10 Human Medications you should never give to your Dog

Unlike popular belief, you should take precautions while administering human drugs to dogs. Most drugs work wonders in both humans and animals, but that doesn't mean you should start giving your pills to your dog.

Did you know, nearly 50% of all calls received by Pet Poison Helpline involve human medications – both over-the-counter and prescription.

Why does medicine work differently on humans and animals?

Yes, most drugs meant for humans contain compounds that create altering effects when given to dogs

Pets like dogs and cats respond to human medication differently, mainly because of two reasons:

Body size

The safe dose of a medication is expressed as “mg/kg” – in other words, the active ingredient per kg of body weight. So, the maximum safe dose of a substance for a 70kg human will be about 20 times higher than it is for a 3.5kg cat.

Biological differences

Humans are generally better at dealing with poisons than any other mammal species. A useful rule of thumb used by medical and veterinary toxicologists is that “if it’s poisonous to humans, it’ll kill pets; but if it’s safe for humans… it may still kill animals.”

10 Human Medications Harmful to Pets

Here is a list of ten human medications that are severely harmful to pets. Ingesting these medicines can cause fatal health deterioration or even death.

NSAIDs

NSAIDs stand for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin. These drugs are readily available in many households. People use these to treat pain, inflammation, and fever in people.

Ingesting even one or two pills can cause serious harm to dogs, including stomach and intestinal ulcers. In cases of overdose, renal damage can occur. When ingested orally, most achieve peak concentrations in the blood within three hours.

The most commonly seen side effects of these medications are gastrointestinal irritation and damage to the GI tract.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen includes Paracetamol and Tylenol that are used for the relief of fever and aches and pains in humans. However, it may lead to liver failure and red blood cell damage in dogs and cats.

Acetaminophen poisoning in dogs can lead to liver injury or even liver failure. The tell-tale signs of Acetaminophen poising include lethargy, loss of appetite, belly pain, jaundice, and swelling of the face and paws.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are medications used to treat the major depressive disorder, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions in humans. Some commonly used antidepressant for dogs include Buspirone, Fluoxetine, and Clomipramine. However, excess ingestion of antidepressants can cause serotonin syndrome. It can lead to serious neurological problems such as sedation, incoordination, tremors, and seizures.

The serotonin syndrome sign usually comes on rapids in dogs, anywhere from 10 min to 4 hours. Veterinarians will generally pump out or induce vomiting to remove toxins.

ADD/ADHD Medication

ADD/ADHD medications are prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, Eveko, Focalin XR are a few of the popular ADHD prescribed drugs.

It contains potent stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate that doesn't do well to dogs. Even minimal ingestions of these medications can trigger a higher heart rate, high blood pressure, elevated body temperature, and life-threatening symptoms like tremors and seizures.

Benzodiazepines (Sleep Aids)

Benzodiazepines are prescribed to reduce anxiety and help people sleep. Common sedatives include Xanax, alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, etc. It induces sedation to help reduce anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, seizures, etc.

When a dog ingests Benzodiazepines, it can cause severe sedation, in-coordination, aggression, agitation, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, it can trigger respiratory and cardiovascular depression.

Birth Control

A birth control pill is administered to prevent pregnancy in women. Most birth controls are combination pills containing a mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Because of its packaging, dogs often find it irresistible. Small dosages typically do not cause any harm to dogs. However, large ingestions can trigger bone marrow suppression.

ACE Inhibitors

ACE Inhibitors like Zetril, Benazepril, Captopril, and Altace are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. It's also used in dogs to treat chronic CHF. However, when ingested in a higher amount, it can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, and dogs' weakness. The tell-take signs of ACE inhibitors poising include weakness, stumbling, and dropping blood pressure level.

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure. It can cause your heart to beat more slowly and with less force, which lowers blood pressure. Atenolol is a common beta-blocker medication used to treat certain heart disease types and high blood pressure in dogs. However, you should be careful about overdosing your dog with beta-blocker as it can cause a severe drop in blood pressure and heart rate.

Thyroid hormones

Interestingly, the dose of thyroid hormone needed to treat dogs is much higher than a person’s dose. If a dog accidentally ingests thyroid hormones pill at home, it rarely results in problems. However, large acute overdoses can often trigger muscle tremors, nervousness, panting, a rapid heart rate, and aggression. Levothyroxine, Synthroid, and Armour desiccated thyroid are few examples of thyroid hormones.

