What should I do if my dog is in heat?

First of all, DO NOT WORRY! Being in heat isn't a canine disease but a natural sign that tells your dog is ready to mate.

There comes a time in the life of an intact female dog when they’re ready to breed. This period is called being in the heat or 'Estrus.' You can avoid this by spaying your dog, but we’ll come to that later.

Do you want to help your dog through its heat cycle? Let's learn more about Estrus before we jump into tips for helping your furry friend.

What is Estrus or Being in Heat?

Female dogs come into the heat twice per year. Although the interval can vary between breeds and dog to dog, small breed dogs may cycle three times per year, and large dogs may only cycle once every 12 months.

Like in human, heat in dogs signify 'menstruation.' That means, frequent blood discharge and urge to urinate with behavioral changes.

Her estrogen levels will dramatically increase and then decrease. At this time, the eggs are released from her ovaries.

The dogs first go into heat between the ages of 6 - 24 months. Each estrus period lasts about 18 days.

This is also the time when male dogs will be attracted to female dogs for mating. Keep a lookout for dogs around your house, and try keeping your female dogs indoor to prevent pregnancy.

Did you know male dogs are attracted towards a female dog for the full 18 days, but the female dog will only be receptive to males for about half that time?

How do you know if your dog is in heat?

Toy breeds or small dogs first come into heat for the first time as young as four months, while large dogs come into heat when they're as old as two years. On average, each dog first comes into heat between the age of 6 to 15 months.

There are telltale signs of estrus that you can identify without much difficulty.

Look out for physical and behavioral changes. The dogs often react differently when they come in heat.

  • Swollen vulva
  • Bloody or straw-colored discharge from the vulva
  • Receptive to male dogs
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Agitated, nervous, or aggressive behavior
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Change in tail position

Vaginal discharge is the most common sign of estrus.

Keep in mind; there are four stages of the canine heat cycle.

Proestrus

Proestrus marks the start of the heat cycle. The telltale signs include the swollen vulva, blood-tinged discharge, excessive licking of the genitals, and aggression toward male dogs.

It lasts approximately 9-10 days. After that, the bleeding will become more watery or stop.

Estrus

The estrus phase is also known as the fertile phase. This is when she's ready to mate and is receptive to males. This phase is marked by a frequent urge to urinate and slowed vaginal discharge. Since they're ready to mate, they will approach male dogs with their tail held to the side.

Diestrus

The Diestrus phase occurs directly after the "in-heat" stage. It allows your dog to either return to the normal stage or develops into a pregnancy.

They will no longer be receptive to male dogs, and her vulva will return to standard size.

Anestrus

Anestrus is also called the 'inactive phase' as there are no signs of hormonal or sexual behavior in dogs.

What should you do when your dog is in heat?

If you haven't yet spayed your dog, the chances are that it's a tense situation for both of you.

Caring and cleaning

Dogs will bleed when they're in heat, so be prepared to deal with a lot of blood.

  • Invest in a good doggy diaper, disposable or reusable ones with liners.
  • Designate a special blankie for her use during this time. Dogs love to spend more time sleeping when in the heat, so a comfy blanket will be a great help.
  • Keep disposable wipes on hand so you can rapidly swipe across the floor and furniture.
  • Offer a safe, chew-resistant toy that she can nudge up against. This, too, will provide a sense of security.
  • Ensure to provide enough water and nutritious food.

Don't let your dog out in the yard alone.

Male dogs will find any opportunity to mate with your dog when she's in heat. A dog can easily find a female emitting breeding pheromone, so it's better to keep her inside.

Don't let your dog off-leash

When you're walking your dog outside, such as in a park, don't let it off-leash. The chances are that she'll intend on finding a male dog and wander off.

Consult a Vet

Consult a veterinarian if you notice signs of illness. Dogs can experience health issues immediately after a heat cycle, including bacterial growth in the uterine lining, which can cause a life-threatening pyometra or uterine infection.

Spay your dog

Spaying your dog is a permanent solution to prevent your dog from being in heat. If you have no plans to breed your dog, spaying is the best solution.

Spaying is also a good idea from the dog's point of view because each year, an estimated 8 million animals are euthanized in shelters across the country. Spaying will ensure that lesser animals are landing up in shelter homes.

  • Spay or castration is a sterilization process that female dogs undergo where their uterus and ovaries are removed.
  • Surgical sterilization removes specific reproductive organs. Ovariohysterectomy or typical "spay" removes ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus from a female dog.
  • Hysterectomy is a surgical alternative that removes the uterus and part of the fallopian tube but keeps the ovaries intact to produce hormones.
  • Ovariectomy removes ovaries from the female dogs, but the uterus remains intact.

Early spaying of female dogs and cats can help protect them from serious health problems later in life, such as uterine infections and breast cancer.

What is the right time to spay?

Although veterinarians recommend spaying your dog as young as four months old to ensure she never experiences a heat cycle, much recent research indicates that allowing your dog to grow before spaying ensures that the hormones are kept intact for necessary skeletal development.

Discuss health concerns with your veterinarian in Urbandale before deciding what age is appropriate to spay your furry friend.

All in all, caring for your dog is more than necessary. You need to be attentive to her physical and mental needs, giving her lots of affection, and be aware that she might be irritable.

Check this infographics for more information.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, to learn more about spaying your dogs.

EHRLICHIOSIS : Everything you need to know about this Canine Disease

Ehrlichiosis is unlike any other canine disease. If you find pronouncing 'Ehrlichiosis' difficult, you can call it 'Canine Typhus.'

Also known as a canine rickettsiosis, canine hemorrhagic fever, or tracker dog disease, Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease common in dogs. While in some cases, it also infects humans and other animals. The news of Ehrlichiosis in dogs comes out every year, but not many dog owners are aware of the disease, its symptoms, and possible treatment.

Here is everything you need to know about this canine disease.  

What is Ehrlichiosis?

Ehrlichiosis is caused by the bite from Ehrlichia canis, a rickettsial species. It infects the white blood cells. Although there are many species of Ehrlichia, only a few species affect dogs.

Because of its origin in military dogs, it's often referred to as tracker dog disease. Many experts often refer to it is as tropical canine pancytopenia. It is also possible for dogs to become infected through a blood transfusion from an infected dog. Although.

This tick-borne disease also infects humans and other species, including cats. However, dogs do not transmit the bacteria to humans or other animals; instead, ticks transmit to the Ehrlichia organism. Clinical signs of human ehrlichiosis include fever, headache, eye pain, and gastrointestinal upset.

What makes it different from other tick-borne diseases?

Ehrlichiosis is caused by the bite from an infected tick or brown dog tick carrying the bacterium Ehrlichia Canis. It first gained attention when the military canine returning from Vietnam during the 1970s started showing unusual symptoms that made it hard to diagnose.

Ehrlichia Canis was first defined in 1935 and found in the US in 1963. Today, the pathogen is found throughout the US, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

The disease seems to be particularly severe in German Shepherd Dogs and Doberman Pinschers.

Stages of Ehrlichiosis

Dogs mostly appear perfectly normal for one to three weeks after being infected by E.canis. If your dog fails to fight off the infection during this time, it will enter an acute phase of infection when the bacteria start reproducing and spreading throughout the body.

