How to prevent common Winter Illness in Dogs?

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

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

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

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

5 Common Winter Illness in Dogs

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

Hypothermia

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

  • Shivering
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Depression

Frostbite

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

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

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

Kennel cough

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

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

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

Flu and pneumonia

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

The symptoms include

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

Arthritis

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

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

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

10 Ways to protect your dog in winter

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

Limit outdoor time in winter

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

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

Go outside when the sun shines

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

Cozy bedding

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

Moisturize

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

No overfeeding

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

Keep them hydrated

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

Don't miss out on grooming

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

Paw protection

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

Keep the surrounding toxin-free

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

Take special care of senior dogs

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

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

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

How do I potty train my dog in just 7 days?

It isn’t easy to get your new dog to relieve itself in a designated place. Anyone who has brought a new pup or an untrained dog home must know they have to spend countless hours training their pet to poo in a designed place.

Training your new dog to poo in a designed place isn’t always the first thing you should do. First, you should start with housebreaking your pup. As you begin, keep in mind that fully housebreaking your puppy can take four to six months of consistency and patience.

When to start potty training?

This is the most discussed question among the dog trainers, when do you start potty training? Many canine experts advice to start potty training is between 12 and 16 weeks old. By that age, the dog will have enough control over its bladder and bowel movement.
The dogs which are housebroken can easily adapt to potty training. Even after initial house training, most dogs still need a few weeks of practice to hold their bladder for a good amount of time.

How do I start potty training my dog?

The good news is that you can usually potty train your dog in just a week.

Size can be a predictor when it comes to potty training. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. You Chihuahua is more likely to visit Powder Room than the big dogs like German Shepherd or Great Dane.

And while you're training, don’t worry if there are setbacks. Dogs may take time to adapt to a certain lifestyle. Don’t forget to reward them with a treat but just praise or pat after they’ve successfully relieved themselves in the designated spot.

The Seven Day Potty Training Schedule

  • Day of Training Goal
  • Day 1 Establish a consistent feeding schedule.
  • Day 2 Establish a consistent "potty break" schedule.
  • Day 3 Get your dog accustomed to relieving himself in the same location every time.
  • Day 4 Make sure you know the signs that your dog is about to go, and take him outside when appropriate.
  • Day 5 Less accidents inside the house should now be happening. When one happens, guide the dog outside to the potty spot.
  • Day 6 Check your dog's status.
  • Day 7 Reinforce weak areas.

Day 1
Start the day by establishing a regular feeding schedule that you'll be able to stick with. A consistent eating schedule will ensure that your dog relieves in a consistent routine. Be wary about your dog's dietary requirements. Pups compared to dogs need to be fed 3 or 4 times a day with enough water to help digest their meal.

Day 2
You'll basically continue with your first day's schedule. Strictly stick to the schedule and feed your dog on a regular basis. Take them to the loo the first thing in the morning as well as just before you go to bed at night.
Smaller dogs and young pups should be taken for loo after every hour or so during the day. Young pups relieve themselves up to five times a day.
Every time it does its business, you can offer it a treat and verbal praise to bolster its motivation.

Day 3
You should use this day to pinpoint an exact location where your dog should defecate and pee. Start taking them to the spot at all times when they must relieve themselves. This will be their "potty spot." After each routine, you can offer them a treat.

Day 4
On day four, you can start by noticing and working with potty signals. Work on spotting the signs that your dog is about to go. You must allow yourself time and patience to keep an eye on their behavior.
By learning this method, you can rush them outside to a specific location whenever they exhibit signals.

Day 5
By day five, your dog will somewhat get used to relieving on that specific spot. All you'll need to do is guide them outside. In the case of young pups, the occasional accidents could continue but let yourself down. Continue with the schedule.
When your pup accidentally relieves inside the house, you should punish it. Let them know this by clapping loudly then immediately take it outside to the potty spot. Each time it's able to relieve on the potty spot, reward it a treat.

Day 6
Day six is a status check day. By this time, your dog will make significant progress. The whole idea is to train your dog to visit the potty spot by itself or signal you to take it there whenever they need to relieve it.

