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Summertime Guide to Walking the Dog

How to Exercise Pet Safety While Walking the Dog in the Heat of Summer

Walking the dog is one of the best ways for our four-legged companions to get exercise and explore the world. Dogs both love and need to be walked. Walking provides great exercise and allows dogs to partake in their favorite ancestral habit—peeing on everything. With the heat indexes rising, it’s important to know when it’s too hot to walk your dog. Also important is knowing the best ways to keep them from experiencing heat stroke (hyperthermia).

According to a British Veterinary Association study, 48% of vet clinics had to treat dogs for heat stroke during the summer months. The two prevailing reasons heat stroke occurs is because owners neglectfully leave their dogs in cars and dogs overheat due to vigorous exercise while on a walk. Many pet parents aren’t even aware that their dog is severely overheating. Even when the air temperature is only 86-degrees F, the asphalt temperature can swelter to 135-degrees F—hot enough to fry an egg in five minutes. Imagine this on your dog’s paw pads!

Dogs also have a different way of cooling down than humans. Humans regulate heat by sweating. The primary cooling method for a dog is, of course, panting. The way it works is a dog’s tongue swells up—fills with warm blood—while air is forced rapidly over the tongue. As a dog pants, their breathing matches the natural resonant frequency of the airways. This allows warm moisture to evaporate from the tongue which is exhaled while cooled blood returns from the tongue into the body. Dogs have small sweat glands on their feet but these sweat glands are not enough to be a thorough heat losing mechanism.

Heat Strokes (Hyperthermia) in Dogs

The veterinary definition of hyperthermia is when a dog’s body temperature is elevated beyond an accepted normal range. The temperature typically associated with hyperthermia is 106-degrees F. At this temperature, inflammation of the body occurs with a possibility of brain damage and even fatality. This makes it very important to be observant while walking the dog in hot temperatures.

Symptoms of Hyperthermia:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

The two most common factors behind dogs overheating are easily preventable. Being aware of the environmental temperature and your dog’s body language can help prevent them from getting hypothermia. When walking the dog in the heat, the increased muscle activity generates an exorbitant amount of body heat. The rise in environmental heat puts dogs at risk during long walks, without shade or access to water. As you walk the dog, continually monitor their behavior and make sure you take breaks if they are excessively panting. Providing water for them to drink at these breaks is also important.

Leaving a dog in the cark is another easily prevented situation that leads to dogs overheating. Even on a fair day, it only takes minutes for a parked car to turn a car into a brick oven. Even with the windows cracked it is not safe. On a 78-degree day, the inside of a parked car will swelter to 100 degrees in a few minutes. If you need to run errands and cannot bring your dog, please leave them at home in the air conditioning, instead of in a parked car.

Dogs that are Susceptible to Overheating:

  • Young puppies & senior dogs have a harder time regulating their internal body temperature
  • Obese dogs have extra layers of insulation in the form of fat which prevents them from cooling
  • Brachycephalic dogs (squishy faced breeds) have a more restricted breathing pathway which hinders them from cooling down
  • Dogs diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis (narrow breathing passage) also have a more difficult time breathing and consequently harder time dissipating heat
  • Dogs with dark coats who absorb more solar radiation instead of reflecting it

How to Avoid Heat Stroke While Walking the Dog

Timing of the Walk

A little bit of common sense goes a long way for your dog’s safety. The middle of the day, when the sun is highest in the sky, is, of course, going to be the hottest time of day. Try and take your dog for a walk either early in the morning, or late at night, when the temperature isn’t quite as scorching. If you have a dog-walker take your dog out while you are at work, ensure they are walking your dog at an appropriate time.

Route of the Walk

Try and pick a route that avoids asphalt and concrete. Find a route that is shady. This will avoid any unnecessary heat that your dog experiences. Also, make sure they have access to plenty of water. Bring a collapsible water bowl and water bottle for frequent breaks where your dog can re-hydrate.

Dog Boots & Socks

A pair of dog shoes can help protect a dog’s paw pads from the heat radiating from the ground. They also protect a dog’s paws during any season from elements like rocks, broken glass, burrs, snow salt, and other debris which can be dangerous.

Go for a Swim

Dogs need plenty of exercise, even in the summer, but hot temperatures make pet owners consider other ways for dogs to get some exercise. Instead of walking, or going to the dog park, why not visit the dog beach? Swimming is a great form of exercise and helps cool a dog off.

Moisturized Dog Paw Pads

A dog’s paw pads are naturally tough but were never meant to walk over the hot asphalt and concrete. Paw pads can become cracked, irritated, and collect debris from the ground that can damage the paw pad. If your dog is vulnerable to damaged paw pads you can apply coconut oil to their paws to help alleviate any irritation. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique also offers a ‘pawdicure’ service that moisturizes your pup’s paw pads—preventing cracking, peeling, and cleansing away bacteria with an effervescent scrub.

Trimming the Nails and Hair Between the Toes

Having your veterinarian or groomer trim the hair between a dog’s toes helps them gain traction. It also prevents dirt, twigs, and other debris on the ground from getting lodged into their paws. Maintaining a dog’s paw-fur also helps with a dog’s natural temperature regulation.

Trimming a dog’s nails might not help with keeping them cool but it is equally important for their health.

 

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wish you luck while walking the dog this summer. Please be safe and make sure your dog has plenty of water and shade. In the worst case scenario, if your dog does experience heat stroke, know how to cool your dog down.

For tips on bringing your dog’s body temperature down, click here.

 

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How to Prevent Injuries to Your Dog’s Paw Pads

When is the Heat Dangerous for Dog Paw Pads?

On scorching summer days, humans have the privilege of wearing flip-flops and shoes to protect their feet from the asphalt or concrete ground. Asphalt absorbs the sun’s rays, making a perfect surface area to fry an egg, or cause injury to a dog paw pad. Air temperature can be misleading. At only 77 degrees Fahrenheit, asphalt temperature can reach 125 degrees—hot enough for skin destruction to occur after 60 seconds of contact. At this temperature, asphalt is only six degrees short of being able to fry an egg in five minutes. Since air temperature is not always an accurate reflection of ground temperature, it’s important to be aware of the heat index to protect your dog’s paw pads!

Dogs are what’s known as a digitigrade species. This means that they walk on their toes, unlike plantigrade species, who use the entire sole of their feet to move. The part of a dog’s paw that makes the most contact with the ground is the pads.The metacarpal,  metatarsal, and digital pads function as the load-bearing, shock-absorbing pads. Although these dog paw pads are tough, they can only take so much heat before injury can occur. The carpal pad makes less contact with the ground and is used for skid and traction when a dog is on an incline or stopping.  

A dog’s paw has five basic parts:

  • Claw
  • Digital Pads
  • Metacarpal Pad (front paws)
  • Metatarsal Pad (rear paws)
  • Dew Claw
  • Carpal Pad

The Five Second Rule

If you live in a hot climate, with temperatures that reach into the 90’s then you need to know the ten-second rule. Veterinarians agree, this is one of the simplest and best gauges to discern if the ground is too hot for a dog paw pad.

