Pets Aren't Always Fun and Games
By Jessica Vogelsang, DVM
Pets can present a variety of challenges, even to the best prepared of owners. Here are our picks for the 5 common pet owner mistakes that may be making your life challenging. Let us know if anything sounds familiar?
1. 'He’s Not Fat, He’s Big Boned'Actually, he probably is overweight or obese, along with more than half of pets in American households. Because the majority of dogs and cats are packing on extra pounds these days, our minds are fooled into thinking this is normal. Your veterinarian can assess your pet with an objective tool such as the Healthy Weight Protocol to give you an accurate idea of what your pet’s weight should be, as well as a specific diet plan to get you to that healthy goal.
2. 'I Only Go to the Vet When My Pet is Sick'Animals are tremendous masters of disguise; they don’t want to inconvenience us by letting us know they feel poorly. Usually by the time owners notice signs of illness, a pet has been sick for quite some time. Annual preventive care exams at the veterinarian allow you to catch diseases like arthritis and renal disease much earlier in the process, saving you money, and your pet pain and stress.
3. 'The Store Employee Told Me to Change Pet Food'Choosing a pet food can be confusing. Meanwhile, the person at the pet food store, convincing as they may be, doesn’t know your pet’s medical history the way your vet does. If your veterinarian recommends a specific diet for your pet, there’s usually an excellent reason. Diet plays a key role in your pet’s health, so make sure to include their number one health advocate in that decision.
4. 'Don't Be Scared; Give Him a Cookie'When a pet is exhibiting a fearful behavior, such as growling or snapping, it can be tempting to try and calm them down with attention. But rewarding a fearful pet with hugs and consolation can actually worsen the behavior by reinforcing it. If this behavior worsens over time, a pet might actually wind up in a shelter, and aggressive pets have lower chances of being adopted. If your pet shows any signs of fear or aggression, talk to a certified trainer, your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist ASAP!
5. 'My Dog Doesn’t Need a Leash, He's Trained'It’s important to be a good dog ambassador by obeying local dog ordinances about leashes and cleaning up after your pup. If you live in an area where leashes are required by law, you should obey that law without fail. Many people — and even some dogs — are frightened of other dogs, and they can be very distressed by being approached by any canine. Many cities and towns have designated areas where dogs can run off leash, so if your dog is feeling the call of the wild, find a dog park and let loose.
This subject is dear to my heart and of great concern to me since I am in the pet care industry. People tell me that "...their dog can hold their pee all day!" or "...oh he's used to it." BUT WHY?! We must know that it causes them just as much discomfort as we get when we have to wait for an empty stall to open up, or the next gas station, etc. Why are we doing this to our dogs? We don't do it to our cats, we give them a litter box.
I have discussed this issue with multiple veterinarians and my editorial is the consensus from my interviews.
There are potential health risks associated with forcing your dog to hold its pee for too long. Although he physically might be able to do so, extended periods of holding it in can lead to urinary tract infections or urinary crystals and stones. The inability to urine can also lead to behavioral issues. Frustrated dogs can bark, chew, and become extremely anxious, which can lead to a frustrated owner. To avoid frustration and all it entails, understand the importance of your dog’s needs and why it matters.
Adult and large dogs have larger bladders than younger, smaller dogs. These dogs should have at least 4 opportunities to relieve themselves per day. Most veterinarians recommend allowing your dog to go outside every 3-5 hours. Some dogs don’t always fully relieve themselves the first time they go outside, meaning they’re still holding a substantial amount in throughout the day. Make sure you delegate a sufficient amount of time for your dog to “let it all go” before they come back inside. Smaller and younger dogs should have at least 5-6 opportunities to relieve themselves per day, as their bladders are smaller than larger dogs.
Senior dogs and dogs with health issues have different requirements when it comes to holding it in. Dogs with illnesses, such as diabetes or kidney disease, typically need more trips outside per day. Demanding them to hold it in for more than 2-3 hours may be an impossible task. Visiting your veterinarian will allow you to better understand your dog’s needs and requirements.
There are plenty of situations when dog's desire to escape and run away from wherever she is can cause dangerous consequences.
This problem will usually be caused because your pet is looking for a mate, was scared by something, needs socialization, dislikes the environment, wants to roam and explore, and for many other reasons.
The bad thing about it is evident: when outside of your supervision and not in a safe environment, a dog can get herself in all kinds of danger very quickly.
