Can I allow my dog to sleep on the same bed?

Many people allow their pets to share the same bed. The American Pet Products Association survey found that nearly half of the dogs sleep in their owner’s beds; 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs

Allowing your pet to sleep with you isn’t a new trend. Humans have long shared their beds with dogs

However, many pet owners are riddled with this question. They wonder if it's wrong to let their dogs share the same bed.

Let's find out more about why your dog loves to share the same bed, what it means, and how you can respond to it.

Why do dogs sleep with humans?

Like every other being, dogs seek protection, closeness, and warmth from each other. When in a pack, animals often sleep close to each other to retain body heat and feel secure. In homes, dogs always seek that sense of security and warmth from humans. Dogs always come to snuggle with you when you're sitting on a couch or sleeping on the bed. It is because they feel secure and safe in your presence.

It's common for dogs to sleep with you on the same bed during winter to keep them warm. Another reason for this behavior is that dogs often feel exposed to dangers when sleeping all by themself. Snuggling with you will remind them that you're there to protect them from any harm.

The Root of the behavior

When the dog's ancestors used to hunt together, they always ate together and slept lying close to each other. It helped to keep them warm and attentive to any incoming danger. They were powerful in a pack but not so much when all by themself. This behavior is still persistent in wolves, the distant relatives of domesticated dogs.

It's also great news for pet owners because your dog wanting to sleep next to you is a sign of affection, closeness, trust, and seeking company. Sleeping by your side can help them feel better. It helps to increase the level of hormones in their brain that keeps them happy and elated.

Psychology Today article reported that

For most people, having a dog in bed is psychologically comforting. The dog serves as a loving companion close at hand, and it keeps you from feeling lonely or insecure no matter how dark the night.

Many times, dogs will wander off from your bed to sleep all alone. This can be because they're overheated or can't settle. They can also find that your mattress is too soft for them.

Does it pose any problem?

Not really, if you’re not allergic to dogs. Experts believe that it's probably safe for most dogs to sleep in the same bed.

Here are few things you’d need to understand.

  • If you’re a light sleeper and your dog’s movements can wake you up. It can decrease your sleep quality. A dog that snores, slobbers, or overheats the bed is probably not an ideal sleep mate.
  • If your dog snores loudly or hogs the covers and pillows—you might want to reconsider.
  • If your significant other doesn’t want a dog in the bed, that’s something you’ll have to hash out together.
  • Children are more susceptible to germs than adults, mainly if the pet tends to lick.
  • In the United States, the risk of disease from sleeping with your pet is low, with most threats coming from fleas and ticks, ringworm, and skin infections due to mites.
  • Dogs often carry dander, mites, and other antigens with them. A furry dog can quickly bring foreign elements from outside the house. When sleeping alongside your dog, you can accidentally ingest these elements. It can cause severe allergies in most humans.

How to share a bed with your dog?

If you can't resist letting your dog sleep in the same bed, it’s essential that both of you agree with the sleeping arrangements.

  • Walk your dog before bed and get done with the loo.
  • Train them to wait for permission to get on the bed.
  • Be consistent with rules. If you don’t want your dog on your pillow or under the blankets, make no exceptions.
  • You can discourage their aggressive behavior by removing them from the bed.
  • Visit the veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations, including preventive flea and tick treatments.
  • Deworm as advised by your veterinarian.
  • Change your sheets and bedding regularly.

When shouldn't you let your dog in your bed?

There are times when you should allow your dog to share the same bed.

  • When you have a severe health issue such as fever, cold and cough, flu.
  • When your dog is a new addition to your family.
  • When they have had a checkup or vaccination
  • When they aren't potty trained
  • When they're aggressive, or bite and scratch.
  • When they are a big snorer.

It’s common for dogs to share the same bed with humans. You can encourage this habit if you and your partner don’t have any problem with it.

You can check for noticeable changes if your dog suddenly stopped sleeping in your bed. It doesn't usually mean something's wrong. Sometimes they need to cool off or find their personal space. However, pay attention to your dog's body language and behaviors. If you notice any signs of physical pain or discomfort, it might be a good idea to consult your trusted vet.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is your go-to Veterinarian in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more about sleeping with pets, pet problems, and other preventive measures.

Do dogs react differently in front of you?

Dogs are social animals. They have been with humans for the last 10,000 years. They are conditioned to live with their human companions, eating almost the same diet and mimicking our lifestyle. This has greatly impacted their feeling and behavior towards both humans and animals.

Dogs often become lively and spring around when they are near their owners or their favorite human. Most of the time, dogs will run to their favorite person even if they aren't the owners. This is mainly because; dogs often choose a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality. A more outgoing and boisterous dog will choose a more active person. It’s the positive association and attention that brings an animal closer to you in many other cases.

How are dogs conditioned to like us?

According to interesting research by Ludwig Huber, dogs can easily associate their human companion by hearing a familiar voice paired with a familiar face.

Dogs (like people) are good at using information about the eyes, nose, and mouth configuration. They also seem to be able to recognize differences between at least some human facial expressions for emotions. They mostly associate with their favorite human through series of interactions, attention, and memories.

Another reason dogs are always ecstatic when they see us is that they view us within a traditional pack structure. Researchers have noticed this for a few reasons, one of them being “face licking.” In nature, wolves and other wild dogs have always traditionally greeted each other with this behavior.

How do you make your dog to like you?

Here are some of the proven methods to make your dog to like you.

Socialization

Many dogs bond to humans who cared for them the most during their socialization, which occurs between birth and six months. Young pups are very receptive, and they associate their early social experiences with a person who spent the most time with them.

Creating positive memories and positive interactions with your dog can help it bring you two closer. Over time, they'll strongly associate you with your face, smell, and sound that will make them remember you forever.

Continued socialization throughout the growing years and adulthood are also important to ensure a strong bond between you and your dog.

Attention and Affection

It's a known fact that continuous attention and positive affection help strengthen the bond between a dog and a human.

Most dogs tend to bond to the person who gives them the most attention. In many cases, dogs love other humans more than their owners because they have had the most positive and pleasant moment with them. Giving more attention to your dog means spending more time with them and doing activities that bring you two closer.

