12 Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccination

Canine vaccination is as important as human vaccinations. It not only helps to keep the serious disease on the bay but also protects your dog’s immune system. Each state in the US has its own law regarding canine vaccination with the exception of Rabies. The vaccination for rabies is mandatory in all states. You can be sure that like Rabies, you can prevent other serious diseases by administering vaccination to your dogs.

Why Canine Vaccination is Important?

Vaccines contain antigens that mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system. It prepares a dog's immune system to defend itself from any invasion of the disease-causing organisms. The antigen mildly stimulates the immune system of the dog by having it recognize its presence.
The American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Task Force considers the following dog vaccinations to be core:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies

The non-core canine vaccines, but still important, include

  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme vaccine

12 Dog Diseases that can be prevented with Vaccine
Here is the list of 12 dangerous canine diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination.

Rabies (Zoonotic in nature)

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain. It’s primarily passed to dogs through a bite from an infected dog or wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc. It can easily transmit through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.

Rabies is commonly treated by Nobivac®- Canine 1-DAPPv vaccine, a modified live virus vaccine for the vaccination of healthy dogs as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by canine distemper virus, adenovirus type 1 (hepatitis), and adenovirus type 2 (respiratory disease), canine parainfluenza virus, and canine parvovirus.

The only remedy for rabies is the proper vaccination. Dogs should be vaccinated between 3 and 6 months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. They’re generally vaccinated every three years.

Canine parvovirus infection ("parvo")

Parvo is a highly contagious virus that causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs. The deadly virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog or through feces. The Parvovirus can survive at room temperature for months hence it can easily transmit to dogs. Check for telltale signs such as bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, etc. in dogs.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a viral disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. It not only affects dogs but also wild animals. It’s a contagious and serious disease that can easily transmit from wild animals to dogs.


Puppies and dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. Infected dogs often develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes followed by a fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting.


You should administer a distemper shot to puppies at six to eight weeks of age. All dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.

Leptospirosis (Zoonotic in nature)

Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospires that live in water or warm, wet soil. Initial signs of leptospirosis in dogs include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Experts say that any dog that regularly goes outside the home is potentially at risk of contracting this disease.

It takes about 4-12 days for the bacteria to incubate. The four-serovar vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended by experts for Leptospirosis. Revaccinating annually is often needed to maintain the best immunity.

Canine adenovirus-2

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is related to the hepatitis virus, canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). It leads to recessive or mild respiratory tract infections and may cause infectious laryngotracheitis and symptoms of pneumonia. It’s also one of the causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough.

The joint vaccine is a core vaccine that contains live attenuated canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (CAV-2), canine parvovirus (C154), and canine parainfluenza virus. A joint vaccine is commonly administered to dogs to prevent CAV-2 infection.

Canine parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is a highly contagious respiratory virus common in dogs. It may develop in situations where large groups of dogs are close together for a period of time. CPIV is also one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough. It shouldn’t be mistaken with kennel cough. Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza and CAV-2, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection.

Canine enteric coronavirus

Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which is a member of the species Alphacoronavirus 1. Most dogs with canine coronavirus are contracted by oral contact with infected fecal matter. A dog may also become infected by eating from contaminated food bowls or by direct contact with an infected dog.

Be wary, canine coronavirus (CCoV) is not the same virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. Hence, the vaccine for CCoV should be used for treating COVID-19. The vaccine for CCoV is readily available but it’s not recommended for all dogs and will be administered based on your dog's lifestyle and risk assessment.

Canine influenza

Canine influenza or Dog Flu is influenza occurring in dogs that are caused by varieties of influenza virus A, such as equine influenza virus (H3N8). The Dog flu is airborne; respiratory secretions escape into the environment in the form of coughing, barking, and sneezing, where they are then inhaled by a new canine host. 

The vaccine for Canine influenza is easily available. This vaccine must be given twice initially with a two-week break, then annually thereafter.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Lyme borreliosis) caused by the bite of 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. As a preventive measure, you can check for flea and tick collar, vet-approved flea and tick preventive, and a vaccine.

Bordetellosis ("kennel cough")

Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is associated with respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.

The symptoms include a hacking cough, retching, sneezing, watery nasal discharge, pneumonia, inappetence, fever, etc.

Adult dogs that come into contact with large groups of other dogs should have a Bordetella vaccine annually.

Heartworm disease

Known as Dirofilaria immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature. It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito.

The symptoms include soft and dry cough, lethargy, weight loss, anorexia, difficulty in breathing, etc. 

It can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets; Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

Intestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, etc., some of which can also infect people)

The intestinal worm is common in dogs. There are various kinds of worms contracted by dogs over their lifetime. They mostly contract it from their mother in the womb, by ingesting contaminated soil (soil with feces), eating another infected animal, and fleas.

We have a detail information on infographics as well:


You can easily get your dog screened for worm infections and find proper treatments. Flea preventive measure is often used as a vaccine to prevent intestinal worm.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding canine vaccines and preventive measures for healthy dog life.

