Why Do Dogs Lick?

In case you own a dog, you might find its habit of licking endearing or gross – depending on your tastes. It is commonly assumed that dogs lick to express their love for owners. However, it does not always lick to show love. A dog uses its tongue to communicate in various ways with humans as well as with other animals. From affection to concern, protection and acceptance, there are various messages expressed by dogs.

Licking Is Innate, and not Learned

The act of licking is not typically a habit. It is ingrained into the gene of dogs. This is an instinctive behavior that can assume varied manifestations. For example, mama dogs lick their pups while grooming them, while pups lick their mama to indicate it is ‘feeding time’. In pack like situations, dogs on the lower end of hierarchy may lick those on the higher order to get a ‘dinner invitation’.

A dog licking the face of a human, especially the owner, might be overjoyed to see him after he has come back from work. However, it might also be indicating that it is getting hungry and wants to have some food.

Health problems Related to Licking

Many people worry whether they can get a bunch of germs in their face when their dogs lick them. Naturally, dog’s licking is often regarded as unhygienic. However, the amount of bacteria from a dog’s tongue is generally not much worse than the bacteria that are passed when humans exchange kisses.

That is no reason to believe that you should allow your dog to lick you every time. You can do simple things like turning your head away or moving away to indicate that you would not like to have your face licked although you appreciate his love and friendship. This will help keep it satisfied while allow you to avoid licking from your pet.

When is Licking Excessive?

Although licking is an instinctive emotion, it can also be excessive at time. When a dog licks the same spot on his body or licks the same object over and over again, it could be indicative that your dog is suffering from a medical problem. Some of the issues could be related to the mentality of the pooch whereas other problems could have a physical cause.

For example, if a dog continuously licks its feet, it could be attempting to get rid of a constant itch resulting from allergies. If your dog persistently licks its rear side, it could need to have the anal glands expressed. Obsessive licking of a specific object could be indicative of obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety. If you feel that the licking habit of your dog could be related to either of these disorders, it is important that you take it to a behavioral specialist or a vet.

However, licking also actually often indicates that your dog likes you, finds your company comfortable and trusts on you to lead it. All that you heard about licking being associated to love is not so wrong either.

Why Are Grapes Bad For Dogs?

Humans can consume a wide variety of foods, but as a dog owner you will need to remember that the bodies of dogs do not always tend to work in the same manner. Some foods can be poisonous for them. Unless you are sure about how your dog will react to a specific food, do not feed it to the pet. Grapes are one of the food items that can be toxic for your pet. Find out why these are bad for dogs.

What are the effects of grapes on dogs?

Grapes, similar to raisins and Macadamia Nuts, can be very toxic to dogs. There are many compounds and chemicals in grapes that can be poisonous for dogs, and the entry of these substances into the system of dogs can be very poisonous for them. Grapes can result in lethargy, dehydration, lethargy and poor appetite in them, and the severe symptoms can include kidney failure. Dogs may die from kidney failure in 3 – 4 days.

Some dogs can consume grapes without suffering from any acute side effects. Others, on the other hand, may suffer from acute, fatal ailments. In case your pet has consumed grapes and is suffering from Toxicosis, you will possibly suffer from a combination of diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue. In case of these symptoms, you need to take your pet to the vet immediately.

The non-profit organization American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is not sure about why grapes are harmful for dogs. However, these are indeed toxic for canines.

If your dog can consumed grapes in the past but exhibited no sudden toxicosis symptoms, you need to mention it still to your vet during the next checkup of your pup.

How to respond if your dog has eaten grapes?

If your dog has consumed quite a few grapes and seem to be affected by them, they can be saved at times. After you discover that your dog has consumed various grapes, it is important to immediately do the following:

Make your dog vomit. In case they are affected, they will possibly vomit in any case. If they do not, make them vomit forcibly.

