The Activists who saved 1000 pets from Syria’s war zones

It is uncommon to hear about many great souls who risked their lives to rescue their pets. Jumping inside the burning house, jumping in front of the car or inside the well, you name it. People have gone through unimaginable situations to rescue their pets.

Here is the story of the activities who managed to save a thousand different pets from the frontline in Syria.

The Activists who saved 1000 pets from Syria’s war zones

Cat Connect, a charity that works to reunite animals with their Syrian owners, has managed to save thousands of pets from Syria’s war zones. Rawaa Kilani, an animal activist from Damascus joined hands with other animal lovers from Germany, Netherlands, and other countries to form Cat Connect.

They came together when the war intensified in 2013 and 2014. Many people had to leave the war-stricken zone for their life leaving their pets behind. Without their primary caretakers, cats and dogs often ended up on the street, abandoned or abused.

The locals who helped rescue pets and provide shelter were heavily affected by the war. Ernesto’s Sanctuary in Aleppo was destroyed in November 2017, killing several cats and a dog.

The activists go through a complex process to rescue animals. Often the situations are risky and fraught with danger. Kilani and her team have occasionally dived into active conflict areas to retrieve animals. They had to work to get through the red tapes and checkpoints.

Getting animals out of Syria is a complicated and expensive process. To extract animals from Syria, the pets are issued a passport and driven across the border to Lebanon. The animals are examined for diseases, vaccinated and microchipped by a local vet. From Beirut city in Lebanon, they are then flown as cargo to various locations in Europe, and sometimes to North America.

The estimated cost for rescuing an animal runs up to the US $1,000. The entire rescue has been conducted through donations.

Kilani claims,

“We have resettled pets in the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, France, the U.K., Dubai and soon, for the first time, Italy.”

She further explains

“Life now, after the war, has become worse than during the war. There is no food or medicine, and many pets that were left behind have become strays. “

Similar examples are followed in other middle-eastern countries. In Afghanistan, soldiers have set up nonprofit and crowdfunding efforts to bring rescued street dogs and cats to the U.S. and the U.K. Dozens of imperiled zoo animals in Syria, Gaza and elsewhere have been transported to safer countries in recent years.

Like Cat Connect, Animals Syria has been helping rescue pets from war-stricken zones. Irma heads the Animals Syria foundation. After the owners settle in their new asylums, Animals Syria helps reunite owners with their pets by organizing the medical procedures and documents required for transportation.

Like humans, the animal suffers from psychological trauma. Thousands of pets have been killed or displaced during the Syrian war.

A 2018 study on veterans and dogs published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology posited that

The addition of trained service dogs to usual care may confer clinically meaningful improvements in PTSD symptomology for military members and veterans with PTSD.

Animals Impacted by the War

Many regions in Africa, Middle-East, Europe, and Asia are plagued by human conflicts. Although the greater cost is paid by humans, animals often end up paying the cost by giving up their lives.

In Africa, we can see the effect of conflict on many exotic animals such as Northern White Rhinos.

Many case studies have demonstrated that war can affect the survival of local populations, sometimes threatening entire species. But the research is mixed: In some cases, conflict actually seems to aid animals.

An organization like Nowzad has helped rescue many animals from the war-stricken zone and rehabilitate them. They arrange for the animal to safely get to the safety of the Nowzad clinic. They then provide shelter for the animal as well as vaccinations.

They also spay/neuter all animals and provide any required medical attention. Afterward, the process is to get them to their owners.

According to Nowzad,

We carry out all necessary checks and paperwork to get the dog or cat to their loving forever home – wherever it is in the world. Our amazing family of supporters never ceases to amaze us how they rally to reach the target necessary to get the much-loved dog or cat home to their new life.

Nowzad has rescued animals from active war-zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, and Libya. They have helped move animals into the USA, UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Jordan Thailand, and South Africa.

All the animals go through a psychological evaluation. They are then provided the necessary medical and physical needs. Most of these dogs are adopted by organizations.

Why is a veterinarian important to the community?

Veterinarians help save animals. They go through every difficulty to help cure, medicate, and rehabilitate animals.

  • They help animals get better by applying medical and surgical treatments.
  • Animals depend on them to get a rock out of their stomach or an object out of their paw. Vets are very serious about saving animals' lives.
  • They offer preventive pet care such as vaccination, spaying, neutering, heartworm medicine, etc.
  • They help people understand what to do to help animals.
  • They help an animal's owner understand what is wrong with the animal.

Urban Pet Hospital and Resort

Urban Pet Hospital and Resort is a premier veterinary in Des Moines. We have been in operation since 2007.

We have a current remodeled facility with more than 10,000 sq. feet of indoor space boasting a full-fledged veterinary hospital with state-of-the-art medical and therapeutic equipment. We are proud to be the only facility in central Iowa that offers an indoor counter-current pool from the endless pool and an underwater treadmill.

Our DMV and staff have been in the trade for the last 15 years, and some of our staff are experienced for over 40 years in specific care units.

We offer luxury pet boarding services. Some premium suites also include a webcam that allows you to keep an eye on your pet from anywhere around the world. The resort also provides a big indoor play area for pets. As part of the luxury accommodation service, the pets are walked three times a day and monitored closely with cameras.

Some of our services include

  • Pet medical services such as dental, spaying, neutering, vaccination, preventive medicine, and surgery.
  • Therapy such as canine massage, laser therapy, motion exercises, underwater treadmill
  • Training
  • Grooming
  • Boarding and Resort
  • Daycare

How the pet Hospital Helps fight Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. It is transmitted from infected animals to humans through bite or saliva. Rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid rabies infection in the future. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure.

More than 55,000 people in poor countries die from rabies every year – a rate of one person every ten minutes. Africa and India still bear the highest burden of total annual rabies deaths.

How does the pet hospital help fight rabies?

The cases of rabies are commonly seen in Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Caribbean Countries. These cases are mostly reported from the bites of rabid dogs, and wild animals such as bats and monkeys.

The animals infected with rabies secrete large amounts of virus in their saliva; the disease is primarily passed to dogs through a bite from an infected animal. It can easily transmit through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.

rabies worldwide map

Human deaths from rabies; B: Death rates per capita (per 100 000 population); countries shaded in grey are free from canine rabies (TRS 3rd report, 2017)

Canines tend to suffer more from rabies than humans, as they are exposed to wild animals. The most common carriers of the rabies virus in this country are bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

In the United States, rabies is reported in cats more than in any domestic species. If there are also cats in your household, it’s important to make sure they are vaccinated and kept indoors.

Pet Hospitals and veterinaries in the U.S. are committed to eradicating rabies. They have initiated and supported programs to help supply rabies vaccinations to areas at most risk for disease. Today, there are only fewer cases of rabies in dogs throughout the U.S.

The commonly used drug for treating rabies is Nobivac®, Canine 1-DAPPv vaccine is a modified live virus vaccine for the vaccination of healthy dogs as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by canine distemper virus, adenovirus type 1 (hepatitis) and adenovirus type 2 (respiratory disease), canine parainfluenza virus, and canine parvovirus.

dog saliva rabies

According to MERCK Animal Health,

“It is an effective 1-year vaccine to prevent rabies in dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is approved for the vaccination of healthy dogs, cats, and ferrets as an aid in preventing rabies. It is recommended for use in healthy dogs, cats and ferrets 3 months of age or older.”

Do rabies shots prevent dogs from getting rabies?

The only remedy for rabies is the proper vaccination. Dogs and cats are first vaccinated for rabies between 3 and 6 months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. They are then generally vaccinated every three years.

Some states still require annual rabies vaccinations for dogs and/or cats. So far, regular vaccination is the only method to effectively protect canines from getting rabies. However, you should still bring your dog to a veterinarian if you suspect it was bitten by a rabid dog or a wild animal. The veterinarian will recommend a booster vaccine and monitor the vital sign of your dog for any sign of infection.

