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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dog Skin Disorder Seborrheic Dermatitis : What You Should Know

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a dog skin disorder in which the outer layer of the skin and hair follicles are over productive. The disorder starts on the areas of the dog where the oil glands are the largest - including the scalp, face, and behind the ears. Caused by yeast called pityrosporum ovale, the signs are an inflamed scalp, greasy or waxy skin, and red skin rashes. At first, the symptoms can be similar to that of dandruff, but they will progress gradually to include additional symptoms.

How does a dog get Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis comes in two forms - primary and secondary. Primary Seborrheic Dermatitis is inherited through a recessive trait. A dog with this condition may begin to show signs as young as 10 weeks of age, however they will be very subtle. It is usually between the ages of 12 to 18 months that dogs with primary Seborrheic Dermatitis begin to show clear symptoms.

Secondary Seborrheic Dermatitis is typically seen in older dogs. Secondary infections are either the result of bacteria or yeast. These infections look the same as primary infections but are a reaction to an outside source rather than an inherited trait.

How is it diagnosed?

Many of the symptoms of both primary and secondary Seborrheic Dermatitis are similar to many other common dog skin conditions. If your dog displays any of these signs, it is very important to visit a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will take a small skin biopsy to be sure that your dog has Seborrheic Dermatitis and not a more serious skin condition.

How do I treat it?

Primary Seborrheic Dermatitis requires treatment for the dog's entire life. There is no cause for the condition, but it can be controlled through the use of shampoos and moisturizers. Malaseb shampoo has proven to be an effective shampoo for the treatment and control of this skin condition. It can be used on dogs as well as on cats and horses. The shampoo should initially be used two or three times a week. As the severity of the condition lessens, then the frequency of use can be lessened. In order for the shampoo to be effective, it is also necessary to make sure that it stays on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes before being rinsed off.

After using the shampoo, use a moisturizer or an after-bath rinse to help retain the moisture and natural oils in your dog's skin. Even during treatment, be sure to carefully watch your dog's skin. It is possible for the condition to worsen during treatment. If this occurs, be sure to see your veterinarian right away to determine a better healing method for your dog.

About the Author

Corner Animal Hospital : Online Pet Pharmacy & Veterinary Service (www.corneranimal.com)

Buy the Medications Your Pet Needs With Confidence. Owned by Ivy League Educated Dr. Dorothy Hayes and Dr. Judith Lombardi Daniels. "We treat your pets as family members. Their health and comfort are our primary concern."

Submitted by Victoria at NewSunGraphics.com

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Aggressive Dog Behavior - How To Recognize, Prevent, and Handle?

by Eldridge Williams

A dog is an instinctively aggressive creature. In the wild, aggression came in very handy: dogs needed aggression to hunt, to defend themselves from other creatures, and to defend resources such as food, a place to sleep, and a mate. Selective breeding over the centuries has minimized and refined this trait significantly, but there's just no getting around it: dogs are physically capable of inflicting serious harm (just look at those teeth!) because that's how they've survived and evolved. And Mother Nature is pretty wily - it's hard to counteract the power of instinct!

But that doesn't mean that we, as dog lovers and owners, are entirely helpless when it comes to handling our dogs. There's a lot that we can do to prevent aggression from rearing its ugly head in the first place - and even if prevention hasn't been possible (for whatever reason), there are still steps that we can take to recognize and deal with it efficiently.

- Different aggression types -

There are several different types of canine aggression. The two most common ones are:

- Aggression towards strangers

- Aggression towards family members

You may be wondering why we're bothering categorizing this stuff: after all, aggression is aggression, and we want to turf it out NOW, not waste time with the details - right?

Well ... not quite. These two different types of aggression stem from very different causes, and require different types of treatment.

- Aggression towards strangers -

What is it?

It's pretty easy to tell when a dog's nervy around strange people. He's jumpy and on the alert: either he can't sit still and is constantly fidgeting, leaping at the smallest sound, and pacing around barking and whining; or he's veerrrry still indeed, sitting rock-steady in one place, staring hard at the object of his suspicions (a visitor, the mailman, someone approaching him on the street while he's tied up outside a store.)

Why does it happen?

There's one major reason why a dog doesn't like strange people: he's never had the chance to get used to them. Remember, your dog relies 100% on you to broaden his horizons for him: without being taken on lots of outings to see the world and realize for himself, through consistent and positive experiences, that the unknown doesn't necessarily equal bad news for him, how can he realistically be expected to relax in an unfamiliar situation?

What can I do about it?

The process of accustoming your dog to the world and all the strange people (and animals) that it contains is called socialization. This is an incredibly important aspect of your dog's upbringing: in fact, it's pretty hard to overemphasize just how important it is. Socializing your dog means exposing him from a young age (generally speaking, as soon as he's had his vaccinations) to a wide variety of new experiences, new people, and new animals.

How does socialization prevent stranger aggression?

When you socialize your dog, you're getting him to learn through experience that new sights and sounds are fun, not scary.

It's not enough to expose an adult dog to a crowd of unfamiliar people and tell him to "Settle down, Roxy, it's OK" - he has to learn that it's OK for himself. And he needs to do it from puppyhood for the lesson to sink in.

The more types of people and animals he meets (babies, toddlers, teenagers, old people, men, women, people wearing uniforms, people wearing motorcycle helmets, people carrying umbrellas, etc) in a fun and relaxed context, the more at ease and happy - and safe around strangers - he'll be in general.

How can I socialize my dog so that he doesn't develop a fear of strangers?

Socializing your dog is pretty easy to do - it's more of a general effort than a specific training regimen.

First of all, you should take him to puppy preschool. This is a generic term for a series of easy group-training classes for puppies (often performed at the vet clinic, which has the additional benefit of teaching your dog positive associations with the vet!).

In a puppy preschool class, about ten or so puppy owners get together with a qualified trainer (often there'll be at least two trainers present - the more there are, the better, since it means you get more one-on-one time with a professional) and start teaching their puppies the basic obedience commands: sit, stay, and so on.

Even though the obedience work is very helpful and is a great way to start your puppy on the road to being a trustworthy adult dog, really the best part of puppy preschool is the play sessions: several times throughout the class, the puppies are encouraged to run around off-leash and play amongst themselves.

This is an ideal environment for them to learn good social skills: there's a whole bunch of unfamiliar dogs present (which teaches them how to interact with strange dogs), there's a whole bunch of unfamiliar people present (which teaches them that new faces are nothing to be afraid of), and the environment is safe and controlled (there's at least one certified trainer present to make sure that things don't get out of hand).

Socialization doesn't just stop with puppy preschool, though. It's an ongoing effort throughout the life of your puppy and dog: he needs to be taken to a whole bunch of new places and environments.

Remember not to overwhelm him: start off slow, and build up his tolerance gradually.

- Aggression towards family members -

There are two common reasons why a dog is aggressive towards members of his own human family:

- He's trying to defend something he thinks of as his from a perceived threat (you).

This is known as resource guarding, and though it may sound innocuous, there's actually a lot more going on here than your dog simply trying to keep his kibble to himself.

- He's not comfortable with the treatment/handling he's getting from you or other members of the family.

What's resource guarding?

Resource guarding is pretty common among dogs. The term refers to overly-possessive behavior on behalf of your dog: for instance, snarling at you if you approach him when he's eating, or giving you "the eye" (a flinty-eyed, direct stare) if you reach your hand out to take a toy away from him.

All dogs can be possessive from time to time - it's in their natures. Sometimes they're possessive over things with no conceivable value: inedible trash, balled up pieces of paper or tissue, old socks. More frequently, however, resource-guarding becomes an issue over items with a very real and understandable value: food and toys.

Why does it happen?

It all boils down to the issue of dominance. Let me take a moment to explain this concept: dogs are pack animals. This means that they're used to a very structured environment: in a dog-pack, each individual animal is ranked in a hierarchy of position and power (or "dominance") in relation to every other animal. Each animal is aware of the rank of every other animal, which means he knows specifically how to act in any given situation (whether to back down, whether to push the issue, whether to muscle in or not on somebody else's turf, etc etc).

To your dog, the family environment is no different to the dog-pack environment. Your dog has ranked each member of the family, and has his own perception of where he ranks in that environment as well.

This is where it gets interesting: if your dog perceives himself as higher up on the social totem-pole than other family members, he's going to get cheeky. If he's really got an overinflated sense of his own importance, he'll start to act aggressively.

Why? Because dominance and aggression are the exclusive rights of a superior-ranked animal. No underdog would ever show aggression or act dominantly to a higher-ranked animal (the consequences would be dire, and he knows it!)

