Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can benefit from using food as medicine.  One of the most popular nutritional supplements that can be found in any grocery store is coconut oil.  The benefits of coconut oil for dogs will be discussed here. What is Coconut Oil? Coconut oil is derived directly from the coconut through a pressing process.  Coconut meat is pressed to extrude the oil, which contains a high amount of healthy acids, vitamins, and minerals.  Most notably, 90% of the fats in coconut oil are comprised of medium chain triglycerides, which have “superfood” health benefits. What are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs? Shiny Coat If your dog has a dull coat, coconut oil can be applied directly to your dog’s fur as a natural leave-in conditioner.  Alternatively, coconut oil contains beneficial acids, such as lauric acid, that can naturally improve your dog’s skin and coat condition. Healthy Skin...
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Teaching your Dog Impulse Control

Even though dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still occasionally behave in a way that is counter to what their humans would like.  A major contributing factor is that dogs tend to act on impulse, not stopping to “think” about the consequences of their actions.  Fortunately, dogs can be conditioned to control their impulses, which will be discussed here. What Types of Impulses do Dogs Have? Dogs and toddlers are often compared to one another because they behave impulsively, such as running through open doors, jumping on favorite humans when they walk through the door, and immediately gobbling up any food that falls on the floor.  Dogs that are deemed to have “behavioral problems” are typically ones that act impulsively. What is Impulse Control? Impulse control involves teaching your dog counter behaviors that force him or her to divert attention away from an object, human, or animal. ...
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Is a Great Dane Right for You?

Great Danes are considered a noble breed due to their royal lineage, large size, and dignified attitude.  But, is a Great Dane right for you? Temperament Although the Great Dane has an imposing appearance, it is among the most friendly of dog breeds. Despite their size they are often considered lap dogs because of their enjoyment of physical affection.  Great Danes are not prone to aggressive tendencies or having strong prey drives. Size The Great Dane is one of the tallest dogs among the canine species.  There is no maximum height requirement for a Great Dane, and the largest known individual, Zeus, stood 44 inches tall at the shoulder.  At minimum, males should weigh 110 lbs and stand 30 – 31 inches tall at the shoulder, while females should weigh a minimum of 110 lbs and stand 28 – 30 inches tall. Other Pets? Great Danes are gentle giants and...
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How to Prevent Aggression in Dogs

When you bring home a new puppy the last thing you consider is that he or she could become aggressive.  What many pet owners do not realize is that a dog is rarely genetically predisposed to aggression; rather, the actions of the owners can unwittingly lead to anti-social tendencies.  Listed here are ways to prevent aggression in your new dog. Socialization The most important way to prevent aggression is to properly socialize your pet.  Your dog should be introduced to as many new people, places, experiences, sights, sounds, smells, and animals as possible.  One cause of aggression is fear, and proper socialization helps dogs develop coping mechanisms for new and potentially scary situations.  Socialization should continue throughout your dog’s lifetime. Set Boundaries While dogs deserve to be spoiled by their humans, it is also important to set boundaries for how pets should interact with family members.  A dog whose every...
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When Can My Puppy Go Outside?

After you bring home a new puppy it is natural to want to begin the socialization process immediately by having your puppy go outside for long walks or to the dog park.  However, many veterinarians and canine professionals recommend waiting until your pet is 4 – 5 months old before doing so. Your Puppy’s Immune System While your puppy is rapidly growing and developing during the first few months of age its immune system is not fully developed.  During this time, your pet will be especially vulnerable to diseases such as Parvo and Distemper, both of which have low survival rates among puppies.  For this reason, many veterinarians recommend that your dog not be introduced to other animals or spend too much time outdoors until 1 – 2 weeks after the puppy’s final vaccination booster, at approximately 16 – 18 weeks of age. Safe Socialization However, not going outdoors or visiting...
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Are Sticks Safe for Dogs to Play With?

