Three Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy This Winter

Pawl B More 3_Three Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy This Winter
By Veterinarian, Charmaine Tham

Protect your pooch from Winter’s harsh chills with a boost of health and loads of tender loving care. Here are some of my top tips for how to improve your dog’s health during the cooler months.

1. Vitamin Boost & Joint Support

For most pets a balanced commercial diet rich in essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins as well as exercise is all they need to keep them healthy. However, the optimal balance can be hard to maintain especially if lots of treats, alternative diets (such as raw diets) or home-prepared meals are given. Through supplementing them with key vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants and amino acids, you can help make sure that they not only receive all the vitamins they need to prevent a problem, but benefit from having optimal levels in their bodies. A multi-vitamin can be given year round to help support their general health and well being.

During winter, being cold can put extra stress on their bodies and the same goes for our pets. This is especially so for joints and many dogs experience more pain and soreness from arthritis from the cold weather. Supplementing them with glucosamine, chondroitin and New Zealand green-lipped mussel can help reduce the inflammation and help them feel better.

2. Healthy Tummies

We eat soups and hearty foods in winter, so it makes sense to boost your dog’s nutrition in the colder months too.

Avoid getting sucked into buying dog foods that just have ‘tasty bits’, and opt for real food, and preferably not ones that have been sitting on the shelf for too long. It’s good to check the use by date to determine how fresh the feed is.

If you want, you could also add some natural superfoods to their everyday diet in small amounts. Try a teaspoon of flaxseed, a squirt of coconut oil or sprinkle of chia seeds to your dog’s meals for a nutrient-dense snack. Small amounts of broccoli, kale, blueberries, goji berries, sweet potato and raw pumpkin seeds are among a few other superfoods that can also be given. They are full of vitamins and antioxidants that can help support your pet’s health. You can also find these ingredients in a convenient chew form as well, which can be offered as a healthy treat instead of ‘junk food’ treats.

For upset stomachs, boosting their good gut bacteria might be helpful, such as a multi-strain probiotic powder containing fermented natural fibres from superfoods.

3. Love Their Fur & EarsPawl at desk

Winter’s chill may leave your dog’s nose, skin and coat going from wet to dry, and cracked. Feed them a multivitamin that contains biotin and silica to help support their skin and coat.

Dry skin and coat can lead to itchy, flaky skin, calluses and cracked paw pads, which aren’t fun for anyone. A hydrating balm rich in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids and natural oils will help your pup’s skin deal better with the temperature drop.

Don’t forget their ears, either! Keep cleaning them well to remove excess wax, even if the weather is cold and they don’t seem to have any current problems. Keep their ears clean and dry, and help reduce the chance of infections with a gentle ear wash which contains no alcohol, harsh chemicals or acids which can be found in many other ear cleaners.

 

For more questions on pet health and wellness Ask Pawl – Australia’s first pet health expert “spokesdog” for PAW by Blackmores.

Dr. Charmaine Tham has been the PAW vet since June 2014. She graduated from Melbourne University Vet School back in 2004, practised as a vet in general and emergency practice for 4 years. She then joined a pharmaceutical company for a further 6 years before joining Blackmores as the technical veterinarian for PAW by Blackmores. She is also Chair of not-for-profit organisation Vets Beyond Borders, and is actively engaged with the veterinary community through volunteering and further studies. She also has postgraduate qualifications in veterinary pharmacology and business administration. She has a 3-year-old rescue dog at home and loves to go diving in her spare time.

About Paw by Blackmores

Pure Animal Wellbeing (PAW), is the natural pet healthcare range from Blackmores Animal Health division. The PAW by Blackmores range includes innovative, vet-recommended supplements and products to benefit pet health, including clinically proven products for joint, digestive, ear, wound and skin care and a grooming range free of nasty sulphates and chemicals. Developed by vets and inspired by nature for products specifically designed to keep your pets healthy and happy so they can enjoy the best of life.

