dog health

Don’t Freak Out If Your Dog Is Vomiting or Regurgitating!

Dog Health

Don’t Freak Out If Your Dog Is Vomiting or Regurgitating!

What you need to know is that dogs can regurgitate food or bile a lot easier than us humans. It’s an evolutionary adaption due to their scavenging ways. Basically it allows them to eat just about anything and if their body doesn’t react well to whatever they just ate, they can safely bring it back up and leave it, or if they decide its safe, they can eat it again.

Often you will see dogs eat grass and bring it back up, it’s not a big deal to them. Also if dogs scoff their food too quickly, they often need to bring it up again and give it an extra chew before sending it back down the pipe hole.

When your dog simply regurgitates something and you see that your dog seems fine within itself then usually there is no reason for concern.

Vomiting on the other hand can be more serious. Vomiting is where they bring the food up from deep inside their stomach. This will involve large convulsion from the abdominal area. If your dog is vomiting, first thing you want to do is to check what they vomited. If it looks like something other than food, it may be safest to get a vet to check over your dog.(Put whatever they vomited in a plastic bag or container and bring it alone to the vet so you have it on hand in case your vet needs to examine it.) If it’s just food, keep an eye on him or her to see how they feel. If they are still happy and active it could have been just a passing bug or some bad food or something they picked up when you weren’t watching.

I have known dogs to eat some crazy stuff (conveyor belt, bedding, balls, etc.) and if it’s been vomited out it’s a good thing. However there could be more stuck inside. That’s why a trip to the vet is advisable.

If your dog continues to vomit or looks distressed, tired or weak then a Vet consult is needed. Most often it will be a passing thing that your dog will get over in a few days. On the odd occasion it can be more serious and that’s why it’s best to get checked out by your vet as soon as possible.

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The 10 Point Canine Health Check You Can Do At Home!

Dog Health

The 10 Point Canine Health Check You Can Do At Home!

Every day I look at my dogs and do an intuitive health check on them. I always notice changes in energy levels and the way they move. Whether they are more energetic or flat and lethargic, whatever it is, I always notice. I also notice the way they move if they have a slight limp or if an older dog looks sore when they move.

I once had a 6 week old pup look very flat and his litter mates seemed normal. I rushed him to the vet in fear of Parvovirus or something bad. The vet looked over him and couldn’t find anything wrong. During the consult his energy levels increased and he started playing with the vet. I was happy it was a false alarm. I have heard of stories where owners noticed something but took too long to get to the vet and when they did eventually take their dog to the vet it was too late.

So if you notice a large drop in energy levels in your dog, take him or her to the vet immediately. It may be nothing but if it is something you want a good Vet on it as soon as possible.

Although I do a basic health check intuitively there is also a check list I go through with my dogs every month or so. The more you do this the better you will get at noticing differences with your dog. Also note that gradual changes come with age.
1. Body condition – You should just be able to feel the ribs and no more. There should be a waist between your dog’s ribs and hips and the belly should not sag. Watch for signs of weight loss or gain. So when feeding adjust as necessary.
2. Ears – Should be clear of any thick brown or green wax and have no smell. Some long-eared breeds benefit from regular ear cleaning with special ear cleaners. Be careful what you use to clean the ears, the skin in this area can be very sensitive. And don’t clean too deeply or vigorously, as the eardrum can be easily perforated.
3. Eyes – Should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, redness or soreness. Your dog should not shy away from light as if it hurts their eyes. Eye problems can sometimes be accompanied by flu symptoms.
4. Nose – There should be no crusting on the surface, runny discharges or bleeding. Noses can change from black to pink and back again, something that can vary through the year. The nose being cold or wet has no correlation to illness.
5. Breath – Bad breath is not just a cosmetic or social problem (we all know dogs with bad breath can be less-than-pleasant company). Bad breath can indicate a digestive problem or bad teeth, which could potentially lead to organ problems if left untreated.
6. Oral hygiene – Teeth should be white with no excess tartar, which looks thick and brown. The gums should be pink or black, not red or swollen. Feeding large meaty bones are best for cleaning teeth.
7. Skin and coat – Your dog’s skin can be pink or black, depending on the pigments normally found in the breed. The coat should be healthy and shiny with no broken hairs. And both should be free of any scruffy dandruff or sores. Hair can be shed all year round, but it’s normally worse in summer and autumn.
8. Nails – Should be smooth and can be white or black. Nails that are roughened and break easily may require attention. When checking the nails, remember the dewclaws found on the inside of the leg just below the wrist. Some dogs have them on the front legs only; some have them front and back; and some don’t have any at all. These dew claws may need cutting occasionally.
9. Digestion – Keep an eye on your dog’s appetite for any noticeable changes. This can be very difficult to tell if the dog is new to you or a very fussy eater. There should be no sickness or choking when eating. Stools should be a normal colour with no diarrhoea, constipation or mucus (clear jelly) passed.
10. Thirst – If your dog suddenly becomes thirsty or starts drinking more than usual, consult your vet.