Day 7
After a week of consistent potty training, your dog will get used to this schedule. Don't forget to punish them every time they accidentally defecate inside the house. It's important to instill good value in them.

You can start gradually slowing the treats, so they get used to their potty schedule without any rewards.

  • Few Basic Guidelines
  • In the case of a small pup, you can train them to wait for at least three before going to the loo. A two-month puppy can hold its bladder for three hours. You have to teach them to wait three hours. For bigger and older dogs, the time length span can be over 5-6 hours. 
  • Do remember, pups often need to go outside after waking up, eating, chewing their toys and playing, etc. 
  • Every month, you can start adding one hour to the puppy’s tolerance. This can go up to about eight hours a day. 
  • Eight hours is the maximum. Even the biggest adult dogs shouldn’t be expected to hold it for more than eight hours.
  • Don’t immediately start at the maximum time possible for your pup just because it can hold it for over three hours. Train them to a certain schedule gradually so they’re less likely to make mistakes.

Things to Remember

  • Be Direct - Always take your dog directly to the potty spot. Don't take your pup for a walk around or sniff around things. The commute should be direct from the house to the potty.
  • Offer treats - Always offers treat and rewards when they go outside. you can gradually lessen the treats when they get used to the potty schedule.
  • Don’t make potty the last part of the trip -Don’t end the trip outside as soon as they pee. This will teach them to hold it as long as possible
  • Be patient - Getting your dog to defecate or pee immediately can be a difficult affair. Instead, treat this as a boring time for yourself and your dog. No playtime after late-night potty breaks.
  • Go back inside immediately if they don't relieve - Take them inside to the house immediately if they don't defecate. Try again in the next 20-30 minutes.
  • Monitor your dog's access to water before bedtime to reduce late-night potty breaks.

Here is the brief infographics about for the advice on how to potty train your dog in just 7 days.

It isn’t easy to housebreak or potty train your dog. You’d need to be prepared mentally to effectively potty train your dog. Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale., for training your dogs and the best doggy daycare service.

 

 

 

How to train your dog to guard home?

Contrary to a popular belief, guard dogs aren’t taught to attach the strangers. They are trained to protect your property and family.

Trainers will specifically train them in non-confrontational techniques that will effectively prevent strangers from approaching near you or your house.

Dogs are trained to attack only in specific situations such as to disarm a robber, scare off the intruder, etc. But do not worry; you’re unlikely to need an attack dog. A well-trained dog that can guard your home is what you need.

Learn about your Dog's Personality Traits

1) A good guard dog should be territorial and protective of its owner and his property.
2)A good guard dog must be confident.
3)A good guard dog should also be assertive. An assertive dog will approach a new situation or person confidently.
4)A well-socialized guard dog will recognize strangers and not become overly aggressive.

How to teach your dog to become a Guard Dog?

Training a guard dog requires you to follow a series of training sequences.

Socialize your dog

Proper socialization should start when they're pups. A socialized dog will be more comfortable and relaxed in its normal environment. 

Teach Basic commands

You should start by teaching them basic commands when they're young. This will help them to adapt to rigorous training methods when they grow older.

Teach your dog basic obedience such as Run, Sit, Walk, Bark, Stop, Fetch, Stay, etc. Knowing basic obedience helps your dog to quickly adapt to new commands. You should also focus on teaching it to bark on command.

Advanced obedience training includes teaching them to impulse control. Most dogs will prance upon the strangers or spring onto someone they know or love. Controlling the impulse is essential to make them better guard dogs.

The Enforcing Boundaries Method

This method includes training them to recognize and protect their boundary.
You should establish a perimeter of the house by talking your dog to a walk around the perimeter of the house you want it to protect. You should do this every day at the end of your obedience lessons. Your dog will learn his territory and be familiar with the land he should be protecting. You can use toys to help it establish its territory.
Test the result by asking a stranger (a friend) to approach your house and run away once the dog starts to bark. Have someone come up and make some noise or approach the house. The person can either walk through the fence, through the gate or knock on the door. Remember that this person shouldn’t be familiar with your dog.

