Get inspired with the best ideas & solutions for a life with dog

Living with a dog is probably the most fulfilling time ever. Animals complete your life in so many ways that you will feel gratitude towards them. Getting a new dog takes a lot of planning, effort, consistency, and training. Don't make it hard for your dogs to get comfortable, make sure you provide for them and make them a part of the family.

An estimated 49% to 68% of Americans are pet owners. Over 90%of them own dogs and cats.

Owning a dog is associated with lower rates of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. When dogs can do so much for their human companion, why can’t humans do the same for their dogs?

Here are some best ideas and solutions to better your dog’s life

There are many ways you can better the life of your dog. Buying new toys, readjusting their kennel with heating pads and insulation for winter, buying new stainless steel eating bowls, etc. are a few of the ways you can provide for them. Here are some of the other ideas to better their life.

Make Life an Adventure

Dogs love adventure! They love exploring new things and places. You must have wondered why your dog always spring outside once you open the gate. They enjoy the feeling of going out and exploring either that be in your backyard, a park, or a hiker’s trail.

To make their outing fun, instead of taking the same walk every day, consider what your dog likes and find places that match its interests. It can be nearby forests, a new neighborhood, a new park, an unexplored hiking trail, etc. Be wary about the new place you wish to take your dog and assess the safety measures beforehand. You can also take them on a car or bike ride. It’s easier to keep them in an open-crate and ride on a bike if you have a small dog breed.

Let Them Decide

Most dogs love the freedom to make their own decisions. Let them explore certain places off-leash. We’re aware of the safety concerns –not to mention laws and common sense, but you can simply open your doors to let your dog loose in certain cases.

Don’t put them on a leash when you’re home. You should let them lose and enjoy their quality time exploring the backyard. When you’re in the park, you can let them off-leash. Take proper precautions before letting them free to ensure that they don’t land up in any trouble.

Encourage Playtime

We can’t emphasize enough how important playtime is to the canine’s happiness. Dogs are active beings and they enjoy using most of their time playing and exploring. Encourage more playtime in their daily schedule by introducing new games such as puzzles and finding clues that include treats. You can indulge them in “fetching game” too. Most dogs find things to do by themselves but they always enjoy the company of their human companion. Spend more time with them when you’re home! In addition to the obvious fun, the play also provides mental and physical exercise and socializing opportunities and leads to feelings of success as well as enhanced cooper

Make Toys and Chews a Priority

Dogs love playing with toys. It keeps them engaged for a long time! Each dog has its own favorite toy. Some love biting it while others like toying around with it. Enrich your dog’s playtime by introducing new and engaging toys. Such activities prevent canine boredom while providing mental exercise. Add new toys and puzzles in their life. These keep them engaged for a long time.

Chewing is another part of their daily to ensure good dental hygiene. Young dogs love chewing on things when they get new teeth. Don’t let them chew on hard surfaces which can distort normal teeth growth. Buy organically chewable such as all-natural pet chew made from Yak's Milk easily available in the www.urbanpetssupply.com online store.

Encourage Training and Socializing

The more you understand your dog, the easier it is to avoid misreading them and to successfully communicate with them. You can start brushing up on your dog body language by initiating training programs. You can hire a trainer or do it yourself by looking at the online tutorials. This helps to tame their behavior from an early age and provide a gateway to learn more about them.

Maintain a balanced diet

Maintaining a dog's daily nutritional intake is essential to ensure they remain healthy and safe throughout their life. Malnutrition or excess intake of minerals is common among most dogs. This can be prevented with proper diet chart provided by your veterinarian. Dog's daily nutrition should include 45% carbs, 25% fats, and 30% protein. Water and supplements such as Vitamin D and minerals are as important as their daily diet.

Vary their food by introducing different dog food brands after duration. Introduce them slowly to the new food brand.

Protect Them from What They Dislike

Many dogs hate the sound of crackers and loud noises, mostly during holidays. You need to ensure that you keep them away from any places close to creating loud noises. Few dogs hate to be around when there’s incessant noise from small kids. Assess if your dog isn’t stressed by the noise. If it is, you need to remove it from there.

Keep On Training

Training isn’t just a regime but a lifestyle. Nobody is ever done training a dog, and certainly not after one or two eight-week sessions. Training can vary from age and skills. There are only certain training you can conduct when your pup is young. Eventually, you’d need to introduce new training to instill new skills into your dog. Dogs that are well trained can be given more freedom, have more opportunities to socialize, and are able to go more places.

Learn To Rub the Right Way

Dogs love to snuggle with humans and being rubbed. They feel content when they’re being rubbed in exactly the right spot. You would need to find out the sweet-spots where they feel the most comfort such as their hips, neck, chest and the area just above their tail gently massaged. You can find different resources online where and how to rub them the right way.

Keep them tidy

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.

  • Some of the benefits of regular grooming include
  • Eradicate health problems
  • General cleanliness
  • Keeps vital organs in check
  • Increase physical appeal
  • Ensure a stress-free environment

 Removing tangles helps them defecate more easily. Keep their toenails short to allow for easier movement comfortably. Never shave them fully, this can create rashes on their skin and invite germs.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Our in-house vets and trainers can always help you with training and grooming your dog. Being a pet hospital in Urbandale, we can always provide immediate medical assistance to your dog.

Most Effective Tactics for Training Your Dogs At Home

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

Trainers suggest that you can start training your dog at home by adhering to effective tactics by engaging, rewarding, and positive disciplining them.

When it comes to training a canine, you could find many known techniques such as reward-based training, scientific training, operant conditioning, pack leaders, positive reinforcement, dominance theory, the Koehler method, Cesar’s way, etc. The list goes on. But one technique doesn't always fit all.

Regardless of which method and techniques you use, effective dog training boils down to one thing-controlling the consequences of your dog’s behavior. If you want to influence the way your dog behaves, you need to:

Reward behaviors you like.

Make sure behaviors you don’t like aren’t rewarded.

Most effective tactics for training your dogs at home

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the most talked about and popular method for canine training. It was popularized by trainers like Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who trained the Obamas’ dog, Bo.

The theory of “Positive Reinforcement” suggests that you should reward your dog for good behavior. If you reward them, they’re more likely to repeat good behavior. On the contrary, bad behavior does not get a reward or acknowledgment. However, the dog owners must practice positive disciplining to demotivate dogs from repeating bad behavior such as removal of rewards, like a toy or treat is taken away.

This method of training is often combined with clicker training which gives the dog a distinct sign of the exact moment the behavior was completed. Commands also need to be short and to the point such as Sit, Stay, and Come.

Start with continuous rewards every time your dog does the right thing. Then, gradually move to intermittent rewards as the behavior becomes consistent. It can also be easy to overfeed during the training, hence try using small treats or avoid using food every time you reward them.

