Adopting a Senior Dog. . . Should You Choose a Big or Small Breed?

Adopting a Senior Dog. . .

Should You Choose a Big or Small Breed?

You are thinking about adopting a senior dog, but you are having trouble deciding what kind of dog will be the best fit for you. This article talks less about breed type and more about size. Should you get a big senior dog or a small senior dog? Consider the following four tips when deciding on what sized senior dog is right for you and your family.

adopting a senior dog

 

1. The Primary Care Taker

First you need to consider who will be the primary care taker of the dog. What I mean by this is, who will be spending the most time with the dog? Who will walk the dog, take the dog to the vet, feed the dog, etc.? This is important. If the primary care taker for the dog is grandma, then getting a 120-pound senior dog is probably a bad choice. Why? Well what if the dog collapses on a walk, or what if the dog has trouble getting into the car? Can grandmother pick the dog up and put him in the car? Can grandmother get the dog home after he falls and hurts his leg on a walk? When deciding if you want to get a large or small senior dog, the weight of the dog is the limiting factor. While most people will probably struggle trying to get a 120-pound dog home if he hurts his leg, some people can deal with that situation better than others. There is a reason why most senior citizens with dogs have small dogs. Small dogs are easily picked up and moved without great strain to their owners. If a small dog gets injured, they are not as dangerous and powerful as a 120-pound dog in the same situation. The first thing to consider when getting a senior dog, is what is the primary care taker can handle.

 

2. Senior Big Dogs

If you decide that you want to adopt a large senior dog, you should be aware of some of the common issues that large senior dogs have. Large dogs tend to develop joint issues as they age. They might get hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, or a combination of the three. Because large dogs are heavy, their joints tend to wear out faster than smaller dogs. This can be very painful for your senior dog and treating it can be costly to you. You need to consider if you are, one, able to help your senior dog in the case that he does develop any of these issues, meaning, can you help him walk, and pick him up if need be? Also, you need to consider if you have the resources to help him deal with these issues. He may need to go to the vet more often, and he may need a special bed.

adopting a senior dog

 

3. Large Senior Dog Beds

If you do have the ability and resources to adopt a large senior dog, you may want to consider getting him a memory foam dog bed. Memory foam is the only substance that can be considered truly orthopedic, which means that when your dog sleeps on a memory foam bed, he will develop no pressure points. This is important for large senior dogs because when they sleep, their weight tends to compress their arteries and veins as well as their joints. Joints that get less blood flow because their arteries that bring them oxygen are compressed are not as healthy as joints with full circulation. As a result, getting your large senior dog a memory foam dog bed can help his joints stay healthy because memory foam beds allow for full circulation. Memory foam dog beds are great for all dogs, old, young, large and small, but they are particularly good for dogs with joint and bone problems, like large senior dogs.

 

4. Little Dogs

Maybe you do not have the ability to adopt a large senior dog, or maybe you just do not want to. That is oaky, small senior dogs need homes too. A great thing about small senior dogs is they are easily manipulated. Let me re-phrase that. Small dogs are easily picked up if need be, as previously mentioned. Small dogs can also sit on your lap, which is great because animal and human contact is a very positive experience. Small dogs also easily fit into cars and carriers, making them much better travel companions than large dogs. One thing to remember about small dogs, especially senior small dogs, have a much more difficult time regulating their temperature than large dogs. Small dogs have a much greater surface area to mass ratio, meaning they have more skin than insides. This means that more of their body is exposed to the elements, like wind and cold air. This makes small dogs cool off faster than large dogs.

 

adopting a senior dog

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Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?

Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads??Why do dogs tilt their heads?

 

Dogs are adorable companions and do so many things that make us smile.  And what could be cuter then when dogs tilt their heads.  We can only conjecture why dogs tilt their heads, but it seems to be when they are intrigued.  There are a few other reasons why dogs tilt their heads.

Dogs might tilt their heads to get a better understanding of what we are saying

Dogs have evolved to be very good at understanding us humans. They can read our body language, facial gestures, and speech patterns to empathize with us. They even recognize certain words and vocal tones to associate them with meal time, walks, or play time. When they tilt their heads, our dogs could be listening for specific words and inflections they associate with fun activities like meals and walks.

Dogs are empathetic and the head tilt is their sensing something from us that is either happy or sad

Dogs definitely know when there is something just not right with us.  If we are unhappy, they can usually sense it.  Whether we are sad because we just got into a fight with someone or possibly hurt ourselves, they can tell.  And they may be confused, so they’re assessing the situation, checking out how you’re doing (i.e. the head tilt) and then probably giving you lots of licks and snuggles.

The head tilt might just be the way our dogs can hear us better

Even though dogs can hear frequencies we can’t, they’re actually not as good as humans at finding out where a sound is coming from. Some experts believe that when a dog tilts its head, they are trying to adjust the pinnae, or outer ears, to better detect where a sound is coming from. So when they hear a distinct or different sound, they tilt their head to find the location of a noise.

The head tilt might be how a dog responds to visual cues.

The head tilt may also be a response to visual cues, not just sounds. Stanley Coren of Psychology Today suggests that a dog’s muzzle might make it difficult to see the source of a sound. By tilting their heads, dogs are better able to see our faces and read our expressions, which they are also very good at.

If the head tilt is frequent, it could be a signal an underlying health issue.

If your dog is tilting his head frequently, he may be trying to regain his balance or prevent himself from falling. It could be vertigo. When something’s not right in the vestibular system, we have a hard time gauging where we are in relation to our surroundings, which can be scary. If you notice constant head tilts, falls or even nausea in your dog, make sure to visit your vet immediately.

