Point Check List: What cost should you expect while owning a Dog?

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the Pet Products Association,

67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.

Numbering 63.4 million household dogs, the canine is one of the most owned pets in the country closely followed by cats.

Owning and caring for a pet isn't an easy job. It requires you to invest your time, money, and effort on a daily basis. And owning a dog doesn’t come cheap. You have to take into account their daily diet, exercise, yearly vaccinations, wellness checks, grooming, toys, accessories, etc.

Can you afford a dog?

This is a question every new pet owner must ask themselves before owning a dog. The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to budget for a dog before getting one, leading to trouble down the road.

Pet abandonment statistics globally is thought to be around six hundred million every year. Around 3.5 million dogs and 3.4 million cats are abandoned every year in the USA alone. Many of these end up in shelters, while many of them aren't able to find new homes. Hence, a lot of them end up being euthanized.

According to ASPCA.org,

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats)

The good news is that approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Although it may sound like a less number, it’s enough to bring about a change.

Dog Ownership Cost

In the year 2019 alone, $75.38 billion was spent on pet care alone.
The minimum basic annual expense for a dog is as such:

  • Items Expenses
  • Surgical Vet $426
  • Routine Visit $212
  • Food $259
  • Food treats $76
  • Kennel boarding $229
  • Vitamins $58
  • Grooming $73
  • Toys $48
    Source: American Pet Products Association.

INFOGRAPHIC MAGE: https://news.orvis.com/images/02-dogs/2014/10-oct/cost.jpg

The lifetime cost of owning a pet

The cost of owning a dog can be estimated at about $1,400 to $4,300 per year. However, the cost of owning a pet can be divided into two types: initial cost and general costs.
The initial cost basically includes buying or adoption cost, vaccination, ID tagging, training, etc. The general costs include expenses associated with a pet's lifetime including food, toys, vet care, routine visits, boarding, grooming, etc.
Here is the detailed list of expenses associated with owning a pet

Acquisition Costs

The acquisition cost refers to adopting or purchasing expenses. This is one of the most primary expenses related to owning a pet.
You can either purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt a pet from the shelter. Purchasing a dog from the breeder is typically influenced by the demand for that particular breed where a reputable breed will cost more. The adoption cost for each dog is fairly cheaper. They will only charge you for adopting a pet, microchipping, initial medical care and heartworm vaccination, and spaying or neutering.

The cost of all this care can be upwards of $800, but shelters rarely ask this much. The upper range of most adoption fees is around $500 but can be higher in some cases.

When buying from a breeder, you should be wary of buying from a backyard breeder. A backyard breeder often purchases from puppy mills. The dogs born and raised in puppy mills are ill-treated. While it may cost slightly more to buy from an ethical breeder, you can be sure that your new pet doesn’t come from a puppy mill.

Medical Costs

Medical costs associated with owning a pet is arguably one of the most expensive costs you’ll have to bear. The average vet visit can range anywhere from $50 to $400. The medical cost will include dental care, heartworm prevention, yearly vaccination, preventives, a wellness check, the surgical cost in case of any accidents, etc.

Vitamins usually cost around $100 per year, and preventative medication for fleas and heartworms are each around $20 per month.
Pet insurance is another expense that can be marked as a medical expense. If you haven’t considered buying pet insurance, you should do it pronto.

Grooming Costs

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

Grooming a pet, either dog or cat accounts for a relatively minor cost. Long-haired dog breeds require much more grooming than short-haired breeds. Short-haired dogs such as German shepherds may require grooming every 5-6 months. Long-haired and double-coated breeds like Akita, Alaskan Husky, and Alaskan malamute require grooming more frequently.

You can save a lot of costs by practicing grooming at home. Brushing your pet’s hair daily and trimming their nails at home can save up to $50 per month.

Food Costs

Pet food generally accounts for the largest amount of pet care expenses. It takes up a large portion of your yearly pet budget. When it comes to pet food, providing a balanced diet should be the priority over providing expensive meals.

Price isn’t the determining factor in the quality of pet food hence you should make sure to do your research on what best fits your budget and pet’s needs. The annual cost of providing pet food may range anywhere from $250 - $500. This includes pet food, food treats, and supplements.

It’s true that the food for a smaller breed costs lesser than a larger breed. You should take pet food into account before purchasing or adopting a new pet.

