How to Take Care of Pregnant Dogs?

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

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

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

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

The behavior of Pregnant Dogs

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

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

How to Best Care for Pregnant Dogs?

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

Nutrition

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

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

Veterinary Care

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

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

Whelping

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

Whelping Supply Checklist

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

Puppy Care/Weaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essential Things to Know about Dog Nutrition & Supplements

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

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

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

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

What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

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

Proteins

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

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

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

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

Fats

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

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

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

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

Carbohydrates

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

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

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

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

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

Water

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

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

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

Dog’s Daily Supplements

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

Minerals

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

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

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

Vitamins

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

The report submitted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) suggests that several popular brands of dog food have 70x the safe levels of Vitamin D which could kill dogs.

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

Things to Know about Dog Nutrition

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

Should dogs only eat raw foods?

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

What should you look for in dog food?

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

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

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

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

How often should you feed your dog?

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

How to promote animal welfare in your community?

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

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

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

6 Ways to Promote Animal Welfare


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

Foster

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

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

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

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

Educate

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

Spay/Neuter

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

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

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

Volunteer

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

Adopt

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

Animal Cruelty Act

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

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

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

 

How to treat Bacterial Infection in your pet?

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

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

6 Common Bacterial Infections in Domestic Dogs

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

Leptospirosis

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

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

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

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

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

Staphylococcal Infection

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

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

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

Some of the common symptoms of a staph infection include

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

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

Bacterial Ear Infection

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

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

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

Common signs of a dog ear infection include

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

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

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

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

Actinomycosis and Nocardiosis

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

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

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

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Lyme borreliosis) caused by the bite of a flea and tick. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are especially likely to be found in tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods. They easily jump into your dog’s coat.

The most common signs of Lyme disease include fever, loss of appetite, painful or swollen joints. The treatment includes antibiotics, usually for at least 30 days. A tetracycline antibiotic called doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is used to treat Lyme disease.

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

E. coli Infection

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

How to prevent common Winter Illness in Dogs?

Winter has already set on the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the time of the year when we love to cuddle inside the blanket, drink hot chocolate milk, and rewatch old Holiday movies.

Dogs being dogs, they love to jump around, nibble on things, and sniff around suspicious things. One of the favorite activities of any dog in winter is to go out and examine the changing environment. It’s common for dogs to sniff through the leaves and bushes, walk on the cold concrete and asphalt, and chew on whatever they could find.

As a pet owner, you must be aware of the potential hazards of winter to your dog. Walking outside without any protection can easily cause kennel cough and in some cases Hypothermia. A suspicious dog can lick antifreeze chemical spilled on the floor which can prove hazardous to their health.

Here is the list of potential winter illnesses that you should be careful about.

5 Common Winter Illness in Dogs

Here are the five most common winter illnesses experienced by pets.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is triggered when a dog spends too much time in a cold surrounding. It's easy for the body temperature to drop drastically when they're spending most of their time outside the house without any winter gear. Dogs with diabetes and heart ailments are subject to hypothermia in cold conditions. Some of the common signs of hypothermia include

  • Shivering
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Depression

Frostbite

Frostbite is more common among dogs that walk outside without any paw protector or dog booties. The prolonged exposure to cold can easily damage soft tissues on the feet. The severity of frostbite may range from minor to severe and it depends on your pet's size, age, fur thickness. Fur and skin soaked from can easily trigger frostbite in pets.

You should limit outdoor activity in winter. Get them to paw protectors for both indoor and outdoor. When going outside, you should put dog boots on them to prevent any chances of frostbite.

Pale, hard skin, blisters on the skin, and skin darkening are a few of the signs of frostbite.

Kennel cough

The chances of encountering kennel cough are higher during winter because the kennel cough causing virus Canine adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2) is present in the mushy kennel, smokes coming out of the chimney, and damp places.

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is related to the hepatitis virus. It leads to recessive or mild respiratory tract infections and may cause infectious laryngotracheitis along with the infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough.

A goose-like, honking cough is the primary sign of kennel cough. You can treat minor kennel cough at home with a humidifier or steam treatment. If the cough persists for over two weeks, consider visiting your pet.

