10 New Year Resolutions from your Pets

What are you looking forward to doing this year? Work less, enjoy more, and eat healthily?

Like you, your pets look for greater things in life. If your pets could talk, this is what they would wish to do this year.

Adopt Shelter Pets

Approximately 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized due to lack of shelter and adoptive homes.

The cost of adopting a new shelter pet may cost $0- $500. The cost of adopting a new dog depends on its age and breed. Most feeds are taken by the shelter homes to take care of the necessary needs of the pet including vaccination, spay or neutering, and microchip etc. Most fees go into the shelter homes’ fund.

Go Hiking

This New Year, consider going on a hike with your beloved pets. Most small pets can hike 10 miles a day. A large dog can hike more. However, the hiking ability of canine isn’t determined by their size but age, health, and ability to breathe well.

Dogs with physical ailments can’t hike a long distance. And, you must provide paw protection to avoid any injury. Going outdoors with your pets can be the best thing to do. You can spend precious time with our pet indulging in a fun activity.

Pay Regular visit to Vets

Regular wellness exams help the vet to evaluate or determine the changes in your pet’s health and diagnose conditions before they get worse. Regular well-checks help to save valuable time, money and stress in the long run. Well, Check includes the pre-examination and physical examination to assess the overall health of your pet.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least.

Socialize more

Dogs are a social animal. They enjoy the company of humans and fellow pets. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Socialization helps to elevate stress in animals. Here are few tips to socialize your pets.

  • Take your pet out to observe other animals
  • Resist tugging while walking
  • Go to pet training classes
  • Ignore your pet's unwanted behavior
  • Introduce other pets/animals slowly

Groom often

Grooming is a process that ensures your pet’s hygiene and appearance is kept at an optimum level. Grooming may involve cutting or trimming hairs, brushing, washing, cutting nails, cleaning teeth and others.

Some of the benefits of grooming are;

  • Eradicate Health Problem –Grooming lessens the chances of contacting health problems, such as skin allergy, parasitic infections, scratches, and matted hair.
  • Cleanliness –General tidiness and physical appearance.
  • Vital Organs in Check –Grooming also monitors the status of essential body parts for the infection.
  • Physical Appeal –The physical appearance and standard are maintained with regular grooming.
  • Stress-free environment –Grooming helps to keep the fur even, clean, and unmated which helps to lessen the stress.

Get Pet Insurance

Pet insurance helps to cover medical costs and ensure your pet gets the optimum services during the emergency. It doesn’t only the pet owners to save cost, but make better decisions about the pet’s health based on finances.

Pet insurance can greatly decrease the cost of visiting vets from plain illness to major injuries. In an emergency, the insurance can be a lifesaver. Insurance offers the veterinarians freedom to provide the most comprehensive care possible.


You can choose to add more to the list. Ensure to keep your pets happy at any cost. They aren’t just your pets but a life-companion.

5 Ways to Treat Your Cat Right

December is also known the Happy Cat Month or Cat Lovers' Month by the Cat Lovers. Initiated by the CATalyst Council to help spread awareness about feline health and welfare. CATalyst Council’s vision is a cat-caring society.

In U.S. alone, 86% of household owns about 85 million cats according to National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

A happy cat makes a happy life! Unlike canines, treating cats can be challenging as they enjoy living in their own space. However, it doesn’t mean that cats do not need a companion. You can become their great companion if you treat them right.

#FUNFACT

There are more cats than dogs in the U.S. The reason is those cat owners are likely to own multiple cats as compared to dog owners who own just one dog.


Here are 5 ways to treat your Cat right!

1. Relieve their Stress

Pet owners expect their cats to be domesticated like dogs. Lavishing their cats with affection and treats doesn’t earn their content. Cats treat themselves as the owners of the home, and they love marking their territory.

Stress in cats leads to anxiety and behavioral problems which can be troublesome for both the pet and the owner. You can relieve their stress by reducing the stressors and introducing feline friendly home-environment.

