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What Makes Your Pet Happy

Are there tell-tail signs that indicate to you your pet
is happy? Why, yes, there are!

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A Happy Dog…

  • has a “sparkle” or “glow” about him. He’s interested in his surroundings and enjoys interaction with people and other animals.
  • makes eye contact and is interested in his humans’ activities. He often joins in on the fun.
  • is interested in eating his food.
  • has a shiny coat, bright eyes, pink gums and a pink tongue (except for Shar Peis, Chow Chows, or other black tongued breeds, of course!)
  • wags his tail when in verbal or physical contact with humans.
  • makes pleasure noises when interacting with humans and other animals (noises that his humans know as happy noises).
  • sleeps well at night with little or no disturbance.
  • rolls around in obvious pleasure.
  • appears to spontaneously seek pleasure, like running and/or swimming in the surf when at the beach.
  • is relaxed around other dogs and has good inter-canine relationships.

 

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A Happy Cat…

  • is confident, interacts with her humans, and often initiates contact.
  • “talks” to her humans (the classic sound of feline happiness is the “purrrrrr,” of course).
  • has bright eyes, a good coat, pink gums and tongue, and grooms herself several times per day.
  • rolls on her back, jumps and plays.
  • wanders around her house and/or outdoors seeking entertainment, such as swatting at bugs, chasing butterflies, calling birds, using her scratching post, and playing hide and seek.

You’ll likely notice the list for a happy cat is noticeably shorter than the list for a happy dog, but, as most cat lovers know, cats aren’t quite as outgoing as dogs and are prone to standoffish personalities.

So how does your pet rank on the happiness meter? Is Tigger a typical happy cat, or do you feel there may be cause to worry? Whether you are the pet parent of a dog or a cat, if you notice any concerning changes in your pet’s behavior, speak to your vet. After all, while our pets can display obvious signs of happiness like the ones above, they can’t verbally tell us when something is wrong, and are quite skilled at masking pain and discomfort.

Acid Reflux in Dogs

Just like us, dogs can also get acid reflux. The condition in dogs is referred to Gastroesopogeal Reflux which is a condition that has gastric and intestinal fluids that connect the throat and the stomach. That means that the condition may show up when there is a relaxation of the base of the esophagus and also this may cause chronic vomiting. The reflux is very common in dogs, it can occur at any time and it seems that younger dogs are at a greater risk than older dogs.

This gastro intestinal acid, is called pepsin, bile salts, and there are other kinds of juices as well as mucus that can lead to the inflammation and the swelling of the esophagus as well when they come into contact with the throat.

The condition is able to happen in dogs and also in cats and is important to make sure that it is treated as quickly as possible in the event that it is seen in all dogs.

What Are the Symptoms of This Condition?

This condition can cause all kinds of damage and also may be the source of different levels of damage. What that means is that it can actually erode the lining as well of the esophagus, it can damage the internal layers and cause many problems.

The issues with the dog can cause many symptoms such as vomiting, pain, as well as swallowing, lack of appetite, and also many issues with weight loss. An exam will not show any findings but it may also lead to other problems like fever and also salivation and drooling.

What is the Cause of This Condition?

The causes of acid reflux can also happen any time when there is an anesthetic that is administered, that happens because there is then an opening that happens between the stomach and the esophagus. This happens when there is an improper positioning that happens with the pet during the process and that means the dog may not have the proper process of anesthesia. This will cause acid reflux in the dog.

There is also a congenital condition that causes this situation as well that is called a hiatal hernia and it is the reason of the reflux as well. Younger dogs are always at a greater risk than older ones to get the condition because they are still developing the proper closing and functions as well. This will also lead to long term vomiting as well as other risk factors.

What is the Diagnosis for This Condition?

The best way to diagnose the condition is by an esophagostomy which is an examination with a camera that will look at the inside of the esophagus. That also means that this is the best way to determine what is happening in the throat as well as look at the reflux issues that are happening. There is also an exam that may look at the surface of the throat and look at the mucus. There also can be a lot of issues as see that there is bleeding in the throat.

There are many other diagnoses that also can come from a caustic agent as well as a foreign problem that can appear as well as or a hiatal hernia. There are also many other issues as well that are in the throat and in the mouth, there is also another condition that happens in the muscles when they are not working properly and they are not able to push food into the stomach.

What is The Treatment for This Condition?

There are many treatments that are able to be done at home such as getting rid of food for one or two days and also allowing there to be a healthy regimen for the pet. You want to make sure that you are working with your vet to know what you should be doing and that means that you need to be making sure that you listening to the advice of your vet and that you are able to ensure that you have to reduce the amount of fat that is in the middle of the muscle and also that you reduce the amount of protein as this is what will stimulate the production of acid.

