Tag Archives: labrador retriever

Tips for Dealing with Dog Fur


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It’s a known fact that most dogs shed, but this doesn’t keep us from loving them. At the same, it can be a pain to find fur all over your clothes and furniture. Some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies, shed more than others. Whatever the breed, we’ve got the tips you need to keep your dog’s shedding under control.

Brush, brush, brush!

Brushing your dog’s fur regularly (for some dogs, this means daily) pulls out the loose hair that will otherwise end up on your carpet. It will also leave Fido’s coat cleaner and softer and will prevent his fur from matting.

Invest in a good vacuum.

Especially if your dog sheds seasonally, you’ll need a good vacuum to pick up after his fur. Spare yourself the headaches that come with a weak-suction vacuum and get yourself a machine that will get the job done the first time.

Use a lint roller.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good lint roller. The simple, inexpensive product can be a lifesaver in a home with a super-shedding dog. Use an extra sticky lint roller such as this one to easily pick up stray fur from yourself and from around the house.

Feed your dog a high-quality diet.
Dog food made from mostly corn or grains can be difficult for your pup to digest, causing dry skin and excess shedding. Food allergies can also contribute to hair loss and skin issues, in which case a veterinarian should be consulted. A diet high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids can improve overall coat texture.

Choose the right brush for your pup.

The type of brush you use for your pup can make a big difference in controlling his shedding. Your veterinarian can advise on what kind of brush to use, but there are generally brushes for two fur types: short and long. For dogs like Beagles and Bulldogs with shorter coats, a natural-bristle brush or hound mitt can be used. For dogs with longer, thicker coats, especially double-coated breeds like Pomeranians and Collies, a slicker brush or rake makes a better tool for getting rid of all that fur. Start by brushing in the opposite direction of your pup’s hair growth, then brush again in the direction of hair growth to fully remove all the loose, dead fur.

Give your dog a bath.

Regularly bathing your pup is not only a staple of good doggy hygiene, but it is also key to a healthy coat. Products like NuVet Conditioning Oatmeal Shampoo help sooth itchy skin and prevent dryness that can ultimately lead to hair loss.

While shedding might be one of the few things we don’t quite love about our dogs, it doesn’t have to be a burden. Instead, grooming your pup can become a daily bonding activity for the two of you. Less fur, more fun!

7 Top Dog Parks of NYC


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New York City is home to hundreds of thousands of dogs, and with all those pups, there needs to be somewhere for them to play. Check out these 7 dog parks to take your pup in the most puppy-loving city in the nation.

1. Tompkins Square Dog Park

Located in Manhattan, Tompkins Square is the oldest and largest dog park in NYC, first opened in 1990. The beautiful, spacious park attracts dog owners from all over the city for its three swimming pools, off-leash play areas and picnic tables.

2. Madison Square Park
Also located in Manhattan, this smaller, but widely popular dog park is securely double- gated and provides water for its furry visitors. In addition, the area is shaded and provides benches for the comfort of both dog owners and their four-legged friends.

3. Hillside Dog Park
Hillside Dog Park in Brooklyn is a spacious and unique off-leash park developed from land that was cut into a hill. Some perks of the park include 24-hour access, separate areas for large and small dogs to roam freely, watering holes and a wood chip ground made of recycled Christmas trees.

4. Chelsea Waterside Park

This park will both challenge and excite your pooch with its interactive obstacles and rocks that an athletic dog will love to jump on. Close to the waterfront, the park also provides a nice view for dog owners.

5. Sirius Dog Run
No, this is not a Harry Potter reference; the name of this Manhattan dog park pays homage to the only K9 to die in the September 11 terrorist attacks, a Labrador Retriever named Sirius. The park offers great amenities such as newly paved ground, pools and shady benches.

6. Central Park
How could we list the top dog parks of NYC without mentioning Central Park? Aside from its beautiful scenery and various activities, the park offers 13 dog fountains within its 843 acres. The park requires dogs to be kept on leash, but also offers designated times during which your pup can run freely.

7. Silver Lake Dog Park
Silver Lake Dog Park, the largest dog run in Staten Island, delivers a natural oasis within the urban environment. Here, you can bring your dog off-leash for a walk by the lake, and there’s a separate area for smaller dogs, too.

