Importance of Animal Rights

Animals have served a specific purpose for human benefit since the dawn of humankind. Humans first started domesticating animals 10,000 years ago, specifically dogs, for hunting and safekeeping. Since then, animals and humans have formed an integral part in each other’s life. It’ll be hard to imagine pet animals like dogs and cats thriving without human intervention and vice versa.

While many people treat animals like other beings, most people treat them solely for their benefit, including entertainment and eating. This very inhumane treatment of animals highlights the need and importance of animal rights.

It wasn’t long before humans started capturing non-human animals and using them for different forms of entertainment such as for zoo, caged decoration, and circus) or transportation such as cart pulling, safari, and carrying loads. These inhumane treatments of animals by humans for centuries highlight the need for recognizing the interests of animals, including legal rights and protection.

Moreover, animal rights (like human rights) also highlight animal protection from inhumane activities such as climate change, deforestation, factory farming, and hunting.

Let’s talk more about the prevalent animal rights movement worldwide and the importance of animal rights.

What is Animal Rights Movement?

Animal rights, the animal rights movement, and animal liberation are all synonymous with each other. It advocates a social movement that seeks to end different forms of animal slavery and animal abuse. Although the movement highlights many different animals' rights, they mainly emphasize legal rights and legal distinction to animals.

The case of the "world's saddest polar bear" is one of the recent examples of animal rights abuse. A young polar bear named Pizza was found living in a deplorable condition at an aquarium inside a mall in Guangzhou, China. Millions of people signed petitions calling to release the polar bear to its natural habitat to the city government. The mall temporarily sent back the polar bear to its mother living inside an aquarium inside Tianjin.

The animal rights movement plan is plain and straightforward, with no more harm to animals.

Animal rights advocate that certain things are wrong as a matter of principle; some things are morally wrong to do to animals.

  1. Human beings must not do those things, no matter the cost to humanity of not doing them.
  2. Human beings must not do those things, even if they humanely do them.

For example, animals have a right not to be bred and killed for food, so humans should stop relying on animals for a food source.

Check out this infographic for more information. 

 

What do animal rights highlight?

  • No experiments on animals
  • No breeding and killing animals for food or clothes, or medicine
  • No use of animals for hard labor
  • No selective breeding for any reason other than the benefit of the animal
  • No hunting
  • No zoos or use of animals in entertainment

On a philosophical level, human beings and animals have rights because they are both 'subjects-of-a-life.’

  • They have similar levels of biological complexity
  • They are conscious and aware that they exist
  • They know what is happening to them
  • They prefer some things and dislike others
  • They make conscious choices
  • They live in such a way as to give themselves the best quality of life
  • They plan their lives to some extent
  • The quality and length of their life matters to them

People who defy equal rights to animals support their opinions with such examples;

  • Animals don’t think like humans, nor are they conscious.
  • They’re put on earth to serve humans, such as for food, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Animals don’t behave morally, and they lack free moral judgment.

 

While many people hold this to be accurate, few people defy this and work to serve animal rights. This leads to the animal rights movement and a fight against the inhumane treatment of animals.

Significant achievements made by Animal Rights Movement

In 1992, Switzerland amended its constitution to recognize animals as beings and not things. A decade later, Germany guaranteed rights to animals in a 2002 amendment to its constitution, becoming the first European Union member to do so.

New Zealand granted fundamental rights to five great ape species in 1999. Their use is now forbidden in research, testing, or teaching. Some other countries have also banned or severely restricted the use of non-human great apes in research. On 17 May 2013, India declared that all cetaceans have the status of “nonhuman persons."

In the United States, the Animal Welfare Act initiated in 1966 protects animals in research, transportation, and sale. Generally, animals are protected from any torture, neglect, or killing.

PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) was founded in 1980. With 6.5 million supporters, PETA has helped prevent animal abuse, mistreatment, and sale in an astounding number.

6 Most Prevalent Animal Rights Issues

These are the most prevalent animal rights issues around the world.

Climate change                                           

A human-made disaster is destroying the environment and destroying the habitat and living conditions of wild animals. Its most extreme example can be the Arctic's melting snow and ice. With global warming rising every year, the polar bear’s natural habitat is gradually vanishing. The depleted snow has pushed the polar bear population further inside.

The unpredictable weather from climate change has impacted migratory birds by disrupting their breeding habitats.  Human activities such as fuel-driven cars and factories have primarily impacted the global rise in temperature.

Loss of habitat

Loss of habitat because of suburban sprawl has pushed animals even further inside the forest. It has also increased human and animal encounters causing accidents, deaths, and communal killing of wild animals. In Nepal and India, the wild animal encounter is more frequent because of their habitat loss. More people enter forest areas to collect fodder, which previously used to be the Bengal Tiger habitat. The incidents of the Bengal tiger attacking villagers are heard numerous times a year.  

Illegal fishing practices

Illegal fishing by foreign vessels without permission, bottom trawling, bycatch, ghost fishing, explosives, and overfishing is causing the depletion of sea animals. Illegal fishing affects fish and other sea animals like turtles, whales, and dolphins that often get trapped in human-made traps.

Factory farming

Factory farming of commercial animals like chicken and cow is often highlighted by animal rights activists. The slaughter of animals for their meat, and byproducts such as skin, milk, and eggs, is considered outright animal abuse. Thousands of farm animals are held inside captivity and raised in a deteriorating condition for their as food animals, injected with hormones for rapid growth, and fed cheap grain.