Flu and pneumonia

Canine influenza or Dog Flu is more common in elderly dogs and young pups. It's caused by varieties of influenza viruses including the equine influenza virus (H3N8). Pneumonia, on the other hand, is caused by canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2). Both flu and pneumonia are airborne diseases. In many cases, dogs that spend most of their time in the rain or snow can catch flu or pneumonia.

The symptoms include

  • Dry or moist cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Blood coughs
  • Fever
  • Runny yes
  • Ear infection

Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition that causes the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints inside a body. There are varying factors that can cause arthritis. Along with old age, cold weather is the common cause of arthritis. A dog is prone to Osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, and polyarthritis which can worsen with each passing winter.

Did you know, one in four of 77.2 million dogs in the US are diagnosed with some form of arthritis?

Avoid taking your own outside during winter, and ensure to keep them warm all the time. Dogs with severe arthritis can enjoy a massage to prevent joint inflammation. Be wary about their diet and keep them lean.

10 Ways to protect your dog in winter

Here are ten best ways to protect your dog in winter.

Limit outdoor time in winter

Dogs enjoy going out whether it's hot or cold. Especially during winter, you should strictly limit spending time outdoors. Even the furriest dog is prone to cold which can lead to hypothermia, frostbite, and flu. Take them out only for walks or exercises but do not leave them outdoors for a long period of time.

Ensure to cover them with proper winter protection such as dog hoodies and dog booties.

Go outside when the sun shines

Getting some sun during winter can be really healthy. You can walk your dog or let them play in the sun for a while. Both you and your pet can enjoy the essential Vitamin D that can ward off winter-related illness. However, you must limit spending time playing outdoors. Be extra careful about your dog wandering off into the bushes, wet floors, or cold asphalt road.

Cozy bedding

Let your dog enjoy their nap time by cuddling inside warm, cozy bedding. It's a bad idea to let them sleep on the floor or without any blankets during winter. The temperature can easily drop when they're exposed to the cold floor and air. A warm blanket and bedding can help keep them warm. It's more essential for senior dogs to enjoy warm bedding, heated beds, and cozy blanket as they are prone to joint-related illness during winter.

Moisturize

Ensure to keep your pet's skin moisturized and hydrated during winter. The cold air can easily dry their skin causing dried paws, ears, and tails. To ensure their skin remains healthy and moisturized, you can add skin and coat supplements to their food or apply coconut oil as needed.

No overfeeding

It’s really easy for dogs to gain weight during winter. The lack of exercise and overeating can easily make them obese. An obese dog is more likely to suffer from arthritis and winter-related illness. Although dogs may need an extra layer in winter, make sure they aren't overfed. Be attentive to their overall activity level and adjust their calorie intake.

Keep them hydrated

Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as in summer. Make sure to fill their bowl with fresh water a couple of times a day. Many dogs tend to chew on snow but it isn't an adequate substitute for freshwater. Ensure that the water bowl doesn't freeze and you keep refilling it every two or three hours.

Don't miss out on grooming

Grooming is equally important during winter because its thick coat can easily attract flea and tick. The more time they spend outdoors, the likely they are to attract bacteria. Give them an occasional warm bath, ensure to comb their fur and keep them untangled, and properly clean their ear, nose, and tail.

Paw protection

The dog's paws need special attention during winter. Dogs can easily suffer from cracked pads in winter. Make sure to trim the hair that grows between their pads to prevent ice buildup. rinse their paws with water to remove any winter salt or toxin after each time you go out. Use dog booties at all times.

Keep the surrounding toxin-free

With winter comes antifreeze. Even if you don't use it, your neighbors could be using one. It's important that you don't let your dog into the garage, driveway, or wet floors. Keep them away from licking anything spilled on the floor. Consuming antifreeze can prove to be fatal to their health.

Take special care of senior dogs

Senior dogs are more prone to winter-related illnesses such as arthritis, kennel cough, and flu, and pneumonia. You should be extra careful with them. Ensure to keep them warm at all times, make warm bedding for them, provide a natural joint supplement to lubricate their joints, and remove any kind of discomfort.

 Here is the brief infographic details on how to prevent common Winter Illness in Dogs?

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarians are always available to treat your pets. As the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, we provide pet boarding, daycare, grooming, and training services.

How to make your dog stop biting?

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

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

According to a recent study, aggression has become the most common and serious behavioral issue among dogs. It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers, and veterinarians because many times dogs may have an underlying medical problem which makes them exhibit aggressive behavior.

Is Playful Mouthing an Aggressive Behavior?

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

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

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

Major causes for sudden aggressive behavior

i. Illness and Injury

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

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

ii. Fear

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

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

iii. Possessiveness

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

iv. Frustration

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

v. Territorial Aggression

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

How to curb biting in dogs?

Here are some handy ways to curb biting in dogs.

Spay or neuter your dog

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

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

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

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

Avoid stressful situations

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

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

Provide obedience training

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

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

Teach dogs to be gentle with their teeth and mouth

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

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

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

Use a time-out method

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

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

Reward your dog consistently for good behavior.

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

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

Distinguish the different types of biting behavior

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

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

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

How do I potty train my dog in just 7 days?

It isn’t easy to get your new dog to relieve itself in a designated place. Anyone who has brought a new pup or an untrained dog home must know they have to spend countless hours training their pet to poo in a designed place.

Training your new dog to poo in a designed place isn’t always the first thing you should do. First, you should start with housebreaking your pup. As you begin, keep in mind that fully housebreaking your puppy can take four to six months of consistency and patience.

When to start potty training?

This is the most discussed question among the dog trainers, when do you start potty training? Many canine experts advice to start potty training is between 12 and 16 weeks old. By that age, the dog will have enough control over its bladder and bowel movement.
The dogs which are housebroken can easily adapt to potty training. Even after initial house training, most dogs still need a few weeks of practice to hold their bladder for a good amount of time.

How do I start potty training my dog?

The good news is that you can usually potty train your dog in just a week.

Size can be a predictor when it comes to potty training. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. You Chihuahua is more likely to visit Powder Room than the big dogs like German Shepherd or Great Dane.

And while you're training, don’t worry if there are setbacks. Dogs may take time to adapt to a certain lifestyle. Don’t forget to reward them with a treat but just praise or pat after they’ve successfully relieved themselves in the designated spot.

The Seven Day Potty Training Schedule

  • Day of Training Goal
  • Day 1 Establish a consistent feeding schedule.
  • Day 2 Establish a consistent "potty break" schedule.
  • Day 3 Get your dog accustomed to relieving himself in the same location every time.
  • Day 4 Make sure you know the signs that your dog is about to go, and take him outside when appropriate.
  • Day 5 Less accidents inside the house should now be happening. When one happens, guide the dog outside to the potty spot.
  • Day 6 Check your dog's status.
  • Day 7 Reinforce weak areas.

Day 1
Start the day by establishing a regular feeding schedule that you'll be able to stick with. A consistent eating schedule will ensure that your dog relieves in a consistent routine. Be wary about your dog's dietary requirements. Pups compared to dogs need to be fed 3 or 4 times a day with enough water to help digest their meal.

Day 2
You'll basically continue with your first day's schedule. Strictly stick to the schedule and feed your dog on a regular basis. Take them to the loo the first thing in the morning as well as just before you go to bed at night.
Smaller dogs and young pups should be taken for loo after every hour or so during the day. Young pups relieve themselves up to five times a day.
Every time it does its business, you can offer it a treat and verbal praise to bolster its motivation.

Day 3
You should use this day to pinpoint an exact location where your dog should defecate and pee. Start taking them to the spot at all times when they must relieve themselves. This will be their "potty spot." After each routine, you can offer them a treat.

Day 4
On day four, you can start by noticing and working with potty signals. Work on spotting the signs that your dog is about to go. You must allow yourself time and patience to keep an eye on their behavior.
By learning this method, you can rush them outside to a specific location whenever they exhibit signals.