It relies on four points:

  • Positive reinforcement –It reinforces their positive behavior.
  • Positive punishment -It discourages any behavior by adding something the dog sees as unpleasant.
  • Negative reinforcement – It increases behavior by taking something away that’s unpleasant.
  • Negative punishment – It demotivates behavior by taking something away that’s desirable.

Scientific Training

Scientific training is a mixture of lots of different training methods that are continuously analyzed, tested, and improved. Science-based dog training can be difficult to define as it relies on information that is continually building and changing.

The trainers aim to understand dogs’ nature, their ability to be conditioned, and the effectiveness of rewards and punishments while training any canine. Hence, training a dog slightly differs from training another dog.

Trainers work hand in hand with animal behaviorists who are constantly creating new studies and experiments to comprehend dog’s psychology. This method relies heavily on these studies to work with dogs. It relies on operant conditioning

Operant conditioning, sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning, is a method of learning that employs rewards and punishments for behavior.

It mostly follows positive reinforcement and, less often, some forms of punishment. Trainers believe that it’s important to reward the positive behavior of dogs and punish the bad behavior to discourage its repetition. This method also relies on dog psychology to find ways to improve off-leash relationships between owners and their pups.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is the most basic form of a pet training method. It heavily relies on operant conditioning and follows the same principles as positive reinforcement. Mostly, it’s grouped in as a method of positive reinforcement, rather than as its own form of training.

The trainer relies on a device to make a quick, sharp noise, such as a clicker or whistle or to address a dog when a wanted behavior is accomplished. The advantage of using clicker training is that it helps dogs to easily comprehend and imbibe the desired behavior. As every good behavior is rewarded, the clicker also helps to signal the dog that with the completion of every command they’ll receive a treat.

First, the dog needs to be conditioned to know that a click means a reward is coming. Then the dog can associate a behavior with a click and a reward. Finally, verbal command can be introduced to form a new association.

Electronic Training

Electronic training is a bit extreme method of training a dog. It relies on the use of an electric collar that delivers a minimal electric shock or a spray of citronella when your dog is not performing the desired task. It’s mostly used for training at a distance when a leash can’t be used.

Shock collars are very effective when training a dog to stay within boundaries of an un-fenced yard or to teach them to work in fields or do hunting work. Unlike the popular belief, people who rely on shock collar claim that there’s less risk of a dog getting hurt than with choke collars or other mechanical devices.

This method mostly relies on punishment for bad behavior instead of rewards. Professional trainers believe that this may help the dog learn what they shouldn’t do, rather than what they should do. Using continuous punishment can also lead to a great deal of stress and permanent anxiety issues for dogs. It can be a weapon in an inexperienced hand.

Model-Rival or Mirror Training

The model-rival method of training, also known as mirror training, believes that dogs can learn by observing other dogs. By providing a model of good behavior or a rival to compete for resources, dogs learn to mimic behaviors.

This method may use another human or animal act as the model. The trainer will praise them for completing tasks on command or punishing them for unwanted behavior. The dog, as an observer, will learn from the observation. The model can also be used to act as a rival, competing to do the right task for a desired toy or treat as a reward, encouraging the dog to pick up on the task and accomplish it more quickly.

As the term stands, mirror training relies on mimicking good behavior. To put it simply, the dog learns by example. This training method is equally successful in training a canine as positive reinforcement or clicker training.

It’s also easier for the dog owners who spend a lot of time with their pets. Your dog spends a lot of time observing you and following you around making it easier to conduct the training at any time.

Alpha Dog or Dominance

Alpha dog or dominance training relies on a dog’s instinctual pack mentality to create a relationship of submission and dominance. It relies on the theory that dogs will follow a social hierarchy, as observed in captive wolf packs. When a dog sees themselves as the alpha, they need to learn to instead respect their human as the alpha and submit.

Trainers conduct this method by learning a dog’s body language and responding accordingly, projecting confidence and authority, and going first when it comes to eating, entering or leaving rooms, or walking on a leash.

The alpha training follows a strict guideline that enables your dog to understand that they must submit to you. You forbid them from sleeping with you on the same bed or eat on the same furniture. You also don’t get down to your dog’s eye level. That’s because these are signs that your dog has equal standing in the relationship. You are in charge; you are dominant.

Many modern trainers are critical of this method and claim that pet dogs do not rely on pack mentality as much as previously thought.

Relationship-Based Training

Relationship-based training relies on combining different training methods into one. It focuses on a more individualized approach for both dog and owner where the relationship between dog and human drives everything.

This method can help meet the needs of the dog and the trainer and helps to foster communication. It also helps to build a stronger bond between the human and the animal.

The trainer relies on understanding the dog’s body language. They also rely on positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior.

The dog’s environment is controlled to limit possible unwanted behaviors. New information is built on previous success.

There are many animal training methods and techniques you can adopt to train your own dog. Although it can be difficult for most new pet owners to conduct training at home by them, trainers can always step in to assist you whenever needed.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Our in-house trainers can always help you with training your dogs. Being a pet hospital in Urbandale, we can always provide immediate medical assistance to your dog.

DIY - Best Pet hacks for Summer and Winter

The summer is already upon us. Although it is one of the great times of the year for the pet, the heat can be super dangerous to your little furry friend.

There are 1001 ways to beat the heat to keep your pet cool in summer. Here are some of the most popular DIY Hacks for you to try.

Unlike us humans who are covered in sweat glands, dogs only sweat through sweat glands in the pads of their feet and noses. They release heat by panting, which isn't super-efficient so they can quickly become overheated. To avoid the dangers of heat, they need our help.

10 Best DIY Pet Hacks for Summer

Here is the list of ten best Do-It-Yourself Hacks to beat the heat this summer and keep your furry friend cool and happy.

Frozen DIY Treats

  • Creating a frozen pet treat is one of the most popular DIY hacks. It’s easy and very much loved by dogs. You can choose to buy frozen pet treats from the market and keep it inside your freezer until you need them or you can create one yourself.
  • You can create frozen treats at home by using these ingredients
  • Frozen broth cubes - Pour beef or chicken broth with no salt in the ice-cube tray and freeze them overnight.
  • Frozen yogurt - Yoghurt is good for dogs. Choose to buy lactose-free yogurt and freeze it in an ice-cube tray for a few hours.
  • Frozen Kong - You can use oven-baked traditional kibbles and spread some peanut butter or cream cheese and free it.
  • Peanut Butter Popsicles - Who doesn't love popsicle? Mix peanut butter, mashed bananas, and plain yogurt and free it in an ice-cube tray.
  • Remember that you must use healthy meal options to create frozen treats for your dog, to keep it active and relished.

