Friday, December 08, 2006

Snoring Medication

Stop using medication and start using simple exercises to stop snoring today.
Thousands use this method to stop snoring, you can do it too.

Snoring Medication

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dog Training: Nail Clipping

By Michael Russell
Many dogs simply do not like having their nails clipped. And that is putting it mildly. In fact, some dogs absolutely freak when you attempt to perform this small bit of maintenance. If you are looking for some advice regarding this issue, read on.

There is a solution to the nail clipping problem other than having to have your dog tackled and held down by rather large individual. It will however take time and patience. This, by the way, is an excellent example of how to take things one step at a time with your dog - in this case one nail at a time.

You first of all need to make decisions regarding the logistics of this training. Choose when and where you are going to do it and the time of day. You will also need another person to help, if you can.

When choosing the where, pick a room that your dog feels comfortable in and is relatively free from distractions, especially other dogs. Always use the same space so that eventually your dog will associate it with a warmth and relaxation. This will come in handy for things other than nail clipping as well.

Daily bring your dog into this "special" place at around the same time. With your partner, create a warm and soothing atmosphere by handling and talking to your dog in a calm and loving manner. This will make your dog feel like nice things are happening. The use of very special treats work really well here.

Give your dog a nice treat and lightly touch one of his paws. Don't make an overt move to the paw, just gradually work your way to the paw and gently touch it without lifting it. Do this for all four paws, perhaps working from the hind paws forward.

Do this daily and bit by bit increase the interaction with the paws. Make sure your dog remains comfortable while you are doing this. Give lots of treats as you work up to putting your fingers between his toes and slightly lift his paws. If your dog fusses at all when you lift his paws, do not fight with him. Keep the interaction calm and finish off on a positive note with a treat and a stroke of the paw.

Put the nail clippers in a spot where they are easily accessible. Work up to having them in your hand as you fondle your dog so as he is not intimidated by the sight of them. Get your dog used to the sound of the clippers by opening and closing them. Once you feel your dog is fairly comfortable, reach down and clip one nail. If he fusses, just end on a positive note with a treat. If your dog absolutely hates having his paw lifted, try to learn to clip his nails with his paws on the floor.

Start out on this "one nail a day" program and in time, with a lot of patience, nail clipping can become a special, intimate and pleasurable experience. There will be good days and bad days but the key is to remain calm and always make the session a positive one. Do not become angry with your dog and do not rush him. Sometimes your dog will only allow you to do one paw. That's fine. Just reward him and continue the next day.

You may not even have to clip your dog's nails much if they get lots of exercise including regular walks and free running in fields. This can keep the nails worn short.

The above illustration is an excellent example of how to train your dog effectively taking it one step at a time. You can successfully modify his behavior by ensuring that he associates pleasure with the situation. It is wonderful to see your puppy learning new things and growing in trust and confidence. This builds a warm and loving relationship with your pet.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dog Training

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dog Canine Diabetes - Diets Are Important

By Rose Smith
When a dog has canine diabetes, it is important to regulate their food intake. Not only do you need to watch how much sugar they are consuming, you also need to monitor the amount of food they get, plus how often they are fed. It is usually recommended that you feed them 2 to 3 smaller meals throughout the day rather than one large meal.

The smaller meals helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, while one large meal can cause insulin levels to spike high, only to have them plummet 12 hours later. When the blood sugar drops too low, your dog could begin to suffer from hypoglycemia, a serious condition.

If this should happen, you need provide immediate sugar to your dog (honey rubbed on the dog’s gums will work) and get your pet to the vet's office immediately. This is much like a human diabetic who carries around a cube of sugar or a chocolate bar with them for just this purpose.

So, what should you feed your diabetic dog? The following are some guidelines that will help toward keeping insulin levels normalized and in control.

