Category Archives: Health


Dog Fart Prevention

Farting – Flatulence – Gas – in dogs

Some tips on preventing smelly dog farts

Flatulence, commonly referred to as ‘farting’, is caused by gas in the bowel. Basically, dogs pass gas for the same reasons people do.

Gas is caused by fibre, starch and some complex sugars that aren’t easily digested. They’re fermented by bacteria in the colon, producing hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulphide gases. These gases are expelled as flatus.

Passing gas is a normal bodily function but you may wish to address the fact when the farts seem to be excessive or very stinky. A foul smelling fart is an indication that some food has not been properly digested and is fermenting inside the body. The smell of fermenting food is what causes smelly farts.

Reasons for farting in dogs are:

* The dog is fed a poor quality diet.

* The dog eats too fast – Gulping food down and taking in air.

* If you feed your dog table scraps be aware that certain foods which contain starches and carbohydrates are known to cause flatulence. (see below)

* Lack of exercise.

* Lactose intolerance can also cause smelly gas.

Things you can do to reduce farting (the negative effects of dog flatulence)

Firstly it should be mentioned that infections, diseases and disorders of the GI tract can cause excess gas production so if your dog has any other symptoms apart from flatulence get him checked by your veterinarian.

* If a dog has excessive farting (flatulence) with a foul odor the culprit is likely to be dietary. Change your dog’s diet choosing a premium brand of dog food that is highly digestible.

* Many cheaper brands of dog food contain a lot of corn and soy products for fillers. This gives your dog the feeling of being full, but also can contribute to a smelly gas problem.

* When choosing kibble select only high quality kibble. It will also reduce the amount of waste product, meaning less gas, and less smell too.

* Feed your dog the best quality of food that you can afford. If you put rubbish in then rubbish will come out.

* Exercise the dog more frequently to stimulate his intestines. A good walk can work wonders.

* Eliminate Soy Products. Many processed dog foods contain Soy. Read pet food labels.

* If feeding table scraps avoid giving vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, beans, peas, cabbage and other foods such as bread and fried foods. Spicy food should also be avoided.

* Avoid Dairy Products. (except for yogurt, see below)

* Try feeding your dog yogurt. Although yogurt is a dairy food it has different properties to milk and cheese. Yogurt has good bacteria and can be very beneficial in treating excess gas. Feed two to three tablespoons of plain, organic non-fat yogurt a day. Look for labels that indicate that the yogurt contains live and active cultures; these are the cultures which help digestion. Reduction in pet flatulence won’t happen overnight. Note your dogs progress after about a week.

* Try probiotics. Probiotics for dogs and digestive enzymes help to reduce the amount of bad bacteria and toxins in the dog’s body and are used to restore the normal balance of microflora (bacteria) in the gastrointestinal tract. In other words, probiotics are the “good, friendly bacteria” that are used to combat the “bad, harmful bacteria” that have grown out of proportion The result is a cleaner and more efficient digestive system.

* Feed your dog more frequently with smaller portions. Feed three small meals instead of one large meal to keep the dog from gulping food and swallowing air.


House Training Your New Puppy

Puppy Housebreaking / Housetraining Procedures and Methods

Puppy housebreaking should start just as soon as you bring your new puppy home – and it is the best way to teach your purebred puppy to go outside when it has to relieve itself. How long does it take to do puppy housetraining?

The easiest answer is: as long as puppy housebreaking takes. I had one German Shepherd puppy that housetrained herself pretty much in just over 3 days, and I have had others that took closer to 2 weeks.

All puppies and breeds of puppies are different and not all can be housetrained in the same amount of time. Housebreaking can easily vary from puppy to puppy.

Additionally, keep in mind that eventhough this article deals primarily with purebred puppies (due to the focus of this web site) that many of these housetraining techniques can also be used with most any other puppy breeds- pure or mixed breed.

When you get your new puppy home the first day, start puppy housebreaking him /her immediately. After he has been briefly introduced to his home and new surroundings, give him a drink of water and immediately take him outside to relieve himself. Take the puppy to the housebreaking area that you chose before bringing him home.

Remember, choice of this housebreaking spot is crucial as it enhances the housetraining – so take careful consideration of where “the housebreaking spot” is before bringing your purebred puppy home. This is the spot where you want the puppy “to go”.