To assess the heat level, place the back of your hand against the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog. If the back of your hand is uncomfortable, it can be painful for your dog to walk on this surface. When the pavement reaches this temperature, many dogs will whimper or begin ‘high-stepping’ on the pavement.

If this is the case, stop the walk. Try and find shady areas or routes that are not in direct contact with the sun. Grass and dirt paths won’t absorb as much heat, so you can try sticking to these walkways.

Dog Boots Or Shoes

Some awesome pet supplies you can get for your dog are dog shoes. A dog paw can only withstand so many of the elements and dog shoes come in handy for more than one season. Dog boots, or shoes, can protect dog paws from rain, snow, salt, and heat. Also, any sharp debris, burrs, or salts that can injure a dog’s paw pads cannot pierce through the material.

High-quality dog shoes made with durable moisture-resistant materials, keeping sharp objects and water out. They also are equipped with reflective straps for extra visibility and protection during night walks.

If you live in a hot climate or a major city with tons of concrete, consider getting your dog some extra protection.

Let Your Dog Dig

Yes, dogs do tear up our backyards as a form of entertainment but many are also doing this to keep cool. Soil further from the ground surface-level is less hot and your dog’s digging efforts may be an effort to reach this cooler soil. If it’s possible, locate a shady area where you allow your dog to dig.

If you want to keep your backyard pristine, it’s better to just keep your dog inside with the A/C cranked. Remember if your dog gets dirty you can take them by your local Splash and Dash for unlimited bathing, brushing, and loving!

Summer Swimming

We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique believe that exercise for dogs is very important! When the heat is unbearable, your dog still needs to get all their energy out. Instead of a walk, why not head down to your local dog beach or lake for a swim?

If neither of these is an option for your doggo, you can think of buying a paddling pool for your dog to splash around in. A paddling pool helps them cool down without presenting the danger to their dog paw pads.

Keep Dog Paw Pads Moisturized

A dog’s paw pad is naturally tough but dogs aren’t meant to walk over the hard, hot surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Combined with frequent walks overtime, it may be necessary to moisturize your dog’s paw pads. Moisturizing their paw pads can help prevent cracking, peeling, and minor injuries. Even more helpful, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers a pawdicure treatment that not only moisturizes a dog’s paws but removes bacteria through a cleansing effervescent scrub.

More Tips to be Safe in the Heat

Not only should dog owners be cognizant of their dog’s paw pads but be aware of heatstroke in general. Nordic dogs with double coats have a natural insulation process but have a higher chance of overheating when the heat index is over 100 degrees. When you are not home, the best practice is to leave your dog inside with the air conditioner running. Never leave your dog in a parked car! Temperatures can reach fatal levels in minutes.

Start a walking schedule that is either early in the morning, or late at night, when the pavements had time to cool off. When walking, stick to pathways that are not asphalt or concrete and remember the five-second rule. Bring a water bottle and collapsible bowl for your dog to drink from. If your dog starts exhibiting any signs of heatstroke, stop walking immediately and help cool him down.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs Include:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

If your dog begins symptoms of heatstroke, contact emergency veterinary services. In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home to help them reach a healthy temperature.

Steps to Cooling Your Dog Down:

  1. Place them in a bathtub or a cool (not cold) body of water. If this is not an option run cool hose water over their coat.
  2. Allow water to fill up the tub, keeping their head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
  3. Apply a cold pack to your dog’s head to lower body temperature.
  4. Massage their limbs. This helps circulate their bloodstream and reduces the risks of shock.
  5. Let him drink as much water as he wants and add a pinch of salt to replace minerals lost from panting.

For more information of dog heatstroke, click here!

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Using Cooling Pads for Your Dog Will Help Him Get Through the Summer

The heat of the summer can be tough on your doggo. As the mercury rises and the sun’s rays belt down, some dogs have a harder time keeping themselves cool. New technology found in a dog cooling pad can make it easier for all our four-legged friends. Instead of your dog plopping down on your floor, they can have their own cooling pad to keep the sweltering temperatures at bay.

Keeping your dog cool during the summer is a simple process that is also very important. We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommend keeping your dog inside when you’re not home. This keeps them out of the hot temperatures in the comfort of air conditioning. If this is not an option, make sure your dog has access to shade and plenty of water while outside. Providing a cooling pad can also help your dog from overheating, which can lead to heat-related illnesses.

Nordic dogs with thick double coats are especially vulnerable to maladies caused from overheating (hyperthermia). Huskies, Australian Shepherds, and Pomeranian are just a few of the breeds of dogs that will benefit from a cooling pad. Many cooling pads significantly lessen the chance of heat stroke and hypertension. Also, dogs who have cushing’s disease, arthritis, and skin conditions benefit from having a cooling pad against their skin.

This article will discuss the different types of cooling pads found on the market and which ones we think are the best for your dog.

Different Cooling Pad Designs

Depending on your budget and your dog’s needs will affect what kind of cooling pad you will want to buy. There are cooling pads designed to go in a crate, outside, or as an addition to a dog bed.

Automatic Cooling Gel Pad

Most pet stores recommend this cooling pad design because it is the most effective and inexpensive option for your dog. An automatic cooling gel pad comes pre-filled with a cooling gel that is usually activated by pressure. When your dog lays on the pad, the pad will lower in temperature anywhere from 5-10 degrees lower than the outside temperature. Some brands will cool down even lower. Many automatic cooling gel pads will stay at this range for three to four hours before automatically recharging.

Water Filled Cooling Pad

These cooling pads are on the lower-tech side but are relatively cheap. Water filled cooling pads are good for temporary use when traveling with your dog. The design is simple. Just fill the pad with water and place it in the freezer or refrigerator. When the cooling pad reaches the desired temperature, place it out for your dog. The tricky thing about these cooling pads is finding the most suitable temperature for your dog. They will only stay cool for around 2 hours before you will need to place it back in the refrigerator.

Simple Gel Cooling Pad

This is probably the cheapest option for pet owners. The pre-filled gel remains at a constant temperature that is usually between five to ten degrees lower than the outside temperature. If you live in a climate that is not overwhelmingly hot, this might be the best option for your dog.

Our Top Five Favorite Options

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique considered tons of cooling pads on the market and whittled the list down to our top five favorites. We considered price, effectiveness, and features to find the best cooling pads.  

Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad for Kennels by Arf Pets

Features:

  • Automatic Recharging Cooling Relief for up to Three Hours
  • Flexible Mat Design
  • 100% Safe for Animals made with Non-Toxic & Latex Free Materials
  • Durable Gel Construction
  • Three Sizes

Price: $69.99–$104.99

 

Premium Pet Self Cooling Pad by The Green Shop Pet

Features:

  • Pressure Activated Cooling System
  • Cooling Relief for Up to 4 Hours
  • Automatically Recharges After 15 Minutes of Non-Use
  • Durable Gel Construction
  • Five Sizes

Price: $19.98–$59.99

 

Cool Bed III by K&H Pet Products

Features:

  • Water Saturated Cool Core Which Absorbs Pet’s Heat
  • Fill Once With No Tools Necessary
  • Durable Construction from Nylon & Vinyl
  • Recommended for Outdoor/Indoor Use
  • Three Sizes

Price: $27.22–$49.99

 

Coleman Pet Cooling Mat by Coleman

Features:

  • Maintained Five to Ten Degrees Less than Outside Temperature
  • No Refrigeration Necessary
  • 100% Non-Toxic
  • Three Sizes

Price: $17.88–$25.99

 

Chillz Pad Comfort Cooling Gel Pad by Hugs Pet Products

Features:

  • Rechargeable 100% Non-Toxic Gel Technology Absorbs Body Heat
  • Recommended for Indoor/Outdoor Use
  • Puncture Resistant Material
  • Three Sizes

Price: $12.98–$29.98

 

More Cooling Options for the Summer

Living in a warm climate and having a dog with a thick coat is not always an ideal situation for their comfort and health. It is important to maintain a grooming schedule during the summer months to ensure coat length is optimal. We recommend having your groomer trim down a dog’s belly fur so they have more skin contact with a cooling pad. Brushing is also especially important to keep a dog’s shedding hairs from getting trapped in their coat.

 

Besides setting up a cooling pad for your dog, you might consider taking them for a swim. If you don’t have access to a dog-friendly beach or lake, you can always get a paddling pool for your backyard. If your dog loves the water, they’ll love a paddling pool! Your dog can splash around in fresh water, giving them a break from the heat. Backyard misting systems are also a fun option that supplies your dog with refreshing water.

 

Also in this vein are cooling vests that you can wrap around your dog’s body. Many of these vests reflect solar radiation while evaporating, which draws heat away from a dog. Activating a cooling vest is as simple as soaking the vest in water, wringing the vest out, and placing it on your dog.

 

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique urge you to be mindful of the scorching temperatures when it comes to your dog. Preventing overheating is as simple as making sure your dog has enough water, access to shade, and is inside when alone. Getting a cooling pad or any other cooling system can help your dog be their most comfortable this summer!

 

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How Proper Brushing Can Control Plaque on Your Dog’s Teeth

Learning How to Remove Plaque On Dog’s Teeth Prevents Disease and Brightens Smiles

Do you wake up with your dog’s face inches away from your own? This is part of the nuzzling behavior that is their way of saying, “I love you.” The only thing that makes this moment less precious is when you begin noticing plaque on your dog’s teeth. Not only does this make their breath smell horrible but it can raise alarming oral hygiene flags.

Dental issues like gingivitis, periodontal disease, abscesses, and lost teeth all stem from a lack of oral care. When plaque is left to harden on a dog’s teeth it becomes tartar. As tartar accumulates along the gum line, it forces the gums away from the teeth. Eventually, this will expose the roots of teeth which were once covered by protective enamel. This can be incredibly painful for a dog. A dog will develop eating sensitivities and have chronic pain and discomfort.

Plaque and tartar can also build up underneath the gums. This is problematic too. Plaque build up underneath the gums causes the gum to pull away from the teeth, creating small pockets for bacteria to form. Internal diseases can also arise from plaque on a dog’s teeth.  When plaque builds up in a dog’s mouth it leads to an overabundance of bacteria. This bacteria can secrete into your dog’s bloodstream causing medical complications like kidney disease.

Excessive Plaque on Your Dog’s Teeth

Some dogs are predisposed to plaque accumulation. Toy breeds and brachycephalic (squishy faced breeds) often have issues because of their teeth have abnormal alignments or crowding problems. Although every dog will need regular teeth brushing, extra precaution should be given to the toy breeds.

Pets with chronic medical conditions are also susceptible to medical complications associated with bad oral hygiene. Animals with abnormal saliva quantity, gum health, an overabundance of flora (oral bacteria), and a disrupted pH balance in the mouth are predisposed to plaque on a dog’s teeth.

Plaque forms while your dog eats. Both canned foods and kibbles form into plaque that sticks to your dog’s teeth. The pre-domesticated dogs did not have an issue with plaque is that they chewed the bones of their prey. Chewing is a dog’s natural defense against plaque.Wild dog ancestors also weren’t eating a kibble diet and for this reason, we recommend the rotational diet.

Signs of Oral Disease:

  • Bad Breath
  • Brownish Crust on Teeth
  • Crust on Gumline
  • Red & Swollen Gums
  • Pain
  • Sensitive to Bleeding
  • Flinching When Area is Approached

How Can we Prevent Plaque Buildup?

The first and best way to promote healthy oral care is to brush your dog’s teeth. Veterinarians advise brushing at least twice a week, more depending on the severity of plaque buildup. Some vets even state that daily tooth brushing is imperative. If your dog already has a serious case of plaque and tartar buildup you might need a professional dental cleaning administered by a veterinarian.

If you establish healthy teeth brushing habits with your dog as a puppy, this makes the whole experience much easier. A dog that is accustomed to having his teeth brushed will respond better. A dog can even perceive this time as a treat if he likes the flavor of the toothpaste. Vigilant teeth brushing is the best method for plaque control but there are other efforts pet owners can do between brushings.

Giving your dog a chew is helpful. The mechanical action from the friction of chewing scrapes plaque away. Dental chews and rawhides are your best bet. A raw hide is one of the best natural ways to prevent plaque. Raw hides are usually one ingredient so you don’t need to worry about introducing your dog to harsh chemicals. There are also other health benefits that come with chewing raw hides for dogs. Not only do raw hides contain enzymes that are helpful in breaking down plaque, they contain vitamins like calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium.

There are dividing schools of thought in the veterinary community when it comes to dry kibble food. Some vets state that large kibble food promotes chewing and this is an effective deterrent of plaque. Others believe this does nothing for a dog’s oral care. Arguably, a raw diet is the most beneficial food choice for a dog. Raw meat is unprocessed with tons of proteins and natural enzymes. Giving a dog a solely a raw meat diet is not always practical. With the rotational diet—raw, fresh, canned, dry—your dog’s diet has diversity with multiple deliveries of nutrition.

Steps to Begin Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Again, the best time to start doing this is early, as a puppy, but it’s never too late to teach an old new tricks by preventing some major health problems.

