If Your Dog Is Lethargic, It’s Time To Figure Out Why

If Your Dog Is Lethargic, It’s Time To Figure Out Why


You know your dog better than anyone, but that doesn’t make it easy to know when she’s not feeling well. She can’t come out and tell you she’s ill, and that leaves you to worry and wonder when something seems “off.”

Decreased activity is one of the most common symptoms of canine illness. Commonality, however, doesn’t make it easy to identify or interpret. If your dog is lethargic, there’s always a reason. The trick is knowing what that reason is. It could be something as simple as a sore muscle or as life-threatening as cancer. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.

What a Lethargic Dog Looks Like

The average dog sleeps about 10 hours a day, and they spend several more hours being awake but inactive. Your pup’s normal activity level will largely depend on her breed and age, and the more time you spend with her, the better you’ll know what her “normal” actually looks like. It’s important to have a general idea of your dog’s energy level so if it changes, you can recognize the difference between having a lazy day and being lethargic.

When a dog is lethargic, she stops doing the things she usually enjoys. She’d rather lay in the grass than chase a tennis ball, and her bin of tug toys remains untouched. A dog suffering from lethargy won’t respond to her name, and she’ll stay in bed long after her usual wake-up call. It might take some seriously yummy treats to convince her to get up, and she’ll be slow and disinterested during her regular walk.

Reasons a Dog is Lethargic

Once you’ve determined your dog is indeed acting unusually inactive, your next step is to determine the cause. Unfortunately, lethargy is related to a long list of illnesses and issues. Here are the top five categories that could be causing your canine to slow down.

my dog is lethargic

#1 – Illness

When you’re sick, all you want to do is lay in bed and watch Netflix. Your dog might choose listening to a dog-friendly audiobook over binge watching the newest Netflix original, but it’s normal for them to want to take it easy when they’re not feeling well. The list of possible illnesses is far too long to include in this one article, but your dog could be showing symptoms of anything from kennel cough to cancer.

Parvovirus is common in young dogs and puppies, and dogs that love the outdoors are at risk of contracting a bacterial disease called leptosporosis. There’s also the chance your dog has diabetes or heart disease. All of these scary-sounding illnesses might have you rushing to the vet right away, but not every bout of lethargy is life threatening.

#2 – Pain

A long hike, extra time at the dog park, or an awkward jump off the couch have potential to slow your dog down. Dogs suffer from sore muscles just like people do. If you notice your dog is lethargic the day after a lot of physical activity, she might have over done it. Weekend warriors are dogs that spend Monday through Friday on the couch and every weekend doing things like climbing mountains and going on long runs with their humans. Those long stretches of inactivity coupled with short bursts of overexertion aren’t good for your dog’s body. Her lethargy could be a simple case of too much exercise in too short a time period.

my dog is lethargic

If it’s not muscle pain, your dog could be hiding a more serious injury or even something like a snake bite. The next time you sit down to cuddle your pup, take time to examine her body for cuts and areas of swelling. Dogs with long hair are good at hiding their injuries, and even the smallest cuts can become infected.

#3 – Something They Ate

Dogs don’t realize things like chocolate and onions can make them sick, and they greedily gobble down everything they can get their mouths on. It doesn’t even have to be food—dogs eat cardboard, plastic, your shoes, and your pup might have snagged the aspirin bottle you forgot to put away. Dogs that have histories of counter surfing often end up eating dangerous things and paying for it with upset tummies. Eating too fast can also make a dog feel sick and lethargic.

Other potential toxins to consider are plants that are poisonous to dogs and pesticides. Sometimes dogs get over their stomach pangs with no harm done, but some foods and household items lead to serious medical issues.

#4 – Fear and Anxiety

It might not be your dog’s body that’s keeping her off her feet—it could be her mind. Dr. Becker lists lethargy as one of the main symptoms of depression in dogs. Dogs can feel depressed because of the sudden absence of a loved one, lack of attention, or general instability in their lives.

my dog is lethargic

If a diagnosis of depression doesn’t seem like the right fit, your dog could be afraid or anxious. A new family member in the house, or even a new piece of furniture, can easily freak out a nervous dog. Her fear of the unknown can convince her to hide or stay in one place. How much she feels like moving around and interacting with people may also have to do with her anxiety. PetCareRX says,

“Some dogs want to be alone when they are experiencing anxiety. They may hide out of fear or move away from people and other pets.”