There is a direct correlation between the time you actually put into the puppy housebreaking process and the speed in which the housebreaking of the puppy successfully occurs.

This is a very crucial puppy housebreaking step so be patient and wait until the puppy relieves himself. It may take a while especially with all the new things happening to your new puppy, all the new smells, unfamiliar objects, etc. Do not play with the puppy however until after it has “done it’s business”. If you do it may make the puppy forget about going at all. Since housebreaking is all new to the pure bred puppy it doesn’t know what it’s purpose of being in “the housebreaking spot” is in the first place.

As soon as your puppy finishes, praise it excitedly and immediately take him inside. From that point on, take the puppy to the same housebreaking spot each time and encourage him with a command such as “go potty”, “hurry up” or whatever you choose.

Be consistent using this single command only with the process of puppy housebreaking so that the puppy will learn to associate this act with the command. This will be a huge help in the future, especially when in a new environment or location when traveling, visiting relatives/friends, etc. Being completely housebroken and completely reliable is the final outcome you are looking for.

You must watch them like a hawk at all times – in the beginning of housebreaking especially. If you can not keep an eye on your purebred puppy for some reason please put them in a safe and secure puppy proofed spot (such as a crate or some other small room with easy to clean floors, such as linoleum, closed off with a baby gate so you can peek in as needed). If you are consistent in your puppy housebreaking in the very beginning, ESPECIALLY when it is inconvenient to you (late at night, while you are watching your favorite TV show, etc.), you will actually help the new puppy housebreak itself to alert you when it “has to go”.

A puppy should be taken out immediately (to a prearranged housebreaking area outside): when it wakes up first thing in the morning (before if you manage to get up before the puppy),

*After each and every meal,

*After each and every nap,

*And again before he goes to bed for the night.

Another good housebreaking tip is to take up the puppies water early in the evening and to not feed or water it after say, 6:00 at night, otherwise you may have to make more housebreaking potty trips than usual outside to let the puppy relieve itself. Keep the puppy on a strict housebreaking schedule, both feeding and elimination, and you will have puppy housebreaking success much sooner.

More Puppy Housebreaking and Housetraining Secrets: From Housebreaking to Housebroken

Know in advance that a very young puppy will probably not be able to go through the night without relieving itself so get used to taking it out during the middle of the night until it grows enough to sleep through the night.

You wouldn’t expect a young human baby to be toilet trained in a week, would you? Give the same consideration to your new purebred puppy. He will not be able to be considered reliable as far as housebreaking goes either after only a few days.

The puppy is a baby with a small bladder and weak sphincter muscles. Like human babies, your new puppy will be able to go longer between housebreaking breaks as it grows older and will soon become completely housebroken if your are vigilant in the housebreaking process.

Oops… found a mistake, now what?

If you find your puppy has made a mistake in the house and you did not catch it in the act, simply clean the spot without comment. Clean up all residue and clean the area with a bacteria/enzyme digester. These housetraining aids are available at your pet supply or grocery store. This will get rid of both the stain and the smell. And the smell is the most important part to get rid of. Even if you can’t smell the urine, believe me, your puppy can and he will be encouraged to go back to the same spot again unless you remove ALL urine odors. This is absolutely critical in housebreaking your puppy.

If you find the puppy “in the act”, scoop him up as quickly as possible with his tail between his legs (to help prevent spillage) and take him out asap. Say “out” or “quick” as you take him out but never NO. Since No is used for negative things you do not want your puppy to think that eliminating is wrong, no matter where he does it.

If the new puppy thinks that eliminating is bad he will probably start hiding it from you and you do not want that to happen. That is a whole other behavioral issue to contend with and believe me it’s much better and easier to prevent behavioral problems before they happen than having to deal with them later.

Generally speaking, most puppies are naturally clean dogs – assuming they had the right start clear from the beginning. Puppies raised in small runs or cages develop dirty habits right from the beginning making housebreaking harder. Since they are used to playing and sleeping in their own excrement they will not have any problem with continuing to do so. This is not the puppy’s fault, it’s just what they were accustomed to from an early age.

Keep in mind, housebreaking puppies raised in these type of situations can be much harder and more time consuming than usual but housetraining can still can be done.

