool. The best ones are double ended, one end suitable for the right and the other for the left hand side of the mouth.

Ultrasonic cleaning
Because the whine of the ultrasonic machine is distressing to most animals, this procedure is performed with general anesthetic or heavy tranquilization. Since it is often older patients, many of whom have heart disease that need the procedure, they are kept under very light anesthetic.

Removal of diseased teeth
Once the ligaments that fasten teeth to the bone of the jaw have been damaged by periodontal disease, ultrasonic cleaning will not heal them.
Teeth that are mildly loose, can sometimes be saved by cleaning and several weeks of doxycycline therapy either with oral tablets or oral patches.
Severely loose teeth are best removed.
Dogs and cats do very well with few remaining teeth. Problems are more in the minds of owners due to fear than to any difficulties experienced by the pets.

Tooth restorations
Some veterinarians and dentists specialize in crowns for damaged pet teeth. Other than for attack dogs, this is a purely cosmetic procedure for the owner, not the pet. I suggest you spend the money on your pets in other ways - such as a trips with your pet to the country or the park and contributions to your local Humane Society.

by www.greytinspirations.com

Make Sure Your Dog is Always Safe with Pet Home Rescue!

What would happen to your dog if you were in an accident and knocked unconscious, and your dog was at home alone?

What would happen if your dog was at home alone and there was a fire? If the firefighters didn't know your dog was inside, the results could be tragic.

Shane Gray, from Vancouver, Canada, has devised an innovative solution to ensure that your dog will be cared for in an emergency.

So how does it work?

Simple! You identify yourself as a pet owner by carrying a wallet-size card or a key tag which give a toll-free number for people to call to activate your Pet Home Rescue Lifeline!

Pet Home Rescue Lifeline operators will then contact the person who you've registered as your dog's guardian, to care for your beloved companion if you've been in an accident.

But how about if your house catches fire while you're at work or out shopping, and you don't know about it yet? The firefighters are there, but how will they know your dog is inside?

Again - simple! You identify your house as a pet home with Pet Home Rescue Lifeline doortags - firefighters will immediately recognize these tags, and can then take steps to rescue your dog from inside the house or yard.

Basic Care and Maintenance for Your Pup's Pearly Whites

By: Weston Lewis

Many people do not realize the importance of caring for their dog?s teeth. As dogs age, the need for dental care increases. The best way to ensure proper dental health for your dog is to start while they are very young.

Many dogs do not like their mouths touched. It is important for you as a dog owner to desensitize them to being handled like this at a very young age. The veterinarian is always going to need to examine your dog?s mouth and you do not want to have problems with this. The best way for you to get your dog used to having his mouth touched is to begin touching it when you first get your pup. Make sure to touch the lips, open the mouth, and touch the teeth in a calm and relaxing way for about five minutes each day until your pup is used to being handled in this way. Make this a regular part of your interaction with your dog so he remains calm when you are doing any kind of preventive dental care.

Most veterinarians recommend brushing your dog?s teeth daily. Many manufacturers make special toothpaste and brushes for dogs. You do not ever want to use human toothpaste on dogs as it may be harmful to them. To get your dog used to having his teeth brushed, you may want to start by putting a dab of dog toothpaste on a cotton ball and rubbing it over his teeth. Toothpaste for dogs is usually quite tasty to them, so he shouldn?t mind this. You can then try a finger brush, available at your veterinarian?s office or pet supply store. Eventually, especially for larger breeds, you will want to graduate to a regular dog toothbrush. Regular brushing will help prevent the buildup of calculus and debris on your dog?s teeth.

Another way to help prevent calculus and buildup on your dog?s teeth is by using rawhide chews specially formulated for dental care. Many companies manufacture these chews. One of the best available is by C.E.T. Most veterinarians carry C.E.T. dental health products. C.E.T. chews are formulated with an enzyme that helps keep plaque from forming and prevents the buildup of bacteria. Also, the natural abrasion of rawhide chews helps keep teeth healthy. C.E.T. also makes a chew that contains chlorhexadine which has antimicrobial properties.

Some companies also make special dental health food, which may be recommended to you by your veterinarian to help prevent dental problems.

Even with proper preventive measures, most dogs will eventually need a dental cleaning from your veterinarian. If your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning, it is important that you follow through. If your dog develops dental disease, harmful bacteria can pass through into the bloodstream causing potentially serious problems such as kidney infections and infections involving the heart valves.