All About Designer Dog Breeds


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Hear a kind of dog with a funny or unique name lately? It’s probably a “designer breed,” also known as a hybrid of two different dog breeds. The first generation of designer dogs are developed by crossing two purebreds, and the offspring of these crosses go by the same name. For example, the parents of a Goldendoodle can either be a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, or two Goldendoodles. Most designer breeds were developed in the early 2000’s and have become increasingly popular since then by serving different purposes. Learn more about 10 of our favorite designer dogs, below!

1. Goldendoodle


The Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. The breed hybrid was developed in the 1990’s to have the friendly, energetic nature of a Golden Retriever and the allergy-friendly coat of a Poodle and has since become one of America’s most popular dogs.

2. Labradoodle


Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. Developed in Australia in the late 1980’s, this breed hybrid continues to gain popularity for its easy trainability and outgoing personality. They were originally bred as allergy-friendly aids to the blind, and they are now a favorite companion dog among many North American homes.

3. Maltipoo


This popular mix known as the Maltipoo is a combination of a Maltese and a Poodle. The breed was specially created to be a small-sized companion dog with an allergy-friendly coat. They are clever and quick to learn, and make great watch dogs, often barking at anything suspicious in sight! The Maltipoo will charm your socks off, and then curl up on your feet to keep your toes warm.

4. Cockapoo


The Cockapoo is made by breeding a Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. This breed is one of the older “designer” breeds, likely resulting from an accidental breeding in the 1960’s. Cockapoos are people-oriented, compassionate, intelligent and make excellent pets for families with children. They are prized for their intelligence, low-shedding coat and easygoing nature.

5. Frenchton


The Frenchton is a mix between a French Bulldog and a Boston Terrier, but unlike other designer dog breeds which are half one breed and half another, Frenchtons are 75 percent French bulldog and 25 percent Boston Terrier. This dog was developed in the 1990’s to create a healthier, more energetic breed than its parent breeds. These dogs are friendly, loving and intelligent, and are well suited for apartment living.

6. Morkie


The Morkie is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. Both parent breeds are known for having a lot of personality, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Morkie does as well! They love to play and exercise, and are eager to please their owners. As long as they have a lap to sit on, they do equally well in apartments or larger living spaces.

7. Pomsky


A cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, the Pomsky has achieved rapid popularity in recent years. Usually active and energetic, this rarer designer breed tends to be highly intelligent, loving, playful and self-assured. Pomskies can also make great guard dogs, like both of their parent breeds. The appearance and size of a Pomsky can vary greatly, but very often they look like miniature Huskies.

8. Puggle


The Puggle is a cross between a Beagle and a Pug. Originating in the 1980s, Puggles combine the Beagle’s boundless energy and the Pug’s warm, loving personality. These dogs also have the Beagle’s incredible sense of smell and desire to track, and the Pug’s slightly pushed-in face. They vary in color and size, but are consistently popular family dogs and easy to take care of and train.

9. Shihpoo


This crossbreed is a mix between a Shih-Tzu and a Poodle. Shihpoos are very loving and playful, and get along very well with other pets and children. Also known as “Shoodles,” these are easy to train, intelligent dogs that do well in any size home. The appearance of a Shihpoo may vary, but this dog consistently has a cute, alert expression and a devoted, people-oriented personality.

10. Aussiedoodle


The Aussiedoodle is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle. Each of those parent breeds is considered one of the more intelligent breeds, so crossing the two makes for a super-smart pup! Aussiedoodles are wonderful for families with small children, but watch out: they sometimes bump into children with the intent to “herd” them! While Aussiedoodles love to be active, they are just as happy curling up at your feet as they are happy playing outside.

These are just 10 of the many adorable designer breeds out there. Do you have a favorite designer dog that didn’t make the list?

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Labradoodle


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They’re furry with a funny name, and they’re #13 on PuppySpot’s list of most popular dog breeds! We’re talking about Labradoodles, the “designer dog” cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. Developed in Australia in the late 1980’s, this breed hybrid continues to gain popularity for its easy trainability and outgoing personality. Below are 5 facts you need to know about Labradoodles!

1. They’re a good choice for people with allergies.

While Labradoodle fur varies from dog to dog, the hybrid tends to be a good choice for those with allergies to shedding dogs. Because of its Poodle-like fur, Labradoodles hardly shed and are virtually hypoallergenic.

2. They serve a special purpose.
The Australian Guide Dog Association first bred Labradoodles in 1989 as an allergy-friendly seeing eye dog. Their smart, social nature and low-shedding coats make them perfect for visually-impaired people who suffer from pet allergies.