Resource guarding is a classic example of dominant behavior: only a higher-ranked dog (a "dominant" dog) would act aggressively in defence of resources.

To put it plainly: if it was clear to your dog that he is not, in fact, the leader of the family, he'd never even dream of trying to prevent you from taking his food or toys - because a lower-ranking dog (him) will always go along with what the higher-ranking dogs (you and your family) say.

So what can I do about it? The best treatment for dominant, aggressive dog behavior is consistent, frequent obedience work, which will underline your authority over your dog. Just two fifteen-minute sessions a day will make it perfectly clear to your dog that you're the boss, and that it pays to do what you say.

You can make this fact clear to him by rewarding him (with treats and lavish praise) for obeying a command, and isolating him (putting him in "time-out", either outside the house or in a room by himself) for misbehaviour.

- If you're not entirely confident doing this yourself, you may wish to consider enlisting the assistance of a qualified dog-trainer.

- Brush up on your understanding of canine psychology and communication, so that you understand what he's trying to say - this will help you to nip any dominant behaviors in the bud, and to communicate your own authority more effectively

- Train regularly: keep obedience sessions short and productive (no more than fifteen minutes - maybe two or three of these per day).

Why doesn't my dog like to be handled?

All dogs have different handling thresholds. Some dogs like lots of cuddles, and are perfectly content to be hugged, kissed, and have arms slung over their shoulders (this is the ultimate "I'm the boss" gesture to a dog, which is why a lot of them won't tolerate it.) Others - usually the ones not accustomed to a great deal of physical contact from a very young age - aren't comfortable with too much full-body contact and will get nervy and agitated if someone persists in trying to hug them.

Another common cause of handling-induced aggression is a bad grooming experience: nail-clipping and bathing are the two common culprits.

When you clip a dog's nails, it's very easy to "quick" him - that is, cut the blood vessel that runs inside the nail. This is extremely painful to a dog, and is a sure-fire way to cause a long-lasting aversion to those clippers.

Being washed is something that a great many dogs have difficulty dealing with - a lot of owners, when confronted with a wild-eyed, half-washed, upset dog, feel that in order to complete the wash they have to forcibly restrain him. This only adds to the dog's sense of panic, and reinforces his impression of a wash as something to be avoided at all costs - if necessary, to defend himself from it with a display of teeth and hackles.

Can I "retrain" him to enjoy being handled and groomed?

In a word: yes. It's a lot easier if you start from a young age - handle your puppy a lot, get him used to being touched and rubbed all over. Young dogs generally enjoy being handled - it's only older ones who haven't had a lot of physical contact throughout their lives that sometimes find physical affection difficult to accept.

Practice picking up his paws and touching them with the clipper; practice taking him into the bath (or outside, under the faucet - whatever works for you, but warm water is much more pleasant for a dog than a freezing spray of ice-water!), and augment the process throughout with lots of praise and the occasional small treat.

For an older dog that may already have had several unpleasant handling/grooming experiences, things are a little more difficult. You need to undo the damage already caused by those bad experiences, which you can do by taking things very slowly - with an emphasis on keeping your dog calm.

The instant he starts to show signs of stress, stop immediately and let him relax. Try to make the whole thing into a game: give him lots of praise, pats, and treats.

Take things slowly. Don't push it too far: if you get nervous, stop.

Dogs show aggression for a reason: they're warning you to back off, or else! If your dog just can't seem to accept being groomed, no matter how much practice you put in, it's best to hand the job over to the professionals.

Your vet will clip his nails for you (make sure you tell him first that he gets aggressive when the clippers come out, so your vet can take the necessary precautions!). As far as washing and brushing goes, the dog-grooming business is a flourishing industry: for a small fee, you can get your dog washed, clipped, brushed, and whatever else you require by experienced professionals (again, make sure you tell them about your dog's reaction to the experience first!)

About the Author

For more information on how to deal with your dog's aggressive dog behavior and on how all dog's behavior problems are
handled. Please visit: http://beam.to/dogtraining

 

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dog Treats: Healthy Doggie Snacks

by Brigitte Smith

Providing your dog with right nutrition ensures its proper growth. Healthy food is required by all animals in general, and dogs in particular for their overall development and growth. To have dogs as pets are really exciting, however when you take a dog as a pet, its dietary requirements should be taken care of.

There are literally hundreds of varying dog breeds worldwide. Dogs are different in sizes with some dogs being really tiny and some dogs being really large. One example of a large dog build is the Labrador. This dog breed is recognized for it's large features and hearty appetite.

As different dogs have different dietary needs, it is important for dog owners to make themselves aware of the different types of dog foods available commercially. Puppies can require totally different foods as compared to fully grown dogs. Today, one can find hundreds of brands of dog treats available at shopping stores.

Dogs have variable eating habits. Some dogs only require a single meal a day to remain in the best of health, while others prefer to have two or even three. Giving a dog treats in between meals is not required, but many pet owners revel in a dog's excitement over seeing a treat. There are many forms of dog treats and the internet is a good source of information about them. One should take care to learn about a dog's dietary needs so that you are able to take proper care of them. The result of proper care is a happier, healthier dog.

Feeding your dog a diet that is high in carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, protein, and calcium will keep his digestive tract healthy and functioning properly. Proper diet will also help him develop a strong immune system. One thing you should never give your dog, however, is any food that is high in oil content. Vets are pretty well unanimous in their feelings that oily foods cause excessive hair-loss in dogs.

Try giving boiled food to your dog. Brown rice is said to be excellent for dogs. Boneless chicken (or some other meat) when mixed with steamed vegetables and beet-pulp, makes for a delicious dog food. You can opt for http://healthierdogs.com/dog_food/home-cooked-dog-food-recipe-chicken-dinner-for-your-dog homemade dog food if you want your dog to get the best nutrients. If you want to save yourself from much trouble finding the right dog treats, then you must try using innova dog food, including their dog treats.

About the Author

There are many breeds of dogs, there are very small dogs and very large dogs, all with individual dietary needs. There are many dog food varieties available and also dog treats. It is important to research to find the best dog food for the breed of your dog and the age of your dog.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Recognising Symptoms If Your Dog May Have Diabetes

3 Signs that your Dog May Have Diabetes:

1. Increased water consumption and urinating 2. Weight Loss 3. Lethargic

Increased water consumption is the major sign that I picked up that there was something wrong with my dog. He just couldn't drink enough water and as soon as he had consumed water, he would be urinating almost straight away. If your dog sleeps inside at night, they may start wanting to stay out as they would be unable to control bladder and may have even had a bit of a leak during the night. My dog had a few leaks over a couple of nights, then started wanting to stay out at night. You need to be careful here as well as I initially thought that because it was summer and warm in the house, he wanted to get into the fresh air at night and some times he just went out about 11pm and didn't bark to come back in until about 4.00am. So look out for the combination of symptoms and not just focus on the obvious.

Does your dog all of a sudden always seemed to hungry and became very insistent with food and almost to the point of being 'rude' about it. Lots of nudging with the nose when you are in the kitchen and looking for their meal a couple of hours before their normal meal time.

No energy, just wants to sleep a lot of the time and does not seem interested in walking and getting about doing all the doggy things like sniffing and wandering.

Diabetes is caused by a deficiency of insulin which is the hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar into the cells and tissues of the body. There is no cure. If your dog is between 5-7, on the overweight side and is displaying some of the above symptoms, a trip to the Vet for a simple blood glucose test will determine your dog's blood sugar levels. It's pretty much the same process for diagnosis for dogs as it is for humans.

If your dog is a diabetic it will mean a change in feeding routines for you and your dog and could even entail a complete dietary change which will include nutrition high in fibre and protein. Our Vet worked closely with us to stabilise the diabetes which included showing us how to inject the insulin, education on nutrition for the dog and most of all the importance of keeping a strict routine once stabilised - this includes daily exercise routine. Humans with diabetes can test themselves five or six times a day to monitor their level - with dogs, once the routine for meals and exercise are set, stick to this otherwise the resulting effect is that your dog will suffer.

Once you get your dog home you can monitor the blood glucose levels with the same glucose testing meter that humans use, so anytime your dog looks a bit flat, you can test them straight away. Keeping a chart and monitoring the date, time of day and blood sugar level is important. As Samson has Sebaceous Adenitis, we also make comments if there is any other change in his habits (as a result of this disease) so you can see if there is a correlation between the blood sugar results and anything else that may be going on for eg. you may have tried a slight change in diet.

The best advice that I can give you to work closely with your Vet and continue to provide love and attention and special care to your dog at this time.