How do you introduce your Old Dog to a New Dog ?

Many pet owners are unaware that they must introduce their old and new pets before they could really settle in. It may take a few weeks or months for an old dog to settle in with the new dog. Dogs are territorial animals and they do not appreciate some other animal invading their territory.

For the pet owners who wish to adopt a second dog, they must prepare themselves to bring two animals harmoniously together.

Melissa Bain, a professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine says that,

Dogs are social animals, like humans. But that doesn’t mean they always want to be around other dogs.”

It’s important to introduce a dog to other dog’s presence in different settings such as both in and outside the house.

How to introduce dogs to Dogs?

Here are some handy tips to help you introduce your old dog to a new dog.

Solve Your Old Dog’s Bad Behaviors First

Sue Sternberg, a canine trainer, says

If your current dog barks at other dogs on the street, he will teach those behaviors to the new dog,”

If you’re working on issues with your current dogs, especially with their aggressive behaviors, now isn’t the time to add a new dog to the family.

1) Decide on a meeting place

It's better if you can find a neutral territory where your two dogs can meet and know each other -around the block, park, or someplace else. Let them sniff each other, it's the dog's way of a handshake. You can start by learning the signs of dislike or aggression. If one or the other becomes aggressive, you must control them to resolve the issue there itself.

2) On-Leash and Off-Leash 

Be careful about introducing your dog off-leash. It's always good to bring them together on-leash and once they get familiar with each other, you can let them off-leash. When on a leash, they can often show aggression which is a simple way of trying to establish dominance. Don't assume that they won't get along. Let them cool down and then get them off-leash.

Note: If your dogs are on the leash, you can grab the leashes and pull them apart in case of a fight.

3) Let them determine the pace of the introduction 

Let them decide how long they want to take to know each other well. It may just start with some play with each other by the middle of the walk. It may take weeks or a month as well.

The most important thing is to take this introduction slowly. The more patient you are, the better your chance of success. Do not force the dogs to interact.

Tip: Once the dogs are able to view each other at close proximity, allow each dog to walk behind the other. If they remain comfortable and calm, you can allow them to walk side by side. Do not haste with this process.

4) Don't leave them alone

It's not a good idea to leave your two dogs by themselves when they haven't known each other very well. Your old dog will definitely become aggressive and territorial. This could lead to a squabble. Don't It's not worth an injured or dead dog. If they're puppies, you can keep them in separate crates in two different rooms. If they're adults, you can lock them up in two different rooms. Dogs act like kids sometimes.

5) Separate their toys

A dog would want the other’s toy. The old dog must have its toys which it definitely wouldn’t want to share with the other. Make sure that there are no toys, food, or treats left around the home that the dogs could potentially fight over. You can separate toys in different rooms and allow them to play with them without the presence of the other. This could help avoid the sense of jealousy in either of the dogs.

6) Dine them separately

Food is often a great fight starter. Always keep them separate, possible in different areas of the house, while feeding them. It's good to avoid the confrontation when one dog gobbles and the other picks through every bite. An alpha dog is more likely to gobble their food and then eat the others too.

7) Don't change the Sleeping arrangement 

If your old dogs sleep with you on the same bed, do not change the arrangement suddenly. You can keep the other dog in a crate, a separate room, or on the floor. It's important to housebreak the new dog before you can allow them to sleep at a certain place. Be done with their potty training first!

8) Train separately 

It's always good to train with them one-on-one. It helps both dogs recognize you as the alpha. This way you can recognize the triggers of both the dogs and train them likewise. 

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 provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

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 provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

 

 

Here are the 5 Solutions for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Like us humans, dogs are prone to experience separation anxiety when their favorite companion leaves them for a while. One of the most common characteristics of dogs when experiencing separation anxiety is that they become disruptive, destructive, or upset. This can lead to lots of problems for both the canine and the pet owner.

According to ASPCA.org,

Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.

 

Experts and dog trainers suggest that treating a dog with separation anxiety is the same as training a new dog. When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve their underlying anxiety by teaching them to enjoy their own company or become tolerant when being left alone.

There are multiple reasons for a dog to experience separation anxiety which may include:

the sudden change of guardian or family

change in their usual schedule

Change in residence

Change in household

Common Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

These are the common symptoms shown by dogs who are experiencing separation anxiety.

Urinating and Defecating

Dogs including puppies often urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their owner. Although there are many reasons for dogs to loosen their bowel, one of the most common reasons is separation anxiety.

Barking and Howling

Although it’s common for dogs to bark, it’s still uncommon for them to bark persistently when left alone. This could mean they’re missing their human companion.

Chewing, Digging and Destruction

Many dogs going through anxiety tend to bite or chew on stuff such as a couch, cushion, door frames, windows sills, clothes, etc. If you notice these unusual activities when you get back home then you must consult with your Vet or trainer to check if your dog’s experiencing any form of anxiety.

Escaping

Dogs are fine until they’re with their owners, the moment they are kept in confinement they immediately escape. A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where they’re confined when they’re left alone or separated from their guardian.

