California’s ‘Right To Rescue’ Law

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5 Lifesaving Tips About Pets In Hot Cars, California’s ‘Right To Rescue’ Law

When it’s 90 degrees outside, your vehicle can quickly reach 160 degree inside.

Turmeric: Great for Your Health & Your Dogs Too!

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Why Pet Parents Are Giving Their Dogs This Powerful Spice

By Kate Finaly -Source: Ilovedogs.com

You’ve likely heard about the recent popularity in feeding dogs turmeric, toting numerous health benefits that sound too good to be true. But is this Indian spice really what it’s said to be? Studies are answering that question with a big “Yes.” Turmeric has been scientifically shown to have many wonderful health benefits and there is good reason to add it to your dog’s diet if you’re looking to improve health and increase longevity in your canine companion. Turmeric is a powerful tool in preventing and combating many ailments, so don’t hesitate to give this supplement. Of course, always speak with your veterinarian before changing anything in your dog’s diet. If you’re wondering whether or not turmeric will help with your dog’s condition, consider these properties.

#1 – Turmeric: Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Perhaps the most notable use for turmeric is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the compound found in turmeric, has been shown to reduce inflammation. This is important for conditions such as arthritis, cancers, allergies, dental disease, gastrointestinal disease, kidney disease and more. Two studies have now reported that curcumin has outperformed ibuprofen when treating inflammation – a 2014 study based on treating people with arthritis and a 2004 study on inhibiting the proliferation of tumor cells. In the 2004 study, curcumin had better results than aspirin as well. Since chronic inflammation can be the result of and even lead to many serious illnesses, it’s important to prevent it. Feeding a turmeric supplement is an excellent way to offer a natural anti-inflammatory.

Turmeric
Image Source: Flickr Cinnamon Vogue

#2 – Management of Joint Pain

Turmeric contains powerful antioxidants which neutralizes the free radicals that cause painful inflammation and damage to joints. While humans have long found benefits of turmeric for the management of joint pain, it’s only recently becoming popular among dog owners. Some brands of supplements are now including turmeric along with ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, which have also long been known for their joint enhancing properties.

#3 – Gastrointestinal Comfort

Because so many gastrointestinal diseases are exacerbated or even characterized by inflammation, turmeric works wonders when it comes to treating your dog’s bowls. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic condition that can be difficult to treat in dogs, characterized by the Veterinary Institute of Integrated Medicine by “[d]iarrhea and/or vomiting, blood and/or mucus in the stool, hypermotility on the bowels, malabsorption and eventual destruction or severe scarring of the intestine itself.” The Institution also advises curcumin as a viable treatment option; “Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, hepato-protective effects, increases glutathione levels, down-regulates tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), NO, and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-?B), decreases free radicals in colonic mucosa.”

#4 – Shows Promise with Cancer Patients

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and Cancer Research UK performed a Phase 1 clinical trial that “[…] seemed to show that curcumin could stop the precancerous changes becoming cancer. Research has also shown that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time.” They report that there are several clinical studies where curcumin kills cancer cells and prevents them from growing. It has had the best effects on bowel cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer cells. A Phase 2 study performed in the United States showed that patients with cancer either had tumors that decreased in size or showed an increase in the levels of particular immune system chemicals that destroy cancer cells. More research is needed, however the results thus far are promising. 

Although most studies have been performed inside a laboratory or among human patients, there is enough evidence to suggest that turmeric is a supplement that has the potential for a wealth of benefits. There are some side effects from feeding turmeric, such as possible effects on blood clotting and bladder and kidney stones, but studies show that these risks are small. We encourage you to speak with your veterinarian about adding turmeric to your dog’s diet, as the benefits are likely to far outweigh the risks.

BONUS TIP: If your turmeric supplement does not also include black pepper extract, your dog’s body will not be able to as effectively absorb the curcumin found in turmeric.

Hip & Joint Supplement with turmeric
Source: Ilovedogs.com

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. 

Honey & Coconut Oil To Treat your Dogs Cold

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Honey and Coconut Oil – The Ultimate Holistic Remedy

Last year, vets were reporting a great number of dogs contracting Kennel cough in Los Angeles. A previous blog that we posted, What Is Kennel Cough, discussed the vets recommendation to administer the Bordetella vaccine every 6 months. I recently came across this article from The Whole Dog Journal  and wanted to share. Not only are coconut oil and honey a great way to soothe a dog’s cough, but it’s also a preventative measure as well.

Shared from: the Whole Dog Journal

The single treatment for canine tracheobronchitis that conventional veterinarians, holistic vets, and caregivers of every description agree on – the ultimate kennel cough remedy – is honey. Honey soothes the throat and provides antibacterial properties, making it the most effective kennel cough home remedy.

