How Much Should My Dog Weigh

How Much Should My Dog Weigh

It can be hard to determine whether your dog has a healthy weight. This is especially true since there are so many breeds of dogs.

Most of the time, however, we do need to know the condition of our pets. The more we know, the easier we can provide them with better living conditions. Specifically, the diet that we give them should be controlled in the best way possible.

Even though assessing whether a dog with an amateur eye can be hard, you can still follow some guidelines to make it easier.

Dog breed: the classification of dogs by size

The first thing you should know to assess whether your dog is of the right weight is to know their breed. For the sake of this article, we can classify them according to their sizes.

Unfortunately, even grouping them can be quite a hassle. It is not simple to identify and standardize what actually makes the dog ‘large’ or ‘medium’. Despite that, we can still roughly divide them into three.

1. Small breeds

These are the little lovable runts you see on the streets being all vigilant. Most of the small dog breeds are characterized by their tremendous energy reserves in contrast to their body size. They can be loud and annoying to some, but other small dog breeds do behave well.

If the average weight of your dog breed is lighter than around 22-23 pounds, it can be considered small a breed. However, these numbers are not really strict figures and experts will have a varying definition of what they can call small or medium

Popular dog breeds of this size are Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, dachshunds, and more.

2. Medium breeds

These dog breeds are the most popular type. They are generally active enough, but also healthy enough for people not to worry for them.

If your dog’s breed’s average weight is around 40 – 55 pounds, they may be considered as a medium-sized breed.

The common breeds of this size are huskies, poodles, Labrador retriever, and more.

3. Large breeds

The large dog breeds are less energetic than their medium and small breed counterparts. Since they are bigger, they need more space to work with. Despite that, they are quite lovable. They are easy to train since they are very intelligent.

If your dog’s breed’s average weight is more than 55 or 60 pounds, the dog can most likely be classified as large.

Examples of famous large dog breeds are Golden Retrievers, German shepherds, bulldogs, and more.

Read more: How Many Calories Should My Dog Eat

Ways to know how much your dog should weigh

Now that you have an idea what breed your dog is, you can start to figure out if their present weight is healthy or not.

1. Standardized weight by breed

The fastest method of knowing how much your dog should weigh is to look up a chart online on the range of healthy weight values according to your dog breed.

For example, if you have a Chihuahua, a breed standard weight chart may tell you that the ideal dog of that breed should not exceed 6 pounds. Or if you have a Golden Retriever instead, they may tell you that your dog should have around 57 pounds.

It is quite simple especially if you know your dog’s breed. However, the limitations of this method are also clear.

First, if you are not sure what breed your dog is, these standards will not help you. Another thing to note is the fact that even dogs of the same breed can have different body types. It is very hard to determine your dog’s exact body type so it is also hard to find the exact standard weight for them.

Overall, it is a simple method which is best used for a quick check-up on your dog.

2. Dog examination

You can also just look at your dog and see if it is fat. Well, of course, it is not that easy since we have less understanding of a dog's body compared to that of a human. Furthermore, the changes and the signs of malnourishment or obesity can be too small for an amateur person to fully recognize.

However, there are guidelines that you can use. You can do some physical examination yourself and see if you can identify if your dog has an ideal weight.

Malnourished dogs – their ribs and other bones in the body can be felt with minimal fat covering them. Even worse is when you can really see the outline of the dog’s bones just from looking.

Obese dogs – if you can hardly feel your dog’s ribs when you touch them, most likely they are already too fat. The shape can be bloated and the dog’s natural shape can be less seen.

Perfect Dogs – you should be able to feel the ribs of a healthy dog. At the same time, you should be able to feel some fats as well albeit not excessive amounts.

3. Go to a veterinarian

Since it can be pretty hard to truly assess your pet, simply going to a vet can solve a lot of your issues. You do need to pay some cash, but surely it will be all worth as long as your little friend can be safe and sound. Did you know that more than half of US dogs that vets see are obese? That’s according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) Pet Obesity Survey.

What you can do if you found out that…

1)…Your dog is overweight

Stop giving your dogs random treats. Exercise is also necessary, so make sure you take your friend out for a walk sometimes. You should not change your dog's diet drastically though. Go to a vet for a consultation first before you do any significant action.

Read more: How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

2)…Your dog is underweight

Try to see if you can give your dog more to eat. However, as mentioned before, any drastic change in diet should undergo a consultation with the vet first.

Read more: How to Get a Dog to Gain Weight

Summary

It is hard to determine how much your dog should weigh. However, there is also no need to be alarmed. The most important part is that you constantly check on the condition of your pet so you can see any signs of harm that may be on their way.

Tylenol for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Tylenol?

Can I Give My Dog Tylenol?

Tylenol is a rather common over-the-counter medicine that is mostly used for relieving headaches and reducing high fevers.

It might serve well for us humans, but does it work just as good for dogs? When our dogs are in pain, can we simply open our medicine cabinet, grab some Tylenol, and give it to our dogs?

When we see our dogs suffering, it is natural to feel the need to help them. But as much as you want to, there are things you need to understand about Tylenol before you hand them to your pet.

To know more about the benefits and risks of giving Tylenol to your dogs, continue to read further along as we explain various details about it.

What is tylenol?

Tylenol is what people usually call acetaminophen products in the market. It is prescribed by doctors when treating common illnesses such as colds and fever. It is also used as a pain reliever for headaches, dysmenorrhea, arthritis, and muscle pain.

Acetaminophen is usually compared to Ibuprofen when it comes to painkillers. However, unlike Ibuprofen which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), acetaminophen does not have any anti-inflammatory effect.

Scientists are still in the process of identifying the exact method of how Tylenol (acetaminophen) actually stops the pain. Some findings suggested that this substance blocks enzymes that produce pain. They classified these kinds of pain-relievers as non-oploid analgesics.

Tylenol for dogs: Can you give a dog tylenol for pain?

The short answer is no. There are too many risks and possible adverse side effects that Tylenol can do to your pets. Hence, it is best to avoid it completely, if possible.

You can find some natural alternatives to Tylenol instead. However, the best way to handle your dogs’ suffering is still to immediately visit a veterinarian.

If you are still not convinced, here are some explanations on a few points about dogs and Tylenol.

1. Why you should not give tylenol to your dog

Drug overdose – This issue is a very common one when it comes to medication. The issue becomes even worse when it involves pets. It is very hard to determine the exact dose necessary to treat dogs or other pets of varying sizes and breed.

Overdosing in Tylenol (acetaminophen) is very dangerous for your dog. It can damage your pet’s liver and kidney cells. It can lead to organ failure or other related diseases.

Allergy – Even if your dogs have not overdosed, they can still suffer from the side effects of potential allergies from the substances used in Tylenol. Unless you can guarantee that they are absolutely not allergic to Tylenol, it is a risk you will have to take.

Not enough information – There may still be other unknown side effects from Tylenol that can be harmful to your pets. There simply is not enough research about Tylenol in connection with pets.

Also harmful to humans – There are some cases of liver failure in people who have used Tylenol, resulting in their deaths. If even humans are not safe from its side effects, it is hard to believe that your furry friend will fare any better.

Read more: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain

Can you give a dog tylenol anyway?

If you simply do not have enough money to go to a veterinarian and you have tried but failed in using alternatives, you may be desperate enough to just start using Tylenol anyway.

Hopefully, it does not come to this situation. Nonetheless, there are still some dosage guidelines you can follow when you need to administer treatment for your friend.

1. How much tylenol can you give a dog?

The prescribed dosage depends on your dog’s weight. The recommended dose is 10mg – 15 mg of Tylenol per kilogram. You can give it to them twice or three times a day. To visualize this, here are some examples.

  • A 2kg Chihuahua must only take 20mg – 30mg of Tylenol
  • A 3kg Maltese dog must only take 30mg – 45mg of Tylenol
  • An 8kg Dachshund must only take 80mg – 120mg of Tylenol

Considering that the typical Tylenol tablet is 325mg, you can see that even trying to give a precise amount to your dogs is already a struggle. Giving too much will result in poisoning. Giving too little will yield no effect.

