Should You Spay/Neuter Your Dog?

Many dog owners face the decision of whether or not to have their dog spayed or neutered. The dilemma is one that people sometimes grabble with for many reasons. Some fear that the surgery would be too expensive or that it would change the personality of the dog.

Other owners simply believe that their 강남휴게텔 pet is beautiful and that allowing him/her to generate puppies would mean that others could also enjoy such a beautiful pet. And of course, some people are breeders, and true breeders have a goal of continuing the purity and quality of the breed.

Before we go any further, you should learn what the words ‘spay’ and neuter’ mean. Spaying usually includes the surgical removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. During neutering of male dogs the testicles are removed.

There are many organizations that offer free or reduced fees on these procedures. Additionally, depending on where you purchase your pet, the procedure may already be factored in according to a contractual agreement. If the cost is a factor in your decision-making process then you can put in a Google search for ‘free spay and neuter’.

In reality, most dog owners find that an altered pet is a better companion. The procedure does not change their basic personality. A watch dog will still be just as territorial as ever, and a lapdog with a sweet disposition will remain just that. The difference will be that the male dogs will no longer

Male dogs are known to mark their territory and to escape from their yard in an attempt to mate with a female in heat. Roaming dogs in search of a mate are likely to become aggressive with other dogs, or even people. Another risk is that of running into traffic in search of a female. Neutering can reduce those instincts and have a calming effect.

Females come into heat approximately every six months. During that time (which can last for up to 3 weeks) she is likely to drip blood throughout your home and her temperament is likely to change. She may be short-tempered and even aggressive with other female dogs in the home and she is likely to actively seek a mate.

These procedures have been proven to prevent certain types of cancer and other health problems. But as with any type of surgery, there some risks involved, but the procedures rarely come with complications. Check with your veterinarian to decide the best age to have the procedure done. He/she will be able to discuss fees and surgery preparation, surgery itself, and aftercare. Typically the dog will stay at the veterinarian hospital for at least several hours or overnight.

Spaying and neutering is good for your pet and for you. Your pet will be safer and happier in some ways and you will have the peace of mind in knowing that you are not contributing to the millions of pets that are needlessly euthanized every year.

Should You Have Your Dog’s Ears Cropped?

Should You Have Your Dog’s Ears Cropped?

There are several dog breeds that regularly are seen with cropped ears; including Boxers, Schnauzers, Great Danes, and others. Thousands of young puppies are forced to endure surgery which is expensive, uncomfortable, relatively dangerous, and can be painful in the recovery phases. The amazing part is this surgery is totally unnecessary.

This practice was started centuries ago when dog fighting sports were legal and popular. The idea was that it was more humane to crop the dogs’ ears rather than have them shredded during a battle, which of course, would be more painful and have potentially worse complications. But the point is that because we no longer allow our dogs to fight for sport there is no humane and practical purpose of cropping ears. But the expensive and needless surgery continues.

We have become accustomed to seeing certain breeds with cropped ears and if we saw one with natural ears he would stand out. Even though AKC does not require cropped ears, a dog with natural ears in a ring full of crop-eared animals would most likely not stand a chance of winning. We simply expect a breed to look a certain way and when a dog doesn’t we question his bloodline and basically think he looks funny or out of place. Breeders and dog owners alike have complied with this expectation of society and therefore it is perpetuated – the cycle continues.

There are obviously numerous reasons not to crop a dog’s ears. Please see the list below:

The surgery is unnecessary and all surgeries come with a certain amount of risk. Ear cropping is no exception to that. It simply is not justifiable.

The surgery is usually done when the puppy is between six and ten weeks old. This is a time when the pup is emotionally fragile. Permanent damage to the puppy’s disposition can result as a reaction to the trauma of the surgery, the pain and frustration of post-operative bandaging, racking and taping.

There can be quite a loss of blood during this surgery. The physical effect on the puppy can be very damaging.

Ear-cropping happens about the same time that the puppy is ready to be sold. In many states the surgery must be performed by a veterinarian.  This adds to the cost the breeder must incur which means he/she will take a large cut from the profits or have to pass the cropping costs along to the buyer. And most buyers do not find puppies with bandaged heads as attractive as those without.

It’s your decision in the end. If you want your dog to look like all the others then ear cropping is probably the way to go. But please keep in mind that ear cropping is a choice, not a requirement.

Rabies: Is Your Dog At Risk?

Rabies: Is Your Dog At Risk?