How to fix it:
Indoor Cats and Infectious Disease, By Krista Williams, BSc, DVM; Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CCRP, DAAPM
Why does my cat need vaccinations if she spends 100% of her time indoors?
It is a myth that cats who live indoors do not need to be vaccinated against infectious diseases. While living an indoor lifestyle is certainly safer overall than living outdoors, and indoor living contributes to a longer life expectancy, important infectious diseases can find indoor cats.
Feline rhinotracheitis virus, feline calici virus, and feline panleukopenia virus make up the feline distemper complex. Vaccination against the feline distemper complex is important because these diseases can be deadly.
These are hardy viruses that can be brought into the home on inanimate objects like clothes or shoes. Because transmission does not require direct contact with another cat, indoor-only cats can be exposed and become ill if they are not appropriately vaccinated. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), World Small Animal Association (WSAVA), and Cat Healthy (Canada) have published vaccination guidelines that reflect the current standard of vaccine science. Your veterinarian will help you understand the most appropriate distemper vaccination schedule for your cat.
If feline leukemia virus (FeLV) requires direct cat-to-cat contact why does my indoor cat need to be vaccinated?
The current vaccine recommendations for cats from the AAHA and the AAFP include vaccinating all kittens against FeLV following a negative blood test. Cats are most susceptible to this virus in the first few years of life and their personalities are still developing – you never know if your adorable new kitten is going to decide that he needs to dart out the door whenever they spot it opening.
"When deciding about FeLV vaccination, it is important to consider all the cats in the household.
"This vaccine should be boosted at the one year anniversary, at which time you can discuss your cat's lifestyle with your veterinarian, who may recommend skipping this vaccine. Keep in mind that if you have more than one cat and one of them spends some time outdoors, this cat can potentially become a carrier, transporting FeLV indoors and exposing the cat who lives strictly inside. When deciding about FeLV vaccination, it is important to consider all the cats in the household.
Why does my indoor cat need rabies vaccination?
Rabies is a human health concern, not just an animal health issue. Because rabies can be transmitted to humans and is nearly universally fatal, many communities have laws mandating rabies vaccination of pets. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by a bite from an infected animal. Bats, skunks, and raccoons are the most common sources of exposure to rabies by companion animals.
"Rabies is a human health concern, not just an animal health issue."Regardless of legal requirements, maintaining regular rabies vaccination makes good medical sense. Even a strictly indoor cat may find a way to sneak out of the house and be exposed to rabies by a wild animal in the neighborhood. A rabid bat could find its way inside, presenting an attractive hunting target for an indoor cat. It is simply not worth the risk to the cat or your human family members to decline vaccination against rabies.
Your veterinarian is your best source of the most current recommendations for vaccinating your cat in order to protect her from preventable infectious diseases - even if yours lives strictly indoors. The current guidelines for cat vaccinations involve a rotating vaccine schedule - it is no longer considered appropriate to vaccinate against every disease every single year. Instead, an individual risk assessment is performed to determine the most appropriate disease protection and prevention plan for your cat. Your veterinarian has your cat's best interests in mind.
Contributors: Krista Williams, BSc, DVM; Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CCRP, DAAPM
Sept. 29, 2022 -- Dogs can detect when we are stressed, say the researchers behind a new study.
Dogs are known to be able to sniff out disease, such as cancer, malaria, and Parkinson’s disease. “Man’s best friend” is also able to detect the warning signs that a person is going to have an epileptic seizure, or a narcoleptic episode, or that their blood sugar is low, or that they are about to have a migraine.
In a new study, published in PLOS ONE, researchers have found that dogs can detect changes in human breath and sweat associated with stress. And what’s more, the dogs can detect these changes with over 90% accuracy.
The authors explained that "odors emitted by the body constitute chemical signals that have evolved for communication, primarily within species.” Given dogs' role in supporting human psychological conditions such as anxiety, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the researchers wondered whether dogs could be sensing chemical signals to respond to their owners' psychological states.
Trained and Tested
For their study, researchers from Queen's University Belfast collected samples of breath and sweat before and after a fast-paced arithmetic task from non-smokers who had not recently eaten or drank. The self-reported stress levels and physiological measures, like heart rate and blood pressure, of the participants were also recorded.