Overall, puppy housebreaking problems are often more of a human problem than a puppy problem. If the new owner is steadfast in keeping a watch on the purebred puppy in the beginning of ownership, especially during the first 2 weeks of housetraining, then puppy housebreaking can accomplished and the new puppy will become a reliable member of the family as far as bathroom visits are concerned, and will soon be completely housebroken.

Remember, as the new owner you must be patient with the entire housebreaking process. Each puppy will housetrain at his own speed and with your help. Take him out religiously as outlined above, and keep him on a strict feeding/bathroom housebreaking schedule (as well as anytime the GSD puppy acts as though he has to “go out”). It is very important that you learn to read your puppies potty signals during the housebreaking process: sniffing out “a spot”, circling, whining, going to the door, etc.

Finally, think about how you would like to be housetrained if you were in the puppies place? The puppy won’t enjoy being yelled at, jerked around or frightened any better than you would. A kinder, gentler and more patient puppy housebreaking approach will yield much better results, help your bond with your new puppy and develop a more confident housebroken dog. And isn’t that what we all want dog owners in the first place?


Lather Up! Puppy Bathtime…

Your pet loves attention from you. One of the best ways to give her that attention is through regular grooming — and that includes bath time. Some pets just like rolling around in the dirt; others are great about grooming themselves. Either way, there are times when you’ll want to give your pet a bath. Here are some quick tips to make bath time easier and more fun for both of you.

Brushing. Before the bath, make sure your pet is brushed well and all knots and tangles are worked out. Use a comb or brush appropriate for your pet’s coat to make the job easier. Also, the more often you brush, the less often you need to bathe your pet.

Bath1Getting ready. Fill the sink or tub with about three or four inches of lukewarm water. Keep your shampoo, conditioner and towels within reach. Block off all escape routes; you don’t want to chase a wet dog through the house.

Shampoo. Before you lather up, make sure you have the right shampoo for your pet’s needs. For example, “people” shampoo contains fragrances and other ingredients that can dry out or irritate your pet’s skin so be sure to use only a pet shampoo. Puppies and kittens require gentle or “tear-free” shampoos. If your pet is experiencing dry skin, allergies or hot spots, look for shampoos specially formulated for those conditions. And if you use topical flea and tick treatments on your pet, it’s really important to use a non-detergent (soap-free) shampoo. Other shampoos may reduce the effectiveness of your pet’s monthly treatment.

Bath2The Bath. Once you’ve chosen the right shampoo, lather your pet thoroughly, being careful to avoid his eyes and ears. Rinse him well, but avoid getting too much water on his head. It’s important to rinse completely, because leftover shampoo can dry out his skin. Towel him off. Once he is completely dry, give him another good brushing.


Genius Machine Feeds Stray Dogs In Exchange For Recycled Bottles

One innovative company has created a vending machine that’s dispensing help for both the environment and our furry friends.

The Turkish company Pugedon recently introduced a vending machine in Istanbul that releases food and water for the city’s stray dogs in exchange for recycled plastic bottles, Big Think reported. Once someone deposits their bottle at the top, food is released at the bottom. The Pugedon Smart Recycling Boxes operate at no charge to the city, and the recycled bottles cover the cost of the food.

The simple machine will provide a steady source of sustenance to the animals, who often rely on the area’s residents to feed them. It’s also bringing some positive change to a place where the fate of stray animals has not always been a happy one.

Turkey is known for its large numbers of stray animals roaming its urban areas. The city of Istanbul alone is home to more than 150,000 stray dogs and cats, according to Deutsche Welle. While some welcome their company, others complain that the animals are sources of disease and danger.

These complaints have led the Turkish government to draft a law which would require thousands of stray dogs to be transported to a “wildlife park,” removing the animals from the urban environment which they have adapted to, Deutsche Welle reports. Dogs have also allegedly been the targets of poisoning campaigns, according to the Associated Press.

The Pugedon vending machines aim to give these stray animals a brighter future, while also encouraging its users to get in a healthy recycling habit.


Socializing your Puppy

Puppies go thorough a critical period of socialization between eight and 16 weeks of age. During this period of time they mature very rapidly. If isolated from external stimuli and not exposed to the outside world, they can grow up to be fearful adult dogs.