Day 5
By day five, your dog will somewhat get used to relieving on that specific spot. All you'll need to do is guide them outside. In the case of young pups, the occasional accidents could continue but let yourself down. Continue with the schedule.
When your pup accidentally relieves inside the house, you should punish it. Let them know this by clapping loudly then immediately take it outside to the potty spot. Each time it's able to relieve on the potty spot, reward it a treat.

Day 6
Day six is a status check day. By this time, your dog will make significant progress. The whole idea is to train your dog to visit the potty spot by itself or signal you to take it there whenever they need to relieve it.

Day 7
After a week of consistent potty training, your dog will get used to this schedule. Don't forget to punish them every time they accidentally defecate inside the house. It's important to instill good value in them.

You can start gradually slowing the treats, so they get used to their potty schedule without any rewards.

  • Few Basic Guidelines
  • In the case of a small pup, you can train them to wait for at least three before going to the loo. A two-month puppy can hold its bladder for three hours. You have to teach them to wait three hours. For bigger and older dogs, the time length span can be over 5-6 hours. 
  • Do remember, pups often need to go outside after waking up, eating, chewing their toys and playing, etc. 
  • Every month, you can start adding one hour to the puppy’s tolerance. This can go up to about eight hours a day. 
  • Eight hours is the maximum. Even the biggest adult dogs shouldn’t be expected to hold it for more than eight hours.
  • Don’t immediately start at the maximum time possible for your pup just because it can hold it for over three hours. Train them to a certain schedule gradually so they’re less likely to make mistakes.

Things to Remember

  • Be Direct - Always take your dog directly to the potty spot. Don't take your pup for a walk around or sniff around things. The commute should be direct from the house to the potty.
  • Offer treats - Always offers treat and rewards when they go outside. you can gradually lessen the treats when they get used to the potty schedule.
  • Don’t make potty the last part of the trip -Don’t end the trip outside as soon as they pee. This will teach them to hold it as long as possible
  • Be patient - Getting your dog to defecate or pee immediately can be a difficult affair. Instead, treat this as a boring time for yourself and your dog. No playtime after late-night potty breaks.
  • Go back inside immediately if they don't relieve - Take them inside to the house immediately if they don't defecate. Try again in the next 20-30 minutes.
  • Monitor your dog's access to water before bedtime to reduce late-night potty breaks.

Here is the brief infographics about for the advice on how to potty train your dog in just 7 days.

It isn’t easy to housebreak or potty train your dog. You’d need to be prepared mentally to effectively potty train your dog. Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale., for training your dogs and the best doggy daycare service.

 

 

 

Facts about dog rehoming and adoption

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

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

What is Rehoming and how much does it?

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

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

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

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

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

Why consider rehoming your dog?

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

To avoid dog squabbles at home

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

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

The dog is a danger to someone in the household

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

Change in circumstances

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

Wrong dog for the situation

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

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

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

Step 1: Find a dog or puppy online

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

Step 2: Complete a rehoming application form

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

Step 3: Get to know your new dog

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

Step 4: Home visit

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

Step 5: Bring home your new dog

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

How to introduce your dogs to dogs?

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

Things to keep in mind

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

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

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We also help rescue abandoned pets and find them a good home.

 

How to train your dog to guard home?

Contrary to a popular belief, guard dogs aren’t taught to attach the strangers. They are trained to protect your property and family.

Trainers will specifically train them in non-confrontational techniques that will effectively prevent strangers from approaching near you or your house.

Dogs are trained to attack only in specific situations such as to disarm a robber, scare off the intruder, etc. But do not worry; you’re unlikely to need an attack dog. A well-trained dog that can guard your home is what you need.

Learn about your Dog's Personality Traits

1) A good guard dog should be territorial and protective of its owner and his property.
2)A good guard dog must be confident.
3)A good guard dog should also be assertive. An assertive dog will approach a new situation or person confidently.
4)A well-socialized guard dog will recognize strangers and not become overly aggressive.

How to teach your dog to become a Guard Dog?

Training a guard dog requires you to follow a series of training sequences.

Socialize your dog

Proper socialization should start when they're pups. A socialized dog will be more comfortable and relaxed in its normal environment. 