Helen Taylor is the proud parent of Samson the Samoyed, diagnosed Diabetic after a bout of Pancreatitis and Samson also has the incurable disorder Sebaceous Adenitis. http://www.the-answer-is-here.com

About the Author

Helen Taylor lives in country Victoria, Australia. Works part-time doing Affiliate Internet Marketing as well as caring for her Samoyed dog with Diabetes and Sebaceous Adenitis. Helen works part-time as an Affiliate Internet Marketer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ear Infections In Dogs

If you don't know the signs of an ear infection in your dog, then chances are that you are still familiar with the smell! It is one that once you come across it, you never forget it. Dogs with chronic ear infections are fighting a painful disease that in most cases can be prevented with proper care. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition is the first step to eliminating the problem. By knowing your pet and paying attention to their signs you can help make your dog's ear infections a thing of the past.

 

There are three distinct parts to your dog's ear, the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Ear infections are generally caused by a build up of bacteria on the outer ear canal. If left un-cleaned, these bacteria can get out of control and lead to an infection. While this can happen in any breed, some are more at risk than others. Dogs with floppy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Bassett Hounds, or Labs, are in this group as well as dogs with hair that grows in their ears, like Poodles.

 

The best way to prevent these infections in any breed is to keep the ear area clean and dry. To clean your dog's ears you first need to obtain a good ear cleaning solution. Your vet can recommend one to you. Fill the ear canal with the cleaner and massage the ears for about 30 seconds. Then carefully clean out any debris with a cotton ball. You may have to repeat this process several times to completely clean the area. When finished allow your dog to shake their head and dry out their ears. Then you can apply any medication your vet has given you.

 

So how do you know if you have an infection on your hands or not? First you have to know what you are looking for. The biggest thing, and what most people notice right off, is the smell. Your dog will develop a very strong foul odor that originates in their ears. They might also be scratching at or rubbing their ears and head. If you look into the ear you might notice some discharge or redness and swelling, and the area could be painful for you to touch. Also if you notice that your dog is suddenly shaking their head a lot, you should probably have them checked out.

 

Ear infections can only be diagnosed in the vet's office. There are many conditions that can cause this same set of symptoms and each one requires a different course of treatment. Your vet will need to take a swab of your dog's ear and look at it under a microscope. Only then can they tell if the problem is mites, yeast, bacteria, or a more serious underlying problem. Once they have this figured out, then they will set you on the right path to recovery.

 

The treatment regimen will depend on the cause of your dog's ear infection. You may be given an oral antibiotic, a cream for the ears, or both, it just depends. Some dogs have to be anesthetized in order to handle the pain of their ears being cleaned and treated. You have to remember that an ear infection can be extremely painful for your dog. It is important to be gentle in treating it.

 

One school of thought around the treatment of ear infections is found in the area of natural cures. There are some very well researched homeopathic remedies available on the market that show as good if not better results then what you can get with a prescription. These options use natural herbs and extracts to heal the infection from the source, as well as preventing its spread from one pet to another. While natural cures may not be some pet owners first choice, there is too much strong data there to ignore this option. Make sure that you bring it up when you speak with your vet, because in the long run it might just be better for you and your dog!

 

If you follow the vet's instructions then your pet should make a full recovery. But, if you don't find and treat the cause of the infection then it will be back before you know it. Take the time to clean your pet's ears regularly and work with your vet to find the cause. Curing the cause will make both you and your dog much happier in the end.

 

For natural healthy treatments visit: http://pethealthymeds.com  

 

About the Author

 

I have been interested in pet health issues since finding out how sad and painful some pet illnesses can be. As an advocate for natural healing in pets and humans, I have done intensive research to bring information to all pet owners and pet lovers alike. I hope this helps you. Michelle Reynolds

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ear Infections In Dogs

by Michelle Reynolds

If you don't know the signs of an ear infection in your dog, then chances are that you are still familiar with the smell! It is one that once you come across it, you never forget it. Dogs with chronic ear infections are fighting a painful disease that in most cases can be prevented with proper care. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition is the first step to eliminating the problem. By knowing your pet and paying attention to their signs you can help make your dog’s ear infections a thing of the past.

There are three distinct parts to your dog’s ear, the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Ear infections are generally caused by a build up of bacteria on the outer ear canal. If left un-cleaned, these bacteria can get out of control and lead to an infection. While this can happen in any breed, some are more at risk than others. Dogs with floppy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Bassett Hounds, or Labs, are in this group as well as dogs with hair that grows in their ears, like Poodles.

 

The best way to prevent these infections in any breed is to keep the ear area clean and dry. To clean your dog’s ears you first need to obtain a good ear cleaning solution. Your vet can recommend one to you. Fill the ear canal with the cleaner and massage the ears for about 30 seconds. Then carefully clean out any debris with a cotton ball. You may have to repeat this process several times to completely clean the area. When finished allow your dog to shake their head and dry out their ears. Then you can apply any medication your vet has given you.

 

So how do you know if you have an infection on your hands or not? First you have to know what you are looking for. The biggest thing, and what most people notice right off, is the smell. Your dog will develop a very strong foul odor that originates in their ears. They might also be scratching at or rubbing their ears and head. If you look into the ear you might notice some discharge or redness and swelling, and the area could be painful for you to touch. Also if you notice that your dog is suddenly shaking their head a lot, you should probably have them checked out.

 

Ear infections can only be diagnosed in the vet’s office. There are many conditions that can cause this same set of symptoms and each one requires a different course of treatment. Your vet will need to take a swab of your dog’s ear and look at it under a microscope. Only then can they tell if the problem is mites, yeast, bacteria, or a more serious underlying problem. Once they have this figured out, then they will set you on the right path to recovery.

 

The treatment regimen will depend on the cause of your dog’s ear infection. You may be given an oral antibiotic, a cream for the ears, or both, it just depends. Some dogs have to be anesthetized in order to handle the pain of their ears being cleaned and treated. You have to remember that an ear infection can be extremely painful for your dog. It is important to be gentle in treating it.

 

One school of thought around the treatment of ear infections is found in the area of natural cures. There are some very well researched homeopathic remedies available on the market that show as good if not better results then what you can get with a prescription. These options use natural herbs and extracts to heal the infection from the source, as well as preventing its spread from one pet to another. While natural cures may not be some pet owners first choice, there is too much strong data there to ignore this option. Make sure that you bring it up when you speak with your vet, because in the long run it might just be better for you and your dog!

 

If you follow the vet’s instructions then your pet should make a full recovery. But, if you don't find and treat the cause of the infection then it will be back before you know it. Take the time to clean your pet’s ears regularly and work with your vet to find the cause. Curing the cause will make both you and your dog much happier in the end.

 

For natural healthy treatments visit: http://pethealthymeds.com

 

About the Author

 

I have been interested in pet health issues since finding out how sad and painful some pet illnesses can be. As an advocate for natural healing in pets and humans, I have done intensive research to bring information to all pet owners and pet lovers alike. I hope this helps you. Michelle Reynolds.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Feline Leukemia

by Michelle Reynolds
Feline Leukemia is a scary word no matter when you hear it, and for those of us with cats it is terrifying. Who hasn't heard the horror stories of people watching their beloved pets die of this terrible disease? While this is a very real threat, it is important to know that it is one you can fight. Feline Leukemia need not be the mystery it once was. Arm yourself with information and take the steps to see that your pets are protected.

First off, the name Feline Leukemia is misleading. The disease is actually a virus that attacks the immune system, not a cancer. It is in the retrovirus family and is more closely related to FIV and HIV than it is any form of Leukemia. Much like HIV, the virus works by attacking the immune system of its host. Therefore, your pet becomes susceptible to a variety of diseases that would not other wise be a problem. One of the first diseases associated with the virus was a form of Leukemia. By the time the mistake was sorted out, the name had already stuck.

The Feline Leukemia virus is spread through bodily fluids. This means every thing from saliva and tears to urine and feces. Cats most commonly contract the disease through their normal habit of grooming one another. It is also possible for kittens to become infected by their mothers. This can happen either before birth or while the infant is nursing. Outdoor cats are at a higher risk due to the uncontrollable variables in their environment. Also, this disease can only survive in felines. This means that none of your other pets or your family is at any kind of risk.

So how do you know if your cat is infected with Feline Leukemia? There are a few key signs that should point you in the right direction. First you need to pay attention to your cat’s habits. Signs and symptoms of Feline Leukemia can include depression, increased drinking and urination, sudden weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, constipation, and respiratory distress. If your cat starts to exhibit some or all of these symptoms it is a good idea to call the vet. Whether or not it turns out to be Feline Leukemia you vet is going to want to take a look.

