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Dog Facts

Dogs have been man's pet for over 14,000 years. Dogs descended from the wolf family that roamed Europe, Asia, and North America. Scientists know that man and dogs have had a relationship for many years through their study of cave drawings, early pottery, and Asian ivory carvings.

Classifying dogs into categories began with the Romans. They had the following categories:

  • house dogs,
  • shepherd dogs,
  • sporting dogs,
  • war dogs,
  • dogs that ran by scent, and
  • dogs that ran by sight.

Today we classify dogs into similar categories. More than three hundred breeds of dogs exist worldwide. About 50 million dogs live in the United States. The American Kennel Club recognizes 148 breeds. These are divided into seven groups:

GroupBreedsOriginal Uses
terrierAiredale Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Bull Terrier, Calrn Terrier, Irish Terrier, Fox Terrier, Jack Russell Terrieroriginally used in catching prey such as foxes, badgers, and rabbits
workingguards, guides, and herders such as collie, boxer, Alaskan malamute, German shepherd dog, and the St. Bernardmuscular, even-tempered, and obedient
sportingpointers, retrievers, setters, and spanielsactive dogs - hunt by air scent
houndbeagles, foxhounds, and bloodhounds &track their prey by ground scent
greyhound type such as whippets, borzois, and salukishunt mainly by sight
herdingPembroke or Cardigan Welsh Corgidrive livestock and keep farm animals from straying
toyPekinese, Pomeranian, and the pugpets and companions
nonsportingBoston terrier, bulldog, chow, Dalmatian, and poodlebred principally as pets and companions

Dogs vary greatly from breed to breed. The smallest breed is the Chihuahua. It weighs only 4 pounds and is 5 inches high at the shoulders. The tallest breed is the Irish wolfhound. It is about thirty-nine inches tall at the shoulder. The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog. It can weigh about 200 pounds. The Yorkshire terrier has hair that can be two feet long while other breeds may have no hair at all such as the Mexican hairless. The fur may be curly or straight. Some dogs have two coats. The outer coat is long guard hairs and the undercoat is shorter and fluffy. These two coats protect the dog against rain and snow. Some dogs have a long muzzle while others have flat faces such as the Pug. Many breeds have pointed ears that stand up. Others and pendulous ears than hang down. Some dogs have long legs such as the greyhound. Others are extremely short such as the basset hound and the dachshund. The chow chow even has a black tongue.

 Even though all these dogs vary greatly in appearance, they are identical in anatomy. They have 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth. Most dogs are able to detect scents far better than humans. They can also hear high-pitched sounds.

Dogs mature by six months old. The smaller breeds usually mature before the larger breeds. Female dogs have a period of six to twelve days approximately twice a year when they are ready to mate. This is known as the season of heat. Puppies are born sixty-three days later. An average litter has three to six puppies.

Puppies are born helpless. They are blind and can not stand. They sleep ninety percent of the day and the other ten percent is spent nursing. Their eyes open about 13 to 15 days after birth. Between 4 to 10 weeks the puppies become attached to their mother and siblings. Puppies should not be separated from their mothers until they are eight weeks old. New puppies should be taken to a veterinarian for a physical examination and to be given vaccinations. These include immunizations for:
  • distemper - viral disease that damages the liver
  • leptospirosis - bacterial disease that damages the liver
  • hepatitis - viral disease that damages the liver
  • parvovirus - harms the intestinal tract
  • parainfluenza - causes respiratory
  • rabies - attacks the nervous system
  • Lyme disease - bacterial infection that is transmitted by parasitic deer ticks
  • kennel cough - respiratory disease
  • coronavirus - targets the intestinal tract
  • roundworms - intestinal parasites
  • heartworm - damages heart tissue
When a puppy is six months old it should be spayed or neutered if it is a non breeding dog. The normal body temperature of a dog is 101.5º F. When a dog becomes too warm it sticks out its tongue and pants.

Puppies should be feed three times a day. They should have plenty of fresh drinking water. Dogs should get exercise. Dogs need a clean sleeping box. This can be made with blankets or shredded paper. If your dog is an outside pet, he will need a warm doghouse with a dry, warm floor. The floor may be covered with cedar shavings, sawdust, or blankets. Outdoor dogs need shelter from the cold, rain, and sun. Indoor dogs must be taken outside regularly for elimination. Dogs with short coats need to be brushed once a week. Long haired dogs need daily grooming. Small dogs usually live twelve or more years while larger dogs have a shorter lifespan.

99 Fun Facts About Dogs

  • All dogs can be traced back 40 million years ago to a weasel-like animal called the Miacis which dwelled in trees and dens. The Miacis later evolved into the Tomarctus, a direct forbear of the genus Canis, which includes the wolf and jackal as well as the dog.g 
  • Ancient Egyptians revered their dogs. When a pet dog would die, the owners shaved off their eyebrows, smeared mud in their hair, and mourned aloud for days.b 
  • Small quantities of grapes and raisins can cause renal failure in dogs. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, cooked onions, or anything with caffeine can also be harmful.c 
  • Apple and pear seeds contain arsenic, which may be deadly to dogs.c 
  • Rock star Ozzy Osborne saved his wife Sharon’s Pomeranian from a coyote by tackling and wresting the coyote until it released the dog.d 

Dogs have sweat glands in between their their paws 

  • Dogs have sweat glands in between their paws.e 
  • In 2003, Dr. Roger Mugford invented the “wagometer,” a device that claims to interpret a dog’s exact mood by measuring the wag of its tail.d 
  • Dogs have three eyelids. The third lid, called a nictitating membrane or “haw,” keeps the eye lubricated and protected.i 
  • A dog’s shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow greater flexibility for running.e 
  • Puppies are sometimes rejected by their mother if they are born by cesarean and cleaned up before being given back to her.c 
  • The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in seventeenth-century England. During heavy rainstorms, many homeless animals would drown and float down the streets, giving the appearance that it had actually rained cats and dogs.d 
  • During the Middle Ages, Great Danes and Mastiffs were sometimes suited with armor and spiked collars to enter a battle or to defend supply caravans.h 
  • Pekingese and Japanese Chins were so important in the ancient Far East that they had their own servants and were carried around trade routes as gifts for kings and emperors. Pekingese were even worshipped in the temples of China for centuries.b 

