5 Signs Of Kidney Failure In Dogs


Kidney disease can look innocuous, can have the same signs as other diseases or sometimes have no recognizable symptoms at all, so it’s important to get a vet’s input about what is happening. Here are 5 signs of kidney failure in dogs.

1. Sudden Change In Your Dog’s Well-Being

When your dog is suddenly acting very sick, this could mean acute kidney injury, but it might not be.

There can be many reasons why dogs suddenly seem very sick. A trip to the emergency vet is vital when sudden changes occur.


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

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Benefits of Pumpkin for Cats


Pumpkin is a popular fall and winter flavor that many people look forward to each year. While humans can enjoy an array of pumpkin treats, what about our feline friends?

Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Cats

Plain pumpkin is a good source of fiber for cats. In fact, many veterinarians turn to pumpkin as a remedy for constipation in feline patients.

Dr. Angelo Maggiolo, medical director of County Animal Clinic in Yonkers, New York, often recommends pumpkin as an easy fix for mild cases of constipation in cats. “It will get the colon moving a little better in cats predisposed to constipation,” he says.

The fiber found in pumpkin also adds bulk to the diet, making cats feel more satiated, explains Dr. Heather Meyers, a veterinarian for Carolina Pets Hospital in Wesley Chapel, North Carolina. This is especially beneficial for obese cats who are on a diet. Adding pumpkin at mealtime may even help prevent painful anal sac problems or help reduce hairballs.

And while pumpkin is a good source of vitamins A and C, which help support vision and immune system health, Meyers advises that it’s not necessary to use pumpkin as a vitamin supplement. “Cats are generally not deficient in these vitamins if they’re on a well-balanced diet,” she says.

Pumpkin also contains zinc, which can help improve a cat’s skin and coat, and cucurbitacin, a biochemical compound that is thought to have some activity against intestinal parasites. However, with a well-balanced diet and proper veterinary care, most of these concerns can be taken care of without the need for pumpkin.

How to Serve Pumpkin to Cats

If your cat enjoys pumpkin, the best way to serve it is straight out of the can. Avoid any canned pumpkin products that contain added flavoring or sugars, especially if your cat has diabetes. “You truly just want plain pumpkin,” Meyers says. Mix between one and four teaspoons of canned pumpkin with cat food one to two times a day. Your veterinarian can advise the specific quantity of pumpkin to serve, depending on your cat’s condition.

If your finicky cat refuses pumpkin, consult your veterinarian for alternatives. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, one to four teaspoons per meal of psyllium or one to two tablespoons of wheat bran can also be added to canned food as fiber supplements. As long as your cat is well hydrated, any of these additives may assist in treating constipation. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian first, before making any changes to your cat’s diet.

Risks of Pumpkins for Cats

Pumpkin is a relatively easy and safe additive, Maggiolo assures. While it’s unlikely that pumpkin will upset a cat’s stomach, eating too much can possibly cause diarrhea. If this happens, it’s best to skip the next serving or feed a smaller amount. Your veterinarian can advise you how to modify the serving size, if symptoms occur.

Keep in mind that you should not serve the stem, skin, or pulp of a pumpkin to your cat. These parts of the pumpkin simply don’t have a high enough nutritional value to be beneficial for your cat. It is also best to avoid feeding leftover jack-o-lantern, as it may have rotted by sitting outside too long. Plain canned pumpkin is the best option for your pet, and will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to about a week after opening.

Even though your feline friend may not be able to have a bite of your Thanksgiving pie, there is definitely a place for plain pumpkin in his diet.

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

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5 Ways You Are Shortening Your Dogs Life Span


As pet parents, we like to think that we are providing a healthy, happy life for our dogs. But there is a lot more that goes into raising a healthy pup. And sometimes, our busy lifestyles cause us to overlook some simple measures that could help to extend the lifespan of our canines. Here are 5 ways you may be shortening your dog’s life.

1. Not Providing Daily Exercise

Just because your pet played hard at the dog park on Monday doesn’t mean that you can forgo giving him any exercise until Thursday. Exercise not only helps to keep the weight off, it also provides mental stimulation for your pup. Keeping up your pet’s fitness routine gives him a healthy way to expel energy.

Find an activity you and your dog both enjoy and work it into your daily routine. As an added bonus, people who exercise with their pets tend to lose more weight themselves; it’s a win-win! And if you don’t have time to drive to the dog park five days a week, mix up your routine. Take your dog on walks around the block, toss the ball in the backyard, or play a game of hide-and-seek in your house.

2. Exposing Your Dog To Second-Hand Smoke

Just like humans, canine lungs are not equipped to handle smoke being blown at them all day. Second-hand smoke can be extremely detrimental to pets, causing all sorts of ailments, such as an increased cancer risk and harmful respiratory issues.

Obviously the ideal way to tackle this situation is to abstain from smoking yourself. But if the habit is important to your lifestyle, then it’s a good idea to make sure that you do it away from your dog. Keep your dog in the house while you go outside on the patio to have a puff.

3. Forgetting About Heartworm And Flea And Tick Prevention

These measures are just as important as remembering to keep up with your dog’s vaccinations. Flea, heartworm, and tick control is critical. These tiny critters spread diseases, some of which are life threatening. Fortunately there are many prevention options available from your veterinarian—from collars and topical spot-ons to oral medications.

Pet parents should purchase only veterinary approved products and to follow the recommended dosage guidelines. Dog owners should also set reminders in their calendars for when their dogs are due for their next dose of preventive treatment.

4. Pushing Certain Breeds Too Hard

Small and toy dog breeds, as well as brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, have very different exercise requirements than other types of dogs. For instance, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Boxer types should not be exercised in extreme heat, as it can be life threatening to them.

Make sure to speak to your veterinarian about how much and what type of exercise is best for your breed. And if you feel like your dog is trying to tell you that you are overdoing his workout, listen to him. Symptoms such as excessive panting, dropping to the ground in the middle of a workout, or lethargic (weak and tired) tendencies mean that you should stop and let your dog rest immediately.

5. Feeding Your Dog Table Scraps

In addition to adding extra (and unnecessary) calories to your dog’s diet, pet parents risk inducing pancreatitis by feeding their dog fatty table scraps. Many foods that humans consume are extremely high in fats and sugars compared to what our pets should be exposed to. In addition, certain human foods—including garlic and chocolate—can be toxic to pets if consumed.

If you have a hard time saying no to those pleading eyes, offer your dog a healthy treat like baby carrots or apple slices. If your dog begs at the table, feed him his meal in another room while the family eats dinner to cut down on under-the-table handouts. Pet parents should also take a moment to familiarize themselves with what foods are considered dangerous for dogs.

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

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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.


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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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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

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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.

310 919 9372