Cholesterol Pills

Cholesterol-lowering pills like Lipitor, Zocor, and Crestor can cause mild ailments in dogs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The poising can be treated by taking it to the vet to remove the toxins from the stomach.

 

How to Prevent Accidental Poising in Dogs?

A recent article in the Veterinary Times reported that almost 10% of pet owners admitted using human medicines to treat their pets.

It’s also easy for dogs to accidentally ingest human pills. The medicine bottles lying around the house, such as tables and open countertop, make it accessible for dogs’ reach. Here is how you can prevent accidental medication poising in dogs.

  • Never leave loose pills in a plastic bag. The bags are too easy to chew into.
  • Keep the pill and pill container in a cabinet out of reach of dogs.
  • Never store your own medications near your pet's medications.
  • Keep the contact detail of Pet Poison Helpline and your veterinarian with you at all times.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, to learn more about preventing pet poisoning.

7 Tips to Maintain Healthy Oral Hygiene in Dogs

The dental problem isn’t only persistent in senior pets. A young pup or an adult dog can suffer from poor dental hygiene too.

Did you know, by the age of three, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs develop some form of gum disease.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems in dogs that start from a young age. It becomes more prevalent in elderly dogs. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar resulting in a deteriorating gum line. It produces toxins that lead to bone and tissue damage. Bad breath is usually the first sign of a dental problem in dogs.

The unchecked dental problem poses a lot of risk in dogs.

  • If your pet remains uncured from dental disease, they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease
  • Bacteria under the gum can travel to different internal organs.
  • Dental disease can result in bad breath, painful chewing and tooth loss.

A broken tooth is a major concern among pets. Chewing on hard surfaces or materials can render their teeth weak. A broken tooth can expose the tooth's nerve, which can be a painful experience for your pet

7 Tips to Maintain Oral Health in Dogs

Here are renowned veterinarians' seven tips to prevent plague, gum irritation, and oral infections in dogs

Quality Food

Proper oral hygiene starts with the choice of food you provide to your dog. Quality food with essential vitamins and minerals, preferably made with whole foods, will nourish their body and keep oral hygiene in check

Avoid foods made with by-products, meals, and cereal grains, including starch, as they are more apt to stick to your dog’s teeth.

A dog meal should have 30% protein, 25% fats, and 30-70% carbohydrates. Chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids), meat fat, Canola oil, sweet potatoes, peas, Barley (pearled), Oats, Brown rice, whole wheat, whole corn, etc., are the healthiest meal choices for any dog. If you're buying canned food, make sure it's made from organic food matter and has optimum supplements of micro-minerals and trace minerals.

Brush their Teeth Regularly

Like humans, dogs need to keep their teeth clean and prevent bad breath. Although dogs chew bones to remove tartar and residue from their teeth, this isn't nearly enough

You can use a traditional method of brushing teeth with toothpaste for your dog. You can use a human toothbrush with soft bristles, or you can choose double-headed with the brushes at a 45-degree angle to clean below the gum-line, like those offered by companies like Petosan

For toothpaste, try to get canine toothpaste that's safe to swallow. Your dog is less likely to spit after each cleaning. Human toothpaste contains fluoride that is extremely poisonous to dogs, so avoid regular toothpaste.

Vets suggest that you should start brushing their teeth when they are still a puppy. This can help keep a habit.

Use Chew Bones and Chew Toys

Chewing on a hard surface can help scrap and clean teeth naturally. Offer raw chew bones and chew toys after each meal and encourage them to chew on them for a bit.

When using bones, make sure they're uncooked and large, preferably from a cow. A small bone can easily break or splinter. Keep an eye when it's chewing on a bone to make sure it doesn’t swallow broken pieces.

Avoid commercial chew bones that are usually made from starches. It can have the opposite effect as chewing on a cow bone. When choosing chew toys, ensure to get chew toys made from hard rubber or nylon that aren't toxic

Choose Dry Food other Soft Food

Soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay. When buying commercial food product for your pet, preferably choose dry food such as kibble. Most dogs eagerly accept dried beef ears or snouts, dried tendons, esophagus, and similar pieces. The dried meat also helps to keep their teeth clean.

