What does your dog’s sleeping position mean?

Experts suggest that observing your dog’s sleeping position is the best way to learn about their behavior. Like humans, dogs have adapted to different sleeping positions.

Healthy adult dogs spend an average of 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Pups and senior dogs may require even more sleep on average.

Animal experts have discovered that dogs’ sleeping positions can indicate certain health or personality-related characteristics. Sleeping habits can give clues about a dog’s health and underlying medical conditions.
Here is the list of ten most common dog sleeping positions you'd need to know about.

The Side Sleeper

Sleeping on either side is one of the most common ways of sleeping habits in both humans and animals. Most dogs love to sleep on their side. Lying on their side with their legs extended is one of the most common sleeping positions for dogs.

Sleeping on the side may indicate that they feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. Many older dogs suffering from stiff joints may prefer sleeping on their sides.

Many dogs do 'sleep running' and twitching while sleeping in this position as their paws are loose and free.

The Lion's Pose

The lion's pose isn't a common sleeping position in dogs. Most dogs sleep in a lion's position when they're ready to wake up and prance on something at a moment's notice.
The position resembles the sphinx or a sitting lion. Lion's pose sleepers are protective and devoted.
According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ,

 "Dogs will often start out in this position if they feel like they will need to jump on quickly."

The Superman

The Superman position resembles the strong replica of the flying Superman. It is when your dog lays sprawled out on the ground with their belly pressed to the floor, the back legs behind them and front legs stretched forward like they're about to take off.

This position may tell that they're probably tired but ready to play if the opportunity arises. It also tells that they’re feeling warmer. Dogs often lie like this when the floor is relatively cooler than the air around.

It’s the position of choice for high-energy pups or pups that get sleepy during play and just want to plop down where they’re standing.

The Donut

The Donut position is when your dog sleeps curled up in the shape of a ball with all of their limbs tucked close to their body. 

They often sleep in the Donut position to make themselves as small as possible, and it also helps them regulate body temperature.

Many four-legged animals in the wild prefer sleeping in the Donut position to ward off cold. It also makes them feel less vulnerable.

The Cuddler

When a group of dogs is sleeping together, they'll prefer the Cuddler position to help retain body heat and snuggle into each other’s fur.
Dr. Stanley Coren, Univesity of British Columbia suggests that,

“The tendency that many dogs have to cuddle when they sleep is a holdover from when they were puppies. Again, this has to do with temperature, since puppies have difficulty regulating their body heat.”

This sleeping position may well continue when they're adults. They'll prefer cuddling with other animals or humans while sleeping.

The Burrower

Most dogs will sleep burrowed under the pillow, clothes, or blanket to find comfort and security. It could also be to protect them from the cold.

Most dog experts opine that dogs sleep in the burrower position when they're searching for comfort and security.

If you notice them continuously burrowing under piles of clothes and blankets to sleep, you should know that they are either scared or feeling unsafe. You can tuck them with you for a few days.

The Belly Up

You must have noticed your dog taking a nap lying on its back with arms open in the air and exposed belly. Most dogs do this to cool off. Since the fur is thinner around the belly, exposing these areas is a great way to beat the heat.

This also means that they're carefree and trust you while they sleep. Many dogs in old age avoid this practice of taking a nap because of arthritis.

As uncomfortable as this position may look, this is a sign of true comfort and relaxation in dogs.

Back to Back

When more than one pet is sleeping together, they'll often sleep back to back. This is the sign of showing affection, trust, and a sense of intimacy.

They often sleep in this position with other animals and humans with whom they feel safest.
This is also a position to watch each other back when you're out in the wild.

Circling and Digging

Many four-legged animals in the wild tend to circle their sleeping area or even dig a bit before lying down. This behavior may have to come in dogs from their wolf ancestors who would often trample down grass and leaves and dig a hole to sleep comfortably.

You would often see your dog circling the couch or cushion before lying down to check if the sleeping area is safe.

Head and Neck Raised

Many dogs sleep in a position with their head and neck raised on a cushion or pillow.

Although this is rare, it may tell that your dog could be having breathing issues -something commonly seen with chronic heart disease and other health problems.

You should keep an eye out for any worrying signs or symptoms in your dog such as a faster breathing rate, noisy breathing, etc.