The symptoms last for two to four weeks, after which many dogs appear to get better on their own called a subclinical phase which can last for months to years.

Some dogs never progress out of the subclinical phase, but others eventually enter the chronic phase of the disease.

Ehrlichiosis is divided into three stages

  1. Acute (early disease)
  2. Sub-clinical (no outward signs of disease)
  3. Clinical or chronic (Long-standing infection)

Acute Phase

The acute phase is defined by telltale symptoms including;

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Respiratory distress
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding disorders (Hemorrhage or bleeding)
  • Neurological disturbances (Meningitis)

The stage lasts for two to four weeks. If your dog is lucky, they might fight off the infection; otherwise, they'll head into the sub-clinical phase.

Sub-clinical phase

This phase represents the stage of infection with the presence of organism but zero symptoms. It's often called the worst phase because there are no clinical signs, so the disease goes undetected. The only way to address the infection is through a blood test.

Clinical Ehrlichiosis

It only occurs when the dog's immune system fails to eliminate the organism. There are telltale signs of clinical ehrlichiosis, including;

  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Bleeding episodes
  • Lameness
  • Eye problems
  • Neurological problems
  • Swollen limbs

The failure of bone marrow prevents the manufacture of new blood cells.

Diagnosing Ehrlichiosis in dogs

The diagnosis is often complicated because dogs infected with Ehrlichia may also be infected with other diseases carried by ticks, such as Babesia, Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

You can only diagnose ehrlichiosis when your dog starts showing symptoms, so you need to be awry about the early signs, including fever, lethargy, poor appetite, and lymph node enlargement.

Whichever form of ehrlichiosis a dog has, it is essential that he be evaluated by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

As part of the diagnostic process, the vets will collect a complete health history, perform a thorough physical exam, and then run a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry panel, urinalysis, fecal examination, and specific lab work aimed at diagnosing ehrlichiosis.

Also called serologic testing, the vet will check for the presence of antibodies against the Ehrlichia organism.

Your dog should test positive for exposure to be diagnosed with ehrlichiosis, which is only possible at the sub-clinical phase.

Prognosis

The prognosis is suitable for dogs with acute ehrlichiosis. Your vet will predict possible symptoms in the future and advise regular tests to assess the development of infection.

Treatment

Ehrlichiosis responds well to treatment with the antibiotic Doxycycline. However, a long course of treatment, usually four weeks, is needed. Alternatively, imidocarb can also be used.

If caught before the clinical stage, E. Canis is almost entirely curable.

In severe cases where blood cell counts are very low, blood transfusions may be needed. A dog experiencing anemia or bleeding will require a blood transfusion.

Reinfection is possible, as immunity to Ehrlichia bacteria is not long-lasting.  The prolonged presence of the bacteria leads to hemorrhaging, which typically results in death.

 

Preventing Ehrlichiosis in Dogs

Ehrlichiosis is a recurring disease, and dogs who have been infected once can develop it again. However, there aren't any vaccines currently available to protect dogs against ehrlichiosis.

For now, the best way to prevent your dog from getting ehrlichiosis is to protect them from tick bites.

For More information please check this infographic.

 

 

Talk to your veterinarian in Urbandale to use the best form of tick prevention based on your dog’s health, lifestyle, and the prevalence of ticks and ehrlichiosis in your area. Tick bites are expected during the spring and summer seasons. Use this spring dog care checklist to ensure your furry friend remains flea and tick-free at all times.

 

EHRLICHIOSIS : Everything you need to know about this Canine Disease

Ehrlichiosis is unlike any other canine disease. If you find pronouncing 'Ehrlichiosis' difficult, you can call it 'Canine Typhus.'

Also known as a canine rickettsiosis, canine hemorrhagic fever, or tracker dog disease, Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease common in dogs. While in some cases, it also infects humans and other animals. The news of Ehrlichiosis in dogs comes out every year, but not many dog owners are aware of the disease, its symptoms, and possible treatment.

Here is everything you need to know about this canine disease.  

What is Ehrlichiosis?

Ehrlichiosis is caused by the bite from Ehrlichia canis, a rickettsial species. It infects the white blood cells. Although there are many species of Ehrlichia, only a few species affect dogs.

Because of its origin in military dogs, it's often referred to as tracker dog disease. Many experts often refer to it is as tropical canine pancytopenia. It is also possible for dogs to become infected through a blood transfusion from an infected dog. Although.

This tick-borne disease also infects humans and other species, including cats. However, dogs do not transmit the bacteria to humans or other animals; instead, ticks transmit to the Ehrlichia organism. Clinical signs of human ehrlichiosis include fever, headache, eye pain, and gastrointestinal upset.

What makes it different from other tick-borne diseases?

Ehrlichiosis is caused by the bite from an infected tick or brown dog tick carrying the bacterium Ehrlichia Canis. It first gained attention when the military canine returning from Vietnam during the 1970s started showing unusual symptoms that made it hard to diagnose.

Ehrlichia Canis was first defined in 1935 and found in the US in 1963. Today, the pathogen is found throughout the US, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

The disease seems to be particularly severe in German Shepherd Dogs and Doberman Pinschers.

Stages of Ehrlichiosis

Dogs mostly appear perfectly normal for one to three weeks after being infected by E.canis. If your dog fails to fight off the infection during this time, it will enter an acute phase of infection when the bacteria start reproducing and spreading throughout the body.

The symptoms last for two to four weeks, after which many dogs appear to get better on their own called a subclinical phase which can last for months to years.

Some dogs never progress out of the subclinical phase, but others eventually enter the chronic phase of the disease.

Ehrlichiosis is divided into three stages

  1. Acute (early disease)
  2. Sub-clinical (no outward signs of disease)
  3. Clinical or chronic (Long-standing infection)

Acute Phase

The acute phase is defined by telltale symptoms including;

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Respiratory distress
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding disorders (Hemorrhage or bleeding)
  • Neurological disturbances (Meningitis)

The stage lasts for two to four weeks. If your dog is lucky, they might fight off the infection; otherwise, they'll head into the sub-clinical phase.

Sub-clinical phase

This phase represents the stage of infection with the presence of organism but zero symptoms. It's often called the worst phase because there are no clinical signs, so the disease goes undetected. The only way to address the infection is through a blood test.

Clinical Ehrlichiosis

It only occurs when the dog's immune system fails to eliminate the organism. There are telltale signs of clinical ehrlichiosis, including;

  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Bleeding episodes
  • Lameness
  • Eye problems
  • Neurological problems
  • Swollen limbs

The failure of bone marrow prevents the manufacture of new blood cells.

Diagnosing Ehrlichiosis in dogs

The diagnosis is often complicated because dogs infected with Ehrlichia may also be infected with other diseases carried by ticks, such as Babesia, Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

You can only diagnose ehrlichiosis when your dog starts showing symptoms, so you need to be awry about the early signs, including fever, lethargy, poor appetite, and lymph node enlargement.

Whichever form of ehrlichiosis a dog has, it is essential that he be evaluated by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

As part of the diagnostic process, the vets will collect a complete health history, perform a thorough physical exam, and then run a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry panel, urinalysis, fecal examination, and specific lab work aimed at diagnosing ehrlichiosis.

Also called serologic testing, the vet will check for the presence of antibodies against the Ehrlichia organism.

