Pooch seem a bit sad and sniffly? Or a little extra itchy and scratchy? There's a good chance she has some allergies. Yep, dogs can have them, too.
Here's what owners ought to know about allergies:
Who gets 'em: Any dog can, really. But certain breeds, including pugs, setters, retrievers, and terriers seem more prone to developing them.
What causes 'em: Many of the same substances that set off human sneezes, like grass, weeds, pollens, molds, dust mites, and dander are also known to cause canine allergies. Other culprits include common items such as perfumes, cleaning products, prescription drugs, flea remedies, and certain food ingredients.
How to spot 'em: The telltale signs can vary from dog to dog, but sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and irritated eyes and skin are among the most common. Persistent scratching and pawing are also definite red flags. If it's a more severe allergic reaction, your dog may experience diarrhea or vomiting.
What to do about 'em: If you think your dog may have allergies, take her in for a vet visit. A full exam with blood work and skin tests should pinpoint any offending substances. Once identified, your vet can offer advice for avoiding triggers and determine if medication or allergy shots would be beneficial.
HERE'S A PREVIOUS TIP OF THE WEEK THAT MANY PET PAGE READERS HAVE ENJOYED—-THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO EFFECTIVE CRATE TRAINING
Think “Go to your crate” sounds too much like “Go to your room!”? The whole “cage” concept may sound punishing, but the philosophy behind crate training is just the opposite. The idea is to make your pooch's crate a soothing, comfortable place of his own, where he can sleep and lounge — not somewhere he's banished to when he misbehaves. In fact, crate training is one of the most popular methods of housebreaking a new dog and getting him used to living in your home. Keep the following in mind when trying this type of training:
Size it up. Choose a crate big enough for your pooch to stand up and turn around comfortably, but not so spacious that he can easily keep his distance from any messes he may make inside it.
Ease into the intro. Place a few favorite toys inside the crate to make it more inviting. Coax your pooch inside, and let him sniff out this new space. If he settles down and seems comfortable, try closing the door. If he objects, let him out and reassure him. But if he doesn't seem to mind, pour on the praise. Gradually work up to leaving your pup in the crate for longer stretches of time as he grows more accustomed to it.
Stay positive. If your pooch has an accident in the crate, skip the scolding. Being confined in a small space with a stinky mess is punishment enough. Instead, take him outside and remind him of where he is supposed to go.