3. They have good genes.
As a cross between two different breeds, Labradoodles have a healthy genetic pool of variation. According to Goldendoodles.com, first generation (F1) crosses (the product of a Labrador Retriever and Poodle) have the highest “hybrid vigour,” which is the idea that the first generation offspring are healthier than each of their individual parent lines.

4. No two Labradoodles are alike.
Since Labradoodles are not purebreds, the characteristics of any one Labradoodle cannot be predicted. A first generation Labradoodle may look more like its Poodle parent or its Labrador Retriever parent, and may possess any variation of personality or genetic qualities from either of its parents. These qualities become more consistent as Labradoodles are bred between each other.

5. They love the water.

Labradoodles don’t mind getting their paws wet. In fact, they love to play around in the rain, jump in puddles and go swimming, too.

Learned something new about the doodle? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Check Out These 7 St. Patrick’s Day Puppies!


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On St. Patrick’s Day, we wear green, talk like leprechauns and bet on our luck. These 7 cute PuppySpot pups are in the St. Patty’s sprit!

Churchill the Bulldog dons a leprechaun hat today.

Dylam the Havanese is looking for a four-leaf clover.

This Pomeranian named Coco Bear wonders if she’ll find the pot of gold under a rainbow today.

Patty the Rottweiler celebrates St. Patty’s in style.

This Maltese named Giovani is waist-deep in Irish ale.

Molly the Lab won’t get caught getting pinched this year!

Lucky #7 is Ruthy the German Shepherd!

 

K9 Veterans Day: A Day to Say ‘Thank You’ to Military Dogs


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On March 13, we recognize K9 Veterans Day, a day to salute the brave war dogs for their service to the U.S. military. While dogs have been accompanying humans in battle for centuries, official training centers for pooches under the Dogs for Defense did not come about until 1942. Today, there are about 2,500 working military dogs, and the day we commemorate them is also official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps. Let’s learn more about these paw-some military pups!

The Use of K9’s
Why would there be a demand for military dogs in the first place? The answer is that canines have special skills that surpass the human senses, proving very useful on the battlefield. Their superb noses can be used to sniff out explosives, locate soldiers and detect intruders. In addition to their ability to smell from far away distances, dogs can react quickly to dangers in their surroundings, and their innate strength is enough to intimidate an attacker without having to use lethal force. They are even trained to bite on command, revealing their discerning ability to stay loyal to their handlers while protecting them against their enemies. With their combination of optimal physical traits and fierce loyalty, dogs make the perfect partner for military use.

Breeds of the Military
Breeds used in the U.S. military have been narrowed largely to five breeds, the majority of which are German and Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. In fact, 85% of military dogs come directly from Germany and the Netherlands. In result, their handlers typically learn a few commands in the language of the dog’s country of origin. These breeds in particular are chosen for their consistent qualities of intelligence, loyalty and athleticism. Other breeds are used for more specialized roles, such as Golden and Labrador Retrievers as odor detection dogs. Others include Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies (short coat) and Giant Schnauzers, Alaskan Malamutes and American Eskimo dogs.

Canines in Combat
There are several different roles that military K9’s may serve. Sentry dogs are taught to guard supplies and warn their handlers of incoming danger. They are especially useful for nighttime operations, when soldiers are more vulnerable to covert attacks. In addition to possessing the skills of sentries, the specialty of scout or patrol dogs is to detect the presence of the enemy long before soldiers become aware. According to the United States War Dogs Association, when a scout dog senses the enemy approaching, she will stiffen her body, raise her hackles, prick her ears and hold her tail rigid. There are messenger dogs that travel silently with their handlers, mine dogs trained to detect dangerous obstacles and casualty dogs that seek out the injured and fallen. Tunnel dogs were used to explore underground in Vietnam, and explosives detection dogs are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the War on Terrorism. There’s a canine role for just about any job in the military.

After Service
After these heroic canines have finished their service, they often stay with their handlers and their handlers’ families as pets. They may also find homes with law enforcement, or get adopted into families who welcome the opportunity to give these deserving dogs a happy home where they can enjoy retirement from working military life.

Dogs are pretty amazing, huh? Use the hashtag #NationalK9VeteransDay to show your support for canine veterans today!

