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20 Tips on Helping Your Dog with Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common problem for dogs, particularly among certain breeds.  While separation anxiety is one of the more difficult problems to overcome – and indeed is a top reason why animals are re-homed – it can be addressed with patience and training.  Listed here are 20 tips for helping your dog with separation anxiety. What is Separation Anxiety? Separation anxiety is a mental / emotional disorder that results when a dog is separated from a favorite human.  Oftentimes, separation anxiety is confused with isolation anxiety, in which a dog simply cannot tolerate being left alone.  True separation anxiety is far less common than isolation anxiety; however, the two terms are typically used interchangeably. Symptoms of Separation / Isolation Anxiety Dogs that suffer from separation or isolation anxiety generally show similar symptoms.  Telltale signs of these disorders include: escape attempts excessive scratching and destruction near exits and doorways urinating...
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Help! My Dog Ate _______! What Do I Do?

Dogs explore the world with their noses and mouths, which sometimes means they eat things they should not.  Here, a comprehensive list of common items that are frequently ingested by dogs, as well as what to do in each instance will be discussed. My Dog Drank Alcohol Dogs have a significantly lower body weight than humans and a vastly different metabolism, so even small amounts of alcohol can cause problems in your pet.  Lower-alcohol beverages, such as beer, are less likely to cause harm in your dog; however, hard liquor can be fatal even in small amounts.  Also note that certain pet products like dental sprays can contain a high amount of alcohol (listed as ethyl alcohol), which can become toxic if used in large quantities.  If your dog is experiencing signs of alcohol poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, or coma you should call the ASPCA Poison...
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What Type of Dog Would be a Good Fit for your Home?

While many people believe a dog is just a dog, this theory simply isn’t true.  Certain dog breeds will make better companions than others in particular situations.  Finding the right fit for your home will increase your – and your dog’s – happiness, while minimizing the risk of potentially having to re-home a pet.  Here, common situations that pet owners face, including the right dogs for each scenario, will be discussed. You Don’t Have a Lot of Space Many people believe that owning a dog requires a large home.  However, there are many types of dogs that thrive in small dwellings like apartments, and even prefer them.  Some of the best dogs for living in small spaces are quite unexpected.  These include Great Danes, Greyhounds, and American Bulldogs.  Other common apartment breeds include toy-sized dogs such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Toy Poodles.  In general, companion dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed)...
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Product Review: Purina Fortiflora Nutritional Supplement

Probiotics are becoming a common word in our vocabulary, thanks to important research that has been done on gut health.  Foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and fermented vegetables are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to their high probiotic content.  Just as humans can benefit from improved gut health, so can dogs.  Here, Purina Fortiflora Nutritional Supplement will be reviewed. Purina Foriflora Nutritional Supplement contains vitamins and minerals, as well as Enterococcus faecium, which is a common probiotic found in both human and animal supplements.  This probiotic is intended to be fed once per day, and is a powder sprinkled over a dog’s food.  The ingredients are:  animal digest, Enterococcus faecium, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Salt, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, and Sodium Selenite. The Purina Fortiflora Nutritional Supplement is intended for dogs who have suffered (or are currently suffering) from diarrhea and...
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Reasons Your Dog is Having Accidents in the House

One of the most frustrating occurrences for a pet owner is to have an otherwise potty-trained dog begin having accidents in the house.  In fact, potty problems are one of the top reasons that dogs are returned to shelters or re-homed.  Here, reasons your dog is having accidents in the house will be discussed.   Stubborn Proteins If your dog is having accidents in the house in the same spot each time, the most likely reason is that the area has not been adequately cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner.  Dog urine contains proteins that act as a “calling card” to your dog’s nose.  Until those proteins are removed, your dog will continue to do his or her business in that location.  To remove stubborn proteins, use a cleaner that is specifically formulated for destroying these enzymes, such as Nature’s Miracle. Underlying Medical Condition Medical problems such as urinary tract infections,...
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Is a Chihuahua Right for You?