Your dog should test positive for exposure to be diagnosed with ehrlichiosis, which is only possible at the sub-clinical phase.

Prognosis

The prognosis is suitable for dogs with acute ehrlichiosis. Your vet will predict possible symptoms in the future and advise regular tests to assess the development of infection.

Treatment

Ehrlichiosis responds well to treatment with the antibiotic Doxycycline. However, a long course of treatment, usually four weeks, is needed. Alternatively, imidocarb can also be used.

If caught before the clinical stage, E. Canis is almost entirely curable.

In severe cases where blood cell counts are very low, blood transfusions may be needed. A dog experiencing anemia or bleeding will require a blood transfusion.

Reinfection is possible, as immunity to Ehrlichia bacteria is not long-lasting.  The prolonged presence of the bacteria leads to hemorrhaging, which typically results in death.

 

Preventing Ehrlichiosis in Dogs

Ehrlichiosis is a recurring disease, and dogs who have been infected once can develop it again. However, there aren't any vaccines currently available to protect dogs against ehrlichiosis.

For now, the best way to prevent your dog from getting ehrlichiosis is to protect them from tick bites.

For More information please check this infographic.

 

 

Talk to your veterinarian in Urbandale to use the best form of tick prevention based on your dog’s health, lifestyle, and the prevalence of ticks and ehrlichiosis in your area. Tick bites are expected during the spring and summer seasons. Use this spring dog care checklist to ensure your furry friend remains flea and tick-free at all times.

 

10 Smartest Dog Breeds

Wouldn't you agree that some dog breeds are more accessible to train than others? Although all dog breeds make a perfect companion, few canine breeds excel in learning new commands and are more consistent than others.

DVM Dennis Riordan of Riordan Pet Hospital claims that,

As with any other trait, intelligence will vary from dog to dog, depending on the family tree and other factors. Intelligence is measured in dogs based on how many repetitions of a command it takes for them to figure out what you want them to do and how often they follow learned commands the first or second time you say it.

Smart dog breeds, regardless of origin, have one thing in common: they can quickly comprehend situations and act accordingly. Having a smart pet will also save you from possible dangers.

Pet behavior specialist Sarah Hodgson says,

It's all relative. Some are social and emotionally dependent on people, so they are easier to train and far more receptive to our vision of what they should do.

Here is a list of dog breeds that will probably be easiest to train and condition your lifestyle.

Ten Smartest Dog Breeds

Here is the list of ten dog breeds that are known for their adept behavior and quick learning ability.

Border Collie

Many pet behaviorists and trainers put Border Collie on top of the list of smart dog breeds. So, what makes Border Collie the valedictorians of the canine world?

Originally called "a shepherd dog," Border Collie is a working and herding breed that hails from Anglo-Scottish border regions such as UK, Scotland, England, and Ireland.

They were developed to be excellent shepherd dogs, making them very trained, active, and adaptive canines. They really enjoy the company of other animals and children if introduced well from early on.

In addition to learning cues quickly, they are quick enough to learn and understand routines, handle daily tasks, and take up new activities.

Handling a flock of hundreds or thousands of sheep isn't an easy task, but the Border Collie manages to do it very well.

However, it would be best to be wary about providing enough physical and mental stimulation to Border Collies who can become hyperactive and destructive to satiate their physical and mental energy.

Poodle

We all know Poodles for their fluffy hairdo and occasional movie appearances. But, these elegant dogs are more than just vanity.

Did you know poodles are adept hunters, effective water dogs, and highly trainable?

Poodles were originally bred in Germany for bird hunting and water retrieving. Some were even used for cattle herding and transport medical supplies to the battlefield.

However, they're very remarkable for their loving nature, trainable quality, and consistency inside all of the toughness.

Keep in mind that poodles thrive on attention and can develop bad habits such as nuisance barking if ignored or left alone. The young pups can be aggressive to people outside their families or to other dogs.

German shepherd

We all are familiar with the German shepherds as Police dogs, but did you know they are very hardworking and gentle companions?

With proper training and socialization from an early age, they become the ideal household breed. Their intelligence and protective demeanor make them the perfect pet for families with children.

Their enormous stature, athleticism, and high energy make them the second most popular dog breed in the US. Hence, they are mainly used for military and police work, and sometimes as service dogs such as for the blind.

German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia when they age, so you should always keep this fact in mind when raising the dog.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is famously known for its lush, soft coat and hyperactive lifestyle. The medium-large gun dog was initially bred to retrieve shot waterfowl and game birds, hence the name "retriever."

It is one of the most popular dog breeds around the world. Most pet owners take up Golden Retriever because they are competent working dogs, easily trainable, natural athletes, and great family pets. They are also very obedient, making them the perfect family dogs.

Retrievers are also chosen as service and therapy dogs and, in some cases, search and rescue dogs.

As with any purebred dog, Golden Retrievers have their share of health problems. They're prone to Cancer, Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Heart Disease, and Skin Conditions.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher has long been used as a police dog because of its agility, speed, and highly trainable quality. Despite their lean stature, they're solid.

A German tax collector for protection on his rounds originally bred the Doberman pinscher. In WWII, they were trained to guard sleeping troops, lead soldiers through the jungle, and give warning barks if enemies were hiding nearby.

They're very trustworthy and protective of children in the family, as long as they've been socialized and trained appropriately. They're also some of the lowest-maintenance dog breeds.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog, popularly known as Sheltie, is originally a sheepdog. Don't mistake their small stature for incapability. Shelties are keenly observant and thrive on having a job to do.

They bear a close resemblance to their larger cousin, the collie, and are equally intelligent dog breeds.

As herders, they were required to keep track of many wandering animals for long periods, often without supervision.

They're easy to train if you have a calm voice and a light hand on the leash. They also make great family dogs thanks to their gentle and pleasing personality.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever or Labs is originally a waterdog, long employed as a duck retriever and fisherman's mate. It's a medium-large gun dog most popular in the US.

A hardworking dog breed, they make the best hunting dog. They're excellent at learning new tricks and excel in agility exercises. Thanks to their hyperactive nature, they make a very agile outdoor dog.

Labs make a great dog breed for water rescue, therapy work, and assistance. However, it would help if you were wary of their seldom violent nature to cause bites and injuries to family members.

Papillon

Paillon, also known as Continental Toy Spaniel, is a small-breed dog that has long been a favorite among royals. They're known for their regal appearance and charming personalities.

They've long been conditioned to become family dogs; hence they're very adaptive to training, learning new tricks, and performing for people.

Despite its elegant stature, Papillon is known for its active, athletic, and companionable behavior. They're brilliant and agile at competitions; hence they often become the dog breed to take home most top prizes at agility trials.

Rottweiler

Rottweilers are people dogs and are affectionate towards their families. They also make excellent guard dogs.

They were initially used as herding dogs and cart-puller. They were one of the first breeds used as guide dogs.

It's easier to train Rottweillers because they learn commands quickly compared to other dog breeds. However, thorough training and socialization are an absolute must from an early age. With a good training session, you can train a young Rottweiler within 6-7 weeks.

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog or Cattle Dog is a famous herding dog originally developed in Australia. They were crossbred between blue merle shepherds from England and native Australian dingo.

