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Archive for October 2008

Weight can be factored into the defining of the age at which Fluffy is geriatric. If Fluffy is under twenty pounds and her age is between nine and thirteen years old, she’s geriatric, if she weighs between twenty-one to fifty pounds she’s geriatric at nine to eleven years, and she’s geriatric at seven to ten years if she weighs between fifty-one to ninety pounds. If Fluffy is a giant breed of dog, she’s geriatric at six to nine years old and is over ninety pounds.

Two general preventative measures you can take to care of Fluffy when she is geriatric includes detecting diseases in their early stages and considering her risk factors like the characteristics of her breed, her environment, her diet, genetics, and amount of exercise. Her risk factors can influence her health by making her more susceptible to certain ailments. The last few decades has seen an increased lifespan for pets because veterinary science has made great strides. Here’s what her vet can do to keep Fluffy healthy.

He can give her a full medical exam and make a complete medical history, do a complete blood count, biochemical profile, urinalysis, fecal exam, and heart worm test and give vaccinations. The common illnesses and disorders Fluffy may develop are obesity or weight loss, specific/special diet requirements, dental disease, arthritis, cancer, skin tumors, urinary problems, metabolism disease, prostrate disease in males (not neutered), endocrine disorders, cardiac disease, cognitive dysfunction, and behavioral problems. At home you can help Fluffy by brushing her teeth, grooming, feeding proper diet, controlling her weight, exercise her, and give her meds and let the vet know of any problems.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

Twenty-five to thirty percent of dogs develop joint disease. That is why it’s so important to take notice of any of the signs that could indicate that your dog is beginning to suffer from any inflammatory illness. Joint disease is more likely in larger dogs and some forms are congenital in pure breed pets. If you see any warning signs take your dog to the vet and work out a health regimen for him.

These are the types of arthritis that plague dogs.
Degenerative Joint Disease
Hip Dysplasia
Elbow Dysplasia
Knee (stifle joint)
Hypertrophic Arthritis
Shoulder Degeneration
Wrist Arthritis
Kneecap Dislocation

The choice to help your dog get relief from arthritis or to prevent it from developing is yours. As you can see there are several ways to keep your dogs joints healthy that you can utilize. Really it depends on how much time you have whether or not you would make your dog’s food yourself, give him supplements, or feed him commercial dog food made to help treat arthritis. And definitely your vet’s opinion on your dog’s diet is a consideration. Many vets do recommend supplements and arthritis food formulas for treatment of arthritis in dogs.

It is hard to watch your old friend limp and whimper when he or she walks. Pay attention to his movements and his behavior. Your dog will let you know when the joints are hurting, but only you can help them out and give them the relief they need. With the right medications your dog will not be as good as new, but they will feel less pain.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

You should avoid feeding your dog commercial dog food that contains corn because it’s hard to digest and causes lower nutrition and looser stools. Beef pulp has few nutrients and can make stools difficult for your dog to pass. Beware of preservatives as some are carcinogenic. Some companies don’t like using vitamin C and E as preservatives because the shelf life isn’t as long as with other preservatives and it costs more. Experts disagree as to what constitutes the best diet for your beloved canine friend. Some don’t trust by-products and definitely want to avoid all meal in their dog’s diet.

Even so, people who say that they need vegetables and fruits because they did eat a percentage of these in the wild agree they need meat. And it’s best to avoid dog foods that just say meat and don’t list any of the types of meat in the food. If you want the very best food for your dog and can afford it then what is called “real food” or “real food diets” could be the way to go. This food will normally be raw and is frozen or freeze dried. They are made to fulfill a canine’s nutritional needs most of the time made from natural or organic ingredients. The best sources of dog food are natural food stores, veterinary offices, and some feed stores carry high quality food. Remember your dog is what they eat, so make sure you are providing the nutrition, they can do it for themselves.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

Arthritis affects one in five dogs over the age of seven. And seven is the median age for when a dog is becoming an older dog. Of course, abnormal weight puts more pressure on your dog’s joints. This causes more pain and swelling. In this case it’s good to reduce the fat in your dog’s diet. If your dog has arthritis he shouldn’t eat foods with preservatives, wheat, soy, corn or food colorings. Most commercial dog foods have several grains in them and they increase inflammation, which irritates arthritis.