In almost every case of rabies, the infection is fatal. All mammals (including humans) are susceptible to this virus infection, which causes an acute infection of the brain. During the illness disturbances of behavior are noted, which in some species results in unprovoked aggression and the biting of other animals. This is usually the case with an affected dog. And because the rabies virus can be present in saliva, bites and licks from infected animals can spread the disease.

The good news is that the rabies vaccine is very effective in preventing the spread of rabies to pet dogs and cats. And, rabies vaccinations are required by law in most areas, which helps to protect both people and pets. These vaccinations are considered to be core vaccines for dogs and cats.

The particulars of the rabies protocols differ slightly from one state to another and even from one veterinarian to another, but typically, the first vaccine is given to puppies at 12 weeks. A rabies booster vaccine is given a year later and then it is administered either annually or every three years.

Insuring that a pet receives and keeps current with the rabies vaccine is an important component of dog ownership. It protects the family of the pet, the pet itself, as well as other animals and people. When a person is bitten by a dog one of the first things checked is the veterinarian record.

In most cases, if the dog is current with his vaccines, according to the state protocols, the danger of the individual being exposed to rabies is considered negligible. But if the dog was not vaccinated it is likely that the animal will be quarantined for a period of ten to fourteen days. In most cases, the owner of the pet will be responsible for the cost of this confinement which will take place in a secured facility.

Incubation in a person is usually three to eight weeks but it can be as long as two years. Initial symptoms may include numbness around the area of the bite, fever, headaches, and general fatigue.

If a dog is bitten by a rabid animal or is suspected of being infected with rabies the outcome will be much more positive if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies. If so, in most cases the pet will be re-vaccinated and confined for a period of time (which varies from state to state, generally from 30 – 50 days).

If the animal was not vaccinated and the exposure is confirmed the usual recommendation is euthanasia for the pet. Otherwise, the pet is quarantined for a lengthy period of time, often for as long as six months. The confinement takes place in a secure facility and the pet owner is liable for the expenses incurred. Fines are also assessed for not having the pet properly vaccinated.  If the dog shows signs of illness euthanasia is likely.

When an animal is infected with the rabies virus the infection or virus is replicated in tissues throughout the body and it eventually reaches the brain. When it does there is a personality change in the animal. The dog is likely to be aggressive and dangerous to be around. Soon afterward the animal’s throat is likely to become paralyzed, preventing him from swallowing. In this phase you are likely to see drooling or foaming at the mouth. Death usually occurs within ten days from the time the brain of the animal becomes infected.

Protecting Your Dog From Kennel Cough

Protecting Your Dog From Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is one of those terms that are often heard in association with dogs but few people have a clear understanding of what this infection really is and how to protect their pet. The fact is that kennel cough is common in dogs that are living (temporarily or permanently) in a crowded or stressful situation. The infection is characterized by a deep 강남휴게텔 cough, which sounds almost as if the dog has something caught in its throat.

The medical name for this infection is ‘canine infectious tracheo-bronchitis’. There are many possible causative agents or factors of this infection including stress caused by travel or by crowded conditions, exposure to cold temperatures or exposure to pollutants in the air. Even cigarette smoke can pose a risk.

Kennel cough is the result of a reduction in the animal’s normal protective mechanisms of the respiratory tract. In addition or combination with the factors listed above, the actual bacterium responsible for kennel cough is ‘Bordetella Bronchiseptica’. Because the cough is extremely contagious and is passed from dog to another via respiratory secretions, boarding kennels, animal shelters, and grooming shops are often places that dogs seem to ‘catch’ the cough.

Some cases of kennel cough resolve themselves. If your dog develops a cough but continues to eat and be active there is a good chance that the problem will end on its own, without any medical intervention. However, in other cases, especially in those involving young puppies, the kennel cough can be more serious and can even result in the development of pneumonia. These pets will need the professional care of a veterinarian. In all likelihood they will receive antibiotics as well as anti-tussives for the cough.

Vaccinations are available for this infection, but they are not always recommended for all dogs. Instead, they are given to dogs at risk for Bordetella. Most boarding kennels require that dogs be vaccinated against the infection before they can stay. Although few groomers require that dogs be vaccinated against Bordetella, it is advisable that any dog that regularly visits a groomer have the vaccination. The same is true for dog training classes. In fact, the vaccination is warranted for dogs that regularly visit a dog park or other area where they are likely to socialize with unknown dogs.

It is important to note that even with the vaccination dogs can still develop the clinical signs and symptoms of kennel cough. The good news is that the symptoms will be milder and usually will not last long.

It’s always suggested that you talk with your veterinarian to determine if your dog should be vaccinated against this or any type of disease or infection. In most cases though, if your dog socializes with other dogs, having him vaccinated against Bordetella is a good idea. Other things to consider include the climate you live in and the air quality your dog is exposed to routinely. Protection is almost always easier than dealing with the consequences of ignoring a potential health threat.