Like bones, sticks are widely considered to be an appropriate toy for dogs.  However, illness, injury, and death can occur as a direct result of your dog chewing or chasing a stick.  Are sticks safe for dogs?  The answer, as well as safe alternatives, will be discussed here. Why Aren’t Sticks Safe for Dogs? Dogs interact with sticks in a number of ways.  First, dogs like to chew on sticks.  However, the stick’s surface can be home to parasites, viruses, and germs.  A dog can develop cuts and abrasions in his or her mouth when chewing on a stick, which can become infected if germs or viruses are introduced.  If a dog ingests certain parasites, such as fleas, a tapeworm infection can occur. Next, an owner may throw a stick to a dog during a game of fetch.  While this game is fun, it can become dangerous if the stick...
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Is a Whippet Right for You?

Whippets, which were originally bred from Greyhounds that were deemed too small to hunt large game, are known for their lightning fast speeds.  First used for hunting small game and later for racing, Whippets have a colorful history.  Is a Whippet right for you? Temperament Whippets are quiet and gentle dogs that are not prone to barking.  Despite their athletic nature they are perfectly content as couch potatoes and lap dogs.  The American Kennel Club describes the Whippet as a dignified breed, and for these reasons it makes an excellent apartment dog.  Whippets can be touch-sensitive, meaning they may startle if touched unexpectedly. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep As a medium-sized dog the Whippet stands 17.5 – 22.5 inches tall at the shoulder and should weigh 20 – 42 lbs, depending on height and sex.  The Whippet’s color is deemed “immaterial,” meaning it is unimportant for breed recognition.  Indeed, there are...
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How to Choose a Veterinarian for your Dog

The health care we provide our pets is important, whether as a preventative measure or during time of emergency.  One of the fundamental pillars of dog ownership is keeping our pets healthy, and doing so requires finding the best health care possible.  How to choose a veterinarian is described here. Ask for Recommendations The first step in understanding how to choose a veterinarian is to ask for recommendations.  Seek advice from other dog owners, employees at the local pet store, and animal rescues or shelters.  At the very least, these resources can tell you which veterinarians to avoid. Check Accreditations Next, check the accreditations of the veterinarians you are considering.  Look to see that their website carries the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) logo, which means the veterinarian has voluntarily chosen to hold him- or herself (as well as equipment and staff) to the highest standards. If you are looking...
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Is a Chow Chow Right for You?

Chow Chows (often shortened to simply “Chow”) are hardy dogs that originate from cold and snowy northern China.  The breed’s name in Mandarin means “puffy-lion dog,” which refers to the lion-like mane of thick fur that encircles the dog’s head.  Chows are one of few ancient dog breeds in existence, with ancestors dating back 2,000 – 3,000 years; but is a Chow Chow right for you? Temperament Chow Chows are friendly and caring towards their owners, but can also be fiercely protective.  For this reason, many apartment complexes ban Chows, as do certain renter’s or home owner’s insurance policies.  Like most Spitz breeds, the Chow Chow can be considered cat-like, sometimes preferring to keep to itself or only a handful of trusted family members.  Chow Chows can also be extremely stubborn. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep A full grown Chow Chow ranges in weight from 55 – 70 lbs for males,...
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Can You Have a Vegan or Vegetarian Dog?

Dogs are often a reflection of ourselves and typically mirror our own social and political views.  After all, it should be no surprise that dog names like Beyonce, Dobby, Pikachu, and Snow (as in Jon) became more popular in 2016.  In addition to naming our dogs after pop culture and expecting them to partake in our favorite hobbies such as running, hiking, and cycling, we also like for them to follow similar dining habits.  With vegan and vegetarian diets becoming increasingly popular, you might wonder:  can you have a vegan or vegetarian dog?  Listed here are a few surprising facts about meat-free canines. One of the oldest living dogs was vegan. Bramble, a blue merle Collie, once held the Guinness Book World Record for oldest dog, reaching the age of 27 years old.  He resided in the United Kingdom and followed the dietary restrictions of his human.  Bramble ate a...
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