Why do dogs love to eat snow

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The first snow fall is the sign that the fun winter activities of dog owner and pet is about to begin. The dog owner does not have to bundle up the pet as the thick fur would protect the dog from the freezing temperature. Winter recreational activities would be even more enjoyable if the pet is around. Most dog owners though would be concerned about the pet’s inclination to eat snow. Although the habit to eat snow would be much better than eating rotting animals and feces, eating snow cannot be totally danger free. People holding plastic cups of snow topped with bright colored syrup is a common sight.

Snow with fresh or candied fruit toppings is also a favorite dessert. It seems that dogs really do have a lot of similarities with humans as these animals also love to eat snow. Dogs are not fastidious eaters as they would love to eat even unflavored snow. Haven’t you ever wondered why the dog loves to eat snow? Is the dog thirsty because you always forget to fill its water bowl?

By eating snow, dogs in the wild have survived the winter months when the rivers and streams are frozen. Modern day dogs don’t need to fend for themselves as the owners provide the pet with all its basic needs as well as all the comforts imaginable. Dogs though are very curious animals. Sunlight glistening on the snow crystals would entice an inquisitive dog to investigate. Once tasted, the dog would take another mouthful because the melting of the cold snow on the warm tongue would be pleasant sensation for the dog. Because snow eating is not dangerous, the dog owner would not prevent a pet that seems to get so much pleasure from eating snow.

However, if the pet has ingested large amounts of snow, it is possible that the body temperature will be lowered. The dog that has been eating snow excessively stands the risk of hypothermia. Eating snow is not entirely harmless as the dog can be eating snow laced with toxic substances. Instead of being topped with brightly colored and fruit flavored syrup like the snow people love to eat, the dog may be eating snow topped with anti freeze or other toxic substances. This would naturally result to poisoning.

Excessive snow eating can be attributed to a medical concern. Kidney disease or thyroid diseases can be the reason for the dog fondness for eating snow. Dogs with diabetes and Cushing’s disease will eat snow to satisfy the huge appetite that is a manifestation of the disease. To stop the dog’s snow eating habit, these medical concern must be addressed.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can learn more about why dogs eat snow as well as dog first aid and other common dog behaviors.

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robbie on September 26th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

What makes a pet dog howl

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The haunting and eerie howling of the dog would keep fearful people awake all night. It would seem as if dogs really do follow a leader. Barking that is started by one dog will be picked up by other dogs. You would think that you are suddenly transported to a horror movie scene if the howling that was started by one dog will make other dogs howl as well. Dogs are often featured in horror movies as the howling is commonly associated with sinister happenings. Although baseless, these beliefs would nevertheless make your hair stand on end especially if the chorus of howling is piercing the silence of the rainy moonless night.

Howling is a behavior commonly associated with wolves. It seems that howling is the favored means of communication of wolves. The wilderness is a vast area and barking may be ineffectual in calling the attention of other wolves. The reverberating howl will notify other pack members of the whereabouts of the howling wolf. Dog owners would always want to have the pet around thus, modern day dogs don’t need to howl as there will be no need to find the pack members. Pet dogs though are still heard howling.

Howling is an inherited trait used by the dog to communicate. Studies have noted that dogs living inside the house with the family and dogs that are receiving sufficient care and attentions from the loving owners are seldom heard howling. Experts believe that howling is one way of getting the human family’s attention as the mournful sound is more commonly heard from dogs left alone all day. Dogs are social animals and as such pets that are left alone all day or pets that are not given opportunities to interact with the family will howl because of separation anxiety.

Dogs will be heard howling at passing ambulance and fire trucks. The sound of the ambulance or fire truck can be viewed by the dog as the howl of another dog thus it would howl its response. This will be the same as a howl that is answered by other wolves. Mistaking the ambulance sound as a howl, the dog will also let out a howl as a response.

A dog that is not provided with food, water and comfortable shelter may howl to get the attention of the owners. The howling dog may have an undiagnosed medical concern. A howl is a haunting sound that can be indicative of the pet’s pain and discomfort. Are you one the kind of owner that would shout to stop the pet’s howling or would you be a concerned owner and see what is wrong with the pet?

Find out more about why dogs howl as well as information on dog first aid at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on September 23rd 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

What causes a dog to walk in circles

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Dog owners are not surprised if the pet is seen walking in circles as this behavior is common in dogs. The modern day dog’s habit of walking in circles is a carryover trait from their ancestors. Walking around in circles is done by primitive dogs specifically to make the sleeping area more comfortable. Unlike modern day pets that are provided with comfortable beds, dogs in the wild would sleep under the stars on hard ground covered with snow or leaves.

