Dogs are glorious creatures that come in all shapes and sizes and each one of them boasts their very own unique character. Some dogs need loads of grooming and some are much easier maintenance. Some breeds that boast high prey drives whereas others are quite happy to lounge around on a sofa all day. However, the one constant among our canine friends is they often leave owners asking a few questions about how to take care of them, four of which are listed below:
A lot of dogs need to be clipped more often than others with a typical example being the Cocker Spaniel. Many owners notice that their pet's coat tends to get lighter the more they are clipped which unfortunately does happen. Clipping out a coat every few weeks often affects both the texture and the colour of the new coat as it grows through.
There is no way of reversing this due to the fact that clipping means taking out both the top coat as well as the undercoat. The only real way of avoiding this from happening is to hand-strip their coat which is a very time consuming process and one that's very expensive to have done professionally. You could always learn to do this yourself which would work out a lot cheaper and the good news is your dog's coat would not change colour or get any lighter no matter how often it's stripped.
Dogs often suffer from digestive disorders because they like to get hold of some pretty disgusting things when they are given the chance. A sudden change of diet can also upset their tummies and result in them getting the runs. A lot of people keep probiotic drinks in the fridge because they know how beneficial it is for them to drink them, but is it safe to give a probiotic drink to a dog with a tummy upset?
There is nothing in one of these drinks that would harm a dog, but rather than give your dog this type of supplement, it would be far wiser to find out what is causing the problem which is typically diet related. For dogs with very sensitive stomachs, you may need to assess their diet because it would be better to feed one that boasts being a very digestible hypo-allergenic one.
If you can't get to the vet and your dog has an upset tummy, you can give them a probiotic drink before taking them along to the vet as it may ease their discomfort. However, it's far better to give them a supplement that's been specifically formulated for our canine friends, one of which is Protexin Sybiotic DC.
The other thing to bear in mind is that some “human” probiotics very often contain milk proteins which some dogs may be intolerant to, but as previously mentioned in an emergency giving a dog a 'human' probiotic drink should not do them any harm.
Lots of owners ask whether it is safe to give their dogs a bone and there's no doubt that our canine friends love gnawing on them! The problem is there is mixed feelings as to whether dogs should be given bones with some vets recommending they should never be offered them under any circumstance.
The reason being that a bone may splinter and perforate a dog's digestive tract or it could contribute to them having cracked and broken teeth. Other reasons why some vets don't think it's safe to give dogs any bones, is that it could cause a serious intestinal obstruction or at the very least make a dog constipated.
Other vets and canine nutritionists think that it's a good idea to give dogs bones to eat because it provides them with loads of entertainment and there's nothing our canine friends enjoy more than chewing on a juicy bone. It also exercises their jaws and helps keep their teeth cleaner by removing quite a bit of tartar!
At the end of the day it depends both on the dog and the bone with some dogs coping very well when they are given one. On the one side vets believe there is nothing wrong with giving a dog a large raw bone full of marrow, but never a cooked one, whereas on the other some vets think it's never a good idea to give either a cooked or raw bone to any dog.
In short, you have to know your dog and if you have always given them a raw bone on the odd occasion, then continuing to do so should not be a problem. If however, your dog has never had a bone, you need to think twice about giving them one just in case but you should never give any dog any chicken bones!
Some breeds are very prone to ear infections particularly if they love playing around in water. Terriers too are predisposed to ear problems and in particular yeast infections which tend to be very itchy and irritating. Dogs with the problem make it that much worse by continually scratching at their ears, very often making them bleed.
When this happens, it can be hard to apply any medicated ear-drops to help clear up the problem which is why it's so important to catch an ear yeast infection early and before your pet can rub their ears raw. All too often a yeast infection is associated to an underlying skin problem which makes a dog's ear canals more prone to developing an infection.
You would need to take your dog along to the vet so they can examine their ears and then prescribe some ear-drops to fight off the infection. One product is called Conofite which is in drop form. It contains an ingredient that kills off the yeasts very effectively. If the infection keeps recurring, then your vet would need to establish what the underlying cause is and might even recommend you take your dog to a veterinary dermatologist to have them checked out.