Why Spaying or Neutering Your Dog Is Important

Spaying or neutering is an important part of any dog’s medical care. Puppies as young as eight weeks of age can be safely spayed or neutered, but older dogs can also be good candidates for the surgery as well.

The most obvious reason to spay or neuter your pet is the health benefits it offers. Spayed female dogs are said to live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs, while neutered male dogs like 18% longer than male dogs who are not neutered. Spaying and neutering helps reduce the risk of certain reproductive health problems. Male pets who are neutered have a lower risk of testicular cancer, while female pets who are spayed have a lower risk of uterine cancer and pyometra (a fatal uterine infection). Dogs who have been spayed or neutered also have a reduced urge to roam. This protects them from getting hit by a cars or getting into fights with other animals.

Aside from the health benefits, spaying and neutering can be an easy way to curb bad behavior. Male dogs are much more likely to engage in urine marking if they have not been neutered. Excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance related behaviors can be curbed by neutering or spaying your pet. Studies have also found that the majority of dog bites involve pets who are unaltered.

Finally, spaying and neutering is our best defense against unwanted pets. Animal shelters across the United States are already struggling to find homes for abandoned dogs, many of whom are given up after their owner discovers how difficult it is to care for a litter of puppies. Spaying and neutering is the only 100% effective method of birth control for your dog.

If you are worried about the cost of spaying or neutering your pet, the ASPA website maintains a list of low-cost spay or neuter programs that can provide assistance.


Treat Your Dog to Green Bark Gummies

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Teaching Children How to Stay Safe Around Dogs

Even dogs who are known for their calm disposition can turn aggressive if they are provoked by a child who does not understand how to properly behave around animals. As a pet owner, the best thing you can do for your family is to make sure your children understand how to stay safe around your pooch.

Here are some basic safety tips children should be taught for interacting with the family pet:

  • Never pull a dog’s ears or tail.
  • Do not try to climb on or ride a large dog.
  • Do not carry a small dog around like a doll or stuffed animal.
  • If you are playing with the dog and he leaves, do not try to follow him. This is his way of telling you that he is done playing for now.
  • The dog’s bed or crate is his personal space. When the dog is in his bed or crate, he should be left alone.
  • Dogs want to enjoy their meal without interruptions from children. Do not try to play with the dog while he is eating or attempt to tease him by taking away his food.
  • Never try to wake a sleeping dog by touching him.

When dealing with animals other than the family pet, children should be taught to ask a dog’s owner for permission before attempting to touch the animal. The owner is the best person to determine if the dog is friendly enough to handle being petted by a child.

If a child encounters a loose dog while walking to school or a friend’s house, he should be taught to avoid the animal by confidently yet quietly walking away and then telling an adult about the situation. If a dog goes after a child, the child should pretend to be a tree by standing quietly with his hands low and head down. This defensive position is safer than escalating the situation by running away, yelling, or attempting to hit the dog.


Pamper Your Four-Legged Friend

A quality diet can keep you pet healthy for many years to come. Green Bark Gummies dog treats were developed by a veterinarian after consulting with nutritionists, scientists, and animal health experts. They are made with high quality fish, meat, and greens without any byproducts or cheap fillers. Learn more at greenbarkgummies.com.


Understanding Pica in Dogs

It’s understandably frustrating when your dog won’t stop trying to eat things that aren’t food. However, pica in dogs isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.

If you have a puppy who is under six months of age, eating nonfood items is normal behavior. Puppies chew and swallow inedible things when they are learning about their environment and will typically grow out of this stage with nothing but a little discouragement from their owner. If you’re worried about your puppy ruining your favorite things, provide lots of safe chew toys, monitor her activities closely, and give her plenty of physical exercise to alleviate boredom.

Full grown dogs may eat grass when they feel nauseous as a way to make themselves vomit. Eating grass may also be your dog’s way to remedy certain stomach problems or to improve digestion. As long as your dog only does this occasionally, it’s not a cause for concern.

A full grown dog who is eating items like plastic bags, clothing, and rocks may have a nutritional imbalance. Your vet can run blood tests to see if a dietary change can help correct your dog’s pica.