Positive affection experiences can start with filling their food bowl every day, taking them to a walk, playing catch or Frisbee with them in the park, giving them treats and toys, training with them, sleeping in the same room, cuddling, and traveling.

You can start spending more crucial time with your pet by indulging in activities that both of you enjoy doing.

Positive Association

A positive association is linked with creating happy memories with your dog. They often react poorly to people with bad associations, such as Veterinarians, during an unpleasant vet visit.

Dogs have their favorites depending on their positive association with them. Most dogs share an incredibly positive association with a human who feeds them regularly. Filling up their food bowl and providing treats and kibble can instantly make them love you.

Similarly, dogs would love to stay more with you when you play along with them and indulge with them regularly. Training a dog is also easy when you share a positive relationship with your dog.

Human Personality & Dog Breed

Different dog breeds react differently to human emotions and personality. They often choose a person who matches their own energy level and personality. Dogs like Labrador and Retriever love people who are equally active and energetic like them. They'll associate more with people who are willing to indulge with them in physical activities.

Some dog breeds like Basenji, Greyhound, Shiba Inu, and Cairn Terrier are more likely to bond with a single person.

If the dog you own has an entirely different personality than yours, you can start conditioning yourself to a personality they love, like if they enjoy going outside a lot, you should make sure to them outside regularly.

Play fetch, tug of war, or hide and seek with them. When training a dog, always be present and partake in the training process.

For more information please check out this infographics. 

 

The presence of a hormone named Oxytocin releases excitement in dogs when they meet their favorite human. This is exactly similar to what we feel when we see or meet someone we love.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, to get more tips on socializing with your dog of different ages, breeds, and personalities.

10 Human Medications you should never give to your Dog

Unlike popular belief, you should take precautions while administering human drugs to dogs. Most drugs work wonders in both humans and animals, but that doesn't mean you should start giving your pills to your dog.

Did you know, nearly 50% of all calls received by Pet Poison Helpline involve human medications – both over-the-counter and prescription.

Why does medicine work differently on humans and animals?

Yes, most drugs meant for humans contain compounds that create altering effects when given to dogs

Pets like dogs and cats respond to human medication differently, mainly because of two reasons:

Body size

The safe dose of a medication is expressed as “mg/kg” – in other words, the active ingredient per kg of body weight. So, the maximum safe dose of a substance for a 70kg human will be about 20 times higher than it is for a 3.5kg cat.

Biological differences

Humans are generally better at dealing with poisons than any other mammal species. A useful rule of thumb used by medical and veterinary toxicologists is that “if it’s poisonous to humans, it’ll kill pets; but if it’s safe for humans… it may still kill animals.”

10 Human Medications Harmful to Pets

Here is a list of ten human medications that are severely harmful to pets. Ingesting these medicines can cause fatal health deterioration or even death.

NSAIDs

NSAIDs stand for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin. These drugs are readily available in many households. People use these to treat pain, inflammation, and fever in people.

Ingesting even one or two pills can cause serious harm to dogs, including stomach and intestinal ulcers. In cases of overdose, renal damage can occur. When ingested orally, most achieve peak concentrations in the blood within three hours.

The most commonly seen side effects of these medications are gastrointestinal irritation and damage to the GI tract.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen includes Paracetamol and Tylenol that are used for the relief of fever and aches and pains in humans. However, it may lead to liver failure and red blood cell damage in dogs and cats.

Acetaminophen poisoning in dogs can lead to liver injury or even liver failure. The tell-tale signs of Acetaminophen poising include lethargy, loss of appetite, belly pain, jaundice, and swelling of the face and paws.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are medications used to treat the major depressive disorder, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions in humans. Some commonly used antidepressant for dogs include Buspirone, Fluoxetine, and Clomipramine. However, excess ingestion of antidepressants can cause serotonin syndrome. It can lead to serious neurological problems such as sedation, incoordination, tremors, and seizures.

The serotonin syndrome sign usually comes on rapids in dogs, anywhere from 10 min to 4 hours. Veterinarians will generally pump out or induce vomiting to remove toxins.

ADD/ADHD Medication

ADD/ADHD medications are prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, Eveko, Focalin XR are a few of the popular ADHD prescribed drugs.

It contains potent stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate that doesn't do well to dogs. Even minimal ingestions of these medications can trigger a higher heart rate, high blood pressure, elevated body temperature, and life-threatening symptoms like tremors and seizures.

Benzodiazepines (Sleep Aids)

Benzodiazepines are prescribed to reduce anxiety and help people sleep. Common sedatives include Xanax, alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, etc. It induces sedation to help reduce anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, seizures, etc.

When a dog ingests Benzodiazepines, it can cause severe sedation, in-coordination, aggression, agitation, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, it can trigger respiratory and cardiovascular depression.

Birth Control

A birth control pill is administered to prevent pregnancy in women. Most birth controls are combination pills containing a mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Because of its packaging, dogs often find it irresistible. Small dosages typically do not cause any harm to dogs. However, large ingestions can trigger bone marrow suppression.

ACE Inhibitors

ACE Inhibitors like Zetril, Benazepril, Captopril, and Altace are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. It's also used in dogs to treat chronic CHF. However, when ingested in a higher amount, it can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, and dogs' weakness. The tell-take signs of ACE inhibitors poising include weakness, stumbling, and dropping blood pressure level.

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure. It can cause your heart to beat more slowly and with less force, which lowers blood pressure. Atenolol is a common beta-blocker medication used to treat certain heart disease types and high blood pressure in dogs. However, you should be careful about overdosing your dog with beta-blocker as it can cause a severe drop in blood pressure and heart rate.

Thyroid hormones

Interestingly, the dose of thyroid hormone needed to treat dogs is much higher than a person’s dose. If a dog accidentally ingests thyroid hormones pill at home, it rarely results in problems. However, large acute overdoses can often trigger muscle tremors, nervousness, panting, a rapid heart rate, and aggression. Levothyroxine, Synthroid, and Armour desiccated thyroid are few examples of thyroid hormones.

Cholesterol Pills

Cholesterol-lowering pills like Lipitor, Zocor, and Crestor can cause mild ailments in dogs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The poising can be treated by taking it to the vet to remove the toxins from the stomach.

 

How to Prevent Accidental Poising in Dogs?

