A Summary of Basic Information about Dog Hip Dysplasia

Dog Hip Dysplasia is a serious condition that is sometimes neglected by few pet owners. We see some people who do not seem to be bothered at all looking at their pets having difficulty rising and walking; considering it to be just a simple illness that the dog can live by. However, when not treated immediately, this would make the dog cripple. When that happens, some owners would have the feeling of regret for having a dog that they could not play with. Therefore, as a pet owner, you must realize that just like humans dogs can be prone to some illnesses that would need immediate care and attention. Any abnormality observed in the dog’s hind legs calls for a thorough examination by a veterinarian.

Causes
Major cause of hip dysplasia in dogs is genetic in nature. Obviously, when the dam and sire have a history of hip dysplasia, then its puppy will be born with its disease. Sometimes, it shows as early as 5 months old, while others develop it towards adulthood.

While genetics is a key factor of dog hip dysplasia, environmental factors will also increase the risk for such disease. Since large breed dogs are prone to this, it is mandatory for pet owners to ensure that their dogs refrain from having a diet extremely rich in protein, fats, and calories. It is also essential that the dog follows a regular exercise routine, or simply energetic activities outside the home to avoid obesity.

Signs and Symptoms
The most obvious signs seen in dogs with hip dysplasia associated with pain or malformation of the hip joints are:

  • Bunny hopping
  • Side sitting
  • Sway walking
  • Limping
  • Abnormal Lying Position
  • Overdeveloped torso
  • Underdeveloped Hind Quarters

Breeds Prone to Hip Dysplasia

  • German Shepherd
  • St. Bernard
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Great Dane
  • Beagle
  • American Bulldog
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Rottweiler
  • Shih Tzu
  • Bloodhound


Tips on Taking Great Puppy Portraits

We have just got our second Labrador puppy this year. Our last chocolate male Labrador Sam, we were shooting photographs with film. We lost most of his puppy pictures to a bad roll of film. Shooting photographs with digital now is much easier to get lots of great puppy pics.

My number one tip is shoot lots of photographs of your puppy. When they are puppies there is not too much time during the day when they are laying around waiting to have their picture snapped. I am watching my 14 week yellow pup grow everyday now. As dog owners we want to have lots of shots to look back on when they get bigger. So take lots of shots to make sure you capture those fleeting moments.

When they are not in motion they are usually sleeping. So my second tip is to run them around and get them a little tired before you shoot. They will be more likely to lay and chew on a stick for you’re when they have that energy run out a little prior to your session.

Next you want to get down to their level. This will mean you are going to have to lie prone on your stomach in order to get the shot. Shooting down on your pup will give you an interesting angle but you do not want all of your photographs from the same point of view. In order to get those calendar portrait shots you need to have the camera on the level of your subject. Unless your pup is on a bed or some furniture this means getting down on the floor or ground.

Next you want to fill the frame with your subject. This translates into either getting in close to your puppy or zooming in. Most of the time what you see on the lcd screen or through the view finder, with a digital camera, is about 80 to 90 percent of the whole image. If you leave too much space on the sides of your subject you will likely take the viewers attention away from the subject and have the subject smaller than you intended. Fill the screen with your subject and you will get some beautiful shots.

One of the golden rules of professional dog portrait photography is to make sure the eyes are sharp. This means you will focus on the eyes drawing the viewer’s attention to them. With autofocus mechanisms you will need to make sure you have the screen indicators on the eyes when shooting.

A more advanced tip is to use a shallow depth of field in your photograph. This will produce a shot that the subject, your pup, is in focus while the background is softly out of focus as not to distract from your subject. If you have a digital SLR camera this will mean using a smaller aperture by setting the aperture setting to 5.6 or below. If you are using a point and shoot camera you may have a portrait mode that will automatically do this for you.

To recap:

  • take lots of photos
  • get to your pups level
  • get close
  • fill the photo with subject
  • focus on the eyes
  • use shallow depth of field

Most of all have fun; your pup grows way too fast and will be a big dog before you know it. Make sure you have lots of photos to look back on as you continue your journey with your dog.



Choosing a Dog Collar for your new best friend

When you get your first dog, there’s definitely a learning curve involved. You have to learn to train him, remember to feed him, and of course, you have to outfit him! After all, you certainly can’t have your new friend running around naked, can you? Time to buy him a dog collar!

There are several different types of dog collars that you might look at. You are no doubt familiar with the traditional nylon collars, which most dogs wear; they’re cheap, last for years, and are available in a variety of colors. You can also opt for a leather collar, which gives more of a “tough dog” look.

If you just got a new puppy, your options are somewhat more limited; a puppy collar needs to be light enough not to irritate the dog as he gets used to it. Avoid leather and stick with a soft nylon collar.

In any case, the dollar should be wide enough that you can slide a couple of fingers underneath it while he’s wearing it; at the same time, it should be tight enough that he cannot pull it off! If your new buddy is a growing puppy, he’ll likely go through several collars before reaching his full size; be sure to check regularly to make sure that his current collar is not getting too tight.

A dog harness is another option: it goes around the dog’s upper body rather than his neck, which makes it much harder for him to injure himself by jerking too hard on the leash. This can help prevent throat and neck problems; however, you do have to watch out as it’s also accessible to his teeth – you don’t want to go for a walk and find that he chewed his harness off!