Telegraph UK reported,

“Cats suffer from stress because owners expect them to behave like dogs, according to a leading animal behaviorist.”

How to relieve their stress?

  • Slowly introduce a new pet to your cats
  • Make the vet visit enjoyable
  • Offer them treats for their good behavior
  • Let them settle in the new setting

2. Proper Vaccination

Vaccination at the right age helps to prevent any unforeseen illness in pets. Every cat requires core vaccines which are considered vital based on the risk of exposure, the severity of disease or transmissibility to humans. In cats, core vaccines are panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus), and rabies. These vaccinations are required by law.

  • A timely vaccination helps to prevent diseases in your favorite companion, hence, increasing its livelihood.
  • Animal vaccines help to control disease, many of which can affect people.

3. Avoid Fatty Food

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention,

59% of cats living in the United States are obese.

Wrong food is the main cause of feline obesity. More or so, high-carbohydrate, corn-laden dry food, and calorie-rich food and treats are the major reasons for gaining excess weight.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and physical ailments in cats. Few of the common problems are namely Inflammation, Diabetes, Heart condition, Hepatic lipidosis, Metabolic, and Endocrine disorders.

Insufficient exercise is also another major reason for feline obesity. You should consider feeding them animal-based protein, taurine (amino acid), canned food with enough moisture, and enough fresh water. Pets Hydrotherapy is another effective method to burn excessive fats in animals.

4. Regular Well Checks

A well-check or wellness exam is a periodic medical test conducted on the pets to assess their overall health.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends an annual well check for dogs and cats, at least. Most Vets suggest that your cats are overdue for well-checks.

Age

Well Checks

Kittenhood

Monthly basis

Adult Cat

Annual basis

Middle-aged or geriatric Cats

Semi-annual basis

 

Although the popular belief holds that one human year equals to 7 cat years, however, the truth is that in one human year a cat may age the equivalent of 4 to 16 years in a human's life.

Consider taking your cats to the Vet immediately if you haven’t taken it in a while. Cats are good at hiding problems or ailments.

5. Nutrition & Meat based meals

Cats are an obligate carnivore. Unlike canines, cats cannot solely survive on the vegetarian diet. A nutritious, balanced diet is essential to keep your cat healthy. They require a high-protein, low fat, low carbohydrate, and low-calorie diet.

  1. You should strictly consider feeding them animal-based protein. While choosing a canned food, you should go for meat-based, high-protein food with low carb and calories.
  2. The quantity of food your cat needs depends on its weight, size, and age.
  3. Avoid feeding raw meat until the kitten is at least 20 weeks of age, as their immune system isn’t resistant enough for potential pathogens.

Foods to avoid feeding your cat

  • Raisins/sultanas
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Coffee or caffeinated products
  • Bread dough
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Fruit stones – for example, mango seeds or apricot pips
  • Fruit seeds
  • Corncobs
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk and other dairy products

How to make sure Pets have a Purr-fect time this Christmas?

Christmas is a festival of joy. It brings your family and friends closer along with your pets. When you consider your pet a companion, you must consider keeping them happy. Christmas can be a great time to make them happy, as your furry friends need a great time too.

Here are few tips to remind every pet owner how to make sure pets have a Purr-fect time this Christmas.

Nutritional Meal

Nutrition is the most essential part of any pet’s life despite the change in weather, time, or even holidays. Both cats and dogs love to nibble on the food items including chocolates and holiday-meal residue, which can be harmful. A balanced diet is critically important to your dog’s cell maintenance and growth and overall health.

  • Protein – Eggs, skinless poultry, and dairy products. Note: Avoid holiday turkey as it contains garlic and other seasonings that can be harmful.
  • FatOmega-6 (linoleic acid) food. Fat provides concentrated energy and helps to absorb protein.
  • Carbohydrates –Whole grain, fruits, and vegetables. Carbs are generally the main caloric source in most dog food brands.
  • Vitamins –Vitamin is essential to perform many bodily functions. Tuna, mackerel, salmon, dairy products, beef liver, and egg yolks.
  • Minerals –Mineral is important for growth and strength, although it makes up only 1% of a dog’s body weight. Calcium and Phosphorus are the two main mineral requirement for pets.
  • Water –A dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day to maintain their pH level and to keep bodily functions active.

