Category Archives: Dog Behavior

Think You Know the Symptoms of K9 Urinary Tract Infections? Think again!

“My dog is acting nuts,” I told the vet’s office lady over the phone.

“What do you mean?”

“She’s not behaving normal – just crazy,” I responded.

“What’s going on?” the lady asked in a tone that suggested I was the crazy one.

I know my dog . . .

If you have owned a dog for a while, you know their personality, their quirks, and their behaviors. I knew she wasn’t behaving normally (for her). I made an appointment for the next afternoon.

 

So, What Was the Crazy Behavior?

My 12-year-old pitbull, Lacey, doesn’t like to go out in the rain. She’s a big baby.

The weather was sleeting, and it was cold. Lacey wandered through the doggy door to the outside, down the steps and laid down. She wouldn’t come back in. I’d call her and she seemed confused. She’d start to walk to the deck stairs, pace back and forth, then turn around and lay back down.

She was now cold and completely soaked.

I hustled outside and brought her indoors. I wondered if she was getting dementia. Later, I found her standing with her head in the corner – again very weird.

Later that evening, she sat next to me on the couch and pressed her head into my chest rubbing up and down. I thought, “Aww, how sweet.” But then, as I ran my hand down her side,  I could feel it tightening like contractions. Instantly, I knew my dog was in pain.

 

Urinary Tract Infections: Common Symptoms

The typical UTI symptoms usually include:

  • blood in the urine
  • cloudy urine
  • strong urine odor
  • trying to pee, but not able to get much out
  • dribbling urine in the house – can’t control it
  • excessive licking of the genital area
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • fever
  • nausea/vomiting
  • crying in pain while urinating
  • drinking more than usual

 

Know the Quirkier Symptoms

Symptoms including:

  • confusion
  • off-balance, dizzy, possible falling or tripping
  • agitation
  • shaking/chills
  • unusual behavior
  • walking with an arched back
  • sleeping in unusual postures

 

How Does a UTI Get Diagnosed?

First, you’ll need a clean urine sample; ask your vet for a collection container.

Take the sample to your vet to run a:

  • urinalysis; or
  • urine culture (this takes a couple of days).

This will tell the veterinarian what kind of bacteria or fungi your dog may have contracted, and which antibiotic to use (should you choose that route). You want to eradicate the infection the first time because having to use additional rounds of antibiotics can cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria which you really don’t want.

(I prefer the urine culture because it determines the specific cause of the UTI infection, bacterial or fungal. The treatment can then be targeted for that particular cause.)

 

Do NOT Let a UTI Go Untreated!

If left untreated, a UTI can turn into a serious and possibly life-threatening problem (once it travels to the kidneys). At a minimum, get a urinalysis or culture to see what your dog is dealing with and then treat it with prescribed antibiotics or holistic alternatives.

 

Holistic Alternatives

Once you know whether you’re dealing with a bacterial or fungal UTI infection, get your canine on an appropriate treatment immediately.

If you decide to use holistic options, only use organic, pesticide-free herbs on an empty stomach.

Couch Grass

Effective herbs for addressing UTIs include:

  1. cranberry extract or powder;
  2. marshmallow root, and/or
  3. couch grass.

You could also use amino acid methionine. When used along with cranberry extract, it can be as effective as an antibiotic. Consult with a holistic vet versed in herbal treatments for proper dosing.

 

A Final Note

Whether you choose traditional or holistic treatments, the idea is to properly diagnose and treat your dog quickly.

I believe that holistic treatments and traditional treatments can work harmoniously. I use holistic treatment options on a regular basis with my dogs. But at times, you may opt for a traditional approach with antibiotics.

If your vet doesn’t offer holistic veterinarian services, search online for a holistic veterinarian near you. You can use the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) to search.

Whether you have access to a traditional or holistic vet, you must make the best decision for your dog.

No judgment here.

 


Sources:

Top Remedies for UTI in Dogs

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Dogs & Puppies

Lower Urinary Tract Problems and Infections in Dogs

Herbs for Your Pet’s Urinary Tract Health

 

Image Credits (In Order of Appearance)

Photo by Pamela Morrison

Photo by Igor Ferreira from Pexels

Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

Image by Free-Images.com

Photo by Pamela Morrison

 


Meet our Guest Blogger

Pamela Morrison is a professional copywriter for the pet industry including marketers, pet product and service providers, veterinarians and holistic pet practitioners. She does home visits for a local rescue when she can and has been a dog foster mom. She lives in western Michigan with her husband and two dogs, Lacey and Zadie. Pam enjoys walking her dogs, reading, and drinking lots of coffee!

Click here to learn more about Pamela on her LinkedIn page.