In such a case, dogs might want to chew their way out of a kennel, door, or window, which can be fatal to their health.

Coprophagia

Dogs experiencing separation anxiety often defecate and consume their own feces. If a dog eats excrement because of separation anxiety, he probably doesn’t perform that behavior in the presence of its guardian. You should be wary about this because many dogs eat their own feces because of medical problems that result in a decrease in the absorption of nutrients.

How to treat Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

Here are some of the proven methods and preventive measures to treat separation anxiety in dogs.

Training and Counterconditioning

Deploying the trainers to curb separation anxiety and anxiety disorder in dogs is common. Specific training and counterconditioning are one of the most effective ways to treat separation anxiety in canines.

There are several training strategies owners can deploy to treat their dog’s anxiety. Counterconditioning programs help to condition your dog’s response to the stimuli responsible for anxiety, usually by replacing the anxious or aggressive behavior with a more desirable behavior, like sitting or focusing on the owner. Another related practice is to desensitize the dog to their anxiety. It involves introducing your do the source of anxiety, preferably in small doses and at a decreased intensity. Repeated exposure and rewarding positive behavior can help curb anxiety.

Anxiety Medications for Dogs

Anxiety medication is recommended for canines developing a serious anxiety disorder. We suggest you not to take up antibiotics until you’ve tried alternative methods such as training and counterconditioning.

A veterinarian may recommend medications or natural therapies. SSRIs and antidepressants are occasionally prescribed for dogs with anxiety, including fluoxetine and clomipramine in conjunction with an antidepressant to help your dog cope with the stress.

Using CBD Oil for Dog Anxiety

Cannabidiol Oil or CBD Oil is an alternative medication administered to dogs experiencing anxiety. CBD is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Many down owners and humans themselves have found using CBD Oil effective in curbing anxiety. Although there is currently no scientific data to prove that CBD oil is effective in treating anxiety in dogs, many dog owners believe it works wonder. Consult with your veterinarian before using CBD Oil. Your veterinarian can help you determine if it might be a good alternative treatment for your dog’s anxiety.

Body Language

This is more of a preventive or a precautionary measure. You can start by learning your dog’s body language. Knowing when your dog feels uncomfortable or scared such as during thunderstorms, loud noise, outdoor visits, night time, etc, can help determine the reason or their anxiety. It can help you avoid negative experiences and instead use them as a positive training moment. Dogs with anxiety have noticeable physical gestures.

Socialization and Obedience

Socialization is the key to avoid separation anxiety. When your dog is used to seeing new faces including both humans and animals, they’re more likely to enjoy other companies. You can start by taking them to the doggy daycare where they can socialize with other dogs.

Note: Getting your dog a companion usually doesn't help an anxious dog because their anxiety is the result of their separation from you, not just the result of being alone.

Obedience training is another essential tool to prevent or manage dog anxiety. A well-trained and behaved dog is easier to socialize than a dog without training. Obedience classes run by professional trainers can help to desensitize dogs to the situations leading to separation anxiety.

What NOT to Do

You should be careful when you deal with your dog’s separation anxiety. Experts suggest that dog owners must not:

Scold or punish their dog. Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience or spite and negative discipline can lead to different behavioral problems in dogs.

Anxiety is caused because they’re upset and trying to cope with a great deal of stress. If you punish them, they are more likely to become upset.

Here is the quick infographics about the solutions for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale to help with dogs experiencing separation anxiety. Our doggy daycare is well equipped with qualified professionals to help train and groom your dogs.

DIY - Best Pet hacks for Summer and Winter

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

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

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

10 Best DIY Pet Hacks for Summer

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

Frozen DIY Treats

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

Summer Dog Shoes

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

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

Proper Grooming

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

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

Pet Mini Pools

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

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

Damp/Wet Towels

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

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

Ice Cubes in Drinking Water

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

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

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

Make a Frozen Treat Bowl

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

Create a Shaded Sanctuary

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

Protect Pet Paws with a DIY Wax Treatment

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

You can create paw wax at home.

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

Freeze a Toy

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

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

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

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

 

Human Food You should Never Feed your Dog

Many pet owners let their dogs eat from their plates and left-overs. Let us tell you that this is very wrong! Allowing your pet to eat the food you consume isn’t only harmful but also life-threatening to them. The food we commonly eat on a daily basis consists of fats, cholesterol, and natural chemicals that are prone to a dog’s health.

Xylitol, a naturally obtained chemical mixed in chocolates to make it sweet, can cause insulin levels to rise and damage your dog’s liver.

There are many food items, raw or cooked, that we consume on a daily basis which can create troubles for your pet. As a precautionary measure, you should stop feeding pet your of your kitchen. And, put your trash away from the reach of your nosy-friends who often dive into the trash can to scavenge for food scraps.

