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Does Your Dog Have Laryngitis? (You May Not Even Be Aware)

These last three weeks in my life have been some of the toughest I’ve gone through in a while.  About three weeks ago I started coming down with flu-like symptoms.  Two days after that the symptoms developed into laryngitis and I completely lost my voice.  Along with that I had a sore throat, headaches, nausea, and an overall ‘blah’ feeling.

I say this not to whine, I say it because having several weeks of not being able to talk has taught me a valuable lesson.

Those who know me know that I talk.  Some even accuse me of never shutting up.  It seems like I’ve always got something on my mind and I’m always telling everybody. In spending weeks without being able to talk, though, I went through some amazingly frustrating times just trying to get my point across.

It reminded me of the predicament that most dogs I meet are currently going through.  Most dogs I meet are desperately trying to communicate with their owners.  They are telling their owners what they want through their behavior.  Their actions might be telling their owners that they need more structure, more exercise, more attention.  Their behavior may be saying that they want leadership, they want training, and they want boundaries.

They are communicating all of these needs in the only way they know how.  Sadly, most owners have no clue what their dogs are trying to tell them and, as a result, give them only a tiny portion of what they really need in order to be happy, well-adjusted, and well behaved.

What most people describe as bad behavior from their dogs is really a failure to communicate and understand one another.

Here is the thing, though.  When it comes to dogs, they are never going to learn our language.  It’s up to us as dog owners to learn how dogs think, speak, react, behave, etc. and how to use that understanding to help our dogs be the best trained dogs possible.

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Don’t Bargain Shop For A Dog

Let me first start out this post by saying that I advocate the adoption of animals from shelters.  I think it’s important to help animals less fortunate and care for the animals that people are too lazy, inept, or irresponsible to care for.

Having said that, I have a somewhat unique view amongst other trainers.  My opinion is that the best way to combat dogs in shelters and rescues is to support good and responsible breeders.

A responsible breeder interviews potential candidates for their puppies.  A responsible breeder knows about the homes where their dogs live.  Responsible breeders will take steps to make sure their dogs don’t end up in bad homes, don’t get dropped off at shelters, and don’t contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

That isn’t to say that dogs from responsible breeders don’t end up in shelters but it happens far less than average.

On top of that, owners of responsible kennels do other things with their dogs to ensure that you end up with a quality puppy.  They health test their breeding stock to make sure they don’t have genetic defects.  They temperament test their dogs to make sure they aren’t passing along genetic behavioral problems.  Quite often they title their dogs in the conformation ring, in obedience trials, or in other working competitions.  In doing so, they better ensure that their animals match the physical, mental, intelligence, and working standards that their dogs were bred for.

In addition, good breeders provide good housing, food, care, and attention to their dogs.

When you add all of this up what you end up with is thousands of dollars, thousands of hours, and an enormous amount of dedication to a breed.

That isn’t cheap.

That shouldn’t be cheap and the laws of economics dictate that an animals bred from an environment like this should command a pretty penny.

“We weren’t going to get a dog but we found him for such a good price.”

“We got a steal on this dog.  Pure bred and only $100!”

“We want to get a good dog but I’m not willing to pay more than a few hundred dollars.”

All of these are statements that I’ve heard on numerous occasions.  As people we seem to always be looking for a good deal on a pair of shoes, a TV set, or a carpet cleaning company.

The last thing you want to do, however, is bargain shop for your dog.  If you are going to get a quality dog that is going to spend 10-15 years in your home why would the lowest price be one of the first things on your list?  Think about it, what if you could get a pure bred German Shepherd for $250 out of the classifieds or spend $2000 by finding the right breeder who health tested their dogs, temperament tested their dogs, and titled the parents in a working competition?  The penny-pincher would say that they’ll take the $250 dog.

Let’s look at it in different terms, though.

Let’s look at $1750 in savings over the course of a 12 year dog.  That’s a savings of about $145 per year or about $12 per month.  Is your life dramatically affected in the long run by a $12 per month difference?  Not likely.