The LAB Report: All About The Labrador Retriever


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The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in the country, and it’s no surprise why. We’ve broken down the top reasons why dog owners can’t get enough of the Lab. Disclaimer: You may shortly find yourself yearning to bring home one of these very special dogs after reading these 10 characteristics of Labs:

1. Very Trainable
Bred to follow human cues, Labs are extremely obedient if they receive proper training. In addition to the basic commands of sit, stay and roll-over, Labs can be taught more difficult tasks that require a high level of attention and intelligence.

2. Can Doggie Paddle
Natural-born swimmers, Labs were bred to jump into icy waters and help fishermen retrieve nets, fish and equipment. The extra skin (webbing) around their toes makes for natural paddles and their water resistant coat keeps them warm and dry in the water. Lastly, the Lab’s long round tail, often called an “otter tail,” moves back and forth in water like a ship rudder, making the Lab the Michael Phelps of dogs.

3. Easy-to-Manage Coat
Labs are short-haired, so you don’t need to brush them often, with the exception of during molting season. You also don’t need to bathe the Lab often as the natural oils in their skin serve as protection from outside irritants. In fact, it’s recommended to bathe Labs only 3-4 times per year.

4. Great with Kids
Want a nice, well-mannered family dog? The Lab is one of the best dogs for children of all ages. Labs are kind, good-natured, friendly, laid-back and affectionate. However, as puppies they can be rambunctious and unknowingly play a little rough. The good news is with a little bit of training (and maturity), they will respond well.

5. Athletic Sports Dogs
Part of the AKC-classified sporting group, Labs are willing to retrieve just about anything. Thus, if you’re interested in a breed to accompany you in hunting or fishing, Labs are a prime choice.

6. Selfless Helpers
Labs also make incredible service and therapy dogs. If you or someone in your family has a disability or illness that requires canine assistance, the Lab is a great option. Their intelligence and trainability, coupled with their readiness to please and affectionate streak make for a perfect combination. Labs are known for their ability to lead the blind, act as hearing dogs, and perform law enforcement and military work.

7. Active, Energetic Dogs
As you can tell from this article so far, Labs love exercise and are perfect companions to the active owner who loves the outdoors and daily walks. Whether playing a game of fetch, hiking, swimming, or fishing, Labs are in their element when they’re outdoors, and are not for your average couch potato.

8. Nose for Security
Labs are highly protective of their family members and home, so they make for effective watch dogs. If you’re interested in a dog who will bark at an intruder, the Lab is a great choice. Because Labs are considered “working dogs,” they are often trained to be professional security dogs.

9. Healthy with Long Lifespan
While every dog is different (just as humans are), some generalizations can be made for the healthiness of the breed. Labs are expected to live for at least 10 years, and have an average lifespan of 12 years. Thus, if they’re taken good care of, they’ll be around for lots of memories to be made.

10. Affordable
Although the Labrador Retriever is a purebred, the breed is only #18 on the list of most expensive breeds factoring in all medical costs. That said, it’s worth assessing expected expenses to make sure the Lab (or any other breed) is within your budget.

Getting to Know Guide Dogs


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Guide dogs, also known as seeing eye dogs, are special pooches that help the blind navigate their world. Guide Dogs of America provides blind and visually impaired people with guide dogs free of charge in North America. Now that deserves a “round of a-paws.” Let’s get to know more about these paw-some pups and how they perform heroic acts every day.

History
The first school for training service animals, including seeing eye dogs, was established in Germany during World War I to assist veterans blinded in war. Outside of Germany, interest in service dogs did not become widespread until the mid-1900’s. The first guide dogs were German Shepherds, appropriately coming from the service dog school’s country of origin. In 1929, Nashville resident Morris Frank succeeded in convincing Americans to grant people with service animals access to public transportation, hotels and other open public areas. By Federal law, blind people with service dogs are now allowed to go anywhere the general public is allowed, including restaurants, hospitals, stores, airplanes and taxis.

Breeds
The dog breeds used in guide dog service are chosen for their easy trainability and sound temperaments. The most common breeds selected as guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, but other breeds have also been known to be good choices, such as Labradoodles, Standard Poodles, Collies, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Havanese and Vizslas.

Training
Many guide dogs are trained from birth for the special task of aiding the visually impaired. Dogs who start training at birth take about 18 months to complete their program (DGP for Pets). Just like all domesticated dogs, guide dogs must first learn housetraining and basic obedience before receiving additional guide dog training. After about one year, the guide dog meets her partner and they train together for two weeks.