10 Human Foods to Avoid Feeding your Dog

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare has compiled a list of food items that are harmful and useful for dogs. The list is also recommended by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center of food harmful for dogs.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough is harmful to dogs mainly because the yeast begins to rise once it gets into your dog’s digestive system. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch their abdomen, bloat their stomach or even twist it, making it a lot painful to them. In many cases, consuming a large amount of yeast dough can become a life-threatening emergency. The yeast produces a chemical ‘ethanol’ as a by-product which leads to alcohol poisoning in dogs.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally originating chemical found in many plants and trees. It is used as a sweetener in many food items such as chewing gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. Ingesting xylitol leads to the release of insulin in dogs. The excessive increase in insulin can lead to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) and can trigger vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. If not treated within a few days, it can lead to elevated liver enzymes and liver failure in dogs. Carefully dispose away of the candy and gums, and keep the trash can away from your dog’s reach.

Salty Food

Most fast food items eaten by people including Pizza, burger, fries, Lasagna, pop-corn, and Pasta consist of a large amount of salt (sodium). Large amounts of salt intake can produce excessive thirst and urination in dogs. In many cases, the continuous intake of sodium can even lead to sodium ion poisoning in pets.

There are tell-tale signs of sodium poisoning such as vomiting and diarrhea. Severe symptoms include depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures.

Onion, Garlic, and Chives

We often use onion, garlic, and chives in our meal to make it delicious. The problem with these natural root-items is that they can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs and cats. It is less troubling if consumed in a small amount. However, if your dog consumes a large portion at once, it can lead to red blood cell damage or anemia. The tell-tale signs include weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs, and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. You should keep onions and garlic -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- away from your dog.  Do not let your dog nibble on fast foods found at fests, carnivals, and beaches

Milk and Dairy

Milk and dairy products can be harmful to dogs mainly because they do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Consuming a large amount of milk and other dairy-based products can lead to diarrhea or other digestive upset in dogs. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause her to itch. Unlike popular belief, milk is harmful to cats. Instead of sharing your ice cream with your dog, instead, give them some cold water.

Grapes and Raisins

Popular fruits like grapes and raisins consist of unknown toxins that can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Although the actual toxic compound is unknown, many instances and research have led to the belief that consuming grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Even small amounts of grapes and raisins can be troublesome for your dog. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, tremors, lethargy, and dehydration.

Chocolate and Caffeine

Do not let your dog nibble on chocolates and caffeine-based food products. Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthines which are commonly found in Cacao seeds. Ingestion of methylxanthines leads to vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, and seizures. In a severe case, death is common too. The dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate because it contains more methylxanthines and caffeine. Prevent your dog from slurping coffee and tea from the cup or floor.

Alcohol

Alcohol causes ethanol poisoning in dogs. They shouldn’t consume it even the smallest bit of amount. The tell-tale signs of ethanol poisoning include a lack of coordination, diarrhea, seizures, and vomiting. In many cases, it leads to central nervous system depression, tremors, and abnormal blood acidity in dogs. Contact your pet hospital in Urbandale as soon as you notice these signs.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

When ingested in small amounts, coconut or coconut-based products do not pose problems to dogs. However, the flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools, or diarrhea in dogs. Coconut water is mainly avoided for pets because it contains a high amount of potassium.

Citrus

Citrus fruits are commonly found around many gardens, parks, and forests. Beware if your dog starts nibbling on these small fruits. The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can lead to bowel irritation and central nervous system depression. A small amount doesn’t necessarily hurt your dog, however, if ingested in a significant amount it can lead to many problems.

Here are some of the food items and fruits that you can consider feeding your dog. However, you must remember to use moderation when introducing these food items.

  • Blueberries
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries
  • Salmon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Cooked eggs (Never feed raw eggs)
  • Oranges
  • Carrots

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort offers some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about the best ways to take care of your pet.

10 Signs you are not taking Proper Care of Your Pet

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

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

Ten Signs you are not taking proper care of your pet

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

Obesity

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

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

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

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

Vitamin D Poisoning

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

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

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

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

Bowel Issues

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

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

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

What are the signs of bowel issues in dogs?

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

Energy Level

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

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

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

Behavioral issue

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

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

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

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

Loss of appetite

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

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

Odd eating habit

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

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

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

Excessive Thirst

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

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

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

Grooming

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

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

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

Socialization

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

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

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

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

Pet Essential that Every Pet Owner should Own

Pet essentials are assorted items that you will need at the beginning, middle, and end of your canine’s journey. They aren’t only items but essentials that make their and your life easier. These are things every pet owner should have on hand at the beginning, middle, and end of their journey with their canine companions.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has compiled a list of ten pet essentials that every pet owner should have at home.

  1. ID Tag

Although many say that ID Tags are old school, it is one of the easiest ways to identify a dog and its owner. Like us humans, the pet needs identification in case they are lost, wander off, or fall in some accident. Although microchipping your dog works almost all the time, if they escape or get lost, personal ID tags can help identify them without going through the microchip reading process. ID Tags can ensure to get them home as quickly as possible.

Along with ID Tag, it’s essential to microchip your pet. There are greater advantages to micro-chipping such as during holidays and celebrations where there are many cases of missing pets. Most of these pets are lured into a trap or are distracted. Once the ID tag is removed, it becomes difficult to locate a dog even when they are found by rescue shelters. A microchip can help prevent this by easily identifying the dog.

