Managing Your Dog’s Weight

dog-with-scae

Have you noticed a little extra pudge on your dog lately? Or maybe you’ve started to notice them losing weight. Our furry friends can’t manage their weight on their own, they need our help to provide them with adequate exercise and proper nutrition. Here we will discuss how to help manage your dog’s weight and keep them happy and healthy!

 

When we are looking to lose a few extra pounds, most people will start going for an extra walk, talking the stairs when possible, basically just increasing how many calories we are burning throughout our day. The same goes for your pup! You can’t just tell Spot to drop and give me 10 push ups! You have to get moving with them! Small changes added to your daily routine can go a long way. Increase your walks together by 10 minutes. Add in an extra game of fetch or Frisbee. The added bonus to helping our dog’s get more exercise is we often get healthier along with them!

 

Not only do we need to look at how much calories our canine companions are using throughout the day, we also need to consider what calories they are putting into their bodies. And when I say ‘they’, I actually mean ‘we’; often times the owner is the culprit to providing too many treats or table scraps which can add to your dog’s waistline. If your dog needs to lose a few pounds, the first thing to do is eliminate table scraps. If you want to continue giving your dog treats, give up any unhealthy treats and instead use your dog’s kibble! This helps you give him smaller portioned treats and assuming you have a high quality kibble for your dog, it will provide him with much better nutrition than those cheddar bacon treats! Alternatively, you can also use ‘raw’ treats such as washed and peeled carrot pieces.

 

It’s important to not only discuss when your dog is looking a little too roly poly, but also to take notice if your dog has started losing weight. If you notice dramatic weight loss in your dog over a short amount of time, make sure to book him in for an appointment with your regular vet for a check-up. If his weight loss is accompanied by any other symptoms such as fatigue, lack of appetite, increased thirst, you should take him to the vet immediately to ensure there isn’t a more serious health problem. When you notice weight loss in your dog, try to think of reasons why, did his food change? Has he been out exercising more? Always try to use your best judgement if his weight loss makes sense, or if it requires a vet visit. Weight loss in dogs under 8 months generally is not normal and should be addressed with a vet immediately.

 

Just like us humans, dogs like to have lazy days too (especially certain breeds). Too many of those lazy days combined with too many yummy snacks can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and potentially lead to health problems down the road. To keep your pup at his best, ensure that he is eating proper portions of high quality food. Combine that with adequate exercise every day and your dog will be healthy for years to come!

Doggy Dental Care

Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy with a toothbrush

We all know to keep up with our dog’s basic grooming; nail trimming, brushing & hair trimming. One very important piece of their basic grooming that is often forgotten is their dental hygiene. Dogs don’t know to brush their teeth every day, so it is up to us as their owners to ensure that their teeth and mouth stay healthy and clean. Here are some tips to keeping your dog’s dental hygiene the best it can be!

 

Crunchy Treats

Giving your dog crunchy food and treats is a great way to help work off any plaque build-up on their teeth. Having to chew on things like raw carrots or big pieces of kibble will help to work off some of the built up plaque on your dog’s teeth. This method will definitely help reduce plaque, but crunchy treats should be used in combination with other teeth cleaning methods as crunchy food will often not reach all of the built up plaque around the gum line.

 

Teeth Scaling

Dogs that have a lot of built up plaque on their teeth will often require vets to do a procedure called teeth scaling. This involves the vet putting the dog under anesthesia and then using dental tools to scrape off all the plaque on your dogs teeth. The vet will also generally do a full x-ray of your dog’s mouth after teeth scaling to ensure your dog’s mouth is in good health. This procedure is the most effective to keeping your dog’s mouth clean but it is also the most expensive as well as requires your dog to be under anesthesia. If your dog is young and his teeth are in good health, you likely won’t require this procedure until he gets older. Be careful of any groomers claiming to provide teeth scaling. It is a procedure that should only be done by your vet as they use the proper anesthesia to prevent your dog moving during the scaling, as well as they are trained to provide full cleanings without harming the many blood vessels in your dogs mouth.

Teeth Brushing

A very effective method of teeth cleaning that you can do for your dog every day is physically brushing his teeth, just like you brush yours every day! Ask your vet on the best dog safe toothpaste to use (as they are not all made equal!), and you can pick up little dog toothbrushes. Some dog toothbrushes are built to fit right on your finger to make it easier for you to thoroughly clean your dog’s teeth. It is important to start brushing your dog’s teeth early on so that they become comfortable with it, as it will be a weird and new sensation to your dog at first.

 

We all know how important is it to take care of our oral health, it is just as important for your dog to have good oral health & hygiene too! The best way to ensure your dog’s teeth are clean and plaque free, is to be brushing their teeth with dog safe toothpaste every day. Combined with vet teeth scaling as determined by your vet, as well as some crunchy treats, your dog will have the brightest smile around!

The Importance of Having Your Dog Spayed/ Neutered

Just like Bob Barker always said, remember to have your dog spayed or neutered! Read on to discover why it will benefit not only your dog’s mental and physical well-being, but also your own peace of mind!

We all know puppies are adorable, they’re funny little balls of fur that love to play and learn new tricks! But accidental puppies, not so desirable. It can sometimes be difficult to find suitable homes for all of them, and it also takes away potential homes for dogs that have been waiting to be rescued in dog shelters. There are plenty of great dogs waiting to go to their forever home, but don’t always get that chance when backyard breeders or accidental litters happen. Your wallet will also thank you as spaying/neutering your pet is much cheaper than caring for a new litter of puppies.

When you neuter your male dog, you prevent his risk for testicular cancer, perianal tumors and some prostate problems too. You greatly reduce behavioural problems such as marking, running away from home if he has the scent of a female in heat, aggression towards other males interested in the same female, humping, etc. Although these behaviour issues are often greatly reduced once neutered, they may not disappear completely. Especially if you have waited a while to have your dog neutered and he is simply used to these behaviours already. As well as he will still have some testosterone in his body (neutering does not completely eliminate this hormone from his body).

Spaying your female dog is also quite beneficial. It will reduce your dog’s chance for breast tumors and uterine infections. When in heat, many female dogs will howl in pursuit to alert males and find a mate, spaying will often reduce and sometimes completely eliminate this behaviour, depending on each individual dog of course. As mentioned previously, it will save you the cost of a new litter of puppies. If your dog does become pregnant, it will also save you on vet bills for regular pregnancy checkups, prenatal vitamins or supplements (if required), and any possible complications with the pregnancy.

When you spay or neuter your dog, it will also give you a lot more freedom when looking for doggy daycare or boarding, as many facilities will only accept dogs who have been spayed/neutered.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits both to you and your pooch to have your dog spayed/neutered. It is definitely better to do it as soon as the vet says they are old enough, rather than waiting and possibly letting undesirable behaviours set in for life. You will also be helping dogs who are already waiting in shelters and rescues to have a better chance at their forever home. For most owners, it is a clear answer to keeping their pet happy and healthy!