The guide dog recipient is just as responsible in training as the dog. It is the responsibility of the visually impaired person to use his or her senses to judge whether or not it is safe to cross the street, for example, but the guide dog may refute the action if she deems it hazardous. The dog’s intentional refusal of a command is called “intelligent disobedience.”

Meeting a Working Guide Dog Team

If you encounter a visually impaired person with a guide dog, you should treat this person as you would any other stranger on the street and respect boundaries. Do not pet, feed or talk to a guide dog without asking for the owner’s permission first. While they may be irresistibly cute, guide dogs are at work and should not be distracted. After all, the owner depends on his or her guide dog to be vigilant of dangers.

Guide dogs are special service dogs that have helped aid the blind for decades. Their ability to learn techniques above and beyond basic training techniques in order to devotedly assist their partner is truly remarkable. We never cease to be amazed at what dogs can do in our everyday lives.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Yorkshire Terrier


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Pint-sized and playful, Yorkies rank #4 on our list of most popular pups. The oft-spoiled Yorkshire Terrier has risen to fame as a pampered lap dog with an attitude that beats its size. But there’s a lot more to this pup beyond its cute and cuddly appearance. Here are 7 facts you need to know about Yorkies!

1. Their history is less than lavish.
The Yorkie was brought to Yorkshire, England by Scottish workers to work in the coal mines, textile mills and factories during the Industrial Revolution. Yorkies were originally used as ratters (rat catchers) until they eventually found favor among British elite as well as American gentry.

2. Their name is misleading.

Contrary to the “terrier” in their name, Yorkies are registered as part of the Toy group, according to the AKC.

3. They change color with age.
The steel-blue and tan Yorkie we know and love isn’t actually born that color combination. As a matter of fact, Yorkie puppies are born black and tan, almost looking like mini German Shepherds, then develop their characteristic fur color after a few months.

4. They make good watchdogs.

Sure, their small toy bodies aren’t enough to take on a threatening intruder, but since Yorkies don’t realize how small they actually are, they’re not afraid to give someone much bigger a piece of their mind. A Yorkie’s sharp yelp can alert owners of a trespasser, and the Yorkie won’t give up until the threat to safety is gone.

5. The first therapy dog was a Yorkie.
The use of therapy dogs for hospital patients, veterans and the disabled has gained popularity in recent years. While modern-day therapy work most typically employs dogs like the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd, the first ever therapy dog was a Yorkie named Smoky who comforted wounded soldiers after WWII.

6. Their fur is a lot like our hair.
If you’ve ever seen a Yorkie show dog, you’ve noticed its long, flowing, silky hair. Yorkies are one of a few dog breeds that don’t shed; instead, their hair grows continuously, much like human hair. Their coat can grow up to two feet long! Therefore, owners who don’t want their Yorkies to have unmanageably long fur should get their dogs regular trims.

7. This dog has graced the White House.
Though former US President Richard Nixon is widely known for his Cocker Spaniel named Checkers, few know about his Yorkie, Pasha. While Pasha didn’t get the spotlight time that Checkers did, she was one of Nixon’s three pooches who joined him in the White House.

Westminster Insight
A Yorkie named Cede Higgins won Best in Show at the 1978 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What makes your Yorkie special? Comment below and share with us!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About the German Shepherd


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Intelligent. Brave. Strong. These are three words describing the German Shepherd (formally known as the German Shepherd Dog), America’s second-favorite dog, just behind the Labrador Retriever, and #2 on PuppySpot’s list of most popular dog breeds. But there’s more to these popular working companions than what you might think. Here are 6 facts you need to know about German Shepherds!

1. They are very trainable.
Despite their reputation as an intimidating and stubborn breed, Germans take direction well and are valued in police and service work, among other jobs. As quick learners, these active dogs are favorites for all types of training including military, obedience and agility skill sets. They live to learn and obey commands, whether it’s sniffing out explosives at the airport, or fetching a Frisbee in a game at the park.

2. They weren’t always called “German.”
Like their name suggests, German Shepherds originated in Germany as sheep-herding dogs on farms during the twentieth century, but the name did not totally stick. Due to tensions between Germany and the US during World War I, the AKC temporarily renamed the breed the Shepherd Dog. Also during that time, the English started calling them Alsatian Wolf Dogs and now, they are known widely as Alsatians in Europe.