Let’s look deeper, though.  That $250 dog came from parents who didn’t get their hips tested.  As a result, his chances of getting hip dysplasia are significantly higher than the $2000 dog.  Have you ever bought hip surgery for a German Shepherd and the subsequent medication and other health concerns that you’ll deal with for years?  Not cheap.  Definitely more than that $1750 you saved.

What about the fact that the $250 dog came from parents who didn’t have temperament testing or working titles?   The chances of that $250 dog having serious mental or behavioral issues are much higher than that $2000 dog.  Have you ever tried fixing the severe aggression issues that come from a German Shepherd with a poor temperament?  Not easy and not cheap.

It’s easy to make the case that the lifetime ownership of a $2000 dog is much less than a $250 dog.

I’ve always liked plain colored shirts.  I don’t like a lot of flash or fashion, just a simple white, black, or blue t-shirt is what I like.  For years I would head down to a local department store and buy a bunch of them for $5 a piece.  After one washing they’d be shrunken.  After a few wearings they’d be stretched out.  A few more wearings and they wouldn’t be wearable.  They looked bad on me and I’d have to head down and buy a new batch every other month or so.

I finally decided that it was crazy what I was doing.  I went down to the local Carhartt store and bought a handful of t-shirts.  Instead of $5 a piece I paid about $25 a piece.  Guess what, though.  It’s now been more than a year and I’m still wearing those same t-shirts.  They didn’t shrink.  They didn’t get stretched out.  They didn’t rip easily like the $5 t-shirts.  Now, instead of paying $10 every 2 months for a shirt ($60 a year) I paid $25 for shirts that have lasted longer than a year and will likely keep going for much longer.

So, did I really pay 5x as much for shirts?   Not really.  By buying more expensive and quality shirts up front I’m saving a great deal of money.

The same is true when it comes to your dog.  More often than not you’ll actually save money by doing your research and finding a high quality, high priced dog vs. a back yard bred, cheap dog.

In my Utah Dog Training company we are typically 2-10x more expensive than our competition.  But most of our clients come to us after already spending hundreds or even thousands on other trainers, books, and programs that got them nowhere.  The same is true for our Dog Training DVDs.  They aren’t cheap but what is a few dollars more investment when it comes to a lifetime of dog ownership?

Folks, there is quality and there is imitation.  Pay for quality and you’ll be happy you did.

Watch for Fleas on Your Dog in the Summer

During the summer months fleas that thrive outdoors. They love to hop on dogs and feed off their blood. Fleas will also come in your house on your pooch and can cause an infestation if you are not vigilant about keeping them off your dog and outside where they belong. There are too many methods of treatment today to let this problem get out of hand.

The best thing to do is to treat the yard, house and the dog all on the same day. This way you can eliminate the fleas from all three and have much less of a problem to deal with during the summer months.

Take the dog to be groomed the day you are going to treat your house and yard. This way you have time for the treatment to settle in before bringing the pet back into the area. At the groomers the dog will be shampooed which will get rid of the fleas. If you use a top spot application on your dog to prevent fleas after grooming is a good time to apply it. Do not use this more often than recommended. There are also flea collars and sprays that can be used. Whichever is the most effective on your dog is the one you should use.

While the dog is at the groomer treat your house. First you need to vacuum the carpet to get what flea eggs and larva you can. This will also loosen the nap. Now there are foggers that can be used in the house, or sprays. With the foggers you have to leave the house for at least 4 hours. Then air out the house before resuming normal activities.

After you treat the house then go treat the whole backyard if this is where the dog runs. The front yard does not necessarily need to be treated unless your dog roams in it. There are treatments that can be sprayed on the yard, check with your veterinarian for recommendations for your area. Let the treatment dry totally before allowing the dog back in the yard. This is why it is good to do while the dog is at the groomer.

All of the dog’s bedding needs to be thoroughly washed or replaced. This will get rid of any hidden eggs or adult fleas that have gotten into it. This way they cannot then jump back on the dog.