#5 – Medication Side Effects

The downside of many prescribed medications is they almost always come with side effects. Lethargy is one of the most common. Sometimes lethargy is a side effect all on its own, but it’s possible a dog is lethargic because of a completely different side effect. According to PetMd, for example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications used to treat chronic pain are known to cause liver and kidney damage. You won’t be able to tell right away that something bad is happening in your dog’s organs, but if a dog is lethargic, they might be suffering from liver or kidney failure due to a medication.

You’ll have to speak to a vet and gauge your dog’s well-being to decide if the benefits of the medication outweigh the side effects. If they don’t, it might be time to shift away from medications and toward natural treatments like CBD oil.

dog is lethargic

When to be Concerned

Not every situation warrants a visit to the vet, but knowing when it’s time to make an appointment could save your dog’s life. If your dog is lethargic, and she also meets one or more of these points, it’s best to call your veterinarian.

  • Lethargy lasts more than 24 hours
  • Prolonged lack of appetite (refusing more than one meal)
  • Consistent coughing/sneezing
  • Bloody diahrea
  • Bloody vomit
  • Temperature above 103 degrees

Whether you’ve noticed a gradual decrease in your dog’s activity or she suddenly show signs of lethargy, your best plan of action is to continue observing her. Monitor her behavior and look for additional symptoms of illness. If she still seems “off” after one day, feel free to call your vet. They might recommend you bring her in right away or suggest waiting a few days. Either way, it’s best to keep your vet involved.

Sources: VetStreetPetMdPetCareRX, Mercola Healthy Pets

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Is My Dog A Senior? How To Determine A Dog’s Real Age

Is My Dog A Senior? How To Determine A Dog’s Real Age


Determining a dog’s real age is far more complicated than simply multiplying by seven for every “human” year. According to veterinarians and researchers, size and breed both play major roles in canine aging.

From tiny Teacup Poodles to giant Great Danes; there simply cannot be a one-size-fits-all calculation for the entire species.

study led by Dr. Kate Creevy of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine found that while small dogs have the aging advantage later in life, they age faster in the first two years. On the other hand, very large dogs can take up to two years to reach full maturity, but may only live another five or six years.

“Small dogs reach skeletal and reproductive maturity sooner than larger breeds,” Creevy said in an interview with BBC. “Once they’ve achieved those measures of adulthood, they carry on to live longer.”

Strangely, this phenomenon only appears in dogs. Dr. Creevy chocks it up to the fact that no other species has such a diverse range of sizes. To determine your dog’s real age, she recommends the following guidelines:

For the first two years:

  • Small dogs: 12.5 years per human year
  • Medium sized dogs: 10.5 years per human year
  • Large dogs: 9 years per human year

For dogs three and up, breed begins to come into play. For example, Bulldogs have shorter life expectancies due to their high risk of respiratory crisis. Larger canines like Golden Retrievers and Boxers have a much higher chance of dying from cancer, and are more likely to succumb to intestinal diseases or musculoskeletal problems.

Taking this into account, add the following number of years for each additional “human year” to calculate the age of these popular breeds:

  • Dachshund (Miniature) 4.32
  • Border Terrier 4.47
  • Lhasa Apso 4.49
  • Shih Tzu 4.78
  • Whippet 5.30
  • Chihuahua 4.87
  • West Highland Terrier 4.96
  • Beagle 5.20
  • Miniature Schnauzer 5.46
  • Cocker Spaniel 5.55
  • Cavalier King Charles 5.77
  • Pug 5.95
  • French Bulldog 7.65
  • Springer Spaniel 5.46
  • Labrador Retriever 5.74
  • Golden Retriever 5.74
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier 5.33
  • Bulldog 13.42
  • German Shepherd 7.84
  • Boxer 8.90

So the real age of a 7-year-old Miniature Dachshund is 46.6 in “dog years”, while a 7-year-old Boxer is more like 62.5.

Determining a dog’s real age becomes more complicated if the biological age is unknown and/or the pooch is a mixed breed. With these dogs, taking a peek at the teeth can be quite helpful.

These canine dental facts can help you approximate your dog’s biological age:

  • at 8 weeks: All baby teeth are in.
  • by 7 months: All permanent teeth are in and are white and clean.
  • 1-2 years: Teeth are duller and the back teeth may have some yellowing.
  • 3-5 years: All teeth may have tartar buildup and some tooth wear.
  • 5-10 years: Teeth show more wear and signs of disease.
  • 10-15 years: Teeth are worn, and heavy tartar buildup is likely. Some teeth may be missing.

However, keep in mind the extent of dental damage and disease will vary based on breed mix and previous lifestyle. Many rescue dogs suffer from broken or rotten teeth due to poor nutrition and past trauma.

