Tag: Dog Training
Teaching Good Holiday Doggie Manners
With the holiday season upon us, many pet parents are planning to gather friends and family for fun festive parties. Keep in mind that although you might be ready to ‘Deck the Halls’, your four-legged friend may not be. Jingle Bells, Figgy Pudding and Tannenbaum create the perfect recipe for misbehavior. The family pooch probably isn’t accustomed to lots of guests and merriment so they might be tempted to act out, if you’re not prepared. So, if you’re stressing about how to manage Fido so he doesn’t steal from the table, raid the trash, beg, jump, and whine, then ‘Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen (and Ladies)’; Santa isn’t the only one with a list this year.
Check out the following simple ways to help ensure your dog is on his best behavior and is the pawfect host this holiday season.
- Tire Him Out
A tired dog is a good dog. In all the preparation for your holiday party, it’s easy to forget how important it is to exercise your dog. Remember, a bored and restless pooch can get ‘bad to the bone’. Make it a high priority to take your dog out for a long walk or run him around in the yard. With all the preparation and attention to detail you’re doing to make your party perfect, having a wound up dog with pent up energy could mess up the whole works. The day of your party (before the guests arrive) exercise your dog so he can get it all out of his system. Dogs that are taken for regular walks, runs or hikes won’t need to release pent-up energy by chewing, begging or barking. This means he’ll be better behaved and more relaxed, so you can be, too.
- Keep Him Occupied
Be sure that you have an ample supply of your dogs’ favorite toys, treats, or bones – that you KNOW will keep him busy. Toys that stimulate your dog mentally will not only keep him occupied but the mental stimulation will help tire him out. If your dog is a Kong lover, try stuffing a Kong or two with peanut butter and them putting in the freezer – this will keep your pooch busy for a while! Food dispensing toys are also excellent options.
- Practice Good Behaviors
It’s never too late to reinforce and practice good behaviors. Start your dog on a refresher course of the basic commands (sit, lay down, stay, wait, leave it, etc.) today! As always, make sure you have high reward treats on hand. Also, be prepared on the day of your party or gathering with a good supply of those high reward treats so that you can continue to reward your dog for his good behavior.
- Have a Back-Up Plan
Even the most well behaved dogs can forget their manners with all of the excitement and distractions of holiday festivities so it’s important to have a plan B. If your pooch just can’t curb his enthusiasm, place him in his crate, behind a baby gate, or perhaps on a tether. If you do have to separate your pooch, give him something really special to keep him occupied. If your dog normally gets hard biscuits in a Kong, stuffing it instead with a mixture of high-quality dog food and some mashed sweet potatoes will be especially exciting.
- Assign Doggie Duty
In the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s important that your holiday pooch is attended to appropriately. Recruit and assign a family member or friend to help you keep on eye on your little four-legged host. They can help keep him in line, curtail any overly generous food-giving guests, and take your dog out for potty breaks and little walks.
So, don’t worry. With a little preparation and practice and a lot of consistency, your dog’s good manners will so impress your guests (and Santa, too), that you both are sure to earn your spot on the “GOOD LIST” this holiday season.
TripsWithPets.com is the #1 online resource for pet travel. It was named BEST pet travel site by Consumer Reports! TripsWithPets.com offers resources to ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe when traveling. The website features a directory of pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada, airline & car rental pet policies, dog friendly beaches, search by route, pet travel tips, pet travel supplies, along with other pet travel resources.
Source: Worldwide Traveler
To find out whether your pet can travel with you in the cabin or in the hold, call your airline or travel agent before booking your flight. Generally speaking, only cats and dogs are accepted on regular flights. Do research in advance and shop around: every company has its own rules. Transporting animals by air is subject to various laws that can vary considerably from one country to another. In some cases, you may have to change your transporter, destination or dates to travel with Fido or Fluffy.
Check with your airline. For example, Air France and Swissair accept dogs and cats in the cabin, whereas Air Canada requires that any animal, except recognized trained service animals, travel in the cargo hold.
- only cats and dogs under 6 kg (container included) for Air France / under 8 kg for Swissair. USAirways accepts caged birds.
- guide dogs, regardless of their weight
- the animal must travel in a specific container that must respect very specific standards,
- the container must be sufficiently ventilated and allow the animal to stand up and turn around,
- in no event must the animal leave its container during the flight.
- the animal must be clean, healthy, not dangerous, no odor.