2. Vet discussion

Technically, it is true that you can give companions some Tylenol to ease them from their suffering. However, it is strongly recommended that you visit a veterinarian first. The benefits in doing so largely outweigh the cost.

Your dog’s veterinarian may allow you to proceed with giving your dog some Tylenol. In which case, you can follow the vet’s dosage or have a look at the one above. However, if they have suggested some alternatives, it is simply better to try them first and see how they work.

Painkillers should always be your last resort.

3. Overdose

Generally speaking, overdose for dogs will only occur if the substance is 75mg more than the prescribed dosage per kilogram. So if you follow the prescribed dosage completely, your dog should have lower risks.

However, following the dose is one thing, and actually administering it carefully is another. Sometimes, it’s very hard to be precise in measuring the amount of Tylenol that you are giving. Utmost discipline and care are needed so your dogs can safely be treated without worry.

Tylenol poisoning

An entire section is necessary to fully explain the negative side of using Tylenol. In particular, Tylenol ‘poisoning’ can happen. You should be aware as to what it is and why it is happening.

Poisoning happens when your pets’ bodies react negatively to the Tylenol that you are giving them. There are many situations that can lead to this scenario.

1. Possible causes

Overdose from accidental consumption – In some cases, dogs may accidentally consume dangerously large amounts of Tylenol. It may be due to them discovering unattended medicine box. Or there may be a mix-up in their food. This can result in overdose which is, as mentioned earlier, toxic to your pets.

Allergy – If your dogs are allergic to Tylenol or even any inactive ingredient used to make the drugs, their bodies may respond badly to the medicine.

Inherent side effects – Tylenol may be inherently dangerous to your pets. Even when not overdosed or allergic, previously unknown side effects may pop up.

2. Symptoms and side effects

These symptoms and side effects may appear on your dog when they are suffering from Tylenol poisoning. It is important to identify them immediately so you can go to the vet as soon as possible.

  • Strained breathing
  • Unusually cold temperature
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of some parts of the body
  • Vomiting
  • At worst, comatose or even death

3. What to do when your dog gets tylenol poisoning

When these symptoms appear on your dogs, you should not panic and calmly assess the situation. If you rush blindly, you may even hurt your pets even further. Here are some of the things you can do when your dogs take in toxic amounts of Tylenol:

  • Go to the vet immediately. They will know best what to do in specific situations.
  • If you just saw your dog consume large amounts of Tylenol, you can induce vomiting before it gets absorbed into the dog’s body. The best and safest way is to give them hydrogen peroxide (3% solution). Generally, 2 teaspoons per pound is just the right amount to induce vomiting while not being harmful to your pet.
  • Just like in other types of poisoning, activated charcoal is also a great way to neutralize the effects of Tylenol in the body. Hence, if you have some lying around, you can use them instead.

What are tylenol alternatives?

You may want to try some alternatives to Tylenol before giving it to your dog. There are many common methods of pain relief that does not require any potentially harmful medication.

1. Natural alternatives

Change in diet – Some muscle and joint pains can be solved by simply changing the dog’s diet into a healthier route. Giving them food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, will relieve them of their arthritis.

Weight loss – Other pains can manifest just from having a fat and unhealthy body. By trimming excess fats, it can help a lot in solving pain problems. This is true for dogs as it is for humans. Try reading how to help a dog lose weight.

Exercise – As long as your dog does not have any medical conditions that hinder them from running around, you can take walks with your dogs. It is good for you and your dog’s health.

2. Before you give your dog tylenol

The most important part in giving your dogs medication is knowing what is harmful, and what is beneficial to them. Knowing the risks, and acting with these risks in mind, will help you and your pets in the long run.

So before you give your dogs Tylenol, proper research and vet consultation should be prioritized first. Always ask these questions first: can you give a dog Tylenol for pain? How much Tylenol can you give a dog? 

3. After you give your dog tylenol

All you can do after giving your dogs Tylenol is to wait. Always check for any improvements or any negative effects that Tylenol may have given to your dogs. Make sure you respond accordingly to the results. If there are any signs of Tylenol poisoning, immediately stop the treatment and visit the vet.

4. An important note about our posts

While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority. No online advice beats professional diagnosis.

Summary

Can I give my dog Tylenol? Yes, you can. However, there are so many risks involved in giving them over-the-counter medication. At the end of the day, the best thing to do is to go to the veterinarian and ask them what to do.

Ibuprofen for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?

You may already know that Ibuprofen is often prescribed to us humans as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. Ibuprofen helps people experiencing dental pain, headache, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, and arthritis. Your dog probably suffers from any of these ailments and something inside you asks, can I give my dog ibuprofen? Can it be effective for my dog as much as it is for me?

In this post, we will tackle all things about Ibuprofen and whether you can safely administer it to your pet or not.

What is ibuprofen?

This is an NSAID considered to be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic medication – intended for human consumption. Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication which a lot of people thought is safe for dogs too. Since they are readily available in drugstores, people can easily get their hands on this medication, consequently increasing the numbers of pet poisoning due to unintentional ingestion.

Can I give my dog ibuprofen for pain?

Going straight to the point, no. You can’t give your dog ibuprofen for the simple fact that it can be toxic for your canine companion.

When taken orally, it will just take half an hour for your dog to fully absorb ibuprofen – and that’s pretty fast. You’re lucky if your dog has eaten his meal beforehand because it can possibly delay the absorption but not that much.

1. Why you should not give ibuprofen to your dog

Ibuprofen toxicity can happen to your dog when you administer an ibuprofen to him. While it is safe for people, it has only a narrow margin of safety when it comes to dogs.

2. How much ibuprofen can I give my dog

As stated just above, there is still a thin line of safety, which technically allows you to administer ibuprofen to a dog BUT only within a little dosage. Know that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This narrow margin of safety is most likely just a means of hope should your dog accidentally ingests an ibuprofen.

Be reminded that ibuprofen can really poison your dog. So if you want to give him this medication for a certain illness, you might want to opt for another treatment and refrain from administering ibuprofen as much as possible. For instance, if you want to help your dog with arthritis, why not just go for another treatment where you can be sure it’s safe?

Ibuprofen poisoning

1. Causes of ibuprofen poisoning

According to PetMD most cases of ibuprofen poisoning are accidental ingestion. For example, a dog can unintentionally eat an Advil lying around in your home. Other medication in tablet form can also make dogs think they are dry dog food.

2. Keep it away from your dog

The instructions behind your medication bottle are not just for compliance. They really mean it. Keep any ibuprofen or any medication for that matter away from your dog’s reach.

3. Don’t believe it’s safe

Because it’s not. There are still some pet-parents who believe in the myth that ibuprofen can serve as a treatment for their dog. Don’t be one of them. There are instances of ibuprofen poisoning that happened as a result of pet owners deliberately administering the said medication to their dog.

What happens if my dog ingests ibuprofen?

As an NSAID, Ibuprofen works just like any other medication in that category – except that it’s toxic to dogs as repetitively stated in this post. So what happens if you give your dog ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen inhibits this enzyme – called cyclooxygenase - that produces prostaglandins that cause inflammation, fever, and pain. While it sounds like a good thing for ibuprofen to inhibit these prostaglandins, there is a big downside to that.

Prostaglandins actually help your dog by maintaining this mucus layer in the gastrointestinal tract, consequently protecting it from stomach acid.

Going back, if your dog takes in ibuprofen, the prostaglandins are significantly decreased, which results in negative bodily functions including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting with blood
  • Feces with blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach (gastric) ulcers
  • Loss of weight
  • Noticeably increased urination (but lack of urine)
  • Increased thirst
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Incoordination
  • In worse cases, death

What to do if my dog gets poisoned with ibuprofen

Let’s say your dog accidentally ingested an ibuprofen from an Advil he thought was food. Here are some points to learn:

  • The best thing to do is to contact your vet right after you are able to observe symptoms of potential poisoning.
  • You can induce vomiting. You can do so by utilizing ipecac, hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine.
  • Pumping the stomach or gastric lavage can also be done to make your dog vomit the toxic substances.
  • Activated charcoal can also be used. This is an effective substance in absorbing the poison inside the stomach
  • Anti-emetic medications can be used to control the vomiting. Additionally, gastrointestinal protectants may be necessary.
  • Blood/plasma transfusions and fluid therapy may be needed when your dog’s kidney(s) has become damaged due to the said poisoning.
  • For seizures, anticonvulsant medications may be needed.
  • Surgical correction may be required in cases of gastric perforation.