You can also give your dog a glucosamine and chondroitin table. It will help lubricate his cartilage. The normal dosage is a 500 mg tablet per ten pounds of body weight one time daily. MSM is an organic sulphur that studies have shown relieves arthritic pain, slows joint deterioration, and reduces inflammation. It hasn’t any negative side effects. Since dogs don’t usually get enough Omega 3’s in their diets, give your dog a supplement like fish oil tablets to get these fatty acids. It helps reduce swelling in joints.

There are some recommended commercial brands to help relieve arthritis in dogs. Hill’s (Rx/d) and Purina (JM Joint Mobility) are formulas made for this purpose. The most important joint supplements have been added to the dog food. If you decide to give your dog supplements instead, then go for the weight control formula because that will help his joints too.

These are some signs indicating that your dog is developing arthritis.
Doesn’t want to play, walk, run, climb stairs
Doesn’t want to be petted or touched
Falling behind when you walk him
Has a hard time getting up from a prone position

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

Don’t give your dog raw potatoes and the ones that have the green spots are worse. Nor should you give him rhubarb or tomato leaves or tomato stems. They contain oxalates that can harm the nervous, digestive, and urinary systems. All of these foods are poisonous to your beloved pet. So avoid feeding them to him or leaving where he may get them and eat them. There are foods that aren’t toxic that are bad for your animal.

You should avoid feeding him cat food or leaving cat food where he can get to it because it’s usually too high in proteins and fats for his digestive system to handle. Though not as likely that he would be attracted to them, coffee and tea are harmful to him in a fashion like chocolate. Fat trimmings and other fats can cause pancreatitis. Hops cause elevated temperature, faster heart rate, and death. Why is unknown. It isn’t likely he’ll ingest hops, but avoid the chance for him to ingest it. There are hops in beer and it is never wise to give your pet alcohol or any other recreational drug. The effects on them can be double or triple the affects on you.

Some adult dogs may not have enough enzyme lactase to handle dairy products. This causes diarrhea. You can get lactose-free milk products made for pets. Persimmons can cause enteritis and obstruction in his intestines and peach pits cause obstructions in the digestive tract. Raw eggs stop him from absorbing biotin because of an enzyme called avidin. This causes skin and coat problems.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.

As with oral health diseases that create toxins that are harmful to your dog-so also there are foods that are directly toxic to him. Chocolate is one of the foods that are toxic to your pet. Large amounts of chocolate cause’s coma and death. A smaller amount causes diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. How poisonous it is to your pet depends on how much your dog weighs the type of chocolate and the amount eaten. Chocolates that contain more theobromine are more toxic to him. Semisweet and bakers chocolate contain this compound. Dogs like chocolate a lot, but don’t let your pet eat this treat. It can adversely affect the heart and nervous system.

Another food that is toxic to your dog is onions and avoid feeding him baby food because some contain onions. The disulfides sulfides and can harm red blood cells. This causes anemia. Garlic causes the same problem. It doesn’t matter if they’re cooked; powdered or fresh they are bad for your dog. Mushrooms can cause shock and death. All are bad for him but some are more poisonous than others. The ones that grow in your backyard can hurt him and you should pull them up and throw them away.

Nutmeg can be hallucinogenic in large enough quantities. It isn’t good for your dog to go through the trash because moldy food contains toxins and can make him ill causing vomiting and diarrhea and can affect other organs. Macadamia nuts are bad for dogs because they cause gastrointestinal problems, lethargy, stiffness, vomiting, and muscle tremors. Citrus oil extracts can make him sick causing vomiting.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

What are some of the diseases that can afflict your pet’s mouth? First, there is periodontitis, which is the term for the overall diseased condition of your dog’s mouth. It affects the gum, bone and delicate tissue. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. Pyorrhea is an inflammation of the gums and tooth sockets. It can cause the teeth to loosen and pus to form. There can also be a decalcification of the tooth enamel called caries. It cause cavities, but this condition is rare for dogs.

Plaque can cause caries and calculi buildup and periodontal disease. Plaque is caused by material adhering to the enamel of teeth. The makeup of plaque is bacteria, salivary polymers, particles of epithelial cells and white blood cells. Tartar or calculus is deposits of calcium carbonate, and calcium phosphate that combines with food on the surface of the teeth.

One suggestion for keeping your dog’s mouth healthy is feeding him with a well-balanced meat based diet. That keeps the environment of the mouth healthy. Getting your dog to chew treats is another good habit that can assist in keeping the mouth structures healthy. This will exercise his teeth as he chews a hard rubber, nylon or compressed rawhide chew. Brushing your dog’s teeth every day helps, but less brushing doesn’t. You must brush them enough to keep clinically healthy gingival maintained.