They were trained to drive cattle over long distances across rough terrain; hence they make a great pet adapt to training. They're very active dogs; hence you should provide them enough physical and mental stimulation through work, sport, or exercise.

They are fiercely protective when used as a watchdog; hence, proper training and socializing are essential from an early age.

Some of the other popular smart breeds are pembroke Welsh Corgi, Miniature Schnauzer, English Springer Spaniel, Beglian Tervuren, Collie, Keeshond, and Schipperke.

Check this infographic out for more information. 

Please talk with your dog trainer to learn more about your pet's nature and abilities to train them well. Every dog is receptive to training; all they need is the proper conditioning. Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale.

Six best calcium rich foods for dogs

Calcium is an essential micromineral that helps to build and maintain strong bones.

Did you know, both humans and dogs need calcium to maintain strong bones, hearts, muscles, and nerves?

Yes, calcium deficiency can have substantial adverse effects on your pets’ growth.

Why is calcium essential for dogs?

Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A too little calcium or Hypocalcemia condition is called when the calcium level in the blood is lower than usual.

Hypocalcemia in dogs is associated with severe disorders, including antifreeze poisoning, inflammation of the pancreas, kidney failure, and parathyroid gland failure.

You can figure hypocalcemia by analyzing the telltale signs, including muscle twitching, loss of appetite, weakness, and listlessness. In some cases, it can cause convulsions or seizures.

How does a healthy animal control calcium levels?

The parathyroid glands embedded in the thyroid gland control the Calcium levels. The glands are responsible for monitoring the level of calcium in the blood. When calcium levels are too low, the glands release a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH), which acts to return calcium levels to normal.

Diagnosing and treating Hypocalcemia

To diagnose Hypocalcemia, your dog requires a routine blood test to reveal low total calcium. If the repeated value for total calcium is still low, then doing an ionized calcium test is recommended. It gives the definitive measure of calcium levels.

Your vet will further test the condition of other vital organs to assess the damage before administering the needed medical help.

If you're wondering, yes, hypocalcemia can be managed with a medication called Calcitriol plus nutritional supplements containing Vitamin D and Calcium.

However, it would be best if you were wary about feeding excess calcium to your dog. A buildup of excess calcium in the blood leads to hypercalcemia which can cause various physical and mental ailments.

Six best Calcium-Rich Foods for Dogs

Here are the best sources of calcium for your dogs.

Yogurt

Yogurt is rich in calcium and probiotics. The milk product made from bacterial fermentation is a healthier calcium choice for dogs. However, many dogs have trouble digesting yogurt because of lactose contents. Consider talking to your vet before adding yogurt to your dog's meal plan.

A cup of Yoghurt contains 450 mg of calcium. This is probably the only food source with so much calcium in it.

Consider adding yogurt to your canine's food regularly. Generally, one to two teaspoons of yogurt a day is a fair amount to give your dog.

In case your dog is a bit overweight, you can pick low-fat yogurt from the store. Also, avoid flavored yogurt that can be toxic to some dogs.

Cheese

Cheese is another excellent source of calcium for dogs. It also makes a fantastic treat for your dog as long as they're aren’t lactose intolerant. Lactose can upset your dog’s digestion, so be wary about consulting a vet before giving cheese to your dog.

You can give them any available cheese, including cheddar, mozzarella, and cottage cheese. Because cheese is as fattening as it is tasty, moderation is key. Try choosing a cheese type that is low in fats.

An ounce of hard cheeses, like cheddar or jack, contains 200 mg of calcium. Only add a slice of cheese, broken into pieces, to their meal.

Avoid feeding them cheese mixed with herbs or other products as it can lead to health complications.

Chicken and Fish

White meat is another excellent source of calcium. Unlike dairy products, meat doesn’t include lactose that troubles canine digestion.

Chicken and fish is also an excellent protein source. According to veterinarians, a daily dog meal should include at least 30% protein.

Chicken, Salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines are popular meat choices for dogs. Each portion could content from 170 mg to 370 mg of calcium. However, it is advised that you cook the fish well before offering it to your pet.

Be wary about feeding seafood to your dog as it may contain mercury. Raw tuna isn’t toxic to dogs, but you may want to feed them other types of fishes that don’t contain mercury, such as salmon, herring, flounder, and Wild Menhaden.

Vegetables

Vegetables are another excellent source of Calcium. Some vegetables are high in calcium, including Acorn squash, Argula, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Chard, Chicory, Collard greens, Corn, Dandelion, Kale, Mustard greens, potato, Spinach, and Turnips.

Spinach and Broccoli contain the highest amount of calcium; Spinach contains 240 mg of calcium for one cup, and Broccoli has 180 mg.

Not every dog will love to eat these vegetables, so you need to be creative with them. Cut veggies into bite-size pieces and incorporate them into your dog’s meal that contains meat or snacks.

Bones for dogs

If you’re a dog owner, you’d know that all dogs love to chew on bones. This is good because bones contain a good source of Calcium. Along with providing a good calcium source, bones will help to keep their oral hygiene in check.

Be wary about feeding them cooked bones that can easily crack into tiny shards. Although cooked bones are best for digestion, your dog can often chock on them.

A safe way to add bone to your dog’s meal is to ground it into a powder and then incorporate them into the dog’s food. You can also buy bone meal supplements for dogs.

Dogs love to keep chewing on bones, and they often spend much time doing it, so it’s a good idea to occasionally throw a large bone at them.

Calcium Supplements

Calcium supplements are an easy source of calcium for dogs. With calcium supplements, you needn't worry about lactose toxicity or indigestion.

Calcium pills for dogs take the guesswork out of giving your dog the right amount of calcium to boost their immune system and bones.

Consider mixing broken calcium pills or grounded calcium pills into dog food before providing it to them. Be wary about providing human calcium to dogs because it is formulated for humans.

Check out this infographic for more information.

 

Talk to your vet before providing adding a new source of calcium to dog food. A vet can properly diagnose their condition to advise if you should limit or increase their calcium intake.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, to learn more about preventing hypocalcemia in dogs.

Common Fears and Phobias in Dogs

We get fearful of many things in daily life, including someone shouting at us, fighting with someone, and road accidents, so it isn't unusual for dogs to fear similar frightful experiences.

AKC Chief DVM Jerry Klein points out,

Fear is a defense mechanism and isn’t something we can eliminate. Wolves and other wild canids rely on fear to keep them alive.

It only becomes a severe problem when fearful behavior poses dangers to the dog and other family members. Also known as Phobia, the fear culminates into an intense and persistent fear of something. 

Is phobia a problem?

Whether you know it already or not, your canine companion is phobic, and it’s a big problem.

These common phobias can have various causes, including a lack of early socialization, a negative experience, or a sudden frightful experience.  You can tell your dog is under stress by seeing the tell-tale signs, including cowering, trembling, drooling, barking, destructive and aggressive behavior, and, in some cases, aggression.

The additional cause of phobias in dogs includes genetics, but this is very rare. Most of the time, your dog grows phobia for something when they have a frightful experience.

Unlike us humans, dogs can't rationalize their phobia. Hence, it's our responsibility to reduce their stress when they're phobic and assure them that they're safe.

7 Common Fear and Phobias in Dogs

The frightening stimuli listed below are among the most common fears and phobias in dogs.