Make them consume activated charcoal. It will help reduce the absorption of anything that leads to kidney failure. In case of absence of activated charcoal, you can burn some toast and have them charred and blackened before feeding them to dogs. Generally, it is easy to feed things to dogs. However, you might find it tough to feed charcoal to your pet.

Take your pet to a vet. It has been shown that introducing intravenous fluids aggressively for around 2 days can significantly reduce the odds of survival of dogs. The faster the treatment is initiated, the likelier they are to survive. You should not wait around to have your dog exhibit symptoms. In those cases where dogs are unlikely to survive, vets might be needed to euthanize dogs on the spot and not leave them to suffer a painful, slow death from conditions such as kidney failure.

When Do Dogs Stop Growing?

Owning a dog can be a very satisfying feeling. Being educated about the growth states of dogs can help you to make informed choices regarding their hygienic, dietary and insurance needs. It is also important to understand that you cannot apply any generic formula to determine the maturing phase and growth of puppies. Each dog happens to be different. However, you can use these guidelines to understand the stage of development that your pup is in.

How Quickly Do Dogs Grow?

The growth rate of a dog depends on its breed. Dogs tend to grow at different rates, depending on breed. There is no reason to worry if you feel that your pup is behind its time of growth.

Small breeds generally grow to their full length and height in around 6 to 8 months. They take another 4 to 6 months to bulk up and attain their adult weight.

Those of medium sized breeds can take around 12 – 15 months prior to attaining their full length and height, and around 6 months later they generally attain their full weight.

Dogs of large breeds take slightly longer to grow physically. They get to their full size in about 18 months and 6 more months to get to their adult weight.

When Does a Dog Achieve Sexual Maturity?

Sexual maturity tends to differ across breeds. Dogs that belong to smaller breeds can be generally sexually mature quicker than larger ones. Male dogs are typically able to reproduce at 6 months although they are sexually fully mature when they are around 12 to 15 months in age. Female dogs, similarly, have their first heat season once they are within 6 – 12 months in age.

However, the sexual growth – much like the physical growth – should not be confused as a sign of a dog reaching full adulthood. Sexual maturity is simply a stage of the entire growth process. The socialization and learning processes of dogs can continue properly even after dogs attain their full sexual maturity.

When Do Dogs Become Emotionally Mature?

The emotional maturity is the most elusive and can arrive after dogs attain their sexual and physical maturity. However, emotional maturity begins early and it is essential to help your pet develop social and emotional skills as quickly right from the time you get them home.

For instance, things such as learning to follow commands, picking up simple manners and potty training happen to be part of the emotional maturity process.

You should allow your pet to socialize with other dogs. Ensure that your puppy gets the chance to mix with other dogs, adult dogs as well as puppies, to be able to observe how other dogs act and behave.

If it is possible, you should find a well balanced and well mannered adult dog that can be a ‘play-buddy’ for your puppy. This will significantly help boost the emotional and social growth of your puppy. The puppy can understand the body language of other dogs, sense their limits and play with them.

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain?

Owning a dog can give you one of the biggest highs in life, but watching it in pain and not being able to do anything to help it can make you feel helpless. You will like to make your pet overcome your pain without the knowledge of how to do it.

How to know when your dog is in pain?

Given that dogs cannot express themselves in human language it can be difficult to know when your pet is in pain and how to alleviate its aches. However, verbal communication is not the only way to know when it is suffering from pain. You can look for signs, such as whining, unusual aggression, an inability to sleep, poor appetite, restlessness, limping and obsessively licking a particular area. Dogs often exhibit such symptoms when they are in pain, and even before the pain becomes very excruciating.

How to respond when your dog is in pain?

The first thing is to stay calm. Showing nervousness or panic can stress out your pet even more, and worsen its pain. You will like to schedule an appointment with a vet as fast as possible. Whether it is a bad sprain or something worse, a vet can devise a solid treatment plan for the recovery of your dog.

