Category: “Health”

Is That An “Outside” Dog?

Many potential adopters ask “Is this an ‘Outside’ dog?” Our answer is, “Not anymore.”  We attempt to place dogs with people who understand the need of a dog to be a part of the family.  One of our requirements is that any dog we place will reside indoors.

Goldens will develop a host of physical problems from residing outside.   These include skin, ear and eye problems along with joint discomfort as they get older.    Besides the physical issues, keeping one of these wonderful animals outside impacts their emotional well-being.

Even thousands of years ago when man and all animals lived “outside”, there was a cave or den for shelter, and man and dogs lived in small groups or “packs” .  The truth is, times have changed but we and the dogs haven’t. Both humans and dogs are “pack” animals; we do not tend to be solitary. Domesticated, companion dogs no longer have packs of other dogs to live with, so dogs now need to be members of human families or packs. Furthermore, both people and dogs are “den” animals. This is the reason that dogs can be housebroken. Dogs want shelter in a safe, secure den – your home – and they want their den to be clean.

Obviously, dogs can be forced to live outside, alone and away from their families. But to force this kind of life on a dog is one of the worst things you can do to him. Such a life goes against a dog’s two most basic instincts: the pack and the den. If you have any doubts about these ideas, think of all the whining, barking, clawing dogs you have seen tied up alone outside. Dogs trying desperately to get their human families’ attention, and then just giving up to become hyperactive, listless, fearful, or vicious when the stress of enforced solitude becomes too much to cope with. The rationale given by people who permanently keep their dogs outside is that they will spend time with the pet outside. Even the most well-meaning pet owner does not spend significant time outside, particularly when it is raining or cold. Consequently, under the best of circumstances for the outside dog, a bowl of food and water hastily shoved before him, a quick pat given, and his owner, his WORLD is gone, leaving the animal to spend another 22 or 23 hours alone.

A dog brings you the gifts of steadfast devotion, abiding love, and joyful companionship. Unless you can responsibly accept a dog’s offer of these great gifts, please do not get a dog. If you already have a dog, perhaps this article will help you to see things from his point of view, and possibly motivate you to change your relationship with him. A sad, lonely, bewildered dog, kept outside, wondering why he cannot be with his family, brings only sadness and unhappiness to the world.

Spaying And Neutering

(The following is from the www.animalshelter.org Feb ’06 Newsletter)

What is involved in spaying and neutering?

Spaying and neutering are the everyday terms for the surgical sterilization of a pet, neutering for the male, spaying for the female.

Both spaying and neutering must be done only by a licensed veterinarian.  In general the procedures can be performed at six months of age, in the last few years early spay and neutering has been accepted as early as 8 weeks by many veterinary groups.  Please check with your local veterinarian for his or her recommendations.

Spaying involves the removal of the female’s entire reproductive system:  The uterus fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed from a small incision in the abdomen some veterinarians require you to return in about 10 days so the stitches can be removed, other will use stitches that can be absorbed into the body.   Recovery in general is a fast process, taking only 2 or 3 days, during which time you should limit, your dog’s activities (no jumping or rough housing).  Most owners will notice very little difference in their female’s personality.

In neutering, the male’s testicles are removed through an incision just in front of the scrotum; self-absorbing stitches are the norm in this relatively minor surgery.  Your veterinarian will inform you if your pet needs any special post-operative care.

Many pet owners are surprised to see that their dog doesn’t look neutered at first, since the scrotum remains in place and may be somewhat swollen.  The loose skin will   gradually shrink away after a few weeks.

Behavioral changes can be dramatic in some neutered males.  Many hormone linked behavior such as mounting, and dominance related aggression will diminish in a vast percentage of young adult males.  In older pets the behavioral changes are generally less noticeable.  If your pet is neutered before it is six months of age sex-linked behaviors may never even occur.

Spaying and neutering are among the most common medical procedures in the United States and Canada, and carry very little risk for y our pet.  Your veterinarian will discuss your roll in the process to ensure that any complications that do develop are dealt with properly.

Some benefits of spaying and neutering …

A neutered male is:

* Less likely to roam, less likely to fight, less likely to potty in your house, and less likely to bite.  Most dog bites typically come from a young un-neutered male.

