Blu the German Shepherd, Siberian Husky Mix

I recently got my new puppy and thought I’d share some photos of her. Blu is currently a 4 month old Gerberian Shepsky puppy. She is the most mischievous pup you’d ever meet and jumps over the baby gates to see her favorite person in the morning. If you can build a wall or block off a doorway, she will find at way to get through, over, or under it. Blu enjoys digging holes, especially in the garden (bonus points if it’s not hers). Beyond this, she enjoys keeping cool anyway she can, unless that means a bath. The kiddie pool is the only body of water she’ll play in, that and her water bowl. Blu also enjoys giving hugs, sleeping upside down, and annoying her older brother, Bailey. Blu was brought home to Massachusetts from Pennsylvania and has since convinced everyone she’s met that she’s a kangaroo, coyote or a baby land shark. The jury is still out, but Blu is a loved pup (or other baby animal) nonetheless. I hope you and your family are well and appreciate this service you provide to all dog lovers πŸ™‚ Submitted by Sadie T.

Blu at 11 weeks…

Blu just a few days ago at four months (with a new leash because she chewed the last one in half)…

 

Do Dogs’ Legs Fall Asleep?

After spending a lot of time sleeping or just lying down, your furry buddy starts to stand up, but suddenly goes limp for a few steps and sometimes dragging his hind legs. After a few minutes of limping, you see him shake his legs out and run as if nothing happened.

Then you ask yourself, do dogs’ legs fall asleep?

The answer?

Yes!

Just like humans, a dog’s legs can also fall asleep.

A dog’s leg can fall asleep when he lies in the same position for a long period, restricting blood flow to some parts of his body. This lack of blood causes his limbs to “fall asleep.”

But you don’t need to go into a panic and call his vet. It was just his bad sleeping position and a temporary biological mishap.

Can Dog Legs Cramp Up?

Yes. Dogs can also experience leg cramps.

Sometimes, instead of his legs falling asleep, your pup will feel something like the sharp piercing pins and needles on his legs and yelp in pain.

Leg cramps are caused by their muscles spasming, causing the painful sensation known as paresthesia (feelings of piercing needles and pins), which prevents him from using his leg until the spasm stops.

However, leg cramps in dogs don’t just happen because of bad sleeping positions. There can be several factors, from overdoing it at the park to certain medical conditions that he could have.

Dog Muscle Cramps: Common causes

Too much exercise

If your pup has been running and getting more exercise than usual, then muscle fatigue and overexertion can be causing the spasms. Also, an actual muscle injury or tear can be the cause.

Lack of Fluids

Another common cause of muscle spasms is dehydration. When the muscles do not receive enough water, they can’t contract properly. Thus, you should always provide your pup with fresh water, especially if your dog is quite active.

Seizures

Although muscle spasms and epileptic seizures are different, seizures may cause muscle spasms.

Epilepsy can cause recurrent seizures in your pup, and spasms may occur as a result of this repetitive behavior.

Canine Stress Syndrome

Canine Stress Syndrome is a neurological disorder that specific breeds are prone to, such as the Labrador Retriever. This hereditary condition can only show symptoms as a result of psychological stress. Symptoms of CSS include involuntary muscle spasms, hyperthermia, anxiety, and severe seizures.

Dog Limping: Common Causes

Like humans, your dog can develop illnesses or get injuries that lead to limping. Limping or lameness means that your pup is walking abnormally on one or more limbs. In some cases, your dog can put weight on all legs, but there’s either obvious or subtle abnormal gait or limp.

Sometimes your pup will hold up the affected limp and won’t put weight on it at all. The dog may even drag high limbs around. Lameness or limping can be constant or intermittent, depending on the situation.

Here are some causes of dog limping:

— Sore paws caused by broken nails, cuts or foreign object stuck between toes
— Joint problems such as hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis
— Injuries caused by car accidents or falls
— Broken bones or dislocated joints
— Deeper infections such as abscesses
— Swelling caused by insect bites or even snake bites

How to help your dog at home:

— If there’s a foreign object in between his toes such as a plant thorn, remove it and clean the wound with an anti-bacterial soap. You can soak the foot in lukewarm water with salt to relieve the swelling. Then apply antibiotic ointment.

— For broken nails or cuts on foot pads, clean the injury and control the bleeding by wrapping it up for at least 15 minutes. Sterilize it with betadine.

— If your dog has swelling caused by bruise, sprain, or tendonitis, you can apply ice packs to the area for at least 15 minutes, two times a day.

— For infections such as abscesses, apply a warm compress to the area or soak it in warm salt baths. However, when the abscess ruptures, take your dog immediately to the vet to clean the wound and apply antibiotics.

— Confine your dog and restrict his activity.

— Medical advancements have improved the care for lame dogs. While NSAIDs are the traditional treatment to relieve inflammation and pain for acute injuries and for joint problems such as osteoarthritis, CBD oil for dogs is now a popular way to improve joint health and provide safer pain control.

