Archives for June 2011



The Real Benefits of Pet Adoption

Adopting a pet can be a life changing experience. If you want to improve the life of an animal desperately in need of your support; then adopt a pet instead of buying one at your local pet store. There are numerous pounds struggling to take care and manage the overwhelming amount of abandoned animals that need your help. By adopting a pet you will gain the satisfaction of knowing that you not only changed the life of one animal, but also helped support your local community in a big way. There are many advantages to adopting a pet that go beyond the obvious contribution to society and saving an animal’s life. I remember arriving at the Edmond vet in my area and being pleasantly surprised by the calming effect the trip had on me.

First, adopting a pet rather than purchasing one at your local pet store often means you get a pet that is well mannered. A brand new puppy can be a struggle to train and can require costly classes. Alternatively, a young adult dog or cat can be well mannered and more mature than a rambunctious puppy. Moreover, a puppy is often a terror when they first arrive in your home. If you choose not to adopt; then prepare your house for knowing, biting, scratching, and digging. You will have to potty train your puppy as well and keep them inside a kennel for at least a year every time you leave. However, should you decide to adopt a pet, you can rest assured that your adult pet already understands some rules and is mature enough to live peacefully in your home.

Secondly, the cost of a puppy versus an adult dog shows up in the daily diet and possibly the cost of repairs and carpet stains. For example, a puppy is likely to have numerous accidents in your home during the potty-training stages while an older experienced dog is likely to be potty trained and much less likely to have random acts of messes around your home. The cost of specialized puppy food is much higher than that of average department store bought food for regular adult dogs.

Lastly, adopted pets seem to be mixed breeds and mixed breeds tend to have less genetic disorders and seem to be smarter overall pets than pure breeds. Often times, a mix breed is easier to train if they are a mixture of two or more intelligent breeds because they have a natural and healthy gene pool comprising their genetics. Mixed breeds are known to have longer life spans with a less likelihood of chronic or genetic diseases such as the hip problems of German Shepherds or the back problems of Welsh Corgis.

For these reasons as well as the sense of well-being achieved by rescuing an at-risk pet, you should adopt a pet from your local human society and be the saving grace in an animal’s life. Take the time to research your local pound or animal shelter. Your next best friend will be happy to see you and thank you every day for saving his or her life.



The Importance of Size and Height for a Wire Hamster Cage

If you’re planning to buy a wire cage with a plastic base for your hamster, two important considerations are the overall size and height of the cage you buy.

Overall Size

One thing you should remember when buying a wire hamster cage is that hamsters need a lot of space to run around and do their stuff. If the cage is too small, the hamster will likely get bored since it won’t have the room it needs to get its regular exercise. Ordinarily, the wire hamster cage should measure at least 12 inches deep and 24 inches long (61 by 30.5 cm).

Along with your hamster, the cage also has to be able to hold your pet’s food bowl, its toys, its water bottle, and an exercise wheel. You also have to consider additional room for his or her bedding which will be used for digging around, a sleeping area, and a bathroom. If you want to keep your hamsters happy, better give them enough space to happily do their own thing or else they’ll grow tired of their surroundings, which may lead to your hamster trying to escape more often.

Some creative pet owners have even conceived of the idea of purchasing two small wire cages, then connecting them together with hamster tubes using an adapter kit. The result is a happier, more eager hamster that does a lot of running and moving between the two cages.

Height

Hamster cages are available as a single story. But two or three story heights are also available. Most hamsters especially like climbing and busily poking their noses around inside their wire cages. They like clambering up the sides and around the wire bars. Some will even attempt to reach the top of the cage, even if it’s two or even three stories high. Hamsters, however, are not immune to the occasional fall or slip, even if they do act like they’re invincible and immune to pain. And if your pet loves to climb the top of the cage and falls, it can easily get hurt.

Because of this danger and as a necessary precaution, if you have a two or three story hamster cage, be sure to put ladders or ramps around the cage. That way, your hamster can climb to the top height easily and without the danger of falling. You may even use a hamster climbing tube so your hamster can move and play around its tall wire cage.



Advice on Dog allergy Symptoms

The most important thing you must know about dog allergy symptoms are they are incredibly similar which makes them tough to tell a part. You will find indicators that you may observe that can help you find out if and just what the problem may be.