The Bark Method

When the dog approaches and barks, the person needs to make a sound like they are frightened and runoff. This will help to instill confidence in your dog. You can give a special treat to your dog every time it’s able to ward off the stranger in the test.
As an alternative: Ask the stranger to offer distractions to your dogs with a piece of meat or a special treat. When your dog stops barking and goes to investigate, order him to “leave it.” Be sure to try everything that your dog is always distracted by. When your dog successfully wards off any distractions, you can offer it a special treat.
Continue with this approach by introducing new experiences every day such as knocking on the door, knocking at windows, running along the fence, etc.

The Leash Method

The leash method may help to familiarize your dog with its territory. You can walk it on a leash every day around the perimeter of the house. Use a long leash for it to move around easily.
Next, you can test this method by asking a friend or stranger to approach home from different angles. Stand behind your dog and check if it barks and ward off the stranger. Encourage your dog by offering it a treat afterward.

10 Best Dog Breeds for Guard Dogs

It's true that some dog breeds are better at guarding than the others. The dog's breed, size, aggression, and alertness really defines how well guard dogs they can become.

German shepherd

It's one of the first choices of many dog owners and trainers. They are bold, confident, and fearless. Being extremely intelligent makes them adapt to new commands easily. It is also a popular police dog breed.

Rottweiler 

It's also known as the classic guard dog. Rottweilers were originally called cattle-protecting dogs. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and endurance. They make a great guard dog.

Doberman pinscher

It was mostly used by law enforcement agencies in many countries before being replaced with a German shepherd. Doberman Pinschers is incredibly fast and agile. They can react in a very short time. They are also known as the 5th smartest dog breed in the world.

Bullmastiff 

It's a cross between a bulldog and a mastiff and is known for its fearless personality. It is known for its great physical strength, protection instincts, and extreme loyalty towards its owner. They'll mostly use their great strength to knock down any intruder who comes near you or your house.

Boxer

It looks menacing and is really protective. They were originally bred to be medium-sized guard dogs. They are extremely loyal and playful; hence they'll love to be in a family.

Great Dane

Their size itself is going to scare off most people. They're the second tallest dog breed in the world. They're considered a good breed when it comes to guarding a property. A Great Dane could weigh up to 160 pounds.

Giant Schnauzer

They're very loyal and strong-willed. They're strong, powerful, and dominant. They require strict training from an early age, along with a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Don't forget to give them constant attention.

Rhodesian ridgeback

They were originally bred to hunt lions. They're very loyal and attentive. They are said to be selective in their barking so when a Ridgeback barks, it needs to be taken seriously.

Staffordshire terrier

Staffordshire terrier was originally bred for bear and bullfighting. They're aggressive, protective, and dominant. One must properly socialize and train them from an early age.

Komondor

Komondors are mostly used for herding and protecting a flock of sheep. They're natural guard dogs. They’re very active, courageous, and loyal.

Here is the quick info graphics about how you can train your dogs to guard your home.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. We specialize in training your dogs and preparing them to become the best guard dogs.

12 Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccination

Canine vaccination is as important as human vaccinations. It not only helps to keep the serious disease on the bay but also protects your dog’s immune system. Each state in the US has its own law regarding canine vaccination with the exception of Rabies. The vaccination for rabies is mandatory in all states. You can be sure that like Rabies, you can prevent other serious diseases by administering vaccination to your dogs.

Why Canine Vaccination is Important?

Vaccines contain antigens that mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system. It prepares a dog's immune system to defend itself from any invasion of the disease-causing organisms. The antigen mildly stimulates the immune system of the dog by having it recognize its presence.
The American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Task Force considers the following dog vaccinations to be core:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies

The non-core canine vaccines, but still important, include

  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme vaccine

12 Dog Diseases that can be prevented with Vaccine
Here is the list of 12 dangerous canine diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination.

Rabies (Zoonotic in nature)

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain. It’s primarily passed to dogs through a bite from an infected dog or wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc. It can easily transmit through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.