Walking around in circles to trample the vegetation will make the sleeping area more comfortable. Dogs have to protect themselves from dangerous insects and from predators. To ensure that no snakes, scorpions or other venomous insects are lurking in the sleeping area, a dogs will walk around in circles. Dogs in the wild have to fend off the attacks of predators and a dog that walks in circles before lying down is making sure that there are no predators around. Dog owners would know that when the pet inside the house walks around in circles they have to act – fast as it is a sign that the dog is about to defecate.

A dog trying to be cute to get the attention of the family will put on an act. The dog will continuously walk in circles especially if encouraged by the applause and the laughter of the family. Walking around in circles is a behavior that is often seen in dogs and cats. Dogs are noted to walk around in circles before lying down or before doing their business but if these are not the reasons for walking around in circles , a pet parent has to be concerned as it is highly probable that the dog has an underlying health concern.

A dog with an injured inner ear will lose its sense of balance given that the ear is one of the balance centers of the body. Dogs commonly lose sense of balance if the ears are damaged due to ear infection or ear mite infestation. Some pet antibiotics and over the counter ear washes may have a negative effects on the dog as these medications will make the pet walk in circles.

A dog’s tendency to walk in circles can be attributed to medical conditions such as vestibular diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus and canine distemper. Balance and voluntary movements are controlled by the cerebellum of the brain. A tumor that develops in the cerebellum can make the dog lose its coordination and sense of balance thus it would walk in circles.

Why do dogs walk around in circles? Sarah’s Dogs have more answers to this common dog behaviour as well as information on dog first aid.

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robbie on August 10th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Why Do Dogs Love To Lick Their Butts

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Licking is a normal behavior of dogs. Dogs cannot talk but they have an effective way of showing their affection to people they like. In order to communicate; a dog will lick other dogs and also humans. The tongue is used by the mother dog to groom the puppies. The bond is strengthened when the dam licks the puppies but this habit is also done to induce the puppies to urinate and defecate.

Dog owners are often perplexed at the habit of the pet to lick the anal area. Apparently, this kind of licking is not done as a show of affection nor is it a way of expressing themselves. A dog that is trying to reach and to lick the butt would draw out laughter from the family. But this is for certain, an owner will not be happy if the pet that has been licking its anal area would give him sloppy kisses.

A mother dog will lick the puppy after it has urinated or defecated. Butt licking can be an ingrained habit that was learned by the dog from its mother. A dog’s long rough tongue is used not unlike a wash cloth for grooming purposes. Dog’s version of human’s hand shaking is butt sniffing. If humans make sure that their hands are clean, dogs too would want to keep their butts feces free and this is done by licking. Dogs have the predilection for anything that humans find horrible. Dog owners would always complain about the dogs habit of eating feces and rolling in smelly objects. Given the dog’s partiality to feces and smelly things, the habit to lick butts is understandable.

A foreign body in the anal area can be the reason why the dog would lick its butt. Plastics, cloth and other non-edible objects will be ingested because dogs are indiscriminate eaters. Because these objects cannot be digested, the dog will excrete these things in their original form. The indigestible object will not be totally excreted so that the dog will lick its butt to remove the dangling thing from its anus.

Another reason why a dog will continuously lick its butt is an impacted anal gland. Anal glands are normally emptied when the dog defecates but inexpensive dog food that are mostly cereal fillers will result to soft stools so that the anal glands get impacted. Bacteria will build up if the anal glands are impacted. This will make the dog extremely uncomfortable. To alleviate the pain and the discomfort, the dog will be seen constantly scooting and licking the butt.

Learn more about why dogs lick their butts and dog first aid at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on August 6th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Why do dogs hate cats?

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A person can reach the limit of his/her patience if the chosen pets are dogs and cats given that these animals cannot live peacefully in one household. Cats and dog have always been depicted in stories as arch enemies. Dogs and cats have been quarreling and chasing each other for ages. Obviously these two animals that hate each other cannot co-exist in one household peacefully.

Dogs actually love cats – man’s best friends love to chase and to torment cats and it seems that cats can’t stand the tough and menacing looks of the dog. Because of a playful nature, a dog will love to chase and torment a cat while the cat’s screaming every time the dog is seen means that the feline cannot stand the presence of the dog. Why do dogs and cats hate each other so much?