Fortunately there is a simple blood test to tell you whether or not your pet is infected. If the test comes back positive then you will need to test again in about 12 weeks. It does happen that some cats are able to fight off the infection on their own. If this is the case then your re-test will be negative. However, if the second test is positive as well, then your cat has Feline Leukemia. Once this is confirmed you and your doctor will decide on a course of treatment. But you must always treat the animal as if they were contagious. This means quarantining them away from any other cats in the household, and changing all food and water bowls as well as setting up a new litter box. Find out what type of treatments are available and consider which would be suitable for your pet's condition. In addition to conventional treatments (which are often effective although extremely harsh) there are a number of alternative treatments which have proved extremely helpful in treating cancer in pets, including acupuncture, aromatherapy and homeopathy. Now should worst come to worst and your cat pass away from Feline Leukemia, you need to wait about a month before bringing in a new cat. The disease is unstable outside of the body, but it is better to be safe then sorry. You also need to buy new food and water dishes and a new litter box. The chances of your new pet contracting the disease from these items are very slim, but why take them at all?

Feline Leukemia is a terrible disease for cats and their owners. If you want to spare both your pet and yourself the pain of this disease, then have your cats vaccinated at a young age. Studies show that kittens under 4 months of age are much more susceptible to the virus than older cats. So keep those babies inside until they have time to grow up a bit. By taking these few easy steps you can cut your cats chances of catching Feline Leukemia to almost nothing!

For natural healthy treatments visit: http://pethealthymeds.com

About the Author

I have been interested in pet health issues since finding out how sad and painful some pet illnesses can be. As an advocate for natural healing in pets and humans, I have done intensive research to bring information to all pet owners and pet lovers alike. I hope this helps you. Michelle Reynolds

Sunday, February 17, 2008

More Raccoons And My Cat Spike!

Spike is a pre-owned cat. When we got him from the humane society in their adopt-a-pet program, his name was Lonnie. I couldn't in good conscience continue to use that name for a cat, so I renamed him Spike. I know that seems more appropriate for dogs, but I think Spike has always appreciated the new handle.

As cats go, Spike is a good example of the species. He sleeps most of the day on a warm spot on top of the couch or on the table on the front porch if the sun is out. He chases squirrels in the front yard when the mood strikes him and lays in wait in the back for any chipmunk that might be dumb enough to cross his path.

He guards the house when I'm gone and he keeps the garage free from varmints at night. Well, that might be a stretch. Let's just say that he must have a quota for the amount of raccoons that he will allow at any one time in my garage.

It gets a little crowded out there when there are more than four at a time ravaging my garage, while he stoically observes the situation from his perch on top of the old refrigerator. He learned his lesson about getting involved in the chaos when a large raccoon almost bit off one of his legs.

Spike is an indoor/outdoor cat. When the weather is cold he comes around to the back sliding glass door, meowing pitifully that he is freezing. He must have had acting lessons somewhere before he came to us.

Just a few days ago, Spike's summer cousins came to visit him, destroying my garage in the process. I'm not sure where raccoons go in the winter, whether they hibernate or what, but it's unusual for them to visit my garage during this time of the year.

If they would only stay a short period of time and leave, I wouldn't mind them hanging out in the garage every once in a while. Unfortunately they manage to destroy everything in their path in their insatiable quest for food. The first thing to go is Spike's cat food dish. If there is any food remaining in the bowl, they fight each other for it, often dragging the bowl around the garage as if it were a dog toy.

Spike watches the scene from his box on the workbench. I've sneaked around to the outside of the garage and peeked in through the windows and watched him quietly observing the chaotic scene being played out before him.

It's a lot like a scene from Gremlins, where all those little critters find themselves alone in the kitchen and they start tearing everything they find in to little tiny pieces. Snarling, hissing and biting, teeth gnashing as they try to open containers that might contain food, the raccoons have even managed to knock a paint can off its shelf. I have little paw prints all over my garage, through the pet door and down the sidewalk.

Last year as a last resort I hired a guy who proudly presented the name of his business on his van, "Critters Be Gone". Unfortunately, while he had a great commercial name, he wasn't much better than I at raccoon removal. After three weeks he packed up his traps and left, complaining that if I had kept my cat locked up and out of his cages, he could have caught the animals he was being paid to catch!

In Spike's defense, the aroma from the cheap canned cat food that was used for bait was very tempting. It's hard to keep him out of the cage when he knows that gourmet heaven is just a few feet away, tucked in the back of a wire cage.

Last night for the first time, I had a good look at one of the raccoons that was tearing up my garage. It was the largest coon I've ever seen in my garage. I opened the door and there he was staring at me, one paw in the five gallon bucket that holds Spikes cat food. After stuffing a handful of Meow Mix into his mouth he sprinted to the pet door and was gone.

For several years now I've had a raccoon problem in the spring and summer when families of them would invade my garage. Now it looks as if I'm to be blessed with the winter version of "Animal Capers".

About the Author

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: http://www.homeandgardenbob.com http://www.redfishbob.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Find The Right Dog Treat For Your Dog's Health And Well-Being

Using a dog treat is a great way to reward your dog for good behavior and can be especially useful during training. The dog treat section of your local grocer or pet store is full of different dog treat flavors and brands. Browse the aisle and you'll recognize that most of these treats claim to be full of some kind of vitamin or nutrient that will improve, maintain and optimize your dog's health. Some will boast that they are good for things like your dog's digestive tract, heart and lungs or coat. They are especially important when it comes to doggie dental care. A special treat is commonly used to clean and maintain your dog's teeth. Treats are chewable and we all know that dogs love to chew. It's also extremely healthy for their teeth. Rawhide snacks or a bone that is either store bought or from the local butcher will encourage your dog to use their teeth.

Protein is commonly found in many treats on the market today. You can find nuggets or biscuits that are rich in protein for your canine. This same treat will often include different vitamins and minerals. Usually something like Omega 3 Fish oils for your dog's cardiovascular health. Read the ingredients and they shouldn't differ vary much from the vitamins and minerals that are essential to human health. It's good to get into the habit of reading the ingredients to ensure that your dog is digesting natural ingredients rather than potentially harmful chemicals and preservatives. Sometimes your dog can develop allergies to the hard to digest low quality protein sources or preservatives.

Many people opt to create homemade goodies for their four-legged friend. You can make some great tasting recipes from the comfort of your own home. Tasty ones can be made from thinly sliced pieces of steak, beef, chicken, small chunks of cooked hamburger, rice balls, vegetables or small pieces of cheese. ALWAYS AVOID feeding your dog chocolate, turkey, pork, onion, raisins, grapes, spicy food, acidic food and soy. These are incredibly hard for your dog's digestive system and can make your dog sick.

You can typically find recipes online. There are many excellent sources on the Internet for tasty, nutritious and affordable homemade dog treats.

Scott Jackson has been in the Pet Industry for over ten years. He has managed large Pet Specialty Retail stores and has worked as a distributor rep in the pet industry. He is a pet owner and lover who has extensive knowledge in pet nutrition and care. He runs a website http://www.coloradopetresources.com and http://www.dogandcatarticles.com where he gives information on pet care, location of Colorado independent pet retailers, vets, breeders and a general meeting place for pet lovers.

Visit http://www.coloradopetresources.com and find the information you need.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Finding Good Dog Breeders Online

The World Wide Web have connected many people to dog breeders, sometimes in close proximity to their home and sometimes miles away, even across country. It's important to remember a few things as you scroll through the results of that Google search for breeders. First, be careful because many online sites have no protocol for listing. These sites may include breeders that are sometimes referred to as "back-yard" breeders. These folks tend to be motivated more by money than the quality of the puppies they produce. They are often called puppy mills because they produce mass quantities of pups that are sold at pet stores.

You ideally want to find a list of quality breeders that are registered with the AKC, FCI, UKC or CKC. This typically means better quality dogs because the pups are registered and dog breeders belong to Dog Clubs. There is less likelihood of being scammed because the dog breeders are easier to track down and contact directly.

Breeders should be serious about their job. They take pride producing pups that meet the breed standard. The serious kennels may have several champions with bloodlines going back generations. All reputable dog breeders will ask a lot of questions before selling you one of their pups. Their questions will be somewhat personal because they care about what kind of home their puppy goes into. They will ask about your lifestyle, work hours, the size of your home, your experience with dogs and other pets. They will voluntarily show you around the facility and expect you to care about the conditions your dog of interest was raised in.