Teach Basic commands

You should start by teaching them basic commands when they're young. This will help them to adapt to rigorous training methods when they grow older.

Teach your dog basic obedience such as Run, Sit, Walk, Bark, Stop, Fetch, Stay, etc. Knowing basic obedience helps your dog to quickly adapt to new commands. You should also focus on teaching it to bark on command.

Advanced obedience training includes teaching them to impulse control. Most dogs will prance upon the strangers or spring onto someone they know or love. Controlling the impulse is essential to make them better guard dogs.

The Enforcing Boundaries Method

This method includes training them to recognize and protect their boundary.
You should establish a perimeter of the house by talking your dog to a walk around the perimeter of the house you want it to protect. You should do this every day at the end of your obedience lessons. Your dog will learn his territory and be familiar with the land he should be protecting. You can use toys to help it establish its territory.
Test the result by asking a stranger (a friend) to approach your house and run away once the dog starts to bark. Have someone come up and make some noise or approach the house. The person can either walk through the fence, through the gate or knock on the door. Remember that this person shouldn’t be familiar with your dog.

The Bark Method

When the dog approaches and barks, the person needs to make a sound like they are frightened and runoff. This will help to instill confidence in your dog. You can give a special treat to your dog every time it’s able to ward off the stranger in the test.
As an alternative: Ask the stranger to offer distractions to your dogs with a piece of meat or a special treat. When your dog stops barking and goes to investigate, order him to “leave it.” Be sure to try everything that your dog is always distracted by. When your dog successfully wards off any distractions, you can offer it a special treat.
Continue with this approach by introducing new experiences every day such as knocking on the door, knocking at windows, running along the fence, etc.

The Leash Method

The leash method may help to familiarize your dog with its territory. You can walk it on a leash every day around the perimeter of the house. Use a long leash for it to move around easily.
Next, you can test this method by asking a friend or stranger to approach home from different angles. Stand behind your dog and check if it barks and ward off the stranger. Encourage your dog by offering it a treat afterward.

10 Best Dog Breeds for Guard Dogs

It's true that some dog breeds are better at guarding than the others. The dog's breed, size, aggression, and alertness really defines how well guard dogs they can become.

German shepherd

It's one of the first choices of many dog owners and trainers. They are bold, confident, and fearless. Being extremely intelligent makes them adapt to new commands easily. It is also a popular police dog breed.

Rottweiler 

It's also known as the classic guard dog. Rottweilers were originally called cattle-protecting dogs. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and endurance. They make a great guard dog.

Doberman pinscher

It was mostly used by law enforcement agencies in many countries before being replaced with a German shepherd. Doberman Pinschers is incredibly fast and agile. They can react in a very short time. They are also known as the 5th smartest dog breed in the world.

Bullmastiff 

It's a cross between a bulldog and a mastiff and is known for its fearless personality. It is known for its great physical strength, protection instincts, and extreme loyalty towards its owner. They'll mostly use their great strength to knock down any intruder who comes near you or your house.

Boxer

It looks menacing and is really protective. They were originally bred to be medium-sized guard dogs. They are extremely loyal and playful; hence they'll love to be in a family.

Great Dane

Their size itself is going to scare off most people. They're the second tallest dog breed in the world. They're considered a good breed when it comes to guarding a property. A Great Dane could weigh up to 160 pounds.

Giant Schnauzer

They're very loyal and strong-willed. They're strong, powerful, and dominant. They require strict training from an early age, along with a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Don't forget to give them constant attention.

Rhodesian ridgeback

They were originally bred to hunt lions. They're very loyal and attentive. They are said to be selective in their barking so when a Ridgeback barks, it needs to be taken seriously.

Staffordshire terrier

Staffordshire terrier was originally bred for bear and bullfighting. They're aggressive, protective, and dominant. One must properly socialize and train them from an early age.

Komondor

Komondors are mostly used for herding and protecting a flock of sheep. They're natural guard dogs. They’re very active, courageous, and loyal.

Here is the quick info graphics about how you can train your dogs to guard your home.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. We specialize in training your dogs and preparing them to become the best guard dogs.

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.