The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

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September 19, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Air Travel With Your Dog

Image credits: Staticflickr.com/

Planning to travel with your pooch on the plane? It isn’t as easy as it sounds! Dogs are naturally restless animals and containing them in a crate for long journeys is not an easy task. Sometimes, it can even be traumatizing for them as they have to stay in a new environment with other animals for long periods of time and little comfort. On the other hand, many owners do not want to leave their pets behind when they go for long holidays. To make sure that your pooch is more comfortable and calm, there are quite a few things that you could do:

  • Pick the right airlines: Different airlines have different rules for pets. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin; others require them to be kept in a crate in a separate compartment. To keep your pooch comfortable, look up the right airlines and book ahead so that they can fit him/her in. Airlines will charge extra for this.
  • Airlines have rules that your pet must have gotten all the latest vaccinations. This is to make sure that the other pets and passengers on the plane do not get infected. This is especially true for international flights so make sure you take your dog to the vet before traveling.
  • When preparing for the journey, exercise your dog adequately. Tire them out so that they aren’t overly energetic and will most likely sleep on the plane. This can also help reduce restlessness.
  • For air travel, it is necessary to put your dog in a crate. To do this successfully, present the crate as a positive thing. It is recommended to do this before entering the airport to reduce the chaos.
  • Make sure that your dog does not have a full bladder or a full stomach before traveling. No one wants to be greeted at the end of a journey with pee or poop all over the crate. Dirty environments will also make the dog more uneasy. Water needs to be accessible to your dog at all times; just enough to keep him/her hydrated but not full.
  • Be calm when you say goodbye to him/her in the crate. The more upset you are, he or she will also likely get upset.
  • When putting your dog in a crate, make sure there is at least one item to make him/her feel more comfortable. This could be a blanket, a stuffed toy or a toy bone.
  • Remove leashes and collars before putting your dog in the crate to avoid choking while moving.
  • Dogs can also be medicated to keep them calm during long journeys but that may or may not be a good idea. Do your research before administering them.
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September 16, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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How to Keep Your Dog Physically and Mentally Stimulated

Image Source: Wikimedia

In order for dogs to be well-adjusted pets, they need to be both, physically and mentally stimulated as often as possible. Dogs are programmed to keep themselves busy and it is the owner’s duty to provide them with ways to do so. It’s not just the big hunter/guard dogs that need to be kept physically and mentally active. Even the smaller breeds need their fair share of activity. For example, terriers are small dogs, but, they are filled to the brim with energy, which needs to be spent in a healthy manner.

So, if you’re wondering what to do, here are a few tips to help you out.

Physical exercise
There’ no exact answer to how much physical exercise a dog might need. However, the general idea is to give enough exercise to make him/her tired. The exercise sessions can be divided between mornings and evenings. If you have enough area, then putting up a fence would be a good idea. You can use the space to let your furry friend run around a bit. If you live in the city or in an apartment, try looking out for a nearby dog park.

If none of the above is possible, then put your dog on a leash and take him/her for a walk.
Other useful physical exercises include playing fetch, swimming, or running. If your dog is stuck indoors, a treadmill might come in handy. However, do make sure that your dog isn’t overexerting. Make sure he/she has enough rest after a workout session and always make sure to have a bowl of water nearby.

Another key thing to note about physical activities for dogs is that it’s different for pups and adult dogs. For a pup, you will need to introduce less strenuous exercises. For example, a game of fetch inside the house should be a good start. You can also fix play dates with other pups in the area, which will be good exercise and also, a great way to get your pup to socialize.

Mental exercise
The idea of mental exercises for your dog might sound strange, but, your dog definitely needs it. So, what can you do to make your dog sharper? Well, you can start off with obedience training. When you command your dog to sit or stay and when you appreciate or correct him/her, it actually stimulates her/his brain. It allows your dog to think about what needs to be done and we all know thinking is a great way to get the brain going. In fact, dogs think harder because they want to get things right. They want to receive the praise, attention, and even, treats that they’re likely to get if they follow the command properly.

You can also introduce them to puzzle like games. For instance, you hide a treat or a favorite toy and get your dog to search for it. This will improve your dog’s thinking skills and even his/her sense of tracking.

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September 15, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Household Tick and Flea Treatments That Do Not Actually Work

Image: Freepik.com/

Fleas and ticks are a well known problem for every pet owner. Everyone seems to have heard of some method or to get rid of them but it’s not easy to differentiate actual solutions from fake ones. This is doubly true if you get your advice from online sources. To help you care for your pet better, here are a few common myths busted about getting rid of fleas and ticks:

  • Myth: Keeping your pet indoors

    While there is a slightly lower chance of tick infestation if you keep your pet indoors, fleas are a problem regardless. Fleas can travel through multiple means including pant legs, shoes, clothes etc. This means that they can make themselves at home and start breeding inside your house. It only takes about 2 weeks before 2 fleas turn into 2000. It is highly recommended that preventative medication be given to your pets throughout the year.

  • Myth: Feed garlic to your pets

    For some reason, a ton of online sources suggest adding garlic to your pets meals, either raw or in powder form, or administering it orally. The origin of this myth is unknown but it’s a myth regardless. Garlic has no effect on fleas and ticks, Moreover it can cause serious harm to your pets, especially cats. Stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea and in more serious cases, anemia are all a result of excessive garlic consumption.

  • Myth: Apply orange on your pets

    Many people believe that oranges and other citrus fruits repel fleas if rubbed on their pets. While oranges tend to have to an effect on insects, fleas and ticks are not insects. For it to have any affect on fleas, it will have to be chemically extracted and concentrated to toxic levels that will harm your pets.