Most dog foods prepared at home both solid-liquid. If you regularly provide your dog with soft food, make sure to clean or wipe their teeth daily. This will help prevent residue and plague build up around their teeth

Offer Vegetables and Fruits for Snacks

Vegetables and fruits are natural sources of micro-minerals and trace minerals. Like Protein, Carbs, and Fats, dogs need an optimum amount of minerals such as zinc, vitamin, calcium, and phosphorus daily.

Introduce a variety of vegetables and fruits in their daily snacks. Carrots or carrot slices, apple slices, or a chunk of squash or pumpkin are good snacks for dogs.

Feed appropriate amounts to your dog based on its size; never more than ten percent of its overall daily calorie intake.

Routine Dental Check Up

An annual or bi-annual dental checkup is essential to make sure your dog's oral hygiene is perfect.

Some of the tell-tale signs of bad dental care include; bad breath, change in chewing habit, pawing at the face or mouth, excessive drooling, misaligned or missing teeth, red and swollen gums, etc. These problems require immediate veterinary solutions.

To ensure proper teeth cleaning, the veterinarian will usually perform routine dental cleaning to use tools to remove the teeth' plaque and tartar. A special polishing paste that smoothens any scratches in the teeth' enamel keeps their teeth shiny and plague free.

Check this info graphics for more information. 

Make a Routine

Keep a routine of dental cleaning, veterinarian visits, and dental problems. This will help you determine what kind of assistance your dog will need in the future regarding dental problems.

It's always better to get pet insurance covering preventive care, veterinarian visits, and dental health problems.

It's always wise to prevent the dental problem from exfoliating. Dental extractions in a bad or decayed tooth can easily cost from $10 to $1000 for a molar root canal

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, to learn more about preventive care for healthy oral health. We also provide dental checkups and surgical services through our certified veterinarians.

 

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.

Essential Things to Know about Dog Nutrition & Supplements

"What should I feed my dog?" is perhaps the most asked question by pet owners. Each dog has different nutritional needs but an appropriate amount of well-balanced diet is vital for its overall health.

A proper dog diet is defined by the availability of six basic nutrients that are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Most dog foods including home prepared and commercial dog food lack vital minerals and vitamins. Pet owners often provide supplements to provide any missing minerals. However, you must be very aware of the maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients because an overdose could lead to toxicity.

Let’s take a look at dog nutrition and supplements in detail.

What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

As mentioned above, dogs require six basic nutrients from their food on a daily basis.

Proteins

Proteins should cover 30% of the nutritional value of pet food on a daily basis. Proteins serve as a source of energy. They're basically made of amino acids that help the dog’s body perform normal biological functions; maintaining muscle, fur, skin, and nails; making critical components of the immune system; and forming enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions in cells.

                         Of the 20 or so amino acids, 10 of them are considered essential for dogs.

The daily intake of essential amino acids is important because pets can’t produce them in their own bodies or simply can’t make enough of them. Dietary proteins come from many different ingredients, including chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, rabbit, and eggs.

Eating too little protein forces dogs to break down muscles and other tissues in order to gain amino acids which can eventually lead to muscle wasting, immune dysfunction, etc. Some dogs may have protein allergy or sensitivity. In such cases, the vets suggest that you should try a different protein.

Fats

Dietary fats should contribute 25% of a dog's daily nutrient requirements. It typically comes from animal fats and seed oils. Fats provide essential fatty acids that aren’t produced in sufficient quantities by the pet's body. It also enhances the flavor and texture of the food that encourages dogs to eat.

Chicken fat, Beef fat, Lamb fat, Pork fat, Fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids), Canola oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, etc. are a few of the best sources of dietary fats for pets.

The lack of dietary fats in food can lead to dry, itchy skin, and a dull coat. However, too much fat can make your pet obese.

You should keep the intake of fats in check and avoid giving them extra treats and table scraps. The sudden intake of high-fat foods can trigger pancreatitis – a painful inflammation of the pancreas.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates should cover the most amounts of nutrients in dog food. It typically makes up anywhere from 30-70 percent of dog food.

Carbohydrates include starches, sugars, and fiber from well-known sources of food. In addition to providing energy, carbohydrates such as fiber help the digestive system work properly.

It comes from sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas, Barley (pearled), Oats, Brown rice, whole wheat, whole corn, but also from lentils and garbanzo beans. 

Extra fiber can be added to some diets to help overweight pets feel full so they don't beg for more food.

In some cases, the veterinarian may suggest supplemental fiber for your pet to help maintain healthy stool consistency.