Avoid Foods That Contain Sugar

This would seem to be an obvious thing to do. Yet, most dog owners really have no idea just how much sugar and carbohydrates are contained in manufactured dog food. (For the record, carbohydrates are converted into glucose by the body - in other words - sugar). Dry dog food, as well as those soft-moist foods (in those cellophane packages) are the worst culprits. Should you continue to feed your dog commercial dog food, switch to a high-quality canned food instead - and read the ingredients on the label!

The Best Dog Food Diet Is Homemade

Raw and homemade dog foods are the best solution. In this way, you will know exactly what your dog is eating and how much sugar/carbohydrates they are consuming. Feeding a homemade diet doesn't have to be hard or expensive. There are many books on the market that can help you with recipes and advice.

Choose Foods Low In Fat

The pancreas not only regulates insulin and blood sugar levels, it also works to produce enzymes in the process of breaking down fat. As you don't want to over-stress the pancreas, you need to choose meats that are low in fat. Stay away from ground beef and other red meats and cut off the extra fat from chicken and turkey. Some fat is obviously necessary for good health...but try to keep it to a minimum.

Certain Grains Are Beneficial

Although you need to be careful with the amount of grain given an animal (animals don't digest grains as well as humans due to their shorter digestive tract), some grains are better to serve than others when it comes to canine diabetes. Rice, millet and oats are usually the preferable choices to help regulate insulin levels and provide fiber.

Some professionals also recommend cornmeal, however dogs sometimes have allergic reactions to corn, as well as wheat. It's best to keep in mind that grains are carbohydrates which the body turns into glucose to use for energy, so keep it to a minimum.

Add Brewer's Yeast

A natural chromium-containing substance called “glucose tolerance factor” is found in regular brewers yeast. Its main function is to help assist the body in using blood sugar more efficiently. Try adding one teaspoon of brewers yeast to your dog's food with each meal.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a natural supplement that helps to reduce the need for insulin in the body. Providing your dog with a Vitamin E capsule once per day is suggested. Recommended dosage is between 25UI and 200 UI, depending on the size of your dog.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables are ideal in providing vitamins and nutrients, while helping to keep blood sugars stabilized. The natural occurring sugars shouldn't throw insulin levels out of sync, unlike refined processed sugar.

Fruits are a great idea for a treat between meals; however don't include them with the main meals as the fruit could ferment in your dog's stomach when combined with meats, grains and vegetables.

Most vegetables can be served raw; however a few should be cooked, such as winter squash (good for diabetic dogs), dandelion greens, and potatoes. Raw foods such as alpha sprouts, parsley and garlic (capsule or fresh) are wonderful choices for this disease. Carrots can be either raw or cooked. (By the way - garlic helps to stimulate the digestive tract and is an excellent choice to serve your pet, regardless if the dog has diabetes or not).

The above dietary guidelines are just that - guidelines. It's important that you speak with your vet about a canine diabetes diet and also to serve the foods that your dog can tolerate well. Stay away from baked treats made with flour and sugar, as well as table scraps as these can cause insulin levels to become erratic.

(c) 2005. Rose smith owns CaringForCanines.com and provides information on the benefits of holistic dog medicines and remedies. For more information on canine diabetes, diet, symptoms and treatments, vist us at: http://www.caringforcanines.com

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dog Ear Infections - Prevention, Symptoms, Causes

By Rebecca Prescott
Brian Kilcommons relates a terrible story about a beautiful golden retriever dog who was usually very gentle and kind with children. It's owners had a girl aged 3 1/2, and they normally got along very well. Then one day the little girl grabbed the dog's ear. It snarled and bit her face. She needed 47 stitches in her face, and they put the dog down. The parents had the dog euthanized without bothering to find out what had caused this sudden change in their dog's behaviour. The vet, however, did an autopsy, and found our that this dog was suffering not one but two severe ear infections that were incredibly painful.

Ear infections usually start out mild, and in the outer ear. This dog's health was effectively neglected by it's owners. And when their toddler grabbed the infected ear, the dog, already in constant pain anyway, reacted out of instinct. By not taking the time to properly care for their pet, these owners were in fact responsible for what happened to their child. And then blamed the dog. And probably out of ignorance or anger, or both, they had it killed. Their emotional response to what happened to their child as a result of their own neglect aside, I find this absolutely reprehensible. And the tragedy that happened to their dog when they chose to kill it instead of investigating further, as well as the tragedy to their child, was totally avoidable.