Evidence shows that soft diets promote periodontal disease. Harder foods that require more chewing helps prevent the disease. To help maintain your pet’s oral health use these suggestions and ask your vet what else will help.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

The oral health of your dog is more important than you may know. About eight percent of dogs over three years old suffer from periodontal disease. Their gums and bones that support their teeth are deteriorating. This is serious business. But good dental health can afford your dog two to five more years of life. This disease can cause other very serious diseases. This is because the bacteria from this oral disease can get into your pet’s blood stream, when that happens it can cause infection or damage to your dog’s kidneys, liver, heart or lungs.

Many dog owners don’t inspect their dog’s mouth, teeth and gums. Then when they take them to the vet for another reason they find out that their pet has loose teeth, sore and infected gums and rotting tooth sockets. That’s when the owner may reply that they noticed that their pet has bad breath. The bad condition of the animal’s mouth and gums creates toxins. Bad breath is a sign of these oral health problems.

The moisture and warmth of your dog’s mouth along with nutrients make a great breeding ground for the bacteria. The bacteria starts out as normal and natural, but after plaque and is present the bacteria grows at an alarming rate and it’s out of control and has become dangerous to your pet’s health. That’s because the normal microbial flora is out of balance and pathogenic organisms have the chance to proliferate. The flora needs to be in balance to ensure good oral health.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

There has been considerable debate as to the best food for dogs. People used to think that too much protein could cause kidney problems, but that has been proven wrong. Another point, commercial dog food manufacturers have improved their formulas over the years. The meat-based diets are better than in yesteryears. A meat-based diet according to some vets is the best if your dog is in normal health. Here is the key to picking a good commercial dog food for a healthy dog.

Its protein content should be 30% or higher, fat at lest 15%, vitamin E and C should be the preservatives, and it should have some Omega fatty acids. Dogs can synthesize twelve alpha amino acids of the twenty-two that mammals need. They need to get the other ten in their diet and they are essential. They have short and basically simple gastrointestinal tracts and can’t rely on microbe amino acid synthesis like herbivores, which have long gastrointestinal tracts and can produce amino acids via billions of microorganisms residing in their tracts.

They can use fats from plant and animal sources. Dogs can synthesize linoleic acid from lenolenic. Dogs use carbohydrates to fuel muscular and metabolic activities, though they can live well with fewer carbs and use more fat and protein. Good sources of protein for them are beef, chicken, fish, lamb, and meat by-products. Don’t get upset by by-products. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials the by-products don’t contain hair, hide, hooves, or feathers. It refers to organ meats meaning liver, kidney, stomach, heart, blood, spleen-all of which dogs ate in the wild.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog lover. She has written several dog books. You can find her books and senior dog products that promote healthier, happier dogs in their golden years by visiting

When you bring that new Jack Russell home allow him to mouth, chew, and yes even destroy his toys. That is the reason dog toys were created. If you don’t like spending money on them you should have considered that factor before getting a dog. If you are still worried about the expense, buy cheaper toys. He will kill these toys that are why it’s fun. Allow him to mouth cold, wet, or frozen towels especially in the teething stages. Allow him to mouth his canine playmates. Remember that mouthing is okay, biting is different. Mouthing should not hurt the other animal, should not draw blood, and should not be done by your dog in a way in which he appears angry or snarling.

When he mouths things that are unacceptable there are different methods you can try such as spraying bitter apple or dishwashing soap mixed with water onto the objects he is chewing (and also on your arms and hands, if he is mouthing you). He’s not stupid, if it tastes bad and he learns that it consistently tastes bad, soon he’ll have no desire to have it in his mouth. Provide a substitute activity such as handing him a chew toy that he may mouth and then playing with him. Playtime should be used as a reward for mouthing and chewing the appropriate items.

If your dog communicates with you by growling in your presence you may need to work on building up trust with the animal. Teach him by showing that nothing bad happens when you gently roll him on his back. As a matter of fact, when he rolls on his back, give him little pieces of dried liver treats or small dog biscuits. Act happy and pleasant when he behaves appropriately with you. When he growls scrunch up your face and snarl. Dogs read our bodies much better than they understand our words.

Kellie Rainwater loves her Jack Russell Terrier, Trixie, so much that she co-authored the book, “The Jack Russell Terrier: Canine Companion or Demon Dog.” You can find this book and other Jack Russell toys, jewelry, and merchandise that is branded with the face of this tenacious canine at