Monsoon in India can be fluctuating every year- it is either too cold, moist or very harsh with storms. It is also the most popular season for humans to fall sick. But did you know that our dogs are also prone to getting sick during the rainy days?
The temperature usually drops during November across India, along with unbearable cold showers and winds. When you can see the climate changing, make sure to check for the following symptoms for common illness in your dogs, to avoid complications.
1) Frostbites: During monsoon, the skin of your pooches might swell and turn pale. In extreme cold, the body cuts off blood flow to the extreme edges of the body to keep the essential organs functioning. The reduced blood flow leads to the formation of ice crystals and hence, damages the tissues.
The symptoms of frostbites are discoloration – pale, grey or blue, brittleness of the area when touched, acute pain in the affected area, swelling and skin ulcer. Delaying treatment for frostbite could lead to bacterial infection and decay.
To treat frostbites apply warm water to the affected areas and refrain from offering any painkillers to your dog. Do not massage the areas, as it could cause more pain. Take him to your veterinarian for more assistance.
2) Hypothermia: Hypothermia is similar to the human conditions caused due to lower body temperature. This can happen due to exposure to frigid temperatures. Wet fur can be dangerous for dogs during cold seasons.
The rate of heartbeat and breathing might slow down, leading to other complications. It can leave a lasting neurological problem, kidney failure and frostbite, if not catered to. Symptoms of hypothermia are shivering due to wet skin, restlessness and lethargy.
You can check for hypothermia with a rectal thermometer for dogs. Wrap them closely in a warm blanket and consult a vet.
Consult with your veterinarian to know about the quantity that must be fed. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index so if your dog has a diabetic history, please ensure if they can be included in their diet. The best way to start including sweet potatoes in your dog’s meal is to feed him with a small amount. The condition can also be avoided if you keep your pooches warm and ensure they are not exposed to cold temperature or rains for a long time. You can cover their paws and body warm with boots, socks or sweaters.
3) Arthritis: Arthritis causing pain and discomfort due to inflammation of joints is a common condition among both humans and dogs. But unlike us who voluntarily admit the pain, dogs tend to show grumpiness or laziness.
Arthritis is mostly found in older dogs, but it can occur in an earlier age too. In this condition the dog’s cartilage within a joint is damaged causing the bones in the joint to rub together. This leads to stiffness of joints and hence, the development of pain.
This condition cannot be diagnosed accurately. There are no proper preventive measures for Arthritis. If you find your dog limping, walking slow or unable to move around with comfort, take your dog to the clinic for tests and X-ray examinations. Weight control and exercise can be the best therapies for dogs suffering from arthritis.
Here at Oscar Daisy, you can find a range of nutritional diet plans, with natural ingredients and healthy recipes, curated specially for your furry friends. You can pick the meal package the suites your pooch after consultation with an in-house veterinarian, to keep their weight balanced.
4) Dog Sniffles: Just as we humans are prone to catching a common cold now and then, dogs too catch a cold often during monsoon. It is not a serious condition, but ensuring good care is important to avoid consequences.
It could be a slight cough, runny and wetter nose, sneezing or fatigue in dogs that indicate sniffles. If you find your dog suffering from cold, keep them in warmer conditions. Feed them warm and easily soluble food to increase energy. You can take your pooch to the vet if the condition doesn’t improve in a few days. Some stubborn sniffles require medications.
If you have other dogs or pets at home, try to isolate the sick puppy from the healthy ones to avoid transmissions.
5) Kennel Cough: Kennel cough is a respiratory sickness in dogs caused by different bacteria and viruses. Cold temperatures and poor ventilation are the possible reasons to contract the illness. They are very contagious and hence, it is best to take your dog to the clinic in the early stages.
If your dog struggles with a dry cough, runny nose, fever, eye discharge, loss of appetite or sneezing, it could be kennel cough condition. Mild cases are easily curable but if the infection spreads, medications will not be enough.
