Pug Health Problems

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The pug is a small dog with a wrinkled face, barrel chest, and short legs which is beloved by many around the world. In fact, the pug is one of the world’s most distinctive dogs. The dog has Chinese origins with many speculating that early Pugs were the ancestors of the modern Pekingese. There’s a lot to love about pugs. However, like other bred dogs, they’re predisposed to certain illnesses. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  1. Respiratory problems – Pugs with a reduced skull length are prone to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS). A pug which gasps for air and struggles to breathe after exercise may be prone to BAOS. You can protect your pug from BAOS by keeping him/her cool when the weather is hot, staying away from too much exercise and keeping your pug close to the ideal weight for pugs.
  2. Eye problems – Part of the pug’s charm is its bulging eyes. However, these eyes do come at a cost to the pug. The eyes of a pug may develop eye issues which result in chronic pain as well as irritation. The large eyes of pugs mean that extra care must be taken as they may damage their eyes by running into objects.
  3. Hip problems – Pugs are also prone to canine hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia occurs when there is an abnormal development of the hip joint. Symptoms of hip dysplasia are bunny hopping and limping. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia can only be corrected with surgery or medical therapy.
  4. Seizures – Seizures are another potential health issue that pugs sometimes deal with. Seizures are normally a symptom of Epilepsy. Regular vet check-ups and medication can treat epilepsy. In addition to epilepsy, young to middle-aged pugs are prone to PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis). One of the main symptom’s of PDE is seizures.
  5. Obesity – Pugs have a natural tendency to live a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle puts the majority of pugs at risk of developing obesity. Fortunately, a balanced and healthy diet combined with a regular dose of exercise is more than enough to keep your pug happily puttering through life.
  6. Skin problems – Itchy skin caused by allergies is another issue that pugs have to deal with. The wrinkled folds of a pug’s skin have the potential to trap moisture and dirt, which is quite inviting for bacteria to spread. Regular trips to the vet are the best way of making sure that your pug doesn’t have to deal with itchy skin.

Most bred dogs have health problems due to inbreeding and so on. However, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and regular trips to the vet will do a lot of good in preventing many common health problems. Regular attention is the key to making sure your best friend lives a long and healthy life.

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How to Take Care of Large Dog Breeds

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Large dogs are excellent guard dogs and great companions for life. However, they do require a bit of extra care. Animals aren’t objects which you can discard if they prove difficult to take care of. This article will highlight the needs of dog breeds and how to meet them.

  1. Food – Large dogs require more from you than your finances when it comes to their diet. Each dog is different, which means that each dog’s diet is different. You must visit the vet so that you can receive advice as to what the best diet plan for your buddy is. Your dog’s diet will change as he/she gets older. The food you give your dog should also change depending on which stage of life your dog has reached. An example of this is giving a puppy food which is chock full of calcium as well as protein as he/she will experience rapid growth throughout the first couple months of his/her life.
  2. Exercise – Most large dogs have oodles of energy to spare. This is because most large dog breeds were bred to be working dogs, hunt, pull carts, and so on in the past. If you take on the responsibility of taking care of a large dog breed, making sure he/she gets regular exercise is a part of the deal. You should take your dog out for plenty of walks and give him/her many opportunities to run, jump, and chase. In addition to this, giving them toys to take their focus away from your clothes and furniture is a must.
  3. Training – A large dog is capable of hurting you as well as other people. It is vital that you train and socialize your dog when he/she is a puppy so that he/she will listen to your commands. Train your dog to walk on a loose leash, lie down, stay, sit, and behave calmly around other dogs and people. In addition to having a well-behaved dog, training your dog in this way will tell your dog that you are the master. Your dog must be submissive to you because of how strong he/she is. If your dog doesn’t listen to you, you won’t be able to stop him/her from hurting someone else.
  4. Visits to the vet – Regular visits to the vet are important regardless of how large your dog is. You should make it a priority to visit the vet at least once or twice a year. Older dogs must visit the vet twice a year so that potential issues can be detected early. Older dogs also have different needs than younger dogs. Your vet will be able to give you advice as to which supplements and medicines you should give your dog.

If all the above seems like too much work, a large dog breed may not be for you. However, if you’re willing to put the work in, they can be very loyal and hardworking companions.

