The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

How Does Flea Medication Work

April 14, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

How Does Flea Medication Work?

Image Credit – Pixabay

Treating your dog for fleas, and keeping them away from flea infestations can be a little confusing thanks to all the different medication options and their different working methods.

Pyrethroids / Pyrethrins

Certain varieties of the chrysanthemum have been used for centuries as repellants and insecticides. The chemicals that are obtained from them are referred to as pyrethrins. They are one of the most commonly used ingredients in tick and flea control products for dogs and cats.

Pyrethrins disrupt the insect’s nerve cell function and make it fire non-stop impulses, which eventually causes the death of the insect. Their toxicity is low and they are safe for use on mammals. They are directly applied to the hair or skin to control ticks, fleas, mites, lice and mosquitoes. However, they cannot stand extended exposure to air, light or moisture. Because of their unstable nature, they are combined with chemicals that will keep them from breaking down.

Pyrethroids are the synthetic counterparts of pyrethrins. They work similarly, but are much more stable, and also more a little more toxic. They tend to last for quite some time and are usually the main component of tropical products that are meant to cover the body of the animal. You can also find them in sprays which are used to treat households for insects. You cannot use them on kittens or cats.

Other plant-based extracts

Some of the other flea deterrents that are derived from plants include D-limonene, rotenone, and linalool. Rotenone is extracted from subtropical and tropical plants, and it works by paralyzing the insect and preventing the uptake of oxygen to the cells. It is safe to use in small quantities on mammals.

Linalool and D-limonene are obtained from the pulp of citrus fruits. They soften the outer shell of the insects and cause them to dry up. Citrus products are used in flea dips and shampoos. You must exercise care when treating a cat, as they can be really sensitive to citrus oils. Citrus also helps in repelling fleas, but might not be good for a full-on flea infestation in your home and your pet. In the case of an infestation, you need to use citrus along with more powerful chemicals to launch an attack on a scale big enough to eradicate all the insects.

Don’t forget that all drugs come with a small amount of risk. No matter what product you use for controlling the infestation of parasites, read the label from top to bottom carefully and consult the vet if your pet is very old or young, is debilitated, or is sick. Additionally, if your pet has behavioral or mood changes after being given medication, or if he becomes ill, contact the vet immediately.

Understanding the Anatomy of Your Dogs Tongue

April 13, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

Understanding the Anatomy of Your Dog’s Tongue

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

It is a water lapper, radiator, food conveyor, wound healer, register of taste and texture, and the wet equivalent of a handshake. The tongue of a dog has more roles than any other part of its anatomy, apart from the brain. Strangely though, for all its actions and duties, it is almost completely maintenance free.

In spite of the fact that the dog’s tongue is a vascular and fleshy flag, injuries to it are rare. Since it is a major heat source for an exercising dog, the blood vessels dilate and cause the tongue to swell up and extend. Even a small puncture can cause substantial bleeding. However, if the activity is brought to a halt, the blood vessels end up constricting, causing the tongue to shrink and the blood vessel to clot.

 

Looking at the tongue more closely

The tongue is a long, muscular organ and the top of its surface is covered with a special epithelium. It is responsible for responding to touch, taste and pain apart from helping in heat dissipation.

