December 23, 2009

Can you smell your dog’s bad breath?

Filed under: bad breath,dog breath,dogs bad breath,halitosis in dogs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:20 am

canine bad breath Sometimes dogs have bad breath and brushing their teeth does nothing to solve the problem. Bad breath, also known as halitosis is not exactly a major concern of many pet owners but it can make it difficult to get close to your dog. Even though we often make jokes about “dog breath” this does not mean that it’s normal for dogs to have bad breath. Quite the contrary, bad breath may be a sign of an infection or gum disease and should be taken seriously to ensure the health of your dog. Periodontal disease, gingivitis, or bacterial infections can all be a cause of bad breath and the best way to solve the problem is to prevent it.

bad breath in dogsTo keep your dog’s mouth healthy, thereby eliminating your dog’s bad breath, there are a number of steps you can take. First, encourage chewing as it helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Dental dog biscuits are a great investment as are chew treats, rawhide chews, or safe bones. Moreover, you should take some time every week, if not every day, to brush your dog’s teeth. This will prevent cavities and bacteria from spreading so that they are less likely to have bad breath or other mouth problems.

If you’re still having problem with dog bad breath, you may want to consider changing his diet. Some food will lead to bad breath and eliminating these foods may do the trick. Also, lemon juice is a great, safe, home remedy for dog bad breath. Simply squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice into your dog’s water and the citric acid will help to cleanse your dog’s mouth. Likewise, milk bones can strengthen your dog’s teeth and jaw while working off plaque and preventing bad breath. If none of these solutions prove effective, it may be time to visit the veterinarian. As bad breath may be a sign of a more serious mouth condition, your veterinarian is best equipped to help you understand bad breath.

December 22, 2009

Few Basic Principles in Training a Kitten

Cats are independent creatures and the notion of training them may seem odd to some cat owners. Nevertheless, kitten training is an important responsibility for cat owners as it will ensure that they don’t engage in inappropriate behaviour like scratching furniture. Generally speaking, training any animal follows a few basic principles and training a kitten is no different. By training at an early age you prevent bad habits from developing and since it’s much easier to teach good habits than undo bad habits it’s essential that you train your kitten.

One thing to remember with regards to training your kitten is that you want to give them a chance to acclimatize to their new surroundings first. During the first few days that your kitten is in your home, it is important not to overwhelm them with rules. Also, in the beginning it is good to keep your kitten isolated from other pets and animals. When animals first meet, anxiety is a common reaction and this can lead to aggressive behaviour. Still, it is also important to ensure that during kitten training you gradually expose your kitten to other pets so that they can build a familiar and friendly relationship from an early stage.

Furthermore, there are some materials that you must prepare for your kitten before you bring it home, namely a litter box and scratching post. Show your cat how to use these items and be sure to give them plenty of positive reinforcement when they demonstrate bad behaviour. While positive reinforcement is usually more effective than punishment, there are times when you need to motivate your cat to change their behaviour. Many pet owners find that investing in a spray bottle is an effective way to punish a kitten who engages in inappropriate behaviour. For example, if your kitten loves to scratch the furniture rather than the scratch post you can spray her with some water when she attacks the furniture but praise her when she goes for the scratch post. These two methods will produce positive results in almost every situation.

December 21, 2009

How To Trim Your Dog’s Toenails.

Filed under: clip dog nails,clipping dogs toe nails,trim dog nails — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:46 am

canine paw careTrimming your dog’s toenails is a thankless but necessary task. Long toenails can be as uncomfortable to your dog as they are annoying to your ear. In order to properly and safely cut your dogs nails there are a few procedures you should follow.

how to trim dog nailsFirst, invest in the appropriate trimmers that are sharp and designed specifically for dogs. You can ask your veterinarian or groomer for suggestions on the best trimmers. Once you have selected your trimmers, it’s time to prepare your dog. First, attempt to soothe your pet with a few strokes and some kind words and then gently pick up their paw. When snipping the nails you want to avoid cutting the quick, which appears as a pale, pink tissue near the base of the nail. The quick contains blood vessels and nerve endings so cutting into the quick will not only cause bleeding but a fair amount of pain for your dog.