The inability to co-exist can be attributed to the difference in personalities. Dogs are playful by nature. Human’s best friends are social creatures too. This means that dogs would constantly need to interact with humans, with dogs and with other animal. Cats on the other hand are haughty and aloof.

Dogs have an inherent desire to please its people and when not given the chance to be with its human family, dogs would normally suffer from separation anxiety. This situation is not the same with cats. Cats would not mind being left alone at home all day as these are very independent animals. Cats are not very demanding pets as the owner simply need to provide the cat with its basic needs. A cat can lie on the window sill all day grooming its fur. Dogs on the other hand would always need to be on the go.

Dogs may not really hate cats as these friendly animals may even entice the cat to play. However, the play bow of the dog can be misconstrued by the cat as an aggressive or threatening stance. A cat would really be intimidated by the size and appearance of the dog . So that when the dog approaches to play, the screaming cat will flee.

A cat may have a reason to hate the dog. Dogs after all are predators. A dog would vault in an instant to follow a prey. A cat can be one of the animals that a dog will consider as its prey. It would not be surprising if these animals would hate each other.

Why do dogs hate cats? More information on this age old myth and dog first aid can be found at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on July 27th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

How to stop the dog’s destructive chewing behavior

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Chewing, like barking is a natural dog behavior and dog owners in one time or another would be irked by the pet’s destructive behavior. Dogs would practically gravitate towards slippers, shoes and other objects lying around and in no time will put the mouth and the teeth to work. The objects chewed and destroyed by the dog, no matter how expensive can either be repaired or replaced. But the life of a dog that was lost when it has chewed and ingested a poisonous substance or has chewed an electric wire can never be restored.

Dogs, especially puppies are naturally inquisitive. Because they don’t have hands, they explore the environment using their mouths. Therefore, an owner has to make sure that the home is dog proofed to keep the pet safe. Teething puppies have the propensity to chew more because they need to soothe the sore gums thus owners have to be extra vigilant and ensure that no objects are left lying around.

Keeping belongings off the floor and keeping doors closed is necessary to lessen the potential destruction especially if it is not possible to supervise the dog. Untrained dogs must never be left unsupervised and free to wander inside the house. Leave the dog in a crate if you need to be away for a few hours to keep the pet away from trouble. A dog owner has to introduce to the pet the things that can be chewed.

Don’t give the dog an old sock or shoe to chew on. Although intelligent animals, dogs have no capability to understand which shoe or sock can be chewed and which items cannot be chewed and played with. Provide the dog with toys that can be safely chewed. A Kong toy filled with the dog’s favorite treat will keep the pet entertained for hours .

The dog’s destructive chewing behavior can be the result of boredom, separation anxiety and loneliness. To prevent boredom provide the dog with regular mental and physical opportunities to exercise. Physical exertion will tire out the dog and bushed dogs are commonly well behaved dogs. Sprays and substances used to make an object unappealing to dog can work for a time but will not modify the dog’s destructive behavior. Obedience training is very necessary. Obedience training will not only turn the dog into a good canine citizen but also improve the ties between owner and pet.

Find out more about what to do when your dog chews as well as first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on April 27th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

What would you do if your dog attacks you

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Dogs form a legendary attachment with their owners. The reaction of a dog when the master is seen would not fail to give credence to the idea that dogs are man’s best friends. A dog will enthusiastically meet the master with relaxed ears, lolling tongue, a wagging tail and a face that seems to say “I miss you master”.

It was believed that the alliance between man and dog has existed for thousands of years. These animals that are highly attuned to the feelings of humans would offer affection; comforting presence and protection. However, statistics tell us that almost five million dog attack incidents occur in US and most of the victims were attacked by their own dogs.

Dogs are well love pets that are commonly treated as the “baby” of the family and the putting an aggressive dog to sleep would be a very hard decision for the dog owners. The priority of a dog owner though is to protect the family from the attacks of the aggressive pet. Despite domestication, dogs have retained the high prey drive and the cunning, territorial, ferocious behaviors they have inherited form their wolf ancestors. The latent aggressive nature of the dog will surface once triggered by a situation in the environment especially if the dog was trained by the owners to fight and to be aggressive. So what would you do if you or a family member was attacked by your own dog?

An attack situation calls for presence of mind to be able to evade the attack of the pet that has suddenly gone berserk. Being pack animals, dogs would try to dominate pack members perceived to be weak by showing aggression. The dog may have gone berserk but a well trained pet would still hesitate to attack if the command of the master is heard. You are still the alpha male and a “sit” or “stay” command given in an authoritative voice would bide you sometime to get to safer ground.