Human Beings and dogs are similar in regards to allergies, so their signs will also be inline with ours . They consist of itchiness, sneezing, and watering from the eyes. The problem that clearly comes up is us people ordinarily have a general idea of allergies and pets do not know exactly what the problem may be.

So since your pet is not able to inform you what he did within the previous 24 hrs let us look at several of the possibilities. You need to know its not always 100% likely to ascertain exactly what may be the source of the problem.

Itchiness is brought on by discomfort on the skin, and results in the dog to scrape the affected area. The itching region can be noticed because it frequently turns a tone of red and can even appear unpleasant . This can be from the dogs biting.

There’s two major reasons of those dog allergy symptoms: contact allergens for instance ticks, and food allergies. It is not so much the ‘flea bite’ that produces these signs, though it can be irritating, however the flea’s saliva. A flea bite is not an allergic reaction, but many dogs will have an allergic reaction towards the saliva in the flea.

Other contact allergens include detergents, hair (even people hair) and several airborne allergens that get the skin for example plant pollen, dust mites along with other types of dirt – they affect dogs just as they affect humans. The behavior of dogs struggling with any type of irritating itching is scratching and rubbing its skin on the ground- especially a carpet or something like that slightly abrasive. Pet’s sometimes sit down and step with their front feet and their rear end on the ground whenever they have itching at their rear end.

Food allergy symptoms will also be the same as stated earlier which is difficult. The great, and poor, thing is there may be another sign like nausea or vomiting. Should you change your dogs foods and vomiting starts, it would be a good choice to replace that food as well. When doubtful organic canned meals is a great fix till you can find a more cost effective long term remedy.

Not just that, but one more of the specific dog allergic reactions is licking their feet. You will find your pet licking their feet as an alternative to itching or if they’ve itched the area an excessive amount already. Fleas are frequently found between the paws of your dog.

So, even though it is hard to identify the actual reason for dog allergy symptoms, you are able to filter it down by making sure to keep your eyes open and noticing your pet’s actions. Contact allergens are well-known for their itching and licking along with food allergies which also have throwing up.

Even so, if you’re uncertain, plus your dog is hurting and showing extreme dog allergies symptoms, you should play safe and pay a visit to the animal medical practitioner.



Three Traits That Illustrate The Downside To Owning A Yorkshire Terrier

While the Yorkshire terrier is a great dog to own, it does present problems as well.  As with anything else in this life, it has its pros and cons.  The pros far outweigh the cons and with a little effort on your part, most of the bad stuff can be dealt with fairly easily.  It is a matter of due diligence, however and you cannot afford to let your guard down in some cases.  Here are three of the cons that come with buying Yorkie puppies for sale.

  • Not A Great Dog With Small Children
  • Too Brave For Their Own Good
  • High Maintenance Coats

No Small Children Please

If you have older children, the Yorkie puppies for sale that you picked up will have a wonderful life.  I say puppies because it is better to buy them in twos if you do spend time away from the house.  Yorkies get lonely very easily and it is nice to have a live in companion for them.  Smaller children could and probably would accidentally injure or even kill a young Yorkie.  Their bones are very fragile and small children are just too unpredictable for your Yorkie to figure out.

Not Dumb Just Too Brave

You have to watch the Teacup Yorkie puppies for sale that you buy around other dogs because the tiny Yorkie is apt to pick a fight with the biggest dog in the hood.  In fact, the Yorkie will very rarely roll over and expose its belly, something that dogs do to show other dogs they are submissive and will not fight.  Yorkies are just too brave for their own good and cannot be out without a leash.

Hair tastes bad

Yorkie puppies for sale in Michigan, for instance, are becoming more commonplace everyday.  The folks there know that if the Yorkie has two problems that take a lot of care and maintenance, it is their hair and their teeth.  You have to brush your Yorkie every other day to keep their coat in shape.  You also need to cut the hair around their face and ears so they can eat or bow it back for them.  The Yorkie is also prone to overcrowding of teeth in their small mouths, which can lead to plaque and gum disease if you do not brush them every day and provide the kind of chew snacks that help prevent it.  The Teacup Yorkies for sale everywhere are fast becoming America’s most popular dog.



