Tag: Dog health

4 Ways To Make Your Senior Rescue Dog Healthier

A senior rescue dog is the sweetest dog. We love them so much and they deserve our love as they enter the twilight of their lives. We do have a special challenge with every senior rescue dog. How do we make senior rescue dogs active and healthy. Our dog experts share their dog training tips.

4 Ways to Make Your Senior Rescue Dog Healthier and More Active

  1. Make Getting Around Easier

Simple task such as climbing into bed with you can become akin to climbing Mt. Everest for your elderly dog. Sure, just a few years ago she’d make that leap without a second thought, but her hips are a little stiff now, maybe her knees hurt, and there was that time she tried to jump, and missed.

Something as simple as foam stairs leading to your bed gives her the freedom to climb on the bed, couches, or into her favorite window nook without pain.

  • All dogs, especially seniors, thrive on routine. Keeping your senior’s favorite walking routes clear can alleviate anxiety. Do this in both the yard, and in your house.

A lift to get into the car is helpful as well.

  • Lay down traction on slippery floors. Tile and hardwood can be tough to navigate with paws, and a slip of the leg can mean a major joint issue for a senior. Putting down a carpet pathway helps them get around the house. If you have wood stairs, it’s a good idea to provide traction there as well.
  1. Exercise is For The Mind as well as The Body

Walking your dog is important. If they are healthy enough to walk, even if it’s just to the mailbox and back, they should do it. Obviously, you need to find the sweet spot between enough exercise and over-use, but they should get some kind of stimulation physically. Remember that dogs are programmed to walk (much like humans, so the walk is good for you, too). Even brief walks help stimulate your senior’s mind, and can relieve anxiety and boredom.

Many times lethargy is attributed to age, when in fact the dog is simply bored silly.

Senior Rescue Dog Getting Active

Swimming is a great way to get your senior moving without stressing their joints.

It may feel silly at first, but if your dog is hurting but you want them to have walk-time, putting them into a doggie stroller can solve this problem. So will simply walking with them in your backyard as they sniff around.

  1. Watch the Weather

Older dogs, like older people, can have trouble regulating their body temperatures. This is especially dangerous in the heat and humidity of summer. Your buddy may be able to do a brisk 15-minute walk in the crisp fall air, but the stifling humidity of august can have 5-minutes feeling like an eternity for her.

Take care to watch their breathing rate in the heat, or extreme cold. Provide cool water in the summer, and take them into the air conditioning after exercising or playing in the heat.

  1. Play

This can be part of exercise, and it is sometimes surprising to new senior-rescuers, but senior rescue dogs still like to play. It may take some research, but you can find something they’ll love to play with. Try out different toys, tennis balls, bones, cat toys (make sure they’re not too small), and ropes. You may just find that they love playing with the box that the toy came in best.

Understanding And Treating Diabetes In Dogs

We can’t stand to see our dogs in pain so we do everything we can to keep them happy and healthy. But despite all our efforts, some dogs end up developing diseases or becoming ill. Similar to humans, a common disease among dogs is diabetes. Let’s look at what this disease is and how to treat it.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is caused either by a lack of insulin or an insufficient response to insulin. When a pup eats, their digestive system breaks the food into different components. One of those components is glucose, which is carried into their cells by insulin – the hormone secreted by their pancreas.

If a dog cannot produce insulin or they can’t use it correctly, their blood sugar levels will increase, resulting in hyperglycemia. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can cause health problems for dogs.

Types

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type II. Type 1 is categorized as a lack of insulin production and type II is an insufficient response to insulin. Dogs typically suffer from type 1 diabetes. With this type, dogs require insulin in order to survive. Type II is typically found in cats.

Causes

Though the exact cause of this disease is unknown, some autoimmune diseases, genetics, obesity, and chronic pancreatitis can play a factor in the development of diabetes.

Furthermore, obese dogs and females dogs are at a greater risk for developing this disease.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of diabetes include change in appetite, weight loss, increased water drinking and excessive thirst, increased urination, exhaustion, dehydration, sweet-smelling breath, vomiting, urinary tract infections, cataracts, and chronic skin infections.