No matter the dog’s age or breed, he should receive dental care to prevent serious problems like bone loss, infections, and organ damage. After a thorough veterinary exam and a professional cleaning (if needed), you can begin a routine of brushing with enzymatic toothpaste, giving dental treats, and even playing with tooth-cleaning toys!

The condition of the skin and coat can also give clues to a dog’s real age.

Grey hair around the muzzle, face, legs and body usually mean a dog has reached senior status. The skin also tends to lose moisture with age, resulting in dryness and a brittle-feeling coat.

In addition to promoting healthy digestion, high-quality probiotics can help improve skin and coat quality. The digestive enzymes in Pronine™ Flora 4-in-1 allow dogs to better absorb the nutrients in their food and eliminate toxins in the body, resulting in healthier skin.

To combat itching and restore your senior dog’s soft, lustrous coat, Omega fatty acids (OFAs) are a must. Omega 3-6-9 Select Chews from Project Paws® are made from sustainably-sourced krill oil to support a soft, silky coat, minimize normal shedding, and maintain the skin’s moisture content.

Take a long gaze into your dog’s eyes.

Do they appear cloudy or have a bluish film? This could indicate common signs of aging such as lenticular sclerosis (the hardening of the lenses) or cataracts. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for healthy eye maintenance. Several studies suggest they may even protect against degenerative ocular disorders such as glaucoma.

Finally, you may be able to determine a dog’s real age based on his joint health.

Older dogs often suffer from muscle wasting around their hips and shoulders. Arthritis and fluid loss in the joint spaces cause them to walk with a stiff, peg-legged gait. Some may even have trouble getting up from a laying position, climbing into the car, or managing stairs.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is an Omega-3 fatty acid found in krill oil and known for its exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. It helps ease inflammatory conditions of the heart, kidneys, skin and joints – including arthritis. While OFAs are especially important for senior dogs, it’s never too early to start protecting their skin, eye, and joint health with Omega 3-6-9 Select Chews.

Another powerful product in the fight against canine arthritis is Project Paws® Advanced Hip & Joint Chews. Packed with a unique combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM; these bacon-flavored treats provide improved flexibility, strengthened cartilage, and natural relief from joint distress.

For dogs with food sensitivities, try our Hypoallergenic Hip and Joint supplement. These great-tasting chews are grain-free, gluten-free and soy-free to suit almost any special diet. The powerful blend of nutrients supports normal joint function, flexibility, and healthy joint cartilage.

No matter your dog’s age, they’re only as old as they feel. So keep them feeling great!


H/T to BBC & Web MD Pets

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5 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Dog’s Feelings Without Even Knowing It

5 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Dog’s Feelings Without Even Knowing It


A Harvard psychologist recently declared that when dogs dream they are likely reliving their experiences with their humans. Those yips and kicks we see are their reactions to either pleasing us or annoying us in dreamland.

For better or worse, our dogs’ entire lives revolve around us. If they do not get enough of our time or that time is marred by unwarranted punishments, it can leave lasting emotional scars.

Dog owners usually make one of these 5 mistakes because they simply do not understand canine behavior. It’s important to know why dogs do the things they do in order to avoid inadvertently damaging your precious relationship.

1. Rubbing Their Nose In It

Think about it, you use the bathroom during the 6 – 10 hours that you are at work, right? Chances are your dog also has to go during that time, and sometimes he or she may not be able to hold it. Once a dog is potty trained, accidents in the house can be a sign of distress, physical illness, or simply going too long without a break.

Yelling or “rubbing their nose in it” will not teach your dog to potty outside, but it will teach him to fear you and unnecessarily hurt his feelings.

2. Not Providing Enough Playtime 

It’s one thing to halfheartedly pat your pup on the head as you breeze through the door with an armload of groceries, it’s quite another to set aside designated one-on-one time. No matter how busy your life is, it’s important to prioritize time to do something your dog enjoys. Whether it’s 10 minutes of fetch, a nice evening walk or just cuddle time on the couch, a dog’s level of happiness depends on the attention they receive from their favorite humans.

3. Punishing Fearful Behavior

Cowering, raised hackles, flattened ears, tucked tails and growling are all signs that your pup is not comfortable in a particular situation. What they need at these times is to be calmly and quietly removed from the upsetting stimulus. Yelling and over-assertiveness on your part will only escalate the situation. Fearful behavior can often be mistaken for aggression in dogs and vice versa, so if this is an issue you are dealing with, contact a professional trainer.

4. Being Inconsistent With The Rules

We are probably all guilty of this from time to time. It doesn’t matter whether you have one household rule for your dog or fifty. What does matter is remaining consistent. If sleeping on the furniture is a no-no, don’t decide to let your pup snuggle on the bed while you’re sick, then punish him the next day when he hops up for a nap! The same goes for leash-pulling, begging and jumping up.

