Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Workout With Your Dog Safely!

As warm weather approaches, building a workout routine with your mutts can be extremely beneficial. A lot of people find it fun and motivating to workout with your dogs. However, there are certain cautionary steps pet owners should take when exercising with your mutts. Here are some tips:

  • Evaluate your mutts' physicality - Don't just dive into an intense workout session with your dog; build up to it. Make sure you know what your dog is capable of and consider its breed and age for certain exercises. It would be good to consult your trusted vet before you start a workout regiment with your mutts.
  • Environmental Considerations - Running, hiking, biking, or walking in cold or hot weather may not be the best times for you or your mutt. If you're exercising outside during the summer, try to go early or late evening when the pavement is not hot on your mutt's feet. During the cold winter, consider walking or running your dog on a treadmill.
  • Prep Yourself with Food & Water - Make sure you bring some food and water for both you and your mutt, especially if you plan on doing a lengthy or intense workout. Dog treats and an energy bar may help boost you and your mutt's energy and water will help prevent heat stroke.
  • Train Your Dog - Properly train your mutts to walk or run the same side of you every time to avoid tripping each other. Teach them not to pull on the leash or not to run ahead of you unexpectedly to avoid throwing you off balance. 
  • Safety Comes First -Make sure you wear a helmet, knee pads, and other protection when appropriate. Don't tie the leash to your wrist in case your dog pulls and jerks you off balance. Don't push you or your mutt too hard. If either of you are starting to show signs of exhaustion, pain, or trouble breathing, then that's a good indication to stop the workout and rest.
  • Again Stay Hydrated - Allow you and your mutt to drink plenty of water throughout the exercise and a little bit of food here and there to boost your energy (but don't exercise on a full stomach either).
  • Cool Down & Body Check - After your workout, make sure to cool your body down and stretch out your muscles. Also take some time to check your mutt's leg and paws for any cuts, bruises, ticks, and other foreign objects. You may also reward your dog with a treat for working hard.
  • Once Again, Hydrate You and Your Dog - Also be sure to allow the proper amount of rest for you and your mutt in between workouts for your bodies to recoup. 
Keeping your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Top Pet Emergencies for Your Mutt

As a pet owner, how do you know when your mutt's health is a serious issue that requires a veterinarian's care ASAP? Below are a few common health problems that vets see in the ER:
  • Urinary Problems - If you notice that your dog is having difficulty peeing, has blood in its pee, or is not producing any urine for an usual long period of time, take your mutt to see your trusted vet as soon as possible. Although rare, urinary blockage does happen and has a high chance of being life-threatening if not quickly treated.
  • Difficulty Breathing - Signs of your mutt wheezing, raspy breaths, and choking is when you need to get them to a pet hospital as soon as possible. Your dog may have lodged something in its throat, and if this is the case, do NOT try to extract it yourself. Doing so may result in pushing the object even deeper and clogging the airway completely. 
  • Poison or Toxin Exposure - If you suspect your mutt has gotten itself into something poisonous like a bag of fertilizers in the backyard or a bottle of kitchen cleaner,  ASPCA animal poison control at 888-426-4435888-426-4435 for immediate help.You may be asked to take your dog to the vet for further assistance or even induce vomiting for your mutt.
  • Neurological Issues - A normal healthy dog is usually alert and bright, so if you notice that your mutt is experiencing neurological issues like unresponsiveness, disorientation, or in a coma, consult your vet right away. Another major issue dog seizures caused by epilepsy. If your dog is shaking uncontrollably or has lost its bowel and urinary control, get them to the vet or pet hospital.
  • Dog Trauma - Dog trauma may include various situations like a big fall, getting hit by a car, involved in a dog fight, or having a gunshot wound. For these situations, even if your mutt seems fine on the outside, still take them in to a vet to get checked out. Sometimes there may be internal bleeding, ruptured lung, or a hernia that may need immediate medical attention.
The list above is only a handful of health problems that your mutts might experience. This doesn't mean that other health concerns does not require vet care. The best the to do is when in doubt, consult your trusted vet!

Keeping your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!