Baytril for Dogs: How Safe is It?

The use of Baytril for dogs is a controversial topic in the world of animal care. People have their own opinions about it and so do the experts. The problem with many of us is that while we are very well informed about the food and medicine that we take in, we are usually at a loss when it comes to our pets. Baytril is widely used to treat, not only dogs, but various types of livestock as well.

What is Baytril and what is it used for?

Baytril is the brand name for Enrofloxacin, an antibiotic. Enrofloxacin is a fluoroquinalone, one of the groups of antibiotics that is used for bacterial infections. It has quite an interesting mode of action, as it targets the DNA synthesis of the bacteria that causes the infection, and interferes with these building blocks of cells, thus leading to the elimination of the bacteria. It is because of this mode of action that Baytril is very effective and is, in fact, almost always recommended for quite a number of bacterial infections..

Baytril is used to cure various bacterial infections, including those in the respiratory tract, lung infections, gastro-intestinal infections, liver infections, urinary tract infections, infections of the skin, from open wounds and even those resulting from surgery. The company that manufactures Baytril has recently unveiled a more specialized version of Baytril for dogs, called the Baytril Otic, used to cure ear infections. Pet owners, farmers, and many other people who deal with animal care are sure to have heard the rumour that Baytril has been banned.

Has Baytril for dogs been banned?

There is actually no truth to the rumors about the banning of Baytril for dogs. What is true, however, is that Baytril has most definitely been banned from use in poultry, that is, chicken and turkeys. This is because poultry animals are bred for human consumption.

According to experts, even though Baytril has been proven to be very effective in dealing with bacterial infections in many animals, there is a always a fear of the likelihood that these microorganisms will, with regular use, develop resistance to the antibiotic drug.  Obviously, the bacteria will be able to thrive over time and eventually, be passed on through infected meat to humans. This poses a danger, as by the time it the modified bacterial strain will have infected a human, it will be much harder to find an antibiotic which will be able to deal with the infection.

Contrary to popular belief, however, it is still legal to use Baytril to treat bacterial infections in dogs, cats and other pets – in summary, those animals not meant for human consumption.

Side Effects

Among the most common side effects are diarrhea or liquid stool and joint problems in young animals.  Serious effects, which are very rare, include mood swings, blindness and seizures.

Dosage and contraindications

Baytril for dogs comes in the form of tablets and injections. As mentioned before, Baytril Otic  is available to treat ear infections. The therapeutic dose is 5-20 mg/kg (2.27 to 9.07 mg/lb), once daily. Baytril should not be taken by small dogs in their growing phase (between 2 and 8 months old), as it causes bone  and joint problems. It should also not be taken by dogs with Central nervous system disorders, as it can cause seizures. Baytril is contraindicated for dogs that are allergic to quinolones.

You must also make sure to confirm with your vet that there will be no harmful interactions with other drugs if you are giving your pet Baytril for dogs.

 



Dachshund Puppies: Facts to Know Before Adopting One

Dachshunds are a popular and well-known dog breed, with their characteristic long bodies, deep chests and short legs. They have been referred to as being “half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long”. Dachshunds are playful, devoted, dynamic and small, all of which make adopting Dachshund puppies very desirable. However, you must keep in mind that the Dachshund was bred as a hunting dog. This means that it is tenacious and independent. Only once you have considered all the information available on Dachshunds, should you attempt to adopt one.

Background

The origins of the Dachshund can be traced back almost 600 years to Germany, although archaeological findings indicate evidence that these dogs can be traced even further back, to ancient Egypt, where engravings depicting short-legged hunting dogs have been discovered. Similar looking dogs have, in fact, been found mummified in burial urns in ancient Egypt.

In more modern times, however, Dachshund puppies were bred from German, French and English hounds and terriers. The Germans wanted a hunting dog that could sniff out and chase away badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals – thus the name, German “dach” for badger and “shund” for dog. The smaller version of Dachshunds was used to hunt  smaller prey, such as rabbits.

Dachshunds have long buddies and muscular but short legs. Their legs, which are built for digging, are larger than normal and paddle-shaped. They have deep chests which provide a larger-than-normal lung capacity so they can stay on the hunt. The Dachshund’s extra-long snout is especially helpful in absorbing scents and smells. However, because of their extra long spinal cord, this dog is prone to back injuries. You must be extra-careful how you hold or carry your Dachshund.

