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Dogs

  • Dogs will occasionally make a snorting sound that sounds like he or she is trying to inhale while sneezing. This may be a “reverse sneeze” and is not usually harmful. Be sure to discuss your concerns with us.
  • Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and attacks the gastrointestinal tract of infected dogs. Puppies under one year of age are at higher risk. Effective vaccines are available and recommended for all dogs.
  • Never give a puppy or dog anything to chew on that is harder than its own teeth. This includes cow bones, nylon bones and other real bones. They can break a dog’s teeth which can be quite painful.
  • Collapsing trachea is a common ailment in small breed dogs. Their windpipe is oval, prone to collapse and can close when barking. Use a harness (vs. a leash) to prevent strain on the neck. Toys or treats can be used as distractions to prevent excessive barking.
  • Mitral valve disease is the most common cause of a heart murmur in small and medium breed dogs. Chest x-rays can tell us if it is affecting heart function and pet owners can monitor breathing at home to help tailor treatment.
  • Dogs can be bathed every three days to every six weeks. Be sure to use pet grooming shampoo, protect the eyes and rinse with tepid water.
  • Spaying female dogs significantly lowers the risk of developing breast cancer or uterine disease. It is recommended this be done before the first “heat” cycle, usually around six months of age.
  • Check your dog’s ears regularly, particularly if he or she swims. Dogs with pendulous ears are more prone to ear infections, which wet ears promote.
  • Kidney disease is a leading cause of death in dogs and cats. Signs of this disease don’t appear until 75% of the kidney tissue is lost, which is why regular blood and urine screenings are recommended. When kidney disease is detected early, pets often live many years with treatment.
  • Because they are not bred with a specific skill set in mind, such as herding or hunting, mixed breed dogs are thought to adjust easily to a variety of households and living conditions.
  • Being trained as a service or therapy dog is no longer limited to just purebreds. Mixed breeds are equally as awesome and capable in this regard. They must be friendly and people oriented.
  • There are breed identification DNA tests to define your mixed breed dog’s ancestry. Your veterinarian can use this information to customize a health and wellness plan based on the specific breeds identified.
  • Dogs, in general, are seniors at age seven, but larger dogs age faster. Large and giant breed dogs are seniors at age five.
  • Dogs and cats have a third eyelid located inside the lower eyelid. It serves as an additional protective layer, especially during hunting or fighting. It contains a gland that produces a portion of the tear film It keeps their eyes safe from dryness and dirt.
  • Hot spots are a common skin disorder in dogs, caused by intense chewing and licking. They are often caused by an insect bite, most commonly a flea. It’s common for a dog to experience recurrences.
  • Thinking about giving a puppy as a gift? Nothing compares to the love and companionship of a fuzzy friend. Be absolutely sure that the recipient is ready for a new family member.
  • Signals of dominance in dogs include erect and forward ears, elevated tail, eye contact and leaning forward.
  • Many pet owners say their dog smiles. Dogs may not chuckle but they show amusement by displaying a distinct rapid panting to convey pleasure and playfulness.
  • 80% of all dogs over age two have signs of dental disease. It is more common in small dogs because they are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean.
  • Spaying your female dog or cat before she goes through her first heat cycle eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy as well as helps protect her from serious uterine infections and breast cancer.
  • There are 10 million more cats owned in America than dogs. Yet cats are less than half as likely to be seen by a veterinarian and receive healthcare.
  • One great reason to spay or neuter pets is to avoid adding to pet overpopulation. Of the 6-8 million pets entering shelters each year, one-half are euthanized, many of which are young and healthy.
  • Have your pet examined by a veterinarian at least once or twice a year – it is more likely that any health problems will be found earlier before they become serious or life-threatening.
  • In addition to food, water, shelter, veterinary care and companionship, pets need both physical and mental stimulation in the form of exercise and play. Both need to be appropriate to your pet’s age, breed, species and health status.
  • Dogs need exercise (and so do their owners)! Healthy weight maintenance, joint and muscle flexibility and positive mental stimulus are all good reasons for exercise at any age.
  • 80% of your pet’s body is made of water, while humans are only made up of 60% water. Dogs and cats need at least one ounce of water per pound each day. Fresh water in clean bowls at all times is a must!
  • Pets can become dehydrated when their body fluid levels drop to less than normal. Fluid loss can be due to overheating in hot weather or from vomiting or diarrhea, especially in puppies.
  • During hot summer months, exercise your dog(s) during the coolest time of the day. Remember to stay away from hot pavement. If it’s too hot for your feet, it’s also too hot for their feet.
  • Beach-going dogs can get sand in their eyes, which can be painful. If you notice squinting or redness, it’s best to take him or her to see the veterinarian to make sure the sand hasn’t scratched the cornea.
  • National Mutt Day is July 31 and is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. There are millions of loving and healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters, desperately searching for a new home.