It not only highlights animal abuse but the environment caused by factory farming. The methane produced by cows is one of the significant contributors to global warming. The run-offs from the farm often pollute the nearby water sources.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia in animals is mainly associated with overbreeding of pets such as dogs and cats. Thousands of dogs and cats are abandoned in the US every year. These non-human animals end up in shelters and later euthanized because they never get adopted.

Spaying and neutering your pet is a good idea to control overbreeding. Closing pet farms is another great idea to control overbreeding and prevent animal suffering in form of euthanasia.

Animal experimentation

Voicing against animal experimentation in the labs has been going on for ages. Most animals experiment with new drugs, vaccines, diseases, or cosmetics before the product is released from human use.

Approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die every year in animal testing for cosmetics. Many large corporations, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products, enjoy animal testing because of the lack of strict laws.

 

Animal abuse for financial gain is often the most highlighted animal rights issue. In the United States alone, the pet industry topped $221.1 billion in 2015; the live animal trade accounted for $3.5 billion in 2016; in 2020, animal agriculture is forecasted to bring in $185.8 billion in cash receipts.

The corporations trying to protect their profits and avoid controversy often lobby for legislation or laws to conceal their activities from the public and media.

 

How to prevent animal abuse?

  1. Non-human animals with rights must be treated as ends in themselves; others should not treat them as means to achieve their ends.
  2. To bring in public concern, you should discourage using animals for entertainment, food, products, and transportation. Ensuring a non-abusive environment for all kinds so of animals will undoubtedly boost happiness in you.
  3. Specialism must fade away, along with outdated scientific and philosophical ideas that animals are nothing more than mindless automatons.
  4. Discouraging the use of cosmetics and drugs used for animal testing can help curb animal abuse in the long run. Many animal rights advocates have managed to introduce a law that prevents the use of lab animals.
  5. Countering climate change is an essential goal for ensuring the rights of animals in the long run. Choosing a sustainable lifestyle method; electric cars, low carbon emitting appliances, cycling to work, avoiding using firewood, and animal products made from skin can help curb animal abuse to a greater degree.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more about caring for animals, animal protection laws and animal welfare issues, and how you can chip in for animal rights societies.

Is Hair loss Common in Dogs?

It's routine for dogs to shed hair, sometimes a lot. Many dog breeds such as Belgian Sheepdog, Bouvier des Flandres, and Alaskan malamute shed more hair than other breeds, so don't be worried if your couch, carpet, and clothes have amassed a lot of dog hair in a short time.

While it's common for dogs to shed hair occasionally, it can be alarming if your furry pal is frequently scratching itself or when you notice bald patches on your dog's body. This does often mean that there's an underlying medical problem.

Stress, allergies, parasitic infection, and Cushing's disease are often the significant causes of hair loss in canine. Alopecia, which is also common in humans, is a disorder that causes random bald patches. There are many reasons for sudden hair loss in dogs, so it’s often difficult to pinpoint a single cause.

We understand pet owners' troubling experiences when their furry friends start losing hair. We recommend taking your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis of sudden hair loss. You'd be cleared if your dog has a congenital hair loss issue or an acquired problem.

Top Reasons for Hair Loss in Dogs

A few of the most common reasons for canine hair loss are as follows;

Seasonal Shedding

Don't confuse seasonal shedding with allergies or medical problems. Sometimes dogs can start losing a lot of hair mass when the weather turns warm, or the individual hair follicles become old and damaged. Many dogs shed year-round, while others may shed in a particular season. Seasonal shedding is common during summer to help dogs' skin breathe easily.

Regular grooming ensures that your dog doesn't shed excessively because of hair follicle damage and hair mats. Moving your dog to a moderate climate can also reduce seasonal shedding.

Allergies

Dog allergy is one of the common causes of canine hair loss. Flea allergies, Atopy, and food allergies are common instigators of excessive hair loss. Although flea allergy and atopy don't necessarily cause shedding, excessive scratching, biting, and licking because of the allergy can cause sudden hair loss.

Hair loss from allergies is an acquired problem. Atopy allergy is acquired from environmental irritants like pollen, mold, and dust mites. Flea allergy is acquired from flea infestation when your dog plays in the backyard or with other infected animals. Many dogs are allergic to a particular food such as beef, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, etc. It's best to avoid feeding allergy-inducing food to your dog.

You can notice canine allergy when your dog is constantly scratching and biting its itches or when it shows signs of irritated, red areas on the skin.

The prescribed medications and dietary changes can quickly treat allergies in dogs.

Cushing's disease

Hyperadrenocorticism, better known as Cushing's disease, is a condition caused by the prolonged exposure of the body’s tissue to excessive hormone cortisol levels. The symptoms will include hair loss, darkening of the skin, and a pot-bellied abdomen's development.

It's more common in dogs six years or older. Dogs that have been overfed corticosteroid drugs can contract Cushing's disease.

Cushing disease's symptoms include:

  • Increased frequency of eating, drinking, and urinating
  • Potbellied or bloated like appearance
  • Less energy
  • Insomnia
  • Obesity

Your vet can better diagnose the disease by running different evaluations and recommend the best course of action for treatment.

Mange and other parasites

Mange is a skin disease common in dogs, birds, and reptiles. It's caused by microscopic parasitic mites that live on the surface of the skin and hair follicles. Mange infection is caused by mites, like scabies mites and red mange that can burrow into the skin. The mange can cause massive hair loss and itching.

In dogs, there are two significant forms of mange, each caused by different mites:

Sarcoptes scabies causes sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies). It's highly contagious and can easily pass from one dog to another. The symptoms include extreme itchiness, redness and rash, thick yellow crusts, and hair loss.

