Guest Post: Essential dog vaccines to obtain before boarding

Dog Vaccine Doctor Guest Post: Essential dog vaccines to obtain before boarding

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Editor’s Note: Keep in mind, dog vaccines can be beneficial to your pet whether they are being boarded at a large facility with many dogs or a small home with maybe only one other pet. You can’t control what other people’s pets have been exposed to, but you do have control over how an exposure could affect your dog. Check with a trusted veterinarian to determine the best plan for your pup.

For dog owners intending to leave their beloved canines in a pet boarding facility, it is important to get all your bases covered. Keep the pet’s health in mind, and get your dog vaccinated before sending your pet to a dog boarding facility such as a kennel. Kennels have varying requirements when it comes to vaccinations and pet care so it is best to ask them before getting your pet vaccinated. Here are some of the more common ailments and vaccines given to pets bound for boarding.

Common Dog Ailments

Kennel Cough – Aptly named kennel cough, this ailment is often caused by the Bordetella bacteria or the parainfluenza virus. The disease is commonly found in poorly ventilated kennels, but kennel cough is transmitted in a similar way as the common cold in humans. Dogs can easily get infected when they come into contact with another canine that has the virus.

Parvovirus – A parvovirus infection is a fatal disease commonly found in unvaccinated dogs. The virus can affect both the cardiac and gastrointestinal areas in the dog’s body. It is highly contagious and can set in quickly. Puppies are the most susceptible due to their weak health.

Distemper – Canine distemper is caused by the distemper virus. The ailment commonly affects the gastrointestinal area and respiratory system. Although commonly found in dogs, the virus can also infect other types of animals such as ferrets, wolves, foxes and raccoons. The disease is spread by inhaling or coming into direct contact with secretions from an infected animal.

Rabies – Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus which can affect all types of animals. It is easily transmitted by getting bitten by an infected animal. The virus attacks the victim’s nervous system, causing the person or animal to act wildly or unusually fearful.

Common Dog Vaccines

C5 – For kennel bound dogs, ask for the C5 vaccine. This vaccine will help protect the canine from kennel cough, distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and hepatitis. If the dog’s vaccinations have lapsed or if the canine has never been vaccinated before, a booster shot is also required. The booster shot is commonly given approximately two to four weeks after the initial vaccination has been injected. Inter-nasal formulas are available and work quicker. These can work as last minute vaccinations for dogs bound for the kennel.

 It is important to note that although the vaccination can help increase the dog’s resistance from acquiring the kennel cough, it cannot make the dog fully immune from the disease. Similar to the common cold in humans, in a few cases, getting vaccinated can also produce symptoms similar to kennel cough. This can occur around three to ten days after getting the shot, which is why vaccinations should be given at least two weeks before the dog is left at a dog boarding facility.

C4 – This type of core vaccine can protect dogs against the parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper. It can also provide protection against the parainfluenza virus, one of the causes of kennel cough. In some cases, dog boarding facilities will allow dogs to be boarded as long as they have been injected with this vaccine.

 C3 – The C3 core vaccine provides protection against the parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper. This type of vaccine will not provide any protection against the parainfluenza virus or the Bordetella bacteria. As such, dogs will still be susceptible to the kennel cough even after being injected with the C3 vaccine. On its own, the C3 is not a suitable pet care vaccine for a dog entering the kennel facility.

Rabies vaccine – The rabies vaccine is given separately from other forms of vaccines. Puppies that are at least 4 months old can be given the rabies vaccine. For optimal pet health, rabies vaccines should be given once every 3 years while the booster can be administered once a year.

It is important to remember that it takes several days before the dog vaccines take full effect. As such, you need to plan ahead and send your pet to the vet at least two weeks before leaving it at the kennel. Keeping your pet’s vaccines up to date ensures that your canine remains healthy even when left at a pet boarding facility.

Written by Robert Gold, a writer for Paradise 4 Paws DFW.

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Guest post: Yeasty dog ears? Save your sanity with these tips!

french bulldog yeast ears Guest post: Yeasty dog ears? Save your sanity with these tips!

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Summer is nearly here, the flowers are out and a more outdoor life has returned. Barbecues, long walks, lots of fluffy clouds, etc. but for some dog owners, this may not actually be a blessing.

Warm weather makes for an even better growing environment for yeast. Not that a dogs ear needs much encouragement. Both of my dogs used to suffer terrible yeast infections, normally simultaneously and it used to cost a heck of a lot to treat it. Worse still, although the treatment worked temporarily, it invariably kept returning.

The problem I found when I looked into this issue of returning ear yeast infections was a lack of getting to the root of the problem. There was a lot of “let’s get rid of this for now” but not a lot of “let’s find out why this is actually happening.”