Summer Dog Shoes

You must have heard of dog shoes, but have you heard dog shoes for summertime? Yes, pet essential manufacturers have come up with dog shoes that keep your furry friend’s paws safe from blistering hot asphalt and tiles while providing enough hydration and air-flow.

  • Summer dog shoes can be very useful you take your dog out for a walk or play during day time. Keep in mind to find the right size of shoes for your dog.
  • Features of proper dog shoes
  • Rugged – Rugged and strong shoes with a sturdy sole protects sensitive paws from sharp objects, heat, rubble, and hot pavement.
  • Comfortable – It should be comfortable to put on and take off. If it’s difficult to get off, it’s likely that your pet’s paws are squeezed inside.
  • Reflective - Reflective strips on the shoes help to make sure your dog is visible if you’re adventuring during dawn or dusk.
  • Durable- Consider durable over cheap options. Durable shoes can be used for years.
  • Breathable – Remember that your pet’s paw needs to breathe. Dogs sweat from paw and nose, hence, air circulation is a must.

Proper Grooming

Pet grooming is essential throughout the year. There are certain times during a year when your furry friends need more grooming and care. Summer is one of the times when your pet needs extra attention. Many dogs with double coats and thick fur are prone to overheating during summer. Regularly brushing their fur using grooming brushes and keeping their coat neat and clean helps to maintain the airflow. Regardless of the season, it’s important to ensure that fur is never matted or disheveled. Never get your pet fur entirely shaved off. Direct sunlight on the skin can cause sunburn and other allergies.

Many pet owners believe that double-coated dogs can’t handle the heat, but during summer they actually shed their undercoat which helps them to stay cool. Ensure to keep their fur clean and unmated.

Pet Mini Pools

What could be better than creating a mini-pool for your furry friend and their friends? Mini pools can easily be assembled and fit in your backyard. If you have any outdoor space to offer your pet some relief in the form of a quick pop-up water park, try purchasing a small kiddie pool.

If you’re buying a blow-up pool, ensure that it’s made out of harder plastic that is claw-friendly. You can always add accessories such as water-hose over the pool, pet toys, and games, etc. to fit inside the mini-pool!

Damp/Wet Towels

While some dogs enjoying jumping into a water pool, few dogs may shy away from stepping into one. Fear of water is common in many dogs. To ensure that they get to enjoy cool water during summer, you can use damp or wet towels and wipe your pet with them.

If your furry pet doesn’t mind, you can use a water hose to spray cool water on them. Both of these are less scary ways to ensure that they aren’t missing out on the relief of a cool bath.

Ice Cubes in Drinking Water

Ice cubes are the best treats for your furry friends during summer. You can simply put it in front of them or add in their water bowl to keep the water cool.

If you’re unsure how your pet will react to ice, start off with smaller chunks. Get them used to it! Dogs enjoy licking ice cubes which can keep their tongue cool. Aggressive chewers might find danger in larger ice cubes, but many dogs love them. Teething puppies can also use this as a way to soothe their gums.

You can also add ice cubes into water bowls to keep the temperature down during summer.

Make a Frozen Treat Bowl

Just like frozen kibble, you can keep your pets occupied and refreshed with a frozen treat bowl. Ensure to use a different kind of mixture and solution in the frozen kibble. The chicken broth works well because the flavor keeps them interested until they get to the good stuff. Don’t make a mistake of keeping the frozen treat bowl outside the house. It will melt instantly!

Create a Shaded Sanctuary

Shaded sanctuary works well for both humans and pets. Originally designed for a child, you can use the tiny shaded sanctuary for your furry friends. Building one in the backyard ensures that your dog can find shade at any time of the day. This cute tepee tent is the perfect shady spot for a pet on a sunny day and can easily be created by hand using few tools.

Protect Pet Paws with a DIY Wax Treatment

You cannot always prevent your dog from stepping on a hot surface such as hot asphalt and tiles during a sunny day. To ensure that their paws aren’t scalded by hot surface, you can apply paw wax. If you can't your dog from walking outside during the heat of the day, ensure that you provide an extra layer of protection against the heat.

You can create paw wax at home.

  • In a small pot – or double boiler – over low heat melt the oils, shea butter, and beeswax. ...
  • Pour the mixture into lip balm tubes and/or tins.
  • Let them cool on the counter until hard.
  • Cap and label.
  • Keep away from extreme heat.
  • Use within 1-2 years

Freeze a Toy

For added fun, you can add water, treats, and your dog’s favorite toys to a plastic container and freeze them. This will help keep them entertained for hours. The ice will also help keep them cool and hydrated.

Some of the useful DIY hacks for winter are as such:

  • Use basic cold tap water to fill pet water bowls. It takes longer to freeze in the cold outside.
  • Always wipe down your dog's paws after a walk outside to prevent the build-up of residues such as rock salt, and antifreeze
  • Get them winter booties or use Vaseline on their paws to keep them protected
  • Reduce the number of dog baths during winter. Let them stink a bit.
  • Let their hair grow during winter. No need to trim them off!
  • Feed them more during winter as they can easily burn up calories to stay warm
  • Dress them up in a winter coat or doggy sweater. You can also repurpose old kids' clothing.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Get in touch with us to find the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

 

How to choose a Perfect Dog Breed for Your Personality?

When it comes to choosing a pet dog, people often try to find the animal that relates to their personality, temperament, and attitude towards lifestyle. Choosing the right breed of dog can often be challenging because dogs, like people, are unique. They exhibit different characteristics. Many dog breeds love to spend time outdoors playing or running around. Even inside home, they regularly stay active such as Labrador retriever and Golden Retriever.

Moreover, the dog you choose to become a part of your family will have its own unique needs and behaviors which you would need to look after at all times. Some dogs are well adapted to training, while many dogs need continuous pestering to get their back off the couch.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, a pet hospital in Urbandale, has compiled a list of dog breeds according to your personality and temperament.

Inquisitive and hardworking

If you’re a hardworking person, you would want a companion who would support you and become a part of your lifestyle. A hardworking person would often spend time indulging in work or spend time outdoors. You would need to find a pet that would be ok spending time by itself when you’re busy. However, you must provide enough love, care, support, training, activities, and grooming to keep it preoccupied throughout the day.

Your ideal dog must be confident and self-assured. Pekingese, Japanese Chin, Tibetan Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Chinese Crested, Bull Terrier, or Shih Tzu are probably the closest breed to you. Although training them at an early age can prove to be a difficult task, once trained they can be very respectful, reliable, and polite once trained.

Giving and Helpful

If you’re a person who loves to volunteer, give back to people, and support others, you would need a companion who would feel the same about you. A right pet would fill the gap in your life and remain a helpful companion so you feel empowered.

Your ideal dog must be loyal, obedient, smart, gentle, and fond of the human company such as German Shephard, Dutch Shephard, or Belgian Sheepdog. For smaller breeds, you can choose from Bichon Frise, Maltese, Havanese, or Bolognese.