When is it time to go to the vet?

Limping is pretty common and not usually an emergency. In most cases, limping should be seen by the vet at some point, but not necessarily immediately. Some situations in which you need to bring your pup to the nearest vet right away include:

— Extreme pain (vocalizing, trembling, showing signs of aggression or fear)
— Sudden unwillingness or inability to move or get up
— Obvious fracture or broken bones
— Excessive swelling of the limb
— Fever
— Bleeding profusely
— Dragging of one or more limbs that appear to be disabled
— Severe vomiting or lethargy

If you notice anything else that makes you worry, you should contact your vet for advice. It is always better to exercise caution when it comes to your furry baby’s health.

What Are the Different Types of Dog Aggression?

If you’re a dog owner, your dog biting someone could be one of your worst fears. That includes your dog biting someone in your own home or biting someone when you’re out for a walk or in public.

If your dog bites someone, you may be legally liable and it can be traumatic for everyone involved.

If you’re a dog owner, and you believe your dog displays aggressive behavior, it’s important to understand what’s causing it. You can then try to remedy the problem, although you might need professional help to do so.

The foundation for remedying a dog’s aggression is understanding the type of aggressive behavior they display. The following are some of the types of aggression that dogs can exhibit.

Fear Aggression

With dogs, fear aggression is usually the most common type.

When a dog has fear aggression, they will usually behave in a certain way because they’re trying to stay on offense rather than defense. They will become offensive to whatever is triggering them, and that is done to give themselves distance from what they perceive as the threat.

A dog may display fear aggression toward other dogs or people, but also inanimate objects such as vacuum cleaners.

Fear aggression may occur along with avoidance, as the dog tries to escape from the trigger.

Sometimes when a dog has fear aggression, just getting more exercise may help with the issue. When dogs get enough exercise, it gets rid of their extra energy and helps them have a healthy mindset, much as is the case with humans.

Dogs may become aggressive if they feel they’re trapped or cornered. Something that can also trigger fear aggression is physical punishment. A dog might at first cower, and then attack if they think someone threatening is reaching for them.

Characteristics of fear aggression can include fast bites or nips.

Territorial Aggression

Territorial aggression is directed toward humans when a dog feels they are in their territory. A dog with territory aggression may seem fine outside of the zone they see as their territory.

This kind of aggression can be significant, and it usually happens either in their owner’s home or the property surrounding the home.

Protective Aggression

If a dog feels that someone in their family is hurt or is in danger, then protective aggression can occur.

A dog sees this as protecting one of their own. It can include not only protecting their human family but also other animals.

In a dog with no previous history of aggression, protective aggression can occur when she has puppies.

Another example can occur if you bring a human baby home. Your dog may want to protect the new baby aggressively.

Much like territorial behavior, with protective aggression, it usually appears as dogs turn anywhere from one to three years old.

Protective aggression is different from possessive aggression. Possessive aggression means that the dog becomes aggressive in an attempt to protect what they see as their possessions.

For example, signs of this aggression may occur when another animal gets near your dog’s food bowl.

Social Aggression

A dog who believes himself to have a higher status than other pets in the home, for example, might show social aggression. If a dog feels like another pet has done something that crosses the boundary they may react with aggression.

For example, if you have two dogs, one who feels it’s higher in status may behave aggressively when the other dog takes its food away or when you pay attention to the other dog.

It’s more common for male dogs to display social aggression than female dogs. It’s also more common in purebreds.

Frustration Aggression

Finally, if a dog wants to get something that it finds exciting or appealing, and it’s held back, it may exhibit signs of frustration aggression. Children often behave in the same way when they get frustrated — they lash out.

A dog who is held back from approaching what it wants may turn aggressive toward whatever it views as holding it back, or whoever.

Sometimes when dogs display frustration aggression, they might start to link any sense of restraint with frustration. That can lead to any situation involving restraint to then mean aggressive behaviors from the dog.

Knowing the type of aggression your dog displays isn’t going to cure the problem, but it gives you a starting point. You can start learning the triggers of your dog’s aggressive behavior so you can work toward solutions.

Can an Emotional Support Dog Help with Loneliness?

Imagine coming home to an empty house, no noises in the home, the house is intact with no sign of life, and compare that scenario with coming home to meet an enthusiastic dog by the door, greeting you with adoration, making welcoming sounds and movements across the house. It almost feels like you are not alone in the house, you’ve got company, and yes, the dog can help you with alleviating loneliness.

What is Loneliness?

Loneliness is the feeling of being socially isolated from others and away from everyone else. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) survey, one in every five Americans has admitted to being lonely at some point in their life. Loneliness may lead to mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

In most cases, some groups of people are more prone to loneliness than others. For instance, older adults, whose children have left for college and they are left with an empty nest wondering what they will do next with their lives. That is a time of loneliness for older adults. People who live alone are also prone to loneliness. Apart from that, people who have strained relationships; they may experience loneliness as well. All of these people are vulnerable to mental health issues.