  1. Find the Right Time. Setting a routine with your dog will help them get conditioned to having their teeth brushed. Begin when your dog is relaxed and properly exercised—after a walk.
  2. Get the Right Tools. Get a dog toothbrush that you are comfortable handling and fits your dog’s mouth. Dog toothbrushes have softer bristles that should point downwardly at the gum line at a 45° angle. Dog toothpaste typically come in two flavors, peanut butter, and poultry. Find one your dog likes. Never use human toothpaste, it is toxic for dogs!
  3. Introduce Brushing in Baby Steps. Begin just by holding the toothbrush by your dog’s mouth. Let him sniff it. Also, practice lifting your dog’s snout and rubbing your fingers over his gums with light pressure. This helps gauge your dog’s willingness for the procedure. Let your dog taste the toothpaste. If they like the taste, stick with this one. You want your dog to perceive teeth brushing as a treat.
  4. Find a Comfortable Position. Your posture should be relaxed and your dog should be calm. Kneel or sit to the side you’re planning on brushing. Don’t stand above your dog or hold them down in any way. This will exacerbate their stress levels.
  5. Begin Brushing. Once your dog is accustomed to the separate parts of brushing, put the steps together and go for a trial run. Apply toothpaste and brush with the bristles facing toward the gum. Start slow. Apply gentle pressure in a circular motion. Focus on the areas where plaque build up is the worst.
  6. Gentle Coaxing. Remember, this is a foreign experience for your dog. Soothe them with a calm voice and give them treats afterward for a positive association.
  7. Stop if Bleeding Occurs. It’s normal for a little bleeding to occur but if the gum line starts bleeding heavily, you should stop. Try again later, but if the gum line continues to bleed profusely you should seek veterinarian support.

Veterinarian Dental Cleaning

If you are attentive to your dog’s oral care and brush regularly you may escape ever needing to schedule a visit for a professional dental cleaning.

Some pets who are naturally susceptible to plaque on their teeth may need to visit a veterinary dentist twice a year. This will prevent oral infections, inflamed gums, and other medical complications right in their tracks.  

If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of oral disease it’s time to visit the dentist. A veterinary dentist will take digital dental x-rays and perform any necessary procedures like a tooth extraction. All medical procedures like this require anesthesia for your dog’s safety. Recently, anesthesia-free dentistry has been gaining popularity in the U.S. as a result of pet parents trying to avoid the costs of sedating their pets. In many cases, this is unsafe and inhumane. Veterinary clinics are mandated to anesthetize and intubate patients for dental procedures.

For more information on teeth cleaning and scaling, procedures click here.

What Splash and Dash Can do to Help

Accomplishing a dog’s oral health routine is difficult, especially if your dog is not accustomed to having their teeth brushed. Plaque on your dog’s teeth will only get worse if you don’t take measures against it. If plaque and tartar build up becomes severe enough, this can lead to very expensive veterinarian procedures and your dog can suffer through the whole process.

The key to avoiding this is good preventative care—daily teeth brushing and providing dental chews.

Many pet parents simply do not have enough time. Dog’s require a ton of maintenance between walking, grooming, and now add on brushing their teeth. Attention to your dog’s health is vitally important. You may consider finding a reputable groomer like Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique to help you and your dog.

Splash and Dash is unique in the grooming industry. They are the only pet spa to offer an unlimited bath and brush service. You pay a low monthly fee and can take your dog in for grooming at your leisure. Let Splash and Dash do the banal parts of taking care of your pets for you. This leaves you time to get back to the fun parts of owning a dog! Say goodbye to bad breath forever and rest easy knowing your dog’s oral health is in condition.

 

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Help! My Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish

No More Suffering When Your Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish; Know How to Get Rid of it!

I think at most, the longest my dog’s breath ever smelled truly minty was for a few hours. Just like humans, a dog’s breath will return to its natural state of less than fresh scent. The difference between us, and our dog’s, is we don’t explore the world with our tongues. So, depending on what your dog is getting into, will determine what his breath smells like. If your dog’s breath smells like fish, there are a few identified culprits of this potent problem.

Where are the Fish, Seriously Where?

Is it the Glands?

Many of us dog owners live miles from a lake or sea and our dog’s breath still smells like fish. It’s incomprehensible. One of the main reasons a dog’s breath smells like fish is actually even grosser than the fish possibility. Dogs have two anal glands bordering their anus—one at five and one at seven o’clock. When these glands ‘are expressed’ they empty out a very pungent fishy odor. As your dog proceeds to clean himself with his tongue, this odor transfers to their mouth.

The scent is like a Twitter update for dogs. Chemical information about a dog’s age, gender, emotional state, and more are picked up when your dog smells another dog’s anal secretions. Dogs will naturally express their anal sacs as they defecate. However some dogs—small breeds in particular—have trouble expressing and pressure builds up. To relieve the pressure they’ll scoot their butt across the floor or nip at their hind regions. Some dogs have transparent anal expressions while other’s fluid is brown and viscous. This makes it harder for a dog to naturally express them.

If you’re a brave soul, you can express the anal glands yourself by applying pressure to the glands. The best place to do this is in the bathtub—right before a bath. Wear gloves and use paper towels to keep the secretion contained. Pick up their tail, reach around the gland and pull forward. Or, you can have your dog groomer or veterinarian perform this procedure. We don’t blame you!

Is it the Plaque?

Dogs need regular teeth brushing too. The inside of a dog’s mouth is teeming with bacteria. When plaque buildup turns into tartar an overabundance of bacteria can lead to bad breath. Halitosis, gingivitis, and periodontal disease all stem from bad oral care for dogs.

An internal disease could also be the culprit. Kidney and liver failure can cause bad breath with a fishy smell. A sweet-rotten smell could indicate diabetes and breath smelling like urine is consistent with kidney disease. If your dog is having urinating or defecating issues this is a sign it’s time to visit a veterinarian immediately.

Is it what he’s Eating?

Some dog owners give their dog fish oil which contains omega-3 and omega-6 which are great for dogs for healthy cell growth. Just know dogs do burp and that burp will be invasive to the nostrils. Salmon and Whitefish are also typically used as ingredients in kibble dog food. Check your dog’s food ingredient list for fishmeal, Docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. These can also be a likely source of the fishy smell.

How Do I Get Rid of It?

Depending on the issue most causes of bad breath can be easily treated. Again, small breeds do have the most issues with anal gland expressions. Have your groomer take care of this for you. It’s cheaper than a veterinarian visit and your dog gets a bath afterward— ridding all the smells. Once their glands are good that fish odor will disappear.

If it’s a matter of oral hygiene, proactive measures are the best way to handle this. Make sure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week. Groomers can also take care of this process for you. Between teeth brushing sessions give your dog a chew toy or rawhide. The mechanical action from the friction scrapes away tartar by 70%, according to WebMD.

If it’s a more serious medical issue, seek out veterinary services immediately. Once your vet diagnoses the problem they can assist you with doggie lifestyle changes to make. If your dog’s breath smells like fish as a result of gastrointestinal abnormalities or other internal organ failures, more drastic steps may have to be taken. All this is preventable with good pet care.

