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Can Dog See Color | Canine Dog Colorblindness Causes

Filed under: Dog Health — Tags: — Nik @ 6:58 am

Dog Color Blindness

Dog owners often raise questions about whether dogs are colorblind or whether they can only see shades of gray. Well, it may be surprising for many to learn that a dog is actually colorblind. In other words, dogs do not have the ability to see colors. However, this inability to see colors is compensated for, by their keen sense of smell and hearing. While dogs may not have the color range and visual acuity (focus) that we depend on, their night vision is far superior to normal humans. This is because of the reflective structure behind their retina called the tapetum lucidum that dogs can see objects in the dark.

It should be noted that dog colorblindness does not mean that they cannot see any colors; it simply means that they cannot see the same color range that we can. Owing to low visual acuity, dogs cannot focus as well. Thus, an object that a human can see clearly, will appear blurred to a dog from the same distance. A rough estimate is that dogs have about 20/75 vision, which means that they can see objects clearly at 20 feet while a normal human can see clearly at 75 feet.

How Dogs See Color

The central position of a dog’s retina is composed primarily of rods, which need less light to function. So dogs can see in dimmer light as compared to humans. The central retinas of humans have primarily cone cells, the ones responsible for perceiving color. Dogs have a dichromatic color vision as they have two different color receptors in their eyes, whereas humans have trichomatic vision. One of the color receptor peaks at the blue-violet range and the other at the yellow-green range. This means that dogs lack the ability to see the range of colors from green to red which is called deuteranopia (red-green color blindness).
Dogs do have advantages over the normal human vision as they respond to an image rapidly and detect the slightest motion. Dogs have a better peripheral vision. Also, dogs can see flickering light better than humans.

Hence, although dogs are colorblind, they can see colors, albeit the colors that they see are neither as rich nor as many as those seen by humans. Humans see the rainbow as violet, blue, blue-green, green, yellow, orange, and red; whereas dogs would see it as dark blue, light blue, gray, light yellow, darker yellow, and very dark gray.

How to Prepare Dog Food | Preparing Recipes, Treats for Dogs

Filed under: Dog Diet — Tags: — Nik @ 6:49 am

Prepare Food for Dogs

We lead extremely busy lifestyles today, and the thought of preparing homemade dog food for our pets seems like a difficult and unachievable task. However preparing homemade dog food preparation is not a very difficult task and we can ensure that our dogs get good nutrition by following some simple dog food recipes. I’m sure, if given a choice, your dog will prefer holistic dog food instead of the stuff you pick up across the counter. This commercially purchased food not only consists of low quality proteins but also has agents that produce a high quantity of ammonia.

Dog food recipes include white chicken meat, dairy products that are low in fat. Eggs are very good for your dog as they provide good quality proteins and are also high in moisture.  One simple recipe includes making a mixture of rice, carrots and turkey that is ground to a fine paste. A combination of ground beef, rice (brown), carrots and brewer’s yeast will also be appreciated by your dog. Why not try baking your own biscuits at home. These can be refrigerated for later use. Simply mix well an egg, a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast, a one third cup of apple sauce, a cup of cooked brown rice, and mashed vegetables. Make small balls and place on a greased baking dish. Stick the tray in the oven and bake in an oven pre-heated at a temperature of 350 °F for about 10 to 13 minutes. Your dog is really going to love these biscuits.

Here’s another dog food recipe that your pet is going to enjoy. Simply boil a chicken breast for about thirty minutes and keep aside. Take four cups of water and add a cup of flour to it and beat well. Cook this mixture on a slow flame until it thickens. Make tiny pieces of the chicken and add to this gravy. You may also add an egg to make this gravy tastier. Serve your dog once this mixture cools. This recipe has to be prepared the same day you want to serve it, as it won’t freeze.

Preparing meals for your dog at home is a simple task and does not take too much time. It is important that you check with your vet before shifting to homemade dog food. Homemade dog food is not only more nutritious as compared to food bought off the shelf, but also works out cheaper.