All of the above can be (and should be) worn at all times, but another option is a dog halter, which is just for walking; it helps you to control the dog by making it hard for him to fight you. While it can be a bit of a pain putting it on and taking it off, it can be worth the effort to guarantee a pleasant walk with your canine friend.



Prefab Kennels: The Ideal Home for Your Pooch

An aspect of responsible dog ownership is making sure that your canine stays out of trouble. One way of doing this is to keep your dog in a kennel. You will not encounter much difficulty in keeping your dog within your own yard if you have high fences around your yard. However, if your fence is short or if you have no fence, then consider dog kennels.

Dog kennels are a great way to provide your dog with ample protection so they will live a long and healthy life. While dogs are generally gregarious in character, they also need a comfortable place of their own. Kennels are an ideal way for keeping dogs out of dangerous situations. They prevent your dog from getting away, keep unwanted animals away from your beloved pooch and can also be used as training tools. Kennels come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. There are a lot of dog kennels widely available in stores and some shops even offer them for sale online.

Some kennels can also be customized. These are commonly known as prefabricated dog kennels or simply as prefab kennels. A prefab dog kennel is just exactly what it sounds like, it is a dog kennel that comes in several prefabricated pieces of panel that you will have to put together and assemble. These prefab dog kennels may come in different types such as steel rod, chain link and welded wire.

A steel rod kennel is best suited for aggressive or large dogs. This is probably the strongest prefab dog kennel available because the fencing material for this type is composed of thick steel rods. A chain link kennel is rather easy to set up. The chain link is already stretched around the frames of the prefabricated panel. So all you have to do is screw these panels together. Welded wire prefab dog kennels work similarly. The frames of the prefabricated panels are already built and a wire is attached to the panels. After bolting these panels together, you will have your own kennel.

Your dog is not considered as mans best friend for nothing so they truly deserve the best. Ensure that the prefab dog kennel you purchase is strong enough and weather resistant. These kennels must be protected against rust, as rust can be dangerous to a dog. Keep in mind that flexibility, safety, durability and sturdiness are the things to consider in buying a prefab kennel.



How to buy the perfect treeless saddle

Treeless saddles are quite possibly the best thing to use as your seat while riding on your horse. Although it all started with the treed saddle, latest needs on providing comfort, security, style and elegance both for the horse and its rider have increasingly modernized. The production of the saddles are not limited to offering the rider optimum convenience for pleasure or competitive riding, but more importantly in offering the horse the utmost ability to move without restrictions which are commonly evident in the treed saddles. You may have seen saddles of earliest models made of wood and are obviously possessing a fixed fit which prohibits the horse’s body to be flexible enough against the saddle when it makes those turns or high jumps.

Can you imagine yourself running on a wooden shoe? It would surely strain your feet, right? The same thing happens when you use the treed saddle. If you have already started your basic training on horseback riding or are still considering it to become your new hobby, then you should know the basic principles when choosing the bestselling treeless saddle.

First and foremost, listen to the experts. Now, there are plenty of people around you whom you may consider an expert in this field. The best people to ask about the selection of the treeless are equestrians, equine physiotherapists, and master saddlers. These people have more than enough experience in knowing what makes a horse comfortable, safe, and healthy in the choice of the treeless. They have had good experiences as well as bad ones. Seeking their advice is a great option since you will have one-on-one inquiry regarding the use of the correct saddle for your horse.

You can also try searching through a wide array of web sites that deal with the best of the best treeless saddles in the market. There are plenty of saddles created by master craftsmen and equine therapists and their sites provide you with so much information on what makes their models safe for your horse and effective in your riding. Also, reviews from loyal buyers can confirm their statements to be true or false.



Dog Training Schools Bring Out the Best in Your Pet

Dogs are primal by nature. They primarily thrive on their instincts to get by. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be trained. Since dogs nowadays are treated as pets, it’s important for their owners to ensure that they get the proper training to help instill discipline and obedience. And since not all pet owners have the capabilities or patience to teach their pets, dog training schools were set up to help address this need.  The most common methods involve dog collar training.

Dog training schools are where dog owners run to when they want their pets to get proper training. These schools are packed with a variety of trainers and training programs that help in teaching dogs how to be more disciplined. Each program is structured based on the need of the dog, ranging from basic lessons to advance lessons. Aside from focusing on your pets, these courses also help train you as an owner how to communicate with your dog. That way, once your pet steps out of the training school, you’ll know how to handle it without having to turn to a trainer. It also ensures that you and your canine pal get to have a fruitful relationship.

So how do these training schools operate? Well, there are a variety of ways. Some offer training online. This allows dog owners who can’t be physically present with their pet to still take lessons. Most of the time, simple instructions and images are sent to help get the message across. Of course, if you do have the time to go to the training school, this would still be the best option. That way, the trainer gets to see your pet, give it hands-on training, and gauge its progress. Check to see if the school has been referenced in some of the top rated dog training books.

Remember, even though dogs rely on instincts, with proper training, they can be developed into well-trained pets. And if that’s something you’d like to benefit from, don’t think twice about sending your canine pal to quality dog training schools. With their help, you’ll be able to get that disciplined pet you’ve always wanted.