An important note about our posts

While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority. No online advice beats professional diagnosis.

While time is of the essence when your dog accidentally ingests ibuprofen, it doesn’t really mean that everything is in your hands now. Any inappropriate action can worsen the situation. It would be safer if you call your vet first or rush to the nearest pet clinic to save your dog.

Summary

Ibuprofen is indeed an appealing medication which a lot of people thought to be equally effective in dogs as much as they are a big help for humans. But we hope this post clears things out.

So the next time you ask – can I give my dog ibuprofen – you already know the answer. Also, don’t forget to share this information to your family and friends. You might save an innocent dog.

How to Treat a Cut on a Dog

How to Treat a Cut on a Dog

With an active nature, dogs are so vulnerable to minor skin injuries. The more adventurous breeds have an even greater risk of acquiring injuries even when they are simply at home. So as the pet-parent, it’s your job to learn how to treat a cut on a dog.

Caring for open wounds is an important knowledge you can incorporate in needed times. While you can always go to the vet, it’s still handy and more beneficial if you’re able to heal your little pooch yourself, or at least be able to administer the first aid.

How to treat a cut or bruise on a dog

1. Most injuries are dirty. If you encounter the same case, the first thing to do is to clean the affected area with an antiseptic (non-stinging type) mixed in warm water.

2. Grab a cloth or towel and carefully clean the injury with a soft motion. Do NOT rub the towel or cloth as it can cause friction, which results in pain. Note: It is not advisable to use loose-fibered materials such as cotton as the threads can stick on the affected area.

3. Grab a towel and soak it in cold water. Now apply this cold towel on the wound as a cold compress. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables.

4. Start bandaging the wound after a few minutes, or after the towel has lost its coldness. This will keep your dog from licking the area.

5. Call your vet and ask for further advice. It’d be better if you know what caused the injury so the vet can make a more specific diagnosis. Also, try your best to describe the injury.

6. Change the bandage every 24 hours.

7. Do this until such time the wound is finally healed.

How to take care of an open wound

After your dog is admitted to the vet or in a pet hospital, you will need to follow some general guidelines that may include the following points:

1. Administering medication

Give him all the prescribed medications. It’s important to pay attention to antibiotics and refrain from stopping to administer it out of your own judgment. Antibiotics are not something you’d want to mess with. Strictly follow the specific instructions by your veterinarian.

2. Helping with the healing process

Always check the surrounding area of the wound and remove any debris that may have accumulated in it. Also, gently clean the said area on a daily basis. By making sure the wound is clean, you are effectively helping your dog develop healthier tissues while preventing any re-infection from happening.

3. Using a collar

Familiar with the E-collar? Well, they are not for aesthetics or just a mere indication that your dog is sick. Purchase an E-collar to prevent your dog from licking the open wound. It’s the nature of dogs to lick their wound and you can’t let that happen. Make your furball wear a protective collar so he can be safe.

An important fact for wounds

While it is your pure intention to help your dog heal from the injury, one thing you should know is you should NOT allow his skin from healing TOO FAST. Sounds a little bit absurd, but it’s really vital.

1. Why not allow the skin to make fast healing

The risk of recurrence increases when the wound closes prematurely. Not allowing the wound to close too quickly is essential with abscesses that have been surgically drained and lanced.

2. How to prevent wounds from closing prematurely

Here’s how to do this:

1. Gently massage the surrounding of the wounded skin. This will open the wound and create a drainage.

2. Continue massaging in a careful manner until you see some bleeding or discharge.

3. Observe how the discharge looks. It will tell whether it’s infected or not. A clear, thin fluid is a good sign; while a thick, colored discharge means it is infected.

4. Remove the discharge by swabbing a cloth.

5. Do this again for the next day and observe whether it is still infected or not anymore

6. Always call your vet for advice

How to clean the wound

It has been stated repetitively throughout the post that you should clean the wound. But not all pet-parents know how to or don’t know what to use.

1. Clean the wound with

  • Warm saline (salt solution)
  • Half-liter or 2 cups of water
  • You can add 1 teaspoon Epsom salt or normal salt
  • Your vet may recommend a dilute chlorhexidine cleansing solution
  • Depending on your vet; use iodine solution or surgical scrub soap

2. Do NOT clean the wound with

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Normal bathing soap
  • Shampoo
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tea tree oil
  • Random herbal preparation

Dogs in pain

If you can feel that your dog is in pain, you can administer a medication which he can take internally. An aspirin, for instance, is usually given to dogs with a recent injury. Call your vet first for confirmation.

Read more:

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin

Causes of dog injuries

1. Exercising in the woods

According to PetMD, most minor injuries happen on the paws and legs. This occurs as a result of exercising in areas with overgrown shrubbery or in the woods.

2. Too much time outside

The risk of injury is high if you have an active dog who loves spending time outdoors. While you can’t stop your canine companion from doing his thing outside, you can at least do your part by examining him when he gets home. Check your dog from the ground up. You can do this when you come home from work.

3. Accidental encounter

Due to having too much energy, your dog always has the tendency to meet some accidental encounters. This includes bumping against a blunt object, scraping against a hard surface or rock, stepping on a sharp object (thorns, etc.), or cutting himself from a bush.

4. Fights

Fighting with other dogs can often lead to injuries especially when no person is able to stop them. If this is the case, check your dog right away. He may be infected with rabies or other contagious diseases.

Before you treat your wounded dog

While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority – as no online advice beats professional diagnosis.

Summary

We all love our canine companions. And part of our job is to take care of them just as how we care our human loved ones. Learning how to treat a cut on a dog is an essential knowledge that you can use whenever needed.

Aspirin for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

It’s rare for anyone not to be familiar with this medication. Aspirin is used as a treatment for fever and painful conditions due to toothaches, muscle aches, headaches, common colds, and more. When taken properly with a doctor’s guidance, you know the good it can do to your body. And now you’re wondering, can I give my dog aspirin?

You probably are curious whether it’s safe to give your dog the same aspirin medication you are using to treat yourself when you have an illness. Does aspirin have the same effect? Or should you avoid administering it to your canine companion? Read on to know the answers.

What is aspirin?

Aspirin is an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medication can be given to dogs who have a short-term condition like a recent injury. It may be given as a long-term medication but pet-parents must know the risk of potential side effects. There are also other kinds of NSAIDs, and they are usually given to dogs in pain. NSAIDs have multiple applications including treatment for fever and inflammation too.

Read more: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain

Aspirin can also prevent blood-clots as it also acts as an anticoagulant. One thing that makes NSAIDs more appealing as a treatment option is the fact they have fewer side effects – when compared to steroids. 

Aspirin for dogs

You can use aspirin for your furry friend if he is suffering from conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic inflammation diseases
  • Short-term pain relief
  • Post-surgery treatment
  • Minor to major injury

How much aspirin can I give my dog?

While aspirin may not have as much side effects as steroids, it’s not enough reason to be careless when administering it. For starters, there is still a lack of conclusive studies defining the right aspirin dosage for dogs. The reason behind: aspirin is still not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for pet use.

1. Dosage

You can follow the recommended dosage by the Merck Veterinary Manual: 10-40 mg/kg. 

A baby aspirin is generally 80mg while the standard aspirin is 320mg. This means that:

  • A small Chihuahua must only take 1/2 of a baby aspirin
  • A small Chihuahua must only take 1/8 of a standard aspirin
  • A 60-pound dog like a Rottweiler can take a whole aspirin

2. Vet discussion

If you want to be safer and more assured, you can always talk with your vet and let him evaluate the dosage for your furball. More importantly, discuss what kind of aspirin your dog specifically needs.