Rabies is commonly treated by Nobivac®- Canine 1-DAPPv vaccine, 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.

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

Canine parvovirus infection ("parvo")

Parvo is a highly contagious virus that causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs. The deadly virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog or through feces. The Parvovirus can survive at room temperature for months hence it can easily transmit to dogs. Check for telltale signs such as bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, etc. in dogs.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a viral disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. It not only affects dogs but also wild animals. It’s a contagious and serious disease that can easily transmit from wild animals to dogs.


Puppies and dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. Infected dogs often develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes followed by a fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting.


You should administer a distemper shot to puppies at six to eight weeks of age. All dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.

Leptospirosis (Zoonotic in nature)

Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospires that live in water or warm, wet soil. Initial signs of leptospirosis in dogs include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Experts say that any dog that regularly goes outside the home is potentially at risk of contracting this disease.

It takes about 4-12 days for the bacteria to incubate. The four-serovar vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended by experts for Leptospirosis. Revaccinating annually is often needed to maintain the best immunity.

Canine adenovirus-2

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is related to the hepatitis virus, canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). It leads to recessive or mild respiratory tract infections and may cause infectious laryngotracheitis and symptoms of pneumonia. It’s also one of the causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough.

The joint vaccine is a core vaccine that contains live attenuated canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (CAV-2), canine parvovirus (C154), and canine parainfluenza virus. A joint vaccine is commonly administered to dogs to prevent CAV-2 infection.

Canine parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is a highly contagious respiratory virus common in dogs. It may develop in situations where large groups of dogs are close together for a period of time. CPIV is also one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough. It shouldn’t be mistaken with kennel cough. Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza and CAV-2, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection.

Canine enteric coronavirus

Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which is a member of the species Alphacoronavirus 1. Most dogs with canine coronavirus are contracted by oral contact with infected fecal matter. A dog may also become infected by eating from contaminated food bowls or by direct contact with an infected dog.

Be wary, canine coronavirus (CCoV) is not the same virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. Hence, the vaccine for CCoV should be used for treating COVID-19. The vaccine for CCoV is readily available but it’s not recommended for all dogs and will be administered based on your dog's lifestyle and risk assessment.

Canine influenza

Canine influenza or Dog Flu is influenza occurring in dogs that are caused by varieties of influenza virus A, such as equine influenza virus (H3N8). The Dog flu is airborne; respiratory secretions escape into the environment in the form of coughing, barking, and sneezing, where they are then inhaled by a new canine host. 

The vaccine for Canine influenza is easily available. This vaccine must be given twice initially with a two-week break, then annually thereafter.

Lyme disease

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

The most common signs of Lyme disease include fever, loss of appetite, painful or swollen joints. The treatment includes antibiotics, usually for at least 30 days. As a preventive measure, you can check for flea and tick collar, vet-approved flea and tick preventive, and a vaccine.

Bordetellosis ("kennel cough")

Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is associated with respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.

The symptoms include a hacking cough, retching, sneezing, watery nasal discharge, pneumonia, inappetence, fever, etc.

Adult dogs that come into contact with large groups of other dogs should have a Bordetella vaccine annually.

Heartworm disease

Known as Dirofilaria immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature. It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito.

The symptoms include soft and dry cough, lethargy, weight loss, anorexia, difficulty in breathing, etc. 

It can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets; Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

Intestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, etc., some of which can also infect people)

The intestinal worm is common in dogs. There are various kinds of worms contracted by dogs over their lifetime. They mostly contract it from their mother in the womb, by ingesting contaminated soil (soil with feces), eating another infected animal, and fleas.

We have a detail information on infographics as well:


You can easily get your dog screened for worm infections and find proper treatments. Flea preventive measure is often used as a vaccine to prevent intestinal worm.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding canine vaccines and preventive measures for healthy dog life.

Why you should Microchip your Pet?

The American Humane Association estimates that 1 out of 3 pets become lost at some point in their lifetime and close to 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the US every single year.

Many pets fall into grave danger when they get lost or stolen.  Almost 80% of the pets are never found!