Pet dogs from the Belfast community were recruited, and from 20 dogs, four reached the testing phase. These four dogs were aged from 11 months to 2.25 years and were of different breeds and breed-mixes – cocker spaniel, cockapoo, and two undetermined breeds (lurcher-type and terrier-type). Using a clicker along with kibble, they were trained to match smells in a discrimination task.
The authors said that performance at above 80% correct (chance level) was needed in the training stages before the testing stages started in order to be sure that if a dog's performance during the testing phase dropped to chance at the testing phase, this was because the stress and baseline samples were indistinguishable to the dog, and not because the dog "didn’t know how to do the task.”
During the testing phase, the samples of 36 participants who reported an increase in stress because of the task, and who experienced an increase in heart rate and blood pressure during the task, were presented to trained dogs within 3 hours of being collected. Dogs were asked to find the participant's stress sample - taken at the end of the task. Also in the sample choices for the dogs were the same person's relaxed sample, which had been taken minutes prior to the task starting.
The researchers found that dogs could detect and perform their alert behavior on the sample taken during stress in 675 of 720 trials, which equated to 93.75% of the time.
"The first time they were exposed to a participant’s stressed and relaxed samples, the dogs correctly alerted to the stress sample 94.44% of the time," the authors said. Individual dogs ranged in performance from 90% to 96.88% accuracy.
"This study demonstrates that dogs can discriminate between the breath and sweat taken from humans before and after a stress-inducing task," said the authors. An "acute, negative, psychological stress response" alters the odor profile of our breath and sweat, and dogs are able to detect this change in odor, they said.
They explained that their findings provide even more information about the "human-dog relationship,” and that the findings could be applied to the training of anxiety and PTSD service dogs that are currently trained to respond mainly to visual cues.
A little water, a little shampoo … How hard can it be to bathe a dog?
Sometimes, harder than you’d think. Whether your dog loves baths or runs the other way when you spell “B-A-T-H,” bathing your dog regularly is an important part of caring for your pet. Linda Easton, president of International Professional Groomers and the owner of grooming salon Canine Concepts in Salem, Oregon, CPG, ICMG, shares her top tips on how to bathe a dog.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
Unless your pooch just spent the afternoon splashing in mud puddles, you probably don’t need to bathe your dog more than once a month. This is breed-dependent; some dogs with longer coats will require more frequent baths or even trips to a professional groomer. If you’re not sure how often to suds up your pup, check with a groomer or your vet. Giving a monthly bath is key, though.
“The way dog’s skin works is, about every 30 days they have a whole new layer of cells,” Easton says. “So, the old cells slough off. That's what makes dander and things like that. So regular grooming or bathing keeps that dander down.”
Key Products and Tools
Your first decision is likely choosing where you want to give your dog a bath. The size of your dog will likely influence your choice. You may be able to bathe a small dog in a kitchen sink, whereas a large dog will require more space. Some pet parents prefer a dog-specific bathtub, either a stand-alone unit or one that’s built-in at home or at a DIY dog bath facility. Using a dedicated dog bath area can keep fur and grime from clogging your family bathtub. But if you prefer to give your dog a bath in the family bathtub, that’s fine too. Just choose a place where you can safely get your dog in and out of the cleaning area.
Then, before you turn on the faucet, make sure you have all your products and tools handy. “You want to have everything you need, right where you can reach it,” Easton says. You don’t want to be chasing a wet dog around your home while you try to find conditioner. Your supply list will obviously include shampoo, conditioner, and towels. You may also want a non-slip bath mat and an eye wash just in case.
Pick the Proper Shampoo and Conditioner
To give your dog a good bath, you’ll want to start with the right products. “Make sure you're using shampoo that's specifically made for dogs,” Easton says. “Dogs have different pH than people do in their skin. So, they’re actually more alkaline. If you use the shampoo that's made for people, it can be irritating to their skin.”
If you’re bathing a puppy, puppy-specific shampoo can be a good idea, Easton says. The pH of puppy shampoo matches the pH of a dog’s eyes, meaning it won’t irritate the dog’s eyes as much if some gets into that area.
If you’re unsure of what products to select for your particular dog, ask a groomer what he or she uses. Easton advises using a mild shampoo. If your dog is experiencing a certain issue (like itchy skin), then a shampoo designed to treat that condition might be ideal.
After shampooing your dog, putting on a conditioner is the next important step. “You always want to follow up when you're grooming at home with a conditioner because when you use your shampoo you strip a lot of the natural oils out of the skin and out of the hair. So, your conditioner rehydrates the skin as well as closes up all the cells on the outside part of the hair shaft itself,” Easton says. “Basically, you’re rehydrating with the conditioner.”