A recent article in the Veterinary Times reported that almost 10% of pet owners admitted using human medicines to treat their pets.

It’s also easy for dogs to accidentally ingest human pills. The medicine bottles lying around the house, such as tables and open countertop, make it accessible for dogs’ reach. Here is how you can prevent accidental medication poising in dogs.

  • Never leave loose pills in a plastic bag. The bags are too easy to chew into.
  • Keep the pill and pill container in a cabinet out of reach of dogs.
  • Never store your own medications near your pet's medications.
  • Keep the contact detail of Pet Poison Helpline and your veterinarian with you at all times.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, to learn more about preventing pet poisoning.

7 Tips to Maintain Healthy Oral Hygiene in Dogs

The dental problem isn’t only persistent in senior pets. A young pup or an adult dog can suffer from poor dental hygiene too.

Did you know, by the age of three, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs develop some form of gum disease.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems in dogs that start from a young age. It becomes more prevalent in elderly dogs. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar resulting in a deteriorating gum line. It produces toxins that lead to bone and tissue damage. Bad breath is usually the first sign of a dental problem in dogs.

The unchecked dental problem poses a lot of risk in dogs.

  • If your pet remains uncured from dental disease, they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease
  • Bacteria under the gum can travel to different internal organs.
  • Dental disease can result in bad breath, painful chewing and tooth loss.

A broken tooth is a major concern among pets. Chewing on hard surfaces or materials can render their teeth weak. A broken tooth can expose the tooth's nerve, which can be a painful experience for your pet

7 Tips to Maintain Oral Health in Dogs

Here are renowned veterinarians' seven tips to prevent plague, gum irritation, and oral infections in dogs

Quality Food

Proper oral hygiene starts with the choice of food you provide to your dog. Quality food with essential vitamins and minerals, preferably made with whole foods, will nourish their body and keep oral hygiene in check

Avoid foods made with by-products, meals, and cereal grains, including starch, as they are more apt to stick to your dog’s teeth.

A dog meal should have 30% protein, 25% fats, and 30-70% carbohydrates. Chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids), meat fat, Canola oil, sweet potatoes, peas, Barley (pearled), Oats, Brown rice, whole wheat, whole corn, etc., are the healthiest meal choices for any dog. If you're buying canned food, make sure it's made from organic food matter and has optimum supplements of micro-minerals and trace minerals.

Brush their Teeth Regularly

Like humans, dogs need to keep their teeth clean and prevent bad breath. Although dogs chew bones to remove tartar and residue from their teeth, this isn't nearly enough

You can use a traditional method of brushing teeth with toothpaste for your dog. You can use a human toothbrush with soft bristles, or you can choose double-headed with the brushes at a 45-degree angle to clean below the gum-line, like those offered by companies like Petosan

For toothpaste, try to get canine toothpaste that's safe to swallow. Your dog is less likely to spit after each cleaning. Human toothpaste contains fluoride that is extremely poisonous to dogs, so avoid regular toothpaste.

Vets suggest that you should start brushing their teeth when they are still a puppy. This can help keep a habit.

Use Chew Bones and Chew Toys

Chewing on a hard surface can help scrap and clean teeth naturally. Offer raw chew bones and chew toys after each meal and encourage them to chew on them for a bit.

When using bones, make sure they're uncooked and large, preferably from a cow. A small bone can easily break or splinter. Keep an eye when it's chewing on a bone to make sure it doesn’t swallow broken pieces.

Avoid commercial chew bones that are usually made from starches. It can have the opposite effect as chewing on a cow bone. When choosing chew toys, ensure to get chew toys made from hard rubber or nylon that aren't toxic

Choose Dry Food other Soft Food

Soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay. When buying commercial food product for your pet, preferably choose dry food such as kibble. Most dogs eagerly accept dried beef ears or snouts, dried tendons, esophagus, and similar pieces. The dried meat also helps to keep their teeth clean.

Most dog foods prepared at home both solid-liquid. If you regularly provide your dog with soft food, make sure to clean or wipe their teeth daily. This will help prevent residue and plague build up around their teeth

Offer Vegetables and Fruits for Snacks

Vegetables and fruits are natural sources of micro-minerals and trace minerals. Like Protein, Carbs, and Fats, dogs need an optimum amount of minerals such as zinc, vitamin, calcium, and phosphorus daily.

Introduce a variety of vegetables and fruits in their daily snacks. Carrots or carrot slices, apple slices, or a chunk of squash or pumpkin are good snacks for dogs.

Feed appropriate amounts to your dog based on its size; never more than ten percent of its overall daily calorie intake.

Routine Dental Check Up

An annual or bi-annual dental checkup is essential to make sure your dog's oral hygiene is perfect.

Some of the tell-tale signs of bad dental care include; bad breath, change in chewing habit, pawing at the face or mouth, excessive drooling, misaligned or missing teeth, red and swollen gums, etc. These problems require immediate veterinary solutions.

To ensure proper teeth cleaning, the veterinarian will usually perform routine dental cleaning to use tools to remove the teeth' plaque and tartar. A special polishing paste that smoothens any scratches in the teeth' enamel keeps their teeth shiny and plague free.

Check this info graphics for more information. 

Make a Routine

Keep a routine of dental cleaning, veterinarian visits, and dental problems. This will help you determine what kind of assistance your dog will need in the future regarding dental problems.

It's always better to get pet insurance covering preventive care, veterinarian visits, and dental health problems.

It's always wise to prevent the dental problem from exfoliating. Dental extractions in a bad or decayed tooth can easily cost from $10 to $1000 for a molar root canal

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, to learn more about preventive care for healthy oral health. We also provide dental checkups and surgical services through our certified veterinarians.

 

What does your dog’s sleeping position mean?

Experts suggest that observing your dog’s sleeping position is the best way to learn about their behavior. Like humans, dogs have adapted to different sleeping positions.

Healthy adult dogs spend an average of 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Pups and senior dogs may require even more sleep on average.

Animal experts have discovered that dogs’ sleeping positions can indicate certain health or personality-related characteristics. Sleeping habits can give clues about a dog’s health and underlying medical conditions.
Here is the list of ten most common dog sleeping positions you'd need to know about.