5. Segregation From The Pack

The one thing on earth that will hurt your dog more than anything else is keeping him away from his family. Remember, you are his whole world! Some owners are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary training that dogs need in order to understand what is expected of them. These misunderstood pups are labeled “bad” and isolated to a kennel or backyard – possibly even abandoned.

Dogs want to make us happy. More than treats or toys they crave our love and approval. If you are having trouble with your dog’s behavior, seek professional help from your veterinarian or an experienced dog trainer.


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Teenager Wakes From Coma After Visit From A Therapy Dog

Teenager Wakes From Coma After Visit From A Therapy Dog


On July 15, a devastating traffic accident in Delray Beach, FL put 19-year-old Farrah Fox into a deep coma. An off-duty officer ran a stop sign and plowed into the SUV Farrah was riding in. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, and there was nothing doctors or her family could do but wait. They waited five weeks with no change in Farrah’s condition, but then a therapy dog named Fergie came to visit.

The seven-year-old Labradoodle frequently visits hospitals to spread her special breed of love to recovering patients. On August 17, Fergie went with her owner, Mary Cullinan, to spend time with Farrah. For eight hours, Fergie cuddled against Farrah’s side on the hospital bed. It’s impossible to tell if Farrah knew Fergie was there, but what happened next suggests Fergie’s comfort had a major impact on the teenager’s health.

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Posted by Mary Cullinan on Friday, August 17, 2018

Cullinan told Sun Sentinel that during the visit, Farrah’s hand drifted toward Fergie’s snout. It started with a twitch, and that same afternoon, Farrah finally woke up. Cullinan said,

“We don’t know if it was Fergie or just time. But Fergie was with her for eight hours that day. Farrah responds to Fergie more than she responds to people right now. She just has this connection with her.”

The University of Central Florida student has dreams of being an aerospace engineer, but right now, her family is hoping for a miracle. Farrah is still unable to speak or move, but after five weeks, her family is beyond grateful for the improvement. She spent her 19th birthday in the hospital instead of at school with friends, and now she’s starting a long road to recovery.

Farrah’s mother, Marla-Jo Fox, knows the next few months and years will be especially difficult. She said,

“No one can predict how long it will be. It could be a year or 18 months—or a lifetime. We just don’t know.”

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Posted by Mary Cullinan on Friday, August 17, 2018

Doctors say a 100% recovery would be a miracle, but Farrah, her family, and Fergie aren’t going to give up. Fergie has continued to visit with Farrah in the hospital, and the therapy dog is sure to be a big part of her future recovery. They’re taking it one day at a time until the day Farrah is talking, walking, and back at school.

Farrah’s friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of her continuous care, and there will also be a barbecue fundraiser this Saturday at Johnson’s Folly Horse Farm in Delray Beach.

h/t: Sun Sentinel

Featured image via Facebook/Mary Cullinan

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England Officially Bans Electric Shock Collars

England Officially Bans Electric Shock Collars


Animal welfare groups and dog-loving politicians have been fighting for a decade to ban the use of shock collars in England. After a heated debate, they’ve finally achieved their goal.

England’s government announced this week that the law will officially change to make the use of training dogs with shock collars illegal. The ban puts England in line with the rest of the UK as Wales and Scotland have already taken steps to put an end to this form of painful, punishment-based dog training.

According to BBC, a poll taken by the Kennel Club in 2014 found 74% of people in England support the shock collar ban, but lawmakers have had to jump through hoops to make it official. A report of “insufficient evidence” slowed things down, but testimonies from dog trainers, animal behaviorists, and animal advocates have convinced the government to move forward.

An estimated 5% of dog owners in the country reportedly use shock collars on a regular basis, meaning hundreds of thousands of dog owners will be affected. Environment Secretary Michael Gove says the collars cause unnecessary “harm and suffering.” With the capability to send 100 to 6,000 volts of painful electric shock into a dog’s neck for up to 11 seconds at a time, dogs essentially learn through fear and pain. The collars are remotely activated to shock a dog in order to stop an undesirable behavior like barking and running away. The issue is, many of the people using shock collars use them incorrectly. Pain and suffering ends up worsening the underlying behavior problems and negatively affecting the dog’s confidence and trust.

