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Your Dog’s Health

EXERCISE

Normal, healthy dogs need a substantial amount of exercise to stay mentally and physically fit. Dogs that have had sufficient daily exercise are easier to manage, are generally less destructive and develop fewer bad habits. Our premise has always been that tired dogs are well behaved and thereby produce happy owners.

Before you begin any new exercise program, please make sure your dog has had a recent physical checkup and that the dog is in good health and physically sound. If there are any medical issues, exercise should be adapted to safely meet the dog’s needs.

A brisk walk on leash may be great exercise for a miniature Dachshund but be totally inadequate for a young German Shepherd Dog. Typically, owners get tired after a one mile walk but the dog just considers it a warm up. Increasing your speed, walking up hills and increasing distance may improve the quality of exercise your dog is getting if walking on leash is its primary form of physical activity.

By using a long line (30-50’) that the dog can trail in a safe area like a field or playground allows the dog to romp and run but enables the owner to stop the dog from running off simply by stepping on the line. This can really improve the quality of the exercise the dog is getting. Obviously, if you are elderly, disabled or your dog outweighs you, this may not be the best technique for you to use.

Gradually increasing your dog’s stamina by slowly increasing the speed and distance he or she is walking can then give you the option of running with the dog. Running is great aerobic exercise for both of you

Occasionally, it seems challenging to know what the adequate amount of exercise is for any individual dog. This is best determined by trial and error. The “right” amount is what gets the dog to settle afterwards and does not get him revved up and out of control. Sometimes it’s even more challenging to provide it. Here are some ideas for physical and mental exercise for your pet. Some suggestions require that you participate as well. Others are suitable for owners who have exercise restrictions or for any owner contending with bad weather or when time doesn’t allow for more aerobic activity. Even if you cannot run, bike or swim with your pet, you can exercise your dog sufficiently. And remember, tired dogs are much better behaved! That’s a huge plus, especially when dealing with a high energy puppy or adolescent dog.

Genetic Problems

As everyone probably already knows, many of our breeds and mixes have conditions that may have genetic origins. Some of the most common ones are hip and/or elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, several types of heart disease, congenital deafness, tendency toward gastric dilatation/volvulus and many more. Below are some reference sites to help you learn more about these. While most don’t prevent your dog from becoming well trained and well behaved, they may required that the training goals and process be modified to accommodate the dog’s needs.

Hypothyroidism:

Deafness: pets.webmd.com
PRA: Animaleyecare.net

Hip dysplasia: Petmd.com

Elbow dysplasia: pets.webmd.com

Gastric dilatation/volvulus (bloat):

Heart disease:

Many more great sites exist. These are just a few of the ones that we think are worthwhile.

Diet & Nutrition

At WonderDogs, we endorse a healthy diet for your dog. Healthy feeding can:

  • Clear up dry, itchy skin and chronically inflamed ears
  • Restore natural energy levels
  • Maintain a healthy immune system
  • Prevent obesity
  • Increase life expectancy and general well being

Clients often ask about appropriate vaccination schedules for their dogs. Click this link for a suggested vaccine schedule as outlined by Dr. W. Jean Dodds. Dr. Dodds is an internationally recognized authority on thyroid issues in dogs and blood diseases in animals. In the mid-1980’s she founded Hemopet, the first nonprofit blood bank for animals. Dr. Dodds is a grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and author of over 150 research publications. Through Hemopet she provides canine blood components and blood-bank supplies throughout North America, consults in clinical pathology, and lectures worldwide.

Additional Links:

Training Articles

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General Information & Links

  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) Register your dog. Look up shows and events. Learn about recognized breeds. And so much more!
  • The United Kennel Club (UKC) The United Kennel Club is the world’s largest performance dog registry and second oldest all-breed registry in the United States.
  • www.Dogwise.com For great books/videos on dog related issues
  • Pets of the Homeless is the only national animal organization focused completely on feeding and providing emergency veterinary care to pets of the homeless.

Poison Control:

Local Animal Shelters:

Pet Care Services:

In Home Training:

Dog Behavior/Training:

Member Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Member of National Association of Dog Obedience Trainers
AKC Suporter
Report Your Lost pet
pets of the homeless
Member Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Member of National Association of Dog Obedience Trainers
AKC Suporter
Report Your Lost pet
pets of the homeless