Protecting Your Dog From Holiday Dangers

Protecting Your Dog From Holiday Dangers

It’s not uncommon for us to want to share a wonderful holiday meal with our dog. After all, we want them to enjoy the season just like we do, right? The problem is that a meal high in fat content can cause pancreatitis in dogs. This is especially true with obese dogs. An example of such a meal would include such food items as the traditional holiday ham or gravy.

The symptoms may not be apparent and therefore the condition may go unnoticed. In fact, some dogs have died of pancreatitis without showing signs of the problem. Just to be on the safe side it is wise to avoid being overly generous with your holiday meals. Keep the fatty table scraps for compost and let your dog eat his regular food. And please remember that turkey bones should never be given to a dog because they splinter – which means they can cause serious problems for your dog.

Many of the desserts and treats we indulge in at holiday time not only contain too many calories for our pets (and us!), but in some cases, they are very dangerous for our pets. A good example of this is chocolate. Chocolate has been known to cause everything from vomiting to coma and even death. Raisins can also be detrimental to dogs. This can include even a few raisins so dogs should not eat treats that contain raisins.

Many of the decorative items used at Christmas time are dangerous to dogs. Snow globes are one example. Although the newer globes are usually filled with a safe liquid, many of the older ones are said to be filled with a poisonous fluid. Since it is almost impossible to be sure if your snow globe is safe or not, it is wise to insure that it is in a safe location.

The Poinsettia plant can make a dog very ill if eaten. Although the illness is usually short-lived, it is very uncomfortable. Mistletoe and Holly can cause more serious problems.

When it comes to Christmas and decorating we leave no stone unturned. We hang wreaths on the doors and put trees up in our homes. We then drape sparkling tinsel over our lovely tree, which of course, is another hazard to our little pets. In addition to the tinsel we light our tree up which means we have electrical cords attached to it. Once again, this can be another dangerous item for a dog.

If we are using a live tree we may add chemicals to the water in the tree stand to extend the life of the tree. If our dog drinks that water he could become very ill.

As we enjoy the holidays many of us relax with alcohol or even recreational drugs. A word of caution: some dogs like the taste of alcohol, but for safety reasons, dogs should never be allowed to consume alcohol. Dogs seem to be very susceptible to marijuana. The effects can last for up to two days and they can be severe.

During the holidays and all other times, insure that your home is safe for your pet. Don’t allow him to be around things that pose a threat to him. Remember, your dog’s safety is your responsibility, he depends on you.

Preparations For Bringing Your Puppy Home

Preparations For Bringing Your Puppy Home

After what seems like a long wait you are finally ready to get your new puppy. Preparing for a new puppy is exciting, after all, you are adding to your family. And just like preparing for a human baby, you need to be ready for this little fur-baby.

Planning ahead will make the move to your home easier for the puppy and for you. One of the first things you will want to do is have the puppy checked out by a veterinarian. It’s a good idea to know in advance, what veterinarian you plan to take your puppy to. Some veterinarians will do this first check for free. It is simply to confirm that your puppy is healthy and that the vaccinations are on track. This also gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have at that time.

Most breeders will provide a puppy packet which usually includes a sampling of the food the pup is used to and a toy and/or blanket that has been used by the momma dog and the littermates. The scent on these items is comforting to the puppy. Some breeders also include booklets of information related to the care of the puppy.

Your puppy will need a safe environment. He will be curious and he is likely to chew on any and every thing. It is your responsibility to see that he is kept in an area that is safe. A puppy play pen works well for this. These are flexible in shape and even in size. They are large enough to have a place for a bed, a place for food and water, a play area, and a place for the puppy pad. Many people find that dog crates can come in handy at times.

Because your puppy will want to be with you as much as possible you will probably find it convenient to have at least two or three dog beds for him. Put these in strategic places that you spend a lot of time, spots that will be close to you.

Grooming supplies are essential. At minimum you will need a dog shampoo and a brush. But keep in mind that dogs do not need bathes as often as humans; in fact, you should not bath your dog more than one time per week unless it is absolutely necessary.

Every puppy needs toys. You can make your own with pieces of rope, old toys, or even an old sock with a tennis ball in it. Or you can buy actual dog toys such as the squeaky toys or stuffed animals made especially for dogs. As long as you provide all the essentials, including food, water, playtime and love, your puppy will be happy.

    

How Important Is Your Dog’s Name?

How Important Is Your Dog’s Name?