How to teach your puppy bite inhibition

 One of the single most important lessons your dog will learn as a puppy is to develop bite inhibition and a “soft mouth”- that is, the ability to softly bite.

c1An important lesson that all domestic dogs must learn is to inhibit the force of their biting towards all animals – especially towards other dogs as well as people. Dogs develop teeth and jaws in their adult years that can hurt and harm.

Bite inhibition doesn’t mean stopping your puppy from biting altogether, instead it means learning to inhibit the force of their biting. The more that your puppy bites and receives appropriate feedback, the safer their jaws will become.

Dogs also explore with their mouths and so mouthing and biting will always be a wc2ay they learn and interact with one another.

For puppies who do not grow up with the benefit of regular interaction with other dogs, it is the responsibility of their owner to teach them bite inhibition.
How to inhibit the force of bites  

Step 1: Teach  your pup that their bites during play can hurt; a simple “Ouch!” is usually sufficient. When your puppy backs off, take a bit of a break from play to recover and when your puppy has calmed back down you can resume play.

Step 2: If your puppy doesn’t respond to the yelp by either easing off or backing off, leave the room and shut the door behind you. Allow your puppy a couple of minutes at time-out and they will learn to associate their biting with the departure of their human playmate. Then, return to your puppy and make up- it’s important to remind them that you still love them, but their bites are not favourable.

Step 3: To help eliminate bite pressure entirely, even though the bites may not actually hurt anymore, wait until a play-bite (that is, a bite slightly harder than the others) and respond with an “ouch!” as if it really hurt. Your puppy will soon learn that they will need to be careful and gentle when playing with people.

This article was originally posted on The Lost Dogs’ Home website.

Beware of the Greyhound!

Beware of the greyhound!

If you knew what they were really like, you may just want to adopt one.

GAPNSW

Here are five reasons why greyhounds will steal your heart:

1. A loyal addition to the family

Greyhounds are very gentle, highly affectionate dogs that prefer to lounge around the house (sleeping up to 20 hours a day), making them the perfect urban pet. Greyhounds rarely bark and are more likely to retreat from boisterous children rather than snapping or growling at them.

2. Healthy Breed

They are renowned for their superior health, particularly amongst large breed dogs. Unlike any other breed, greyhounds have been selectively bred for performance not appearance. Serious health problems associated with large dogs such as hip dysplasia are almost unheard of amongst greyhounds. Greyhounds live an average 12 to 14 years.

3. Cheap to feed

Greyhounds are small eaters – A simple diet of pet mince and kibble with the occasional serve of veggies will keep them well fed for as low as $10/week.

4. The perfect pet for small apartments

They don’t need vast amounts of space, in fact they thrive in smaller urban spaces where they prefer to roll up into a ball and sleep the day away. Despite the common perception that greyhounds are full of energy and therefore need lots of exercise, greyhounds actually expel energy in short bursts. A 15-20 minute daily walk will keep them happy.

5. Low upkeep for busy people

Greyhounds are very low maintenance. They have short coats with very little oil in their skin, which means they have minimal shedding and don’t have the trademark ‘dog smell’. For this reason a bath 2-3 times a year is more than enough to keep your pooch clean.

Want to adopt?

If this sounds like the type of pet you’re looking for, visit Greyhounds As Pets. This is a not for profit organisation that re-homes retired greyhounds via a 6 step program that matches you with a greyhound ideally suited to your needs.

Dogs accepted into Greyhounds As Pets are vet checked and behaviourally assessed for suitability as a pet. They are then settled into pet life through a 6 week foster care program, where they learn house manners including toilet training.

If you’re a bit of a commit-a-phobe, Greyhounds As Pets (NSW) provide a 2 week home fostering program, so you get to experience all the joys of owning a greyhound, with 14 days to decide whether your greyhound is the right fit.

Kev’s note: This is a sponsored post was provided to That Dog Dancing Guy by Greyhounds As Pets, a greyhound adoption organisation based in NSW, Australia as part of their ‘Beware of the Greyhound’ campaign. These dogs are absolutely gorgeous and make fantastic pets!