There are many medications that are also available that can be administered with the assistance of your vet. It is very important to make sure that you are able to have access to the best solutions out there and work with your vet.

Have you Heard Why Dogs Bark at the Postman?

Do you wonder why your pet keep barking its head off at the postman, and all the other people who trail regularly to your front door?  And are you driven insane at trying to control the noise?  Here are some ideas as to what’s going on and how you can deal with it.

First, you have to think canine.  For your pet, there are certain universal truths.  One is that you are the best person in the world.  Another is that you are a complete dolt, unable to recognize a threat when you see one.

You see, your pet knows that territory is vital. You need to keep your ground free and clear of all enemies so that you and your loved ones are safe.

Now, you have your territory and every single day there’s this evil person sneaking up and trying to invade!  He tries to dump things like letters and parcels too, the scoundrel!  But it’s okay because your brave pet is scaring him off.

Yes, every single day your best friend is making sure you and the rest of the family are safe from the assaults of the postman and his fellow friends the paper boy, the trash collectors and the meter readers.

Now you are seeing your pet’s point of view, the solution is fairly clear.  Instead of yelling (which your pet takes as encouragement like you’re barking along) you should very quietly calm your pet.

Teach your pet to bark once, say “well done” and then very gently put your hand over his mouth and say “Quiet now.” Praise the silence and get your dog into a routine where one bark is enough. Click and treat works well too. Try having them look always to you for command. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes a day to teach a dog a new trick.

Also, if you can, introduce the postman to your dog so that your pet knows its not the enemy but a friend.

by Ellen Whyte

Is it Possible Your Furry Friend Has a Food Allergy?

dog and fleas iStock_000019001636SmallWe hear about children having nut allergies, and it seems more commonplace for people to suffer from wheat, shellfish, milk and soy allergies, but did you realize your pet can also be prone to food allergies? A food allergy occurs when a pet’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful, and then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food). While they can be difficult to diagnose, and even harder to treat, there are a few things you should know about food allergies in pets.

Symptoms Vary

While some cats and dogs may have tummy issues, such as diarrhea and weight loss, others can experience itchy skin. They may get ear infections, have anal gland problems or simply scratch all over, with symptoms worsening over time as the reaction to the food builds up.

Pets Aren’t Born with Food Allergies

Food allergies typically don’t begin until around one year of age, and they tend to develop after your pet has been eating a certain food for a long period of time.

Do a Food Trail

Some pet parents automatically assume grain is to blame, but that isn’t always the case, as red meats, chicken and corn are the more common allergens. In an effort to find a solution to your pet’s food allergies, try a hypoallergenic food for at least eight weeks. During the food trial, avoid giving your pet treats, flavored worming supplements, bones and table scraps, and keep him away from the kitchen while you are cooking. If you drop food and your pet eats it, it can skew the food trial.

At the end of eight weeks, reintroduce your pet’s old food and see if the symptoms recur. This step is important, since many allergies will fluctuate, or you may get a partial improvement. Either of these will only be obvious once your reintroduce the old food again.

It Could Be More Than Just a Food Allergy

cat fleas iStock_000001607683SmallUnfortunately, many pets who suffer from food allergies may also be allergic to pollens, dust mites or environmental allergens. While changing your pet’s food may help, it may not solve the problem entirely.

Nutritional Balance is Important

When deciding on a new food for your pet, be sure to choose one that is perfectly balanced and healthy for your furry friend. If you’re unsure which brand is best, seek consult from your veterinarian.

If you suspect your pet does have a food allergy, start with a visit to your pet’s vet, who can assist you in working out what will best suit your pet, as well as check for any other diseases that cause similar symptoms to a food allergy.

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Top 12 Reasons You Will Love Having a Dog

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When you have a dog you will be very happy with the results, there is no doubt that you need to love the upsides that come from it. How could it be any better than waking up to a smiling face and knowing that they love you always? Here are the proven benefits of having a dog.

  1. You will be happier right away!

When you spend just a few minutes with a dog per day you will love the fact that you will be able to enjoy yourself as well as feel more relaxed and happy. When you play with your puppy you will be able to know that you are increasing your levels of dopamine and serotonin and that means that you will feel much better. The fastest way to improve that is to play with your pet right away.

  1. Petting your dog will lower your risk of heart disease!

When you have high blood pressure you will feel much better when you are petting your dog. You will be surprised to know how much a few minutes with your pet can reduce your anxiety and ensure that you are able to feel much better.

  1. Dogs are better for sensitive skin than cats!

If you have a problem with allergies as well as if you have any issues you will be able to enjoy knowing that dogs are very helpful for you. People who have dogs have a lower chance of getting eczema and that means that you will have fewer allergies as well.