Water

Basically, a normal dog will require 50-60 ml of water per kilogram of bodyweight. This means that a 50 lb. dog would need around 40 ounces of water, about 5 cups, each day.

The daily requirement of water may also depend on the physical activity and age of your dog. Puppies require more water than adult dogs because it helps t grow and build muscles and help digest their food. The indoor dog requires less amount of water than the dogs that spend time outdoors.

It helps to keep and maintain a normal body temperature along with carrying essential nutrients within the body's cells. So, make sure to provide fresh water a couple of times a day.

Dog’s Daily Supplements

Minerals and vitamins are mostly categorized into dog food supplements mainly because most commercial pet food and homemade dog food don’t contain enough minerals and vitamins. Upon concluding that your pet food doesn’t provide enough mineral and vitamin, the vets will prescribe additional minerals such as micro-minerals and trace minerals and Vitamin D to dogs

Minerals

Minerals in form of micro-minerals and trace minerals help in the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream, and hormone production.
Minerals also work together to coordinate various body functions and maintain normal activities on a daily basis.

A dog may need micro-minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium; and trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, chromium, iodine, selenium, and manganese.

A healthy pack of dog food should include all the required micro-minerals and trace minerals. If

Vitamins

Vitamins are organic substances needed for the body to grow naturally. The most important vitamins for dogs are Vitamin A, B family, D, C, E, K, and Choline.
Most vets opine that dogs don't need additional vitamin supplements because most commercial pet foods are packed with more than safe levels of vitamins.

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.

Vitamin D Toxicity is common in many dogs that are feed Vitamin D supplements. The toxicity is a buildup of excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause various physical and mental ailments such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, or even kidney failure and death.

Things to Know about Dog Nutrition

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by pet owners.

Should dogs only eat raw foods?

Domesticated dogs have adapted to consume diets provided by their human companion. Dogs can actually digest complex carbohydrates more easily once they've been cooked. The intake of a raw diet often carries a number of risks.

What should you look for in dog food?

Always look for the ingredients when buying premium dog foods. Here are some general tips to help you decide better.

Select diets with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients. If the majority of the listed ingredients are unfamiliar to you, find another diet.

Select a low-calorie diet. Your dog's diet should contain a relatively small number of calories per cup; ideally less than 350 calories. If your dog food contains 500 calories per cup and you have a 20-pound dog, the amount you should feed is tiny. The calorie intake depends on your dog's lean weight.

30 x weight in kg (or pounds divided by 2.2) + 70 = daily caloric needs.

How often should you feed your dog?

You should feed your dog on a regular interval of basis and up to two or three times a day. Puppies would need to eat more than three times a day. Dogs with obesity should only be fed twice a day.

Here is the important information on infographics about Essential Things to Know about Dog Nutrition & Supplements.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with our certified veterinarian to learn more about your dog's diet and nutritional requirements.

 

 

 

 

How to promote animal welfare in your community?

Working for the rights and welfare of animals isn't a small job. It takes a lot to raise your voice against the inhumane treatment of animals, and a lot of effort to help wounded and abandoned animals.
According to ASPCA.org,

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. Approx. 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year.

It's a sad reality that over 6 million animals are abandoned every year by pet owners. Most of these animals never find a second home.
Thanks to the effort of many animal shelters and welfare organizations, over 700,000 pets are returned to their owners and many are able to find second homes.
There are many ways you can raise the concern for animal welfare in your community. With stricter laws against animal abandonment, people are less likely to abandon their pets.

6 Ways to Promote Animal Welfare


Here are six common ways to promote animal welfare in your family and community.
Donate
Animal charity organizations, rescue missions, and shelter homes can always use donations. With millions of mouths of feed, many animal welfare organizations fail to provide basic amenities to the pets.
Donation works in many ways, you can ask your community to regularly donate a portion of their expenses for the local welfare organization, give away your excess supplies, pet food, carriers, dishes, etc.

Foster

If you have a place and resources, you can consider fostering pets. Fostering is a usual concept in pet care where a person or a household takes in a homeless pet that needs parenting until it finds a new home.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and 4 month’s long lockdown, many people abandoned their pets. Many pet shelters are forced to close down due to lack of funds. Hence, it comes to the generosity of pet owners who can take in more pets for fostering.

There are many reasons why a pet may need fostering such as when it's rescued, recovering from surgery or illness, or haven't lived in a house before.

To become a foster parent, you would need to contact your local shelter home or PetFinder.com. Fill up the necessary forms and then bring the animal to your home.

Educate

Awareness about animal welfare comes from educating other people. It's unusual for each member of the community to understand animal welfare. Hence, it's your job to make them understand and how they can contribute to animal welfare.
Leverage the power of social media to share about animal welfare and prevailing cases of animal violence, and urge them to donate to animal shelters.
You can urge them to take in animals for fostering or even help rescue abandoned animals and hand them over to the animal shelters. Moreover, you can become the role model of the community by advocating for pet fostering.

Spay/Neuter

Spaying or neutering pets can help them live longer and healthier lives. They're less likely to produce offspring. Spaying also helps to keep animals calm. When many pets are sent to animal shelters, spaying can really help to keep their overgrowing population in control.

Spring and summer are associated with the rampant overproduction of puppies and kittens. The experience can get really unmanageable for most animal shelters, hence, spaying and neutering helps to prevent the problem.

Contact your local animal shelter or vet clinic to get them spayed.

Volunteer

Volunteering in animal shelter homes and adoption centers can be rewarding. This experience can be fulfilling for people who feel left out, depressed, or alone. You'd be able to give a lot of care to them and take a lot of love in return.
Animal shelters always have room for volunteers. As a volunteer, you'd need to help rescue pets, care for wounded pets, feed them on a regular basis, play with them, assist vets with regular checkups, etc.

Adopt

Set an example by adopting new pet and discouraging buying animals from animal farms or breeders. With millions of pets abandoned in animal shelters, the best thing you can do is adopt a few and advocate the same to the people in your community. When people choose to adopt a pet, they save an animal from being euthanized.

Animal Cruelty Act

Every state establishes and enforces its own anti-cruelty laws as well, and 45 states enacted felony-level penalties.
Animal anti-cruelty laws can be broken down into two basic categories: intentional acts, when a person knowingly harms an animal, and failure to act when someone fails to provide food, water, or shelter to an animal. The types of violence officers respond to include neglect, torture, organized animal fighting, animal hoarding, poisoning, shooting, illegal hunting/poaching, ritualistic abuse, bestiality, and "crush videos."
You can always seek assistance from animal welfare organizations when you feel the pets in your community have been ill-treated, abandoned, or tortured.

Here is the detail info graphics on how to promote animal welfare in your community?

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Our certified veterinarians and assistants work around the clock to ensure that your pet gets the best and quickest veterinarian care in the community.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How to make your dog stop biting?

Exhibiting aggressive behavior is a common trait in most dogs. Every dog is capable of biting other animals and humans, regardless of their breed, size, or training. Hence, you must make sure that your dog doesn't exhibit such aggressive behavior at any point in time.

In most cases, canines suddenly become aggressive and attack the owner or other people which isn't natural.

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 because many times dogs may have an underlying medical problem which makes them exhibit aggressive behavior.

Is Playful Mouthing an Aggressive Behavior?

Most mouthing is normal dog behavior. Playful mouthing is usually less painful than more serious, aggressive biting. Dogs tend to spend a great deal of time playing, chewing, and investigating objects through their mouth. Young pups often chew on our fingers and toes of humans. This kind of behavior is natural in young pups but if it persists even when they’re older there might be some underlying problem.

The best thing you can do is try to curb their enthusiasm to chew or bite. Some dogs bite out of fear or frustration, and this type of biting can indicate problems with aggression. It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between normal play mouthing and mouthing that precedes aggressive behavior. A playful dog may have a relaxed body and face but its muzzle might look wrinkled.

The aggressive behavior in dogs generally starts with growling, stiff body, pulling their teeth out, and creating wrinkled muzzle. This is a tell-tale sign of your dog’s aggressive behavior.

Major causes for sudden aggressive behavior

i. Illness and Injury

Illness or injury is a common cause for dogs to become aggressive. They show signs of aggression such as growling, snapping, and biting.

The underlying medical condition or pain can make dogs often stressed and sensitive. They react to things quickly and most aggressively. Some possible causes of pain may include arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations. Injury to the head may also cause a sudden outbreak of aggression among pets.

ii. Fear

It’s natural for dogs to exhibit aggressive behavior if they sense they're in danger. When animals are afraid of something, they prefer to run away which is called the flight response. But if escaping isn’t an option, most animals will switch to a fight response. In the case of dogs, they will often growl, snap, and bite.

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

iii. Possessiveness

Possession aggression may occur when a dog becomes possessive about their food, toy, bed, or any other forms of possession. A dog exhibiting possession aggression will growl if someone approaches near. They inhibited the tendency to show possessive aggression from their prehistoric predecessors who had to compete for food, shelter, and mates to survive.

iv. Frustration

Aggression induced by frustration is often referred to as redirected aggression or barrier frustration. Over time, a dog can learn to associate restraint with feelings of frustration. This may explain why some dogs become aggressive when put behind a gate or inside a cage. They may exhibit aggression in the long run when they’re made to spend a lot of time tied up, restrained on a leash, or behind a chain-link fence.

v. Territorial Aggression

Like many other wild animals, dogs exhibit territorial aggression. This tendency can be linked to their wild relatives such as the wolf. Dogs sometimes show aggression to establish dominance. Territorial possession can induce dominance among pets. Territorial aggression can occur along the boundary regularly patrolled by a dog. Other dogs show territorial aggression only toward people or other animals coming into the home.

How to curb biting in dogs?

Here are some handy ways to curb biting in dogs.

Spay or neuter your dog

Spaying or neutering your dog can help to control their hormonal levels, resulting in more docile behavior.

Spaying a female dog will reduce or eliminate its drive to roam while in heat. It will also eliminate your dog's instinct to wander or fight with other dogs. In male dogs, neutering can help lower their testosterone level, hence making them less aggressive.

Don't let your dog wander or go off-leash

A pet dog is more likely to face wrath from street dogs when they're left unmonitored. Don’t let your dog roam outside freely. Keeping your dog contained lowers the chance of them encountering and fighting with other dogs. This will also prevent them from encountering wild animals like raccoons, porcupine, and hedgehogs.

Avoid stressful situations

If your dog has already shown aggressive behavior, you should avoid creating or putting them in a stressful situation. Watch your dog's behavior to learn signs of stress.

  • You should avoid taking them to packed or busy places. A large crowd can overwhelm dogs.
  • Don't introduce them to too many people.
  • Have a safe space for your dog to relax, walk, or play.

Provide obedience training

Training your dog for basic obedience and curbing aggression is a fruitful option. The obedience-training classes run by expert trainers and groomers can help your dog to

  • socialize with other animals and people
  • teach them to deal with fears and unwanted situations
  • teach dog owners to properly reward or punish their pets
  • Identify and curb situations that may make your dog stressed.

Teach dogs to be gentle with their teeth and mouth

Dogs mostly play and learn through their teeth and mouth. It's normal for young pups to nibble on toys, food items, other animals, and humans; however, you will want to start training them to never bite.

Wait for your pup is about to bite. Then, say "No" or "no bite" in a sharp voice. If it stops biting you, offer it a treat.

If your dog continues biting, you should take it to the nearest trainer.

Use a time-out method

If your dog doesn't respond to simple yipping and short refusal, try adopting a time-out procedure. Ignoring them can be a powerful way to tell them that their behavior is unacceptable.

When bitten, yelp loudly. Ignore them for ten to twenty seconds, or place them in space by themself for four to twenty seconds.

Reward your dog consistently for good behavior.

You should start praising your dog and reward them consistently for good behavior. The positive reinforcement will help them continue their good behavior.

  • You should only reward their behavior that you want to encourage.
  • Keep treats handy so that you can reward them easily.
  • Don't overfeed your dog with treats. It can lead to teeth problems or obesity.

Distinguish the different types of biting behavior

A dog may show different types of biting behavior. Most dogs love to nibble on stuff to examine or play with them. Young pups often nibble or playfully bite people. A sudden aggressive biting in older dogs is mostly caused by an underlying medical condition, hormonal changes, or encountering fearful and stressful situations.

Here is the detail information and Infographics on tips about how to make your dog stop biting.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Learn more about different ways to calm an aggressive dog or get in touch with us to start training your dogs for aggressive behaviors.

Facts about dog rehoming and adoption

Adopting a dog is often the best and the kindest thing you can do. Over 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Over half of these animals never find a home and are euthanized.

According to the animal shelter statistics, in 2017 around 1.5 million animals in shelters were euthanized. 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats made up this staggering number, which amounted to almost 5,500 animals killed every day

What is Rehoming and how much does it?

Hundreds of thousands of pets are abandoned every year. When you can no longer care for a pet for any reason, rehoming can a good idea. Instead of abandoning your pet or sending them to an animal shelter where it may be killed, you can find him a new home for your pet. 

There are many reasons why a pet owner abandons a pet. More common ones include: Moving, can’t keep; landlord won’t allow; not enough time; and can’t afford.

You can prevent this by taking the time to find the right home for your dog. The process involves paying a certain rehoming fee. Don't worry, this is to help facilitate the rehoming process goes smoothly.

When rehoming a pet to someone you don’t know, it is common to charge a rehoming fee. On average, this can range from $25 to $100. A rehoming fee can help you cover charges for vaccinations, spaying, and neutering, and other expenses. 

You can help save these animals by finding them a comfortable home. Animal shelters around the country offer easy adoption and rehoming facility. It’s often cheaper to adopt a dog instead of buying a new dog. The cost for adoption usually accounts for a mere adoption fee, medical, ID tagging, vaccines, pet accessories

Why consider rehoming your dog?

Here are two major reasons for you to consider rehoming your dog.

To avoid dog squabbles at home

If you have two or more dogs at home, it's common to find them squabbling. When you introduce a new pet to your old, they can often become aggressive towards them. Frequent squabbles and rough play can put one or more dogs at risk of serious injury.

If the management of behavior isn't possible, it's fair to move your dog to a new home instead of abandoning them. Rehoming your dog will help it find another family.

The dog is a danger to someone in the household

Most dogs with behavioral issues are often abandoned by pet owners. To avoid dog bites or aggression towards other pets and humans, you can consider rehoming your pet. 

Change in circumstances

The circumstances in your life are unpredictable. You might land up a new job out of the state and must move or fly out of the country, or take up an apartment where the dogs aren't allowed. All of these circumstances may push you to make a rather harsh decision to abandon them. You can avoid this by rehoming your pet.

Wrong dog for the situation

Most new pet owners acquire a dog for a specific purpose such as assistance for the disabled, to assist people with medical conditions, for sporting activities or competition, etc. Once the purpose of dogs in your life is complete, you might decide to put it up for adoption or abandon it. The best possible thing you can do find a new home so the new owners can enjoy both the company and the skill of your pet.

Here are a few of the steps to find a new dog

It's rather simple to find and adopt a dog these days. Many animal shelters put up advertisement or listing in online directories for new pet owners to find a potential pet.

Step 1: Find a dog or puppy online

The organizations like ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK) allow pet owners to find an adoptable dog of their choice.
They put up a list of dogs who are often abandoned or are put up for rehoming

Step 2: Complete a rehoming application form

The next step is to fill out an application form indicating that you're willing to adopt a new dog. After accepting your application, the organization or local animal shelter will arrange a visit.

Step 3: Get to know your new dog

When all the parties agree, you can visit the pet owners home or an animal shelter to meet the new dog. You can discuss all the details related to the dog, lifestyle, diet, medical condition, etc.

Step 4: Home visit

The officials from the animal shelter often visit your home to inspect the new facility. They'll also advise you on how to proceed further from here. 

Step 5: Bring home your new dog

Once everything is done, you can welcome the new dog home. Remember to introduce your new pet to your family member and any existing pets. If you must introduce your new dog to your old pet, be wary about the aggression and temperament of your old dog. Before you can get it home, you must spay or neuter it, vaccinate it, microchip it with an ID, and pay a rehoming or adoption fee.

How to introduce your dogs to dogs?

  • Solve your old dog's behavioral issues first
  • Decide on a meeting place
  • On-leash and off-leash meeting
  • Don't leave them alone
  • Break any fight or squabble
  • Separate their toys'
  • Dine them separately
  • Clearly establish your dominance
  • Train them separately

Things to keep in mind

  • Be wary of rehoming your pet through classified sites. Many people troll such sites looking for dogs to use for wrong purposes.
  • Charging a rehoming fee allows you the new adopter to demonstrate that they're serious about adopting your pet. Also, charging a rehoming fee will enable you to know that they've financial resources in hand.
  • Contact your local animal shelter, ASPCA, or adoptapet.com to successfully rehome your pet.

Here is a brief infographics about the facts about dog rehoming and adoption.

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 also help rescue abandoned pets and find them a good home.

 

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!