When you get a new 강남휴게텔 puppy you of course have to name him or her. If the puppy is registered you will need a name for the official registration papers as well as a call name. Both names are important, but in different ways.

The registered name often begins with the name of the kennel that the dog came from. This is also a part of his show name. All registered names must be original. Although these names have a rather fancy sound to them, when you understand more about how they are given they are actually fun.

Besides the kennel name the registered names can include the name of the dam and or the sire. Any combination of ancestors along with a theme is very common. However, AKC limits the name to thirty-six characters in length, including spaces, so if the names are long it can certainly present a problem. For an extra fee the length can be extended up to fifty characters.

Registered names often have no relationship whatsoever with the call name. Call names should be rather short; two to three syllables is the recommended length. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have more than one dog the names should be different enough that the dogs can easily distinguish them. For example, naming one dog Holly and another one Molly would not be a good idea.

Many people choose to name their dogs right away; in fact, they may even have the name picked out before they ever see the dog. Other people want to keep the dog a wait or two before naming him so that they can choose a name that matches the dog’s personality. And still others prefer a name that describes the dog’s physical appearance to some degree, such as naming a big dog Bruno or a Black dog Blackie.

Originality is nice but when it comes to dogs, just like people’s names, there are certain names that are all time favorites for particular breeds or dog stereotypes. And just as with human names, dog names sometimes become popular because of a TV show, a song, an actor, a movie, a rock band, etc. Since dogs can live to be up to twenty years or longer it is suggested that the name be one that is somewhat evergreen; simply meaning that the name will have significance in the years to come, even if the namesake doesn’t.

Once you have decided on a name you should begin using it as much as possible. The goal is to find ways to get your dog to associate the name with a meaning. By using his name regularly he will quickly pick up on the fact that the name refers to him.

Housebreaking Your Dog In Four Simple Steps

Housebreaking Your Dog In Four Simple Steps

Ask any dog owner what is the most important thing that their new dog learns and 9 out of 10 will say that they want their dog to be housetrained. The problem is that there are more dogs that are not housebroken than are. The reason for that is because many dog owners are not patient enough to train their dogs, so they give up.

Dogs actually do want to please their owners. They are pack animals and because you are the one that provides food and shelter you are the alpha dog; you are the pack leader. But you have to think like a dog and work with them. Housebreaking can be done in four simple steps as follows:

Restrict the area that your dog is allowed to freely roam in. This should be no more than the area that you can keep watch over. By limiting the area to what you can supervise you will be able to closely monitor your dog.

Be diligent about taking your dog out as you should. Puppies will need to go out more often than older dogs. Always be ready to immediately take the pet outdoors when he wakes up. This is a time that you count on that he will look for a spot to ‘go’. Dogs also ‘go’ after eating, drinking, and exercise. Once again, older dogs can wait much longer than puppies.

When you take the dog out be sure to say whatever word or phrase you want him to associate with the deed. Just keep in mind that you may be saying this in public at some point in time so make it something that is not embarrassing. Taking your dog to the same place each time helps him to associate the spot with the deed. Do not play with your dog during these trips outdoors. He needs to understand that the trip has a purpose. When he finishes you should lavish praise on him, let him know he did good.

Repeat until your dog gets the idea and begins signaling to you that he needs to go out. If your dog makes a mess indoors it means that you were not monitoring as closely as you should have been. Never punish your dog for accidents. Simply continue with the training and expect that there will be a few accidents along the way. Some dogs continue to have occasional accidents but others will do anything not to ‘go’ indoors.

Many small breed owners find that the use of puppy pads works for their dogs. Rather than taking their little dog out the dog simply messes on the pad and it is disposed of. This also works for dogs that are left alone for long periods of time.

Dog Training Tips from the Experts

Dog Training Tips from the Experts

Whether you have a new puppy or an old dog, it makes good sense to invest a little time training them. And while there is an abundance of information available about how to train your dog, you can go wrong with dog training tips from the experts.

1.  Positive reinforcement is essential. While there are many theories on how to train your dog, most dog training experts agree that positive reinforcement works best. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your dog with verbal praise “good dog”, physical praise like a pat on the head and food rewards. It doesn’t involve yelling at your dog, hitting or punishing them.

Positive reinforcement works because it builds a bond of trust with your dog. Dogs are motivated by rewards especially food rewards.

2. Consistency is essential. If you’re working with your dog on a specific skill or trick then try to train them at the same time every day. This helps your dog know what to expect. Most dogs thrive on structure and will perform and learn much faster when they know what’s expected. If you’re training using food rewards, try to train your dog before mealtime so they’re a little bit hungry and motivated.