- not pregnant.
- must not disturb passengers.
- The container may not exceed a combined length, width and height of 115 cm.
- The container must remain stowed away under your seat for the duration of the entire flight
- the carrier is considered a baggage item.
in order for the animal to travel peacefully, it is recommended that passengers administer, after consultation with a vet, a product to prevent the animal suffering from air sickness or any negative reaction during the flight,
To avoid any unpleasant surprises, find out in advance about the rules in effect in the countries of origin and arrival (e.g., vaccinations, quarantine).
For further information and to find out about costs, contact the reservations department.
In order for your pet to travel on the same flight with you, you must make the request in advance when you make your own reservation with the airline. Keep in mind that ventilated temperature-controlled cargo holds are available only on certain aircraft.
Annual holiday blackout dates
Due to increased passenger and cargo loads, some airlines (such as Air Canada) are not able to transport pets during:
- Christmas holidays
Clients wishing to travel with pets must book flights that fall outside this embargo period.
Additional winter restrictions
On some airlines, the temperature and pressure in the hold are practically the same as in the cabin (Air France, Swissair). From November 1 through March 31, and at any other time when the temperature is 0° C and below, pets are not accepted on some aircraft (Air Canada) since the hold is not heated and the temperature can fall to 2° C.
Obviously there’s a difference between a Labrador and a toy poodle. Dogs and cats under 4.5 kg (10 lb.) are not accepted on some aircraft in the winter.
Check with your airline. For instance, in the US, because of the extreme heat and USDA regulations, airports in the folliowing cities do not accept pets in the baggage compartment between June 20 and September 28: Atlanta (ATL), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (IAH) Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO) and Phoenix (PHX).
Making a request to travel with your pet
- Pets for which reservations have not been made in advance will not be accepted at the airport.
- You must provide details to the reservations department regarding the dimensions of the cage, as well as the weight and breed of your pet when you call.
- A pet and kennel with a combined weight of less than 70 lbs (32.5 kg) is accepted for travel in the baggage compartment provided the owner is flying on the same flight.
- A passenger may not travel with more than two animals.
- Two pets travelling in one kennel are counted as two pets regardless of combined weight.
- A passenger may not travel with an animal being transported for commercial purposes.
- Submit your request up to 30, and not less than 7, days before the date of your travel. The number of animals is limited by the type of aircraft, so you may have to change your reservation in order to travel with your pet.
Choosing the right carrier
To ensure your pet carrier is suitable for travel and secure for your pet, we recommend that you check in advance with the airline and ask your veterinarian for advice so that your pet can travel comfortably and safely.
Pet carriers must meet the following conditions in order to be accepted for travel
- Only hard-sided kennels are accepted as checked baggage. The majority of carriers are made of hard plastic with holes for ventilation. No part of the animal is allowed to protrude from the carrier. As a result, wire carriers are not permitted. All carriers must be secure and leakproof. Collapsible kennels are not accepted.
- International regulations state that the pet carrier must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.
- Animals over 31 lbs (14 kg) must have their own separate kennel. A maximum of 2 dogs not weighing more than 31 lbs (14 kg) each may travel together in same kennel.
- Any wheels must be removed from pet carriers prior to check-in.
Since airlines assume no responsibility for the care or feeding of pets while in transit, it is most important that you prepare both the cage and the animal ahead of time.
- Feed your pet four to six hours prior to departure, as a full stomach may cause discomfort during travel.
- Give your pet water right up to the time of travel. Be sure to empty the dish at check-In, otherwise spillage during the flight will give your pet a wet and uncomfortable ride. Leave the dish in the kennel so that airline agents can provide water in the event of an extended wait before, between or after the flight.
- Tranquilizers and other medications are not recommended. Consult your veterinarian.
- Cover the bottom of the kennel with absorbent material such as a blanket.
- Do not lock the kennel door as Air Canada personnel may need to access your pet in the event of an emergency.
Many countries place restrictions on the entry of animals. It is imperative that you comply with all restrictions, and are in possession of all documents required by the destination country. Be certain to obtain information on the particular requirements on your countries of departure and arrival. Failure to do so can lead to refused entry, or lengthy quarantines.
All animals are inspected by government veterinary officials upon landing. You may be required to pay for veterinary inspection fees. Local veterinary health certificates obtained from animal clinics are not sufficient to clear government veterinary inspections. In order to obtain these additional documents, such as government approved health certificates, you should contact the consulate or embassy of each destination country.