If you’ve tried all of the above then it’s probably his food. Speak with your vet about the best high-quality food to provide for your dog. Splash and Dash recommend the rotational diet. This diet provides kibble, fresh, raw, and canned food for diverse sources of nutrients. Larger kibble dog foods also promote chewing which helps scrape plaque. The rule of thumb is the more protein the better. Cheap dog foods contain fillers and other unhealthy additives that may not only be making your dog’s breath smell like fish but is not providing an adequate amount of nutrition.

Besides all the above pathways to fresher breath, there are also water additives and minty dog chews that can help rid the smell. We hope your dog’s breath improves so you don’t have to be disgusted when they go for those tongue-filled kisses on your face!

Play Dirty. Live Clean!

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Hands Down The Best Dog Chew Toys of 2017

 Get the Safest and Best Dog Chew Toys for Your Doggie Nibbler

Some dogs are diggers. Some dogs are chewers. But all dogs are lovers! Chewing is a healthy behavior for dogs. If you have a new puppy that is making good-work out your furniture and shoes, then adding some of the best dog chew toys to his routine will help in his training. Giving a dog an alternative to chew on will help them differentiate between wanted and unwanted behavior.

Chewing is also healthy for a dog’s oral care. When dogs gnaw on chew toys, the friction can reduce plaque by 70%, according to WebMD. The mechanical action of chewing scrapes the plaque and prevents it from turning to tartar by isolating the calcium in the mouth. Dental chews and chew toys both promote this healthy chewing behavior.

Chew toys are also good for a dog’s mental stimulation. Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures and can get bored while alone in the house. Chew toys help curb boredom which will also curb unwanted behavior—chewing things that aren’t chew toys.  Dogs who are fanatic for the chewable side of life will be plenty happy with the best dog chew toys to play with while you’re gone.

Play it Safe

Before we dive into our favorite chew toys we want to discuss good practices that will keep your doggo safe.

Some less durable chew toys can break into small pieces and can become a choking hazard. Tennis balls are great for fetch but won’t stand up to the bite strength of your dog. Tennis balls don’t make the cut for the best dog chew toys. Squeaker toys are also widely popular. Dogs do love them. But make sure the toy is sturdy. Dogs may try and ingest the plastic squeaker buried in the toy.

Size and material also need to be taken into consideration. Make sure any dog chew toys are non-toxic and do not contain chemicals like lead. Also, plush toys are great for small dogs, but the larger breeds—aggressive chewers—will need something that is long-lasting. Some plush toys have cotton stuffing which can be messy and problematic if ingested.

What Kind of Dog Chew Toys are Out There?

There are several different styles of chew toys out there. Each one is unique with different purposes.

Plush Toys

Plush toys are great for fetching, snuggling, and for smaller breeds chewing. You will definitely want to get a stuffing free chew toy for safety. If the toy is machine-washable this is also a plus. Plush toys tend to get gross after some playtime. The reason dogs love plush toys so much is because the toy retains the dog’s scent. Dogs feel an ancestral ownership over their toy. Plush chew toys are also great for tug-o-war!

Rubber Chew Toys

Rubber chew toys are very safe and completely durable. Some have squeakers or can be filled with treats and peanut butter for an extra incentive to gnaw on. Many of these toys come with an indestructible sales pitch. Take this with a grain of salt. ‘Indestructible’ has yet to meet my dog.

Fibrous Rope & Knot Toys

Rope style toys are great for durability. It takes a lot for a dog to chew their way through the fibers and the curvature of the knots are great for scraping away plaque.  These toys are washable and if your dog swallows a few threads they’ll be able to pass through.

Rawhides

Rawhides are great! They’re half treat, half toy. The best part about a rawhide is that they have a single ingredient. The chews provide glucosamine for healthy joints, and a variety of other vitamins like calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium. The only downside to these is they do have an odor, but your dog will love it.

Top Five Best Dog Chew Toys

The KONG Wubba. The Wubba is made of durable reinforced nylon fabric that covers a tennis and squeaker ball. The nylon tails make the toy interactive—great for tug-o-war and fetch! This toy is more for playing than chewing but is durable enough to stand the test of the canine’s canines. KONG is a durable brand that is a trusted name in the pet industry.

Petstages Stuffing-Free Toys. Petstages are great squeaker toys for smaller dogs who love to cuddle and are drawn to that squeaker like Labradors to the water. The toy will keep squeaking even if it’s punctured and comes with two different squeaker pitches to signal to your dog. Two chambers within the toys maintain the sound even after vigorous chewing and shaking. Your dog will love it!

Bionic Bone. Bionic chew toys are great! They can bounce, float in water, and are dishwasher safe. They are also completely non-toxic and free of lead, BPA, and phthalate. The bones are strong and the hollow tube on the inside allows owners to hide treats or peanut butter inside for added deliciousness. Putting a treat inside the bone will give your dog some deserved mental stimulation and a treat.

RedBarn Filled Bones. Dogs go absolutely bonkers for these! RedBarn pet products have one toe in the best dog chew toys category, and one toe in most delicious treats for pups category. Best of all, the slow-roasted bones are naturally clean. No added flavors, colors, preservatives, or chemicals! Filled bones are a nutritious approach to chewing.

Simply American Beef Trachea Chew. These are five-star steaks for dogs. All Simply American chews are great including the Bully Sticks and Femur bones, but the trachea grooves are great for a dog’s oral care. Again, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or chemicals here—all natural. With these, your dog will chew his way to high heaven.

If you are still unsure about the best dog chew toys for your dog, speak with your groomer and veterinarian. Take into account your dog’s size and what makes them happy. If your dog isn’t much of a nibbler, get them a toy that can also be used for fetch. If your dog could chew his way to kingdom come, go with a rubber chew toy that will last!

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wants you to remember, Play Dirty, Live Clean!

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High Tech Pet Gear You Didn’t Know You Needed

High Tech Pet Gear & Gadgets

One of the best times to own a pet is right now. Today’s innovation makes way for modern pet gadgets that can make your dog’s life better, and your life easier. High tech pet gear first started taking off in 2009 when the category first became popular on Amazon. Since then, inventors and pet enthusiasts have collaborated on some really cutting-edge pet products.

Ranging from the practical to the strange, tons of high tech pet gear is available for you and your doggo. Even those who can’t own a pet due to allergies or living-facility restrictions may have options soon. Robotics researcher, Steve Yohana, developed what he calls the Haptic Creature—a robot designed to re-create touch based communication. The robot looks like a rabbit, with short fur on its belly and two ears. The Haptic Creature simulates purring, breathing, and ear twitching. Peculiar, yes, but Yohana says he’s had enough requests to make him interested marketing the product after his research is completed.

The availability of the quirkier gadgets makes sense as the pet industry continues to swell. More people own pets in the U.S. now more than ever. Meaning, more dogs to care for with high tech pet gear. In 2016, pet owners spent $66.75 billion. As the Millennials replace the older generations as the primary pet owners, many want their dog to have the best care available. This means going outside of the traditional toy box to find some updates on old classics and new gadgets to teach an old dog new tricks.