If your dog doesn’t have a nutritional balance, his pica may be a compulsive disorder. This type of behavior won’t go away on its own. You’ll need to train your dog to break the habit. Medication might be needed in severe cases.

Until your pooch’s propensity to eat nonfood items has been addressed, you’ll need to “dog proof” your home in order to keep your pet safe. Many items that dogs with pica like to try to eat, such as spare change, cleaning chemicals, houseplants, and human pharmaceuticals, can cause death or serious injury. Keep dangerous items safely out of your dog’s reach and use a pet gate to prevent your dog from accessing common trouble spots in your home like the garage or bathroom.


Keeping Your Dog Healthy with Green Bark Gummies

Tasty treats can be useful as a training aid to discourage dogs from trying to eat nonfood items. Green Bark Gummies are free of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, and soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties). Visit greenbarkgummies.com for additional information.


Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby

Dogs thrive on predictability, which means that adjusting to a new baby can be difficult. A dog who is used to having your undivided attention is naturally going to feel slighted when he’s competing with the needs of a demanding infant.

To help your pet adjust to the new addition to your family, you’ll want to start planning for baby’s arrival as soon as possible. If your dog hasn’t already been to a basic obedience class, make plans to complete a course as soon as you find out you’re expecting. Your instructor can help you correct behavior that could pose a safety hazard once your baby arrives, such as jumping up to greet you at the door.

Help your dog become used to the sight and sound of children by taking him to a park where children often play or to visit close friends with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.

In your third trimester, get a life size doll and treat it like an infant. Set up your baby’s crib, bassinet, and swing for the doll to use. Sing to the doll and carry it around your home like you would a real baby. The goal is to get your dog gradually acclimated to the change in routine that an infant will bring.

If you’re the one who will be walking the dog after baby arrives, practice walking while pushing your baby’s stroller. Remember not to loop the leash on the stroller handle, since this could injure your baby if your dog sees a squirrel and takes off running.

After your baby is born, have someone bring home an outfit or two so your dog can get accustomed to the new baby’s scent before you return from the hospital. Stock up on tasty treats to reward your dog for being calm and tranquil while you’re nursing or giving baby a bottle.

Keep in mind that the normal squeals and cries of an infant can be distressing for a dog, so watch closely for pacing or unusual eye contact that could indicate your dog needs to be taken out of the room.


Reward Your Pooch with a Tasty Treat

Green Bark Gummies chia-based dog treats are a nutritious and delicious way to reward your dog for being on his best behavior around your new baby. These quality dog treats are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties).

Treating Constipation in Dogs

Constipation in dogs is fairly common, although elderly pets are particularly susceptible to difficulty with bowel movements.

Constipation is not considered a disease on its own. In most cases, it’s a symptom of another health problem. Constipation can be caused by:

  • Dehydration
  • A lack of fiber
  • Too little exercise
  • Side effects of medication
  • Hair in the stool from too much grooming
  • Ingested objects caught in the intestinal tract
  • Neurological disorders
  • Orthopedic problems
  • An enlarged prostate gland
  • Hernias in the dog’s rectum in the area next to the anus
  • Low levels of potassium
  • Low levels of thyroid hormones

To rule out serious medical concerns, you should see your vet whenever you notice that your dog is having dry or hard stools, is straining when he is trying to defecate, or has not had a bowel movement in two days. Your vet will take a complete health history, ask about specific symptoms you have noticed, and order tests such as a blood chemical profile and urinalysis. X-rays may also be needed to visualize the abdominal and intestinal tract in order to better assess the severity of the problem.

Common treatments for constipation in dogs include the use of a stool softener or laxative made for dogs, adding extra fiber to your pet’s diet in the form of bran or canned pumpkin, increasing his water intake, and allowing additional time for exercise. In some cases, your vet may recommend a professional enema to help your pet start having normal bowel movements.

After an episode of constipation, your vet may recommend continuing to monitor your dog’s defecation and stool consistency for future problems. Start by monitoring at least twice a week, then progressing to weekly or biweekly monitoring as your pet’s condition improves.


Preventing Constipation with a Quality Diet

A high quality diet can help prevent constipation for many dogs. Green Bark Gummies Healthy Digestion in small bites feature heart-healthy NutraCHIA with tapioca and ginger to support your dog’s intestinal health. You can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com.