Equipment and Housing Costs

You have to take into account the cost associated with creating a pup to building a kennel in your yard. An indoor pet wouldn’t require a different kennel except for a cozy bed and mattress. Along with these, you must take into account the use of equipment associated with owning a pet such as building a fence in the backyard, adding a doggy pool, buying a leash, food and water bowl, equipment assisting pet’s daily life, etc.
The expense of adding new equipment in your home may cost more. However, be assured that it’s generally a one-time cost.

Training Costs

Training is an optional cost. A dog owner can choose to hire a professional trainer to train their dog or they can do it themselves. Although it’s true, a pet owner must be willing to spend money on acquiring a professional trainer or training equipment.
The training for a dog may begin from the time you bring it into your home. The crate training, loo training, learning basic commands, and advanced training are often associated with training a dog. If you have no idea about training a dog, you must seek professional help.
Group dog training with a professional trainer costs $30 to $50 per class on average, while private training ranges from $45 to $120 per hour. Be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $1200 for dog training classes.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale. With years of experience in pet care and medicine, grooming, boarding, and training, our Certified Veterinarian will ensure to offer you one of the pet cares in Urbandale.

 

Point Check List: What cost should you expect while owning a Dog?

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the Pet Products Association,

67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.

Numbering 63.4 million household dogs, the canine is one of the most owned pets in the country closely followed by cats.

Owning and caring for a pet isn't an easy job. It requires you to invest your time, money, and effort on a daily basis. And owning a dog doesn’t come cheap. You have to take into account their daily diet, exercise, yearly vaccinations, wellness checks, grooming, toys, accessories, etc.

Can you afford a dog?

This is a question every new pet owner must ask themselves before owning a dog. The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to budget for a dog before getting one, leading to trouble down the road.

Pet abandonment statistics globally is thought to be around six hundred million every year. Around 3.5 million dogs and 3.4 million cats are abandoned every year in the USA alone. Many of these end up in shelters, while many of them aren't able to find new homes. Hence, a lot of them end up being euthanized.

According to ASPCA.org,

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats)

The good news is that approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Although it may sound like a less number, it’s enough to bring about a change.

Dog Ownership Cost

In the year 2019 alone, $75.38 billion was spent on pet care alone.
The minimum basic annual expense for a dog is as such:

  • Items Expenses
  • Surgical Vet $426
  • Routine Visit $212
  • Food $259
  • Food treats $76
  • Kennel boarding $229
  • Vitamins $58
  • Grooming $73
  • Toys $48
    Source: American Pet Products Association.

INFOGRAPHIC MAGE: https://news.orvis.com/images/02-dogs/2014/10-oct/cost.jpg

The lifetime cost of owning a pet

The cost of owning a dog can be estimated at about $1,400 to $4,300 per year. However, the cost of owning a pet can be divided into two types: initial cost and general costs.
The initial cost basically includes buying or adoption cost, vaccination, ID tagging, training, etc. The general costs include expenses associated with a pet's lifetime including food, toys, vet care, routine visits, boarding, grooming, etc.
Here is the detailed list of expenses associated with owning a pet

Acquisition Costs

The acquisition cost refers to adopting or purchasing expenses. This is one of the most primary expenses related to owning a pet.
You can either purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt a pet from the shelter. Purchasing a dog from the breeder is typically influenced by the demand for that particular breed where a reputable breed will cost more. The adoption cost for each dog is fairly cheaper. They will only charge you for adopting a pet, microchipping, initial medical care and heartworm vaccination, and spaying or neutering.

The cost of all this care can be upwards of $800, but shelters rarely ask this much. The upper range of most adoption fees is around $500 but can be higher in some cases.

When buying from a breeder, you should be wary of buying from a backyard breeder. A backyard breeder often purchases from puppy mills. The dogs born and raised in puppy mills are ill-treated. While it may cost slightly more to buy from an ethical breeder, you can be sure that your new pet doesn’t come from a puppy mill.

Medical Costs

Medical costs associated with owning a pet is arguably one of the most expensive costs you’ll have to bear. The average vet visit can range anywhere from $50 to $400. The medical cost will include dental care, heartworm prevention, yearly vaccination, preventives, a wellness check, the surgical cost in case of any accidents, etc.

Vitamins usually cost around $100 per year, and preventative medication for fleas and heartworms are each around $20 per month.
Pet insurance is another expense that can be marked as a medical expense. If you haven’t considered buying pet insurance, you should do it pronto.

Grooming Costs

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

Grooming a pet, either dog or cat accounts for a relatively minor cost. Long-haired dog breeds require much more grooming than short-haired breeds. Short-haired dogs such as German shepherds may require grooming every 5-6 months. Long-haired and double-coated breeds like Akita, Alaskan Husky, and Alaskan malamute require grooming more frequently.