Proper Dog Washing Technique
When you have chosen the right place and have the right products ready to use, the real fun begins. Here's the bathing process our pros recommend:
How to Wash a Dog’s Face
Washing your dog’s head is one of the trickiest parts of the dog bathing process. You don’t want to get soap or water in sensitive areas like your dog’s ears, nose, and eyes. Easton recommends you save this part for the end of the bath, and suggests using a washcloth to clean your pet’s face.
Dip the cloth in soapy water, carefully wash your dog’s head and face, and then dip a clean washcloth into clear water and use that to rinse. “You just really want to make sure all the soap is out of those areas,” Easton says.
Even if you’re using a puppy shampoo that’s designed to be easier on the eyes, shampoo can still hurt them, so you’ll want to avoid the eye area as much as possible. If shampoo does get in your dog’s eyes, have an eye wash on hand that you can use. If your dog has eye goobers, Easton suggests wetting them and then using a toothbrush to softly remove them.
How to Bathe a Dog that Hates Water
Although some dog breeds love water (we’re looking at you, golden retrievers), many dogs shudder at just the sound of the bath faucet turning on. To combat this, try giving your dog lots of positive reinforcement during the bath. Praise is good; treats are even better! Give your dog positive associations to remember for next time he sees you gathering the dog shampoo.
It’s also helpful to have a partner hold the dog while you’re giving him a bath, Easton says. And, if possible, start giving your dog a bath when he’s a puppy to help him get used to bath time.
What to Do Post-Bath
First, towel-dry your dog as best you can. Then, use either a dog-specific hairdryer or a human one on a medium or cool setting. Easton recommends brushing your dog as he dries. You also could air-dry your dog, as long as he doesn’t get chills or shiver too much.
If you’re air-drying your dog, “Every 10 or 15 minutes run a brush through them as they're drying and that'll help prevent mats or help separate mats if they have them,” Easton says.
Your reward for bath time: A dog that looks and smells fresh. And the knowledge that you’ve done something nice for your pooch’s health and handsomeness.
We all know that cats can be pretty challenging to read. So you might be asking, do cats get lonely?
There's a misconception that cats don't like to make friends with other cats. So do cats need company?
In reality, this will all depend on the cat. Some cats are very social, some prefer o be alone, and some can get sad quickly.
There are certain factors to know if your cat will quickly get lonely. For instance, it will depend on their personality and age.
Do Cats Get Lonely?It's a common idea that cats are independent and antisocial. But that doesn't mean they don't get sad.
Compared to dogs, cats enjoy more of their solo activities, such as exploring and self-grooming. Their independence can be linked to their wild ancestors, who were lone animals.
But since cats have evolved to be domesticated pets, they now crave companionship with their humans and other pets.
So if you think that your cats rejoice when you leave the house, it's the opposite. Cats get lonely, and they also wait for you to arrive home.
Some cats that are left alone all day without stimulation (playing with toys or other animals or humans) cause bad behavior.
Signs That Your Cat is LonelyOvergroomingLonely cats tend to self-groom excessively. We all know that cats naturally are careful groomers.
But if you feel that their grooming procedure begins to border on OCD-like behavior, it can signify that your cat is feeling lonely.
If your cat is usually quiet but suddenly becomes talkative, this can also signify that they are sad. It's their way of asking attention.
Extreme vocalization can also mean that they are experiencing a lot of stress. It can be because of a new pet, a new baby, or maybe they're suffering from an illness that you don't know about.
Loss or Increase in Appetite
Changes in appetite can be caused by depression. Lonely cats tend to lose interest in their regular diet.
On the other hand, changes in appetite can also be caused by certain illnesses, unfamiliar surroundings, or other psychological issues.
We all know that cats love to sleep, but lonely or depressed cats will sleep more. As the cat owner, if you notice changes in your cat's sleeping pattern, it can mean that they're unhappy.
Low energy is expected for sad cats. It can also indicate that they suffer from other mental or physical problems.
In addition, lethargy is also seen in cats because of stress, obesity, medication side effects, and boredom.
Aggression is one of the most common signs that your cat is lonely. They tend to be aggressive once they know that their person is getting ready to leave.
If your cat shows aggression when you're on your way out, it means they do not want you to leave them alone. They are telling you that they want to spend more time with you.