Photo: Phu Thinh Co
Photo: sunny mama

Honey and coconut oil are powerful health-boosters for you and your dog. They are also inexpensive and easy to find in your local health food store.

As noted in “Bee Products Have a Special Meaning for Dogs” (September 2007), all honey has disinfecting properties. One of the most expensive honeys sold in the United States and around the world is manuka honey from New Zealand, where bees harvest nectar from the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium). Twenty years of research at the University of Waikato show that manuka honey has impressive antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. While all honeys share these properties, they are especially pronounced in manuka honey.

Most dogs enjoy honey’s sweet taste, so it’s easy to feed from a spoon or, if the honey is thick, you can roll it into a treat-sized ball. Honey for kennel cough can be fed by itself, mixed with powdered herbs for additional benefit, or added to herbal teas that double as cough syrups.

There is no specific recommended dose, as both larger and smaller doses are safe and effective, but for most dogs ½ to 1 teaspoon of honey three or four times per day works well.

In recent years, coconut oil has become a popular supplement for people and pets (see “Crazy about Coconut Oil,” October 2005). Because its medium-chain fatty acids kill harmful bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, and parasites, its advocates call it an all-purpose infection fighter. As coconut oil expert and book author Bruce Fife, ND, explains, “Taking coconut oil daily is like a daily inoculation. It will help prevent your dog from becoming infected.”

The recommended maintenance dose is 1 teaspoon coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight per day in divided doses, always starting with smaller amounts and increasing gradually. When your dog has been exposed to tracheobronchitis or any other infection, the dose can be doubled. The only adverse effects of a too-high dose of coconut oil are loose, greasy stools and a temporary feeling of fatigue (thought to result from detoxification). Most dogs adjust easily to a coconut oil regimen, and because they’re usually fond of the taste, coconut oil can be fed from a spoon or added to your dog’s food.

Honey and coconut oil work well together. Combine these two infection fighters for both the treatment of kennel cough and prevention of tracheobronchitis and other contagious diseases.

10 Common Dog Behavior Problems

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Solutions to Your Dog’s Behavior issues

 #1

  • Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

    Most dogs bark, howl and whine to some degree. Excessive barking is considered a behavior problem. Before you can correct barking, determine why your dog is vocalizing in the first place. These are the most common types of barking:

    • Warning or Alert
    • Playfulness/Excitement
    • Attention-seeking
    • Anxiety
    • Boredom
    • Responding to Other Dogs

    Learn to control excessive barking. Be consistent and patient. Also, consider teaching the Bark/Quiet Commands. Dedication and attention to detail can go a long way.

    #2

    Photo: Tracy Rosen

    Chewing is a natural action for all dogs; it’s just a part of the way they are wired. However, chewing can quickly become a behavior problem if your dog causes destruction. The most common reasons dogs chew are as follows:

    • Puppy Teething
    • Boredom / Excess Energy
    • Anxiety
    • Curiosity (especially puppies)

    Encourage your dog to chew on the right things by providing plenty of chew toys. Keep personal items away from your dog. When you are not home, keep your dog crated or confined to an area where less destruction can be caused. If you catch your dog chewing the wrong thing, quickly correct him with a sharp noise. Then, replace the item with a chew toy. One of the most important things you can do: make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

    #3

    Photo: Micah Baldwin

    If given the chance, most dogs will do some amount of digging; it’s a matter of instinct. Certain breeds, like Terriers, are more prone to digging because of their hunting histories. In general, most dogs dig for these reasons:

    • Boredom or Excess Energy
    • Anxiety or Fear
    • Hunting Instinct
    • Comfort-Seeking (such as nesting or cooling off)
    • Hiding Possessions (like bones or toys)
    • To Escape or Gain Access

    If your dog digs up your yard, it can get pretty frustrating for you. Try and determine the cause of the digging, then work to eliminate that source. Spend more time with your dog, give him more exercise, and work on extra training. If digging is inevitable, set aside an area where your dog can learn it is “okay” to dig, like a sandbox.

    #4

    Photo: Justin Davis

    Separation anxiety is one of the most commonly discussed dog behavior problems. Manifestations include vocalization, chewing, inappropriate urination and defecation, and other forms of destruction that occur when a dog is separated from his owner. Not all of these actions are the result of separation anxiety. Signs of true separation anxiety include:

    • Dog becomes anxious when owner prepares to leave
    • Misbehavior occurs in the first 15-45 minutes after owner leaves
    • Dog wants to follow owner around constantly
    • Dog tries to be touching owner whenever possible

    True separation anxiety requires dedicated training, behavior modification and desensitization exercises. Medication may be recommended in extreme cases, but this should be a last resort.