You can save a lot of costs by practicing grooming at home. Brushing your pet’s hair daily and trimming their nails at home can save up to $50 per month.

Food Costs

Pet food generally accounts for the largest amount of pet care expenses. It takes up a large portion of your yearly pet budget. When it comes to pet food, providing a balanced diet should be the priority over providing expensive meals.

Price isn’t the determining factor in the quality of pet food hence you should make sure to do your research on what best fits your budget and pet’s needs. The annual cost of providing pet food may range anywhere from $250 - $500. This includes pet food, food treats, and supplements.

It’s true that the food for a smaller breed costs lesser than a larger breed. You should take pet food into account before purchasing or adopting a new pet.

Equipment and Housing Costs

You have to take into account the cost associated with creating a pup to building a kennel in your yard. An indoor pet wouldn’t require a different kennel except for a cozy bed and mattress. Along with these, you must take into account the use of equipment associated with owning a pet such as building a fence in the backyard, adding a doggy pool, buying a leash, food and water bowl, equipment assisting pet’s daily life, etc.
The expense of adding new equipment in your home may cost more. However, be assured that it’s generally a one-time cost.

Training Costs

Training is an optional cost. A dog owner can choose to hire a professional trainer to train their dog or they can do it themselves. Although it’s true, a pet owner must be willing to spend money on acquiring a professional trainer or training equipment.
The training for a dog may begin from the time you bring it into your home. The crate training, loo training, learning basic commands, and advanced training are often associated with training a dog. If you have no idea about training a dog, you must seek professional help.
Group dog training with a professional trainer costs $30 to $50 per class on average, while private training ranges from $45 to $120 per hour. Be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $1200 for dog training classes.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale. With years of experience in pet care and medicine, grooming, boarding, and training, our Certified Veterinarian will ensure to offer you one of the pet cares in Urbandale.

 

Get inspired with the best ideas & solutions for a life with dog

Living with a dog is probably the most fulfilling time ever. Animals complete your life in so many ways that you will feel gratitude towards them. Getting a new dog takes a lot of planning, effort, consistency, and training. Don't make it hard for your dogs to get comfortable, make sure you provide for them and make them a part of the family.

An estimated 49% to 68% of Americans are pet owners. Over 90%of them own dogs and cats.

Owning a dog is associated with lower rates of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. When dogs can do so much for their human companion, why can’t humans do the same for their dogs?

Here are some best ideas and solutions to better your dog’s life

There are many ways you can better the life of your dog. Buying new toys, readjusting their kennel with heating pads and insulation for winter, buying new stainless steel eating bowls, etc. are a few of the ways you can provide for them. Here are some of the other ideas to better their life.

Make Life an Adventure

Dogs love adventure! They love exploring new things and places. You must have wondered why your dog always spring outside once you open the gate. They enjoy the feeling of going out and exploring either that be in your backyard, a park, or a hiker’s trail.

To make their outing fun, instead of taking the same walk every day, consider what your dog likes and find places that match its interests. It can be nearby forests, a new neighborhood, a new park, an unexplored hiking trail, etc. Be wary about the new place you wish to take your dog and assess the safety measures beforehand. You can also take them on a car or bike ride. It’s easier to keep them in an open-crate and ride on a bike if you have a small dog breed.

Let Them Decide

Most dogs love the freedom to make their own decisions. Let them explore certain places off-leash. We’re aware of the safety concerns –not to mention laws and common sense, but you can simply open your doors to let your dog loose in certain cases.

Don’t put them on a leash when you’re home. You should let them lose and enjoy their quality time exploring the backyard. When you’re in the park, you can let them off-leash. Take proper precautions before letting them free to ensure that they don’t land up in any trouble.

Encourage Playtime

We can’t emphasize enough how important playtime is to the canine’s happiness. Dogs are active beings and they enjoy using most of their time playing and exploring. Encourage more playtime in their daily schedule by introducing new games such as puzzles and finding clues that include treats. You can indulge them in “fetching game” too. Most dogs find things to do by themselves but they always enjoy the company of their human companion. Spend more time with them when you’re home! In addition to the obvious fun, the play also provides mental and physical exercise and socializing opportunities and leads to feelings of success as well as enhanced cooper

Make Toys and Chews a Priority

Dogs love playing with toys. It keeps them engaged for a long time! Each dog has its own favorite toy. Some love biting it while others like toying around with it. Enrich your dog’s playtime by introducing new and engaging toys. Such activities prevent canine boredom while providing mental exercise. Add new toys and puzzles in their life. These keep them engaged for a long time.