There are three varieties of Dachshunds; smooth or short-haired, long-haired and wire-haired. The wire-haired and long-haired breeds were developed from the short-haired or smooth Dachshund.

Character and Temperament

As they were bred to sniff out and chase prey, Dachshunds are normally playful and active, as well as determined. They are relentless and will ferociously hunt down birds, small animals and toys. Dachshund puppies will be harder to train than normal because of their stubborn nature.  Dachshunds tend to be fiercely loyal to their owners but standoffish and even aggressive, unless trained early on, when faced with strangers. They are burrowers, and will burrow under blankets and other items around the house, especially when they feel bored or want to take a nap.

Training your Dachshund puppy

Training Dachshund puppies is undoubtedly a difficult task and requires a lot of patience and firmness  from the owner. It is not recommended to have these dogs around small children, especially when they are not yet properly trained. It is of the utmost necessity that your pet be trained, for his own sake. Dachshunds are fearless, and will take on things they should have more respect for. Without training, your Dachshund might injure himself.

When you bring your puppy home, the first step will be to housebreak him. Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to housebreak, and some owners never manage to completely do so. Toilet training is a major part of housebreaking your Dachshund. There are 2 methods of doing this; The Direct Method and The Paper Method. The former is used when you want your pet to relieve himself outdoors, and the latter is used when going outside is undesirable or not a viable option.

In either case, the key is consistency. You must always praise your pet when he does something right, and never hit him or rub his nose in his mess, when he has done something you do not like. If you react negatively, your pet will be confused and scared, and your training will be set back. Obedience training is best done at obedience school, by qualified experts. Dachshunds require a lot of exercise. It is necessary, as they are active and were bred to hunt.

Giving your pet enough exercise-opportunities will not only reduce problems with aggression, but will also be a great opportunity to bond and cut back on the risk of your pet developing back problems, as obesity increases the likelihood of back injury in Dachshunds. The average life span of a Dachshund is 12-15 years, and if properly trained, Dachshund puppies will live long, healthy, happy lives.

 

 

 



What You Need to Know About Beagle Training

Beagle training can be a challenging task, but it would be a shame if you let this fact stop you from adopting a Beagle. It is not a secret that Beagles can be quite stubborn dogs to train, as they have a tendency to get easily distracted by their surroundings. However, Beagle training does not have to be a difficult process; if you prepare yourself with the right tools and knowledge, training this special breed can be a fun and satisfying bonding activity

To begin, anyone who is considering training their beagle needs to consider what specific obstacles  a Beagle may run into while training, and accept that there are a few things that a beagle will never be able to fully learn. One major issue is the Beagle’s nose, and its need to follow an interesting scent no matter what, meaning that your beagle could easily wander out of an unfenced yard at any time, no matter how well trained he or she is. Another important thing to remember when training a Beagle is that while it is possible to train one to come to you when it is called, they will never be 100% reliable, especially if they are following a scent. For these exact reasons, this breed is not suited for unfenced yards or to be let outside without wearing a leash.

When the time comes to teach your Beagle its first command, you may want to start with something simple and basic, such as “Sit”. Beginning the training process with an easier command will keep both you and your pet motivated, and generate a positive attitude once you succeed, meaning that when the more difficult commands come along, you will not become frustrated or want to give up. The process of training a Beagle to sit is not that much more different or difficult than training any other breed to obey the same command, except for a few things. First off, you should remove as many, if not all, distractions from your training area as possible. These could be toys, other dogs, or any other pets.  Next, you must get your Beagle’s attention by having him or her stand in front of you while you give them a small treat. Now that they are focused on you, command them to “Sit” by saying the word in a firm voice while also using one hand to point to the ground and the other to hold a treat above their head. By repeating this process, your Beagle will pick up on the signals and with a little bit of work, learn the command. Once they complete the command, praise them and deliver the treat!