The Side Sleeper

Sleeping on either side is one of the most common ways of sleeping habits in both humans and animals. Most dogs love to sleep on their side. Lying on their side with their legs extended is one of the most common sleeping positions for dogs.

Sleeping on the side may indicate that they feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. Many older dogs suffering from stiff joints may prefer sleeping on their sides.

Many dogs do 'sleep running' and twitching while sleeping in this position as their paws are loose and free.

The Lion's Pose

The lion's pose isn't a common sleeping position in dogs. Most dogs sleep in a lion's position when they're ready to wake up and prance on something at a moment's notice.
The position resembles the sphinx or a sitting lion. Lion's pose sleepers are protective and devoted.
According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ,

 "Dogs will often start out in this position if they feel like they will need to jump on quickly."

The Superman

The Superman position resembles the strong replica of the flying Superman. It is when your dog lays sprawled out on the ground with their belly pressed to the floor, the back legs behind them and front legs stretched forward like they're about to take off.

This position may tell that they're probably tired but ready to play if the opportunity arises. It also tells that they’re feeling warmer. Dogs often lie like this when the floor is relatively cooler than the air around.

It’s the position of choice for high-energy pups or pups that get sleepy during play and just want to plop down where they’re standing.

The Donut

The Donut position is when your dog sleeps curled up in the shape of a ball with all of their limbs tucked close to their body. 

They often sleep in the Donut position to make themselves as small as possible, and it also helps them regulate body temperature.

Many four-legged animals in the wild prefer sleeping in the Donut position to ward off cold. It also makes them feel less vulnerable.

The Cuddler

When a group of dogs is sleeping together, they'll prefer the Cuddler position to help retain body heat and snuggle into each other’s fur.
Dr. Stanley Coren, Univesity of British Columbia suggests that,

“The tendency that many dogs have to cuddle when they sleep is a holdover from when they were puppies. Again, this has to do with temperature, since puppies have difficulty regulating their body heat.”

This sleeping position may well continue when they're adults. They'll prefer cuddling with other animals or humans while sleeping.

The Burrower

Most dogs will sleep burrowed under the pillow, clothes, or blanket to find comfort and security. It could also be to protect them from the cold.

Most dog experts opine that dogs sleep in the burrower position when they're searching for comfort and security.

If you notice them continuously burrowing under piles of clothes and blankets to sleep, you should know that they are either scared or feeling unsafe. You can tuck them with you for a few days.

The Belly Up

You must have noticed your dog taking a nap lying on its back with arms open in the air and exposed belly. Most dogs do this to cool off. Since the fur is thinner around the belly, exposing these areas is a great way to beat the heat.

This also means that they're carefree and trust you while they sleep. Many dogs in old age avoid this practice of taking a nap because of arthritis.

As uncomfortable as this position may look, this is a sign of true comfort and relaxation in dogs.

Back to Back

When more than one pet is sleeping together, they'll often sleep back to back. This is the sign of showing affection, trust, and a sense of intimacy.

They often sleep in this position with other animals and humans with whom they feel safest.
This is also a position to watch each other back when you're out in the wild.

Circling and Digging

Many four-legged animals in the wild tend to circle their sleeping area or even dig a bit before lying down. This behavior may have to come in dogs from their wolf ancestors who would often trample down grass and leaves and dig a hole to sleep comfortably.

You would often see your dog circling the couch or cushion before lying down to check if the sleeping area is safe.

Head and Neck Raised

Many dogs sleep in a position with their head and neck raised on a cushion or pillow.

Although this is rare, it may tell that your dog could be having breathing issues -something commonly seen with chronic heart disease and other health problems.

You should keep an eye out for any worrying signs or symptoms in your dog such as a faster breathing rate, noisy breathing, etc.

For more details on What does your dog’s sleeping position mean, please check this info graphics.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to learn more about dog behavior, signs and symptoms of an underlying illness, and preventive measures.

 

 

How to Take Care of Pregnant Dogs?

Like humans, dogs experience similar changes in hormones, weight, appetite, and behavior. As a pet owner, you must provide optimum pre-natal and post-natal care to your dogs.
Closely follow the signs of pregnancy in dogs. Many signs do not show up until the first month has nearly passed. Once you start noticing the changes, you can begin providing additional care as per your veterinarian's recommendations.

Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs
Dogs are typically pregnant for 62 days, plus or minus 2 days. The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, and a healthy, well-fed dog will gain about 15-20% beyond her weight at breeding. The abdomen usually swells 20-50%.

The first sign of pregnancy in dogs includes vaginal discharge approximately one month into the pregnancy. Her teats may also start swelling

Many dogs can be discrete about their mating; hence you must not realize you have a pregnant dog. You can take your dog for an ultrasound to confirm otherwise.

The behavior of Pregnant Dogs

  • Some pregnant dogs may seek the comfort of the pet owner more often. Others prefer to be left alone and seclude themselves.
  • Nesting behaviors include shredding bedding and other materials around your home.
  • Pregnant dogs may become less active and lethargic and may not want to eat regular foods. Morning sickness is usual in many dogs.
  • The dog may scratch at the floor and some dogs may begin to hoard food and other items.
  • During pregnancy, your dog may become unusually irritable to noise and strangers.

Regular short walks and light playtime are all good exercises for pregnant dogs.

How to Best Care for Pregnant Dogs?

Caring for a pregnant dog starts from the time when she's pregnant until the post-pregnancy stage. You would need to look into her nutrition, exercise, and health and provide utmost care whenever needed.

Nutrition

Nutrition is the first and foremost priority of every pregnant dog. Good nutrition is essential to maintain the ideal weight of a pregnant dog. Both over and underweight dogs can suffer from reproductive consequences.