For more details on What does your dog’s sleeping position mean, please check this info graphics.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to learn more about dog behavior, signs and symptoms of an underlying illness, and preventive measures.

 

 

How to Take Care of Pregnant Dogs?

Like humans, dogs experience similar changes in hormones, weight, appetite, and behavior. As a pet owner, you must provide optimum pre-natal and post-natal care to your dogs.
Closely follow the signs of pregnancy in dogs. Many signs do not show up until the first month has nearly passed. Once you start noticing the changes, you can begin providing additional care as per your veterinarian's recommendations.

Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs
Dogs are typically pregnant for 62 days, plus or minus 2 days. The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, and a healthy, well-fed dog will gain about 15-20% beyond her weight at breeding. The abdomen usually swells 20-50%.

The first sign of pregnancy in dogs includes vaginal discharge approximately one month into the pregnancy. Her teats may also start swelling

Many dogs can be discrete about their mating; hence you must not realize you have a pregnant dog. You can take your dog for an ultrasound to confirm otherwise.

The behavior of Pregnant Dogs

  • Some pregnant dogs may seek the comfort of the pet owner more often. Others prefer to be left alone and seclude themselves.
  • Nesting behaviors include shredding bedding and other materials around your home.
  • Pregnant dogs may become less active and lethargic and may not want to eat regular foods. Morning sickness is usual in many dogs.
  • The dog may scratch at the floor and some dogs may begin to hoard food and other items.
  • During pregnancy, your dog may become unusually irritable to noise and strangers.

Regular short walks and light playtime are all good exercises for pregnant dogs.

How to Best Care for Pregnant Dogs?

Caring for a pregnant dog starts from the time when she's pregnant until the post-pregnancy stage. You would need to look into her nutrition, exercise, and health and provide utmost care whenever needed.

Nutrition

Nutrition is the first and foremost priority of every pregnant dog. Good nutrition is essential to maintain the ideal weight of a pregnant dog. Both over and underweight dogs can suffer from reproductive consequences.

  • Along with maintaining an ideal weight, you should ensure to provide more macronutrients, protein, and calories per pound of food. Most pregnant dogs don’t need additional vitamins or supplements as long as she’s getting the proper diet.
  • The food should have 1600 kcal digestible energy per pound of food and at least 22% protein. Ensure to provide 3-4 smaller meals a day as her puppies can press on her stomach and make it hard for her to eat a big meal! Don’t forget to provide a fresh bowl of water every now and then.
  • Many vets recommend feeding a pregnant dog food that has been formulated for growth according to AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) requirements.
  • The highest energy requirement for the mother occurs between weeks 6 and 8 of gestation. Her energy requirement maybe 30-60% higher than normal adult maintenance rations, depending upon the size of the litter.
  • Do not feed a puppy food designed for large breed puppies as this will not have the correct calcium phosphorous balance to support the developing bones of the fetuses or healthy milk production in the mother. Folic acid and essential fatty acid supplementation may be beneficial to support developing fetuses.
  • If your pregnant dog seems to be losing weight, you can try moistening the food or switching to a more nutritionally dense food to ensure optimum nutritional feeding.
  • Lactation
  • The nutritional need for a mother dog may steadily increase over the next 20 to 30 days as the puppies grow and nurse more. 
  • After the first month, the mother may be eating two to four times the amount of food she ate before pregnancy. 
  • In the third or fourth week, the puppies will probably start nibbling at her dish, which is a good way to introduce them to solid food.

Veterinary Care

Starting from diagnosing pregnancy in dogs to constant care leading up to the delivery, you would need to take your dog to the vet couple of times during her pregnancy.

  • Around 45 days into the pregnancy, you can take her to the vet for x-rays to determine the number and size of the pups.
  • Dogs do not need to be vaccinated during pregnancy.
  • If you notice any signs of illness, immediately take your dog to the vet.
  • Few days leading up to the delivery can be difficult as pregnant dogs often stop eating. Consult with your vet in such a case.
  • Pregnant dogs must be administered wormer called "Fenbaendazole" every day from day 40 of pregnancy until 2 days after the puppies are born. This will prevent passing worms from mother dogs to pups.

Whelping

Whelping is known as giving birth. You should prepare an environment for the pregnant dog to nest and deliver pups. Unless you take them to the daycare, you would need to prepare whelping at home,
Whelping boxes are safer, warmer, and comfortable options for pregnant dogs. You must introduce your dog to the whelping box and get her accustomed to it.

