Must-know Checklist For Senior Dogs

Paws For A Minute® Quick Tip

Dog Owner Checklist for Senior Dogs

1. When your dog turns 6 years old have a complete medical examination with your vet.

2.  Examine your dog occasionally when cuddling for lumps and bumps.

3. Have your dogs teeth cleaned. This can prevent major problems in the future. This is very important, especially for toy breed dogs.

4. Speak to your vet about your dogs food. Nutritional needs change over time. Adding a few supplements or changing your dogs food to a senior diet could be needed.

5.  Aging dogs sleep longer and deeply. Dog parents with children need to remember to recheck their reality. What was and still is a nice dog may have physical changes happening that we aren’t aware of (such as sight changes and hearing loss) due to the aging process. Even the nicest dog can snap at a child how is approaching their dog to pat it while sleeping.  Note any changes in your dog and communicate this to your children or create a new schedule for your dog as to where he/she naps.  If you have young children, creating a baby gated space for your aging dog to sleep will protect both.

6. Do some training on a leash! Yup, bring back the puppy in your older dog. The leash will formalize this fun exercise and really create the focus and attention your older dog will love then go through some old tricks. Your older dog will love the attention and praise for this accomplishment. Training also enables you to see if your dog is hearing or seeing properly. Changes can happen subtly but go un noticed. As your dog ages it’s common to go into a bit of a  “dog owner denial” and think our dog is just being stubborn, when really other changes might be taking place. 

7. Become aware of your dogs water intake. This can be an indicator of changes on the way and vet’s welcome new information. Noting water intake changes, eating and sleeping habits help guide your vet too in helping to Always check with your vet.

Oxytocin And Dog Training: Owner Rehab

Paws For A Minute® Inspiration 

It’s the cuddle chemical and it’s findings have forged studies for decades. You know, oxytocin it’s the human brain and stimulant that emotes empathy, trust and of course, the hug. Dog’s provide this in massive quantities for owners and all dog owners definitely understand this high.

The wet nose, the unconditional hello, the crazy tail wag and total excitement to see you creates a feeling in us that is fantastic for our well being.  It’s the cuddle chemical in our brain that is evident with pets and it mirrors the same bond that baby have with their mothers. That powerful punch that creates the warm fuzzy feeling of euphoria. The love drug.

So can training your dog actually make you feel better after a bad day? Actually, yes.

As a matter of fact, oxytocin levels probably remain higher and longer with the tail wagging family members then with some others. As a dogs life span averages over a decade, dog ownership can this carry this particular confection of brian chemistry into addiction. Puppy love can outlast some marriages, and trump the endorphins required to endure long days at the office. So if you want to feel better after a long day, get the leash, your dog and practice a few sits, a stay, or even the come command. End the commands with eye contact and the word “okay” and watch the love and happiness pour out of both of you!

The prime ingredient: a leash, a great walk, a few commands and an occasional cookie. What more could you ask for?

* Not to be confused with oxycontin which might be needed if your dog doesn’t get trained to ease the pain of the destruction and doggie demolition that could occur.

Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle: Dog Tip Of The Day

Getting your dog presentable for that holiday party may mean giving a bath. What professional groomers know that you may not, is that putting shampoo directly onto your dogs coat could create an opposite effect. Applying shampoo directly onto your dogs coat can make rinsing impossible.  Often shampoo residue never gets fully rinsed which leaves your dog’s coat flaky, itchy and even smelly. Therefore, giving you the impression that your dog is dirty and needs baths more often, when actually your dog is reacting to shampoo residue which is creating the flakes. A vicious circle.

A key strategy to getting a really clean dog and a sweet smelling pup is to rinse your dog really well! A helpful tip is to diluting the shampoo with 2 parts water, this  is key. Soapy water baths get your dog cleaner and is easier to rinse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save Money And Have Your Pet Live Longer.

Is there a new wave of dog dog owners who have overweight pets? With everything going retro, what happened the good old fashion brisk walk?  Maybe the outbreak of overweight dogs is simpler that we think. A past article in the WSJ suggests that maybe this phenomenon coincides with the dream of owners “managing to find time.”

I believe there is a simpler answer. Could it be as simple as flipping less chips to our dogs?  Less human food leftovers, more dog owner self control, and just organizing your daily or weekly routine to include a 20 minute walk or 10 minute game of fetch.