  • Taste – Apart from directing your dog to eat garbage and get repulsed at the mere taste of a woodcock, the tongue of your dog can discern the sensations of sweet, sour and salt. The sensation of saltiness is dispersed along the rear and lateral edges, sourness over the tongue top and sweetness along the front and edges of the tongue.
  • Papillae – The odd projections from the tongue’s surface are of many different types. The shredded look to the side and front of your dog’s tongue are referred to as the marginal papillae and the bumpy things on the back are called vallate.
  • What makes his tongue wet? – All dogs have eight salivary glands with drainage tubes that transport saliva into their mouths. One gland is located beneath the cheekbone, lateral to their eyes. Another is situated at the base of the cartilage in the ear canal. One more is located behind the jaw’s angle and the smallest of them all is present in front of the jaw angle. These pair of four glands are responsible for most of the moisture in the dog’s mouth, secreting mucoid (thick) as well as serous (thin) saliva. Moreover, the surface of a dog’s tongue has a number of salivary glands that secrete both mucoid and serous fluid. They help dogs cool by evaporation among other things.
  • Tongue colors – The black pigments (result of melanin granules) in a dog’s tongue, inner lips and gums do not have any significance. You just have to pay attention to make sure that they patches are not raised higher than the normal tissue that surrounds it. If they are, take your dog to the vet. It could be an indication of melanoma. Other forms of cancer that can cause a bump in the tongue include squamous cell carcinoma, mast cell tumor and a granular cell tumor. They are all completely curable if detected early.
The Advantages of Antioxidants in Pet Food

April 12, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

The Advantages of Antioxidants in Pet Food

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Have you ever wondered how your pet’s food can sit for so long on the shelves of the store and then a bit longer on your pantry shelf? Almost all commercially sold pet food is preserved with antioxidants and preservatives. Antioxidants prevent the active ingredients in the food from getting spoiled and they provide a lot of secondary health benefits too. They play a major role in keeping the pet food tasty and nutritious.

Oxidation refers to the process of breakdown in the fats and nutrients in a food when it is exposed to oxygen. It causes everything from rancidity to discoloration. Antioxidants work to slow down or block the rate of oxygen induced damage. They are usually added to the foods when they are processed to give more shelf life to the product. They work better when they are added early on in the production process. The combination of the antioxidants that they use in the formula also plays a big role in its efficacy. Specific types and amounts of certain antioxidants tend to work better together.

 

Health benefits

Antioxidants help in protecting the cells of the body from damage and make the immune system stronger. Every biological system is exposed to harmful free radicals everyday. They are produced when the cells are damaged due to oxidation. They are highly unstable and can cause further damage to the cells if they are left unchecked.

Antioxidants slow down the damage from the free radicals and protect the cells from further damage. They let the immune system function without any interference from the harmful free radicals. This prevents the onslaught or worsening of serious health conditions.

In young pups, antioxidants give a boost to their developing immune system. This is especially critical since their vaccinations will take time to be completely effective. In older dogs, any oxidative injury to the cells in the organs is slowed to a crawl by antioxidants, which provides them a longer and healthier lifespan.

 

Where do they come from?

Naturally occurring antioxidants include citric acids, vitamins C and E, and herbal sources such as rosemary. Vitamin C is obtained from common vegetables and fruits like apples, cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes and more. Naturally occurring vitamin E is usually mentioned as “mixed tocopherols” in the ingredient list. Citric acids are obtained from citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and limes.

Synthetic antioxidants include BHT, BHA and ethoxyquin. BHT and BHA are similar in their chemical structure to vitamin E and are generally used in combination in pet food as they work very well together. They are also stable at very high temperatures.

 

Choosing the right pet food

When scanning for ingredients in your pet’s food, remember that pet food manufacturers are mandated to list the antioxidants with their common names. You will also be able to see a notation that says that the ingredient is used for preservative purposes. It is also important to keep in mind that natural antioxidants, although healthier, tend to have a shorter shelf life than their synthetic counterparts. Regardless of the food you end up choosing, check the label to see the expiry date. Store the food in a dry and cool place, in an airtight container, away from light. Foods that are preserved with natural antioxidants lose their freshness sooner. So make sure that you buy smaller packages.

Master the dog walk petcare RIMA

April 12, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

Master the Dog Walk

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

Yes, you do need a little training to properly walk your dog. Watch other ,more experienced, owners do the dog walk. They may have only one dog, or have a dog pack (like nine dogs) and you see them more often than not, walking them without a leash, in areas that are deemed safe. This may seem amazing, but the truth is that these dogs often see the human as a pack leader. This is the reason the dogs follow their master (or mistress) wherever he (or she) goes.