Lonely cats show tendencies of destructiveness mostly because they are bored. When a cat is bored, they'll think of destructive or creative ways to entertain their minds.
When you get home, you'll find your place messy or destroyed. This means that your cat is lonely or bored.
Scratches on your sofa, climbing up your curtains, and shredding toilet paper are a few signs of destructive behavior.
Litter Box Issues
When you notice that your cat is spraying or squatting outside the litter box, it's advised to make sure that they don't have any medical issues first.
Because litter box issues can also signify kidney or urinary tract problems.
On the other hand, it can also mean that your cat is trying to tell you something. This can be his way of communicating his sadness at being alone.
Additional Reasons Your Cat Gets Sad
Besides leaving them at home, there are still other reasons your cat gets sad. Here are a few reasons your cat can get lonely:
A lonely cat can also show you that they have some underlying health conditions. In these times, it would be best to consult with your local vet instead of searching through the internet and guessing what's wrong.
Your cat may be suffering from diseases and infections that can affect its mood. A few examples of these are fatty liver disease, dental disease, ringworm, and even cancer.
Loss of a Loved One
Yes, cats grieve at the loss of their loved ones too. Cats can develop a particular bond with humans or other pets over time.
For instance, if your other pet, let's say a dog dies, you'll notice that the cat will be lonely and depressed. But don't you worry, as they will eventually recover.
You will limit your cat's ability to play or do things they love once they start to experience an injury.
For example, your cat loves to play outdoors and takes walks. If your cat suddenly can't do these things that he enjoys, sadness is unavoidable.
Your Cat Gets Lonely, How To Make Your Cat Happy?
Now that we've tacked the reasons and signs on why cats get lonely, let's discussed how we will turn that around. Always remember that a happy cat lives a longer and healthier life.
Provide a Healthy Diet
A healthy cat is a happy cat. The cat's diet will depend on its age.
You shouldn't feed adult cat foods to kittens. There are specifically recommended diets for kittens, adults, and senior cats.
As the pet owner, make sure that your cat receives a proper balance of nutrients that they need. If you're unsure about what to give, consulting with your vet or a veterinary nutritionist is your best bet.
Visit the Vet
As stated above, if your cat is healthy, he's also happy. He'll be able to do the things that he loves. From playing, running around, and maybe just staring at birds.
An unhealthy cat can lead to depression as it won't be able to do the things they enjoy. Consult with your vet regularly to know how to take care of your pets properly.
Take the time to play with your cat. One of their favorite games is playing hide and seek. It can be fun for both of you.
Or maybe bring them new toys! Cat toys are not that expensive.
Have you experienced buying some cat toys online, but when your box or package arrives, your cat was much happier to play with the box?
In addition, cats enjoy playing with just a ball of yarn.
Toys are physically and mentally stimulating, making them sharp and healthy.
Petting or Cuddle Time
Believe it or not, cats love to interact with their owners. Like dogs, they love to be petted (well, maybe not all the time)!
A gentle scratch on their head or behind their jaw can make them feel safe and happy.
In addition, petting a cat can also boost your mood. It can be a positive distraction to people suffering from mental illnesses like depression.
According to researchers, their theory is that catnip triggers the cat's “happy” receptors in the brain when they smell it. But when eaten, it starts an opposite effect, and your cat becomes mellow.
Cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and zoning out. However, some cats become “zoomies” or hyperactive. They can also suddenly show aggression when you approach them.
Can Cat Loneliness Be Helped By Getting a Second Cat?
If you have one cat at home, you might have asked yourself this question. “Should I get a second cat?”.
Cats have a reputation for being solitary animals. But cats can also benefit from having a friend or a buddy.
Changes in a cat's behavior can indicate that they're lonely. But don't automatically assume that they need another kitty in the house.
It's still best advised to consult with your vet if you feel any difference in their behavior.
However, adding a second cat may not seem to be a bad idea. Adding a cat can help with your cat's sadness. When you're gone off to school or work, your cat will have a companion or playmate.
But adding a new cat will not fix all the problems of a lonely cat. Adding a new cat is more challenging than it seems.
Cats are also high-maintenance pets.
And on rare occasions, they might not get along too well. Now you have two lonely cats to take care of.
If your cat is old and has made a few cat friends throughout its life, it's less likely that they want another cat in the house.