Thunderstorms

 

The loud thundering noise from the sky often trembles our own feet, so it isn't usual for dogs to fear thunder.

There are a few reasons thunderstorms instill terror in dogs. The most obvious of them is the loud noise. Dogs that are frightful of thunderstorms are also frightful of deafening noises.

There is even research that suggests noise phobias can be inherited.

The other more scientific reason behind the fear of thunder is the release of static electricity into the air. Dogs experience this static as a tingling throughout their hair coat and may even receive multiple shocks before the storm lifts.

This is why many dogs flee to the grounded areas in the home to escape the exposure to static electricity during thunderstorms.

Vetstreet's Dr. Marty Beckers suggests that rubbing your dog's coat with a dryer sheet can help to minimize static.

Fireworks

The fear of fireworks is much similar to thunderstorms. Fireworks instill a fear of loud noise in dogs which often turns into phobias. A sound phobia is common in dogs that are mostly inherited. 

According to Dr. Klein,

Herding breeds are susceptible to noise phobias, perhaps because they are so attuned to their environment.

Not only are fireworks extremely loud, but they also cause frightening odors and visual effects. The vivid display of lights and the smell of gunpowder often make dogs tremble in fear. This may make dogs run away, coil in, or become lost.

Dogs with a severe fireworks phobia may require anti-anxiety medication or sedatives. As an option, you can use preventive measures like Thundershirt, a snug-fitting garment that helps calm dogs by applying gentle, even pressure to the torso.

Car Rides

Fear of riding cars or any other vehicle is common in dogs who have experienced a frightful moment or lack gradual exposure to car rides. 

The traumatic experience often includes road accidents, being stuck inside the car, and a car ride to the veterinarian.

Dogs often become car sick when they aren't used to riding vehicles from an early age. It's similar to young children who get motion sickness from riding cars for the first time.

It's possible to overcome their fear response of car and motion sickness by working up to taking rides in small steps such as opening the door, getting in, spending some time, and then getting out or taking a brief ride around the house or neighborhood. After every successful step, you should reward them with treats or praise to install a positive appreciation.

The Visit to Vet

Most dogs are fearful about visiting veterinarians because they associate it with a past negative experience such as getting injected, surgical treatment, restrained, and strange smells.

Dogs have blood injection phobias, commonly referred to as a fear of needles, a similar experience faced by many people. They don't understand that veterinary visits are in their best interest; hence you should make them feel secure in a strange environment.

The irrational fear of the vet may be dealt with by bringing them to the vet for an occasional social visit that doesn't involve an examination. You can reward them with treats after every visit to instill a positive reaffirmation.

Being Alone

Fear of being alone or separation anxiety is a situational phobia. It often results in destructive behavior such as chewing on stuff, housebreaking accidents, incessant barking, and relieving themselves.

Dogs that aren't used to being left alone often face separation anxiety.

As a treatment, you can make necessary habit changes to alleviate their anxiety. Desensitization, the process of slowly getting the dog used to being left home alone, can also benefit dogs suffering from separation anxiety.

If the separation anxiety is severe, you can consult with the vet to provide medication to your dog.

Fear of strangers and other dogs

Fear of person is common in dogs that lack socialization from an early age. Most dogs fear meeting new people because they had a bad experience with them, such as being abused and abandoned.

Dogs that have not spent much time around other animals will exhibit fear of animal. This is commonly due to a lack of socialization.

For this reason, dog trainers and veterinary professionals recommend socializing your dog early and often. It would be best if you considered taking them to doggy daycare to introduce them to other animals. Interaction with other animals in the park often helps in socializing them at an early age.

Nervousness around strangers can be an inherited trait, but research shows that proper socialization can overcome this problem.

 

What should you do?

Here are few things you should keep in mind.

  • Keep an eye on your dog's body language so you can be more aware when they start exhibiting signs of fear. The standard body languages include pacing, panting, shaking, attempting to hide, salivating, etc.
  • If your dog starts growling at something, you should immediately remove them from that environment.
  • Talk to the behaviorist to develop a desensitization and counter-conditioning program for your dog.
  • Start socializing your dog with other humans and animals at an early age.

Check out this infographic for more information.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, to start socializing your dog in the presence of expert animal behaviorists and trainers.

 

Tips to build a strong bond with your Furry Friend

It's never too late to strengthen your bond with your furry friend. Whether you've been together for a few days or over ten years, you can always do special things to enrich your closer relationship with your dog. From eye contact to occasional play times, there are hundreds of activities that can bring you two closer.

So, how do you know when you've bonded well with your furry friend?

An article on Rover.com points out that;

If your dog makes regular, visual contact with you in new environments, it means your bond is strong. Similarly, a bonded dog is far less likely to run away. Bonded dogs tend to have a strong recall response and make sure their person is close by in new situations.

If you’re wondering about it, here are some tell-tale signs:

  • They readily make constant eye contact
  • They cling to you when walking or in a new environment
  • They're thrilled to see you when you get back home from work or study.
  • They're relaxed with or around you.
  • They snuggle your stuff like carrying your shoes around in their mouth
  • They listen and respond to you
  • They seek out your affection

10 Best Tips to Build Stronger Bond with Dogs

Here we have compiled a list of ten different activities that will help to build an even stronger bond with your dog.

Exercise Together

 

Exercising together not only helps to shed the fat but also brings you two closer. Indulging in any physical activity together is known to boost Oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy, trust, and bonding. Here are some ways you can exercise together.

  • Take a hike to the nearby forest, hills, or trails.
  • Go for a trail run if your dog is agile and very athletic.
  • Go for a swim together. Many pools allow dogs to swim.
  • Indulge in catch and let-go, Frisbee, chase and hide & Seek games.
  • Jog or walk together to the park.

Exercising is often the most preferred method of bonding because it stimulates both of you physically and mentally.

Be careful about taking your pup and older dogs for a run. They're often better with occasional, less-strenuous exercises.

Train them every day/Teach them Tricks

Dogs crave mental stimulation, and they love having a job. It's your job to keep them indulged in physical and mental training that boots their neurological development.

If you're wondering, dogs have an aptitude for learning from an early age. This is why trainers always recommend teaching them new commands from an early age.

Learning new tricks and training is an enriching experience for dogs; hence you should use this opportunity to strengthen your bond with them.

Start with teaching basic commands like Sit, Run, Stop, Rollover, etc. Teach new tricks every time after they've learned one. Dogs who have to stay all by themselves often indulge in reenacting tricks; hence, you should teach them new tricks by using positive reinforcement techniques.

Give them a Massage and Brushing.

 

Grooming is equally essential to dogs' health: regular grooming and massaging help combat stress, physical ailments, injuries, and vein blockage.

You can either take them to a professional groomer or even groom them at home using the right brushes and tools. Grooming them by yourself is a great idea to boost your bond. Your dog will always look forward to a brushing session from you.

Consider massaging them on a regular interval. It is incredibly beneficial for your dog’s health, flexibility, and circulation. It will help increases oxygen flow to the blood, relieves pain and muscle tension, alleviates anxiety, and remove the chances of hip or joint dysplasia.

Older dogs will enjoy frequent massages because of bone and joint ailment that is more common in the older age.

Engage in playtime

Schedule a little fun for every day. Playing games will stimulate your dog's mood and body and strengthen your bond with them!