It is false that the animals will clearly appear rabid and unwell if infected with the rabies virus. While most animals demonstrate some signs of illness such as aggression or lack of balance, some may not have noticeable symptoms.

Rabies the Disease vs. Rabies the Vaccine

It is the only vaccination required by law in the United States to curb rabies. The other main concern is that it is a zoonotic disease.

Zoonotic disease or zoonoses are terms used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being. In general, these diseases normally exist in animals but can affect humans through different forms of contact.

The zoonotic disease can be caused by a range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% are zoonotic in nature.

There is no possible cure for rabies; however, vaccinating your pet will help an animal mount an immune system response to protect against rabies.

How Long Do Vaccines Offer Protection?

Some experts suggest that a single shot of vaccine is enough for three years, however, many states in the U.S. demand that the owner take their pet for a vaccine shot every year.

How long a vaccine, rabies or otherwise, is "good" for, in terms of actual disease protection is still debated. The vaccine, the health of the individual and their immune system, the disease agents, all of these factors come into play.

zoonotic disease infographic

Do veterinarians need a rabies vaccine?

Veterinarians are at the front line when it comes to dealing with rabid dogs, infections, and treating other zoonotic diseases, hence they must be prepared beforehand to prevent any occupational hazard.

The rabies vaccine is equally effective in veterinarians to ward off chances of getting rabies.

Pre-exposure Rabies Vaccine

Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is provided as a precautionary measure. It provides additional protection for at-risk veterinarians, vet techs and other staff. Although it helps to ward off rabies, it but does not replace good preventive measures such as personal protective equipment, and safe animal and specimen handling procedures.

According to the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel, all veterinary staff with animal contact must be vaccinated against rabies, followed by periodic titer checks and rabies vaccine boosters, in accordance with the ACIP recommendations.

The ACIP recommends titers on a schedule of every two years to assess protective immunity, with a single-injection booster vaccination recommended if the titer level is below 1:5 serum dilution (0.1-0.2 IU/mL).

rabid dog

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier veterinary in Des Moines specializing in pet care, pet health, and training. We have conducted and participated in community programs to rescue homeless pets. We carefully follow the state guideline regarding rabies vaccination. Our staffs are well-equipped to demonstrate rabies prevention.

Can your dog become a canine blood donor?

Dog giving blood to another dog is as common as a human giving blood to another human. Unlike human blood, the shelf life of a dog’s blood is only 30 -35 days. It means that dogs would need to donate frequently to keep the blood bank functioning.

There are fewer blood banks for dogs around the country, whereas the canine accidents are way more common. When dogs (and cats!) have an injury, become ill, or need surgery, a blood transfusion could save their lives. Thanks to the generous blood donors, many of those pets have survived the worst.

Can a dog become a canine blood donor?

Dogs most certainly can become a blood donor for other dogs. In almost every case of blood transfusion, the blood is donated by another dog. In a few cases, the blood of feline (cat) is also used.

The dog’s blood type is distinguished by the antigens and antibodies. This can be classified into four categories.

DEA 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3, also known as A-type

DEA 1 was formerly known as A and consists of four alleles: negative, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3. DEA 1.1. It is the most common blood type for most dogs. DEA 1.1 and DEA 1.2 are the most important antigens and together occur in about 60% of dogs, however, DEA 1.2 dogs, which make up 7% to 29% of dogs, will develop potent anti-DEA 1.1 antibodies once transfused with DEA 1.1 cells.

Dogs that are DEA 1.1 positive or A-Type are considered universal recipients. They can receive the blood of any type without expectation of a life-threatening hemolytic transfusion reaction.

Dogs that are DEA 1.1 negative are considered universal donors. They can donate blood to any other dog.

DEA 4

DEA 4 occurs in up to 98% of dogs, and dogs with this type alone are considered universal donors. Only about 75% of Doberman pinschers are DEA 4 positive. Naturally occurring DEA 4 antibodies are not known to exist; however, hemolytic transfusion reactions can occur after sensitization with DEA 4 positive blood transfusions in dogs lacking that antigen.4

DEA 3 and 5

DEA 3 and 5 are expressed in lesser proportions of the dog population, but DEA 3 occurs in 23% of greyhounds, and 30% of greyhounds are DEA 5 positive. Naturally occurring antibody is present in 20% of DEA 3 negative dogs and 10% of DEA 5 negative dogs in the United States.2

DEA 7

DEA 7 is present in 8% to 45% of dogs. Naturally occurring antibodies have been observed against DEA 7, with a delayed transfusion reaction causing the decreased lifespan of transfused cells but no hemolysis.

A single canine blood donation can be used to save up to 4 dogs’ lives!

Can Any Dog Give Blood?

The veterinarian society has specified certain requirements for canine blood donation.

  • A dog must be healthy, weighing 35 pounds or more, and must be between the ages of 9 months and about 9 years old
  • The dog must have been spayed or neutered, with no history of pregnancy in the case of female dogs
  • Must have no history of the disease and not taking any medications
  • Must be taking a heartworm preventive
  • Must have followed with veterinarian’s preventive health and vaccination schedule.
  • Must be well-behaved and friendly to avoid the need for sedation.

Blood Donation Process

The blood donation process includes relaxing the dog, taking out blood, replenishing the donor, and preserving the donated blood.

A typical donation takes about 10 to 30 minutes. The donor is placed on a table and relaxed. A small patch of fur on the dog’s neck is shaved, and a tiny needle is inserted to collect the blood.

As soon as the blood is drawn, the dog’s body begins to produce more to replace it. The donors are replenished by offering water and snacks immediately after donation. While some dogs may be sluggish or weak after donating, others have no reaction at all.

How big does a dog have to be to donate blood?

Only a fully grown canine is used for blood donation. There are many requirements that a dog must pass before begin assigned a donor.

Every blood donation program has slightly different requirements for its donors, taking into account the health and size of the animal.

According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, there are two types of blood donation programs:

  • Full Pint
  • Half Pint

While dogs of various sizes and breeds can meet donor requirements, their weight determines which donation program they will be placed into once they meet the basic behavioral and health criteria.

The potential donor dogs must be in generally good health. The veterinarian will then ascertain if donors meet their required vaccinations, including distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis, and rabies.

They must be free of any medications other than flea, tick, and heartworm preventative.

Dogs who have received blood transfusions or those with heart murmurs or other cardiac issues aren’t ineligible to donate blood.

The dogs must be spayed or neutered, with no history of pregnancy for female dogs.

Age and weight requirements vary slightly from across programs, typically ranging from one to nine years of age and thirty-five to fifty pounds or more without being overweight.

Adult Greyhound dogs represent the bulk of the blood donors in the U.S. They typically have a universal blood type that any dog can receive. They also have big neck veins that make drawing blood easy.

Where do vets get blood for dogs?

The vets get blood for dogs from other dogs. Most of the time, they use the nearest blood center to get the Blood for transfusion. Other times, a dog is brought in for direct transfusion.

In many instances, blood is collected from a donor at the time it is needed from an animal that is nearby.

Dog blood is available from blood banks that centralize the collection of blood from pet dogs through larger facilities which are then able to separate blood into different components and prepare it for storage. Be wary that the shelf life of a dog’s blood is only 30-35 days.

Wherever possible, cats and dogs should receive blood from a donor of the same species and blood type. In some cases, a different animal such as a cat can give blood to the dog.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best veterinary in Des Moines specializing in pet care, pet health, and training. Get in touch with Veterinary in Des Moines to learn more about safe blood transfusion in dogs and cats.

Can Dogs be Autistic? Major Symptoms and Treatments

Although autism has been linked to canines, it hasn’t been yet proved that it is the case of autism. Veterinarians prefer to call this condition “canine dysfunctional behavior.”

The study of autism in dogs has been going since 1966. It involved extensive DNA analysis of different dog breeds. Studies like this one indicate that autism could very well occur in dogs. However, nothing can be proved until more research is done.