Best Dog Breed | Selecting Right Breed of Dog for You

Filed under: Dog Breeds — Tags: — Nik @ 5:19 am

Best Canine Breed

There are a lot of things to consider when selecting dog breed. You have to first make sure that you are ready to be a dog owner in every aspect of your life. Analyze the time and money you will be able to invest. Dogs can be very expensive; you have to set aside a budget for basic things such as food, cleaning products, toys, visits to the vet and any other emergencies.

You need to consider which breed suits your lifestyle best. There are a lot of books as well as online sites that will give you a lot of information on the best dog breeds. You should also consider visiting the dog show in your area as you will be able to get in touch with the local breeders and get all the information you need about a particular breed. If the breed is not important to you then adopt a dog from the local pound as there are so many homeless and deserted dogs that are put to sleep every year for no reason.

Evaluate your living arrangements. If it’s a smaller space like an apartment, then getting a large dog like a Doberman or a German Shepard is not the right choice. However smaller dogs like Pomeranians, dachshunds or a Jack Russell Terrier are more suitable. The climate also plays an important role, as if it is very hot and humid then dogs such as St Bernards or a Siberian husky will not survive easily, as they are used to a cooler climate. You should write a list of features you want in a dog. If you want a quiet and peaceful environment then a Pomeranian or a Boston terrier is not a good idea. If you are an athletic person and enjoy hiking and jogging then you’d get along well with a Labrador, collie, border terriers and any other active breed.

If you have any medical conditions or suffer from asthma you might want to avoid breeds that have long hair and a thick coat. Dog such as the St. Bernard and Collie shed most of the year. If you have children in the house it is advisable to avoid the more aggressive breed such as Pit bulls, Chowchows and Rottweilers. It is important for you to invest some time to train the dog as well as child to treat one another appropriately. After considering all your options you will be able to choose your dog breed by making a well thought decision and not a hasty impulsive purchase.

Pets and Kids | Pet Influence on Children | Pet Effects on Kids

Filed under: Pets — Tags: — Nik @ 3:35 am

Pets and Children

What is the effect that pets have on kids? Although this may seem like a strange question, it isn’t something that most pet owners with children have given a thought to. If we really think about it, pet influence on kids can be great. Very often pets are brought into the family so that kids can be taught a sense of responsibility. If it is an only child, then the child gets a companion and a playmate. The pet effects on kids are such that children get a different perspective of the world. They begin to empathize more with others and are also able to understand subtle feelings.

Pets play an important role in the emotional development of children. This support is provided from a very young age. When children are in the process of getting potty-trained, for example, they sometimes meet with success and sometimes with failure. This can be a very traumatic time for them emotionally especially when they are unsuccessful at it. Pets can, at this time provide non- critical acceptance of your child and help lessen their stress.

Children also begin to understand the different signals their pets give them to understand their feelings. This helps them become more sensitive while dealing with humans. They are also able to understand and decipher body posture more easily.

Children become more conscious about their pet’s emotions and are very often curious about what their pet might be feeling. This curiosity is healthy and is extended to the world around them as well. Under parental guidance a child is able to nurture another living being.  They learn to love their pet and keep it healthy. This sensitivity and caring nature then extends to the people around them as well.

As children get older they are under a lot of stress of competing with their peers both at an academic and athletic level. Both parents and teachers have high expectations of the child which they sometimes find difficult to live up. Here the pet gives the child unconditional acceptance and a sense of self-worth.
Very often children who go through some traumatic experience are able to cope with the animal better when they have a pet to open their heart to. They feel less lonely and have a sense of belonging.

Adolescence is time of experimentation and uncertainty as far a love and companionship is concerned. A pet during this time can be a source of comfort and emotional success.