The shape of a dog’s face can help predict how long a dog will live 

  • The shape of a dog’s face suggests how long it will live. Dogs with sharp, pointed faces that look more like wolves typically live longer. Dogs with very flat faces, such as bulldogs, often have shorter lives.d 
  • After the fall of Rome, human survival often became more important than breeding and training dogs. Legends of werewolves emerged during this time as abandoned dogs traveling in packs commonly roamed streets and terrified villagers.d 
  • During the Middle Ages, mixed breeds of peasants’ dogs were required to wear blocks around their necks to keep them from breeding with noble hunting dogs. Purebred dogs were very expensive and hunting became the province of the rich.d 
  • The most dogs ever owned by one person were 5,000 Mastiffs owned by Kubla Khan.d 
  • The American Kennel Club, the most influential dog club in the United States, was founded in 1884.e 
  • The most popular male dog names are Max and Jake. The most popular female dog names are Maggie and Molly.d 

Some scholars speculate that Dorothy’s dog, Toto, may represent the Egyptian god of death, Anubis 

  • Scholars have argued over the metaphysical interpretation of Dorothy’s pooch, Toto, in the Wizard of Oz. One theory postulates that Toto represents Anubis, the dog-headed Egyptian god of death, because Toto consistently keeps Dorothy from safely returning home.d 
  • Weird dog laws include allowing police offers in Palding, Ohio, to bite a dog to quiet it. In Ventura County, California, cats and dogs are not allowed to have sex without a permit.d 
  • The first dog chapel was established in 2001. It was built in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, by Stephan Huneck, a children’s book author whose five dogs helped him recuperate from a serious illness.c 
  • Those born under the sign of the dog in Chinese astrology are considered to be loyal and discreet, though slightly temperamental.h 
  • In Iran, it is against the law to own a dog as a pet. However, if an owner can prove the dog is a guard or hunting dog, this restriction doesn’t apply. Muslim reticence concerning dogs is perhaps due to the fact that rabies has always been endemic in the Middle East.d 
  • The Mayans and Aztecs symbolized every tenth day with the dog, and those born under this sign were believed to have outstanding leadership skills.d 
  • The ancient Mbaya Indians of the Gran Chaco in South America believed that humans originally lived underground until dogs dug them up.b 

Plato once said that ”a dog has the soul of a philosopher” 

  • Plato once said that “a dog has the soul of a philosopher.”d 
  • French poodles did not originate in France but in Germany (“poodle” comes from the German pudel orpudelhund, meaning “splashing dog”). Some scholars speculate the poodle’s puffs of hair evolved when hunters shaved the poodle for more efficient swimming, while leaving the pom-poms around the major joints to keep them warm.b 
  • The name of the dog on the Cracker Jacks box is Bingo. The Taco Bell Chihuahua is a rescued dog named Gidget.d 
  • The first dogs were self-domesticated wolves which, at least 12,000 years ago, became attracted to the first sites of permanent human habitation.f 
  • Dachshunds were bred to fight badgers in their dens.d 
  • Laika, a Russian stray, was the first living mammal to orbit the Earth, in the Soviet Sputnik spacecraft in 1957. Though she died in space, her daughter Pushnika had four puppies with President John F. Kennedy’s terrier, Charlie.d 
  • Dalmatians are completely white at birth.d 
  • The term “dog days of summer” was coined by the ancient Greeks and Romans to describe the hottest days of summer that coincided with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius.b 
  • Alexander the Great is said to have founded and named a city Peritas, in memory of his dog.b 
  • In ancient Greece, kennels of dogs were kept at the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus. Dogs were frequently sacrificed there because they were plentiful, inexpensive, and easy to control. During the July 25 celebration of the kunophontis (“the massacre of dogs”), dog sacrifices were performed to appease the ancestors of Apollo’s son, Linos, who was devoured by dogs..g 
  • Dog trainers in ancient China were held in high esteem. A great deal of dog domestication also took place in China, especially dwarfing and miniaturization.d 
  • The ancient religion Zoroastrianism includes in its religious text titled the Zend Avestaa section devoted to the care and breeding of dogs.b 
  • The earliest European images of dogs are found in cave paintings dating back 12,000 years ago in Spain.g 
  • The dog was frequently depicted in Greek art, including Cerberus, the three-headed hound guarding the entrance to the underworld, and the hunting dogs which accompanied the virgin goddess of the chase, Diana.b 
  • During the Renaissance, detailed portraits of the dog as a symbol of fidelity and loyalty appeared in mythological, allegorical, and religious art throughout Europe, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Velázquez, Jan van Eyck, and Albrecht Durer.b 
  • A puppy is born blind, deaf, and toothless.c 

The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog 

  • The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog.e 
  • A dog most likely interprets a smiling person as baring their teeth, which is an act of aggression.f 
  • The origin of amputating a dog’s tail may go back to the Roman writer Lucius Columella’s (A.D. 4-70) assertion that tail docking prevented rabies.d 
  • One of Shakespeare’s most mischievous characters is Crab, the dog belonging to Launce in the Two Gentlemen of Verona. The word “watchdog” is first found in The Tempest.d 
  • President Franklin Roosevelt created a minor international incident when he claimed he sent a destroyer to the Aleutian Islands just to pick up his Scottish Terrier, Fala, who had been left behind.d 
  • Within hours of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, specially trained dogs were on the scene, including German Shepherds, Labs, and even a few little Dachshunds.d 
  • It costs approximately $10,000 to train a federally certified search and rescue dog.d 
  • The smallest dog on record was a matchbox-size Yorkshire Terrier. It was 2.5" tall at the shoulder, 3.5" from nose tip to tail, and weighed only 4 ounces.d 
  • Hollywood’s first and arguably best canine superstar was Rin Tin Tin, a five-day-old German Shepherd found wounded in battle in WWI France and adopted by an American soldier, Lee Duncan. He would sign his own contracts with his paw print.d 
  • At the end of WWI, the German government trained the first guide dogs for war-blinded soldiers.d 
  • A dog can locate the source of a sound in 1/600 of a second and can hear sounds four times farther away than a human can.c 
  • Touch is the first sense the dog develops. The entire body, including the paws, is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings.e 
  • Eighteen muscles or more can move a dog’s ear.e 
  • The names of 77 ancient Egyptian dogs have been recorded. The names refer to color and character, such as Blackie, Ebony, Good Herdsman, Reliable, and Brave One.d 
  • In Egypt, a person bitten by a rabid dog was encouraged to eat the roasted liver of a dog infected with rabies to avoid contracting the disease. The tooth of a dog infected with rabies would also be put in a band tied to the arm of the person bitten. The menstrual blood of a female dog was used for hair removal, while dog genitals were used for preventing the whitening of hair.h 
  • In early Christian tradition, Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, is sometimes depicted with a dog’s head.g 
  • The oldest known dog bones were found in Asia and date as far back as 10,000 B.C. The first identifiable dog breed appeared about 9000 B.C. and was probably a type of Greyhound dog used for hunting.g 
  • There are an estimated 400 million dogs in the world.d 
  • The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world. France has the second highest.d 