By the time you get through with all this the pooch will be ready to come home from the groomers. Have the flea treatment available to put on the dog immediately upon returning home. Now hopefully this one treatment should solve the problem.

Redo the whole process as needed throughout the summer though and other seasons of the year to maintain control over the fleas. You want to be able to enjoy your dog in the summer not fight fleas all season. With a bit a effort you can win the battle over these creatures and just be able to love and have fun with your dog.Information written by Joseph Clark of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, where you can find a extraordinary selection of raised dog dishes online.

Does My Dog Really Have To Visit A Dentist?

Dogs, like their owners, suffer from tooth aches. They also lose teeth, break teeth and have other dental problems. Over the years, people have tended to ignore the dental issues of their dogs. Using bones to help a dog’s teeth remain healthy was a simple remedy in the past. Today, the focus has altered. People have accepted dog dentistry as a part of their dog’s health care regime. The increased interest is the result of more tooth-related issues.

These, in part, stem from a greater interest in the health of our companion canines. Unfortunately, the need for dog dentistry is also the result of diet. May owners continue to feed their dogs improperly. This is particularly true of the toy breed. They, more than any other type of dog, suffer from certain types of dental diseases.

Dental Issues

1. Retention of baby teeth. In some instances, your dog will not lose his or her baby teeth. As a result, the other teeth do not get the proper room to grow. There will be crowding. The problem with this is not the esthetics. Crooked teeth in a dog are inappropriate for a show dog, but may not be crucial to a pet or companion dog. The issue is the opportunity for bacterial growth. Crooked teeth may entrap food particles. These, in turn, allow bacteria to gain hold. The result can be anything from gum disease to infected teeth. You will require a dental veterinarian to remove the offending baby teeth.

2. Gingivitis. Gingivitis is a form of periodontal problems in dogs. It is an inflammation of the gums as a result of plaque build-up. The result is the irreversible loss of gums. This exposes the teeth to further plaque and tartar build-up. The result is further tooth problems. Gingivitis can be treated. A vet can scale the tooth or teeth of the dog. The vet will also polish the teeth. Preventive measures are recommended to avoid this problem. Gingivitis causes permanent gum loss. The vet dentist can only repair any damage not restore loss gums.

Preventive Care

In order to help your pet retain healthy gums and teeth for his or her life, you need to be proactive. There are several ways you can do this. Not all require a visit to the dentist.

In fact, except for a checkup once a year or so, you should not need to take your dog to the dentist at all.

Preventive care begins at home. You start when the dog is a puppy. This is when you introduce him or her to brushing daily. This, of course, unless you have an extremely talented dog with opposable thumbs, is your job. Every day you must take dog toothbrush and toothpaste in hand. You must insert the toothbrush into the dog’s mouth and brush. Make sure you do a proper job of it. Talk to your vet or read about the proper procedure.

Provide your pet with tartar fighting treats. There are many types of dog treats designed to help your dog fight off dental diseases. They are geared to help your dog enjoy taking care of his or her teeth. Certain dog food is also beneficial in helping dental control. Purchase them. You may also check on the internet or in books for natural alternatives.

If you combine an annual checkup with daily brushing and dental-abetting treats, your worries about dental problems should decrease. Your dog should have healthy teeth long into old age. This, of course, is providing he or she does not pick up some bad habits along the way. Avoid at all cost such activities as rock chasing.Information written by Joe Cheney of Oh My Dog Supplies, look for current deals on car seat coversonline.

Improving Your Dog’s Life Expectancy

As dogs age, they begin to develop health problems that are similar to what aging humans experience. Arthritis and cataracts are a big problem as dogs age, as well as incontinence. Your dog’s digestive system may not work as well as it used to, and his metabolism will slow as his activity levels decrease, which may result in your dog both having to eat a larger amount of food to get the nutrients he needs and an inability to burn off the calories that he is taking in, resulting in obesity. Your dog also may have trouble adjusting to variations in temperature, and may be extremely cold when it is a bit cool and extremely hot when it is a bit warm. Your dog also may lose its teeth and have difficulty eating.