Enough Exercise

Pets tend to easily add up weight in winters. As the outdoor activity gets minimum and the meal intake increases, pets can easily gain weight which can pose many health-related issues. Shedding pound can be difficult if they get less exercise. As a pet owner, you must consider offering enough exercise and play time for your pets. Get them outside the house, indulge in physical activity, or simply keep their weight and meal intake in check.

New Bed, Blanket or Mattress

It's winter and high time to switch their old mattress, bed, or blanket with new ones. Buy cozy and warm materials for your furry friend and protect them from the cold. You can buy a holiday-themed bed, fleece blanket, cushion, or mattress. Pets enjoy sitting in a colorful setting.

Christmas Goodies

You can gift Christmas goodies to your furry friend this season. Consider buying them an Apple Mint Christmas Dog Bones, Gingerbread Dog Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Dog Candy Canes, Dog Treats with pumpkin and peanut butter, Irresistible Christmas Cookie Dog Treats, Mutt Mints or Nutty Bacon Dog Treats. Like us, pets enjoy holiday-themed goodies too. As they are a food-lover, Christmas goodies can be a great treat.

Adopt a new pet

Consider adopting a new pet instead of buying one from the pet-farm. Approximately 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) due to lack of shelter and adoptive homes. The shelter animals need love and care too, and who can be their best companion than a pet owner.

Christmas is a festival of joy indeed, and what could be better than splurging on your favorite companions.

Vitamin D Toxicity in Pets

The pet food brands made into the news lately. The excess nutrients found in the popular dog food brands recently stirred the debate on keeping a closer look at the pet food contents.

The report submitted by 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. Although it is rare, it is noteworthy to understand how it can adversely affect your pets.

Vitamin D Toxicity

Vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of excess calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause various physical and mental ailments such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, or even kidney failure and death.

The homemade and raw meals lack Vitamin D, hence, most pet food brands added extra Vitamin D to compensate the homemade meal. At least 11 different labels or dog food brands were asked to recall their products by FDA.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Dark tarry feces containing blood
  • Presence of blood in vomit
  • Loss of weight
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremor
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive drooling

Cholecalciferol & Vitamin D3

Cholecalciferol, also known as Vitamin D3 is a type of Vitamin D which is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It’s also found in some human and pet foods or is taken as a dietary supplement.

It is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the entire body. Cholecalciferol is used as a treatment or to prevent health conditions caused by a lack of vitamin D, especially skin and bone conditions.

Exposure

Taking 60,000 international units (IU) a day of Vitamin D for a longer period of time has been shown to cause Vitamin toxicity.

Cholecalciferol based rodenticides

Anti-coagulant Rodenticides commonly consist of Cholecalciferol. Concentration is typically 0.075% or 750ppm which equates to about 23mg/ounce of rodenticide. The clinical signs of toxicity are noted at > 0.5mg/kg of cholecalciferol ingestion, therefore a 44-pound dog would need to eat less than 1/2 ounce to cause toxicity.

Vitamin D Supplements

The intake of Vitamin D supplement is common in most pet food brands. Pet owners choose to add Vitamin D to their regular meal to compensate for its lack of nutrients. Multivitamins contain a relatively small amount of Vitamin D, hence, toxicity from multivitamin ingestion is rare. Primary Vitamin D supplements contain a large amount of cholecalciferol which raises the concern of toxicity.

Vitamin D Analogs

There are multiple Vitamin D analogs approved for use in humans which is included in psoriasis creams used for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism, doxercalciferol, or Hectoral which is used for the reduction of pTH (Parathyroid hormone). Dogs tend to lick the skin where the cream is being applied. The routinely licking of skin can cause toxicity.

