How commercial dog food affects your dog's health
Every day, unhappy dogs parade through veterinary offices. They suffer from:
THE TRUE ABOUT PITBULLS
Pit bull myths :
Pit bull owners, breeders and animal advocacy groups have created a slew of myths and distortions about the pit bull breed to fight breed-specific laws. Below are the top 10 myths.
Myth #1: It's the owner not the breed
Designed to protect pit bull breeders and owners, the slogan ignores the genetic history of the breed and blames these horrific maulings -- inflicted by the pit bull's genetic "hold and shake" bite style -- on environmental factors. While environment plays a role in a pit bull's behavior, it is genetics that leaves pit bull victims with permanent and disfiguring injuries.
The pit bull's genetic traits are not in dispute.
Myth #2: It's impossible to identify a pit bull
Pit bull advocates frequently claim that the average person cannot correctly identify a pit bull...DogsBite.org has created a more realistic test that shows a variety of popular dog breeds. Once one begins to understand the frame, posture and distinct head shape and jaw size of a pit bull, identification is immediate.
Myth #3: Human-aggressive pit bulls were "culled"
Historically, it is believed that dogfighters removed human-aggressive pit bulls from the gene pool. "Man biters," as dogmen referred them, were "culled" to prevent dog handlers from suffering vicious bites. However, dogmen themselves and pedigrees show a different story.
Myth #4: Fatal attack statistics about pit bulls are false
Pro-pit bull groups argue that the 20-year fatal dog attack study (from 1979 to 1998) issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September 2000 is inaccurate because the study relied "in part" on newspaper articles. Pit bull advocates say that pit bull fatalities are more extensively reported by the media, therefore the authors of the study (most holding PhD credentials) must have "miscounted" or "double counted" the number of pit bull fatalities
Myth #5: The media conspiracy against pit bulls
Myth #6: Pit bulls are not unpredictable
Despite pro-pit bull claims that pit bulls are not unpredictable, the breed frequently attacks without provocation or warning. It is well documented by humane groups that to excel in dogfighting, pit bulls were selectively bred to conceal warning signals prior to an attack. For instance, a pit bull may not growl, bare its teeth or offer a direct stare before it strikes. Unlike all other dog breeds, pit bulls are also disrespectful of traditional signs of submission and appeasement.
Myth #7: Pit bulls do not have a locking jaw
Pro-pit bull groups continuously attempt to debunk the pit bull "locking jaw" expression that is often used by the media and the public. A pit bull's jaw may not physically lock, but due to selective breeding for a specific bite style -- to hold on and to shake indefinitely -- we consistently hear in news reports that the dog "would not let go." DogsBite.org has recorded numerous tools used to try to get a pit bull to release its jaws including: crow bars, hammers, baseball bats and knives.
Myth #8: Pit bulls used to be the most popular dog in America
Pit bull advocates often claim that by World War I, the pit bull had become the "most popular dog in America.
Myth #9: Pit bulls pass the American Temperament Test
In 1977, Alfons Ertel designed the American Temperament Test in hopes of creating a uniform temperament test for dogs. Of the 70 million dogs that populate the U.S. today,20 about 1,272 are tested per year (0.002% of all dogs).21 The temperament data published by the group is not based upon scientific random sampling of any dog breed. It seems it would be virtually impossible to develop such a reliable study, as the base population source group is unidentifiable.
Myth #10: Punish the deed not the breed
The slogan often voiced by pit bull advocates, "Punish the deed not the breed," works to the benefit of pit bull breeders and owners who accept the large collateral damage the breed inflicts upon the public and has been for the last 30-years. The slogan also accepts that a "new victim" must be created prior to punishment. The goal of breed-specific legislation is to prevent the deed, as civil and criminal recourse for dog attack victims after the deed is often impossible to obtain....
Training & Behavior
"What’s the secret? The number one secret is to stay calm. The more you scream and try to move the more aroused you’ll make the dog—here are the two scenarios.
Say you’re running along and a dog comes sprinting out from his front yard. If you run faster, you may elicit a chase reflex, the same reflex triggered when a dog sees a cat or a squirrel run by. What you should do instead is face the dog and stand still, like a pole or a tree. Your arms can be folded in front of you so that you don’t accidentally swing them around.