High Tech Novelty Items

Market experts say that high-tech novelty items are the most widely sought after products from pet parents. Items like gear that translates your cat’s meows into human languages. Or, treat feeders that give you the power to launch treats across the room like a T-shirt cannon at a baseball game are filling up aisles at pet stores.

  1. The Woofer

Putting clothes on dogs is cute, but it’s old news. Most pet boutiques have all the stylish clothing your dog needs, but few have clothes that are also speakers. The Woofer is a dog jacket that plays music! Now you can play music as you run with your dog or even turn the dog park into a dance party.

Yes, we’re thinking what you’re thinking. Veterinarian specialists have approved The Woofer as safe for your dog’s acute sense of hearing. The speaker is located on the backside of your dog, away from their ears, and volume levels are in the safe zone. The jacket comes in four sizes to fit breeds from a Jack Russell to a German Shepherd.

  1. Pet Snack Launcher

There are few companies making these hand held pet treat launchers that make giving your dog a treat make you feel like you’re in Kubrick’s “2001 Space Odyssey.” Most treat launchers are pretty cheap, but not all function the same, so ask your pet groomer or read reviews to get the highest-quality launcher.

Simply load up your dog’s favorite treats into the top cartridge and push the button. This interactive toy makes treat-time more of a game. You can master launching the treats into the eager jaws of your doggo for a seamless chomp.

  1. The CATTERBOX

There are a bunch of apps available on smartphones to help you decipher your dog’s bark, or your cat’s meow, into human languages. The most popular of all these devices is a collar called CATTERBOX. The collar translates your cat’s meows and generates a human voice deciphering the point your cat’s trying to get across. Usually, feed me. The collar works with the developer’s app and gives you various options for your cat’s new reproduced voice.

Cats aren’t the only ones having fun. There are dog translator apps available on the smartphones and the What’s Yapp dog collar is in beta version. These items combine hard science, imagination, and a fun ability to suspend your skepticism.

Functional Items & Practical Gadgets

Novelty products aren’t the only things you might consider getting for your dog. A variety of new high tech pet gear designed to make tedious parts of owning a dog less effortful are entering the marketplace too. For therapy dogs working with owners that have limited mobility, there are products that perform the physical parts of fetch for you.

  1. GoDogGo

This is automatic ball launcher is the world’s first fetch machine. The launcher has been around since 1999 and is now in its fourth generation of development. The way it works is simple. Train your dog to place the ball into the upper bucket part of the toy. The ball is then launched into the air for Fido to catch. Different weighted balls determine how high the ball will fly. A tennis ball will launch 6 feet high and be propelled about 11 feet from the device. A weighted GoDogGo ball will launch up to 15 feet away at the same vertical height.

This piece of high tech pet gear is perfect for dogs that are obsessed with fetch and demand that ball is thrown every minute of every second of the day.

  1. MagneClip

This is a low tech innovation with high tech functionality. This is one of those products that’s so simple you’re hitting yourself in the head for not thinking of it yourself. The MagneClip is a clip that attaches your dog’s collar to their leash. It uses a magnet instead of a spring loaded latch. Simple, but very handy!

Many dog owners know the struggle of holding waste bags in one hand, a water bottle in the other while trying to finagle the leash clip onto their dog’s collar. With spring loaded latches, the process becomes painstaking. Spring loaded clips jam and are meticulous. The MagneClip makes attaching a leash to a collar one fluid motion.

  1. Litter Robot II

This litter box looks more like a part of a space shuttle than high tech pet gear. But trust us, if you get one for your house, you’ll never go back to the low-tech life.  The Litter-Robot is a litter chamber that that has an upward-facing entryway where your cat can enter to do his business. The litter is sifted after every use and is automatically deposited into a drawer for reduced spilling and easy disposal which conserves litter.  A self-adjusting weight sensor detects a cat’s’ weight so every cat you own can use the Litter Robot. 

Pet Safety Items

Having a pet is almost the same amount of responsibility as having a child. Fortunately, there are awesome products out there to help pet owners mitigate that responsibility. As the future becomes the present, pet owners can care for their pets even when they’re not home.

  1. Petcube

This company is pioneering the ability for pet owners to interact with their pets remotely. Both the Petcube play and Petcube bite feature 2-way audio that lets your pet hear you and vice versa. Each also streams 1080p HD video equipped to rotate on a 138°  wide angle view with 3x zoom capability.

These features make it so that you can see your pet wherever he is in the room. Motion detection helps the family keep in touch and alerts you when your pet wakes up or if there are any disturbances in your home. The Petcube play comes with a built-in laser toy while the Petcube bites allow you to give your dog a treat from your phone.

  1. Komfort Pets Climate-Controlled Pet Carrier

For pet owners who find themselves frequently traveling with their animals, this climate-controlled pet carrier will keep their dogs cool even in scorching temperatures. The carrier can hold dogs up to 150 lbs and will cool and heat as needed with an LED monitor used to control the temperature.

  1. Voyce Dog Collar

The Voyce dog collar is a non-invasive and autonomous data health metric tracker. The collar uses IoT technology to give owners analytics on their dog’s health in real-time. It’s like a Fitbit for your dog!

Voyce Measures the following:

  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Blood Pressure
  • Quality of Rest
  • Resting Respiratory Rate
  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Distance Traveled
  • Calories Burned
  • Activity & Intensity
  • Light
  • Core Body Temperature

The data Voyce collects is seamlessly delivered in adaptable integration options with easy-to-navigate viewing dashboards. Voyce can also be integrated into other sensor technologies. Now pet owners have access to clinical data at all times which is backed up on the cloud.

The Future of High Tech Pet Gear

Every day engineers and inventors are dreaming up even cooler high tech pet gear every day. Stay posted to Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique for even more updates and reviews!

 

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Heat Stroke Signs to Tell Your Dog is in Distress

 

Who doesn’t love summer? The sun is soaring, high in the sky, beckoning us all out to the beaches, BBQs, and all the fun-filled vacation spots. You’re happy because work is slowing down. The kids are happy because school’s out. The dog is happy because all of a sudden, everyone’s home! But as we crank our A/Cs up and take cover in the shade, it’s important to watch out for dog heat stroke signs. A dog’s coat is suitable to keep a dog warm through the blistering winter, but many dogs are susceptible to heat stroke if we’re not careful.  

Dogs with squishy faces ( brachycephalic) like Pugs and Shar-Peis are extra sensitive to hot weather because of their anatomy. Nordic dogs with double coats like Pomeranians and Huskies may also have a hard time cooling off. Yet all breeds can be affected by heat stroke. When taking long walks or playing at the dog beach, watch for signs of heatstroke. If your dog begins to overheat there are some easy ways to quickly cool them down before things get out of hand.