For instance, enteric-coated aspirin tablets might be good for a human but can have undesirable results when taken by a dog. It has been found out that half the time, a normal dog won’t be able to digest the coating, which can be evident when you observe the dog’s stool.

3. Administer with food

Another thing to remember is to always give aspirin along with your pet’s food. This is to help them in the digestion process especially if you’re giving him the coated version. Administering with food can at least protect your dog from intestinal or stomach irritation.

4. Overdose

For any species, aspirin overdose leads to similar symptoms. This includes salicylate poisoning associated with hemorrhage, abnormalities, coma, seizures, or worse, death.

Do vets prescribe aspirin?

Yes, vets do prescribe aspirin as an ideal medication for some dog ailments. As an NSAID, aspirin is in the same category as other medications geared toward giving relief to dogs suffering from ailments like arthritis.

Read more: What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis

That said, aspirin is prescribed by vets for dogs with musculoskeletal inflammation or osteoarthritis. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties packed inside, aspirin has the ability to decrease the said inflammation and pain that comes with these arthritic symptoms. As a result, you can expect your dog to feel relief and will finally be able to break free from the pain and symptoms.

Aside from arthritis and related ailments, vets also recommend aspirin for a whole lot more of other conditions which you can discuss with him. You should also know that you can’t give your pet aspirin without any approval from the vet himself. Further, make sure to follow your vet’s instructions and discuss potential side effects that your particular breed might encounter.

What are the side effects of aspirin?

Just because aspirin is technically safe for your dogs, doesn’t mean it has no side effects. It is only safe when you’re able to ideally follow the entire instructions of your vet. Otherwise, adverse aspirin reaction to your dog can happen. Here are some side effect symptoms to look out for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Ulceration
  • Mucosal erosion

Note: When you spot these symptoms, immediately stop your dog’s aspirin medication, and call your vet right away.

Aspirin overdose symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Acid-based abnormalities
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizure
  • Hemorrhage
  • Coma
  • In worst cases, death

What are aspirin alternatives?

Your vet has got all the good intentions for prescribing aspirin. There are, however, some alternatives to aspirin you can use with the approval of your vet.

Rimadyl (Carprofen)

You can opt for a Carprofen as it’s an effective medication for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The better thing about Carprofen is it’s usually better tolerated by dogs when compared to aspirin.

Before you give your dog aspirin

While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority.

You can also talk with a pharmacist if a vet is not available at the moment. Always do this before giving your dog over-the-counter medications and any prescription drugs.

After you give your dog aspirin

Regardless if it’s aspirin or not, always monitor your dog’s behavior closely every time you give him a medication. Be observant and watch out for possible side effects or worse conditions that may arise.

Changes in activity level, appetite, bowel movements, urination, and even your dog’s personality (which you should know well as the pet-parent) could be the signs of adverse reaction to aspirin. Know that while aspirin has fewer side effects than steroids, it has actually more side effects than the other medications in the same NSAID category like Rimadyl (used for treating arthritis). Bottom line – keep a close eye on your little pooch.

Summary

Can I give my dog aspirin? That’s yet another question that a lot of pet-parents ask, probably including you. The answer is basically yes, but there are a lot of things you need to know first before administering it.

What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis

What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis

So your dog is suffering from arthritis.

You’re not alone. It’s sad as a pet-parent to see your beloved pooch transform from an energetic canine companion to a dog that can only make a stiff walk. What makes it even worse is seeing your beloved dog lie down while groaning in pain and not being able to jump to his favorite couch. This leaves you with the question, what can I give my dog for arthritis?

In this article, we will tackle the medications your dog can take to treat arthritis. Get to know these remedies right here.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are known to give your pet relief and reviving their spirits with properties that battle pain and inflammation. Here we’ll introduce three (3) analgesic medications for your pooch suffering from arthritis.

NSAID-medication work by reducing prostaglandins and hormones that causes the pain in your dog’s body. Once it takes effect, you can expect your pooch to finally be able to move easily and even exercise. NSAIDs are known meds to give to your dog when in pain.

You can take this opportunity to introduce exercise activities to preserve the normal function of their digestive tracts, lungs, and heart. An arthritic pet can also improve their muscle strength. By exercising, you’re helping your dog by potentially correcting their joint alignment. When the joints align, pain is significantly reduced.

1. Rimadyl

Generic name: Carprofen

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Rimadyl can be used to treat inflammation and pain caused by arthritis as well as hip dysplasia and other joint diseases. Rimadyl does its magic by reducing the hormones that cause the said inflammation and pain in your dog’s body. Further, Rimadyl can also be used to alleviate pain associated by fever and also ideal when your dog has recently gone through a dental procedure or surgery.

Ideal for:

Dogs aged at least six (6) weeks

Benefits of rimadyl:

  • Recommended as a daily dose
  • Most dogs can easily tolerate
  • Easy to give; available as a chewable tablet

How to give rimadyl

Most medications come with instructions for you to follow. As for Rimadyl, it must be given with food. Along with that, make sure your dog has access to a lot of water as he will be needing it. If you don’t trust your comprehension to the instructions, you are always free to talk with your vet or ask the pharmacist to explain it to you.

Note: While Rimadyl is ideally effective, you can only purchase such when prescribed by your veterinarian. Moreover, it is NOT advisable to give Rimadyl to dogs used for breeding as well as lactating and pregnant dogs. Ultimately, you can’t give this medication to a cat.

2. Deramaxx

Generic name: Deracoxib (der-ah-cox'-ib)

Another NSAID used to control inflammation and pain is Deramaxx. It is used particularly to battle against degenerative diseases affecting dog joints – namely osteoarthritis. It works by reducing the substances causing fever, inflammation, and pain.

Deramaxx comes as a chewable, scored, beef-flavored tablet. Just like Rimadyl, you can also give Deramaxx to a dog that has recently gone through a dental or surgical procedure.

Ideal for:

Dogs in general

Benefits of deramaxx:

  • Ideal for canine arthritis
  • Controls chronic osteoarthritis
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • Tasty for dogs; beef-flavored and chewable
  • Easy to give
  • Nonsteroidal

How to give deramaxx

This medication’s most common dosage is to give 0.45 - 0.91 mg/lb ONCE per day for a dog suffering from osteoarthritis pain. For treating a dog with post-operative inflammation and pain, you can give 1.4 – 1.8 mg/lb ONCE per day.

The beauty of Deramaxx is they contain a beef flavor and completely chewable. This means you won’t have a hard time administering it to your dog. Further, it’s up to you whether you’ll mix it with your furball’s food or not.

Just like the previous NSAID, you must prepare a lot of water for your dog.

Note: Deramaxx also needs a vet prescription. Also, do NOT give this medication to your cat.

3. Novox

This one is basically like the generic equivalent of Rimadyl. Novox is also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) used to treat inflammation and pain caused by joint diseases namely arthritis. Novox can also be given to dogs suffering from hip dysplasia and fever. Just like other NSAIDs, you can also give Novox to a pet who recently had an operation (especially orthopedic-related).

Novox makes itself appealing to dogs by having a liver flavor. It does its job by decreasing the hormones behind the inflammation and pain endured by your dog.

Ideal for:

Dogs aged at least six (6) weeks and above

Benefits of novox:

  • Effective medication
  • Needed only once per day
  • Available in both caplet or chewable
  • Easy to give/administer

How to give novox:

Novox is designed to taste good for your pets. That said, never store this medication in a place where your dogs can have an easy access – otherwise, you can potentially trigger an overdose.

The most common way of giving Novox is ½ tablets for 30 days. To be safe, give Novox exactly as explained by your vet. As always, you are free to ask the pharmacist to explain everything about this product.

As for storage, remember the following:

  • Controlled room temperature of 20-25C (68-77F) for 100mg Novox Carprofen Chewable Tablets
  • 15-30C (59-86F) for 25mg and 75mg Novox Carprofen Chewable Tablets

Note:

Novox is vet-prescribed. A caution to remember includes not giving this medication to lactating and pregnant dogs as well as those dogs used for breeding. Further, do not give this medication to other animals like cats. More importantly, this should never be ingested by any human.