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Labrador Health Issues and Prevention

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It’s no secret that Americans love the Labrador. It didn’t become the most popular dog in the United States for no reason. Labrador’s make excellent dogs because they’re friendly, playful, loyal, and mild-tempered. The breed has a pretty sound construction. However, it’s a purebred dog, and like other purebred dogs, the breed is prone to certain health issues. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  1. Hip Dysplasia – Hip Dysplasia isn’t an exclusive ailment to the Labrador. In fact, it’s common for many medium to large dog breeds. Hip dysplasia is when the hip socket forms abnormally which results in it deteriorating. Dogs with hip dysplasia usually develop canine arthritis and sometimes lose their joints function. Hip dysplasia isn’t an issue for most dogs until their later years. However, it has been observed in dogs as young as 5 months. There’s not much you can do to prevent hip dysplasia. However, you can make sure that the puppy you take home has a low chance of developing hip dysplasia. Ask the breeder for the hip scores of the parents of the puppies. A responsible breeder will have these scores. Look for low scores which are even on each side.
  2. Ear infections – Anyone who’s owned a Labrador in the past will tell you that their large and floppy ears give the breed a comical look. The intrinsic structure of the Labrador’s ear makes ear infections common in the breed. Preventing ear infections is simple. All you need to do is make sure that your dog’s ears are clean and dry after baths or swimming. In addition to this, look for signs of infection regularly.
  3. Obesity – Labrador’s eat their food quite quickly. This habit puts them at risk of developing gastric distention which is called bloat. Gastric distention puts Labrador’s at risk of death when their stomach rotates. This puts pressure on their internal organs and also stops them from being able to vomit. Veterinarians advise watching your dog to make sure he/she eats slowly and feeding your dog on the ground level.

All of these issues may make it seem like the Labrador Retriever has a myriad of problems. However, this is far from the truth. The Labrador Retriever has much fewer problems when compared to other breeds. It is a breed that was bred for heavy-duty work, and it excels at that. A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t suit a Labrador. Make sure you feed your dog the best food you can and make sure your dog gets a lot of exercises. If you train your dog when he/she is a puppy, you’ll be able to avoid many problems as he/she gets older. Remember that sometimes you need to act like a parent to your dog.

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How to Childproof a Dog

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There are many dogs who are naturally aware of how to behave around children, and there are a few dogs who aren’t. Regardless of which category your dog falls into, all dogs still need training and socializing so that they know their boundaries. If you have children or are expecting people with children to visit your home, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your or their children are safe from your dog while they’re in your home. Have a look at how to childproof your dog.

  1. Socialize your dog – When your dog is a puppy, you need to make sure you take advantage of a critical period in his/her brain’s development. The time for action is between eight and sixteen weeks. During this time, your puppy will be quite willing to accept different people and situations. It is your responsibility as their mum or dad to make sure they are exposed to as many people and situations as possible so that they become comfortable with new people as well as situations. In that vein, introduce a new puppy to different children of different ages. It is crucial that your dog has good experiences with children so that he associates children with good feelings. Adult dogs are also quite capable of being socialized. However, the process is slower.
  2. Command train your dog – You cannot hope to teach your dog anything until it is trained to follow basic commands. Command training is important because it establishes a relationship with your dog. It teaches your dog that you are the master and not them. While you may be a gentle soul and would like to be friends with your dog, dogs don’t see your relationship as one of friendship. This is why it’s important that you establish that you’re the master and not your dog.
  3. Handling exercises are critical – Many children can’t help themselves from throwing their hands around a dog’s neck or tugging a dog’s tail. It is vital that your dog is prepared for this before he/she is exposed to a child. Any dog which is anxious or fearful at this kind of gentle prodding must be kept away from children. You can train a dog for this kind of attention by praising him a lot while gently pulling his/her tail, holding his paws and hugging him.
  4. Never leave a child alone with a dog – Regardless of how well behaved your dog is, you have a responsibility to never leave a child alone with a dog. This is because accidents are bound to happen, given the unpredictable nature of both the child and the dog. 

As you can see, there are many ways you can childproof a dog. While this isn’t a complete list, it does serve as a start for childproofing a dog. Make sure you do plenty of research so that your dog is as comfortable as possible with children.