 


 

Dog CPR: How to Do It Safely

The Steps for Safely Performing CPR on Your Dog

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

 

No one likes to expect the unexpected.

But when you’re faced with a life-threatening emergency requiring K9 CPR, proper preparation may be all that stands between life and death for that dog.

 

 

Dog CPR Involves Artificial Resuscitation

Image by Pet Safety Crusader


Click here to learn more at the Your Pet’s Au Pair blog: “How to Safely Perform CPR on Your Dog.”


LEARN Basic First Aid and CPR from the comfort of your couch!

Sign up for the upcoming Virtual First Aid and CPR class hosted by The Pet Safety Crusader!

(Register before February 14th for the February 22nd class!)

Dog & Cat First Aid & CPR

Dog and Cat First Aid & CPR by The Pet Safety Crusader

Is It Always Bad When A Dog Growls?

Is It Always Bad When a Dog Growls?

Dogs communicate in a variety of ways including

well-established body language, barks and even growls. 

But is it always a bad thing when your dog growls?

 

Click here to learn more at Your Pet AuPair‘s blog post: https://tinyurl.com/y2lyrh7a.

And please share with a fellow dog owner!

If You Own a Dog, Are You Aware of this Suffocation Risk?

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

 

I thought I had heard it all when it comes to the trouble our dogs (and even cats) can get into. Well, I stand corrected, because recently I learned about a common danger that exists at this very moment in almost every household (probably including yours)!

I’m talking about empty snack bags that contain:

  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Jerky
  • Cookies and MORE!

Click here to learn more at the Ken Caryl Pet Spa’s blog with this life-saving post: Yes, Your Nosy Dog Can Suffocate in an Empty Chip Bag!

And PLEASE, share it with a friend to protect other curious dogs, cats and pets!

Guest Blog: Is Your Puppy Too Excited Around Other Dogs?

Dogs are naturally social creatures that enjoy attention. As a matter of fact, nothing more can make them go gaga than chancing upon their own kind, regardless of breed. That should not come as a total surprise because dogs came from a long line of ancestors who had thrived living in packs.

Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

 

Why You Need to Teach Your Puppy to be Calm

Unfortunately, some puppies and even adult dogs find it hard to contain their excitement and go completely overboard when around other canines. A dog may bark, whine or lunge at other dogs when they are giddy. These actions may come from a friendly standpoint, but the other dog might perceive it as a threat, especially if their personal space is being violated.

If your puppy or adult dog acts this way, he might be in danger of being attacked by another dog. Also, if this hyperactive behavior is ignored, it may progress into aggressiveness. This tendency is more evident in dogs that show signs of fear and anxiety. But, addressing the issue should be done in the right manner. Yelling will not help and will only impose a sense of negativity to the dogs involved. Also, if you pull your leashed dog close to you when he is about to interact with another dog, this can create unwanted tension. If you reprimand your dog for acting this way, it will lead him to think negatively about associating with other dogs, fueling unwanted and negative behaviors.

 

Is Your Dog Excited or Stressed?

Did you know that dogs often look the same way when they are excited or stressed? This can be a shocker for most pet parents to realize what they once viewed as a happy behavior is actually a cry for help.

It is not bad for dogs to get excited, but there are key differences between:

  • Stressed and anxious energy; and
  • Happy and enthusiastic canine energy.

A dog’s energy depends on their mental state at the time. As owners, we often observe their physical behavior without understanding the true energy behind it. Dogs are “cute” when they are over-excited or over-stimulated, but this attitude is not ideal for your dog. Also, when we match this type of excited energy from our dogs, they respond with more excitement, heightening their already intensified feelings which can lead to unwanted behavior.

To identify whether your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety or excitement, take note of how he behaves when he is in a relaxed state. You can see how comfortable a dog is based on his posture and behavior. It can also be characterized by a soft gaze with squinted or rounded eyes and ears slightly erect and placed forward (does not apply to dogs with floppy ears). When you talk to him, he acknowledges you by moving his ear backward and relaxing his mouth.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

 

Other Reasons Your K9 is Overactive Around Other Dogs

  • Aside from anxiety, your dog might be displaying fear. So when he acts in a reactive manner, other dogs and their owners may walk away in avoidance or fear, which is your dog’s intention if he is fearful.
  • Another reason is frustration. Many dogs feel restrained due to the leash wrapped around their neck that holds them back whenever they are excited to see other dogs. You also see this type of dog behavior with closed fences and gates.