Demodectic Mange (also known as red mange or Demodex) is caused by a cigar-shaped mite called DemodexCanis. They're ever-present in the body but harmless. It may attack dogs with a weakened immune system.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Bacterial infection and fungal infection can cause severe skin itchiness, hair loss, redness, and odor. Observe hair loss patterns around ears, stomach, chest, and eyes to conclude bacterial or fungal infection in dogs.

Common types of pathogenic bacteria in dogs include:

  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Campylobacter
  • Helicobacter
  • Streptococcus
  • Clostridia
  • Bordetella
  • E Coli

Dogs infected with ringworm also shed hair. Unlike other infection, ringworm causes circular or irregular hair loss. When you notice itchy or scaly patches, it's time to take your dog to the veterinarian.

Alopecia is a hair loss syndrome that can be both temporary or permanent. It can be a result of skin infections such as ringworm in dogs.

After a complete examination, your veterinarian will advise the future course of treatment. Severe infections require antifungal shampoos, topical treatment, and drugs.

Underlying Medical Conditions

The underlying medical condition can cause massive hair fall in dogs. Pressure sores, trauma, abnormality in growth of the hair shaft, thyroid disorder, sex hormone imbalance, and skin cancer are a few of the common causes of hair loss in dogs.

The diagnosis to identify underlying medical conditions includes blood profile (blood testing), Biopsy (determine skin cancer or tumor), skin impression smears (bacterial identification), etc.

Your veterinarian will administer antibiotics, antifungals, steroids, immunosuppressive drugs or Anti-cytokine drugs, immunotherapy for the treatment depending on the medical condition.

Prevention of Hair Loss in Dogs

By adopting preventive measures, you can prevent hair loss and skin problems in dogs.

Reducing Shedding through Nutrition

Feed your dog a high-quality diet.

A healthy diet is a precursor to a healthy and thick coat in dogs. Be careful about using cheap can foods and home-prepared meals that usually lack nutrition. A high-quality diet contains all the essential nutrients, including Vitamin D, folic acid, and zinc, which helps keep the dog's immune system strong.

Add Olive Oil or Flaxseed oil to Dog's food.

One teaspoon (5 mL) per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight is an excellent place to start. These oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that help calm inflamed skin, decrease dandruff, and improve overall coat texture.

Give your dog occasional "human food."

Occasionally feed your dog human food such as fruits (apples and bananas), cucumbers, and cooked lean meat. However, be careful about feeding food items such as chocolate, avocado, grapes, milk products, and onion.

Reducing Shedding through Grooming

Regular grooming is as essential as a dog’s daily diet and exercise. Over time, the dog’s coat gets tangled to create mats which can be a painful experience. An unkempt coat causes frequent and constant itching and scratches. Constant licking can cause excessive shedding. Grooming will help remove excess and loose fur and redistribute your dog’s skin oils into its fur.

 

Use de-shedding tools before spring season when the dog’s coat begins to fall off. Consider bathing them with dog shampoo made for flea and tick control.

For more details and Information check this infographic. 

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to learn more about dog shedding and preventive measures.

How to Spot Autism in Dogs?

Autism or canine autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by difficulties with social skills and repetitive behaviors, including aggression and withdrawn behavior.

People often associate autism with humans, and many believe that this condition does not affect dogs, but this isn't true. When you use the same autism spectrum disorder typically applied to human behavior, it becomes apparent that dogs can be diagnosed with autism.

Yes, dogs can be autistic, according to many types of research. The signs and suffering from autism may differ from one dog to another. Canine autism can affect their social skill and behavior. They can show episodes of sudden aggression, withdrawn behavior, and a lack of activity.

Canine Autism       

Autism spectrum disorder in dogs is an idiopathic condition, which means that the cause is unknown.  However, we know that it’s congenital and that dogs exhibiting dysfunctional behaviors are born with the condition.

Although the scientific community often attests that canines can't suffer from autism, many dog behaviorists and animal experts have pointed out that dogs have been diagnosed with autism-like symptoms.

The veterinarians first observed autism-like symptoms in dogs back in the 1960s. Since then, they have carried out different research types to learn more about autism-like symptoms in dogs.

The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) presented a study on tail-chasing behavior in Bull Terriers and a possible link to autism in 2015. It observed specific traits of 132 Bull Terriers, 55 of which chased their tails, and 77 (the non-tail-chasing control group).  It found out that tail-chasing was more prevalent in males Terriers, and it was associated with occasional aggression and explosive behaviors, including trance-like behaviors.

Although not definitive, these results suggested that tail-chasing could represent a form of autism in dogs.

Diagnosis of Autism in Dogs

Diagnosing the autism spectrum disorder in dogs is rather difficult because there are only tell-tale signs of autism that aren't backed by scientific evidence. The signs of autism shouldn't be confused with other medical issues such as canine anxiety or injury-pains. To determine if your dog is suffering from either autism or other illness, you should consider taking it to the vet for a thorough diagnosis.

Vets can perform several behavioral tests to assess how a dog responds to certain situations. Still, these tests are not always concrete since other disorders such as canine anxiety can produce autism-like symptoms. They will rely on tell-tale signs or cues to determine canine autism.

Here are five tell-tale signs of autism.

Display of Repetitive Behavior

Repeating certain patterns and behaviors is one of the tell-tale signs of autism in both humans and dogs. If your canine starts showing unusual repetitive behavior, it's best to ask your vet for a quick diagnosis. It isn't unusual for dogs to chase after their tail, fidget with the door lock, or stand in front of the door every day, and you shouldn't confuse every repetitive behavior with the symptoms of autism. The onset of autistic behaviors is often accompanied by other signs such as withdrawal or sudden aggression.