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DIY Dog Toys from Household Items

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If you are a dog owner, you probably know how much your pup loves his toys. Dog toys are a great way to keep your puppy active and entertained. Given their sheer excitement, dogs will sometimes rip apart their toys to shreds. As dogs cannot comprehend our complex economy, they don’t realize that stocking up on dog toys can become quite expensive. If your dog wears out his toys very quickly, you might want to look at a few alternatives to purchasing new toys each time. Read on to discover how you can make fun toys for your pup from simple materials lying around the house.

1. T-shirt tug toy

If you have a pair of old t-shirts lying around the house, bring them out to make an easy and fun toy for your furry friend. Take an old tennis ball and wrap a flat section of the t-shirt around it. Cut off the excess fabric and cut the fabric lying around the ball into nine slits. Secure underneath the ball and begin braiding the slits into equal sections. Tie off the ends, and you have yourself a brand-new tug toy!

2. Interactive feeder

This is an easy way to make your pup work for his treats. Take an old PVC pipe and secure one of the ends. Drill a few medium-sized holes into the pipe and sandpaper the edges. Wash the pipe and allow to dry. Put in a few of your dog’s favorite treats into the pipe and secure off the other end as well. All your pup has to do is roll the pipe around and watch his favorite treats drop out of the holes.

3. T-shirt water bottle

It is a mystery as to why dogs love crunchy sounds so very much. For this toy, all you need is a used plastic bottle and an old t-shirt. Just wrap the t-shirt around the bottle and hem the ends to secure the bottle tightly. Toss this to your pup and watch him bite and play with his new toy for hours on end.

4. Sock toss-toy

With this DIY, you can finally make use of that single sock whose twin got lost in the dryer. Grab an old tennis ball and drop it inside a sock. Secure it tightly with twine or a thread. Dogs love socks and fetch, making this a perfect toy for your precious pup.

5. Frozen sock toy Dogs love chewing on frozen things. Use an old sock and twist it to make two knots. Soak in water and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Your pup will enjoy chewing on this toy on hot summer days.

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Training Your Dog to Cope with Visitors

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Dogs can either be very excited or very aggressive when a guest comes home. If your dog is too hyper, he might jump around and bark loudly. On the other hand, if your pet is anxious, he can be withdrawn or even show aggression through barking and growling.

Here are a few tips that will help your dog cope with visitors.

  • It is best to allow a safe space that your dog can retreat to if he feels unsure of being in the living area. A crate or a dog bed will help your dog feel safe and will help him calm down. You should be able to train your dog to go to the designated spot with a single command that can be used for when guests arrive.
  • You can choose to leash your dog when a guest arrives to encourage him to stay on his best behavior in the presence of other people. This will also prevent your dog from bolting out of the house when someone opens the door.
  • Reinforcing commands will help the owner stay in control of their pet. Orders like ‘stay’, ‘no’ and ‘down’ are an essential part of dog training that will help you teach your pup good behavior.
  • You should be confident when your guest arrives. Showing signs of comfort like a hug or a handshake and a loud, confident voice will give your dog a clue that the visitor is known to you.
  • It is important to introduce your dog to your guest. Dogs like to sniff people in order to get familiar with their scent. If your dog picks up your scent from your guest, he is more likely to be comfortable with your guest.
  • Remember to reward positive behavior. If your dog has behaved properly around your guest, treat him with his favorite snack or toy. This will encourage good behavior in the future as well.

How your visitors can cope with your pet

Sometimes, a dog can sense fear from your guest, which can, in turn, make your dog more anxious or stressed out. If your guest is scared of dogs, it is best to leash your pet in order to avoid any untoward incidents. Similarly, if your dog is still being trained, make sure to let your guests know in advance. You can also encourage your guest to give your dog a treat to create a bond between the two of them. It will also be helpful for your guests to learn a few hand gestures to be able to control your pup more effectively. It is important to socialize your pup to enable them to handle strangers better. Allowing your pup to interact with other dogs and their owners from an early age can help them overcome any fear of the outside world. If your dog is more comfortable with strangers, he can definitely cope when guests come over to your house.

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Tips for Traveling with Dogs

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Dog owners everywhere can vouch that their four-legged friends make wonderful companions. Being a dog parent is not an easy task, especially if your lifestyle requires you to stay out of your house most of the time. There are quite a few travel enthusiasts out there who suffer separation anxiety when they have to stay away from their furry friends for long durations. Traveling with your pet is a unique experience as you get to explore different places and environments with your best friend. If you wish to travel with your dog, you will need to weigh the pros and cons and be prepared for lots of planning. Here are a few tips to help you navigate through the process.