So, is it merely a matter of finding the time or is it really just making the time?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

  • More than half of US dogs and cats are overweight or obese
  • Obese = 30% above normal weight
  • 20% of dogs and cats are obese
  • Research suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer

New efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country’s 171 million plus dogs and pet cats. They include software for doctors to track a pet’s “Body Condition Score”, a blood test that could quickly determine animals’ body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills. Utah-based Pet Zen Products LLC makes “Dog Tread” treadmills ranging from  $599-$999.

 

How to tell if your pet is pudgy: 

 

  • Can you feel the pet’s ribs easily? If you have to dig around, the animal is likely too heavy
  • Look at the animal from the side –You should see a tucked abdomen.  A hanging belly indicates excess fat.
  • Look at the animal from above.  You want to see a moderate tapered “waistline,” not a broad, flat back.

 

What to do:

  • Calculate calories — See petobesityprevention.com
  • Measure meals –Don’t just fill the bowl.  Talk to your vet, take charge and look for a low calorie food. Look out for over treating and substitute vegetables and fruits, such as sliced carrots and apples, dogs love them.
  • Exercise daily  –For dogs, 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking. You’ll both look fabulous before New Years! Go figure, self control, save money and exercise, exercise, exercise. Now you have a partner in crime.

Dogs And Food. 3 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know.

What does dog food have to do with dog training? The answer is… Everything! I know, it’s a billion dollar industry with an enormously expanding menu of options. It gets very confusing for dog owners to decide which food to buy, and why, when and how to feed it.

 What does that mean in regards to training your dog? How, when, where and what your dog eats can have direct impacts on peeing and pooping in your house. How your dog gets along with other animals in your house is often food oriented, at least may become so over time. And an array of other behavioral issues, health concerns, as well as, potential allergies (leading to medical bills) may become food related over the course of your dogs life. Even how your dog interacts with your children! It all begins with you– No pressure.

O.k. so let’s get to the meat of it: dog training, dog food, how it correlates and why? It can get really confusing to many owners. Many behavioral issues can develop in dogs and stem from how owners feed them. Here is a little Q and A to wet your appetite on the subject matter.

 

When do you stop puppy food and when to start feeding adult food? Generally speaking when your dog is a year old, make the switch to adult food. This can vary according to size and breed. But make the switch slowly over a few days gradually adding in the new food.

Why should I time feed my dog? This is really helpful for finicky eating dogs. Time feeding your dog helps housebreaking issues.

What if my dog is a pig? Dog’s that eat their food as if they were vacuum cleaners also have issues. There is something called bloat to look out for as an owner. This is cause for concern and it has to do with feeding your dog. What is bloat? Please ask your vet for more information on this topic. According to my research and first-hand experience, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. The technical name is “Gastric Dilatation Volvulus” or (GDV). This is where the dog can swallow too much air while eating rapidly. Drinking water or stress can be a significant factor in swallowing air. As the stomach swells, it can twist and obstruct the veins leading to shock, damaging the internal organs and quickly killing your dog. The breeds of dogs this can affect may surprise you.

Dogs that are at risk for bloat are usually deep rib caged breeds, big and small. German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retrievers, Labs, Dachshunds, Pekingese, and even Miniature Poodles can be at risk! The point is, even if a dog does have a healthy appetite could benefit from training tips. It could save its life.

 

Training your dog to eat slower is a healthier option.  Finicky eaters need to learn to eat in one sitting which will in turn help with housebreaking issues, potty accidents, child safety around dog food bowls, and will ward off potential dog fights in multiple dog households. Just dome food for thought, and a treat from your trainer!

 

Holiday Leftovers, Find Out What’s Healthy For Dogs

Holiday leftovers can be a great treat for dogs. But did you know that some can cause problems.

A fantastic treat option is sweet potatoes, and dogs LOVE them. No butter, please. Great for dogs that have food allergies and a great money saver alternative to expensive dog treats. Microwave, let cool, slice into cubes and keep refrigerated.

Turkey is also a fantastic snack. However, without the skin and NO BONES. Cooked bones can splinter and cause bad things to happen and be very dangerous, plus it could cost you mucho $$ at the vet.

Honestly, if your dog is not used to human food and you don’t want to create a beggar, coffee table surfer of food snatcher in the future, then try to control yourself. For some dogs and cats, even the hint of a new food can create stomach problems. The whole experience may not be worth the treat with the surprise after effect.

Paws for a Minute® health

The real tip for today is that there’s one holiday dish “ingredient” to keep in the pantry, just for your dog! Did you know that “canned” pumpkin is a great natural remedy for your dogs upset stomach. Dog’s love it and it should help solve the problem. Also a great natural treat. A little will go a long way.