Can dogs be autistic? Major symptoms and treatments

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.

A medical condition is always a possible underlier when dogs experience severe behavioral issues like aggression or obsessive licking, however, this can’t be directly linked to autism.

The important fact to understand is that autism is congenital, meaning that dogs or humans cannot suddenly become autistic, they are born with autism.

Early research concludes that these syndromes in dogs could be linked to a genetic condition called fragile X syndrome. Fragile X syndrome is the prevalence of concurrent autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Diagnosing Autism in Dogs

For a dog to be tentatively diagnosed with autism, it should exhibit atypical repetitive behaviors and some degree of impaired social interaction with dogs and people. A veterinarian must rule out every other condition that might be responsible for the observed autistic syndrome.

Dogs with tendencies of autism onset may entail such signs:

a. Challenges with social skills

If dogs tend to avoid socializing with other dogs, animals, or humans, this may be a sign of underlying problems. Dogs are social animals; hence, lacking social skills can be a sign.

b. Repetitive behaviors

Repetitive behavior refers to repeating certain behaviors or actions, such as grinding teeth, chewing, or walking.

c. Speech and nonverbal communication

Due to difficulties in code processing, emotions and interactions, communication and language development is a challenge for animals with autism.

Possible causes of autism in dogs

The two tell-tell causes of autism in dogs are as follows:

  • Scientists believe that it is caused by underdevelopment in certain brain circuits and the over-development of other sensory circuits.
  • It is also suggested that it could be a condition inherited from parents or forebears.

Symptoms of Autism in Dogs

The major symptoms of autism in dogs include:

i. Lack of Social Interaction

Lack of socialization or social interaction is common in dogs showing the signs of autism. The lack of socialization is common with both dogs and humans. Dogs with poor socialization skills will often ignore your call. It doesn’t usually engage in everyday activities such as playing, eating and even going for a walk.

ii. Behavioral Issue

The peculiar behavior exhibited by autistic dogs doesn’t necessarily involve violent behavior but unusual behavioral issues, such as staring at stuff, avoiding people and objects, running or staying still without any reason. They entail a lack of excitement with new places, new toys, or other pets.

iii. Mental condition

The mental condition of an autistic dog can only be diagnosed by an experienced veterinarian. It is important to rule out every other mental issue before you can tell that your dog has autism. Such dogs cannot exhibit emotions correctly; therefore they can get scared randomly, making them avoid places and people that don’t present any threat to them.

iv. Physical

The physical activity and gesture are less or none in dogs with autism. They will not behave normally. Although you may get the signs of illness, they just do not show any interest in physical activity. Autistic dogs can be tagged as lazy as they don’t want to play or do anything fun.

v. Sensorial

Like autistic children, dogs with autism feel everything differently. They link physical and sensorial stimuli to wrong emotions, and that makes them react in off the wall ways as if they were hurt just by the gentle touch of their owners. This behavior can be disheartening as you don’t know the cause of this sad reaction. It’s important to know that the dog is not acting correctly and it doesn’t mean the owner is doing something wrong.

Possible treatment of autism in dogs

The diagnosis of any canine problems should be carried out by an experienced veterinarian. It’s important to ascertain the underlying emotional or physical problem with the dogs before diagnosing any medical condition.

If you think your dog might have autism, one of the most important things you can do is determine what his or her triggers are (what causes atypical behavior to flare-up) and avoid those things.

For instance, if your dog becomes fearful and aggressive when approached by a stranger, you can avoid taking it to the public places

a. Medicine

There is no definite treatment for autism or autism-related issues. The treatment with medications doesn’t mean your dog will stop having autism, but it can help to curb the symptoms and provide relief. The veterinarians may prescribe Fluoxetine which is already being used to treat OCD and autism problems in people and dogs. Medicine would help to tranquilize your dog and prevent aggressive behaviors.

b. Secure and safe environment

Ensuring a safe habitat for dogs with autism-related issues is a must. Autistic dogs might be afraid of almost everything. If your dog gets nervous and anxious around other people, dogs or animals, and an unknown environment then you should ensure to provide a neutral environment for your dog.

Build a quiet, safe space just for them so they can hide every time they need to.

c. Anti-stress life

Avoid situations that may give stress to your dog or that could cause your pet any stress or anxiety. If the dog doesn’t like to be petted, don’t pet it. If she or he doesn’t like to meet people or dogs, let it be. Learn to be gentle with both and humans who are suffering from autism.

d. Exercise

Exercise can be a good idea to preoccupy their mind. If your dog has plenty of exercise, it will have less stress and anxiety. Dogs can also be trained to do “heavy work” such as pulling a loaded wagon or carrying a doggy backpack filled with soft weight. These sorts of activities are known to help many people with autism.

e. Diet

Learn more about the appropriate diet for dogs with behavioral issues. You must consult with your vet about possible changes in their food regime.

f. Positive Reinforcement

Work with trainers or therapists who specialize in positive reinforcement. Find a trainer who has experience working with dogs who have behavioral concerns; a good trainer should be part of the treatment team for any dog who may be exhibiting autism-like behaviors.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier dog daycare in Des Moines specializing in pet care, pet boarding, training, and therapy services. We are also a reliable veterinary in Des Moines and offer both medical and alternative pet care services.

What is the best food for dogs with sensitive stomach?

Not all dogs are born with a tough gut that can chew on and digest everything. It’s quite common for many dog breeds, small puppies, and older dogs to encounter a sensitive stomach.

Dog bile is stronger than humans when it comes to digesting food and your dog’s digestive system can normally look after itself. The sensitive stomach can be attributed to the lack of a balanced diet and nutrition.

Is a Sensitive Stomach in Dogs Common?

The sensitive stomach is known as Gastrointestinal (GI) upset. It is the most common form of digestive issues faced by canines. The early signs of GI upset include intermittent vomiting; loose stools, bloating, and passing excessive gas can be caused by a variety of things.

Some dogs develop digestive issues because their diet either contains too much fat or lacks sufficient fiber. In other cases, digestive issues may signal the presence of an underlying disorder, such as pancreatitis, bacterial overgrowth or intestinal parasites.

Most dogs suffer from a sensitive stomach because of indigestion caused by improper diet. An improper dog diet is defined by the intake of a type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat. Unknown to most pet owners, commercial food can cause indigestions in few cases. The majority of canine food allergy cases involve a reaction to the protein source, such as chicken, beef or egg.

Symptoms of a sensitive stomach

The signs of GI remain visibly present. To find out if your dog is suffering from the sensitive stomach, check out for these early signs.

  • Dehydration (dry/tacky/pale gums, low skin elasticity)
  • Painful, distended, or hard belly
  • Retching, trying to vomit, or difficulty defecating
  • The appearance of blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Lethargy

When you start noticing these serious symptoms, you should immediately call your vet or take your dog to the nearest pet hospital. The symptoms include:

a. Vomiting

Vomiting isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, but if it shows up with other symptoms such as bile vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea, then you should be gravely concerned. In most cases, yellow foam in the vomit indicates that the dog's stomach is relatively empty of food.

Bilious vomiting syndrome may occur when your dog hasn’t eaten in a while or if it has consumed an abnormally large amount of fatty foods.

b. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common sign of a sensitive stomach. Loose stool can be a sign of a sensitive stomach, particularly if there was a recent change in diet. Although this isn’t a major cause of concern, if diarrhea becomes persistent, then you must look into your dog’s diet. It’s time to consult your vet and change diet, pattern, or brand of food for your dog.

c. Gas

Dogs suffering from GI often pass gas. Dogs can have flatulence from gulping air when they eat, from a gastrointestinal illness or from eating too fast. To prevent this, you can use an elevated feeder while feeding. Take your dog out for a walk soon after eating if gas is an issue. Avoid certain foods that can cause gas. Soybeans, peas, beans, milk products, high-fat diets, and spicy foods are all commonly associated with flatulence in dogs.

d. Eating grass

The grass is a natural remedy for an upset stomach. A dog may consume grass to improve digestion, treat intestinal worms, or fulfill some unmet nutritional needs. Although a popularly hold though, not every dog vomit after eating grass. Less than 25% of dogs who eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.