Choosing where to travel with your dog

The breed, age, and health of your pup should be evaluated thoroughly before you decide on your travel destination. If you and your pup live in a colder location, traveling to a hot and sunny destination can cause quite a few troubles with your dog’s health and mood. Similarly, traveling from a hot location to a cold place will require you to take plenty of precautions to prevent your pup from falling ill. If you are planning to permanently relocate to another location, ensure that the new town or city has a climate similar to that of your current city. Doing so will make the transition process much easier for your beloved companion.

Mode of transport

If you are planning to fly to another city or country with your pet, you will need to research the many quarantine regulations and transportation guidelines imposed by countries and air travel companies. Your pet will most likely have to undergo tests and check-ups to ensure that he is fit for travel. If you intend to put your dog in a crate for the duration of the travel, consider preparing your pet in advance by training him to feel safe and comfortable inside the crate. If you will be traveling for longer durations, it is most advisable not to bring your pet along as it would seriously affect your pup’s schedules and comfort level.

If you are traveling by road, ensure that your pup is well-hydrated and is not exposed to extreme temperature changes. Feed your pup much ahead of the travel in order to avoid any motion sickness. Invest in appropriate equipment such as leashes and window mesh to safeguard your dog in the car.

At the Destination

Once you reach your destination, pay special attention to your dog’s behavior and health. Maintain a routine for your dog – including scheduled walks and regular mealtimes to ease the stress that accompanies long travels.

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The Benefits of Having a Dog Bed

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You may have noticed that your furry friend can make itself cozy just about anywhere. Your pup might particularly enjoy cuddling up next to you on your bed or even sprawling out on the couch. If you have reservations about investing in a dog bed due to the extra expenditure, you will be surprised to find out the numerous benefits of having a dog bed.

The comforts of a dog bed

A dog bed provides warmth and comfort for your pup. The body heat from your pooch will insulate the bedding, creating a perfect place to snuggle up. This will also prevent your pup from sleeping on cold and hard surfaces like tiles and wood floors.

If your pet suffers from any weakness, joint stiffness, or age-related illnesses like arthritis, it is best to create a comfortable place for your dog to relax in. A padded dog bed will be much softer and cozier and can provide your pooch with the adequate support it needs.

Benefits to the Pet Owner

Even if you love cuddling with your pet, it is important to create some boundaries to ensure the best for both you and your pooch. Having a dog bed as the designated spot for your pup to retreat to can help you in training him better. If you are worried about shedding on couches and carpets, training your pet to sleep in his bed will ensure that you will not have to tidy up too much. A dog bed is also convenient to clean as it comes with easily removable and washable covers. It is also safe to have your dog rest in his dog bed, as it can prevent him from jumping around unstable surfaces and possibly injuring himself.

How to choose the right dog bed

There are plenty of dog bed options in the market, but choosing the right one for your pet might be quite confusing. In order to ensure the utmost comfort and security, there are a few parameters to be checked.

  • Depending on your dog’s size and their most preferred sleeping position, you will need to choose the most proportionate bed for your dog. If your pup likes rolling around or stretching out, you will need to pick a bigger bed to create more comfort. Also, ensure that there is enough place in your home for the dog bed to fit in comfortably.
  • Bed stuffing is also an important factor while choosing a dog bed. Avoid buying beds with stuffing that your dog may be allergic or sensitive to. The stuffing should be firm yet gentle and should make your pup feel relaxed and comfortable.

Invest in a bed cover to make your job easier! A removable bed cover can be taken out easily for washing and cleaning. Fresh sheets can encourage your puppy to feel more relaxed in his bed. Just like the stuffing, ensure that the bed cover is made of a soft and comfortable fabric.

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How to care for your dog during the monsoon

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Monsoons can be a very testing time. The rainy season brings down the temperatures, which is desirable, of course. But along with it comes the dampness that could be problematic for your furry friend. Letting your dog remain wet for too long can result in long term health problems.

