#Dog Vitals – Normal Heart Rate, Body Temperature, & Respiration

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What is a dog’s normal resting heart rate? What should a dog’s body temperature be? Is your dog breathing too fast? These are questions you may be wondering about if your dog is feeling under the weather and your need a frame of reference or if you notice that your dog’s pulse, temperature, or respiration aren’t what you think they should be. A dog’s regular vitals are different from a human’s, so while your normal temperature might be 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog’s might be completely different. Here are a few normal stats that you should expect to see in healthy dogs.

Normal Heart Rate For Dogs

Healthy Dog

The normal pulse rate for dogs can vary depending on the dog’s age and size. The resting heart rates of small dogs and puppies are faster than the heart rates of large or adult dogs. Puppies can have resting pulse rates of 160 to 200 beats per minutes when they are born, which can go as high as 220 beats per minute at two weeks of age. Up to 180 beats per minute may be normal until a year of age. Large adult dogs can have a resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute, while small adult dogs can have a normal heart rate of 100 to 140 beats per minute.

Heart rate can increase with normal exercise or emotional responses like excitement or stress. This is not often a cause for concern unless it results in health complications or worsens an existing condition. When there are changes in the resting heart rate when a dog is relaxed, it could be a problem. It could be a sign of many serious heart or blood conditions, or it could be a sign that your dog is out of shape and at risk for health issues. If your dog’s resting heart rate is outside of the usual range, it is a good idea to see a veterinarian.

To measure your dog’s heart rate, you’ll need a stopwatch or clock that can show you a count in seconds. You can feel your dog’s heart beat with your hand on your dog’s left side behind the front leg or you can check the inside of the top of your dog’s hind leg. Count the beats you feel for 15 seconds and multiply the result by four to get the beats per minute. You should take the measurement multiple times, as it can vary a bit. You should also do this when your dog is healthy and at rest to establish a normal baseline so you can tell if something is wrong.

Normal Body Temperature For Dogs

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Like humans, the temperature of a dog’s body can vary a bit while still being completely healthy. The usual temperature of a healthy, normal dog is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which averages out to about 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies have a bit cooler normal body temperature between 94 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit until they are about a month old.

There are many health issues or environmental factors that can cause a dog’s body temperature to vary outside of the normal range. When a dog’s body temperature goes above 103 or below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it is cause for concern. If your dog’s temperature is that far out of the normal range, it is time for a vet visit. Fevers can be symptoms of a variety of conditions that range from mild to life threatening, and overheating can easily occur if a dog is exposed to a hot environment for too long without the chance to cool down. A low body temperature can also be a sign of serious complications or can be the result of hypothermia from exposure to extreme cold.

You can measure your dog’s temperature with a thermometer. Depending on the type of thermometer, you will need to measure rectally or by ear. Rectal thermometers should be used with medical lubricant to avoid injury or discomfort. A traditional glass thermometer should be inserted one to two inches into the rectum for two minutes for an accurate reading. Digital thermometers are easier to use, especially if they are able to read temperature in the ears.

Normal Respiration Rate For Dogs

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The normal rate of breathing for dogs at rest can vary a lot. On average, a dog will take 24 breaths per minute, but it can be as low as 10 breaths per minute or as high as 35 breaths per minute and still be considered normal. This is for resting respiration rate only. Any physical activity or change in emotional state can result in increased breathing rate and still be a healthy response.

There are many conditions that can change the resting respiration rate for dogs. Anemia, heart failure, lung disease, or any other respiratory disorder can cause high breathing rate, as can simply being out of shape and overweight. Shock, poisoning, physical injury, and many other health problems can cause slower or shallower breathing. You should see a veterinarian if you notice a change in your dog’s resting breathing rate. If your dog is panting, breathing very quickly, and has glassy eyes, it can be a sign of overheating, and you should get to the veterinarian immediately.

To measure your dog’s breathing rate, use a stop watch or clock that shows a count in seconds. Count the number of times your dog’s chest rises in 15 seconds and multiply by four to get the breaths per minute. Do this multiple times to get an accurate reading and check while your dog is healthy and at rest to establish a baseline that you can use to measure against later. read more…

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Glucosamine For Dogs?