Life expectancy for dogs varies by breed; the smallest breeds of dogs are expected to live twice as long as the very largest breeds of dogs. Some dog breeds, such as the Shiba Inu and Border Collie, are exceptionally long-lived for their size. Spaying or neutering your dog will, on average, increase a dog’s lifespan. The average lifespan for a small breed such as a Pomeranian is around fifteen to sixteen years; the average lifespan of giant breed such as a Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound is around six to seven years.

Taking care of an elderly dog can be a challenge. If your dog develops arthritis, he will have a hard time moving around like he used to. He may be unable to access his bed, jump into the car, jump up into bed with you, bend over to eat out of his food dish or drink out of his water bowl, or use the doggy door. If you notice your dog has mobility problems, it’s important to make things as convenient for your dog as possible. Sites on the internet sell doggy steps that your dog can use to climb up into bed with you or get into the car with you. If your dog is small, you may be able to pick him up to help him.

You should at least make sure your dog’s bed, his food dish, and his water dish are convenient for him to use. You may have to elevate the level of his food dish and water dish so he does not have to bend over downwards as far to eat or drink. Loss of teeth may necessitate that you change your dog’s diet to something much easier for him to chew. Place his bed in a location easily accessible to him, and make sure the surrounding area is around room temperature.

As your dog’s vision and hearing begin to get worse, he may become fearful of outside stimuli. The senses that your dog has relied upon to distinguish what is a threat and what is not are no longer reliable, so your dog may behave erratically and act fearful of events that he used to tolerate. Be gentle with your dog in his later years and don’t expose him to too many new or unwanted events, as it may cause anxiety problems for your dog. You should also be forgiving of bathroom accidents, as your dog may suffer from problems with incontinence or may begin to forget his toilet training.Content provided by Karen Kerrigan of ohmydogsupplies.com, the best shop to find rubber dog toys online.

Signs of Cancer In Dogs

A quick cancer diagnosis increases the recovery chances of your dog. There are many different types of cancer. Cancer treatment for each type also varies in intensity and duration. If your dog is over age 5, it has an increased possibility of coming down with some form of this disease. Therefore, you should be aware of the possible signs of cancer.

• Sores refuse to heal
• Bleeding or discharge from any part of the body
• Abnormal lumps, bumps or growths. While some may be benign cysts or localized infections, others are malignant tumors. Do not despair. A cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Cancer treatment, conventional or alternative, can be effective in many types of cancer.
• Persistent swellings of the body
• A loss of appetite: While dogs may go off their food for a meal or a day, it is not normal for them to abstain for longer.
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Weight loss: If this is greater than 10% of the average body weight, it can be indicative certain types of cancer.
• An unpleasant odor: this could be from one specific spot or be a general smell.
• Lameness, limping or stiffness: While older dogs frequently suffer from arthritis and limp, younger dogs should not go lame. If there is no paw cut or embedded substance in their paws, consider cancer an option.
• Problems with urination or defecation: This includes increased or decreased amounts. If your dog has not been in the garbage, or eaten or swallowed a foreign object, peeing and pooping should not be a problem. If they are regular in their toilet habits, this could indicate a serious problem.
• Overall lack of health or general decline in their behavior: If the spark is gone or if your animal is just not acting “normally” this could be a sign of cancer. This is particularly true if the dog fades suddenly, losing weight and becoming gaunt.
• Problems with breathing: While breathing problems can relate to such things as pneumonia or bronchitis, it can also be indicative of certain types of cancer.
• Weakness or loss of energy and stamina: Older dogs may not be as strong as puppies. Yet, any dog displaying prolonged signs of physical weakness, including a lack of stamina, does have health issues. A cancer diagnosis is one of the possibilities.