Pet Food Contamination

Several commercially available pet foods have been known to contain Vitamin D as the major nutrient content. The over-supplementation of Vitamin D can lead to toxicity.

Treatment

Decontamination is the major treatment for Vitamin D toxicity. Within the last 4-6 hours of ingestion, vomiting should be induced with apomorphine at 0.03-0.04mg/kg IV. Hydrogen peroxide can be administered at a dose of 2.2ml/kg, with a maximum of 45ml, repeated once.

Hydrogen peroxide should be avoided in the case of cats as they are more susceptible to adverse effects. In cats, vomiting can be attempted with either xylazine at 0.44mg/kg IM or dexmedetomidine at 10mcg/kg IM.

8 Christmas Movies to Watch with your Pet

Christmas is around the corner. This time of the year brings lots of joy, fun, and gathering, including a great time for your pets.

Pets are a fun-loving and highly socializing animal. It’s time to celebrate the holiday snuggled up in a blanket with your pet and watch a heart-warming movie.

How the Grinch Stole the Christmas (1966)

This piece of gold is a heart-stealer almost every Christmas. Created by Dr.Seuss and recreated for TV Special by Chuck Jones, How the Grinch Stole the Christmas is basically a movie you can enjoy with your pet every Christmas. It follows the story of the Grinch, a fictional character, who tries taking away Christmas from the townsfolk of Whoville below his mountain hideaway. Grinch owns a pet dog called Max.

Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins is a comedy-horror movie about a young man who receives a strange creature called ‘a Mogwai’ from his Salesman father from the Chinatown as a pet. It comes with a warning to never expose the creature to bright light, water, or to feed it after midnight. Unfortunately, all of this happens which then spawns gang of gremlins creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters and decide to tear up the town on Christmas Eve.

Santa Buddies (2009)

Santa Buddies is a light-hearted Christmas movie about Santa Clause and his dog Santa Paws who try to reinstate Christmas spirit and stop the Christmas Icicle at the North Pole from melting. The movie revolves around a group of dogs trying to save Christmas. It involves lots of fun, adventure, funny dialogues, and scenes.

Look Who's Talking Now (1989)

Look Who's Talking is a romantic comedy film written and directed by Amy Heckerling. Came out in 1989, it stars John Travolta and Kirstie Alley (Mollie) along with Bruce Willis playing the voice of Mollie's son, Mikey. The fun-filled movie revolves around the lives of Mollie and Mikey trying to find a life in New York City.

Jingle all the Way (1996)

Jingle all the Way is a family-comedy movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a workaholic father who can’t give time to his son. As a last chance to bond with his son, Arnold desperately tries to get a Turbo-Man action figure on the last minute shopping spree on Christmas Eve. The movie goes from comedy to adventure and can be a great movie to indulge in with your pet.

Cats & Dogs (2001)

Cats & Dogs is a spy action-comedy movie directed by Lawrence Guterman. The story is based on the relationship between cats and dogs, depicting their relation as the intense rivals in which both sides use organizations and tactics that mirror those used in human espionage. The talking animals can be a frightful experience for some pets, so do consider asking friends for the recommendation before renting out this movie this Christmas.

Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Lady and the Tramp is an animated romantic movie produced by Walt Disney in 1955. Based on "Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog," by Ward Greene, Lady, and the Tramp revolves around the story of two dogs, a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady and a male stray mongrel called the Tramp. When the two dogs meet, they embark on a romantic adventure.

How to Protect your Pet’s Paws this Winter?

Winter can be harsh on your pet’s naked paws. The cold weather, ice, snow, and cold floor can crack their paws and even peel the soft skin. Ailing paws can be a trouble for the pets.

Taking your pet outdoor or for the hiking during winter can lead to many troubles too. You should ensure to provide enough protection to their fragile paws to keep them safe.