Now, over a course of time and with the help of a canine nutritionist, I found three methods I discovered worked very well and below are the best solutions I found to work on my dogs. All of these solutions contain ingredients you commonly find in your kitchen or at your local shops. They are natural too.

They work so effectively because all three of these solutions kill yeast on contact.

It is, however, extremely important to follow two basic rules.

  1. Whatever happens, take your dog to a vet to make sure that what your dog has is, in fact, an ear yeast infection. It could well be dermatitis, ear mites, debris, etc. It’s very important, for your dog especially, to get a correct diagnosis. (In my case after six attacks, I was pretty clued up on diagnosing this.)
  2. Make sure you follow the instructions, and use common sense. Some attacks are very mild, but may range right up to seriously painful and very sore attacks. If it is very sore you will need to go to a vet as it may have turned into a secondary bacterial infection which will need antibiotics and not the treatment below for a yeast infection.

The important thing here is to make sure you know for sure this is a yeast infection and to be careful. The vinegar solution below will sting; if you have a volatile dog, you may not wish to use this first, though it is the most effective solution.

Below are three solutions I’ve had a huge amount of success with, for treating yeasty dog ears.

  1. Buy organic natural yoghurt, it must be both and must state on the tub that it contains active strains of bacteria. Apply a small amount to your dog’s ears and rub in well. This contains natural bacteria to kill the yeast and is soothing for your pets ears. I tend to advise people to use this first. It gets the issue under control fast but does so without causing your dog too much discomfort. When my dog’s ears were looking less sore, I’d move onto the second solution which works far more rapidly.
  2. To actually kill off the yeast infection you need to purchase some apple cider vinegar and make a solution of 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. This needs to be put in a container so it can be “dropped” into your pet’s ears. Three drops in each ear twice to three times a day. If you get ear drops from the vets, it’s basically the same thing but less chemically, and monstrously less expensive. Note, if your dog has red raw ears and a severe infection this will sting his/her ears so it’s best to wait or reduce the solution so there is much more water than vinegar. Personally, if it has gotten to this stage, as I mentioned earlier, it may now be a bacterial infection now and will need to be taken to the vet. Only ever use natural organic apple cider vinegar.
  3. Another tip is to crush a garlic clove and put it in about two tablespoons of organic olive oil and leave for a few hours. Drain the oil through a sieve or tea strainer to get rid of the crushed garlic. Then get a syringe or a clean ear dropper and put 3-5 drops three times a day in each ear and rub in well. Always remake a new batch for each application.

An ounce of prevention

It’s important to note that you need to look after your dog’s ears even when they’re not having an attack. I use the vinegar solution at 10 parts water to one part vinegar solution to clean my dog’s ears every couple of weeks or after they have a rough and tumble in the mud. It’s this maintenance that is very important. The solutions and maintenance are part of a three pronged attack to getting rid of this for good.

Root causes of yeasty dog ears

Sadly, as I mentioned before, this will save you a lot of money but it won’t get to the root of the problem. Yeasty dog ears normally boil down to one of two things:

Environment and/or an allergic reaction.

The environment is a very hard one to remedy, unless you move to an environment more in line with your dog’s bodily wishes. Often in this case the best thing you can do is make sure you maintain a healthy set of ears in your pets. Using the second solution on a fairly regular basis will create an environment in your dog’s ear that yeast simply can’t survive in.

An allergic reaction is a bit easier to remedy. Now I’m going to annoy a few people here but most dog food is fairly awful. Not all of it but most mass manufactured stuff is. Did you know it was only in the last ten years in the UK that food manufacturers were obliged to point out the fact their food had Trans fats in them? If they can leave things off human ingredients, you can bet your bottom dollar they do the same with dog food.

Would you eat dog food?

Funny how they seem to like ours though.

The point is, if many yeast infections are caused by an allergic reaction, it stands to reason that in a vast majority of cases, that food is the culprit. It was when I began changing my dog’s diet that both of my dogs showed an improvement. Now a lesson in what foods to feed your dog’s isn’t possible in an article like this but I’ll let you know how I managed it.

At first I went along blindly, but just getting them off the dog food showed an immediate difference; both of their coats improved. It was after a few months I realised there are a number of anti-yeast foods and a lot that are best to avoid when trying to get rid of this ailment. The secret here is to feed your dogs a balanced diet of the anti-yeast foods. These are not only far healthier for your dogs but make it almost impossible for a yeast infection to develop, especially with the cleaning maintenance you’re now doing.

It’s been over eight years since either of my dogs has had an attack and I hope this article goes some way to helping you solve this highly frustrating (for dog and owner), not to mention very repetitive and expensive problem. Good luck!

