11/26/22

Top 5 Enrichment Activities For Your Dog in Australia

enrichment-activities-for-dogs


When it comes to dog enrichment activities, the options are endless. From nose work and agility to puzzle toys and simple walks, there is an activity out there that is perfect for every dog. Enrichment activities are important for all dogs, but they can be especially beneficial for those who are high energy, have separation anxiety, or are prone to boredom, such as Border Collie Kelpie Cross dogs, Australian Shepherds, and Jack Russell Terriers. 


There are many different types of enrichment activities that you can do with your dog, and the best way to find out what they enjoy is to experiment. Some popular enrichment activities include:

Nose Work

Nose work is one of the most popular enrichment activities for dogs. It is a great way to mentally stimulate your dog while also giving them a chance to burn off some energy. Nose work can be done both indoors and outdoors, making it a great option for all kinds of weather. There are many nose work classes available, or you can even do it at home with a few simple supplies.


The first step is to start with simple hiding exercises. This could involve hiding treats around the house or yard for your dog to find. As they become more proficient at finding the hidden objects, you can start to increase the difficulty by hiding the objects in harder-to-reach places. 


Once your dog has mastered the basics of nose work, you can start to introduce them to more complex searches. This might involve searching for a specific object amongst a clutter of other objects, or finding multiple hidden objects in a single search area. You can also try incorporating different scents into the mix to really test your dog's sniffing abilities.

Agility Exercises

Agility is another great option for those looking for an enrichment activity for their dog. Agility classes are offered at many different locations and provide a great way for you and your dog to bond while also getting some exercise. Agility courses provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog, and can even be used as a form of therapy for those with anxiety or mobility issues.


Before starting agility courses, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian and see whether your dog is at risk for any health issues that can be caused by repeated jumping and running. Some breeds, such as the Dachshund, are prone to joint and back issues and may not be a good fit for this type of exercise. 

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are another excellent way to enrich your dog's life. These toys typically require your dog to use its nose or paws to figure out how to get to the treat inside. Puzzle toys can help improve your dog's problem-solving skills while also providing them with a tasty reward. 


There are many different puzzle toys available on the market, so be sure to find one that is appropriate for your dog's age and skill level. Different breeds will also be better suited to different kinds of puzzles, as well. Short-snouted breeds may get frustrated with toys that require them to stick their noses into small enclosures. Bigger breeds may require larger, more sturdy toys. 

Environmental Enrichment

This involves making changes to your dog's environment to provide them with more stimulation. For example, you could add raised beds or platforms for them to climb on, or create an indoor scavenger hunt. 


This is especially important for puppies so that they get used to traversing different types of terrain and become accustomed to different environments. One easy way to do this at home is to let them walk on various materials. Corrugated cardboard sheets, aluminum foil, and paper are a good start. 

Simple Walks

Finally, one of the simplest ways to enrich your dog's life is by taking them on walks. Walking provides both physical and mental stimulation for your dog and can be a great way to bond with them. 


If you live in an area with lots of different smells, consider taking your dog on a nature walk where they can stop and smell all the different flowers and trees. If you have a high-energy dog, consider taking them on a long walk or hike where they can really stretch their legs. 


No matter what type of enrichment activities you choose for your dog, the important thing is that they are enjoying themselves and learning about the world around them. Enrichment activities should be fun for both you and your dog, so don't hesitate to experiment until you find something that works well for both of you!


10/24/22

First Steps To Take After Your Pet’s Cancer Diagnosis

As a pet owner, you try to give your animal companion the best possible care. That means taking your furry friend for walks, regularly monitoring its health, and making yearly visits to the vet. 

However, sometimes animals get sick, and the biggest fear that might come to mind is the “big C,” or cancer. 

If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. You may have many questions and concerns about your pet’s future. 

Read on to learn some steps you can take to help navigate this uncertain and difficult time.

Graphic created by PetCure Oncology.

10/23/22

How To Deworm A Puppy By Following A Schedule? - Pet's Guide

Taking care of a puppy doesn’t only involve feeding, grooming, and training. You need to consider many more factors to make sure you’re giving your puppy the best care it needs.


Ensuring your puppy is in good health is vital to keep it well and happy. Deworming is an essential part of keeping your dog healthy and happy. 


You need to know how to deworm a puppy by following a schedule. Here are the answers to some common questions about deworming a puppy.

What Is Puppy Deworming?