  • Along with maintaining an ideal weight, you should ensure to provide more macronutrients, protein, and calories per pound of food. Most pregnant dogs don’t need additional vitamins or supplements as long as she’s getting the proper diet.
  • The food should have 1600 kcal digestible energy per pound of food and at least 22% protein. Ensure to provide 3-4 smaller meals a day as her puppies can press on her stomach and make it hard for her to eat a big meal! Don’t forget to provide a fresh bowl of water every now and then.
  • Many vets recommend feeding a pregnant dog food that has been formulated for growth according to AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) requirements.
  • The highest energy requirement for the mother occurs between weeks 6 and 8 of gestation. Her energy requirement maybe 30-60% higher than normal adult maintenance rations, depending upon the size of the litter.
  • Do not feed a puppy food designed for large breed puppies as this will not have the correct calcium phosphorous balance to support the developing bones of the fetuses or healthy milk production in the mother. Folic acid and essential fatty acid supplementation may be beneficial to support developing fetuses.
  • If your pregnant dog seems to be losing weight, you can try moistening the food or switching to a more nutritionally dense food to ensure optimum nutritional feeding.
  • Lactation
  • The nutritional need for a mother dog may steadily increase over the next 20 to 30 days as the puppies grow and nurse more. 
  • After the first month, the mother may be eating two to four times the amount of food she ate before pregnancy. 
  • In the third or fourth week, the puppies will probably start nibbling at her dish, which is a good way to introduce them to solid food.

Veterinary Care

Starting from diagnosing pregnancy in dogs to constant care leading up to the delivery, you would need to take your dog to the vet couple of times during her pregnancy.

  • Around 45 days into the pregnancy, you can take her to the vet for x-rays to determine the number and size of the pups.
  • Dogs do not need to be vaccinated during pregnancy.
  • If you notice any signs of illness, immediately take your dog to the vet.
  • Few days leading up to the delivery can be difficult as pregnant dogs often stop eating. Consult with your vet in such a case.
  • Pregnant dogs must be administered wormer called "Fenbaendazole" every day from day 40 of pregnancy until 2 days after the puppies are born. This will prevent passing worms from mother dogs to pups.

Whelping

Whelping is known as giving birth. You should prepare an environment for the pregnant dog to nest and deliver pups. Unless you take them to the daycare, you would need to prepare whelping at home,
Whelping boxes are safer, warmer, and comfortable options for pregnant dogs. You must introduce your dog to the whelping box and get her accustomed to it.

Whelping Supply Checklist

  • Newspaper to line the whelping box during delivery for an easy cleanup
  • Non-skid bath mats for bedding after whelping is done
  • Dry, clean towels to clean the puppies
  • Paper towels to help with clean up
  • Thermometer to check your dog’s temperature before whelping
  • Unwaxed dental floss to tie off the umbilical cords
  • Clean scissors to cut the umbilical cords
  • A heating pad or hot water bottle to keep the puppies warm (be careful of it not being too hot)
  • Iodine to clean the puppies’ abdomens after the cord is cut and dab on the end of the cut umbilical cord
  • A baby scale in ounces

Puppy Care/Weaning

The puppy care starts with worming when they are 2 weeks old. Record their weights with kitchen scales and let us know their weight so we can calculate how much wormer each puppy needs.

Puppies are ready for weaning between 6 and 8 weeks old.

On day one of weaning, withhold mother’s food, allowing the puppies to eat their food while they are away from their mother. They can all be together that night, and the pups will suckle a bit

On day two of weaning, the pups are separated from their mother and she is fed about 25% of her pre-breeding portion and formulation.

Over the next 4 or 5 days, increase to her full pre-breeding portions. The puppies should not be allowed access to nurse during this time as that delays drying up milk production.

For more detail on how to take care of pregnant dogs check this info graphics in brief. 

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for both dogs and pet owners. By learning about dog pregnancy ahead of time, you can better prepare yourself to take care of your dog.
Urban pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Get in touch with your certified veterinarian to learn more about handling and taking care of pregnant dogs, preventive measures, and nutritional needs.

Essential Things to Know about Dog Nutrition & Supplements

"What should I feed my dog?" is perhaps the most asked question by pet owners. Each dog has different nutritional needs but an appropriate amount of well-balanced diet is vital for its overall health.

A proper dog diet is defined by the availability of six basic nutrients that are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Most dog foods including home prepared and commercial dog food lack vital minerals and vitamins. Pet owners often provide supplements to provide any missing minerals. However, you must be very aware of the maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients because an overdose could lead to toxicity.

Let’s take a look at dog nutrition and supplements in detail.

What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

As mentioned above, dogs require six basic nutrients from their food on a daily basis.

Proteins

Proteins should cover 30% of the nutritional value of pet food on a daily basis. Proteins serve as a source of energy. They're basically made of amino acids that help the dog’s body perform normal biological functions; maintaining muscle, fur, skin, and nails; making critical components of the immune system; and forming enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions in cells.

                         Of the 20 or so amino acids, 10 of them are considered essential for dogs.

The daily intake of essential amino acids is important because pets can’t produce them in their own bodies or simply can’t make enough of them. Dietary proteins come from many different ingredients, including chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, rabbit, and eggs.

Eating too little protein forces dogs to break down muscles and other tissues in order to gain amino acids which can eventually lead to muscle wasting, immune dysfunction, etc. Some dogs may have protein allergy or sensitivity. In such cases, the vets suggest that you should try a different protein.

Fats

Dietary fats should contribute 25% of a dog's daily nutrient requirements. It typically comes from animal fats and seed oils. Fats provide essential fatty acids that aren’t produced in sufficient quantities by the pet's body. It also enhances the flavor and texture of the food that encourages dogs to eat.

Chicken fat, Beef fat, Lamb fat, Pork fat, Fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids), Canola oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, etc. are a few of the best sources of dietary fats for pets.

The lack of dietary fats in food can lead to dry, itchy skin, and a dull coat. However, too much fat can make your pet obese.

You should keep the intake of fats in check and avoid giving them extra treats and table scraps. The sudden intake of high-fat foods can trigger pancreatitis – a painful inflammation of the pancreas.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates should cover the most amounts of nutrients in dog food. It typically makes up anywhere from 30-70 percent of dog food.

Carbohydrates include starches, sugars, and fiber from well-known sources of food. In addition to providing energy, carbohydrates such as fiber help the digestive system work properly.

It comes from sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas, Barley (pearled), Oats, Brown rice, whole wheat, whole corn, but also from lentils and garbanzo beans. 

Extra fiber can be added to some diets to help overweight pets feel full so they don't beg for more food.

In some cases, the veterinarian may suggest supplemental fiber for your pet to help maintain healthy stool consistency.