Chewing is another part of their daily to ensure good dental hygiene. Young dogs love chewing on things when they get new teeth. Don’t let them chew on hard surfaces which can distort normal teeth growth. Buy organically chewable such as all-natural pet chew made from Yak's Milk easily available in the www.urbanpetssupply.com online store.

Encourage Training and Socializing

The more you understand your dog, the easier it is to avoid misreading them and to successfully communicate with them. You can start brushing up on your dog body language by initiating training programs. You can hire a trainer or do it yourself by looking at the online tutorials. This helps to tame their behavior from an early age and provide a gateway to learn more about them.

Maintain a balanced diet

Maintaining a dog's daily nutritional intake is essential to ensure they remain healthy and safe throughout their life. Malnutrition or excess intake of minerals is common among most dogs. This can be prevented with proper diet chart provided by your veterinarian. Dog's daily nutrition should include 45% carbs, 25% fats, and 30% protein. Water and supplements such as Vitamin D and minerals are as important as their daily diet.

Vary their food by introducing different dog food brands after duration. Introduce them slowly to the new food brand.

Protect Them from What They Dislike

Many dogs hate the sound of crackers and loud noises, mostly during holidays. You need to ensure that you keep them away from any places close to creating loud noises. Few dogs hate to be around when there’s incessant noise from small kids. Assess if your dog isn’t stressed by the noise. If it is, you need to remove it from there.

Keep On Training

Training isn’t just a regime but a lifestyle. Nobody is ever done training a dog, and certainly not after one or two eight-week sessions. Training can vary from age and skills. There are only certain training you can conduct when your pup is young. Eventually, you’d need to introduce new training to instill new skills into your dog. Dogs that are well trained can be given more freedom, have more opportunities to socialize, and are able to go more places.

Learn To Rub the Right Way

Dogs love to snuggle with humans and being rubbed. They feel content when they’re being rubbed in exactly the right spot. You would need to find out the sweet-spots where they feel the most comfort such as their hips, neck, chest and the area just above their tail gently massaged. You can find different resources online where and how to rub them the right way.

Keep them tidy

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

  • Some of the benefits of regular grooming include
  • Eradicate health problems
  • General cleanliness
  • Keeps vital organs in check
  • Increase physical appeal
  • Ensure a stress-free environment

 Removing tangles helps them defecate more easily. Keep their toenails short to allow for easier movement comfortably. Never shave them fully, this can create rashes on their skin and invite germs.

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

Most Effective Tactics for Training Your Dogs At Home

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

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

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

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

Reward behaviors you like.

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

Most effective tactics for training your dogs at home

Positive Reinforcement

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

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

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

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

It relies on four points:

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

Scientific Training

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

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

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

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

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

Clicker Training

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

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

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

Electronic Training

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

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

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

Model-Rival or Mirror Training

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

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

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

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

Alpha Dog or Dominance

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

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

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

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

Relationship-Based Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIY - Best Pet hacks for Summer and Winter

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

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

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

10 Best DIY Pet Hacks for Summer

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

Frozen DIY Treats

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

Summer Dog Shoes

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

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

Proper Grooming

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

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

Pet Mini Pools

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

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

Damp/Wet Towels

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

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

Ice Cubes in Drinking Water

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

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

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

Make a Frozen Treat Bowl

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

Create a Shaded Sanctuary

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

Protect Pet Paws with a DIY Wax Treatment

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

You can create paw wax at home.

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

Freeze a Toy

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

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

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

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

 

How to choose a Perfect Dog Breed for Your Personality?

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

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

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

Inquisitive and hardworking

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

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

Giving and Helpful

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

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

Ambitious, Social and Adaptable

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

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

Individualistic, Creative, and Original

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

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

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

Intellectual, Investigative, and Thoughtful

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

Loyal and Trusting

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

Enthusiastic, Curious, and Adventurous

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

Peaceful, Easy-Going, and Non-confrontational

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Signs you are not taking Proper Care of Your Pet

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

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

Ten Signs you are not taking proper care of your pet

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

Obesity

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

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

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

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

Vitamin D Poisoning

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

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

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

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

Bowel Issues

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

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

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

What are the signs of bowel issues in dogs?