Aspirin and Dogs

In case of an injury, you should never provide your dog with an aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or baby aspirin, in any case at home. Otherwise, your dog can feel very sick. The dosage is the main reason. A small does can be beneficial while administering aspirin from the bottle directly can lead to overdose. This can compromise the GI tract, and lead to dangerous health problems and even death.

What are some safe medications to offer to dogs?

There are various FDA-approved painkillers that can be administered to dogs that are in pain. The medicines are categorized as NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), which are of the same designation as Aspirin.

The medicines come in market names like Previcox and Rimadyl, although they are available in various approved generic names. You can administer them to your dog by injection, or orally. These help reduce swelling in tissues, bones and muscles and manage pain.

There are various heavy duty medicines that can be administered to dogs suffering from more ailment-specific and intensive pain. Such medications do not necessarily eliminate the underlying cause for the pain. These can make it easy to live with, and manage, the pain more easily.

Amantadine can be prescribed to treat cancer, disk disease and arthritis. Its side effects include diarrhea and agitation.

Gabapentin helps reduce the pain resulting from damaged nerves. It can be prescribed along with other prescription drugs. Dogs can feel very sleepy once they begin to take the medication. However, the effect can pass eventually.

A mild opoid, Tramadol can be prescribed to aging dogs continuously suffering from discomfort. However, the side effects might include an upset stomach, dizziness and vomiting. These are generally safe, and come with only a few side effects.

Training a Maltese

A Maltese dog is all-around companion breed. They are attractive, graceful, and playful and quickly adapt to the environment. They are popular for their loving nature. Another reason why they have become increasingly popular as a toy breed is because they have fewer health problems compared to the other small breeds.

Personality and temperament

Other than their appearance, they are have an affectionate and gentle nature, combined with mischievous and cheeky character. What this dog needs the most to remain healthy and well-behaved is your time. They are pure attention seekers and expect to be a part of your family. Whether you are in your car, or sleeping on your bed- they would like to accompany you everywhere.

Training a Maltese

They are extremely intelligent and have a great ability to quickly learn commands, and that too with enthusiasm. The training sessions would improve their reflex and strength to be a perfect watchdog.

But while you are training a Maltese, ensure that you are not using any harsh words. They respond perfectly to praises, encouragement and rewards. Because they love interesting games, they would love it if you keep the training sessions fun and short. Give them challenges, so that they do not get bored during training.

Training issues

  • Training them house living rules can be sometimes troublesome. Never make it very difficult for them. Keep it easy so that they can respond well to your commands.
  • They are easy to train if you corporate with them. Maintain a consistent potty training session. Do it every day without a break so that they respond with persistence as well.
  • It is best to train them to pee and poop outside as it would reduce your cleaning hassle.
  • They easily grasp the basic commands like come, sit, stay, up and down. Train them initially with a leash so that they can respond to new commands easily. When you train a dog with leash, they know exactly how seriously they need to take it.
  • Play mental games with them. Do not bore them as they would quickly lose interest.

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

When you decide to change your old pets or to buy new ones, then you may find your new furry friend (pet) at a local animal shelter. While seeing the faces of pups that are so cute, you can also able to see the faces of some senior dogs (old dogs). Everyone will become a “senior” at certain age, although smaller dogs may not see their senior years until they get aged, because, the maturity of the small dogs are very lesser than the larger breeds. Some people may like to have smaller dogs and some may like a larger dog. Whatever it may be, here are some best reasons available to adopt a senior dog.

Top 10 reasons to Adopt Senior Dogs

You can easily get to know about them

After certain age, a puppy will turn into a senior dog, because, they will reach their maximum growth, personality, and other such requirements that is required for you when it comes to grooming. People those who find difficult to train or maintain a puppy, then they feel more comfortable with senior dogs.

It’s really easy to train them

We all know that to train our puppies is certainly a very difficult task for us. For this reason, most of the dog owners do not like their puppies, and so, most of them have shifted their interest towards senior dogs. When compared to senior dogs, puppies take a long time to train, because, they don’t have the capacity that how to react to our commands. But senior dogs already have some necessary training experience and they know how to react according to our basic commands like sit, heel, catch, run and stay.