Final Comments

There are many types of cancer. It is more pervasive after 5-years of age, but it is found among younger dogs. If your dog exhibits the symptoms, do not hesitate to take him or her in for diagnosis. Not all treatments or tests are invasive. However, the sooner the Veterinarian makes a cancer diagnosis, the better the chances for treatment and recovery.

Content written by Gary Hanson of ohmydogsupplies.com, where you can find a fantastic assortment of pants for dogs online.

Choosing Hypoallergenic Dogs

Almost every family would love to have a dog in their home, especially the children. But what if someone in the family has allergy from dogs? Having a dog at home with someone in the family allergic to it can really pose a danger to that person and a big problem to the family. But there is a solution to this problem. And that’s getting a hypoallergenic dog.

No dog is totally hypoallergenic so the allergic person should get exposed to the dog for a while before getting a hypoallergenic dog breed. But some people who are extremely allergic may not tolerate even these hypoallergenic dog breeds. But some could be allergic to some breeds but not to other breeds so it is really just a matter of serious trial and error.

Irritants associated with the dog’s shedding hair could be one of the trigger of the allergy of one person. So dogs that don’t shed a lot could be suitable for people with allergies. This includes Greyhound, Chinese Crested, Terriers Shih Tzu and a lot more. Another thing to consider is the production of dander. Dogs that produce less dander or irritants have a lower possibility of causing allergies. Some of these dogs could be Poodles or the Samoyed.

In some cases, the dog’s saliva is a reason to trigger allergies. This still gives the possibility of even being allergic to a dog that doesn’t have hair that contain danders. Since saliva can trigger allergies, dogs that bark a lot can have these allergens and disperse more of it as saliva is projected farther than danders. Small which we think could be allergen-free could still be carriers of allergens since they are vigorous barkers.

You can reduce the allergens that your dog carries through thorough grooming. Bathe your dogs regularly and brush him often to get rid of loose hairs. It is important to keep your house clean and vacuum regularly to avoid these allergens to sticking around your house.

Having a dog could be pose a danger to someone who has allergies. It could only worsen the persons condition and make his life miserable. Having dogs around could cause an allergic person to have stuffy nose and watery eyes. And worse, constant exposure to these allergens could lead to more serious conditions like asthma. And dogs and an allergic person should not be allowed to be in one house, especially if that person is a child.

When the situation gets worse, chances are you are going to quarantine the dog or even get rid of him and this is really unfair to him.

It is still important that you take into consideration your family’s health before getting a dog though there are a lot of hypoallergenic dog breeds out there. Take all your time to find the right one that is most perfect for you and your family considering you have someone who suffers from allergy.

Information provided by Lacy Gerard of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, look for new discounts on small dog beds online.

Training a Deaf Dog

Do you have a deaf dog and wish you knew the key points to training a deaf dog? When working with a hearing impaired canine it is important to follow certain steps in order to have success: Be patient! Granted, this may sound like a no-brainer but the truth is that training a deaf dog can sometimes be frustrating and difficult. The natural tendency of even good dog owners is to sometimes get impatient and angry. Make sure to start and end every training session positively and actively make sure that your mindset is one of patience and understanding.

Use lots of physical ‘helps’. The great thing about training a deaf dog is that dogs are not verbal learners. As humans we can sit in a classroom and ‘soak up’ information. Dogs can’t do that. The fact that a dog is deaf only slightly hinders the learning process because dogs learn much more through touch and posture.

Make sure to physically help your dog understand the commands you wish to teach him. With deaf dogs it is a great idea to do extensive leash training even around the house in order to be able to communicate any idea you wish.

Get comfortable with hand signals. Training a deaf dog means that you obviously won’t be able to give any verbal commands, hand signals are the way to go. Practice your hand signals and make sure you stick to one hand signal per dog training command. Typical dog training hand signals are a closed fist for the sit command, a sweeping downwards hand motion for the lay down command, and a hand sweeping towards your chest for a come here command.

While very challenging, training a deaf dog can be very rewarding as it will help you bond very closely with each other.

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