But if your cat is patient and has a good history of interacting with other cats. There's a great chance that it could work.
Matching Your Cat to a Second Cat
If you're still unsure about getting a second cat, you're maybe scared that they won't get along. I might have the solution for you.
Try to look into rescues with multiple cats that are open for foster or a “trial period.” Take your newly chosen cat home, introduce it to your cat slowly, and try again with another if it doesn't work.
But for more context, here's a step-by-step guide on how you can introduce a new cat to your old cat:
Step #1: First Impressions
Just like with us humans, first impressions are crucial when it comes to building chemistry.
Two cats meeting for the first time may display anger or aggression. It would be best to keep them separated at first. This way, you'll be able to control their first meeting.
Ensure that they have their food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, and bed. They should also be able to smell and hear each other.
A good technique is to feed the cats near a door that separates them so that they learn that coming together is a positive experience. You can add a few extra treats as well.
After two-three days, switch their locations so they'll be able to analyze each other's smell.
Step #2: Meeting Each Other
After a few days or a week, if you see don't see them hissing, growling, or any signs of aggression at the door, this is an excellent time to introduce them to each other.
Replacing the door with a temporary screen is an excellent method to let the cats see each other first. Once they see each other, ask a friend or a family member to help you give them treats behind them and call their name.
Feed and play with them near the screen door for the next few days. Try to move closer to the barrier as the days go by
Step #3: Give Them Space
The last step is allowing the cats to spend time with each other without the barrier. In this step, it is still crucial that you are there to supervise these first face-to-face meetings.
It would be best to do this when they're both calm, for instance, after a meal or after playing. As they become more comfortable with each other, they can have their own space.
This week, I am writing my own article in hopes that it helps change some pet owners' way of thinking. It is a topic that is very close to my heart.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, have evolved so much from the time that our parents kept the family dog outside, they never came inside. Dog left outside in the elements, even if they have shelter and never being able to be inside with the family actually causes them sadness, stress and ages a dog a lot faster then being comfortable on an orthopedic bed in the living room with the family that they love; receiving pets and kisses, treats, toys and playtime.
And with the evolution of pets into the family comes the feeling that they aren't pets anymore, they ARE family.
I am one of those people.
In my line of work, I see a lot of misconceptions. One in particular is showing your love, to your pet, with food and treats. Overweight dogs are at such a high risk of obesity related illness and diseases, like diabetes. Do you want to put your dog through getting daily insulin injections, twice a day? The weight of the dog puts such pressure on the spine, the spinal disks holding the spine together, their elbows and knees as well. And by all means let's emphasis the pressure it puts on the heart to pump harder to just to move around. If they don't get the healthy exercise that they need AS WELL AS the diet food or just LESS food, they are prone to diabetes, arthritic changes in their back, hips and legs, which is so very painful for them.
This is no life for any pet. You've seen that overweight person walk through the mall or a movie theater; notice their gait, the effort that they have to put forth just to walk, the heavy breathing they do? How uncomfortable they likely are, in pain and how often they must have to sit down to take a break; how hard their heart must be working. It is NO different for a pet!
So if you have truly read the above, think about it. You "think" that you are showing your dog love with all those bowls of food, multiple times a day and so many variety of treats all day long. But what you are really doing is setting your pet up for long term medical problems, high vet bills, constant pain discomfort and all of the medication your pet will have to take for arthritis, diabetes, heart, anti-inflammatory meds for their spine. You don't want that for your pet, I know. It's just that some pet owners, love their pets in the present-day and time, and not thinking of what you are actually doing to their future health, mobility, comfort and happiness as an older pet.
I urge you to get with your Vet, listen to what he has to say and then truly do it. THAT is how you should show your pet love. Let him live a happy, active, pain free life. Yes, your pet, who doesn't understand any of this, will seem displeased and even pout with his new diet. So swap out the unhealthy diet and overfeeding and substitute it with fun distraction like walking, exercise, playing fetch, going to the dog park or play dates. For cats, build outdoor play areas, provide cat trees and high shelves around the house so cats can climb, jump and play. Get out that fake flying bird toy and give him that healthy exercise they crave. Cats are hunters by nature, they need the instinct to climb and jump and hunt.