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

Energy Level

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

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

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

Behavioral issue

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

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

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

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

Loss of appetite

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

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

Odd eating habit

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

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

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

Excessive Thirst

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

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

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

Grooming

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

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

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

Socialization

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

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

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

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

What is the best food for dogs with sensitive stomach?

Not all dogs are born with a tough gut that can chew on and digest everything. It’s quite common for many dog breeds, small puppies, and older dogs to encounter a sensitive stomach.

Dog bile is stronger than humans when it comes to digesting food and your dog’s digestive system can normally look after itself. The sensitive stomach can be attributed to the lack of a balanced diet and nutrition.

Is a Sensitive Stomach in Dogs Common?

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

Some dogs develop digestive issues because their diet either contains too much fat or lacks sufficient fiber. In other cases, digestive issues may signal the presence of an underlying disorder, such as pancreatitis, bacterial overgrowth or intestinal parasites.

Most dogs suffer from a sensitive stomach because of indigestion caused by improper diet. An improper dog diet is defined by the intake of a type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat. Unknown to most pet owners, commercial food can cause indigestions in few cases. The majority of canine food allergy cases involve a reaction to the protein source, such as chicken, beef or egg.

Symptoms of a sensitive stomach

The signs of GI remain visibly present. To find out if your dog is suffering from the sensitive stomach, check out for these early signs.

  • Dehydration (dry/tacky/pale gums, low skin elasticity)
  • Painful, distended, or hard belly
  • Retching, trying to vomit, or difficulty defecating
  • The appearance of blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Lethargy

When you start noticing these serious symptoms, you should immediately call your vet or take your dog to the nearest pet hospital. The symptoms include:

a. Vomiting

Vomiting isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, but if it shows up with other symptoms such as bile vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea, then you should be gravely concerned. In most cases, yellow foam in the vomit indicates that the dog's stomach is relatively empty of food.

Bilious vomiting syndrome may occur when your dog hasn’t eaten in a while or if it has consumed an abnormally large amount of fatty foods.

b. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common sign of a sensitive stomach. Loose stool can be a sign of a sensitive stomach, particularly if there was a recent change in diet. Although this isn’t a major cause of concern, if diarrhea becomes persistent, then you must look into your dog’s diet. It’s time to consult your vet and change diet, pattern, or brand of food for your dog.

c. Gas

Dogs suffering from GI often pass gas. Dogs can have flatulence from gulping air when they eat, from a gastrointestinal illness or from eating too fast. To prevent this, you can use an elevated feeder while feeding. Take your dog out for a walk soon after eating if gas is an issue. Avoid certain foods that can cause gas. Soybeans, peas, beans, milk products, high-fat diets, and spicy foods are all commonly associated with flatulence in dogs.

d. Eating grass

The grass is a natural remedy for an upset stomach. A dog may consume grass to improve digestion, treat intestinal worms, or fulfill some unmet nutritional needs. Although a popularly hold though, not every dog vomit after eating grass. Less than 25% of dogs who eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.

Experts believe that dogs need roughage in their diets and grass serves as a good source of fiber.

Is Your Dog’s Food to Blame for Their Sensitive Stomach?

Gastrointestinal upset has a lot to do with your dog’s diet. Common dietary culprits for indigestion in dogs include the type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat. A balanced diet is most important when it comes to a dog’s health.

You should avoid feeding your dog human food. You must prevent them from eating from table scrapes, dustbin, and kitchen residue.

Food to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate and caffeine
  • Citrus
  • coconut
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and dairy
  • Onions and garlic
  • Eggs and undercooked meat
  • Salty food
  • Xylitol

Puppies, older dogs, and certain dog breeds are prone to get a sensitive stomach after eating allergic foods such as chicken, beef or egg.

Most of the time, the ingredients in the food such as commercial food or canned food can cause upset stomachs. Food intolerance is common in dogs when you introduce a new brand of food. Avoid feeding dry food to your dog or based the entire diet on the over-processed canned food. 

How to treat sensitive stomachs in dogs?

Here is how you can treat a sensitive stomach in dogs.

i. Try a Bland Diet as a Short-Term Fix

Switching to a bland diet may be the best option to help resolve your dog’s immediate digestive issues as a short-term fix. A bland diet may include boiled and plain chicken and rice. A small amount of canned pumpkin may help resolve diarrhea.