Deworming is the process of ridding a puppy of worms. Dewormer is administered as a medicine to the mouth or in a shot.


Worms are one of the main reasons for gastrointestinal issues in puppies. Failure to deworm a puppy could also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth.


Therefore, it is essential to deworm your puppy regularly.

How Do Puppies Get Worms?

Puppies get worms from various sources, including the following:


  • Eating dead animals.

  • Preying on infected animals.

  • Eating worms through contaminated feces

  • Swallowing worms infested by fleas in the puppy’s body while grooming.

  • Contacting or swallowing slugs and snails leads to cases of lungworm.

  • Ingesting worm larvae in the mother’s milk or receiving them transplacentally before birth.


Intestinal worms common in puppies are roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, and whipworm.



how-to-deworm-a-puppy-by-following-a-schedule

What Are The Symptoms Of Worms In Puppies?


Not all infected puppies will show any signs of having worms. Following are the symptoms that most other dogs show when they have worms.


  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Stunted growth

  • Dull coat

  • Weight loss

  • Weakness

  • Potbellied appearance

  • Coughing (especially for severe roundworm infection and less commonly for lungworm infection)

  • Stools that contain blood, mucus, or worms


These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that your puppy has worms, and you should consult a vet to get it confirmed. They can indicate other health problems, such as parvo in puppies.

How To Deworm A Puppy By Following A Schedule


Puppies must be dewormed every two weeks until they are eight weeks old. After that, you must deworm them again at six months of age. At this point, you can switch to an adult deworming schedule that consists of a worming treatment every six months.


Deworming is a simple process where your vet will supervise the puppy wormer administration for 1 - 3 days and repeat in 2 - 3 weeks.


You need to speak to your vet regarding a puppy wormer prescription. It is not advisable to get over-the-counter wormers because they contain inefficient active ingredients and incorrect dosages.

How To Administer Dewormer 


There are several ways in which you could administer dewormers. Dewormers can be administered orally or through injectable shots.


Oral dewormer medication includes chewable dog treats, liquid, pills, food additives, and pastes. An injectable shot must be administered by a vet and should not be tried at home.

What Happens After Deworming A Puppy


You may notice dead worms in your dog’s stools after deworming treatment. Sometimes the worms may move slightly, but they will die eventually. Your puppy might even experience diarrhea soon after treatment.


If your puppy has a severe worm infection, it might become quite ill after deworming. All the parasites die at once, leading to inflammation in the lining of the intestines, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.


These symptoms will go away naturally, and your dog will be alright in a few days. 


Ipetguides.com provides a detailed guide on what to expect after deworming and how to take care of your dog after treatment.

Side Effects Of Deworming A Puppy


Anti-parasite drugs are generally safe for your puppy if you follow the correct dosage and your vet’s recommendations. They rarely cause any problems to puppies.


However, your puppy might encounter mild side effects after deworming treatment, including the following:


  • Gastrointestinal upset

  • Loss of appetite

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting


Other than a mild case of the above, you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong with deworming your puppy.

How Long Does It Take For A Dewormer To Work?


You must take your puppy for deworming treatment a few times to kill the eggs and larvae in its body. How many rounds of treatment your puppy needs and the length of the treatment differs based on the parasite and the size and severity of the infection.


For example, treatment for roundworm infection typically lasts four weeks. 

Are Puppy Worms Contagious For Humans?


Most of the worms found in puppies are transmissible between animals and humans. Therefore, if your puppy has parasites, it could pass them on to you, and you might experience the following symptoms:


  • Intestinal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Secondary health problems in the digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems


The following individuals are at higher risk of infection by a contagious puppy than others.

  • Seniors

  • Children

  • Pregnant women

  • Cancer patients

  • Diabetics

  • Anyone with a compromised immune system


How To Check For Worms In Puppies?


how-to-check-for-worms-in-puppies

Some large parasites are visible, and you can see them in your puppy’s stools or around the anus. Other parasites are not visible, and only a vet can determine them.


Even if the parasites are visible, a vet should examine a stool sample to determine precisely what parasite infection your puppy has and recommend the best course of treatment according to the infection.

What Happens If You Don’t Deworm Your Puppy?


Intestinal worms are typically not fatal but could be a nuisance if left untreated. They can show the following changes in your puppy:


  • Intestinal upsets

  • Lack of appetite

  • Coat issues

  • Poor nutrient uptake

  • Poor growth

  • Organ damage


Therefore, following a proper schedule is essential to deworm your puppy. Even if your puppy is dewormed, it’s still at risk of becoming infected again. 


