Keep These Topical Medications Away From Your Dog

 

Animals are curious and no one is perfect, which means it’s all too easy to accidentally leave your favorite topical product in the path of an inquisitive pet. The following products can cause major problems.

1. Zinc oxide

A common ingredient in sunscreen, diaper rash formulas, and calamine lotions, zinc oxide can be particularly damaging to a dog’s intestines if ingested.

Keep an eye out for vomiting and diarrhea; these are signs your dog’s intestines have been injured. And once absorbed into the bloodstream, zinc damages red blood cells, leading to anemia, pale or yellow mucous membranes, weakness, rapid breathing, and abnormally dark urine.

2. Retinoids

Found in many anti-aging products, retinoids can cause tummy trouble for dogs if ingested, resulting in lethargy, vomiting, and decreased appetite.

Another potential side effect in dogs is the development of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye). You’ll also want to keep any pregnant dogs far from your wrinkle reducers, as the retinoids could cause birth defects.

3. NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are commonly used in over-the-counter and prescription creams to treat pain and inflammation.

They make you feel better, but they can cause everything from stomach ulcers to kidney failure in pets if administered incorrectly. Signs of toxicity include decreased appetite and vomiting.

4. Steroid Creams

If ingested or absorbed through your dog’s skin, these can cause endocrine disorders.

You may notice an increase in thirst and the need to urinate. The dog may also have nausea and diarrhea. Exposure to estrogen creams can cause heat-like symptoms in spayed female dogs and mammary gland enlargement in males.

5. Minoxidil

Found in hair growth products, minoxidil can cause severe cardiovascular issues, including heart failure, if ingested.

The easiest way to keep your pets safe is to store your topical products in a secure location. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying any topical medicine or treatment, and never use human products on your pet without a veterinarian’s guidance.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

5 Most Contagious Dog Diseases

Medicine is always advancing, for both human and animals. And while that means that many of these diseases aren’t as prevalent as they once were, you should still be aware of any disease your dog may be exposed to, whether at the dog park, daycare kennel, or elsewhere. Here are 5 of the most contagious dog diseases.

1. Canine Parvovirus

Parvovirus is one of the first things puppies get vaccinated for—and with good reason. Puppies with parvo can get severe diarrhea, vomiting, and regurgitation, which can lead to dehydration and death. Vaccination for parvovirus is highly effective.

The virus is spread orally, through fecal/oral transmission. If a dog becomes infected, it’s important to keep them hydrated and make sure they’re getting nutrients. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) notes that parvo is highly contagious and suggests a thorough cleaning of toys, food and water bowls, and other surfaces with a bleach and water solution if a dog with parvo has been in contact with them.

2. Canine Influenza

Dog flu is spread very much like the human flu, through coughing and sneezing, recovery is also similar to humans in that dogs should be kept warm and comfortable while they recover naturally. The canine flu is mostly transmitted these days in animal shelters, so it’s not spreading widely among dogs in general.

Dogs that don’t frequent places like day care and boarding don’t necessarily need the vaccine—though many of those places now require it.

3. Canine Distemper

Distemper is deadly and used to be seen much more decades ago, before it became the first big vaccine for dogs. The disease is spread by bodily secretions and causes three issues: gastrointestinal upset, upper respiratory issues, and then it affects the neurologic system, after which dogs could have seizures and die.

Luckily the vaccine is safe and effective. For the most part a good job has been done in controlling a very devastating disease.

4. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is often spread through wildlife, so veterinarians used to think of it as a more rural disease. That’s not the case anymore, though it’s hard to tell where exactly a dog might get it since the disease is transmitted through urine. When dog diseases can affect humans, they’re extra worrisome for society. It can cause liver and kidney failure in both humans and animals. In fact, it could even lead to infected humans needing a kidney transplant.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) says that the signs of leptospirosis vary from dog to dog, but could include fever, vomiting, thirst, jaundice, and either frequent urination or lack of urination. It also notes that, if treated early, dogs can recover. However, recovery could take months, and some dogs might never fully recover.

5. Coronavirus

Like canine influenza, coronavirus is spread from dog to dog through coughing and sneezing, according to the AMVA. It can be hard to diagnose.