Defining Your Role as a Canine Parent

Your dog might be too overeager upon seeing other dogs. Acknowledging your dog’s need to be with other dogs is essential. But, he has to learn to approach potential friends – and even old friends – with confidence and calmness. To protect your furbaby and ensure that he is capable of handling different social situations, you need to identify the root cause of this excitement. As mentioned earlier, some dogs act all gung-ho when seeing other dogs to mask their anxiousness or fear. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to address potential issues with anxiety, fear or frustration when training your dog to be calm.

Prevention is better than cure, many would say. The easiest method to prevent your dog from acting out when they see another dog is to go the other way. But do not wait until your dog gets all riled up.  Properly socializing your dog as soon as possible will also help avoid unwanted, unsocial and overexcited behaviors.

The following methods below can help your dog learn:

  1. To channel their extra energy into something positive; and
  2. Help them learn how to stay calm and collected when hanging out with his peers.

 

Two Ways to Calm Your Puppy Down

During training, use a well-fitted harness to protect your puppy’s neck if he lunges forward upon seeing another dog. You might also want to ask a friend to help out and lend you his or her emotionally-stable and mature dog that will not overreact to your puppy’s over-eagerness or unbridled playfulness. Always reward your puppy’s good behavior with his favorite treat!

Method #1: Calm to Me

  • Enlist the help of a friend with a calm dog. Meet them in a park or have them join you and your leashed puppy for a walk. Keep all training short and fun
  • Once you see your friend and their dog, ask them to stop at a distance where your dog is still comfortable and not becoming overexcited. Tell your dog to sit or stay.
  • Ask the other dog to slowly approach. As soon as you notice your dog starting to go into a frenzy (timing is very important), ask your friend and their dog to stop, turn around, and walk away.
  • Wait until your dog is calm once again and repeat the process. As long as your dog remains calm and remains in the sit and stay position, the other dog can continue to move toward him. But the moment he begins barking, lunging or getting aggressive, your friend and their dog should stop, turn around and walk away.
  • Repeat the process for a few days until your dog fully grasps the concept and use this process to introduce to him other dogs.

Method #2: Sit and Stay

  • Have your friend bring their calm dog over to your home. Before the dog and his owner come, place your dog on a leash.
  • Once the new dog enters your premises, command your dog to sit or stay. Tug the leash gently to the side if necessary to get your dog’s attention (but refrain from pulling back).
  • If your dog maintains a composed demeanor and obeys your orders, hand him a treat. Repeat several times with different dogs for several weeks until your dog automatically calms down without any command when seeing a dog.
  • Once your dog has learned how to act properly when there is another dog, have him socialize with all kinds of other dogs.

Photo by MaggieLovesOrbit On Insta on Unsplash

 

Dogs are naturally sociable and reprimanding or pulling them back when they get excited will not resolve the underlying issue. Use the tips and methods detailed above to train your dog to be more social and less reactive with anxiety, over-excitement or even fear. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for expert help! A dog trainer or behaviorist can help identify behavioral issues and design an effective plan of action to create a happy, confident and social dog!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.

 


 

Happy New Year to Dogs and Their Owners!

The New Year celebrations are right around the corner.

As you’re making plans for your end-of-the-year parties and resolutions, be sure to include your dog and his comfort in your plans!

What do you need to consider to ensure Fido enjoys the festivities? Keep reading to find out.

 

Fireworks

With your dog’s incredible hearing ability, fireworks can be a dog’s WORST nightmare! Consider this: humans hear at a range of 20 and 20,000 Hz. In stark contrast, our beloved K9s hear a frequency range of 40 to 60,000 Hz! With that kind of hearing, loud fireworks can rattle even the calmest dog.

Click here to learn more from our blog post last year.

Holiday Food & Drinks

Sadly, emergency vet visits increase this time of year and they can quickly destroy the holiday spirit and your budget! Remember, many of the foods, treats and drinks (alcoholic and those that are not) you enjoy can be potentially dangerous to your canine. Traditional favorites include (but are not limited to):

  • Turkey, skin & bones, ham ,etc.
  • Table scraps (especially those that are spicy and fatty)
  • Alcoholic beverages including egg nog, beer, wine and cocktails
  • Yeast dough
  • Sweets (especially those with xylitol) and chocolate

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

New Year’s Parties & Celebrations

Not all dogs are well-equipped to deal with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, especially when it comes into their safe place/home. Keep in mind, these celebrations are never a good time to “socialize” your dog especially if they usually tend to not be social.

If you’re bringing the New Year’s Eve party home, make sure your dog (and even other pets) has a safe and quiet place so they are both secure and protected from running away or unleashing an unwanted bite (because of fear, anxiety or stress).

