8 Common Dog Paw Problems

Unlike humans, dogs walk around in their four. The dog paws comprise of a thick layer of pads that help to hold its weight and protect from minor scratches.

Composition of Dog’s paw

Along with bones and cartilages, the dog’s paw includes skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and connective tissue. The digital and metacarpal pads work as shock absorbers and help protect the bones and joints in the foot. The outer layer or carpal pads work like brakes, of sorts, and help the dog navigate slippery or steep slopes.

The feel of their pads differs according to their surrounding. Dogs that are outside a lot and exposed to rough surfaces have thicker and rougher paw skin while those who stay indoors have softer pads.

A dog’s paw isn’t free from problems. Get in touch with doggy daycare in Des Moines to ascertain common dog paw problems.

8 common Dog Paw Problem

A dog’s paw can attract different kinds of problems. The weather and climate, daily diet, lifestyle, and hygiene may determine the condition of dog paws.

a. Allergies

Dogs are prone to allergies. The allergic condition can make their paws very itchy. They will typically bite, lick, or chew on them to attempt to relieve the itching. In some cases, excessive licking of the paw can cause irritation or injury and can make it more susceptible to secondary fungal and bacterial infections.

b. Fungal and Bacterial Infections

The fungal or bacterial infection is common in canines. Many different species of bacteria and fungi normally live on your dog’s paw however they only become an issue when these organisms can grow out of control and cause infection. Signs of an infection include redness, swelling, pain, itching, and drainage. Yeast and ringworm are the most common fungus that may infect your pets’ paws.

c. Nail issues

Long toenails are common and can have a lot of negative consequences for your dog. Long nails can make it more difficult for your dog to walk.

Ingrown nails that those which are not trimmed properly or naturally worn down by walking outside can become painful ingrown toenails.

Torn or fractured nails occur when your dog catches their toenail on something. Fractured nails are generally caused by accidents.

d. Dry and Cracked Paw Pads

Warm weather, exposure to the rough surface, winter, chemicals, dry air, and excessive licking can cause dry and cracked paw pads. Dry and cracked paws can be painful and put your dog at a risk for infection.

e. Burns and Blisters

Dogs can suffer burns or blisters in the hot weather! The hot pavement or asphalt road can cause your dog to suffer a burn. If it is too hot for you to walk outside barefoot, it is too hot for your dogs, too! Always feel the pavement with the bottom of your bare hand before letting your dog walk on it. If you cannot comfortably hold your palm to the asphalt for 10 seconds or more, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.

f. Cuts and Abrasions

Cuts, abrasions, or lacerations are caused by walking on sharper objects such as broken glass, small rocks, and sticks, burrs, etc. You must be careful when you allow your dog to play outdoors. Keep them off of any surface you aren’t familiar with.

g. Parasites

Dogs who roam around outdoors can easily get tick infection. Ticks hideout between a pet’s toes where they can cause all sorts of problems, including pain and infection. You must consult a vet to remove the tick. If you remove it yourself, be prepared to use tweezers or special tick removal tools to grip the tick from the head and gently pull it out.

h. Cysts and Growths

Cysts are the sac of tissues that are filled with another substance, such as air or fluid. Cysts, lumps, and growths can commonly occur on paws or in-between your dog’s toes. Contact your veterinarian if you spot one and they can treat and remove if necessary.

How to protect your Dog’s paws?

Always consult with doggy daycare in Des Moines to diagnose dog paw problems. Here is what you can do to prevent serious paw infections and injuries.

i. Keep your dog's nails trimmed

Long nails for the dog are always problematic. They can unnecessarily spread their toes when they walk and the empty spaces between their toes will accumulate dust or snow. Untrimmed nails can also affect your dog's weight distribution, pushing their overall weight onto the back of their feet. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed and short all the time. If your dog often wanders outside, you must take extra precautions with their nails.

ii. Trim the fur between Toe pads

By trimming the fur between their toe pads you’ll level the pad fur with the pads themselves. This prevents snow, salt, and grit from accumulating 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.

iii. 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.

iv. 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 are like human shoes that provide optimum protection dust, heat, snow, and other forms of dust. Wearing booties can be difficult for dogs. 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

v. Check your De-icer

De-icer is used during winter to de-ice the icy particles on cars. It can produce salt and other ice-melting granules or chemicals that can irritate your dog's paws when contacted. 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. Keep the chemicals inside the shelf all the time.

vi. Wash your dog's paws after walks

After roaming outside, consider washing their feet with warm water. This helps to warm up their cold paws. It will also wash off any salt or deicing chemicals residue formed between their toes.

vii. 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.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines specializing in pet care, pet health, and diet.