Don’t let the sun keep you away from the summer fun! This article will show you dog heat stroke signs and the best way to prevent overheating.

What is Heat Stroke?

There are two veterinary risks to dogs exposed to an overabundance of heat. The first is hyperthermia, which is an elevation in body temperature that exceeds the accepted normal range. This is different than hypothermia, which is  when a dog loses more body heat than can be produced. A healthy dog’s body temperature floats between 101°  to 102.5° degrees Fahrenheit (38.3°  to 39.2°  Celsius). So any temperature reading over a 103° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) is in the hyperthermia range.

Heat stroke is characterized as either non-fever hyperthermia that takes place when a dog’s heat regulating body mechanisms of the body cannot accommodate the excess body heat. Veterinarians state that a heat stroke sets in at 106° (41°C) or above. When a dog’s internal temperature gets this high this can lead to organ dysfunction or worse organ failure.

A fever hyperthermia develops with inflammation occurring in the body similar to the kind that a bacterial infection would produce. Non-fever occurs without signs of inflammation when a dog is overheated. All non-fever hyperthermia results from increased body temperature. Other causes of non-fever hyperthermia include excessive exercise, disproportionate levels of thyroid hormones, or lesions in the hypothalamus—a region in the brain that regulates the nervous system. The hypothalamus controls body temperature and other bodily mechanics.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs to Watch For

Heavy Panting

Every dog lover knows that instead of sweating a dog cools himself down by panting. Moisture is drawn from air passing over a dog’s tongue that circulates cooling down their body. Dogs do sweat through their paws to rid their bodies of heat but this is not the primary way of ventilating.

During the hot summers, a dog will usually pant regularly. There are stages of panting that show dog owners their dog is overheating. What pet parents need to watch for is excessive and heavy panting. Typical panting begins with a slightly parted mouth while your dog pants rhythmically. As their internal body temperature increases, the degrees of panting look more extreme. When a dog opens their mouth wide, with a swollen tongue hanging out to the side, this is one the first dog heat stroke signs. If your dog is salivating and drooling excessively this is also a red flag.

Fast or Irregular Heart Beats

Another sign your dog might be overheating is racing or irregular heartbeat. When a dog’s heart rate increases this is the body’s defense from the heat. The blood flow is pumped to the limbs away from any vital organs where damage can occur. If you need to check your dog’s heart rate on the spot without veterinary assistance put your hand to your dog’s chest. Count how many pulses you feel in 15 seconds, then multiply this number by four. A normal heart rate is between 60 and 140 beats per minute.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs Include:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

If you observe your dog showing any signs of heat stroke, get veterinary service immediately!

What Causes Overheating in Dogs?

Heat stroke is easy to prevent and the primary cause is severe environmental heat and humidity. This can happen when a dog is left outside all day, in a hot car, ventilated room, and a groomer drying cage. All these situations can be avoided and are a result of carelessness.

Another cause of heat stroke is upper airway disease which interferes with normal breathing. When airflow is constricted, this impedes a dog’s ability to circulate air to cool down. Other culprits of heat stroke are diseases like paralysis of the voice box (larynx), heart or blood vessel disease, and nervous-system disease.

Poisoning can also lead toward seizures and an abnormal increase in body temperature which are dog heat stroke signs. Poisonous compounds found in pesticides made with strychnine, which kills small vertebrates, are very harmful to dogs.

Lastly, any dog that is exercising in the heat needs to be monitored closely.  Heat exacerbates a dog’s temperature and when they are exerting themselves in hot temperatures they will need breaks to cool down.

Preventing Heat Stroke is Simple; Here’s How

Lucky for pet parents, like most dangers, heat stroke is easy to prevent. Before dog heat stroke signs even show up there are steps we can all take to keep our dogs safe.

The most common scenario of dog heat stroke is leaving a poor pup in the car on a hot summer day. Even with the windows cracked, car temperatures can reach life threatening sweltering conditions quickly. Pet owners should also make sure dogs aren’t overexposed to hot temperatures without access to fresh water and shade. Even long walks in the sun can be hazardous. Dogs that are more susceptible to temperature (the squishy-faced ones) like Pugs, Bull Dogs, Shih Tzu etc. will need plenty of ventilation.

The two easiest ways of keeping your dog’s temperature in a healthy range are providing cool water and shady areas.

Pet Care for an Overheated Dog

If you begin noticing dog heat stroke signs get your dog into a cooler environment immediately. Contact a veterinarian and in the meantime, there are steps you can take to get their temperature back to normal.

Put your dog in a cool bath tub or run hose water over their coat. Take care to make sure your dog’s head is thoroughly coated with water. If your dog is unconscious ensure water does not enter their nose or mouth. If needed you can apply a frozen pack to their head only. Make sure the water is cool but not cold. Overly cold water will actually counteract a dog’s cooling process, but a package of frozen veggies on their head helps.

Massaging your dog’s legs is also helpful. Rubbing their legs will stimulate blood circulation which will prevent shock. Of course, during all these steps, let your dog drink as much fresh water as he wants. Adding a small pinch of salt to his dog bowl will also replace any minerals he’s lost while panting.

Veterinary Care

If your dog’s heat stroke case is severe a vet treatment will replace lost fluids and minerals. This will be done through intravenous fluid therapy. A vet will also most likely check for secondary complications like kidney failure, brain injury, abnormal clotting, changes in blood pressure, and amount of electrolytes.

Play Safe!

Keeping our dogs safe is an easy task because they’re so cute and we love them so much! On hot days, simple common sense is the best way to prevent heat stroke. Teach your family to spot dog heat stroke signs so you all can enjoy the summer!

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Ways to Identify Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs

With the summer underway and deer ticks searching for hosts, dog owners will want to know how to identify symptoms of Lyme disease and how to prevent their dog from contracting the disease. Lyme disease in dogs is treatable but can be a serious issue when the infection leads to other harmful medical issues.

Lyme disease ( borreliosis) stems from Borrelia burgdorferi, a specific bacteria called spirochete which is carried by deer ticks. The disease was first diagnosed in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975, but cases have been documented in all 50 states. This is most likely from people traveling to endemic areas—regions where tick populations are prevalent—and returning to their home state. There is evidence that Lyme disease has existed in the wild long before humans discovered the issue.

The eastern coastal regions that are close to densely wooded areas and have high populations of white-tailed deer have a significantly higher prevalence of Lyme disease. Upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota are states with high concentration levels of deer ticks. If your dog plays outside in the summer months, you’ll want to take extra precaution.

How is Lyme Disease in Dogs Transmitted?

The transmission of Lyme disease is dependent on the life cycle of the black-legged deer tick. The tick goes through three stages in life. In the spring, the larvae hatch from eggs and will find a host to feed on—a small mammal like the white-footed mouse. If the mammal the tick latches itself onto is infected, the larvae will also become infected.