Ambitious, Social and Adaptable

If your personality speaks about ambition, social exposure, adaptability, and achievement, you would need a companion that shows similar traits. For an optimistic achiever, you would need an equally hardworking pet with great adaptability and people skills.

Your ideal dog should be adventurous, playful, active, and social such as Beagle, English foxhound, American Foxhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Harrier, Brussels Griffon, or Basset Hound.

Individualistic, Creative, and Original

Maybe we’re talking about artists such as painters, actors, songwriters, graphic designers, and screenwriters. They spend more time by themselves and enjoy alone time to create artistic pieces.

If you have a different way of seeing the world, you would love to surround yourself with animals sharing the same trait.

Your ideal dog should be laidback, peaceful, relaxed, and companionable such as Shiba Inu, Australian Shepherd, English bulldog, Hokkaido, Akita, Kishu Ken, Shikoku, Border Collie, Miniature American Shepherd or Dutch Sheepdog.

Intellectual, Investigative, and Thoughtful

If you have that intellectual and investigative personality whenever approaches you with a challenge or a new topic, then you seek a companion who is equally investigative as you are. If you love learning new things, seeking new experiences, and immersing yourself in the unknown territory, then you need a pet dog as aloof and pensive as you are. Chow Chow, Chinese Shar-Pei, Greyhound, Tibetan Mastiff, Jack Russell Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and Rat Terrier or Parson Russell Terrier, are some of the smartest dog breeds. They can equally match your energy.

Loyal and Trusting

If you have been a loyal and trusting friend to others and seek the same qualities in other people, then you would need a companion that shows similar empathy as you. Although every dog breed is known for their empathy and trusting attitude, some of the breeds are more loyal such as Siberian Husky, Akita, Samoyed, Pug, Greyhound, Alaskan Malamute, or Chinook. These breeds are well built to survive in harsh weather conditions and enjoy living and working in packs.

Enthusiastic, Curious, and Adventurous

If you’re mischief with a gist of curiosity and adventure, then yes my friend you need a companion who shares the same attitude. Your explorer-like quality can be well compensated by the energy and enthusiasm of Pomeranian, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dachshund, or Teddy Roosevelt Terrier. They share an unequivocal amount of enthusiasm for adventure and exploration.

Peaceful, Easy-Going, and Non-confrontational

If you have found your Zen and prefer a quality peaceful time over parties and gathering, then you would need a pet that goes along with you indoors. An easy-going person would walk out with a casual pair of shorts and shirt, lay around the home slouching, and basically free-spirited. Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever, Labrador Retriever or Curly-Coated Retriever, completely fit your taste.

Here are the ten best breeds that do very well with intensive training:

  • Labrador retriever
  • German shepherd
  • Golden retriever
  • Poodle
  • Australian cattle dog
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Australian shepherd
  • Miniature schnauzer
  • Papillon
  • Border Collie
  • Active dog breeds
  • Retrievers
  • Shelties
  • Russel terriers
  • Border collies
  • Less Active and laid back dog breeds
  • Greyhounds
  • Shiba Inu
  • Cairn terriers

You should be careful about the breed-related disease and health ailments when you get a pet for yourself. Few dog breeds are prone to hip dysplasia like Golden Retriever, while Bulldogs are prone to cardiac-related issues.

Because of excessive modification, bulldogs often suffer from allergies such as itchy and runny eyes, irritated skin. They also suffer from Brachycephalic Airway syndrome, Dermatitis, and hip and elbow dysplasia.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Get in touch with us to find the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

Human Food You should Never Feed your Dog

Many pet owners let their dogs eat from their plates and left-overs. Let us tell you that this is very wrong! Allowing your pet to eat the food you consume isn’t only harmful but also life-threatening to them. The food we commonly eat on a daily basis consists of fats, cholesterol, and natural chemicals that are prone to a dog’s health.

Xylitol, a naturally obtained chemical mixed in chocolates to make it sweet, can cause insulin levels to rise and damage your dog’s liver.

There are many food items, raw or cooked, that we consume on a daily basis which can create troubles for your pet. As a precautionary measure, you should stop feeding pet your of your kitchen. And, put your trash away from the reach of your nosy-friends who often dive into the trash can to scavenge for food scraps.

10 Human Foods to Avoid Feeding your Dog

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare has compiled a list of food items that are harmful and useful for dogs. The list is also recommended by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center of food harmful for dogs.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough is harmful to dogs mainly because the yeast begins to rise once it gets into your dog’s digestive system. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch their abdomen, bloat their stomach or even twist it, making it a lot painful to them. In many cases, consuming a large amount of yeast dough can become a life-threatening emergency. The yeast produces a chemical ‘ethanol’ as a by-product which leads to alcohol poisoning in dogs.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally originating chemical found in many plants and trees. It is used as a sweetener in many food items such as chewing gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. Ingesting xylitol leads to the release of insulin in dogs. The excessive increase in insulin can lead to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) and can trigger vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. If not treated within a few days, it can lead to elevated liver enzymes and liver failure in dogs. Carefully dispose away of the candy and gums, and keep the trash can away from your dog’s reach.

Salty Food

Most fast food items eaten by people including Pizza, burger, fries, Lasagna, pop-corn, and Pasta consist of a large amount of salt (sodium). Large amounts of salt intake can produce excessive thirst and urination in dogs. In many cases, the continuous intake of sodium can even lead to sodium ion poisoning in pets.

There are tell-tale signs of sodium poisoning such as vomiting and diarrhea. Severe symptoms include depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures.

Onion, Garlic, and Chives

We often use onion, garlic, and chives in our meal to make it delicious. The problem with these natural root-items is that they can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs and cats. It is less troubling if consumed in a small amount. However, if your dog consumes a large portion at once, it can lead to red blood cell damage or anemia. The tell-tale signs include weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs, and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. You should keep onions and garlic -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- away from your dog.  Do not let your dog nibble on fast foods found at fests, carnivals, and beaches

Milk and Dairy

Milk and dairy products can be harmful to dogs mainly because they do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Consuming a large amount of milk and other dairy-based products can lead to diarrhea or other digestive upset in dogs. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause her to itch. Unlike popular belief, milk is harmful to cats. Instead of sharing your ice cream with your dog, instead, give them some cold water.

Grapes and Raisins

Popular fruits like grapes and raisins consist of unknown toxins that can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Although the actual toxic compound is unknown, many instances and research have led to the belief that consuming grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Even small amounts of grapes and raisins can be troublesome for your dog. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, tremors, lethargy, and dehydration.