How the pet Hospital Helps fight Rabies?

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

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

How does the pet hospital help fight rabies?

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

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

rabies worldwide map

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

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

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

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

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

dog saliva rabies

According to MERCK Animal Health,

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

Do rabies shots prevent dogs from getting rabies?

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

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

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

Rabies the Disease vs. Rabies the Vaccine

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

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

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

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

How Long Do Vaccines Offer Protection?

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

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

zoonotic disease infographic

Do veterinarians need a rabies vaccine?

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

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

Pre-exposure Rabies Vaccine

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

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

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

rabid dog

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

Can your dog become a canine blood donor?

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

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

Can a dog become a canine blood donor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEA 4

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

DEA 3 and 5

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

DEA 7

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

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

Can Any Dog Give Blood?

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

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

Blood Donation Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Full Pint
  • Half Pint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do vets get blood for dogs?

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

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

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

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

 

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

Can Dogs be Autistic? Major Symptoms and Treatments

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

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

Can dogs be autistic? Major symptoms and treatments

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

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

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

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

Diagnosing Autism in Dogs

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

Dogs with tendencies of autism onset may entail such signs:

a. Challenges with social skills

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

b. Repetitive behaviors

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

c. Speech and nonverbal communication

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

Possible causes of autism in dogs

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

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

Symptoms of Autism in Dogs

The major symptoms of autism in dogs include:

i. Lack of Social Interaction

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

ii. Behavioral Issue

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

iii. Mental condition

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

iv. Physical

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

v. Sensorial

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

Possible treatment of autism in dogs

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

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

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

a. Medicine

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

b. Secure and safe environment

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

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

c. Anti-stress life

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

d. Exercise

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

e. Diet

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

f. Positive Reinforcement

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

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

Water Therapy Service for Dogs

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

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

Pet therapy service

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

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

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

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

Importance of pet therapy service

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

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

Water therapy service for dogs

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

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

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

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

About pool therapy

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

Benefits of Water Therapy Service for Dogs

The many benefits of water therapy service for dogs include:

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

Why you should perform a water therapy service?

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

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

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

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

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

Real news about “water therapy service for dogs”

The news was covered by ABC7 Chicago.

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

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

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

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

Pet Care Service in Des Moines

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

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

Grooming for Dogs

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

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


Importance of pet grooming

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

Benefits of pet grooming include;

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

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

a. Remove Dirt and Dead Skins

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

b. Avoid Nail Complications

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

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

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

c. Avoid Dental Issues

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

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

d. Avoid Matting of Hair

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

e. Avoid Intestinal Conditions

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

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

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

f. Control Shedding

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


What is generally included in a dog grooming?

The tools for dog grooming include;

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


How often should a dog be groomed?

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

Short-haired

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

Short hair and double coated

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

Long hair and double coated

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

Thick Undercoated

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

Silky coated

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

Curvy or Wavy coated

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


Are human products applicable to dogs?

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

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

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

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


Urban Pet Hospital and Resort

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

Some of our most-sought after services include

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

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

Hiking or Backpacking with Your Dog

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

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

Hiking with a dog

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

hiking with dog

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

i. Age

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

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

ii. Breed

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

iii. Activity level

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

iv. Overall health

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

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

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


How to Train your Dog for Hiking?

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

a. Start slow

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

b. Increase time gradually

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

c. Take regular breaks

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

d. Dog’s energy level

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

e. Vary the terrain

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

Find the complete dog training list.

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

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

dog paw protection

You can prevent this by following these preventive tips.

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

Trail Etiquette when hiking with dogs

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

a. Choose a Dog-Friendly Trail

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

b. Abide by ‘The Leash Law’

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

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

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

c. Clear Trail for Other Hikers

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

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

d. Reduce Environmental Impact

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

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

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

e. Leave No Trace

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

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

dog backpack


Common Dangers and Threats

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

a. Bikes and Horses

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

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

b. Dehydration

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

c. Too much Sun

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

d. Contaminated Water

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

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

e. Open Water

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

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

f. Wildlife

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

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


Doggy First Aid Kit

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

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

Paperwork

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

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

Gauze, non-stick bandages, and adhesive tape

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

dog first aid

Extra Food

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

Hydrogen peroxide

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

Antibiotic spray or ointment

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

Milk of Magnesia, or activated charcoal

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

Treats

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

An eyedropper or syringe

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

An extra leash and collar

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


Dog food

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

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

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


Dog Backpack for Hiking

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

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

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

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

How to Train Your Dog to Stay?