Corticosteroids

Before everything, know that ALL warm-blooded animals naturally produce corticosteroids inside their bodies. Yes, it includes us humans, and our pets. PetMD recommends steroids including corticosteroids as a remedy for arthritis in dogs.

If you’re asking, what can I give my dog for arthritis pain, corticosteroids is yet another option for you. Of course, you can’t just force your dog to produce corticosteroids. Thankfully, pharmaceutical versions can be purchased and given to your dog.

Pharmaceutical corticosteroids are just like the natural steroid, but they come at a higher concentration. Apart from arthritis, you can give this medication to a dog suffering from other chronic pains.

The top-selling corticosteroids include Triamcinolone, Prednisolone, and Prednisone.

1. Triamcinolone

Generic name: Triamcinolone tablets

This corticosteroid is formulated to deal with various skin conditions including dryness, redness, scaling, crusting, and most importantly, inflammation. It does its job by reducing swelling which makes it also ideal for allergic disorders.

Ideal for:

Dogs and cats in general

Benefits of triamcinolone:

  • Treats multiple conditions
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Battles skin irritations

How to give triamcinolone:

This medication must be given with food. Otherwise, you can trigger an upset stomach. You should also give your dog plenty of water to drink. For the instructions, you must refer to the directions given by your vet himself. Moreover, feel free to ask the pharmacist for an explanation.

Note: Triamcinolone is sold per tablet and it requires a vet prescription. One important thing to remember is to never stop this medication suddenly. The dosage you give must be gradually reduced before your dog can finally stop the medication.

2. Prednisolone

Generic name: Prednisolone

Another corticosteroid, Prednisolone treats various diseases including allergy and inflammatory conditions. It decreases inflammation and swelling which results in a reduced pain. Chronic inflammation due to joint damage can also be treated with Prednisolone. This makes it ideal for dogs suffering from arthritis too.

Ideal for:

Dogs and cats in general

Benefits of prednisolone:

  • Ideal treatment for allergies
  • Treats a wide array of inflammatory conditions like arthritis
  • Also treats other auto-immune conditions
  • Decreases skin itching and redness

How to give prednisolone:

Store Prednisolone at a room temperature where it’s safe against heat and moisture. Prednisolone must be administered with food. Specific instructions on how to give are done by the vet. You can also ask a pharmacist to explain things to you.

Note: While giving Prednisolone, do NOT give other prescription medication or any over-the-counter meds. It may be possible but you need to talk to your vet first. Importantly, ask the vet first if your pooch has a heart disease, liver disease, or any other medical conditions. Potential side effects may include nausea, insomnia, upset stomach, and vomiting.

Before giving your dog any med

While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority.

You can also talk with a pharmacist if a vet is not available at the moment. Always do this before giving your dog over-the-counter medications and any prescription drugs.

Summary

What can I give my dog for arthritis? The question that a lot of pet parents ask. If you find yourself asking the same question, you can simply reread everything and try to ask your vet what medication is best for your beloved canine companion.

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain?

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain?

So your dog is in pain.

One day you came home from work and noticed something different in your beloved canine companion. You then realized he’s in pain but your favorite vet is out of town. And now you start panicking and found yourself asking, what can I give my dog for pain?

While you may not be able to give your dog a complete relief, you can at least make him feel better. In this article, we have compiled ways of giving relief to a dog in pain.

NSAIDs

This is short for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs are formulated to reduce joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and pain in humans. The beauty of NSAIDs is they can do the same for a dog.

If your dog just had a surgery recently or if he’s suffering from arthritis, NSAIDs can be the first thing you can give him.

1. List of NSAIDs

Take note that you should not give your furball something straight out of your medicine cabinet. There are NSAIDs designed just for dogs. Here’s a list from WebMD:

  • Deracoxib (Deramaxx)
  • Carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)
  • Meloxicam (Metacam )
  • Firocoxib (Previcox)

2. Aspirin

This is a popular choice if you’re looking for an over-the-counter medication you can give your dog to relieve pain. You can give him the aspirin pills together with his food. Coated aspirin, for instance, is ideal for the stomach.

However, your vet will only give you a go signal only if the pain roots from short-term conditions such as injuries.

Do NOT give your pet aspirin if you want something for long-term use. The reason behind is the potential side effects your dog might suffer from. This may include potential bleeding – which could put your lovely pooch in danger.

3. Are NSAIDs safe for dogs

Good question, but you shouldn’t be surprised by the answer. Just like virtually all medication even for humans, NSAIDs also have some side effects. The worst things you can expect are digestive, liver, or kidney problems.

4. How to tell my dog is suffering from side effects

It’s pretty simple. Your dog is most-likely having a bad reaction to an NSAID you gave him if he’s showing any of the signs below. If you spot these symptoms, the best thing you can do is to immediately stop giving him the drug and call your vet right away.

  • Noticeable loss of appetite; eating less than normal
  • If he’s not acting like normal; behavioral changes
  • Physical changes like scabs and skin redness
  • Vomiting; diarrhea; producing a tarry stool
  • Possible weight loss; see how to get a dog to gain weight here

Tramadol

You’ve probably heard this term before. Vets give Tramadol to dogs who suffer from constant discomfort, especially those who are aging. Tramadol is a painkiller that functions ‘partly’ like a typical opioid medication.

Side effects of Tramadol

You should watch out for dizziness, vomiting, and an upset stomach. Side effects are the reason why you should talk to your vet.

Gabapentin

This has a similar purpose both for humans and dogs – treating pain caused by damaged nerves. Your vet will sometimes give this along with other medication.

Side effects of Gabapentin

This one doesn’t have any serious effect you can be concerned about but it can make your dog sleepy for a few days. It will go away eventually.

Amantadine

This is a medication that takes away the “feeling” of pain by blocking certain neural transmitters. Amantadine is given to dogs with cancer, disk disease, and arthritis.

Supplements as an alternative treatment

Popular alternative treatments are chondroitin and glucosamine which are a form of supplements. There’s really not much of an evidence that they can directly help with pain relief. However, research has found results about how these supplements aid the cartilage by repairing itself. Further, these alternative treatments can also help the swelling go down. As a result, you can rely on them to lubricate and protect your pooch’s cartilage.

1. Glucosamine

A common joint supplement that can also be used by humans, glucosamine can promote a faster cartilage repair. Glucosamine may not directly get rid of the pain, but it’s effective in alleviating its symptoms. This can also be bought over-the-counter making it convenient for you to access.

2. Where can I buy these supplements?

It’s not hard to find them. You can purchase them directly from your vet, a pet supply store, or at your local grocery. Just remember they are ideal specifically for joint ailments, arthritis, and related conditions.

Motion sickness in traveling

Dramamine for dogs

An antiemetic and antihistamine drug, Dramamine is that familiar med that eases motion sickness. You can give this to your dog – with approval from your vet – whenever your furball suffers from motion sickness symptoms. Sometimes pain can be caused by traveling and you can make it easier for your dog with the help of Dramamine.

Natural remedies

You can’t always rely on medicines. Sometimes all your dog needs is a natural touch. They won’t guarantee a complete pain treatment but they sure can give positive results. Here are some popular natural remedies you can give your dog. Not only can they potentially heal your dog, but they can also give a sense of remedy beyond conventional veterinary care.

1. Acupuncture

This one’s ideal for dogs who have recently gone through a surgery or trauma. Acupuncture can relieve your dog of muscle and joint pain. Further, this can also treat the symptoms of cancer and diabetes. Important note: you must always seek the service of a licensed and trained acupuncturist.

2. Aromatherapy

Not only can your dog benefit, but you can also enjoy this. Inhaling a good scent from an aromatherapy session can effectively reduce stress which, in turn, can encourage healing and ultimately relieving you and your dog from any pain.