Properly tagging your pet with an ID or Microchip can help locate it before it gets killed, lost forever, or is euthanized. Between 9.4 and 9.6 Million pets that wind up in shelters in the US are euthanized. Hence, a microchip ID can help find your pet before they walk up to “the Green Mile.”

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations such as Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July, etc. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar, and ID tag). This helps to locate them and bring them home quickly.

What is a Microchip?

Microchipping is the permanent method of ID-ing your pet. A tiny chip, the size of a rice grain, is implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet's neck. It acts as the electronic ID which can be detected using the unique ID number and a scanner.
The ID number includes all the detail about the pet and the owner in the microchip database registry. It comes really handy when your dog is lost in places where manually searching an animal is virtually impossible. The vet, animal shelter, or local council can scan your pet for a microchip and contact you via the database.

It is very important to keep your contact details up to date on the database so that if you move house or change your phone number you will still be contactable in the event of your pet becoming lost/straying. You can check up with https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ to search for your pet when it gets lost or stolen.

When should you microchip your pet?

Ideally, it’s best to microchip your pet prior to you purchasing or adopting it. This is the only effective way to trace the origin of your pet. You can also microchip your pet whenever you feel right. However, if your pet is not yet microchipped then we recommend that you make an appointment with your vet immediately. You can always get in touch with some local council and animal welfare organizations that microchip pets.

How long does it take, and does it have to be done by a veterinarian?

It takes no less than the same amount of time it takes to give any injection. Few seconds! However, it may take a while to do the paperwork. Although it isn’t compulsory that it has to be done by a veterinarian, it’s recommended an experienced veterinarian do it.

What does it cost?

Getting your pet microchipped with only cost $50. You might get it done at a lesser cost when you bring your pet for a wellness check or any other procedure.

Have studies found an increased risk of cancer in pets with microchips?

Yes, many Science journals have pointed out the fact that microchipping pets can be harmful in a few cases. There were animals that had developed tumors at the site of the microchip but it’s incredibly rare. Compared to millions of animals that have had microchips implanted in them and million others who have lost, it’s a greater risk not to have your pet microchipped. However, we suggest you to decide to microchip your pet with your own discretion.

How will it help me get my pet back if he is lost?

A microchip isn’t a GPS tracker which can be traced using a GPS gadget. However, you can find a pet ID or tag inbuilt with a GPS tracker to help locate your pet. It just isn’t possible with a microchip.

A microchip will only work if someone picks up your pet and takes it to a shelter or veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a chip. If your pet isn’t scanned for a chip, the chances of locating it become 50/50.

If my pet is microchipped, does he need a tag, too?

Certainly, your pet needs an additional name tag on their collar to help identify them easily. You must understand that a microchip is only one part of your pet’s identification system. A collar with tags on it will help to easily identify them without the need to scan for a microchip. This is the way most pets were located in the past and it still works.

Benefits of Microchipping your Pets

There are many benefits to microchipping your pets. Some of the most recurring benefits are as follows:

  • When a lost pet is found and taken to a shelter, the first thing they will do is scan the pet for a possible microchip. Once the chip is located and scanned, they will check the information in the microchip registry to quickly locate the owner of the animal. This will immensely reduce the time taken to locate a pet. 
  • Microchip technology is designed to last your pet’s lifespan so there is no need to replace after a certain amount of time. 
  • If the implant of the microchip is done right, which is generally done by the experienced veterinarian, you can be sure that your pet is safe from any microchipping related complications. 
  • If your pet was adopted from a rescue shelter, there is a high possibility that they were already microchipped. You can simply update the information through the microchip registry.

For more detail information here is a detail info graphics about it. 


Pets that are microchipped are more likely to be returned to their owners. A study found that Dogs with microchips will be returned 52.2% of the time while dogs without will be returned 21.9% of the time and Cats with microchips were returned 38.5% of the time while without the microchip only 1.8% of the time.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding safe microchipping on your pets. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

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.

How Can You and Your Pet Beat the Self-Quarantine Stress?