So, you must have them on a regular flea/tick/heartworm preventative to protect them from future infections from common intestinal worms.

Conclusion


Deworming a puppy by following a schedule is essential to keep it healthy and happy. Make sure to schedule an appointment with your vet for regular deworming of your puppy.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Deworm A Puppy On A Schedule?


You should deworm a puppy starting at two weeks, every two weeks, until it is eight weeks. After that, you can treat them again at six months. Dewormer is available as oral medication and injectable shots.

What Time Of The Day Should You Deworm Your Puppy?


It is best to deworm your puppy before it sleeps at night.

Can You Give Food After Deworming Your Puppy?


Your puppy may have a little appetite after deworming. However, you must give your puppy its usual food, especially its favorite food, so it will start eating gradually.

How Long Will A Puppy Poop Worms After Deworming?


Your puppy might poop worms for up to a week after deworming. 


9/24/22

How Many Calories Does Your Dog Breed Need?

The nutritional needs of dogs are poles apart from that of their human friends. Moreover, different dog breeds have divergent nutritional needs. Nearly all breeds of dogs need approximately 25 to 30 calories per pound on a daily basis. Calorie intake would again vary on individualistic factors like the dog’s lifestyle, age, etc. even for same-breed dogs.

Additionally, variations in metabolic rates, whether your dog is spayed or neutered, would alter the calorie intake figure considerably. Dogs undergo a hormonal change when they are spayed or neutered. Consequently, they tend to become sedentary and are prone to weight gain. 

During this time, the food intake should be decreased to 30% compared to their normal calorie intake. Pregnancy, surgeries, or trauma have to be considered while fixing a calorie count for your pet dog. Special dietary needs or health issues for your ‘loyal companions’ need to be considered, as well. 


The Average Calorie Count 

On average, a 30 lbs. dog would need approximately 800 calories per day to maintain its weight. Any calorie intake figure determined would be at best an estimate or a guideline to be followed. 

Therefore, a ‘one size fits all’ calorie calculator or table would not be applicable. A consultation with a veterinarian is absolutely necessary before embarking on a diet plan for our canine friends. In case of uncertainty, dog owners tend to over-feed their pets. This could result in a multitude of health problems and obesity. According to ‘Waltham Research’, a formula that could be helpful to calculate the required daily calorie intake for adult dogs is:

CR (kcal/day) = 90 • Bodyweight(0.75)

In this formula, CR = daily calorie requirement for a dog

and 

Bodyweight = weight in lbs/2.2

This formula though does not take into consideration the daily exercise regimen of an individual dog. 


The Calorie Requirement of the Most Popular Breeds 

Based on registration statistics for the current year, American Kennel Club releases the list of most popular breeds on a yearly basis. The most popular breeds of 2020 with their calorie requirements are mentioned below for a ready reference:

Labrador Retriever: 

According to the National Academy of Sciences, an adult and active Labrador requires 1500 – 1875 calories approximately per day. Nursing and pregnant Labs need an additional 700 calories daily. On an obvious note, pups or inactive dogs need less amount of daily calorie intake. But you have to make sure that you are feeding healthy food and not pancakes or ice cream etc.

German Shepherd: 

These are large dogs and usually weigh between 60 to 90 pounds. German Shepherds need 1750 – 2000 calories daily on average. Older, or less active dogs would need a lower calorie intake.

Golden Retriever: 

This breed of dog generally weighs between 55 – 75 pounds. The National Research Council of the National Academies recommends 1350 – 1750 calories on a daily basis for adult Golden Retrievers. This calculation is based on their average weight. Older, obese, or sedentary Golden Retriever dogs need about 980 – 1300 calories on a daily basis.

French Bulldog: 

Frenchies typically weigh between 16 – 28 pound range. An active but small-sized French Bulldog would need around 400 – 480 calories per day. A bigger one would require an approx. 700 – 800 calories on a daily basis. Older counterparts would require lesser calories after taking their health conditions into consideration.

Bulldog: 

An adult Bulldog weighs between 48 – 52 pounds. Active adult Bulldogs need 1500 calories each day. The less active or smaller-sized ones need around 1300 – 1400 calories per day. Older, inactive, or sick Bulldogs need lesser calorie intake. But for blind dogs, you have to make sure they are physically active. You can blind dog halo for that. If they are not physically active then you have to give them 1000 calories per day.