3. Massage

Who wouldn’t want a nice, soothing massage? Massaging your dog can relieve him from stress and relax his muscles. Additionally, a good massage can stimulate his nerves and improve blood flow. As a result, you can expect the massage to encourage healing.

You can opt for this option though because you don’t need an expert massage therapist to massage your dog. You can do it on your own, right at the comforts of your home! This book introduces a proven massage program which you can follow.

Medications you should NOT give to your dog

It’s surprising actually but not all people know a simple fact: that you can’t always give your dog the same medication that, we, humans take.

Here are some over-the-counter pain medications that are not safe for your dogs. Hence, you should never give them to your pooch.

  • Naproxen (found in Aleve)
  • Acetaminophen (found in many decongestants and Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (found in Nuprin, Motrin, Advil)

The importance of veterinary care

When it comes to animal medical care, no online information can completely replace veterinary care. While we can assure everything in this page is written with proper education and thorough research, we still highly advise that you should ALWAYS talk to your vet BEFORE giving any types of medication. And this goes for supplements too.

Your vet can give you a treatment plan and you can ask a written copy for it. This should include proper instructions on how to give your pet the said medicine. Moreover, your vet can give a demonstration too.

Now that you have a list of medication for your pet prescribed by your vet, you won’t have to panic anymore when you find your pet in pain in the middle of the night without any access to the vet.

Summary

No matter what kind of pain your dog is going through, there is always a medication that can make him feel better. You can start by giving a veterinarian-prescribed pain medication and a dose of joint supplements.

Then you can try for natural remedies such as a soothing massage for your dog. Like hitting two birds with a single stone, you can also relax while deepening the bond between you and your pooch. Further, you can try a regular moderate exercise to maintain the good shape of your dog especially when he gets older.

So the next time you’ll ask yourself, what can I give my dog for pain, you wouldn’t be panicking anymore. Ultimately, consult your vet about pain management options catered for your specific dog.

How to Get a Dog to Gain Weight

How to Get a Dog to Gain Weight

So your dog seems too skinny for his breed.

Now you’re diving in the web in hopes of learning how to get a dog to gain weight. Fortunately, you have stumbled upon the right page. In this article, we will tackle how to help an underweight dog in various ways.

Size really does matter from a health point of view. Whether your current dog is too slim or you had the kind heart to rescue a vulnerable, starving dog, the info below will guide you.

How to know if my dog is underweight?

Now that’s a good question. For all you know, your dog is not actually underweight and you’re just too concerned. But to settle things and for your peace of mind, the best way to determine the health status of your dog and whether he has the right weight is to consult your vet. No online advice can practically beat a professional’s statement. Moreover, your vet can also evaluate the right weight goals since some breeds have a naturally stockier or slimmer look.

There is no universal “normal” look among all dogs as breeds basically differ from each other. For instance, a greyhound can look boney with all the hip bones and several ribs – but can still be considered healthy. However, the same “boneyness” level in other breeds might infer malnourishment.

This reminder can also be applied on the flipside. A stuffy Chihuahua or Labrador doesn’t mean the pet is healthy. While this might sound a bit confusing for you, this visual graphic from Purina can greatly help in knowing whether your dog is under- or overweight.

Feeding the right food

The quality of the food your dog eats is far more vital than its quantity. Most pet parents settle with giving their dog as much food as they can without knowing it’s entirely wrong. The best way to get a dog to gain weight is to feed him the right kind of food and NOT feeding with a lot.

1. Moderately underweight

PetMD suggests a dry dog food that contains 28-30% protein and 18% fat content.

Try to see the best dry dog feed here.

Your dog’s diet must not be predominantly carbohydrate but just have enough levels of it. Simply put, a moderately underweight dog needs a moderately high in fat and protein diet.

2. Truly underweight

For a dog that really looks starved and markedly underweight, he needs an even higher fat content in his diet. The trick here is NOT to overfeed your dog in a single meal. Remember to start out slowly and work your way into feeding him more in his recovery process (more on that later).

Dog’s Weight

Daily Caloric Intake Needed

11 lbs

456


22 lbs

725


44 lbs

1151


66 lbs

1508


88 lbs

1827


132 lbs

2394

Feeding a proper amount of food

When food-deprived, know that your dog’s stomach doesn’t shrink. However, minimal-to-zero food intake has a negative impact on the stretch receptor nerve impulses. What does it mean? Your dog will tend to feel full sooner than he would on a normal stomach. This is the reason why you should not overfeed him at a single blow.

As a human, you probably have experienced it yourself the feeling of extreme discomfort due to continued eating after you ignore your stomach’s signals of being full.

That said, overfeeding an emancipated dog can lead to serious problems since they are physically unable to consume large amounts of food. The golden rule: do not feed too much and too quickly. It’s not how to get a dog to gain weight fast.

1. Resting energy requirement

According to Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies, you should feed a starving animal by starting at 25 percent of their RER (resting energy requirement) for the first day.

2. How to calculate RER

It’s easy. Just take your dog’s weight in kilograms, multiply by 30 and add 70. If you have a calculator, simply follow the formula:

(Dog’s weight kilogram x 30) + 70 = RER

You can also refer to this comprehensive table prepared by Pet Obesity Prevention to guide you in determining your dog’s RER.

3. After the first day

So you’ve successfully fed your dog the first day with the 25 percent RER rule. Now the amount must be gradually increased by another 25 percent on a daily basis until such day the full amount is reached. That way, you can effectively dodge the risk of refeeding syndrome.

Note: Refeeding syndrome is a condition where a dog (or any animal for that matter) suffers from seizures, cardiac abnormalities, muscle weakness, diarrhea, and nausea – all because someone feeds them too much and too quickly. This is fatal especially for rescued, starving dogs.

4. After the RER requirement stage

If you have successfully surpassed the RER requirement stage where you no longer have to worry about refeeding syndrome, it’s time to feed the dog in normal amounts.

Now that your dog’s stomach can finally accommodate a full meal, what’s left for you is to determine the recommended serving size for his particular breed. The best dog food brands should have a serving size suggestion printed at the back of each box. You simply have to take time reading some stuff and feed your dog with the right amount.

Feeding at the right time

As equally important as feeding the right food and quantity, feeding at the right time is also a must. You can’t just give your dog a meal whenever you want to.

  1. A normal healthy dog is fed up to twice large meals every 24 hours. If you have a skinny canine, you will have to divide these two (2) large meals into smaller portions.
  2. Split the food into four (4) meals and feed your dog in four (4) evenly spaced time intervals throughout the day.

Consult the vet

While you can browse for endless info across the web – including this page which, in itself, is already a form of help – nothing still beats what the professionals have to say. It’s always a rule that the vet knows best.

If you’re bringing a rescue dog home (regardless if your new canine friend is underweight or not), the first thing to do is to let a vet check him. The vet can properly assess the needs of your dog and can guide you on your way to improving his overall wellbeing. You should also take note of their recommended supplements and particular brands.

Make a food log

Part of the steps of how to get an underweight dog to gain weight is to simply keep track of his progress. And you can do it by making a food log. There’s no better way of knowing whether your efforts are working or not.

  • What you have to track is the quantity of food you give them and how much of that food is eaten.
  • Keep your food log next to where you store your dog’s food. That way, it’d be virtually impossible to forget using it.
  • You can also use the same food log to track of your dog’s weight in the process so you’ll see the results over time.
  • If you have a picky canine pet, take this opportunity to evaluate what type of ingredient or food product they don’t like to eat.
  • Ultimately, your food log serves as your report that tells you whether it’s time for another vet visit or is it time to try something different.

Try using supplements

It’s also advisable to fill in dietary gaps. During their time without food, your dog loses a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. You can help them rebuild what they have lost by letting them take supplements. For your specific breed, it’s best to talk with your vet first. Just make sure that your dog gets to have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Summary

The ideal body condition can only be achieved by a healthy dog weight. While you obviously love your dog the way he is, it won’t hurt if you try to promote gaining a few pounds especially if you have confirmed that he’s indeed underweight.

For your underweight dog needs, you can always refer to the above info and relearn how to get a dog to gain weight.