You can indulge in a great many games with them, including playing game of tug, building an obstacle course, catching Frisbee or balls, or other mind-stimulating games.

Experts suggest indulging your dog in mentally stimulating games at home to beat stress and boredom and help for neurological development.

Regular, active play can also help cut down on problem behaviors, according to a study released by Bristol University.

Feed them personally

Your dog will love to eat out of your hand. Although it isn't possible to feed them by hand all the time, you can make sure to feed homemade dog treats occasionally, and a piece of food by hand, like when you go out, after a play, after a bath, and on other occasions.

Hand-feeding your dog is another way to build a special bond with your dog. They'd love to slurp the treat of your palm.

Create and stick to the routine

Your dog will love to hang out with you, play with you, or cuddle when you're home. Creating a daily schedule will keep your dog on its toes at all times. They'd look forward to going for a jog every morning, eat alongside you in the evening, and cuddle together while you're watching a movie.

Dogs are creatures of habit, so creating routines for several different behaviors can help you play a role in their regular habits. This will help you spend more time with them each day.

Pet with Purpose

Petting a dog symbolizes your affection and love towards them. Unlike us, dogs very well know this fact, and they encourage you to brush your hand on their head, neck, and around the belly.

Many pet owners casually brush their hands on their dog's heads, but this isn't enough to get their full attention and affection. You'd need to pet them as you mean it.

Take some time and make an extra effort to pet them every day. Start with gently brushing their head, and then move your hands around their fingers leading down to their neck and under the chin. You can end it with a gentle belly rub. Dogs love a belly rub.

Understand their body language

Dogs' can't tell what they're feeling or suffering; hence it's your job to comprehend their physical cues.

Dogs speak a lot through their body. When they’re afraid, they'll often look for comfort in the corners or under the blanket. When they're joyous, they'll wag their tails. Their ears will point down when they're concerned or sad.

You can take up the challenge and study their behavior to communicate with them more accessible. Sometimes, their eyes would tell you a lot about the state they're in!

Create some Cuddle Time

Dogs love to cuddle! Maybe it's their favorite time pass. It's nicer to show them that you care by cuddling with them.

Let them cuddle with you when you're chilling on the couch, sitting on the bed, meeting your best friend, or just lying around.

Cuddling helps boost the release of dopamine and oxytocin in dogs that helps to prevent an increase in stress and depression. They'll also feel safer when cuddling!

Give them a Quiet Space

It may come as a surprise, but yes, you should give them a quiet space from time to time. Dogs often love to sit by themselves, watching over the chores, peeping out of the window, or lying just lying around. You can preserve your bond by letting them enjoy their private time occasionally.

Make a private space where they retreat to, such as a crate or a dog bed in another room. Let them get away for a while if they feel overwhelmed or want to stay away from loud houseguests.

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Taking the time to be mindful and cater to your dog's needs will help to prosper your bond with them.

Want to learn more about animal wellness and building a stronger bond with your pet? Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale.

 

Your Spring Dog Care Checklist!

Who doesn't love the season of blossoming flowers, butterflies, chirping birds, and green leaves? Spring is probably the most awaited season, especially for your dogs.

Dogs love to wander outdoors in spring. Frolicking on the green grass, jumping into bushes, splashing pond water, and scouring the forest are a few of the many activities dogs love to do in spring.

While it's fun to let them run hither tither outdoors, it can prove to be fatal to their health. Spring is known to bring flea and ticks. The warmer weather also invites heartworm diseases along with other malice.

Your furry friend is likely to attract diseases in spring than another season; hence you should be wary about administering preventive care on time to keep them safe.

Spring Season Dog Care Checklist

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has prepared a thorough checklist for spring dog care. Please download the spring dog care checklist (PDF)or spring dog care checklist (Word)into your device (smartphone, PC, or laptop) to start using it.

Flea and Tick Infestation

 

Flea and tick infestation is rampant during the spring season. These parasites feed on your pet’s blood and cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to tick-borne severe illnesses.

Fleas are more common during the warmer months that may last until the winter. Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day, leading to an infestation within few days. The infected pets can spread illness to their human counterparts as well.

Be wary of these tell-tale signs of fleas and tick infestation:

  • Flea droppings, which look like dark specks, in the fur
  • Flea eggs, which look like white specks, in the fur
  • Excessive licking or scratching
  • Scabs or hot spots on the skin

Flea and tick shampoo, flea collar, medication, and skin treatment are preventive measures for flea and tick infestation.

Say No to Heartworm

Heartworm disease is a common heart disease in dogs. Known as DilofilariaImmitis, heartworm disease spreads from an infected mosquito's bite. It takes about seven months for larvae to mature into adult heartworm that looks like parasitic roundworm. Once it grows bigger, it lodges into the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and starts reproducing.

Adult heartworm can grow up to 12 inches in length and survives for 5-7 years. If not treated in time, heartworm can even cause death.

Check for tell-tale signs for soft and dry cough, inactivity, lethargy, sudden weight loss, bulging chest, difficulty breathing, etc. Administering heartworm preventive drugs will keep your dog safe around the year.

Safety First

Prepare a first-aid kit or purchase a kit, so you have it handy for the spring season. Dogs are more likely to get injuries and infections in the spring because they often spend more time outdoors.

If you regularly indulge in spring hiking, excursions, and a trip to nearby forests and ponds, you better carry the first-aid kit with you at all times. You'd never know if your dog will fall into the bushes or from the rock, injure its paws, get bites or scratches from wild animals, and other common pet-related emergencies.

Also, check with your vet to make sure your dog's rabies vaccination is up to date.

Primp your Dog

Consider getting a thorough spring cleaning to help your dog feel refreshed. It's an excellent idea to groom your dog's fur before it starts getting warmer. Do not entirely shave off your dog because they will need the undercoat to keep them safe from flea and mosquito bites.

Schedule an appointment with the groomer for a wash and trim. You can set up your groomer at home too.

  • Start with giving them a clean wash.
  • Thoroughly clean their ear, under ear, and nose.
  • Give nail trimming
  • Trim off top-four using a proper grooming tool.

Clean your Dog's Bed, Bowl, and toys

While you're in the cleaning mode, consider washing off their bed and mattress and cleaning their toys with disinfectants so they can keep using them year-round.

If you see visible wear and tear in dog beds, mattresses, bowls, and toys, it's time to replace them.  Check the dates on your dog's medications and treats.

Freshen up their wardrobe with a new collar, ID tags, and other accessories.

Take care of your Lawn and Driveway.

Spring is also the time to trim and fertilize your lawn. It’s essential to keep your pet safe from fertilizers, chemicals, and other toxins easily found in the lawn. De-grime your driveway of anti-freeze, lubricants, and salts, so your dog doesn’t accidentally ingest toxins.

Spring Fever

You’d notice a change in your dog’s behavior with the arrival of spring seasons. While most dogs love to wander outside, only a few would choose to stay inside. Dogs love everything about spring; flowers, grass, leaves, woods, squirrels, water, and so on.

It would be best if you allowed your dog to enjoy the spring fever but with proper precautions. It’s a bad idea to let them wander outside alone, burrow the unmarked holes, and scavenge into the woods. Wandering all by themselves in the forest can attract wild animals like raccoons, skunks, chimps, and foxes. It’s a good idea to supervise their outdoor activities.