Here are some tips to keep their paws safe

Keep your dog's nails trimmed

Long nails make your dog's toes spread when they walk. This allows more room for snow and ice to build up between the toes. This can be a painful experience. Untrimmed nails can also affect your dog's weight distribution, pushing their overall weight onto the back of their feet. This creates less traction in the feet and they will be more likely to slip on icy surfaces.

Trim the fur between Toepads

By trimming the fur between their toe pads you’ll level the pad fur with the pads themselves. This helps to reduce the amount of snow, salt, and grit accumulation between the toes. Compacted snow salt on your dog's feet makes walking difficult for them and can also affect their ability to stay on their feet.

Lubricate paws before heading outdoors

Cold weather, ice, and salt can cause your dog's pads to dry out and crack. You can prevent this by wiping his paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take him out for a walk. Be sure to keep him off slick surfaces inside the house, such as tile, and outside the house, such as ice.

Consider dog booties

Dog booties are a great way to keep your dog's feet safe and in good condition, particularly when the ground is hot, wet, or snowy. Dog booties provide optimum protection from any outside elements and help your dog retain body heat. It’s common for dogs to not take to wearing boots as it can be uncomfortable for them. Try a gradual approach, and let them sink into it for a while. Let them wear booties inside the house for short periods of time and offer them a prize or treats

Check your De-icer

De-icer can produce salt and other ice-melting granules or chemicals that can irritate your dog's paws. It can also cause stomach ailments if ingested. When choosing a De-icer you should consider buying non-toxic options, such as sand, gravel, and non-clumping cat litters. If you do use salt or chemical deicers, choose to buy "pet safe" brands.

Wash your dog's paws after walks

When coming inside the house from the outdoor, consider washing your dog’s feet with a warm water or rinse them. This helps to warm up their cold paws. It will also wash off any salt or deicing chemicals residue formed between their toes.

Apply Vaseline on Dog’s Paws

The snow, ice, and salt can cause your dog's pads to dry out and crack. You should consider wiping their paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take them outdoors. Consider keeping them off slick surfaces inside the house, such as tile, and outside the house, such as ice.


If you notice any trouble with their paws, do consider visiting our veterinarian at the earliest.

What Causes Eye Boogers in Dogs?

Eye boogers generally refer to a buildup of mucus in the eyes. While blinking the eyes, the eye flushes out the secretions of rheum, a watery fluid. The mucus generally accumulated in most quantity while sleeping.

Mucus helps protect the eyes from dirt, chemicals, soil, and other foreign agents. Eye boogers are generally harmless, however, in some cases, the discharge of eye booger may exceed and cause problems in pets.

Allergies

Dogs may experience allergy of grass, pollen, dust, pollen and other antibodies that lead to a physical reaction like eye discharge. Some breeds are particularly prone to allergies namely terriers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced dogs like bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers. Some of the common symptoms of dogs experiencing allergies are:

  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Irritated skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Pawing at eyes

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva. It’s also known as ‘the pink eye’. The conjunctiva is a thin transparent layer of tissue that sits on the inner surface of the eyelid. You should get your dog checked with the Vet immediately if you notice pus-like eye boogers and excessive redness in and around the eye. Conjunctivitis can be troublesome for pets as they often paw their eyes due to irritation. Pet’s conjunctivitis is transmittable to humans too.

Epiphora

Epiphora is the excessive watering of the eye. It’s common for eyes to produce water, however, it can be a problem if they start producing excessive water. Signs of Epiphora are excess wetness around the eyes, brown stains underneath the eyes, a smelly odor, and skin irritation. This condition is more noticeable in breeds with lighter fur. You should consider visiting the Vet if you notice any such condition.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is also known as the Dry eye disease (DED) or the Dry eye syndrome (DES). It is a multifactorial disease of the tears and the ocular surface that results in discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. KCS occurs when the tear gland gets infected or when it experiences trauma. Some of the common symptoms of KCS are yellowish discharge, inflammation around the eye, excessive blinking or swelling of the eyelids. It may also lead to corneal disease or damage if not treated soon.