  1. Pet First Aid Kit

Pet First-Aid Kit is another pet essential that should in your home, car, or office at all times. Owning and being able to use the first-aid kit can prove to be a life-saver! These are the items that should be in the first-aid kit all the time.

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Ice pack (Replaceable)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with the blunt end
  • Tweezers
  • OTC antibiotic ointment
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Phone number, clinic name, address of your veterinarian

 

  1. Comfortable Harness/Leash/Longline

There has been a debate about harness and leashes for dogs. While it is true that a harness can be more comfortable for your pets compared to a leash, for smaller dogs and pups, leash works best. Most harnesses won’t fit the small-sized dogs unless you make a customized one for them.

Take suggestions from your pet trainer and veterinarian if you should buy a harness or leash for your dog. Longline works best when you take your dog out in the park or near forests. This will prevent it from running off into the forest or bushes and also keeps it away from the reach of coyotes and other wild animals.

  1. Dog Diapers

Dog diapers become essential at different points of time in the life of dogs. While dog diapers are common when they are young or older, some dogs may need dog diapers when they are facing certain medical conditions such as incontinence.

Diapers help to prevent dirt and germs on the floor from entering the urethra and causing a Urinary tract infection in dogs. The thing to keep in mind is that you should change the dog diaper frequently. Just like children, dogs n`eed to feel fresh and clean to stay in a healthy state of mind.

  1. Pet Hair Brush

Even though you frequently take your dog for grooming, it’s quite handy to keep a comfortable pet hairbrush around the house.  Frequent grooming in dogs is linked to their mental well-being. Regular grooming is linked to a balanced mental and physical state of the pet. It keeps them stress-free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

There are different kinds of pet hair brushes which you can choose from,

  • A slicker brush helps to get rid of any debris, loose hair, and mats/knots.
  • A pin brush is made for dogs with longer and silkier coat types.
  • A bristle brush is well suited for dogs with short or wiry coats.
  • The undercoat rake is designed to get deep into double and heavy coats of dogs.

 

  1. Steel Food and Water Bowl

Using plastic food and water bowl for dogs is a complete No-No. The plastic bowls often form cracks after extensive use which leads to debris or residue. These can lead to the formation of germs and bacteria which can easily pass into the digestive system of your pets. Using a ceramic bowl is another best option.

You should fill the water bowls often during summer because dogs often perspire while sitting indoors. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t remain dehydrated. Additionally, some dogs may develop an allergy to the plastic, resulting in a mild skin reaction on the chin or face

  1. Cozy Bed with Heating Pads

Your dog spends most of its life in its bed; hence ensure that you provide a cozy and comfortable bed. Using a cozy mattress is one of the options to make the bed extra cozy. During winter, you should consider installing heating pads in their bed. Do not use heated blankets meant for humans. Heated dog beds heat up safely for a dog's needs and work on low voltage making them safe for canines.

  1. Toys and Puzzles

Keeping pets engaged with different forms of toys and puzzles help to keep them away from developing isolation, boredom, or stress. This is important because dogs that “need a job” have a problem-solving mindset and will find puzzles very satisfying. You can find different forms of interactive games for pets. When you’re home, you can consider hiding treats and giving them clues to solve the problem. This helps to strengthen you and your pet’s bond.

  1. Flea Treatment Agent

Fleas can also sneak into your home any time of year. Easily available flea treatments can help to remedy your home from flea infestation. As an option, you can create your own concoction of home-based agents to develop flea treatments.

Use flea shampoos to wash your dog when it's flea season. This prevents flea from getting into your dog's coat, which is later carried inside your home.

Flea infection becomes common during spring and summer.

  1. Stain and Odor Remover

Stain and odor remover helps to remove stubborn urine smells from just about anywhere while removing the underlying pheromones. These pheromones are like a marker where your dog tends to return to and re-mark. You can find many enzyme-based cleaners on the market.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about other pet essentials you can gift your companion.

Topmost Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Summer is already here! Along with it come different kinds of allergies, rashes, flea, and dry skin. Your pet, both canine and feline, could face different kinds of allergens in and outside the house! The best way to prevent this is to prepare possible home remedies.

 As admitted by many pet owners, their pets end up consuming chemicals such as plant fertilizers and defrost toiletries and human pills. Such accidents may require immediate medical attention from a professional veterinarian. In common cases such as allergies, rashes, and flea bites, a pet owner can diagnose the conditions and administer homemade remedies accordingly.

 Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital, the best pet hospital in Des Moines to find possible home remedies for allergies, rashes, indigestion, flea and tick, and other problems.

Home Remedies for Common Pet Problems

Here are home remedies for some of the most common pet problems. 

