You’re My Favorite

Have you ever wondered how the canines in your family pick “their person.”   Dogs don’t always choose the person who is the primary care giver.  Sometimes it’s aunt Tina or your neighbor Jim who is always at your house.   Dogs have what’s called a key socialization period which lasts from birth until about 6 months.  This explains why puppies always remember their breeder.  I’ve had puppies come back for a visit  years after they have gone to their forever homes, only to have them jump all over and pee on me because they are so excited.  I’m not sure there is any one way to figure out how dogs choose “their person” but positive association has much to do with it.  This article will explain things a bit more if you are interested.  Have a safe and awesome Memorial Day weekend.

Nick Nack Paddy Wack…..

….Give a dog a bone.  So the saying goes, but is it really healthy.  I have to admit, we use them sparingly as it helps keep the tartar off the teeth, but there are rules?  Yup, you heard, rules.  Most of you know to never give a dog cooked bones as they may break or splinter and then you’re at the emergency vet at two in the morning.  And don’t even get me started on rawhide chews which often contain peroxide or bleach and do not play well with a dog’s colon – but that’s a topic for another post.

If you want to make sure your dog has some chewing fun along with the dental benefits that can come with it, take a look at this article.  It’s a bit long, but the information is invaluable.  Oh, and by the way the rules are at the end, so try to read through the entire thing.  Happy chewing!

Behavior Changes With Canine Alteration

A few of my dog friends, including my vet at Animal Hospital By The Sea, shared this article today on social media.  Talk about an eye opener.  For years various groups have been saying, “spay or neuter your dog, it will make them calmer, or less aggressive.”  Well guess what?  Studies show that is probably not true.  Yup, you read it right, and the study wasn’t just done on a small few dogs either.  Take a look at this article from Psychology Today – it will explain a great deal.

Parvovirus

This past week I was mortified to hear that a local off leash dog park was the source of a parvovirus exposure.  Luckily the owner of the infected dog was able to let the public know about their sick dog, but I just want everyone to realize how dangerous this can be.  As a breeder, I make sure my puppies leave the house with at least their first, and sometimes second, set of shots.  But it takes a bit for a puppy’s immune system to react to the vaccine.  Believe it or not, one of my puppy buyers called me less than a week after taking their puppy home, telling me their puppy had parvovirus.  I had vaccinated the litter at least a week prior.  What they didn’t know was that a dog they had fostered the year before had parvo and the virus was still in their yard and carpet.

Did you know that parvovirus can live on surfaces, dirt, grass, carpet, etc., for 10 years or more?  The virus is extremely hardy and has been found to survive even in very cold or very warm temperatures.  Bleach can kill it, but who bleaches a dog park?  If you have a young puppy, don’t take them to an off leash area.  There is no way to know what they are getting exposed to.  The same can be said for your adult dogs, so use caution there.  Here is a great article on the virus, causes, symptoms and treatment.

Canine Anxiety & Mental Health

Who would ever think your dog would need a mental health day.  How about a mental health week, month or year?  Dogs have anxiety/stress issues, just like we do.  Barking incessantly, destructive behavior and biting are the three most common reactions to stress or anxiety, but there are many others as well.  Did you know dogs can get depressed, just like you and I?  And don’t get me started on how they can pick up on your moods.  Dogs are very sensitive creatures and if you are upset or angry, expect your dog to know about it.  What if your dog is your comforter, but they have their own issues – estimations show that almost 20% of America’s dogs have issues with separation anxiety.

Don’t be an absent owner when it comes to your pet’s mental health.  Check out this article from Family Dog and learn how to spot the signs.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help either – there are so many options out there.

Pancreatitis – Know The Symptoms

In late 2014, our oldest was diagnosed with pancreatitis – out of the blue. m2  With proper diet and vet care, our Mitzi was in total remission the year before she passed.  While this condition is treatable it is extremely dangerous and should not go unattended.  The symptoms are not always easy to decipher, and can escape even the most vigilant pet owner.  The important thing to know is that you can NOT treat this yourself and you MUST deal with it as soon as possible.  This article will give you all the symptoms and treatment required.