  • Myth: Human lice shampoos work on pets

    The jury is still out on this solution. Sometimes, human shampoos could work but they contain ingredients like pyrethrins that are harmful to pets. Any vet will tell you to choose shampoos that have safer compounds. While it might be tempting to save a buck, it is simpler to buy flea and tick shampoos that are specifically for pets. They will get rid of fleas without causing any skin damage or more serious illnesses.

  • Myth: Plant Fleabane in your yard

    There is no proven research that repels fleas. Some say that the plant, also known as Pennyroyal, will repel fleas naturally while others claim that you have to burn it to release flea-repelling scents. Either way, this is unlikely to work as you have to plant it or burn it in very large amounts. It also does not protect the indoors where, as stated before, fleas and ticks can be present.

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September 14, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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How to Deal With Kidney Failure in Your Dog

Image credits – Pixabay

Canine kidney failure is a condition that not only frustrates the affected animal, but also the human owner. If you’re pet owner who just found out that your dog has kidney failure, the news can be extremely disheartening.

There is no denying that the times ahead are going to be tough. However, it doesn’t have to be as painful as you imagine it to be. You still have the ability and power to make your dog’s life a little better and even prevent the condition from progressing too soon.

The solution lies in using a broad approach. The more attention you pay to your dog’s needs, the longer you are likely to have him/her around.

But, before we look at the solution, let us first take a look at kidney failure.

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure or renal failure is not a condition in itself. Rather, it is the consequence of a condition known as kidney disease or renal disease. Kidney disease generally affects older animals, but, is found in younger animals as well.

There are primarily 2 kinds of kidney disease – acute and chronic. In the former type, the symptoms show up all of a sudden, with the cause usually being toxicity. In the latter type, the condition is progressive and worsens gradually over time. The symptoms tend to be very unspecific, which makes it harder to detect at an early stage.

The acute or chronic nature of kidney disease is determined by the cause. As for causes, there are many including age, infections (viral, bacterial or fungal), abnormal protein deposits (amyloidosis), trauma, toxicity (through ingestion of medication or toxic substances), and autoimmune diseases etc.

General symptoms include an increase in urination and water consumption, along with nocturnal urination, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy and blood in urine etc. There could also be a decrease in or complete lack of urination as well.

Treatment

The only way to deal with kidney disease is by seeking medical treatment. Once your veterinarian is able to confirm the condition, which is achieved by observing symptoms and carrying out several tests, he/she will suggest a change in diet and prescribe medication and therapy.

Fluid therapy is one form of treatment. This treatment is provided in direct response to your dog’s need for fluids, which is something that all kidney disease patients suffer from. Their kidneys fail to concentrate urine, resulting in more water being passed out. This affects the body’s fluid balance.

So, you will be required to compensate for the fluid loss by giving your dog more water. As the condition progresses, your dog will require subcutaneous fluids. The administering of subcutaneous fluids can be done at home. Most veterinarians will train owners on this.

Potassium may also be included in the fluids to maintain electrolyte balance and in some cases, fluids may be administered intravenously.

Apart from Fluid Therapy, changes will be made to the dog’s diet. Usually, this included a low quantity-high quality protein diet. The idea is to minimize thee stress on the kidneys. The dietary change is introduced gradually to ensure that the dog gets used to it.
The protein content must be optimal – more or less will lead to other complications. For example, low protein leads to protein malnutrition, which isn’t healthy at all.

So, make sure your dog is checked on a regular basis by your vet. With the right kind of treatment, your dog is sure to live a better and longer life.

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September 13, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Busting the Most Common Tick Myths

Image: Staticflickr.com/

With a recent increase in the tick population, the myths about them are also on the rise. Everything about them including where they originate from, how they infect pets and more importantly, how to get rid of them can be misinterpreted and misleading. Depending on who you talk to, different myths have been passed on from generations, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest myths to help you deal with ticks better:

  • Myth: Ticks jump out from trees
    This is one of the most common myths out there. Experts have however, proven that not only can ticks not jump but they can’t climb far up trees either. Ticks are usually present on low blades of grass or bushes and latch onto pets that come in contact with them. Some ticks are even blind and use only the front part of their bodies for climbing onto pets and humans.
  • Myth: You can get rid of ticks using matches, Vaseline etc
    Although some home remedies do work, tweezers are your best bet for getting ticks out. Burning matches are extremely unsafe and no responsible pet owner will want to it near their pet The best way to get rid of ticks is to grab the body with tweezers and pull the body out. Once you’ve pulled out as much as possible, use soap and water to clean the area.
  • Myth: Ticks only spread Lyme disease
    Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks but there are other potentially fatal diseases that they also spread to dogs and humans. This includes spotted fever, ehrilichiosis, anplasmosis and more. Unfortunately, diseases that are spread through ticks do not show up in blood tests and can be hard to detect. Early symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases are similar to that of the flu.
  • Myth: Ticks aren’t a problem in the winter
    Ticks have no problems surviving in winter as they tend to relocate indoors and be even more of a hassle for you and your pets. Some ticks also have various mechanisms to survive in the winter including secretions. Vets usually recommend preventative medication throughout the year for this reason.
  • Myth: Ticks can spread diseases without their bodies
    Many pet owners believe that ticks can still spread diseases even after they pull out the body. This incredulous myth leads many pet owners to worry about tick removal even more. Ticks cannot spread diseases using just their heads. Minor inflammation is the only consequence of letting tick heads remain on your pet’s skin. Heat packs will help them fall off quicker. In any case, tick heads will fall off in a few days by themselves.