Dog nose prints are as unique as human fingerprints 

  • Dog nose prints are as unique as human finger prints and can be used to identify them.c 
  • Bloodhound dogs have a keen sense of smell and have been used since the Middle Ages to track criminals.e 
  • It is much easier for dogs to learn spoken commands if they are given in conjunction with hand signals or gestures.a 
  • Dogs in a pack are more likely to chase and hunt than a single dog on its own. Two dogs are enough to form a pack.a 
  • Dogs can see in color, though they most likely see colors similar to a color-blind human. They can see better when the light is low.c 

Studies show that petting a dog lowers blood pressure 

  • Petting dogs is proven to lower blood pressure of dog owners.a 
  • Dogs have lived with humans for over 14,000 years. Cats have lived with people for only 7,000 years.h 
  • Zorba, an English mastiff, is the biggest dog ever recorded. He weighed 343 pounds and measured 8' 3" from his nose to his tail.d 
  • The average dog can run about 19 mph. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on Earth and can run at speeds of 45 mph.c 
  • One female dog and her female children could produce 4,372 puppies in seven years.c 
  • The most popular dog breed in Canada, U.S., and Great Britain is the Labrador retriever.d 
  • Greyhounds appear to be the most ancient dog breed. “Greyhound” comes from a mistake in translating the early German name Greishund, which means “old (or ancient) dog,” not from the color gray.g 
  • The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months. In human years, that is more than 160 years old.d 
  • Most experts believe humans domesticated dogs before donkeys, horses, sheep, goats, cattle, cats, or chickens.h 
  • A person standing still 300 yards away is almost invisible to a dog. But a dog can easily identify its owner standing a mile away if the owner is waving his arms.i 
  • Dogs with big, square heads and large ears (like the Saint Bernard) are the best at hearing subsonic sounds.c 
  • Dogs can smell about 1,000 times better than humans. While humans have 5 million smell-detecting cells, dogs have more than 220 million. The part of the brain that interprets smell is also four times larger in dogs than in humans.a 

Studies show that some dogs can detect cancer by smelling a person's breath 

  • Some dogs can smell dead bodies under water, where termites are hiding, and natural gas buried under 40 feet of dirt. They can even detect cancer that is too small to be detected by a doctor and can find lung cancer by sniffing a person’s breath.c 
  • Dogs have a wet nose to collect more of the tiny droplets of smelling chemicals in the air.i 
  • Dogs like sweets a lot more than cats do. While cats have around only 473 taste buds, dogs have about 1,700 taste buds. Humans have approximately 9,000.a 
  • Different smells in the a dog’s urine can tell other dogs whether the dog leaving the message is female or male, old or young, sick or healthy, happy or angry.a 
  • Male dogs will raise their legs while urinating to aim higher on a tree or lamppost because they want to leave a message that they are tall and intimidating. Some wild dogs in Africa try to run up tree trunks while they are urinating to appear to be very large.a 
  • In Croatia, scientists discovered that lampposts were falling down because a chemical in the urine of male dogs was rotting the metal.a 
  • Dogs are about as smart as a two- or three-year-old child. This means they can understand about 150-200 words, including signals and hand movements with the same meaning as words.a 
  • Countess Karlotta Libenstein of Germany left approximately $106 million to her Alsatin, Gunther III, when she died in 1992.d 
  • A lost Dachshund was found swallowed whole in the stomach of a giant catfish in Berlin on July 2003.d 
  • In Australia, a man who was arrested for drug possession argued his civil rights were violated when the drug-sniffing dog nuzzled his crotch. While the judge dismissed the charges, they were later reinstated when a prosecutor pointed out that in the animal kingdom, crotch nuzzling was a friendly gesture.d 
  • The Beagle came into prominence in the 1300s and 1400s during the days of King Henry VII of England. Elizabeth I was fond of Pocket Beagles, which were only 9" high.d 

Golden Retrievers may improve a person’s chance of attracting a date 

  • The best dog to reportedly attract a date is the Golden Retriever. The worst is the Pit Bull.d 
  • The Akita is one of the most challenging dogs to own. Some insurance companies have even characterized it as the #1 “bad dog” and may even raise an Akita owner’s homeowner insurance costs.d 
  • The Beagle and Collie are the nosiest dogs, while the Akbash Dog and the Basenji are the quietest.d 
  • One survey reports that 33% of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on answering machines while they are away..d 
  • Thirty percent of all Dalmatians are deaf in one or both ears. Because bulldogs have extremely short muzzles, many spend their lives fighting suffocation. Because Chihuahuas have such small skulls, the flow of spinal fluid can be restricted, causing hydrocephalus, a swelling of the brain.d 

Intense grief over the death of a pet dog is normal and natural 

  • The grief suffered after a pet dog dies can be the same as that experienced after the death of a person.a 
  • There are almost 5 million dog bites per year; children are the main victims. Dog bites cause losses of over $1 billion a year.d 
  • A person should never kick a dog facing him or her. Some dogs can bite 10 times before a human can respond.d 
  • The most intelligent dogs are reportedly the Border Collie and the Poodle, while the least intelligent dogs are the Afghan Hound and the Basenji.d 
  • One kind of Pekingese is referred to as a “sleeve” because it was bred to fit into a Chinese empress’ sleeves, which was how it was often carried around.d 


Dog Stomach Problems

"Dog Stomach Problems can have multiple causes. The most common symptom is vomiting. If your dog has just eaten, was outside and may have eaten garbage or grass or is on a new medication than this is likely the cause. Note that if your dog licked antifreeze in the street, this is a poison and requires immediate treatment. If your dog is suffering from persistent vomiting and you see blood in the vomit then the condition could be more severe. In any case, consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible."

Dog stomach problems can take many forms including ulcers, blockages, tumors, bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus) Addison's disease and gastritis. The most common symptom is vomiting.

Be sure to call your veterinarian immediately if your dog is under age 6 mounts, you see objects in the vomit such as plastic or worms, your dog swallowed an object, you see blood, you see the stomach getting larger, your dog has other health problems, the vomiting is persistent for a period of 4 hours or longer.

Dog Upset Stomach
Upset stomach is a general description of many possible dog stomach problems. For example if your dog persistently vomits after eating it could be caused of any of the problems listed below including some type of blockage, a thickening of the stomach wall or even a problem with the way the stomach empties.

Vomiting can be a sign of a simple problem (eating fast or eating grass) or something more sever such as pancreatitis, kidney disease and liver disease.

Your veterinarian will take x-rays or use ultrasound to see inside the stomach to determine the route of the problem.

Dog Ulcers
An ulcer is a an areas of the stomach where the mucous membrane is damaged causing inflammation. Ulcers also form at the duodenum which is the where the small intestine meets the stomach.