Don’t run – running will make the dog more determined to attack you. Staring into the eyes of the dog would not be a good idea as it can be misconstrued by the dog as a sign of your willingness to fight. Not showing fear would be difficult but dogs that can sense human’s fear becomes more resolute with the intention to attack. If the attacking dog cannot be stopped curl into a ball to protect your face and your throat.

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robbie on March 31st 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Why do dogs chew

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All dogs are known to bark, to dig, to roll in mud, to scratch and to chew. Owners really do love their dog. It would not be surprising given the significant influence these animals made on the quality of humans lives. In spite of the dogs loyal and loving nature, an owner may think of abandoning the pet because of its unwanted behaviors. A dog’s chewing habit that has become destructive would naturally be a cause for concern. No pet owner would want to constantly replace the things destroyed by the dog’s indiscriminate chewing habit.

Chewing is a natural behavior of dogs. Puppies at the age of three months would be noticed trying the strength of their gums and teeth . Puppies, unlike humans, have no hands thus the mouth and the teeth are used to investigate their environment . Puppies are very curious fur balls and the only way by which they can learn about their world is to gnaw thing . Teething pains entices puppies to chew more. Babies are usually given teethers to ease teething pains and to strengthen the gums. Puppies that are not provided with chew toys would find their own teethers to manage their teething pains. This indiscriminate chewing can have dangerous results. A life threatening blockage can be an outcome of the dog’s indiscriminate chewing habit. The chewing habit of puppies can be managed as it would be an easy matter to confine a small dog and provide it with harmless chew toys. The tendency to chew is generally outgrown by most puppies.

A well behave dog that has unexpectedly developed an excessive chewing habit would naturally concern a pet owner. The dog’s unwanted behavior can be due to an underlying reason. Loneliness, inactivity and boredom can be the cause for the dog’s destructive chewing behavior. Finding out what makes your dog chew is only the beginning. It is also a priority to know what to do when it chews. Dogs are social animals. A dog is not similar to a cat that would be contented to stare into space alone all day. Being a social animal, a dog would need a member of its human family or another dog to play with. As you would expect, dogs would not know the value of things. A shoe with the master’s scent would be a poor substitute but it would do for a dog missing its master. A dog would require opportunities where it can expend its excess energies. Dog owners must be aware that it would not be a good idea to confine the pet with no toys or playmate inside the house as with most certainty, the dog will develop into a destructive pet.

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robbie on February 26th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

What are the causes of dog scooting

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Dog owners would have been exposed to the weird behavior of the pet. It is not uncommon for pet owners to observe the pet turning around in circles, sleeping with the four legs up like an upended table and chasing the tail. Scooting is another weird behavior of the dog. To scoot, a dog would propel its body forward using the front legs while dragging the butt against the floor, the carpet or the grass.

A dog that cocks the head or one that chases the tail endlessly is an amusing sight that will elicit laughter from the family. No matter how entertaining the dog is, the family would tire of watching the pet. Pet owners would wonder if aside from wanting to entertain, the pet’s weird behavior may be due to other reasons.

The scooting of the dog can be a sign of boredom. Dogs are social animals that would always want to have the attention of the family and failing to do so would make the dog destructive to get the family’s attention. By dragging its butt the dog can get the attention of the family and would bask in the clapping and shouts of encouragement. The dog will be encouraged to scoot by the family’s laughter.

Dragging the butt though may not be for the benefit of the family. Scooting is a sign that the pet is either in pain or uncomfortable. Due top the dog’s propensity to ingest anything, strings, plastic or cloth that gets stuck in the rectum can give the dog an uncomfortable feeling. The hair on the anal area may also be decorated with dried up feces. A dog will rub its rear end against the ground in an effort to remove foreign objects from its butt.

Worm infestation and anal gland disorders are possible reasons why the dog would drag its butt on the floor. A dog infested with tapeworm will scoot as the segments of worm will collect on the anus and on the hair around the area anal area causing severe itching. Another reason why a dog would drag its butt on the ground is anal gland disorders. The doggie smell that differentiates one dog from another is secreted by the anal gland. The anal gland secretion is normally facilitated as the dog defecates but a low fiber diet that results to soft stools makes it hard for the anal glands to empty. The secretion will become thick if the anal gland is not emptied. An impacted anal gland would be painful for the dog thus it would try to empty the sacs by dragging its butt in the floor.

Want to know more about why dogs scoot as well as dog first aid. Visit Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on February 21st 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips