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.

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 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.

Safe Temperature for Dogs: How to prevent overheating?

Did you know that dogs can easily overheat when left in the sun? Like humans, dogs are prone to overheating and physical illness when the temperature rises above the normal.

There are many factors that determine the dog’s body temperature. One of the major reasons for overheating is the hot weather. If dogs are let out for a long time, they’ll quickly overheat and start dehydrating.

Dogs only sweat through sweat glands in the pads of their feet and noses. Unlike humans who sweat throughout the body, dogs lessen their body heat by continuous panting which isn't super-efficient so they can quickly become overheated.

Let’s learn more about overheating in dogs and how to control their temperature.

How to keep them safe from Overheating?

Here is how you can avoid your dog from overheating.

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Many pet owners choose to leave their pets inside the car! This can be fatal! You shouldn’t leave them inside a car even for a minute! Many owners claim that they keep the air conditioner on or windows open but this doesn’t help either. On a warm day, the temperatures inside a car can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85F day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened can rise up to 102 F within 10 minutes.

It can easily lead to overheating and your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or even die. It’s better to keep them on a leash and tie them somewhere near under the shade.

Watch the humidity

Dr. Barry Kellog, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association claims that,

"It's important to remember that it's not just the ambient temperature, but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly."

Some easy ways to control humidity includes

  • Air conditioning
  • Fans
  • Replace Furnace / AC filters.
  • Take shorter or colder showers.

Limit exercise on hot days

Although your dog loves to play outside, you should consider limiting outdoor visits during summer. It’s better to avoid going out when the sun is up. Instead, you can switch the outdoor schedule to either early morning or in the evening. On a hot day the asphalt can get very hot that can burn your pet's sensitive paws. If you’re stepping outside during a hot day, consider carrying water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating. Use dog shoes and Vaseline to avoid heat burn.

If you often allow your do to exercise outside, you can consider bringing them in during summer.

Provide ample shade and water

Dogs often get dehydrated on a hot day. The lack of water consumption can easily lead to overheating and dehydration. Make sure you keep them away from the direct sun. Keep them inside and provide ample fresh cold water to keep their body heat in check. The best way to provide fresh water is by offering them a Frozen Treat Bowl. Make a solution of nutritious items and water and freeze them to make frozen kibble. The dogs enjoy eating them. This will help to keep them cool as well as provide enough nutrition.

Watch for signs of heatstroke

Overheating can invite heatstroke in dogs. This is why you shouldn’t let your dog stay outside for a longer duration of time. The signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, seizure, and unconsciousness.

The best way to avoid heatstroke is by setting up a pet’s pool in the backyard so your dog can stay inside the water. You can also wrap a wet towel around them to avoid overheating.

How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke

When you notice that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, immediately move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Start applying ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

If the problem seems persistent, consider taking them directly to a veterinarian.

How to measure dog temperature?

There are telltale signs that your dog is overheating; excessive panting, lying on the floor motionless, or slowed breathing. It could easily turn into a fever and can be detrimental to their health but there’s no easy way to say this. You need to take your dog’s temperature to determine if it’s really overheating.

The thermometer should be placed in its bum to measure body temperature. As it can often be difficult to keep your dog still, it’s best if two people together on this particular project.

Before placing the thermometer, you should lubricate it well with Vaseline.

Raise its tail and push the thermometer into its rectum with a twist. It should go in one-three inches, depending on the size of your dog.

Hold it in place for two minutes, then remove it, wipe it quickly, and read the temperature.

Dog’s Fever

Fever is common in dogs throughout the year. However, in summer the fever becomes more common because of overheating, dehydration, and lack of nutrition. The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. This implies that dogs may feel feverish even when its temperature is completely normal. A temperature of more than 103 F is considered a dog fever, although it can be 103 if a dog is very excited or stressed.

Be aware of the rising body temperature because when the temperature reaches 106 F, serious and fatal complications can occur.

Although there are no definite signs, some symptoms for fever in dogs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depressed mood
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge

How to treat Dog’s Fever?

Here are some handy tips to treat dog fever.

Give them a bath

The first thing you can do is wiping their ears and paws with a tepid, wet cloth. This may help to bring its body temperature down.