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Dogs Trust launch #shockinglylegal campaign to ban electric shock collars

Electric shock collars are still #shockinglylegal in England. Only Westminster has the power to ban sales of shock collars – which can shock a dog for up to 11 seconds – so we're asking for your support to ask your MP to #banshockcollars.On Twitter? Head over to our Twitter page and share the animation in a tweet to your MP to #banshockcollarsRead more >> https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/news-events/news/electric-shock-collars-news

Posted by Dogs Trust on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Director of canine behavior and research at the Dogs Trust, Dr. Rachel Casey, told BBC,

“Scientific research has demonstrated that electronic devices which deliver an averse stimulus have a negative impact on dog welfare, so this ban will have a major positive impact for dogs in the UK.”

RSPCA also supports the ban of the controversial collars and says using pain to train a dog is unnecessary when positive reinforcement techniques are available and have been proven to work. A spokesperson for the animal welfare group also points out there are “humane and viable alternatives” to using shock collars. There are other ways of training dogs and containing pets without resorting to electric shock.

Gove called England a “nation of animal lovers,” and the ban on shock collars will be a step toward improving the welfare of pets. Next on the agenda, animal advocates are also pushing to have electric containment fences banned.

We want to know: Do you think shock collars should be banned?

h/t: BBC

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Utah Firefighter Gives Home To Dog Rescued From California Wildfire

Utah Firefighter Gives Home To Dog Rescued From California Wildfire


A small act of kindness is even more amazing when it happens in the middle of chaos.

Wildfires continue to wreak havoc in California and fire crews from other areas have travelled to join the effort. Firefighters from Draper City, Utah travelled over 800 miles to help fight the Mendocino Complex fire burning North of Santa Rosa, California. On August 12, while working contain the flames in the Potter Valley fire zone, the group spotted a German Shepherd huddled under a tree. The dog was extremely thirsty and tired, and the firefighters offered him water and a place to sleep under their truck while they worked.

After their shift, the men loaded up their equipment, and the dog. They drove him to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter where he would recieve medical attention and some well-earned rest. The shelter posted his photo to social media and several people immediately expressed interest in giving him a home if he wasn’t claimed by his owner. However, one of the firefighters with the Draper City Fire Department had already told the shelter that this dog had a home if his owner didn’t come forward.

“It was clear from the start, if not found by his guardian, Draper City fire fighter Patrick wanted to adopt him.”

The stray hold expired without anyone claiming the dog. The pup, named Mendo by the firefighters who rescued him, has a new home in Draper City, Utah, with Patrick and his family. On August 25th, volunteers from the shelter in Mendocino County met with Patrick in Reno, Nevada. According to a Facebook post from the Draper City FD, Mendo recognized Patrick, and was very excited to see him again!

“The dog was happy to to see Patrick he ran around in happy circles. “Mendo” we are happy to say that Draper is now your home. What a beautiful, friendly and affectionate dog.”

Mendo will be a comfort to the firefighters in Draper City who suffered the loss of one of their own to the fires in California. Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, who led the crew in their fight of the Mendocino Complex fire, did not make it home. After Mendo and Patrick were reunited, the Mendocino County Animal Shelter posted to Facebook,

“Mendo has been reunited with fire fighter Patrick who found him while battling the Mendocino Complex fires. The Draper Fire Department team from Utah lost their co-worker Matt during this fire. We know Mendo will help them heal. “

H/T: ktla.com
Featured Photo: Draper City Fire Department/Facebook

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Why Do Some Dogs Shake?

Why Do Some Dogs Shake?


Sometimes dogs shake with excitement upon seeing a favorite loved one. Other times their trembling is an involuntary response to environmental factors. While these causes are harmless, shaking can also be a symptom of certain genetic conditions or a sign of a serious illness.

In order to determine if your dog’s shaking is a cause for concern, you must understand the many reasons that may account for it.

Certain breeds are more prone to shaking.

Ask any Chihuahua parent and they will tell you these dogs shake. They shake when they are tired, hungry, happy, excited – you get the idea! Chihuahuas’ frequent trembling is often chalked up to cold due to their sparce haircoats and tiny size. The breed is also prone to anxiety.

In addition to the notoriously shaky Chihuahua, there are a handful of breeds predisposed to conditions that cause trembling. Malteses and West Highland Terriers are the most likely breeds to develop acquired tremors syndrome. The disease is so common in these “little white dogs,” it is often referred to as white dog shaker syndrome.

Shaking puppy syndrome is a genetic condition that affects the nerves of the spinal cord. Although frightening to witness, the disease tends to resolve on its own as the dog matures. It is most commonly seen in Chow Chows, Weimeraners, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Samoyeds, English Springer Spaniels, and Rat Terriers.

Just like us, dogs shake when they are cold.

