Weird Things Our Dogs Do That Are Perfectly Normal, But Gross Us Out!

Weird Things Our Dogs Do That Are Perfectly Normal, But Gross Us Out!

Ah, the life of a dog. Most of us think they have it pretty good. They get to lay around all day on the couch, don’t have to go to work (at least most of them don’t!), meals are prepared by someone else and the extent of “doing the dishes” is to lick the bowl clean. But, there are some things about a dog’s daily routine many of us find gross, even though they are perfectly normal for our dogs.

Licking (themselves, us, really anything)

A dog’s tongue is much more than just something he uses to taste what he eats and help it go down the throat. Like all animals, canines use their tongues as a way to clean themselves. And that means cleaning every part they can reach. You may find it gross that your male dog licks himself (especially if he then wants to come give you a kiss) but it keeps him clean. They will also lick their own wounds, for the same reason. However, we all know too much licking is not good, hence why we use the cone of shame on our dogs.

Rolling in Stinky Things

Another thing that may make you rethink life as a dog is their desire to rolls in stinky things. We did a whole article explaining this here -> https://stayloyal.com.au/blog/why-does-my-dog-love-to-roll-in-dead-animals/. Let’s just say, it’s perfectly normal for your dog to want to roll in smelly things, or a dead thing, though the exact reason is not known. And besides what’s the big deal if they lick themselves clean afterward, right? 😉

Sniffing Rear-ends

This is the dog equivalent of a handshake. While a person may get arrested for harassment if they did this (and honestly, why would we want to?), to a dog, this is the polite way to greet. In fact, a dog that doesn’t go around to the rear-end is one that should be approached with caution, or not at all. Dogs that are going to react out of fear or aggression, will stand stiff and stare at the front of the other dog, or sometimes just past their shoulder, to the side, rather than circling around.

Regurgitating and Eating It

Yeah, no reason to explain why we think this is gross. But for a dog, this is completely normal. Many dogs gulp there kibble without chewing, so it’s still in big pieces, their body is programmed to cough back up the partially processed food so they can re-chew it, making it easier to digest. Read this article here for more information on the many forms of vomiting in dogs -> https://stayloyal.com.au/blog/dont-freak-out-if-your-dog-is-vomiting-or-regurgitating/.

Eating Poop

And of course, there is poop eating. This is a no brainer why we think it’s gross. And, while some of the time for dog’s this is also not normal, but rather a sign of something wrong nutritionally or medically, there is one time in a dog’s life when this is perfectly normal – motherhood. Bitches eat the poop of their puppies as a way of “cleaning up” the den before they are able to leave and go potty outside the den.

While these things may seem a bit unsettling to us, to a dog it’s just part of being a dog. Maybe it’s a good thing to be human after all???

Why is My Dog Water Bowl Slimy?

Why is My Dog Water Bowl Slimy?

Dog water bowls are standing water. Given this fact, we don’t think about cleaning them as much as we should. If left alone, you may find your dog bowl feels slick and slimy on the inside. What exactly is causing that and is it safe for your dog? Should you be concerned?

The technical term for this usually invisible slime is called “biofilm.” Biofilm is made up of organic and inorganic, living and dead matter. Basically, it’s a bunch of bacteria adhering to the side of the bowl, bound by a thick substance (the slime you feel). Another way to think of it – it”s the same phenomenon that causes plaque on your teeth.

Sure, it can be good bacteria, but it can also be bad bacteria. E. coli, listeria, and legionella (a bacteria that causes a “Legionnaires” disease, which represents itself as pneumonia) all love to live in biofilm. Have pink slime? Pink slime is a sign of Serratia Marcescens bacteria being present. It can cause all kinds of problems including respiratory infections, septicemia, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, to name just a few!

Biofilm has been known be the cause of ear, urinary tract and bladder infections, not to mention the risks the aforementioned bacteria can cause.

What’s worse, is when bacteria is ingested within biofilm, it is resistant to your dog’s immune system, meaning it is more likely to survive and cause problems. The bacteria can also separate within the body, creating new biofilms and new infections – spreading quickly. It’s also difficult for vets to identify which bacteria is causing the problem, because culture swabs have difficulty breaking through the biofilm to get at the bacteria. Due to all this, it can require high doses of antibiotics to kill the bacteria once it’s in your dog’s system.

As you can see – biofilm is a bacteria’s best friend, and a dog owner’s bane.

How to Prevent Slimy Build Up in Your Dog’s Water Dish

The best thing to do is to regularly wash your dog’s water bowl – some vet’s say daily, other’s say weekly. At the very least, every time it’s empty. And by wash, we mean with a soap and very hot water, not just rinsing.

Also, ceramic or stainless steel dishes are better than plastic. Plastic is porous and gets minute cracks and scratches that are the perfect places for bacteria to grow where your soap and water can’t reach them.

Following these simple tips can help keep your dog healthier.

Is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the Dog for You?

Is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the Dog for You?

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is powerful muscular medium sized dog and one of my favourite breeds. Known by those who own them as loving, loyal dogs, they easily steal hearts. But are they right for you? Check out these quick facts to find out!

Breed History

 Most know that this breed of dog was originally a fighting dog.  Developed in England in the 19th century, it was one of the bull and terrier breeds used for fighting. The Staffie, as the breed is commonly called, was developed by crossing bulldogs with terriers, like most fighting breeds, to create a game tenacious fighter. The breed is named after Staffordshire, England, where dog fighting by the miners was very popular. Once the breed was no longer used for fighting, it was bred for temperament to transform it into a household companion.

