I tested the winter dog jackets for warmth, water resistance, and the ability to put them on and take them off a dog easily. I also looked for comfort – the fit and fabric that best allowed ease of movement for active dogs. Most of the products I reviewed are pricey. Admittedly, I wasn’t looking for a bargain. If you’re out with your dog in a seriously cold winter climate, you need serious gear.
There are three “states” of Lyme disease in dogs: acute, subacute, and chronic. Symptoms generally do not appear until after a two- to five-month incubation period, and can take even longer. Affected dogs may first shows signs of any of the three states, and may progress to others depending on the severity of infection, the dog’s immune system, and treatment.
The trouble with having a dog who barks for a variety of reasons is that there isn’t one easy answer for getting her to stop. People often see barking as a single problem; just last week I was asked by several students in my class, “How do I stop my dog from barking?” I couldn’t give a simple answer. The solution to barking problems depends on understanding several factors.
Despite the widespread belief that wild wolf packs exist in a perpetual state of dominance challenges and bids for enhanced status, the collected evidence shows a glaring absence of these rigid types of relationships. There are few reports of wolves seeking higher positions in their pack, fighting over leadership, or physically dominating other wolves through aggression or alpha rolls.
Fence aggression – barking, lunging, and fence-fighting – is an all-too-common canine behavior. It can also be a very difficult behavior to live with. A dog who is left for long periods of time (especially) in an enclosed yard can easily become frustrated and aroused by dogs being walked past her space and her inability to interact with those dogs. That frustration often turns into aggression, and the aggression can become very serious. Dogs can even be grieviously injured or even killed if they are able to grab another dog (or part of a dog) through a fence.
On any given day, depending on the circumstances, a dog might have a multitude of opportunities to meet and greet a number of other creatures: dogs, cats, horses, a variety of other species, and all sorts of humans. Some dogs seem to do it with aplomb, while others are clearly overexcited and unable to contain themselves. I suspect most if not all of us would far rather have the dog who’s calm, cool, and collected rather than the other option. So how do we get there?
I am going to be blunt; I have a strong opinion about this. There is absolutely no chance that I would allow any of my dogs to be taken “into the back” at a veterinary clinic for anything short of surgery. Our new vet does go above and beyond with her clinic’s degree of owner involvement, but we have never been clients at a clinic that required our dogs to be taken away from us for examinations.
There are many possible ways in a which a dog’s eyes can look clouded. Often, you are seeing the cloudiness in the lens of the eye – an elastic, transparent structure that lies behind the iris (the pigmented part of the eye) and the pupil (the opening in the center of the eye). Tiny muscle fibers inside the eye contract and relax to makes the lens change thickness and shape; these movements help the dog change focus. As dogs age, certain changes cause the lens to turn white and become visible. When this ordinarily transparent structure develops a cloudy spot or section, the dog’s vision is compromised.
There are many times in your dog’s life when she needs to be able to control her impulse to engage in a behavior. Last month, we discussed “Wait” and “Stay” – but impulse control goes far beyond these “don’t move” cues. “Leave it” is another impulse-control behavior that is very useful for your dog to know. The cue means, “Whatever you are focused on at this moment, I need you to leave it alone.”
There are a number of ways that we can stay on top of health issues that creep up on our dogs with age. Annual veterinary visits are a staple in every healthy pet’s life. A comprehensive physical exam from nose to tail is step one in picking up clues to underlying concerns at every age, but it becomes even more important in the senior years.
I would venture to say that many people think they are great at overseeing their dogs, but in reality, they don’t really have a firm grasp of what ideal supervision means. Further, many people lack information about their dogs’ body language – so, even if they are actually actively watching their dogs, if they can’t recognize their dogs’ stress signals, they won’t be able to help the dogs.
The signs of entropion in dogs include visualization of rolled inward eyelids, excessive tearing, squinting (called blepharospasm), photosensitivity, rubbing and pawing at the eyes, and in some cases, corneal ulceration and dark brown pigment formation on the cornea. Some breeds do not seem particularly bothered by entropion – particularly the brachycephalic breeds – while it can cause significant discomfort and corneal trauma in others.
Basic screening tests, in combination with regular physical exams, are foundation components of a good health care program. In younger dogs, routine tests are done to establish normal baselines, exclude congenital problems, and/or ensure safety for anesthesia. In older pets, these tests often provide the first indication of possible health problems.
A fresh stool sample is no one’s favorite to collect, but it’s important for a lot of reasons.Parasites are not the only thing that can be seen on a fecal check. Whether done as part of a routine screen or when a pet is sick, poop contains a lot of good information.
In past articles in WDJ, I have advised people who are thinking about adopting a new dog to develop a list of attributes that they must have, would like to have, would prefer not to have, and really do not want at all – and then to use these lists as search criteria. And yet, here we were, not really sure of what we were looking for. Another herding breed? We already have a Kelpie, so maybe, or maybe not. A Bonnie-type terrier-mix? Maybe, but they didn’t seem easy to come by.