Don't be surprised if you asked sign a contract. They want to maintain the breed standard. They will sometimes present a contract stating that you will have the puppy spayed or neutered if you have no intention of breeding it. They may also ask you to notify them first if you are no longer able to care for your dog. Good breeders will want to know if their dog ends up in another home. Other contract terms may vary. Another fairly common request from some dog breeders is to notify them if your dog develops any disease or medical conditions. They need this information to ensure that there are no genetic issues with other dogs in the lineage.

They should be more than happy to answer your questions, particularly about the puppy's pedigree, the parents' lineage and that of previous generations. They will have registration papers and present you with a registration certificate. They should also present a record of the puppy's health care and guarantee you the puppy's health.

Scott Jackson has been in the Pet Industry for over ten years. He has managed large Pet Specialty Retail stores and has worked as a distributor rep in the pet industry. He is a pet owner and lover who has extensive knowledge in pet nutrition and care. He runs a website http://www.coloradopetresources.com and http://www.dogandcatarticles.com where he gives information on pet care, location of Colorado independent pet retailers, vets, breeders and a general meeting place for pet lovers.

Visit http://www.coloradopetresources.com and find the information you need.

Monday, February 11, 2008

German Shepherd Obedience Training

By Sean Green

Great Dane, the giant dog is extremely sweet, spirited, dignified, friendly, kind and affectionate with children. They are strong dogs that are very intelligent and loyal towards their owners. But, the Dane does not bark much and is also not aggressive. Great Dane Obedience Training at a young age is necessary to manage it when it grows. Dane normally tends to lean on people and it has to be taught not to do that as they may knock off children. Training this breed is somewhat difficult.

Great Dane have slow metabolism rate and suffers from bloat. When the dog is suffering from twisting pain of the stomach, they need to be given immediate care. Otherwise, they may die. Some owners tack the stomach of Dane to prevent bloat. Great Danes also have problems like dilated cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia and congenital heart diseases. They usually live till the age of 10 years. Great Dane Obedience Training includes conveying the correct body language to them. They will get stimulated and excited when their owners are happy. So, it is necessary to communicate with them properly for positive actions.

Great Dane Obedience Training involves making some guidelines for your pet. You should never chase your pet when you are angry. Your dog may think that you are playing game with him and he has to run to involve himself in the game. You should give him commands with power and you should face him straight when you are giving him commands. Also, display the same behavior when he plays spoil sport.

Great Danes comes in every color and the white with black spots is the most popular one. But, the most attractive of the Great Danes are the Blues, where their body color ranges from a gray to steel-blue color. Regardless of color, they are lovable pets and owners of Danes are always proud about them. Great Dane has a thick, short, glossy coat which does not need much maintenance. Fawn, black, blue, Harlequin, mantle and brindle are the most accepted colors of this breed. Despite the giant appearance, it is friendly and mixes well with other dogs and pets. They become close to their family members and frequent visitors. They have to be exercised regularly to keep them more active. They quickly alert the family about the approaching strangers though they don't bark much.

In natural intelligence he is somewhat above other few dogs. He has a most impressive figure and never slobbers from his mouth. On the other hand, if Great Dane Obedience Training is not given properly, he can be a dangerous animal due to his terrible strength. Great Danes take longer time to mature and the puppy period lasts up to two years. Puppies are normally more rambunctious than adults and hence he can damage the things of the household if not under regular supervision. Great Dane Obedience Training when they are puppies is a must as they weigh more and grow rapidly. During the obedience training, basic manners should be taught with strict discipline.

This article was brought to you by Sean Green, at Dog Obedience Training

For more information on Dog Obedience Training Please visit our website!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Caring For The Cute Magpie

by Jimmy Cox
 
Magpies (Pica rustica)are fascinating birds with a capability of talking. The different species are distributed over most of the world, in Europe, Asia and North America. They are birds of the woodland. The American and the European species are the ones best known as talkers, and have pure white patches on the wings and abdomen. The rest of the body is black with a glistening sheen. The tail is very long and black, shading to green and purple.

Magpies are very amusing and full of mischief. Like Master Crow, they are thieves for anything you own which may catch their fancy, and which they then proceed to hide. They can pick up quite a few words, and like to imitate strange sounds they may hear around them. These birds make too much of a mess to be allowed the freedom of a house. A cage four feet long, by three feet high, by two feet wide is suitable for them in the home. The larger the space you can give them the better.

If you need a good mouser, a Magpie will answer your requirements, at least during the day. Depending on how they are introduced, Magpies will have either great friendship or enmity for a cat or dog. If you own a Canary or other small bird, don't bother with the introduction, as the anticipatory gleam in the Magpie's eyes will be one of hunger rather than friendship.

In the wild, these birds kill an occasional mouse or small bird as a "piece de resistance." They also consume insects, carrion, fruit and grain. Gastronomically speaking, they are really not very difficult to please.

Other alternative feeds are soaked chicken mash, cooked potato, puppy meal crumbly moist, soaked grain, whole wheat bread, milk, and soaked dog biscuit.

FEEDING IN CAPTIVITY

For easy feeding in captivity you may make up a dry mixture of the following items:

10 lbs. Chicken Egg Laying Mash; 2 lbs. Oatmeal; 5 lbs. Puppy Meal; 1 lb. Fish or Beef Bonemeal; 1 lb. Whole Milk Powder; 1/2lb. of vitamin-mineral concentrate. These items should all be mixed well and stored in a dry spot. When feeding, add water to make it a barely crumbly consistency. This powdered feed has all the necessary elements, is convenient for you to use, and is about a three-months supply. Other alternative feeds are soaked chicken mash, cooked potato, puppy meal crumbly moist, soaked grain, whole wheat bread and milk, soaked dog biscuit.

While the above dry feed is good for them, Magpies should often have a variety of fresh food such as table scraps, mashed potatoes, grated raw carrot, etc., but do not give them cake, candy or coffee. Magpies are partly carnivorous and require the protein of some form of meat occasionally. This may be raw beef or fish (without fish bones), a mouse, cut-up rat or rabbit. Fur, skin and bone should be included with the latter delectable items, as they are apparently essential to the digestive organs of Magpies and Crows.

Vary this also with fresh greens, fruits, berries and grains (cracked corn, hulled oats, peanuts, etc.). A treat most birds relish is a piece of fresh corn on the cob, and a small quantity of milk to drink. The above diet applies also to Crows. As live food when available, up to 12 mealworms may be given a day per bird. These birds enjoy bathing frequently.

DISTINGUISHING THE SEXES

Magpie cocks and hens look alike. When cocks are fully matured (at 2 years), they are deep black and glossy. Hens are paler, although a young cock is as pale as a hen. Males are more alert and active. The young are easily hand-raised by giving them food in your fingers, their mouths being large enough to be fed in this manner. They become exceedingly tame when thus hand-raised.

Using these simple tips, you should be able to care for and enjoy your Magpie. Good luck!

About the Author

Long Lost Manuscript Resurfaces With The Best Talking Parrot Secrets Ever Created - You'll Have The Happiest Parrots Around!

Click here for FREE online Ebook

http://www.talkingparrot.org/

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Moving Pets Obstacles

by Amy Nutt

Pet services have come a long, long way in the last few years. With the popularity of pet daycares, spas, pet clothing, and much more, pets and their owners have never had it so good! There are a lot of options for pet owners out there - no matter what it is that they want to do with their pet. However, there are still some difficulties in certain areas when it comes to pets, and traveling is probably the biggest area in which there are barriers for people with pets.

One of these travel barriers is the fact that all restaurants - even truck stops - do not allow pets inside. Unless your pet is a working dog, he or she will have to wait in the car while you dine! If you feel bad about this, consider buying your pet a treat at the restaurant and giving it to them afterwards.

Another travel barrier is paying extra cash for flying with your pet. Most airlines allow pets to fly, but not with their owners. Granted, the animal's airfare will not be as much as the owner's, but it is still an extra fee that some people do not like paying. Before you complain about the cost of flying with your pet though, call around to your local kennels and do some research on kennel costs these days. Add that to your guilt about leaving him or her behind, and paying that extra flying fee suddenly won't seem so bad.

When you travel with your pet, you tend to be very limited on where you can go. A lot of the popular vacation destinations are just not animal friendly, and many places will not even allow pets - especially at hotels. If you search hard enough though, you will eventually find a few places that might be pet friendly, but they will not likely be any of the places that you have seen advertised on the media.

Even if you do manage to vacation at a place that is pet friendly, you will not be able to take your pet sight seeing at many places, and this can definitely put up a barrier to your travels! It is no fun to have to call around and try to get someone to pet sit for you while you are on vacation, or even just traveling from one destination to another.