Beagle: 

The weight range of Beagles is between 25 – 30 pounds. A young and active adult requires about 675 – 920 calories per day to remain healthy. Less active Beagles would require lesser calories and the more active ones would require more.

Poodle: 

The standard Poodle weighs around 45 – 70 pounds. According to The National Research Council of the National Academies, adult Poodles require between 1350 – 1750 calories daily. Inactive or senior Poodles would need lesser calories.

Pug: 

The average weight of a pug is between 14 to 18 pounds. An approx 560 – 720 calories might be required for an adult Pug. The inactive dogs or aged Pugs would require lesser calories per day. Conversely, a growing Pug of the same weight would require a higher number of calories.

Chihuahua: 

A daily requirement of around 225 calories is required for a 4 – 5 pounds adult Chihuahua. A senior Chihuahua or a sick one would require a lesser amount of calories.

Rottweiler: 

This breed of dog weighs in the range of 83 – 132 lbs depending on their gender. Not more than 2100 calories are required for an adult, active, and healthy Rottweiler. The older ones with a more sedentary lifestyle require less calorie intake on a daily basis.

Boxer: 

An adult Boxer dog weighs approximately 50 pounds. Calorie intake would be around 2000 per day to remain healthy. A cut in calories would be necessary in case your Boxer becomes overweight or has a sedentary lifestyle. Aged ones also need fewer calories due to lesser activity.


A digital scale comes in very handy to measure and regulate edibles that go into the dog bowl daily. Portion control is a significant part of keeping a tab on your lovable companion’s daily calorie intake. It is difficult to determine calories in home-cooked foods. 

Individual elements used to cook the food should be considered to get a fair idea about the calorie content of the meal. Labels on dog food packaging need to be carefully studied to check the fat content, which should not exceed 10%. Nowadays, various calorie-counting apps for different breeds of dogs are available online.  

Numerous online sites and blogs give detailed calorie intake information for different dog breeds for their day-to-day nutritional need. A significant part of taking care of your furry friend is to keep a track of the nourishment that you provide to them. Calorie counting per serving is an excellent way to negate the chances of obesity and related health problems. A fit and healthy pet make for a happy companion for a lifetime.

9/15/22

Can Antibiotics Affect a Dog's Behavior? Everything You Need To Know!

Yes, antibiotics can affect a dog's behavior. However, this is usually only the case if the dog is already sick or the antibiotics are not adequately used. Antibiotics are rarely associated with anxiety and depression in canines. According to Micah Coyle from K9 Rocks, you have 15 different natural antibiotics to use at different occasions.

can-antibiotics-affect-a-dog's-behavior-image

Can antibiotics affect a dog's behavior?

  1. 1)      Antibiotics in Dogs
  2. 2)      Resistance-associated Aggression
  3. 3)      Allergy-associated Aggression
  4. 4)      Microbiome-associated Aggression
  5. 5)      Behavioral Effects

1)     Antibiotics in Dogs

Antibiotics are a group of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. You can give orally or by injection, depending on the disease and which body part they target. Therefore, antibiotics may be prescribed for many reasons, including:

  • õ  Disease (bacterial infection)
  • õ  Infections with other bacteria or viruses
  • õ  Preventative care (to guard against disease)
  • õ  Inflammation and irritation from allergic reactions to foods or environmental allergens

However, antibiotics can also cause problems when used incorrectly or inappropriately. Dogs' most common antibiotic-associated side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite. Although, these side effects are usually not life-threatening. If you notice any behavioral changes in your dog, talk to the veterinarian about it.

2)     Resistance-associated Aggression

Antibiotic resistance is the most concerning the effect of antibiotics in dogs. These are an effective way to treat infections. Moreover, these can have harmful effects when overused. An estimated 70% of all antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. Veterinarians prescribe many antibiotics for viral infections.

The most common cause is the overuse of antibiotics by owners and veterinarians. The prescription drugs offer the best protection against infection. These also have the potential to cause resistance by killing off the good bacteria in GIT tract. Moreover, resistance occurs when bacteria develop mutations. Hence, it makes bacteria harder for antibiotics to kill them. So, it can cause behavior changes due to the ineffectiveness of antibiotics.

3)     Allergy-associated Aggression

The most common allergic reaction to antibiotics is anaphylaxis.  It is a life-threatening condition if left untreated. Other types of allergic reactions include skin irritations, rashes, and itching. Yet, dogs may exhibit aggressive behavior when having an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Aggression induced by antibiotics is most observed in dogs suffering from nervous disorders.

