FAQS
How do you Cope with a High Energy Dog?
How can you Prevent Pet Fleas?
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Can you give me Tips on Keeping my Dog Safe
Why do Dogs Pant?
Can you Advise on Feeding Older Dogs?
What Happens if my Dog Eats Chocolate or Other Poisons?
Why do Dogs Eat Poop?
Do you have any Puppy House Training Tips?
 
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 How do you Cope with a High Energy Dog?
Energy is fundamental to the survival of any living thing and all creatures process their energy in different ways that are best for the type of life they lead. Dogs are quite high on the scale when it comes to the most energetic animals and certain dogs are much higher on that scale than others.

The reason that dogs such as Dalmatians, Jack Russells, Border Collies and Retrievers are so abundant with energy is because they all have a high metabolic rate, which means they process nutrients into energy very efficiently. The metabolic rate dictates how quickly or slowly nutrients such as fat and carbohydrates are processed into energy.

The metabolic rate also controls the body heat of the dog; it maintains it at a constant 101.5-102 degrees. At its slowest, the metabolic rate will enable the body to perform basal functions such as heart repair and digestion. If the metabolic rate slips below this rate for any reason, the dog will begin to die.

As a rule, the breeds of dog that are notoriously high in energy are difficult to train and are constantly testing the patience of their owner. However, this does not have to be the case. Given the right amount of training and attention, these dogs can prove to be the most effective working dogs and the most loyal companions.

Regular exercise is a must for these dogs, otherwise they will take it upon themselves to exercise inside the house, or worse, fail to burn off any of the energy and become obese. Mental stimulation is also essential to prevent boredom. Always have a good supply of strong, long lasting chewy toys to avoid constant trips to the shoe shop. If you have a retriever, then encourage him to fetch things when you play.

If you have a high energy dog of any kind, encourage him to do what he was bred for, which is a healthy combination of mental and physical stimulation.

A good diet is essential for these dogs. Presumably the owners of such dogs would consider the high energy factor an asset rather than a hindrance and therefore would want to nurture this. A high energy diet is essential to their good health, because they need the energy to burn off fats. They need high quantities of carbohydrates and protein to store as energy and animal fats to use as quick energy.

Given the right exercise, training and diet, the high energy dog will be the ideal companion for the high energy family, or even an averagely active family.
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 How can you Prevent Pet Fleas?
Fleas not only cause intense irritation to your dog, they can also transmit other nasty diseases such as tapeworm. Ensuring your dog is living in a clean environment is the most important aspect of keeping him flea-free during the summer and autumn months.

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Understanding the life of the flea is important if you are to successfully keep them away from your pet and your home. An adult female can lay one egg per hour for every hour of her life (usually three months). Fleas thrive in heat and humidity and are most active in summer and autumn.

You can prevent fleas indoors by vacuuming your home thoroughly and frequently, paying close attention to corners, cracks and crevices. Dispose of vacuum cleaner bags conscientiously, as adult fleas can escape and re-lay eggs. Keeping fleas away in the first place is far easier than trying to eradicate the presence of existing fleas.

If your dog has been infested with fleas already, you should remove them by using a fine-toothed comb and dropping the fleas into soapy water to drown them.

Wash your dog's pet bedding in hot, soapy water weekly; this is the most likely site for flea eggs and larvae to thrive.

Trim shrubbery and keep grass short to increase sunlight, as flea larvae cannot survive in hot, dry areas. Remove piles of debris in areas close to your home.

Bathe your dog weekly if possible. If bathing is not an option, speak to your vet about other means of cleaning your dog.

Watch your dog for the tell-tale signs of flea trouble, which include:
  • Excessive scratching and biting especially around the tail and lower back
  • “Flea debris” (black, granular dried blood)
  • Fleas themselves on the skin
  • Possibly raw patches where the animal has been biting and scratching himself

Talk to your veterinarian about various treatments for your flea-plagued pet. A flea repellent applied monthly to the skin is usually very effective; a monthly pill that prevents fleas from reproducing but doesn’t kill adult fleas and multipurpose products that prevent flea reproduction and control heartworms, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms. Also consider flea collars and flea powders.
Look into chemical flea-treatment products to apply by hand around the environment in spray or powder form. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on the best product and how to use it.