Each one of us is contemplating when the COVID-19 pandemic will be over. Staying in a self-quarantine state can be one of the most boring and stressful things. One of the burning issues of staying put at home every day is the claustrophobia.

Like us humans, pets feel claustrophobic too! Being confined in a single space for a long time can equally increase stress in animals. Most pets such as dogs resort to incessant panting, pacing, and whining when suffering from claustrophobia.

An estimated 68% of U.S. households have a pet. During the time of self-quarantine, you have an opportunity to beat stress and claustrophobia by indulging in playful activities with your pets.

How Dogs can cope with Self-quarantine stress?

Canine have been domesticated for over 10,000 years. They are bred in such a way that they require enough attention, time, and dedication. When left away for a long time, they can develop signs of frustration.

Claustrophobia in dogs is the fear of restriction and can vary in intensity from one dog to another. Whether a dog will develop this fear is influenced by their genetics, conditioning, as well as the amygdala in their brain. The amygdala plays a major role because it’s responsible for fear conditioning, as well as the flight or fight response.

Dogs aren’t used to sitting in a confinement for a long time. They want their owners to play with them or provide attention which isn’t possible when they are working from home.

Remus a blue heeler/collie mix owned by Jerin Henderson situated in Portland, Texas has started withdrawing from its regular life. As Jerin is spending more time working, he's not able to spend more time playing with Remus.

Remus started whining a lot lately. It started sleeping underneath the bed for a few days. It came as a surprise because Remus always slept with him on the same bed.

How to prevent self-quarantine stress in dogs?

  • Take them to an open area to calm down but do not let them off the lead as they are likely to run.
  • Talk calmly in a low voice to settle them and avoid large reactions.
  • When at home, avoid using doors to contain the dog. Instead, opt for gates that they can see out of, making them less likely to trigger.

Cats are looking for Me-Time

In the case of cats, it’s mostly the opposite. Cats are a more solitary animal and they enjoy their me-time.

A house cat Karban owned by Hirow Peralta situated in Charleston, South Carolina started showing awkward behavior. Karban was used to having the whole house to itself when Hirow went out to work. It enjoyed sitting inside the house, but since Hirow started spending her entire time home, Karban started becoming restless.

Hirow wrote in Twitter

“she so tired of me being home she became an outside cat."

Karban who never left home started escaping the confinement and spend more time on the roof.

How to provide me-time for Cats?

  • Increase the physical distance between you and your cat. This can include working in a different room or space in a house.
  • If you share the same space such as a studio apartment, give your cats something to play with or keep it occupied.

How Pet Owners can cope with Self-quarantine Stress?

The self-quarantine time has been equally difficult for pet owners. Most of us struggle with working from home while trying to balance time with pets. It’s likely for people to experience claustrophobia when we have to spend the entire day inside the home.

At such dire time, spending more time with pets has been linked with beating self-quarantine stress for both pets and pet owners.

An estimated 17.3 million adults suffer from major depression, according to the latest National Institute of Mental Health data.

Research also has shown that people who don’t feel connected to others are more likely to catch a cold, develop heart disease, have a lower cognitive function, and live shorter lives.

How owning a pet can help with beating stress and depression?

The companionship of pets such as cats and dogs in daily life can help prevent frustration and depression. It has always been attested by different scientific communities.

  • Interacting with animals on a regular basis helps to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Pet can be a great companion. They can help reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.
  • Owning a physical active pet such as dogs and cats can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, and encourage exercise and playfulness. Playing with your pet can improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Playing with and caring for an animal can be more beneficial for children at the time of self-quarantine. It can help them grow up more secure and active.
  • Spending time with pets can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which will calm and relax you.
  • Companionship will prevent the onset of stress and depression. Caring for a live animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog and cat owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
  • Taking a dog for a walk, hike or run is a fun and rewarding way to stay fit and healthy. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements—and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It will deepen the connection between you, eradicate most behavior problems in dogs, and keep your pet fit and healthy.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on beating self-quarantine stress. To ensure you and your pets’ safety during this pandemic, we can provide useful tips and resources online.