Another travel barrier that you may encounter when you elect to bring your pet with you is the matter of bathroom breaks. You can't exactly pull over just anywhere, and you won't always have a litter box or newspaper handy. This can be the most frustrating part of traveling with your pet, and there is really no good solution to this issue. The most you can really do is keep a careful eye on your pet and monitor when and how much he or she eats and take bathroom breaks accordingly.

Relocating pets can cause some problems and difficulties, but some people would just rather have these issues than be without their pet for a long period of time. If you fall into this category, make sure you do your research before you make any decisions as to where you want to go, and you will be fine.

About the Author

PremiereVanLines wants to make the transition as smooth as possible when relocating pets, by providing information and tips on the moving. We are a top movers company with over 25 years experience.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Extend Your Dog's Life With Organic Dog Food

by Gordon Petten

Extend Your Dog's Life With Organic Dog Food

When you shop for groceries, you try to buy organic food for yourself. Your dog can also benefit from eating only organic dog food. With organic dog food, you know that you are feeding your pet better food and with better nutrition comes good health. Some of the ingredients you will find in organic dog food include fresh chicken, whole grains, antioxidants from herbs, a balanced mix of fatty acids and organic seeds and fruits.

When you buy organic dog food, you know that it does not contain any artificial coloring or preservatives. Organic dog food is also free of any harmful pesticides. The plants that are used in making organic dog food are not sprayed with any pesticide materials at all. The animals are not fed with any hormones, which means that organic dog food is wholesome and nutritious. The flavorings used in organic dog food are also natural, including such flavors as natural butter, garlic and sea salt.

When you look at the list of ingredients in organic dog food, you will see that they are all foods that you eat yourself. There are no commercial by-products used in the manufacture of organic dog food. There are no bulky fibers in organic dog food either that can play havoc with your pet's digestive system. There are many advantages to feeding your pet organic dog food. Since your dog will be healthier when eating organic dog food, you will notice a reduction in your veterinarian bills.

You may have some problem finding organic dog food in the grocery aisle of the supermarket. For your convenience there are many online sites that sell the organic dog food you need and will ship it right to your door. These sites do guarantee their organic dog food products and offer you the opportunity to return the products if you are not satisfied with the results of feeding organic dog food to your dog. If you are in doubt about the benefits of organic dog food, have a chat with your vet. He/She will gladly recommend that you change your pet's diet to one of organic dog food.

When you make the switch to organic dog food, you will have a happier dog with lots of energy to play. Walking the dog will become a more enjoyable experience as the organic dog food helps to normalize the dog's bowel movements leaving you less waste to scoop up on your jaunt.

About the Author

Organic Dog Food

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How To Teach Your Parrot Not To Bite

Learning how to teach your parrot not to bite is one of the most important skills for a pet parrot owner. However it takes a lot of time and commitment. Given the right circumstances, parrots can learn a lot of things because they are intelligent birds. Repetition will teach your bird to stop biting and your friends and family will enjoy its presence.

One of the main reasons why parrots behave this way may be that they are being left alone by themselves for far too long. This causes them to become withdrawn and would retaliate when approached. Socialize your parrot by introducing it to your family members, friends and even to your other pets to build confidence of being in the company of others. It is natural instincts for a parrot to cause hurt when it feels that its territory is being threatened by strangers. With adequate time, your bird will settle down and feel at home.

As an alternative, give your parrot a toy to nibble at. If it refuses to let go of your fingers, give it a blow on its face as a sign that you disapproves of the bird biting you. Do this over and over again each time this happens and your pet bird will get the message.

Verbally tell your parrot 'no' and place the bird back in its cage as a form of punishment. Cover the cage and leave it alone for some time. The parrot, being an intelligent bird, will sense that it is being disciplined.

Observe your bird's behaviour. African Grey parrots, especially, are temperamental and if you find that your parrot is moody, leave it alone. Just like humans, there are times when it needs to be by itself and not be forced to learn new tricks. Be sensitive to your bird and the biting can be stopped.

Take your parrot to new surroundings for a change, such as different rooms in the house, the balcony or outside on the lawn. Imagine being at the same location all the time, your parrot will lose it sense of balance. Let it enjoy new company and breathe new air. In adapting to different environments, your parrot will become less defensive and unlikely to protect itself by hurting others.

Lookout for mood changes, frustrations and irritations in your bird and avoid coming close to it when this happens. Let the bird overcome this behaviour with time. When your parrot hurts you on the finger, try not to show any reaction because it may do that again just to see the same reaction from you. Gently remove yourself from the situation. Do not retaliate by shaking the bird.

Repeat your training and be patient. Keeping a pet parrot is a lifelong commitment but it will benefit both you and you bird. Your pet bird will learn to stop biting and you will learn to be patient and build character.

Azmi Adnan is a writer and a bird enthusiast. Subscribe to his newsletter for fresh video clips on parrots and other bird species, ezines and interesting bird stories at his website http://www.power-to-live.com/parrot.html

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy

By Kristi Patrice Carter

Dogs, our furry and faithful best friends, are much like children in that they need constant care, love, and supervision to be healthy and happy. The responsible pet owner will see to it that their dog has a safe environment, including everything they'll need in which to grow and thrive throughout their life.

Here are 10 simple tips for keeping your beloved dog both healthy and happy:

1. Have Your Dog Vaccinated: All dogs should be properly vaccinated at all times, not only for their benefit, but for the other animals and people around them. Vaccinations can often mean the difference between a long, happy life, or a painful, fatal illness.

2. Provide Healthy Food and Fresh Water: Be sure to give your dog the right amount of food for his size, age, weight, and breed. Any dog, of course, should always have a supply of fresh water all throughout the day and night.

3. Provide Shelter and a Safe, Clean Living Environment: Regularly wash your dog's bedding in a mild detergent, and keep their cage or doghouse clean and free of debris and fur. Never leave your dog outside if you aren't going to be home, and always be mindful of the temperature. Dogs should be provided with a warm place in the colder months while outdoors, as well as a cool place to relax in the shade during the hot summer months. Also, remember that water freezes rather quickly in the winter, so be sure your dog has access to water instead of ice if they're going to be outside for a bit.

4. Routinely Treat for Fleas and Worms: Fleas and worms can cause your dog to become very uncomfortable and quite ill, not to mention how hard it is to keep fleas from invading the whole house. Always see to it that your dog is routinely tested for worms and free of fleas or ticks.

5. Provide Exercise and Socialization: While all dogs are different in some way, most will benefit from daily exercise that leaves them tuckered out and content. All dogs or puppies need to be around other dogs, as well as people, including children, in order to be well socialized.

6. Brush Your Dog Every Day: Regular brushing keeps your dog smelling fresh, and helps their coat to stay shiny and healthy looking. While brushing, take the opportunity to check their skin to look for any potential problems.

7. Brush Your Dog's Teeth: Dental care is an often overlooked, but extremely important aspect of your dog's good health. Daily brushing is the best for avoiding tooth decay and other related health issues.

8. Regularly Check Your Dog's Eyes and Ears: Dog's ears are especially prone to infection caused by yeast, fungus, and bacteria, and should be inspected regularly. The eyes should always appear bright and alert, as well as free from any abnormal discharge.

9. Watch for Common Health Problems: Common health problems such as bloat and kidney disease are serious conditions that dog owners will want to watch for diligently. If you have any special concerns related to your dog's specific health or breed, consult with your veterinarian for their professional advice.

10. Give Your Dog Plenty of Love: No dog can ever have too much love, care, or attention. The unconditional love a dog bestows on his owner should be unconditionally reciprocated.

For additional information on how to keep your dog healthy and happy, please visit http://www.DogEarYeastInfection.com, a website that features helpful dog-related articles, information, resources, and E-books for health-conscious and loving dog owners who want the best for their canine companion.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Moving Pets Obstacles

by Amy Nutt

Pet services have come a long, long way in the last few years. With the popularity of pet daycares, spas, pet clothing, and much more, pets and their owners have never had it so good! There are a lot of options for pet owners out there - no matter what it is that they want to do with their pet. However, there are still some difficulties in certain areas when it comes to pets, and traveling is probably the biggest area in which there are barriers for people with pets.

One of these travel barriers is the fact that all restaurants - even truck stops - do not allow pets inside. Unless your pet is a working dog, he or she will have to wait in the car while you dine! If you feel bad about this, consider buying your pet a treat at the restaurant and giving it to them afterwards.

Another travel barrier is paying extra cash for flying with your pet. Most airlines allow pets to fly, but not with their owners. Granted, the animal's airfare will not be as much as the owner's, but it is still an extra fee that some people do not like paying. Before you complain about the cost of flying with your pet though, call around to your local kennels and do some research on kennel costs these days. Add that to your guilt about leaving him or her behind, and paying that extra flying fee suddenly won't seem so bad.