Advice:
Be diligent in your exterminating efforts. A flea pupa while in the cocoon is impervious to treatment and can live for eight months without feeding.

Veterinarians are sceptical of homemade flea remedies such as garlic, vinegar, vitamin C and kelp.
Call on a professional exterminator for severe indoor and outdoor infestations.

Warnings:
Be very careful with all insecticides to be used on pets or around your home. Read directions carefully.

Never apply a flea product to a cat or kitten unless it is labelled as safe for cats. Cats are very sensitive to insecticides.
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 Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
No. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, although the exact reason why they pose such a threat is not known. Symptoms can include vomiting and hyperactivity.
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 Can you give me Tips on Keeping my Dog Safe?
Some of the most common pet injuries and accidents that can occur in your home are choking, electrical shock, household chemical poisoning, puncture wounds and fractures – all of which can be prevented by applying simple, commonsense actions. Below is a list of ways to prevent injuries to your pets.

First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that in the event of an emergency, or even minor situations, you should always call your veterinarian and have your dog examined to ensure that you didn't miss a serious problem. In addition, make sure that he is getting his yearly check-up so the vet can identify any problems to treat before it gets worse.

Electrical Hazards - Puppies and dogs are attracted to electrical wires and may chew on them, causing a severe burn in their mouths. Make sure that all wires are safely put away, secured with a duct tape, or out of your dog's sight.

Food And Exercise - Table scraps are usually loaded with fat and should not be given to any dog. The best diet for your dog is homemade foods that are recommended by your veterinarian or a high-quality commercial dog food. In addition, make sure that his bowl is always filled with fresh water. Wait at least one hour after this meal before taking him out for exercise. Also, do not exercise him for too long or too hard. Depending on his breed, a 15 minute walk each day may be all that his body needs. Consult your vet if you are unsure about the amount of exercise your dog requires.

Toxic Chemicals And Poisons - Keep your dog away from bleaches, detergents, cleaners, polishes and all household chemicals. Houseplants should also be out of your dog's reach. Several plants can make your pet sick, severely ill, or even lead to death. In addition, keep all medicines out of reach.

Food - Please click here for a list of foods that you should avoid giving your dog. (Note for web designer: This is hyperlinked to “When a Dog Eats Bad Things”)

Rubbish - Keep waste containers tightly closed both inside and outside your house.

Restraint - Keep your dog on a lead when you take him out in public.

Travelling in the Car - Have a carrier or a kennel that is securely placed in the car. Do not put him in the back of a pickup truck and do not let him stick his head out of the windows.
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 Why do Dogs Pant?
Unlike humans, dogs can’t take their clothes off when they get too hot. Regardless of the weather, dogs are always wearing their jackets.

When our body temperatures get too high we sweat, dress in lighter clothes and do what we can to avoid situations likely to make us even hotter.

Our ability to sweat is really the main difference though. Sweating helps our skin breathe and cools us down when our brains calculate that we are too hot.

Now think about your dog. They can hardly sweat through their fur and although they can sweat a little from their pads, they tend to generate heat rather than sweat through their skin.

That’s part of the reason why dogs die in hot cars. As they get hotter and hotter they radiate heat, which in turn hearts up the area around them, subsequently making them even hotter, which can lead to their death.
So, because dogs can’t sweat like we can, they pant. Dogs pant because it helps them circulate air quickly over the moist tissue in their mouth and on their tongue.

A panting dog is trying to rid itself of as much heat as possible using its only effective cooling system. Panting is a dog’s own unique method of keeping itself cool.
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 Can you Advise on Feeding Older Dogs?
In the hope that your older dog can enjoy his golden age, it is wise to select a nutritionally wholesome, additive-free, all-natural dog food.