Shivering is the body’s natural response to cold temperatures. It is a physiological response that mammals have no control over. When dogs shake, the rapid movements of their skeletal muscles release heat, helping to raise their core temperature. For most dogs, their fur coats and cozy homes are enough to protect them from the cold. However, short-haired breeds, dogs with low body fat, and those left outside in harsh weather may shake more.

Dogs shake in anticipation of their favorite things.

Dogs are happy creatures that rejoice in life’s simple pleasures. The sight of their leash or the crinkle of a fresh bag of treats can cause them to quiver with anticipation. Pups with strong work/prey drives tend to be most prone to this type of trembling. Thankfully, anticipatory shaking is harmless unless it causes your dog to act out in negative ways.

Many dogs shake as a result of fear or anxiety.

Dogs have the same “fight or flight” response that causes humans to shake with fear. When they are scared, the body releases the hormone adrenalin. It sharpens their senses and prepares them to survive a stressful encounter.

Fearful shaking is not always rational, especially in dogs suffering from phobias and anxiety disorders. For example, the vacuum cleaner terrifies some pups. Others tremble at the sight of harmless objects like skateboards. It takes time and patience, but dogs can overcome their fears.

Unexplained shaking could be a sign of pain.

As dogs age they experience muscle wasting and sore joints. It is not uncommon for senior dogs to shake as a result of pain or weakness, especially in the hind end. Dogs suffering from painful medical conditions such as pancreatitis may also tremble due to the same stress reaction discussed above. If your dog is experiencing unexplained trembling and/or showing additional signs of pain or illness, contact your vet.

Certain serious illnesses cause shaking.

Below are several serious medical issues that may cause shaking.

  • Exposure to toxinsSome poisons can affect the nervous system causing involuntary tremors. Others cause extreme pain and nausea which may also cause dogs to shake.
  • Kidney disease – Dogs with advanced renal failure may suffer from seizures, tremoring and shaking.
  • Addisons disease – During an Addisonian crisis, the adrenal glands no longer produce the hormones necessary to deal with stress which can cause “the shakes.”
  • Canine DistemperThis life-threatening virus can infect the brain, causing shaking and seizures. A simple vaccination series can prevent distemper.
  • Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar is most common in puppies and tiny dogs. It can cause dizziness, stumbling and shaking.
  • Unbalanced electrolytes – Sodium, calcium and chloride are the major electrolytes in the body. If they are off balance, a dog may feel ill, shaky or weak.
  • Epilepsy and conditions affecting the cerebellum – Most people picture the dramatic, flailing grand mal variety, but seizures can be much more subtle. Cerebellar degeneration or injuries to the cerebellum are also known to cause neurological symptoms such as shaking or tremors.

If your dog is experiencing new, unexplained shaking that recurs or does not resolve, see your veterinarian promptly.


H/T to Web MD Pets & Pet MD

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Top 10 Dog Friendliest Cities of 2018

Top 10 Dog Friendliest Cities of 2018


When it comes to choosing the top pet-friendly cities, we want more than just restaurants with dog-friendly patios and big dog parks. We’re thinking and dreaming bigger when it comes to our dogs. We want to live where our dogs can be healthy and happy, and treated like the kings and queens we always knew they were.

WalletHub has put together their best dog-friendly cities list ever that really covers all the bases when it comes to the demands we make for our pets. They compared the top 100 most populated cities by 24 key metrics that fell into three categories:

Pet Budget, which takes into account things like the average cost of pet insurance and veterinarian visits.
Pet Health & Wellness, weighing the number per capita of veterinarians, pet-care businesses, and pet-friendly shops and restaurants, etc.
Outdoor Pet Friendliness, taking into consideration weather and fun outdoorsy things available for dogs, like dog-friendly trails and dog parks.

Add the three categories together, do a little math, and the result is 100 cities ranked by the overall quality of life they offer pets! If you’re looking for more in a city than a nice pet-friendly brunch, start your search here.

Top 10 Pet Friendliest Cities:

#10 Irvine, CA

Pet insurance premiums in Irvine will cost you, but it’ll be worth it to keep your pet healthy in a city with lots to do together. Irvine ranks fifth out of 100 cities for Pet Health & Wellness and Outdoor Pet Friendliness. There won’t be a dull moment with so much to do!

#9 Las Vegas, NV

A city that thrives on tourism is smart to welcome our dogs! Las Vegas is packed with dog parks for you to play in with your pup. Many of the city’s most famous casino hotels are happy to welcome your well-behaved dog, so you don’t have to leave without him to enjoy a vacation in Vegas!