Display of Social Nervousness and Awkwardness

Dogs are sociable creatures, and they love spending time with humans and other animals. This is one of the reasons why they enjoy visiting the park. Most dogs will seek comfort and safety from their owners.

It's a telltale sign of autism when your dog isn't sociable. Injuries, traumatic history, accidents, and other major events could make many dogs stop interacting or start showing social nervousness, and these shouldn't be confused with autism's symptoms. It's best to observe your dog for any such unusual awkwardness. If your dog is showing similar signs even after a few weeks, it's best to take it to the vet for a diagnosis.

Display of lack of enthusiasm

It's unusual for dogs to display a lack of enthusiasm when you invite them to go out for a walk, take a break in the park, or play any games. While most of the time, the lack of energy and physical lethargy could make them display a lack of enthusiasm, but if this behavior persists for a long time, you should know that there's something wrong with it.

This is often accompanied by a lack of physical expression, including tail wagging, not making direct eye-contact, entering a trance-like state, staring in one direction for a long time, etc.

Display of OCD

Repetitive motions are also a characteristic of autistic behavior. They can include various actions such as circling a room over and over again or chronic tail-chasing or obsessive teeth grinding.  Other repetitive behaviors include lining up toys or other objects, placing food bowl in a certain direction, or obsessive chewing.

You'd know the signs of OCD by observing their unusual repetitive behavior. Like humans, dogs can fall victim to OCD because of canine autism.

Display of Emotionless

Dogs may show inappropriate reactions to unfamiliar stimuli such as yelping or barking at the slightest touch of your hand and barking to sudden sounds. Autistic dogs can become hypersensitive to any stimuli.

They often avoid new environments, situations, and social interactions because they may find it difficult to cope with new experiences.

 

To better diagnose the symptoms of autism, it's best to talk with your veterinarian, who will advise you to observe certain behaviors.

Newly adopted and rescued dogs may become antisocial or show signs of communication issues, lethargy, and reduced physical activity. To learn more about your new pet's behavior, you should talk with the previous owner or the rescue home for more information.

How to Treat Autism in dogs?

After a licensed veterinarian has ruled out other possibilities for your furry friends’ unusual social awkwardness and withdrawn behaviors, you should start seeking possible treatments.

There is no single treatment for autism; hence you should start prescribed medications and advised lifestyle changes.

Medication

Your veterinarian will prescribe medication like Fluoxetine (Prozac) to treat OCD and autism problems in humans.

Offer a Safe, Secured, and Stress-Free Place

Your dog may become anxious or nervous in crowds or around other animals. Dogs inhibiting the signs of autism may seek a safe and secure place to spend most of their time. As the certain sound and environment may trigger OCD and bark in autistic dogs, it’s best to provide them a completely stress-free place. Avoiding situations that can stress your dog and cause anxiety is important too.

Offer Regular Exercise and Well-Balanced Diet

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise every day along with a well-balanced diet. Regular exercises and healthy meals can help to reduce anxiety and stress in dogs while keeping them engaged.

Your veterinarian may also suggest you work with professional trainers or therapists who specialize in positive reinforcement. They can help provide therapies and training to curb autistic behaviors in dogs.

 

Dr. ValliParthasarathy DVM explains that,

Dogs who have anxiety disorders may exhibit symptoms that their owners interpret as autism and diagnose themselves. But in reality, anxiety, in general, can affect a dog’s ability to learn, problem-solve, retain and recall information.

She advises that it’s better to begin working with a positive reinforcement reward-based trainer to help treat your dog’s autistic conditions. It would be best if you also were gentle with your dog at all times.

Check this infographic out for more information in detail.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy pet hospital in Des Moines, to learn more about diagnosing and treating canine autism.

How to ensure a great pet boarding experience?

 

If you’re leaving your dog in a pet boarding facility for the first time, you must be wary of many things that can either elevate or demote your dog’s boarding experience. While pet boarding can save you from the hassle of hiring a pet sitter or asking your neighbor to look after your furry friend, it can also help your pet to socialize with other animals. Hence, it’s your duty to find the finest temporary care for your dog in the town when you’re not around.

Before considering pet boarding, here are some of the things that you must do to ensure that your dog enjoys a great boarding experience. It starts with assessing the dog boarding facility to preparing your dog.

10 Things to Do When Boarding your Dog

 

Tour the Boarding Facility

The first thing you need to assess is the boarding facility. Some pet boarding facilities are great, while others are awful in taking care of pets, offering recreational activities, indulging pets with training, and kennel hygiene.

Start with searching for dog kennels online (Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business). Once you find the match, such as location and time-open, consider looking into their reviews. The online reviews can tell a lot about the pet boarding facility. Here are some of the pet boarding horror stories.

Next, you can schedule a physical visit to the boarding facility. Making sure that the pet boarding facility offers an impeccable service guarantees a positive boarding experience for your dog.

Consider a Boarding Trial

Checking out the pet boarding facility online isn't enough unless you visit the place yourself. It's also a time to take your dog for a boarding trial. Like parents take their children to a pre-school, you can take your dog to check if it makes a nuisance when you're not around them.

The trial stay of at least 24 hours eases your dog into a new environment and a new daily routine. You may find that your dog will adjust much better when it comes time for a longer stay. You can also determine if your dog eats pet boarding meals and socialize with other animals.

Cater your dog's special needs

Not all dogs are the same. Your dog is probably much younger or older than other dogs in the pet boarding facility. This will greatly determine how your dog will react to other dogs around it.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, medication, or allergies, you should consider telling the staff about its conditions. The staff can handle your dog much better when they know about your dog's special needs. However, don’t go overboard by loading the staff with unnecessary information about your pet’s daily habits.