Ulcers in dogs are usually caused in by medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If this wasn't the cause then your veterinarian will check for liver disease, kidney problems and stress on your dog's body from illness or surgery.

An ulcer can also form when the body is in shock which could be caused by a severe bacterial infection, heart problem or blood pressure issue.

Dog Ulcer Symptoms
The primary symptom of an ulcer is vomiting. You might see old or brownish colored blood mixed in.

Dog Ulcer Treatment
Ulcers are treated with drugs that are often used in humans. This includes Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac .Antacids such as Mylanta are also used.

Dog Stomach Blockages
These types of dog stomach problems (also called gastric outflow obstruction) occurs when the stomach has trouble emptying its contents. Conditions that cause inflammation and scarring at this area which block drainage include ulcers and gastritis.

If the stomach is only partially blocked then one symptom is vomiting more than 12 hours after eating. You might see blood and partially digested food. If completely blocked then your dog will vomit forcibly right after eating.

Surgery is used to correct the obstruction.

Dog Stomach Tumors (gastric tumors)
This condition is usually seen in older dogs that are suffering from vomiting. You might see specks of dried dark colored blood in the vomit. If your veterinarian suspects this problem he will conduct a test called an gastrocopy to peer inside your dog's stomach. Also a biopsy (tissue sample) will be taken of the tumor to help make a diagnosis.

The condition is treated with surgical removal of the part of the stomach where the tumor resides.

Dog Stomach Problems - Bloat
Bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus) is a very serious condition that requires immediate care. It is the condition showcased in the movie Marley and Me. Approximately 50% of dogs with the condition do not survive. Dog bloat is usually seen in middle aged and older dogs.

In bloat the stomach fills with fluid and then rotates, pulling the spleen with it. the stomach can twist up to 360 degrees. The twisting prevents fluids from leaving your dogs body, not just stomach fluids, but the ability to vomit as well. The condition cuts off blood flow to the stomach which causes cells to start dying.

Your veterinarian will try and empty the fluid from the stomach via the insertion of a tube through the mouth. Surgery is used if the stomach has twisted and all of the organs need to be placed back into their normal position.

Canine Addison's Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)
Canine Addisions Disease is a dog stomach problem problem that impacts your dog's adrenal glands. These are the glands that sit on top of the kidneys and are located in the abdomen. The glands secrete hormones that help the body regulate itself.

The disease occurs when the body's own immune system attacks the glands and causes them to shut down. When a dog collapses with no known cause, canine addison's disease is usually suspected.

Treatment includes the use of corticosteroids and intravenous fluids. Dog's respond will to this approach and require treatment for the rest of their life.

Canine Gastritis
There are two types of canine gastritis; acute gastritis and chronic gastritis.

Acute Gastritis: This condition is due to the lining of the stomach becoming irritated. The stomach can be irritated because of something your dog ate (bad food, something from the garbage, feces, grass, bones). The leading symptom is continuous vomiting.

This condition usually goes away by itself in 24 to 48 hours. See your veterinarian is you cannot identify what is causing continuous vomiting since your dog may have ingested a poison (e.g.; antifreeze) or she could have a severe problem such as something blocking part of the digestive system or a disease called peritonitis.

Chronic Gastritis: This condition is often caused by an allergy to a specific food. Other causes include hairballs, eating grass and other items that your dog shouldn't eat such as paper or plastic.

Symptoms of canine chronic gastritis include tiredness, dull coat and weight loss. Your dog will periodically vomit.

Other types of gastritis are hypertrophic gastritis (the membranes in the lower half other stomach become thickened can cause blockage and keeps food from exiting the stomach), atrophic gastritis (thinning of the stomach wall) and eosinophilic gastritis (white blood cells accumulate along the stomach wall.

Your veterinarian will do a test called a gastroscopy to take a tissue sample from the wall of the stomach. Examination of the sample should indicate the cause of the condition. If this is the problem then your veterinarian will suggest a change in diet (bland diet such as Hill's Prescription Diet i/d). You can also try a diet you can make at home such as boiled rice and cottage cheese.

Medications for stomach problems include many drugs used in humans including Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac.

Canine Motion Sickness
Like people, your dog stomach problems can be due to motion sickness. Symptoms of dog motion sickness include excess salivation, yawning and vomiting.

Treatment is also similar to humans with the use of Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) and Gravol. The dosage for dogs is 2 to 4 mg for every pound of your dog's body weight every 8 hours. Give your dog the mediation 1 hour prior to traveling. Never give your dog an over the counter medication without consulting your veterinarian.

Other tips for canine motion sickness are to give your dog a ginger snap cookie and have her travel on an empty stomach. Dogs can outgrow the problem as they get used to car travel.

Natural Remedies and Dog Stomach Problems
If you dog has persistent stomach problems, one option might be to try a herbal supplement. When your dog isn't eating right it could result in digestive imbalance. Herbs also act as a substitute to things in your dogs diet that might be missing. .There are several natural herbs that have been shown to support the stomach lining and digestive tract. These include:
Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice): associated with support of the lining of the digestive tract. It also helps with bowels.
Ulmus fulva (slippery elm): common herb used to support digestive health
Althaea officinalis (marshmallow): sooths the mucous membranes and the digestive tract lining.

One product worth researching and discussing with your veterinarian for dog stomach problems is PetAlive Digestive Support . It is made specifically to support the digestive system.

Recognize and Treat Canine Skin Allergy

"Identifying the source and best treatment for canine skin allergy is a frequent problem that often requires multiple trips to the veterinarian. It is the most common cause of skin conditions in dogs. The most diagnosed types of skin allergies in dogs includes flea allergy, environmental or seasonal allergy (atopy or hay fever) and dog food allergies. Symptoms for all types of dog skin allergies such as hair loss, secondary skin infections and itch are similar, but each type of skin allergy has unique characteristics and presentations that can help an owner distinguish one type from another as described below. Symptoms can also be confused with other canine skin conditions such as ringworm, mange and immune-mediated skin disease. Treatment for a dog with a skin allergy is based on the underlying cause of the problem."

The three most common causes of canine skin allergy are dog flea allergies, an environmental allergy such as pollen or mold (called canine atopy), and dog food allergy. Any investigation should start with eliminating these common causes before moving on to other possible reasons for a canine skin condition.

Canine Skin Allergy Reaction to Dog Food

Where your dog has an allergic reaction can be a clue as to the cause. If the allergy is at the mouth and you had just purchased a new plastic dog dish for example, this could be the cause. Redness around a flea collar could be caused by the collar itself.