Experts believe that dogs need roughage in their diets and grass serves as a good source of fiber.

Is Your Dog’s Food to Blame for Their Sensitive Stomach?

Gastrointestinal upset has a lot to do with your dog’s diet. Common dietary culprits for indigestion in dogs include the type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat. A balanced diet is most important when it comes to a dog’s health.

You should avoid feeding your dog human food. You must prevent them from eating from table scrapes, dustbin, and kitchen residue.

Food to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate and caffeine
  • Citrus
  • coconut
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and dairy
  • Onions and garlic
  • Eggs and undercooked meat
  • Salty food
  • Xylitol

Puppies, older dogs, and certain dog breeds are prone to get a sensitive stomach after eating allergic foods such as chicken, beef or egg.

Most of the time, the ingredients in the food such as commercial food or canned food can cause upset stomachs. Food intolerance is common in dogs when you introduce a new brand of food. Avoid feeding dry food to your dog or based the entire diet on the over-processed canned food. 

How to treat sensitive stomachs in dogs?

Here is how you can treat a sensitive stomach in dogs.

i. Try a Bland Diet as a Short-Term Fix

Switching to a bland diet may be the best option to help resolve your dog’s immediate digestive issues as a short-term fix. A bland diet may include boiled and plain chicken and rice. A small amount of canned pumpkin may help resolve diarrhea.

Probiotic which is usually offered as a powder or liquid supplement can be added to your dog’s food. Probiotics can help to restore healthy bacteria in the intestine in order to improve digestive function. Add a tablespoon of plain, unsweetened yogurt to the food.  This helps soothe the stomach, replace healthy bacteria in the gut, and it can even stimulate the appetite.

ii. Consider Switching to a Dog Food That’s Made for Sensitive Stomachs

For dogs with a sensitive stomach, you should increase the food item rich in fiber while decreasing the use of excessive fat and protein. Have plenty of fiber ingredients, such as psyllium or beet pulp, to help firm up loose stools. It contains low amounts of fat and protein, which is helpful because fat can be difficult for many dogs to digest. Add probiotics to promote beneficial bacteria in the gut

iii. Switch to a reliable brand of food

The food label should state that the diet meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrition standards. These guidelines ensure that the diet was developed under expert supervision and tested to ensure the accuracy, safety, and quality of ingredients.

Ensure to check the label that indicates that the food is nutritionally complete for your dog’s life stage and contains appropriate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fat, vitamins and minerals.

iv. Try an Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is a prescription diet that is specifically formulated for pets with food allergies. The prescription diet is recommended by your veterinarian.

Most owners try to resolve sensitive stomach by introducing a new diet. Although in many cases the change in the diet improves the digestive issues, the symptoms can somehow persist even after several different diets are attempted. This could be a case of food allergy.

Most dietary trials last eight weeks to allow digestive inflammation and infections to resolve. All other foods and treats are discontinued during the trial to avoid accidental exposure to an allergen. This includes table scraps, which should not be fed to dogs in general.

After the trial is complete, your veterinarian may recommend switching back to the old diet to see if symptoms return, or to a different diet for long-term maintenance.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier veterinary in Des Moines specializing in pet medical care, pet diet, surgery, therapy, boarding, and training. Get in touch with our expert DVMs for the best advice on pet care service in Des Moines.

Water Therapy Service for Dogs

Like humans, a pet is often prone to physical ailments. Arthritis and hip dysplasia are common in many canines, while Obesity remains common in both canines and felines. Therapy has been proven to reduce physical pain and ailments in pets.

Water therapy service for dogs is specially designed to treat obesity and different forms of bone ailments in dogs.

Pet therapy service

Not to be mistaken with Animal Assisted Therapy, Pet therapy service is specifically designed for the pets. Pet therapy is a human-assisted treatment designed for pets as an intensive therapy session for various ailments, weight loss, physiological diagnosis, and treatment.

According to a study by the Association for pet obesity prevention, 56% of the pet dogs in the USA are overweight in 2017. Among them, 19.6% are suffering from obesity. Overweight is not only the problem in itself but also the cause of many problems in both humans and animals. Well planned diet, proper exercise, and regular health checkup is the key to healthy pets.

Every veterinary and pet hospital should be equipped with therapists and water therapy services for dogs.  They should be well prepared to rehabilitate major pet problems such as:

  • Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gait Abnormalities
  • Bone and Joint Injuries

Importance of pet therapy service

Pet Therapy service has both physical and mental benefits for pets. From reducing physical pain to gaining confidence, pet therapy has larger implications on pet health.

  • Depression and anxiety are common in pets with arthritis. The difficulty in movement often reduces endorphin (any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions including happiness). Intensive therapy can help dogs move freely which can certainly improve their mood.
  • Along with increasing endorphin, pet therapy can help decrease feelings of isolation and alienation. They will be encouraged to communicate with other animals and humans.
  • The decrease in anxiety, boredom, and increase in exercise can improve the overall health of the dog.
  • In the case of obesity, water therapy can help reduce the unnecessary weight by intensive underwater exercise. This has proven to be helpful to many overweight dogs and cats.

Water therapy service for dogs

Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is a technique of reducing weight within a short duration. Water therapy implies two different methods of reducing weight: exercising in the swimming pool and the underwater treadmill.

Water induced therapy in the swimming pool helps dogs to play and engage in an exercise in the swimming pool, whereas, the underwater treadmill is a focused therapy applied to reduce weight or treat physical ailments such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Hydrotherapy originally began as a treatment for humans in ancient times. It later expanded to include animals too. The first instance of the therapy saw benefits among racehorses as well as racing Greyhounds.

Various therapies used in the present-day treatment employ water jets, underwater massage and mineral baths (e.g. balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine therapy, Kneipp treatments, Scotch hose, Swiss shower, and thalassotherapy)

About pool therapy

The pool tends to be smaller than a human swimming pool and is heated. A dog's muscles benefit from the warming effects of the heated water. Most pools are equipped with a ramp for entry and exit and some have harnessed to maintain the dog in position in the water. Water is chlorinated or treated with an alternative chemical. Some have jets to add resistance and make the dog swim more strongly.

Benefits of Water Therapy Service for Dogs

The many benefits of water therapy service for dogs include:

  • Hydrotherapy helps in relieving pain and strengthen or re-training muscles. The dog is effectively weightless when swimming which helps to minimize pain and enforce the strengthening of muscles or bones.
  • It encourages a full range of joint motion, thus improving muscle tone without imposing unnecessary stress on damaged tissues.
  • It also helps your dog lose unnecessary body weight by encouraging regular exercise.
  • It helps dogs to recover from the injury or surgery.
  • It can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis due to old age. The water buoyancy helps to reduce joint swelling, stress on muscles and bones, etc.
  • The older dogs tend to experience sadness and fear, especially when their ailing health causes pain. The support of water and relief from pain promotes a sense of safety and well-being in them.

Why you should perform a water therapy service?

The hydrotherapy technique has been applied to animals since the 18th Century. It is one of the most effective forms of alternative treatment.

The water is denser than the air, thus making it 5x more effective for the exercise. The intensive exercise can help lose more weight through water therapy in a very short time. Although water therapy is mostly implemented for weight loss, it has many other health benefits. Regular water therapy helps maintain fitness, strength, and condition of body. Being in shape and good health will help reduce future medical costs.

Water buoyancy makes it possible for dogs with joint problems to exercise without any pressure. It is very useful for joint and limb problems.

Water therapy can help in healing after surgery or injury. It makes it easier for muscle mass development and muscle strength in necessary body parts. Water therapy, usually warm water, improves circulation and lymphatic drainage. It reduces swelling, increases mobility and relaxes the muscle.

