Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How fat is your dog ?

Many dog owners do not often care on the above question as long as they are healthy or fat enough. The worrying part is often seen in pet owners when the dog is below the ideal weight level i.e. dogs start becoming thin. Now when you ask a vet like me about which worrying is appropriate, the answer would be both. Idealism in everything is the best and that implies to dog's body weight too. Now vets will ask you to maintain your pets weight in an ideal level as far as possible by balancing its diet and exercise. What exactly is an ideal weight for your dog ? This article is trying to help you sort out this question.

Dogs around the world come in different sizes. From a toy breed Chihuahua which may weigh as less as 2 pounds to St. Bernard which may weigh up to 190 pounds in normal condition the weight range of canines is wide. As such, one chart of dogs weight to classify thin, healthy and fat dogs will be insufficient. Taking weight as a parameter to classify also does not seem correct. To simplify this job, the body condition of dogs is divided into 9 stages according to Purina body condition system. You can observe your dog and find out how ideal his body weight condition is.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flea allergy dermatitis

Monsoon is at our door step and with the cool rain, humid season also commences. Humid season helps in breeding and increase in number of tiny jumping parasites, the fleas. Once fleas get a hold on your pets body, your pet will sooner or later develop an allergic condition. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common allergy in dogs and is caused by flea bites, specifically the saliva of the flea. It is a very itchy disease and predisposes to the development of secondary skin infections.

Oddly enough, most animals with flea allergy have very few fleas – because they are so itchy, they groom themselves excessively, eliminating any evidence of fleas. However, a couple of flea bites every two weeks are sufficient to make a flea allergic dog itchy all the time. Any animal can become allergic to fleas, although some dogs are more attractive to fleas than others.

Fleas are bloodsucking insects with a life span of 6 to 12 months. This life span is influenced by environmental conditions and can vary from two to three weeks up to a year. Optimal conditions include humidity of 75 to 85 percent and temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is more important than the temperature.

The adult flea spends most of its life on the host, while the immature stages (eggs) are found in the environment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Your Pet Dog’s Life Expectancy

We all will do anything and everything we can so that our pet will have a long and healthy life. But how long is the average life of a particular breed of dog and what can we do to maximize the likelihood that our dog will live longer than expected?

A myth is heard that one year of a dog’s life is equal to seven human years, so that, for example, a dog at age one is like a human child at age seven, and a 5-year old dog is the equivalent of a human adult of 35. In fact, there is not any linear relationship between human and dog years. Dogs mature much more quickly than humans. A dog at age one has generally achieved its full growth and is sexually active – this is obviously not true of a seven year old human child. So a dog at age one is similar to a teenager, who has some growing out to do but is more or less mature physically.

Thereafter each year in a dog’s life may be seen as about equal to 4 to 6 human years. Overall, the life expectancy of most dogs is around twelve years on an average. But the actual expected life span of any particular dog is highly dependant on its breed. Generally speaking, the larger the breed of dog, the shorter its life will be. We veterinarians guess that this is because larger dogs’ bodies must work harder than those of their smaller compatriots.

Factors That Contribute to Life Span

Various important suggestions as to how dog owners can improve the odds of their particular dog living beyond the standard life span are discussed. A number of steps owners of dogs should take to extend their pet’s life are also included.