Best Guard Dogs To Protect Your Family and Home

Akita

Many people like the idea of having a guard dog to protect them and their family in their home. The right kind of dog can be a valuable member of your family, being both a playmate for your children and they can alert you to suspicious or dangerous situations.

Not just any dog can be a guard dog though. When you are considering a guard dog for your home, there are many things you must think about. The size, breed and demeanor of the animal are all important things that play a role in whether they are the best guard dogs or not.

Many people incorrectly think that a guard dog must be a large breed dog, but that isn't necessarily true. The same goes for the breed. The best guard dog breeds aren't always what people assume they are. Sometimes your daughter's little yappy dog can be a better detector of an intruder than a big burly dog.

Guard dogs must also be thoroughly trained in order to do the job right. You do want your guard dog to be wary of strangers, but you need to train them so that they don't think that every new person is a threat.

There are many different types of guard dogs as well. Some are the best outside guard dogs while others are the best indoor guard dogs. Some dogs are well suited to guarding livestock while others are the best guard dogs for a large year or the best guard dogs for apartments.

Let's look now at some of the things you ought to look for in a guard dog for your home and your family.

What to look for in a guard dog

In a minute we will go over the breeds that are best suited to being guard dogs, but first we want to go over the traits you should expect in a good guard dog. The breeds we suggest below exhibit these traits, and that's why they are on our list.

Smart – A good guard dog needs to be obedient and needs to follow the simplest of commands from you. A dog with a higher level of intelligence will be able to tell the difference between something that is slightly unusual and something that is a genuine threat.

Bravery – A good guard dog must be courageous, brave enough to tackle whatever comes his way. Only a brave dog will be ready to tackle a criminal that is likely twice his size.

Loyal – Your guard dog must be loyal to your family first and foremost. It is not bad for him to be friendly once you have given the okay, but a good guard dog will not be a member of the welcoming wagon.

Territorial – Good guard dogs are fiercely protective of their homes and closely surrounding areas. A good guard dog will not less a trespasser go by unnoticed, they will alert everyone that someone unusual is on the property. 

Loving – Obviously you don't want a guard dog that licks every single person to death, but you also don't want a dog that is fierce around family and trusted friends. You need a dog that has both sides and that knows the difference between who to be friendly with and who to be on alert with.

Best guard dogs for families

Many people worry that having children in the home means they shouldn't have a guard dog. We would say that the opposite is actually true. Having children in the home means you need a good guard dog for protection.

There are some breeds that are better suited to this task than others are, so be mindful of that when choosing your protector.

Most guard dogs are bigger breeds, and if that is the case with your pup, you will want to keep a watchful eye. Your large, playful dog could accidentally hurt your kids during playtime.

Most of the best guard dogs for home are from breeds that are loyal and loving to their pack: your family. They will make sure the kids are safe and are more than happy to protect them.

For the safety of both the dog and your children though, you must teach both of them how to interact with each other. Your dog needs to be taught how to handle your children, and your children need to learn what is and isn't okay with the dog. Make rules and ensure they are followed.

Best guard dog breeds

Now that we've learned more about what to expect from them, let's move on to learning more about the best guard dog breeds.

1. German Shepherd

German shepherd

Near the top of almost any list for a guard dog you will find this one, the German Shepherd. They are well known as police dogs and military dogs and they are very easy to train as guard dogs. Of the traits needed in a good guard dog, German Shepherds exhibit nearly all of them in spades. They are smart, brave and loving. Though not the largest of the best guard dog breeds, German Shepherds are imposing thanks to their appearance. This breed of dog loves to get love and attention from their family, and they need to be groomed quite often.


2. Bull mastiff

Bull Mastiff

Having been around a long time, and used to the role of protector, Bull Mastiffs are a great choice for a large guard dog. They have most of the traits you'll want in a good guard dog as they are protective and loving and they are large and intimidating often clocking the scale at well over 110 pounds. Many guard dogs require a lot of affection due to their sensitive nature, but most Bull Mastiff pups don't have this problem. You should know that they tend to pass a lot of smelly gas and they are known for their excessive drooling.


3. Great pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

You might not think of this breed as being a typical guard dog breed, but they do have what it takes to rise to the task. Originally bred to guard livestock from predators, the Great Pyrenees is well-suited to being your family's guard dog. They are loyal and courageous, and they possess a size that is intimidating to intruders. When it comes to their family, they are gentle and loving. They don't have a lot of need for playtime or interaction with their humans, which makes them a good choice for people who will be away for extended periods of time. They are smart and easily trainable, but their penchant for independence can sometimes be off-putting.


4. Boxer

American boxer

If you've ever had the pleasure of owning a Boxer pup or playing with one that a friend or family member owns; you might be surprised to find out that they are actually very effective guard dogs. As a matter of fact, Boxers were originally bred to be guard dogs, but they wiggled their way into the hearts of their owners, too. Though not a small breed by any means, when it comes to this category, Boxers are one of the best small guard dogs out there. They are intelligent and easy to train, and they are excellent with children making them one of the best guard dogs for kids.


5. Belgian malinois

Belgian Malinois

Similar to the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is an extremely popular breed among police and military dog handlers. They look very similar to the German Shepherd, but they have a lot more energy and endurance than their doppelganger. One of the breeds that's on the smaller side, the Belgian Malinois is one of the best medium sized guard dog options. This breed of dog is quite smart, but they are also mischievous and a lot of work to keep entertained. You will want to look for a different breed if you don't have the time to devote to the constant training and attention a Belgian Malinois needs.


6. Doberman pinscher

Miniature pinscher

When it comes to protecting those they love, Doberman Pinschers are one of the best breeds out there. They possess nearly every trait of a good guard dog including exceptional bravery. They are nearly always on alert. They are very loyal, and their imposing size makes them a great choice for protecting your home and your family. When it comes to your family, Doberman Pinschers are sensitive and loving, and will love a good playtime session with the kids. Doberman Pinschers will attack, but only if provoked or instructed to do so by their owner.


7. Rottweiler

Rottweiler

Ticking every single box on the qualities and traits list, Rottweilers are extremely affectionate to their family, they are incredibly smart, and they are seemingly fearless and will protect at all costs. Bred originally to help with cattle herding and a friend of soldiers during war, this pup has adapted well to being a guard dog. That being said, if you are new to training a dog, you will want help when training a Rottweiler. They are smart, but they are also sensitive. They pick up on emotions, so they need a mild mannered trainer to guide them along. They cannot be left alone for long and the need lots of love and attention as well as exercise.


8. Akita

Akita

This breed of dog is indigenous to the mountains of Japan, though there are now two distinct breed types. The Akita Inu is that Japanese breed type, while the Akita is the American breed type. Both of these breed types are a good choice when it comes to choosing the best guard dogs for families. They are a smart breed and easy to train. They are loyal and protective of those they love. They are dominant and independent, but more so that almost anything, they love their families. They will love to play with the kids and curl up for a nap, but they will be on high alert if a stranger appears.


9. Giant schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

Though this breed is more bark than bite, they are still highly effective guard dogs. They are sensitive and require a lot of love and interaction from their families to be content, but they return the affection in spades. They have an imposing size which might deter any criminals, and they are powerful and eager to defend those they love. They are also territorial and don't like having unknown people around. Giant Schnauzers are very smart, but this leads to them getting themselves into trouble at times. With proper training and lots of love, this could be the perfect breed to be the best guard dog for you and your family.


10. Tibetan mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

If you are hoping for one of the best large guard dogs, they really don't come much bigger than this. The Tibetan Mastiff is an incredibly large dog that will intimidate anyone that steps onto your property. Known through history as Tibet's guardian dog, this powerful and watchful pup can be quite territorial – especially when it feels like something is threatening in its family. When it comes to family, this breed is laid back and loves to just hand around. The Tibetan Mastiff isn't exceptionally affectionate to its humans, but it is certainly loyal and will protect your family.