3. They make great watchdogs.

Because they are so loyal to their owners, German Shepherds will go out of their way to offer their family protection. In this way, they live up well to their image as fearsome guard dogs. They’ll bark at suspicious strangers and can intimidate aggressors with their size alone, yet a well-trained German is gentle and friendly, especially towards children, making the breed a versatile companion.

4. They come in several different colors.
While the traditional German Shepherd you’ll see is more often than not black and tan, Germans can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including full black, black and silver, blue, gray, sable, and even white. Don’t be fooled, though; despite what some may want you to believe, no one color of German Shepherd is more “rare” or valuable than the common bi-colored coat.

5. They’re movie stars.
This breed first gained fame after WWI Corporal Lee Duncan rescued the German Shepherd “Rin Tin Tin,” who went on to make several appearances in war movies. Other featured roles by the German Shepherd include “Wolfie” in The Terminator, “Hobo” in The Littlest Hobo and “Delgado” in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

6. They’re everyday heroes.

There are countless stories of German Shepherds assisting and even saving the lives of their human companions. According to Les Anges Gardiens, in 1970, a German Shepherd named Kanaka was recognized for her numerous rescues and success in uncovering evidence for police in Ontario. Another famous German, Orient, graduated from the Seeing Eye Program and became the dog of Bill Irwin, leading him through the grueling Appalachian Trail. Nearly every day in the news, you’ll hear about a courageous German Shepherd having saved a life, making the world a more secure place to live in.

Westminster Insight
A German Shepherd named Rumor was awarded Best In Show at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Rumor is one of the only two dogs to win Best in Show from the Herding Group. The last was a German Shepherd Dog named Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan in 1987. 


How has having a German Shepherd changed your life? Comment below and share with us!

Epilepsy in Dogs: Is My Dog at Risk for Seizures?


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Seizures don’t just affect those of us who walk on two legs. Our four-legged friends can also suffer from seizures, and if the fits of uncontrollable twitching turn into a pattern, your dog may have epilepsy.

About Canine Seizures
Seizures are uncontrollable outbursts of twitching or shaking which result from surges of electrical activity in your dog’s brain, according to WebMD. They can last anywhere from less than a minute to several minutes. Some causes of seizures in dogs include eating poison, liver disease, a sudden rise or drop in blood sugar, anemia, head injury, stroke and brain cancer.

Signs of an Epileptic Fit

You can usually tell when a dog is having a seizure because of the strange behaviors exhibited. Your dog will likely feel the seizure coming on, and seek out her owner for comfort. After a period of restlessness, whining or hiding, a dog having a seizure will show symptoms like muscle twitching, collapsing, vomiting or foaming at the mouth. Afterward, the dog will experience a period of disorientation ranging from a few minutes to days. She may even be temporarily blind during the recovery period.

Types of Seizures

There are a few different types of seizures. A generalized, or grand mal seizure, is the most common type, in which abnormal electric activity throughout the brain causes the dog to lose consciousness and shake erratically. Conversely, in a focal seizure, the abnormal electrical activity only occurs in one part of the brain, and will likewise cause movements in only one side or part of the body. Sometimes seizures start as focal and then become generalized. A psychomotor seizure takes the form of an odd behavior, such as interacting with an imaginary object or some other apparent hallucination. Whatever the behavior is, the same one will repeat in future seizures. Finally, seizures with no known cause fall under idiopathic epilepsy. They usually occur in dogs six months to six years old, and are most common in Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Beagles, Belgian Tervurens and Collies.

What to Do
If you notice your dog having a seizure, remain calm. Avoid contact with her until she has calmed down, but if there is something nearby that may hurt her, be sure to move the object or gently slide her away, taking care to stay away from her mouth. If the seizure lasts more than two minutes, your dog is at risk of overheating. Any longer than five minutes, time to take her to the vet.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Be sure to record observations of your dog’s seizures. If a pattern develops, your vet should be able to identify the type of seizures and administer the appropriate medications. For example, valium may be given intravenously to control prolonged convulsions. And, to regulate future seizures, vets commonly prescribe phenobarbital and potassium bromide. It’s very important to adhere to the dosage recommended by your vet. It’s also recommended to check liver function before giving your dog anti-epileptic medications. While there is no cure for epilepsy, appropriate treatment can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of these frightful fits.