Impact of the Emotional Support Dog

In most of the cases, loneliness comes as a symptom of anxiety, depression, and stress. Having an emotional support dog helps individuals going through these negative states to ease the pain and get back to a normal healthy life. At the same time, loneliness is cured as a symptom when the real cause of the symptom is relieved.

If you have been going through episodes of loneliness, or any other mental health problem, such as depression and anxiety, you could be eligible for an emotional support dog. Having an emotional support dog is different from having a dog as a pet; there are rules and documentation that come along with emotional support animals.

First of all, you need to talk to your therapist or a licensed health practitioner that helps with your mental health. The therapist will analyze your mental health and determine whether an emotional support dog will be good for your healing process, and then will offer you with an Emotional Support Animal Letter. With the ESA Letter, you can apply to live with your dog anywhere, even in places where they do not allow pets.

How Dogs Help with Alleviating Loneliness

A dog is different from any other animal. From the way dogs offer their companionship, to the way they show their loyalty to humans. For hundreds of years, dogs have been human’s best friends in that they can offer company. They are very good at reading human emotions. One of the ways through which dogs help alleviate loneliness is by attracting attention from different people. Every time you walk your dog outside, people begin looking at you, greeting and having conversations, and before you realize it you have jogged with the dog, laughed at funny things that dogs do, and by the end of the day, you have interacted with strangers because of the dog.

So dogs are very social animals. They attract socialization and hence remove loneliness. In addition, a dog requires a sense of obligation and responsibility. You need to feed and walk the dog; you need to be a parent to the dog, make sure that the dog is healthy by consulting a vet now and then. Having a dog requires an obligation that helps shift your attention from yourself to the dog, hence alleviating loneliness. A dog also offers a companion. He will follow you everywhere. You will notice that you are not alone. He will engage you in a way that you must react and will connect with you emotionally, and by the end of the day, your loneliness will be gone.

Calculating Required Calories for Pets, Based on Science by OSU

The Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University provides more than 18,500 pets with health and medical care each year. Research and hands-on experience has led the center to develop lots of nutritional information and guidance for pet owners.

Based on research by the OSU vet center, a ​calculator​ was created to help dog owners learn how much dry dog food to feed their dog. The age, activity level and body condition of the pet is input and analyzed against a wide range of dog food food brands.

Using the tool, pet owners are shown the resting energy requirements of their pet. The amount of recommended cups per day are revealed depending on brand and other factors. The database contains detailed information of 3,000+ common dog food products, so it’s easy to find a particular brand.

Live pricing for each brand is analyzed across the web showing daily, monthly and yearly costs of food.

Using the tool

Say you have a 50lb dog named Fido. The first thing you will enter into the dog food calculator is the weight of your dog. The corresponding kilograms are shown for users in various countries.

Next, dog owners will be able to input the name of their pup. They will choose whether the dog is a young puppy, between 1 and 4 months, or an adult.

Next is a list of questions to help the application further analyze the requirements of a particular dog.

— Whether or not the dog has been neutered

— The activity level or presence of obesity

— The effort being put towards losing or gaining weight

— Whether or not the dog is an active working dog

Selecting the type of dry dog food is one of the last steps requiring inputs from the user. There have been over 3,000 popular dry dog food products added to the database to ensure that users find the brands.

Knowing the brand and particular product being used by the dog owner, the calculator is able to compute the recommended amount of cups to feed per day.

For example if you used “Kibbles ‘n Bits Meaty Middles Prime Rib Flavor Dry Dog Food” and you chose the 15lb bag size, you would learn many things:

— You can currently buy that bag online at Chewy.com for $9.99

— Fido would require 3 cups per day of this brand

— An average cup of dry dog food contains 389 calories

— Fido’s daily recommended calorie intake is 1,164

— According to the current price on Chewy.com, a daily amount of this dog food would cost you $0.42, totaling $12.65 per month or $153.85 per year.

Weight is the biggest factor when determining the amount of required calories for your dog. Of course the activity level, age and whether the dog is neutered play important roles in determining recommended caloric intake.

A breakdown of all factors impacting dog calorie needs is shown with the formulas behind each consideration. Weight loss, weight gain, intact or neutered, active working dogs and various ages are all examined.

Knowing the amount of protein a dog requires is important for most dogs. Adult dogs need at least 1 gram per pound of weight but both younger and older dogs can have higher requirements depending on their particular health situation.

Many active working dogs require many more calories than the typical stay-at-home pet. Active working dogs can include police dogs, service, dogs, herding dogs, therapy dogs, sled dogs, guide dogs, and many other dogs that assist humans every day throughout the world.

Average dog weights by breed

An extensive chart of average dog weights by breed is listed with the calculator to give people an idea of average weight range for males and females of various dog breeds. Visit the website at the link above to see the full list of breeds.