Help Your Local Shelters

It’s never late to help your local animal shelter with food, cloth, volunteering, and money. To find out what your community shelters need, give them a call and in the meantime, set aside these often requested items: kennels, carriers, cozy pet beds, bedding and blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies such as bleach sponges, and laundry detergent.

 Check this infographic for more information. 

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital and daycare in Des Moines. We offer pet care consultation, medical and surgical services, daycare, and boarding services. Get in touch with us to learn more about how to keep your pet safe in spring.

Importance of Animal Rights

Animals have served a specific purpose for human benefit since the dawn of humankind. Humans first started domesticating animals 10,000 years ago, specifically dogs, for hunting and safekeeping. Since then, animals and humans have formed an integral part in each other’s life. It’ll be hard to imagine pet animals like dogs and cats thriving without human intervention and vice versa.

While many people treat animals like other beings, most people treat them solely for their benefit, including entertainment and eating. This very inhumane treatment of animals highlights the need and importance of animal rights.

It wasn’t long before humans started capturing non-human animals and using them for different forms of entertainment such as for zoo, caged decoration, and circus) or transportation such as cart pulling, safari, and carrying loads. These inhumane treatments of animals by humans for centuries highlight the need for recognizing the interests of animals, including legal rights and protection.

Moreover, animal rights (like human rights) also highlight animal protection from inhumane activities such as climate change, deforestation, factory farming, and hunting.

Let’s talk more about the prevalent animal rights movement worldwide and the importance of animal rights.

What is Animal Rights Movement?

Animal rights, the animal rights movement, and animal liberation are all synonymous with each other. It advocates a social movement that seeks to end different forms of animal slavery and animal abuse. Although the movement highlights many different animals' rights, they mainly emphasize legal rights and legal distinction to animals.

The case of the "world's saddest polar bear" is one of the recent examples of animal rights abuse. A young polar bear named Pizza was found living in a deplorable condition at an aquarium inside a mall in Guangzhou, China. Millions of people signed petitions calling to release the polar bear to its natural habitat to the city government. The mall temporarily sent back the polar bear to its mother living inside an aquarium inside Tianjin.

The animal rights movement plan is plain and straightforward, with no more harm to animals.

Animal rights advocate that certain things are wrong as a matter of principle; some things are morally wrong to do to animals.

  1. Human beings must not do those things, no matter the cost to humanity of not doing them.
  2. Human beings must not do those things, even if they humanely do them.

For example, animals have a right not to be bred and killed for food, so humans should stop relying on animals for a food source.

Check out this infographic for more information. 

 

What do animal rights highlight?

  • No experiments on animals
  • No breeding and killing animals for food or clothes, or medicine
  • No use of animals for hard labor
  • No selective breeding for any reason other than the benefit of the animal
  • No hunting
  • No zoos or use of animals in entertainment

On a philosophical level, human beings and animals have rights because they are both 'subjects-of-a-life.’

  • They have similar levels of biological complexity
  • They are conscious and aware that they exist
  • They know what is happening to them
  • They prefer some things and dislike others
  • They make conscious choices
  • They live in such a way as to give themselves the best quality of life
  • They plan their lives to some extent
  • The quality and length of their life matters to them

People who defy equal rights to animals support their opinions with such examples;

  • Animals don’t think like humans, nor are they conscious.
  • They’re put on earth to serve humans, such as for food, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Animals don’t behave morally, and they lack free moral judgment.

 

While many people hold this to be accurate, few people defy this and work to serve animal rights. This leads to the animal rights movement and a fight against the inhumane treatment of animals.

Significant achievements made by Animal Rights Movement

In 1992, Switzerland amended its constitution to recognize animals as beings and not things. A decade later, Germany guaranteed rights to animals in a 2002 amendment to its constitution, becoming the first European Union member to do so.

New Zealand granted fundamental rights to five great ape species in 1999. Their use is now forbidden in research, testing, or teaching. Some other countries have also banned or severely restricted the use of non-human great apes in research. On 17 May 2013, India declared that all cetaceans have the status of “nonhuman persons."

In the United States, the Animal Welfare Act initiated in 1966 protects animals in research, transportation, and sale. Generally, animals are protected from any torture, neglect, or killing.

PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) was founded in 1980. With 6.5 million supporters, PETA has helped prevent animal abuse, mistreatment, and sale in an astounding number.

6 Most Prevalent Animal Rights Issues

These are the most prevalent animal rights issues around the world.

Climate change                                           

A human-made disaster is destroying the environment and destroying the habitat and living conditions of wild animals. Its most extreme example can be the Arctic's melting snow and ice. With global warming rising every year, the polar bear’s natural habitat is gradually vanishing. The depleted snow has pushed the polar bear population further inside.

The unpredictable weather from climate change has impacted migratory birds by disrupting their breeding habitats.  Human activities such as fuel-driven cars and factories have primarily impacted the global rise in temperature.

Loss of habitat

Loss of habitat because of suburban sprawl has pushed animals even further inside the forest. It has also increased human and animal encounters causing accidents, deaths, and communal killing of wild animals. In Nepal and India, the wild animal encounter is more frequent because of their habitat loss. More people enter forest areas to collect fodder, which previously used to be the Bengal Tiger habitat. The incidents of the Bengal tiger attacking villagers are heard numerous times a year.  

Illegal fishing practices

Illegal fishing by foreign vessels without permission, bottom trawling, bycatch, ghost fishing, explosives, and overfishing is causing the depletion of sea animals. Illegal fishing affects fish and other sea animals like turtles, whales, and dolphins that often get trapped in human-made traps.

Factory farming

Factory farming of commercial animals like chicken and cow is often highlighted by animal rights activists. The slaughter of animals for their meat, and byproducts such as skin, milk, and eggs, is considered outright animal abuse. Thousands of farm animals are held inside captivity and raised in a deteriorating condition for their as food animals, injected with hormones for rapid growth, and fed cheap grain.

It not only highlights animal abuse but the environment caused by factory farming. The methane produced by cows is one of the significant contributors to global warming. The run-offs from the farm often pollute the nearby water sources.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia in animals is mainly associated with overbreeding of pets such as dogs and cats. Thousands of dogs and cats are abandoned in the US every year. These non-human animals end up in shelters and later euthanized because they never get adopted.

Spaying and neutering your pet is a good idea to control overbreeding. Closing pet farms is another great idea to control overbreeding and prevent animal suffering in form of euthanasia.

Animal experimentation

Voicing against animal experimentation in the labs has been going on for ages. Most animals experiment with new drugs, vaccines, diseases, or cosmetics before the product is released from human use.

Approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die every year in animal testing for cosmetics. Many large corporations, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products, enjoy animal testing because of the lack of strict laws.

 

Animal abuse for financial gain is often the most highlighted animal rights issue. In the United States alone, the pet industry topped $221.1 billion in 2015; the live animal trade accounted for $3.5 billion in 2016; in 2020, animal agriculture is forecasted to bring in $185.8 billion in cash receipts.

The corporations trying to protect their profits and avoid controversy often lobby for legislation or laws to conceal their activities from the public and media.

 

How to prevent animal abuse?