The damp season usually brings along with it health issues like skin infections, pests, itchiness, indigestion, and water-borne diseases. To keep your dogs clean and safe during this spell of monsoon, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Keep them dry

Most of the problems associated with the monsoons come from the dampness it induces. If your spirited pet spends too much time outside and keeps getting wet every time, it might develop numerous skin diseases like fungal infections and rashes. Pat dry it’s coat after getting wet in the drizzle. To be a little safer, get your dog some proper rain gear. There are raincoats for dogs too as well as waterproof dog shoes. Make sure your dog is covered up with these before going for a walk or to play outside.

Use anti-fungal powder on coat and paws

The dampness may get trapped in your dog’s fur if not dried well enough and develop fungal infections on the skin. Another very important part to be taken care of is the paws. During the rains, your dog steps on puddles of murky water or mud and dirt. This might cause fungal or bacterial infections to breed in their paws as well. Keep an anti-fungal powder handy in the monsoons. After every bath or every time, it gets wet in the rain, dust its coat and paws with the powder after drying properly.

Give a regular bath

Monsoons may be cooler, and you might think your dog doesn’t need a bath regularly. But that’s not true. Give your dog a regular bath with clean water and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial shampoo. Dry the coat with a blow dryer if your dog isn’t afraid of it. Or else, towel dries thoroughly. After drying, use an anti-fungal or anti-tick powder.

Clean their beds

Hygiene is of utmost importance during the rains. Many pests, like ticks and fleas, also find this damp season perfect to breed in your dog’s furry coat. To avoid the breeding of pests, it is important to keep your dog and its surroundings clean. Even if your dog has a bath regularly, fleas might get back on its coat broom its bed or its kennel. Keep your dog’s bed clean. Change the covers regularly and expose the bed to the sun whenever you have the opportunity.

Store food in a clean and dry environment

Monsoons may also bring along a number of water-borne diseases. To avoid your dog from catching an illness, store its food in a clean and hygienic place in closed airtight containers.

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How to Manage Your Pet’s Shedding

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It is natural for your pet to shed some fur to allow for new hair growth. Although it is a part of their grooming process, shedding can be exceptionally inconvenient to pet owners. Fur can end up in the most unexpected places, on your bed and even on your clothes. Read on to find out how you can manage your pet’s shedding.

Healthy Diet

The most crucial step is to cure the internal cause of excessive shedding. A poor diet can reflect itself on your pet’s hair. The hair becomes brittle and is prone to falling off more than usual. Protein and healthy fats are important when it comes to fur care. You can choose to add olive oil or flaxseed oil to your pet’s food to see positive improvements in your pet’s fur coat.

Hydration

Speaking of internal causes, it is crucial that your pet is well-hydrated. Clean and freshwater must be provided to your pet at all times. Semi-solid or liquid foods also help increase the intake of fluids, providing extra hydration. If you notice your pet being reluctant to drink water, you can add some low-sodium broth to flavor the water in order to encourage them to drink up more.

Regular Brushing

Moving on to external care, a good brushing every now and then is the easiest and quickest way to tackle excess hair fall. It is most ideal to brush your pet’s coat every alternate day to ensure the best results. There are several pet hair brushes available in the market. Use a strong yet delicate brush to remove all the loose and damaged hair gently. Brushing also helps with oil distribution, which will help keep your pet’s coat shiny and healthy.

Regular Baths

Regular bathing is key when it comes to keeping your pet in good shape. Apart from the cleansing properties, it is a great way to ensure that the loose hair is removed gently. The accumulation of dirt can weaken the hair shaft on your pet’s skin, leading to excessive shedding. Use pet-friendly shampoos and conditioners to provide the best cleansing and nourishing properties to your beloved pooch.

Skincare

It is important to get your pet’s skin evaluated for any deficiencies or skin conditions. Allergies are a primary reason for itchy and dry skin. Excessive skin scratching can also pull out the fur, leading to more shedding. As skincare and fur maintenance go hand-in-hand, ensure that your pet’s skin is healthy and supple. A nourished skin will give way to healthy fur, which can eliminate extra shedding.  Be vigilant of your pet showing any signs of unnatural shedding. Bald patches, excessive scratching, and clumps of fur can indicate the presence of more serious health conditions. In order to minimize the effects of shedding, you will need to clean up more often. Vacuum regularly to tidy up the places your pet frequents. The above steps will surely help you manage your pet’s shedding effectively.

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