Chocolate and Caffeine

Do not let your dog nibble on chocolates and caffeine-based food products. Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthines which are commonly found in Cacao seeds. Ingestion of methylxanthines leads to vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, and seizures. In a severe case, death is common too. The dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate because it contains more methylxanthines and caffeine. Prevent your dog from slurping coffee and tea from the cup or floor.

Alcohol

Alcohol causes ethanol poisoning in dogs. They shouldn’t consume it even the smallest bit of amount. The tell-tale signs of ethanol poisoning include a lack of coordination, diarrhea, seizures, and vomiting. In many cases, it leads to central nervous system depression, tremors, and abnormal blood acidity in dogs. Contact your pet hospital in Urbandale as soon as you notice these signs.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

When ingested in small amounts, coconut or coconut-based products do not pose problems to dogs. However, the flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools, or diarrhea in dogs. Coconut water is mainly avoided for pets because it contains a high amount of potassium.

Citrus

Citrus fruits are commonly found around many gardens, parks, and forests. Beware if your dog starts nibbling on these small fruits. The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can lead to bowel irritation and central nervous system depression. A small amount doesn’t necessarily hurt your dog, however, if ingested in a significant amount it can lead to many problems.

Here are some of the food items and fruits that you can consider feeding your dog. However, you must remember to use moderation when introducing these food items.

  • Blueberries
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries
  • Salmon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Cooked eggs (Never feed raw eggs)
  • Oranges
  • Carrots

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort offers some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about the best ways to take care of your pet.

10 Signs you are not taking Proper Care of Your Pet

Although we are careful about our pet’s daily lifestyle, there are times when they begin showing signs of underlying illness and other borderline mental issues. When you begin noticing your pet showing any unusual signs, this is the time to take immediate action.

Most pet owners aren’t aware that they shouldn’t feed their pets from their plates. The dog or cat’s diet differs from us. They shouldn’t eat everything that we often eat on a daily basis such as garlic, chocolate, oil-based food, etc. This is one of the many cases that go unnoticed by pet owners because for them it seems like the right choice of diet for pets.

Ten Signs you are not taking proper care of your pet

Urban Pet Hospital, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, has compiled a list of ten most common issues that show how taking care of your pet can go wrong.

Obesity

Obesity or overweight is common in many dogs and cats. One of the major reasons for obesity is feeding your pet the wrong food.

According to a study, “Obesity accounted for more than 1.3 million nationwide pet insurance claims in 2016, a 23 percent increase from three years before.”

With an unhealthy diet plan, pets often face large consequences from obesity-related conditions. Your pet’s meal requirements vastly differ from your dietary requirement; hence you must stop feeding them from your plate or prevent overfeeding treats.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and conditions in pets including arthritis, inflammation, diabetes, heart conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders.

Vitamin D Poisoning

Vitamin D toxicity is common in dogs that are fed food or supplements rich in Vitamin D on a regular basis. Popular food brands contain lots of minerals that are hard to get from food prepared at home; however, these food brands often contain a higher volume of Vitamin D which can lead to poisoning.

The report submitted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) suggests that several popular brands of dog food have 70x the safe levels of Vitamin D which could kill dogs. Although it is rare, it is noteworthy to understand how it can adversely affect your pets.

Pets intoxicated with excessive Vitamin D often show signs of vomiting, weakness, depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, etc. These are the giveaway signs that you must take your pet to the veterinarian to help diagnose if it has been poisoned with excessive Vitamin D intake.

Along with pet food brands, Vitamin D supplements, Cholecaliciferol based rodenticides, etc are common factors causing Vitamin D toxicity in pets.

Bowel Issues

Bowel issue in dogs is something that often goes unnoticed by pet owners. Commercial food can cause indigestions in many cases. The majority of canine food allergy cases involve a reaction to the protein source, such as chicken, beef, or egg.

Most dogs suffer from a sensitive stomach because of indigestion caused by improper diet due to the intake of a type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat.

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.

What are the signs of bowel issues in dogs?

  • Dehydration
  • Painful, distended, or hard belly
  • Retching, trying to vomit, or difficulty defecating
  • The appearance of blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Lethargy

Energy Level

Lack of energy or lethargy in dogs is quite rare. If you have noticed, dogs or pups often spend most of their time running around, jumping or foraging. If you find them disinterested in playing and going out for a walk or sitting idle for a long time, then there can be underlying medical problems.

Most of the time, it's the food that you feed them. The diet isn't giving it the proper nutrients it needs. Sometimes switching diet or food brand which doesn't suit its age, breed or temperament also invites lethargy in dogs.

The best things you can do is switch back to their previous diet and contact your nutritionist for assistance.

Behavioral issue

Unlike a popular belief, aggressive behavior in dogs is quite uncommon. It can be a frightening experience when a docile and friendly dog becomes hostile.

According to a recent study, aggression has become the most common and serious behavioral issue among dogs. It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers, and veterinarians.

Some of the major reasons for sudden aggressive behavior in dogs are as follows:

  • Any underlying illness or injury that may be causing pain to dogs that makes them react with fierce to others.
  • When animals are afraid of something, they tend to become aggressive.
  • Possessiveness is a common factor for aggression in dogs which can be caused by their favorite toy, bed, or territory.
  • Although rare, the aggression induced by frustration often leads to problems in dogs.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite in dogs can be sudden, and pet owners often feel confused about it. There are many underlying issues that can cause loss of appetite in animals.

Although it doesn't necessarily indicate serious disease, immediate veterinary attention may be required because it could be a sign of significant illness, including cancer, various systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. Some of the other reasons for loss of appetite are dental problems (broken or lost tooth, gingivitis, etc.), recent vaccination, unfamiliar surroundings, etc.

Odd eating habit

You may sometime notice that your dog skips a meal to two. This isn’t uncommon for a few times, but more than that, it can be a problem. The heat outside can often make dogs lose their appetite, however, it if persists, then you must consult your veterinarian. Two days without eating is a clear sign that your dog needs an examination.

Some diseases cause dogs to develop unusual eating habits such as lime disease, tick infection, internal illness, intestinal worms, etc.

As a pet owner, you must keep a check on these things and keep a stack of necessary medication at home.

Excessive Thirst

It’s common for dogs to drink more water during summer or after a lengthy outdoor visit, however, it is uncommon for dogs to experience excessive thirst or urinate frequently on a regular basis.

Not drinking enough water or failure to urinate can indicate digestive issues. If your dog is drinking and urinating excessively, they could be facing more fatal illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) or Water Diabetes is a rare disorder in dogs that affects their water metabolism, preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it. The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), and increase the thirst for water.

Grooming

Pet grooming doesn't only enhance your dog's appearance but it also improves its hygiene and prevents infection, hair-matting, discomfort in movement, ear infection, and stress.

The recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Ensure to keep your pet well-groomed and clean at any season to prevent excessive hair matting or flea/tick infection. The matted hair, untrimmed nails, and germs around the facial area often induce stress in dogs.

