Sunday, December 30, 2012

Puppies Lose Their Teeth Too!

Like humans, puppies go through the teething process when they are growing within the first year of their lives. When they are first born, puppies don't have teeth until when they are about six to eight weeks old, and then their average 28 baby teeth count will slowly come in for the next few months.

When the little pups reach about three to four months old, they will start to lose their baby teeth and have their adult molars and canines come in. For some, it can take up to almost a year for the average 42 adult teeth to grow. During this time, again like humans, the teething process can be irritating and even painful for your little mutts.

So here are a few things you can do at home to help make your puppies "growing up" smoother:
  • Lots of chew toys: You may notice that your loving and cute little puppies are starting to misbehave by chewing and biting everything that they can get their little paws on. To help save some of your furniture and/or shoes, be sure to have a lot of different chew toys or bones that they can munch on as an alternative. 
  • Soft foods: If the teething process is uncomfortable for your baby mutts, you may notice that they don't have as good of an appetite as they used to. In this case you can try substituting a part of their meal with softer foods such as canned dog food to ease some of the pain and discomfort. 
  • Numb the pain: If it's obvious that the teething process for your pups are painful, you can always try numbing their mouths by putting ice in their water and/or applying a wet frozen wash cloth to their gums on a regular basis. For further actions or tips, consult your trusted vet. 
Keep your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Safe Christmas Toys for Your Dogs!

So while you're out shopping for your family, in-laws, relatives, neighbors, and their pets for Christmas, it's important to distinguish which toys are safe and which ones are not-so-good for your mutts.

Here are a few tips as to how to choose safe toys for your dogs as Christmas presents and stocking stuffers:
  • Toy quality: It's important to take a good look at the quality of the toys before you make a purchase. Toys that are too soft or have too many accessories and weak parts like eyes, frying ends, and strings may be easily shredded and digested. 
  • Toy size: So in the case of dog toy safety, size does matter. A toy too small for a big dog may cause choking hazards, and a toy too big for your dog's mouth may irritate or harm their teeth and gums.
  • Dog treats: Be sure to read the labels on all dog treats, especially the new ones that you want to try out. Some treats may contain a lot of preservatives and ingredients that are not healthy for your mutts. You may also consult your trusted vet on whether or not the treats you're feeding your dogs are good for their health.
Keep your mutts happy,healthy, and hearty!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How To Dog-Proof Your Christmas!

For celebrating one of the biggest holidays of the year, it is important to have safety in mind when getting into the Christmas spirit with all your beautiful decorations around the house.

Here are a few tips on how to doggie proof your Christmas to avoid disasters:
  • Christmas tree: Whether you have a real or artificial tree in the house, be sure to cover the bottom or water stand with a skirt to keep your mutts away from either chewing the bark or drinking the water. For the real trees, the pine sap mixed with water can be poisonous to dogs if consumed. Also in terms of tree ornaments, be sure to put the delicate/glass and/or eatable ones towards the top of the tree where your mutts can't easily break them, eat them, or get cut by glass.
  • House decor: Other decorations around the house like candles and plants can also be dangerous for your dogs. It is important to keep these decor out of reach from you mutts since things like candle wax, mistletoe, and poinsettias can be poisonous to mutts if consumed and can cause other serious health issues.

  • Electrical cords: It goes without saying, your dogs chewing or playing with electrical cords spells disaster for you, your family, and your mutts themselves. So be sure to keep electrical cords hidden or out of reach from your dogs such as Christmas lights and extension cords. Spraying dog anti-chew sprays from the pet store may also help keep your mutts from getting into trouble.
Keeping your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    How to Treat Dog Paw Injury!

    Dog paws are one of the most vulnerable places for injuries - they are exposed to anything sharp and extreme temperatures almost on a daily basis. So if and when you mutts do get a cut or a split paw on their foot, here are a couple of steps that you can take at home to help your dogs' speedy recovery:

    1. Remove debris: First, clear out all debris that may be on the paw or around the wound with tweezers and/or cotton swab. 
    2. Cleaning the wound: Second, swish the wounded paw in some warm water with Epsom salt to help clear out the rest of the debris in the wound. Then dry the paw with some clean paper towels or regular hand towels. Be sure to check for and get rid of any remaining debris in or around the wound. 
    3. Kill the bacteria: Third, use something like betadine to rinse over the wound to kill the bacteria that may be in the paw. This helps prevent infections that may lead to other serious health issues. Try avoiding hydrogen peroxide or alcohol for disinfecting since they tend to dry out or damage the tissue on the paw slowing the healing process.
    4. Wrapping it up: Fourth, apply some antibiotic ointments on the wound to help with the healing and some clean and sterile gauze to wrap the paw up. You may also put a few layers of self-adhering bandages over the gauze to make the bandaging more durable for walking. Be sure to NOT have the bandages too tight and keep it clean and dry by changing it often.
    These are just basic precautions that dog owners can do at home by themselves to help a minor paw injury of their mutts. For any other questions or major paw injuries, please consult your trusted vet.