Glaucoma

The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve helps to transmit images to the brain. If the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. Some dog breeds are more prone to Glaucoma such as Poodles, Chow Chows, and Cocker Spaniels. Glaucoma is also common in senior or the aging dogs.

There are two types of glaucoma in dogs. Primary glaucoma is when the eye is unable to drain, causing fluid to build up inside the eye. Secondary glaucoma is caused when the eye is impacted by trauma (such as inflammation or cancer), which physically blocks drainage.


Eye boogers in common conditions are usual, however, daily cleaning of the eyes is essential to keep your pet’s health in check. Most ailments in pets occur when the initial problems aren’t corrected on time.

How Pets help to minimize Stress?

Pets are more than a part of the ownership. They are life companions. We share a special bond with our pets. Most of the times, they’re our savior and confidants.

Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans.

Playing with pets is known to increase oxytocin in the blood, a stress-reducing hormone, and is also linked to decreasing in cortisol – the stress hormone. The increase in oxytocin helps to keep you calm, relaxed, and happy. There are many psychological and physical benefits to owning a pet.

Another study revealed that owning a pet help you live longer.

Here are some of the benefits of owning pets

Improve Your Mood

Owning a pet and playing with them helps to refresh your mood. The constant care, touch, playtime, and company helps to keep your mood fresh. Owning a pet is linked to decreasing stress, depression, and other psychological trauma. A recent study suggested that men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.

Control Blood Pressure

Humans generally take drugs to keep their blood pressure in check. While it’s true that drugs can keep your Blood pressure in control, however, it has many long-term drawbacks. The rise in BP can cause stress, hypertension, and other stress-related ailments. Playing or hanging out with pets tend to keep you fit and keep your heart rate and pressure in check. In a study, it was revealed that hypertensive stockbrokers who got dogs and cats were found to have lower blood pressure!

More Time for Exercise

Owning a pet keeps you fit. It encourages to go out with your dog, often jogs, hit the gym, visit the park, plays with pets etc. Daily walking or jogging keeps your heart rate in check. Dog owners spend more time walking than non-pet owners. Regular exercise is good for stress management and overall health. Owning a pet can be credited with increasing health benefits.

Help with Socialization

Walking a pet often helps you to meet other people. While walking a dog, you often meet neighbors, pet owners, and friends. This helps to socialize and keep your social life maintained. Pet owners often hang out together, or get together!

Confidants

You can share anything with pets because they can’t tell anyone! You can share your secrets with pets, tell them about your problems and worries. People tell pets the things they can’t tell other people.

Personal Touch

The importance of touch is undeniable and has been proven to be beneficial by the psychologists. A recent article in Psychology Today revealed that physical touch decreases violence, builds trust, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress.

Increase in Self-esteem

A recent study from Miami University and Saint Louis University revealed that pet owners have better self-esteem than the non-pet owners. They tend to be less fearful and have lesser stress level.

It’s undeniable that owning a pet has many benefits. It’s time to get a new pet if you do not have one. The better is to get a pet from the shelter home or adopt one, as they equally need a companionship.

All About Canine Therapy

We know dogs as our friend, family member or even as police dogs. But, do you know they have been serving humans as therapy assistants, too? 

Canine therapy is the guided interaction between a person and a dog with the goal of comforting and increasing joy in a person with mental or physical health condition. The patients may learn to give command to the dogs, play with them or pet and care for him. Therapists observe their actions and behavior with the dog and use them for in other situations and further treatment. 

Why Dogs for Therapy?

Question might raise, why to use dogs for therapy when there are well educated and experienced people in therapeutic interventions? Like other animals, dogs are comforting, accepting and non-judgmental. Canine therapy is particularly beneficial when the patient is resistant to treatment and struggles for verbal communication. It's also very useful in treating children and teenagers with problem in focus. 