Provide Dog's Medical Records

If your dog is on medication, you should definitely tell the staff about it and bring along the medicines with you before leaving your dog. Ensure the medication is well labeled, even if it's as simple as a joint supplement or as grave as heart problems and diabetes.

Before considering boarding your pet with other animals, it’s considerate of you to de-flea and worms your dog. You should also update your dog’s vaccinations at least two weeks before boarding. Both of these precautions are typically required before boarding.

Eating and Sleeping at Set Times

Most pet parents train their pets to eat and sleep at a set time before sending them off to the boarding facility. The boarding kennel will feed all animals at set times, and if your dog is used to free-feeding, this could cause it to go hungry. Help it adjust to set eating times.

Likewise, make your dog sleep away from you, such as in a crate, kennel house, or sleeping mattress long before boarding it. This will ensure that your dog can sleep in the boarding facility without your presence around.

Bring your Pet's Food

Most boarding facilities provide the same food to pets. But because an abrupt change in diet can contribute to your dog's dietary problems, you can bring your own dog food. This will help to avoid gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea. If your pet is on a prescription diet, do consider carrying prescription food everywhere you go.

An easy way to feed your dog food to your dog is by labeling it well, bringing it with you, and telling the boarding staff uses it when feeding your dog. You can also provide the instruction on mixing it with wet food or dry food before offering it to the dog.

Discuss Treats

Most pet boarding staffs use dog treats to make dogs familiarize themselves with the facility. Treats can be a helpful tool to use when your dog doesn't exactly want to do what it's supposed to do. To ensure that the staffs only use prescribed treat, make sure to bring them along with you before you leave your dog.

Dogs can easily gain weight, get food allergies, and become sensitive to many treats. Hence, you can bring your own stock with you.

Bring Your Dog's Toy or Blanket

If your dog love to play and cuddle with its favorite toy, it's best to bring it along to the pet boarding facility in the form of a pacifier. The boarding staff can use it to keep your dog in one place.

You can also bring its blanket along so the boarding staff won't have much difficulty making it sleep. Your dog can latch to the blanket when it’s time to sleep.

Teach basic commands to Your Dog

It's useful to teach your dog basic commands before you start boarding it. Dogs that are familiar with basic commands such as "Sit," "Stop," and "Come" will respond well to the boarding staff.

Consider crate and loo training your dog before you can leave it unsupervised. Untrained dogs can often become a nuisance to pet boarding staff. The sooner your dog learns to tolerate hours before getting a loo break, the better it can adjust to a boarding facility.

Make the Departure Quick

The longer you wait to say goodbye to your dog, the more difficult it will become for your dog to say goodbye. There is no sense in making the goodbye more stressful than it needs to be. It will only make it worse and even anxious.

Depart quickly, so it won't have much time to miss you and sulk.

 

Pet Boarding or Pet Sitting

Many people wonder if pet sitting is better than pet boarding. While pet sitting lets you choose a pet sitter to come to your home to feed, play and walk your dog, pet boarding will collectively do all this along with grooming and socializing your dog with other animals.

Unlike pet sitting, pet boarding allows your furry friend to share a common space with other dogs. And yes, pet boarding can be slightly cheaper than pet sitting because of the fixed space and multiple staff hired to look after the animals.

Check this infographic for more information.

 

According to Thumbtack.com, the national average cost to board a dog is $50. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $60 for boarding your pet for 24 hours. Get discounted rates from the boarding facility by becoming their regular customer.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, to enjoy the finest dog boarding services.  We offer pet boarding, grooming, veterinary care, and training.

 

A Day in the Life of a Dog

Have you ever wondered what your dog typically does in a day? Twenty-four hours is a short time to analyze your pet's life, but this can certainly help you get an insight into what your dog generally does in a day, when it does certain activities, and what it loves to do.

Unlike us humans, dogs often have a regular day with a standard set of activities, including dozing off, snacking, chewing on toys, loo breaks, and playing. Unless it’s a service dog, you can be confident that they will spend most of their time either dozing off or watching the world go by. This isn’t a sign of depression or boredom in dogs. They enjoy lounging around unless they are engaged to play or do doggy chores.

Given the option, most canines are content to watch over their territory from their throne's comfort. However, dogs love their Me-time. A little privacy can do well both for you and them.

How does a dog spend its day?

Here is how a dog usually spends its day. This is the list of activities that almost every dog indulges in day-in or day-out.

Sleeping

You’d be surprised to know that dogs’ can spend 9-14 hours a day sleeping. Unlike humans, dogs have a polyphasic sleep pattern that means they sleep multiple times throughout 24 hours. Out of fourteen hours, a dog is less likely to spend sleeping in a state of drowsiness. Most parts of their irregular sleep are spending in the REM (Rapid eye movement) rest. Dogs need REM sleep to help retain learned skills and to awake quickly.

This isn’t unusual because they have an irregular sleep regime and need much more rest-time than we do. Dogs do need their downtime; otherwise, they can become cranky. Young pups would need at least 18-20 hours of sleep in a day to ensure healthy mental and physical growth and a robust immune system. Senior dogs often require more sleep than adult dogs because aging slows the body down, and doing activities require more energy than they used to.

Many pet owners often ask their vets why to do sleep so much in a day. It’s usually because a dog can burn much energy. They eat significantly less than us humans, but they burn almost all the calories they consume. A dog weighing 25lb will need 557 calories worth of food each day. With all the activities it does throughout the day, it will spend about 557 calories each day. A one-hour long walk can quickly burn over 60 calories.

