Importance of Animal Rights

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

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

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

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

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

What is Animal Rights Movement?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out this infographic for more information. 

 

What do animal rights highlight?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Significant achievements made by Animal Rights Movement

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

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

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

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

6 Most Prevalent Animal Rights Issues

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

Climate change                                           

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

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

Loss of habitat

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

Illegal fishing practices

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

Factory farming

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

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

Euthanasia

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

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

Animal experimentation

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

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

 

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

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

 

How to prevent animal abuse?

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

 

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

How to Spot Autism in Dogs?

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

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

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

Canine Autism       

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

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

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

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

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

Diagnosis of Autism in Dogs

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

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

Here are five tell-tale signs of autism.

Display of Repetitive Behavior

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

Display of Social Nervousness and Awkwardness

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

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

Display of lack of enthusiasm

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

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

Display of OCD

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

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

Display of Emotionless

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

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

 

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

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

How to Treat Autism in dogs?

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

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

Medication

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

Offer a Safe, Secured, and Stress-Free Place

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

Offer Regular Exercise and Well-Balanced Diet

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

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

 

Dr. ValliParthasarathy DVM explains that,

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

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

Check this infographic out for more information in detail.

 

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

How to ensure a great pet boarding experience?

 

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

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

10 Things to Do When Boarding your Dog

 

Tour the Boarding Facility

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

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

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

Consider a Boarding Trial

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

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

Cater your dog's special needs

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

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

Provide Dog's Medical Records

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

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

Eating and Sleeping at Set Times

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

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

Bring your Pet's Food

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

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

Discuss Treats

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

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

Bring Your Dog's Toy or Blanket

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

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

Teach basic commands to Your Dog

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

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

Make the Departure Quick

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

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

 

Pet Boarding or Pet Sitting

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

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

Check this infographic for more information.

 

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

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

 

A Day in the Life of a Dog

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

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

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

How does a dog spend its day?

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

Sleeping

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

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

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

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

Tips for helping a dog get enough sleep

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

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

Lounging

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

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

How much alone time is "Too Much"?

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

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

Active Time

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

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

Eating

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

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

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

Playing

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

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

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

Socializing

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

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

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

Daily Schedule for Dogs

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

Morning Puppy Schedule

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

Afternoon Puppy Schedule

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

Evening Puppy Schedule

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

 Check this infgo graphics for more information. 

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

 

 

Does your Pet need a Regular Fecal Exam

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

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

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

What is Parasitic Infection in Pets?

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

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

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

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

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

What is fecal flotation?

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

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

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

Does the test work every time?

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

Can humans become infected with parasites from pets?

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

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

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

How to prevent parasite infections?

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

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

Check this infographics for more information. 

 

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

 

5 Good Habits to Teach Your Dog

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

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

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

How to instill good behavior in dogs?

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

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

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

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

5 Good Habits to Teach Your Dog

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

Hygiene

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

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

Leash Manners

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

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

"Come, Sit, Leave It"

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

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

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

Barking/Jumping at Visitors

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

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

Chewing

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

 

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

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

Check this infographics for more information.

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

Do dogs react differently in front of you?

Dogs are social animals. They have been with humans for the last 10,000 years. They are conditioned to live with their human companions, eating almost the same diet and mimicking our lifestyle. This has greatly impacted their feeling and behavior towards both humans and animals.

Dogs often become lively and spring around when they are near their owners or their favorite human. Most of the time, dogs will run to their favorite person even if they aren't the owners. This is mainly because; dogs often choose a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality. A more outgoing and boisterous dog will choose a more active person. It’s the positive association and attention that brings an animal closer to you in many other cases.

How are dogs conditioned to like us?

According to interesting research by Ludwig Huber, dogs can easily associate their human companion by hearing a familiar voice paired with a familiar face.

Dogs (like people) are good at using information about the eyes, nose, and mouth configuration. They also seem to be able to recognize differences between at least some human facial expressions for emotions. They mostly associate with their favorite human through series of interactions, attention, and memories.