Nevertheless, isolate your dog from other pets to stop the spread of the infection and avoid using a collar. Keep your dog warm and in humid conditions with a cozy blanket. During rains, try to avoid letting your dog stay inside the kennel to avoid the growth of bacteria.
6) Pneumonia: Throughout the monsoon, many dogs experience pneumonia. It is a breathing problem caused by less airflow due to inflammation of lungs and airways. It can be caused due to deficient oxygen in the blood and viral infections in the respiratory tract.
Signs of pneumonia include lack of appetite, deep coughs, labored breathing, increased body temperature and high exposure to wet and cold atmosphere. It occurs as flu and can be treated within weeks but if it pertains, you have to take your dog to the clinic for better diagnosis. You can wrap your dog in a cozy blanket or provide them with comfortable clothes to keep them warm.
It is suggested that you provide ample care to your fur babies during rainy and cold season. Spending long hours in the cold, outside and poor maintenance of the atmosphere could cause our dogs various illness. Providing your dogs with proper food and warm shelters can keep them them safe from these common illnesses. Make it compulsory to have a thorough check up with your vet during monsoon season.
Fireworks is a predominant action to celebrate Diwali for humans, but it isn’t a pleasant experience for dogs. They tend to feel discomfort with explosions and light. It could also lead to injuries. To avoid this, many pet parents tend to leave their dogs at animal shelters for safety.
Usually, if your dog is scared, they run off from the location or found lost the next day. They could also develop anxiety and stress. Dogs gauge the home environment unsafe and this triggers them to leave the place. While they run off chances of getting burns and accidents are high. They could experience issues with breathing due to the smoke.
How can you take care of your furry friends and relax during the occasions?
Oscar Daisy offers you a list of tips to help not only your distressed pets but also the stray dogs safe during the festival of lights or at any events involving fireworks.
1. Create a safe space for the pup:
When the fireworks begin, your dogs will look for a place to hide. Anxiousness will push them to act swiftly. Hence, provide easy access to a safe place for a retreat at home. Choose for a quiet enclosed area. You could also keep a crate ready. This will help you prevent your dog from running away.
2. Check for your pet’s collar and microchip:
If your dog runs away out of fear of the noises, the collars and microchips will be of great help. Ensure that they are up to date and properly fitting. You can add a name tag with the phone number for easier identification for anyone who finds your pet.
3. Provide enough exercise during the daytime:
Take your dog for a long walk before the event or make them do exercises. You can also try extending their playtime to keep them more tired. If they feel sleepy, it could help them to be calm during the firework displays. By releasing its energy, your dog will also have lesser anxiety.
4. Feed him with a heavy meal:
Before the celebrations begin, you can serve a big meal for your dogs. This will help them stay relaxed and lazy sometimes. Also, provide a lot of water for hydration. You can keep a bowl of water in the safe zone for their easy access.
Oscar Daisy has a wide range of delicious and nutritious dog food plans and recipes which could leave your dog content. Check it out here for options.
5. Provide distractions while you are away:
Dogs get very distressed and distracted when they hear blaring noises. Try to keep them focused with their favorite toys and tasty cum healthy treats. You can leave it near the crate and instruct them beforehand. You can also leave the curtains down and keep a first aid kit ready for emergencies.
6. Try sound therapy or desensitize your dogs:
When the fireworks begin, you can switch on the television or radio to overlap with the noise. You can also play good music to calm your dogs. Let it be on from an hour before the event to familiarize it. Make sure that it is loud enough to blur the outside chaos.
Many dogs can get comfortable with strange noises and visuals if they are gradually exposed to it for a while. Put on the sounds of firecrackers during playtime to associate with the surrounding. Take it slow.
7. Store your fireworks away from the dog’s reach:
Dogs tend to sniff chemicals and they chew on the materials. Before and after Diwali, make sure to store your used and unused firecrackers out of their reach. Do not keep it in an accessible place. Try to not get your puppy in contact with burnt-out crackers on the pathway or roads. Clean up the area after celebrations.