Whelping Supply Checklist

  • Newspaper to line the whelping box during delivery for an easy cleanup
  • Non-skid bath mats for bedding after whelping is done
  • Dry, clean towels to clean the puppies
  • Paper towels to help with clean up
  • Thermometer to check your dog’s temperature before whelping
  • Unwaxed dental floss to tie off the umbilical cords
  • Clean scissors to cut the umbilical cords
  • A heating pad or hot water bottle to keep the puppies warm (be careful of it not being too hot)
  • Iodine to clean the puppies’ abdomens after the cord is cut and dab on the end of the cut umbilical cord
  • A baby scale in ounces

Puppy Care/Weaning

The puppy care starts with worming when they are 2 weeks old. Record their weights with kitchen scales and let us know their weight so we can calculate how much wormer each puppy needs.

Puppies are ready for weaning between 6 and 8 weeks old.

On day one of weaning, withhold mother’s food, allowing the puppies to eat their food while they are away from their mother. They can all be together that night, and the pups will suckle a bit

On day two of weaning, the pups are separated from their mother and she is fed about 25% of her pre-breeding portion and formulation.

Over the next 4 or 5 days, increase to her full pre-breeding portions. The puppies should not be allowed access to nurse during this time as that delays drying up milk production.

For more detail on how to take care of pregnant dogs check this info graphics in brief. 

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for both dogs and pet owners. By learning about dog pregnancy ahead of time, you can better prepare yourself to take care of your dog.
Urban pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Get in touch with your certified veterinarian to learn more about handling and taking care of pregnant dogs, preventive measures, and nutritional needs.

How to treat Bacterial Infection in your pet?

Dogs are susceptible to different types of bacterial and fungal infections. Domestic dogs who wander outside often are more prone to bacterial infection. Most bacterial infections subside when they’re diagnosed and treated on time but it can be fatal or even life-threatening if the treatment is not administered on time.

Here we’ll talk about different types of bacterial infections most common in dogs and how to prevent or treat them. 

6 Common Bacterial Infections in Domestic Dogs

Here are the six most common bacterial infections found in dogs.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospirosis that live in water and warm, wet soil. They can also contract it by coming in contact with urine from other animals infected with the bacteria or through bites or from mating with other infected dogs.

The signs of leptospirosis infection in dogs may include fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, and redness of the mucous membranes. In the case of serious infection, dogs can often develop kidney inflammation, which can result in permanent damage to the kidney.

Dogs that regularly wander outside the home are potentially at risk of contracting this disease. Once contracted, it takes about 4-12 days for the bacteria to incubate.

The treatment for leptospirosis requires an antibiotic like doxycycline. It can be administered through the mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid. If administering liquid forms, be sure to measure the medication carefully. When administering the tablets, the pill should be followed by at least 6mL of water or food – never give the pill dry.

The four-Serovar vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended by experts for the prevention of Leptospirosis. Revaccinating annually is often needed to maintain the best immunity

Staphylococcal Infection

Staph infection is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus sp. The most common type of staph infection seen in dogs is staphylococcal dermatitis, a bacterial skin infection that can cause the skin to become red and inflamed. It lives naturally on the skin of dogs and humans, where it stays dormant as long as the skin is healthy.

The infection can develop whenever a dog excessively licks, scratches, or chews a part of its body to the point that the skin becomes irritated.  In other cases, a staph infection can occur in dogs that have fleas or have allergies to certain foods, medications, or environmental factors.

Staph can be transmitted from one dog to another and from humans to dogs. It’s a zoonotic disease.

Some of the common symptoms of a staph infection include

  • Patchy fur loss with moist skin, crusting and peeling of skin
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Pain
  • Excessive itching, chewing or licking
  • Pus-filled lesions on the skin
  • Infections of the eyes, skin, ears, or respiratory system

Staph infections in dogs are treated using antibiotic shampoos and ointments for skin infections, and oral antibiotics like erythromycin, clindamycin, or cephalexin.

Bacterial Ear Infection

Ear infections in dogs are typically caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. In puppies, ear mites can also be a source of infection. A dog can develop a bacterial ear infection when there is underlying inflammation, moisture, allergies, Endocrine disorders, autoimmune disorders, Wax buildup, and injury to the ear canal.