    #5

    Photo: Matthew Lukens

    Inappropriate urination and defecation are among the most frustrating dog behaviors. They can damage areas of your home and make your dog unwelcome in public places or at the homes of others. It is most important that you discuss this behavior with your veterinarian first to rule out health problems. If no medical cause is found, try to determine the reason for the behavior, which can come down to one of the following:

    • Submissive/Excitement Urination
    • Territorial Marking
    • Anxiety
    • Attention-seeking
    • Lack of proper housebreaking

    Inappropriate elimination is unavoidable in puppies, especially before 12 weeks of age. Older dogs are another story. Many dogs​ require serious behavior modification to rid them of the habit because you must often alter their perception of themselves.

    #6

    Begging

    Photo: Lovinlife642000

    Begging is a bad habit, but many dog owners actually encourage it. This can lead to digestive problems and obesity. Dogs beg because they love food. However, table scraps are not treats, and the food does not love! Yes, it is hard to resist that longing look, but giving in “just this once” creates a problem in the long run.  When you teach your dog that begging is permitted, you are sending the wrong message.

    Before you sit down to eat, tell your dog to go to his place, preferably where he will not be able to stare at you. If necessary, confine him to another room. If he behaves, give him a special treat only after you and your family are completely finished eating.

    #7

    Chasing

    Photo: warrenski

    A dog’s desire to chase moving things is simply a display of predatory instinct. Many dogs will chase other animals, people, and cars. All of these can lead to dangerous and devastating outcomes! While you may not be able to stop your dog from trying to chase, you can take steps to prevent disaster.

    • Keep your dog on a leash at all times (unless directly supervised indoors).
    • Train your dog to come when called.
    • Have a dog whistle or noisemaker on hand to get your dog’s attention.
    • Stay awareMORE

      #8

      Photo: Kelly Dorafshar

      Puppies jump up to reach and greet their mothers. Later, they may jump up when greeting people. Dogs may also jump up to exert dominance. A jumping dog can be annoying and even dangerous. There are many methods to stop a dog’s jumping, but not all will be successful. Lifting a knee, grabbing the paws, or pushing the dog away might work for some, but for most dogs, this sends the wrong message. Jumping up is often attention-seeking behavior, so any acknowledgment of your dog’s actions provide a reward!

      The best method: simply turn away and ignore your dog. Do not make eye contact, speak, or touch your dog. Go about your business. When he relaxes and remains still, calmly reward him. It won’t take long before your dog gets the message.

      #9

      Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

      Dogs bite for reasons that can be traced back to instinct and pack mentality. Puppies bite and nip on other dogs and people as a means for exploring their environment and learning their place in the pack. Owners must show their puppies that mouthing and biting are not acceptable by teaching bite inhibition. Beyond puppy behavior, the motivation to bite or snap typically comes from the following:

      • Fear or Defensiveness
      • Protection of Property
      • Pain or Sickness
      • Dominance Assertion
      • Predatory Instinct

      Though some breeds are thought to be dangerous, it is my belief that breed-specific legislation is not the answer. Owners and breeders are the ones who can help decrease the tendency for any type of dog to bite through proper training, socialization and breeding practices.

      #10

      Photo: Dineshraj Goomany

      Dog aggression is exhibited by growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging and biting. It is important to know that any dog has the potential to become aggressive, regardless of breed or history. However, dogs with violent or abusive histories and those bred from dogs with aggressive tendencies are much more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs.  Reasons for aggression are basically the same as the reasons a dog will bite or snap, but overall canine aggression is a much more serious problem.

      If your dog has aggressive tendencies, consult your vet first as it may stem from a health problem. Then, seek the help of an experienced dog trainer or behaviorist. Serious measures should be taken to keep others safe from aggressive dogs!

      Are you having some of these behavioral issues at home? Call the trainers at K9s Only to help you solve these problems or fill out a training request and a trainer will contact you.

      By: Jenna Stregowski, RVT

Spotlight: French Bulldog

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The History of French Bulldogs

The “bouldogge Francais,” as he is known in his adopted home country of France, actually originated in England, in the city of Nottingham. Small bulldogs were popular pets with the local laceworkers, keeping them company and ridding their workrooms of rats. After the industrial revolution, lacemaking became mechanized and many of the laceworkers lost their jobs. Some of them moved to France, where their skills were in demand, and of course they took their beloved dogs with them. The dogs were equally popular with French shopkeepers and eventually took on the name of their new country. Enter the French Bulldog.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the dogs became popular with members of the Paris bohemian class: ladies of the night, artists, writers such as the novelist Colette, and wealthy Americans doing the Grand Tour. Impressionist artist Toulouse Lautrec even put a Frenchie in one of his paintings, “Le Marchand des Marrons.”

