11/2/12


As pet owners we know that the health of our four-legged friends is very important for them to live happy, healthy and longer lives. Often health concerns pop into our heads and we find ourselves looking for answers to some of our pets health concerns that we may want to know as a second opinion or maybe get some insight before taking fido to the vet. 

I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Amy Dicke some pet health questions, of course I couldn't think of them all myself and turned to my Twitter followers to find out if they also had any questions they may like answered. Here is what the Doctor had to say:


1. How many vaccines do my dogs need in total? Which ones are the most important ones?

Vaccination recommendations have changed over the past years based on advances in science, vaccine technology and a growing body of information on infectious diseases. Vaccines have the potential to protect dogs against life-threatening diseases and are important in managing the health of your dog. However, every individual dog will have a vaccination regime relative to their lifestyle and health.

Vaccination recommendations will be tailored by your veterinarian to meet the pet’s needs based on potential for disease exposure and associated risks/benefits.

2. Our dog has been chewing on her paw on and off for years and it seems very common. Would love to know why? (Submitted by @Dogpaddling via AMotherhoodBlog)

Paw licking and chewing is a common condition that can have a wide variety of causes. Injury, pain, boredom, anxiety and stress may initiate or contribute to chewing and licking. In some cases the initial cause is no longer an influence, but the dog has turned the activity into an undesirable habit. If the licking and chewing is occurring on multiple paws it may be a sign of allergies. Typically, dogs with allergies will lick and chew other areas of their bodies as well. If your dog is bored or anxious, make sure he is getting plenty of exercise and interactive time with you. When you are away from home, give your dog toys to chew on and play with.  For tips on chewing and guidance on training visit iams.ca.

3. Are onions actually poisonous to my dog? What other foods should they not eat? (Submitted by @LuvLiisa via AMotherhoodBlog)

Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which can be toxic to dogs. Ingestion of onions can cause damage to healthy red blood cells and lead to hemolytic anemia, a life threatening condition in dogs. For a list of foods to avoid feeding your dog visit the online pet poison control centre. Visit iams.ca for tips on training and insight on why snacking is dangerous for your pets.

4. Our nine month old puppy chews everything! How can we prevent her from doing so even though she has her own chew toys?

Chewing is a natural behavior in all dogs. Puppies may chew even more in large part to relieve the pain of sore gums during teething. Teething toys are great, but your puppy may be confused as to what she can and cannot chew and your scent will be especially appealing to her. Make sure to put away shoes and socks and anything else you have used that may have your scent on it and never give your puppy shoes or clothes to chew on, as this will just lead to confusion. Same thing goes for chew toys – don’t buy toys that resemble items that you would not want your puppy to get hold of.

In order to get your puppy interested in her chew toys, rub something tasty on the toy or consider stuffing treats in hollow toys. Remember to always praise your puppy for chewing on her chew toy and always keep a chew toy within reach. If you see your puppy chewing on something she shouldn’t be, quickly replace it with a chew toy.

5. What is a good method of controlling dry skin on a large breed, short hair dog? Special shampoos don’t seem to work!

High quality proteins and a balance of omega fatty acids are important in maintaining a healthy skin and coat. Hair is primarily composed of protein and approximately a third of the dietary protein intake is used for maintaining the skin and coat. Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids play a key role in promoting healthy skin and a lustrous coat. Look for diets the provide meat based proteins and fish oil, fishmeal or flax for adequate omega 3 fatty acids.
Chronically dry skin can be indicative of a more serious health condition. Be sure to consult your veterinarian for his/her expertise and guidance.
Thanks so much to IAMS and Dr. Amy Dicke for answering our pet questions!

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for informational and educational purposes only.  This information should not be substituted for the guidance and advice of your veterinarian or animal behavior professional. For nutritional information please visit www.iams.ca or contact the Iams Consumer Care Nutrition Specialists toll free at 1-800-675-3849. Posted by AME on behalf of IAMS. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

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