When you travel with your pet, you tend to be very limited on where you can go. A lot of the popular vacation destinations are just not animal friendly, and many places will not even allow pets - especially at hotels. If you search hard enough though, you will eventually find a few places that might be pet friendly, but they will not likely be any of the places that you have seen advertised on the media.

Even if you do manage to vacation at a place that is pet friendly, you will not be able to take your pet sight seeing at many places, and this can definitely put up a barrier to your travels! It is no fun to have to call around and try to get someone to pet sit for you while you are on vacation, or even just traveling from one destination to another.

Another travel barrier that you may encounter when you elect to bring your pet with you is the matter of bathroom breaks. You can't exactly pull over just anywhere, and you won't always have a litter box or newspaper handy. This can be the most frustrating part of traveling with your pet, and there is really no good solution to this issue. The most you can really do is keep a careful eye on your pet and monitor when and how much he or she eats and take bathroom breaks accordingly.

Relocating pets can cause some problems and difficulties, but some people would just rather have these issues than be without their pet for a long period of time. If you fall into this category, make sure you do your research before you make any decisions as to where you want to go, and you will be fine.

About the Author

PremiereVanLines wants to make the transition as smooth as possible when relocating pets, by providing information and tips on the moving. We are a top movers company with over 25 years experience.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Dog Trainers

By Kristi Patrice Carter

Either for reasons such as learning agility training, whether for fun or competition, or for simply helping an out of control dog to learn how to behave better or perform simple commands, more pet owners are considering hiring a professional dog trainer instead of attempting to train their dogs themselves.

Here are a few pros and cons to consider before hiring a professional dog trainer:

The Pros of Hiring Dog Trainers

1. Professional knowledge of how dogs think, feel, and act is the first perk of hiring a dog trainer, either for teaching your dog the basic commands, or for turning them into an extremely well trained pet, or even a prize winning show animal.

2. Besides the peace of mind that your beloved pet is being properly trained, hiring a trainer is a great alternative if you are unable to offer the consistency or the level of physical activity needed for successfully training your dog.

3. Using a dog trainer gives you the option of hiring one who does private visits in the home, which is helpful for dogs who may not have been socialized properly, or who don't appreciate being around other animals. Alternately, many trainers have group sessions or classes and allow owners to participate and learn as well.

The Cons of Hiring Dog Trainers

1. The first negative of hiring a dog trainer to consider is the cost involved. Although many trainers offer very reasonable rates and services, there are also those who are quite expensive, but will provide excellent results nonetheless.

2. The second con for hiring dog trainers would be simply finding the available time to make the appointments. Some trainers will come into the home, while others will expect you to travel to them, and while most usually have flexible hours to accommodate those who work or who have hectic schedules, many still find it hard to find the free time necessary that professional dog training will require.

3. In some cases, a dog just doesn't respond well to be trained by anyone other than their trusted owners. In this instance, instead of "forcing" the dog to participate in training sessions, or be distressed, it's best to try to tackle the issues yourself, albeit with the guidance of a trained professional. There are many dog trainers who provide advice and helpful training tips for a fee, but without actually being with the animal. Also, the internet, library, humane society, or local animal shelter should all have useful information about the various methods and aspects of dog training.

Regardless if you've decided on training your dog yourself, or if you've opted for hiring a professional dog trainer, the most important part to remember is how the dog is responding to being trained. Do they seem to enjoy it, or do they seem agitated and out of sorts? Are they able to perform the tasks expected of them in training sessions, or do they seem intimidated and fearful?

Training should always be a positive experience for your dog, giving them a physical outlet to keep them fit and healthy, but also giving them mental stimulation as well.

For additional information on agility training and how to effective train your agility prone dog, please visit http://www.dogagilitytraining.net, your number one resource for dog agility training information for serious dog owners and their beloved agility dogs.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cocker Spaniel Obedience Training

The Cocker Spaniel is basically a hunting dog and its appearance reflects the capability of the dog. These dogs socialize well and behave nicely with children. Cocker Spaniel obedience training is normally simple as they are always eager to please their owners. Cockers sometimes may become more possessive of their owners and barks to alert them of a visitor. If they are left alone for a longer period, they become aggressive and may retaliate.

Cockers are brilliant family dogs and require lots of exercise; they also love swimming and running off the lead. They are friendly and love human companionship and like to please their owners. They live about 11 to 12 years and some of the health problems that affect them are skin allergies, cataracts, shyness, benign tumors, bite problems and deafness. There are two types of Cockers namely the English and the American. The tallness in these two types distinguishes them. Normally, American Cocker is longer than the English Cocker. Cocker Spaniel obedience training involves trimming the coat and regular grooming. If you want to give them a neat look, then trimming is necessary.

Cocker dogs are excellent working and hunting dogs. Cocker Spaniel obedience training can be carried out without much difficulty as they are highly intelligent. Also, they are good learners and always eager to please their masters. The dogs can be trained as sniffer dogs that are used to check for food products or drugs. A working Cocker is a flushing dog and it need some training to do the job efficiently. A well-bred Cocker Spaniel is playful, gentle, trusting, loyal and happy towards everyone.

Cocker Spaniel obedience training includes the special grooming needs. The coat length may be wavy or flat. The color of the coat can be buff, liver, buff etc. The ears are silky and long and require daily cleaning. They should be combed and brushed at least twice or thrice a week to shun matting on the chest, ears and legs. They appreciate and love long vigorous walks.

Cocker Spaniels easily catch ear infections and hence the ears should be cleaned properly. If you are leaving her for professional grooming, then make sure the ear is cleaned properly. Any excess fluid or water should not remain inside the ear. The ear cleaning may be difficult to carry out. Cocker Spaniel obedience training will be easier if you keep her healthy and free from ear infections.

Cockers teeth should be brushed with the specific toothpaste and brush for at least twice in a week. Brushing removes the tartar and hence can avoid cavities and periodontal disease. The toenails also require care and should be clipped regularly. Strengthen your emotional bonds with her to keep her healthy and happy. If left alone, they become more aggressive and even can bite or bark for longer hours to show their unhappiness. On the other hand, if trained right from a young age, they behave very well with others and children and shows their happiness and affection towards the family.

This article was brought to you by Sean Green, at Dog Obedience Training

For more information on Dog Obedience Training Please visit our website!

Show Your Love with Luxury Dog Bed

by Steve Madigan

As in the old days, dogs are used for many different purposes. These include some of the following:

As guard dogs Bringing home cattle Travel, pulling sleds in Alaska

There are some people who keep their pets outside. There are many reason's why this happens and some of them are the dog sheds, or the dog smells or any of the other bad habits that dog's have. When the animal is living outside, it is a good idea to make sure that the pet has cover to protect them from the elements. A nice dog house can serve this purpose. There are many different types of dog houses that you can get. Visit our site for some ideas on them.

Now there are some who treat there pet as one of the family and would never think of leaving the dog outside to live. It is a part of the family and lives with the family all the time. The pet goes outside to take care of business and then comes back in. Now our dog's come in all shapes and sizes. The same thing as with us human's dog's require a good nights sleep. So luxury dog beds have come into the fold. Some of the luxury dog beds are so luxurious you would not believe it. It would seem that some of the dog beds are nicer than some people sleep in, but that is the way it is. People can afford these luxurious dog beds, they will buy them.

A Look at the Designer Luxury Dog Bed

If you are thinking of getting a luxury dog bed, you would want to shop at a designer store. There are many people who are willing to spend a fortune on there pets. They are willing to show they care by purchasing them designer luxury pet beds. There are many large name designers that have added designer luxury dog beds to there catalogs. Some of these designers are Louis Vuitton and Burberry, just to name a few of them.

Luxury dog beds will come in a wide variety of designs, shapes and colors. There are many different types of materials these beds can and will be made out of. The beds can just about fit any decor that you may have in your home. You can find chaise, long sofa, with the actual bed made out of your choice of wood. There are many fancy shapes like a cradle, car and more other shapes that the list would be to long to mention.

There are Custom Luxury Dog Beds

The best part of custom luxury dog beds is you can order and match your own personality and style. There are some manufacturers that will take orders from their patrons. You can customize your bed to make your best friends sleeping area a thing of beauty. You are able to choose the type of bed, the color, size and many other features when you place your order. So the custom luxury pet beds can get quite expensive and quite beautiful.