Therapy Dogs

Any dog can be a therapy dog as long as s/he is well tempered, obedient, well socialized and loves to cheer others up. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training before working with patients. They work with the people with special conditions, for example people with learning difficulties, in special places such as, hospital, nursing home, hospices, schools, stressful conditions and disaster areas. 

Types of Therapy Dogs

Generally, there are three types of therapy dogs.

Therapeutic Visitation Dogs

These are household pets. The pet guardians make time to take them to place of need in scheduled times. Patients in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers love to play with them. The visitation from their canine companion brightens up their day, comfort them and motivate them to uplift their self esteem. 

Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs

These dogs usually live in rehabilitation centers and assist physical and occupational therapists. They are a major part of the therapy and each of them have goals in individual's recovery such as, gaining motion in limbs, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor control.

Facility Therapy Dogs

These dogs are trained particularly to work with the patients with Alzheimer's disease or other mental illnesses in nursing home. They live in the facility and are handled by trained member of the staff. 

Benefits of canine therapy

Anyone can benefit from dog's companionship, their unconditional love and care. Being with them for just some minutes is enough to overcome a whole day of stress and tension. Likewise, or more, people with special mental or physical conditions have been benefited by therapy dogs in many streams. 

  • Improved motor skills and joint movement 
  • Improved dependent or independent movements and increased physical activity
  • Decreased stress and relief from anxiety and depression
  • Increased focus and attention through hands-on interaction
  • Improved communication and social skills
  • Learning the appropriate way to treat themselves and others
  • Unconditional love, affection and nurturing
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Elevated mood
  • Reduced loneliness and enhanced sense of purpose
  • Setting and respecting boundaries
  • Motivation to stay in treatment and participate fully in therapy

Who Should Consider Canine Therapy?

Canine therapy can be useful for:

  • people undergoing chemotherapy
  • residents in long-term care facilities
  • people hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • children having physical or dental procedures
  • stroke victims and people undergoing physical therapy to regain motor skills
  • people with mental health disorders
  • people involved in substance abuse 
  • people with attachment issue

Risk of Canine Therapy

  • While uncommon, safety can be an issue with canine. If used unsuitable dog, it can harm the patients.
  • On the other hand, risk is always there that the patients with mental condition and bad temper can harm the dog.
  • The handler and guardian should always be careful about sanitation and cleanliness of the dog.
  • Some people might be allergic to dog dander, which can some time create serious medical issue.
  • People tend to be attached to things easily. Sometimes, the patients refuse to be detached from the canine companion. This sometimes, leads to low self-esteem and depression.

 

Life Expectancy of Dogs

Our dogs become so close to us, we want them to be with us forever. But unfortunately, dogs have life expectancy less than humans. However, studies have shown that the pet owners can play an important role in increasing their dogs' lifespan. The list of dogs' life expectancy according to dog breed is at the end of this article, but first let's talk about how pet owners can increase the life expectancy of their dogs.

Healthy diet

Healthy lifestyle, healthy diet above all, is the key to long and prosperous life. Maintaining nutritious diet for your dog from the early age helps increase its lifespan.

Medical Care

Regular health care, that is at least annual health examination, keeps prevents harmful diseases and conditions to worsen in the period of time. Buster shots together with regular health checkups result in healthy dog with longer lifespan.

Exercise

Exercise becomes more and more important for dogs as they age. With the increased age, they tend to be tired easily and can't move around much as in the young age. Therefore, the exercise started from an early age keeps their body muscles young.

Cross Breeding

Research shows that inbreed can lower the lifespan of dogs. Inbred dogs have a risk of carrying genes of illnesses that are common the their breed. Cross-breed dogs tend to inherit less of the illnesses and live a longer and healthier life.

Spaying/Neutering 

Studies have shown that spaying a puppy at a young age positively affects its lifespan. It reduces the risk of cancers such as, breast, uterus and ovaries. 

List of Dog breed and their life expectancy