A-Z of dog wellbeing: Immune system

The immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that work together to defend our dogs against germs and microorganisms. When they’re at the top of their game, this system of body defenders can recognise and annihilate any invading viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, but sometimes problems with the immune system can lead to illness and infection.

A healthy, properly functioning immune system operates like the world’s most omnipotent drug. A malfunctioning immune system in dogs can open the door to a host of diseases, such as infection, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cancer. Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Immune system”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Healing

Rolo giving me ‘thank you’ cuddles after his self-medication session post-surgery

When an animal suffers disease, physical or emotional injury, the healing process works to restore the normality we know as health where the body is currently unbalanced, diseased, damaged or lacking in vitality.

Thinking of injury or dis-ease as a body out of balance, rather than broken or faulty is a far more gentle way of thinking, and one that suggests the ability to get back into balance with the right support. ‘Ease’ is a kind, positive word and I use this energy as part of my animal wellness therapies. Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Healing”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Grief

Our animals form strong emotional bonds with members of their family – the humans, cats and other dogs – and often suffer grief when a loved one dies or moves away.  They feel the loss as much as we do and the sudden change in house can be as traumatic to your pets as it is to us humans.

Although we don’t yet know how much dogs understand about death, it’s clear that dogs can become extremely depressed after a companion dies, so how you spot the signs of grief and how can you support your pet through this difficult time? Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Grief”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Family

Any dog can make a wonderful family pet providing the whole family are consistent in the training and socialisation of the dog, and there are boundaries introduces for everyone to follow, including the dog. In these circumstances you’ll have a dog that’s a joy to be around, and that teaches your children respect for animals, the importance of learning, and responsibility of care.

On the flip side, a dog that doesn’t get the correct training and socialisation especially during puppyhood, can be a terror in the house.  Children can be herded, scared and bitten if they don’t learn how to interact with a dog properly and this can lead to the destruction of the dog after an unnecessary accident. So how do we avoid this? Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Family”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Exercise

Big or small, young or old, dogs need to exercise daily in most cases. Exercise tones the muscles, helps the body and metabolic system to function properly, and engages the mind. Dogs that don’t get enough physical activity or mental stimulation will often go ‘self-employed’ to find entertainment which results in what we consider to be destructive behaviours.

While some breeds have special needs that have to be taken into account, and dogs slow down as they age, they still need to take part in some form of daily activity to avoid them becoming bored, frustrated and unhealthy. Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Exercise”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Diet

Today our dogs are being diagnosed with a wide range of health problems that we consider to be ‘normal’ for our pets – skin problems, increased shedding, gassiness, chronically loose stools, intermittent vomiting, kidney problems, and even cancer.

It’s no coincidence that many of these issues have only become common since the introduction of processed, often grain-based, commercial pet foods, and yet we can often halt the march of these life-limiting diseases by simply feeding a more species-appropriate diet. Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Diet”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Coat and skin

Komondor dog

Your dog’s general coat appearance is a good indicator of their general health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky or bumpy.   What options are there to help improve your dog’s coat?

Why is the coat and skin so important?

The skin is the largest organ of your dog’s body and it does an amazing job:
Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Coat and skin”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Balls!

Does your dog lovedog chasing tennis ball nothing more than chasing and fetching a ball for you to throw over, and over, and over, and over, and over…?
Could too much of this favourite canine game have negative consequences?

Why dogs love chasing tennis balls

Our dogs’ ancestors in the wild had to rely on their hunting instinct, practising their predatory behaviours such as stalking and chasing in order to hunt and catch food to stay alive.  Compare this with your pet dog, who simply has to wander into the kitchen to find a bowl of tasty food. Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Balls!”

A-Z of dog wellbeing: Anxiety

If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety, then you know how scary some situations may be, but have you considered that your dog may also suffer from anxiety?

What is anxiety?

dog looking worriedAnxiety is a normal physiological reaction to the anticipation of potential (real or imagined) dangers that triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response. While a certain amount of anxiety is healthy for both us and our pets, if it is regular and continual then it can result in long term damage.
Continue reading “A-Z of dog wellbeing: Anxiety”