Corona is a virus looking for a vaccine, meaning there’s a lot of corona out there but it may not clinically do very much. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but some veterinarians have stopped vaccinating for it in an effort to reduce the number of vaccines a dog receives overall.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Cleanest Dog Breeds

 

What are the “cleanest” dog breeds? A lot of prospective dog owners with tidy homes would like to know. Unfortunately, the term “clean” is relative, and might apply to dogs that have little discernable doggy odor or perhaps “clean” means dogs with low-shedding, hypoallergenic coats, or even dogs with no coat at all. Keeping these factors in mind, here are the top 6 breeds we’ve determined to be the cleanest.

1. American Hairless Terrier

The first hairless breed to originate in the United States, the American Hairless Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2016. The new breed is the result of a mutation that occurred in a litter of Rat Terriers born in 1972, according to the AKC. The litter included a hairless, pink-skinned puppy with black spots that was playful, affectionate and feisty. In time, the American Hairless Terrier breed was established and has become a popular dog with families. As terriers, they also love to play outside, dig in the dirt and chase anything that moves.

The American Hairless Terrier does shed skin cells and their sensitive skin must be protected from sunburn with sunscreen or protective clothing. Because the dogs are hairless, they don’t shed but are more prone to skin problems. While they’re clean and neat, they can have the same skin issues people do.

2. Xoloitzcuintli

Recognized by the AKC in 2010, the Xoloitzcuintli can be either hairless or have a short coat. An ancient breed native to Mexico, its name comes from the Aztec god Xolotl and itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog.

The typical Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo for short, is calm, aloof and attentive, and makes an excellent companion dog with moderate exercise and grooming needs. Xolos require occasional baths, after which the hairless version should receive an application of body lotion.

3. Bedlington Terrier

If “clean” is defined strictly in terms of a low-shedding coat, the gentle and loyal Bedlington Terrier fits the bill.

This unique-looking breed that vaguely resembles a sheep doesn’t shed, but its single-layer coat should be regularly clipped. The AKC recommends going to an experienced groomer to keep the Bedlington Terrier’s coat in top form.

4. Poodle

Well known as a good choice for people with allergies because of its non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat, the Poodle was recognized by the AKC in 1887 and comes in three sizes—toy, miniature and standard. The Poodle is a highly intelligent, active and family-friendly breed.

The Poodle’s coat is so sought-after that the breed is one of the most popular to cross with other breeds, spawning oodles of Poodle hybrids including the Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle), Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle), Jack-a-Poo (Jack Russell Terrier/Poodle), Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever/Poodle), and Pekepoo (Pekingese/Poodle). Of course, even breeds with low-maintenance coats still require regular grooming.

5. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow combines many “clean” dog characteristics, and according to the AKC, owners report that Chow Chows “are the cleanest of dogs: they housebreak easily, have very little doggy odor, and generally are as fastidious as cats.” At certain times of the year, however, Chow Chows shed… a lot!

An adaptable breed that requires only moderate exercise and can easily live in an apartment setting, adjectives used to describe the Chow Chow’s personality include “dignified” and “serious-minded.” The Chow Chow originated in ancient China where it was used as a hunting dog. The medium-sized dog is also known as one of only two breeds with a blue-black tongue.

6. Japanese Chin

A breed known for grooming itself like a cat, the Japanese Chin can even get hairballs. Japanese Chins particularly like to lick their paws to clean them, not just to remove an irritation or soothe a wound like other dog breeds.

Sensitive and highly intelligent, the Japanese Chin was bred to be a companion animal. It’s name, however, is a misnomer, as it originated in ancient China and not Japan. The small, medium-energy breed has a long, silky coat that’s surprisingly low-maintenance. The Japanese Chin also tends to be a quiet housemate, but agile and playful when it wants to be, much like a cat.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Dog Diseases You Can Catch

There’s no denying the benefits of including dogs in your life, but as is true with all things, there are downsides. One that is often overlooked is the possibility of catching a disease from your pet. Here are a few of the more common ones you should know of.