Besides, most dogs do not exhibit any aggression due to the antibiotics. If your dog starts showing aggressive behavior, it may be due to intolerance to allergies. If your dog is having difficulty breathing, the aggression is a response to the distress. Therefore, try not to understand things on your own. So, visit a veterinarian if any significant changes are causing concern.

4)     Microbiome-associated Aggression

A healthy Microbiome is essential for promoting health and wellness. But, some antibiotics can change this Microbiome by killing off beneficial bacteria. By creating an imbalance that is hard to get back on track without intervention (i.e., probiotics). Thus, many dogs will experience upset stomachs after receiving an antibiotic. The primary reason is usually due to changes in their digestive flora. It is due to antibiotic treatment, especially long-term use (a week or two).

Long-term use of antibiotics destroys the healthy bacteria in your pet's body. Healthy bacteria help to maintain normal gut health. When antibiotics kill these bacteria, it can lead to an imbalance in the gut microbes. This unbalance increases the risk of disease and behavioral problems. So, these are aggression, anxiety, and depression.

5)     Behavioral Effects

Antibiotics are an essential part of your dog's health care regimen. But this treatment has potential issues. Antibiotics can change your dog's behavior.

Some antibiotics can cause depression. Other antibiotics may cause changes in behavior. These changes include decreased activity and aggression. Some drugs may make your dog more anxious or agitated. Therefore, these drugs often treat infections that affect the brain or spinal cord.

Some dogs will become less focused. However, they also even suffer from lethargy shortly after taking an antibiotic. Hence, it can also make them more likely to bark or howl at night or during the day when they're not expecting visitors. {{{8}}}

Can antibiotics cause neurological problems in dogs?

Yes, antibiotics can cause neurological problems in dogs. Your pet may become more hyperactive or less active due to the medication. Make sure you watch their behavior for changes in personality or behavior patterns.

Fluoroquinolones 

These are a class of drugs that can use to treat bacterial infections. They are also used as a prophylactic against certain diseases. Fluoroquinolones can cause seizures in dogs. The mechanism of action is that the drug alters the impulse activity in the brain. Since, it can lead to seizures. If your dog takes these antibiotics, you should aware of the potential for seizures. You should watch for any signs or symptoms. If your furry friend does have a seizure, must need to seek veterinary care immediately.

Metronidazole

It is an antibiotic used to treat various infections in dogs. However, metronidazole can also cause neurological problems in dogs, including seizures, incoordination, and weakness. If your dog takes metronidazole, watch for any signs of neurological problems and talk to your veterinarian for any concerns.

A study was conducted in 2018 to check the metronidazole toxicity. Thirty-six dogs were identified with signs of metronidazole toxicity, and their ages ranged from 0.1 to 12 years old. The median treatment duration was 35 days, and the median dosage was 21 mg/kg BID (range, 13-56 mg/kg every 12 h). The resolution of the clinical signs upon discontinuation of metronidazole was 3 days (range, 1-26 days). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in 19 cases and one dog had brain lesions affecting the dentate nuclei that resembled the MRI appearance of this disease in humans.

This study found evidence of neurotoxicity in dogs at much lower doses than previous one. The author suggests caution when administering metronidazole at doses rate of greater than 40 mg/kg after every 24 hours.

Procaine Penicillin G

It is a medication that can cause neurological problems in dogs. The symptoms may include seizures, tremors, and incoordination. Moreover, seizures are reported when large doses of procaine, a local anesthetic, are administered intravenously.

Antibiotic-induced seizures are relatively easy to treat. Just stop the medication, ensure you have intravenous access, and administer Valium (Diazepam).

Can antibiotics cause behavior problems?

Yes, antibiotics can cause behavior problems. However, overuse and wrong prescription of antibiotics can lead to canine behavior problems. Antibiotics can alter the average balance of bacteria in the gut. It can lead to gastrointestinal issues and inflammation. Therefore, it can lead to increased anxiety, nervousness, aggression, and other behavioral problems. If your dog is taking antibiotics, need to check its behavior closely. You should consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes.

References

1)      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21627659/

2)      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34063855/

3)      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32146434/

4)      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24025020/

5)      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30643689/

6)      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8833765/

7)      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8614570/

8)      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6941081/

9)      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8992019/

10)  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30478843/

11)  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21320022/

12)  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9560771/