Now you have to understand that with all the accessories and types, styles and materals that these luxury dog beds are being made out of, they can cost a small fortune, but the dog will be pampered to the max. The latest designs and styles are what the custom luxury dog bed is all about. You will be providing your pet with the utmost comfort.

Some Helpful Tips

You can find luxury dog beds online, and be able to choose from a large variety of styles, designs, colors. You then can compare the prices of the different types of beds. You will enjoy shopping for luxury dog beds online. Visit http://www.doggonegoodbeds.com for more information.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Maltese Eye Stain - How To Lighten Dog Tear Stains Quickly and Easily by Susan Helton

If you have been struggling to find out how to get rid of your pet's eye stain or tear stain discharge I can totally relate to what you are going through.

We have several Maltese dogs in our family and a few of them unfortunately had severe Maltese eye stain problems.

At first we did not know what to do. The stains ran down their faces from the inside corner of their eyes down each side of their nose and it was unsightly and gross looking compared to the rest of their luxurious white coat.

We checked with our veterinarian and found that the Maltese breed has a predisposition towards eye stain problems as do several other breeds of dogs and cats like: like: Maltipoos, Bichon Frise, Terriers, Spaniels, Lhasa Apso, French Bulldog, American Bulldog, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Saint Bernard, Westie, Shih Tzu, American Eskimo, Akita, Sharpei and cats like:Persians, Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, Devon Rex, and Scottish Folds.

After checking with our vet we learned that our Maltese were okay health wise (thank goodness). The deep reddish-brown stains below their eyes came from the dogs normal tears that drained down the Maltese faces.

We learned that it was common for our Maltese to have tear staining because the tear ducts and bone structure are unlike other breeds and that in most the cases the cause of the color change of the hair and skin occurs when the normal bacteria on the hair and skin react with the clear tears. Even though the tear stains were not a health risk, we still wanted them to be gone so our Maltese could have a beautiful white face to go with their beautiful white coat.

We tried so many different home remedies to help the stains and leaky eyes to go away.

We finally found a product that worked like a charm and all we had to was add a simple solution to our dog's food and after a short time the ugly stains were gone for good.

Go to http://www.MalteseEyeStain.com to learn how to lighten dog tear stains easily and help your pet have a beautiful clean face.

Read about our favorite home remedy for canine tear stains that really works easy and fast at http://www.MalteseEyeStain.com.

About the Author

Susan Helton has quite a few Maltese that have been cured of their Eye Stain with the best tear stain solution that really works - learn more about Angels Eyes at http://MalteseEyeStain.com

 

The Benefits of Natural Dog Food

by Gordon Petten

When you choose to feed your dog natural dog food, you are choosing to protect your dog from many medical problems often caused by processed foods. A dog's diet plays an important role in the overall health of the animal, which is why natural dog food is so important. Pet owners who have chosen top go the route of buying only natural dog foods are surprised when they realize that their trips to the vet have been drastically reduced.

Experts on the topic of feeding natural dog food to both small and large breed dogs say that due to the natural food, dogs have fewer colds, fewer allergies and have higher energy levels. The incidences of skin ailments have also been reduced among dogs that are fed natural dog food. This is because there are no artificial flavorings or additives in natural dog food and natural dog food does not contain any toxic pesticides that can make you dog ill. The nutritional value of natural dog food is also higher than the processed foods as it contains a higher percentage of protein and natural grains.

Often dogs become overweight and sluggish when they continually eat the processed food you buy in the supermarket instead of natural dog food. With natural dog food, they get the vitamins and minerals their bodies need without adding fat. When the dogs have a healthy weight, due to the natural dog food, they are more playful and can burn off the excess fat more easily. With the bulk fiber in the natural dog food, your pet will consume the correct amounts for its size and not overeat.

Because natural dog food is free of chemicals and additives, dogs can digest it more easily. This means that they will have fewer digestive problems when they are fed natural dog food. Whole grains, as part of natural dog food, are just as essential to your dog's diet as they are to your own. Instead of containing processed meats, natural dog food contains home cooked turkey, roast beef and lamb. When you take your dog for a walk, you will have less waste to pick up in the scooper because the dogs on natural dog food have fewer bowel movements. This is a good thing for you too, as you won't have to take your dog outdoors as often.

By feeding your dog natural dog food, you will be telling your pet how much you love it. A longer life is possible with the change to natural dog food and the cost involved is far less than you might think. Even if the natural dog food is a little more expensive than the commercially produced food, you will be saving money in vet bills and medications.

About the Author

Natural Dog Food

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise - the curly lap dog is a cute and small dog. Bichons are extremely intelligent and you will really feel proud to own one. After the French revolution, these dogs ended up on the lanes as their regal masters were dethroned. Then, these dogs were caught and were used in the circus to do tricks. Nowadays, farmers in Norway are using these dogs for rounding up sheep. Bichon Frise Obedience Training is important as only when you train the dog, you can enjoy his companionship.

Bichons are small dogs, but are sturdy and hence do not require much exercise. You can train them as a watchdog, but they are not aggressive. Though it has a curly coat, it will not shed and therefore one of the best dogs for allergy sufferers. Bichon Frise Obedience Training comprises of training your dog with the housebreaking difficulties. Also, you should remember that they don't like to be left alone. If you are occupied with your work all day, then this dog is not suitable for you. They express their unhappiness through non-stop barking and destructive work.

Bichon Frise Obedience Training includes extensive socialization and also you need to introduce them to unfamiliar surroundings and sounds. Otherwise, they become suspicious or shy away from people. Also, Bichons are not suitable for smaller children as the steep sound and loud noises they make will irritate them, and they can even bite them.

While providing Bichon Frise Obedience Training, you need to concentrate on the stubbornness of these dogs. They are manipulative and hence you need to show them that you stand for what you say. Also, Bichon Frise Obedience Training contains grooming which is a very important part to play. You have to brush and clip the curly coat frequently, or else they are prone to skin diseases. The Bichon Frise show dogs you watch on TV and magazines were groomed for hours by experienced show groomers.

You have to first train your Bichon with the words sit and stay when you brought them home. Bichons are very fast and if you leave the door open, they will just run away. Also, if you have a swimming pool, then you need to watch your puppy as he may step into the water by mistake. It is also a good idea to teach your Bichon to swim as this will remove the dirt and chemicals from his skin and also he will be safe even when he falls into the water accidentally.

Bichons often quickly respond to the new sounds and sights. So, you should be equally quick to control them. You should never leave your Bichon unattended in your yard. If you have close neighbors, then you have to take extra caution in nurturing your Bichon. Some Bichons bark loudly and can bite anyone when disturbed. Another problem with the Bichons is the tendency to develop skin allergies. They are allergic to chemicals, fleas, grass, pollen etc. So, you have to keep them clean and hygienic in order to maintain their curly coat.

This article was brought to you by Sean Green, at Dog Obedience Training For more information on Dog Obedience Training Please visit our website!

Electronic Pet Fences Stop Dogs From Digging

by Eric Giguere

When a wooden fence wasn't enough to keep our golden retriever from digging her way out of our backyard, we decided it was time to install a proper pet containment system to keep her safe and enclosed. Most dog owners install electronic fencing as an alternative to visible fencing, but the two systems can actually work together to secure your backyard.

The Invisible Fence brand system we chose works like all wireless pet containment systems. First, a wire is placed along the property line (or the containment area). Second, the dog (or dogs) is fitted with a special electronic pet collar. On approach of the property line, the dog's collar buzzes or beeps to warn the dog to back away. If the dog continues to approach, a short but surprising electric shock ensures that the dog returns to the safe area.

No pet fence is foolproof, of course. Proper training and conditioning of each dog is required in order to ensure that they immediately back away from the wireless fence as soon as the collar buzzes. Owners that fail to do this training may be surprised to learn that some dogs will still cross the fence line even if they have to endure a shock or two.

To be truly safe, though, a visible barrier can be used with the wireless fence. That's what we did with our Invisible Fence system by having the buried wire parallel the wooden fence along the perimeter of our backyard. You can even tack the wire directly to the fence instead of burying it under the fence.

The nice thing about this combination is that the two fences serve different but complementary purposes. The wooden fence keeps the dog from jumping or running off the property, while the Invisible Fence system keeps the dog from digging under the wooden fence. Since the wireless fence wasn't the primary means of keeping the dog on the property, we were able to adjust the system's electronic field to be quite narrow. This lets the dog approach the fence fairly closely without being warned away.

So if a real fence isn't enough to keep your dog out of trouble, consider combining it with an electronic pet fence to get total safety and peace of mind.

About the Author

Read more about how we used a wireless pet fence system with a normal fence to keep our dog from escaping our backyard.