Many chemicals can cause your dog to have an allergic reaction. This usually occurs in areas that are not covered by hair. Common causes include soap, shampoo, wool, leather, plastic/rubber dog dishes, insecticide, paint, carpet, wood preservative, neomycin (many skin medicines).

Immediately bring your dog to a Veterinarian or Emergency Center if your dog's face is swollen or looks puffy. This could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction that needs immediate treatment

Canine Skin Allergy due to Fleas (dog flea bite hypersensitivity)

Dog flea allergies are the most common type of canine skin allergy. This condition is confusing for dog owners since it is a year round problem that many owners believe is seasonal. To be clear, the problem is worse during the late summer and fall.

Fleas do not die in the winter and may not be seen by the owner on the dog (they are good at hiding). A small number of fleas can result in a dog flea allergy skin problem.

Canine Flea Allergy Skin Symptoms:
Symptoms of canine skin allergy from fleas includes itch primarily above the tail base and on the back of the thighs, but can effect the entire body. Dogs will chew on the itchy areas, causing hair loss, red skin and skin irritation. The chewing can also introduce bacteria, which will result in a skin infection. Flea bit hypersensitivity does not typically affect a dogs face or the front of the body.

Canine Flea Allergy Treatment
To treat dog flea allergy, first use a product to kill the fleas on the dog such as a herbal flea dip. Follow this by a product made for dog flea protection recommended by your veterinarian such as Frontline.

Canine Atopy - Environmental Dog Skin Allergy and Dogs with Allergies that are Seasonal (Canine atopic dermatitis)

About 1 in 10 dogs get some type of canine skin allergy (also called Atopy) from substances in the air. Allergies tend to appear during certain times of the year when specific types of allergens such as pollen, ragweed and mold are present.
  • Weed Pollen – Late summer and fall
  • Tree Pollen – March and April
  • Grass Pollen – May, June, July
Certain breeds have a higher incidence of canine atopy including:
  • Bichon Frise
  • English Bulldogs
  • Shar-Pei
  • White Highland, Cairn, Scottish, Boston, Sealyham, Wire-haired fox Terriers

Bull Terrier Dog with Skin Allergies on Paw (Atopic Dermatitis)

  • Lhasa apsos
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • German Shepherds
Dogs with Allergies Seasonal Symptoms:
Dogs with allergies of this type do not show symptoms seen in humans such as runny nose, nasal congestion and itchy eyes. Instead, canine atopy results in itchy skin all over the body, but most severely on the feet and underbelly. Dogs will lick feet to the point of severe infection and redness. Other areas more frequently affected include the face, feet, front legs, ears and armpits.

Dog Atopy Treatment
Treatment for canine atopy involves avoiding the substance that triggers the allergy or reducing the sensitivity to the substance via dog allergy shots (only 60% to 85% effective). A hypoallergenic dog shampoo such as DermaPet Dermalyte may also bring some relief.

Canine Skin Allergies From Food

Canine food allergy is the third most common type of allergies in dogs. The allergic reaction is to a protein found in commercial dog food, dog treats or table scraps given to the dog. A dog can become allergic to a food at any time, even if a dog has been eating that food for years with no issues.

Dog Food Allergy Symptoms
Dog food allergies result in generalized itch, which means the itch is all over the body. Dog itch is often most pronounced on the anus. Along with itch, ear infections are also common. Certain breeds have an increased risk of canine food allergy including German Shepherds and Boxers.

Dog with Food Allergy

Dog Food Allergy Treatment
To treat food allergy in dogs, a hypoallergenic or elimination diet is required. In an elimination diet the food is reduced to one carb such as rice and one protein such as chicken. After improvement is seen, ingredients are slowly added back into the diet until the problem ingredient is identified. You should see canine skin allergy symptoms start to heal in the first few weeks.

Allergy Dog Testing and Diagnosis

Diagnosing dog skin allergies often requires the investigative skills of Sherlock Holmes. Any examination will start with the taking of a thorough medical history regarding your dog's symptoms. Some veterinarian's will ask you to complete an online dog skin history that can be filled out before your visit. Typical questions include when the symptoms first began, whether any siblings have similar dog skin problems, and how has the skin reaction changed over time. They will also ask about any products used to care for your dog such as flea care and the diet. Often the questionnaire is more important that the physical exam, since symptoms are often non-specific to any particular underlying cause.

Next, the veterinarian will do a physical exam. A vet will evaluate the entire dog, not just the area showing canine skin allergy symptoms. At this point, for most dog skin disorders, a vet will have some indication or suspicion of what is causing the problem. including dog flea allergy, atopy (environmental allergies), contact allergy (to a chemical or other substance), or if the cause is unrelated to allergy (see below).

Since it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between skin allergies caused by fleas and allergy caused by something in your dog’s environment, your vet may take an ear swab and a superficial dog skin sample to determine if the problem is caused by an infection (bacterial) or yeast. All are examined using a microscope.

In an approach that is similar to the one used for people, your Veterinarian may give your dog a skin test (IST) where different causes of allergy are placed on the skin. If your dog reacts to a small amount, it means they are allergic. Some Veterinarians may opt to do a blood test called ELISA.

Dog Skin Problems with Symptoms that are Similar to Canine Skin Allergy
Several types of canine skin conditions are often confused with canine skin allergy. When reaching a specific diagnosis, the veterinarian will eliminate these causes before determining that allergy is the cause of the dog skin condition.
  • Mange: There are two different types of dog mange, demodectic and sarcoptic, that can mimic the signs of canine skin allergy. Both are caused by mites which burrow under the skin and are treated with a lime-sulfur dip such as Naturasil.
    • Demodectic Dog Mange is commonly seen in young puppies, larger breed dogs such as Great Danes and other breeds such as Boxers, and Pit Bulls. Symptoms includes patchy hair loss around the head and face, but can occur in any area of the body. Diagnosis is based on a skin scraping and the discovery of mites. 
    • Sarcoptic Dog Mange or Scabies is also caused by mites and can be passed between people and dogs. Symptoms usually appear at the ear margins, will appear crusty and in most cases cause extreme itch. A dog scabies diagnosis is based on a skin scraping. 
  • Dog Ringworm results in symptoms such as skin crusting, patchy hair loss and itch. The symptoms usually do not look similar to the circular ring seen on human skin. Dog ringworm diagnosis is based on a test using a "woods lamp" which causes the fungus to fluoresce. Treatment involves the weekly use of a dip such as Naturasil for Ringworm.
  • Immune Mediated Dog Skin Disease can affect dogs of any age, but is most frequently diagnosed in middle age females. In these types of conditions, the dogs immune system attacks its' own body, causing conditions such as pemphigus foliaceus or lupus. Symptoms includes raw dog skin and painful skin at the margins of the ears, dog lips and nose. The condition is diagnosed with a skin biopsy test.

Treatment of Dogs with a Canine Skin Allergy

Many Vets will prescribe an antihistamine (hydrocortisone or Pramoxine) to help with any dog skin itching. Popular types of antihistamine include Dipehnhydramine (Benadryl), hydroxyzine (Atarax), clemastine (Tavist) and cetirizine (Zyrtec). 40% of dogs respond to this type of treatment.

Other treatment options includes oral or topical antibiotics and anti-fungals. Shampoos and sprays may also be of help. If dog food allergy is the cause, then a hypoallergenic food trial is used to identify the problem ingredients. For seasonal allergy (canine atopy), then medication which are immune modulating such as cyclosporine are prescribed.

If your dog does not respond to any of the canine skin allergy treatments suggested above, then a series of allergy shots can be used to reduce sensitivity to the allergens (called hyposensitization therapy). This course of treatment takes as few as 9 and as many as 12 months.

During recovery, dietary supplements might help to restore skin condition, such as the omega fatty acids found in fish oil. Shampoos can also be tried to ease skin inflammation and itch such as a product that contains colloidal oatmeal (Groomers Blend). Homeopathics that combine ingredients associated with skin and coat health such as Skin and Coat Tonic may also be of help.

It is common for a vet to request a return visit after several weeks to check on your dog's progress.

canine skin cancer


According to the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, dogs are 35 times more predisposed to skin cancer as compared to humans and and 6 times more predisposed than cats.

Typical signs of canine skin cancer include:
  • A lump or bump that may or may not be ulcerated. 
  • The skin may be red or has a flaky appearance
The cancer can result in: itching, causing the dog to chew and scratch the affected area incessantly.

Systemic symptoms depend on the location of the tumor, the seriousness of the cancer and whether it has metastasized.
Some systemic signs may include:
  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting (maybe bloody)
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Wounds that cannot heal
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

A typical dog tumor shown breaking through the skin:

Common malignant dog skin tumors are as follows:
1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

The tumors can appear many places but are seen most commonly on and around the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and areas with little hair.

At first, SCC tumors look much like other common skin irritations such as a raw ulcer or non-healing sore, making them difficult to identify.

Typical Cause: Sun damage

Signs of SCC:
  • Scabs
  • Hair loss
  • Irritated skin
  • Loss of teeth with limited healing
  • Raised red bumps on the skin

Breeds commonly affected by this type of canine skin cancer include:
  • Shih tzus
  • Standard poodles
  • Mastiffs
  • Basset hounds
  • Blood hounds
2. Mast cell tumors

Typical Cause: Hereditary & environmental factors

Most common fatal skin cancer in dogs.

Mast cell tumors that appear in:
  • the armpit area
  • mammary tissue
  • groin, anus or genital areas
  • in the lips, eyelids, or body openings are likely to be malignant.
The appearance of canine mast cell tumors are unsual and can mimic other benign skin lesions such as lipomas (fatty tumors).

Because of their ability to mimic benign skin tumors, these dangerous mast cell tumors often are not diagnosed until later in the disease, resulting in a worse prognosis for the dog patient.

Usually found in the skin, but they can also be commonly found on the:
  • Trunk
  • Limbs
  • Genital Area

The tumor can be single or multiple, and it can be smooth, bumpy, or ulcerated.

Signs of Mast Cell Tumors:Itching and inflammation of the skin
Occasional local bleeding while tumor is scratched
Ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract causing mild to severe bleeding
Blood in the stool

3. Hemangiosarcoma

Typical cause: 
Important genetic factors

There are 2 types of skin associated hemangiosarcoma in dogs:

I. Dermal (skin)Signs include:
  • Dark appearance of skin
  • Raised skin lesion (usually on hairless areas eg. Abdomen)
II. Hypodermal (under the skin)Signs include: Soft mass of tumor Or Firm mass of tumor with ulceration
Breeds most commonly affected by this type of canine skin cancer include:
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Boxers
  • Schnauzers
  • Pointers
  • Doberman Pinchers
4. Perianal Tumors
Tend to occur on hairless skin around the anus
Appear raised
Can occur as multiple masses that may become ulcerated and secondarily infected

5. Limpoma
  • Tend to appear as fatty tumors
  • They are benign
  • Can be confused with mass cell tumor

6. Sebaceous Hyperplasia
Can be solitary or multiple
  • Raised
  • Firm
  • Wart-like/Cauliflower-like
  • Range from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter
  • Usually pink but can be yellow or darkly pigmented
  • Oily, ulcerated or alopecic (hair loss on and around the lesion)
  • Common on the belly (ventral abdomen) but can occur anywhere
7.. Histiocytoma

Most common sites:
  • Head 
  • Pinna 
  • Neck 
Common Signs
  • Nodules are typically:
  • Solitary 
  • Red 
  • Dome-shaped 
  • Sparsely haired 
  • Appear rapidly 
  • Ulcerated but not painful

8. Melanoma
Signs and Symptoms:
  • Bad breath.
  • Drooling.
  • Bleeding from mouth
  • Facial swelling 
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chewing on one side of mouth
Typically occur as :
Single growths
May or may not be pigmented or dark in colour
Generally, benign melanomas are deeply pigmented, smaller and well defined
9. Fibrosarcoma
Typical Signs and Symptoms:
  • Swelling of the bones
  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Signs of pain
  • Signs of lameness
  • Poor mouth odor
  • Bleeding from the mouth
10. Basal Cell Tumor
Typical Signs and Symptoms: Solitary, firm, well circumscribed, hairless growth

Areas usually affected:
  • Head 
  • Neck 
  • Shoulders

Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs

Quick Facts at a Glance

20-25% of all skin/subcutaneous tumors in dogs are mast cell tumors (MCT)
10-15% of canine MCT are clinically indistinguishable from subcutaneous lipomas (fatty tumors)
Definitive diagnosis of MCT cannot be made without cytologic (aspirate) or histologic (biopsy) evaluation of the lesion
Behavior of individual MCTs is difficult to predict but should always be considered aggressive until proven otherwise
MCT of the perineal and inguinal regions tend to behave more aggressively than their tumor grade would predict
Most dogs with MCT have a normal CBC(complete blood count)
20% of dogs with MCT will have multiple primary tumors in their lifetime
Aggressive surgical resection remains the cornerstone of treatment

What are the clinical features?

Mast cell tumors in dogs occur primarily as either a skin or subcutaneous mass. It is important to remember that mast cell tumors are extremely variable in their clinical presentation. They can resemble any other type of skin or subcutaneous tumor, both benign (i.e. lipoma) and malignant. Most canine MCT are solitary although multiple primary tumors develop in 20% of patients. Approximately 50% of canine MCT are located on the trunk and perineum, 40% on the extremities and 10% on the head and neck.