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Glucosamine is a compound that is produced naturally in dogs’ bodies and is mostly found in healthy cartilage. It can also be given to dogs in the form of supplements, or it can be present in the food that dogs eat. Generally, it is used to treat arthritis in dogs, though it can be used to treat other painful joint and bone conditions, as well. If you are considering supplementing your dog’s glucosamine intake, there are several things you should consider, including the delivery method of the glucosamine, the dosage, and the possible side effects. Here is what you should know about glucosamine for dogs.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural compound that is made up of the amino acid glutamine and sugar, called glucose. It is produced by dogs’ bodies and aids in the formation of molecules that make up cartilage in the joints. The compound is necessary for repairing the wear and tear that happens to the joints over time. When the body ages, it produces less glucosamine, which can lead to joint problems like arthritis. Supplementing glucosamine for dogs can help maintain the body’s ability to repair joints.

There are three major types of glucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate is the most commonly used in supplements. It is extracted from shellfish shells or produced synthetically and contains sulfur, which helps in cartilage repair. Glucosamine hydrochloride also comes from shells, but doesn’t have sulfur and has been shown to be less effective. N-acetyl-glucosamine is the the third type and is derived from glucose, which helps in the production of the synovial fluid that lubricates joints.

What Does Glucosamine Do?

Supplemental glucosamine can be used to provide relief from a number of health concerns in dogs. In addition to aiding in the repair of cartilage, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to further reduce the pain caused by the degradation of cartilage in the joints.

Glucosamine can be used to treat conditions in dogs such as hip dysplasia and spinal disc injury in addition to arthritis. It can also be used to aid in recovery after joint surgery and slow the aging process in joints. N-acetyl-glucosamine in particular can be used to improve and maintain gut health. It does so by aiding in the creation of connective tissues in the gastrointestinal system. This form of glucosamine can reduce inflammation in the digestive system and improve the symptoms of irritable bowel disease.

How Should You Give Your Dog Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is available for dogs in the form of supplements that can be tablets, pills, powders, or liquids. These are usually meant to be given daily. They can be expensive and are sometimes made synthetically, rather than naturally extracted from shellfish shells. Synthetic supplements can sometimes lose their effectiveness more quickly than natural sources. If you decide to give your dog supplements, you should ask your veterinarian about proper dosage. Some dog foods claim to be a source of glucosamine, but the amount they contain is often far less than what your dog needs to maintain joint health.

Glucosamine supplements are often given to dogs along with chondroitin sulfate, which is extracted from the cartilage of cows or sharks, or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Chondroitin helps cartilage retain water, and MSM improves joint flexibility and reduces pain and inflammation.

Another way to give glucosamine to your dog is through the food they eat. Foods that are high in cartilage often contain high levels of glucosamine. Trachea, chicken feet, ox or pig tails, beef knuckle bones, bones that have a lot of cartilage, shellfish shells, green lipped mussel, and bone broth are all great sources of glucosamine. You should ask your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog.

Are There Side Effects?

Some side effects have been seen in dogs that take glucosamine supplements. These are generally uncommon and mild, though if you see symptoms that are concerning, contact your veterinarian right away. Here are a few common side effects of glucosamine.

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive thirst or urination

read more…

A #dog can make a family feel complete

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Spending More Time with Your Dog as a Busy Mom

It’s easy to say that your dog is your best friend, but have you ever stopped and wondered whether you’re being the best friend to your dog? With your to-do list all filled up every day, you might forget to set aside at least a few minutes for your furry companion. Remember that your dog relies on you to train its body and mind, so it’s only fair to spend some bonding time with your best pal despite being a full-time mom. Dogs require mental and physical stimulation. If all they do is wander around the house waiting patiently for you to take them out, and then they might suffer from boredom and surplus energy. This might very well explain why your dog tends to chew and bark relentlessly. Thankfully, some simple things can help your dog have a wonderful time at home even if you’re the busiest mom out there.

Use a wireless dog fence

As the name implies, you don’t have to deal with any wires when using this pet containment system, making the installation process a breeze. This virtual fence works by using a transmitter which sends a radio signal to an electric dog collar. When your dog goes beyond the designated radius, it will receive a warning in the form of stimuli. Depending on the manufacturer of the invisible dog fence, the stimuli to be used varies.