11. Cane corso

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a descendent of one of the original tough guard dogs that were used in warfare by the Romans centuries ago. This pup will grow to be quite large in size, typically tipping the scales at well over 100 pounds. This breed is large and imposing, and they possess a calm confidence that adds to the intimidation factor. They are exceptionally loving with heir families, but they are not fond of strangers. Cane Corsos need lots of room, too. Look elsewhere if you need a guard dog for your apartment because Can Corsos need lots of room to run.


12. Rhodesian ridgeback

Rhodesian ridgeback

This breed is fierce and was bred originally with he intention of hunting lions. This pup loves to be in charge. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also intensely loyal to their families and they are a natural when it comes to being a guard dog. This breed does not bark often, but when they do you can be sure that something unusual or out of place is happening. Their independent nature makes Rhodesian Ridgebacks a challenge to train well, but they do need training to be effective guard dogs. They also don't realize how big they are and tend to think they can curl up in your lap to snuggle.


13. Great dane

Great dane

With the ability to reach nearly 200 pounds, Great Danes are absolutely enormous and one of the best large guard dogs. They don't check all of the boxes on the qualification list as they aren't particularly protective or territorial, they are definitely willing to protect those they love – and their intimidating size certainly helps scare off those who are ill-intentioned. Great Danes are a lot of work due to their size and their smarts. It takes a special person to properly train a Great Dane, but if you have what it takes then this gentle giant is a great choice for a guard dog.


14. Saint bernard

Saint Bernard

Generally known as a very friendly breed, Saint Bernards are quite big, often nearing 200 pounds in weight. This pup won't do you any good as an attack dog and their friendly nature isn't of much use once a burglar makes it in the house. Their bark is frightening though, as is their size and this is usually enough to deter criminals. Saint Bernards area great around older kids, but you need to keep an eye out if you've got smaller ones. The pup loves kids but is quite clumsy and might unintentionally hurt your little ones.


15. Bernese mountain dog

Bernese mountain dog

Dating back to Roman times, the Bernese Mountain Dog has been known as a dog capable or guarding and protecting livestock and property. This breed of dog is constantly on alert and they are not fond of unfamiliar people being around. If anything suspicious is happening, the Bernese Mountain Dog will let you know with a bark or a growl. This pup is not known for being overly aggressive, instead relying on its intimidating size to keep predators and criminals at bay. They do absolutely adore children, and children love them just as much. They are a great choice for the best guard dog for kids.

Conclusion

Getting a guard dog to protect your home and family isn't a bad idea, but you do need to remember a few things. Research the breed and make sure that it will be a good fit with your family. If your pup will be left alone for long hours, make sure they are from a breed that doesn't need a lot of attention. Also make sure that the dog you choose is good around kids if you've got some.

Remember too that just because a certain breed is good at being guard dogs doesn't mean your specific pup will be. Different dogs have different temperaments and you can't expect the to all be the same. There are plenty of the best mixed-breed guard dogs available, too.

You must work with your guard dog and train them so that they know what is expected of them.

Whatever you decide, your home will be happier and safer when there is a guard dog inside it!

Dog food brands – What’s in the can?

Dog food brands – What’s in the can?

Some people buy the canned dog foods brands that look like a real dinner—with meat slices, rice, peas, and carrots in gravy for their dogs. They look much more appetizing than the stuff that comes out of the can in one big lump. Are they better? Nope, you’ve been fooled by the magic of marketing and technology. Try this experiment: empty a small can of this stew-type dinner into a strainer, wash off all the sauce or gravy under running water, and spread out what’s left on a plate.

Now take a close look at those meaty chunks or slices. They are probably soy (textured vegetable protein) pressed into meat shapes. There’s nothing wrong with feeding a dog soy protein, but if you think you’re feeding him roast beef, you’re mistaken. The gravy? Mostly gluten, water, and salt. The peas and carrots? Sure, there are a few bits in there, but they’re adding more visual appeal to you than they are nutritional value to your dog. If meat and vegetables are what you’re looking for in a canned dog food, choose a variety that’s named for the meat only (just Beef, not Beef Entree or Beef Dinner) and add a variety of cooked vegetables from your own refrigerator.

Dog food brands myths

Many people are concerned about dog foods contain corn and wheat and they think that dogs can’t digest grains. This is one of many myths suggesting that certain foods are allergenic, indigestible, toxic, or otherwise bad for dogs. (For a list of toxic foods for dogs click here) Here are the facts about some of the most commonly cited food culprits.


Meat by-products

These can include internal organs (such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and brain), bone, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, and other animal parts that people rarely eat. It’s true that they contain less high-quality protein than does meat, which is defined as the muscle tissue of an animal. However, under FDA rules, meat by-products do not contain hair, horns, teeth, hooves, roadkill, or dog and cat carcasses. They can be a good natural source of such nutrients as glucosamine and calcium, and dogs find meat by-products very tasty.

Some meat by-products come from plants that are USDA certified to process meat for human consumption. Others come from plants that produce pet food only. So-called “4D meats” are those that have been rejected for human consumption because the animals were disabled, diseased, dying, or dead at the time of inspection. The FDA does allow the use of meat from certain disabled animals in pet food if it is processed to destroy potential disease-causing microorganisms. The thought of sick animals being turned into pet food is disturbing, it’s true. In reality, most of the 4D animals that are rerouted to pet food processors are cattle that have broken a leg on their way to the meatpacking plant or in a holding pen, and dairy cows who can’t walk because their blood calcium levels are depleted from making milk. If you want to avoid any chance that your dog food contains meat from such animals, look for a food that says it uses only USDA-certified meat. Human-grade is meant to convey the same idea but has no regulatory meaning.


Wheat

Veterinary dermatologists estimate that 10 to 20 percent of dogs who are itchy year-round have a food allergy. Some of those food-allergic dogs may be allergic to wheat. The vast majority of dogs are not allergic to wheat and can digest it perfectly well.


Corn

This is an ingredient that’s often condemned on dog enthusiast websites as filler, meaning a cheap ingredient that is indigestible or has little or no nutritional value. Cracked corn, cornmeal, and the like may be less expensive than meat, it’s true, but they do have nutritional value: they contain complex carbohydrates, linolenic acid, and essential amino acids. Most dogs digest corn just fine, and most dogs are not allergic to it. If you are concerned about the amount of filler in particular dog food brands, just check the fiber content on the back label: the percentage of fiber is the percentage of indigestible material. Note that all dogs need some fiber, especially fermentable fiber, so the food that contains the least fiber isn’t necessarily the best food. Reduced-calorie dog foods, designed to help dogs lose weight, usually contain more fiber and less fat than the regular versions.


Soy

A few dogs are allergic to soy, but most are not. Soy is a digestible and less expensive source of protein than meat. It does not cause bloat. The worst thing about soy, in my opinion, is that it can be used to trick dog owners into thinking they are buying a food that contains a lot of meat when it doesn’t.


Pork

Lean, unseasoned pork is a good protein source for dogs. It is no more allergenic than any other meat.


Gluten

Following the melamine poisonings of 2007, gluten got a bad rap. But unless it has been adulterated, gluten is neither toxic nor unhealthy. It is the purified protein fraction of a grain, such as wheat or corn.


Preservatives

Some people believe that preservatives cause cancer, but most scientists say that by preventing the oxidization of fat and fat-soluble vitamins in food, preservatives protect health rather than harming it.


Mill run

This is the hulls of grains that remain after they are ground, cracked, or flaked. It is added to dog food as a source of fiber.


Brewer’s rice

This is the dried extract of rice that remains after brewing. It is commonly used in pet food brands because it is higher in protein than whole rice. It is digestible and safe to eat.


Beet pulp

This is the material that remains after sugar is extracted from sugar beets. It is added to dog food as a source of moderately fermentable fiber. When fermentable fiber reaches the large intestine, it is broken down and used for food by the good bacteria, or probiotics (such as Lactobacillus and Enterococcus), living there. It does not contain sugar, and it does not produce gas in the stomach or cause bloat.


Peanuts and peanut butter

Unless they are contaminated with mold toxins or bacteria, or a dog is allergic to them, peanuts and peanut butter are safe to eat.