Tuesday, March 29, 2011
8 Common Myths
Dog breath comes with the territory. Some odor may be normal depending on the foods they eat. However, abnormal odor may indicate a problem such as teeth or gum disease, gastrointestinal or respiratory disease, tonsillitis, coprophagia, lip fold dermatitis, stomatitis, foreign materials, kidney failure, or licking in the anal region.
Dogs eat grass because they are sick. Dogs often eat grass if they have low-grade indigestion or gastritis. This usually causes them to vomit up a frothy fluid or whatever is in the stomach, to relieve the gastric acid reflux or irritation. However, dogs eat grass for other reasons too. Some eat grass as a habit, to be given another type of food or treat, or even to get rid of bad-tasting medicine. Dogs are descended from wolves that eat all parts of their "kill." This includes the stomach contents of many animals that eat berries and grass. Many scientists believe grass was once part of their normal diet and eating small amounts is normal.
A female dog should go through at least one heat cycle before being spayed. I am sure that most people have heard this by now. However, I will repeat it for the benefit of the folks who have not yet. There is no need for a female to go into heat before being spayed. She will have many health benefits when she is spayed early, than her unsprayed counterpart. She will have less or no chances of mammary tumors, STD, pregnancy toxemia, gestational diabetes mellitus, uterine prolapse, metritis, hypocalcemia, subinvolution of placental sites, mastitis, agalactia, ovarian cytsts, ovarian neoplasia, ovarian remnant syndrome, aplasia, dysplasia, cystic endometrial hyperplasia/pyometra, hydrometra, mucometra, hematometra, uterine neoplasia, going into heat, and puppies.
All dogs naturally eat bones. Although wild canids consume all or part of the bones of their prey, domesticated dogs generally do not require the added minerals found in bones if they are consuming a good quality dog food. Some dogs do enjoy chewing bones, and some commercially available products are safe and help prevent tartar buildup on teeth. Small bones and bones that splinter should not be fed, as they can lodge or puncher the mouth or gastrointestinal tract.
A cold, wet nose indicates good health. A moist nose is a normal state, but the nose of a healthy animal should be at normal body temperature, unless it was just dipped in cold water or there is cold, windy air blowing. A dry, hot nose often signals illness or fever. Also, keep in mind that there are illness and injuries that would not change the condition of your dog’s nose.
Shaving a dog helps him stay cool. Because dogs sweat from their footpads and via the respiratory tract, shaving them really will not help much in cooling them down. A dog’s coat protects and insulates him from extremes of heat and cold. The coat also protects from thermal injury and provides protection form UV-induced skin damage.
All dog food is the same. You know what they say about buying a building it is all about location, location, location. However, in the case of dog food its ingredients, ingredients, ingredients. It is important to be able to read the ingredient list of dog food to understand the differences. In the interest of time and space, I will not go into how to read it, but there are books and articles that will explain everything. In very simple terms, it is like eating only fast food compared to eating only healthy homemade food.
Licking is Healing. It is natural for a dog to lick its wound but this not necessarily always "healing." Too much licking can actually prohibit healing.