  1. You will be healthier!

One thing that is wonderful about your dog is that you will exercise together which means that you will be healthier and happier as well as better adjusted to your surroundings. When you are taking your dog out every day you cannot help but take in the sun as well as get some exercise. This is a great way for you to be able to enjoy yourself and know that you are going to be in good spirits.

  1. You will recover much more quickly with a dog.

People who have dogs get much better quicker when they have a dog. People who have had heart attackers are two times as likely to recover faster with a dog as those who do not have a dog.

 

  1. Dogs can be trained to do almost anything.

Dogs are very smart, and that means that they can be trained to do almost anything. When it comes to handling owners who have disabilities or who are in stressful situations, this is a natural for dogs. They can be trained to anticipate heart attacks and also to prevent stressful situations for their human owners.

 

  1. Children who have dogs at home have higher school attendance

Whether you realize it or not, kids who have dogs at home are more adjusted which means that they have better health and less sickness. This translates to kids staying in school longer and missing fewer days.

  1. Dogs make your kids happier!

If you have kids, having a dog will make them happier and ensure that they are able to be more adjusted to their surroundings. If a child is suffering from being bullied or other issues, having a dog is a great way to create a sense of security for the child.

  1. Dogs are loyal!

Dogs are extremely smart and loyal, and they will show you that. You will always have a happy face to wake up to as well as someone who knows when you are not feeling well. Having a dog is having a best friend for life.

  1. Dogs Will Find Their Owners!

One dog in South Dakota travelled 2800 miles to find his owner. Dogs love their owners and want to be with them, this dog; Bobbie the Wonder dog holds the record in human recovery stories.

  1. Dogs Increase Your Security!

Dogs are great watchers ad they see everything, they will let you know when there is something wrong and will alert you when there is a problem in your neighborhood. When you have a dog, you can be assured that they will be on the lookout to help you at every moment.

  1. Dogs Get You Out!

When you have a dog, you have to walk it and take it out on a regular basis. That means that you need to make sure that you are getting exercise but that you are also interacting with people on a regular basis. When you are out and about you cannot help but be more happy and healthy in every way.

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9 Steps On How to Break Up Dogs Who Are Fighting In Your Household

2 Dogs Playing BlogWhen you have a house with dogs, sometimes this means that they are going to fight. It is your job to make sure that you are able to keep them from fighting or getting into a situation that will escalate quickly. Pets are like our children and that means that like them, we have to gently guide them not to poop on the carpet and fight from time to time. Here are some steps that will help you keep your dogs from fighting.

  1. Remember to Trust Your Instincts! This means that you want to make sure when you see things begin to escalate that you are able to stop things before they continue to get out of hand. When you do this you will be able to see before a fight is about to start. You will be able to look at their body language and you will see how things are going with them. You will notice that you are able to stop this behavior before anything else begins.

 

  1. Make Sure That You Keep Your Cool! It is important to realize that you have a job to do and that means that you need to be completely cool and ensure that you are ready for whatever may ensue. You cannot do this if you are not focusing on the right things at the right time.

 

  1. Do Not Scream At the Dogs! This is a waste of time and it will not help you. You need to make sure that you are focused on how to break them up. The dogs will not listen to you and that means that you are going to just waste your energy in something that is fruitless.

 

  1. You Want to Break Up the Dogs Without Getting Hurt! It is very important to realize that you need to be very careful as well because it is completely possible to get hurt if you are not paying attention to what you are doing and that means you need to be safe.

 

  1. Get a leash! This will allow you to get control over one of the dogs quickly.

 

  1. Dogs will be focused on one another which mean that you will have enough time to go behind the dog and clip the leash onto the collar; this requires that the dog has a collar.

 

  1. After you do this, you will want to drag the dog to something that you can hook the leash to; when you do this you are creating a circle of separation between the two dogs.

 

  1. You want to make sure that you go behind the back legs of the second dog and pull it away as well so that you will be able to protect yourself as well as pull back the other dog.

 

  1. Then pull one of the dogs into a pen so that the two are separated.

 

When two dogs are fighting, it is very important for you to realize that you can end up in the middle of the fight if you are not careful and you do not know what to do. What that means for you is that it is mission critical that you take the utmost care to make sure that you are able to break up the fight without ending up in the center of the fight. That can be very challenging to do. One of the main reasons that you want to make sure that your dog is wearing a collar is so that you can hook a leash to it in a situation like this as it is the only way that it is possible to make sure that you are able to break up the fight and know that the pets are going to behave properly. It is not uncommon for a person who is trying to break up a fight to instead end up in the middle of it and have to deal with some bites and wounds. Remember when you see a fight to always act quickly and remember that as much as dogs are our best friends, they are not people. That means that we need to treat dogs as though they are smart animals but animals nonetheless. Without this sort of immediate action, there will be problems because you will end up in the middle of a fight. After this is over as well it is important to look back at the dog and see if he or she may need some training.