Some breeds of dogs are more prone to bacterial infection than others. Dog with loopy ears such as Labrador retriever and Border collie is prone to a bacterial ear infection.

Otitis externa, Otitis media, and interna are three of the common ear infections in dogs.

Common signs of a dog ear infection include

  • Head shaking
  • scratching at the affected ear
  • Dark discharge
  • odor
  • Redness and swelling of the ear canal
  • Pain and itchiness

While a healthy dog usually can defend himself against this bacterium, a dog who has a weakened immune system may find it more difficult.

As a treatment, the veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dog’s ears using a medicated ear cleanser. In cases of severe chronic disease where other treatments have failed, the veterinarian may recommend surgery such as a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) that surgically removes the ear canal, thus removing the diseased tissue and preventing the recurrence of infection.

As a precaution, make sure to thoroughly dry their ears after swimming and bathing to prevent moisture buildup.

Actinomycosis and Nocardiosis

Actinomyces viscosus causes abscesses to form under the skin. Actinomyces bacteria normally live in the mouth and in the nasal passages near the throat. Lesions generally develop after a traumatic injury, such as a bite wound. The most commonly affected locations include the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen.  Treatment includes surgical removal of the contaminated tissue and drainage, followed by long-term treatment with an antibiotic.

Nocardiosis in dogs most often causes infections of the skin, lymph system, and chest. It can also spread throughout the body and cause infections in multiple internal organs.

The veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics based on the identification of the bacteria. Nocardial infections are resistant to some types of antibiotics. Treatment must often be continued for 1 to 6 months. Surgery to remove infected tissue may also be appropriate.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Lyme borreliosis) caused by the bite of a 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. A tetracycline antibiotic called doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is used to treat Lyme disease.

As a preventive measure, you can check for flea and tick collar, vet-approved flea and tick preventive, and a vaccine.

E. coli Infection

E. coli infection in dogs mostly occurs from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It's a zoological disease that can easily transmit from human to dog and vice versa.
In the case of enterotoxigenic E. coli, these bacteria then produce a toxin that acts against the inside of the infected intestinal tract which results in diarrhea. The common signs of the infection include dehydration, lack of appetite, and vomiting.

Consider replacing a raw diet for dogs with one rich in supplemented vitamins, minerals, and oils. As a preventive measure, you can prevent your dog from eating uncooked or raw food, drinking from potentially contaminated water sources.

Here is the detail information about How to treat bacterial infection in your pets. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our in-house certified veterinarian is always ready to examine and treat your pets for any kind of bacterial and fungal infection.

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Exercise with your Dog

Who doesn’t love working out with their dogs? It’s a fun activity and at the same time exercising will keep both of you fit and healthy. Dogs love to play and workout when their owners are equally proactive in exercising. Running together to the park, playing the backyard, hiking, playing catch, etc. are a few of the common activities you can do with your dog.

Walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and does give your dog stimulation to the outside world; however, it does not strengthen muscles. Dogs need other forms of exercise to shed extra fat, keep their muscles lean, and maintain their mental wellbeing. 

TheHappyPuppySite reported that,

Dogs will often begin to yawn, whine, bark, howl, take long naps, or become destructive. Pacing, self-harming, over-eating (or not eating), inappropriate elimination, and aggression toward other family pets or people can also be symptoms of dog boredom.

It’s essential that you keep your dog occupied with different physical and mentally stimulating activities. Regular exercise is one of them. Here are some of the ways you can introduce regular exercise into your dog’s daily regimen.

Take a Hike

Hiking is a great idea for both of you but if you are not used to strenuous exercise then keep it to a minimum. A trail inexperienced dog can't walk a long distance. You'd need to introduce them to the trail slowly. Take a short walk for a few days until you're ready to take the hike.
If you don't have a hiking trail around your house, you can consider taking your dog for three walks a day and make one at least 20 minutes.

Go For a Trail Run

Trail running is all about running in nature. You’ll encounter uneven terrain including uphill climb and downhill fall. This activity is recommended for both humans and dogs. If your dog is unfamiliar to the trail, you should guide it for the first few times to avoid any accidents or pitfalls. The trail is safer for your dog’s sensitive paws too. This is also a great way to get some fresh air.