In addition, below are some other traditional New Year’s Eve items you should consider banning to keep the pets in your home safe during the celebrations:

  • Confetti
  • Sparklers
  • Party favors
  • Glow sticks & bracelets
  • Party poppers
  • Noisemakers

With some thoughtful planning, you and your pets can enjoy the New Year’s celebrations safely!

Happy New Year's 2019

 


Additional Reading:

Holiday Pet Safety: www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/holidays.aspx

Holiday Safety Tips: www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

8 Tips for Helping Your Anxious Pet When There are Fireworks Outside: www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/noise-anxiety-staying-calm-during-celebrations

 

Guest Blog: Is Reiki Energy Healing Right for Your Dog?

Dogs are mindful, spiritual beings who generously give of themselves to the lives of their humans. If you appreciate the beauty of nature and animals or share your life with companion animals, you already appreciate this priceless, unconditional love. Many dog lovers believe the relationship with their canines is based on a pure, spiritual connection creating deep, long-lasting bonds. Reiki can help promote those closer bonds.

Unfortunately, just like their humans, dogs can also suffer from physical and emotional issues. This is especially true if an animal has suffered a difficult or traumatic experience; came from not-so-ideal circumstances or is struggling with grief, abuse or fear of humans.K9 stress may also occur due to:

  • A restricted or unnatural lifestyle like overbreeding;
  • Boredom and a lack of regular exercise or mental stimulation; and
  • An improper diet.

Any of these situations can produce an unhappy, unhealthy and stressed dog. Reiki can help promote healing and the ultimate return to health.

What is Reiki?

The word “Reiki” comes from the Japanese terms “higher power” and “life force energy.” Reiki is a non-invasive, respect-based and meditative energy healing practice. It was traditionally used in human circles for spiritual healing, stress relief and self-improvement. For generations, people have benefited from the peace, relaxation and healing shifts that come from a Reiki session.

But energy healing is not just for people. Reiki can also be a simple, yet powerful form of energy healing for enhancing calm and well-being in your canine companion while creating and fostering a closer bond with them.

Originally designed for use in shelters and sanctuaries to calm its stressed and anxious residents, Reiki has evolved into an effective tool to calm an upset dog as well as assist an ill or injured one. Regular sessions of Reiki may also help keep long-term, chronic diseases, disorders or pain in check and even help lessen the severity of the symptoms.

Hands-On or Hands-Off Reiki?

Reiki energy healing can be done in one of two ways: hands-on or hands-off (over distance). The hands-on approach is generally more effective if the dog enjoys being touched. In cases where the dog does not tolerate physical touching (for reasons ranging from medical to psychological), distance – or hands-off – Reiki may be a better option.

Most dogs enjoy the calming, soothing and healing energies employed by a skilled Reiki practitioner. Some dogs cannot get close enough during a session and may actually lean into the practitioner or even end up fast asleep in their lap.

For dogs in high-stress situations (such as shelters or when being transported for adoption or veterinary purposes), distance reiki usually works better. It can also used for K9s who do not live near their Reiki practitioner or who are in hospice.

Reiki works well with most animals because they are naturally open and receptive to energy. They naturally understand and respond to the flow of energy and tend to heal more quickly than people since they are not prone to mental blocks or defense mechanisms that can block the flow of healing energy.

What to Expect

Sessions can run from 20-60 minutes, depending on the dog and their willingness to staying still for an extended period of time. The greatest benefits from Reiki are achieved with regular sessions (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) determined by each individual dog and the level of healing they require.

Many pet parents report positive effects in their dog’s general health and disposition with the use of Reiki. Feedback from others have offered hope in the reduction of chronic pain and even the possible reversal or remission of severe medical issues.


However, please remember that Reiki is not a replacement for routine veterinary care, or a reason to disregard needed medications or medical procedures.


Reiki offers a non-invasive energy healing suitable for any dog and condition. It will not interfere or contraindicate with any regular veterinary care and serves as a useful tool in helping your dog with physical or psychological issues. Please keep in mind that even in healing sessions for ailing animals, it may only ease an inevitable passing. Reiki is powerful, however, it is not a perfect cure-all. Ultimately, it is always the animal guardian’s decision regarding what level of care to seek including which modalities.

When approached with an open mind and heart, Reiki energy healing for your dog may offer a healthier, calmer and happier life.


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Raven Hannah is a self-described animal whisperer, lifelong pet parent, and owner of HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com. She is certified as a holistic consultant, aromatherapist, Reiki practitioner (for animals and people), and pet nutritionist. She encourages others to celebrate animals as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled! When Raven isn’t busy being a slave to her very demanding senior cats or helping her favorite rescues with fundraising projects, she is most likely working on growing her businesses and raising awareness in an effort to make this world a better place for all creatures.


 

« Older Entries