Posts Tagged ‘Dog’
In most of American households, dogs are adopted because the child demands it. Parents may or may not be fond of dogs, but once a child sees a cuddly puppy and wants to get it, it is fait accompli that the household will sport a pet dog.
While it is a wonderful event for a household with a child or children to bring home a puppy, many parents think their duties end with that. Of course, they have to care for it, tend to its needs and all that, but few parents think of the relationship that is going to develop between that dog and their child. This omission can be a serious mistake. Why so, you may ask.
Let us examine the circumstances. A child can hardly distinguish between a pet toy and a pet animal. To him or her, they are things that satisfy their momentary passion for diversion. While a toy can be discarded or abused, a pet cannot be. I may offend parents, but note this. A child has no concept of right or wrong, good behavior or bad behavior. Therefore, children, unless properly monitored, can turn into incredibly cruel and selfish human beings. When this cruelty manifests itself unchecked against a helpless, defenseless pet, it can perpetuate the child’s personality.
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A large percentage of dogs, cats, and probably most other animals suffer, at least to some degree, from seasonal allergies- just like humans. Airborne pollens and molds are probably the most common culprits, but the list of possibilities is practically endless. Finding and removing the exact allergens that cause your pet’s misery can be virtually impossible. It doesn’t matter where you live either – with spring comes a plethora of potentially allergenic particles— particles that are everywhere— in the wind, and in the water dish.
So what to do? A trip to the veterinarian may yield a prescription for an antihistamine or, if symptoms are severe, a corticosteroid drug. Although either one can be effective toward shutting off the symptoms of seasonal allergy, neither will help correct the underlying immune system dysfunction that causes the problem. And in the case of corticosteroid drugs (such as Prednisone) the side effects of extended use can be far worse than the allergy itself.
So, what to do?
First and foremost, clean up the diet. If your purchasing choices are driven more by cost than by quality, chances are you are compounding the problem by throwing poor quality food ingredients into the mix. You may even be feeding ingredients that are causing your pet’s allergy. Regardless, poor quality meat and grain bybroducts, artificial flavorings and preservatives and things like soy protein may be compromising the natural immunity of your pet. So make changes. Buy good food– recipes that feature whole meats (“chicken”, beef”, “duck”, etc.) and real vegetables as top line ingredients- not meat byproducts or cheap grain fillers.
Second but equally important: start supplementing your companion’s diet with fish and vegetable oils that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids right now. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential components in the animal body’s regulation of inflammatory response to any allergen that enters the body system. Without enough Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet, the body’s inflammatory response to an invading allergen cannot be properly regulated, making the whole problem much worse than it should be. In my opinion, the best essential fatty acid supplements use fish oil as the primary ingredient- and the best fish oil is that which comes from the whole bodies of wild harvested cold water fish. Avoid products that are made from farm raised salmon or other cultivated sources, as they might contain potentially carcinogenic contaminants, like PCBs, or residual amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones that are used to farm the fish.
Finally, to help alleviate some of the symptoms, you might want to try adding a few herbs to your pet’s daily regimen. The following herbs are safe for dogs, cats, and most other mammals, and are all part of my favorite “Spring Tonic” tincture formula for hay fever.
NETTLE (Urtica spp.)
At the top of my list of anti-allergy success stories is nettle leaf. Many people and their animals find symptomatic relief from daily use of this herb, especially when its use is commenced at the earliest onset of hay fever season. One of the predominant theories of how nettle works is centered on the release of histamine. Histamine is a protein produced by the body that contributes to the body’s inflammatory responses. If histamine is released by the body too quickly or in too much abundance, symptoms such as swelling, sneezing and coughing are more likely to occur. Nettle’s chemistry includes an interesting assortment of proteins and histamine-like compounds that herbalists (like myself) believe may slow the body’s own release of histamine, thus lessening severity of allergy symptoms.
EYEBRIGHT (Euphrasia officianalis)
Herbalists have used eyebright herb for centuries to help relieve inflammation of upper respiratory mucus tissues. Eyebright is also thought to help support and strengthen various liver functions, meaning that it helps with the body’s elimination of systemic waste that may otherwise compound the allergy scenario.
BURDOCK (Arctium lappa/minor)
Burdock has been used since ancient times as a safe, gentle liver tonic. In both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine (where it is known as “gobo”) burdock has been long regarded as a specific remedy for various forms of chronic dermatitis. It is thought to work by supporting the liver in the elimination of protein byproducts and other metabolic waste that may otherwise cause allergic reactions if left in the body. The idea: get the allergenic stuff out of the body before inflammation is triggered.
LICORICE ROOT (Glycyrrhiza glabra/uralensis)
I regard licorice root as perhaps the most broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory herb available. In addition to strong liver-support attributes, this herb contains an assortment of phytosterol constituents that may serve to supplement the body’s natural production of cortisone; a hormone that serves to further slow and regulate the body’s inflammatory response. It is also anti-tussive and expectorant, meaning that it will help make your pet’s coughs and sneezes less violent and more productive.
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Pets do lots of strange things that might not always seem normal. However, many quirky habits are normal in dogs, though a few may suggest hidden medical problems. Read on to learn about the reasons why dogs do what they do-and what to do if it is an unhealthy behavior.
When puppies chase their tails, it is simply a way for them to get used to their bodies. The behavior should stop happening as often as they get older. But if it doesn’t, it could signal a compulsive disorder, which is common in certain breeds. It can be treated with behavior modification and medication.
It’s completely normal for dogs to scoot or drag their butts on the ground after going to the bathroom. However, if you notice your pup is scooting frequently, it could be a sign of impacted anal glands. It can have serious complications if left untreated, so you should take an immediate trip to the veterinarian if you notice frequent scooting.
It’s not abnormal for dogs to engage in this every once and a while, mainly because it relieves stress for them. It becomes an issue if the dog begins to hump humans more often than wanted. If it becomes an issue, behavior modification can be used to treat the issue.
4) Eating Grass
Dogs are omnivores, so it’s normal for them to eat grass, sticks, and even dirt. But it’s only healthy in moderation. Otherwise, your pup may have an upset stomach or other condition that may need veterinary care.
5) Rolling in Garbage
Dogs have a natural urge to roll in things that smell bad. It is said that they like to cover up their own scent with awful odors to make it easier to surprise prey. The best way to fix this problem is simply by avoiding stinky situations when you are out with your dog.
Excessive drooling is in fact, not normal for dogs and may be a sign of a wide range of medical problems. Your dog may drool because he has an illness, is having a reaction, or has a behavioral problem. However, if your dog is just drooling while he watches you eat food, then there’s probably not a problem. It’s also important to note that some dog breeds are more prone to drawling such as Bassett Hounds and Great Danes.
7) Noise Phobia
Most dogs have a little bit of a noise phobia and will tremble or cower in the corner when they hear a loud bout of thunder, sirens, or a gunshot. However, it can become more serious when the dog becomes extremely afraid at every loud noise. Noise phobia can be difficult to treat, but through conditioning programs, dogs can learn to relax when they hear upsetting sounds. It’s important to take care of the problem right away instead of waiting for the phobia to progress.
Chances are that your dog has or does engage in at least one of these behaviors. In most situations, the problem isn’t too serious and can easily be taken care of. But it’s still important to take him to the vet right away if the behavior becomes excessive or if you have any other concerns. That way, hidden medical problems can be diagnosed and treated efficiently.