Working dogs, such as guide dogs, police dogs, or farm dogs, will often sleepless because of their active lifestyles. They’ll likely sleep more during their retirement years.

Tips for helping a dog get enough sleep

To ensure that you provide comfortable nap time to your dog,

  • Leave them unattended or provide a private time. This will offer them enough time to take a powerful nap. Puppies need more personal time so they can sleep more often.
  • Prepare a sleeping crate or bed where your dog can go and sleep peacefully. This will be their quiet zone in the house.
  • Follow a schedule to ensure that they get enough rest and sleep time after playtime, physical exercises, and meals.

Lounging

What does lounging means for a dog? It represents an idle time for dogs. If you’re wondering, watching outside the window, enjoying television shows, and or slouching on the couch with you are parts of a dog lounging. Dogs will spend 30% of their time lounging around.

Generally, puppies work their way up from being under constant care and supervision to being trusted and comfortable being on their own over the course of a day.

How much alone time is "Too Much"?

It would be best if you were wary about giving too much alone time to your dogs. For a dog to spend all of its day alone is too much. They're social animals; hence they enjoy being around people and other animals.

Avoid leaving them inside the room or a basement for a longer duration of time. If you're unable to give them enough time, you can take them to the doggy daycare, where they'll get enough socialization and rest time.

Active Time

An active time doesn’t only mean playing, walking, or eating. Spending time for mental stimulation is also considered busy dog time. Depending on the breed and age, dogs need 3 to 5 hours of activity every day, where 1 to 1.5 hours of activity should be high-intensity in nature, and the rest can be moderate intensity.

The high-intensity activity includes running, jogging, and fetching while walking, engaging in play, and socializing accounts for the moderate-intensity activity.

Eating

Depending on their age, you can feed a dog twice or thrice a day. Adult dogs will only require two meals a day, while a young pup will require more than two.

Eating includes regular meals and snacking or treats. A dog can burn almost all the calories it eats in a day; hence you should ensure that they get the required amount of calories from food and snacks each day.

To ensure that you don't overfeed your dog, adopt the portion control method. Regular exercising and high-intensity activity is essential to ensure that they burn all the calories effectively.

Playing

The average dog gets by with an hour to two of playtime each day. The playtime should come in the form of running, walking, jogging, engaging with interactive toys, and other enrichment activities.

Enough playtimes ensure that young pups grow up to become an active and highly responsive pet. Adult dogs would need a regular amount of walking, running, and playing each day, while senior dogs would only need a minimal amount of exercise.

Playtime also ensures to work on core muscle and joint strengths. Pet obesity is a severe problem that can cause heart and joint problems. With proper playtime, you can ensure that your dog remains fit and active.

Socializing

Dogs should get a minimum of two hours of dedicated social time with humans and other dogs daily.

You need not provide 2 hours of socialization in one-go; instead, you can break it into a chunk of times over the day.

Socialization helps young pups and adult dogs to imbibe new skills, make friends, listen to the owner, and stay happy!

Daily Schedule for Dogs

This is a sample schedule to help establish a good routine for your dogs.

Morning Puppy Schedule

  • The day should begin with a loo-time. Quickly take them outside to relieve.
  • Feed them a highly nutritious and full breakfast.
  • Puppies usually need to relieve themselves after eating, so give another potty break.
  • Spend 30-60 minutes of playing and socializing with them, and taking a walk.
  • Nap time. Provide 30 minutes to two hours of sleep.
  • Give another potty break immediately after they wake up.
  • Feed lunch.

Afternoon Puppy Schedule

  • After lunch, give another potty break.
  • For up to one hour, play with them.
  • Give another nap time.
  • Take them outside for a loo break.
  • And then it’s playtime again.
  • Nap time.
  • Potty break.

Evening Puppy Schedule

  • Feed your dog dinner before you sit down.
  • After dinner, take a short walk.
  • If time permits, let them spend time playing and interacting with family members.
  • Give a quick bathroom trip before bed.

 Check this infgo graphics for more information. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. We provide 24/7 doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, and veterinarian care to pet dogs and cats. Please consult with our veterinarian in Urbandale to design a custom daily schedule for your dog.

 

 

Does your Pet need a Regular Fecal Exam

Yes, your pet needs fecal testing every year or 6-months. Fecal flotation or fecal testing is one of the best ways to check if your pet has intestinal parasites or worms.

You can squeeze the fecal exam into your pet's regular wellness check, so you need not take them to the vet often. Along with wellness monitoring, the veterinarian will also inspect if your pet has any worms and if it needs deworming drugs.

According to the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, over 38% of dogs attending outdoor parks have intestinal parasites.

What is Parasitic Infection in Pets?

Some of the parasites tested for include roundworms, coccidia, giardia, hookworms, and whipworms. These parasites can infect both humans and animals. Unlike humans, dogs and cats can easily pick up parasites from infected food, soil, water, and animal feces.

In roundworm infection, the parasite undergoes a complicated life cycle before mature roundworms are found in the intestinal tract. This involves several stages and includes migration through various bodily tissues. Roundworm larvae (immature worms) can migrate and become enclosed in a cyst in the host's body's tissue.

You can’t immediately tell if your pet has been infected with a parasite unless they start showing signs of infection, including refraining from eating, vomiting, unusual behavior, chewing on grass, etc. However, as the number of parasites increases, your pet may start showing tell-tale signs;

  • Vomiting
  • Losing weight
  • Diarrhea, with or without blood or mucus.
  • Scooting
  • Distended abdomen (belly)
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased activity
  • Dull coat

Because intestinal parasites can go undetected for months and even years, it is a perfect reason to get fecal testing on your pet carried out every 6 months. A bi-yearly fecal test can help to catch parasites early and mean that they are easier to treat. Most vets recommend that all dogs and cats be tested for parasites at least once a year.