You could also ask your veterinarian for medicines to have a calm experience. If you wish to see your dog socialize with your guests throughout celebrations, approach an animal behavior expert for professional help. Mostly, we suggest you either check up on your dogs in between or stay at home. Keep them by your side if you prefer to be with your furry friends.
The one favourite thing for your pooch besides delicious dog food is playing. A daily dose of exercises will keep him healthy and happy. Lack of movements and laziness would make your dog lose its energy and in turn, worsen their health. Obesity, depression, acting rough and becoming loud are some of the ways that he conveys his discomfort. Be it summer or winter, it is still important for them to take strolls and do fitness activities.
But what to do if our schedules and climate do not cooperate with your timing? Try out these simple 5 exercises indoors to keep both of you energized.
Run & Fetch
No matter how old is your pooch, he/she will always be eager to pick up or fetch their favorite toys and balls from a distance. If you have enough space at home, encourage your dog to pick the item off the ground for a reward or gestures. It is highly advised for you to use a soft material to prevent from damages. This helps in reactivating their muscles and energy.
Tug of War
If your dog usually plays along with the game of tug, try doing inside your home. Gear up with a durable toy or dog rope and choose a spacious area. Before your start, make sure he listens to your commands. Now give him the material to hold between his mouth. Gently pull and do not shake the rope harder. This game would act as a perfect workout for his neck, jaws and legs.
Hide & Seek
For this game, you can either hide and call out his name; or hide his favorite treats around the home. With your pooch watching you, toss the bits of the treat and command him to find it. This method will make him use his sense organs better. When he finds you while you are hiding, treat him in small quantity. This activity will make him tired, so provide him with fresh & nutritious dog food for increased stamina and energy and ensure he has access to clean water.
The ‘STAIRS’ Workout
This is one of the easiest exercises for your pup. If you have stairs that can be climbed easily by him, cheer him to climb it. If he has not done before, it is simple to train. If he finds it hard, go on top of the stairs and throw his favorite toy down. He will automatically fetch it. It is a great cardio exercise, and helps his leg muscles too. Make sure he is fit to run up and down.
If your pup likes challenges and tricky paths, you must do this activity. With your regular home items like towels, chairs, tables, cushions and pillows, you can easily create a chain of obstacles for him to cross. Try to arrange it in a way he can either jump, to make it interesting. You might need a good amount of space and preparation, but if your dog enjoys why not try it! Use healthy treats as rewards to encourage him.
After his exercise routine, you could give him a short massage session to relax his muscles. Proceed only if you have proper knowledge about it. Exercise along with proper nutrition is vital for your pooch’s long and healthy life. It’s not a choice. Interestingly, playing with your dog also improves your own physical health! Double benefits…
Aggression is a common behaviour problem encountered by pet parents with their dogs. They might tend to become uncontrollable and start to exhibit dominance. Let’s understand the causes for a dog’s aggression.
Aggression refers to a variety of behaviour in dogs at different time period. Various reasons can be attributed to aggressive behaviour. It could be stress, fear, pain or even insecurity. Your pooch would sometimes guarding his food or its place of stay as an act of marking territory. They can be triggered by any past trauma or it could be due to lack in training and socialization.
Aggressive dogs can show any or more than one of the following signs:
●Ears pinned back
●Refusing to eat/behave
●Stiff body posture
Can we control aggression?
In reference to Dr. Karen Becker’s article on Dog aggression she says that dogs show undesirable behaviour mostly because they are not ready for sedentary lives. The lack of purpose or boredom could also be a reason behind the aggression.
We can control or regulate our puppy’s behaviour. But firstly, we must learn to identify their feelings. When your dog attempts to attack or show signs, try to understand the pattern. If we can identify it, our dogs will feel safe and in turn, it could prevent many canine aggression. Note down the number of times she gets aggressive in a day. It is definitely going to take sometime for you to make your dog calm but do not stop trying.
What can be done?