A dental cleaning performed by your veterinarian is much like a human dental cleaning, however your dog will need to be sedated. The anesthesia is light and with today?s technology is extremely safe. Many veterinarians have anesthesia monitoring systems just like those used in human medicine. A thorough exam will be performed to determine if any teeth need to be pulled or repaired. Some veterinarians will do x-rays of the teeth to find any cracks or diseased teeth. After this, a trained member of the veterinary staff will perform a dental cleaning. First, they will scale the teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gum line. This will be done with both hand instruments and ultrasonic scaling equipment. After this, the teeth will be polished, which will make them smooth and help prevent plaque from adhering to them. Most veterinarians will also do a fluoride treatment. This is to help strengthen the enamel and prevent plaque from forming. If any teeth are diseased or broken, your veterinarian may pull them. Some veterinarians who specialize in dental care will perform root canals and other intensive dental work. Most veterinarians will put your dog on a treatment of antibiotics to help prevent bacterial infection.

It is very important to take good care of your dog?s teeth to keep them healthy and to prevent infections. Always follow your veterinarian?s advice and if you have further questions, consult your veterinary staff or pet professional.

Weston Lewis has been a dog trainer for the past twenty years. After running his own kennel for most of his adult life, he is now retired and sharing his knowledge on the Internet.
Visit this site for more information: Dog Training Clinic

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Herbs For Your Dog

By: pedigreedpups.com

Herbology, basically, is the use of herbs in the treatment of many types of illness. Herein the emphasis of treatment is based strongly on the specific use of herbal roots, flowers and leaves to stimulate the healing process. Keep in mind that these herbs are not a form of drug (as in man-made forms, such as aspirin) but are strictly natural in content.

Practiced for centuries, herbology is probably one of the most primitive and fundamental uses of specific remedies to treat various illnesses, known today.

How, though, does the knowledge of herbal alternatives tie in with owning an animal? Think about it for a moment. What do wild animals, or even your pets, typically do when they are not feeling up to par? Most instinctively seek out appropriate herbs in the form of grasses when they are sick. How many times have you witnessed your dog eating grasses?

Many man-made drugs are simply compounds based upon active principles found in many herbs. One simple example could be caffeine found in coffee. Herbalists differ from most traditional medicinal methods at this point however. Herbalists believe in the use of the entire substance - not in simply the use of one part. They believe the whole is much greater than the sum of one or more parts.

Basically, herbs work much slower than traditional medicines (t.m.’s) though they do many things t.m.’s don’t- such as detoxify the body, stimulate movement of the bowels or urination, and add vitamins and minerals to the patients system which are already greatly needed.

Herbal remedies have also been used to treat animals over the centuries for such illnesses as arthritis, worms, diarrhea/constipation, diabetes, epilepsy, mange and cataracts, among others. Juliette de Bairacli-Levy is an author who emphasizes the use of herbs in the treatment of many ailments in connection with pets. She also emphasizes the importance of freshly gathered herbs, natural diet and fasting.

Probably the biggest drawback to herbal therapy would be the amount which must be administered, the very frequent intervals of administration and the extended periods of time over which administration must occur.

Additionally, many herbs do not taste good in their natural state and must be disguised in food. Still, if you are willing to carry out a complete program, administering “medications” at their proper intervals, herbal alternatives are very effective in treating and curing many types of ailments. For more information concerning herbs and their uses, contact your nearest herbalist or herbal store.

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Purebred Dogs, Puppies and Dog Breeders - "Your New Best Friend"

History of Bischon Frise

History of Bischon Frise
By Kevin Gawricki

The Bischon is descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel. The Bichons were divided into four categories: Bichon Maltais, Bichon Bolognais, Bichon Havanais, and Bichon Teneriffe. Which all originated in the Mediterranean.

Because of their happy disposition, they traveled often, and where used as items of barter by sailors. Generally believed that Spanish seamen introduced the breed to Canary Island of Teneriffe. In the 1300’s Italian sailors returned them to the continent, where they became favorites of Italian nobility.

Their popularity skyrocketed in the court of Henry III(1574-89). Also they where a favorite of the Infantas in Spain. The famous artist, Goya, included a Bichon in several of his works.