Probiotic which is usually offered as a powder or liquid supplement can be added to your dog’s food. Probiotics can help to restore healthy bacteria in the intestine in order to improve digestive function. Add a tablespoon of plain, unsweetened yogurt to the food.  This helps soothe the stomach, replace healthy bacteria in the gut, and it can even stimulate the appetite.

ii. Consider Switching to a Dog Food That’s Made for Sensitive Stomachs

For dogs with a sensitive stomach, you should increase the food item rich in fiber while decreasing the use of excessive fat and protein. Have plenty of fiber ingredients, such as psyllium or beet pulp, to help firm up loose stools. It contains low amounts of fat and protein, which is helpful because fat can be difficult for many dogs to digest. Add probiotics to promote beneficial bacteria in the gut

iii. Switch to a reliable brand of food

The food label should state that the diet meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrition standards. These guidelines ensure that the diet was developed under expert supervision and tested to ensure the accuracy, safety, and quality of ingredients.

Ensure to check the label that indicates that the food is nutritionally complete for your dog’s life stage and contains appropriate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fat, vitamins and minerals.

iv. Try an Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is a prescription diet that is specifically formulated for pets with food allergies. The prescription diet is recommended by your veterinarian.

Most owners try to resolve sensitive stomach by introducing a new diet. Although in many cases the change in the diet improves the digestive issues, the symptoms can somehow persist even after several different diets are attempted. This could be a case of food allergy.

Most dietary trials last eight weeks to allow digestive inflammation and infections to resolve. All other foods and treats are discontinued during the trial to avoid accidental exposure to an allergen. This includes table scraps, which should not be fed to dogs in general.

After the trial is complete, your veterinarian may recommend switching back to the old diet to see if symptoms return, or to a different diet for long-term maintenance.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier veterinary in Des Moines specializing in pet medical care, pet diet, surgery, therapy, boarding, and training. Get in touch with our expert DVMs for the best advice on pet care service in Des Moines.

Vitamin D Toxicity in Pets

The pet food brands made into the news lately. The excess nutrients found in the popular dog food brands recently stirred the debate on keeping a closer look at the pet food contents.

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

Vitamin D Toxicity

Vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of excess calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause various physical and mental ailments such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, or even kidney failure and death.

The homemade and raw meals lack Vitamin D, hence, most pet food brands added extra Vitamin D to compensate the homemade meal. At least 11 different labels or dog food brands were asked to recall their products by FDA.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Dark tarry feces containing blood
  • Presence of blood in vomit
  • Loss of weight
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremor
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive drooling

Cholecalciferol & Vitamin D3

Cholecalciferol, also known as Vitamin D3 is a type of Vitamin D which is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It’s also found in some human and pet foods or is taken as a dietary supplement.

It is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the entire body. Cholecalciferol is used as a treatment or to prevent health conditions caused by a lack of vitamin D, especially skin and bone conditions.

Exposure

Taking 60,000 international units (IU) a day of Vitamin D for a longer period of time has been shown to cause Vitamin toxicity.

Cholecalciferol based rodenticides

Anti-coagulant Rodenticides commonly consist of Cholecalciferol. Concentration is typically 0.075% or 750ppm which equates to about 23mg/ounce of rodenticide. The clinical signs of toxicity are noted at > 0.5mg/kg of cholecalciferol ingestion, therefore a 44-pound dog would need to eat less than 1/2 ounce to cause toxicity.

Vitamin D Supplements

The intake of Vitamin D supplement is common in most pet food brands. Pet owners choose to add Vitamin D to their regular meal to compensate for its lack of nutrients. Multivitamins contain a relatively small amount of Vitamin D, hence, toxicity from multivitamin ingestion is rare. Primary Vitamin D supplements contain a large amount of cholecalciferol which raises the concern of toxicity.

Vitamin D Analogs

There are multiple Vitamin D analogs approved for use in humans which is included in psoriasis creams used for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism, doxercalciferol, or Hectoral which is used for the reduction of pTH (Parathyroid hormone). Dogs tend to lick the skin where the cream is being applied. The routinely licking of skin can cause toxicity.

Pet Food Contamination

Several commercially available pet foods have been known to contain Vitamin D as the major nutrient content. The over-supplementation of Vitamin D can lead to toxicity.

Treatment

Decontamination is the major treatment for Vitamin D toxicity. Within the last 4-6 hours of ingestion, vomiting should be induced with apomorphine at 0.03-0.04mg/kg IV. Hydrogen peroxide can be administered at a dose of 2.2ml/kg, with a maximum of 45ml, repeated once.

Hydrogen peroxide should be avoided in the case of cats as they are more susceptible to adverse effects. In cats, vomiting can be attempted with either xylazine at 0.44mg/kg IM or dexmedetomidine at 10mcg/kg IM.