Another reason dogs are always ecstatic when they see us is that they view us within a traditional pack structure. Researchers have noticed this for a few reasons, one of them being “face licking.” In nature, wolves and other wild dogs have always traditionally greeted each other with this behavior.

How do you make your dog to like you?

Here are some of the proven methods to make your dog to like you.

Socialization

Many dogs bond to humans who cared for them the most during their socialization, which occurs between birth and six months. Young pups are very receptive, and they associate their early social experiences with a person who spent the most time with them.

Creating positive memories and positive interactions with your dog can help it bring you two closer. Over time, they'll strongly associate you with your face, smell, and sound that will make them remember you forever.

Continued socialization throughout the growing years and adulthood are also important to ensure a strong bond between you and your dog.

Attention and Affection

It's a known fact that continuous attention and positive affection help strengthen the bond between a dog and a human.

Most dogs tend to bond to the person who gives them the most attention. In many cases, dogs love other humans more than their owners because they have had the most positive and pleasant moment with them. Giving more attention to your dog means spending more time with them and doing activities that bring you two closer.

Positive affection experiences can start with filling their food bowl every day, taking them to a walk, playing catch or Frisbee with them in the park, giving them treats and toys, training with them, sleeping in the same room, cuddling, and traveling.

You can start spending more crucial time with your pet by indulging in activities that both of you enjoy doing.

Positive Association

A positive association is linked with creating happy memories with your dog. They often react poorly to people with bad associations, such as Veterinarians, during an unpleasant vet visit.

Dogs have their favorites depending on their positive association with them. Most dogs share an incredibly positive association with a human who feeds them regularly. Filling up their food bowl and providing treats and kibble can instantly make them love you.

Similarly, dogs would love to stay more with you when you play along with them and indulge with them regularly. Training a dog is also easy when you share a positive relationship with your dog.

Human Personality & Dog Breed

Different dog breeds react differently to human emotions and personality. They often choose a person who matches their own energy level and personality. Dogs like Labrador and Retriever love people who are equally active and energetic like them. They'll associate more with people who are willing to indulge with them in physical activities.

Some dog breeds like Basenji, Greyhound, Shiba Inu, and Cairn Terrier are more likely to bond with a single person.

If the dog you own has an entirely different personality than yours, you can start conditioning yourself to a personality they love, like if they enjoy going outside a lot, you should make sure to them outside regularly.

Play fetch, tug of war, or hide and seek with them. When training a dog, always be present and partake in the training process.

For more information please check out this infographics. 

 

The presence of a hormone named Oxytocin releases excitement in dogs when they meet their favorite human. This is exactly similar to what we feel when we see or meet someone we love.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, to get more tips on socializing with your dog of different ages, breeds, and personalities.

7 Tips to Maintain Healthy Oral Hygiene in Dogs

The dental problem isn’t only persistent in senior pets. A young pup or an adult dog can suffer from poor dental hygiene too.

Did you know, by the age of three, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs develop some form of gum disease.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems in dogs that start 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. Bad breath is usually the first sign of a dental problem in dogs.

The unchecked dental problem poses a lot of risk in dogs.

  • If your pet remains uncured from dental disease, they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease
  • Bacteria under the gum can travel to different internal organs.
  • Dental disease can result in bad breath, painful chewing and tooth loss.

A broken tooth is a major concern among pets. Chewing on hard surfaces or materials can render their teeth weak. A broken tooth can expose the tooth's nerve, which can be a painful experience for your pet

7 Tips to Maintain Oral Health in Dogs

Here are renowned veterinarians' seven tips to prevent plague, gum irritation, and oral infections in dogs

Quality Food

Proper oral hygiene starts with the choice of food you provide to your dog. Quality food with essential vitamins and minerals, preferably made with whole foods, will nourish their body and keep oral hygiene in check

Avoid foods made with by-products, meals, and cereal grains, including starch, as they are more apt to stick to your dog’s teeth.