What is fecal flotation?

Fecal flotation is a veterinary exam used in diagnosing internal parasites. The test detects the eggs of mature parasites that live inside the body and pass their eggs to the outside by shedding them into the host's stool. Some of these parasites are worm-like, while others are tiny single-celled organisms called protozoa. The worms, eggs, larvae, and even smaller protozoan cysts cannot be seen with the naked eye, even after retrieving a fecal sample; hence it needs further microscopic probing to determine the infection.

The veterinarian will test your pet's stool sample mixed with a special liquid that causes the parasite's eggs to float to the surface. The eggs are collected and examined under a microscope to identify the type of adult parasite present inside the intestine.

Your vet will require you to bring a fresh sample for the test. The closer you can collect the sample before the appointment, the better. It becomes difficult to identify the condition and properly prescribe the right intestinal parasite treatments if the stool sample isn’t in an appropriate condition.

Does the test work every time?

  • No, fecal flotation is only a basic screening test and may fail in some situations.
  • When the parasites present in the intestine are too young to produce eggs. If no eggs are being shed, then the infection cannot be detected.
  • The infection isn't severe, and there are only a few adult parasites present. In this case, the number of eggs in the stool may be too low to be detected.
  • Some parasites only produce small numbers of eggs, and infection may be missed on a single test. You'd have to take other tests as well, such as smear test or centrifugation.

Can humans become infected with parasites from pets?

Parasites in pets are zoonotic, i.e., they easily spread from animals to humans and vice versa.

According to a recent study, approximately 34 percent of the dogs that live in America have some intestinal parasite. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that as many as 14 percent of the human population has been infected with roundworm. Roundworm Toxocara infections cause an average of 700 Americans to lose their eyesight each year.

Humans can get infected with parasitic infections when they walk around barefoot in the garden, present as dog poop by eating infected food items, contaminated water, and not washing hands after playing with pets.

How to prevent parasite infections?

Although you can’t completely protect your pet or yourself from a parasitic infection, you can take measures to control the infection. These easy steps will reduce the chance of you and your pet becoming infected with a parasite.

  • Use flea and tick preventative measures to keep your pets flea-free.
  • Arrange for fecal testing once or twice a year. If your pet is under 12 months old, arrange for fecal testing every 3 or 4 months.
  • Every pregnant pet, including dogs and cats, requires worming. The newborn pets will require worming.
  • Speak to your vet about heartworm treatments that include protection against hookworms and roundworms.
  • Don’t allow your pet to eat raw meat.
  • Always wash your hands after touching or handling animal feces.
  • Don’t walk in public parks barefoot and use gloves when gardening.

Check this infographics for more information. 

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the reliable pet hospital in Urbandale, to get your pet tested for parasitic infections. Our certified veterinarians will ensure that your pet is diagnosed and treated for all kinds of parasitic infection.

 

5 Good Habits to Teach Your Dog

According to a study, aggression has become the most common and severe behavioral issue among dogs.

It’s one of the primary reasons pet owners seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers, and veterinarians.

Instilling good habits in dogs will start from an early age. With proper training and grooming, you can curb aggressive behavior in dogs while promoting healthy habits. When a pet knows and follows the rules, it makes a living together more pleasant for everyone.

How to instill good behavior in dogs?

Before we jump into a list of good habits, let's talk about different ways to instill good dog behavior. To make the most of your training, you should continue practicing, praising, and rewarding.

Practice -As the training session continues, give your dog plenty of opportunities to practice a said behavior. Try it at different times of the day.

Praise -Whenever your dog completes a goal, you should praise it. Positive reinforcement can help animals to learn and instill good habits quickly.

Rewards -Dogs love getting rewards. In this case, you can choose a healthy treat as a reward whenever your dog completes a goal.

5 Good Habits to Teach Your Dog

Here is the list of five good habits that every dog should learn.

Hygiene

Good hygiene is a must for all kinds of pets. Untrained dogs will piss or poop anywhere they want. This can leave a foul smell and color on your floor, couches, and sofa. Hence, it would be best if you taught your dog to relieve in a proper place. Potty training should begin when it's still a pup.

As they grow bigger, you should take them outside the house and train them to relieve in a particular place. Use positive reinforcement (Praise and rewards) to motive their good habits.

Leash Manners

"Leash manner" is an essential pet behavior that every dog must learn and understand before their pet owners start taking them out for a walk, jog, or run.

When dogs get out of the house, they often spring towards unfamiliar places, people, and animals. They can land up in trouble if you fail to leash them properly. Never forcefully pull their leash when they aren't walking or walking too slow. Apply a gentle leash pressure. To leash train them, you can begin with rewards such as treats. Please walk up to a point, then reward them. Continue this couple of times every day.

"Come, Sit, Leave It"

Every dog should learn and know basic commands. The commands aren't just fancy words. They can save their life in many difficult situations. The most basic command is calling their name, sit, go, and leave it.

Your dog should respond to you when you call its name. Imagine taking your dog to a park with other people and animals. What if your dog gets overwhelmed and runoff? You'd call its name, and it has to come right to you. If it doesn't, then it can land in serious trouble.

"Leave It" is an essential command that tells your dog to leave, let go, or exit toxic or potentially dangerous objects and situations that can be life-threatening.