No pet, no matter what breed, is made to just sit around on your lap all day or lay around and only exist within the square footage of your home or see nothing of the outer world than your back yard. Once I attended a lecture given by local Veterinarians, in another area, who explained to a group of pet-industry-professionals, that when a dog is on a walk and they are sniffing fire hydrants, free trunks, bushes, etc., that is the same thing that we do when we scroll through our Facebook or Instagram feed. Who is doing what and where. When they mark different spots that they was past, that's like they are leaving a comment or a post to the dog that was there before.
This subject really means a lot to me because I own a popular pet sitting and dog walking business and we offer so many different ways that we can help your pet become a happy, pain free and healthy pet. Isn't that what you want for your pet? If you don't have time after work because now you have to cook dinner or help with homework, then that is what we are here for. Call us to see how we can help your pet. Go to our website at www.noniespetcare.com and take a look at all of the services that we offer, package deals or one time "try us out". See the difference that we can make in your pet's life.
Like us humans, dogs are also susceptible to getting different diseases like cancer, and one of the most significant and most common is lymphoma in dogs.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, although there are less than 70,000 dogs in the country that are getting diagnosed with lymphoma every year, it still accounts for 24% of new cancers in dogs.
Lymphoma in Dogs, also known as Canine Lymphosarcoma, is a type of cancer that commonly occurs in organs responsible for the immune system.
It is considered a systematic disease. It affects the whole body because it develops in cells that are in the blood (known as lymphocytes).
In this article, let's dig a little deeper on what are the common types and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.
We also listed down the possible treatments for lymphoma, and what can we do as dog parents in case of this unfortunate event.
Lymphoma in Dogs: Causes
Dogs are also exposed to the same environment as us. And what might be causing cancer in humans can be the same for dogs, too.
However, Lymphoma has no known cause as of yet.
Many studies and research were conducted to determine if lymphoma in dogs could be caused by viruses, bacteria, chemical exposures, or even strong magnetic fields, but none of them really came through.
As of now, what's constantly observed is having a low immune system is a risk factor in getting lymphoma (not only for dogs but humans too!).
But the connection between the low immune system and lymphoma hasn't been clearly established yet.
Lymphoma in Dogs: Types
Studies suggest that there are 30 types of canine lymphoma and that they vary in behavior depending on the affected organ.
However, they are categorized into 4 types of lymphoma in dogs:
Lymphoma in Dogs: Symptoms
Depending on the affected area, there are different signs and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.
Multicentric LymphomaSwollen lymph nodes in dogs are the most noticeable sign of Multicentric Lymphoma.
Although it's generally not painful for them, the rapid growth of lymph nodes can be quite disturbing and worrisome.
They can grow from 3 to 10 times their normal size. They would also feel like a moving hard, rubbery lump under the skin.
At times, they may cause our dogs' loss of appetite and energy. You may also observe edema or swelling in the legs and/or face.
Alimentary Lymphoma mainly affects our dog's gastrointestinal organs. Because of this, some symptoms you'll probably observe are vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Their diarrhea can be quite watery, dark in color, and foul-smelling.
Now I know it's hard to notice if your dog has an aching tummy (if only they can speak!)
But if you see them restless, in a scrunched-up position, and don't like getting touched in the abdomen area, then that could be abdominal pain.
Because it's in the chest area, Mediastinal Lymphoma may cause difficulty in breathing in our dogs.
Also some of the most noticeable signs are constant coughing and their intolerance to physical activities.
Dogs with this type of lymphoma may also get swelling in the face and in their front legs.
You'll also notice them frequently thirsty and always urinating.
Since Extranodal Lymphoma targets different organs, you may want to keep a look out for different symptoms.
Lymphoma on the skin may appear as either lesions or rashes, while lymphoma on the eyes may start as blindness.
Sudden seizures may be caused by lymphoma in their central nervous system, and unexplained fractures may be caused by lymphoma on their bones.
Whatever unusual symptoms you may be observing in your dog, consulting your vet is always, always the best thing to do.
Feeding Your Dog During Cancer Treatment By Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM; Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CCRP, DAAPM
Advances in veterinary diagnostics not only means dogs are now living longer and with a better quality of life than ever before, but it also means the likelihood of diagnosing cancer during a dog's life has increased. As with people, known carcinogens can have a detrimental effect on dogs (e.g., second hand smoke, exposure to ultraviolet rays, and obesity) and are associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. Cancer not only compromises a dog's quality of life, but it is also the leading cause of non-accidental death in dogs. Other diseases are more common (e.g., obesity, chronic kidney disease, allergies) but cancer remains the most common fatal disease.