Curing Dog Ear Yeast Infection 150x150 Guest post: Yeasty dog ears? Save your sanity with these tips!Richard Page has been an avid dog lover and keeper for over thirty years.

He is also the author of  “A guide to curing your dogs ear yeast infection.”


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Guest Post: How to find the right dog bed

dog bed orange stripe Guest Post: How to find the right dog bed

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There are a plethora of options out there but finding the right bed for your canine is an enormous step that you shouldn’t take lightly. Every dog needs his own space and with the amount of options available these days it can be hard to choose. Your choices are so varied that theirs can become less important in making your bed fit with the décor of your home. Dog beds can last to accommodate your canine for the rest of their life if maintained correctly and kept clean.

Remember, some dogs sleep up to 16 hours a day so their bed can be a massive part of their life.

First of all, evaluate your pooch, his/her size, age, health and needs. Understanding your dog is the fundamental goal in getting the bed correct; smaller dogs and toy breeds prefer beds that they can snuggle into and keep warm such as wool and faux suede fabrics.  Fabrics are much more basic in cheaper beds but are much more suited if your dog malts/sheds an awful lot or gets wet or has a tendency to chew and rip.

Getting a bed with a good pillow and cushioning is another superb addition especially for smaller and older breeds that will enjoy the comfort. Check to see if the coverings are removable and you can wash them; some cheaper beds may be made of poor material that cannot be washed or risks damage from regular washing. Note that these cushioned beds can be a little warm in the summer and your dog may opt for another place to sleep, even on the cold floor.

Waterproof bedding is a great idea if your older dog is suffering from incontinence or they spend a lot of time outside, or if you want an outdoor bed for the summer. Usually waterproof beds are easier to clean and maintain.

Consider your budget, bedding prices can range from £20 – £200+ ($25-$250). There are many points for pricing including quality of the material, size and requirements for your canine. Wool and faux suede and sherpa fleece are always much more expensive, but are not suitable for chewers or for some younger and older breeds. Nothing grows faster than a puppy, so remember buy a bed to accommodate your dog in the long run. Something we have done is buy a smaller bed for a puppy and then buy a more expensive luxury bed when our puppy is getting towards full size.

Chewers and very active dog owners may prefer beds without sides, so a large cushion or memory foam, and flat beds, are a better choice. Is your bed going in a dog crate? If so, look for rectangular dog beds that fit the shape of your crate, maximizing the space for your dog.

Using your dog bed for training, or using it as a reference for bedtime is a great tip. Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed can get them into bad habits and output bad, sometimes dominating behaviour, and often give you a bad nights sleep. Finding a good quality dog bed is easy with Kennelstore.

Chris Turton woks for Kennelstore, the UK’s biggest provider of dog kennels, housing and runs.

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Guest Post: raising Bosco, a German shorthaired pointer

I have a German shorthaired pointer, and let me tell you, they are absolutely crazy! For one, they are a hunting breed. I’m not a hunter. This obviously created an ownership dilemma that caused me to get creative throughout training.

My dog’s name is Bosco, and he’s a classic German shorthaired pointer (GSP). He’s 7 months old and some days he seems younger and other days he seems older. It’s totally unpredictable. He’s all over the place, mentally and physically. Having said that, he’s also come a long way and is starting to fit nicely into a routine.

 Guest Post: raising Bosco, a German shorthaired pointer

Photo of Bosco by Griff Haeger.

Below I list some quick ways that I was able to harness the energy of Bosco, with the goal of helping future owners of German shorthaired pointers.

I taught him how to win

This particular breed of dog is one of the most difficult that I’ve ever dealt with. However, the breed is also very desirable in the sense that once they are trained, they become a wonderful acquaintance. My first step in training Bosco was to teach him how to win. I noticed from the very beginning with Bosco that he always wanted to do things his way. Whether this behavior is the result of his biology or not, I wanted to control it immediately.

 How I did it:

I fell back on the traditional method of dog treats to train him on the basics. For instance, I would show him that I had a treat before hiding it from view. I would wait patiently until he backed up and sat down. Just as he did so, I would provide the treat. I did this over and over. I got control quickly and he learned to listen to me and respect my personal space. For broader training, I learned what he enjoyed, and then showed him when it was tolerable for him to do those things.

 I helped release his energy!

Sometimes pet owners fail to truly understand what makes their animal click. With German shorthaired pointers, movement and action make them click. I knew this going in and am very thankful for the knowledge. As I’m not a hunter, I had to take into account the biology of Bosco and what it would mean to our relationship. His breed has evolved over years and years to form a creature of rambunctious energy and playfulness. I had a plan from the beginning to incorporate him into my life and meet his energy demands.

 How I did it:

  • Golf: I take Bosco with me when I golf at a local course. Not many places allow this, but it’s a great idea if there is one in a particular owner’s area that does. It’s great exercise for both of us. He has plenty of space to run and I get to hit the links while having a leisurely stroll.
  • Frisbee: One of my best friends and I love to huck the Frisbee. This activity is also convenient where Bosco is concerned. Not only does he chase the disc, but the throws are usually of great distance. This gets the guy running! Any adventure that an owner can utilize to tire a GSP is immediately an ideal pastime.
  • Late night bike rides: When I first got Bosco I had a lot of trouble sleeping because he would continue living life until the wee hours of the morning. He didn’t ever want to hit the sack and get some sleep, so I got creative with my bike. My routine is to ride around the neighborhood three or four times before I head to sleep, with him chasing. This gets me outdoors at night and gives him one last chance to expel some energy. This idea has worked wonders.
 Guest Post: raising Bosco, a German shorthaired pointer

Photo of Bosco by Griff Haeger.

I respected him

German shorthaired pointers demand respect, and rightfully so. I did some research before getting Bosco and expected this from the get go. I can’t stress enough how important it is to respect this breed of dog. Not only are they smart, but they have high expectations with regards to their daily life and activity. Bosco is not the type of pet that could survive in a college apartment or sedentary household. I learned to give him what he needs before he demanded it. He began to respect me when he realized this.

How I did it:

I did my research on the breed and gauged his individual personality from day one. I got a sense of what he needed to sleep well at the end of the night and planned my activities around his needs. Oftentimes pets can totally change the livelihood of their owner, and in my case, this held true. My life is different, but much better, with Bosco.

German shorthaired pointers are great dogs. However, they need to have the right owner and caretaker. I don’t think I would be a sufficient guardian if I hadn’t done my research and altered my lifestyle to accommodate Bosco. I hope this article helps future owners of GSPs, because they are a great breed whether used for hunting or simply a family friend.

Griff Haeger is a dog aficionado. When he’s not taking Bosco for a crazy hike or fixing an air conditioner at work, he writes about natural dog food.

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Guest Post: The best dog boarding options this spring

The holiday season is a busy time for most people. If you have kids, the months of March, April, and May are filled with vacations, parties and family visits. Many people head out of town to spend spring break with their extended family. Loving dog owners may feel guilty about leaving their pet during the holidays but if they are not able to bring their dog with them, they have no other choice but to leave them behind. Since it can be extremely difficult to find a pet sitter during the spring holiday season people need to find a good overnight dog boarding facility that will take good care of their pet.

pet on bed Guest Post: The best dog boarding options this spring

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The difference between a kennel and a pet hotel

Kennels and pet hotels both care for dogs while their owners are out of town but they offer different levels of service. A basic kennel keeps dogs in cages. They do not supply pet beds or structured play areas. Kennels let dogs out into a fenced area but not all kennels walk the dogs or play with them each day. Kennels are the cheapest boarding option because they only offer basic care and services.

A pet hotel offers a more luxurious setting for dogs. Rather than staying in a cage, dogs stay in their own spacious suites that include lighting and a comfortable bed. Staff members do their best to make the dogs feel secure. Some dog boarding facilities even play soft music at bedtime to help dogs relax in their new environment. Staff members monitor pet hotel guests 24-hours a day and if any sudden health issues arise, the animals receive professional medical treatment right away.

People who have an energetic dog should choose a dog hotel that offers doggy daycare services for boarded dogs. Not all dog hotels offer doggy daycare but they do take the dogs for daily walks and give them the opportunity to run and play in an indoor or outdoor play area. Pet hotel staff members take the time to talk to and play with all of the dogs in their care. Some pet hotels also offer grooming services.

How to select the best facility

Whether people choose to take their dog to a kennel or pet hotel they need to find out more about the facility before dropping off their pet. People should always take the time to walk through the entire facility, including outdoor dog runs or play areas to see if the environment is safe, clean and cheery. Pet owners should take note of how the staff treats the animals and check for signs of a poor quality facility such as empty food and water dishes, foul odor, lack of bedding and toys or unhappy staff members. If the pet owner wouldn’t dream of spending one night at the facility they should not leave their pet there.

All good dog boarding facilities have strict rules and requirements. They ask that boarders and doggy daycare participants be up to date on their vaccinations and they do not let mature animals participate in group activities unless they are spayed or neutered. These rules are put in place to protect all of the dogs staying in the facility. People should never leave their dog at a boarding facility that does not ask to see a copy of the animal’s immunization records.

Nobody likes to leave their dog but people who find an excellent dog boarding facility can relax knowing that their favorite animal is in good hands. Many modern facilities even give their customers the opportunity to view the different rooms of the pet hotel online via webcam so they can check on their pet anytime they please while they are away.

Written by Robert Gold, a writer for Paradise 4 Paws.

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