Why switch to a virtual fence when your physical fence does the job just fine? One benefit is that it gives your dog more space to roam and play around. You have probably seen your dog trying to make its way out of the fence by digging under, jumping over, or chewing through the fence. With a wireless dog fence, you and your dog can move around more freely without worrying that it might leave your property. Just remember to train your dog so that it understands the warning signals sent by the electric dog collar.

Make it work for food

When your baby is crying, the household chores are piling up, and the deadline is sending shivers down your spine, it’s tempting just to grab some dog food and let your dog eat so you can get back to work. However, studies show that animals prefer working for food. One simple trick is to let your dog do some tricks before putting down the bowl.

You can also use a dispensing machine to allow your dog to work its mind a bit before getting its reward. Scattering these toys around the house encourages your pet to hunt for food, which is a good way of simulating the outside environment.

Change routes regularly

It gets boring when you drive along the same route every day. Your dog feels the same way when it walks the same streets. A change of scenery can go a long way in keeping your dog engaged. With new surroundings to please its eyes and stimulate its mind, your dog will surely be grateful for this simple change. read more…

Why We Love Walking Our Dog

It’s good exercise, sure, but the main motivation for grabbing that leash and heading outdoors has to do with your emotions.

Owning a dog and going on regular dog walks both have proven health benefits. But a new study suggests that no matter how many times you hear that pounding the pavement with your pup is good exercise, that’s ultimately not what gets you (and your four-legged friend) up and moving.

According to research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, dog owners are motivated to walk their pets because it makes them happy—not for health or social reasons. Also up there on the list of reasons? They think it makes their dogs happy, too.

The study analyzed interviews and personal written reflections from 26 people about why, exactly, they walk their dogs. While many owners said they do it to benefit their pooch, the researchers say the importance of the owners’ happiness and well-being was also clear.

But that happiness depends on the owner believing that the dog is enjoying the walk, the researchers noted in their paper. Motivation to walk was decreased when owners had reason to doubt this notion—like when they felt their dog was misbehaving, “lazy,” or “too old” to walk regularly.

The study mainly suggests that dog owners keep doing what they’re doing, since they can still rack up the health benefits of dog-walking even if that’s not the primary goal.

But it does make the case that health advocates might want to tweak their message when promoting dog-walking in order to appeal to more people. (Dog owners are generally more physically active than non-owners, the authors say, but some rarely walk their dogs at all.)

Lead author Carri Westgarth, PhD, a research fellow at the University of Liverpool, says she hopes these findings resonate with dog owners and animal lovers. “Dog walking can be really important for our mental health, and there is no joy like seeing your dog having a good time,” she says. “In this age of information and work overload, let’s thank our dogs for—in the main—being such a positive influence on our well-being.”

She suggests dog walking might be even more beneficial for owners if they were to “leave the mobile and worries at home and try to focus on observing our dog and appreciating our surroundings.” Westgarth also recommends trying new or longer walking routes—or finding new ways to be active with your dog, like playing fetch or hide-and-seek with treats—when you’re feeling particularly stressed.

Taking on a dog is a big responsibility, but volunteering to walk someone else’s dog (or a shelter dog) can also be beneficial for people who don’t have the time or motivation to keep a furry companion. “In particular, older people can really benefit from the company of a dog and motivation to go for a short walk,” says Westgarth.

Westgarth also says she did a lot of self-analysis as part of her research, and she learned that it’s important for dog owners to be critical of themselves. “Ask yourself: Does your dog really ‘look tired’ that day or are you making excuses for yourself?” she says. “Just because your dog is small, would it really not be able to cope with an hour’s walk?” read more…

Salmon treats are a hit for our furry friends

1503703650904Demand for premium, New Zealand-made pet food at supermarket prices has seen rapid expansion for one Kiwi company.

After the successful launch of New Zealand King Salmon’s quality pet food range Omega Plus in the South Island late last year, the products are now also selling in North Island supermarkets.

The range, which includes wet and dry pet food as well as treats and dietary supplements, is completely natural and made up of sustainably sourced King salmon, which gives the products high levels of health beneficial omega-3 and protein.

But, according to division manager Simon Thomas, the health benefits for pets – including a shiny, soft coat and better joint mobility – are not the only reason the range has proven popular with pet owners.

“Omega Plus also appeals to the conscious consumer, as our range is made entirely in New Zealand from previously wasted material,” he said.