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

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


How to train a dog to stay?

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

Getting Started

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

How do you train to stay command?

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

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

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

dog training

Have your dog sit in a comfortable spot

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

Use basic commands

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

dog training

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

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

Give a treat

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

Have your dog come to you

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

Use a different command for a treat

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

Increase the distance

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

dog training

What is the best dog training method?

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

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

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

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


How do I get my stubborn dog to listen?

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

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

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


At what age should a dog be fully potty trained?

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

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

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

What causes Aggressive Dog Behavior?

dog-behavioral problem

It can be unusual for a canine to suddenly become aggressive and attack the owner or other people. It can be a frightening experience when a docile and friendly dog becomes hostile. In extreme cases, the dog may bite or even maul your family member and other pets.

It is important to understand how to curb the aggression of the dog and try to minimize the harm that it can cause to itself.

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.

What causes aggressive Dog Behavior?

Every animal has a wild instinct that makes them aggressive. Among dogs, aggression encompasses a range of behaviors that may give signs of extreme aggression. Dogs that show aggression may exhibit some of the following sequences:

  • Becoming still and rigid
  • Guttural bark that may sound threatening
  • Lunging forward or charging at others
  • “Muzzle punch” (the dog literally punches the person with her nose)
  • Growl or showing teeth
  • Snarl (a combination of growling and showing teeth)
  • Snap or quick nip that leaves no mark
  • A quick bite that tears the skin
  • Bite with enough pressure to cause a bruise
  • Repeated bites in rapid succession
  • Bite and shake

Although a dog may or may not show any of these signs, it is essential to check with your veterinarian to ensure that your companion isn’t suffering from aggression-inducing issues.

Some of the major causes for the sudden aggressive outbreak are as follows;

i. Illness and Injury

Illness or injury can cause dogs to become aggressive. The onset of diseases or illness can cause a dog to show signs of aggression such as growling, snapping, and biting.

The medical condition may cause pain to dogs that are too often stressful. It may make them react to things. Some possible causes of pain include arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations. Injury to the head may also cause a sudden outbreak of aggression among pets.

The best possible way to deal with it is to take your dog to the nearest vet for the assessment.

ii. Fear

Most fearful dog become defensive or aggressive in most cases. It’s natural for dogs to exhibit aggressive behavior if they sense they're in danger.

When animals are afraid of something, they prefer to run away which is called the flight response. But if escaping isn’t an option, most animals will switch to a fight response.

Fear aggression is characterized by rapid nips or bites because a fearful dog is motivated to bite and then run away. Male and female dogs are equally prone to fear aggression.

To prevent this type of aggressive behavior, you should approach unknown dogs carefully, better yet, let them approach you. Training and socializing help to curb fear in the future.

iii. Possessiveness

Possession aggression occurs when a dog becomes possessive about food, a toy, a bed, or any other forms of possession. A dog exhibiting possession aggression will growl if someone approaches its possession.

Dogs evolved from wild predecessors who had to compete for food, shelter, and mates to survive. Even though they do not have to face such harsh situations, many still show the tendency to guard their possessions against others.

iv. Frustration

Aggression induced by frustration is often referred to as redirected aggression or barrier frustration. Over time, a dog can learn to associate restraint with feelings of frustration. This may explain why some dogs become aggressive when put behind a gate or inside a cage.

A dog may often feel frustrated at not being able to get to something. This type of aggression is often seen in dogs that spend a lot of time tied up, restrained on a leash, or behind a chain-link fence.

As a pet owner, it is important to take your dog off the leash and allow it to roam under supervision. Socializing with other pets or park-play time can help a lot.

v. Territorial Aggression

Inhibiting territorial aggression from their wild relatives such as wolf, a dog can show tendencies of defending the territory from other animals or humans. Dogs sometimes show aggression to establish dominance. Territorial possession can induce dominance among pets.

Territorial aggression can occur along the boundary regularly patrolled by a dog. Other dogs show territorial aggression only toward people or other animals coming into the home.


Can an aggressive dog be cured?