It is best to take out insurance since most airlines do not assume responsibility in case of loss, delay, injury, illness or death of an animal, whether a pet or not, that they accept to transport.
Animals not permitted to travel
Category 1 and 2 dogs, as defined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing, are not permitted to travel in the cabin, in the hold, or as cargo:
- Category 1 > dogs
So-called attack dogs which do not belong to a breed but are similar in physical appearance to the following breeds: Staffordshire terrier (pitbulls), Mastiff (Boerbulls) and Tosa.
- Category 2 > dogs
So-called guard or defense dogs, including the following breeds: American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, Tosa and dogs with physical characteristics similar to the Rottweiler breed.
The Washington Convention
Implemented in 1973, the Washington Convention restricts or forbids international trade in animal and plant species that are threatened with extinction. It is now in force in 150 countries.
For example, the Convention forbids international commerce of some animal species (gorillas, elephants, deep sea turtles) and carefully regulates trade in others (chimpanzees, parakeets, boa constrictors). For those animals that can be transported, you must obtain a CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) permit.
Source: Worldwide Traveler
Source – Pet Finder
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and there are more dogs in need than ever. Check out the articles here for great information on adopting a dog, a dog adoption checklist, tips for the first thirty days of dog adoption and more!
But what if you can’t adopt? Here are some easy ways you can still help:
- Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com”
- Tweet, retweet and repeat the following (or your own brilliant message): “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com #savedogs”
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group (you can search for groups near you here) and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
- Share an adoptable dog or a Petfinder dog-adoption Happy Tail on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (hashtag #savedogs) page each day of the month.
- Sign up as a foster parent or shelter volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter or rescue group, or register in our volunteer database.
- Add a Petfinder widget or banner to your Web site or blog.
- Write an op-ed about the importance of pet adoption for your local paper.
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to photograph their adoptable pets and upload the pics to Petfinder.
- Donate to your local shelter or rescue group or to the Petfinder.com Foundation in honor of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.
- Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.
For more information – Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog
Whether you’re planning a move with your pet, planning a getaway to a pet friendly hotel, or just taking Spot or Fluffy with you to run errands around town, making sure they are properly secured in your vehicle is essential.
One of the best ways to ensure that your precious pet stays safe in your vehicle is to have him travel in a pet travel carrier… also known as travel kennel and crate. However, before you do, it’s important to know the right way to do this. You must be sure to properly familiarize your dog or cat with the carrier before you set out on your road trip. The time it takes to do this depends on your pet.
It’s best to start your dog or cat out at an early age. It generally takes longer for your pet to become comfortable in a travel carrier as they get older. The first step is to choose the proper carrier. When shopping for a travel carrier, be sure it has proper ventilation and sturdy construction. In addition, the carrier should have a secure latch so that your pet cannot escape. As far as size, the carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. The price of a pet carrier varies depending upon the size, whether it’s hard sided or soft sided, and the brand. The starting price is generally around $20.
To familiarize your pet with the carrier, open the door of the carrier and place it in your home. Place your pet’s bedding, some favorite toys, and maybe some treats of his until your pet feels comfortable. Again, this may take a little time so be patient and don’t rush him.
When you are confident that your pet feels comfortable in the carrier, you can then place the carrier in the car. Start off by taking short rides and gradually build up to longer rides. Gauge the stress level of your pet and don’t push it. Short rides can be up and down the driveway if need be.
Ensure that your pet travel is safe. Pet travel carriers are a great option to ensure the well being of your pet when traveling by car. Just remember to start the familiarization process early if you have upcoming travel plans. Safe travels!
Summer is here – kind of. If you live on the west coast it still feels like winter but still the temperatures are changing and it is important to remember to keep your pets safe for when the heat does come.
The following are a few tips to remember to keep fido safe.
Have a wonderful summer!
Most people are aware that leaving a pet in a locked car on a 100F degree day would be dangerous. However, it is the seemingly mild days of spring (and fall) that pose great danger, too. Driving around, parking, and leaving your pet in the car for “just a minute” can be deadly. Cars heat up fast — even with the windows cracked. Check out these sources for additional temperature information:
void Heat Stroke – How to Help
Order the “Don’t Leave Me in Here — It’s Hot!” flyers, posters, and other educational materials from My Dog Is Cool web site to put on cars that have pets in them to alert the owners. (Note: if you see pets or children in cars on warm days, please take action and call the police or fire department – time is critical.)