1. Giardiasis

Giardia is a parasite that causes diarrhea in animals and people. Giardia is transmitted to animals and people through food or water contaminated with stool (poop).

Symptoms for animals and people include diarrhea, greasy stools, and dehydration. People can also have abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms can last 1-2 weeks.

2. Hookworm

Dog hookworms are tiny worms that can spread through contact with contaminated soil or sand. Pets can also become infected with hookworms through accidentally ingesting the parasite from the environment or through their mother’s milk or colostrum. Hookworm infections in pets can cause anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss. Severe infections can be fatal.

People become infected with hookworms while walking barefoot, kneeling, or sitting on ground contaminated with stool of infected animals. Hookworm larvae enter the top layers of skin and cause an itchy reaction called cutaneous larva migrans. A red squiggly line may appear where the larvae have migrated under the skin. Symptoms usually resolve without medical treatment in 4-6 weeks.

3. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of people and animals that is transmitted through contaminated water and urine or other body fluids from an infected animal. It is difficult to detect early stages of leptospirosis in animals, but the disease can lead to kidney and liver failure if left untreated.

People who become infected with leptospirosis might not have any signs of the disease. Others will have nonspecific flu-like signs within 2-7 days after exposure. These symptoms usually resolve without medical treatment, but can reappear and lead to more severe disease.

4. MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

Staphylococcus aureus is a common type of bacteria that is normally found on the skin of people and animals. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the same bacterium that has become resistant to some antibiotics. Dogs often can carry MRSA without being sick, but MRSA can cause a variety of infections, including of the skin, respiratory tract, and urinary tract.

MRSA can be transmitted back and forth between people and animals through direct contact. In people, MRSA most often causes skin infections that can range from mild to severe. If left untreated, MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs and cause life-threatening infections.

5. Ringworm

Ringworm is a condition caused by a fungus that can infect skin, hair, and nails of both people and animals. Ringworm is passed from animals to people through direct contact with an infected animal’s skin or hair. Dogs infected with ringworm typically have small areas of hair loss and may have scaly or crusty skin; but some pets carrying ringworm have no signs of infection at all. Young animals are most commonly affected.

Ringworm infections in people can appear on almost any area of the body. These infections are usually itchy. Redness, scaling, cracking of the skin, or a ring-shaped rash may occur. If the infection involves the scalp or beard, hair may fall out. Infected nails become discolored or thick and may possibly crumble.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

5 Common Dog Illnesses that are Impacted by Nutrition

 

A high quality, well-balanced diet is fundamental to your dog’s health, but do you know why? Here are just a few canine health problems seen in dogs that are directly affected by their diet.

1. OBESITY

Obesity is a nationwide epidemic for our dogs, affecting over 50% of American dogs1. Even worse, dogs affected by obesity are more prone to arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), decreased life expectancy is also linked to obesity in pets, and unfortunately, among all pets that veterinarians ultimately classified as obese, over 90% of dog owners initially thought their pet was in the normal weight range

Pay special attention to the calorie and fat levels of your dog’s food. While they are both important to the diet, an overabundance of either can cause or exacerbate obesity in dogs. Likewise, finding a proper dog diet that limits calories and fats can help trim down an overweight or obese dog and, ultimately, help your dog live a more healthy lifestyle.

Determine your pet’s ideal weight by consulting your veterinarian or by using petMD’s Healthy Weight Calculator.

2. PANCREATITIS

Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing the flow of digestive enzymes to be released into the abdominal area. If this occurs, the digestive enzymes will begin to break down fat and proteins in the other organs, as well as in the pancreas.

“In dogs, dietary fat is known to be associated with the development of pancreatitis and can stimulate the secretion of a hormone that induces the pancreas to secrete its digestive hormones,” says Jennifer Coates, DVM. Consult your veterinarian to see if your dog’s current dietary fat intake may be increasing his or her risk of pancreatitis. If your dog is already suffering from pancreatitis, Dr. Coates recommends a bland dog diet that is low in fat and easily digestible.

3. BLADDER STONES

All bladder stones are not created equal. They can be composed of different types of minerals and other substances. For example, calcium oxalate bladder stones are primarily composed of calcium while struvites are primarily composed of magnesium and phosphates (phosphorus). Bladder stones may start out small, but over time can grow in number and/or size, causing issues such as urinary accidents, discolored urine, and urination straining.

Speak with a veterinarian if you believe your dog is suffering from bladder stones. They can identify the type of bladder stone and recommend a food to dissolve the stone, or surgery to remove it if it is a type that cannot be dissolved with food, like calcium oxalates. They can also recommend a special diet that can help deter the formation of bladder stones.

Even if your dog isn’t currently suffering from bladder stones, he or she may benefit from a diet that is lower in calcium and phosphorus. Your veterinarian will know what’s best for your dog’s situation.

4. HEART DISEASE

Dogs often have issues with heart disease like we do, especially if their diet isn’t properly balanced. One key factor to heart disease in dogs is their sodium (salt) intake. “Increased sodium in the diet causes increased levels of sodium circulating in the blood,” says Ken Tudor, DVM. “These elevated levels of sodium cause water retention in the blood vessels and elevated blood pressure. As blood pressure increases the diseased heart must continue to enlarge to overcome the increased pressure in order to pump blood from the ventricles.”

Are you feeding your dog table scraps? Is your dog’s current food too high in sodium? Talk to your veterinarian about these things and how your dog may benefit from a healthy diet that is lower in sodium.

5. DIARRHEA

Dogs frequently suffer from bouts of diarrhea, but there are two main types of diarrhea: small bowel and large bowel diarrhea. “Dogs with small bowel diarrhea typically produce large amounts of soft stool but do so just a few times a day,” says Dr. Coates. “When abnormalities are centered in the colon, affected dogs will usually strain to produce small amounts of watery stool frequently throughout the day. This is large bowel diarrhea.”

“For large bowel diarrhea,” says Dr. Coates “a high fiber diet has been shown to be beneficial. Ideally, both soluble fiber (the type colonic bacteria use for food) and insoluble (indigestible) fiber should be included.” For small bowel diarrhea, Dr. Coates recommends a bland, low fat, easily digested diet.

Discuss with your veterinarian how fat, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, and other dietary nutrients play an important role in your dog’s health. He or she may even have important new dietary recommendations to consider for your dog’s specific life stage and lifestyle.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

What to do When Your Dog Swallowed Foreign Object

 

Most dogs will chew and swallow almost anything, especially when they’re puppies. And although some objects may be small enough to swallow and digested with minor consequences, others may get stuck at some point – in the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, or intestines.

1. What To Watch For

Any sudden onset of choking that affects respiration should be dealt with urgently.

Signs of intestinal or digestive discomfort (typically in the form of vomiting and possibly diarrhea) will require investigation – often by verifying what toys and items are still present and deducing what may have been swallowed along with more specific veterinary means of deduction.

2. Immediate Care

f the dog is choking and in respiratory distress, act quickly. Check the dog’s mouth for foreign objects that may be lodged there and, only if very easily accomplished without injury to yourself, remove them. Sedation is often necessary in these cases.

If you can see thread, string, or another form of cord hanging from the dog’s mouth, do not pull it or cut it. Doing so may cause injury to the throat or esophagus, among other sensitive structures. In any case, take the dog to a vet as soon as possible.

3. If You Know What Your Dog Swallowed

If the swallowed object is an acid, alkali, a petroleum product, or you’re not sure, do not induce vomiting. If the swallowed object is sharp, NEVER induce vomiting.

In all cases, call your veterinarian immediately for advice as to the next steps required. These will vary depending on the object ingested, the time of ingestion and the symptoms the pet is currently exhibiting.

4. Veterinary Care

A veterinarian will be able to perform tests and take X-rays if you are unsure of what the dog has swallowed. Barium studies, ultrasounds and CT scans are but a few of the tools available to determine whether surgery may be required to remove the object or not.

Treating a dog that has accidentally swallowed an object can vary widely from simply plucking the object from the throat while sedated to intestinal surgery that may require the removal of several feet of bowel. The potential severity of a simple unchewed corn cob or tube sock cannot be underestimated.