New tricks can also be taught to senior dogs

When compared to puppies, the old ones are easy to train and they don’t get a chance to make a mistake in future, because, they were trained already. And they have the potentiality to understand the owner’s commands and tricks very easily. Most of the dog owners know that their dogs will have a unique talent and they work on that particular skill and boost up their dogs’ overall skill. Since, we know already that giving training for such senior dogs is much easier when compared to others (puppies).

Senior dogs react how their owners reacts

Some people often may think commonly that, a senior dog ended up at a shelter because they had a behavioural problem. How an owner behaves, likewise a dog might also react to others, it’s a truth. Senior dogs usually get displaced from their homes for a number of reasons such as: families that moved into smaller homes unequipped for a dog, if  a person has a jobless life, then it is difficult to keep a dog with him, and some may don’t have time to care for dogs. Whatever it may be, senior dogs have the capacity to easily accept the foreign environment; this reason also makes the owners feel comfortable, whereas, puppies are not well suited for this.

A less energetic, but a calmer pet is sure with senior dogs

Puppies are mostly faster and strengthen, they often want to play and need more exercise when compared to senior dogs. This may not happen in senior dogs, this reason makes the senior pets as great pets and it always be calm and quite if you are looking for a calmer dog. Moreover, if you have children in home, then you cannot have time to take them out to play for hours every day and at this situation, these senior dogs much suits you for all your expectations.

Avoid destructions in your home

Puppies can do lots of awful damage in your home, they will also tear up shoes, furniture, and it can sink all the things easily by using their teeth. Puppies always do like this because, they have lot of energy. But these activities cannot be seen in senior dogs, because, a senior dog already has these experiences some years behind. Moreover, this is one more element of training that a senior dog had experienced in its past, and so, you won’t have to worry about it.

Senior dogs instantly get attached with their new owners

It’s not sure that you’ll get a lack of love when you bring home a puppy, because, puppies are so sensitive and it gets afraid often. When coming to senior dogs, they already had their owners respectively and they know how to react depending upon the situation. Senior dogs will quickly make a bond with you than a puppy because, they crave that love and affection, and they don’t spend all their energy for tearing up the house rather than coming over to sit and becomes lovable pet by showing love to you.

A right picture to plan your commitment

Some people maintain a distance while adopting a dog, even though they really want one, because, they don’t know about their life span. When you adopt a senior dog, however, the commitment is less usually only five to seven years. It’s easier to plan and maintain your life around and predict if having a dog in that time will work into your lifestyle.

Senior dogs will settle down very quickly and easily

When you bring a new puppy into your home, they need some time to adapt itself according to the new place. For many of these pups, they think that shelter was the only home and they become comfortable there. But senior dogs have usually had at least one other home and so on. Therefore, the senior dogs feel more comfortable at all new places and they have the capacity to become a part of the family members quickly. Moreover, the puppies have the habit of crying at the night than senior dogs, which might also a good sign for its comfortable mode.

Their precious lives can be saved by you

When compared to puppies, senior dogs are facing more troubles. This happens because, a lot of people mostly come forward to adopt puppies only, with a common thought that the senior dogs have already lived half their lives and they get a chance to become sick. But, senior dogs are very affectionate and kind. Therefore, by adopting a senior dog, emotionally you know that you are actually saving that dog’s life.

Instead of adopting puppies, senior dogs are comfortable for elders and kids. Moreover, when compared to others, these senior dogs are very kind in nature and those who decide to adopt a new pet to their homes, must at least have a glance at those senior dogs for a while, before choosing their favourite ones.

Things to know about Yorkshire Terriers

You can classify this little one as a toy dog, but know that his personality makes him an excellent watchdog. They are smart, spunky and easy to get along with. This breed comes with only one drawback: their heavy coat requires consistent maintenance.