Chihuahuas are among the oldest – and most popular – dog breeds in the world.  Currently, the Chihuahua is the 30th most popular dog in the United States according the American Kennel Club, but is a Chihuahua right for you? Temperament Despite being a toy-sized dog, Chihuahuas have a lot of personality.  According to the AKC breed description, they should be “sassy, charming, and graceful,” with emphasis on sassy.  Indeed, Chihuahuas can become aggressive and territorial when not properly socialized.  In addition, Chihuahuas are extremely loyal dogs and have a tendency to become protective over a favorite human. Size, Coloring, Upkeep Male and female Chihuahuas should weigh 4 – 6 lbs and stand 6 – 10’’ tall at the shoulder.  There are two different coat lengths:  short and long.  Contrary to popular belief, long-haired Chihuahuas are lower maintenance than their short-coat counterparts, as they shed less frequently.  There are nine...
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Product Review: Greenies Dental Chews

Dental hygiene is important for dogs, as an alarming percentage of household pets suffer from periodontal disease.  While many veterinarians recommend regular tooth brushing and dental cleanings, few owners provide routine dental care.  Here, Greenies Dental Chews will be reviewed. Greenies Dental Chews are green, tooth-brush shaped treats that are designed to clean teeth and freshen breath.  The treats are dense, yet soluble, and require chewing in order to completely break down.  This chewing action controls plaque and tartar buildup.  The ingredients found in Greenies Dental Chews include wheat flour, wheat protein isolate, glycerin, gelatin, oat fiber, water, lecithin, poultry flavor, minerals, choline chloride, dried apple pomace, fruit juice color, vitamins, and turmeric color. The benefit of Greenies Dental Chews is that this product maintains the health of a dog’s mouth while also doubling as a high-value reward.  For instance, when I adopted my beagle mix, Sadie, from the shelter,...
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Boarding Kennel or Dog Sitter: Which is Best?

As you schedule your summer vacation you will be faced with a dilemma:  what to do with your dog while you are away?  There are many options for pet owners, including leaving your pet with a boarding kennel or dog sitter.  Which of these solutions is best?  The pros and cons of a boarding kennel or dog sitter will be discussed. Boarding Kennel A boarding kennel is a commercial facility that specializes in housing animals.  There are many types of boarding kennels, ranging from strictly cage free, caged with cage-free play time, or caged with individual exercise. Pros The benefits of boarding kennels are numerous.  Most notably, leaving your dog at a boarding kennel ensures that your pet is cared for by professionals that are licensed and insured in addition to being subject to inspection.  Boarding kennels are typically staffed 24 hours per day, and have protocols in place for...
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Product Review: Bil-Jac America’s VetDogs Skin & Coat Treats

Dog treats are an indispensible item for pet owners.  They assist in training, are perfect for hiding medication, and help your dog know that he or she is loved.  However, with the wide selection of available dog treats on the market, it can be difficult to determine which is best.  Here, Bil-Jac America’s VetDogs Skin & Coat Treats will be reviewed. The Bil-Jac company has been producing high quality training treats made from real food since 1947.  The ingredients in these liver-flavored treats are simple: chicken, chicken meal, wheat flour, glycerin, phosphoric acid, salt, potassium sorbate, citric acid, mixed tocopherols, calcium propionate, BHA, and rosemary extract.  With a 20% protein content and only 9.9 calories per treat, these made-in-the-USA treats are a great option for your pet. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from each purchase of Bil-Jac America’s VetDogs Skin & Coat Treats goes towards America’s VetDogs.  This non-profit...
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Brachycephalic Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Dogs with scrunched noses, cute wrinkles, and large eyes have become increasingly popular.  However, short-nosed breeds (also known as brachycephalic dogs), have additional needs versus a typical hound dog.  Here, everything you need to know about brachycephalic dogs will be discussed. What does Brachycephalic Mean? Brachycephalic generally means that an animal has a skull that is short and broad, with the width at least 80% of the length.  The general characteristics of a brachycephalic dog are a significantly shortened nasal pathway, an elongated soft palate, dramatically restricted nostrils (stenotic nares), a hypoplastic trachea (abnormal growth in the trachea that results in narrowing), and everted laryngeal saccules (i.e. saccules that grow into the airway and restrict respiration). Which Dog Breeds are Brachycephalic? There are a number of brachycephalic dog breeds.  The most common include: Affenpinscher American Bulldog Boston Terrier Boxer Brussels Griffon Cane Corso Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Chihuahua (apple-headed) Dogue...
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