5. Prevention

Although it’s almost impossible to stop dogs from putting things in their mouth, always be present and keep an eye on what they’re chewing. Avoid keeping too many toys as well as moisture-swollen chewsticks around your home.

Human items, such as socks and underwear, can also be a danger for chew-prone dogs. Lastly, remove large pits from fruit and cut up food before serving it to a dog.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Ear Infections in Dogs-Breeds Prone to It

 

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons pet parents bring their dogs to the veterinarian. They aren’t just uncomfortable for your dog and frustrating for you. When they are chronic, ear infections can be very painful and can lead to vertigo and deafness. Here are the dog breeds that are prone to ear infections.

1. Labrador Retrievers

Retrievers love to play in the water, which means there is more opportunity for their ears to get moisture in them.

Yeast and bacteria thrive in moist environments, leading to ear infections.

2. Cocker Spaniels

Cocker spaniels may be adorable with their heavy, long floppy ears and thick hair, but that may not necessarily be a good thing.

They are at high risk for ear infections.

3. Poodles

Dogs with very hairy ears are prone to ear infections.

When the hair works right, it keeps debris out of the ear. But when there is infection, the hair may make it more difficult for the material to exit the ear canal.

4. Shar-Peis

Shar-Peis and other dogs known for heavy skin folds often have very narrow ear canals.

This means that even a small amount of debris can clog the canal and cause significant discomfort. Narrow canals also means it’s harder for material to exit once it gets in.

5. Allergic Dogs

Dogs with allergies tend to develop ear infections. There are two ways this happens. The first is that they become itchy and scratching the ears disrupts the normal defenses against infection.

The second way allergies lead to ear infection is that part of the dog’s allergic response is an overgrowth of the normal yeast or bacteria in their ears. These dogs often develop chronic or recurrent ear infections. The only cure is to address the underlying allergies.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Heart Disease in Dogs

 

Knowing what health issues your dog is susceptible to gives you the chance to catch a malady early when you have ample time to modify it. When the issue concerns the heart, you can slow down the disease before it progresses to heart failure. If you own or plan to adopt one of the following breeds, you need to watch for symptoms they may exhibit that are common to heart disease.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

The incidence of degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) occurs more frequently in this breed than any other. Fifty percent of Cavaliers develop a heart murmur, indicating onset of the disease, by age 5, and 100 percent by age 10. With DMVD, a leaky mitral valve causes blood to go backward into the left atrium of the heart. (Usually this valve closes when the heart contracts and the blood moves forward into the body.)

Because the condition is inherited, we can’t do much to prevent it. Early symptoms of congestive heart failure include decreased exercise tolerance, labored breathing, and coughing. If you notice any of these, see your veterinarian right away. If your veterinarian detects a heart murmur, he may refer you to a veterinary cardiologist. Otherwise, schedule annual checkups with your general practice veterinarian until the dog reaches age 6 and then twice a year after that.

2. Dachshunds

Dachshunds often develop a leaky heart valve, or DMVD. DMVD usually appears in this breed between 8 and 10 years of age. Regular annual veterinary checkups should reveal this condition early. As a Dachshund ages, you should increase those examinations to every six months, so the condition can be addressed before it becomes problematic.

DMVD can be controlled by medication. It also helps to keep the dog’s weight down so the heart doesn’t have to work harder than normal.

3. Miniature And Toy Poodles

Degenerative mitral valve disease usually develops in middle age in these smaller breeds. We see an even higher incidence in the elderly population. The valve on the left side of the heart becomes structurally thickened, which makes the blood flow backward, causing a heart murmur.

This enlarges the heart and triggers heart failure. Catching it early is the key so the disease can be treated with medications, a sodium-restricted diet, and fish oil supplements.

4. Doberman Pinschers

Dobermans are at risk for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of the heart muscle that causes the left ventricle to enlarge and cease functioning correctly. In the early or later phase of the disease, bad arrhythmias may develop that can be life threatening. As the disease progresses, an affected dog may faint, lose weight, exhibit shortness of breath, cough, or retain fluid that causes his belly to distend.