  1. Non-human animals with rights must be treated as ends in themselves; others should not treat them as means to achieve their ends.
  2. To bring in public concern, you should discourage using animals for entertainment, food, products, and transportation. Ensuring a non-abusive environment for all kinds so of animals will undoubtedly boost happiness in you.
  3. Specialism must fade away, along with outdated scientific and philosophical ideas that animals are nothing more than mindless automatons.
  4. Discouraging the use of cosmetics and drugs used for animal testing can help curb animal abuse in the long run. Many animal rights advocates have managed to introduce a law that prevents the use of lab animals.
  5. Countering climate change is an essential goal for ensuring the rights of animals in the long run. Choosing a sustainable lifestyle method; electric cars, low carbon emitting appliances, cycling to work, avoiding using firewood, and animal products made from skin can help curb animal abuse to a greater degree.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more about caring for animals, animal protection laws and animal welfare issues, and how you can chip in for animal rights societies.

10 Fun Outdoor Activities for Dog and Owner

Spending more time with pets helps to fight stress and depression. The same goes for the pets; spending time playing and cuddling with their owners is linked to dogs' stress-management. Indulging in outdoor activities with your dog not only strengthens your bond but also provides physical and mental stimulation.

Even more so, dogs need regular exercise to remain healthy. Indulging in outdoor activities with your dog helps to get the much-needed physical and mental stimulation. However, it would help if you were wary about taking elderly dogs for outdoor activities. The physical activities for dogs stricken with arthritis and hip dysplasia must be short.

To help you make memories with your pets, we have amassed 20 different outdoor activities to do with your dog.

10 Outdoor Activities for Dog and Owner

Here is the list of the ten most fun outdoor activities for dogs and dog owners.

Biking

Biking with your furry friend can be both adventurous and physically stimulating. An active dog can burn off seemingly endless energy by accompanying you on a bike ride. However, not every dog can catch up with your bike; some are made to sit in the basket and enjoy the ride.

It’s more complicated than you might think to ride a bike along with a dog on a leash, so it's better to get a little practice before you hit the trail. Start with biking with a leash on within a small distance.

Consider your dog’s physical fitness to determine how long it can keep up. Pups and older dogs should bike with a leash. It would be best if you only chose outdoor-active adult dogs.

Ensure to carry snacks and water along the ride and take regular breaks in between.

Hiking

Hiking involves a considerable amount of adventure, adrenaline, and risk. It takes more effort than what you may assume by just looking at someone’s Instagram photo with their dog on the Rockies.

Not every dog is adapted to walking long distances; hence you should start with a short walk and later increase it to multiple days.

Active hiking dogs can walk long distances regularly. They can hike 15 to 20 miles per day, whereas the dogs that aren’t used to long hikes can walk only 10 miles per day or lesser.

Walking through the prairie, going up in the Rockies, or trailing through the national park are few of the most sought hiking with dogs.

Here are few tips to get started: Start slow, increase the time gradually, take regular breaks, and assess your dog's health at each interval.

Jogging

Jogging is both fun and physically stimulating activity for all kinds of dogs. It would be best if you considered taking your dog for a regular jog around your neighborhood, on the beach, or in the park.

Nothing tires out a dog with lots of energy like a long run. Consider leashing your dog if it has tendencies to run off. Both your and dog can benefit from regular jogging as it promotes cardiovascular activity.

Ensure you have a dog whose type and temperament suit as a running partner. Elderly dogs would only like occasional walks instead of a jog.

Swimming

Dogs are natural swimmers, and they'd love to take a splash into the water whenever they feel warm. If you live in a warmer place, it's a great idea to take a dip in the pool or pond with your furry friend. Both of you can cool off and enjoy a great time together!

It's a low-impact sport, so you needn't worry about stressing your older dogs' joints. It also helps to work on many muscles simultaneously to be a productive activity for obese dogs.

The swimming pool is a perfect place for dogs to swim as the enclosed surface and lesser depth keeps them safe. Be careful about taking your dog for a wash in the river, ocean, or pond.

Fetch

Play fetch with your dog whenever you're in the backyard, porch, or the park. Dogs love to fetch items such as stick wood, ball, and Frisbee.

Fetch has a triple function; it gives your dog needed exercise, it helps strengthen the bond between you, and it gets him into the habit of returning to you.

You can also play a game of fetch with your dog in the swimming pool with items like Frisbee and balls. It'll motivate them to swim more and activate their muscles. Remember, dogs have to be athletic and agile most of all to engage in the game of fetch.

Off-leash Dog Park

Plan a doggie play-date with a friend at your local dog park! There should be numerous parks in your neighborhood, but you should try finding a park that is safe for dogs to play off-leash. Dogs love to roam around, play, and explore things, and a leash often comes in their way.

You can give them much-needed free time by taking them off-leash in the park. It shouldn't be a problem as long as the park is filled with well-socialized dogs and dog-savvy owners.

Ensure to train your dog before you can let it roam free! Monitor your dogs for inappropriate behaviors such as bullying/aggressive play, jumping on people, and excessive barking. You and your dog wouldn't want to become a nuisance to the others in the park.

Boat Ride

All dogs love water, so it’s a great idea to take them for a boat ride. If you want, you can let them make a splash in the water.

Even though they love water, you should be careful about allowing them to roam free. Even if you're careful, be prepared to protect and save your dog if they fall overboard. Get a pet life jacket in case your dog isn't water-friendly or too small. Don't forget to offer them fresh water and shade along the way. Dogs can quickly dehydrate in warm weather!

However, not every dog is boat-friendly. Take them for a short spin and let them acclimatize to the boat life before you embark on a long boat trip.

Hit the Beach

Many ocean and lake beaches are dog-friendly. You can use this opportunity to play fetch with them, jog, or run around. However, it would be best if you were careful about harmful things.

Anything that can harm you at the beach can also harm your dogs, such as sunburn, riptides, jellyfish, broken glass, sharp shells, and aggressive dogs.

If you haven't potty trained your dog, avoid taking them to beaches that strictly monitor for dog poops. Don't forget to bring plenty of fresh, cool water and snacks.

Remember that the sand can be scorching on sensitive paws, so provide a blanket or towel for your dog's comfort when he takes a break from romping in the surf.

Take agility class

Agility classes are great for dogs to start in sports. This is the outdoor sports where you guide and direct your dog through a pre-set course within a specific time limit. The courses typically have between 14-20 obstacles ranging from tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, and seesaws.

If you want to have a great time with your dog while engaging it with something useful, taking agility classes together can be a great idea. Do remember, the dogs usually start competing in agility between the ages of 1 and 2.

It helps to foster concentration, flexibility, companionship, trust, and body awareness in dogs.

Explore nearby forest or trail

Consider exploring the nearby forest or trail with your dog. Camping is a great idea to spend time outdoors with your furry friend. You can indulge in exploring the trail, sightseeing, scavenging for geocaching hunt, swimming in the river, etc. You can take a car up to the destination and then start exploring the place on foot.

If your dog isn’t comfortable spending time inside the tent, you can come back to your car anytime you want.

 

No matter where you live, undertake these opportunities to spend more time with your pet. Take advantage of the warmer weather and indulge in more outdoor activities that your dog loves to do.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more ways to spend time outdoors with your pet.