The Frenchie has gained rapidly in popularity in the past decade. Today, the breed ranks 21st among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club, up from 71st in 2000, a testament to his qualities as a companion.

Frenchie Friday at K9s Only

French Bulldog Overview

With a tough-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside demeanor, unmistakable bat-shaped ears and distinctive bow-legged gait, the French Bulldog has gained so much popularity that he’s fast becoming the city-dwellers’ dog of choice. He’s small – under 28 pounds – and has a short, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors. He doesn’t need a great deal of exercise, fits comfortably into a condo, co-op or apartment, and is far less likely to bark than many small dogs. In fact, other than being a little pugnacious with other dogs, it would be hard to imagine a better dog for city living.

The French Bulldog should be on the short list of breeds for anyone who lives without a vast tract of suburban backyard. He’s also a good choice for those who might have trouble giving a more active breed ample exercise.

The Frenchie will make you laugh. He’s a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he’s very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he’s not the best choice for someone who’ll be away long hours every day. They are a good candidate for Daycare! K9s Only doggy daycare is so full of Frenchies, that we call Friday’s Frenchie Friday! It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That’s doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or “flat-faced” breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.

Photo: Eduardo Merille

The Frenchie can also be a little hard to housetrain and may not be safe with a slow-footed family cat. He also snores, which might seem like a minor problem until you’ve actually heard the dramatic sounds that can emanate from his small body.

For exercise, Frenchies jump on and off the furniture and do the “Frenchie 500” circuit through the house. A short daily walk of 15 to 20 minutes will help to keep them in shape. Schedule walks and outdoor playtime for cool mornings and evenings. Frenchies are sensitive to heat and can quickly succumb to heatstroke. This is not the breed for you if you enjoy hiking or jogging with a dog.

Breeders like to send French Bulldog puppies to their new homes when they are nine or 10 weeks old. Frenchie puppies can become unpleasant little tyrants if they don’t get to spend the optimal amount of time with their mother and littermates, learning the rules of behavior toward people and other dogs.

For the most part, the French Bulldog does best in a family where someone is home most of the day. He’s not always good with small children or cats, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know. When a Frenchie is the right match for you, though, you’ll find it’s impossible to have just one.

Health of the French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is prone to certain health problems. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know.

These small, flat-faced dogs are prone to a couple of conditions. One is called brachycephalic airway syndrome. Dogs whose facial bones and tissues are compressed can have obstructed breathing because they may have an elongated soft palate, laryngeal collapse, narrowed nasal cavities or related problems. Dogs with these problems are said to have brachycephalic airway syndrome. Even if you can’t see their structural defects, you can tell they exist by listening to the dog’s labored breathing after minimal exercise. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome cannot tolerate excessive heat or exercise. In some cases, surgery may be needed to improve airflow and breathing.

In addition, Frenchies can suffer from spinal malformations and a spinal condition called intervertebral disc disease. Reproductive problems are the norm, not the exception. They may also develop eye problems, such as cataracts, and intestinal malabsorption disorders.

Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.  They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for common defects and deemed healthy for breeding. That’s where health registries come in.

French Bulldogs are sensitive to heat. Never leave one outdoors on a hot day or in a home without air conditioning.

Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a French Bulldog at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.

Other Quick Facts

  • French Bulldogs are restful and have minimal exercise needs, so they are a good choice for couch potatoes.
  • The French Bulldog should not weigh more than 28 pounds, making him easily portable.
  • French Bulldogs can be stubborn when it comes to housetraining. Be patient, be consistent, and consider the use of paper training or puppy pee pads to get around the problem (although it’s always best to get the pup outdoors).
  • Frenchies snort, snore and grunt, and they are known for making other odd noises.
  • Frenchies are not good swimmers and should not have access to pools, spas or other bodies of water.

Spring Allergies Affecting Your Could Be Affecting Your Dog Too.

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By Dr. Becker

Did you know your dog or cat can suffer from seasonal allergies just as you do? Spring allergies that are affecting you could be affecting your dog too!

According to a survey conducted by Novartis Animal Health, over half of pet owners aren’t aware their fuzzy family members can also spend the spring season feeling miserable thanks to pollens and other environmental allergens.

Photo: Lee Haywood

Two Categories of Pet Allergies

There are primarily two types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. If your pet gets itchy during spring, summer or fall, she’s probably reacting to seasonal, environmental allergens. But if her symptoms continue year-round, it’s more likely her sensitivity is to something more constant in her environment, or to something in her diet.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, however. If you live in an area that doesn’t have a hard freeze in the winter, environmental allergens can build up and cause year-round issues for your pet. In addition, seasonal allergies can progress to year-round allergies, which I’ll discuss shortly.