The Yorkshire Terrier are labeled as companions of the old people. They would love you regardless of where you keep them and where you live. Thanks to his silk like touch and shoe-button eyes, all the dog lovers are a fan of this breed.

Personality and temperament

Yorkshire terrier are alert, curious and trainable. It would be only fair to call them as a big boy trapped inside the little body. Their weight is less than 7 pounds and this darling breed can even find its place inside your purse. But as we said, they are seemingly tiny but have habits of a big dog. If you want to keep them as a pet, give them ample space to live.

Training and behavior

They may be a toy breed, but they cannot stand being bored. This independent and smart breed always needs something to keep him busy. They will get stubborn if you leave them alone for long hours. Another interesting fact about this dog is that they will not be pleased if you do not provide them something interesting to play with.

Both genders of Yorkshire have different personalities. The male breed is more of a snuggling and sweeter breed whereas the female one likes to be more possessive. She will make your lap her territory.

Bravery and intelligence

It is one of those small breeds that have made legendary contributions in the name of bravery. If you remember the World War II hero, Smokey, who managed to get 70 feet wire through a tunnel that is built underground? Well, it was a Yorkshire terrier. They are fearless and love to play mind games. Give them things to smell and trace and they would show you how smart they are.

Other than their heavy maintenance, this breed can be your perfect companion.

The popularity of German Shepherds

German shepherds have consistently being making it to the top breeds of the annual dog list- and there should be no argument over it. This courageous, loyal, confident and fast learning breed is going to give you a lifelong experience of companionship.

The abilities and talent of this breed goes beyond its origin and use as a hunt dog. A German shepherd has had for itself the status of a military and guide dog. It has been used by armies as a detector dog. Excellent in agility, obedience, loyalty, sports, tracking and herding- a German shepherd never runs out of demand.

The history of German shepherd

As the title of the dog suggests, they were found in Germany in the nineteenth century where their popularity grew as Captain Max started to train this dog for military purposes. This dog went beyond the expectations of the masters, and instead of its striking and intelligent looks- they had a versatile intelligence.

World War I

World War I was not only a human war. Loyal animals like German shepherds were also a part of its tragedies. This brave breed took the responsibility of reaching their masters amidst the fires and canons with the delivery of food and other important things like letters and weapons.

Personality

They are fearless, confident and direct creatures. If they come from well-trained parents, they are likely to have a relaxed temperament and will easily socialize. They become familiar with your family members in a short time span. They adapt to different sounds, sights are easy to train. This fun loving, protective and devoted dog would fill the hole in your heart.

They are naturally possessive and protective of the property in which they live. Any strange movement of intruders and they would immediately start barking. They are easy to train in the company of other pets. They will learn the cat and rat rules much faster than you expect. But there is one slight problem- they need some activity all the time. They do not like to sit idle as it is not in their nature. They are working dogs who love mental games and need some exercise.

How is the Short Haired German Shepherd Different From The Long Haired One?

 

The German Shepherd is regarded as one of the most famous breeds in the country. The breed is smart, handsome and very popular with children. These have two varied coats, one with the popular shorthaired coat and the other with the slightly underrated long hair. Find out about what makes the Long-Haired German Shepherds different from the shorthaired ones.

Coat

The coat is the main point of difference between the two varieties of German Shepherds. The longhaired ones have longer hairs about the hindquarters, bellies, ears, faces, tails and the area underneath their legs. The hairs are silky and soft. However, most of these lack the undercoat that can be found shorthaired German Shepherds. Although hair is longer in the longhaired varieties, the actual number of hair is more in the shorthaired versions.

GSD

The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the longhaired GSDs, as it feels that the coat is a defect and does not match the breed standard. Naturally, longhaired dogs are not allowed to take part in dog shows. Although some longhaired varieties have a double coat similar to shorthaired German Shepherds, the AKC does not recognize them. Naturally, they cannot take part in dog shows.

