|How To Cure Unwanted and Excessive Barking|
Although the nuisance of noisy dogs is an obvious problem amongst homeowners, are anti-bark collars just a quick fix to a more deep-routed, long term dog behavioural problem?
Contributed with the help of Karen L
Overall of the Centre for Neurobiology and Behaviour, Psychiatry
Department, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
The key to dealing with
dogs that bark for attention is patience and the ability to be on hand to
reward good behaviour. It is ineffective to reward a dog for simply not
barking, unless that reward is an alternative to the undesirable
|Money Munching Dog Needs a New Home|
Many people say that taking on a dog 'eats' into their finances, but the staff at Dogs Trust in Uddingston who've been looking after a certain cash hungry hound have experienced the literal sense of that thought.
Meet Otis, a 13 month old Collie / Rottweiler crossbreed who arrived at the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Uddingston recently.
Otis’ former owner handed him in after struggling to care for him due to his size and the responsibility of owning a dog. Sadly many people get a dog without really considering the commitment and responsibility involved; many dogs live for 15 years and can cost around £8,000, and Dogs Trust urges people to think about the commitment needed to care for a dog throughout his whole life before getting one.
Otis is house trained and has experience of children but would be best
suited to children over 8 years old. He also needs a home with a secure
garden, and strong physical owners who are able to keep up with him and
tire him out; rather than the other way round!
|Canine Bloat - The Silent But Deadly Canine Killer|
Bloat. What a horrible word. What a horrible feeling, to be bloated. What’s bloat got going for it? A bloated body is not too pleasant. A bloated ego isn’t particularly attractive either. OK, a bloated bank balance is at least one desirable association with this generally disagreeable word. A dog with bloat, now that’s really unpleasant and in many cases, tragically fatal.
What is Canine Bloat?
Canine bloat is a build up of gas in the stomach which is unable to be released by the dog’s intestinal system. Bloat with Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists.
Bloat, sometimes referred to as a twisted gut is a more serious problem in large breed dogs. When combined with the difficulties of GDV, bloat is a leading cause of death of dogs, second only to cancer. That’s just HOW serious the condition is.
Worryingly, the exact cause of bloat is not commonly know. It’s thought that excessive eating or drinking a lot of water followed by immediate vigorous exercise could certainly be a major contributing factor.
Exercise can cause food or fluid in the stomach to produce a build up of gas. The severity of the condition is increased when the stomach twists, causing the inlet and outlet of the stomach as well as blood vessels which supply the stomach to become constricted at both ends.
As a result, the constriction will cause the stomach tissue to die and in a very short time, the stomach becomes restricted of nutrients and oxygen. If not treated, the dog will die.
The Symptoms To Watch Out For
We’re all hypochondriacs. We read a medical book and then have the uncanny knack of diagnosing ourselves with everything from tennis elbow to the Ebola virus. We’re just as anxious when it comes to our pets and no doubt every dog owner will recognise some of the symptoms of bloat from time to time. Usually we say, don’t worry unduly or bother the vet with misguided apprehension about our pet’s help.
|Canine Massage and Stretching - A Practical Introduction|
As a canine physiotherapist I treat dogs with muscle, tendon, joint and ligament related problems and injuries.
My activities include a number of different forms of treatment including electrotherapy, acupuncture, laser treatments, massage and stretching.
An important part of my job is to inform and improve knowledge about the everyday care of dogs in areas such as hygiene, coat and paws, nutrition, exercise and training. Massage and stretching can considerably improve the quality of your dog’s life.
The dog may be able to enjoy the natural agility of youth for many more years of its life. Massage and stretching are a complement to daily exercise, obedience training and diet and are suitable for all dogs regardless of breed, age or size.
Many dog owners invest considerable time in activating their dogs by obedience training, seeking activities, tracking and protection exercises at training grounds, out in the countryside or in the forest. We might present dogs at shows and judge their appearance and breed attributes.
These activities allow us to spend time with our dogs while also keeping them physically and mentally alert. We also spend time to improve the everyday care of our dogs in areas such as hygiene, coat and paws, and nutrition.
We easily spend a considerable amount of time and money every year on the caring and training of our dogs. We do tend to “forget” a simple and low cost preventive treatment. That is massage and stretching. The cost of massage and stretching is low and is a great and important investment in our dog’s health. The knowledge of massage and stretching cost so little but gives so much.
Let me take an example from a “normal” day. We all agree that we do feel better when we are exercising. Maybe we go out for that weekly jogging round and of course we bring our best friend with us for company. When we get to the woods we do not dash out of the car and run for our lives a couple of hundred metres and then stop, making some short explosive rushes and then stop again. After that we run as hard as we can again for some more hundred metres. And so on.
our 3 or 5 kilometres round we slow down to jogging tempo for a while and then slowing down further to walking. And when we have stopped we use some minutes for stretching our sore muscles. I think we all can relate to this. We will feel much better the next day after some stretching. And then of course who wouldn't like some massage afterwards as well.
Well, that was us. How are we treating our best friend in a similar situation, maybe at the training ground or out in the woods for a longer stroll? How many times haven't we just released our dog and then it has taken of like a tornado. Maybe we have thrown balls or sticks for it to catch and so on. Honestly, why are we not as generous to our dog as we are to ourselves? It is so easy to do the same procedure with our dog.
How to do it!
First remember that the dog should have warmed up before starting the exercise. I also strongly recommend that you allow your dog to wind down after the exercise before any stretching activities.
Here is a check list that could be used before the exercise.
Let the dog walk slowly for a while and then
increase the tempo for 2-3 minutes.
Warming up does not tire the dog but rather increases blood circulation and warm up the muscles ensuring that the joints are lubricated and more supple. The dog is now ready to perform. After the warm up you could also easily test your dog’s mobility using the eight most common stretching grips. You should be sensitive to your dog’s signals. The dog should not experience any discomfort. If it does, don’t hesitate to contact the vet.
After completing the
exercise let the dog wind down and then carefully do some stretching
exercises. And when you come home reward the dog with massage and you will
get a happy performing dog ready for new challenges. Massage and
stretching is an essential and low cost investment in your dog’s health
and future competitions.
Massage is by far the best treatment for reducing muscle tension and the recovering period is reduced. You can progress faster with tougher training if you integrate massage and stretching because the muscles are assisted in the work of increasing the absorption of nutrients and the removal of lactic acid. Massage also extends the tissues and muscles we are unable to reach through stretching. Massage and stretching will give you a relaxed and better performing dog.
“The greater part of the pressure you exert should be applied by the flat hand although your thumb and fingers are also engaged in manipulation.”
Stretching is when you extend an extremity towards it’s ultimate position, in other words you separate the muscle’s root and insertion, holding this position for a moment. With stretching you work up good mobility in the muscle and around the joints and you also reduce the pressure on the joints. I think that we should pay greater attention to assessing mobility to encourage the sort of care that can spare dogs unnecessary injuries in the future. A well-functioning dog has retained its natural elasticity and suppleness.
“Hold the dog’s elbow with one hand, grasping the wrist with the other. Move the leg forward and upwards, stretching the elbow joint and the flexor muscles of the foreleg (shoulder joint)."
Massage and stretching are an essential and low cost investment in your dog’s health and will give you a happy and healthy canine friend. As a dog owner you can massage and stretch your dog’s muscles regularly. This enables your dog to maintain good health longer through life and improves the quality of your dog’s life. The risk of injury is substantially reduced and you may be able to detect changes in your dog’s health before they can be seen. So why don’t you try it?
You will see that your dog will want a massage and will no longer be content with random rubbing and neither will you.