Signs of heat stroke include (but are not limited to): body temperatures of 104-110F degrees, excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, staggering, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, coma, death. Brachycephalic breeds (the short-nosed breeds, such as Bulldogs and Pugs), large heavy-coated breeds, and those dogs with heart or respiratory problems are more at risk for heat stroke.
If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, seek veterinary attention immediately! Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet. (Very cold water will cause constriction of the blood vessels and impede cooling.) Do not aid cooling below 103 F degrees – some animals can actually get HYPOthermic, too cold. Offer ice cubes for the animal to lick on until you can reach your veterinarian.
Just because your animal is cooled and “appears” OK, do NOT assume everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are definitely affected by the body temperature elevation, and blood tests and veterinary examination are needed to assess this. There is also a complex blood problem, called DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation) that can be a secondary complication to heat stroke that can be fatal.
Learn more: Tips to prevent heatstroke in your pet
Jogging is also dangerous this time of year. So your dog jogs everyday with you and is in excellent shape – why alter the routine? As the weather warms, humans alter the type and amount of clothing worn, and we sweat more. Dogs are still jogging in their winter coat (or a slightly lighter version) and can only cool themselves by panting and a small amount of sweating through the foot pads. Not enough! Many dogs, especially the ‘athletes’ will keep running, no matter what, to stay up with their owner. Change the routine to early morning or late evening to prevent heatstroke.
Consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, do they have shade and fresh water access at all times? I have treated one case of heat stroke in a dog that did indeed have shade and water while tethered under a deck, but had gotten the chain stuck around a stake in the middle of the yard — no water or shade for hours. If you live in a warm climate, it is a good idea to hose down the dog before work, at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling (if you dog is not overheated in the first place).
Not all dogs are excellent swimmers by nature. Especially if Fido has underlying health problems, such as heart disease or obesity to contend with. Consider protecting your pet just as your human family — with a life preserver. If your pet is knocked off of the boat (perhaps getting injured in the process), or is tired/cold from choppy water or sudden storm, a life jacket could be what saves your pet’s life.
Learn more: Pet Life Jackets – Just Another Accessory or a Necessity?
Antifreeze actually a year-round hazard. With the warmer temperatures of summer, cars over heat and may leak antifreeze. (This is the bright green liquid found oozing from that car with the engine fan on.) Also, people change their antifreeze and may spill or leave unused antifreeze out where pets can access it. Antifreeze tastes sweet and is inviting to pets (and children). It is also extremely toxic in very small amounts.
Call your veterinarian (or physician) immediately if any ingestion is suspected. A safe alternative to Ethylene Glycol antifreeze is available, it is called propylene glycol, and while it does cost a small amount more than ‘regular’ antifreeze, it is worth the piece of mind.
Finally, if you are traveling outside of your normal Veterinarian’s locale, it is wise to check out the Veterinary clinics/hospitals in the area that you are visiting, before the need arises. It is better to be prepared for an emergency and not have one happen than to panic in an emergency situation, wasting valuable time.
The following is from Black Dog Rescue
Dog re-homing or dog surrendering is something that most people never anticipate when first bringing home a dog. But many will have to face it at some point in the dogs life. It may be a decision that you have agonized over for weeks or months. It may be a decision that you find you have to make in just a few hours or a few short days. As fast as life can change, you may suddenly find yourself trying to find a new home for your dog.
Many people will be quick to judge you when you re-home a dog. Some may consider you to be an irresponsible dog owner for not being able to keep the dog his entire life. As you are faced with this decision, please keep in mind that you know your situation and your dog the best. Make this tough decision with only the best interest of your dog in mind. Others may judge from a distance, but only you can do what is right for you and your dog.
Dog Re homing vs. Dog Surrendering
To “Surrender a Dog”, typically refers to taking your dog to the local animal shelter or humane society. Not all shelters accept all pets. Depending on your situation this may or may not be an option for you.
To “Re-home a Dog”, typically refers to an owner trying to personally find a new home for their dog. Meeting the new family may help when it comes time to say goodbye. But there are many unforeseen and hidden dangers when rehoming a dog on your own.
Dog Re-homing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Never post an ad for “free dog” or “free puppy”. These ads are prime targets for dog fighters. They will pose as the perfect home for your dog, but they are really just trying to get a free dog to use as bait to train their fighting dogs.