Socialization

Dogs are social animals, and they equally enjoy the company of both animals and humans. It’s uncommon for dogs to distance themselves from other humans or animals. If that is the case, they may be facing socialization issues.

Naturally, a dog socializes by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. It’s more common for recently adopted dogs, dogs or pups that have faced harassment, or animals with abandonment issues to offset anti-social behavior

You can easily notice this tendency. It can be normalized by visiting trainers or daycare and by conducting social training skills both in and outside the home

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about the best ways to take care of your pet. Our certified veterinarian and best doggy daycare facility are always ready to help you

Pet Essential that Every Pet Owner should Own

Pet essentials are assorted items that you will need at the beginning, middle, and end of your canine’s journey. They aren’t only items but essentials that make their and your life easier. These are things every pet owner should have on hand at the beginning, middle, and end of their journey with their canine companions.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has compiled a list of ten pet essentials that every pet owner should have at home.

  1. ID Tag

Although many say that ID Tags are old school, it is one of the easiest ways to identify a dog and its owner. Like us humans, the pet needs identification in case they are lost, wander off, or fall in some accident. Although microchipping your dog works almost all the time, if they escape or get lost, personal ID tags can help identify them without going through the microchip reading process. ID Tags can ensure to get them home as quickly as possible.

Along with ID Tag, it’s essential to microchip your pet. There are greater advantages to micro-chipping such as during holidays and celebrations where there are many cases of missing pets. Most of these pets are lured into a trap or are distracted. Once the ID tag is removed, it becomes difficult to locate a dog even when they are found by rescue shelters. A microchip can help prevent this by easily identifying the dog.

  1. Pet First Aid Kit

Pet First-Aid Kit is another pet essential that should in your home, car, or office at all times. Owning and being able to use the first-aid kit can prove to be a life-saver! These are the items that should be in the first-aid kit all the time.

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Ice pack (Replaceable)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with the blunt end
  • Tweezers
  • OTC antibiotic ointment
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Phone number, clinic name, address of your veterinarian

 

  1. Comfortable Harness/Leash/Longline

There has been a debate about harness and leashes for dogs. While it is true that a harness can be more comfortable for your pets compared to a leash, for smaller dogs and pups, leash works best. Most harnesses won’t fit the small-sized dogs unless you make a customized one for them.

Take suggestions from your pet trainer and veterinarian if you should buy a harness or leash for your dog. Longline works best when you take your dog out in the park or near forests. This will prevent it from running off into the forest or bushes and also keeps it away from the reach of coyotes and other wild animals.

  1. Dog Diapers

Dog diapers become essential at different points of time in the life of dogs. While dog diapers are common when they are young or older, some dogs may need dog diapers when they are facing certain medical conditions such as incontinence.

Diapers help to prevent dirt and germs on the floor from entering the urethra and causing a Urinary tract infection in dogs. The thing to keep in mind is that you should change the dog diaper frequently. Just like children, dogs n`eed to feel fresh and clean to stay in a healthy state of mind.

  1. Pet Hair Brush

Even though you frequently take your dog for grooming, it’s quite handy to keep a comfortable pet hairbrush around the house.  Frequent grooming in dogs is linked to their mental well-being. Regular grooming is linked to a balanced mental and physical state of the pet. It keeps them stress-free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

There are different kinds of pet hair brushes which you can choose from,

  • A slicker brush helps to get rid of any debris, loose hair, and mats/knots.
  • A pin brush is made for dogs with longer and silkier coat types.
  • A bristle brush is well suited for dogs with short or wiry coats.
  • The undercoat rake is designed to get deep into double and heavy coats of dogs.

 

  1. Steel Food and Water Bowl

Using plastic food and water bowl for dogs is a complete No-No. The plastic bowls often form cracks after extensive use which leads to debris or residue. These can lead to the formation of germs and bacteria which can easily pass into the digestive system of your pets. Using a ceramic bowl is another best option.

You should fill the water bowls often during summer because dogs often perspire while sitting indoors. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t remain dehydrated. Additionally, some dogs may develop an allergy to the plastic, resulting in a mild skin reaction on the chin or face

  1. Cozy Bed with Heating Pads

Your dog spends most of its life in its bed; hence ensure that you provide a cozy and comfortable bed. Using a cozy mattress is one of the options to make the bed extra cozy. During winter, you should consider installing heating pads in their bed. Do not use heated blankets meant for humans. Heated dog beds heat up safely for a dog's needs and work on low voltage making them safe for canines.

  1. Toys and Puzzles

Keeping pets engaged with different forms of toys and puzzles help to keep them away from developing isolation, boredom, or stress. This is important because dogs that “need a job” have a problem-solving mindset and will find puzzles very satisfying. You can find different forms of interactive games for pets. When you’re home, you can consider hiding treats and giving them clues to solve the problem. This helps to strengthen you and your pet’s bond.

  1. Flea Treatment Agent

Fleas can also sneak into your home any time of year. Easily available flea treatments can help to remedy your home from flea infestation. As an option, you can create your own concoction of home-based agents to develop flea treatments.

Use flea shampoos to wash your dog when it's flea season. This prevents flea from getting into your dog's coat, which is later carried inside your home.

Flea infection becomes common during spring and summer.

  1. Stain and Odor Remover

Stain and odor remover helps to remove stubborn urine smells from just about anywhere while removing the underlying pheromones. These pheromones are like a marker where your dog tends to return to and re-mark. You can find many enzyme-based cleaners on the market.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about other pet essentials you can gift your companion.

Topmost Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Summer is already here! Along with it come different kinds of allergies, rashes, flea, and dry skin. Your pet, both canine and feline, could face different kinds of allergens in and outside the house! The best way to prevent this is to prepare possible home remedies.

 As admitted by many pet owners, their pets end up consuming chemicals such as plant fertilizers and defrost toiletries and human pills. Such accidents may require immediate medical attention from a professional veterinarian. In common cases such as allergies, rashes, and flea bites, a pet owner can diagnose the conditions and administer homemade remedies accordingly.

 Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital, the best pet hospital in Des Moines to find possible home remedies for allergies, rashes, indigestion, flea and tick, and other problems.

Home Remedies for Common Pet Problems

Here are home remedies for some of the most common pet problems. 

FLEA INFECTION

  • A mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt can make an effective flea spray. Dilute 6 cups of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water, and then add a dash of sea salt. You can spray the mixture directly onto your dog's coat.
  • You can place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. This way, any fleas you sweep up will remain inside.
  • Flea collar is sprayed with insecticides. If you resist using insecticide, you can use active ingredients such as cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, and marigold. This will help deter them.
  • A regular flea bath to your dog during spring, summer, and autumn with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb will help prevent any flea infection.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to each quart of the animal’s drinking water. It acts as a flea deterrent and it helps keep pets free of fleas and ticks.
  • As an organic approach, you can stock your garden with off-leaf larvae-eating nematodes. These can help to bring down your Japanese beetle population.
  • To keep your home free of flea, you can consider spraying your window and door screens with distilled water containing several drops of bitter orange essential oil.