It increases the metabolism in the body. It helps to digest the food and absorb all the nutrients and spread throughout the body.

Real news about “water therapy service for dogs”

The news was covered by ABC7 Chicago.

Montana beagle named 'Pearl' weighed 50 pounds. Within one year, she lost 20-25 pounds thanks to hydrotherapy.

Pearl's owner said, "She weighed 50 pounds, unable to walk more than 4 to 5 steps before her legs would give out. She had a dislocated hip that prevented her from being able to walk well."

Initially, she was only able to exercise 45 seconds along with many breaks in between. However, after sessions six days a week, he built up the endurance to swim for 15 minutes.

Pearl has Cushing's disease hence she has to follow a strict diet but enjoys a treat now and again.

Pet Care Service in Des Moines

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier veterinary specializing in pet care service in Des Moines. We offer different forms of pet therapy services such as canine massage, Low-Level Laser Therapy, different range of motion exercise, aqua paws underwater treadmill, magnetic field therapy, hydrotherapy - In the ground endless pool with swim current.

Our therapists perform special weight loss programs. Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort for the best pet care service in Des Moines.

What is Arthritis?

Dogs have a less life span compared to the human. A dog may encounter many medical conditions including early onset of arthritis by the age of eight or nine. Arthritis simply means 'inflammation of the joints' and is, unfortunately, a common problem for many dogs.

Most of you will no doubt know of a dog suffering from arthritis that has shown the textbook signs of pain, discomfort, and stiffness.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a medical condition that causes the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints inside a body. It is also known as the inflammation of the joints. Age, weight, and medical condition play an important factor in the onset of arthritis in pets.

One in four of 77.2 million dogs in the United States is diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is more common than rheumatoid arthritis and pain is the number one observation among them.

The most common joint areas affected by arthritis in dogs are the hips, elbows, lower back, knees, and wrists.


What are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs?

The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Signs of arthritis may include one or more of the following:

  • Reluctance to indulge in a walk, climb elevated floor, jump or play
  • Limping or lameness
  • Lagging behind on walks
  • Pain or stiffness when getting up or down
  • Yelping when touched
  • A change in personality (aggression when normally good-natured)
  • Licking of the affected joints

Different types of arthritis in a dog

The common forms of arthritis found in dogs are;

a. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also known as a degenerative joint disease (DJD). It refers to the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. It is more common in older dogs and cats. The bulging weight of the body can affect the joints in the legs of pets, which can lead to Osteoarthritis.

The common risks of osteoarthritis in large or giant breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers are;

  • Obesity
  • Repetitive stress from physical activities such as agility, flyball, or dock diving
  • Injuries such as fractures or ligament tears
  • Infections that affect the joints, such as Lyme Disease
  • Improper nutrition
  • Poor conformation
  • Genetics

b. Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is also known as joint infection or infectious arthritis. It is caused by the invasion of a joint by a bacterial infection that results in joint and cartilage inflammation. It causes the fluid to build-up in the joints. Symptoms of Septic arthritis include redness, heat, and pain in a single joint associated with a decreased ability to move the joint.

Treatment of septic arthritis includes antibiotic therapy and drainage of the infected joint (synovial) fluid from the joint (arthrocentesis).

c. Polyarthritis

In polyarthritis, the dog’s immune system becomes over-activated and it starts to attack the tissues of the multiple joints. It goes into overdrive and attacks the wrong cells.

The immune system can sometimes be ‘tricked’ to over-react in this way when there are diseases going on in other parts of the body, including infections, cancer or gastrointestinal disease.

It can affect five or more joints simultaneously. It is usually associated with autoimmune conditions and may be experienced at any age and is not sex-specific.

dog joints

What causes arthritis in a dog?

Although arthritis is a problem seen in older dogs, the condition can develop from an early age following problems with bone and joint development. Like humans, signs of arthritis can often vary throughout the animal's life and result in the early onset of joint problems in older age.

Some of the major causes of arthritis are;

a. Injury to Ligaments

If a dog has suffered from injury to ligament there are likely chances of encountering arthritis. The most common ligament damage in dogs is the CCL or Cranial Cruciate Ligament in the knee. The damage to the ligament can lead to joint instability and result in excess wear on the cartilage. If treated soon, it can help prevent or minimize arthritis from occurring in the future.

b. Joint Instability

A variety of joint instability is common in many dogs that can lead to arthritis over time. Some of the common joint instability are;

i. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia in dogs is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that leads to joint instability. It often leads to damage to the cartilage and may lead to arthritis. If hip dysplasia is in its more severe form, it can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. Hip dysplasia is most commonly diagnosed through X-rays and an orthopedic exam.

ii. Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a condition causing multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow. This condition is more seen in large and fast-growing dog breeds. The early sign includes lameness that starts around 6 to 9 months of age. Specialized X-rays are used to make a diagnosis. Surgery can help minimize arthritis but most likely it will get worse over time.

iii. Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation is common in small dog breeds. It results from traumatic injury to the knee such as when the patella (knee cap) pops out of place. In smaller dogs, the kneecaps tend to pop to the inside. A dog may face lameness of a hind leg or skip or hop while walking.

c. Cartilage Issues

Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a joint disorder in dogs which causes thickening of joint cartilage that can lead to injury. OCD can tear the thickened cartilage in the affected joints that lead to the lameness of the joints.

OCD is more commonly seen in large and giant breed dogs. Obesity is one of the major causes of cartilage issues. The first sign of OCD may appear as early as 4 to 8 months of age.

d. Joint Infection

Joint infection in pets mostly occurs from an injury or damage such as wound to a joint. The infection can eventually develop arthritis.

e. Autoimmune Disorders

Although rare, an autoimmune disorder in pets, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause the immune system to attack the body's own cells and tissue. It often leads to inflammation of the joints and lameness. It can be life-threating to dogs.

Symptoms of autoimmune disorder such as lupus include;

  • Arthritis in several joints.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Shifting lameness in the legs.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Skin sores.

Vets will prescribe immunosuppressive drugs that can be effective against some autoimmune disorders.

f. Obesity

Obesity is common in dogs with an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. As a pet owner, you must keep their weight in check and offer an optimum quantity of nutritious meals. It’s completely wrong to feed your dog from your plate or dinner table because their meal requirement vastly differs from humans. Osteoarthritis is one of the many risks caused by obesity in dogs.

ideal weight pets

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s (APOP) 2016 clinical survey recently reported that nearly 54% of dogs and 59% of cats are clinically overweight or obese.


Treatment of Arthritis in Dogs

Some of the most sought after treatment for Arthritis in dogs include;

a. Joint Supplements

Vets will prescribe Glucosamine and chondroitin to improve joint function, reduce inflammation, increase water retention in the cartilage, and slow the progression of joint damage.

Green-lipped mussel or GLM is another most prescribed joint supplement ingredient that contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, and antioxidants.

b. NSAIDs

The treatment of severe arthritis includes prescribing pain control medications such as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs don’t only reduce pain but also decrease inflammation in the joints.

The continued use of NSAIDs has significant side effects such as poor liver or kidney function.

c. Weight Control

Weight control is one of the most effective ways to prevent arthritis in dogs. Often dogs with the problem of obesity may encounter issues with joints and cartilage. The long-term effects of obesity include Osteoarthritis.

Weight control is mainly done through food portion control and hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is a technique of cutting unnecessary body weight. In pets, the hydrotherapy helps to focus on their body weight and intensely cut fats. The advantage of hydrotherapy is that water is denser than air, hence providing more regression.

 

Various veterinary treatments are available to cure arthritis or joint problems in pets. The best option will depend on many factors involving your dog: such as age, the severity of signs, the progression of the disease process and whether they have any other health problems.