Mr Thomas said the range has had a great response from retailers keen to stock a first-class New Zealand product on their shelves in order to meet an ever-growing demand for quality pet food.

“Premium pet food is the fastest growing segment of this category and Omega Plus is perfectly positioned to offer retailers a product that fills this void,” he said.

Just as importantly, Omega Plus is appealing to pets too, with retailers reporting good consumer uptake and repeat purchasing of the range.

“The product is very palatable, so we’re seeing great acceptance of it from pets,” Mr Thomas said. “It’s great to see the response being so good, especially with traditionally fussy cats.”

Omega Plus is now aiming to reach more Kiwi cats and dogs through further distribution of the product in both the North and South Islands. Future plans for the range also include larger pack sizes in current variants and new variants of their dry cat and dog foods.

Omega Plus is currently stocked in New World and Pak ‘n Save supermarkets throughout New Zealand and is available online at pet.co.nz.

Omega Plus is a pet food, dietary supplement and treats range by Omega Innovations, a division of The New Zealand King Salmon Company, the country’s biggest salmon producer.

Using previously wasted material, Omega Innovations developed a range of wet and dry cat and dog food and treats where salmon is the #1 ingredient.

Omega Plus is a premium product, 100% NZ-made and is all natural. It is high in omega-3 and protein delivering a range of benefits including a healthy skin and coat, joint mobility, intestinal health and antioxidants.  read more…

Shop Best Treats for your Dog here…

 

Interesting: The hidden environmental costs of #dog and #cat food

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Gregory Okin is quick to point out that he does not hate dogs and cats. Although he shares his home with neither — he is allergic, so his pets are fish — he thinks it is fine if you do. But if you do, he would like you to consider what their meat-heavy kibble and canned food are doing to the planet.

Okin, a geographer at UCLA, recently did that, and the numbers he crunched led to some astonishing conclusions. America’s 180 million or so Rovers and Fluffies gulp down about 25 percent of all the animal-derived calories consumed in the United States each year, according to Okin’s calculations. If these pets established a sovereign nation, it would rank fifth in global meat consumption.

Needless to say, producing that meat  — which requires more land, water and energy and pollutes more than plant-based food  — creates a lot of greenhouse gases: as many as 64 million tons annually, or about the equivalent of driving more than 12 million cars around for a year. That doesn’t mean pet-keeping must be eschewed for the sake of the planet, but “neither is it an unalloyed good,” Okin wrote in a study published this week in PLOS One.

“If you are worried about the environment, then in the same way you might consider what kind of car you buy … this is something that might be on your radar,” Okin said in an interview. “But it’s not necessarily something you want to feel terrible about. ”

This research was a departure for Okin, who typically travels the globe to study deserts — things such as wind erosion, dust production and plant-soil interactions. But he said the backyard chicken trend in Los Angeles got him thinking about “how cool it is” that pet chickens make protein, while dogs and cats eat protein. And he discovered that even as interest grows in the environmental impact of our own meat consumption, there has been almost no effort to quantify the part our most common pets play.

To do that, Okin turned to dog and cat population estimates from the pet industry, average animal weights, and ingredient lists in popular pet foods. The country’s dogs and cats, he determined, consume about 19 percent as many calories as the human population, or about as much as 62 million American people. But because their diets are higher in protein, the pets’ total animal-derived calorie intake amounts to about 33 percent of that of humans.

Okin’s numbers are estimates, but they do “a good job of giving us some numbers that we can talk about,” said Cailin Heinze, a veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine who has written about the environmental impact of pet food. “They bring up a really interesting discussion.”

Okin warns that the situation isn’t likely to improve any time soon. Pet ownership is on the rise in developing countries such as China, which means the demand for meaty pet food is, too. And in the United States, the growing idea of pets as furry children has led to an expanding market of expensive, gourmet foods that sound like Blue Apron meals. That means not just kale and sweet potato in the ingredient list, but grain-free and “human-grade” concoctions that emphasize their use of high-quality meat rather than the leftover “byproducts” that have traditionally made up much of our pets’ food.

“The trend is that people will be looking for more good cuts of meat for their animals and more high-protein foods for their animals,” Okin said.