All dogs are different and might panic from many sources so try to remove them from the source of your dog’s disturbance. If you are able to foresee their aggression, act faster to prevent it.
Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose aggression. You can reach out for help to professional dog trainers or behaviorists. They can help you with creating a plan to manage the aggression. It could also be due to illness. So, talking with your vet, and identifying the required treatment could make greater improvements in your pooch’s behaviour.
Recent researches also claim that dog aggression can be controlled with proper obedience training and by making changes in the diet. Adding or removing certain nutrients from a doggy’s diet could bring a change in the canine’s behaviour.
Proper nutrition plays a very important role in preventing any dog from various health issues. Just like providing good dog food and a clean environment to live, your puppy needs to be groomed.
While a few dog owners look over the practice, they fail to understand how grooming would contribute to better health. Dog grooming has been widely commercialized by companies.
A few are infected or injured due to lack of care and experience.
We at Oscar Daisy, suggest you five methods to groom your pet comfortably at home.
Disclaimer: Before you decide to do grooming for dogs at home, consult with your doctor for the types of procedures that could be performed.
Make your pooch comfortable:
If you are attempting to groom your dog for the first time at home, make sure they feel safe and comfortable. Feed them with their favourite dog treats and do the grooming in open/closed space according to your pup’s preference.
We advise to purchase high-quality products for grooming your dog’s skin and coat. You might need brushes, combs, deodorizers, toothpaste, clippers and rollers, scissors, nail trimmers and bathing products that suits their skin.
Bathe Your Pup:
Preparing your dog for a thorough bath would help remove dirt and unwanted material from their coat. Make sure to check the water temperature and use the right type of shampoo to clean him. Some prefer to brush their pup’s teeth too. Your dog might shed some hair so be gentle when you scrub his body. Get him completely dried before proceeding to the next step.
Brushing The Fur:
After a bath, brush your dog completely to avoid tangles and dead hair. If you feel they are heavily tangled, you could opt for tangle remover sprays which are made especially for them. Keep in mind that long-haired and double-coated breeds would require extra attention. Check for ticks, if any and proceed in removing them only if you are properly guided by your vet.
Trimming the excess hair:
Professional groomers use electric clippers to get the grooming done faster. But if you are only well known for its usage, proceed in cutting the hair. Else scissors are a safer option that could be used to trim your dog’s hair. Be extra careful when you work around dog’s pads, ears and face.
Wipe off the dirt from nails:
Dog’s nails are the most important part to be trimmed. It is necessary to clip their nails as to stop them from growing long and causing pain when scratched or rubbed onto surfaces. Usually your pooch might not settle in one place when you try to trim, so skip this step if he is nervous. Instead take them to a professional groomer.
Do not panic:
If you are not sure of any methods please refrain from proceeding further. Before you practice grooming at home, take recommendations from your vet of your groomer for tips and tricks. Do not get nervous and panic, it might frighten them too.
Avoid using human products:
Do not ever use any of the human bathing products like shampoos and toothpaste on your pup as they are high in chemicals. It could lead to toxic reactions. Double-check on the products if it is dog-friendly before you use it on them.
Don’t overdo any steps:
If you feel your dog looks dirty and uncomfortable, you do not necessarily have to clean them frequently. Too much of washing and brushing can cause injuries and soreness. Also, if your dog looks infected or injured before you start grooming, take him to vet for examination.
Don’t neglect the ears:
Cleaning of dog ears can be a challenge. After a bath, keep a cotton ball, ear-cleaning solution and a towel handy. Do not use Q-tips or any materials with pointed tips as they could harm the ears. Consult with your vet or groomer for proper instructions to clean their ears.
It takes you a couple of times to get your dog suitable for home grooming and the processes. Do not continue with any doubts or discomfort. Try to learn more about them and if you feel your dog is still nervous, choose a groomer that can perform it at home.
Grooming of dogs is necessary but becoming knowledgeable with the whole process will help your dogs to stay safe and healthy.