If you see any awkward signs from your dog such as lameness, hopping, agitation, etc. please speak to the best veterinarian in Urbandale. Urban Pet Hospital & Resort specializes in medical and pet therapy services in Des Moines

Grooming for Dogs

Although the dog is a favorite pet for many Americans, the animal carries different foreign enzymes that can be harmful to your family members. Dogs are also known to spread different zoonotic diseases.

Pet grooming is a cleansing process that enhances your pet’s appearance and keeps it stay hygienic and clean. The recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.


Importance of pet grooming

Pet grooming becomes necessary to curb the chances of attracting zoonotic diseases and also to provide your dog relief from matted hair, dirt, and enzymes.

Benefits of pet grooming include;

  • Eradicate health problems
  • General cleanliness
  • Keeps vital organs in check
  • Increase physical appeal
  • Ensure a stress-free environment

Here are a few of the major importance of pet grooming.

a. Remove Dirt and Dead Skins

Like humans, dog’s need regular cleansing of the skin to remove external dirt, dead hair, dead skin, and dandruff. Dirt and matted hair can be a home to tick infestation. Brushing of dog’s coat plays a vital role in the pet grooming process. It easily removes the hidden enzymes from coat fur. Another key importance of brushing is the stimulation of the natural oils in the pet’s fur. These oils naturally spread across the entire coat keeping their skin and fur healthy.

b. Avoid Nail Complications

Unlike wild animals, a domesticated pet such as dogs requires regular trimming of nails to avoid nail complications. Indoor pets can often have a problem with overgrown claws that are associated with painful conditions. Overgrown nail can also cause accidents.

Dewclaws on the inner paws of dogs and cats can grow into toe pads, which can lead to a painful infection.

A professional pet groomer can trim your dog’s nails without doing any damage.

c. Avoid Dental Issues

By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease.

Periodontal disease and bad breath in pets can be linked to dental issues. Periodontal is a dental disease common in pets. The disease starts when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque on the teeth that forms tartar and enter the gum line to create toxins. If your pet remains uncured from dental disease, they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease.

d. Avoid Matting of Hair

Matting of the hair can be an extremely painful experience for dogs. The uncombed hair mixed with moisture and dirt can lead to matting of the fur. Severe fur matting can also restrict the flow of blood and in many ways restrict their body movements resulting in temporary deformity. Regular brushing of hair and occasional professional grooming can help to prevent matted hair.

e. Avoid Intestinal Conditions

Although it’s uncommon among canines, coughing up hairball can sometimes be a problem for dogs with medium to long fur. It is mostly attributed to self-grooming, however, their other reasons for the dogs to ingest their own hair.

Known as tricholith or trichobezoar, hairball is the accumulated animal hair or fur that surrounds a non-digestible item generally stuck inside the stomach of the animal.

Grooming is essential to keep the pet skin cleaner. It prevents excessive licking of fur which may cause hair fall. Bathing cuts down the hairballs, which cats vomit or discard in the litter box.

f. Control Shedding

Shedding is common among many dog breeds and aging dogs. While you cannot change this, you can prevent excessive hair fall by keeping their fur clean. Regular brushing, using the right shampoo, and cleaning tools can help to reduce the level of skin and fur shedding in dogs.


What is generally included in a dog grooming?

The tools for dog grooming include;

  • Grooming Brush
  • Nail Clippers
  • High-quality shampoo
  • Dog drying towel
  • Deshedding tool
  • Dog hair clipper set
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Grooming wipes
  • Ear cleaner


How often should a dog be groomed?

Professional groomers suggest that the general grooming for a dog depends on their coat type.

Short-haired

Short-haired dogs such as German shepherd may require fewer baths and grooming compared to a long-haired dog. Grooming every 5-6 months is generally enough. They can be bathed every 4 months.

Short hair and double coated

Short hair and double-coated dogs typically shed seasonally. They can be groomed four times a year to keep them clean and prevent excessive shedding. They require a bath every 6 weeks to keep their coat clean

Long hair and double coated

They frequently suffer from matted and overweighed hair and require grooming on a frequent basis. You must never shave your double-coated dog, as they are unable to grow their top layer coat back! Akita, Alaskan Husky, Alaskan malamute, American Eskimo, Chinook, Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz and Finnish Lapphund few examples of long-haired double-coated dog.

Thick Undercoated

Thick undercoated dogs require proper grooming to ensure their thick undercoat remains safe. These undercoats must be removed seasonally but never shaved. Shaving may cause severe skin problem, allergy, and sunburn. Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Collies, Shelties, and Shepherds are dogs with a thick undercoat.

Silky coated

The single coat tends to be silkier which grows continuously, hence it must be trimmed periodically. They can be groomed every 2-3 months. Some may require grooming every 4-6 weeks to prevent severe matting such as Afghan hound, Maltese dog, Shih Tzu, Skye terrier, Tibetan terrier, and Yorkshire terrier.

Curvy or Wavy coated

These dogs are the most likely to develop mat because of the excess of hair and chances of entanglement such as curly coated retriever, Pumi, Portuguese water dog, Irish water spaniel, Lagotto Romagnolo, and Poodle. Any hair longer than half an inch should be brushed at least twice a week; and hair longer than an inch should be brushed daily. They require grooming every four to six weeks.


Are human products applicable to dogs?

Although most people are unaware if they should use human products such as soap and shampoo on pets, you as a pet owner must be aware that dogs have an entirely different skin of skin compared to a human.

Did you know that baby shampoo is 150 times too acidic for a dog’s epidermis?

The different in pH level in pets and humans brings a vast contrast in the products to be used. These simple products can severely irritate the dog’s skin because a dog’s skin has a different pH level and thickness.

pH level in Pets ranges 7.0-7.52 compared to humans 5.2-5.5. Pet products are specifically formulated to be pH balanced for their skin as to not cause irritation.


Urban Pet Hospital and Resort

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort offers the premier pet grooming service in Des Moines. We offer best veterinarian care in Des Moines that accounts for highly skilled DVM or Veterinarians, experienced vet professionals, state-of-the-art technology and exam rooms, surgical procedures, grooming, and training.

Some of our most-sought after services include

  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostics & Lab Testing
  • Grooming
  • Training
  • Dermatology
  • Day Care
  • Dental Care
  • Nutrition
  • Pain Management
  • Boarding
  • Preventive Tests

We specialize in pet grooming in Urbandale and offer professional grooming service for all kinds of pets. Our groomers have experience of over 40 years in handling and professional grooming of pets. We use the finest grooming tools and methods, and ensure to clean eyes, ears, teeth, nose, underside, Skin and Coat, Nails, and pads during every grooming session.

Hiking or Backpacking with Your Dog

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

When you’re taking your pet with you on a day-long hiking activity, you must assure that every safety measure is in place. You wouldn’t want to risk your dog’s life!

Hiking with a dog

Hiking with dog is one of the most undertaken outdoor activities. It can also be taken as a short trek that ends within a day. Walking through the prairie, going up in the Rockies, or trailing through the national park are few of most sought hiking with dogs.

hiking with dog

Not every dog is adapted to walking long distances. The distance they could cover in a day may depend on their breed, activity level, and lifestyle. Here are four major factors that determine their overall hiking ability.

i. Age

Active hiking dogs are experienced in hiking long distances on a regular basis. They can hike 15 to 20 miles per day, whereas, the dogs that aren’t used to long hikes can walk up to 10 miles per day.

Young pups and older dogs aren’t eligible for long hiking. Most vets recommend that you limit their daily walk to about two minutes per week of age. The bones of a young pup are not yet fully developed to take strenuous walking session. Older dogs, on the other hand, have weak joints and hip issues that make them unable to take a long walk.

ii. Breed

Some dog breeds are better suited for long walks. A small dog with short legs aren’t used to walking long distances like most large breeds. Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies are well suited for hiking. The Bernese mountain dog, Siberian husky, and Alaskan malamute are also used to long hiking, especially in the rocky or snowy terrain.

iii. Activity level

Activity level is determined by how much time does your dog spend inside the house or outside playing. You can’t expect your dog to suddenly enjoy long hikes when they are only used to lunging at the comfort of the home.

iv. Overall health

The overall health, fitness, and endurance determine the dog’s ability to go for a long hike. Health issues can slow them down.