What to do about this? That’s the hard part. Heinze said one place to start is by passing on the high-protein or human-grade foods. Dogs and cats do need protein — and cats, which are obligate carnivores, really do need meat, she said. But the idea that they should dine on the equivalent of prime rib and lots of it comes from what she calls “the pet food fake news machine.” There’s no need to be turned off by some plant-based proteins in a food’s ingredients, she said, and dog owners in particular can look for foods with lower percentages of protein.

The term human-grade implies that a product is using protein that humans could eat, she added. Meat byproducts — all the organs and other animal parts that don’t end up at the supermarket — are perfectly fine, she said.

“Dogs and cats happily eat organ meat,” Heinze said. “Americans do not.”

Okin has some thoughts about that. The argument that pet foods’ use of byproducts is an “efficiency” in meat production is based on the premise that offal and organs are gross, he says. (Look no further than the collective gag over a finely textured beef product known as “pink slime.”) But if we would reconsider that, his study found, about one-quarter of all the animal-derived calories in pet food would be sufficient for all the people of Colorado.

“I’ve traveled around the world and I’m cognizant that what is considered human edible is culture-specific,” he said. “Maybe we need to have a conversation about what we will eat.”

In the meantime, Okin suggests that people thinking about getting a dog might consider a smaller one — a terrier rather than a Great Dane, say. Or, if you think a hamster might fulfill your pet desires, go that route.

Heinze, for her part, sometimes offers the same counsel to vegetarian or vegan clients who want their pets to go meat-free. They are typically motivated by animal welfare concerns, not environmental ones, she said, but such diets are not always best for dogs, and they never are for cats. read more…

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Dogs lose their appetite when depressed just like humans

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There’s nothing like a good scratch.

However new research has shown that far from the picture of satisfaction and contentment, itching and scratching is a tell-tale sign of depression in dogs.

Scientists discovered that dermatological issues are not only one of the most common health problems among dogs – they’re also one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety.

One in six trips to see a vet are due to skin problems for dogs. And 75 per cent of dogs diagnosed with dermatological issues suffer depression meaning thousands of pets are probably suffering from the blues.

A series of studies by Zoetis, the world’s leading animal health company, showed that dogs suffering depression exhibit many of the same traits as people.

The most common symptom was being less playful, followed by being less sociable with people, restlessness, decreased appetite, and interacting less with other dogs.

And depression in dogs has a knock-on effect on their owners, with 80 per cent saying their pet’s condition diminished their own quality of life as well.

Dr Anita Patel, one of Britain’s leading veterinary dermatologists, said: “Most people assume that itching and scratching is totally normal dog behaviour. The odd scratch is fine but when you see a dog frequently itching, scratching, nibbling or licking themselves, that’s a strong sign of a skin condition. Left untreated, this can exacerbate the problem and lead to more serious issues.

“What’s not been properly understood previously is how dermatological problems can affect a dog’s wellbeing. What we now know is that skin issues can be one of the biggest causes of depression for dogs. And like people, when a dog is depressed, they lose interest in the things they usually love – like going for a walk, playing, or having a fuss from their owner.”

Itchiness in pets – known as pruritus – is defined as an unpleasant sensation that provokes the desire or reflex to scratch.

It is common in many types of skin disorders and is often accompanied by red, inflamed areas of skin and may lead to pyoderma – infection of the skin.

Analysis of more than 80,000 veterinary appointments at more than 200 practices across the UK found the condition is most common around the ears, accounting for 44 per cent of cases, or around the legs and feet – 27 per cent.

Experts say that consistent itching, scratching, nibbling, biting and licking in dogs is not normal behaviour and owners should seek veterinary help if they see these symptoms.

Allowing a dog to continue to itch and scratch can lead to skin damage with potential for creating a secondary infection requiring antibiotic treatment.

Flea allergy is one of the most common causes of the condition, so summer is the season when dogs are most likely to develop it. Pet owners are urged to use parasite prevention treatments to avoid pruritus in the first place.

It can also be caused by food and contact allergies to shampoo or other household products, while the more serious atopic dermatitis is associated with environment allergens such as pollen and dust.

If allergies are untreated the dogs can get a skin infection and need to be treated with antibiotics prescribed by their vet.

However, for dogs already suffering pruritus, combating the condition has historically been difficult because existing treatments are typically steroid-based and can lead to numerous side effects.

But a new single injection is targeting the itch signalling in the brain. It works neutralising the protein triggered by the immune system which tells the brain to scratch.  read more…

Shop Your Zoetis Product here…