Tackling Obesity: Common Dog Food-Related Myths


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Just as obesity is an unhealthy, dangerous problem for humans, the same can be said for your canine companion. A whopping 34% of dogs are overweight, so as cute as an overly plump dog may be, obesity is a serious issue not to be taken lightly. The truth is that keeping your dog lean and healthy can extend his lifespan up to two years. And, weight management is crucial to avoid obesity-related health issues, especially if your dog is genetically prone to obesity (some breeds such as Cocker Spaniel, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Dachshunds should be watched more closely). With this information in mind, it is your responsibility as a pup parent to make sure your dog maintains healthy nutrition and a normal weight within the average range for his breed.

Oftentimes, common misconceptions prevent pup parents from taking good care of their pup’s physical health. Let’s debunk some of these myths to set you and your pooch up for successful weight management:

Puppies Are Always Hungry: Pup parents often see their dogs gobble up food in seconds, take treats without pause and beg for table food. These behaviors lead to the myth that dogs never tire of eating and are always ready for food. While dogs may always take food when handed to them (haven’t you ever had one too many helpings at Thanksgiving dinner?), this doesn’t mean they need food. Unfortunately, well-meaning owners often leave food in their dog’s bowl all day hoping to satisfy their “hungry” pooches. However, this is an extremely unhealthy practice. Dogs should be on a strict feeding schedule – depending on your veterinarian’s instruction, typically no more than 2x/day. Pooches don’t need as many calories as humans do. That said, water bowls should be filled throughout the day so that your dog stays well-hydrated.

Spaying and Neutering Cause Obesity: This is simply untrue. Spaying or neutering procedures may slow down a dog’s natural metabolism, but also means that your dog requires less calories to maintain a healthy weight. As your dog goes through body changes such as getting fixed, or getting older, you need to be aware of weight gain and act immediately to reduce caloric intake or increase activity level to offset the change.

Some Dogs are Picky, so Feed Them Whatever They’ll Eat: This may be true with toddlers (to an extent), but dogs should not be given the opportunity to choose what they eat. If you’ve experimented with giving them table scraps, you’ll notice they’ll almost always prefer human food. After all, a flavorful steak sounds much more delicious than a bowl of kibble, right? But this practice forms bad habit and will cause your dog to become “picky” and eat fatty, calorie-filled human food rather than the food designed to keep him fit and strong.

The Best Way to Reward a Puppy is with Treats: When your puppy does a good job, you give him a bite sized treat, right? While this is fine practice in moderation, an over-consumption of treats, which are often filled with empty calories, can lead to pet obesity. As a general guideline, treats should not comprise more than 10% of your dog’s overall diet. Also, if you notice your dog over-snacks on treats and sometimes doesn’t finish his entire bowl of food, it may be a sign he’s consuming too many treats.

Frequent, Small Meals are Better than a Few Solid Meals: Not necessarily. Again, consult with your veterinarian, but while this is a commonly adopted diet plan for humans, this can cause overeating in dogs and bad habits. Just because dogs eat the food that’s put underneath their noses, doesn’t mean their bodies require the calories.

Begging Dogs are Hungry: Dog behavior can be misleading and begging for food is an art that many dogs become quite talented at perfecting. If your canine is pleading, they’ve likely become accustomed to the fact that begging is rewarded with food. Any dog trainer will tell you it’s important not to indulge, but rather to ignore the bad behavior. Giving in will only teach your dog to continue begging. While we all love our animals dearly, in any kind of training, consistency of discipline is key. It only takes one time for your dog to learn this kind of behavior is tolerated. Rest assured, if your dog is a healthy weight and eating the correct amount of food at meals, he is not hungry.

While these myth-busters are helpful for common weight issues, there are some circumstances where your pup’s obesity may be the result of a medical issue such as hypothyroidism. If the weight management solutions you’re trying at home are not showing results, it’s best to take your pup into the vet for an evaluation to rule out other diagnoses.

13 Dog Breeds Perfect for Hiking


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If you own a dog, you already know how helpful dogs can be in keeping you fit and active. Hiking is one such popular physical activity to do with your dog, but there are some factors to consider before going on that next trek with your pup. For example, most dogs don’t have the endurance to hike for more than about 3-5 hours, and not all dogs can tolerate all climates. In addition, dogs under the age of one may not be sturdy enough for strenuous exercise. Likewise, dogs in their old age may have a harder time keeping up. The following is a breed-specific list of dogs best suited for hiking.