 

Always walk in front of the dog

When you walk with your dog following behind, you will be regarded as pack leader. In case your dog walks in front of you while you walk, it means that your dog is the pack leader. Remember that you must be the first one to be out of the house and the first one to get inside it. Your dog must be behind or even beside you- but never in front- when you take it out for a walk.

 

Use a shorter dog leash

You will have more control if you do this. When you attach any leash to the top of the dog’s neck, you can communicate easily. It will be possible for you to correct and guide the dog as well. Remember that you must keep your dog healthy while doing such activities.

 

There should be plenty of time for you to walk your dog

Dogs are similar to humans as we are both diurnal. It is thus an excellent idea to take walks during mornings. You should keep aside a minimum of 30 minutes. The better option is to spend at least an hour on the dog. Do understand each dog has a specific character and you should do likewise. Consult the vet to observe the behavior of the dog to understand if its needs are being met.

 

Rewarding your dog during walks

You should reward your properly behaved dog by permitting itself to relieve itself. It can also sniff around. You should decide when it is opportune to end the reward time. It always should be less than time spent on the walk itself.

 

You should lead, even after the walk is over

Do not stop leading even after you reach home. Your dog should wait patiently when you take off shoes or put away its leash. You should always be in a commanding position.

 

Reward the dog post walking

When you provide your dog its meal after it walked, you have effectively provided its food after it has “worked” for it. This food must be healthy and must have the necessary supplements. Do remember to pick up after your dog.

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April 8, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

Training Alpha Dogs

Image Credit – Wikimedia.org/

You know the old saying “you get more flies with honey”. For some reason or the other, dogs are exempt from the rule. Bullying your dogs, choking or pinching their collar till they turn blue, pinning them down till they defecate or urinate, shocking them and provoking them to attack in the name of rehabilitating or training them is held up as ideal in our society. There are many popular TV shows that propagate such methods with no objection whatsoever. If you were to do the same to a child, you would end up in jail.

You do not have to hurt or threaten someone to get them to show respect. When dainty trainers can control their Rottweiler without any incidence of brutality, there is no reason for a grown man to choke a Chihuahua to get it to behave. However, you will see that happening in training centers all over the United States. The fact remains that if you are mean to your dog, you’re more likely to get bitten. Physical methods like kicking and hitting, holding down the dog (alpha roll, dominance down), taking things away from him forcibly or grabbing him by the jowls, all elicit aggressive responses in over a quarter of the dogs.

Most of the pet dogs that exhibit aggressive behavior towards the owner are afraid or have an anxiety disorder. Studies conducted by certified behaviorists confirm this reading. Let us try to understand this from the perspective of the dog – you cannot speak English and your mental capacity is not more than that of a one year old kid. You look up to your caretaker, but you are anxious about him. You do not want him to take your bones away. It increases your blood pressure. Strangely, you do not have this problem with any other dog – they can see when your face has a worried look, your gaze is averted and the whites of your eyes show. They understand it and walk away. But your human father acts very differently. You don’t understand why someone who loves you would want to take away your bone. You get even more anxious and end up biting him the next time he comes to take it away. Does this seem a little far-fetched? It really isn’t. You can see this happening every day.
What can you do instead?

  1. Work with a trainer who applies positive reinforcement. If what they do does not sit well with your conscience, do not do it.
  2. If your dog has behavioral issues like excess aggression, consult an expert. Look for a board-certified behaviorist.
  3. Never do something to a dog that you would not want to be done to you. No yelling to the face or physical stuff. That creates fear and makes them aggressive.
  4. Give a clear structure to your dog and establish boundaries from the day you adopt him. Let him know clearly what you expect.
  5. If you are in doubt, assess the situation. You are more intelligent than a dog and you can make him understand your wants using your brain. If you have communication barriers, take the help of a professional.