Q&A How old does your puppy need to be to go hiking?

The appropriate age for a dog to go on hiking depends on many factors, such as breed, size, and overall health. Young pups are prone to growth plate injuries when they over-exercise. Dogs are vulnerable until they reach the age where they stop growing physically.


How to Train your Dog for Hiking?

A dog wouldn’t start enjoying long hikes suddenly or get up for a long walk through difficult terrain. Although this can be a healthy and fun experience, you would need to train your dog for the hiking. Here is a list of tips to help you get started. 

a. Start slow

Don’t rush the idea of training your dog for hiking. Take time to train it and start with basics! Start with shorter 2 to 5-mile hikes at first. You can do this by walking your dog to the park, forest, and other easy terrains.

b. Increase time gradually

Gradually increase the time or distance your dog covers in a day. Timing the walks every day helps to estimate the progress.

c. Take regular breaks

You can consider taking a break every 20 minutes of walking. Taking a break helps to catch a breath and control heart rate.

d. Dog’s energy level

Notice your dog’s energy level during the walk. The energy level keeps spiking up every day, hence you can walk more each day.

e. Vary the terrain

As a starter, you can walk on flat terrain such as parks. You can start introducing varying terrain as you progress. Take your dog over hills and uneven ground. You can choose difficult terrain when your dog becomes used to walking long distances.

Find the complete dog training list.

Q&A How to prepare a Dog’s Paw for Hiking?

The dog’s paws are naturally tougher and are made up of fat, connective tissue, and very thick skin. However, they are not totally impervious to being injured on a hike. A dog's paws can get blisters, cuts, or burns during a tough walk. 

dog paw protection

You can prevent this by following these preventive tips.

  • Use dog boots for difficult terrains
  • High-Quality paw wax can help protect paws and also promote healing of cracked and damaged paws.
  • Toughen their paws by taking them out more
  • Only hike when it’s cool
  • Keep their nails trimmed
  • Moisturize their paws

Trail Etiquette when hiking with dogs

The dog’s bad etiquette when hiking increases the likelihood of dog restrictions from the trail. More than dogs, the problem lies in the uninformed dog owners. Here are five simple rules to help your dog showcase its best manners.

a. Choose a Dog-Friendly Trail

Before embarking on a hike, check if the trail is dog-friendly. Most trails kept dog restrictions in the past because of unruly dog and their owners. Research the best places to take your dog hiking, and go online or call the ranger station associated with your hiking destination to find out if dogs are allowed on the trails. Most national parks around the country keep dogs and other pets out except in designated areas. Many national and community forests allow pets. Check with the respective authority before heading out.

b. Abide by ‘The Leash Law’

Most designated area put the leash law and you’re required to abide by the law. Your dog must demonstrate excellent leash skills and exceptional recall. Choose the right kind of dog leash, few trails require a non-retractable lead, six or fewer feet in length.

  • A trail-worthy dog should be able to hike easily with a loose lead.
  • A trail-worthy dog should be able to hike at a true heel, at or slightly behind your knee.
  • A leash-yanking dog is not a trail-worthy dog: train it at home before your hike.
  • If your dog will hike off-leash (assuming it’s sanctioned), it should always stay within sight and within earshot of you, and demonstrate excellent voice recalls such as following the commands i.e. No! Sit! Stay! Come! Off! Or Leave it!

If you anticipate heavy traffic on the trail, keep your dog leashed. This will prevent any unwanted confrontation with other animals or humans.

c. Clear Trail for Other Hikers

When you’re sitting idle or waiting for someone, you should get your dog out of the way when other hikers approach the trail. This helps to prevent your dog from chasing other hikers. You should also leash them when other hikers, cyclists, or animals approach. Simply put, this means get your dog out of the way—beyond the “sniffing” range—of other hikers, horses, and cyclists.

Many dogs enjoy giving chase to passerby, even obedient dogs, hence, you must reel it in and leash it when you see cyclists or animals coming.

d. Reduce Environmental Impact

When hiking, leave the surrounding plants and wildlife undisturbed. You should keep your dog stick to the trail to minimize the environmental impact caused by a restless animal. If your final destination lies off-trail, make the most direct path to it in a line that is perpendicular to the trail. When you’re hiking above the tree line, walk on a rock as much as possible.

Keep your dog away from disturbing the local wildlife. It’s common for a dog to chase small animals such as rodents, butterfly, and birds. Letting your dog to bark at wildlife can provoke an attack.

The best rule of thumb: leave all plant and animal life exactly as you found it for others behind you to enjoy.

e. Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace policy basically means to reduce human waste from natural destinations. It helps to protect the local biodiversity by keeping the trail clean. You should always carry a trash bag to carry dog poops. If you do not have a trash bag, you should bury pet waste in a 6 to an 8-inch hole that’s at least 200 feet away from trails, camps, and water sources.

The pollutants left by humans generally end up at water sources or degrade the setting. You can prevent this by taking reasonable measures.

dog backpack


Common Dangers and Threats

Some of the common dangers and form of threats faced by dogs and their companions in hiking are as follows;

a. Bikes and Horses

It’s common for hiking trails to receive cyclists. You cannot wait for a cyclist to notice your dog on the trail, hence it’s recommended to keep your pet by your side or leash it immediately when you notice a cyclist coming.

Many dogs, even obedient dogs, have a tendency to chase the cyclists. It’s always better to keep them on a leash when you approach the cyclist. Likewise, if the trail contains horses, you should be wary of their presence. An unsuspected dog may spook the horse that can lead to fatal accidents.

b. Dehydration

It’s common for animals to easily get dehydrated on hiking due to sun or heat. The momentary pauses are required at every interval to get rehydrated and catch a breath. Skipping the water bowl puts them at risk for dehydration, which can be life-threatening. You should offer them water even though they don’t seem thirsty. Slowing down during the hike is one of the major signs of dehydration.

c. Too much Sun

Dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburns can be fatal during hiking. If you’re too much exposure to the sun, it’s likely to get dehydrated or heat stroke. It is advised only to walk when it’s cool. You can avoid hiking trails that are too hot or provides fewer shades. Ask your veterinarian which sunscreen they would recommend for your dog. Excessive panting and difficulty in breathing are signs of dehydration and heatstroke.

d. Contaminated Water

The important thing to remember in the hike is to avoid drinking from local pond, creeks, rivers, or lakes. Freshwater River and lakes can be a safe source for drinking water, however, you should avoid any still water sources. Contaminated water can be home to diarrhea-inducing parasites, from common Giardia to the more dangerous Leptospirosis, which can cause kidney and liver damage.

The best thing to do is to carry your own water.

e. Open Water

Open water sources around hiking trails can be fearful. It can cause drowning. Lakes and rivers require a higher level of swimming proficiency than the backyard pool.

Waterfalls and hot springs are most sought after hiking destinations, but dog owners don’t always realize how dangerous they can be. Many canine companions have tragically died after going over waterfalls, and in some cases, people have plunged to their deaths while trying to save their pets.

f. Wildlife

The local wildlife poses as big a threat as water, and hiking through areas infested by dangerous animals can be life-threating to both you and your pet. You should review the hiking trails before visiting and ascertain what sort of animals are found entrail. Most national parks may contain wild animals.

To bears and other predators–including mountain lions and coyotes–your beloved pet is just prey. So it’s best to avoid taking dogs into their habitats.


Doggy First Aid Kit

Emergencies can strike at any time! Although you can’t procrastinate that your dog will encounter troubles in hiking, you must be prepared to tackle any emergency.