A dog meal should have 30% protein, 25% fats, and 30-70% carbohydrates. Chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids), meat fat, Canola oil, sweet potatoes, peas, Barley (pearled), Oats, Brown rice, whole wheat, whole corn, etc., are the healthiest meal choices for any dog. If you're buying canned food, make sure it's made from organic food matter and has optimum supplements of micro-minerals and trace minerals.

Brush their Teeth Regularly

Like humans, dogs need to keep their teeth clean and prevent bad breath. Although dogs chew bones to remove tartar and residue from their teeth, this isn't nearly enough

You can use a traditional method of brushing teeth with toothpaste for your dog. You can use a human toothbrush with soft bristles, or you can choose double-headed with the brushes at a 45-degree angle to clean below the gum-line, like those offered by companies like Petosan

For toothpaste, try to get canine toothpaste that's safe to swallow. Your dog is less likely to spit after each cleaning. Human toothpaste contains fluoride that is extremely poisonous to dogs, so avoid regular toothpaste.

Vets suggest that you should start brushing their teeth when they are still a puppy. This can help keep a habit.

Use Chew Bones and Chew Toys

Chewing on a hard surface can help scrap and clean teeth naturally. Offer raw chew bones and chew toys after each meal and encourage them to chew on them for a bit.

When using bones, make sure they're uncooked and large, preferably from a cow. A small bone can easily break or splinter. Keep an eye when it's chewing on a bone to make sure it doesn’t swallow broken pieces.

Avoid commercial chew bones that are usually made from starches. It can have the opposite effect as chewing on a cow bone. When choosing chew toys, ensure to get chew toys made from hard rubber or nylon that aren't toxic

Choose Dry Food other Soft Food

Soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay. When buying commercial food product for your pet, preferably choose dry food such as kibble. Most dogs eagerly accept dried beef ears or snouts, dried tendons, esophagus, and similar pieces. The dried meat also helps to keep their teeth clean.

Most dog foods prepared at home both solid-liquid. If you regularly provide your dog with soft food, make sure to clean or wipe their teeth daily. This will help prevent residue and plague build up around their teeth

Offer Vegetables and Fruits for Snacks

Vegetables and fruits are natural sources of micro-minerals and trace minerals. Like Protein, Carbs, and Fats, dogs need an optimum amount of minerals such as zinc, vitamin, calcium, and phosphorus daily.

Introduce a variety of vegetables and fruits in their daily snacks. Carrots or carrot slices, apple slices, or a chunk of squash or pumpkin are good snacks for dogs.

Feed appropriate amounts to your dog based on its size; never more than ten percent of its overall daily calorie intake.

Routine Dental Check Up

An annual or bi-annual dental checkup is essential to make sure your dog's oral hygiene is perfect.

Some of the tell-tale signs of bad dental care include; bad breath, change in chewing habit, pawing at the face or mouth, excessive drooling, misaligned or missing teeth, red and swollen gums, etc. These problems require immediate veterinary solutions.

To ensure proper teeth cleaning, the veterinarian will usually perform routine dental cleaning to use tools to remove the teeth' plaque and tartar. A special polishing paste that smoothens any scratches in the teeth' enamel keeps their teeth shiny and plague free.

Check this info graphics for more information. 

Make a Routine

Keep a routine of dental cleaning, veterinarian visits, and dental problems. This will help you determine what kind of assistance your dog will need in the future regarding dental problems.

It's always better to get pet insurance covering preventive care, veterinarian visits, and dental health problems.

It's always wise to prevent the dental problem from exfoliating. Dental extractions in a bad or decayed tooth can easily cost from $10 to $1000 for a molar root canal

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, to learn more about preventive care for healthy oral health. We also provide dental checkups and surgical services through our certified veterinarians.

 

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 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.