Consider giving them a tepid bath. Ensure that the water isn’t ice cold. You can water a bit colder than lukewarm. Apply water to its ears, paws, chest, and abdomen. You can avoid using soap.

Hydrate them

Make sure your dog drinks a lot of water. Put fresh water in your dog’s water bowl and encourage them to drink water. This will help to prevent dehydration from fever.

Visit the Vet

Your vet probably has the medical history of your dog which will help to diagnose the fever. They can only offer a solution after conducting proper tests including a physical exam, urinalysis, blood count, or a biochemistry profile. This will help to ascertain the exact reason for the fever and provide a proper solution. Many times, the fever in dogs is caused by an underlying infection but simply overheat.

Here is a quick Infographics for the brief information.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. We provide both mobile and on-location emergency services for pets. Our certified veterinarian will ensure that your pet is immediately treated for overheating, dehydration, or fever. Get in touch with us to learn more about precautionary measures for overheating.

How often do you groom your dog?

Dog grooming is a process by which dog’s appearance is enhanced. It not only enhances the appeal but also keeps your pet hygienic and clean. It is also essential to keep your pet stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

A person who professionally grooms the dog is known as dog groomer or Groomer. The grooming procedure, time and tools differ from one breed to another and one coat type to another.


5 benefits of Regular Grooming

  1. Eradicate Health Problem –Grooming lessens any chances of various health problems, such as skin allergy, parasitic infections, scratches and matted hair.
  2. Cleanliness –General tidiness and physical appearance is ensured by regular and proper grooming.
  3. Vital Organs in Check –Grooming also monitors the status of essential body parts for the infection, such as; Eyes, Ear and Teeth, Nose, Underside, Skin Coat, Nail and Pads etc.
  4. Physical Appeal –The physical appearance and standard is maintained with regular grooming.
  5. Stress-free environment –Matted hair, long and burly fur can cause stress to many dogs on daily basis. Grooming keeps them comfortable and happy.

Grooming based on Coat Type

Short haired

Short-haired dogs may require fewer baths and grooming to keep them clean. Grooming every 5-6 months is generally enough. They can be bathed every 4 months. Short haired canines like German Shephard may shed excessively. You can ask your groomer for any low-shed services. Keep in mind that nothing will stop shedding entirely, not even shaving your dog.

Short hair and double coated

These kind of dogs typically shed seasonally. You can choose to groom them four times a year to keep them clean and prevent excessive shedding. They require bath every 6 weeks to keep their coat clean and also to protect their natural oil. Golden Retriever is a popular short haired doubled coated dog which requires constant grooming and bathe.

Long hair and double coated

These dogs may frequently suffer from matted and overweighed hair. Matted hair invites moist, infection and allergies. They tend to shed seasonally and have long feathers on their feet, legs, bellies, butts, and ears that needs to be trimmed often.

You must never shave your double coated dog, as they are unable to grow their top layer coat back! Akita, Alaskan Husky, Alaskan malamute, American Eskimo, Chinook, Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz and Finnish Lapphund few examples of long haired double coated dog.

Thick Undercoated

Thick undercoated dogs require proper grooming to ensure their thick undercoat remains safe. These undercoat must be removed seasonally but never shaved. Shaving may cause severe skin problem, allergy and sunburn.

Thick undercoated dogs require grooming at least every three months. Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Collies, Shelties and Shepherds are dogs with thick undercoat.

Silky coated

The single coat on dogs tend to be silkier which grows continuously, hence it must be trimmed periodically. They can be groomed every 2-3 months. Some may require grooming every 4-6 weeks to prevent severe matting. Afghan hound, Maltese dog, Shih Tzu, Skye terrier, Tibetan terrier and Yorkshire terrier are few examples of silky coated dogs.

Curvy or Wavy coated

These dogs are the most likely to mat because of the excess of hair and chances of entanglement. Any hair longer than half an inch should be brushed at least twice a week; and hair longer than an inch should be brushed daily.

They may require grooming every four to six weeks to prevent severe matting. Curly coated retriever, Pumi, Portugese water dog, irish water spaniel, Lagotto Romagnolo and Poodle are few of the curvy or wavy coated dogs.


Check Pet grooming to learn more about proper grooming technique and professional help.