Signs Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies

Unlike humans whose allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract, dog allergies and cat allergies more often take the form of skin irritation or inflammation – a condition called allergic dermatitis.

If your pet has allergies, her skill will become very itchy. She’ll start scratching excessively, and might bite or chew at certain areas of her body. She may rub herself against vertical surfaces like furniture, or she may rub her face against the carpet. She’s trying to relieve the miserable itchiness by any means possible.

As the itch-scratch cycle continues, her skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch. Other signs of allergic dermatitis include areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing.

Hot spots can develop as well in dogs (hot spots are rarely seen in cats). A hot spot is inflamed, infected skin that occurs when your dog’s natural bacteria overwhelms an area of his skin. Typically the skin will be very red, and often there is bleeding and hair loss.

Photo: Jeremiah Roth

Other Signs to Watch For

Pets with allergies also often have problems with their ears – especially dogs. The ear canals may be itchy and inflamed as part of a generalized allergic response, or they may grow infected with yeast or bacteria.

Signs your pet’s ears are giving him problems include scratching at the ears, head shaking, and hair loss around the ears. If infection is present there will often be odor and a discharge from the ears.

While respiratory symptoms aren’t common in pets with allergies, they do occur. A running nose, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing are typical allergic symptoms in both two- and four-legged allergy sufferers.

Typically pets with seasonal allergies to ragweed, grasses, pollens, molds and trees, also develop sensitivity to other allergens inhaled through the nose and mouth. Animals with weaknesses in their lung fields can develop sinusitis and bronchitis, just as people do.

Another sign to watch for if you suspect your pet has allergies is generalized redness. Allergic pets often have puffy red eyes, red oral tissue, a red chin, red paws and even a red anus.

How Seasonal Allergies Can Turn Into Year-Round Allergies

Allergic reactions are produced by your pet’s immune system, and the way his immune system functions is a result of both nature (his genetics) and nurture (his environment).

I often see the following history with allergic pets who visit my practice:

  • A young pup or kitten, maybe 4 to 6 months old, begins with a little red tummy, itchy ears, and maybe a mild infection in one ear. His regular vet treats the pup symptomatically to provide him some relief.
  • The following year as soon as the weather warms up, the pet is brought back to his regular vet with very itchy feet, another ear infection, and a hotspot or two. Again, the vet treats the symptoms (hopefully not with steroids) until the weather turns cold and the symptoms disappear.
  • Year three, the same pet suffers from May through September with red, inflamed skin, maybe some hair loss, more hotspots, frequent ear and skin infections, and a tendency to chew his paws or scratch until he bleeds.
  • By year five, all the symptoms have grown significantly worse and the animal’s suffering is now year-round.

This is what usually happens with seasonal environmental allergies. The more your pet is exposed to the allergens he’s sensitive to, the more intense and long-lasting his allergic response becomes.

With my regular patients (those who start out life as patients of my practice), I begin addressing potential root causes at the first sign of an allergic response, which is usually around six months of age. I do this to reduce the risk of an escalating response year after year.

Photo: John M. P. Knox

Helping a Pet with Seasonal Allergies

Since the allergen load your environmentally sensitive pet is most susceptible to is much heavier outdoors, two essential steps in managing her condition are regular foot soaks and baths during the warmer months when all those triggers are in bloom.

Dermatologists recommend this common sense approach for human allergy sufferers. If you have hypersensitivities, your doctor will tell you to shower at night and in the morning to remove allergens from the surface of your body. I recommend you do the same for your dog or cat.

  • Frequent baths give complete, immediate relief to an itchy pet and wash away the allergens on the coat and skin. Make sure to use a grain free (oatmeal free) shampoo.
  • Foot soaks are also a great way to reduce the amount of allergens your pet tracks into the house and spreads all over her indoor environment.
  • Keep the areas of your home where your pet spends most of her time as allergen-free as possible. Vacuum and clean floors and pet bedding frequently using simple, non-toxic cleaning agents rather than household cleaners containing chemicals.
  • Because allergies are an immune system response, it’s important to keep your pet’s immune function optimal. This means avoiding unnecessary vaccinations and drugs. And I do not recommend you vaccinate your pet during a systemic inflammatory response. Vaccines stimulate the immune system, which is the last thing your pet with seasonal environmental allergies needs. Talk to your holistic vet about titers to measure your pet’s immunity to core diseases as an alternative to automatically vaccinating.
  • If you haven’t already, move your pet to an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods that create or worsen inflammation are high in carbohydrates. Your allergic pet’s diet should be very low in grain content.
  • Research has shown that ‘leaky gut,’ or dysbiosis, is a root cause of immune system overreactions, so addressing this issue with a holistic vet is an important aspect of reducing allergic reactions over time.