An important command for your Beagle to learn is the command “Come”.  There are three things you need to keep in mind while training him to obey this command. Firstly, never call for your Beagle to “Come”, for the purpose of giving him a bath, or feeding him medicine. He will begin to have negative associations with the command, making it easy for him to begin ignoring it. Secondly, if your Beagle has begun to ignore the “Come” command, you must assign another word such as “Here” for it when training. Thirdly, do not use the command when you have not yet trained your Beagle to respond to it. He will be confused and begin to ignore the command because he does not understand what you expect from him.

Beagle training may be difficult work, but the rewards are worth it when you are the proud owner of a fit, healthy, happy and relatively obedient Beagle.

 



Change Your Mind Set About the Red Nose Pitbull

Although they may look scary and intimidating, just like the other dogs of their kind do, adopting and training a red nose pitbull for a pet could actually turn out to be a rewarding experience. Still, there are quite a few things that you need to know if you want to be sure that you are taking good care of your Red nose pitbull. Even more importantly, you must first know exactly what owning a member this breed of dog entails, to see if getting a Red nose pitbull puppy is the right choice for you.

Getting to know the Red nose pitbull

It has never been properly established where and how exactly this type of pitbull came into being, but according to the earliest records, it was John Sullivan, a boxer, originally from Ireland, who introduced the Red nose pitbull to the United States of America. He had his own breed back at his home in Ireland, and had them shipped over to the United States by his parents. It was his first-hand knowledge and expertise in the Red nose pitbull that made his business flourish.

The Red nose pit bull is said to have been bred for of its aesthetics. Dog lovers liked the striking physical features of the dog: the red nose, thus the name, red eyes, red lips and even red toe nails. This is certainly true today, where Red nose pitbulls are widely sought after, sometimes for the wrong reasons, as some people will seek them out for the appearance of strength and power, then abandon them because they trained them the wrong way and cannot handle them.

Like most pit bulls, this type may look aggressive – and has been proven to be so – but with proper training, the Red nose pitbull is an affectionate, sociable dog that gets along with both adults and children. Training and housebreaking is quite important since pit bulls are generally inquisitive and curious in nature and love chewing too. Thus, if you do not want your furniture ruined or your electrical cables chomped up, make sure to have them trained early on, while they are still puppies.

Caring for your red nose pit bull

Just like with any other dog, proper care, attention and training is needed to make sure that a Red nose pitbull will behave the way its master wants him to. It is very important, therefore, to prepare the house first so that it is pet friendly, so that any untoward incidents will be avoided once your pit bull is in your house.

When training your pitbull, you must begin early to curb any instinctive aggression. You will need to assert your dominance from the beginning, as the Red nose pitbull, like any other pitbull, is a stubborn alpha type of dog. Patience, consistency and positive reinforcement are the keys to successfully training your pet. Always give praise when praise is due, and never lash out or hit your pitbull if he does something you do not like. This will make him fear and mistrust you, and set back training.

If you are still a little hesitant about having a Red nose pitbull for a pet, then perhaps this dog is not for you. Your dog deserves an owner who can look past the prejudice and unfair reputation earned by the pitbull breed and see beyond them to the affectionate, obedient and gentle pet the Red nose pitbull has the potential to be.

 



Cyclosporine for Dogs: Uses, Precautions and Side Effects

Cyclosporine is an immunodepressant drug that is used for both humans and animals. In dogs, Cyclosporine is used mostly to treat atopic dermatitis or atopy, which is a type of eczema or a skin condition caused by your dog reacting to allergens. Humans usually react to allergens with sneezing, coughing and watery eyes. Dogs, on the other hand, react to allergens with itching and swollen skin, rashes, constant licking of snout or paws and, of course, scratching. The danger is that allergies in dogs can rapidly lead to worse conditions. Cyclosporine, most recently released under the brand name “Atopica” by Novartis, is the latest drug recommended for canine atopy.

Uses of Cyclosporine

The most common indication for Cyclosporine is atopic dermatitis. However, it is also used to treat perineal fistulas, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, Keratoconjuctivitis sicca, more commonly known as “dry eye”, and Discoid lupus erythemathosus , which is also a skin condition in dogs. It is also used to treat asthma in cats.

How does Cyclosporine work?

It targets specific immune cells that react to allergens, thereby causing the allergic reaction. Cyclosporine restrains these cells thereby reducing the response to the allergens.