In the 1800’s the Bischon became a “common dog”, running the streets, accompanying the organ grinders of Barbary, leading the blind and doing tricks in circuses and fairs.

In March 5th, 1933 the official standard of the breed was adopted by the Societe Centrale Canine of France. The President of the International Canine Federation proposed the name Bichon Frise. On Oct 18th, 1934 was admitted to the stud book of the French Kennel Club.

In 1956 first Bischon litter was whelped in the US. In 1959 and 1960 two breeders in US acquired Bichon and they became breeds origin in US.

Entered in Miscellaneous Class on Sept 1st, 1971. Oct 1972 breed was admitted to registration in the American Kennel Club Stud Book. April 4th, 1973 breed became eligible to show in the Non-Sporting Group at AKC dog shows.

Kevin is owner of Dog Gone Good Stuff which he founded because of the need for a place that caters specifically to dogs and their owners specific needs. Please feel free to visit Dog Gone Good Stuff for all your dogs needs. Web address www.doggonegoodstuff.com

By: Kevin Gawricki

Ten of the Most Popular Dog Breeds for Children

By: Weston Lewis

In choosing a dog for the family, it?s a good idea we keep the children in mind. Some dogs are not tolerant of children and can be a threat to them. There are many breeds of dogs out there to choose from. Do your homework to see which one works the best with your family and especially your children.

By far the number one best dog breed for children hands down, would have to be, you guessed it, Labrador Retriever. This dog is well accepted because of its good nature. It is not generally aggressive or hyper. It is playful, easy-going, intelligent and patient. No wonder it is loved by the young and old. Because of its mild manner, it is first choice in working with the handicapped. It is has desire to please as if it knows its plight. The Lab is also a great pick if you have other animals. They are very accommodating. A well taken care of Lab can live up to 13 years. In order to reduce boredom in these dogs, they should be kept active. These dogs love playing in the yard or taking walks.

Number two on the list is the Golden Retriever. They are similar to the Lab in their personality. They are also mild mannered, kind and they enjoy being around people. They too are a top pick for working with the handicapped as well as the elderly. They too get along with other pets. These dogs are intelligent creatures to train. Playing fetch is a favorite game for them. Because of their playful nature, this breed of dog would be great for an older child who enjoys the outdoors. Regular grooming is required because of their long hair.

The next pick is the Beagle. Even though they have a baying bark, they are not aggressive dogs. What their barking does say about them is they make great watch dogs. These dogs have a friendly demeanor about them. Their tails seem to be in an unending wagging motion. Because friendliness comes natural with them, they do not like being left alone. They become bored when left by themselves for too long. They are great picks for smaller children because of their size.

Another great pick for children is the Basset Hound. They are generally docile, yet they?re known for their stubbornness. They are also known for their gentleness and are quite sweet by nature. They?re great with children of all ages and enjoy attention from them.

The German shepherd is another pick. Again, these are probably best for older children who enjoy playing outdoors. Because of their size and strength, they are probably not suitable for younger children. German Shepherds are known for their loyalty. Police often use this type of dog for search and rescue missions. They are protective by nature and are quite tolerant. It?s best to start training these dogs as pups. Without training, they can be a handful.

The black and white spotted Dalmatian is associated with fire trucks. But for a family, a Dalmatian would be a trusted friend. They are very outgoing dogs with lots of energy to spare. This dog needs companionship from humans.

The Bearded Collie is another great pick. These are active dogs and would do best outdoors. They like to have open space to run, so being confined to an apartment would not suit these dogs.

Then there?s the American Cocker Spaniel. They are sensitive and sweet dogs. They are generally obedient to their master and enjoy the attention of children. They are definitely a people friendly dog.

The Bearded Collie is known for its bounce. This dog is very playful and happy. They like to be around people and will not hide their excitement of being around you. Female Collie?s tend to be calmer, while males are more rambunctious.

Cockapoos not only are good around children, but they get on with other pets as well. They do not need a lot of space. Apartment life is OK with them.

In choosing the right dog for your family, always remember that there are always exceptions to the rules. Each dog is an individual, and why for the most part certain breeds are more children friendly, you should always be cautious with your child around unknown dogs.

Weston Lewis has been a dog trainer for the past twenty years. After running his own kennel for most of his adult life, he is now retired and sharing his knowledge on the Internet.
Visit this site for more information: Dog Training Clinic

What to Expect When Your Dog is Expecting

By: Weston Lewis

Are you getting ready for your dog to have puppies? Having a litter of pups sounds like a lot of fun, but there is much work involved. Here are some tips on how to get your dog and you ready for birth.