Allergy-Fighting Supplements

Quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I call it ‘nature’s Benadryl’ because it does a great job suppressing histamine release from mast cells and basophiles.

Histamine is what causes much of the inflammation, redness and irritation characteristic of an allergic response. By turning off histamine production with a quercetin supplement, we can suppress or at least moderate the effects of inflammation.

Quercetin also has some other wonderful properties. It inhibits 5-lipooxygenase, an enzyme that upregulates the inflammatory cascade. Quercetin inhibits the production of leukotrienes, another way the body creates inflammation, thereby decreasing the level of bronchoconstriction. Bronchoconstriction occurs in the lung fields as a symptom of asthma. Quercetin can actually suppress how much constriction occurs.

Bromelain and papain. Bromelain and papain are proteolytic enzymes that increase the absorption of quercetin, making it work more effectively. They also suppress histamine production.

One of the reasons I use quercetin, bromelain and papain together is they also suppress prostaglandin release. Prostaglandins are another pathway by which inflammation can occur. By suppressing prostaglandins, we can decrease the pain and inflammation associated with irritated mucous membranes and body parts. Using the three substances in combination provides some natural pain and inflammation control.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation throughout the body. Adding them into the diet of all pets — particularly pets struggling with seasonal environmental allergies – is very beneficial. The best sources of omega 3s are krill oil, salmon oil, tuna oil, anchovy oil and other fish body oils.

Coconut oil. I also recommend coconut oil for allergic pets. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps decrease the production of yeast. Using a fish body oil with coconut oil before inflammation flares up in your pet’s body can help moderate or even suppress the inflammatory response.

 

Source: healthypets.mercola.com

Spotlight: Border Collie / Labrador Mix (aka “Borador”)

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The Borador = A Very Happy and Very Sweet Companion

The Borador is a medium to large sized dog that results from a Border Collie and Labrador Retriever breeding. She is a happy and clever dog known for her participation in a variety of activities like competitive obedience, agility, drug detection, search and rescue, main trailing and police work. She has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and is put in the breed groups of sporting and working, with talents in guiding, herding, watching, companionship, retrieving and guarding. She is sometimes referred to as a Border Collie Lab mix, a Border Lab mix, a Collie Lab mix, a Labrador collie mix and a Lab and Collie mix.

Where does the Borador come from?

Mixed breeds or Mutts have been around forever, this is not something new. What is new though is the deliberate breeding of two breeds that wouldn’t normally be brought together and then giving that mix a name that blends the two pure breeds. In the last 10 to 20 years these designer breeds or hybrids have become very popular. Sometimes the results are great and you get what the breeder wants, the best of both dogs. But sometimes you do not and that is something that cannot be guaranteed. Even puppies within the same litter might be different in appearance and temperament. Understanding a little more about the Border Collie and Labrador Retriever will give you more of a sense of where the Borador comes from.

The Border Collie

The Border Collie has been around for as long as people in Britain used dogs to herd and guard sheep! Collie coming from a Scottish dialect meaning sheepdog. He has been a top sheep dog for hundreds of years and Queen Victoria was known for being a fan of the breed.

Today he continues to be the top dog for herding and wining sheepdog trials. He is extremely alert, hardworking, clever and full of energy. He has to be busy or he becomes bored and destructive very easily. He is not the dog to get if you want a dog to chill and snuggle with, he has to be doing something. He is sensitive to his owners or handlers cues and can be strong minded or stubborn. His instinct to herd is so string if he has no sheep he may try to herd smaller pets and the kids! He also needs to socialized when he is young or he can become shy and fearful.

The Labrador Retriever

Canada is where the Lab comes from, in the island of Newfoundland of the north east coast. He was bred by fishermen to help with lines and retrieving fish and to be companions when they come home at the end of the day. They were called St John’s dogs then back in the 1700s. The English were impressed when they visited and in the 1800s he was brought to England where the nobility adopted him as a retriever for hunting. It was then he became referred to as a Labrador.

Photo: Smerikal

While these dogs thrived in England in Canada they disappeared because of tax laws and new regulations. In the 1920s he came to America and tops the list of favored dogs there as well as in England and Canada. Over the years he has proved invaluable in the military, the police force, as an assistant dog for those with special needs and more. He is sweet, intelligent, keen to please and devoted to his owner. Training is definitely important for him to help contain his exuberance!

Temperament

The Borador is a very happy and very smart dog usually demonstrated by a wagging tail that rarely stops. She has a curious nature, is friendly and eager to please. She loves people and is very social. She will happily lap up any affection she can get and will return the favor! She can be playful and excitable but while she is an extrovert she would never usually show any aggression to people though she may to smaller dogs to dominate them. She is very loyal and will follow her family around the home to be with them as she always wants to be the center of attention!