#8 Seattle, WA

We love any city that has a food truck dedicated to our dogs! The Seattle Barkery has been in business since 2015. They offer two menus – the bigger one is for dogs, and a more limited menu for their humans. And don’t forget to tip! 100% of their tip jar goes to Old Dog Haven, a rescue and fospice for senior dogs!

#7 Cincinnatti, OH

Keeping your pet well comes a little cheaper in Cincinnati. The low cost of pet care earns the city a high spot despite the relatively few number of pet-friendly places to go (compared to the other cities on the top 10.)

#6 Tampa, FL.

Tampa offers pet parents a high number of veterinarians per capita. Pet photographer Adam Goldberg often hosts pet photoshoot fundraisers in the Tampa area – you can get a fantastic photo of your pet and help support shelters at the same time!

#5 Phoenix, AZ.

Phoenix has several dog parks where your pup can mingle with other dogs. Or you could watch the Arizona Diamondbacks play from the Petsmart Patio at Chase Field.

#4 Austin, TX.

You’re likely to see lots of dogs out and about helping their owners “Keep Austin Weird.” Austin is #4 overall for dog friendly cities, but ranks #2 in Pet Health & Wellness. It’s also home to TRACE at the W – #10 on our list of America’s 15 Most Dog Friendly Restaurants. Their homemade dog ice cream is a cool treat to offer your pet in the Texas heat.

#3 San Diego, CA.

San Diego really cares about it’s dogs! The city tied for number one for Most Animal Shelters and Most Dog Friendly Restaurants per capita. If you’re in San Diego, be sure to check out Sally’s Fish House & Bar to treat your dog to Sally’s Famous Pupcakes during Yappy Hour.

#2  Orlando, FL.

Orlando scored high in both the Pet Budget and Pet Health & Wellness categories. It’s one of the top three cities for veterinarians per capita, and tied for #1 for most dog friendly restaurants per capita – proving that Orlando has more than amusement parks and alligators!


#1 Scottsdale, AZ.

Out of 100 cities, Scottsdale was one of the top 5 WORST for pet insurance premiums, but still came out on top as number one overall! Though it scored in the bottom 20 in the Pet Budget category, it scored the best for Pet Health & Wellness. According to BringFido.com, there are 119 pet-friendly restaurants for you and your dog to try out – 27 of which are rated 5 bones!

Didn’t see your city in the Top 10? See the full list of 100 cities at WalletHub.com. Click here to learn more about how they ranked their list.


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Atlanta Organization Helps Strays While Keeping Kids Out Of Gangs

Atlanta Organization Helps Strays While Keeping Kids Out Of Gangs


The streets of Atlanta, GA are home to countless stray animals. There are dogs scrounging for food in dumpsters, feral cats struggling to survive, and former pets newly abandoned and afraid. At the same time, there’s a different kind of problem lurking in the shadows. Local gangs take over neighborhoods, and they’re always looking to recruit. Kids are pressured to take sides, teens are forced to join in, and innocent youth are beaten when they try to resist. Disabled veteran Grace Hamlin recognized the problems plaguing her city, and she set out to make a change. She started an organization called W-Underdogs to rescue stray animals, help local kids, and lift up her entire community.

Courtesy of W-Underdogs

W-Underdog’s mission is to provide city kids an outlet where they can avoid gangs while rescuing animals in need. Youth in the community are welcomed into the W-Underdogs family where they’re mentored and trained in animal welfare. They learn the proper ways to care for dogs and cats, and they help rehabilitate strays they rescue from the streets. Once the dogs are rescued and healthy, the kids also take charge in training. They teach formerly stray and feral animals what it takes to live in a home, and their efforts are rewarded once those dogs are eventually adopted.

So far, W-Underdogs has saved over 300 dogs. There are dogs that lived their lives on rusted chains and others that learned to survive by fighting and foraging. Regardless of circumstance, the kids and teenagers who make up W-Underdogs never give up. They sacrifice their evenings, weekends, and even their sleep to make sure the city’s dogs have people they can trust. Grace leads her organization with passion for both the kids and the animals. She shows everyone what’s possible when you face a problem with compassion and commitment.

Courtesy of W-Underdogs

Everyone involved in W-Underdogs works tirelessly to save as many animals as they can, and they extend their reach in other ways besides rescue. The W-Underdog’s Dog House Project is providing needy dogs with safety and shelter. The kids collect recycled materials from their neighborhoods and build custom dog houses. The dog houses are donated to families that love their dogs but need help caring for them. Those houses often come with free bags of dog food. These kids do whatever it takes to improve the lives of animals.

