Top 10 Dog Health Tips – Part 1

Top 10 Dog Health Tips – Part 1

Nadia Crighton looks at the most common ailments affecting dogs. From how to successfully give medicine to your dog, weight problems, kennel cough and more. Get a better understanding of the top 10 dog health problems our pets are facing today.

1. Giving medicine to dogs

This can be a tricky one for some dog owners. Many medicines do come flavored however there are some tricks of the trade to get your pooch to take their tablets. Kneel or stand beside your dog with your dog in the sit position. Secure their head against your body and open their mouth (carefully pop your fingers between the lips and pull the lower jaw down). Place the tablet inside their mouth (at the back of their tongue). Keep your hands softly around the muzzle to stop the mouth from opening. Rub softly on their throat or blow into their nose. This will encourage your dog to swallow. Some dogs are tricky and will ‘hide’ the tablet even after swallowing so you may have to repeat. Encourage your dog to drink or squirt a small amount of water into the mouth with a drink bottle. Alternatively you can try and hide the tablet in some food or cheese.

2. Nail trimming

This should be done from puppy-hood as your dog will be used to someone handling and trimming nails. If your dog’s nails are overgrown head to the vet as if you attempt to trim you will clip the ‘quick’ area and cause bleeding and pain. The ‘quick’ is the cluster of blood vessels that run through the nail and as your dog’s nails grow longer so will the ‘quick’. Keep the nails short and trimmed to ensure comfort and ease when walking. Long nails are uncomfortable and can cause pain.

3. Ear Care

Dog health tip 3: Clean your dog’s ears regularly. This can easily be done with a piece of paper-towel. Gently wrap around your finger and move in a circular motion to remove the dirt and build up from the ear. If you notice any funny sickly sweet smells or a lot of discharge, head off for a further check up as your dog could be suffering from a yeast infection.

4. Worms & Heart worms

It is important to worm your dog regularly. Worms can cause havoc in dogs, which have compromised immune systems, are young or old, or are suffering from sickness. Heart worm treatment is also vital as this deadly worm can go unnoticed until it is too late.

5. Behavioral

If you are concerned about any aspects of your dog’s behavior, whether it be barking, inter-dog aggression, chasing lights/shadows, anxiety or nervousness seek advice from a professional. Most behaviors can be successfully treated and managed with understanding, training and patience. Understanding dog behavior is vital in responsible dog ownership. With so many wonderful professionals on hand, it’s never been easier to solve your unwanted doggy habits.

Be on the look for our second article containing the next 5 Dog Health Tips coming soon!

Dog Breeds Apart

Dog Breeds Apart

Nadia Crighton uncovers what science says about dog breeds and human personalities.

Over the years there have been countless studies on the nature of the varying dog breeds around the world and the personality differences between dog owners and non-dog owners. In fact, pet owners are shown to have better self-esteem and are more agreeable.

More recently, some of these studies have revealed the link between human personalities and the actual breed of dog people choose to spend their life with.

When considered, many invest in certain dog breeds for life. It’s not uncommon for Labrador lovers to always have a happy Labby sharing the family home. In many cases, even growing up as a child in a household alongside a particular breed, will lead to owing and enjoying that breed later down the track.

But what does science say about the link between personalities and dog breeds? A study by Jo Fearon and Psychologist Dr Lance Workman from Bath Spa University in collaboration with the British Kennel Club and OnePoll explored just that…does the breed of dog you choose reflect in your personality?

An online questionnaire was completed which outlined personalities traits such as; openness, agreeableness, extroversion, anxiety (neuroticism) and conscientiousness. These are what Psychologists call the major five traits, which make up the human personality. The survey also detailed the type of breed that was owned. The breeds were then split into seven groups being;

  • *Gundogs
  • *Hound-dogs,
  • *Pastoral (eg, German Shepherd, Border Collie)
  • *Terrier
  • *Toy
  • *Utility (Bulldog, Dalmatian)
  • *Working (Dobermann, Boxer).

*For full breed list head over to //www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/ and browse by breed group.

The results were very interesting. It seems owners of Pastoral and Utility breed groups were more extroverted. Owners of Gundogs and Toy breeds seemed to be more agreeable while owners of Utility, Toy and Gundogs more conscientious. Hound Dog breed owner seemed to be the most emotionally stable while Toy dog breed owners seemed to be more open to new experiences and more imaginative, which completely abolishes the misconception some have towards those who own Toy-breeds (well… celebrities anyway).

Dr Workman also mentioned that the study indicated that we could make predictions about human personality based on the breed of dog they choose to own. Seemingly, certain personality types are drawn to certain breeds. Just imagine if first-time dog owners could be given a survey and shown what breed perfectly matched their personality!

Obviously, environment and lifestyle also have an impact on the types of breeds people are attracted towards. Outdoor loving people tend to be attracted to more energetic breeds, while older people are attracted to smaller dogs. There are many who will link certain dog breed traits with human traits; similarly some will say that some owners even look like their dogs! But the science is still out on this one.

But what about the notion that opposites attract and for those own more than one breed (with completely different traits) could be a major mix of personalities? One thing, however, is pretty clear, humans are attracted to certain dog breeds because of their characteristics and perhaps that is someway linked to our own personalities, experiences, environment and lifestyle. Food for thought!

BREED PROFILE: Shih Tzu

BREED PROFILE: Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu’s are an adorable toy breed which is a popular companion and house pet. Known as the ‘Little Lion Dog’ the breed is said to have originated from Tibet (although this is not set in stone) and has a rich history going back over 1000 years. The small breed was also developed as a companion dog in Chinese palaces including the prestigious, Chinese Imperial Palace.

They are a sturdy breed that is known for their lively character and alert nature. The breed is bold and energetic and will tend to stand their ground when needed; truly proving that size is no matter for this brave and proud ‘Little Lion’.

Shih Tzu’s were bred for one purpose; to be a faithful companion to those who adored them. Needless to say the Shih Tzu is most certainly a people-dog and is very affectionate and loyal towards the humans they love. Because of this it is important to carefully consider the training methods used on this breed. This dog breed respond to positive training with rewards and praise rather than punishment.

Being a people-loving breed, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They thrive on attention from children and adults alike, and do well in homely and loving environments. If they do not have adequate attention from their loving humans, bad habits, may surface. So before choosing this breed it is important to understand their need for companionship and love.

adorable Shih Tzu walking outside  Shih Tzu Puppy

The breed has a luxurious long coat that will need to be groomed daily to ensure good health. Many owners opt to have their dogs clipped every six to eight weeks, due to the high-maintenance needs of their long beautiful coats that tend to tangle easily.

Due to their coats and short faces, they also do not tolerate heat and care must be taken to ensure they are kept cool during the hot summer days. Plenty of water and a cool place to relax.

Exercise it not a big thing with this breed but they will benefit from a nice walk on a cool day. The breed will get most of their exercise following you around the house! A good diet is imperative. Shih Tzu’s should be kept at their ideal weight.

The Shih Tzu is usually a very healthy compact little dog with few problems. However, due to the breeds’ popularity it is important to ensure you purchasing a pup from a reputable breeder. For more information on this breed visit your local breed affiliated club who can also give you a list of breeders.

 

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