FLEA INFECTION

  • A mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt can make an effective flea spray. Dilute 6 cups of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water, and then add a dash of sea salt. You can spray the mixture directly onto your dog's coat.
  • You can place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. This way, any fleas you sweep up will remain inside.
  • Flea collar is sprayed with insecticides. If you resist using insecticide, you can use active ingredients such as cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, and marigold. This will help deter them.
  • A regular flea bath to your dog during spring, summer, and autumn with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb will help prevent any flea infection.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to each quart of the animal’s drinking water. It acts as a flea deterrent and it helps keep pets free of fleas and ticks.
  • As an organic approach, you can stock your garden with off-leaf larvae-eating nematodes. These can help to bring down your Japanese beetle population.
  • To keep your home free of flea, you can consider spraying your window and door screens with distilled water containing several drops of bitter orange essential oil.

 

ITCHINESS & DRY SKIN

Dry skin and itchiness are common in pets during spring and summer. During summer, you must restrict your pet from staying outdoors for a long period of time.

 An Oatmeal bath is one of the most common and effective home remedies to prevent itchiness. Prepare a bath by adding uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking. Run a tubful of warm water over it. Next, you can soak your pet in the water for 5-10 minutes before rinsing them dry. As an option, you can also buy Oatmeal-based shampoos from the pet stores.

 Using aloe Vera gel is another way to prevent itchiness. Start with break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick gel onto the raw area or the skin. Beware; your pet mustn’t lick the area. Ingesting aloe vera can cause vomiting. 

CUTS, SCRAPES & ABRASIONS

Cuts, scrapes, abrasions are common during any time of the year. If your pet is active and runs around places, or forages into the dustbin, it is more likely to get cuts and scrapes.

 Mix together 1-pint water, ½-teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon calendula tincture. Next, you can soak the injured part in the solution. An injured paw can be soaked into the solution while the wound on the body requires applying the solution through a squirt bottle. Gently apply the solution to the infected area. Repeat the process every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

 

BITES AND SCRATCHES

If your pet gets serious bites and scratches, you must immediately take it to the vet.

  • For smaller wounds, you can start with rinsing it with the following solution: 1-pint water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • As an option, Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean wounds, but it can hurt delicate tissues.
  • In the case of felines, cat wounds are infamous for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, you should clean it with Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Wear a protective layer or latex gloves while handling an abscess.

 

TISSUE TRAUMA

Tissue trauma is common in pets after they fall from a height, get stepped on, or are in a fight. 

  • As an effective home remedy, you can apply common homeopathic remedy arnica which speeds the recovery.
  • You can administer two pellets of arnica 30c once per hour for three hours following the injury.

 

PET INDIGESTION OR LOOSE STOOL 

Indigestion or loose stool in pets is mostly after they eat something they shouldn’t have. If your dog scavenges from the dustbin or kitchen bin, you should start keeping it away from their reach. Most often scavenge for food items outside the house. This can lead to the ingestion of food or items that can affect their digestion.

  • Certain food items can irritate the bowel, creating nerve impulses that signal the gut to speed up. If the food moves too quickly, the result is loose stools.
  • You can prevent this by inspecting what they eat all the time. Don’t over-feed supplements such as Vitamin B which can lead to loose stool.
  • The herb slippery elm, available as powder or capsules, can help control indigestion and loose stool.
  • Ensure that you keep fertilizing, pesticide, and chemicals away from your dog’s reach. Most of these items can be poisonous and the first sign of poison is often loose stool.

SKUNK SPRAY-ON PETS

Skunk spray is common during summer and spring when your dog plays outside the house. The nosy practice of dogs often lands them in trouble. A skunk sprays the allergic liquid when they detect a threat.

  • If you notice that your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you can start with bathing them in a mixture of one-quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap.
  • The stench of skunk spray is another problem to get rid of. You can use tomato juice, to remove the smell. Leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it off. For a large dog, a single wash can require several cans of tomato juice, so be prepared for this.

 

GET RID OF PLASTIC FOOD DISHES

 Plastic utensils are often allergic to pets. Hot spots around the face can be caused by plastic food bowls. You can start by replacing the plastic food and water bowls with stainless, glass, or ceramic bowls. Clean the bowls often to remove any decay.

 Most pets are prone to bacterial allergens which develop into puppy acne or feline acne and a rash or pimples in the face area such as nose and chin.

 Urban pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale and premier pet hospital in Urbandale. Get in touch with for the best doggy daycare and assistance from a certified veterinarian.

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons why your old dog smells bad?

Dogs do often smell. It is a part of their hygiene. Many dogs smell when they have stepped outside for play or have foraged for food inside the dust-bin, however, there is always a difference between funny smell and stink.

Although common in many dogs, stinking isn’t noticeable until they have been diagnosed with different physical ailments. Stink is one of the earliest signs of underlying pet healthcare problems. Bad smell is more common in geriatric dogs who often encounter age-related diseases and ailments such as bowel disorder, cancer, oral disease, and anal sac problem.

It is essential that you keep track of how your dog smells over the time to ascertain there are any underlying physical problems with them. Once you begin noticing unusual smell or stink, you should immediately consult your veterinarian.

