Vitamins, Supplements, Your Dog, And You

In a society where many people take vitamin and other supplements, it’s no surprise that people choose to give them to their dogs, too. Just as with humans, these supplements can be very helpful to dogs. Likewise, they are sometimes unnecessary and can even be dangerous if given too often. So what is the discerning dog owner to do? Let’s take a closer look at canine supplements.

Types of Supplements

A wide variety of supplements are available on the market today. Some of the more popular kinds include multivitamins, hip and joint health supplements, and digestive support supplements – and these are the tip of the iceberg. A dog owner might see dozens of kinds at the pet store and even more online. With so many choices, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here’s an examination of the two types that are most likely for pet owners to encounter.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins for dogs are like multivitamins for humans. They contain vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. From the outset, that sounds like a good thing. But it’s important to remember that there can absolutely be too much of a good thing – especially vitamins. Most dogs already eat a complete and balanced dog food which contains all the vitamins and minerals they need. Although some vitamins won’t harm a dog in excess, others could cause problems.

It may be necessary to feed vitamins to your dog if it is on a limited diet or has a digestive problem. However, this should be done on the advice of a veterinarian. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Supplements

Supplements are a concentrated dose of ingredients designed to help with specific aspects of a dog’s health. For example, there might be a supplement for healthy skin and coat, or one for joint pain. Are these types of supplements alright to give to a dog?

Opinions among veterinarians are mixed. Some veterinarians find that some of these supplements can certainly be helpful to a dog. Others find them to be of limited effectiveness. Unfortunately, this is an area where science hasn’t done a lot of testing yet, which is why opinions on supplements can be so up in the air.

Still, many dog owners swear by their favorite supplements. When it comes to selecting a supplement for your dog, the two best things to do are to talk to a veterinarian for their recommendation and do plenty of research on your own. Read reviews and carefully follow any instructions on the container to avoid an accidental overdose.

Human Supplements

It’s best to avoid giving vitamins and supplements made for humans to a dog. The nutritional requirements for humans and dogs are different, and some ingredients in human supplements can be dangerous to dogs. There are some human supplements that are alright to give to a dog, but always be sure to check with a qualified veterinarian before doing so.

Plenty of water

Make sure your dog is well hydrated while taking supplements. Using a Perpetual Well automatic dog waterer your pet will love being able to always find a reliable source of clean drinking water, allowing them to properly hydrate themselves whenever they need.

Vitamins and supplements can certainly be helpful to many dogs, but they might also be unnecessary. Remember, when it comes to the health of an animal companion, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Always talk to a veterinarian before starting an animal on a new supplement or multivitamin. Together with your vet, you can help your dog be as healthy and happy as it can be.

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Walking Your Senior Dog: Give Your Aging Pup the Stroll He Deserves

Just because your senior dog isn’t the same walking companion he once was doesn’t mean it’s time to look for a new partner. In fact, taking a daily walk with your older pup can be one of the best things you do for him. Walking will keep his muscles strong and flexible, plus it’ll give him improved cardiovascular health, help maintain his weight, and decrease age-related anxiety. Even better, walking your senior dog offers quality bonding time with you. But before you begin or continue a walking regimen with your four-legged friend, learn how to make it the safest and most useful stroll it can be.

Stretch Your Pet Before and After Walking

Weakening joints and muscles will benefit from gentle stretching before and after movement. Be sure to give your senior dog an adequate warm-up and cool-down period as part of your walking session. Recommended stretches include hip flexions, bicycling the back legs, shoulder extensions, and sit and stand drills. Always check with a veterinarian for the best way to prepare your pet for exercise. A vet will be able to demonstrate safe and effective stretching techniques to use.

Set the Pace Mindfully

Although you’re in charge of the walk, be mindful of your older pet’s mobility level and choose a pace that’s comfortable for him but still provides adequate exercise. If you’re just starting a walking routine, begin slowly. Take short strolls around the block and build up to longer walks at a faster clip. Challenge your pet safely, with his health status and age in mind. Remember, any kind of movement will benefit your senior dog, so tailor the walk to his unique ability.