1. Bernese Mountain Dogbernese-hiking-thumbnail

Big, strong and well-behaved, the Bernese Mountain Dog makes a
great candidate for a hiking buddy—after all, the word “mountain” is in her name! Bernese can carry about 10 times their body weight, meaning she’ll have no problem carrying some supplies on her back if necessary. Because of her thick, furry coat, she loves to hike in colder weather. On the flip side, be cautious taking her out to hike in the warmer seasons. Overall, this easygoing and athletic dog will love hiking alongside you, and acting courteous to strangers along the way.

2. Vizslavizsla-hiking-thumbnail
Since this active dog already requires a lot of exercise, the Vizsla is a great companion to take with you out on the trails. The Hungarian-bred hunter is intelligent and has the stamina to go on long, steep hikes. She’ll come along with you on a hot or temperate day, but make sure to bundle her up when the weather gets breezy.

3. Siberian Huskyhusky-hiking-thumbnail

The friendly and energetic Husky may be a handful to train, but you’ll have a ball with her as your hiking partner. Bred as sled dogs, Huskies are strong, intelligent dogs who can withstand freezing temperatures while carrying heavy cargo. Her furry double-coat won’t serve her well in extreme heat, but she’s fine to spend time outdoors with you in most climates.


4. Australian Shepherdaustralian-hiking

The Aussie is a hard worker at heart and will love to join you for a day of hiking and adventure. She has the strength to hike on even bumpy and uneven terrain, and has plenty of energy to keep going without getting tired. Despite her long coat, she can withstand most temperatures as long as they are not extreme.


5. Labrador Retrieverlabrador-hiking

America’s favorite dog breed is also a hiking favorite for a number of reasons. For one, her easy trainability gives her the right temperament to join you on the trail without acting out. The Lab is also strong, and won’t mind carrying up to 10 pounds of gear. She has the mind of an explorer and will be comfortable in most climates.

6. Portuguese Water Dogportuguese-hiking-thumbnail
Here’s a good dog for those hikes ending in a waterfall or stream. The dog of choice of the Obama family is a perfect pal on land or water. Her waterproof coat and webbed feet make her a great swimmer, so she’ll join you for a refreshing dip in the water after a long, tiring trek.

7. German Shorthaired Pointergerman-shorthaired-hiking-thumbnail
Similar to Labs, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a loving companion with enduring stamina. Just watch out—because of her natural high prey drive, this dog might try to bolt from your grip at the sight of a bird, squirrel, rabbit or other small creature. This dog also tends to be very protective of her owner, making her a vigilant watch dog on the trail.

8. Alaskan Malamutealaskan-malamute-hiking-thumnail
This Siberian Husky lookalike is larger and considered even stronger than her other sled-pulling relative. She’ll brave the toughest, snowiest terrains and coldest temperatures. She’s sturdy, independent and a true athlete. This dog is made for the wild and will have you panting by the end of your hike.

9. Rhodesian Ridgebackrhodesian-hiking-thumbnail
Bred to be a lion hunter, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is nothing short of mighty. Her apt ability to protect her loved ones from danger makes her a prime companion for exploring the great outdoors. Her paws are tough enough to plow through any terrain, and her sleek, short coat shields her from the heat. This dog needs plenty of exercise and would surely love to accompany you on a nice, long hike.

10. Jack Russell Terrierjack-russel-hiking-thumbnail
Who says all hiking dogs have to be big and beastly? This little pup packs a lot of energy into a small body, and won’t get tired after a long trek through the woods or up a cliff. The playful Jack Russell will run for ages and makes a good watchdog, barking at anyone that comes his way. You won’t have to worry about this little one keeping up!

11. Weimaranerweimaraner-hiking-thumbnail
This dog will have no problem covering long distances with you; in fact, she’ll get a little antsy if she doesn’t get enough exercise! A good watchdog, the majestic gray Weimaraner is intelligent and loves to run and play. Satisfy her demanding exercise needs by taking her on a long hike!

12. Border Collieborder-collie-hiking-thumbnail
The Border Collie is everything you want in a hiking pal: highly intelligent, energetic and eager to please. She loves a challenge and lives to perform tasks, whether fetching your knapsack or following directions to a destination. She loves being outdoors with plenty of space to stretch her long legs.

13. Doberman Pinscherdoberman-hiking-thumbnail
This fierce-looking dog is a loyal and obedient hiking companion with plenty of strength for those tough climbs. She’s easier to train than the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and her attentive nature as a fearless guard dog can provide you with protection when walking alone. Take her on hikes with you to give her a healthy way of expending her abundant energy.