7 reasons why your old dog smells bad

Here are seven major reasons for an old dog to start smelling bad.

a. Dental Disease

Dental problem is common in many elder dogs. You should take elderly dogs to the vet every six months, so any underlying problems can be figured out before it gets serious. Depending on the dental problem, your dog might require tooth extraction, gum surgery, or a thorough cleaning.

By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease. Periodontal disease is common in dogs from a young age. It becomes more prevalent in elderly dogs. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar resulting in a deteriorating gum line. It produces toxins that lead to bone and tissue damage.

While a slight odor is normal for pets, stinky breath indicates deteriorating oral hygiene. Sometimes the underlying dental infection or cancer can cause smelly breath.

Another problem specific in dogs is Gingival Hyperplasia, the overgrowth of the gums that can harbor food residue and produce a rotten smell. Boxers, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, and Great Danes are more prone to this oral disease.

b. Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, also known as lack of bladder control, is more frequent in elderly dogs. The aging dogs are more prone to weaker bladder and bladder infection. Over time, the muscles of the urinary tract system start to weaken in elderly dogs. Without bladder control, urine leaks onto a pet’s fur, which leads to odor over time, unless given frequent baths.

The condition has been seen occurring more frequently in senior spayed females than male dogs. Certain breeds are predisposed to urinary incontinence, including the springer and cocker spaniel, Old English sheepdog, and Doberman pinscher.

If you begin noticing foul smells in your dog, you should certainly take them to the vet. Once diagnosed, your vet will prescribe medication to strengthen your dog's sphincter muscle for better urine control or offer hormonal therapy. Sometimes it could be the sign of kidney disease.

c. Kidney disease

Bad breath (Halitosis) isn’t always caused by poor oral hygiene, sometimes it could be deteriorating kidney problems. Pets with kidney disease are unable to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream, which build up over time and create an ammonia-like odor to your dog’s breath. A metallic odor to their breath could also be a sign of kidney disease.

Kidney disease is a frequent occurrence in elderly pets. Dogs diagnosed with kidney diseases are often thirsty. Excess water consumption and increased urination, dull coat, appetite loss, and mouth soreness are few of the symptoms of underlying kidney disease. When you notice the earliest signs of kidney diseases, you can consult your vet who will prescribe a special kidney diet. For chronic kidney diseases, a kidney transplant is a more common solution.

d. Diabetes

Elderly dogs are more prone to diabetes. Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

Elderly dogs are unable to produce enough insulin or aren’t using insulin properly. The body fails to use the food they eat for nutrients. Over time the body will begin to weaken. It is an endocrine disorder. One of the effects of diabetes is a condition called ketosis when the body is forced to burn its fat supplies. When your dog is creating ketones, their breath will have a distinctive odor, which some say smell like nail polish remover, while others say the odor is sweet.

e. Skin Infection

There are many reasons for skin infection in dogs. Secondary bacterial infections from constant scratching, dogs with wrinkly skin, and allergies are often the major reasons for skin infection. Incessant scratching can lead to a bacterial infection which can give off a putrid odor.

Dogs with wrinkly skin, such as English bulldogs, Shar Pei's, or pugs, are more prone to developing skin fold dermatitis when two skins come close in contact. It creates a warm, moist environment perfect for an overgrowth of surface microbes which can produce toxins that cause irritation and inflammation.

Allergy is one of the major reasons for skin infection in dogs. It often manifests in itchy skin allowing bacteria to enter through breaks in the skin, leading to a stinky infection.

f. Anal Sac Issues

Anal sacs issue occurs because of anal sac infection or impactions. This often leads to a nasty smell. Anal sacs are two small glands located on either side of the dog’s rectum. If untreated, it can lead to anal sac rupture and forms an abscess which can also create quite a stench. Common signs of anal sac issues are when they drag their bottom on the ground, scooting, and licking of anal.

g. Flatulence

Flatulence occurs when your dog eats something it isn’t supposed to. On occasion, your dog’s diet may simply not agree with their gastrointestinal system, and a food change is in order.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas taking proper care of elderly dogs.

How to take care of your dogs?

pet safety infographic

No pet owner ever consider a dog only a pet. For us, they are a family member. Taking care of your pet is as essential as taking care of yourself.

Owning a canine can be the biggest joy in life. It is also a big responsibility. If you are considering bringing a canine into your home, consider seriously about the commitment and responsibility a dog owner entails.

How often do you need to visit Veterinary?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least.

As a pet owner, it is essential to recognize the signs of common illnesses among dogs. Vaccination is another important thing you should always remember.

Vaccination, the onset of common diseases, and aging factor are few of the reasons to frequent vet clinics.

Wellness Check for Pets

A regular check or wellness examination is a periodic medical test of the pets to assess their overall health. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The need for a wellness check is to ensure that your dog remains healthy throughout its life.

A wellness check may also include vaccinations such as regular shots for rabies, flu, etc.

The time and duration for well checks or periodical visits may differ according to the age of the dog.

Puppy

In general, you should take your pup to your vet every 3 to 4 weeks for necessary vaccinations to ensure if it isn’t developing any complications or other physical ailments. The regular-check may include, shots for rabies and distemper-parvo. Your pup might need shots if it’s displaying symptoms of kennel cough, influenza, or Lyme disease.