Litters of puppies raised in an isolated location such as a barn, a garage or an isolated dog kennel often have little exposure to humans except those feeding them. If puppies never leave their confined, isolated quarters where they have been raised, they may never experience any external stimuli such as automobiles, strangers, loud noises or children running and playing.

Poorly socialized puppies can also result when they have been raised in the wild by an abandoned, female dog. If these puppies are fortunate enough to be discovered by a human and receive handling while still very young, they have a better chance to trust humans and be less fearful. If they receive no human handling before they are 16 weeks of age, they may grow up to be very fearful adult dogs that are not acceptable family pets.

If puppies are not socialized at an early enough age, it makes little difference if they have been raised by a breeder, a private family or in a vacant building; the outcome will usually be the same. Puppies that receive little or no human handling between the ages of eight and 16 weeks of age often remain fearful when exposed to new situations. Meeting their new family for the first time, the car ride to their new home, their first trip to the vet, and meeting children, strangers or other dogs for the first time can be extremely frightening for these puppies.

We will never be able to affect puppies raised in the wild by an abandoned dog or by breeders who don’t know how important it is to socialize their puppies. What we can do is not allow our emotions to override good, rational thinking when making a decision about which puppy will make the best family pet. If you feel sorry for and want to select the shy puppy that avoids eye contact and doesn’t want to be picked up, you may be setting yourself up for future problems.

How can we make sure the puppy we purchase will be well-socialized and become a good fit for our family? When surveying a puppy or litter of puppies more than 16 weeks of age that have had little human handling and are very shy and fearful, realize that they may always remain somewhat shy and fearful. If handled with kindness, patience and love, some of these puppies may learn to trust their family members but still remain somewhat fearful of strangers. A puppy acquired at eight weeks of age is more likely to become a well-adjusted family pet than one adopted at 16 weeks of age.

Acquiring a puppy prior to eight weeks of age can also create problems. These puppies miss out on important interactions that take place with other puppies in the litter. A puppy selected too young may miss out on the consequences of biting a littermate too hard. This puppy’s new owners will then pay the price when it bites them too hard while playing.

Eight weeks of age is the ideal time for a puppy to adjust to a new home.

How do we get our puppies socialized so they grow up to be well-adjusted, adult dogs that are comfortable meeting strangers, children and other dogs? The key is to make sure your puppy gets exposed to everything he may ever be exposed to during his lifetime, while he is very young. The critical age of socialization is between eight and 16 weeks of age. If not exposed to new situations during this critical period, your puppy may always be fearful when exposed to new things in the future.

After you have chosen your new puppy and had it examined by your veterinarian, you can begin to expose it to new things. Your puppy will not have had all his vaccinations yet, but you may still take him to a family or neighbor’s home to expose him to children or friendly, vaccinated dogs. If you have small children, dogs or cats in your family, you are fortunate. Your puppy will become accustomed to the screaming and active play behavior of children and will be exposed to other pets.

If you are a single adult, a couple without children or a senior citizen, you will have to go out of your way to expose your puppy to children of all ages. You can invite well-mannered children into your home to have supervised play with your new puppy. If you don’t know anyone with small children, you can often find families with children at local parks. Keep some tasty treats available for the children to give your puppy so he associates them with food rewards.

When you have visitors come to your home, when the mailman delivers mail or the deliveryman brings packages, do the same thing. Give them a dog treat, have them make your puppy sit, and then give the puppy the treat for sitting. This will teach the puppy if he sits for strangers he will be rewarded. This is an excellent way to prevent your puppy from jumping up on people. Your puppy will also learn that visitors will come bearing gifts, instead of being something to bark at and to protect the family from.

Enrolling your puppy in a puppy kindergarten or a puppy training class will have many benefits. This will be a way to take your puppy out of the house once a week where he will be exposed to many new situations during a critical period of socialization. Be sure to choose a puppy training class where the emphasis is on having fun and meeting new puppies and their owners. Instructors should use only a buckle-type collar and never a choker or pinch collar. Basic training using praise and food rewards for motivation will make you and your puppy enjoy going to class.

Choosing the correct puppy for you and your family that fits your particular life-style is critical. Exposing your new puppy to pleasant experiences such as strangers, children and other dogs between eight and 16 weeks of age, is critical to having a well-adjusted adult dog.