Treatment Options

Diabetes is a manageable disease and treatment depends on how severe the symptoms are. If a dog is very sick when diagnosed, they may require hospitalization to stabilize their blood sugar. If they are stable when diagnosed, oral medication or a high-fiber diet may be necessary to stabilize glucose levels.

Most dogs will need insulin injections to maintain their blood sugar levels. Veterinarians will show you how to give your dog insulin injections at home once the treatment plan is established.

If left untreated, diabetes can ultimately be fatal.

Prevention

One form of diabetes is inherited – the type that is found in dogs that are less than one-year-old – but other forms of diabetes could be prevented with regular exercise and a proper diet.

If you suspect your dog is showing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

VETARY.COM

Although this disease can be scary, if caught early enough it is a manageable disease. To make sure your dog stays safe, happy, and healthy, get them the Nuzzle collar. With GPS technology and activity monitoring, you’ll always know where your pup is and what they are doing.

5 Things Your Pet Insurance Should Cover

You’ve been paying your pet insurance premium monthly for as long as you can remember. You feel better knowing your pet is covered in case of an emergency or illness but when that time comes, the claim you submitted to your pet insurance provider gets rejected. They say that particular injury or illness isn’t covered by your policy.

Like humans, pets can benefit from an insurance policy. Health care coverage for your pet is great to have in the event you need it, but what happens in the scenario above? Not only did you pay a substantial amount of money in premiums, now you have to pay for their treatment out of pocket.

Cancer

Cancer is unfortunately quite common these days, especially for certain dog breeds. Treatment, which often includes chemotherapy and/or surgery as well as medications, can result in a big bill. Therefore, an insurance plan with cancer coverage is very important.

This disease isn’t just limited to senior dogs. If you have a breed that is predisposed to this disease, consider a plan that provides as much coverage as possible. Also, make sure the reimbursement limits are completely clear. Some older pets and those with pre-existing conditions aren’t always eligible for full coverage.

Chronic Diseases

Frequently seen in middle-aged and senior pets, chronic diseases are considered incurable and include heart disease, chronic liver or kidney disease, diabetes, and more. Plans that cover these diseases with no exclusions is the best option. Many dogs that live long lives develop a chronic disease so a health care plan that covers them is ideal. Be sure to be aware of any reimbursement limits for certain diseases, though.

Coverage for Chronic Diseases

In addition to a plan that covers chronic diseases, you’ll want to find a plan that covers the ongoing testing and treatment of these diseases. Certain insurance policies only cover tests and treatments for the year the condition was diagnosed. This means you’re liable for the costs after that year.

So, in addition to paying your monthly premium, you would also be paying for ongoing treatment expenses. Make sure you find a plan that will not only cover the initial costs of a chronic disease, but the ongoing treatment as well.

Breed and Species-Specific Diseases

Certain breeds tend to suffer from particular medical conditions. Golden Retrievers, for example, have a greater chance of developing cancer, whereas smaller breeds suffer from floating kneecaps (also known as patellar luxation).

Some conditions and diseases are also species-specific. For example, cats are more prone to developing chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, whereas dogs tend to suffer from arthritis. Make sure you find a pet insurance policy that covers both breed-specific and species-specific diseases.

Hereditary and Congenital Diseases

Pets that suffer from congenital and hereditary diseases – those that are seen at birth and also develop as they age – should also be covered in your pet insurance policy. These diseases include hip dysplasia, entropion (upper eyelid disorder), and patellar luxation, among others.

Some plans consider congenital diseases “pre-existing” and will only reimburse you for hereditary diseases. Make sure you find a plan that will cover both. Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, says the more confusing the policy language is, the less likely you are to be reimbursed. To clear things up, try coming up with some “what if” scenarios and call prospective insurance providers.

Also, always be sure to note the maximum payouts and any reimbursement limitations for certain diseases.

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