* Less likely to be involved in a dogfight.  Aggressive dogs and cats find the presence of other un-neutered animals as a challenge for their territory.  If you have a large dog he maybe lucky enough to get away with only a few scratches, if the dog is smaller you may not be so lucky.

* Spared from testicular caner, and or prostate cancer.
The results for females may not match up to those of a male but the health benefits more than make up for it.

A spayed female is:

* Safe from Breast cancer if you spay her before her first heat.

* Will not spot your carpets with her bi-yearly bleeding caused from going into heat.

* Protected from other reproductive system cancers.

* Not an attraction for other male dogs.

If you have a topic or questions we can answer in our upcomming newsletters send us an email to  editor@animalshelter.org

Please remember to visit our site at www.animalshelter.org

Donia

Pet Lovers Tips and Trends
www.AnimalShelter.org

Shaving Your Golden

Thinking About Shaving Your Golden Retriever?  In A Word–Don’t!
(article courtesy of Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc)
Some people mistakenly believe that shaving or severely clipping their golden is a wonderful way to keep the dog cool and comfortable in warm weather. What they don’t realize is that they’re actually putting the dog at greater risk of health problems like skin cancer. Here’s why:

A golden’s coat is made up of two parts — the long and smooth outercoat and the soft and fuzzy undercoat. These two layers work together to protect the skin from sun, heat, cold and moisture. The fur acts as an insulator BOTH against the heat and cold.

When you shave your golden, you remove all of that natural  protection that he or she was born with, thereby exposing the dog to the sun’s harmful rays, a risk of overheating in the summer, and more. Because they were bred to retrieve water fowl, the golden’s  coat also acts as a water repellant and is designed so that dirt and debris brush off easily.

We’ve also had applicants think that shaving their golden would help protect it against fleas and ticks, would reduce shedding and eliminate hot spots – ALL UNTRUE! The golden will still shed, fleas and ticks are better controlled with a spot-on preventive such as FrontLine, and hot spots can be controlled with a premium diet and supplements. Simply put, there is NO good reason to shave your golden on a regular basis, and you are actually harming your dog if  you do so.

Grooming Your Golden

(article courtesy of Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc)
Golden retrievers do require basic grooming. They shed, but basic maintenance will significantly reduce the amount of hair you find throughout the house. Regular brushing with a quality bristle brush, along with regular use of an undercoat rake will significantly reduce shedding, which will make you and your golden very happy.
The only areas of hair that require grooming are the nails, ears, tail and feet.

Nails: The golden’s nails should be clipped regularly. Long nails
are uncomfortable for the dog and for anyone they might jump on.
Check the nails and trim them regularly by carefully snipping the
tip with a pair of dog nail clippers or a mini Dremel tool. If you
are lucky enough to have a dog with clear nails, you will be able
to see the quick. Do not cut too close, and keep styptic powder on
hand in the event you do clip the quick. It is a good practice to
trim the nails weekly taking off small amounts each time.
Feet: Using an ordinary pair of grooming shears, trim the hair
around the pads, keeping the length even with the pads. Goldens
tend to grow “slippers” – fuzzy hair that protrudes from the top
and sides of the feet. Keeping this hair trimmed will reduce
matting and keep the dog from tracking in sand and dirt. The look
that you want to create is that of a cat’s paw.

Ears: The ears will require some general grooming on the inside
and outside. The hair on the inside of the ear should be kept thin
with the use of thinning shears and grooming shears. Hair covering
the outer part of the ear and along the edges should also be kept
neat. Ear cleaning is a basic requirement in keeping your golden
healthy. Golden retrievers have a tendency to get ear infections
if they are not cleaned regularly. Clean the ears weekly with a
quality ear cleansing solution.

Tail: The golden retriever’s tail should be groomed to look like a
fan when extended. The best way is to twist the end, put your
thumb just below the end of the tail bone and trim the end near
your thumb. Then, working from the end, carefully form a fan
toward the base of the tail.


            Surely if God could look like something of this world that we could
all see and relate to, it would more than likely be a Golden
Retriever.
            — Debra Marlin, Yellowdog