Training and Exercise Needs

How much exercise does she need?

She needs a lot of activity as she has a lot of energy and likes to be doing something all the time. As well as a couple of long walks a day include things like trips to the dog park, some play time where you make her chase after things, some mental stimulation too, let her swim, fetch a tennis ball, play Frisbee. If you enjoy a physical activity yourself such as jogging, hiking, swimming, cycling, she would love to come and join in. In fact it is important she is owned by people who love to be active too otherwise there will be an incompatibility there where either she is not getting the exercise she needs or you are greatly begrudging the time you have to spend outside with her.

Can I train her easily?

The Borador is quite easy to train usually as she is intelligent, keen to please, loves the praise and treats and being active with you. Occasionally she can inherit the more stubborn side of the Border Collie which may hold you up but usually she is a breeze to train and in fact learns like the Lab, quicker than many other breeds. Because she has hound in her and so may be prone to seeing smaller animals as prey have her socialized and trained from a young age to make life easier on everyone and bring out the best side of her.

Source: Dogbreedplus.com

Free Feeder or Scheduled Meals. Which is best?

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Do you leave food out for your dog 24/7? If so, you might be doing him a disservice.

There are basically only three ways (or some combination thereof) to go about feeding your dog.
1. Free Choice — food is available at all times and the individual picks when and how much their pet eats
2. Time Limited — owners put out food but take it away after a set amount of time
3. Amount Limited — owners offer a pre-determined amount of food and the pet can pick when to eat it
Free choice feeding is definitely the easiest option for owners — just fill up the bowl and top it off whenever you notice it getting low. Unfortunately, “easy for owners” and “good for pets” are frequently at odds with one another. Dogs that are free fed are at a high risk for becoming overweight. Who among us hasn’t snacked when we’re bored, even if we’re not all that hungry? Dogs will do the same thing. My owner’s been gone for awhile and the house is pretty dull without her … I know, I’ll see what’s in the bowl!

Photo: notto86

Even if your dog isn’t overweight, you should still reconsider free choice feeding. A loss of appetite is one of the first signs of many illnesses. Sure, you’ll eventually notice when your dog has stopped eating entirely (or maybe not if you think someone else in the house is topping off the bowl), but by that point the disease may have progressed past a critical point. I can’t overemphasize how important early diagnosis is to successful treatment.
Finally, leaving food out all the time is not very sanitary. Your dog won’t be the only critter that learns where to find its meal. You’re inviting insects, rodents, bacteria, and who knows what else (I’ve heard many a story of raccoons figuring out the doggie door) into your home when food is readily available.

Photo: Djun Kim

In my experience, a combination of amount limited and time limited feeding is best for pets. Determine the amount of food that your dog needs to maintain an ideal body condition and offer only that much per day. If your dog hasn’t finished the meal in 15 to 20 minutes, pick up the food, discard the remainder, and do not offer more until the next regularly scheduled meal.
Using this method, you’ll become very familiar with your dog’s eating habits and quickly notice even the smallest variation away from what is normal. For example, a dog with dental disease and oral pain may still finish its meal but could take longer to do so. This is also a good way to feed finicky animals; sometimes pets just need to get a little hungry before they’ll decide to dig into the nutritious meal that you are offering.

Written by: Dr. Jennifer Coates

Questions about what is best for you and your dog? K9s Only trainers are ready to offer advise on all your dog care questions!

Spotlight: Doberman Pinscher

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Photo: Brent LaBrada

The K9s Only Training department recently received an influx of Dobermans to train. This amazing breed is smart, sensitive, sweet and just a pleasure to work with. Is the Doberman right for you? Read below to find out more or call one of the K9s Only trainers for more information.

The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-large breed of domestic dog originally developed around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany. The muzzle is long, and so affords the leverage for an extremely strong bite. The Doberman stands on its toes (not the pads) and is not usually heavy-footed. Ideally, they have an even and graceful gait. Traditionally, the ears are cropped and posted, and the tail is docked. However, in some countries it is illegal to do so. The Doberman’s cropped ears and docked tail stems from the breed development as a purpose-bred working dog. They were bred to be a robust guard dog, and general consensus is that the cropped ears and docked tails helped create less “handholds” on the dog that an attacker could use to help ward off the dog. Docking is usually practiced because it is required as part of a breed standard for exhibition at dog shows. There is no medical reason for cosmetic cropping. Dobermans coloring is black, red, blue, and fawn and they have markings on the chest, paws/legs, muzzle, above the eyes, and underneath the tail.