3. Be patient. Dogs tend to learn in waves. Sometimes they pick things up quickly and then the next day it seems like you have to start over from the very beginning. Be patient. Start each new trick with very small steps and be clear about what you expect. Even with the smallest tricks like “sit” you will want to break it down into smaller steps.

4. Use hand cues in addition to verbal cues. Some dogs have an easier time understanding and remembering hand signals than they do with verbal cues. Assign a hand signal to each trick or behavior you are training.

5. Train in small increments. Dogs have short attention spans. Trying to train them for twenty or thirty minutes 강남휴게텔 isn’t going to work. They’re going to get frustrated and lose focus. Instead, keep training sessions to no more than five minutes.

In the beginning, you may want to train for only a minute or two until your dog learns to look forward to training. Dogs can learn to dislike training. Keeping the training sessions short will help them learn to enjoy the process.

6. Always end on a positive note. Learning a new trick is hard work. End each training session, no matter how frustrating, on a positive note. Always give your dog a trick or behavior to perform that they know how to perform and end with a food reward and plenty of praise.

7. Keep your dog healthy. Finally, one of the most important dog training tips from the experts recommends feeding your dog a quality dog food, giving them plenty of fresh water and making sure they get enough sleep. A healthy dog is a happier dog and will learn desired behaviors much more quickly.

Dog Diseases – Rabies

Dog Diseases – Rabies

When we think of rabies, our dog comes to mind. We imagine a raging dog with a foaming mouth. Rabies is a viral disease that can infect any warm-blooded animal. This includes dogs and humans. Rabies is spread through the infected saliva or tissues of an animal carrying the virus. Wild animals are normally the carriers of this virus and when they bite other animals, the virus is transmitted through the saliva onto the open wounds of the other animals. It is possible that these wild animals might bite some stray dogs that in turn may transmit the virus to other dogs and so it passes from animal to animal.

The virus enters the dog via the infected saliva and travels along the nerves to the spinal cord and brains. During this period, the dog cannot infect others since it has not yet reached the brains. Once it reaches the brain, it becomes present in the salivary glands and the dog becomes contagious and capable of passing the virus to others. Rabies can cause aggression and erratic behavior in the animal. Any bite or even scratch from a rabid animal is dangerous as it can pass on to the next victim through their saliva.

Rabies affects the nervous system, causing inflammation of the brain and spinal cord resulting in abnormal behaviors. There are three stages of infection and each stage has its own symptoms and indications. The prodromal stage is the first stage. It lasts for 2-3 days. The dog exhibits either aggressiveness or timidity. The dog may have fever and slow eye reflexes. You might notice some scratches or bites on the dog that they are being chewed or licked by the dog. The second stage which lasts for 2-4 days is referred to as the furious stage. The dog will show erratic behaviors such as restlessness, incessant barking, random roaming around, and attacking inanimate objects. They may become disoriented and in some cases experience seizures. Be very careful if you approach the dog as the dog might attack you unintentionally due to their disorientation. The third and final stage is the paralytic stage. Lasting for about 2-4 days, paralysis begins to set in starting at the part where the dog was bitten or scratched. This is the stage when drooling and foaming at the mouth begin to happen. Paralysis of the face and throat can cause a distortion in the dog’s facial features, making it appear as a face of terror and anger. It is very hard to control the dog and you can accidentally get bitten or scratched by the dog’s violent movements. Death normally occurs 3-7 days from the time the symptoms start showing in the dog. Do not go near the animal. Contact a veterinarian or animal control officer to handle the situation.

There is no test or method to conclusively diagnose rabies in dogs. Once a person is bitten by a dog, or any animal for that matter, it is advisable to capture and cage the animal for observation of any symptoms and signs of rabies. The animal will be kept under observation for a period of time. Some people take anti-rabies immediately as a precaution rather than wait for the observation period to be completed. Others may opt to kill the animal and conduct an autopsy to determine if there is rabies. Unfortunately, this approach requires killing the animal and if the results are negative, the animal is already dead.

Rabies is a deadly and vicious viral disease which can affect animals and humans alike. There is no known treatment for rabies when it affects the dogs. The dog can either fight the disease through their immune system or be put to death. Since there is apparently no cure for rabies, the next option is prevention. Fortunately, anti-rabies vaccines have been developed that can prevent rabies from affecting the dogs. These vaccinations stimulate the development of anti-bodies to fight off the rabies virus but are effective only if applied before the animal contracts the disease. Vaccination should be done regularly as they lose their potency after a period of time. Do not allow your dog to chase or disturb wildlife. Keep away from animals that appear to behave oddly.