The first thing to know is that your dog will be pregnant on average for 63 days. This is not very much time so make sure you are ready.

You will want to make sure that you are feeding your pregnant dog appropriately. Your dog will need to eat more than usual and you may want to transition to a growth type food or puppy food during the pregnancy. You should do this by decreasing the amount of regular food you give your dog each day while increasing the amount of new food. It?s best if you do this over the course of about a week to help prevent loose stool. Check with your veterinarian to see what is appropriate for diet. Make sure to feed your dog a high quality diet. You do not need to supplement the diet with vitamins unless it is recommended by your veterinarian. Always follow their recommendations. Your dog may experience symptoms similar to human morning sickness around the third week of pregnancy. If this lasts longer than one week, take your dog to the veterinarian to see if there are any underlying problems.

You will want to continue regular walks with your dog during the pregnancy. It is important to get some exercise, but if you have a working dog or do sports with your dog, you will want to discontinue these until after the puppies are weaned. However, three weeks prior to delivery, you will want to isolate your pregnant dog from all other dogs. This must continue until at the very least, three weeks after the puppies are born. There are infectious diseases carried by unvaccinated dogs that may not be very harmful to adult dogs but can be fatal to puppies.

If your dog is due for vaccination during the pregnancy, hold off on this until after the puppies are weaned. Vaccination during pregnancy can be harmful to the fetuses. Ideally, you will want to have your dog vaccinated just prior to breeding.

When getting ready to deliver, make sure to provide a comfortable place for whelping and raising the puppies. It should be somewhere where your dog can come and go, but the puppies are confined to.

When it is time to deliver, your dog?s body temperature will drop slightly. You can monitor this with a rectal thermometer. Normal canine temperature is between 100-102 degrees. When it drops below 100 degrees, you can usually expect labor in 24 hours. When your dog starts to go into labor, she will become restless and may pant, shiver, or vomit. This is normal. Make sure to provide fresh water to her at all times. This stage of labor may last up to 12 hours. When she begins to deliver the pups, they will be covered with a thin membrane which must be cleared away. The mother should do this herself, but should she neglect to do this, you will need to clear it away or the pup will suffocate. You will need to tie the umbilical cords in a knot and cut them above the knot. Pups will come about one per hour with up to half an hour of straining in between deliveries. It is not unusual for your dog to take a break of a few hours during delivery.

You will need to call your veterinarian if your dog does not deliver within one day of her temperature drop, she is straining to deliver for more than an hour, takes more than a four hour break between pups, seems to be in great pain, or has been pregnant for more than 70 days. Some breeds require cesarean sections so make sure to discuss this with your doctor prior to delivery. If you feel that anything else unusual is occurring, contact your veterinarian immediately.

It is always important to discuss all of your concerns and what to expect with your veterinarian prior to delivery.

Weston Lewis has been a dog trainer for the past twenty years. After running his own kennel for most of his adult life, he is now retired and sharing his knowledge on the Internet.
Visit this site for more information: Dog Training Clinic

Pet Insurance: Yes, It Really Exists

By: Weston Lewis

Although pet insurance has been available for approximately 20 years, many pet owners have never heard of it and are surprised that such a thing would even exist. After all, insurance is for people, right? Well, if you have ever had to empty your savings account in order to pay for a pet?s surgery or if you have ever had to put a beloved pet to sleep because you couldn?t afford medical care, then you can absolutely testify to the usefulness and worth of pet insurance.

As is the case with most other health-related expenses, the costs associated with an average pet?s medical care - preventative, emergency and catastrophic ? are rising all the time. If you have multiple pets, the cost of even the most basic care can be financially crippling. When deciding whether or not to buy a health insurance policy for your pet, you have to ask yourself a few questions. Do you consider your pet to be a member of the family? Would you be unable to pay for (potentially) thousands of dollars in medical bills if your pet develops cancer or needs long-term medical care? Would it absolutely break your family?s heart to have to euthanize your pet because you didn?t plan ahead for potential health crises? If you answered ?yes? to any of these questions, then you?ll want to seriously consider purchasing an insurance policy for your pet.

What Kind of Pet Insurance Is Available?