It is important to be aware of your dog’s health and happiness, so keep an eye on them and, if in doubt,consult a vet!

dog food

7 Things Your Dog Wants You to Know Before You Buy Another Bag Of Dog Food!

Dog Food

7 Things Your Dog Wants You to Know Before You Buy Another Bag Of Dog Food!

If you are unsure about the food you are feeding your dog, then here are some great pieces of information that your dog will love you for.

  1. Your dog wants you to know that he or she is a carnivore. That means that they mostly like eating meat. Because their biology also allows them to scavenge, they can eat almost anything but they do BEST on and mostly love meat.
  1. Although your dog is grateful for the food he is getting now, your dog wants you to know that most dog foods are based on grains not meat. These grain based foods are very hard for your dog to digest. They irritate and scrape your dog’s intestinal tract, causing discomfort, and sometimes pain. Grains have digestibility levels which can go as low as 54% (as in corn). Meats, on the other hand, have very high digestibility levels: 92% for muscle meats like chicken, beef and lamb! Meat protein is the biologically appropriate food source for your dog.
  1. Grain based dog foods are possibly bad for your dog and may be slowly causing health problems. After seeing thousands of dogs over 37 years of consultations veterinarian Dr T. J. Dunn, Jr has said “Grain-based diets for dogs, and even more so for cats, do not make nutritional sense and that is exactly why I was seeing those patients with the dry and flaky, sometimes greasy skin and coarse hair coats. They were eating “Complete and Balanced” grain-based diets with nothing else added. Why add anything when it is “Complete and Balanced” already?”
  1. Another thing… even though the dog food company is allowed to claim “Complete and Balanced” it may be missing essential nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. These ESSENTIAL fatty acids are critical to your dog’s health but are NOT required for dog food companies to be able to make the claim “Complete and Balanced”.
  1. Scientific studies carried out on dogs demonstrate that not only is it important that dogs have these essential fatty acids in their diet but it’s crucial that the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is approximately 5 to 1! Plus it is crucial that the Omega-3 comes from Fish oil and not flaxseed/linseed oil. This is because scientists have found that the omega-3 from fish oil is absorbed ten times more than omega-3’s from flaxseeds. Plus Fish Oil has, DHA an important nutrient for brain and eye development in pups and brain and eye function in adult dogs.
  1. Your dog wants you to know that he is embarrassed and sorry about his sloppy, smelly messes. You need to know that as long as you feed grain based dog food, your dog will continue to produce these sloppy messes. Grain free dog food is mostly digestible meats with some vegies and fruit. Vegies and fruit are high in soluble fibre. Soluble fibre like beet pulp and Yucca are prebiotics and supply food for the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. These good bacteria help maintain a healthy digestive system which in turn creates a healthy immune system. Plus… the good bacteria also help digestion and create smaller and firmer stools, which are less embarrassing for your dog and you. Plus they are easier to clean up after.
  1. Finally… Your dog wants you to know that meat based grain free dog foods not only taste better they are healthier for dogs. Which means less health issues, and fewer trips to the vet.

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