Unlike these owners, show your dog the same level of care and love you'd show your children. Become aware of the signs of ear infections, what causes them, and how to avoid them, taking dogs to get treatment when it seems like they have one.

Ear infections can be caused by any number of things. Wet ears not dried after swimming or bathing, a build up of ear wax, grass seeds and fox tails, untreated ear mites, using cotton tips to clean ears (which pushes things further into the ear), and growths in the ear canal, can all lead to ear infections. If your dog is scratching at his ears, rubbing them, holding his head to one side, or down, shaking his head, or if they look bloody or waxy or swollen, they should be checked out. And if he cries when his ears are touched, this is another sign of a potential ear infection.

When untreated ear infections progress deeper into the ear, the pain the dog is in increases sharply. The dog may hold his head as still as possible, and to one side. And opening his mouth, or touching his head, will cause him pain. Dogs can also become dizzy, with poor balance and coordination, when the infection progresses to the inner ear. Dogs may walk around in circles, and vomit.

Ear infections are also related to skin allergies, especially food hypersensitivity dermatitis and canine atopy. Dogs with these conditions often develop inflamed ears. The dog's ears become very itchy, which creates an 'itch-scratch-itch' cycle that in turn creates scabs around the ear, hair loss, crustiness, and raw skin. The ear canals become filled with a brown wax.

Some dogs are also allergic to some ear medications. A common one is an antibiotic called neomycin, but can be any ear treatment products including cortisone, nystatin, chloramphenicol, thiabendazole, gentamicin, miconazole, and clortrimazole.

One thing of concern in dogs that are professionally groomed is the practice of plucking the hairs out of the dog's ear. The serum which then comes out of their pores is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, which is a common cause of ear infection. Vets generally don't recommend you allow your dog's ears to be plucked unless their is a good medical reason to do so. An example of a good medical reason is if there is a large mat of hair that is blocking air flow.

If the mats of hair are in the ear canal, they should be removed by a vet only. If they're not, first soak the hair in a coat conditioner for a few minutes to soften it. Then, with your fingers, separate as much of the mat as possible. You may be able to untangle the rest of the mat with a comb, but more likely you'll need scissors or a mat splitter. Be very careful if you're using scissors. Using a comb, position it under the mat to protect the skin. Hold the scissors at right angles to the comb, and cut into the matted fur in narrow strips. Very gently, tease the mat out, and then comb out any snarls that are left. Regular grooming, with the right tools, will avoid mats forming in the first place.

Always check your dog's ears after he's been playing in long grasses. If you think there is a foxtail in his ear, take him to the vet's and don't try and get it out yourself. Fox tails can really damage the ear. If when you press gently on the ear canal he cries out in pain, there's a good chance there's a fox tail in there.

References:
1. Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson, Good Owners, Great Dogs
2. Richard Pitcairn, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
3. James Griffin and Liisa Carlson, Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Learn more about dog health and dog care at The Dogs Bone. There are sections on training, puppies, and breed information. For more information on ear mites, check out this article here: http://www.thedogsbone.com/articles/3/1/Dog-Health-Question---Getting-Rid-Of-Ear-Mites

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dog Names

By Jason Montag
What’s in a name? This question has been asked for centuries and the answer is everything. Dog names are one of the most talked about topics on the internet and beyond. The reason is that they are fun. Dog names are so much fun to discuss and choose.

Nothing feels worse than when someone looks at your dog and asks what the name is and after you reply they say she doesn’t look like a “your dog name”. I am a firm believer that dog names must fit the dog that it is for. Some breeds look like certain names just as some dogs could never look like certain names.

I feel that a boxer dog always looks like a Butch or a Champ. I am not sure why but that is just an example of what dog name fits a certain breed of dog.