While they’re busy rescuing and rehabilitating the city’s dogs, the W-Underdogs are also working for themselves. Grace offers all of her W-Underdog kids an environment where they can learn, grow, and be a part of something special. The kids learn pet-related skills that will some day help them get jobs as veterinarians, vet techs, dog trainers, and dog groomers. Along with those life skills, they learn even more important lessons. They learn about compassion, responsibility, and respect. By doing something meaningful for animals, they learn to look beyond their present circumstances. They gain hope for a better future and achieve the motivation needed to get them there. By helping animals, they help their community, and most importantly, they help themselves.

Courtesy of W-Underdogs

The Petco Foundation and world-renowned pet behavior expert Victoria Stilwell have named Grace one of their six Unsung Heroes. These Unsung Heroes are people who dedicate their lives to saving animals and making their communities better. Grace and her W-Underdogs are inspiring people around the world to practice compassion toward animals, and The Petco Foundation wants to make sure they have what they need to keep going. They awarded Grace and her W-Underdogs a $10,000 grant so they can build more dog houses, adopt out more pets, and save more lives.

Follow W-Underdogs on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about them. You can also donate to their cause through their website.

Featured image courtesy of W-Underdogs

The post Atlanta Organization Helps Strays While Keeping Kids Out Of Gangs appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.


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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?


If you’ve ever seen dogs eat grass, you may be wondering whether or not you should be worried. Is it normal for dogs to eat grass? Could it hurt your dog? Why do they do it? Should you be concerned if your dog vomits every time he eats grass? We know you have questions and concerns about your dog eating grass, and we’re here to help.

Here are 6 things that you should know about dogs eating grass…

#1 – It’s natural

Pica is the term for eating non-food items, and eating grass is the most common form of pica. Grass eating has even been observed in wild dogs, so it’s not a behavior that’s unique to our domesticated fur children.

Wolves and other wild canids typically consume their prey whole, including the digestive systems of herbivores that would be filled with partially-digested plant matter. Unlike cats, who are strict carnivores, dogs are omnivores. Dogs will consume whatever food source is available to them, including things like grass, plants, fruits, vegetables, and berries.

#2 – Your dog may not be getting enough fiber in their diet

Grass is high in fiber, so it’s possible that your dog is seeking out something that’s missing in their regular diet. Try switching your dog’s diet to something with more fiber in it and see if that helps. While many dogs don’t enjoy raw vegetables, lightly steamed veggies can be a great way to add more fiber to your dog’s diet.

There is a published story about a Miniature Poodle that ate grass and then vomited every single day for 7 years. Within 3 days of being switched to a high-fiber diet, the grass-eating behavior stopped entirely.

#3 – They are trying to relieve digestive symptoms

Does your dog dash outside to gobble the nearest grass they can reach and then promptly vomit? Many dogs seem to have an instinct that if they are having stomach problems, gobbling grass can help them throw up and feel better. Just like humans, every once in a while your dog may feel the need to purge their stomach. Consuming a large amount of grass and air is one way they know how to do that.

This should be a rare occurrence, though. If your dog is vomiting once a week or more, you should take them to the vet for a checkup. Less than 25% of dogs vomit regularly after eating grass, so if it’s a regular occurrence for your dog, a vet visit can help rule out a serious gastrointestinal problem.

#4 – They’re bored

Puppies and younger dogs are especially likely to choose to eat grass out of boredom. If your dog runs around outside for a while appearing to have fun and then idly plops down to start munching on grass, they may just be bored. Try interacting with them more, giving them more exercise, or providing long-lasting chews like bully sticks to keep them entertained without resorting to munching on your lawn.

#5 – Your dog enjoys the taste

One study showed that nearly 4 out of 5 dogs had eaten plants at some point. Grass just happens to be the most readily available plant for them to do it with. If your dog likes the longer blades of grass, they may just enjoy the flavor of the grass or the way that it feels in their mouth.

#6 – Is it dangerous?

Grass itself isn’t inherently dangerous for your dog. Although it may contain chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides that could make him sick, it is generally safe. If you’re concerned about what sort of chemicals your dog could be consuming from your lawn, there is another option. PetGrass kits to grow your own wheatgrass for your dog to munch on are a relatively cheap and easy way to provide your dog with the grass he craves without potentially exposing him to dangerous lawn chemicals.

Some plants growing around your house may also be toxic if your dog eats them while munching away on grass. The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has great information about what sort of toxic plants to watch out for. Be proactive if your dog likes grass, so that you can remove them from your yard or find a way to prevent your dog from eating them. By doing so, you can avoid a call to the poison control center and an emergency altogether.

(H/T: WebMD Pets, PetMD, Mercola Healthy Pets)


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