So, holding your dog’s paw firmly, but gently, begin snipping the tips of your dog’s nails. You can distinguish the quick by the color, as it is pinker than the rest of the nail, but it also feels more like a sponge than the nail. Repeat this process for the rest of the nails. Most dog owners will find that they have to trim their dog’s nails on a weekly or biweekly basis but you can judge this for yourself. Once you start to hear nails tapping along the floor you know it’s time to trim.

Finally, when you have finished trimming your dog’s nails reward him with some praise or a treat. This serves two purposes. First, it let’s your dog know he’s done a good job which can be soothing for a stressed out pet. And second, it makes it easier to trim nails in the future if your dog knows he’ll get a treat!

December 18, 2009

Does your dog have diarrhea?

Filed under: dog diarrhea,frequent defecation,stools — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:29 am

While diarrhea in humans is a very common condition that is usually not serious, dog diarrhea needs to be taken more seriously. Mostly because dogs cannot express their symptoms to us in words, when we see dog diarrhea we need to be vigilant for other symptoms in order to prevent more serious conditions from developing or going untreated. Dogs do suffer from diarrhea quite frequently but keeping your eye out for other warning signs can help to keep your dog healthy.

Obviously, the most common symptom of dog diarrhea is frequent defecation but other symptoms like dehydration or bloody stools may also be present. In cases where diarrhea is not the only symptom, a veterinarian must be consulted. Blood in the stools, for example, may be a sign of viral or parasite infection. Moreover, dehydration is likely to result from diarrhea as extra water is lost through the stools. If your dog suffers from prolonged diarrhea it’s important to ensure it is getting enough fluids. Along with dehydration, your dog may suffer from lethargy or other signs of sickness and especially if your dog is refusing to drink fluids, you should visit your veterinarian.

In most cases, dog diarrhea will clear up on its own. Many times, a dog has diarrhea for the same reasons a human might have it: some kind of bug or some food that has not digested properly. Nevertheless, if your dog suffers from diarrhea for more than a few days or the diarrhea recurs regularly, you should visit the veterinarian to ensure there are no more serious problems causing the diarrhea. Your vet will first thoroughly check your dog to diagnose the cause of the diarrhea and then may recommend some dietary solutions for getting the diarrhea under control.

December 14, 2009

Why do Cats Purr?

Filed under: cat purring,purr,why cats purr — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:08 am

feline stress A common misconception of cat purring is that it is a reaction to feeling happy and content. On the contrary, cats can also purr when they feel anxious, tense, or when faced with a traumatic experience. Theories about why cats purr seem to be centered on the fact that the frequency of purrs tends to be between 25 and 150 Hertz. Sounds at this frequency have also been associated with various healing and growth properties which may account for purring during traumatic or stressful events.

why do cats purrHowever, a more recent theory suggests that purring promotes the release of endorphins which are sometimes known as “feel good hormones.” Endorphins are central to the healing process in humans as well as cats as they are a natural analgesic. As such, purring can be a self-soothing mechanism that helps cats to deal with stress. Interestingly, purring seems to have a healing effect on humans as well. There have been many documented cases of cats helping to lower the blood pressure of their owners, and there may be other health benefits as well. Consequently, many hospitals and retirement homes use cats to sooth patients.

Other than the happy purring of cats, purrs may be associated with different goals. First purring can be reassuring for kittens. A mother’s purr allows kittens to know she is close. Similarly, we’ve already discussed how purring can reduce feeling of anxiety or stress for the cat itself. Finally, purring with humans may be a sign of affection. By purring around humans, cats are letting their owners know that all is well. Likewise, a cat’s purr signifies to strangers that they shouldn’t be concerned. Interestingly, there have even been cases of cats purring to sooth their owners in times of stress. When a cat senses that you are tense or anxious it may begin purring to let you know that you can seek comfort in them.

December 9, 2009

Want to stop your pet from shedding?

Indoor pets, dogs and cats, shed naturally. This is perhaps one of the biggest inconveniences to owning a pet as it can take hours to clean up hair left behind by your beloved pets. Moreover, it is important to control cat shedding if you want to prevent hairballs as well. There are essentially two camps when it comes to shedding control: grooming and medicating. While grooming is a time consuming endeavor, it is a highly effective method to control cat shedding and dog shedding. Simply regularly brushing and cleaning your dog or cat can go a long way to preventing or reducing shedding.