Temperament 

Due to their fighting past, Staffies have great super friendly nature towards humans but some can show aggression to other animals including cats and dogs. Most people would expect a fighting breed to be aggressive, but toward humans this can’t be further from the truth. As most dogs from the fighting breeds were selected to be friendly toward humans because when the owner was near them during a fight or caring for the dog after a fight, the owners didn’t want to get bitten. So, they selected the calmest most friendly dogs for breeding. Of course, modern day breeders must continue selecting the calmest friendliest dogs to continue these traits.

Because of their background and terrier genes, they do have a strong prey drive. This is something prospective owners should keep in mind. Prey drives must be trained correctly, or they can become a source of behavioral issues including reactivity chasing and biting. Because Staffs can have a lot of prey drive, socialization with other dogs from young is key to creating a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that is comfortable as a family pet.

As a guard dog they don’t do well because they are so friendly. My Staffy was famous in our area and he would escape and go visit all his dog friends and come home when he was done. He would always stop for a pat with anyone he met in the streets. And that reminds me not only are Staffies super friendly they tend to escape and get picked up by strangers a lot more than other breeds. So very secure housing is necessary if you want to keep your Staffie at home.

Energy Level 

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier definitely received the terrier energy level. This is no couch-potato bulldog (though they do love cuddling on the couch after a good play session!). Staffies have a high energy level and do best in a home where they get some type of daily exercise. That can be a walk, a jog, or a rousing game of fetch. Like most high energy breeds, if you don’t give them an outlet, they will find one on their own…like chewing your couch to pieces.

Space Needed

Being a medium, high-energy dog, a Staffie is going to be happiest in a home with a backyard. Having a space where you can make sure she gets exercise every day will help her be less destructive. That being said, if you are sure to give yours plenty of exercise (preferably before you leave for work each day, so she is tired while you are gone), many settle into city life just fine.

Common Health Problems

Definitely not as prone to health problems as their cousins the English Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are fairly healthy as breeds go. Like most breed dogs, they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia as well as patellar luxation. Eye issues also run in this breed, including juvenile cataracts. These are things that responsible breeders screen for, which is why it’s important to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Otherwise, you could be faced with large vet bills as these issues often require surgery.

Another issue Staffies are very prone to are allergies. Both environmental and food related allergies seem to plague the breed. Both are usually genetic, so it doesn’t hurt to ask the breeder if there are any known allergies in the lines. Dogs with blue or white coat seem to be much more effected by skin allergies than tans, reds, brindles and blacks. I would myself avoid the blues and whites as not only do they get allergies more often they also are prone to skin cancer more due to lack of pigmentation. By the way we have helped many itchy Staffies with our grain free food and the ones that don’t itch also look great on the Chicken Lamb and Fish grain free formula.

Training

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are an intelligent breed with an eager to please attitude making them very easy to train. Staffies are seen in competition rings – obedience, rally, agility – and also used for therapy and service animal work. They respond quickly and learn easily, making them a fun partner for most activities. Just remember they have that inner prey drive, which will need to be trained correctly. Also, they are very strong for their size and can be quite energetic greeters, so manners such as leash training are equally important.

Feeding Recommendation

We recommend feeding your Staffordshire Bull Terrier our All life Stage Chicken, Lamb & Fish formula from puppy to adult. And giving raw meaty bones twice a week. They will look and feel amazing feeding this way.

 

 

 

 

If your dog is desexed, It may need 20-40% less food than you are currently giving it. Here’s Why!

If your dog is desexed, It may need 20-40% less food than you are currently giving it. Here’s Why!

Spaying or neutering your dog is a good idea if you have no intention of breeding – it can make your life easier because you don’t have to worry about your female going into heat and your male dog marking in your house. It makes both sexes much less likely to run away from home as well.

But desexing a dog does change them – you are affecting their hormone levels after all. And many studies have shown that spayed and neutered dogs have a higher rate of obesity than dogs left intact.

Why is that?

Because hormones are what run the bodies of all animals and when you desex them, you change those hormones.

Some of the “effects” of desexing a dog (male or female) include less energy and a bigger appetite. Couple that with changes to your dog’s metabolism, which affects fat storage, and you have a recipe for an obese, fixed dog if you don’t change their diet and exercise.

When a dog is spayed or neutered, it leads to a reduction of the sex hormones: testosterone in males and estrogen in females. These hormones affect a lot more than just sex drive. And while the reproductive organs are not the only place hormones are created, the adrenal glands now have to work a bit harder to create those hormones to keep the body functioning properly.

One of the big side effects to those missing hormones, is the slowing down of your dog’s metabolism. This means that in order to keep that optimum body condition score (showing 2 or 3 ribs), they will need less food and/or more exercise. Your dog may need as much as a 20-40% reduction in their food (depending on how much you can increase his exercise level) to keep him from getting fat.

Of course, this will depend on a great many factors, including overall health, age, energy level, etc., but the important thing is that you realize you will need to reduce your dog’s food once they are recovered from surgery (you may not want to reduce food while they are recovering as you want them to have plenty of energy to heal). Your dog won’t immediately start gaining weight, since they will have hormones still circulating in their body post-surgery – around 3 weeks for females and 4-6 weeks for males. (By the way, a neutered male dog can still potentially breed during that time, so you still want to keep him away from intact females for about a month and half after surgery).

Once your dog is healed from his surgery, it’s time to up that exercise and lower that food intake. Some dogs may be less energetic after being desexed, depending on how it affects them. Each dog is different. In those cases, you may find it’s easier to reduce their food intake a bit more, if you just can’t get them to exercise. Other dogs will have no change in their energy level and will be happy for the extra game of fetch or a longer walk or run.

The main thing is to keep an eye on your dog’s weight, so that he is not getting too fat or too thin, as his body adjusts. You may have to play with the amounts for a bit as his hormone’s even out, and that’s okay. Just remember to keep those 2 or 3 ribs in sight to keep your dog healthy and avoid all those problems that come with obesity.