Poisonous Dog Foods | Toxic, Dangerous Foods to Avoid Dogs

Filed under: Dog Diet — Tags: , — Nik @ 1:42 am

Foods to Avoid Dogs

A dog is by nature a very curious and inquisitive animal that will eat practically anything that smells or seems interesting. This habit at most times results in their getting poisoned as most humans out of sheer ignorance end up feeding their dogs “human” foods which are toxic and unsuitable to dogs. This may not only cause long term or short term harm to the dog but may also be fatal. Certain common household human foods that are dangerous for dogs are onions, macadamia nuts, chocolates etc. The effects they have on the dog’s health may range from mild stomach upsets to severe repercussions to even cause emotional and behavioral disturbances in the dog. Some human foods may be toxic in nature on account of their chemical structure whereas others may become toxic dog foods because of incorrect cooking or storage.

Foods like grapes and raisins, as few as 4-5, are known to cause irreparable damage to dogs kidneys. Consumption of chocolate, especially dark chocolate by the dog may result in symptoms like seizures, tremors, and increase in heart rate depending on the quantity consumed. This is triggered by a component called Theobromine. Onions and garlic on the other hand directly affects the red blood cells in the dog which in turn affects the flow of oxygen to the dog’s vital organs. Hence onions which may be present in pizza, baby food or Chinese dishes can easily become a toxic dog food. Even a small amount of alcohol is known to result in coma or even death in dogs and is hence considered as a poisonous dog food. Hence make sure that all cans or bottles of alcohol are kept well out of the dogs reach Chicken or other bones, even if cooked can be harmful to dogs when consumed as they may splinter and either tear or block the intestine and overall digestive system of the dog. Macadamia nuts are another human food that is extremely dangerous to dogs. There are more foods such as potatoes, yeast, coffee, artificial sweeteners, corn cobs etc that are also termed as toxic dog foods.

Although the kitchen may come across an exciting playground for your dog, their exposure via treats or accidentally finding human foods and table scraps has to be minimized and completely stopped so as to avoid the pitfalls of toxicity and obesity. Teach kids about which foods are not meant for dogs and specifically mention that they are bad dog foods as this is a term that children can easily understand.

Vaccination Schedule for Puppies | Shots for Puppy Dogs

Filed under: Puppy Care — Tags: , — Nik @ 1:38 am

Puppy Vaccine Schedule

When puppies are born, they do not have an immune system that is fully capable to fight off diseases which in turn makes them susceptible to infections. Antibodies that do help the puppies initially come directly from their mothers milk i.e. colostrum. Thereafter puppies have to be vaccinated mostly against certain commonly known harmful diseases such as distemper, rabies, canine parvovirus etc. Pet owners also need to remember that the dog vaccination schedule should ideally begin only once the antibodies present in colostrum are minimized in the puppy. Else if the vaccine is administered, these antibodies will identify the vaccines as harmful organisms thereby nullifying the effect.

Typically, a vet will recommend that for an average puppy the first vaccine against Parvovirus be administered when the puppy is almost 5 weeks old. Thereafter, when the puppy is between 5 – 9 weeks old the vet will administer a combination vaccine, which will safeguard the puppy against adenovirus cough, hepatitis, Para influenza, parvovirus and distemper. When the puppy reaches around 12 weeks of age and is an overall healthy puppy, it is then administered a vaccine against rabies as per the dog vaccination schedule. Rabies is a highly dangerous and often fatal viral infection which directly attacks the functioning of the dog’s central nervous system and brain. Additionally this disease is contagious in nature is can be easily transmitted from dogs to humans or vice versa via blood or saliva that has been infected. Hence in most countries it is now legally mandatory that all puppies have to be administered the rabies vaccine. When the puppy is between 12-16 weeks old, the vet will generally administer vaccines against diseases like Leptospirosis, Lyme and Coronavirus. These dog vaccines are generally administered if the puppy is likely to travel to areas where such diseases are rampant. Once the puppy is of around 6 months of age and is basically an adult it is has to go for regular visits to the vet where he is physically examined and given booster shots against the above mentioned diseases and Kennel cough and de-worming as well. Booster shots are generally given on an annual basis.