    Keep your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Winter Health Tips For Dogs!

    As dog owners bundle up for the cold winter temperatures, it is important to also keep in mind that our furry little friends need some seasonal adjustments to their environments too.

    Here are four winter health tips for you as a dog owner to help make your pups a little more comfortable during freezing temperatures:

    1. Good shelters: If you have outdoor dogs, be sure to place them in a warm, dry, and wind resistant place. Portable heaters can be useful as long as they are safely installed and out of reach from your mutts so they won't get burns from the heaters. 
    2. Fresh food: Leaving your dogs' water bowl outside to freeze into ice is not a healthy option for your mutts. Neither is letting your dogs eat snow when they are thirsty. Always have a fresh, clean, non-frozen bowl of water and food for your dogs if they are outdoors, which means you may have to check up on them more than usual.
    3. Avoiding frostbites: The tips of your mutts' ears, tails, and paws are very susceptible to getting frostbites in cold weather. Keep an eye out for symptoms like firm waxy skin and/or blisters. Dog booties and coats are good ideas to avoiding such pain for your dogs. For more information on dog paw care, take a glance at the previous blog post "Best Winter Tips for Your Dogs Paws."
    4. Proper dietary needs: During the winter time, dogs tend to sleep more and exercise less as a way for them to conserve energy for their bodies. So adjusting their food amount is also critical to the health of your mutts. You don't want to feed them too much compared to summer time when they may be much more active. 
    Keep your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Feeding Your Dogs Vitamins

    Vitamins are a great way for humans to keep up on their necessary daily nutrients for potentially a long and healthy life. So naturally, we would think that the same health rules would apply to our loving mutts. However, if you have healthy dogs who don't have prescribed health issues by your trusted vet, then feeding your mutts vitamins can actually have a damaging effect on your furry little friends!

    Humans normally take these different supplements because we don't tend to always eat the right things or eat enough of the healthy foods. If you feed your dogs good balanced meals every day, then vitamins are not needed for their diet. 

    Good dog food brands (like IAMS, Pedigree, Purina...etc) already have all of the necessary nutrients for your mutts' body. So by feeding your mutts extra supplements on top of their daily diet actually puts their little organs into overdrive. For older dogs, their internal systems may not be as powerful as it used to be, so the vitamins may not be properly digested and would cause other major health problems which can lead to surgery or even death. Unless your trusted vet prescribes some type of vitamins for a specific need for your mutts, it's best to continue feeding them a healthy diet.

    Keep your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Flu Season for Dogs!

    As the flu season arrives, people are rushing off to their family doctor or nearest drug store to get a flu shot that will hopefully help make the winter days more bearable to survive. Among the busyness, however, people tend to not realize that their furry little friends can catch a cold or the dog flu as well.

    Although this may not happen as often as it does for humans, dogs too can get sick from their own form of flu virus or a respiratory inflection. Some symptoms that may suggest such an illness for your mutts include a low fever, running nose, a consistent cough, and/or just feeling down and lack of energy. Most of the time dogs can contract the sickness from boarding kennels, animal shelters, the doggie daycare, or the dog park since that's where they come in the most contact with other mutts. Dogs of old age and certain breeds like flat-faced mutts are also more susceptible to doggie colds and flu. 

    While a minor cold or flu may not cause too much damage to your mutts, not helping them recover to their normal healthy state can lead to other major issues. If left untreated, a cold or the flu can create a secondary infection like pneumonia which can be deadly for dogs. So if you suspect any type of infection or sickness, talk to your trusted vet for advise and possibly some prescribed antibiotics for your mutts.

    There are dog flu shots that may be available for your mutts if you think they really need them (again, talk to your trusted vet). The shots don't guarantee that your dogs won't get sick - they just lessen the severity of the illness. Otherwise, for a minor cold or flu, make sure your dogs get plenty of rest and fluid.

    Keep your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!