Water

Basically, a normal dog will require 50-60 ml of water per kilogram of bodyweight. This means that a 50 lb. dog would need around 40 ounces of water, about 5 cups, each day.

The daily requirement of water may also depend on the physical activity and age of your dog. Puppies require more water than adult dogs because it helps t grow and build muscles and help digest their food. The indoor dog requires less amount of water than the dogs that spend time outdoors.

It helps to keep and maintain a normal body temperature along with carrying essential nutrients within the body's cells. So, make sure to provide fresh water a couple of times a day.

Dog’s Daily Supplements

Minerals and vitamins are mostly categorized into dog food supplements mainly because most commercial pet food and homemade dog food don’t contain enough minerals and vitamins. Upon concluding that your pet food doesn’t provide enough mineral and vitamin, the vets will prescribe additional minerals such as micro-minerals and trace minerals and Vitamin D to dogs

Minerals

Minerals in form of micro-minerals and trace minerals help in the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream, and hormone production.
Minerals also work together to coordinate various body functions and maintain normal activities on a daily basis.

A dog may need micro-minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium; and trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, chromium, iodine, selenium, and manganese.

A healthy pack of dog food should include all the required micro-minerals and trace minerals. If

Vitamins

Vitamins are organic substances needed for the body to grow naturally. The most important vitamins for dogs are Vitamin A, B family, D, C, E, K, and Choline.
Most vets opine that dogs don't need additional vitamin supplements because most commercial pet foods are packed with more than safe levels of vitamins.

The report submitted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) suggests that several popular brands of dog food have 70x the safe levels of Vitamin D which could kill dogs.

Vitamin D Toxicity is common in many dogs that are feed Vitamin D supplements. The toxicity is a buildup of excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause various physical and mental ailments such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, or even kidney failure and death.

Things to Know about Dog Nutrition

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by pet owners.

Should dogs only eat raw foods?

Domesticated dogs have adapted to consume diets provided by their human companion. Dogs can actually digest complex carbohydrates more easily once they've been cooked. The intake of a raw diet often carries a number of risks.

What should you look for in dog food?

Always look for the ingredients when buying premium dog foods. Here are some general tips to help you decide better.

Select diets with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients. If the majority of the listed ingredients are unfamiliar to you, find another diet.

Select a low-calorie diet. Your dog's diet should contain a relatively small number of calories per cup; ideally less than 350 calories. If your dog food contains 500 calories per cup and you have a 20-pound dog, the amount you should feed is tiny. The calorie intake depends on your dog's lean weight.

30 x weight in kg (or pounds divided by 2.2) + 70 = daily caloric needs.

How often should you feed your dog?

You should feed your dog on a regular interval of basis and up to two or three times a day. Puppies would need to eat more than three times a day. Dogs with obesity should only be fed twice a day.

Here is the important information on infographics about Essential Things to Know about Dog Nutrition & Supplements.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with our certified veterinarian to learn more about your dog's diet and nutritional requirements.

 

 

 

 

How to promote animal welfare in your community?

Working for the rights and welfare of animals isn't a small job. It takes a lot to raise your voice against the inhumane treatment of animals, and a lot of effort to help wounded and abandoned animals.
According to ASPCA.org,

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. Approx. 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year.

It's a sad reality that over 6 million animals are abandoned every year by pet owners. Most of these animals never find a second home.
Thanks to the effort of many animal shelters and welfare organizations, over 700,000 pets are returned to their owners and many are able to find second homes.
There are many ways you can raise the concern for animal welfare in your community. With stricter laws against animal abandonment, people are less likely to abandon their pets.

6 Ways to Promote Animal Welfare


Here are six common ways to promote animal welfare in your family and community.
Donate
Animal charity organizations, rescue missions, and shelter homes can always use donations. With millions of mouths of feed, many animal welfare organizations fail to provide basic amenities to the pets.
Donation works in many ways, you can ask your community to regularly donate a portion of their expenses for the local welfare organization, give away your excess supplies, pet food, carriers, dishes, etc.

Foster

If you have a place and resources, you can consider fostering pets. Fostering is a usual concept in pet care where a person or a household takes in a homeless pet that needs parenting until it finds a new home.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and 4 month’s long lockdown, many people abandoned their pets. Many pet shelters are forced to close down due to lack of funds. Hence, it comes to the generosity of pet owners who can take in more pets for fostering.

There are many reasons why a pet may need fostering such as when it's rescued, recovering from surgery or illness, or haven't lived in a house before.

To become a foster parent, you would need to contact your local shelter home or PetFinder.com. Fill up the necessary forms and then bring the animal to your home.

Educate

Awareness about animal welfare comes from educating other people. It's unusual for each member of the community to understand animal welfare. Hence, it's your job to make them understand and how they can contribute to animal welfare.
Leverage the power of social media to share about animal welfare and prevailing cases of animal violence, and urge them to donate to animal shelters.
You can urge them to take in animals for fostering or even help rescue abandoned animals and hand them over to the animal shelters. Moreover, you can become the role model of the community by advocating for pet fostering.

Spay/Neuter

Spaying or neutering pets can help them live longer and healthier lives. They're less likely to produce offspring. Spaying also helps to keep animals calm. When many pets are sent to animal shelters, spaying can really help to keep their overgrowing population in control.

Spring and summer are associated with the rampant overproduction of puppies and kittens. The experience can get really unmanageable for most animal shelters, hence, spaying and neutering helps to prevent the problem.

Contact your local animal shelter or vet clinic to get them spayed.

Volunteer

Volunteering in animal shelter homes and adoption centers can be rewarding. This experience can be fulfilling for people who feel left out, depressed, or alone. You'd be able to give a lot of care to them and take a lot of love in return.
Animal shelters always have room for volunteers. As a volunteer, you'd need to help rescue pets, care for wounded pets, feed them on a regular basis, play with them, assist vets with regular checkups, etc.

Adopt

Set an example by adopting new pet and discouraging buying animals from animal farms or breeders. With millions of pets abandoned in animal shelters, the best thing you can do is adopt a few and advocate the same to the people in your community. When people choose to adopt a pet, they save an animal from being euthanized.