What do you do if you can’t hold still because you’re scared? If the dog starts jumping up on you still try to remain calm and keep your back to the dog so that the dog can’t get to your face. If the dog actually takes you to the ground, roll up in a ball with your knees bend and your hands around the back of your neck and hold as still as possible....
...Remember, most dogs that rush towards you on the street aren’t out to bite you. Try to stay relaxed and you’ll be much more likely to remain safe"
7 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Pet Healthy
1.Keep your pet at a healthy weight.
2.Exercise your pet.
3.Feed your pet a balanced, nutritious diet.
4.Have your veterinarian examine your pet at least once a year to make sure your pet is healthy and to help detect problems earlier.
7.Spay or neuter your pet.
Your dog’s regular grooming/maintenance routine should include regular ear checks. This is especially important for dogs who produce excessive earwax or have a lot of inner-ear hair:
If your dog’s inner ears appear dirty, clean them with a cotton ball dampened with mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide or a solution formulated specifically for this purpose. Inner-ear skin is delicate, so allow your vet to demonstrate the proper method for cleaning your dog’s ears.
Do not clean your dog’s ears so frequently or deeply as to cause irritation, and take care to NEVER insert anything into your dog’s ear canal.
If your dog sprouts hair from his ear canal, you or your groomer may have to tweeze it out every few weeks to prevent problematic mats and tangles from forming. Please discuss with your vet whether this is necessary for your dog.
Wet Behind the Ears?
If you’re not careful, frequent bathing and swimming can lead to irritation and infection. To prevent this from happening, place cotton in your dog’s ears before baths, and be sure to dry her ears as thoroughly as you safely can after all water sports and activities.
If your dog is prone to ear infections, you might want to pour a tiny amount of an ear drying solution made for dogs into her ear canals to help evaporate any water trapped inside. These ear washes, usually witch hazel-based, are available at better pet supply stores.
Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms affecting your dog’s ears:
Please also be aware that brown or black ear wax-and dry, dark wax resembling coffee grounds-are classic indicators of microscopic ear mites. Only your vet can tell for sure, so please don’t delay bringing a gooey-eared pooch in for a checkup.
Taking his first flight can be a somewhat traumatic experience for a dog that's used to sticking his head out the car window and enjoying the sights along the way. After all, his view just won't be the same from underneath the seat in front of you, or even worse, from the cargo hold. But getting there can still be half the fun if you follow the ten tips below and make sure you're familiar with the Airline Pet Policy, restrictions on Pet Travel in the US, and any additional International Pet Travel restrictions at your destination.
1. BOOK EARLY
Most airlines only allow one or two dogs on each flight, so it's important to book your dog's ticket as soon as possible. Don't buy your ticket until you call the airline and make sure there is a "seat" available for your dog on the flight. Once the agent has confirmed availability, reserve both your seats on the same ticket while you're still on the phone with the agent.
2. FLY DIRECT
Book a non-stop, direct flight whenever possible and try to fly on a weekday when airports are typically less hectic. If your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold, it's best to fly in the morning or evening during the summer, and midday during the winter to avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures.
3. VISIT THE VETERINARIAN
Make an appointment with your pet's veterinarian for a check-up and make sure all vaccinations are up to date. Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of departure. For travel outside the continental United States, additional planning and health care requirements may be necessary. Visit our International Pet Travel or contact the foreign office of the country you are traveling to for more information.
4. BUY A CARRIER
Whether your dog is a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, there's a pet carrier to match. Carriers are available in both hard-sided and soft-sided. Soft-sided carriers are more suitable for carry-on and tend to fit better under the seat, but they're only permitted in the cabin only. To make sure the carrier will fit under the seat on your flight check the size restrictions of the airline in our Airline Pet Policies section. If your dog will be traveling in the cargo hold, purchase a hard plastic carrier with holes for ventilation instead. Carriers must be big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If the carrier does not permit him to do this, the airline will refuse transport.
5. CAN I SEE SOME ID M'AAM?
After you've purchased an appropriate carrier, write your dog's name on it and include identification tags with your home address and phone number as well as the address and phone number of someone who can be reached at your destination. Carry a current photograph of your pet as well. If he's lost during the trip, a photograph will make it much easier for airline employees or the local authorities to search effectively. You might also want to consider a permanent form of id (such as a microchip or tattoo) that will increase the likelihood of reuniting with your dog if he gets lost on the trip.