Offer Your Senior Dog Variety

Do you sometimes get bored with the same old exercise? Dogs do too, so try to switch things up on your walk to keep your senior pup interested and energetic. Alter your route or drive to a new, safe location, like a nearby neighborhood or park. You might try walking on a different surface. The American Kennel Club recommends grass and sand over asphalt and gravel for senior dogs. Avoid walking on overly soft sand, though, which can be hard on an arthritic pet’s joints.

Interact While Walking

Friendly conversation with your senior dog helps him feel safe and connected to you, but he can benefit from any interaction with you while out walking together. Keep your aging pet thinking, behaving, and enjoying your companionship by engaging in short obedience refreshers. Ask him to sit and wait at a crosswalk or practice eye contact, heeling, and on-leash recalls. Bring treats along and be sure to praise and reward your dog for being a good listener and walking partner.

Give Your Senior Pet All of You

If you have multiple dogs, leave the others at home. Younger dogs typically have more energy and speed than older dogs, making it more challenging for you to concentrate on your senior. Likewise, a chatty friend can divert your attention and even cause jealousy in your pet. Give your senior what he craves: all of you. He’ll appreciate one-on-one time with his favorite person, and that alone can make your walk more fulfilling and rewarding for both of you.

Watch for Hazards

Hazards while walking come in all forms, even when your pet is leashed by your side. If you see other dogs approaching, consider turning around or crossing the street. Your senior may not have the confidence and agility to handle encounters with unfamiliar animals. Inclement weather, uneven roadways, and traffic are other potential hazards to be aware of and plan accordingly for. Stay alert while you’re out walking together so you can keep your pet safe and content.

Make Walking Your Senior Dog a Regular Habit

Many senior dogs suffer stiffness and joint discomfort, an important reason to make exercising your aging pet a regular habit. Get on a daily walking schedule if possible. You won’t just improve his pain and joint function; you’ll also help manage his weight and reduce stress and anxiety, all which contribute to better health and longevity. Finally, regular walking provides structure, which has been shown to boost confidence, security, and good behavior in dogs.

Keep Track of Time

Don’t overdo walking with a senior dog. Older pets tire quickly and can be highly susceptible to overheating and dehydration. Make sure your dog is well hydrated before and after the walk with Perpetual Well automatic dog waterer. A half-hour or less is plenty of time for your senior dog to be out walking. If it’s a warm day, cut the walk short. Avoid getting too far away from home or your car, in case you need to turn around quickly and carry water with you for hydration. Finally, wear a watch so you can always keep track of time.

Treating your senior dog to a walk is something he’ll surely lap up, but make it a stroll he deserves. You’ll improve his fitness and give him a happier, healthier, and longer life with you.

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Soothe a Dog During Thunderstorms

Many dogs suffer from fear during rain and thunderstorms. They might pant excessively, drool, pace, hide, or become frantic and destructive. Oftentimes, it is impossible so calm them down and it becomes a stressful experience for everyone in the house. These tips can help you soothe your dog and decrease the fear and stress they feel.

Music and Fans

Next time there’s a storm, play some relaxing music. Many dogs experience a positive emotional reaction to calming music, and these sounds can appease them during a storm. The music will distract them from distressing sounds of thunder and keep them calm until the storm passes. Turn a loud fan on to drown out sounds of rain and thunder.

Crate

If your dog views the crate as a safe place, try leading it to the crate next time you suspect rain is imminent. Cover the crate with a blanket to increase their feeling of security. Being closed in a small area might help your dog feel sheltered and safe from loud, scary noises. Make sure you stay nearby the crate to let your dog out if it shows signs of distress in the crate. Crating is also beneficial if your dog become destructive and has injured itself out of fear during a thunderstorm in the past.

Training: Adjust to Loud Noises

The best way to help your dog adjust to stormy weather is through training. Training a dog to remain calm on a rainy day can take time, so this step needs to be enacted before the storm hits. Start by playing videos of rain and thunder on the lowest volume setting. Scatter treats for your dog as the sounds play. Gradually increase the volume at the beginning of each training session. If your dog starts displaying signs of distress, lower the volume and take things more slowly. When a real storm hits, scatter treats and avoid showing signs of concern for your dog. It can be hard to ignore the dog when you’re worried about it, but acting normal will prevent the dog from associating your concern with impending danger.