Some people have their dog names picked out before ever seeing the dog it is for. I am not a big fan of this because it seems, in more cases than not, that a dog will actually pick its own name by its face, behavior or personality. Some dog names have the feeling or sound of energy.

If you have a slow moving apathetic laid back dog than one of these name will not fit them, unless you are trying to make a statement. I know you know what I mean, that combination does not work and you will not know this until you actually have the dog at home.

If you have a goofy floppy type of puppy or dog then certain dog names will fit perfectly but stronger and bolder dog names will not fit the same way.

I find that it is a good idea to ask others. When people come over to see your new dog or view pictures of your new dog ask them for their opinion of what the dog name should be. Do not worry, if your dog has no name for a few days after coming home it will be fine.

The fact is that a dog name will stick for years and years to come so wait a few days and be patient so that the appropriate dog names are used. A few days come and go but bad dog names stay for a lifetime.

There are a number of places to find dog names and the sky is the limit. Many people name their dog after products, some people get their dog names from baby name books, some name their dog after other people, some dog names are colors or flowers or states or basically any other thing you can think of. Unlike a person, dog names are more acceptable if they are out of the ordinary and even strange.

The dogs in the dog park will not make fun of your dog name no matter what it is. I cannot say the same for the other dog owners so choose your dog name wisely.

For more information about dog names or to ask fellow dog lovers for their dog name ideas in our pet forum, visit http://www.spectacularpets.com

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Aging and The Mature Dog

By Debbie Ray
Just as with you and I, your pets age is a consideration that must be thought about as your dog matures. It is easy to overlook, especially if your dog is in its prime, however, your aging animal has new needs that must be met just as with any other aging animal or human being.

A change in lifestyle, preventive measures and lots of love can help your dog in its journey from prime time to down time. First, just how old is your dog - really?

Depending on the breed and size, your pet may have a life expectancy from around eight years (for most of the giant breeds) to fourteen or more (for the toy/smaller breeds). Keep in mind that these are only approximations- your pet, depending on its health and quality of life could live longer (or shorter) than these figures. Most dogs fall anywhere between these two.

Additionally, your dog will begin to show signs of aging based on its quality of life, condition of health, size, breed and hereditary considerations. Medium sized dogs,such as spaniels, may begin to show signs of aging around 7 or 8 years of age. Giant breeds may do this as early as 5 or 6 while small/toy breeds may wait around until 9 or so. Again, remember these figures are approximations.

It seems that in many dogs, work is one key to living a long and full life. Most dogs recorded for living long periods of time were working animals- active herding dogs, movie stars/ actors, or involved in other types of mental and physical stimulation. This above all seems to be a key factor in helping your dog live to a point closer to its true life expectancy- and in a way of better and fuller health.

In a mixed breed animal, age is harder to predict, but an active knowledge of their background or size does help in predicting this figure.

Changes in dietary requirements, an understanding of potential diseases and of your dogs potential needs is your best defense in helping your dog in this time of change. Many things may hamper your dog from play or simple day to day activities as it ages. Arthritis is just one example. Also, as with humans, dogs will tire and slow down much faster as they age which leads to one of the most common mistakes people make with their aging pets- OVER FEEDING.

Just how this happens can be quite easy. The pet teaches its human to feed it by begging, looking cute, doing a favorite trick, etc. until the owner gives in. Over time this added caloric intake can take its toll and result in extra weight. This is one of the major areas that can cause health problems as the dog grows older.

To detect if your dog is overweight simply run your hands down the animals sides. If you can easily feel the ribs and there is a degree of tapering near the dogs mid section (just in front of the hind legs) your pet is probably not overweight. If you are unable to feel the ribs and there is to tuck up, chances are your dog is overweight. Your vet can offer you ways to alter your dogs diet if it is too heavy or can answer any other questions you may have concerning your pet and obesity.