Aggressive behavior in dogs can be cured. It will be impossible to say it can be permanently be cured but the behavioral modification can help to prevent any future hostile behavior.

See Your Veterinarian

The first things you can do is call up your veterinarian. Dogs that show sudden aggressive behavior might have an underlying medical problem that can be assessed by veterinarians. Hypothyroidism, painful injuries, and neurological problems such as encephalitis, epilepsy, and brain tumors can cause aggressive behavior in dogs. The treatment or medication differs from one dog to another.

Call in a Professional

If your dog doesn’t have any medical problem, it's time to call in a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist. Many dogs may have behavioral problems that can be curbed by proper training, guidance, or therapy offered by an animal behaviorist.

Behavior modification is the safest and most effective way to treat an aggression problem. Rewarding your dog for good behavior through praise, treats, and toys can help a lot.

Avoid Punishment

Many pet owners resort to Punishments for aggressive behavior in dogs. Physical or mental harm can usually backfire and can escalate the aggression. Hitting, yelling or using some other aversive method should be strictly avoided.

Consider Medication

In some cases when the behavioral modification isn’t enough, dogs that are aggressive will require medical attention. You should consult with your vet regarding administering medicine for your pets to relieve them from fear, stress, or anxiety. Fear in many dogs prevents them from learning.

Counterconditioning

Counterconditioning involves using proactive relaxation techniques that the dog will be in without the presence of offending stimuli. Classical counterconditioning involves pairing experience with something positive so that there is an almost reflexive association between the events.

You can help curb the aggressive behavior in your dogs by taking them to the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

dog body language

How do you calm an aggressive dog?

You can follow the basic steps provided by your vet or animal trainer to calm down an aggressive dog.

a. Be calm

Keep yourself calm before shouting at your dog! The first instinct is always to shout with your pet, but that can be a terrible idea. Loud scolding can cause your dog to become more defensive which may result in an attack.

You can reduce tension and stay safe by removing social pressure. Pause, slightly turn your head, lower your gaze, and relax your body while remaining still. It’s always better to move away from the dog when off-leash.

b. Practice prevention

It is important to understand what ticked off your dog. Is it because they were fearful of something or someone or did someone tries to meddle with your dog during playtime or while eating?

An animal behaviorist can help you identify what caused your dog to become aggressive, however, it may take them to show up. In the meantime, you must be prepared to calm your dog. Practice management to prevent putting yourself and your dog in a scary situation again.

c. Understand body language

You will get the physical cues when your dog is close to becoming defensive such as hard stare, mouth tightening, pulsating tail (not wagging), and tense body posturing. If your dog positions itself.

Your dog is communicating that it’s uncomfortable. If you try to take away it toy or food or call it out, you’re asking for trouble.

d. Never punish aggressive behavior

As suggested by the experts, you should never scream at your dog, yell, or stick your face in your dog’s face while he’s growling, snarling, or snapping. Adding force and anger to an agitated, uncomfortable, and volatile situation can cause serious injury to both you and your dog.


Can you rehome an aggressive dog?

It can be a bad idea to rehome your dog with a behavioral issue. Rehoming an aggressive dog may sound like an easy option, however, if you are struggling with your dog it is very likely the new owner will too. Re-homing is a very stressful event for most dogs, and this most likely will result in amplified levels of fear and aggression.

Obviously, you can consult a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist before considering to rehome an aggressive dog.

Get the best insight on how to control an aggressive pet from pet medical service in Des Moines. Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines specializing in training, grooming, and curbing behavioral issues.

Golden Retriever or Labrador [Infographic]

Do not confuse these two distinct breeds with their latter name "Retriever." Golden Retriever or Labrador, both are the most loved dog breeds throughout the US.

The basic difference between the two dogs lies in their temperament, skin coat, fur, life-span, and epidemiology.

Golden Retriever Or Labrador

golden retriever or labrador

Appearance

  • Labradors have a sturdy built and well-defined body cuts.
  • Golden Retriever looks more of the goofy kind. They are bigger than labs most of the time and their body is longer than a lab.

Coat

  • Labs are double coated just as the Golden, but they have shorter fur (Hardly an inch long).
  • Goldens have longer, lot more fur and a super fluffy tail.

Temperament

  • Goldens are known to be eager to please their owner when compared to Labs who are mostly food/treat driven. They are very obedient and one of the easiest dogs to train.
  • Labs are mostly couch potatoes - most of the time, all they worry or think of is food and treats.