The rewards would be a constant improvement in the overall health of animals fed on such a natural diet. Such rewards include the improvement of almost every disease and condition affected by nutritional deficiencies.

Food is a highly significant factor in your older dog's health. The broadest food classifications are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The three classifications help us in assessing the major components of a food. Foods are generally considered to be of the category that predominates in their composition. However, this does not mean that a carbohydrate such as wheat contains no protein because it does, or that a protein such as liver contains no carbohydrates because it certainly does. As with humans, pets need a balanced ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in their diet in order to maintain optimum health.

Proteins are vital to the growth and development of all body tissues. Protein helps in the formation of hormones; it regulates the acid-alkaline and water balances and it helps the body to form enzymes and antibodies. Protein also aids in the formation of milk during lactation and in the process of blood clotting. Protein can be used as an energy source when fats and carbohydrates are insufficient in the diet.
Fats (lipids) are the most concentrated energy source in the diet. When oxidised, fats yield more than twice the calories of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats act as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. By helping vitamin D to be absorbed, fats make calcium more available to body tissues. Fats also aid in the conversion of carotene to vitamin A. Fats insulate major organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys and help to maintain body heat.

Carbohydrates are the major source of energy for all bodily functions. They are a splendid source of quick energy. They assist in the digestion of other foods and they are essential in regulating protein and fat metabolism. Carbohydrates are considered the fuel in which the fat burns. Carbohydrates consist of sugars, starches and cellulose. Simple sugars, as in honey and fruits, are easily digested.
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 What Happens if my Dog Eats Chocolate or Other Poisons?
Chocolate: Most dog owners are now aware that chocolate has the capacity to seriously harm or even kill our greedy, canine pals. Many vets experience calls from dog owners who are panic stricken because their pet has eaten a bar of chocolate by mistake, or somebody has given their dog some chocolate without realising the potential harm it can do. A single, shop purchased bar of chocolate is not going to kill your dog. It's unlikely it would even harm the dog to any great extent, so let's not get too anxious.

Your dog has to ingest a substantial amount of chocolate to feel any negative effects. It is the caffeine and theobromine in chocolate that is poisonous to your dog. Dark baker's chocolate is most toxic to your dog since it contains a high amount of caffeine and theobromine. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have lower amounts of caffeine.

Rat Poison: Rat poison can be found in alleys and streets near dustbins. Rat poison comes in pellet form - red or green. Rat poison is tasty to rats and, unfortunately, to dogs too.

If your dog has ingested some rat poison, call your vet immediately. Rat poison can cause your dog to bleed from his mouth, nose and rectal area. If not treated quickly, your dog can bleed to death. If your dog happens to eat a rat that has been poisoned, your dog can be affected depending upon the amount of poison the rat ingested. Play it safe by calling your vet immediately.

Extermination: When your house is being exterminated, ask your exterminator how long you should keep your dog away from the rooms that are being treated. Keep your dog from walking in areas that may still be slightly wet with pesticide. The pesticide can get on his paws, which will be transferred to his mouth if he starts licking them.

Household Cleaners and Disinfectants: If your dog has ingested household cleaners or disinfectants, then read the instruction label on the back to see if vomiting needs to be induced. You don't want to induce vomiting with certain products because this can irritate the oesophagus. You can induce vomiting by putting your finger down your dog's throat, if you are comfortable doing this. Otherwise, give your dog a hydrogen peroxide solution (one tablespoon per 30 pounds of your dog’s body weight).

House Plants: There are numerous household plants that are toxic for your dog. Some of the popular houseplants that are toxic include philodendrons, azaleas, rhododendron, Easter lilies, amaryllis, fox glove and Japanese lilies. Consult with your vet if you have any questions about house plants that you may have in your house.
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 Why do Dogs Eat Poop?
Children will often do crazy things because they saw their friends do them first. But once is usually enough. They won't jump out of a tree or put their fingers in a candle flame after the first painful experience. Dogs, however, will return to eating dung again and again.