 

ITCHINESS & DRY SKIN

Dry skin and itchiness are common in pets during spring and summer. During summer, you must restrict your pet from staying outdoors for a long period of time.

 An Oatmeal bath is one of the most common and effective home remedies to prevent itchiness. Prepare a bath by adding uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking. Run a tubful of warm water over it. Next, you can soak your pet in the water for 5-10 minutes before rinsing them dry. As an option, you can also buy Oatmeal-based shampoos from the pet stores.

 Using aloe Vera gel is another way to prevent itchiness. Start with break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick gel onto the raw area or the skin. Beware; your pet mustn’t lick the area. Ingesting aloe vera can cause vomiting. 

CUTS, SCRAPES & ABRASIONS

Cuts, scrapes, abrasions are common during any time of the year. If your pet is active and runs around places, or forages into the dustbin, it is more likely to get cuts and scrapes.

 Mix together 1-pint water, ½-teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon calendula tincture. Next, you can soak the injured part in the solution. An injured paw can be soaked into the solution while the wound on the body requires applying the solution through a squirt bottle. Gently apply the solution to the infected area. Repeat the process every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

 

BITES AND SCRATCHES

If your pet gets serious bites and scratches, you must immediately take it to the vet.

  • For smaller wounds, you can start with rinsing it with the following solution: 1-pint water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • As an option, Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean wounds, but it can hurt delicate tissues.
  • In the case of felines, cat wounds are infamous for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, you should clean it with Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Wear a protective layer or latex gloves while handling an abscess.

 

TISSUE TRAUMA

Tissue trauma is common in pets after they fall from a height, get stepped on, or are in a fight. 

  • As an effective home remedy, you can apply common homeopathic remedy arnica which speeds the recovery.
  • You can administer two pellets of arnica 30c once per hour for three hours following the injury.

 

PET INDIGESTION OR LOOSE STOOL 

Indigestion or loose stool in pets is mostly after they eat something they shouldn’t have. If your dog scavenges from the dustbin or kitchen bin, you should start keeping it away from their reach. Most often scavenge for food items outside the house. This can lead to the ingestion of food or items that can affect their digestion.

  • Certain food items can irritate the bowel, creating nerve impulses that signal the gut to speed up. If the food moves too quickly, the result is loose stools.
  • You can prevent this by inspecting what they eat all the time. Don’t over-feed supplements such as Vitamin B which can lead to loose stool.
  • The herb slippery elm, available as powder or capsules, can help control indigestion and loose stool.
  • Ensure that you keep fertilizing, pesticide, and chemicals away from your dog’s reach. Most of these items can be poisonous and the first sign of poison is often loose stool.

SKUNK SPRAY-ON PETS

Skunk spray is common during summer and spring when your dog plays outside the house. The nosy practice of dogs often lands them in trouble. A skunk sprays the allergic liquid when they detect a threat.

  • If you notice that your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you can start with bathing them in a mixture of one-quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap.
  • The stench of skunk spray is another problem to get rid of. You can use tomato juice, to remove the smell. Leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it off. For a large dog, a single wash can require several cans of tomato juice, so be prepared for this.

 

GET RID OF PLASTIC FOOD DISHES

 Plastic utensils are often allergic to pets. Hot spots around the face can be caused by plastic food bowls. You can start by replacing the plastic food and water bowls with stainless, glass, or ceramic bowls. Clean the bowls often to remove any decay.

 Most pets are prone to bacterial allergens which develop into puppy acne or feline acne and a rash or pimples in the face area such as nose and chin.

 Urban pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale and premier pet hospital in Urbandale. Get in touch with for the best doggy daycare and assistance from a certified veterinarian.

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons why your old dog smells bad?

Dogs do often smell. It is a part of their hygiene. Many dogs smell when they have stepped outside for play or have foraged for food inside the dust-bin, however, there is always a difference between funny smell and stink.

Although common in many dogs, stinking isn’t noticeable until they have been diagnosed with different physical ailments. Stink is one of the earliest signs of underlying pet healthcare problems. Bad smell is more common in geriatric dogs who often encounter age-related diseases and ailments such as bowel disorder, cancer, oral disease, and anal sac problem.

It is essential that you keep track of how your dog smells over the time to ascertain there are any underlying physical problems with them. Once you begin noticing unusual smell or stink, you should immediately consult your veterinarian.

7 reasons why your old dog smells bad

Here are seven major reasons for an old dog to start smelling bad.

a. Dental Disease

Dental problem is common in many elder dogs. You should take elderly dogs to the vet every six months, so any underlying problems can be figured out before it gets serious. Depending on the dental problem, your dog might require tooth extraction, gum surgery, or a thorough cleaning.

By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease. Periodontal disease is common in dogs from a young age. It becomes more prevalent in elderly dogs. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar resulting in a deteriorating gum line. It produces toxins that lead to bone and tissue damage.

While a slight odor is normal for pets, stinky breath indicates deteriorating oral hygiene. Sometimes the underlying dental infection or cancer can cause smelly breath.

Another problem specific in dogs is Gingival Hyperplasia, the overgrowth of the gums that can harbor food residue and produce a rotten smell. Boxers, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, and Great Danes are more prone to this oral disease.

b. Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, also known as lack of bladder control, is more frequent in elderly dogs. The aging dogs are more prone to weaker bladder and bladder infection. Over time, the muscles of the urinary tract system start to weaken in elderly dogs. Without bladder control, urine leaks onto a pet’s fur, which leads to odor over time, unless given frequent baths.

The condition has been seen occurring more frequently in senior spayed females than male dogs. Certain breeds are predisposed to urinary incontinence, including the springer and cocker spaniel, Old English sheepdog, and Doberman pinscher.

If you begin noticing foul smells in your dog, you should certainly take them to the vet. Once diagnosed, your vet will prescribe medication to strengthen your dog's sphincter muscle for better urine control or offer hormonal therapy. Sometimes it could be the sign of kidney disease.

c. Kidney disease

Bad breath (Halitosis) isn’t always caused by poor oral hygiene, sometimes it could be deteriorating kidney problems. Pets with kidney disease are unable to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream, which build up over time and create an ammonia-like odor to your dog’s breath. A metallic odor to their breath could also be a sign of kidney disease.