Animal Cruelty Act

Every state establishes and enforces its own anti-cruelty laws as well, and 45 states enacted felony-level penalties.
Animal anti-cruelty laws can be broken down into two basic categories: intentional acts, when a person knowingly harms an animal, and failure to act when someone fails to provide food, water, or shelter to an animal. The types of violence officers respond to include neglect, torture, organized animal fighting, animal hoarding, poisoning, shooting, illegal hunting/poaching, ritualistic abuse, bestiality, and "crush videos."
You can always seek assistance from animal welfare organizations when you feel the pets in your community have been ill-treated, abandoned, or tortured.

Here is the detail info graphics on how to promote animal welfare in your community?

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Our certified veterinarians and assistants work around the clock to ensure that your pet gets the best and quickest veterinarian care in the community.

 

How to treat Bacterial Infection in your pet?

Dogs are susceptible to different types of bacterial and fungal infections. Domestic dogs who wander outside often are more prone to bacterial infection. Most bacterial infections subside when they’re diagnosed and treated on time but it can be fatal or even life-threatening if the treatment is not administered on time.

Here we’ll talk about different types of bacterial infections most common in dogs and how to prevent or treat them. 

6 Common Bacterial Infections in Domestic Dogs

Here are the six most common bacterial infections found in dogs.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospirosis that live in water and warm, wet soil. They can also contract it by coming in contact with urine from other animals infected with the bacteria or through bites or from mating with other infected dogs.

The signs of leptospirosis infection in dogs may include fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, and redness of the mucous membranes. In the case of serious infection, dogs can often develop kidney inflammation, which can result in permanent damage to the kidney.

Dogs that regularly wander outside the home are potentially at risk of contracting this disease. Once contracted, it takes about 4-12 days for the bacteria to incubate.

The treatment for leptospirosis requires an antibiotic like doxycycline. It can be administered through the mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid. If administering liquid forms, be sure to measure the medication carefully. When administering the tablets, the pill should be followed by at least 6mL of water or food – never give the pill dry.

The four-Serovar vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended by experts for the prevention of Leptospirosis. Revaccinating annually is often needed to maintain the best immunity

Staphylococcal Infection

Staph infection is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus sp. The most common type of staph infection seen in dogs is staphylococcal dermatitis, a bacterial skin infection that can cause the skin to become red and inflamed. It lives naturally on the skin of dogs and humans, where it stays dormant as long as the skin is healthy.

The infection can develop whenever a dog excessively licks, scratches, or chews a part of its body to the point that the skin becomes irritated.  In other cases, a staph infection can occur in dogs that have fleas or have allergies to certain foods, medications, or environmental factors.

Staph can be transmitted from one dog to another and from humans to dogs. It’s a zoonotic disease.

Some of the common symptoms of a staph infection include

  • Patchy fur loss with moist skin, crusting and peeling of skin
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Pain
  • Excessive itching, chewing or licking
  • Pus-filled lesions on the skin
  • Infections of the eyes, skin, ears, or respiratory system

Staph infections in dogs are treated using antibiotic shampoos and ointments for skin infections, and oral antibiotics like erythromycin, clindamycin, or cephalexin.

Bacterial Ear Infection

Ear infections in dogs are typically caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. In puppies, ear mites can also be a source of infection. A dog can develop a bacterial ear infection when there is underlying inflammation, moisture, allergies, Endocrine disorders, autoimmune disorders, Wax buildup, and injury to the ear canal.

Some breeds of dogs are more prone to bacterial infection than others. Dog with loopy ears such as Labrador retriever and Border collie is prone to a bacterial ear infection.

Otitis externa, Otitis media, and interna are three of the common ear infections in dogs.

Common signs of a dog ear infection include

  • Head shaking
  • scratching at the affected ear
  • Dark discharge
  • odor
  • Redness and swelling of the ear canal
  • Pain and itchiness

While a healthy dog usually can defend himself against this bacterium, a dog who has a weakened immune system may find it more difficult.

As a treatment, the veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dog’s ears using a medicated ear cleanser. In cases of severe chronic disease where other treatments have failed, the veterinarian may recommend surgery such as a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) that surgically removes the ear canal, thus removing the diseased tissue and preventing the recurrence of infection.

As a precaution, make sure to thoroughly dry their ears after swimming and bathing to prevent moisture buildup.

Actinomycosis and Nocardiosis

Actinomyces viscosus causes abscesses to form under the skin. Actinomyces bacteria normally live in the mouth and in the nasal passages near the throat. Lesions generally develop after a traumatic injury, such as a bite wound. The most commonly affected locations include the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen.  Treatment includes surgical removal of the contaminated tissue and drainage, followed by long-term treatment with an antibiotic.

Nocardiosis in dogs most often causes infections of the skin, lymph system, and chest. It can also spread throughout the body and cause infections in multiple internal organs.

The veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics based on the identification of the bacteria. Nocardial infections are resistant to some types of antibiotics. Treatment must often be continued for 1 to 6 months. Surgery to remove infected tissue may also be appropriate.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Lyme borreliosis) caused by the bite of a flea and tick. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are especially likely to be found in tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods. They easily jump into your dog’s coat.

The most common signs of Lyme disease include fever, loss of appetite, painful or swollen joints. The treatment includes antibiotics, usually for at least 30 days. A tetracycline antibiotic called doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is used to treat Lyme disease.

As a preventive measure, you can check for flea and tick collar, vet-approved flea and tick preventive, and a vaccine.

E. coli Infection

E. coli infection in dogs mostly occurs from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It's a zoological disease that can easily transmit from human to dog and vice versa.
In the case of enterotoxigenic E. coli, these bacteria then produce a toxin that acts against the inside of the infected intestinal tract which results in diarrhea. The common signs of the infection include dehydration, lack of appetite, and vomiting.

Consider replacing a raw diet for dogs with one rich in supplemented vitamins, minerals, and oils. As a preventive measure, you can prevent your dog from eating uncooked or raw food, drinking from potentially contaminated water sources.

Here is the detail information about How to treat bacterial infection in your pets. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our in-house certified veterinarian is always ready to examine and treat your pets for any kind of bacterial and fungal infection.

 

 

 

 

How to prevent common Winter Illness in Dogs?

Winter has already set on the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the time of the year when we love to cuddle inside the blanket, drink hot chocolate milk, and rewatch old Holiday movies.