Go for a Swim

Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise. Add fun to it and it becomes an amazing exercise. Take your dog for a swim. If it’s hot outside, then you should definitely take them to the pool to cool down. If your neighborhood pool doesn’t allow pets, then you can take them to the nearby pond or a lake. Build a doggy pool in your backyard if you have any space. Swimming is great for a dog’s joints and is easier on their paws than running. 

Ultimate Frisbee

Most dogs enjoy chasing and catching stuff! The Ultimate Frisbee challenge can be a great workout and a fun experience for your whole family. You can throw Frisbee around for your dog to catch! The Frisbee can always be replaced with softball, stick, or anything light. This not only is a fabulous cardio workout, it challenges your hand-eye coordination and strategic skills. Your dog will get to strengthen its catching and chasing ability.

Frisbee challenge can be enjoyed indoors as well, especially with a smaller dog. Just be careful with things around you.

Play hide and seek

Play hide and seek by either hiding treats around the house or by hiding yourself for your dog to find. Hiding treats can be great fun. You, god, will have to sniff them out and run around looking for them.  If they’re new to it, you can teach them to search around. These are great physical and mental games for your dog since he has to use his brain and body to find the objects.

Enroll your dog in agility classes

Most doggy daycare and training centers allow daily or weekly boarding for dogs to indulge in exercises, agility training, and learning commands. These are challenging and fun and at the same time build human-animal bonding. It also helps to keep your god active while stimulating their minds. It’s a great chance for your dog to learn new commands, tricks, and maneuvers. Most agility training is targeted towards exercising their joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Play tug-of-war

Playing tug-of-war is a fun experience for all ages of dogs. Kids love this too. In the case of canine, this game has them pulling and using their muscles and jaws to keep them in place and hanging on to that toy! This game will definitely help to strengthen you and your god’s bond. 

Build an Obstacle Course

Building an obstacle course for your dog is a fun activity! Your dog will engage with the game a lot. Scatter things in your yard to run around, get a hula hoop to jump through, or add temporary stairs. Obstacle courses can be set up inside the house as well but be wary of the things that could break or hurt your dog.

A good obstacle course can make your dog crawl through a low area, jump through a hula hoop, weave between stools, and backup through a narrow space. This will be physically uplifting as well as mentally stimulating.  Motivate your dog with small, healthy treats at the end of each course.

Teach them new tricks and commands

Dogs have an aptitude to learn. They love to learn new tricks if you motivate them in the right way. Learning new tricks and commands can be very stimulating and rewarding for them to interact positively with their owners or other people.
Essential tricks and commands can also help your dog to learn to sit, jump, run, shake, rollover, give high 5, crawl, sit up and beg, etc.

Doggy Massage

Consider giving your dog a massage on a regular interval. While massage certainly does not count as exercise, it is extremely beneficial for your dog’s health, flexibility, and circulation. It will help increases oxygen flow to the blood, relieves pain and muscle tension, alleviates anxiety, and remove the chances of the hip or joint dysplasia. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to get the best doggy daycare service, canine training and conditioning, and boarding.

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 do you introduce your Old Dog to a New Dog ?

Many pet owners are unaware that they must introduce their old and new pets before they could really settle in. It may take a few weeks or months for an old dog to settle in with the new dog. Dogs are territorial animals and they do not appreciate some other animal invading their territory.

For the pet owners who wish to adopt a second dog, they must prepare themselves to bring two animals harmoniously together.

Melissa Bain, a professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine says that,

Dogs are social animals, like humans. But that doesn’t mean they always want to be around other dogs.”

It’s important to introduce a dog to other dog’s presence in different settings such as both in and outside the house.

How to introduce dogs to Dogs?

Here are some handy tips to help you introduce your old dog to a new dog.

Solve Your Old Dog’s Bad Behaviors First

Sue Sternberg, a canine trainer, says

If your current dog barks at other dogs on the street, he will teach those behaviors to the new dog,”

If you’re working on issues with your current dogs, especially with their aggressive behaviors, now isn’t the time to add a new dog to the family.

1) Decide on a meeting place

It's better if you can find a neutral territory where your two dogs can meet and know each other -around the block, park, or someplace else. Let them sniff each other, it's the dog's way of a handshake. You can start by learning the signs of dislike or aggression. If one or the other becomes aggressive, you must control them to resolve the issue there itself.