Protection factor

The shorthaired varieties are more appropriate for working in cold weather, as compared to their longhaired counterparts. These have a water-resistant, wooly undercoat that offers additional insulation and more warmth during the chilly season. Longhaired ones have an overall longer coat, which means that they lack the overall protection. Naturally, they are not naturally fit to be worker dogs unlike shorthaired versions. Shorthaired ones are better for service assistance, as a guide, or for military aid or police work.

Personality

The difference in coat is also supposed to have an effect on the personality of longhaired and shorthaired GSDs. While the shorthaired ones are bred to work, these are supposed to be more intense and focused on handling these tasks. These tend to be slightly aloof, especially towards strangers. On the other hand, longhaired ones are supposed to come with a better temperament as these are not bred for working. These are thought to be cuter and more eager to please owners.

Shedding

The difference in coats also has some difference on the amount of hair that the two sheds. Due to the double coat, shorthaired GSDs shed much more hair all through the year. This is especially the case as the weather becomes warmer and the dogs do not need the double coat as much. However, the longhaired GSDs also shed enough hair as they have longer hair. Given that the dogs have longer hair, they shed the hairs that tend to be trapped in the coat.

Irrespective of these differences, you will find both varieties to be extremely loyal and intelligent. Neither variety will stop at anything to safeguard you or your family members. You should choose the type of dog that appeal to your specific sensibilities and seem to be right for the kind of lifestyle that you have.

What it is like to Own a Pitbull Husky Mix?

Pitbull refers to a bold and powerful dog having a bad reputation, while the Husky is known to be a working dog that pushes the envelope and displays bad attitude on occasions. A blend of the two is supposed to yield a powerful dog. The Pitbull Husky Mix is a hybrid that is also called Pitsky and its bloodline comprises of a variable and a constant.

How Does a Pitsky Look Like?

When grown fully, these dogs can be medium to large in size and stand around 20 – 24 inches in height. These can be up to 80 pounds heavy or 35 pounds light. The dogs can come in varied weight ranges, and still be regarded as healthy. These come with pale blue eyes similar to a Husky, and can also have a compact, powerful body. The heads are broad, the ears are generally erect and the coat is shiny and short. Pitskies are powerful dogs, and they can be intimidating for troublemakers. Although they are lovable, they can be fiercely protective of the ones that they love.

How do they behave?

The Pitsky is an even and mild-tempered dog without an aggressive attitude, although it has a liking for protectiveness. However, these dogs tend to suffer from separation anxiety. You can expect the dogs to display destructive or mischievous behaviors if they are left alone for a long time, as they can get bored or nervous. When you are not around, these pets can also howl and cause annoyance to your neighbors.

How Much Exercise Should Pitskies Have?

Pitskies are very active dogs with high energy levels. If you are not an energetic person yourself, your life will be very miserable with this hybrid around.

It is advised that you let your dog have physical activity for 2 hours every day. These dogs are loyal and the hybrids are always eager on jogs, hikes and other similar activities that are a part of your exercise regimen.

These hybrids like to chase things around, and your playtime includes having them fetch balls and other things that will mentally and physically stimulate them.

Can You Train Pitskies Easily?

These dogs are very bright and can easily pick up what is taught to them. They are loyal and have a tendency to please owners. You can train them to easily do the basics if you can train them in the right manner.

If you do not properly train them, or do not use positive methods for training in a confident, firm hand, your Pitsky can start leading on you. It can appoint itself as your boss. Keep in mind that it can adopt the mentality of Husky pack dogs, and it is important to socialize them early on. This will make them better-behaved around other dogs and pets and not try to claim their alpha dog status at any given opportunity.

What are the Health Risks of Having a Pitsky?

These hybrids can shed average to heavy hair, and you will need to vacuum them every day. Due to this high shedding, it can be a poor choice of pet if you are prone to allergies.