Tag Archives: dog behavior

Signs of Illness in Dogs

Our canine pals can be pretty expressive when they want to be. Fido doesn’t usually have too much trouble making his point when he needs a walk or wants you to play with him. However, it isn’t always as easy to know when our furry friends aren’t feeling well. In this article, a Georgetown, IN vet lists some signs of illness in dogs.

Bad Breath

Fido will probably never be known for having minty-fresh breath. However, if your pup’s breath could kill plants, he could be sick.

Skin/Coat Trouble

Skin issues, such as crusting, flaking, redness, and scabbing, are also a sign that something is wrong. Fur loss is another red flag.

Loss of Mobility

Noticeable changes in Fido’s mobility and/or range of motion can be signs of illness. This may manifest as limping, trouble climbing stairs, and/or stiffness.

Change In Appetite/Thirst

Man’s Best Friend is usually very, very enthusiastic about his dinner. If Fido has lost his appetite, he could be ill. Sudden increases in appetite can also be indicative of medical issues.

Respiratory Issues

Coughing, wheezing, and gasping are definitely warning signs in our furry buddies. Prolonged and/or unexplained panting is also a red flag, as is shortness of breath.

Sleeping Too Much

Dogs certainly love their naps. In fact, many pooches spend about half their time snoozing. However, if Fido is sleeping more than that, or if you’ve noticed a sudden increase in the amount of time your furry pal spends sleeping, he could be sick.

Change In Eye Appearance

Your four-legged friend’s eyes can tell you quite a bit how he’s feeling. Healthy dogs have clear, bright eyes. If Fido’s peepers look dry, dull, red, watery, or sunken, there may be something going on with him.

Tummy Upsets

While an occasional, isolated incident of vomiting or diarrhea isn’t necessarily uncommon, it’s always best to consult your vet when this happens. Frequent or excessive bouts of tummy troubles are definitely a red flag.

Behavioral Changes

Just like people, dogs don’t always feel very sociable when they are ill. Fido may seem grumpier than usual if he’s sick. He may withdraw, and isolate himself. Your canine buddy may also lose interest in playing, seem restless, and/or vocalize in a different way than usual.

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Crate Training Your Dog

Is your canine buddy crate trained? If not, you may want to work on this. Fido will likely need to be crated at some point, either at the vet’s or kennel, or during travel. This will be much easier for him if he thinks of his crate as a cozy den. A Georgetown, IN vet offers tips on crate training your pet in this article.

Choosing A Crate

You’ll want to make sure that your pet’s crate is sturdy, but still easy to move for travel. Dogs are much safer traveling in crates! If you have a puppy, choose a crate that will fit Fido’s adult size, Otherwise, you’ll just end up replacing it when your canine pal is full grown. Use a luggage tag to put your contact information on the crate. This will come in handy if you ever fly with your pooch.

Making It Comfy

Make sure your pup’s crate is nice and comfy for him. Add some soft bedding, and some cozy toys and treats. Location is also important. Don’t put Fido’s crate in a quiet back bedroom. Dogs are very sociable, and get lonely and depressed if they are left alone too much. A living room or family room is a great option.

Training

To get Fido used to his crate, you’ll want to help him form a positive association with it. How do you do that? Food is the easiest way. Toss toys and yummy treats into the crate, until he gets used to going in and out. Then, start feeding your pet in his crate. The next stage is to start shutting the door. At first, just shut it for a few moments, give Fido treats and praise, and then let him out. Gradually increase the time your furry buddy is crated, until he is comfortable with it. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Tips

Crates can be great tools, but only if they are used properly. Never use Fido’s crate as punishment for him. Also, avoid leaving your pup crated too long. A few hours during the day is plenty. You can crate your dog overnight, however. If Fido is properly crate trained, he won’t mind his crate at all. You may not even have to shut the door at doggy bedtime!

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Fido’s Pet Peeves

Fido’s cute face, adorable antics, love, and loyalty have earned him a special place in our hearts, and made him part of the family. While every dog is different, there are some things that our canine pals have in common, including some very specific pet peeves. Below, a Floyds Knob, IN vet lists some things your furry buddy doesn’t like.

Hugs

Fido may not mind hugs from his owners: in fact, many of our furry friends love to cuddle with their human friends. However, dogs often become uneasy when strangers hug them. This is because hugs translate into a sign of dominance in doggy body language.

Shouting

We really can’t blame Fido for this one: after all, no one likes getting yelled at. Never shout at your pet, even if you’re reprimanding him. Dogs don’t understand the concept of punishment, so your furry pal won’t understand why you’re angry. Use positive reinforcement instead, and focus on rewarding your pup for doing well. If your pooch has a specific behavioral problem, ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for advice.

Being Lonely

Dogs are pack animals by nature. In the wild, Fido would rarely be alone. Our canine buddies can feel sad, lonely, and depressed if they are left alone too much. Spend plenty of time with your four-legged friend: it will be good for both of you!

Staring

We know, Fido likes to look you right in the eye, especially when he’s hoping that you’ll share your cheeseburger. But you should never stare a strange pooch in the eye; dogs see this as a signal of aggression.

Baths

No surprises here: many of our canine friends run and hide when they hear the dreaded B-word. But even if Fido hates being bathed, proper grooming is important to his health and well-being!

Change

Dogs thrive in a stable environment, with a consistent schedule. While Fido may love going for adventures, an afternoon in the park is a far cry from a major life change. Getting a new roommate (human or furry); moving; changing owners; or losing a friend can be very traumatic for Man’s Best Friend! If you and your pup are experiencing a big change, pay extra attention to your four-legged pal.

Is your canine buddy due for a trip to the vet? Contact us! As your Floyds Knob, IN animal clinic, we’re here to help.

Caring for an Anxious Dog

Is your dog high-strung? Just like people, dogs all have their own personalities. Some pups are calm and friendly, while others are more anxious and easily frightened. If your pooch tends to get nervous easily, read these tips from a Floyds Knob, IN vet on caring for an anxious dog.

Exercise

Make sure that Fido is getting the right amount and type of exercise. A brisk walk, or a vigorous round of fetch, will burn off your pet’s excess energy, leaving you with a calmer, slightly-tired pooch. Not all activities are right for every dog, so ask your vet for specific advice.

Aromatherapy

Look for pet-calming products or sprays in your local pet store. These can help calm anxious dogs. Certain scents, such as lavender, peppermint, and rosemary, can also help soothe Fido. Just be very careful when using essential oils, as some of them can be very toxic to dogs. Be sure to only choose ones that are safe for Fido. Also, never apply oils or scents directly to your dog. Just a spritz or two in the air is plenty. Ask your vet for more recommendations.

Veterinary Care

Just like people, dogs often act unusually when they don’t feel well. If you’re not sure why your dog is acting uneasy, have your vet examine him to rule out any medical issues. If you get the all-clear, at least you know you have an anxious pooch, rather than a sick one.

Toys

Proper dog toys can keep your pet occupied, and also offer a healthy outlet for your pet’s angst. Make sure your canine buddy has plenty of toys, and take time to play with him every day. If your pup shows signs of aggression, it’s best to skip Tug O War, though: this may just get Fido riled up.

Soothing Shirts

Many pet companies now make doggy shirts that can soothe our canine friends. These are great for keeping Fido calm at particularly stressful times, like during fireworks or thunderstorms. Ask your vet for advice.

Cuddles

Many dogs like being petted and cuddled. If your dog runs to you when he feels uneasy, pet his head gently, scratch his ears, or give him a belly rub.

Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Floyds Knob, IN animal clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs.