We had the pleasure to travel the UK for half a year and made friends with a lot of dogs, a few cats, a rabbit and chickens during our house sits. We give all of them space on our pet sitting gallery of the UK. A colourful bouquet of characterful animals. Continue reading ‘Our’ Pets Around The UK
Where is Killearn? I thought, and went on Google Maps to see, if this house sit would be something for us. We had been contacted by a mother of three children which house sitter had let her down near term. Luckily we had a gap in our house sitting agenda and were able to help out as we were already in Scotland. ‘Oh wow!’ I exclaimed. ‘It’s only half an hour drive and almost in Lochlomond And Trossachs National Park. That’s awesome!’ Continue reading House Sit In Scotland With Chewing Monster
While it has become common to watch out for the signs of life-threatening food allergies in young children, it still comes as a surprise to some dog parents that their four-legged companions can also suffer from food allergies.
Just like in humans, a food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly believes a specific food is harmful. The dog’s immune system responds with antibodies, which triggers a series of dangerous symptoms.
Many seemingly random symptoms can be signs of a food allergy in a dog. These include:
- Chronic ear inflammation
- Paw biting
- Poor coat quality
- Obsessive licking
Other symptoms more closely mimic symptoms seen in humans with food allergies, such as:
- Skin rash
- Chronic diarrhea
- Itchy rear end
- Chronic gas
The more the dog is exposed to the allergen, the more severe the reaction will become. Even if your dog is only irritated by the symptoms initially, they could be life-threatening the next time they eat the problem food.
Kinds of foods to watch out for
Dogs can be allergic to nearly any specific food ingredient. However, there are certain meats and grains that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog. These include:
If your dog is allergic to one ingredient, she’s likely allergic to other ingredients as well.
To isolate which foods your dog is reacting to, your vet will likely put your dog on an elimination diet, followed by a food challenge. This is done by solely feeding your dog one or two foods, such as ground turkey and sweet potatoes. Once you’ve established that your dog doesn’t have a reaction to these two foods, you can start the food challenges.
Gradually, more items are added in, until you notice that your dog has an allergic reaction. This will clearly identify which allergens your dog is reacting to, and you can then create a diet avoiding any triggers.
If you find that your dog is still suffering from an allergic response, no matter what combination of food you give, then it’s likely your dog is not allergic to a particular food but may suffer an allergy to something else present in the environment, such as pollen, dander, a specific fabric, or a medication.
While it may seem overwhelming to care for a dog with food allergies, it is much simpler today than it was in the past. Many more foods are available, offering a wide variety of protein and grains that your dog may not react to, such as kangaroo, venison, potatoes, or oatmeal. With a little care and education, you can keep your dog safe, happy, healthy, and well fed.
Most Pack Leaders have experienced this before: You’re watching TV to unwind after a long day when suddenly you hear whimpering and scratching. What’s going on? Is your dog okay? You race to check on him only to discover that he’s fast asleep — he must have been having a dream!
But is that really what’s happening when dogs move and make noises in their sleep? After all, it’s not like the dog can confirm this by waking up and telling us what he or she was dreaming about. Though we may never get an absolute confirmation like this, there is plenty of scientific evidence to point to the fact that dogs do, in fact, have dreams.
How so? Let’s take a look.
Our brains are similar
While there are obviously a great many differences between human and dog brains, they’re quite alike on a structural level. Because of this, there is a high likelihood that dogs can and probably are dreaming.
We sleep in comparable ways
Like people, dogs enter into a “deep sleep” stage that is accompanied by rapid eye movements and irregular breathing. This is the stage where people are known to have dreams. It’s also the stage where you’re likely to see Fido pawing the air or hear him growling at nothing.
Other animals do it… we think
Just like dogs, rats have been shown to have electrical activity in their brains during sleep that is similar to humans — and their brains are far more different from ours than dog brains. The real surprise would actually be learning definitively that dogs do not dream.
What do we know about dog dreams?
While we might not have 100 percent confirmation that dogs dream, there are several things that we do know — assuming, of course, that dreaming really is happening.
Small dogs do it more
While no one is really sure why, smaller dogs tend to have more dreams than larger ones. Toy poodles and Chihuahuas might experience new dreams every 10 minutes, for example, while a typical golden retriever will only dream once every 90 minutes.
It’s normal and natural
Though it may be surprising and sometimes even frightening to witness your dog acting out in his or her sleep, the behavior is completely normal, natural, and healthy.
They’re dreaming of “dog” things
Humans have a specific part of the brain, the pons, which keeps us from acting out our dreams. When scientists inactivated this part in dogs, they started doing things like digging imaginary holes, fighting with pretend burglars, and chasing dream birds or cats.
How do you know if your dog is having a dream? Simple. Watch him or her after they fall asleep. If you notice odd movements or sounds around 20 minutes in, you can bet that your dog is probably having some kind of adventure.
Source: Do dogs dream?
The simple answer to this question of how often to bathe a dog is: how often do you want to bathe your dog? Unless a dog has skin problems, there is no specific need to bathe the dog except to make him a more enjoyable companion.
There’s no doubt in my mind that dogs have emotions. They feel joy after a job well done. They feel sad when a pack member passes away. And they feel love for their family members – their pack. Continue reading Puppy love: Do dogs have emotions?
Dogs, both big and small, are notorious for checking out things with their mouth. They lick them, chew them, and sometimes eat them. Continue reading My Sheltie Ate a Crayon
Being pack animals, dogs enjoy social interactions and activities. Some prefer being around other animals, while some choose to interact with humans. If your pet seems to be anxious in the company of other dogs, he won’t be happy being in a dog park or being enrolled in doggy day care. However, if your dog adores people, make sure to ask human members of the pack to spend time with your pooch.
If your dog is left alone during the day, it may be a good idea to add another dog to the household so they can keep each other company. However, make sure that introductions are properly carried out. The initial encounter should be in a place that is neutral because many resident dogs won’t take too well to the presence of an unfamiliar dog in their established territories.
Some minor problems may not require immediate veterinary care and can be treated using a good doggy first aid kit. Other injuries may require stabilization to get your dog prepared for a trip to the vet.
Some of the items in your kit may be the same as those used for humans but others must be manufactured specifically for dogs. Purchase a good dog first aid book to guide you. Every first aid kit should include
- gauze pads
- adhesive tape
- cotton balls
- an ice pack
- sterile saline
plus any other typical first aid supplies.
Purchase dog-safe antibiotic spray or cream, doggy ear rinse and an e-collar. Keep Benadryl in the house for allergic reactions but only administer this according to your vet’s instructions.
Keep your doggy first aid kit well stocked and easy to get to if you need it.
Source: A Doggy First Aid Kit
Knowing how to get your pet’s vital signs is very important. It will come in handy during emergency situations that may involve your pet; oftentimes, it can spell the difference between the life and death of a pet.
The vital signs of an animal include its temperature, pulse or heart rate, and respiratory rate. To get the heartbeat, lay your dog or cat down on his right side and place your finger at the point where your pet’s elbow touches his chest. Gently lift your pet’s upper hind leg away from his lower leg so you can feel his pulse on his inner thigh.
The normal temperature of cats is between 37.7 and 39.1ºC (100 – 102.5ºF); normal heart rate is 160-220 beats per minute; and the normal respiratory rate is 20-30 breaths per minute. Dogs have a normal temperature of 38.3 – 39.2ºC (101 – 102.5ºF), a normal respiratory rate at rest of 10 – 35 breaths per minute and 60 – 130 heart beats.