Most people are under the misconception that the smaller the size/breed of the puppy the smaller is the vaccine dose to be administered, however this is incorrect. All puppies once they are of the stipulated age, irrespective of size, breed, gender, weight etc have to be administered the same type and quantity of the vaccine dose.

Dog Eats too Fast | Control, Slow Down Speed of Dog Eating

Filed under: Dog Health — Tags: , , — Nik @ 1:34 am

Control Speed of Dog Eating

It can be very dangerous when your dog eats too fast as it can end up choking. It is very important for you to train your dog and control the speed at which he eats. When the dog gulps its food it also ends up gulping a lot of air. This result in a condition called bloat. As a result the stomach twists at one end and the esophagus and intestines are blocked at other end.  Some of the symptoms of bloat are obvious discomfort, excessive salivation, the stomach looks bloated and the dog keeps choking but does not vomit. If this condition is not treated in time it can prove to be fatal.

There are a lot of things that you can try to ensure that your dog slows down his eating speed. Some of these are; spread out the food on a big plate or cookie sheet where he won’t be able to gulp it down too fast. This works especially with dry dog food. You can also place a big ball or any heavy big object in the center of the dogs feeding dish. This will force the dog to work around the object in order to get to the food thus slowing him down. You can hand feed the dog; you can train him to take things at a slower pace. What you can do is control the pace at which you feed him thus making him realize that no matter how fast he eats up his mouth full he will still have to wait for the next.

You must ensure that your dog does not consume large amount of food and water at the same time as well as exercise vigorously. Never feed your dog just once a day or even leave food in its dish all day. Make sure you space out its meals and it is fed at least twice a day in order to avoid hunger pangs that make it eat fast.  Make sure it is given fresh water in its bowl everyday but take the bowl away while it’s eating so that the dog does not gulp it along with the food. Never exercise the dog before or immediately after its meals.  You can add digestive enzymes to the dogs’ food. This will help the dog digest all the nutrients and hence it won’t feel hungry too often. Finally if you feed dry dog food then don’t forget to wet it with a little chicken stock or water in order to avoid bloat.

Learn how to feed dog and what to feed dog

Positive Dog Training | Negative Techniques to Train Your Dog

Filed under: Dog Training — Tags: , — Nik @ 6:51 am

Nurturing a pet dog involves patience and consistency in your actions in relation to your dog’s behavior. This will help your dog understand right from wrong easily. You can train your dog using two methods. These are positive dog training and negative dog training. Positive dog training involves rewarding your dog when a desired action is performed or a desired behavior is displayed. Dogs are social animals and they enjoy affection. Affection can thus be used as a positive reinforcement for your dog’s behavior. This technique is also referred to as positive reinforcement dog training. What happens with positive reinforcement is that it creates a link in the dog’s thinking process between the particular action performed and the reward received for it. When your dog behaves in a particular way, you reward your dog with affection or with any form of a gift. This gift may be giving your dog its favorite food or giving it a chew toy to play with. When training using positive techniques you will need to be heavily involved in the action itself. You may be training your dog to jump over an obstacle or, more simply, to sit when it is being told to sit. You will have to coax you dog into performing the action you desire based on the words you use. Once the dog has performed the action, you should immediately introduce to positive element. This is crucial. You should also not use the same positive link for other good behavior while training your dog. This can be done later when your dog is trained, but during training some consistency and repetition is required.

Negative dog training can be difficult for some dog owners, particularly indulgent ones. This is used when your dog displays a type of behavior that is undesirable. You may want to stop your dog jumping at guests or damaging the upholstery of your sofa. In such situations, you will need to introduce a negative response as a consequence of your dog’s action. Some people simply shout and stop their dog from the action being performed. Others may tie the dog’s leash and make the dog sit quietly for a few minutes as punishment. Physical abuse is not at all recommended and can be illegal. This will also scare your dog rather than training it.

Generally, negative techniques are used to eliminate bad behavior while positive techniques are used to encourage good behavior or to train your dog to perform a certain action.