Last Resort: Medication

After exhausting your options and your dog is still experiencing distress during storms, it might be time to speak to your veterinarian. They will be able to prescribe medication to keep your dog calm during a storm. It is not a perfect solution because most medications take an hour to have an effect and it is difficult to predict when a storm with hit. But for some dogs, medication is the only option.

If your dog displays signs of fear and unease during a thunderstorm, there are several options you can try to reduce its stress. Soothing music and crating are great to try for quick fixes. Training a dog to adjust to loud noises by creating a positive association with them takes time, but it will be beneficial far into the future. As a last resort, medication may be required to help your dog stay calm during bad weather.

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Dogs and thunder

Things You Could Be Doing To Shorten Your Dog’s Life!

Things  You Could Be Doing That Shorten Your Dog’s Life

As a pet parent, you probably take comfort in knowing that you do your best to help your dog have a happy life. You give your pet the best food you can, give him as much exercise as you have time for and lots of love.

It’s important to remember, however, that you need to do more than just the basics when it comes to taking good care of your pup. Often, your busy lifestyle can get in the way of some of the simple, but useful things that you could do to help your dog live a long life.

Thankfully, it’s never too late. You can always decide to put in a little extra care into making sure that your dog is healthy. Here are the mistakes to avoid.

You forget to socialize your dog.

When dogs do not have opportunities to meet other dogs and socialize, they often experience depression, anxiety, and fear. Some poorly socialized dogs even tend to develop dermatological problems. It’s essential to take the time out of your day to take your dog to puppy meet-ups and puppy play dates, and to let your dog meet and greet other dogs on the street when you go out on walks.

You let your dog out on his own.

Letting your dog out by himself without you keeping a careful watch, or keeping him on a leash, isn’t safe. From larger dogs and coyotes to cars and ill-intentioned people, there are all kinds of dangers that lurk out there. It’s important to make sure that your pet never ventures outside on his own.

You do not give your dog enough fresh water. 

Water is essential, and it’s necessary for processes like the circulation of blood, digestion, and removal of waste. Being dehydrated will have an overall negative effect on your dogs’ health longterm. Adding an automatic water bowl like the Perpetual Well to home will ensure your dog is well hydrated.

You throw your dog scraps from the table.

You probably know that you need to be careful not to let your dog eat anything with chocolate or garlic. These ingredients are toxic to dogs. You also need to make sure that your dog gets no scraps from your table, at all, however. Human foods tend to be high enough in fat and sugar content to be dangerous to canine health. If your dog likes to hang around the dinner table hoping for scraps, give him a bowl of dog food to eat in another room, free from the temptations of the table.

You give your dog too much exercise.

While all dogs need exercise, the amount of activity that’s appropriate varies from one breed to another. Short-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, boxers, and Pekingese tend not to breathe very easily. You shouldn’t exercise them when it’s hot, or when you notice that they seem to be lethargic or to pant too hard.

You allow your dog to breathe secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke isn’t just bad for humans; it’s bad for dogs, as well. A dog that is exposed to secondhand smoke all day can develop respiratory problems or even cancer. For your dog’s sake, make sure that you don’t smoke indoors.

You’re careless about taking care of your dog’s teeth.

According to the American Humane Society, eight out of ten dogs experience gum disease at some point. It develops when food residue forms plaque along the gum line. Just as with humans, harmful oral bacteria can cause kidney infections and heart valve disease.

Taking care of your dog’s gums takes a little work. You need to buy a finger-mounted dog toothbrush, and brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day. You can also look into getting additives that you can put in your dog’s water to help his dental health, and buy chew toys that help with plaque buildup.

You would be heartbroken if anything were to go wrong for your dog. Luckily, it doesn’t take too much care to ensure that your dog stays healthy. A few good practices are all you need to learn.

Picture of dog yellow lab. Things You Could Be Doing To Shorten Your Dog's Life!

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