6. TAKE A TEST DRIVE
Animals travel under less stress when they are accustomed to their carrier before they travel. In the weeks prior to your trip, put your dog in his carrier as often as possible for trips around town.
7. EAT. DRINK. POOP. PLAY.
Since a full stomach might be uncomfortable for your dog during travel, we recommend feeding him about four hours before the flight, if possible. While it's best to refrain from feeding your dog right before the flight, you can (and should) continue to give him water right up to the time of travel. Just be sure to empty the dish before checking in so it doesn't spill during the flight. If you're checking the dog, leave the dishes in the carrier so an airline employee can provide your pet with food and water in the event of an extended delay before or after your flight. You should also exercise your pet and let him use the facilities (i.e. grass) before heading to the airport.
8. ARRIVE EARLY
Arrive at the airport early, but not too early, and have your dog's health certificate handy. You will not be allowed to check your pet in more than four hours before the flight. Most airlines recommend arriving two hours before your flight when traveling with a pet. Passengers with pets must check-in at the counter; curbside and self service check-in are not allowed.
9. (DON'T) TAKE A VALIUM
We don't mind if you take a valium before the flight, but don't give your pet tranquilizers just because you're nervous. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases, dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying because they can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems as the dog is exposed to increased altitude pressures. They can also alter the animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium, which can be dangerous when the carrier is moved. While sedation is generally not advised, the decision on whether or not to prescribe a tranquilizer for your pet should be made by your veterinarian. If he or she decides that tranquilizers are medically necessary for the trip, indicate the name of the drug taken and the dosage on the dog's carrier.
10. YOU'VE ARRIVED!
When you arrive at your destination, go for a long walk before you check-in at the hotel. Your dog will feel more comfortable as soon as he sees (and smells) his new surroundings, and realizes that the same rules and boundaries apply here too. By the time you check into the hotel, your dog will already feel right and home and be ready for whatever adventures are in store for him that week.
Don't forget these items when packing your dog's suitcase:
Health certificate and medical records
Contact information for your regular veterinarian and an emergency contact at your destination
Comb, brush, and flea control products
Any special medication your dog might need
Spare collar with id tag
Pet wipes or grooming products
Paper towels and stain remover
Enough dog food and treats for the entire trip
Plenty of bottled water (a sudden change can upset your dog's stomach)
Food and water dishes
Leash and poop bags
Your dog's favorite toy and blanket
A list of dog friendly restaurants and attractions at your destination
The Most Popular Family-Friendly Dogs
While Lassie and Lady and the Tramp are fun to watch, they’re probably not the best way to choose the family dog. Let petMD help you discover the best dogs for kids.
You can choose good family dogs based on three major factors:
Temperament – This is the dog’s personality. You should be looking for an agreeable temperament. For instance, a calmer dog has the ability to form strong bonds and be a great companion for your kids.
Size – Size should be looked at in relation to both temperament and energy level. Some larger dogs tend to be docile, while some smaller dogs can be excitable.
Energy level – This is a matter of preference for your family. Be realistic about the lifestyle you can provide to a dog that needs more exercise than average. If you can’t meet a dog’s needs, his excess energy can lead to behavior problems down the road.
Always meet the dog and ask the breeder or shelter worker a few questions before making such an important decision.
Here are five sample questions to ask, according to Holly Putnam, DVM, board member for the Association of Shelter Veterinarians:
1.Is the dog safe for all members of the family? Some dogs are perfectly happy to socialize with everyone in the family, while some prefer only adults or one gender.
2.What type of energy level is the dog? You may want a dog that will accompany you and the family on long walks, or one that can be carried in your arms the majority of the time.
3.What ongoing care will the dog require? Is it a longhaired dog who will need regular grooming, or a senior who may need more frequent veterinary visits?
4.What age of dog are you looking for? Would you prefer a puppy who may require lots of training but will likely socialize well with the entire family, or would you prefer an adult dog who is potty trained, but may be more shy when friends come visit?
5.Will this dog get along with other pets? If you have other pets at home, you will want to choose a dog that likes other animals, and be sure that your animals like the new dog.
Without further ado, here are 10 kid-friendly dog breeds approved by petMD experts.
10. Bull Dog