And, of course, the more we praise our dogs for that cute head tilt by smiling or laughing, our dogs will continue to do so. They know how to get our attention!

Source:  PetPav

 

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5 potty training tips for dogs who just don’t want to go

 Dog Gone Problems: 5 training tip for potty training dogs who just don’t want to go

dog potty training tips

5 Dog Potty Training Tips

1. Take dog out during specific times. Have your husband take the dog out at these specific times, as they are when a dog is most inclined to need to go: Five minutes after eating and 15 minutes after a hearty play time starts. Being in the right place at the right time can really help.

2. Establish a command word. Do not tell the dog to potty unless you have already established a command word for the act. This is a common mistake that often distracts the dog or works against your goal. As soon as the dog starts to go, say your command word once in a medium tone and volume. If he doesn’t go in five minutes, take him inside and move to the next step.

dog potty training tips

3. Use a kennel. Bring the dog inside and place him inside a kennel with only enough room to lay down and stand up — no extra room. Wait 15 to 30 minutes, then take your dog back out and give him another five minutes. Repeat this process until he goes — even if that means he is in the kennel overnight.

4. Use treats. When the dog finally goes, your husband should give the dog five treats in a row while saying the command word the second after each treat goes into your dog’s mouth. These should be special meat-based treats with a super strong smell. You should only give five treats this way if the dog goes No. 2. If it goes No. 1, do the same except only offer one treat. The idea is to wait your dog out until he can’t hold it any longer. Then reward the heck out of him so he takes notice and is more motivated to go outside again in the future. While you are working on this, only use these super high value treats for successful potty actions. We want to make these treats even more valuable by being so rare.

For your dog questions answered, check out Buddy Beds.com

Natural remedies for hip dysplasia in dogs

Source:  Omaha Mom

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Your Dogs in Freezing Weather

Your Dogs in Freezing Weather — know the rules.  The dogs that are low to the ground and getting cold and getting salt on them, makes it worse too.” As Bertrand explains, cold weather may also worsen some medical conditions in dogs, such as arthritis. “We especially find it happens when it is damp and cold, but the cold for sure.

Caring for Pets in Freezing Weather

Caring for Pets in Freezing Weather

Dr. Hailey Bertrand, a veterinarian at Parkside Animal Hospital in North Bay, points out every dog is different when it comes to how well it tolerates the cold.

“Most of the time, if they have a lot of long fur, and different breeds determine how much body fat they have and in what places, like your huskies, your malamutes, your northern breeds, they tolerate cold better because of their fat distribution, and fur and skin. A lot of them have very thick skin,” explained Bertrand.

“My dog is a whippet. They’re bred for racing and to be super lean, so the cold obviously gets to them way faster than other breeds. Age plays a role as well. Older pets are a little more susceptible, and your very young are also quite susceptible to the cold. Some of the smaller dogs with a little bit thicker skin and longer fur, some of them do well in the cold, but others don’t. I think with those it depends on how much exposure they’ve had and how used to it they are. The dogs that are low to the ground and getting cold and getting salt on them, makes it worse too.”

As Bertrand explains, cold weather may also worsen some medical conditions in dogs, such as arthritis.

“We especially find it happens when it is damp and cold, but the cold for sure. A lot of times they are not as active, and they’re sleeping more because it is cold and they can’t go outside. It causes stiffening in their joints, they’re not as loose, they’re not as mobile. The cold causes everybody to tense up and that isn’t helpful for arthritis,” said Bertrand.

“Dogs with heart disease have lower circulation, their blood flow isn’t as good, they’re more at risk of their extremities getting cold faster. Kidney diseased dogs may have variations in blood volume, it is the same sort of situation, so you have to be really careful with those guys.”

Pet owners are advised to watch for signs of hypothermia, and any signals your dog might give off, showing it is uncomfortable in the cold.

“The minute they start lifting their paws, indicating their paws are cold, they need to be picked up and carried inside. You need to check for frostbite. Right now I wouldn’t have a dog out for more than five minutes. If it is minus 30 and I’m not happy out there, neither are they.”

Paws should also be checked for signs of frostbite.

“They look red, chapped, and sometimes they’ll look a little bit white in colour as well with really bad frostbite. And they’ll usually be tender and a lot of dogs will be licking at them. Once they’re further along with the frostbite, once the cold has killed off the tissues, then some of that tissue will come off and it will be bleeding and cracking, but not the very first sign.”

Dogs may find themselves walking in road salt, or even picking up some anti-freeze on their paws or fur. Bertrand advises wiping down your pet when it gets back into the house, so it doesn’t lick some of these toxic chemicals.

“You certainly can wash the paws off with warm water when they come inside from a walk where they might have been exposed to salt. Salt is an irritant and they shouldn’t be allowed to lick if off their feet or legs. Anti-freeze is a horrible toxicity in dogs and cats.”

And that grinch fur growing between their toes can become a source of irritation due to a build up of ice and snow.

“If they’re getting snowballs, we’ll often recommend they get a little trim of their feet. The thing is you have to be really careful because I’ve seen a lot of owners cut their dogs by accident. So we usually use a clipper or a groomer to do it. You don’t want to shave it down completely, because then the cold can get at their feet easier.”

When it comes to dressing dogs for the elements, Bertrand says if the animal tolerates wearing something on its feet or torso, go for it.

” I do like them especially for the short-haired guys, even just to keep the wind from them. It’s tough to keep clothes on them, especially boots are tough to keep on, but a lot of dogs will wear them, and if they will, then that’s better than nothing for sure.”

 

Source:  BayToday.ca

 

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10 Stunning (yet super easy) Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas

And. . .since this is the day BEFORE Thanksgiving– you can whip up these simple centerpieces in no time.

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