2. If you do post an ad to find your dog a new home, make sure to tell the good and the bad. Disclosing the dogs true history will help ensure that you get quality responses from people who understand what they are taking on.
3. Always visit the home that your dog is going to. Do NOT hand over the dog to anyone that comes to your home and shows interest. Make sure they are who they say they are and have a home that is the right fit for the dog.
When finding a new home for your dog, you must be aware of the types of dog abuses out in the world. NEVER rehome an unaltered pet. They will probably end up with a backyard breeder . Go to the home your dog will be moving to. Make sure your dog is not ending up in hands of an animal hoarder . NEVER give your dog away for free. This will help ensure he is not being taken for lab experiments or to be used as bait for a fighting dog .
Dog Re-homing Options
There are different options available to you depending on the dogs age, health, and temperment. Click on the scenario below that best describes your situation to determine the best option for you and your dog.
Do you have an aggressive dog that is a danger to other dogs and/or people?
Do you have a sick dog with a chronic medical condition that you can not afford to pay for?
Are you dealing with dog behavioral problems ? (suffers severe separation anxiety or continuously digs holes under fences or jumps the 6 foot fence)
Do you have a change in personal circumstances, (moving, child has become allergic, etc.) that are forcing you to rehome your dog?
Saying good-bye to your dog may be one of the toughest days you face. Making sure that you have done all you can for the dog will help you heal in time.
Source – Black Dog Rescue
So – we just returned from a fabulous time on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. We rented a rustic cottage right on the ocean with a hot tub, bald eagles, hawks, seals, shells, starfish and more! It was delightful.
It was also a challenge with our 6 month old puppy Ava. She was so worked up by the sounds of the waves crashing, wind blowing in the cedar tree’s, starfish, ocean water etc that she was almost impossible to handle. Although we had a delightful time it really did bring up some concerns for us with Ava (who is a Golden Doodle) who was very nippy with the kids and jumpy.
I have done some poking around in Pet Place.com and found the following info helpful as a starting point for me – hope it helps you as well!
Rani & Ava
At about 5 to 6 months, if you have more than one pup, you may find that play becomes more aggressive and exhibits some nipping, growling, and other general displays of dominance. Many males, and some females, will begin humping each other at this stage as they rehearse for their adult roles. Such behavior is acceptable as long as it is not directed towards you.
Puppies can be taught to sit, lie down, wait, stay, leave it, and other such useful commands that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Once these behaviors have been learned they should be reinforced periodically throughout life. This is the usual time for formal puppy training classes outside the home. Such classes are extremely helpful as long as they are conducted in a non-confrontational way.
The following list will help you know what to expect from your puppy has he develops.
Most 6-month-old puppies are approximately 75 % of their adult body weight. Most puppies will gain or grow each week until they attain their adult size which occurs between 9 and 16 months of age. However, there is a range of maturity between the different breeds. Small dogs mature faster and reach their adult size and body weight faster than large and giant breeds of dog.
Teething – By 6 months, the permanent canines erupt. Permanent premolars erupt at 4 to 6 months and the molars erupt at 5 to 7 months of age. Most breeds will show all their permanent teeth between the ages of 6 to 7 months of age. Although dogs this age have all their adult teeth and are not actively “teething”, chewing may peak at this stage. Make sure they have safe and approved chew toys. This is a great age to be on a regular tooth brushing schedule as these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life so it is important to care for them properly.
- Senses – By 6 months of age, most dogs have a very keen sense of hearing, vision, taste and smell. At this age, dogs are learning to differentiate one dog (and human) smell from another.
- Ability to Hold Urine – 6-month-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 7 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 7 hours if you expect them to not have an accident. They should be able to sleep through the night without having to go out.
- Intelligence – 6-month-old puppies are on beginning of their adolescence. They are smart, curious, strong, willful, and very playful. They also may take more risks by eating things that younger puppies may not. It is important to ensure that your puppy does not have exposure to trash cans, dirty clothes, and other objects he may want to eat.
- Agility – Most puppies that are 6 months old are becoming very strong and coordinated. They can generally romp, play, fetch, jump, and run with very good accuracy. This is a time they have lots of energy and some of the fetch type toys can be a good release.
- Sleep – Puppies that are 6 months old sleep approximately 16 to 18 hours per day.