DCM occurs more frequently in male Dobermans. If you know your Doberman’s family history and it includes incidences of DCM, tell your veterinarian so he or she can watch for symptoms, especially a heart murmur or abnormal heart rhythm. Annual exams should be ramped up to twice yearly when your dog reaches 4 years of age.

5. Boxers

Boxers are susceptible to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). ARVC is a genetic heart disease that results from fatty cells being deposited in the right ventricle muscle crowding out the normal cells.

This can result in ventricular arrhythmias (life-threatening heart rhythm abnormality). In early stages, dogs may display bad heart arrhythmias which affects their exercise ability and often results in fainting and, sadly, even sudden death.

6. Golden Retrievers

The most common congenital heart disease seen in Goldens is aortic stenosis. The aortic valve doesn’t form properly during gestation, and when the dog is born, the valve sticks. That makes the heart muscle thicken.

The narrowing of the valve can be mild, moderate, or severe. Most common in larger breeds, aortic stenosis may be apparent at birth if it’s in the moderate or severe stage. Milder cases usually appear in the dog’s first year. Ask your general practice veterinarian to listen for a heart murmur if you have a Golden puppy.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Are Probiotics For Dogs Good?

Probiotic supplements are everywhere. You might be taking one. Should your dog?

1. Boosting Canine Health

Probiotics are essentially a way of boosting the number of “good” microorganisms present in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby helping them to out-compete the “bad” ones. It also appears that probiotics can improve canine health in other ways: They seem to be able to beneficially modify an animal’s immune function.

Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation can help treat infections outside of the gastrointestinal tract as well as some allergic and inflammatory diseases. This isn’t too surprising given that a large proportion of the body’s immune system is associated with the gut. Anything that influences the immune system there could have a wide-spread benefit.

2. Can I Give My Dog Human Probiotics?

While there are no known studies that prove that human probiotic supplements can harm a dog, veterinarians that study the subject recommend that pet owners opt for a probiotic that is specially made for dogs and contains the specific strains that a dog’s gut needs.

There are significant differences in the biology of dogs and humans, including differences in the acidity of stomach fluids, digestive enzymes, and other features of the gastrointestinal tract. Because probiotics for humans have not been designed or tested to accommodate the biology of dogs, it is impossible to know if these will be safe or effective in our canine companions. It is safer to use products designed and tested for dogs.

3. How To Give A Dog Probiotics

Canine probiotic supplements are administered orally and can be included in a dog’s food or wrapped in a treat. When administering a probiotic to a dog, it’s very important that you follow the instructions on the product label.

Each product has its own instructions which should be followed consistently. Improperly formulated or administered probiotics can easily be destroyed in the stomach and not reach the intestines where they are intended to perform their function.

4. Risks And Considerations

 

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

5 Dog Nose Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

On the surface, your dog’s nose may look wet, wriggling, and cute. But your pup’s nose is actually a powerful device that guides him through his days in pretty impressive ways. Here are some interesting facts about your dog’s sense of smell that prove canines have superior sniffers.

1. Dog’s Nose Has Two Functions

One for smell and one for respiration. A canine’s nose has the ability to separate air.

A portion goes directly to the olfactory sensing area (which distinguishes scents), while the other portion is dedicated to breathing.

2. Take In And Breathe Out Air At The Same Time

When sniffing, dogs noses are designed so that air can move in and out at the same time.

This creates a continuous circulation of air, unlike humans who have to either breathe in or out only.

3. A Special Scent-Detecting Organ That Humans Don’t Have

This is called the vomeronasal organ and it helps canines detect pheromones, chemicals released by animals that affect other members of the same species.

This organ plays an important role in reproduction and other aspects of canine physiology and behavior.

4. Dogs Smell In 3-D

Dogs can smell separately with each nostril.

Just as our eyes compile two slightly different views of the world, and our brain combines them to form a 3-D picture, a dog’s brain uses the different odor profiles from each nostril to determine exactly where smelly objects are in the environment.

5. Smell Up To 100,000 Times Better Than Humans

A dog’s sense of smell is its most powerful sense.

It is so sensitive that dogs can detect the equivalent of a 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372