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Dog Boarding Carrollton

When It’s “Time”: Talking to Your Dog’s Vet

How do you know when it’s time to put your pet down? The answer is, “It depends.” It naturally varies from animal to animal. The key is to know when your pet is in pain and no relief is in sight. Then it may be time.

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Talk to a Veterinarian

The first thing to do is talk to a veterinarian about the nature and severity of your pet’s pain. The vet may not be able to tell you whether it is time to put the animal down or not, but he or she can give you a review of your pet’s overall health.

If your pet has some kind of health condition, and there is no way to cure it, the most important thing to do is take whatever action you can to alleviate the dog’s pain.

Plan Ahead

Some vets recommend thinking about end-of-life issues before they become pressing. Take note of how your dog acts when he is still healthy. What are his favorite things to do – greeting you at the door, playing fetch, playing with toys, enjoying treats?

Then you need to establish some indicators that might tell you when it might be time to put the animal down. For example, it could be when he no longer is able to do three of his four favorite things, or when he cannot do any of them. There are no clear cut answers here. A lot of it just comes from knowing your pet and trusting your gut.

Also, the animal’s decline usually is not as well-defined as in the previous example. The decline is usually much more gradual, taking place little by little. The dog doesn’t lose his ability to walk or enjoy treats overnight. The loss of enjoyment is more gradual. So you may want to notice how often he enjoys eating his treats, and how much it has dropped off, and at what point in the drop off may be the time.

Put Yourself in Your Pet’s Place

A pet’s bodily systems are much like our own, so you can get an idea of how he feels when he has a certain condition. For example, kidney failure in a dog feels a lot like that in a human: the condition causes a feeling of insatiable thirst, thirst so great it induces constant nausea. That may be enough information to let you know whether it’s time or not. Check with a vet to find out what the animal is experiencing in terms of discomfort or pain.

No one wants to think of the day a decision needs to be made regarding your dog’s quality of life. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog’s health and have a strong relationship with his veterinarian so that the vet can help you decide your pet’s prognosis isn’t one that brings the animal joy.

Dogs love to play with other dogs, so when you need to head out of town and can’t take your pet with you, let him enjoy our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run to his heart’s content here at Barney’s Ranch. Board him during the day only or overnight. Contact us at (469) 273-1661 for more information.

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How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

More than half the dogs and cats in this country are overweight, according to veterinary surveys. Just as with humans, this puts the animals at increased risk for a number of health problems, things such as heart and kidney disease, diabetes and arthritis.

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Helping your pet to lose weight is not that difficult. Here are a few tips.

  1. Control calories.

First of all, you need to find out how many calories your dog needs each day, if you don’t know already. But you shouldn’t trust what you read on the food bag, according to veterinarians. The amounts listed are for active, adult animals that have not been neutered. So if your pet is older and has been neutered, and isn’t nearly as active, the amount on the bag may be a good deal more than he or she should be getting.

The best thing to do is ask your veterinarian to calculate the appropriate number of daily calories for your dog.

If, however, you want to do it yourself, you can use the following formula: Divide the weight of your pet by 2.2, multiply the result by 30, and then add 70. This will give you a more accurate number of calories for an indoor, inactive, neutered animal.

  1. Measure the meals.

Too many pet owners simply eyeball the amount of food they give to their pet, content if the amount is somewhere in the ballpark to what they should be giving. But even a little extra food each day can really add pounds on to the animal, especially a smaller one. For this reason, you need to measure the exact amount that you need to give to your pet.

  1. Give healthy treats.

Watch the extra treats you give your pets. Often these treats are simply junk food, full of sugars and fats. Give your pet treats that are low in calories and in sugar, such as salmon, sweet potato or blueberry bites. And make sure to include the calories in the treats as part of the dog’s overall number for the day.

Instead of processed treats, give your dog vegetables such as baby carrots, green beans, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, sliced apples, and bananas. They are nutritious and don’t have all the calories of the processed foods.

  1. Don’t forget exercise.

Exercise is essential for the health of your animal. Make sure to walk your dog for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day. This will improve their immune and cardiovascular systems, even improve behavioral problems. It will help to give your dog a longer life, and one that is free from pain and illness.

Speaking of exercise, why not let your dog “run wild” with other dogs at our 4,000-square-foot dog run for a day or two here at Barney’s Ranch? You can board your dog during the day, or give him two- or three-day vacation! Call us at (469) 273-1661 for more information.

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Can Dogs Understand What We Say?

Dog owners talk to their pets all the time, offering praise, encouragement or even scolding. But most dog owners don’t really believe that the dog actually understands what they are saying. Rather, they probably believe the animals are picking up more from their owners’ voice level, intonation and body language.

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But new research examining dogs’ brains has revealed some interesting insights into how dogs process language, and that they may actually gain some understanding of the meaning of words.