Photo: VirtualWolf

Doberman Pinschers are well known as intelligent, alert, and tenaciously loyal companions and guard dogs. Personality varies a great deal between each individual, but if taken care of and trained properly they tend to be loving and devoted companions. The Doberman is driven, strong, and sometimes stubborn. Owning one requires commitment and care, but if trained well, they can be wonderful family dogs. Unlike some breeds (such as the German Shepherd), Dobermans are eager to please only after their place is established in their pack and that place is not as an alpha. With a consistent approach they can be easy to train and will learn very quickly. As with all dogs, if properly trained, they can be excellent with children. Dobermans adapt quickly, though they take their cue from their leader and value attention.

Photo: katzenfinch

Temperament

Although they are considered to be working dogs, Doberman Pinschers are often stereotyped as being ferocious and aggressive. As a personal protection dog, the Doberman was originally bred for these traits: it had to be large and intimidating, fearless, and willing to defend its owner, but sufficiently obedient and restrained to only do so on command. These traits served the dog well in its role as a personal defense dog, police dog, or war dog, but were not ideally adapted to a companionship role. The Doberman Pinscher’s aggression has been toned down by modern breeders over the years, and today’s Dobermans are known for a much more even and good natured temperament, extreme loyalty, high intelligence, and great trainability. In fact, the Doberman Pinscher’s size, short coat, and intelligence have made it a desirable house dog. The Doberman Pinscher is known to be energetic, watchful, fearless and obedient.

Photo: BJ Neary

Intelligence

The Doberman Pinscher has ranked amongst the most intelligent of dog breeds in experimental studies and expert evaluations. For instance, psychologist Stanley Coren ranks the Doberman as the 5th most intelligent dog in the category of obedience command training, based on the selective surveys he performed of some trainers (as documented in his book The Intelligence of Dogs). Additionally, in two studies, Hart and Hart (1985) ranked the Doberman Pinscher first in this category and Tortora (1980) gave the Doberman the highest rank in trainability. Although the methods of evaluation differ, these studies consistently show that the Doberman Pinscher, along with the Border Collie, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle and Rottweiler, is one of the most trainable breeds of dog.

Source:Wikipedia

Spotlight: The Golden Reteriver

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About This Breed

Photo Credit: Thatedeguy

 

The Golden Retriever originated in the early 19th century. It was developed after a long line of breeding from the Newfoundland, Tweed water spaniels and the Irish setter. The ultimate goal was to develop a breed of hunting dog that was big enough and had the endurance to hunt and retrieve a large number of game birds at a time. The Golden Retriever became quite popular with British nobility not only for its hunting and retrieving abilities, but because it was such a great companion. It is an excellent bird dog, and considered to excel in both land and water retrieval. The brees is so eager to please that it also makes an excellent search and rescue dog.

Physical Characteristics

The Golden Retriever is a large dog with a broad head and drop ears. The tail is otter-like, thick at the base then tapering at the end.

COLOR(S)

The Golden Retriever is most commonly seen in several shades of gold.

Photo Credit: Indexorama

COAT

The coat of the Golden Retriever is medium to long and usually wavy. There are feathers on the underbody, legs, feet, tails and ears.

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Photo Credit: Thomas Cook

Moderate to High

POSITIVES

The Golden Retriever is the quintessential family dog. It is very loving and loyal to the family and enjoys playing games and socializing with people. The Golden Retriever loves children and is great with other animals.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Something to know about Golden Retrievers is they need and ask for a lot of attention! They don’t make for a great watchdog, as it will typically only bark at a stranger to say “hello.”

Care

IDEAL LIVING CONDITIONS

The Golden Retriever fares well in the city or country.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The Golden Retriever needs daily exercise and should be brushed weekly to avoid shedding.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Golden Retrievers:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hot Spots
  • Cataracts
  • History and Background

Lord Tweedmouth, often credited for the development of the Golden Retriever, lived along the Tweed River, north of the Scottish border, during the mid-19th century. There were already many retriever breeds used for hunting fowl and other game, but seeing further potential in the dogs, he sought to create a new breed which could combat the adverse conditions of the area.

To accomplish this, he crossed a Wavy-Coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel. The result was four puppies with excellent bird-hunting abilities. Later, the yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever was cross-bred with Bloodhounds, black retrievers, setters, and Tweed Spaniels. This crossbreeding produced dogs with similar characteristics but with a distinct yellow flat coat. Some of these dogs entered the United States in the early 1900s with Lord Tweedmouth’s sons, and in 1912, they were formally recognized as the Golden (or Yellow) Retriever. This breed has since gained much popularity in America.

The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1927, and it remains one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States today.

– See more at: http://www.pawculture.com/breed-basics/dog-breeds/golden-retriever/#sthash.Jpu27hvf.dpuf