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs range from the age of 1 to 7 years (depending on breed). These dogs require an annual wellness check, including a heartworm test and other tests your vet recommends based on the results of the check.

A booster shot for rabies and distemper-parvo can be essential, typically every 3 years.

Older Dogs

Older dogs range from the age of 7 to 10 years. These dogs require wellness to check every 6 months or bi-annually. Like humans, older dogs are prone to developing certain diseases and complications as they get older, including arthritis, gum disease, diabetes, vision problems (blindness), kidney disease, cancer, and dementia.

dog different age


7 Common Dog Diseases

Cancer

50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer at some point. Malignant lymphoma (a tumor of the lymph nodes), mast cell tumors (skin cancer), mammary gland tumors, breast cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas are few of the common cancers found in canine.

Some of the common symptoms of cancer include a lump or a bump, an unhealed wound, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, a lameness or swelling in the bone, and abnormal bleeding. It is necessary to take your pet to the veterinarian and take immediate medical measures.

Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. Diabetes mellitus is more likely to be found in overweight cats and dogs.

It is estimated that anywhere from 1 in 500 to 1 in 100 dogs will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include consistent thirst, urinating too much, a ravenous appetite and rapid or sudden weight loss.

The treatment for diabetes includes diet (diet plan recommended by a veterinarian), exercise (exercise to avoid a spike in glucose level), and insulin injections.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough (Canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a term loosely used to describe a complex of respiratory infection (both viral and bacterial) that causes inflammation of a dog’s voice box and windpipe. It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans.

Dogs commonly contract kennel cough at places where large amounts of canines congregate, such as boarding and daycare facilities, dog parks, training groups, and dog shows. Serious cases of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated.

Heartworm

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream—harming arteries and vital organs as they go—ultimately completing their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years.

How to prevent Heartworm disease in dogs?

7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

Canine Coronavirus

Canine Coronavirus is an intestinal infection that affects both feral and domesticated dogs. The virus is limited to the upper two-thirds of the small intestines. A lot of the time the infection will clear up by itself, however, it can be problematic for young pups or adult dogs with other infections such as parvovirus.

Older dogs may not show any symptoms. Some of the rare symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Treatment will involve administering extra fluids and electrolytes. If you suspect your dog has contracted coronavirus, it is important to take it to the bet.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs, and humans. Vaccination is important to curb the contraction of the disease. Rabies is transmitted to people from animals, with over 99% of cases due to dog bites. It is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva from an infected animal.

Ringworm

Dermatophytosis is the fungal infection affecting the skin, hair, and/or nails (claws) that is more commonly referred to as a ringworm. A ringworm infection on a dog may simply look like a bald spot, with very little inflammation or redness. The inflammation isn’t really itchy. This highly contagious disease can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog and can spread to other animals and humans too.

Healthy Food for Dogs

Here is the comprehensive list of foods and supplements that can be provided to a dog on a daily basis.

dog nutrition chart

Homemade Vs. Store Brought

Homemade food is always better than store brought, however, you must give time to prepare a balanced diet. Grains and starchy veggies should make up no more than half the diet. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and pasta.

You can introduce store brought food into your dog's daily diet along with a homemade meal. Daily Dog Food should contain;

  • 50% of muscle meat
  • 10% organ meat
  • 15% uncooked bone
  • 20% of vegetables
  • 5% fruit

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner?

Being a responsible dog owner is easy – you must keep your dog’s health first.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Like baby proofing your home, you should pet-proof your dog to keep it away from harm’s place. Many items that are used to baby proof your home can be used for pet-proofing as well. Safety locks for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, power outlet covers, safety lid for toilet seats, etc.

Dogs have a tendency to chew on anything they find, hence it’s important to keep medicines and leftover in an inaccessible place. Valuables like jewelry, designer shoes, and clothes can be kept out of reach.

Microchipping

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag). This helps to locate them and bring them home quickly.

Basic Obedience Training

Basic obedience training covers basic commands for the safety of the dogs. Basic commands like sitting, look, emergency recall, leave it, drop, lie down can be life-saving in many cases. Basic obedience training also helps in keeping them in check outdoors.

Housetraining, leash training, socializing, and proofing is a few of the other essential training guide for your dogs. These ensure that your dog follows basic manners and keep themselves out of any trouble at home or outside.

Exercise

Just like humans, dogs require exercise on a daily basis for optimal mental and physical health. The amount of exercise your dog needs depending on their breed, age, and level of physical fitness.

Obesity is common in dogs with poor diet and less exercise. Finding time to work out can be difficult for dogs with a busy owner. There's also an increased risk of health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.

If you’re unable to give time for your pet, you can consider dropping them off to daycare.

Check-Ups

Regular checkup or wellness check is essential to keep your dog in a fit condition. Regular checkup ensures that your dog is safe from common diseases, they’ll get vaccination on time, and can enjoy a long life through preventive Medicare.