Pet insurance is now available through a multitude of specialty companies; and, just as with your average health insurance plan, the higher the premium, the greater the range of benefits you and your pet receive. The average plan costs anywhere from $20 - $40 per month and has either no annual benefit limit at all or a limit of approximately $15,000 - $20,000. Many plans offer discounts for coverage of multiple pets. Your deductible will be determined by the plan you choose, but the average is approximately $100 per year.

Since the majority of the medical expenses generated by a pet are related to routine procedures, look for a plan that covers vaccinations, neutering and spaying, annual check-ups and dental care. You want your pet to be protected in case he develops a serious illness or injury, but these lower-budget procedures can also put a big dent in your bank account. Make sure you?re pet is covered!

What Sort of Restrictions Are There?

You may be willing to pay for your pet?s health insurance, but that doesn?t mean an insurance company will automatically cover him. If your pet is over a certain age, he may be denied coverage. Even if you find insurance for your pet, there are always certain coverage limits and restrictions. Most policies won?t cover the treatment of pre-existing conditions or genetic defects. Sometimes cancer is also excluded from coverage (although many companies will add cancer care to the coverage for an additional cost).

Be aware of any waiting periods that are written into your pet?s policy. The waiting period will determine when your pet?s coverage actually begins ? waiting periods can last anywhere from two weeks to six months. Once your plan takes effect, you may have to choose a veterinarian from a list of approved providers.

What Are the Alternatives to Pet Insurance?

If your pet does not qualify for insurance or if you simply choose not to buy a policy, there are a few money-saving options you can try. One example is a pet health care discount program (i.e. Pet Assure). When you join the program, you receive a discount (up to 25%) on your pet?s medical care as long as you patronize participating veterinarians. Other benefits, such as prescription discounts and access to product coupons, are also included in the membership fee.

If your uninsured dog needs emergency medical care and you have no funds available, ask your vet if their clinic offers any sort of emergency funding. Sometimes veterinarians will set aside funds for pets whose owners cannot afford care, especially if the treatment does not involve long-term care and multiple visits. If there are no such funds set aside, you may be able to finance the fees. A final option (and definitely a long-shot) is the humane society or non-profit pet support group that offers financial aid. You have to apply for their limited funds and few applicants actually receive enough money to pay the totality of their pet?s medical bills. Insurance is really the only way to make sure that your pet can receive costly medical care if he needs it.

Weston Lewis has been a dog trainer for the past twenty years. After running his own kennel for most of his adult life, he is now retired and sharing his knowledge on the Internet.
Visit this site for more information:
Dog Training Clinic

Looking After Your Dog, Part Six - Dog Health Insurance

By: Niall Kennedy

Pet health insurance is not a novel idea by any means. The concept has been around for 15-20 years. Many people believe that having medical insurance for a pet is not justified, and is rather something that depicts indulgence. However, the truth is that pet health insurance has nothing to do with being lavish. It purely depends on how much you care for your pet. It is the question of whether you consider your pet a part of your family, and therefore, would want to have it insured.

Pet health insurance plans take several aspects into consideration before awarding an insurance cover. The decision may be based on several considerations - species, age, pre-existing health conditions and lifestyle of the pet (i.e. a docile one compared to one of a sports dog). A few of the pet insurance companies don’t have an age limit. However, it’s easier to get pet health insurance if your pet isn’t too old. Therefore, insurance schemes typically start off at an early age of around 6 weeks for a dog.

The decision to have pet health insurance also depends a lot on your pet’s current health. If, God forbid, your canine is suffering from a fatal ailment, then there is no point having him insured. Moreover, getting insurance in such a case is all the more difficult to say the least. Pet health insurance costs vary widely owing much to the broad variety of insurance packages available. Comprehensive pet health insurance schemes cover the costs of annual checkups, vaccinations, routine care and preventive medications, and spay/neuter surgeries. Partial plans only cover accident and illness costs.

Insurance schemes are not for everyone. It might be the case that your dog’s current health condition does not satisfy the requirements of the insurance company. But you should not be disheartened in such a scenario. Some medical facilities offer pet wellness packages, which allow you to avail vaccinations and pet health checkups at discounted prices. You could go ahead for one such scheme.

Best Pet Health Information is a resource that brings you information about many aspects of dog health insurance. http://www.Best-Pet-Health.info.
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