Most experts have had to conclude that there's more at work than simple imitation. There are times when that includes engaging in the least desirable behaviour - eating dung. But they do, so there has to be something about it that they like.

This isn't all that surprising. Dogs have always been scavengers. They'll eat road kill as readily as their suppers. Rubbish, pond muck and dead sparrows on the lawn are no less appetising. Dogs start getting hungry whenever they sniff something with a pungent smell and that includes dung.  

Not all dung tastes the same, of course. Dogs seem to have different preferences. Some are attracted to the stools of deer, cows, or horses, whereas others will eat the stools of other dogs. And a great many dogs are attracted to cat droppings, possibly because cat foods are very high in protein and the dogs are going after undigested nutrients.

The Attention Factor
Dogs, no less than children, crave attention and they do whatever it takes to get it, including things they know you hate. This probably explains why some dogs only eat dung when their owners are around to watch. It's probably the equivalent of a 6-year-old saying a dirty word and then watching for his parents' reaction. "Look at me," the dog is saying.

Boredom has something to do with it too. Dogs entertain themselves by putting things in their mouths. When not much is happening, they often nose around their environment, picking up sticks and putting them down, even mouthing rocks on occasion. Since they aren't offended by the smell or taste of dung, it's just another thing for them to pick up, play with and explore.

Dogs occasionally eat so much dung that it makes them sick. For the most part, however, it's not likely to make them sick - although they may get worms from eating the stools of an infected animal. Their digestive tracts are very forgiving.

The people who live with dogs, however, are less forgiving. For one thing, it's an ugly sight that no one wants to watch. There's also the fact that dogs who eat dung have extremely bad breath. It takes some serious devotion to get past that!

Poop-Eating Tip: Veterinarians sometimes recommend adding garlic, canned pumpkin, or meat tenderiser to a dung-eating dog's food. Assuming that it's his own dung that he's attracted do, these ingredients may give it a taste he dislikes - although it's hard to imagine that anything could make it taste worse than it already does. This isn't a perfect solution, but it does work for some dogs.
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 Do you have any Puppy House Training Tips?
You should start training your puppy as soon as you can, but don't be surprised if you have a few accidents to begin with. As your puppy will relieve him/herself frequently, there will probably be a few accidents to begin with, but you should never punish the puppy as this could cause submissive urination when you tell him/her off. Most of the success can depend upon how well you can judge when your puppy needs to go to the toilet.

The common times are after playing, when your dog gets excited, after walking and after eating. Some dogs circle around the floor and sniff the floor before they go to the toilet. However, before you start to house train your puppy, you should decide whether you are going to paper or house train him/her.

If you are at home most of the time and access to outside is easy, house training will be easier for you.

After a few weeks, you will recognise what your dog does to let you know that he needs to be let out, e.g. he may run around in circles next to the door where they usually exit to go to the toilet. Dogs vary on what they do to let you know when they need to be let out for the toilet, so you just need to study your puppy until you realise what he does to let you know. If you decide paper training your puppy will be easier, e.g. if you live in a flat or if you are out all day, this is probably the easiest option for you. It also makes good back up for house training as you are bound to have a few accidents along the way.

The aim of paper training is to teach your puppy to relieve himself on the newspaper that you eventually place outside. It is a fairly easy process. Confine your puppy to an easily cleaned room and cover the floor in newspaper. When you notice your puppy developing a preference to one area of the room, remove the rest of the paper but leave it in the spot your puppy liked. You can then gradually move the paper towards the door. On a nice day, place the place the paper outside and the next day remove it altogether.
Hopefully, the puppy will now relieve itself outside. However, you should look for the tell-tale signs of your puppy looking for the paper next to the door. Should you notice this, let your puppy out.

When your puppy reaches the stage where he doesn't go to the toilet as frequently, you can progress to full house training. Some dogs don't like the feeling of paper under their feet; usually those who circle when they need the toilet. In this case you should progress straight to house training your puppy.
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