Carrying a first aid kit during hiking is essential. You can buy a first aid kit or make one yourself. Some of the key tools to carry in your first aid bag are as follows;

Paperwork

Keep a hard copy of your dog’s medical records, vaccination records, any prescriptions, and emergency phone numbers, so you can access it anytime you want.

A canine first aid manual published by the Red Cross suggests “Do you really know, off the top of your head, how to give CPR to dogs?” Whatever you may think, this is one of the key first aid essentials.

Gauze, non-stick bandages, and adhesive tape

To control bleeding and protect wounds, you should have gauze as a makeshift muzzle, non-stick bandages so it doesn’t peel off their fur and adhesive tape. You can control their bleeding until you reach the nearest clinic.

dog first aid

Extra Food

Be sure to pack even more of your dog’s food than you’ll think you’ll need. You would never know what may befall in the hiking. Packing extra food ensures that you will be able to stay full of energy, even if the hike extends for a few more hours.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used to induce vomiting if your dog eats something toxic. Be familiar with the proper dosage and way to it administer before you need it and check with either poison control or a veterinarian before use. Your dog can accidentally ingest poisonous plants or materials along the trail. This can be prevented by the use of hydrogen peroxide.

Antibiotic spray or ointment

This will help prevent any fatal infection from scratches and cuts. You can use some antibiotic wipes, as well, for cleaning wounds, and styptic in liquid or powder form to control bleeding.

Milk of Magnesia, or activated charcoal

Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal can be used to absorb poison, but always check with your veterinarian first.

Treats

You can choose to carry treats for any unexpected duration such as emotional support when your dog is injured or playtimes.

An eyedropper or syringe

You can use this to flush wounds or to give oral medications.

An extra leash and collar

Things can get lost when you travel, and in an accident or other emergency situation, his collar may come off or the leash may snap.


Dog food

Your dog will need extra calories than they normally eat when they are hiking. Dogs will need about 25% more calories than they normally eat to keep their energy up on a hike.

You can mix a high-calorie puppy food into your dog's normal food that adds extra calories even in a small amount of food. You can do the exact calorie math or just estimate by replacing 25% of your dog food supply for the trip with the puppy food.

You can also feed your dog freeze-dried food on the trail. Freeze-dried food is more expensive than kibble but it can be worth it. It is often half the weight of kibble.


Dog Backpack for Hiking

You can prepare a hiking backpack for your dog by yourself. It should contain items that remain essential during hiking. The requirement of certain gear may depend on the trail and the duration of the hike.

The list of things required for a Dog’s backpack are as follows;

  • Multi-functional hiking pack
  • Food and water utensils
  • Water bottle
  • Dog tracking gear
    • GPS Tracker
    • LED collar cover
    • Collar light
    • Reflective vest
  • Security
    • Leash
    • harness
  • Protective Gear
    • Jacket
    • Dog Shoes
    • Towel
    • Paw wax
    • Life jacket
  • Sleeping gear
    • Sleeping mat
    • Blanket
  • Health and cleanliness
    • Cooling jacket
    • Tick remover
  • First Aid

In case of emergency contact pet medical service that offers on-site medical attention and evacuation. Contact through phone for fast first aid.

How to Train Your Dog to Stay?

It is easy to inhibit basic commands in dogs when they are young. Dog trainers and behaviorists insist on providing basic command training at an early age to prevent any difficulty faced by a dog at later years.

“Stay” is probably the most difficult exercise to teach according to many pet owners because many dogs just hate being still! With persistence and short, frequent training sessions your dog can master this exercise. Get in touch with the best pet training service in Des Moines.


How to train a dog to stay?

Learning to stay is one of the most difficult yet basic commands that all dogs will know eventually. It can be useful in many situations like if you have a guest coming in and you don't want your dog jumping all over them.

Getting Started

  • While being ready to train your dog, keep yourself free in a mood. If you're not feeling well or are too busy, you might not be able to provide the necessary energy to a train your dog.
  • Plan on a short training session to avoid fatigue or boredom. Training sessions should only last a few minutes and be spread evenly throughout a week.
  • Give Rewards to your dog for positive reinforcement. Training will involve a lot of positive feedback which involves giving your dog its favorite treat.
  • Plan on continuing this training for a while before your dog picks up on it because dogs don't speak our language and it’s important for them to learn to associate certain commands with actions.
  • Have your dog sit in a comfortable spot. You'll want to start with your dog sitting a good spot.

How do you train to stay command?

Training your dog to stay follows a series of command. You can find multiple commands prompts to train your dogs. One of the easiest and most followed training is as follows;

Continue the “Sit” command for a while before your dog picks up on it

It’s important that your dog learns to associate certain commands with actions because they don’t understand our language. Some dogs are able to pick up faster than others, however, it’s important to remain persistent and patient with your training until your dog gets it.

dog training

Have your dog sit in a comfortable spot

Make sure the ground isn't wet, cold, or covered with anything that might make your dog uncomfortable. This may result in training a distracted animal.

Use basic commands

  • Place your palm out in front of the dog's face while saying 'stay.' The use of the verbal cue and the hand gesture will help your dog associate the commands with the word.
  • Repeat the word 'stay' a few times before doing anything else so your dog learns the word. Say it in a happy and firm tone to make it assertive to your dog.
  • Be sure to use these same commands every time you tell your dog to stay. Using multiple signals will confuse them
  • Take one or two steps back. Keep your hand out and keep saying 'stay' while you do this. Your dog will probably follow you the first few times. When it starts to move from the sitting position, you can correct it with a 'No' or 'ap ap ap' in a firmer tone.

dog training

Praise it and offer a reward when it sits back down.

Repeat the step as needed. This first few times will probably be the hardest but persistence will eventually pay. Do not offer a treat when your dog makes a mistake.

Give a treat

Remember to give your dog its favorite treat for following each correct command. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog. They will associate the treat with the correct command and will continue to follow each command. Reinforce its obedience with a treat.

Have your dog come to you

Once your dog has become proficient at staying, you can complete the task by having it come to you. Come up with a word, command, or signal that the dog can attend to.

Use a different command for a treat

Whatever word you use to release your dog from the stay, make sure you say it in a different than what you would normally speak. Otherwise, your dog might start expecting a treat every time you say the command.

Increase the distance

When your dog gets proficient at staying start increasing the distance – Go 5 steps back, then 10 and increase the distance. The point is to make sure that the dog stays as long as you continue telling it. Remember to praise the dog and give a treat every time he succeeds.

dog training

What is the best dog training method?

There are many dog training methods an animal trainer may use, however, the most used and reliable dog training remains ‘Positive reinforcement.’

Positive reinforcement is one of the recent methods that was popularized by trainers like Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz. It theorizes that dogs will repeat good behavior when it is followed by a reward. Bad behavior results in zero treat or reward. The punishment is never physical but the form of removal of rewards, like a toy or treat is taken away. Physical punishment often results in a disobedient pet.

Reward the dog immediately or within seconds. This way the dog will associate the behavior with the reward. Positive reinforcement requires consistency, therefore everyone is in the house must use the same commands and reward system. Start with continuous rewards every time your dog does the right thing. You can gradually move to intermittent rewards as the behavior becomes consistent.

If you’re using an edible treat, it is often easy to overfeed your dog during the training, hence you can use small treats when you are rewarding with food.


How do I get my stubborn dog to listen?

It is often a case when the newly brought dog is stubborn. Sometimes, your own pet can become stubborn. This can be curbed by the positive reinforcement method.

Reward your dog with a highly desirable treat when it behaves. This will help it to associate good behavior with a reward.

You can use alternate positive reinforcement method if your dog isn’t fond of edible treats. You can praise it, offer tug toy, ball, or pet it to make it feel good.


At what age should a dog be fully potty trained?

Animal behaviorist and trainers recommend that you begin house training your puppy when it is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, it has enough control of its bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

It may take 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained. For some, it may take up to a year. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms that require them to make frequent bathroom trips.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort for the premier pet training in Des Moines.