Barking/Jumping at Visitors

It's insulting and unpleasant when a visitor walks up to your house and your dog barks or jumps on them. Many people get overwhelmed when they hear a dog bark and runoff. This can become a really unpleasant situation for both you and your guests.

Train and redirect your dog to "sit-stay" or "stop" whenever they start barking at people. Although this process may take longer than usual, it’ll be worth it.

Chewing

Your dog chewing on the sofa, couch, curtains, socks, and shoes can become an unpleasant experience. To curb this habit, you'd need to provide them plenty of safe and chew-approved chew toys. Whenever they start chewing on stuff, you should redirect them to chew toys and reward them for attesting that this habit is not acceptable.

 

There are many other good behaviors that dogs should learn throughout their life. While most training starts when they're still a pup, some training can only be provided when they become adult.

Before meeting other animals, training them is equally essential because dogs can quickly become aggressive when they see other animals. If they're experiencing aggressive behavior or fear, then you'd need to consult professional trainers to curb such behaviors.

Check this infographics for more information.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with your experienced dog trainers and veterinarians to learn more about dog behaviors.

Can I allow my dog to sleep on the same bed?

Many people allow their pets to share the same bed. The American Pet Products Association survey found that nearly half of the dogs sleep in their owner’s beds; 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs

Allowing your pet to sleep with you isn’t a new trend. Humans have long shared their beds with dogs

However, many pet owners are riddled with this question. They wonder if it's wrong to let their dogs share the same bed.

Let's find out more about why your dog loves to share the same bed, what it means, and how you can respond to it.

Why do dogs sleep with humans?

Like every other being, dogs seek protection, closeness, and warmth from each other. When in a pack, animals often sleep close to each other to retain body heat and feel secure. In homes, dogs always seek that sense of security and warmth from humans. Dogs always come to snuggle with you when you're sitting on a couch or sleeping on the bed. It is because they feel secure and safe in your presence.

It's common for dogs to sleep with you on the same bed during winter to keep them warm. Another reason for this behavior is that dogs often feel exposed to dangers when sleeping all by themself. Snuggling with you will remind them that you're there to protect them from any harm.

The Root of the behavior

When the dog's ancestors used to hunt together, they always ate together and slept lying close to each other. It helped to keep them warm and attentive to any incoming danger. They were powerful in a pack but not so much when all by themself. This behavior is still persistent in wolves, the distant relatives of domesticated dogs.

It's also great news for pet owners because your dog wanting to sleep next to you is a sign of affection, closeness, trust, and seeking company. Sleeping by your side can help them feel better. It helps to increase the level of hormones in their brain that keeps them happy and elated.

Psychology Today article reported that

For most people, having a dog in bed is psychologically comforting. The dog serves as a loving companion close at hand, and it keeps you from feeling lonely or insecure no matter how dark the night.

Many times, dogs will wander off from your bed to sleep all alone. This can be because they're overheated or can't settle. They can also find that your mattress is too soft for them.

Does it pose any problem?

Not really, if you’re not allergic to dogs. Experts believe that it's probably safe for most dogs to sleep in the same bed.

Here are few things you’d need to understand.

  • If you’re a light sleeper and your dog’s movements can wake you up. It can decrease your sleep quality. A dog that snores, slobbers, or overheats the bed is probably not an ideal sleep mate.
  • If your dog snores loudly or hogs the covers and pillows—you might want to reconsider.
  • If your significant other doesn’t want a dog in the bed, that’s something you’ll have to hash out together.
  • Children are more susceptible to germs than adults, mainly if the pet tends to lick.
  • In the United States, the risk of disease from sleeping with your pet is low, with most threats coming from fleas and ticks, ringworm, and skin infections due to mites.
  • Dogs often carry dander, mites, and other antigens with them. A furry dog can quickly bring foreign elements from outside the house. When sleeping alongside your dog, you can accidentally ingest these elements. It can cause severe allergies in most humans.

How to share a bed with your dog?

If you can't resist letting your dog sleep in the same bed, it’s essential that both of you agree with the sleeping arrangements.

  • Walk your dog before bed and get done with the loo.
  • Train them to wait for permission to get on the bed.
  • Be consistent with rules. If you don’t want your dog on your pillow or under the blankets, make no exceptions.
  • You can discourage their aggressive behavior by removing them from the bed.
  • Visit the veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations, including preventive flea and tick treatments.
  • Deworm as advised by your veterinarian.
  • Change your sheets and bedding regularly.

When shouldn't you let your dog in your bed?

There are times when you should allow your dog to share the same bed.

  • When you have a severe health issue such as fever, cold and cough, flu.
  • When your dog is a new addition to your family.
  • When they have had a checkup or vaccination
  • When they aren't potty trained
  • When they're aggressive, or bite and scratch.
  • When they are a big snorer.

It’s common for dogs to share the same bed with humans. You can encourage this habit if you and your partner don’t have any problem with it.

You can check for noticeable changes if your dog suddenly stopped sleeping in your bed. It doesn't usually mean something's wrong. Sometimes they need to cool off or find their personal space. However, pay attention to your dog's body language and behaviors. If you notice any signs of physical pain or discomfort, it might be a good idea to consult your trusted vet.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is your go-to Veterinarian in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more about sleeping with pets, pet problems, and other preventive measures.

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.

What does your dog’s sleeping position mean?

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

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

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

The Side Sleeper

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

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

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

The Lion's Pose

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

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

The Superman

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

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

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

The Donut

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

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

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

The Cuddler

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

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

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

The Burrower

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

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

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

The Belly Up

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

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

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

Back to Back

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

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

Circling and Digging

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

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

Head and Neck Raised

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

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

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

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

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