- Puberty – Be aware that by the time most puppies are 6 to 8 months of age, puberty has set in and unplanned pregnancies are possible, so be ready to take precautions or consider spaying or neutering as soon as possible.
- Physical Appearance & Hair Coat- Your puppy will begin some changes from a puppy to an adult haircoat. Most puppies begin to shed some of their puppy coat. Get your dog used to being brushed as the shedding will get worse as they full loose their puppy coat. Your puppy will appear much more like an adult at this stage, starting to grow in height and length and fill out with developing muscle.
Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 6-month-old Old Puppy
- Consider that crate training is for life
- Take him out at least every 7 hours
- Make sure he gets plenty of exercise!
- Brush and comb daily
- Brush teeth daily
- Feed twice a day
- Switch out safe chew toys
- Don’t let your puppy chew on anything he can swallow
- If he is at risk for heartworm disease, make sure he is on preventative!
- Get your puppy spayed or neutered
- Give positive reinforcement for work well done
Further to my last post about getting ready to spay Ava – here is some more information from Pet Informed. I hope it giver you more information to make your decision and feel more informed about the process. I am booking Ava in this month!
Rani & Ava
Dog spaying (bitch spaying procedure) – otherwise known as female neutering, dog sterilisation, “fixing”, desexing, ovary and uterine ablation, uterus removal or by the medical term: ovariohysterectomy – is the surgical removal of a female dog’s ovaries and uterus for the purposes of canine population control, medical health benefit, genetic-disease control and behavioral modification.
Considered to be a basic component of responsible female dog ownership, the spaying of female dogs is a simple and common surgical procedure that is performed by veterinary clinics all over the world.
What is Spaying?
Dog spaying or desexing is the surgical removal of a female (bitch) dog’s internal reproductive structures including her ovaries (the site of ova/egg production), Fallopian tubes, uterine horns (the two long tubes of uterus where the fetal puppies develop and grow) and a section of her uterine body (the part of the uterus where the uterine horns merge and become one body). The picture on the right shows a dog uterus that has been removed by dog spaying surgery – it is labeled to give you a clear illustration of the reproductive structures that are removed during surgery.
Basically, the parts of the female reproductive tract that get removed are those which are responsible for egg (ova) production, embryo and fetus development and the secretion of the major female reproductive hormones (oestrogen and progesterone being the main female reproductive hormones). Removal of these structures plays a huge role in canine population control (without eggs, the female dog can not produce young; without a uterus, there is nowhere for the unborn puppies to develop); canine genetic disease control (female dogs with genetic disorders can not pass on their inheritable disease conditions to any young if they can not breed); the prevention and/or treatment of various medical disorders (spaying prevents and/or treats a number of ovarian and uterine diseases as well as various hormone-enhanced medical conditions) and female dog behavioral modification (e.g. estrogen is responsible for many female dog behavioral traits that some owners find problematic – e.g. roaming, blood spotting during proestrus, attractiveness and attraction to male dogs – and dog spaying, by removing the ovarian source of female hormones, may help to resolve these issues).
What age to spay?
Throughout much of the world, it has always been recommended that female dogs be spayed at around 5-7 months of age and older. As far as the “older” goes, the closer to the 5-7 months of age mark the better – there is less chance of a female dog becoming pregnant or developing a ovarian or uterine disorder or a hormone-mediated medical condition if she is desexed at a younger age. In addition to this, it has always been advised that it is best if a female dog is desexed prior to the onset of her first season as this will greatly reduce the risks of the animal developing mammary cancer (breast cancer) in the future.
The reasoning behind this 5-7 month age specification is mostly one of anaesthetic safety for elective procedures.
When asked by owners why it is that a dog needs to wait until 5-7 months of age to be spayed, most veterinarians will simply say that it is much safer for them to wait until this age before undergoing a general anaesthetic procedure. The theory is that the liver and kidneys of very young animals are much less mature than those of older animals and therefore less capable of tolerating the effects of anaesthetic drugs and less effective at metabolizing them and breaking them down and excreting them from the body. Younger animals are therefore expected to have prolonged recovery times and an increased risk of suffering from severe side effects, in particular liver and kidney damage, as a result of general anaesthesia. Consequently, in order to avoid such problems, many vets will choose not to anesthetize a young puppy until at least 5 months of age for any elective procedure, including dog spaying.
For more detailed information, images of the procedure and what to expect at the clinic please click here.