The research appears to show that dogs understand tone, words and that they work to process language a lot like humans do. In the research, investigators trained 13 dogs to lie completely still in an MRI machine, which scans the brain and can show which areas of the brain are active. The researchers scanned the dogs’ brains while their owners were speaking to them. First, the owners said words that carried a meaning in a mostly neutral tone. Then, they spoke gibberish to the dogs.

When the dogs heard the meaningful words, the scanner showed their left hemispheres lighting up. This is the area where language is processed. But when the owners spoke gibberish, the dog’s right hemisphere lit up. This is the area used to comprehend tone of voice.

When the words and the tone matched, both of the dog’s hemispheres lit up as the dog tried to interpret what was being said.

The researchers concluded that the speech processing centers in dogs and humans are more similar than people had imagined, because humans process language using the same hemispheres as the dogs for the same things.

Dogs’ reward centers are activated intensely when an owner’s words and tone of voice match when giving praise.

This is one of the first studies to look at how animals who are not primates process speech. But other studies have also shown the close bond between dogs and humans. Part of the reason for this is that they have evolved alongside humans and in relation to us.

One example of this bond was shown in a 2015 study. It showed that when dogs and their owners stare into each other’s eyes, they both experience a surge in the hormone oxytocin. In humans, this hormone is normally release during romantic encounters and is thought to help humans in bonding to others.

If your dog could talk to you, he’d probably ask you for a day away at

Barney’s Ranch where he can run around our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run and play with other dogs. Give us a call (469) 273-1661 for more information.

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Naming Your Dog: Some Common and Not-So-Common Names

It’s fun to name your pet. People usually give the naming process a lot of thought. It is important to pet owners. The name you give your pet says a lot about you as well, what your personality is like, and how you look at your dog in relation to you. Continue reading

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Summer Health and Safety Tips for Your Dog

People look forward to summer – and so do dogs. Who wouldn’t? The weather is warm, you can get outdoors in the sun, run around and play. It’s a wonderful season for your pet. Continue reading

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How to Get Some Help Paying Veterinary Bills

Although paying for your pet’s care may not ordinarily be a problem, occasions may arise – something unexpected or an emergency situation – when you are presented with a bill that is more than you can afford to pay. Continue reading

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Should You Get Health Insurance for Your Pet?

If you are looking for a clear cut answer to that question, you are unfortunately going to be disappointed. There really is no definitive answer. It depends on a number of different factors. Continue reading

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Caring for a Small Dog

When talking about small dogs, we are referring to breeds that are usually less than 18 inches high and under 20 pounds in weight. Some examples of small dogs include breeds such as West Highland Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, and Shih Tzu. They may look like cute little toys, but they are real, live animals that need a lot of care if they are to live happy lives.

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 Finding the right kind of dog.

Some breeds of dogs might do better in your particular household than others. After you have chosen a few breeds you like, you should do a little research on them to find out what kind of care they will need and what kind of personalities they have.

Training.

They may look cute and cuddly, but small dogs have a mind of their own and can take advantage of you if you don’t take control. That means training. They need to know what the rules are. They should be able to follow simple commands, such as sit, stay, heel, and come.

You need to spend time with your dog to get him used to being around people. When training, rewards work really well as incentives for small dogs.

You also need to begin house training the dog as soon as possible.

Feeding.

Again, they may be small, but they will eat whatever they can find, so you need to have the right food for your dog and make sure to keep him away from foods that can be harmful. You need to establish a consistent feeding schedule that works for your dog. For small dogs, generally two to three times a day is a good schedule, giving them small meals.

You also need to make sure that your dog always has clean, fresh water because he can become dehydrated very quickly.

Grooming.

Some small dogs with long coats need a lot of grooming. If the coat is long, you may need to brush it every day to keep it from becoming tangled or matted. So, invest in a good brush and a pair of scissors for cutting stray hairs. For big jobs, like a haircut, you will need to take the dog to a professional.

Health.

Small dogs generally live a little longer than their larger counterparts. But there are certain health problems they are more prone to, such as hip and kneecap problems, in addition to skin conditions.

Naturally, you want to take your pet to the vet for regular checkups and make sure he has all his vaccinations. Keep an eye on your pet’s weight and his general health. If you notice your dog is listless or not eating, it’s time to get him in for medical attention.

And small dogs need exercise too. Take your pet for a walk. Check Kennel Club websites for information about how much exercise your small dog needs.

Speaking of exercise, board your small dog here at Barney’s Ranch  for the day or overnight, and he will be able to enjoy our 4,000-square-foot outside dog run. Doggy heaven! Call us at by (469) 273-1661 for more information on our boarding services.

 

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Skin Conditions in Dogs: How to Spot and Treat

If you see your dog continually scratching and chewing his fur, and his coat has lost its luster, he or she may have a skin condition. This is among the most common ailments afflicting canines, accounting for one-fourth of all the trips to the vet. Here are some of the most common skin problems and what to do about them. Continue reading

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Training Your Dog Not to Nip

Does your dog nip? Even though your pet is not actually biting you, nipping can still be painful, and something you don’t want your pet doing. How can you stop it? Continue reading

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