Unfortunately, grooming is not always the ideal solution for most pet owners. First of all, grooming might not be totally effective in controlling shedding, specifically for long haired dogs and cats. Secondly, some pets are highly resistant to grooming, especially if they haven’t been exposed to grooming from a young age as it can cause stress and anxiety in your pet. In these cases, pet owners must find other solutions to control cat shedding and dog shedding. Shed No More is a popular shed control tablet that can help to reduce the problems associated with excessive shedding.

Shed No More for dogs and cats serves to reduce, or even eliminate unwanted shedding that is often associated with more serious issues like skin problems and even pain. Over time, your pet’s coat will likely thin and becomes less resistant to breaking which causes more shedding. Shed No More is an ideal shedding control treatment as it is made up of vitamins and minerals to restore your pet’s coat. Administered as chewable tablets, Shed No More is tasty and safe for your dog or cat.

December 2, 2009

Laxatone Hairball Remedy for Cats

Filed under: hairball prevention,hairball remedy,laxatone,prevent hairballs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 11:48 am

hairballs in catsAs a cat owner, you must be more than familiar with that age old problem the hairball. During the grooming process, hair gets attached to a cat’s rough tongue and is ultimately ingested. As a result, a hairball is formed which clogs up in your cat’s digestive system. Hairballs are a common but serious issue as cats with hairballs may develop other problems like constipation, a dry cough, or vomiting. A good hairball remedy can prevent the formation of hairballs and associated health problems making your cat healthier and happier.

One of the first things any cat owner needs to remember to do is regular grooming. In fact, grooming is a safe and effective hairball remedy that prevents hairballs before they form. Still, many cat owners who swear by regular grooming will also attest to the fact that grooming alone may not eliminate the problem. Veterinarians often recommend laxatone for cats.

Cat laxatone is essentially a laxative and lubricant for intestines which was designed to reduce the problems with hairballs. Laxatone is a medicinal treatment that is available in tuna or malt flavour (cats tend to prefer tuna-flavoured laxatone) and should not be mixed with food as this can reduce the effectiveness of the hairball remedy. Instead, laxatone can be dabbed on your cat’s paw and during grooming your cat will lick it off and ingest it. Otherwise, laxatone can also be applied to the roof of your cat’s mouth.

As far as the safety of the product is concerned, laxatone is trusted by veterinarians and has been used worldwide to prevent and eliminate hairballs for more than 25 years. Most of the ingredients in laxatone for cats are completely natural (apart from some artificial flavours) and there are no serious side effects. You can quickly and easily eliminate the problem of hairballs with a simple medication like laxatone.

December 1, 2009

K9 Advantix

Any pet owner understands the importance for flea treatment when it comes to their beloved pets. Unfortunately, it seems like every other day you can find a new treatment which makes it overwhelming to choose a product that is both safe and effective. K9 Advantix is a unique flea control treatment because it serves two important functions: it kills fleas and ticks and it repels them. Traditional flea treatments cannot compete with Advantix K9 formula because they usually only kill fleas or ticks without repelling them. As a comprehensive flea control treatment, K9 Advantix has quickly become one of the most trusted brands by veterinarians.

First and foremost Advantix K9 formula stops fleas from biting and kills between 98 and 100 per cent of fleas or ticks within the first 12 hours. This not only gives pet owners confidence in the product but also peace of mind knowing that their pets will be safe from fleas and ticks. One of the major benefits of K9 Advantix for dogs is that while killing fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, it also provides immediate relief for your pet. Moreover, K9 Advantix starts killing larvae in less than 30 minutes from the time of application.

Unfortunately, K9 Advantix is not appropriate for use in cats (because they can ingest the product during grooming) and there are some other considerations that you should make if you choose this particular flea treatment. K9 Advantix is always applied externally on your dog and there are some relatively common side effects associated with this type of flea control. Some dogs experience a slight burning or itching sensation upon and shortly after application which can easily be remedied by giving your dog a quick shampoo. As a topical flea treatment medication, Advantix K9 is easy to apply and keeps working for a full month.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.