How is Cyclosporine administered and what is the dose?

Cyclosporine is available in 10, 25, 50 and 100 mg soft gelatin capsules. The therapeutic dose is 5 mg/kg once daily for a month. Vets recommend building up to the therapeutic dose. Cyclosporine is most effective when taken on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. In the event a dose is missed, continue the next day; you must never give Cyclosporine for dogs more than once a day.

Precautions to consider when your dog is taking Cyclosporine

Cyclosporine should only be given to dogs that weigh at least 4 lbs, and are over 6 months old. It should not be given to breeding dogs, pregnant or lactating dogs or dogs that have been diagnosed with malignant neoplasia, which is another way of saying cancer. If your dog is taking Cyclosporine he cannot be vaccinated using a live vaccine as there is a high risk of him developing an infection caused by the active microorganism in the vaccine. If he absolutely has to be vaccinated, ask your vet about the suitability of a killed vaccine.

Common Side effects

The most common side effects associated with the use of Cyclosporine for dogs are gastrointestinal in nature. They include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, anorexia, and the like, especially within the first few weeks of drug use. These side effects are usually transient and your dog will adjust after a while, but there are drugs like Metoclopramide that minimize some of the effects, like nausea and vomiting. You must be sure to keep your dog well hydrated if he is experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, as he will be losing a lot of fluids.

Field studies carried out by the manufacturer show that Cyclosporine use also has an effect on the levels of some enzymes, and this will be reflected in your dog’s blood work. In addition, dogs taking Cyclosporine are prone to Urinary Tract Infections, but whether this is due to the atopic dermatitis or to the drug has not been established so far.

 

 



Blue Pitbulls: Killing Machines or Misunderstood Dogs?

One of the dog breeds that are currently rapidly gaining notoriety are the Blue pitbulls. Despite the name, these types of pitbulls are actually black, white, spotted-any color but actual blue. The Blue pit pull’s origins can actually be traced back to the 1800s, when the Brits, Irish and Scots started dabbling in the creation of a hybrid that would have more stamina than the British bulldog, and display more aggression than a Terrier. Blue pitbulls were bred to challenge and face down animals much larger than themselves, like bears or bulls. All this information has probably added fuel to the fire that is the bad reputation surrounding the Blue pitbull today. Despite this, the Blue pitbull is an animal that is misunderstood.

Getting to know the blue pitbull

The Blue pitbull has become one of the breeds that many countries, including The United States, are considering banning. This is due to several incidents where the Blue pitbull has displayed aggression and even harmed people. However, the blame should be placed squarely on the owner.

People are sometimes cruel and thoughtless, and adopt dogs for their image. They want to seem ‘tough’ and therefore decide to adopt a Blue pitbull to accentuate this image they have of themselves. Many times they do not bother to train their dog, or learn about its needs, but instead spoil it, provoke it to make it appear even more aggressive and savage. Tragically, in the end they realize even they cannot control it and abandon it to the streets, where ultimately, it will come into contact with people or other animals, none of which it has been taught to handle. The results, as you can imagine, are not pretty.

There is another side to the Blue pitbull. A loyal, obedient, affectionate side. You should not worry, even when you have children in the house, about your Blue pitbull’s temperament. He will be the epitome of gentleness. All a Blue pitbull needs, like any other dog, is kindness, affection and proper training.

In fact, many people are already in love with the idea of getting their own Blue pitbull, as they are considered some of  the sweetest  animals in the  world, once you get past the scary reputation. Blue  pitbulls are a ‘working breed’ and therefore need a lot of exercise to channel their natural aggressive instincts and energy. They  have a life expectancy of 12 years or even more, so you might have to reconsider getting one if you cannot guarantee that you will be able to take it for walks, run around in the park with it or throw it Frisbees.

Where and how to get a blue pitbull

Despite the high demand, the Blue pitbull is still a little hard to locate since their breed is rare. Not every interbreeding experiment produces a Blue pitbull. The high demand and rarity inevitably tells you that the price for this breed of dog can be quite high. The best places to try are certified Pitbull Kennels or Farms.  If you want to make sure you get your own Blue pitbull as soon as possible, get your name on a waiting list so you can be informed of its availability right away.