The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog


October 4, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Ways to Have Fun Playing With Your Dog in Winter

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Winters can be fun- there’s the snowfall, the hot cocoa, and of course, the holiday season. But, it isn’t just the humans who find winters exciting. Even our furry little friends love winter and they have no qualms about showing it. However, as a sensible pet owner, you cannot let your dog out in the snow for more than a few minutes. There are obvious reasons for that

Instead follow these helpful suggestions to make winter as fun as possible for your faithful friend.

Try Indoor activities
It’s wise to stay indoors, especially during heavy snowfall. However, do not let that hamper your fun. Use the “indoors time” to teach your dog a trick or two. If he or she is still a pup, you can use the time to train him/her. Also, keep your sessions short, about 5 to ten minutes each. Anything beyond this will cause your dog to lose attention. Small, multiple sessions are more fun and more effective.

Go for short, brisk walks
It’s okay for your dog to go on a long walk when the weather’s more pleasant. However, that’s not going to be possible during peak winter. But, your dog still needs the exercise. So, the best solution here is to go for short and brisk walks. But, don’t keep your dog protected while doing so. Try to cover him/her with a sweater. Also, don’t forget the paws. There are protective paw coatings and booties that are available in the market. So, try getting a set. Your dog can catch a cold if he/she is exposed to such extreme weather. So, make sure that your dog is insulated from nose to tail. However, if he/she feels uncomfortable, don’t force the clothing. Start off by making him/her wear the sweater or coat for a few minutes every day, inside the house. If that still doesn’t work, just let him/her be.

Watch out for chemicals
In case you did not know, roads and sidewalks are treated with chemicals to prevent freezing. These chemicals can be very toxic. So, make sure you have your dog’s paws cleaned thoroughly after a walk outside. You don’t want him/her licking her paws and ingesting all that toxic stuff. Also, when salting your own driveway and other areas, make sure you use a pet-friendly product.

Have fun
Despite the restrictions during this season, you can still make the most of your time on outdoor walks. For example you could include a few games to make your little one run around a bit and get all the exercise he/she can during that short span of time. For example, you can bury your dog’s favorite toy in the snow and ask him/her to find it.


October 3, 2016
by Lynn Merton

How to Observe Grill Safety When Your Dog is Around?

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Firing up the grill in the backyard is quite possible the most enjoyable and delicious summertime activities. While grilling up the veggies and meat is a wonderful treat for all friends and family members, it can be dangerous if you have a dog around. That does not mean that you have to skip out on the barbeque season if you are a pet parent. Just take the proper precautions to make sure that you and your guests have the safest possible experience this summer.

What are the risks?
As far as grilling around pets is concerned, there are multiple risks including skin irritations, burns, choking, eye trauma, ingesting sharp bones, harmful foods and dangerous objects like grilling implements.

How can you ensure pet safety?
You need to make sure that the grill is at least three feet away from your dog. The same goes for the charcoal fluid, which can be poisonous if ingested. Never leave the grill unattended, as curious dogs tend to work their way to the area and accidentally burn themselves or others.

If, inadvertently, your dog does manage to find his way to the grill, you want to be prepared to protect him against possible injuries. Grease and fat buildups must be trapped under the grill, and removed regularly. If your dog ingests the grill drippings, it can cause serious gastrointestinal problems and even pancreatitis, which can be quite deadly in dogs.

It is also absolutely essential to keep the grilling items and tools away from your pet, as it can cause serious harm. If metal or wood skewers are ingested accidentally, it could end up puncturing the gastrointestinal tract of your dog, necessitating surgical intervention to fix it.

Other grilling items that need to be kept away from your dog include plastic wraps and aluminum foils, which can cause serious intestinal blockage if ingested. Aluminum foils are especially dangerous as they do not show up on X-Rays.

What if your pet ingests something harmful?
The most harmful pet foods include raw bones, meats, onions and a whole corn cob. If your pet chokes on food, try the Heimlich maneuver (but make sure that the person who does it is properly trained in it) and rush your pet to the vet’s office afterwards.

Non-grill items that can be harmful to pets include grapes, avocado, chives, chocolate, raw eggs, garlic, and alcohol. So make sure that you keep these food items away from your dog at all times. When you discard them, make sure that you place them in an air-tight container so that your dog cannot get to it. If your dog gets burned by the grill, rinse the area with cold water and cover it with a light bandage to keep him from licking himself and take him to the emergency vet.


September 30, 2016
by Lynn Merton

What Do Your Dog’s Stomach Noises Mean?

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Your dog’ stomach is a very important organ. This is where the food is digested and broken down to provide your dog with energy and nutrition.

Now, there is a possibility you may come across a scenario involving strange sounds coming from your furry friend’s stomach. Generally, there’s nothing to bother as these sounds are normal. However, if you notice it too often and if your dog doesn’t seem to be himself/herself, there could be a connection.
Here are a few possible issues that could be causing those stomach noises.

A loud noise from your dog’s stomach could indicate indigestion. But, do look for other symptoms as well to confirm indigestion. The other symptoms are vomiting, loss of appetite, and constipation. If you find that your dog is showing all these signs along with the stomach noises, there is a good chance that he/she has indigestion. Indigestion usually occurs when the dog’s diet has suddenly been altered or if your dog has consumed feces or garbage. The treatment plan would normally include a supplementary diet of fiber or even fasting.

There’s no cause for concern as indigestion can be quite common in dogs. However, there are cases where indigestion can be a sign of intestinal occlusion. So, take your dog to the vet in any case. It’s for your own peace of mind.