Regional lymphadenopathy (lymph node enlargement) may occur when high-grade mast cell tumors metastasize (spread) to draining lymph nodes. Hepatomegaly (liver enlargement) and splenomegaly (spleen enlargement) are features of advanced stage, metastatic MCT. Malignant mast cells may be detected in the blood and bone marrow of dogs with advanced stage disease.

Cytology vs. histopathology?
The diagnosis of MCT is often made simply with cytologic evaluation of a fine needle aspirate of the mass. Although cytology may allow us to confirm the diagnosis, it provides little prognostic information. Histopathology (biopsy) allows us to grade the tumor so we can predict biologic behavior and make appropriate treatment recommendations.

  • Survival Times of Dogs After Surgery Based on Histologic Grade
    Grade                                    #of Dogs                        Alive 6 Months Post-Surgery  
    I                                               39                                           77% 
    II                                              30                                           45% 
    III                                             45                                           13%

    Surgery: 3cm margins!!!

    The most frustrating feature of MCT is how aggressively they can behave, regardless of their gross appearance and histologic grade. MCT are notorious for their invasive nature and tendency to extend far beyond visible margins. If 2-3 cm surgical margins, both lateral and deep, are not obtained then chances are good that the tumor will not be adequately excised. While it may be difficult to remove 2-3 cm deep margins in a patient without much body fat, removing a layer of muscle below the tumor is advised. A surgical margin of a couple of millimeters is not adequate. When surgical margins are very close, a second surgery should be recommended as soon as possible. It is impossible to comment on completeness of surgical excision and predict biologic behavior of mast cell tumors without histopathologic evaluation of the entire tumor.

    Depending on where the tumor is located, it may not be possible to obtain 3 cm surgical margins (i.e. leg). In those cases, it is appropriate to perform a “debulking” surgery followed immediately by radiation therapy. Radiation therapy in this setting can be highly effective at achieving long-term local control. Depending on the situation, chemotherapy may be recommended in conjunction with or in lieu of radiation therapy. Administration of prednisone alone (1mg/kg every 24 hours) for 5-7 days prior to surgery may result in sufficient reduction of the tumor mass and associated inflammation thereby increasing success of surgery.

    What about lymph nodes?
    Whenever possible, the draining lymph nodes (lymph nodes in close proximity) should be biopsied or excised for histopathologic analysis, regardless of gross appearance and tumor grade. The presence of lymph node metastasis worsens the prognosis and necessitates treatment with chemotherapy.

    When is it essential to stage the patient with mast cell tumor?
    Diagnostic tests performed in the staging of MCTs include cytology or biopsy of the draining lymph node, abdominal ultrasound with ultrasound guided aspirate and cytology of the spleen and liver, bone marrow aspirate and cytology, complete blood count (CBC) and chest radiographs. Although the staging process can provide us with essential information, we are very limited by the low sensitivity of these diagnostic tests. In the case of a grade I or low grade II MCT that has been completely excised with wide surgical margins, it is unlikely that metastasis has occurred. Early metastasis would not likely be detected during the staging process.

    Staging is essential prior to undergoing an extensive or expensive treatment procedure (i.e. amputation or radiation therapy). Staging is also recommended for any grade III or high-grade II MCT, even if completely excised with wide margins. Histologic evaluation of draining lymph nodes is preferred over cytology in this situation.

    Radiation therapy
    Mast cell tumors are generally very sensitive to radiation. Radiation is most effective at achieving long-term (greater than 5 years) tumor control when it is delivered to microscopic disease, grade 2 intermediate or lower and in a well-defined radiation field. Radiation therapy can be used to control local disease after incomplete resection of high-grade 2 or grade 3 MCT. The size of the tumor prior to surgical resection has great impact on the effectiveness of radiation.

    Chemotherapy: When to treat?
    As with any cancer, chemotherapy for the treatment of MCT is most effective when combined with other treatment modalities or used early in the course of the disease. Chemotherapy will not be helpful in the treatment of a large mast cell tumor that cannot be excised and has become resistant to prednisone therapy. Chemotherapy is appropriate when tumor cells extend to surgical margins and a second surgery and radiation therapy are not feasible treatment options. Chemotherapy is recommended in all cases with lymph node involvement. Chemotherapy is recommended for all patients with high-grade II or grade III MCT, even when the tumor is excised with wide margins.

    Prednisone, vinblastine and lomustine are used in combination to obtain the best results with minimal side effects. Adjuvant chemotherapy results in survival times of greater than 2 years in patients with high-grade II MCT with metastasis to regional lymph nodes, that have been treated with aggressive surgical resection resulting in complete resection and are negative for visceral (organ, i.e. spleen) metastasis. Chemotherapy is not of much benefit when staging confirms systemic metastasis.

Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

OverviewDogs age more rapidly than humans, with an average lifespan of about 14 years, depending on the dog's size, health and lifestyle. While many people calculate a dog's age in human years by multiplying their actual age in years by seven, this isn't correct because a dog ages more rapidly in his early years than his later ones. Most breeds age at the same pace for the first five years of life, but smaller ones age more slowly than larger ones after this age and can live almost twice as long in some cases.

Step 1Estimate your dog's age if you don't know exactly when your dog was born. A dog's age usually can be determined by the state of his teeth. A puppy gets all of his baby teeth by 8 weeks of age and permanent ones by 7 months, according to WebMD. A dog 1 to 2 years old has little tartar buildup, and a dog up to 5 years old has some wear and yellowing of the teeth. Dogs over 5 years old may have serious tartar buildup and dental disease. Senior dogs, over 10, may also show signs of graying fur, cataracts and joint disease.

Step 2Determine if your dog's size is considered small, medium or large. Small dogs weigh less than 20 pounds, medium dogs range between 21 and 50 pounds and large dogs are over 50 pounds in size. While most dogs age at the same rate until they reach 5 years old, after this age, larger breeds age more rapidly than smaller ones, affecting the calculation of the dog's age in human years.

Step 3Calculate the approximate human age of your puppy by multiplying the age in months by 2 for puppies up to 5 months old. Puppies age very rapidly during their first year of life, especially during these first 5 months, a rate of growth which decreases as the dog approaches his first year of life.

Multiply the age in months by 1.5 for puppies from 6 months old to 8 months old to account for the decreased rate of aging.

Multiply the age in months by 1.25 for puppies from 9 months old to 1 year old. A 1-year-old dog's age in human years is approximately 15 years old, and the dog ages 3/4 of a human year for each month after that until the dog reaches 2 years old, or approximately 24 years old in human years. This figure is the same for all sizes and breeds.

Step 4Subtract 2 from the dog's age in years and multiply the remainder by 4 for dogs over 2 years old and under 5 years old. Add 24 to this number to determine the age in human years. This figure is the same for all sizes and breeds up to 5 years old.

For example, to determine the human age of a 4-year-old dog, you would subtract 2 from 4, which would leave you with 2 as the remainder. Multiply this number by 4, which would give you 8. Add 24 to 8 to get 32, which is a 4-year-old dog's age in human years.

Step 5Subtract 5 from the dog's age in years for dogs over 5 years old. For small breeds of dogs, multiply the remainder by 4 and add it to 36. For medium-sized breeds, multiply the remainder by 5 and add it to 36.

For large breeds, multiply the remainder by 6 and add it to 36. Note that large breeds of dogs over 15 years old age about 27 human years between 15 and 16 years old in dog years due to their larger bone structure, which can lead to joint and other health issues.

Keeping Your Dog Healthy

The dog health guide offers simple and practical advice for many common canine symptoms and illnesses. It is written by dog lovers, researchers and vets who understand that while there is no substitute for a Veterinarian, there are often simple things that can be done at home to help.

We believe that every dog owner needs to be an advocate for their dog's health. This means knowing the facts so that when faced with any kind of canine disease, you can have a productive conversation with your Veterinarian.

Our thinking on different illnesses is based on the common sense advice of dog owners and information from leading Veterinary authorities. Check back often since every week we will be updating and adding information on another canine disease.

Here's some quick links to the most common dog health conditions according to dog health insurance companies:
  • Dog Skin Allergies
  • Dog Ear Infections
  • Dog Stomach Upsets
  • Dog Bladder Infections
  • Canine Benign Tumors
  • Canine Arthritis
  • Dog Leg Sprains
  • Dog Eye Infections
  • Dog Diarrhea (canine enteritis)
  • Canine Hypothyroidism
Always be aware of any changes in your dog's behavior or habits as these can be early warning signs of dog disease. In particular, if you spot any of the following canine health problems, be sure to call your veterinarian:
  • Persistent Dog Diarrhea or Vomiting
  • Problems breathing
  • Lameness, limping or softness that persists
  • Dog cough that does not go away
  • Any type of bleeding or discharge
  • Low energy levels or lethargy
  • Dog skin conditions that do not heal, or show pus and blood, or skin welling and lumps
  • Poor appetite, avoidance of food
  • Weight loss
  • Collapse

We try and provide home remedies wherever possible, and never intend for the advice to be a substitute for a medical professional that knows your dog's breed and health. Whether discussing rice for diarrhea or treating arthritis in dogs, you'll hopefully find our approach helpful. The Dog Health Guide also tries to focus on specific dog symptoms such as canine cough and then helps you determine if the cough is due to canine kennel cough, coccidiosis dogs, or canine parasites such as heartworm or roundworm. We also suggest sites that can help to educate our readers such as this resource on dog grooming.

Please write to us with your suggestions and ideas or if you didn't find the information you were looking for.

All suggestions will be reviewed by our editors and posted for the benefit of our readers. Also, please send pictures of your dog. We'd love to meet him or her.

The information in is not intended to replace the advice of a Veterinarian or other Pet Health Professional.

Care For a Dog's Dry Skin

If your dog is itchy and has dry, flaky skin accompanied by bumps, scabs, pimples and patches of thinning hair, he might have seborrhea (dandruff). Bathing him every other day with warm water and a medicated shampoo containing sulfur or salicylic acid may help. You can also use an after-bath rinse or moisturizing spray containing colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, fatty acids or urea

Your dog's condition might be caused by poor nutrition. Many commercial dog foods lack essential fatty acids and vitamins such as A, E and B-3 (niacin) . Try a higher-quality dog food or talk to a veterinarian about supplements specifically for healthy skin and coat.

Frequent bathing can cause dry skin. Bathe your dog as little as possible, using a moisturizing shampoo made especially for dogs. Human shampoo is too harsh for dogs because our skin has a different pH [source:  Brushing your dog regularly will help him stay clean and stimulate his skin to produce moisturizing oils

You can also try the following home remedies to relieve your dog's dry skin problem:
Add olive oil to his food two or three times a week.
Bathe your dog in a warm water and oatmeal solution.
Apply teat tree oil, fish oil, calendula extract or vitamin E (all available in health food stores) to his skin.
Make sure your dog is well hydrated by providing him with more water, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, or by adding water to his dry dog food

If nothing helps, or if your dog's skin condition worsens, see a veterinarian to rule out other causes for his dry skin, like mange, infection or ringworm. It may be necessary to treat your dog with prescription medication


Top ten Smartest Dog Breeds In The World

What are the smartest dog breeds in the world? We all love our dogs, and most of us believe our own dog must be the smartest ever. But is your dog's breed known as one of the smartest? We've compiled a list of the top 10 most intelligent dogs ever. If your dog isn't on this list, don't despair. Because sometimes, having a dog with very high intelligence can have its drawbacks. For example, if a highly intelligent dog is left at home alone all day, they can get bored and become destructive and/or neurotic. On the other hand, a dog with limited intelligence can be left at home all day, and not even realize you’re gone until a few minutes before you arrive home! Note: This list should not be confused with the top 10 easiest to train dog breeds.

#10 Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a very active breed. They need to be exercised on a regular basis, both mentally and physically. As they were originally bred to herd in cattle in Australia (hence the name), they are freethinking, resourceful, and very protective of their property, including people!

Australian Cattle Dog:
When Australian ranchers required a herding dog to help control the half-wild cattle and sheep, they set out to breed one. The process began in the 1830's when a stockman named Timmins crossed a Smithfield (a tough but noisy working breed) with a Dingo. Further crosses with Collies and Dalmations produced the Australian Cattle Dog, a breed posessing stamina, reliability, and uncanny intelligence (The are one of the easiest to train and top 10 most intelligent dogs). The Australian Cattle Dog was also developed to be a strong biting dog, one able to drive wild cattle over long distances. Its speckled coat camouflages it when nipping at the bovine's legs. Protecting its master's family and home is a responsibility the Australian Cattle Dog takes as seriously as squiring cattle.

Average Lifespan Of The Australian Cattle Dog: 12-15 years.
Average Weight: 33-51 lbs. Inherited Health Disorders:


PPM (Persistant Pupillary Membrane).
Retinal Dysplasia (Detachment): A type of retinal deformation.
Malformed Eye Tunic (Scleral Ectasia): A thinning of the sclera or cornea, usually seen in Collies and related breeds. The condition on its own is not serious, but it is usually associated with more serious eye diseases

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