Exercise is an invaluable component for any type of weight loss- for animals or humans. Initiate play with your pet. Encourage it to play catch, fetch or whatever games you played with it when it was younger. Even walking your dog can be quite beneficial- for both you and your pet. Remember not to overdo it, however. If your dog begins to pant heavily, allow it to rest. Some animals, like children, dont know when to stop once they begin to play.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR:

If your dog shows any of the following symptoms:

Clouding of the eyes(beware the whitish, hazy discolorations)

OR

New lumps underneath, or on top of, the skin

OR

Troubled breathing/ extensive coughing

OR

Has problems eating hard foods/ bad breath

OR

Shows signs of controlling its urinary capabilities

OR

Has problems of stiffness/ lameness in getting up(especially after sleeping)

IS

Unresponsive to verbal commands or you calling its name

Consult your vet

The benefits of a healthy and fit dog highly outweigh that of an unfit animal. First, the risk of getting heart disease or other health problems such as diabetes, is much lower. Also, with early prevention, many age related health problems can be averted. Consult your vet with any questions or at the first sign of any health problems concerning your animals.

Debbie Ray, owner of http://www.pedigreedpups.com and http://www.total-german-shepherd.com, is a lifelong animal lover and dog enthusiast. Interested in more dog information? Training and health tips? Thinking about getting a purebred dog? Interested in the German Shepherd Dog in particular? Check out http://www.total-german-shepherd.com for more information.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Guideline For Choosing Dog Treats

By Robert Thatcher
What makes you love your dogs? Is it because of the way he loves you in return and the eagerness that you feel when he attempts to please? This love can be more emphasized through dog training as it creates the firm bond between you and your pal.

One well recognized method of dog training is through the use of dog treats. But dog treats are not for positive reinforcement dog training alone. Most dog owners have used them as snack alternatives. This does not proceed pleasurable experiences but may also aid in maintaining your pal's health.

Like with other pet stuffs, there are considerations that an owner should first evaluate before allowing his pet to dog treats. Health components concerning with calorie content is on the priority list.

One of the growing concerns on dog health nowadays is obesity. Almost half of American dogs are overweight. Like with the case of human, obesity may lead to a variety of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Overindulgence is thought as one of the contributing reason for obesity. This may be due to human factor. Most owners tend to give dog treats on an unregulated basis. For most, it doesn't matter how many calories does a single biscuit may contain. To resolve this issue, an owner needs to cut back on the daily calorie intake of his pet until he reduces some weight. Controlling the quantity of dog treats throughout the day may be of great help. You may also choose to lessen his foods gradually until he reaches normal weight. In line with this, it is ideal to stick with dog treats with low calories. The subject on obesity may further be resolved through consulting the vet and to implement a regular exercise regimen.

It is also an ill practice to give your dog commercially produced human foods. Some of which may contain elements that are not suited for your dog's health. Commercial foods are also often rich with fats and calories and low in nutrients and vitamins. Moreover, this practice is really not healthy for your dog's manners. This only encourages begging. Give him his dog treats in his own place instead but always bearing the thought of how healthy the dog treats you give are.

Tips on Dog Treats Selection

It is always best to buy naturally produced dog treats. These save you from unnecessary additives that may post threats against your dog's health. Fat and sugar-rich dog treats are complete no-no. look for dog treats that have high concentration of fibers and protein.

Dog treats that are primarily made from fishes are good sources of unadulterated health components. These are great foods for human as well as dogs. They are low in calories and fats.

Avoid giving dog treats before any major meals. If you are training him using positive reinforcement, cut back portions of his meals to balance his diet with dog treats.

There are dog treats that are especially made to optimize your dog's health. Working in the same principle as that of the vitamin supplements. These are aids to maintain your dog's health and may even relieve symptoms of certain diseases.

Don't allow that dog treats may cover as much as ten percent of your pet's diet.

In choosing the ideal treat, it is helpful to rely on your best judgements. It is you who know your pet well enough but in cases of doubt, you may as well consult a veterinarian.

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides dog treat resources on http://www.about-dog-treats.info.