What to do if your dog gets diarrhoea?

What to do if your dog gets diarrhoea?

So last week before we transferred Hank onto his new “RAW” diet we had an unfortunate diarrhoea accident in the house. We think it was caused by us adding some grated cheese to his mix in an attempt to put some weight on him. After the initial diarrhoea it was quite worrying to see that was coming out was watery mucus but that meant that he’d cleared his system at least. So then after skipping a meal we put him on the following: DAY 1: pumpkin (not already sweetened pumpkin for pie filling but a can of plain pumpkin); DAY 2: pumpkin & rice (cooked); DAY 3: pumpkin & rice added to his regular dry food. We also added the powder from two 370mg capsules of Slippery Elm Bark to some previously boiled water and then mixed that in for the first 2 days. Of course we made sure to encourage him to drink as much as we could to help him flush out his system and stop him getting dehydrated. Obviously if the diarrhoea continued we would have consulted the vet but this little routine seemed to settle his bowels quite quickly (but then the whole thing was quite possibly just the cheese that triggered the bout). I’m happy to say he’s as right as rain now and in fact nearly a week into his “raw” food diet which will be another post.  Needless to say the change in poo with the raw diet is immediately apparent… (more later on...

Read More

Why Dogs Eat Poo!

Why Dogs Eat Poo!

So in my research about dog health I discovered that if you have a dog at some point you will probably catch it trying to eat its own or other animals’ poo (or “poop” as it is more politely known in America) – and while it is disgusting, unattractive and, as expected, potentially unsafe for your dog, it is actually fairly common behaviour. The eating of poo, officially known as coprophagia, can be a sign of some deeper anxiety or nutritional issue with your dog. Why Do They Do It? Dogs will eat poo for any number of reasons. Some simple explanations may be that they hungry or they might be trying to clean up their space. So if you do not feed your dog enough or if they are in a dirty pen, they will try to resolve these issues, which can often lead them to resort to eating their own excrement. More complex reasons for dogs eating poo may be that a dog might not be getting enough nutrients for itself due to it having parasites or worms, or they simply might not be getting the nutrients they need from the dry food they receive each day. Another reason may be that it is just an anxious habit, or more bizarrely they may be trying to mimic your behaviour because they see you always picking up their poo. Alternatively it could just be them copying other dogs that they have seen eating poo. New mums with their litters clean up after the puppies by eating their poo so some puppies may copy this natural cleaning behaviour from their mother. The good news is that no matter what the reason for the poo eating it is usually relatively easy to stop. How to Adjust the Behaviour So the first thing to do when you first start to notice your dog eating poo is to check for any health problems. Dogs that eat poo regularly could have worms or other parasites, or may not have enough food so seek advice from your vet to determine why this is happening and then treat it immediately. If your dog gets a clean bill of health from the vet and they don’t have any other obvious problems that could be directly attributed to the issue, then you need to address whatever other problems might be causing them to eat poo. Start by keeping the garden clean of poo. Also check the paths near your home. Clean up every day. If the coprophagia is not caused by a health problem then it isn’t important why your dog eats poo. This is because the problem is likely to be behavioural and thus can be...

Read More

How To Wash Your Dog

How To Wash Your Dog

So I’ve been reading up on whether and how best to wash your dog in preparation for the arrival of our new rescue Vizsla. We have lots of ponds and ditches where we shall be walking and I have no doubt we will come home dirty on more than one occasion! Gone are the days when most dogs lived outside in kennels and when it didn’t really matter from an aesthetics point of view whether your dog was terribly clean or not, but when they share the same living space with us, as they do now, it’s slightly more important to keep the state of their coats under control. Now even if your dog doesn’t get dirty it will still need some attention paid to its appearance once in a while so it’s worth discovering the best techniques that will allow for easy stress-free grooming. I’ve read that some dogs get quite agitated when you try to wash them (although our German Shepherd, that we had when we were younger, actually enjoyed it) and so I’ve pulled together what seems to be a recommended routine for you to try. The trick is getting your dog to tolerate (and even enjoy!) the bathing and grooming process… PREPARING YOUR DOG FOR WASHING The first step – before you even go anywhere near some water or get dirty – is to get your dog used to you touching him or her all over – which you will need to do once you start washing. Ideally this touching should start as a puppy but if you have an adult dog (as we will) you will just have to move a little slower. What you want is your dog getting used to the sensation of being handled and rubbed – in particular in places they normally won’t be touched. So try to make an enjoyable experience of this – almost giving your dog a massage so he’ll slowly come to enjoy the all-over physical contact. By instinct dogs are social creatures and so physical affection and contact is a normal part of their lives. It shouldn’t take long therefore before he begins to trust you, and allows himself to get some pleasure out of your touch. This kind of touching routine is also really going to help with your vet visits when again your dog gets touched in places they would not naturally tolerate. So the routine is as follows: Slowly rub all over; Fondle the ears; Touch the cheeks and neck; Rub them on the back and belly; Pick up their paws and; If they’ll let you, give each paw a gentle squeeze. (Paw touching is generally a big deal for most dogs...

Read More

Avoiding Dog Health Problems

Avoiding Dog Health Problems

When it comes to the health of your dog – just like with humans there can be many potential ailments that can befall your dog. When that happens the results can be both emotionally devastating and expensive if the issue or illness is not dealt with quickly and effectively. Now instead of waiting and just reacting health problems when they arrive, it is advisable to learn how you and your dog can avoid them in the first place – thus keeping your dog happy and healthy. Potential Dog Health Problems As already stated dogs can suffer from any number of health issues. The difference between us and them is that your dog cannot tell you “I have a stomach ache”. Your dog will often suffer in silence until there is a very real pain that needs to be treated. Therefore you must do what you can to be vigilant and try to recognize the symptoms and also take action so that you avoid these issues in the first place. Infections – Dogs often suffer infections, in their ears, on their skin, in their eyes and their teeth. Of all potential dog health problems, infections are by far the easiest to prevent. Ear infections are the most common and are often due to a foreign body or bacteria getting in their ears. Check them frequently for red spots, swelling, excess moisture, or dirt. Also clean your dog’s eyes, brush their teeth and brush their hair regularly to avoid any potential bacteria build up. Allergies – Dogs have many forms of allergies. By far the most common is a flea allergy that can cause hot spots and lead to infections. You should give your dog flea medication every month and have them regularly examined by a vet to ensure they are healthy. Often if their skin problems lead to ear infections or other hot spots, your dog may have a food allergy – this is a more serious issue that should be discussed with your vet so that an appropriate diet or such like can be recommended. Diabetes – Dog health problems tend to mirror human issues in many ways and diabetes is one such potential disease. Like in humans excess rich, fatty and sugary foods can result in pancreatic issues that cause diabetes. So it is best to keep your dog on a strict diet of dog foods with minimal table scraps or excess meals. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to see a vet regularly and may need to administer regular injections. Arthritis and Dysplasia – Some dogs are highly susceptible to joint problems. Pure breeds and in particular large dog breeds have a long...

Read More