When the cool weather comes the larvae will winter over and wait to find another host for the spring as a nymph. Once attached to another mammal, the nymph can molt and reach the final stage of adulthood. Deer ticks get their name because they are most commonly attach themselves to the white-tail deer that rub up against vegetation the ticks are waiting on. Deer ticks can attach themselves to humans, dogs, and any other mammal walking through forested areas.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

An infected tick must be attached to a dog for 48 hours for the transmission of the disease to contract. If the tick is removed before this, the infection will not be contracted. This makes checking your dog for ticks a good practice.

Only 5-10% of infected dogs develop symptoms. Lameness, due to inflammation of the joints, is the most common medical symptom of Lyme disease. What makes the disease even more potentially harmful are the other medical complications that derive from infection.

Progressive kidney disease, nervous system disease, and heart complications can occur after transmission of Lyme disease. If you spot any of these symptoms in your dog’s behavior, please seek out veterinary services immediately. Senior dogs with Lyme disease and arthritis will be in more severe pain than younger dogs. The inflammation of their joints can impair their mobility.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Stiffness
  • Arched Back
  • Difficult Breathing
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Depression
  • Superficial Lymph nodes around the area of the bite.
  • Heart Abnormalities
  • Nervous System Complications

Humans can also contract Lyme disease so if your pet is diagnosed you will also want to contact your physician. Your dog can bring in a tick from outdoors or chances are you hiked the same area of tick infested land.

How Are Dogs Treated?

Your veterinarian will administer a series of blood tests to detect certain antibodies developed by a dog infected with the B.  burgdorferi bacteria. Many dogs’ blood tests come back positive even if your dog has not contracted Lyme disease. Exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi will yield a positive blood test result. Most likely the dog was exposed to the bacteria but was able to fight the infection off without treatment.

Treating Lyme disease is straightforward. Veterinarians will prescribe a tetracycline or penicillin based antibiotic. Dogs will need to take the antibiotics for at least 14 days, but a 30-day regimen is recommended to sufficiently clear the organism. There have been a few cases where after 30 days of antibiotic treatment a dog has relapsed and will never completely rid themselves of the infection. However, the majority of animals that receive antibiotics respond well to treatment.

Prevention & How to Check Your Dog for Ticks

During tick season be aware of areas that could have tick infestations and monitor your dog’s coat after hiking through thick brush.

Tick Control:

  • Vaccination. If your dogs live in an eastern coastal state near the woods it might be worth getting your dog vaccinated. However, some medical experts have criticized vaccinating for Lyme disease in dogs, stating that is ineffective.
  • Topical Insecticides. There are various effective insect repellents on the market like K-9 Advantix or Spot On for Dogs. Applying these to your dog will ensure that if a tick bites your dog it will die and release within 12 hours.
  • Tick Collars. Using a tick collar with the active ingredient Amitraz which will repel ticks but not fleas.

After your dog adventures outside look for red irritated areas that are inflamed. This could be a possible tick bite. Check your dog’s coat by running your fingers through their coat like a comb feeling for lumps as you go. If you see any bumps, make note of its position but do not force a comb through the area. This will make the bite more painful. You will also need to check their ears with a flashlight. If your dog is showing any symptoms of Lyme disease, please seek out a veterinary diagnosis.

 

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The Damage of Training Dogs to Walk on Their Hind Legs

Viral Videos of Dogs Walking on Hind Legs Stirs Controversy and Spreads Misleading Training Techniques

For the past few months, a barrage of videos showing dogs walking on their hind legs have been going viral all over the internet. The most famous of these is a brown Poodle wandering around China’s Sichuan province. The dog is dressed in girl’s clothing. The reactions in the video mirror the ones posted online. Many think the video is precious without knowing the real implications behind this kind of dog training.

Another video from Toronto that was also widely circulated on the internet shows a professional dog walker dragging a dog by his hind legs. The dog was in a harness and was being lifted by a leash. Just as disturbing is that the same dog walker had other dogs walking beside him without a leash. The dogs were walking and jumping in the streets with oncoming traffic close by. The city’s municipal licensing and standards committee have since taken actions to tighten up regulations for professional dog walkers.

Are Dogs Walking on Hind Legs in Medical Danger?

Most veterinarians agree, that yes, a dog walking on hind legs is not natural. The posture can be harmful if the dog walks like this for a prolonged period of time. “If it’s chronic that they’re on their legs like that, then it’s not a natural posture for a dog to be in, so it does produce more wear and tear on the joints,” Dr. Patrica Alderson tells GlobalNews. “This can lead to muscle and joint disease.”

Many aging dogs like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are already predisposed to diseases that cause limb weakness and in bad cases, paralysis in the hind legs.  Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) usually occurs in dog’s over five-years-old. A dog will begin to lose muscle coordination, balance, and will develop paralysis in the hind legs that can spread forward. Training dogs to walk on their hind legs can exacerbate this.

Unnecessary pressure on joints and ligaments can cause inflammation and tearing. Senior dogs can develop osteoarthritis which will prevent them from getting into the car or climbing up stairs. A great way to prevent this is by providing foods packed with nutrients found in dog broth like glucosamine. These compounds act like hormones when ingested—stimulating cells called fibroblasts that lay down collagen in joints, tendons, and ligaments.

These Poor Dogs are Most Likely Abused

A 15-minute video found within a pen-drive in a shopping mall in Malaysia shows graphic footage of a man beating a Poodle into standing on her hind legs. This video and others have surfaced alongside the cutesy videos showing what is more than likely the truth about the situation behind a dog walking on hind legs.

Many animal rights activists have released statements condemning the dog owners in these videos. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, commonly known by their acronym, PETA, are controversial leaders in animal rights. PETA takes fringe stances on many issues but videos surfacing that actually show the abuse can’t be ignored.

“Dogs have four legs for a reason,” says Elisa Allen, director of PETA.  They don’t naturally walk on two—and certainly not over long distances—because it can be uncomfortable and cause them physical injury. There are many ways that people can have fun with their dogs which are respectful and don’t involve ridiculing them.”

One of the dog owners from these videos has come forward stating that his dog, Dou Dou, has a congenital condition and has been walking on hind legs since she was a puppy. We at Splash and Dash hope that this is true. We have expectations that dog owners are using humane training with positive reinforcements and are careful not to overburden their dogs. Sadly this is not always the case.

Cool Tricks that Aren’t Harmful

Why potentially injure your dog when there are so many other cool tricks out there? Many advanced dog training tricks are movements that your dog can perform naturally. Best of all you don’t need an agility course, or even need to hire a dog trainer to show your dog how to pull these tricks off. You only need a few treats, some patience, and your dog!

Cool Tricks:

  • Kiss
  • Bark/Speak on Command
  • Shake Hands
  • Fetch
  • Roll Over
  • Play Dead
  • Spin
  • Roll Over
  • Leave It

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