Other serious issues
Apart from indigestion, there could be other serious issues causing those weird stomach noises. For example, gastrointestinal diseases and intestinal parasites are some of the most common issues for which stomach noises are a symptom. There could also be issues such as metabolic or endocrinal disorders.
As a pet owner, you need to look out for other clinical signs as well. If your dog hyper-salivates, has diarrhea or vomiting, or becomes lethargic, the stomach noises could mean much more. Also, look for signs of abdominal pain, which is characterized by your dog’s hunched posture. A visit to the vet is advisable in such scenarios.

The not so scary causes of stomach noises
Apart from the issues mentioned above, stomach noises can be caused by the usual processes and actions taking place in your dog’s body. For instance, hunger can cause your dog’s stomach to growl or gurgle, just like it does in humans. These noises are produced when there are contractions in the gastrointestinal tract. You are likely to hear these “hunger noises” in the mornings or generally, before meal time.

Other than hunger, even the ingestion of air can create stomach noises. When dogs eat in a rush or breathe heavily, they ingest an excess amount of air. To avoid this, you can try to feed your dog using a special bowl or disturb the process by placing something in the bowl. This will force him/her to eat slowly. Lastly, even the process of digestion can create stomach noises.


September 29, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Can You Give Diet Pills To Your Dog?

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We see advertisements for diet pills everywhere – from Facebook sidebars and newspapers to light poles and text messages. Whether you like them or not, they have become ubiquitous. But the main question pet owners are asking is “Are diet pills safe for dogs?” With more than 50 percent of the dogs in the United States classified as obese, this is a question worth considering.

The FDA recently approved Dirlotapide, which is the first veterinary medication that was designed as a weight management aid for overweight dogs. If it is used in conjunction with a diet and exercise program approved by your pet’s veterinarian, it can be quite effective in reducing your dog’s weight in a safe and effective manner.

What is it?

Dirlotapide is a microsomal triglyceride protein transfer inhibitor. It is oil based and it blocks the release of lipoproteins into our dog’s bloodstream, thereby reducing the absorption of fat. As an oral supplement, it is given once a day either through an oral syringe or by mixing it with a small amount of dog food. Since it is a drug, you must get your dog evaluated for any contraindications before you start treatment. Your vet will conduct a thorough examination and take into account the breed, age and other health considerations that would indicate a more conventional weight loss approach. Once the use of the drug has been approved, your vet will come up with a schedule and thoroughly go over all the precautions and specifics that need to be taken.

How does the drug work?

Dirlotapide basically prevents the intestine of your dog from absorbing the dietary fat that is found in your dog’s food. This causes your dog to feel full and suppresses his appetite. Since he eats a smaller amount of food than he usually does, his body will start burning the stored fat, causing him to lose weight. Your vet will come up with an exercise program that will encourage your dog’s body to use up more of the fat stores and build muscle. As your dog begins to lose weight, your vet will gradually wean him off the dose. You need to bear in mind that appetite suppression is just a short term effect and will affect your dog only while he is on the medication.

Are there possible side effects?

Loss of appetite is the intended and most noticeable side effect. In rare cases, the drug can cause vomiting or diarrhea. If the dosage is increased, it might cause constipation, salivation and mild depression. If you are worried about the side effects, consult with the vet to see if you can change the dosage to mitigate the effects. If your dog is on steroids or on medication for treating liver disease, he might not be a good candidate for diet pills. Your vet will make the call based on the overall health of your dog.


September 28, 2016
by Lynn Merton

How to Treat Your Dog For Chigger Bites?

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You can’t really see them, but, they sure can cause havoc for your dog. Yes! We’re talking about chiggers. They can cause intense itching and leave your dog scratching endlessly. In fact, they can cause serious problems if left untreated. For example, the vigorous scratching, which is a consequence of the itch caused by chiggers, can cause your dog’s skin to break. The broken skin can get infected and lead to various other complications. So, get your dog treated right away if he/she has chiggers.

Here are a few treatment suggestions, but, before we go there, let’s get a basic idea about chiggers.

What are Chiggers?

Chiggers are basically mites that attach themselves to a host (your dog) and cause intense itching. They generally tend to inhabit dark, wooded areas, but, as larvae, they are pretty much okay with any location. In fact, the larvae stage is when they are likely to end up on your dog. Chiggers tend to affect dogs mostly during the fall and spring. They look very similar to fleas, ticks, and scabies. However, chigger marks are hardly noticeable like ticks or flea marks. You would likely need a microscope to even know your dog has chiggers. So, if your dog is scratching and you can’t find the source of the itch right away, it’s likely to be chiggers.

Treatment options

There are allopathic and natural treatment options for chiggers. Your vet’s treatment suggestion will most likely involve the use of either an anti-parasite topical application or 2 pyrethrin based dips. The pyrethrin based dips are applied on a localized area, with each dip being applied two weeks apart. Injectable or topical steroids are also a treatment option. They are very useful in alleviating any itchiness.

As for natural treatment options, green tea is known to offer anti-inflammatory benefits. That’s exactly why they are used to treat chigger bites. All you have to do is brew some green tea according to your dog’s size. Then, dilute the green tea with water. Use the diluted green tea to rinse your dog. This will take care of the itch. You can repeat if necessary.

Bathe your dog immediately if you suspect he/she has been affected by chiggers. After you bathe him/her, apply hydrocortisone over the areas that are itchy. As an alternative, you can even use calamine lotion or topical steroid. They are sure to help with the inflammation.

If none of the above treatment suggestions work, please visit your vet immediately. Ideally, itching should stop within a few days, while the bumps should go away in a couple of weeks.
As a preventive measure, keep your dog away from areas that are known to host bugs or have very heavy vegetation.