Dog Not Eating Food Causes | Feeding Guidelines for Dogs

Filed under: Dog Health — Tags: , — Nik @ 6:35 am

Old Dogs Not Eating

It can be very distressing when your dog stops eating. There are a lot of reasons why a dog stops eating. If your dog is sick, one of the signs is decreased appetite. Prompt veterinary attention is important because at times this could be a symptom of a serious illness. If the dog has been recently vaccinated then a temporary loss of appetite is common. Sometimes traveling and unfamiliar surroundings also lead to a loss in appetite. Some dogs suffer from motion sickness and hence lose their appetite. Some dogs are picky, and refuse to eat because they are not comfortable in their feeding situations; either the bowl is too high or it is not in the usual place or maybe it is being fed around another aggressive dog. If the weather is very hot then it is not uncommon for your dog to lose his appetite. Active dogs that have plenty of exercise eat well however if the dog is housebound and overweight it tends to lose its appetite.

There are many things that you could try to get your dog eating again. Some of these are:

  • Change the flavor of the dogs’ food. However don’t do this on a daily or regular basis as dogs like eating the same food most of the time. You could try switching between chicken and lamb.
  • If changing the flavor of the food does not help then try a different brand. Always remember any change in diet should be done gradually and spread over a week. This is because a sudden change of diet may affect the stomach and cause diarrhea.
  • Never add the gravy of the food that you eat to your dog’s food, especially if it contains onions. This is because dogs can develop a condition called hemolytic anemia.
  • Never leave the dog food in its dish for a very long time especially during the hot weather. If the dog refuses to eat its food then put it in the refrigerator for a while and feed it to him again when he feels hungry.
  • Gum problems and abscesses are two of the most common problems faced by dogs that are fed dry food. If you feed dry dog dry and he suddenly starts to avoid his food, make sure that you check for dental problems. You can also add a little homemade chicken stock to his food to increase its nutritional content as well as soften the food pellets.
  • If your dog is overweight then cut back on his treats and make sure that he/she gets more exercise and activity. This will increase his/her appetite and burn the extra fat.

Puppy Training with Patience and Persistence | Train Puppies

Filed under: Puppy Training — Tags: , — Nik @ 6:30 am

How to Train Puppy

There are a few things to keep in mind when training a dog. First and foremost, the training should build a strong relationship between the owner and the dog which is based on mutual respect and trust. Being harsh with your dog and scolding him repeatedly during training will only cause the dog anguish and can make him feel ostracized. A training program that is strict and demanding on the dog can lead to you breaking your dog’s spirit. Dogs are creatures of habit so the sooner you start training the dog the better it is. If you let bad habits develop when they are puppies it gets difficult to break these habits later on.

  • The first step is house training the pup. Puppies have no control over their bowel and bladder and end up eliminating all over the place. In order to train a pup you should confine it to a room which is covered with newspaper. Make sure the bed, toys, food and water are all in this room. It will get used to eliminating on the paper and very soon you will notice that he has a preferred zone in this room that he eliminates on. Slowly move this paper to your preferred location ensuring that you don’t move it more than an inch a day.
  • Biting and mouthing is common behavior in a pup especially when playing and teething. They learn to control this naturally when they are allowed to socialize with other pups by the reaction and the way other dogs interact with it. If a pup is not allowed to socialize a lot it ends up biting people due to fear or aggressive behavior it has developed.
  • Controlling your dog’s barking is also important as it can be quite a nuisance. Most dogs that are left alone for most of the day tend to bark as they are lonely, bored, frustrated or scared. These are all situation that you can control. All you need to do is ensure that your dog is well exercised, you spend some time with it everyday and it is given the opportunity to socialize with other dogs.
  • Chewing is a destructive habit common in puppies when they are teething. You can control this by spraying some bitter apple spray on the furniture or certain areas and objects that your dog normally chews. You can also get your pup some chew toys.

There are many books as well as online help that will give you a lot of puppy training tips.

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