Dogs being dogs, they love to jump around, nibble on things, and sniff around suspicious things. One of the favorite activities of any dog in winter is to go out and examine the changing environment. It’s common for dogs to sniff through the leaves and bushes, walk on the cold concrete and asphalt, and chew on whatever they could find.

As a pet owner, you must be aware of the potential hazards of winter to your dog. Walking outside without any protection can easily cause kennel cough and in some cases Hypothermia. A suspicious dog can lick antifreeze chemical spilled on the floor which can prove hazardous to their health.

Here is the list of potential winter illnesses that you should be careful about.

5 Common Winter Illness in Dogs

Here are the five most common winter illnesses experienced by pets.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is triggered when a dog spends too much time in a cold surrounding. It's easy for the body temperature to drop drastically when they're spending most of their time outside the house without any winter gear. Dogs with diabetes and heart ailments are subject to hypothermia in cold conditions. Some of the common signs of hypothermia include

  • Shivering
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Depression

Frostbite

Frostbite is more common among dogs that walk outside without any paw protector or dog booties. The prolonged exposure to cold can easily damage soft tissues on the feet. The severity of frostbite may range from minor to severe and it depends on your pet's size, age, fur thickness. Fur and skin soaked from can easily trigger frostbite in pets.

You should limit outdoor activity in winter. Get them to paw protectors for both indoor and outdoor. When going outside, you should put dog boots on them to prevent any chances of frostbite.

Pale, hard skin, blisters on the skin, and skin darkening are a few of the signs of frostbite.

Kennel cough

The chances of encountering kennel cough are higher during winter because the kennel cough causing virus Canine adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2) is present in the mushy kennel, smokes coming out of the chimney, and damp places.

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is related to the hepatitis virus. It leads to recessive or mild respiratory tract infections and may cause infectious laryngotracheitis along with the infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough.

A goose-like, honking cough is the primary sign of kennel cough. You can treat minor kennel cough at home with a humidifier or steam treatment. If the cough persists for over two weeks, consider visiting your pet.

Flu and pneumonia

Canine influenza or Dog Flu is more common in elderly dogs and young pups. It's caused by varieties of influenza viruses including the equine influenza virus (H3N8). Pneumonia, on the other hand, is caused by canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2). Both flu and pneumonia are airborne diseases. In many cases, dogs that spend most of their time in the rain or snow can catch flu or pneumonia.

The symptoms include

  • Dry or moist cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Blood coughs
  • Fever
  • Runny yes
  • Ear infection

Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition that causes the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints inside a body. There are varying factors that can cause arthritis. Along with old age, cold weather is the common cause of arthritis. A dog is prone to Osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, and polyarthritis which can worsen with each passing winter.

Did you know, one in four of 77.2 million dogs in the US are diagnosed with some form of arthritis?

Avoid taking your own outside during winter, and ensure to keep them warm all the time. Dogs with severe arthritis can enjoy a massage to prevent joint inflammation. Be wary about their diet and keep them lean.

10 Ways to protect your dog in winter

Here are ten best ways to protect your dog in winter.

Limit outdoor time in winter

Dogs enjoy going out whether it's hot or cold. Especially during winter, you should strictly limit spending time outdoors. Even the furriest dog is prone to cold which can lead to hypothermia, frostbite, and flu. Take them out only for walks or exercises but do not leave them outdoors for a long period of time.

Ensure to cover them with proper winter protection such as dog hoodies and dog booties.

Go outside when the sun shines

Getting some sun during winter can be really healthy. You can walk your dog or let them play in the sun for a while. Both you and your pet can enjoy the essential Vitamin D that can ward off winter-related illness. However, you must limit spending time playing outdoors. Be extra careful about your dog wandering off into the bushes, wet floors, or cold asphalt road.

Cozy bedding

Let your dog enjoy their nap time by cuddling inside warm, cozy bedding. It's a bad idea to let them sleep on the floor or without any blankets during winter. The temperature can easily drop when they're exposed to the cold floor and air. A warm blanket and bedding can help keep them warm. It's more essential for senior dogs to enjoy warm bedding, heated beds, and cozy blanket as they are prone to joint-related illness during winter.

Moisturize

Ensure to keep your pet's skin moisturized and hydrated during winter. The cold air can easily dry their skin causing dried paws, ears, and tails. To ensure their skin remains healthy and moisturized, you can add skin and coat supplements to their food or apply coconut oil as needed.

No overfeeding

It’s really easy for dogs to gain weight during winter. The lack of exercise and overeating can easily make them obese. An obese dog is more likely to suffer from arthritis and winter-related illness. Although dogs may need an extra layer in winter, make sure they aren't overfed. Be attentive to their overall activity level and adjust their calorie intake.

Keep them hydrated

Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as in summer. Make sure to fill their bowl with fresh water a couple of times a day. Many dogs tend to chew on snow but it isn't an adequate substitute for freshwater. Ensure that the water bowl doesn't freeze and you keep refilling it every two or three hours.

Don't miss out on grooming

Grooming is equally important during winter because its thick coat can easily attract flea and tick. The more time they spend outdoors, the likely they are to attract bacteria. Give them an occasional warm bath, ensure to comb their fur and keep them untangled, and properly clean their ear, nose, and tail.

Paw protection

The dog's paws need special attention during winter. Dogs can easily suffer from cracked pads in winter. Make sure to trim the hair that grows between their pads to prevent ice buildup. rinse their paws with water to remove any winter salt or toxin after each time you go out. Use dog booties at all times.

Keep the surrounding toxin-free

With winter comes antifreeze. Even if you don't use it, your neighbors could be using one. It's important that you don't let your dog into the garage, driveway, or wet floors. Keep them away from licking anything spilled on the floor. Consuming antifreeze can prove to be fatal to their health.

Take special care of senior dogs

Senior dogs are more prone to winter-related illnesses such as arthritis, kennel cough, and flu, and pneumonia. You should be extra careful with them. Ensure to keep them warm at all times, make warm bedding for them, provide a natural joint supplement to lubricate their joints, and remove any kind of discomfort.

 Here is the brief infographic details on how to prevent common Winter Illness in Dogs?

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarians are always available to treat your pets. As the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, we provide pet boarding, daycare, grooming, and training services.