2) On-Leash and Off-Leash 

Be careful about introducing your dog off-leash. It's always good to bring them together on-leash and once they get familiar with each other, you can let them off-leash. When on a leash, they can often show aggression which is a simple way of trying to establish dominance. Don't assume that they won't get along. Let them cool down and then get them off-leash.

Note: If your dogs are on the leash, you can grab the leashes and pull them apart in case of a fight.

3) Let them determine the pace of the introduction 

Let them decide how long they want to take to know each other well. It may just start with some play with each other by the middle of the walk. It may take weeks or a month as well.

The most important thing is to take this introduction slowly. The more patient you are, the better your chance of success. Do not force the dogs to interact.

Tip: Once the dogs are able to view each other at close proximity, allow each dog to walk behind the other. If they remain comfortable and calm, you can allow them to walk side by side. Do not haste with this process.

4) Don't leave them alone

It's not a good idea to leave your two dogs by themselves when they haven't known each other very well. Your old dog will definitely become aggressive and territorial. This could lead to a squabble. Don't It's not worth an injured or dead dog. If they're puppies, you can keep them in separate crates in two different rooms. If they're adults, you can lock them up in two different rooms. Dogs act like kids sometimes.

5) Separate their toys

A dog would want the other’s toy. The old dog must have its toys which it definitely wouldn’t want to share with the other. Make sure that there are no toys, food, or treats left around the home that the dogs could potentially fight over. You can separate toys in different rooms and allow them to play with them without the presence of the other. This could help avoid the sense of jealousy in either of the dogs.

6) Dine them separately

Food is often a great fight starter. Always keep them separate, possible in different areas of the house, while feeding them. It's good to avoid the confrontation when one dog gobbles and the other picks through every bite. An alpha dog is more likely to gobble their food and then eat the others too.

7) Don't change the Sleeping arrangement 

If your old dogs sleep with you on the same bed, do not change the arrangement suddenly. You can keep the other dog in a crate, a separate room, or on the floor. It's important to housebreak the new dog before you can allow them to sleep at a certain place. Be done with their potty training first!

8) Train separately 

It's always good to train with them one-on-one. It helps both dogs recognize you as the alpha. This way you can recognize the triggers of both the dogs and train them likewise. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

 

 

Most Effective Tactics for Training Your Dogs At Home

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

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

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

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

Reward behaviors you like.

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

Most effective tactics for training your dogs at home

Positive Reinforcement

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

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

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

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

It relies on four points:

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

Scientific Training

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

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

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

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

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

Clicker Training

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

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

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

Electronic Training

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

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

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

Model-Rival or Mirror Training

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

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

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

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

Alpha Dog or Dominance

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

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

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

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

Relationship-Based Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIY - Best Pet hacks for Summer and Winter

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

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

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

10 Best DIY Pet Hacks for Summer

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

Frozen DIY Treats

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

Summer Dog Shoes

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

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

Proper Grooming

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

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

Pet Mini Pools

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

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

Damp/Wet Towels

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

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

Ice Cubes in Drinking Water

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

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

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

Make a Frozen Treat Bowl

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

Create a Shaded Sanctuary

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

Protect Pet Paws with a DIY Wax Treatment

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

You can create paw wax at home.

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

Freeze a Toy

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

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

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

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

 

How to choose a Perfect Dog Breed for Your Personality?

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

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

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

Inquisitive and hardworking

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

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

Giving and Helpful

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

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

Ambitious, Social and Adaptable

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

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

Individualistic, Creative, and Original

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

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

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

Intellectual, Investigative, and Thoughtful

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

Loyal and Trusting

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

Enthusiastic, Curious, and Adventurous

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

Peaceful, Easy-Going, and Non-confrontational

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Signs you are not taking Proper Care of Your Pet

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

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

Ten Signs you are not taking proper care of your pet

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

Obesity

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

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

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

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

Vitamin D Poisoning

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

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

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

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

Bowel Issues

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

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

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

What are the signs of bowel issues in dogs?

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

Energy Level

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

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

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

Behavioral issue

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

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

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

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

Loss of appetite

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

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

Odd eating habit

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

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

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

Excessive Thirst

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

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

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

Grooming

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

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

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

Socialization

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

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

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

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