My puppy Ava is almost 6 months old now and it is time to start thinking about spaying her. I have heard many things about the timing of this procedure and have been confused about it. For example I have been told for larger breed dogs you need to wait until they are older to spay them so you do not stunt their growth. I have also read that it is important to let a female go through one ‘heat’ before spaying them.
All these pieces of advice seem just that and I have been thinking about what is a myth and what is a fact.
Cesar Milan has a great article written about just this thing – part of it is exerted here and then linked to the full article. It is a good start but does not necessarily answer all my questions. I will be back with more facts on our next post.
Cheers and happy reading!
Rani and Ava
Cesar’s Way – Article Excerpt
Pet overpopulation and euthanasia are a continuing problem. Be a part of the solution: spay or neuter your pets.
Spaying or neutering your dog is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Unneutered male dogs that are not able to mate experience frustration, which can lead to aggression. Unspayed female dogs attract unwanted attention every six months. From a psychological and biological point-of-view, it is the best thing for your dog.
When you get your dog spayed or neutered, be sure your dog is in a calm and balanced state. Never spay or neuter a frustrated, nervous, tense, aggressive, or anxious dog!
In the United States, seven puppies and kittens are born for every one human. As a result, there are just not enough homes for the animals, and four to five million dogs and cats are euthanized every year.
Sterilizing dogs and cats has been hailed as the most effective method for pet population control. You can help save lives by spaying and neutering your pet. If pets can’t breed, they don’t produce puppies that end up in animal shelters to be adopted or euthanized. Currently, over 56% of dogs and approximately 75% of cats entering shelters are put to sleep.
The perpetuation of myths about spaying and neutering and the high cost cause many people to avoid the procedures, but the fact is sterilization makes your dog a better behaved, healthier pet and will save you money in the long run.
Myth #1: A dog will feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized.
This myth stems from the human imposing their own feelings of loss on the animal. In fact, your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill. A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet.
Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.
Myth #2: Spaying and neutering will cause weight gain.
Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.
Link to full article here.
Traveling with pets has never been more popular amongst pet parents. Traveling by car is by far the most common mode of pet travel and dogs are the most frequent travelers. “Want to go for a ride?” is music to a dog’s ears. They go just about everywhere with their parents…running errands around town, to beaches and parks, going on family vacations, and staying in pet friendly hotels. If pets are welcome – they come along! Unfortunately, most pet parents do not properly secure their pets when riding with them in their vehicles. They love their pets and would do anything for them…but probably don’t realize that they are putting their pets at great risk.
Did you know that at only 35 mph, a 60 lb. pet becomes a 2,700 pound projectile and that unsecured pets commonly escape from vehicles and run off post-accident? How often are you distracted by your excited or rambunctious pet while driving? Did you know that driver distraction causes more accidents than anything else?
Securing your pet during car travel is essential to ensuring their safety. There are many ways to properly secure your pet in a vehicle. Buckling them up in pet seat belt is a very easy and affordable way to help ensure that your pet stays safe while traveling in your vehicle. Pet seat belts range in price from about $9 – $40. They come in different sizes to accommodate most all sized pets and most are adjustable.
Most pet seat belts attach onto your vehicle’s seat belt. Some come with leads that have a buckle at one end that fits into your vehicle’s seat belt receptacle, and the other end of the lead has a clip that attaches onto your pet’s harness. Other pet seat belts have leads that have a loop at one end in which you put your vehicle’s seat belt strap through and the other end has a clip which attaches to a harness. If you choose to give your pet more freedom in the back seat, you can get a pet seat belt that has a zip line which attaches between the two rear passenger side handles, creating a tether which attaches to your pet’s harness.
No matter what type of pet seat belt you choose, you must always use a harness – never a collar. A collar can easily choke or strangle your pet if you stop fast or are in an accident. In addition, pet’s should never ride in the front seat. Deployed airbags can seriously injure pets.
With pet travel growing by leaps and bounds, pet parents must step up and be sure to take the necessary measures to ensure their pet’s safety – pet seat belts are an effective way to do this. Safe travels and please buckle up your precious pets!
For more information, visit www.tripswithpetscom. TripsWithPets.com is the premier online guide for pet travel-offering resources to ensure pets are welcome, happy and safe when traveling. Visit www.tripswithpets.com to find a directory of pet friendly hotels and accommodations across the U.S. and Canada, airline policies, pet travel tips, pet travel supplies, along with other pet travel resources.
Contact: Sherry Burdic