Tags: Veterinarian advice. Pet Care health
My readers already know that dogs are cool! But Summer is here, and dogs succumb to heat stroke even more easily than people do. A dog’s cooling system differs from ours. Dogs do not sweat (as they’re covered in fur), but instead, pant, relying on evaporative cooling from their airways. In our slice of paradise, the air is humid and evaporative cooling is not so Pet Care effective (just think about how effective sweating is at keeping you cool on a humid day…), yet it’s all dogs have.
So, we must help them stay cool. They need plenty of cool, fresh water to drink, and you can try adding ice cubes to help keep their body temperature down. Air con and fans are great. Swimming pools work well too, but ensure your dog knows where the steps are. As with children, never leave your dog in the car during Summer, as they can become heat affected extremely quickly in our conditions.
Dr Jackie – Bribie Island Veterinarian
NUTRITION IN DOGS
Part One – One question I often get asked is what I feed my dog. My last dog was a bull mastiff x who lived for 16 years. Giant breeds life expectancy is 8 – 10 years. He died of natural causes and I believe the reason for his healthy longevity was his diet. There are many confusing information about dog nutrition. It is difficult to work out what’s right for us let alone our four-legged friend.
First let’s start; dog obesity rate has doubled over the past 20 years. It is estimated that approximately 41% of all dogs are overweight or obese. This is due to two main factors over eating and insufficient exercise. Signs of obesity:
- when ribs cannot be felt
- loss of an obvious waist
- having to loosen the collar
- difficulty walking
- slow movement
- shortness of breath
- bad temper
- sleeping more than usual.
There are health risks such as heart disease, skeletal and breathing problems, skin disease, diabetes and arthritis. According to Hills Science Diet a 28g piece of cheese given to a 10 kg dog is equivalent to humans eating 3.5 hamburgers. Other interesting fact about nutrition and animal behaviour, in the 1930’s Dr Pottenger demonstrated a marked increase in aggression in cats that were fed cooked food and also had a higher level of aggression towards their handlers. The behaviour changed when they were put on a raw diet.
Happy training, Yvonne