Kidney disease is a frequent occurrence in elderly pets. Dogs diagnosed with kidney diseases are often thirsty. Excess water consumption and increased urination, dull coat, appetite loss, and mouth soreness are few of the symptoms of underlying kidney disease. When you notice the earliest signs of kidney diseases, you can consult your vet who will prescribe a special kidney diet. For chronic kidney diseases, a kidney transplant is a more common solution.

d. Diabetes

Elderly dogs are more prone to diabetes. Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

Elderly dogs are unable to produce enough insulin or aren’t using insulin properly. The body fails to use the food they eat for nutrients. Over time the body will begin to weaken. It is an endocrine disorder. One of the effects of diabetes is a condition called ketosis when the body is forced to burn its fat supplies. When your dog is creating ketones, their breath will have a distinctive odor, which some say smell like nail polish remover, while others say the odor is sweet.

e. Skin Infection

There are many reasons for skin infection in dogs. Secondary bacterial infections from constant scratching, dogs with wrinkly skin, and allergies are often the major reasons for skin infection. Incessant scratching can lead to a bacterial infection which can give off a putrid odor.

Dogs with wrinkly skin, such as English bulldogs, Shar Pei's, or pugs, are more prone to developing skin fold dermatitis when two skins come close in contact. It creates a warm, moist environment perfect for an overgrowth of surface microbes which can produce toxins that cause irritation and inflammation.

Allergy is one of the major reasons for skin infection in dogs. It often manifests in itchy skin allowing bacteria to enter through breaks in the skin, leading to a stinky infection.

f. Anal Sac Issues

Anal sacs issue occurs because of anal sac infection or impactions. This often leads to a nasty smell. Anal sacs are two small glands located on either side of the dog’s rectum. If untreated, it can lead to anal sac rupture and forms an abscess which can also create quite a stench. Common signs of anal sac issues are when they drag their bottom on the ground, scooting, and licking of anal.

g. Flatulence

Flatulence occurs when your dog eats something it isn’t supposed to. On occasion, your dog’s diet may simply not agree with their gastrointestinal system, and a food change is in order.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas taking proper care of elderly dogs.

How to Become a Foster Parent to Pets?

Fostering is a usual concept in pet care where a person or a household takes in a homeless pet that needs parenting. Like fostering a human child, fostering a pet includes providing them utmost love, emotional support, hygienic meal, and time.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pets are in need of constant care. Pets are in desperate need of foster care at this time partly because many shelter homes and volunteers had to close down temporarily to self-isolate. Pet abandonment is also rising mainly because people are forced to stay home with no work. With no money, pet owners are more likely to abandon.

Those with sheer interest and resources can definitely take up fostering. One can contact the local pet shelter to check if they can foster a pet. They will often set you up with the basic necessities, pet care advice and a supply of pet food to get started.

Why do People need to foster Pets?

There are many reasons a pet might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  • A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for pets until suitable homes are found.
  • A pup is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until it is old enough for adoption
  • A pet is recovering from surgery, illness, or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A pet is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  • A pet has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  • In many cases, fostering pets can help save space in the shelter which is running out of room for adoptable pets.
  • It helps shelter or rescues another pet.

How Do I Become A Foster Care Provider?

Deciding to become a foster parent to homeless pets can be the greatest treasures. So you’ve decided to become a pet foster parent, but what next?

Here is the brief outline to fostering a pet:

  • Check with local shelter homes or petfinder.com to find shelters and rescue groups near you.
  • Contact the organization in-person and fill up the foster application.
  • Evaluate and complete applications carefully
  • Get ready to bring home your foster pet
  • Share special moments with your pet and give the utmost care and attention
  • Socializing and training are parts of fostering a new pet.

Although it can be harder for the foster parents to send off their beloved pet once it is ready to be adopted, the bittersweet experience can be overcome by the feeling that you have more pets to take in and care for.

The first and foremost step is to contact your local shelter and rescue home. Websites like www.petfinder.com help to locate an animal shelter or rescue group near you along with filtering your search request to a specific breed, age, and type of animals. You can also find many other different adoption organizations that help seniors, special needs, or different animal types.

After successfully locating an organization, you can inquire or put in your request to foster a pet. Each application is carefully reviewed. You must ask this question:

  • Who pays for the vet bills?
  • Who is financially responsible for the dog’s food, microchip, leashes, crate, etc.?
  • Where will the dog be introduced to prospective adopters and what are your responsibilities?
  • Are you responsible for training the dog and if so, to what level?

The size of your home and time spent with a pet also determines if you can qualify to become a foster parent. For certain dogs, a foster parent who is home all day may be required, or home without cats or children.

The shelter or rescue group may require a veterinary reference and/or a printed application and one or more telephone or in-person interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fostering

Here are some of the crucial questions you must consider before taking up fostering.

a. Are you able to separate the foster pets from your own?

You should have a place where you can isolate your foster pet from your own companion animals. It is important to introduce them slowly.

b. Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?

Preparing your home and the area the animal will stay in can prevent most accidents, help keep your pet safe and help set you both up for fostering success.

c. Are you willing to help a pet with medical concerns or who may need medication?

Ask if your foster pet has any medical considerations to be aware of any medication it needs to take. If so, make sure that you’re willing and able to make sure your pet is getting the medication or care.

d. Can you get to the shelter’s vet quickly in case of an emergency?

Talk to the shelter or rescue group about how they prefer you to handle any emergencies. The shelter or rescue group likely works with a veterinarian who can treat your foster pet. If the animal you are fostering needs medical attention, you will need to transport them to the veterinarian’s office or shelter for care.

e. What will you do to prepare to return the pet after the foster period is up?

Sometimes it can be difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to an animal! Although an emotional moment, when the day comes that you must bring your first foster pet back to the shelter or to an adoptive home you should be willing to do it.

f. Do you feel comfortable explaining to friends that these pets are not yours to adopt out and that they must go through the regular adoption process at the shelter?

If you are interested in helping to find a home for your foster pet, refer your friends and family to the shelter or rescue group to complete an adoption application.

Qualifications

To be a successful foster parent, you will need a compassionate nature, the cooperation of your family or partner, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior. The length of time a foster pet may stay in your home varies with the animal’s situation.

Know Your Limits

Foster parents should know their limits while taking in a new foster pet.

  • Does your homeowner's insurance or city have any breed or weight restrictions? Do you have time to devote to a foster pet while giving your own pets the attention and care they need?
  • What kind of behavior problems are you comfortable dealing with – counter surfing, pulling on the leash, jumping when greeting, inappropriate elimination, separation anxiety, barking, reactivity? Don’t accept a foster that may need help beyond your experience and knowledge, unless you are willing to consult with a qualified trainer.
  • What kind of health considerations might you be willing to accommodate? Providing medication? Incontinence? Digestive disorders? Special dietary needs?
  • Do you require a foster dog that is comfortable around small children or other animals?

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on fostering and adopting a pet.